KCR Solo Event #1 draws a huge field for a damp day of driving

Words by Samuel Hitchcock, photos by Doug Patterson

The 2017 Kansas City Region SCCA Solo season got off to a wet start at Event One on Sunday, April 2nd. But the foul weather couldn’t stop 144 regional autocrossers — including a lot of first-time drivers. Event chair Al Hermans and his crew did a tremendous job handling the big crowd and dealing with adverse conditions.

Nine Formula Junior drivers were the first to run, facing the coolest, wettest conditions of the day. Nearly all the kids spun out or DNF’d, some spinning multiple times on just one run. But they had a blast! Congratulations to Bradley Livingston on his first-ever win in FJA, with Ethan Hill winning FJB, and Trevor Watts taking FJC. The Kansas City Region is becoming known for its strong FJ program, and this season promises more of the same, with speedy new drivers providing spirited competition among our “kart babies.” Amelie Beets joined Jana Hitchcock as the only female FJ drivers in the region.

The weather messed with the big kids too. For instance, STX national champion driver Craig Wilcox found himself in an uncharacteristic 4th place, and he was just one victim of the grip-challenged first heat. Second-heat drivers got at least one mostly dry run, while third heat enjoyed the best track conditions of the day.
STU driver Mark Hill took first place PAX for the day, while the rest of the top ten was dominated by shifter karts, STX and CAM-C.

As always, the new season brought out new cars and builds galore. But one stood out, Patrick Darling’s 1968 CAM-C class Chevrolet Camaro. Patrick bought the classic car in February of 2013 and spent more than four years restoring and prepping it for autocross. The car is a heavily reengineered restomod, featuring a SpeedTech coilover suspension, big brakes, and an LS engine swap. It’s wonderfully crafted, loud and fast.

Official Results

Next up is the Midwest Division Solo Championship Events #1 and #2 at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, KS on April 22nd and 23rd followed by our Novice Solo School and Regional Solo Event #2 at the Providence Medical Center Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS on April 29th and 30th. All three events are open for registration at MotorsportsReg.com.

Editor’s Note: Throughout the entire 2017 season, we will be providing an event recap article, similar to this one, providing some of the unique flavor of each event and a run-down of some of the tighter class battles. Be on the lookout for Sam at Event #2 as he seeks out the stories that make our events so amazing.

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