The 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals wrapped up three weeks ago in Lincoln, Nebraska. Life has been busy since Ali and I got back. This is the first chance I've had to write up a blog post and edit video so I apologize for the delay. Ali and I arrived in Lincoln on Saturday September 1st - a few days early in order to setup camp and run a few test and tune sessions. I was very optimistic going into the event since I was very quick in my last National Event (June Blytheville Tour) and I thought I had gained some pace from the testing I did
back in July.
|Our Paddock Setup|
For the first test and tune session, I ran some baseline laps for a balance check and then settled on a slightly higher rear spring rate to help the car rotate. The Nationals TNT course is not always a good indicator of balance/pace on the race day courses, but it is the only option for last-minute tuning. My Dad ran two sessions in the car to get more seat time. He has made some big strides throughout the year as it is hard to get comfortable with a race-tire-shod 350HP RWD racecar when your normal autocross car is an STX class Mini Cooper and you only drive the Camaro a few times per season.
|2012 Solo Nationals Course Maps|
|Lined up on the Day 1 Starting Line|
|Tire blankets on trying to keep the Goodyears hot!|
|Madarash making adjustment for the understeer-balanced track conditions|
|Me tipping into a corner on the Day 1 course|
|Getting my 3rd Place trophy|
Video of my fast Day 1 and Day 2 Runs:
My Dad and faithful co-driver had a great time at his 2nd trip to the Solo Nationals. The 33-car ESP field was very tough and he finished in the 28th position. He had a great Day 1 and was closer to myself and Mark than he had been all year. This put him somewhere around 20th, but he struggled a little bit on the Day 2 course and dropped down to 28th. He is always getting faster and continues to be a great student! I just hope he enjoys racing with me as much as I do with him!
|My Dad pulling over a 1G on Day 1|
I have many people to thank, but let me start with a big congrats to Lane Borg for winning his first National Championship this year in his bright yellow C5 A-Stock Corvette. This was also the first National Championship for the Goodyear Eagle RS brand! He came back on his last run on Day 2 to win by less than a tenth over Tony Savini who also drove great all week. Watching those two battle was a lot of fun.
|Lane Borg on the way to his first National Championship|
|Sam accepting the driver of eminence award|
2012 was a very successful year finishing off with a podium finish at the Solo Nationals. I would to extend a big THANK YOU to the following people and companies for their support this year:
- Goodyear - for providing the very fast Eagle RS(AC) tires fitted to my ESP Camaro
- Strano Parts - for always helping me make the Camaro go quicker around the cones
- My Dad - for being a great co-driver and co-team-owner
- My Mom - for travelling with us to all of the National races and cooking great food
- My Wife Ali - for being the best racing wife a guy could ask for
- Lane Borg - for being my residential GM expert and helping me wrench/tune the Camaro
- Josh Pu'u - for slugging it out many hot days and long nights making the Camaro faster