Project STR races in C Street Prepared at the Solo Nationals

 Following the fun of our R-compound tire test, we thought it would be an interesting experiment to run the car in the C Street Prepared class at the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship event in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since our regular drivers can’t compete in more than one class we drafted GRM’s newest editor and long-time Miata owner Alan Cesar to make his first trip to Nationals and drive in CSP. We also twisted the arm of SCCA’s VP of Rally/Solo Howard Duncan to take a turn at the wheel, too. Just to keep things interesting neither driver had an opportunity to practice in the car prior to their first run. To make matters even more challenging, the morning dawned with pouring rain soaking the course.

Alan Cesar runs through a soaked courseThe rain stopped as runs got underway, with plenty of water still on the course. All the competitors had bolted on their racing rain tires, so we rolled up our STR “wet” tires of choice, the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. Conditions continued to dry out so we installed the Hoosier A6 radials for the 2nd and 3rd runs, figuring it was going to all come down to the final run, anyway.

Alan was the first driver, and had to live with lingering damp and puddles, which made driving at the limit on the virtually-slick Hoosiers a real challenge. A spin and several big slides on his first two runs left Alan playing it safe to get a clean run in the bank heading into day 2. Duncan took maximum advantage of a rerun and the continually improving conditions to lay down the 6th fastest time of the class!

Day two was a different story, with warm, humid and most importantly dry conditions. Alan adapted to the sticky Hoosiers, showing no fear as he attacked the course. Cone trouble on his first two runs again forced Alan into safe mode to get a good one in the books. Howard is no stranger to R-compound tires, also driving hard right out of the gate. His scratch times were solid, but cone trouble penalties on all three runs pushed Howard down to 11th spot, just out of the trophies.

The car showed good speed in CSP, despite the relatively mild prep level (for the STR class). It would be an interesting experiment to d a little more development and try the car in CSP. Hmmm. Back to the matters at hand, the next stop for Project STR during Nationals week in Lincoln is in the Street Tire Roadster class with project drivers Chris Harvey and John Rogers at the wheel. 

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