Article by: Joe Roach.
Editors note: I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to the SCCA SDR 2018 regional points battle in CAM-T via facebook. With the largest CAM-T class in the country and these drivers racing together for years and trying to always beat each other on the course it was an amazing close battle all year long! SDR competitor Joe Roach agreed to share some the exciting season recap with us.
Mid Season and it’s tight!
Midway into the season, the banter on the SDR SCCA CAM Facebook page was flowing. With a different winner each week, this year was shaping up to be an all-out thriller.
Sure enough just a fluke, Alcino wasn’t 5th for very long. After the 7th event, he had 3 wins and a 2nd in his best 5 to climb to 2nd in points. Bry started out strong with one win, three 2nd, and a 3rd for his best five. Danny nabbed his 2nd win to stay in the hunt, with no drops, needing all five of his events to count. Tom and Mike were right there in the thick of it too. And it alternated from one event to the next, Mike beat Tom, then Tom beat Mike, and back and forth the battle carried on.
Heading into the end of the season
Coming down the stretch, Danny would make only one more event the 12th, to notch just 6 races and fell out of contention. Alcino did what Alcino does and won three of the next five races (events 9, 11, and 12). With one event remaining, he had his third points championship in a row wrapped up and 4th in 5 years. At the next event (8th), Tom would get his second win, and have solid 3rd place finishes for events 10, 11, and 12. Bry had two more strong finishes placing 2nd in events 8 and 9. Just as Alcino surged at the end of the season, Hogate too was charging, getting his first win (10th event), two 2nd (events 11, 12) and two 3rd (events 8, 9).
And so it was, down to the last race, the grand finale. After 12 events, there was still a full-on battle for second.
For most of the season, Bry raced in his 71 Maverick. He finished 3rd in points last year and before that, ended up 4th in his first season. He would just need to run close to the front runners to take home 2nd in points. With a 1.65 lead on Tom and 2.8 on Mike, the odds were heavily in his favor.
Tom was the CAMT points champion for the 2015 season (driving a 67 Valiant) and was 2nd in points for 2016 and 2017. For him, 2018 was a season of different rides. His two wins for the season were with Fred’s 69 Camaro. And for this last event, he hooked himself a fast car, Richard Trujillo’s 69 green Mustang. With that car, he was sure to be a contender. Or so we thought. I didn’t hear what the trouble was, but Richard’s car didn’t get out of the gate, and was pushed out of the grid. That left Tom and Richard scrambling for rides. Tom couldn’t fall back to Fred’s 69 Camaro, Fred already had a co-driver. Tom ended up in Alcino’s car and Richard went over to Rich Alianelli’s 66 Mustang. Tom had some prior seat-time in Alcino’s car, one race, the 11th event, placing 3rd behind Alcino’s win.
For Hogate, he was in his first full season of racing with his 70 Nova. Whatever the outcome, it was already a Cinderella story being competitive and in contention! For him to have any chance of catching Bry, he needed to win, and win BIG. With 13 events, nine would count. Bry was sitting on a 97.187 and with that almost had Mike closed out by the thinnest of margins, 1/100 of a point! (most Mike could gain: 100- 97.187 = 2.813, Bry’s lead: 2.804, 2.813 – 2.804 = .009). Basically, Hogate needed a miracle!
The decider. The final event of the season!
Now to set the stage, there were 11 cars, and 14 drivers. The day was absolutely perfect, in the 70’s, and partly cloudy. The course layout was the best one all year for CAM. Several sections to blast all out and hang on. Danny Leetch wasn’t around to play the spoiler, just Alcino. The three contending for 2nd had themselves a shootout, and what a shootout it was!!
Hogate blew sound on his first run (96 db) for a DQ but layed down the fastest time (58.467) on his second run. After 2 runs, it was Hogate, Bry (58.862), Dan Wilcox (59.026), Alcino (60.381), and Tom waiting in the wings (co-driving). Tom circled in and ran a couple of 58s, to jump to the lead (58.304). Hogate spun out on his third run for a DNF. Bry clipped a cone on his 3rd, so no help (60.221). Then Tom layed down a 57.984 on his last run to increase his lead. A quick calculation had Tom oh-so-close to overtaking Bry in the points, just 0.15 short! But it didn’t matter, on Bry’s last run, he narrowed the gap with a 58.266. That left Hogate. Who knows, maybe blowing sound was a blessing. Instead of going by sound in 2nd gear, he shifted to 3rd. What a final last run, he blew away the field with a 56.529!! Nearly 1.5 seconds better than Tom, 1.7 seconds better than Bry, 1.8 seconds on Alcino. Unbelievable!
Event 13 Results
Video by Alcino Azevedo: “Here’s the one where I spun going into the finish because the corner worker red flagged me. Good example of why you don’t abruptly let off the gas when full tilt mid-corner.”
Video by Bry Morris: best run
Drum roll please ….
The 2018 season ending final points, Alcino in 1st, in 2nd Mike Hogate ! (by 0.009), Bry Morris in 3rd, and in 4th Tom Kamman. Hats off to a season of all seasons, a miracle and the battle royale!
Sure to go down as a legend in SDR CAMT history … “Remember that last race of 2018 and Hogate’s hero run…?!!”
2018 SDR SCCA CAMT Points Final Results
Awards banquet: Alcino Azevedo, Mike Hogate, Tom Kamman, Bry Morris, and Mike Young
Alcino, Mike, Bry, Tom, and Danny proved all season long to be the top of the class. Just scraps for the other competitors, as these 5 guys took all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes for the 13 events.
Grid photography by Joe Roach. Action shot photography by Don Cole. Videos by Alcino Azevedo and Bryant Morris.
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