Memorial Day weekend 2011 will go down as the first time the SCCA has held a ProSolo and National Tour event over the same holiday weekend. We can’t think of a better place to host the event than the awesome Lincoln Airpark, home of the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Finale and National Championships. It appears many of our fellow Solo competitors agree, as the ProSolo entries capped out at 250 and the National Tour count has topped 300 competitors. It is an incredible turnout and testament to the enthusiasm within the Solo community despite high fuel prices and the still recovering economic conditions.
With the big event just around the corner, the Tire Rack/Grassroots Motorsports Project STR team of John Rogers and Chris Harvey have continued the development of the 2010 Mazda MX5. First up, was the addition of Design Engineering, Inc. (DEI) Reflect-A-GOLD heat reflective material. We wrapped out a cold air intake tube, O2 sensor wires and plastic exhaust outlet hole with this state of the art polymer to help ward off heat from the engine compartment. Its self adhesive backing makes it easy to install just about anywhere.
Next up was some fine tuning to our exhaust system. In 2010 we installed a STR class legal, PPE header, mid-pipe and resonator and capped it off with a Goodwin Race muffler. 12,000 miles and lots of hard use had taken a toll on the resonator, so we decide to explore other options. We tried the simple solution first, just replacing the resonator with a straight pipe, but the resulting resonance in the cabin was too much for our eardrums to handle on the long drives to and from events. A call to Burns Stainless was made and an Ultra-Light muffler was quickly on its way. We replaced our old piece with this unit and noticed an immediate drop in the exhaust tone and weight. It's quiet enough we can bolt on a lightweight turndown in place of the Goodwin muffler and leave a few more pounds behind in the paddock.
To take care of our suspension needs in 2010, we installed an off the shelf, KW Variant 3 coil-over system with Hotchkis anti-roll bars. This set-up carried us to ProSolo and National event wins as well as bringing home hardware from the ProSolo Finale and National Championships. The street oriented spring rates coupled with KW’s wide range of valving adjustments performed better than expected on the Solo course and gave us a comfortable ride home. For 2011, we decided to turn up the volume a bit and assist KW with the development of a more aggressive system for Solo and track use. Stay tuned for driver impressions and track results as we get some seat time on this newly installed, prototype set-up.
ProSolo event competition will take place on May 27-28th with the National Tour running on May 29th-30th. You can find live results and a link to streaming audio at www.sololive.scca.com .