With the Pro Solo in Lincoln, the first major event (locally) of the year, coming up soon, I thought it might be a good chance to talk about the SCCA Contingency Program. As some of you may or may not be aware contingencies are a chance to win awards by placing in certain positions in your class (1st is usually a good one) at National, Divisional and Pro Solo events. Contingencies usually require a participant to be using the company’s product and having required decal(s) placed on the car during the competition.
That’s right it is official (according to Top Gear)… there will be an American version of the hugely popular Top Gear series (BBC) that is hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. The History Channel will begin airing the first 10 episodes this fall. The hosts for the American version will be Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara and Rutledge Wood.More…
The popular Ken Block Gymkhana series is set for it’s 3rd installment with a reveal scheduled for today in California. While Block drove a Subaru STi in his previous Gymkhana demonstrations, he will be driving a 2011 Ford Fiesta in Gymkhana 3. With over 13 million views on YouTube of the 2nd Gymkhana, number 3 should definitely garner some immediate attention.
Coverage for WRC Rally Jordan begins tonight on Discovery HD Theatre at 9:00 PM Central with a Preview and Day 1 coverage. Day 2 and 3 coverage continues on Friday also beginning at 9:00 PM Central. Rally Jordan was the 3rd event of the WRC season and is a gravel rally. Mikko Hirvonen won last year’s event and was looking to repeat and make up some ground on Loeb in the WRC driver points standing, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out so well for Mikko. Loeb managed to fight off Mikko’s teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala, for another victory for the season. Loeb has quite an advantage in the driver points standings going into Rally Turkey. Petter Solberg made another strong showing finishing in 3rd and Kimi Raikkonen finished his first event and even cracked the top 10.
Sunday was my first autocross event of the year and first event in the BMW 135i with the new set up. The course for the first NRSCCA Solo Points Event at Lincoln Air Park was pretty long, with most times in the 75-95 second range. Was a great opportunity to get accustomed to the new setup and do some tuning on it. I had 2 other drivers driving the car, Jon S. (from Tarsust) was co-driving with me in STU and provided a lot of help and input on suspension settings and Dan H. drove the car in BSP.
Since my first autocross event of the season, at least driving event, is fastly approaching (this Sunday!), I thought I would give an update on what I’ve done to the 135i during the autocross offseason. Last year I ran in STU with my only modifications being a larger front sway bar and larger width front wheels. The larger front sway bar and less staggered wheel/tire combo helped a lot over the stock set up (with run flat tires), but to get the car to be anywhere near competitive some more upgrades were required.
The Texas National Tour event for 2010 was the first real ‘travel’ event. I’ve never traveled farther than 5 hours for a solo event, being fortunate enough to have the 2009 and 2010 nationals in our own backyard (Lincoln is only an hour away). However, there isn’t enough seat-time doing just local events.
I planned on attending, alone if I had to, just to have a chance at a national-level course first thing in the year. Luckily I had a partner willing to travel with me, even if it was only to take photos. So there we were, packing up the STI. 4 wheels in the backseat, tools and jack in the trunk, along with all of our clothes for 4 days, and a Diff for delivery (see the 2010 grassroots motorsports build from Vorshlag). New shocks required adjusting on the road for optimum feel, although it was still bone-crushing. I now understand why people trailer their cars.
It felt weird being the only ones from our Region, but we were still among family. Doing solo even for a few years I’ve gotten to know friends that are just as competitive and passionate about the sport as I am, and always show up.
I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. It was a fun trip. And having a gold medal doesn’t hurt either. 🙂
The 2011 Subaru STI was unveiled today at the New York Auto Show. For the first time the STI will be offered in both a hatchback and sedan version. The sedan version takes the STI back to the roots that defined the model. Also with the return of the sedan is the return of the giant wing, which made the car so unmistakable in the past.