Time Trials Nat Tour Takeover of the Tricky Triangle Set the Bar

Time Trials Nat Tour Takeover of the Tricky Triangle Set the Bar

Here’s the least surprising bit of news ever posted: Running two configurations of a racetrack on the same Tire Rack SCCA® Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty weekend was a big hit. That’s how it went down at Pocono Raceway over the June 15-16, 2024, weekend, where 55 competitors took on two variations of the road course and the “a-cutest” angle of the tricky triangle (or was it obtuse? There’s a reason we’re putting words to paper and not using math).

Even better, we reached the sweet spot of the year in the Eastern Pennsylvania mountains. Not too hot, but definitely not cool – the racetrack gods smiled down on the Time Trials National Tour field and kept the surface beautiful all weekend long.

And did we mention bonus seat time? An SCCA local autocross was also on site, and those competitors were invited to try a Time Trials session at the end of the day on Saturday. No matter if they took the Time Trials staff up on the offer or not, autocrossers and Time Trialers alike co-mingled at the Hagerty Social Dinner Party on Saturday evening.

Results and Records

Here’s breaking news: 110 different personal bests were set at Pocono this weekend!

OK, there were two course configurations, and the Time Trials National Tour was making its debut at the track, so that number was a little bit skewed as this visit set the bar for future visits. Still, there were impressive performances all weekend long.

Three different C6 Z06 Corvettes made up the overall podium at Pocono, where Daniel Dobalo took the top spot in his Tuner 1 version over Jacob Glover and Derek Meinke. Ata Tabesh and his Toyota Supra and Ian Creps in a Honda Civic were next in line.

1. Daniel Dobalo, Tuner 1, 2009 Chevrolet Corvette, 1:34.978
2. Jacob Glover, Sport 1, 2008 Chevrolet Corvette, 1:35.842
3. Derek Meinke, Tuner 1, 2006 Chevrolet Corvette, 1:36.673
4. Ata Tabesh, Max 2, 2021 Toyota Supra, 1:37.359
5. Ian Creps, Max 2, 2019 Honda Civic, 1:38.659

Michael Bard and Daniel Lohan led the way in the Club Spec classes, with Bard’s Mustang and Lohan’s MX-5 top in their classes.

Stay Classy, Pocono

The easiest way to see how you stack up is to measure yourself against your classmates, and there were some tight battles in Long Pond.

Sarin Kodappully led the way in Sport 5, just inching ahead of world-famous autocrosser Danny Kao in a Mazda MX-5. Kodappully turned a best lap of 1:45.771 to finish just 0.087sec ahead for the class win in the momentum-car class.

We saw how close both the Max 2 and the Tuner 1 classes were at the top in the overall standings, but Max 4 slotted in there as well. Bryan McCrea posted a best lap of 1:42.433 to best David Albrecht in a 1994 Honda Civic by 1.21sec, but it got even closer. Adam Wright and his Scion FR-S were just another 0.158sec behind Albrecht. Add another 0.115sec to the lap time, and you’ll find Nicholas Zelisko and his Mazda RX-8. It was close at the top.

That’s just a taste of what went on at the Tricky Triangle. For more, check out the complete event results.

Event Results

You’re Super!

All of the drivers attending Time Trials National Tours bring something good to the table, but some drivers had to be singled out.

Top Novice: Marcin Jablonski
The Top Novice award goes to the driver who comes closest to winning their class, and you can’t get any closer than Marcin Jablonski did. Jablonski drove his 2011 Mini Cooper to the class win in Unlimited 2 at Pocono.

Spirit of Time Trials Award: Trey Albrecht
This award goes to someone who lives team spirit at the event. Trey Albrecht wasn’t just a coach at Pocono (and other Time Trials National Tour events), he also worked tech, helped set up and tear down the event, and gave of himself in a plethora of other ways during the weekend. And, yes, these are all things that are part of being on the Time Trials National Tour team and working the event, but he earned the Spirit of Time Trials award for how generous and giving he was outside of the expected. When Nicolas Zelisko’s Max 4 transmission let go on Saturday, Albrecht helped him search for a replacement. When one couldn’t be found, he offered to let Zelisko, his fellow Max 4 competitor, drive his car so that Zelisko could finish the event.

Never Give Up Award: John Bradley & Cory Gregory
“Never Give Up” applies when you just can’t get a section of the track correct, but it also applies when your car refuses to move. Rather than pack up and go home, both John Bradley and Cory Gregory rolled up their sleeves with some friends and got to work on Saturday night. Bradley completed an entire engine swap in his 1985 Chevrolet Camaro on Saturday night, while Gregory did the same for a transmission in his 1998 Ford Mustang, both getting back on track on Sunday.

Eyes Up, Look Ahead

If you’re looking ahead to future Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty events, there are a couple of apexes you’ll want to hit.

First up is the Aug. 24-25, 2024, event at Pittsburg International Race Complex, a “standard” (is there such a thing?) Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour event and the last of what we’ll call the “regular” season. Registration for this event is open now.

But the biggie is the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials Nationals. This is the big kahuna at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, KY. If you’ve been, we don’t have to tell you more. If you haven’t, it’s a four-day extravaganza with the best that the Time Trials world has to offer and the chance to match pace with true national-caliber drivers and cars.

Time Trials Nationals takes place Oct. 24-27, 2024, alongside the Grassroots Motorsports Ultimate Track Car Challenge. Registration opens on July 18, so mark your calendar.

Photo by Sam Draiss