View Full Version : NMCA West Hotchkis Autocross Recap June and September 2016

09-29-2016, 04:58 PM

NMCA West Hotchkis Autocross Recap June and September 2016
Story By: Brandy Phillips
Photos By Cole Reynolds

Those looking to sign-up for the September NMCA West Hotchkis Autocross were out of luck as the two-time consecutive
sold out event drew crowds from all over the West Coast.


The June autocross was by far one of the most mentally enduring and exhausting events of the year. Temperatures
reached well in the triple digits that weekend. In many cases, people would have went home early or not come out at all,
but competitors seeked cover in trailers and RVís while others brought misters and wet towels to help keep cool.

By this time, competitors and spectators had hoped for a break in the high temps. Days before the September event,
weather conditions were ideal with overhead clouds and a cooler forecast, but mother nature did not want this to be the
case come race day. Temps reached quickly into the triple digits once again for the second event in a row, reaching
107-110 degrees on Sunday.


The heat did not stop the ultimate reason why racers flocked to this event though. The battle for the Hotchkis Cup is one
reason many keep coming back to each event. Four Hotchkis cups are awarded throughout the year, one at each event.
There is a fifth Ultimate Hotchkis Cup that is awarded in October to one lucky competitor who has accumulated enough
points throughout the year to be crowned Ultimate Champion.


In June, Tom Kamman took possession of the Hotchkis event cup. Five drivers were brought to the stage, each within a
couple tenths of a second from each other. The five drivers were asked to sit down one at a time until the final champion
stood victorious at the award ceremony Sunday evening.


During the September event, Dan Livezey took home the Hotchkis Cup in his 2004 Corvette. With just a tenth of a
second between and second place runner up Greg Nelson, Livezey secured his victory, though he was not able to attend
the award ceremony Sunday evening.

Rita Wilsey accepted the award on behalf of Dan as she joked that he might not get the trophy back. Rita not only was
the fastest women of the weekend in her 2002 Corvette, she was the first Hotchkis Cup recipient at an NMCA West
Hotchkis Autocross.


The past two winners of the Hotchkis Cup have both been behind the wheel of 2004 Corvettes. The first winner back in
April of this year was Fred Zust in his 2005 Lotus. Though these drivers have been awarded the Hotchkis Cup, this does
not automatically qualify them for the Ultimate Cup in October. Drivers must compete in events throughout the year while
accumulating points towards an overall score.


Several other awards were handed out both Saturday and Sunday highlighting class winners, fastest lap times and spirit
of the event recipients. In June, a special award was given to driver Jenner Gonzalez for not hitting any cones throughout


During this event, a Special Recognition award was given to Jenni Ryker for most improved. Ryker might be a familiar
name as Jenni is wife to Chad Ryker, the man behind the 1968 Camaro posted above.


Jenni was one of eight females racing over the weekend, which was a nice change compared to some of the past events.


One main highlight of the weekend was the tribute to Todd Rumpke. As many might know, Todd Rumpke passed a couple
weeks ago after a long fight with cancer. Pat Sheely, who had several vehicles out over the weekend, happened to have a
2016 white Corvette. Sunday during lunch, the white Corvette rolled out to the track with the number 63 forever for one
last run.


All competitors and spectators were asked to come down to the track for the missing man formation as the Corvette made
one final lap with the number 63 in honor of Todd Rumpke. The Racing Byrds then announced that the number 63 will
forever be retired from the NMCA West Hotchkis Autocross. The tribute brought one final form of closure for those on the
West Coast that were friends or knew of Todd Rumpke.


Right before the past June event, friendly online competition grew to one of the most controversial topics right before the
event. An award idea was presented recognizing the fastest Mid Pack Leader. Drivers who were believed to be ďtoo fastĒ
like Jordan Priestly, Don Gonzalez and Greg Nelson were quickly disqualified from receiving the award. The social media
post regarding the award went viral; many asking how they too could qualify for a chance at being crowned Mid Pack


The June recipient was none other than the award founder, Jason Flaghtery in his 2014 Camaro ZL1. Flaghtery brought
the award back for its second go around at this past event.


The Mid Pack Leader jumped around quite a bit both Saturday and Sunday, but the final recirpient of the second Mid Pack
Leader event was Jeff Cox in his 2014 Camaro.


As for the remaining award winners, letís quickly go over who won what both Saturday and Sunday:

Hotchkis Cup Recipient: Dan Livezey 20014 Corvette


Unlimited Class: Richard Truijllo 2009 Dodge Viper

Modern Muscle: Greg Nelson 2014 Camaro

Classic Muscle: Mike Cuthbertson 1968 Camaro

Compact Class: Mark Allison 2013 Fiat Abarth

Sports Compact Class: David Carroll 1975 Datsun 280Z

Truck Class: Brandy Phillips 1972 C10R

Overall Fastest Lap of the Day Saturday: David Carroll 1975 Datsun 280Z

Fastest Women: Rita Wilsey 2002 Corvette

Special Recognition: Kurt Robinson 2015 Camaro


Unlimited Class: Sean McKillop 1970 VW Bug

Modern Muscle: Jordan Priestley 2016 Camaro

Classic Muscle: Greg Thurmond 1964 Corvette

Compact Class: Marc Lewis 2014 Ford Focus ST

Sports Compact Class: Richard Jung 2003 Evo

Truck Class: Wes Drelleshak 1959 Apache

Overall Fastest Lap of the Day: Rick Jung 2003 Mitsubishi Evo

Fastest Women: Rita Wilsey 2002 Corvette

Special Recognition: Pat Sheely 2016 Corvette

Special Recognition: Jenni Ryker 1968 Camaro

Special Recognition: Sean McKillop 1970 VW Bug


So what should one expect when coming out to one of the NMCA Hotchkis Autocross events? Unlike other pro-touring
race events throughout the year, this race is not televised nor is their a big cash award at the end of the weekend. So why
in the world would anyone in their right mind come out in 106-120 degree (the temperatures were up for debate, but that
also could have been because everyone was delirious by mid-day) to race at an autocross?


When I look around the pits cars of all makes and models filled the parking lot. Trailers, motorhomes and pop-ups were
scattered across the lot with people seeking cover from the heat. Towels drenched in ice water were in high demand as
several people wrapped them around their neck and over their head to keep cool. Those on the opposite side of the
country may be shaking their heads at this moment commenting that we have it easy because itís a dry heat, and yes
that is true, but that does not make it any better.


For those wanting to participate in a well-organized, friendly competition autocross, then this might be your event.

The final Hotchkis Auto-X October event registration is now open. Visit:

For more details about the NMCA West Hotchkis AutoX: http://www.nmcawest.com/index.php/autocross/

Photos from NMCA West Hotchkis AutoX September 2016 Event: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOBUCKET ALBUM (http://s385.photobucket.com/user/protouringdotcom/library/ProTouring%20Events%202016/NMCA%20West%20Hotchkis%20Auto-X%20September%202016)

Photos from NMCA West Hotchkis AutoX June 2016 Event: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOBUCKET ALBUM (http://s385.photobucket.com/user/protouringdotcom/library/ProTouring%20Events%202016/NMCA%20West%20Hotchkis%20Auto-X%20June%202016)

09-30-2016, 10:28 AM
Great write up as usual Brandy!

09-30-2016, 10:56 AM
Great write up for sure. Very hot weekend though. I know I was dying and you can see it the picture of me! Haha. Hopefully the Oct even will be much cooler. 2 more weeks to go! I will see you all there!