2024 The Yokohama Experience by Tire Rack

Jun 3, 2024

The unofficial start of The Yokohama Experience by Tire Rack is in the parking lot, next to the dumpster, at the La Quinta in South Bend. The guys bring down grills and drinks and provide the meat. You could bring something to share or not. It is so much fun just to be out there visiting with friends. We once again were very lucky to have great weather. Look at the photos, you can tell there was a lot of FUN going on. We are going to do it again next year! Be there!

We thank the management of the La Quinta for letting us use the lot. We cause no issues by just being in their back lot. Always leave it cleaner than you found it.

The Inaugural 2024 “The Yokohama Experience By Tire Rack” event was a hit with participants. Saturday featured an experimental take on the traditional fun-run day featuring “The Wheel of Fate” which was a heavily modified See-N-Say consisting of random acts of fate, including such hits as: The Ballast Boys!!! (Add one ballast boy to each empty seat in your car, playing kazoos to boot!), and The Fire Drill, which can beperformed at any time during your run. Some did not enjoy the wheel of fate and your feedback has been noted by the Autocross committee. Many hilarious trophies of random achievement were provided at the Saturday dinner to commemorate the day.
Sunday competition was per normal, and it featured several very close battles on a return track layout from last year. Great fun was had by all!

Starting in Ladies class, Peggy Fioretto took top honors with a 37.975 pax time ahead of Renee Kobayashi in 2nd with a 39.986 and Ashley Chin in 3rd with a 40.557.

I class would prove yet again that you cannot beat a Miata as The Bill Luxon took first place with a 30.276, closely followed by Jay Steinberg with a 31.202.

The E-class “arms race” was won by Carl Thoemmes in the JPS with a 36.998 just inching ahead of a Tim Head who was leading for most of the day in his Z with a 37.297. Had the rain fallen it certainly would have been a different story though as Tim was on fresh YOKOHAMA tires that were performing superbly in the mixed and drying conditions! Theodore Neumann took 3rd place with a 38.726.

C-class featured Graig Neville in 1st with a 41.309 followed by Nicholas Geldis with a 43.692 in 2nd and George Geldis in 3rd place at 44.707.

Up to B-class, Alexander Kahl, who took great care are storing his tires in the hotel room would win in class with a 38.560, followed by Ilya Povod in 2nd with a 39.168 and Stephen Gerber rocking the Z3 to a 39.295 in 3rd.

On to an extremely tight A Class battle where Birthday Boy Leo Kneip edged out Matt Farnsworth by a tenth with a 37.681 to Matt’s 37.747 just ahead of “I hate fun but actually had fun Saturday” Joe Kneip with a 37.860.

The highlight of the day though was that AA Class is interesting and competitive again! Special guest Matt Johnson, with his wooden splitter and all turbo E36 smoked the field throwing down a spectacular 35.915, ahead of local hero and track specialist Bob Kobayashi with a 36.195 and Dimitre Dimitrov in 3rd at 36.829. Overall, the competition in AA was fierce with 12 entrants, much improved from years past, and looking forward to what the rest of the season brings here.

In closing, a HUGE Thank You to our hosts, Yokohama & Tire Rack. Woody Rogers, Christine Steele and as always behind the scenes Dawn Reitman for Tire Rack, for providing such amazing hospitality and prizes, Yokohama Tire with Tyler Sylvester onsite for their generous continuous support of the program. Thanks to Tom and Pam Imholz for coordinating events, Barbara Adams and Larry Schettel for their administration and photography, and our event chairs Edward Graff, Carl Thoemmes, and Clint Whiteway. Shout-out to John Schwartz for staying plugged in while attempting to pass the Autocross boss torch and Phil Gullett for his efforts in making Saturday hilarious fun!

Share This