The 2017 Kansas City Region SCCA RallyCross Championship season kicked off on Sautrday, March 18th, at the Thunder Valley Sand Drags in Grain Valley, MO. The area is currently in a moderate drought which brought extremely dusty conditions to otherwise idea weather with clear blue skies, temperatures in the mid 60s, and a steady breeze. The breeze was extremely beneficial in helping to dissipate the clouds of dust kicked up each run. We even had a few dust devils form during the day.
In addition to some of the regular Kansas City Region competitors, we were pleased to welcome competitors, including two reigning National RallyCross Champions, from Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and one guest all the way from Alaska. We also enjoyed welcoming several new competitors, some coming out to experience their first ever SCCA event. In all, we had 27 registered competitors across eight different classes featuring a wide variety of cars, even a Chevrolet Volt!
The closest battle of the day was in the Stock RWD class between the duo of Dave Kennon and Michael Lasater, swapping their 1985 Camaro for a 1992 Miata, and first-time RallyCrosser Peter Strunk in his 1993 Toyota MR2, attempting to demonstrate that Miata isn’t always the answer. During the morning runs, Peter took the lead after posting fast, but most importantly, clean times. Dave was instantly quick in the Miata, but hitting two cones on his third run set him well behind Peter and the MR2. Michael posted the fastest single run for the class in the morning, but a cone penalty and inconsistent times put him even further back from Peter than his teammate. Owing to consistent, clean driving, Peter took a 2.145-sec lead into the lunch break. The afternoon session was a different story. While Peter maintained his consistent and clean pace, Dave and Michael were coming to grips with the different vehicle dynamics of the Miata and they started to lay down some seriously quick times. Peter was able to keep the lead through the first four runs of the afternoon, going into the tenth and last run of the day with a 1.150-sec advantage over Dave. Peter continued as he had done all day long and posted a solid 43.569-sec time, but Dave pulled out a hero run and laid down a class best time 41.946 sec and took the class win by a mere 0.473 sec. Miata turned out to be the answer this day, but Peter Strunk and his MR2 have put Team Miata on notice.
The other tight contest of the day was a rejoined friendly Prepared AWD rivalry between Mark Macoubrie in his 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Mike Coons in his slightly newer 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. From the first run, it was clearly going to be a tight battle with both Mark and Mike posting nearly identical times, but both collecting cone penalty. The difference between the two runs was a mere 0.041 seconds. Both drivers continued to find more pace on the course, but Mark also found more cones, two on Run 2 and one more on Run 3. By the end of Run 4, Coons had nearly a five-second lead over Macoubrie, but on Run 5, Mark laid down a blazing time while Mike slowed down and struck a cone. At the lunch break, Coons still carried a 1.3-sec lead over Macoubrie, and he began to stretch that lead in the early runs of the afternoon session. Mike was putting down times that were significantly quicker than Mark’s, and on Run 8 he recorded a magical run that was two seconds quicker than anyone else. With two more runs to go, Mike was over nine seconds ahead of Mark, and it looked to be in the bag for Coons. Run 9 brought disaster, though, as Coons would make his first significant mistake of the day, throwing the car wide through the finish and bowling over five cones. That singular mistake caused his nine-second lead to evaporate in an instant. Although Mike recorded a quicker raw time than Mark on Run 10, yet another cone penalty kept him from regaining the top spot. This is why you never give up in RallyCross. Every run counts and it’s not over until that final run of the day. Macoubrie certainly made a lot of work for himself with three dirty runs right at the beginning of the event, but perseverance and a no-quit attitude won the day for the veteran RallyCrosser.
You can see all of the results and our schedule for the year on our RallyCross — Schedule and Results page. Up next is the 2017 DirtFish SCCA National RallyCross Central Challenge at Heartland Park Topeka on April 7-9.