Honda Cup Season is here!!!
The 2006 SCCA Honda Cup Season kicked into full gear this past weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California. With 2005’s most dominant driver out of the picture, the field is wide open.
Saturday December 10, 2005: With only two races this weekend left to finish the season, S2000 driver/owner David Karner had built such a commanding lead that he only needed to start one of the last two races to cement his championship. Never being one to be satisfied with “good enough,” S2ki’s “Slick Rick” was letting it all hang out in qualifying in an attempt to win the pole position for the penultimate race. Due to time constraints at SCCA events, there are multiple cars on track during qualifying sessions. Going into turn one at over 100MPH, two cars were headed for the same position. To avoid a serious collision, Karner had to swerve. His tire caught a berm and launched into the air flipping as it did. A number of flips and crunches ensued, and when the dust settled, David Karner’s season was over, his championship no longer a “lock.”
With the door now open, Thomas Lepper drove his Acura well enough in the final two races to capture the season championship that 48 hours before seemed impossible.
Karner won’t be back in ’06, but Lepper is definitely here to defend his title. The competition has never been stiffer. The S2000s have invaded Honda Cup!
Even with Karner out, there are no less than four S2000s considered contenders for the ’06 cup. The frontrunner would have to be considered S2ki’s own Rylan Hazleton. (krazik) With a full season or wheel to wheel competition now under his belt, Rylan is rapidly becoming a savvy racer. Will (Marty) Roush (sphincterMC) has also become a skilled racer, if he can keep his car running all the way to a few more finish lines this season, he could be a serious contender. Alex Chen (hondalegend) is another capable S2000 contender. He drove his Berlina extremely well in the ’05 season, and we expect him to build on that in ’06. The final S2000 contender is the newest to the wheel to wheel fray, but a very serious competitor none-the-less. Richard Laifatt (rlaifatt) is a seasoned three time S2000 Challenge Champion who only began wheel to wheel racing halfway through last season. He stunned the crowd by winning the poll for his very first race, and he enters 2006 as someone to watch.
Derek Stevens in his very fast (and very deep pockets) yellow Civic and defending champ Thomas Lepper in his Integra aren’t about to lay down for the S2000 onslaught, so 2006 should be the best Honda Cup ever.
We’ll post this weekend’s results here later in the week.