Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SCCA Northeast Division Solo Championship Recap

My Dad and I competed in the SCCA Northeast Division Solo Championship. This is a single race for the Northeast Division championship in each SCCA autocross class and is a qualifier for the SCCA Solo National Championships later this year. As I had posted before, my Dad and I are building is 2009 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop for STX-class. We purchased quite a few parts over the past few weeks in preparation for this event and the SCCA Solo Nationals in September. We had high hopes for this past weekend because of the track time and learning opportunities provided by the Test and Tune and the high-level of competition at this event. Here is a build list so far for our STX-prep on the Mini:

1) 17x7.5 Rota Wheels
2) 235/40R17 Dunlop Direzza Star Spec Tires
3) Ireland Engineering Front Camber Plates
4) Hsport Adjustable Rear control arms
5) KW 2-way adjustable coilover damper units with tuned spring rates at each corner
6) Texas Speedwerks Rear Adjustable anti-roll bar
7) Adjustable ARB links
7) Smaller Diameter front anti-roll bar

Unfortunately and despite ordering parts several weeks ago, only the 1st 4 items were delivered in time for this event. This meant no stiffer rear ARB and coilovers for this 1st event competing against fully-prepped RWD RX-8s and Subarus in a FWD car. Not a good combination considering we desperately need these parts to tune our FWD Mini to rotate properly in the corners. With just a modified alignment and wider tires, we made the trek to DC to compete in STX class. Overall, it was a still a great learning experience for both of us. We each got tons of seat time (for an autocross...) in the car and both improved our driving throughout the weekend. The seat time was a big help for me considering this weekend was the 1st time I've seen my Dad's car.

After the 2-days of racing, I finished in 8th place and my Dad finished 13th out of 14 drivers (Full Results here). I was beaten by 2 drivers in a fully-prepped RX-8 and 5 fully-prepped Subaru WRX drivers. I don't feel too bad about that, but it is not the result I was looking for. I hate blaming it on the car, but our Mini was not competitive with it's limited prep this weekend. On the bright-side, the rest of out parts should be coming in next week and we will have the car ready to rock for out next event in July. The winner, Chike Dellimore, in an RX-8, will be at our next event so it should be a good judge on how far the Mini has come along. Now, enjoy video and pictures from the autocross below.

Trailbraking the Mini on Saturday's Course

Me in the Mini on Sunday's Course

My Dad hustling the Mini around Saturday's Course

Some other interesting cars from the event:

STX class winning car

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