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2016 Dixie National Tour report

The first SCCA National Tour autocross event of 2016 took place on March 19-20 in Cecil, Georgia at the South Georgia Motorsports Park. As the traditional kick-off of the National season, the Dixie Championship Tour usually sees a large turnout of folks from all over the country. This year was no different as 281 entrants took their shot at the courses. We had the largest ALSCCA turnout in years with 17 of our folks making the trip, including four experiencing their first National level event. 

For those not familiar with the Dixie Championship Tour format, Friday is basically arrival day and offers a test & tune to get dialed in before competition runs. Saturday begins the competition with each participant getting three runs to set their best time. After competition runs are complete on Saturday the start/finish lights are switched and a few adjustments are made for safety. The course is run in the opposite direction on Sunday. Results are determined by adding the best runs from each day.

We had five drivers bring home trophies: Stephen Saunders, Clay McCool, Jordan Towns, Jerry Ledford, & John Waight. Below is a brief description of each of our folks.

Stephen Saunders brought home the 4th place trophy in a 13 driver A Street field. He improved two spots on Sunday to grab the last trophy position.

C Street had the largest field at the event with 27 drivers, including four from ALSCCA. Clay McCool was in second place after Saturday’s runs and jumped to first on Sunday after first runs. He finished in the 3rd trophy position, just 0.029 seconds out of 2nd place. We also had three Tour rookies in the C Street field. Bo Jinright improved three positions in his Miata on Sunday to finish 13th. Charles d’Ambrose codrove Clay’s FR-S and Mike Coon brought his 2016 MX-5.

Jordan Towns took the 2nd place trophy in D Street (7 entrants) behind her WRX codriver Dennis Sparks of TVR.

Heath Patterson took his E Street Miata to its first major event and finished 13th out of 22 in the third largest class at Dixie.

STX was the second largest class with 26 entrants, including the current class National Champ and several other top drivers. Two father/son teams from ALSCCA were among the field, with the two old guys edging out the “kids”. Rod & Zac Hardiman fought a bad suspension setup on their FR-S on Saturday. Adjustments made on Sunday improved the car and their positions with Rod ultimately finishing 13th, up one spot from Saturday, and Zac improving 4 positions to 21st even with cones on his fastest run. Jeff & Max Appelbaum now claim ALSCCA as their home region and took their BMW to 16th and 20th place, respectively.

STR had 16 entrants in what is always a brutally competitive class. While the forecasted rain mostly stayed away, STR ran first heat and Saturday started damp & dried throughout the morning. ALSCCA’s Jerry Ledford fought the damp conditions to an overnight 7th place. Sunday morning found a dry surface and Jerry improved 1.5 seconds on his final run to move up two spots and grab the 5th and final trophy position. Tristan James, who still claims ALSCCA though he has recently relocated to Florida, came in a very respectable 9th in his first National event.

CSP found our familiar duo of Darryl Engle and John Waight sharing Darryl’s blue Miata in a field of eight entrants. John captured the 3rd place trophy and Darryl finished just behind in 4th.

Street Modified had 10 entrants in some very serious boosted hardware, including two monster Subarus, Eric Hyman’s Godzilla GT-R, and our very own Chaisit & Sara Tongsuvone in their silver Evo. Once the dust settled Chaisit finished 6th & Sara 7th and were encouraged that their off-season improvements had helped close the gap to the top guys.

There is a large social aspect to these big events and this year was no different. In addition to our 17 drivers, there were about 15 from TVR and many more from East Tennessee Region. Jeff & Max Appelbaum get MVP mention for arriving Thursday afternoon, securing paddock space for most of this crowd, and getting several EZ-Ups in place to give us somewhere to congregate when not running or working.

Hopefully after reading this little write-up even more of our folks might be encouraged to give it a shot at one of the National events. Your next closest chance is the Match Tour East Tennessee Region will be hosting at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee on May 14-15.

Spring/Summer 2016 Teen Driver Clinic registration is now open!

Our next series of Teen Driver Clinics will be held on April 23rd, May 21st, and June 25th, 2016. All are scheduled to be held at the South Campus of Gardendale First Baptist Church. For more information and links to registration please see our Teen Driver Clinic section.

2016 Autocross (Solo) Season, Pt 1

The first part of our 2016 Solo season schedule is now available! Each of these events will be held at the Hoover Met.

Points #1: March 13
Points #2: April 16
Points #3: May 7
National Match Tour: June 17-19

Of course the big news is we are hosting our first National level event in June. This is the easy button for our folks to get their introduction to higher level competition. We will also be needing lots of help to make sure it goes off without a hitch. More info will come out as the event gets closer.

Negotiations are underway for the remainder of the 2016 schedule. These events will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

Additional information