Couple of mentions of EliseTalkers!
“Superman” and “The Alien” Headline SCCA Dominated Mazda Rev It Up Championship Field
From Mazda Rev It Up Media Relations
Eight-time SCCA Solo National Champion Mark Daddio is going for his second straight win, and a new Mazda3, at the Mazda Rev It Up Finals this weekend. (MazdaRevitup.com photo)
MARINA DEL REY, CA (Sept. 1, 2004) — The struggle between Sports Car Club of America soloists Mark “The Alien” Daddio, Beacon Falls, Conn., and Mike “Superman” King, of Jacksonville, Fla., that emerged during last year’s Mazda Rev It Up National Finals continues anew on Labor Day weekend when these two, and 18 other skilled drivers, face-off at the Rev It Up finals at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Another SCCA competitor, upstart Alan McCrispin from Huntsville, Ala., could challenge for the grand prize Mazda3 as well as he posted the highest score nationally and finished at the top of two Mazda Rev It Up events this year.
Fifteen of the final 20 competitors are SCCA soloists, including 13 of the 15 city winners. Daddio, 38, of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, is one of those 13 city winners after he earned the chance to defend his 2003 Rev It Up title by winning the Washington, D.C., event - the same event that got him to Laguna last year. At last year’s finals, Daddio (nicknamed “Alien” for an out-of-this-world ability to control a car) won the first annual championship and grand prize – a new Mazda6.
However, once again standing in Daddio’s way is King, who finished second behind Daddio last year. King, who got his nickname from the lucky superhero shirt he wears at solo events, was city champion this year in St. Petersburg and said he’ll have on appropriate attire for the finals.
“I’ll be wearing my Superman T-shirt at the finals,” King said. “ have no doubts about that.”
Thirteen accomplished first-timers, many of whom are also SCCA drivers, will be on track for the National Finals and should not be discounted. McCrispin, 45, won in St. Louis with ‘04’s highest score, and also topped the field in Atlanta, but per event rules, since he’d already won a berth, another competitor, SCCA’s Ryan Thompson, was given the chance to go to the National Finals.
McCrispin says he is on a personal mission: “I do an autocross event almost every weekend, and the seat time helps a lot. But I have another goal in mind for this year’s Mazda Rev It Up, and that goal has yet to be met.”
SCCA soloist Karter Bollman, 31, of Friendswood, Texas, who repeated this year as champion in Houston, is the only driver to ever score more than 1000 points on a Mazda Rev It Up Competition Course, which he accomplished last year.
Also in the Finals are New York Regional winner, SCCA Solo national champion Keith Casey, 35, of Somerset, Mass., and Pat Salerno, 38, of Danbury, Conn., another Solo national champion who is back for the second year after receiving one of five wildcard entries by accumulating the most points out of all regional non-winners. Note, Keith Casey is Imp and Pat Salerno is Elise77
Also gunning for the new Mazda6 will be Steve Brolliar, 46, of Melbourne, Fla., who was crowned city champ in Miami, and is a feared member of the autocross community. Brolliar sees the Mazda Rev It Up National Finals as autocross’ race of champions. Amazingly, Brolliar did no tuning up in the year before this Miami victory, but still thinks he has a good shot. “I enjoyed the competition last year and I want to win this year,” Brolliar said.
Also from the SCCA ranks and rounding out the list of repeat competitors is Ryan Thompson, 22, of Duluth, Ga., who was crowned city champ in Atlanta after McCrispin. Thompson qualified for the finals in 2003 by claiming a wildcard seat.
While the majority of competitors will be making their first trip to the National Finals, many of them are not newcomers to autocross. Leading the cagey veterans will be Terry Baker, 54, of Virginia Beach, Va., who used his substantial racing background to claim the high score in Philadelphia. The next senior-most driver is Steve Hazard, 47, of Newburyport, Mass., who claimed victory in Boston. Sam Williamson, 42, of Garden Grove, Calif., will also be a formidable opponent as evidenced by the Orange County championship he claimed in the first day of competition at that event.
“I’m totally excited about being in the finals,” Williamson said. “I am going to win and I am going to get that new MAZDA3.”
Jon Etkins, 46, of Austin, Texas, rounds out the over-forty racers who are first-time finalists. A native of Australia, Etkins won the Dallas Mazda Rev It Up and will be challenged by another Aussie, Dylan Scott, 33, currently of Manhattan Beach, Calif., who made it to this year’s National Finals by championing in San Diego.
Oddly enough, Scott is not the only Manhattan Beach victor. Derek Brauch, 31, is also from Manhattan Beach and managed a win at the first Mazda Rev It Up stop in San Francisco.
The two new young guns are John Ma, 25, of Madison, Wis.; and SCCA’s Brian Priebe, 28, of South Bend, Ind. Both drivers showed a great deal of talent as they marched toward city championships in Minneapolis and Chicago, respectively. Ma is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Wisconsin and has spent five years piloting cars through autocross courses. Priebe is a second-generation autocrosser with seven titles to his credit.
The wildcard qualifiers may be dark horses, but they should not be overlooked. Each managed a terrific lap on a Mazda Rev It Up Competition Course and could rise to the occasion at the National Finals. Diane Niven, 33, of Oviedo, Fla., was the top-scoring woman this year after her blistering lap in St. Petersburg. The number one finisher in the Club division is David Corsaro, 27, of Nutley, N.J. Corsaro secured his spot in the finale by turning a fast time in Philadelphia, as did Joshua Melani, 22, of Forest Hill, Md., whose lap gave him an unbeatable score nationally in the Novice class. Rounding out the field is Just for Fun competitor Bill Fiske, 40, of Chester, N.H., who set his winning score in Boston, even though he had never before raced on a road course.
San Francisco - Derek Brauch, Manhattan Beach, CA
Orange County - Sam Williamson, Garden Grove, CA
San Diego - Dylan Scott, Manhattan Beach, CA
Houston - Karter Bollmann, Friendswood, TX
Dallas - Jon Etkins, Austin, TX
Chicago - Brian Priebe, South Bend, IN
St. Louis - Alan McCrispin, Huntsville, AL
Washington, DC - Mark Daddio, Beacon Falls, CT
Minneapolis - John Ma, Madison, WI
New York- Keith Casey, Somerset, MA
Boston – Steve Hazard, Newburyport, MA
Philadelphia - Terry Baker, Virginia Beach, VA
Atlanta - Ryan Thompson, Duluth, GA
St. Petersburg - Mike King, Jacksonville, FL
Miami – Steve Brolliar, Melbourne, FL
Highest Scoring Non-winner - Pat Salerno, Danbury, CT
Top Woman - Diane Niven, Oviedo, FL
Club Class - David Corsaro, Nutley, NJ
Novice Class - Joshua Melani, Forest Hill, MD
Just for Fun - Bill Fiske, Chester, NH