2017 Solo Nationals Rookies Show One

This is the first show for 2017 SCCA Solo National Rookies Series.  It was fun to hear their insights and experiences as well as to get to know some of the newer autocrossers.

This show features four guests.

  • D.J. David Alessandrini – C Street 2017 Mazda Miata
  • Greg Tarantino –  F Modified  1937 Chevrolet Legend
  • Haley Nicole Oosterhof – D Street Ladies  2014 Subaru BRZ
  • Brad Herley – B Street  2008 Honda S2000

Who else will catch my reference to Lincoln Airport instead of Forbes Field where we had Nationals back in the early 2000’s.

This show features Dave Ogburn who is a multi time SCCA Autocross National Champion and road racer

This show features Dave Ogburn who is a multi time SCCA National Champion.

7 trips to Solo Nats, 6 trophies.

2 National Championships
A-Stock in 2011 (C5 Corvette)
C-Street in 2015 (Scion FR-S).

Triad winner in 2015 (C-Street).
3 seasons of ProSolo – 2013 – 3rd in ESP class points, 2014 – 2nd in ESP class points, 2015 – 2nd in C-Street class points

Here are some links and videos from things we discussed:

He mentioned the book “Driving on the Edge” by Michael Krumm.  It’s a book I really liked – Driving On The Edge: The Art and Science of Race Driving – Revised and Updated Second Edition

His website: http://www.yawmomentracing.com/

His Facebook page: www.facebook.com/YawMomentRacing
Runs from 2015 Solo Nats in the FR-S:
West – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrYrvtvoJvU
East –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLHRhIQTIIo

Drifting practice after a test day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHf4qjMbbSY

Winning run in 2011 where I turned the radio off mid-run (about the 34s mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UKEju2SaBMA typical test course we setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoMXIGcb92s

Shifter kart racing onboard from 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyZldOwR1Xs

Street race in the TAG Kart in Ohio in 2009: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D_HZzhXWrQHe also road races but still comes back and autocrosses.

He shares a lot of insights, tips and thoughts for racing from the mental side to setup.

He worked at Honda R&D as a design engineer on suspension and had the MDX front suspension as a project. Interesting hearing how bushings on cars can impact your suspension and thus handling.

He now drives cars on a pad we should be using for auto cross in San Angelo Texas. He says he has learned a ton driving on all season tires. Don’t challenge he or Lane Borg his coworker and codriver this year since they get a lot of practice!

He mentions that if you are slow in a certain type of car it might point to a weakness you can improve.

He has been autocrossing with his dad for many years and continues to do so at Nationals.

Biggest improvement has been on the mental side. He also reads a previous guests books…Ross Bentley Inner Speed Secrets: Mental Strategies to Maximize Your Racing Performance

He watches the other competitors and likes to stay calm and relaxed rather than feeling any stress.

He did quite a bit of TAG Kart Racing…who else wants a kart for the track?

Biggest key he learned in karts was getting to the limit and learning to feel it.

He has autocrosses a D Street Nissan Sentra as well as a 350Z Convertible.

He also did Baja FSAE and got to autocross them (He isn’t sure what the colleges were thinking).

He bought a formula ford and ran it in CMod in 2008 and learned a lot.

He looks for areas he should be best at as a place that can separate him.

Mentally he focuses less on other people and more on good technique. He likes to rotate on entry.

Uses the DL1 for data and it is more useful with data port data.

He likes to make a car as loose in the slalom as he can handle which makes it better in sweepers.

When it comes to practicing he focuses on car setup or driver but not both at the same time.

***When at nationals he ends the practices with three runs he treats just like nationals as in they count so being clean is key. (I really like this approach as compared to mine which is probably over driving for the fun of it).

Get feedback from people and have them drive your car for you.

His dad asks him after wards about three things he did well and three he can improve on.

1:54 Walking course: 1st walk pick out key cones (circle them on map)
Mark technical areas he thinks he can use as an advantage.
Example: Fast exit slalom vs. slow exit.
He will stop after a section and rerun it in his mind and any previous sections.
He visualizes as the front view of the car like he is a GoPro on the front.

He does not preplan inputs.

He has his codriver walk them through the course – what are they seeing and planning to do.

At nationals he thinks about being as fast as possible.

He only looks at video of someone he trusts.

He thinks about the position of the car relative to cones as well as direction it is pointing.

He thinks about weight transfer and likes the book I often reference but forget the name of which is “Driving on the Edge”

Dave Ogburn at the Runoffs 2016
Dave Ogburn at the Runoffs 2016
Dave Ogburn UVA Baja SAE in 2008
Dave Ogburn UVA Baja SAE in 2008
Dave Ogburn Taking track map notes
Dave Ogburn Taking track map notes
Dave Ogburn Racing shifter karts in 2011
Dave Ogburn Racing shifter karts in 2011
Dave Ogburn Crossle Formula Ford
Dave Ogburn Crossle Formula Ford
Dave Ogburns Spec Racer Ford
Dave Ogburn’s Spec Racer Ford
Dave Ogburn autocrossing in C Street
Dave Ogburn autocrossing in C Street
Autocrossing the UVA Legenda Car Dave Ogburn
Autocrossing the UVA Legenda Car Dave Ogburn

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Nicholas Chu is your 2016 Solo Rookie of the Year for Autocross

Nick Chu Solo Nationals SCCA 2016 Rookie of the Year
Nick Chu Solo Nationals SCCA 2016
Nick Chu SCCA Silver S2000 STR
Nick Chu SCCA Silver S2000 STR

Nick is the guest on this podcast.  He was just awarded the 2016 Solo Rookie of the Year for Autocross.

He was 2nd place in the STR class which had 64 drivers – driving a S2000.  And he wasn’t even driving his own car (which helps since he no longer owns an autocross car).

I think you will get some good autocross tips and things to try after listening to this podcast.  ***He started autocrossing in 2013*** so he caught on quickly.  And you will hear how he learns while not actually racing.

Yes he has video game racing experience and talks about the setup he uses which makes the braking feel real.

He has driven in STS in a Civic and a CRX, as well as an ES Miata.

He talks about how he looks at data and videos and we will share a link below to some of his data.

He talks about over driving on purpose for practice as well as not being able to duplicate being fast with applying throttle later.  (It worked for a codriver but he had to find another way to drive faster.)

And a tip I’m looking forward to implementing – watching videos at 1/2 or quarter speed. (I tried this and had to mute the volume on my coaching video to keep watching it.)

I thought we were going to wrap up the interview when he mentioned owning a kart so we had to hear about that.  He has a 4 stroke kart which sounds much more up my alley for lower maintenance!

Let us know what stands out to you!


Nick’s local Shop: http://ariaauto.ca/

His local club: http://www.vcmc.ca/

His runs at Solo Nationals 2016 that earned him Rookie of the Year honors: Nick’s autocross runs

Side by side runs: Autocross Side by Side runs

And Nick reviewing data of a run: Nick’s Data Video Autocross

6 Tom Berry Multi Time Autocross and ProSolo Champion and 2009 Driver of Eminence winner

Tom Berry

Tom Berry in the EVO
Tom Berry in the EVO


2009 Driver of Eminence award

7 Solo National Championships
2015 ASP National Champion
2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 BSP National Champion
1995, 1996 DSP National Champion

Pro Solo

One over all Challenge Championship, Runner up to over all and 15 Class Championships and 10 Challenge Wins


  • Started in 1976 when he was a freshman at University of California Riverside and saw a flyer for UC Riverside Auto Club
  • He described the experience as very archaic compared to what we do now
  • They were racing in parking lots
  • He continued doing it from ’76 to ’79

Were you always around cars?

  • Not very much, very little exposure but I was always interested in cars
  • “It’s still a passion for me, it’s not just something I do for a living.”

First car/s?

  • Honda Civic 79/80 that my then girlfriend (now wife) Theresa had and we repaired and started racing.
  • Life happened – marriage, kids and work so Tom didn’t race for a decade and came back on the circuit in ’91

How does that help driving different cars?

  • It helps you adapt easily in different conditions

Left or Right foot braking?

  • Left, most cars respond to left foot braking

“We have our weekend events to practice and I just show up with a helmet at times.”

It is eye opening for people to ride with others for progression of their driving skills.

TOP TIPS on Slaloms

  • I was doing it wrong for years.
  • We didn’t have data acquisition or a feedback system so you mainly learned from watching and riding with people.
  • SETTLE THE CAR BEFORE YOU ENTER, changing the speed before entry – presents the car on the slalom much smoother, as opposed to standing on its nose.
  •  Braking a bit later, it’s not about how he is applying the brake, it’s how he’s letting go of it (in reference to Brian)
  • When I started in ’76the parking lot we practiced in was like a long line, very archaic

Data system?

  • DL One
  • I’m not a techie but Marshall and Christine set it up.

Coming off the brakes and release it much easier

Learning by watching – you should try getting in somebody’s car because you can always learn a little something from everybody

Challenges and experiments – change the car and try a different set up

If you are stagnant and you haven’t changed anything – if you’re not tying different stuff you’re getting passed up.

It’s like business – if you’re business plan hasn’t moved in the last 5 years, then you’re not successful.


  • It’s easy to do too little or too much
  • I walk it once and analyze it – and then I walk the second time
  • I vocalize the course and it helps me solidify in my head
  • Half a dozen KEY CONES
  • A mistake I made was walking the course too much – you’re no longer forcing the brain to look ahead
  • Looking ahead – I’m not sure I do that well. I think it’s more important for the beginners than intermediate people.
  • Don’t concentrate too much on looking ahead, focus on THINKING ahead




Episode 3 Bob and Patty Tunnell Driver of Eminence award winners and multi time autocross champions

Bob and Patty's BMW M3
Bob and Patty’s BMW M3

Episode 3 features Bob and Patty Tunnell Driver of Eminence award winners and multi time autocross champions.  It was great to hear their history in the sport.

Their business is BimmerHaus.com and it was interesting hearing how apprehensive Patty was to buy that first BMW and now that is just about all they will drive.

Towards the end we get to hear about one of their passions of helping people in Afghanistan you can learn more and support the cause at http://www.barekaub.com/

I was surprised to learn that Patty does NOT like to ride along with Bob and don’t invite her to a roller coaster.

We still don’t know who was in the halfway house.  But we do know that Bob uses his left foot for braking and Patty her right.


Bob Tunnell

  • Solo Cup, the sport’s highest award 2007
  • Driver of Eminence award, 2002
  • Inducted into The Silver Circle (25 events), 2010
  • Keeper of the Old Fartz list
  • 2nd – Most Family Championships – 2nd – 19 (Bob 6, Patty 13)
  • 7 ProSolo Class National Championships (92, 95, 97, 98, 00, 03, 06)
  • ProSolo Street Tuner Challenge Championship (07)
  • Solo Nationals Sportsmanship Award (05)
  • Rocky Mtn. Division Ricky Peña Award (03)
  • Rocky Mtn. Division Driver Of The Year (04)


Patty Tunnell

  • Driver of Eminence award, 2002
  • Roger Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award, 2002
  • Inducted into The Silver Circle (25 events), 2010
  • Won the largest Street Prepared Ladies class ever (1 of 2) – 13 cars in BSPL in 2001
  • No. 1 Among Women in Who’s Who In Solo – 464 points (2nd overall)
  • 1st – Most Trophy Finishes, Women – 24
  • 1st – Trophy Streak, Ladies – trophied in 17 consecutive events
  • 2nd – Most Family Championships – 19 (Bob 6, Patty 13)
  • 3rd – Most Championships, Women – 13
  • 6th – Most Events Competed In, Women – 30
  • 2 ProSolo Class National Championships (00, 02)
  • 2 ProSolo Overall Ladies Championships (00, 02)





Episode 2 Julian Garfield a 5 time junior kart champion Autocrosser and one to watch

Julian Garfield and CSP miata
Julian Garfield and CSP miata

This episode is with Julian Garfield who has won 5 junior kart championships in autocross and has a 2nd in CSP and 3rd place finish in DSP at nationals.  And the third place was with his mom riding shot gun since he only had his drivers permit.

Julian has great insight on kart setup and driving which was all new to me.  If you are a parent of a junior kart driver take notes.

He talks about adding distance to keep the junior kart in the torque band rather than taking a tight line which would bog the kart.  Sounds like physics supports a wider line at times.

Julian was written up in my My SCCA Life – Click Here for the Julian Garfield article.

www.thestudentdriver.blogspot.com  – “Student Driver” Julian Garfield brings a fresh perspective to the automotive world.

His website with some videos (fast hands!)

You can catch Julian on Facebook Here