Ladies and gentleman, your 2014 champion of the Lime Rock Autocross Series presented by Wells Fargo Advisors is... Tom Venturino, of Weston, Conn. Tom drove his 2012 Honda FF to the win in the AxIS Shootout with a best-lap of 18.100 on Lime Rock’s 1,220-foot original autocross course.
A new electronic timing system, courtesy of track partner Spectro Oils, provided timing to the one-thousandth, and .199 behind Tom was Plainville, Conn.’s, Quinn Kizis in his 1999 Mazda Miata. Quinn’s 18.299 bested Ryan King’s 18.660, who drove his Gen III Toyota MR2 down from Florence, Mass. Fourth was John McGrath (Woodstock, Conn.) and his 2012 Mustang Boss 302 (18.893), while fifth was 2013 Autocross Series champion Dean Cusano (Farmington, Conn.) and his race-prepped 1984 Jaguar XJS, putting in an 18.903.
This year’s Shootout saw a terrific mix of cars, from a formula car and a Birel Rotax kart to an AMG wagon, three Corvettes, a Mini Cooper, an M3, a Honda S2000, a Lotus Elise, an Audi TTRS – and no less than five Miatas.
The first 18 cars were separated by just 2.329 seconds; seventh through 18th were jammed together, with only .803 of a second separating those 12 cars.
Chris Benjamin of Wells Fargo Advisors was the master of ceremonies for the awards banquet, and presented the from-now-on permanent AxIS Wells Fargo Advisors trophy; like Indy’s Borg-Warner Trophy, each champion keeps it for a year and will then present it to the next champion.
2014 Autocross Invitational Shootout (AxIS) presented by Wells Fargo Advisors
1. Tom Venturino, 2012 Wyvern-Honda Formula F, 18.100
2. Quinn Kizis, 1999 Mazda Miata, 18.299
3. Ryan King, 2000 Toyota MR2, 18.660
4. John McGrath, 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, 18.893
5. Dean Cusano, 1984 Jaguar XJS, 18.903
6. Gordy Wagner, Birel-Rotax kart, 19.208
7. Steve Katz, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon, 19.526
8. Steve Constable, 2005 BMW M3, 19.625
9. Eric LaCore, 2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata, 19.648
10. Joe Wall, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.822
11. Eric Vondwingelo, 1994 Mazda Miata, 19.833
12. Ryan Burrell, 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06, 19.864
13. Keanna Chang, 2013 Audi TTRS, 19.898
14. Matthew Dunham, 2004 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.004
15. Kevin O’Neill, 2007 Chevy Corvette Z06, 20.010
16. Jason Levine, 2001 Honda S2000, 20.045
17. Matt Persanis, 2006 Lotus Elise, 20.263
18. Andrew Chang, SCCA Spec Miata, 20.429
19. Gary Friedman, 2005 Mini Cooper S, 21.150
-Photos by Rick Roso