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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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So you have a Sky and want to race SCCA-SOLO, now what?

With this thread I'm hoping to make helpful resource for those interested in getting into SCCA SOLO racing with their Sky. I've spent a lot of time recently combing over various resources and re-reading over and over various documents trying to make heads or tails of what's what.

I plan to initially focus on SCCA SOLO C-Stock primarily with this thread since it's the easiest to get into, and the one I'm currently the most familiar with. However once I've mastered more of this along with everyone willing to participate I plan on expanding into discussing the various builds you could do to move a car into the various other classifications of SCCA SOLO racing.

Feel free to comment if you have something constructive to say about this topic. I'd prefer to keep free posting style comments out of this thread and will remove posts I don't feel are relevant to this discussion.
  1. What exactly is SCCA SOLO C-Stock? [Link]
  2. The official SCCA SOLO 2006 rules.[Link]
  3. Basic description of what SCCA SOLO Stock. [Link]
  4. What can I alter and still stay Stock? [Link]
    1. What can I alter and still stay Stock? [details] [Link]
    2. What can/can't I alter and still stay Stock [examples]? [Link]
  5. What type of protective gear is required/recommended? [Link]
  6. What's this about roll-bars/cages? [Link]
  7. Who am I competing against? [Link]
  8. Solo II Novice Handbook: A guide to help you make it through your first season [Link]
  9. A Checklist for Autocrossers [Link]
  10. Car Setup and Troubleshooting Guide [general] [Link]
  11. What if my car has OnStar? [Link]
  12. The basic items to get you started [Link]
  13. Where can I find local events?[Link]
  14. Is there a checklist to determine what classification my car is in?[Link]

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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[1] - What exactly is SCCA SOLO C-Stock?
  • SCCA - Is the Sports Car Club of America [www.scca.org] and is a national organization of sports car enthusiasts making racing possible for everyone on all levels.

  • SOLO - In essence SOLO is Autocross events. What's Autocross? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocross]
    Quote:
    Autocross (also known as Solo by the Sports Car Club of America and AutoSolo in the UK) is a popular form of motorsports competition. Rather than racing wheel-to-wheel, as in road racing, drag racing, or oval racing, an autocross is a timed handling competition similar to rally racing, although on smaller facilities.
    I've attached two example images of Auto-X tracks.
    [SOLO used to be named SOLO II till April 26th, 2006 when the SCCA renamed it to SOLO]

  • C-Stock - Is a classification grouping C in the SCCA SOLO classification Stock. The SCCA has all the various cars broken down into like groupings. So if you race C-Stock you're being compared to the cars in that group and not every car in the event. Being Stock means what it sounds like, the car is pretty much how it was when it came off the showroom floor. There are some permitted modifications, but I'll go over that along with the C-Stock compitition later.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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[2] - The official SCCA SOLO 2006 rules. Try reading them, scratch your head in confusion, try reading again.

http://www.scca.org/_filelibrary/Fil...solo_rules.pdf [3.6MB PDF]

This document has all your detailed information about the rules, vehicles, classifications, modifications to the classifications, etc. However it can be very confusing with some of the terminology it uses and has a lot of long winded parts that make it very dry and boring to read. However these are the official rules and the most recent so they should be read so as to not get mixed up with old rules and hearsay you might find elsewhere.

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[3] - Basic description of what SCCA SOLO Stock. This is the description from the SCCA SOLO Categories PDF [attached to this thread]. It gives some basic overview of the various classifications with brief explenations like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLO Categories.pdf
Stock – This category includes mass-produced, common vehicles that may be “daily drivers,” cars used for normal, everyday driving. Stock Category cars compete in their “factory” configuration with a minimal number of allowances (these are not requirements) such as:
  • Removal of spare tire and tools
  • Front anti-roll bar(s)
  • Suspension / wheel alignment using factory-approved adjustments
  • High-performance DOT-approved tires (including R-compounds)
  • Shock absorbers or struts (2 external adjustments maximum)
  • Competition-type seat belts (no shoulder belts in open cars)
  • Brake linings (pads / shoes)
  • Air filter element (the “throw-away” part)
  • “Cat”-back exhaust systems
  • Wheels – standard diameter, width and offset (within ¼”)
  • Roll bar / cage
  • Gauges, indicator lights, etc.
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[4] - What can I alter and still stay Stock?

Ok, so you're driving in the Stock class, however there is still some things you can alter on your car to give you a little better edge over a truly stock car. The PDF attached is a website I found online with a good readable list of permitted alterations you can make for the various classifications and gives you a good overview of what you can do.

Here's a quick breakdown of the items we can alter, I'll go into detail after the quick list. If it's on the PDF but not listed here it's because it does not apply to us.
  • Option package swap
  • Driver Restraints
  • Accessories, guages, and indicators
  • Hood straps and fasteners
  • Fuel tank cap
  • Welded roll bars
  • Bolted-in roll cage
  • Add tow brackets
  • Remove items not held in by permanent factory fasteners
  • Add trailer hitch
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Shocks
  • Front sway bar
  • Brake pads
  • Spark plugs
  • Air filter
  • Cat-back exhaust
  • Misc engine/drivetrain items
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Comparison_of_permitted_modifications_in_SCCA_classes.pdf (75.7 KB, 363 views)

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[4.1] - What can I alter and still stay Stock [details]?

  • Body Work
    • Accessories, guages, indicators, lights and other appearance, comfort, and convenience may be altered as long as it does not effect performance, handling, or reduce weight.
      • Extra guages/mounting hardware for them
      • Sound systems
      • "Grounding Kits" for sounds systems as long as they serve no other purpose
      • (Not Permitted) Dual outlet rear valence, local events may let this slide but Nationals would be a definte NO (correction)
      • light kits
      • (Not Permitted) Seats
      • (Not Permitted) Tow hook/tie down removal
    • Extra hood straps or fastners are permitted. These are items to help ensure your hood does not come open while driving.
    • Fuel tank cap. You can replace the fuel tank cap with any type with a locking type or designer types for example.
    • (Not Permitted) Since our cars have air bags in the steering wheel you are therefore not permitted to change out the steering wheel.
    • The tire repair kit can be removed from the trunk.
    • One rear trailer hitch may be added as long as it serves no other purpose (like welding it jsut so to act as a stiffening member).
    • Tow bar brackets may be installed.
    • Any items you can't hold down with attachment points designed from the factory can be removed. No items come to mind with the Sky though.
    • Roll bars and cages may be added. [More detail later on these] Roll bars may be welded to the car. Roll cages must be bolted to the car and must fit within the driver/passenger compartment.
    • Extra driver restraints may be added. You can not cut the seats to make them fit or remove the stock restraints however. [More detail later on this.]
  • Tires
    • Any tire originaly equiped on the car in that model year may be used. For us that means the RS-A.
    • Non-original tires must meet several requirments and not be on the official NO list. (Currently not tires are listed.)
    • The tire must be listed in the current or previous two years of the SCCA Tire Guide & Tread Design Guide and DOT approval.
    • No limited run tires that are only made for a limited wheel size.
    • The tire msut be sold in at least four different wheel sizes with a total of at least 6 overall sizes.
    • The car can not be modified to allow the tires to fit.
    • Tires with zero tread depth are not permited.
  • Wheels
    • Any wheel may be used on our car as long as it meets the following restrictions.
    • 18"x8"
    • +/- 0.25" offset: 49mm ~ 61mm is the range required
    • Wheel spacers may be used on wheels with the wrong offset to make them fit the correct size.
    • Different lug nuts can be used.
  • Shock Absorbers
    • Shock absorbers may be replaced as long as the number, ype, system of attachment, and attachment points are not altered. They must meet the following guidelines as well.
      • Maximum of two seperate external shock damping adjustment controls.
      • Suspension geometyt and alignment capability can not be altered by the replacement of the shock absorbers.
      • You can use shocks with adjustable spring perches but the part the spring location must be the same compared to the stock part.
      • When fully extended the shock absorber must be within +/- 1" of the stock absorber.
      • (Not Permitted) Electronically controlled shocks.
    • The mounting hardware for the shock absorber must be the stock parts. However the bushing material may be different along with the use of different bushings which fit the original parts without modification.
    • The center hole of the upper shock mount assembly can be enlarged to the minimum size needed to fit the new parts. [Read the main rules for the details.]
    • Holes may be made in the bodywork to permit lines for external shock absorber resevoirs.
  • Brakes
    • You can replace your brake lining with alternate brands/materials from those of the stock parts.
    • (Not Permitted) Replacement metal brake lines.
    • Alternate break bleeder fittings may be used.
  • Anti-Roll (Sway) Bars
    • Front anti-roll (sway) bars
      • You can replace, add, or remove front anti-roll bars.
      • You can use any bushing material.
      • You may not modify the body, frame, or other componenets to fit a non-stock anti-roll bar. You may drill holes for mounting however.
    • Rear anti-rill (sway) bars
      • No modifications are permitted.
  • Suspension
    • The stock springs must be used and can not be cut, shortened, or collapsed.
    • Both the front an rear suspension can be adjusted within the range they were designed to.
    • (Not Permitted) Suspension bushings may not be replaced with those of different materials or dimensions. So polyurethane bushings can not be used.
  • Electrical System
    • Spark plugs, points, ignition coil, and high tension wires may be replaced with any other part.
    • Ignition settings can not be altered outside of the factory spec.
    • (Not Permitted) Changes to or reprogramming the electronic engine management system is not permitted. So no retunes, reflashes, chip replacement, or piggy backs are permitted.
  • Engine and Drive Train
    • The air filter element may be replaced with any other part that fits the factory housing. No other modifications are permitted to the air intake.
    • (Not Permitted) Rotating and reciprocating parts rebalancing.
    • (Not Permitted) Port matching.
    • The exhaust system may be replaced from the catalytic converter (cat-back). This is the only change permitted to the exhaust system.
    • Any oil filter may be used.
    • Any oil & grease may be used.
    • The addition of water expansion tanks is allowed.
    • The addition of oil catch tanks is allowed as long as the PCV system is not altered.
    • A scattershield may be added.
    • Thermostats may be added or substituted.
    • Silicone replacement hoses can be used as long as they meet the requirments in the rule book.
    • A device to lock out reverse is permitted.
    • Limited-slip differential, transmission and differential ratios,
      clutch mechanisms and carburetion, fuel injection must be stock.

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[4.2] - What can/can't I alter and still stay Stock [examples]?

The can do's.
  • Cat-back exhaust - heck yeah this is really the only 'performance' modification you can make and stay Stock. Find a nice light weight weight exhaust with a helthy HP & Torque gain. Watch out for db levels though, most tracks on average have a 98db sound limit. Anywhere's from $300~$600.
  • Front sway-bar - you can go after market, or once they're out I bet you could order the Z0K's front sway-bar from GM since it's racing inspired. $100~$350
  • Shocks - same suggestion as the sway-bar, but when buying aftermarket you have to be careful what to buy since there are limitations on these items. Looking into buying the Z0K items from your dealerhsip might be a good idea here too. $100~$300 per shock
  • Air filter - also a 'performance' modification but no aftermarket filters exist yet to test to see if there is actually any performance gain. ~$50
  • Brake Pads - high performance brake pads can help fight brake fade and provide a better material for performance driving. $50~$150 per set (front and back are usually different sets)
  • Rims - as long as they're 18"x8"x 49mm~61mm offset you're good to go. The base wheels weigh around 23lbs so anything lighter then that will also be a big benefit. You can always get an extra set of polished stock rims (lightest of the 3 offered) as a set of cheap track rims from another member or your dealer. Over time slightly lighter wheels in that size will start showing up in the 20lbs range probably for not too much money and a lot of nice designs. If you want to go all out you can get light weight race wheels in the 15 lbs ~ 18 lbs range for our size, but they're going to cost you. Pontiac Wheels $400~$800 (set), aftermarket wheels $150~$500 (per wheel), racing wheels $500~$900 (per wheel)
  • Tires - defintely one of the most important upgrades for taking your Sky to the track. You can go with nicer street+track tires like the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 or something track only like Hoosier A3S06. $200~$300 (per tire)
  • Guages - you can install any # of guages for tracking the various aspects of your car. (pricing depends on complexity and # of guages)
  • Appearance items - (I'll use KappaSphere items as an example since they sell the largest # of this catagory of items) Lil' Chromies, belt-X-tender, CG Lock (most defintely), KappaShield, sill plates, etc
  • Roll-bar - If you intend on racing seriously this is defintely a very important item to look into. $300~$1000
  • Harness - Also a very important item to invest in, especially if you spend the money to get a roll-bar. $50~$400
  • Fire supression - another one of those safety items you can add if you sao desire
  • Fluids - get yourself some nice synthetic oils

The can't do's.
  • Intakes - CAI or Short Ram style are not permitted in any way. Replacing the end with a cone filter is not permitted in any way. Drilling holes is not permited. etc etc
  • Springs - nope, not permited
  • Rear saw bars - nope, can't do that either
  • High flow Catalytic Converter - also a no
  • Light weight flywheel - no can do
  • ECM retunes/Piggy backs/Replacements - oh trying to be sneaky huh? nope
  • fuel system/pump/injector upgrades - no dice
  • Electrical grounding kits - (unless it's ONLY for your stereo) nope
  • Fiberglass/Carbonfiber parts - they lighten the car so nope. but what about my dual outlet exhaust rear fascia? same answer
  • Racing seats - you'd think so but no can do
  • Wheels other then 18"x8"x 49mm~61mm - but 45mm offset is soooo close??? sorry, those aren't legal
  • Big brake/caliper kit/drilled or slotted Rotors - not today buddy
  • Metal brake line kits - sorry but can't
  • Pedals - (clarification) these are a no go as well
  • Roof - even though it would save you 60lbs you have to leave the stock roof in place
  • Underdrive pulleys/accesorie upgrades - setting a trend here, no
  • Turbo/Supercharger kits -
  • Nitrous -
  • LS2/LS7 Engines-

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[5] - What type of protective gear is required/recommended?
  • Helmet - required - To race in SOLO II you are required to wear a helmet that is at least the current generation or up to two generations back and meets SNELL ratings (DOT only is not permitted). So in otherwords helmets with the following ratings are the only ones permited.
    • SA95 or M95
    • SA2000 or M2000
    • SA2005 or M2005
    M... SA... what? You want the detailed beef read all the technical docs at the official SNELL website. (http://www.smf.org). M = Motorcycling and SA = Competitive Automotive Sports. SOLO II only requires the M rating, but the SA rating is usually a better helmet and also required for Club Racing and SOLO 1 I believe. Some Autocross organizations require full face for convertible cars, so I suggest going with that. I've found M2005 helmets online with free shipping for ~$80, so getting a decent helmet doesn't have to kill your budget. It will also make the event go much smoother, and you can put all your own stickers on your won helmet then.
  • Appropriate Atire - required - The required part is mainly your footwear. No open toed footware is permited. From attending PCA Drivers Ed events they always suggest thick material pants and cotton long sleeved shirt. Just incase something were to happen these can help protect your skin somewhat.
  • Fire Supression - small fire extinguisher strapped down within reach for emergency purposes.
  • Roll Bar - see the next section for details
  • Harness - 4-point, 5-point, etc You can get ones that bolt into the car's structure or hook up to a roll-bar, or need mounting hardware. This will keep you completely in your seat at all times even in the event of a roll over. You can not modify your seat in anyway and stay Stock for them to fit though. (Correction) You can only add the driver restraints (ie 4-5-6-7pt) harness if you have a proper rollbar/cage.
  • CG-Lock - don't have the ability to mount or afford a real harness, look into CG-Locks. This is a device that helps keep the tension on your seatbelt so it doesn't come loose while you're driving. This helps you stay stationary and in the seat while driving.
  • Racing Suit - these can be expensive and possibly overkill for a stock Sky, but it wont kill you if you had one. Usually made of a fire retardant material and stronger then normal clothes will help protect you
  • Headlight Covers - painters tape, some sort of decal item, or 3M clear material used to cover the headlamps and fog lights. This helps protect the plastic/glass from kicked up debry that could shatter parts of your car.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SoloHelmetBulletin.pdf (18.8 KB, 157 views)

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[6] - What's this about roll-bars/cages?

A roll-bar/cage is an addition to your car that is either welded or bolted to provide support in the event of a roll over. The thing is though, neither are required to do SOLO II events. If you plan on doing SOLO II as a hobby, and feel safe enough with your car as is you don't have to go this route. However if you plan on doing this full time on more then a hobby level then at least going with a roll-bar would be a very good invesment.

This is a fairly complex subject involving a lot of numbers, angles, percentages, clearances, etc. The best thing to really do is read over the rules attached very carefully. It is possible to make removable roll-bars but they require a lot more work to be legal. The following paragraph from the rules is probably oen of the most informative ones.
Quote:
The top of the roll bar shall not be below the top of the driver’s helmet when the driver is in normal driving position, and shall not be more than six inches behind the driver. It is strongly suggested that the roll bar extend at least three inches above the driver’s helmet. In case of two driver cars, both drivers must be within the roll bar height requirement, however only one driver must be within six inches of the roll bar. In a closed car equipped with a roll bar/cage, it must be as close as possible to the interior top of the car.
The main issue is at the time of writing this (2006.02.28) there are no known roll-bars created or in production for purchase by customers. I've therefore attached several iamges of other roll-bars to give an idea of what to possibly expect.
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File Type: pdf 2006_solo_rules_roll_bar.pdf (21.5 KB, 212 views)

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[7] - Who am I competing against?
  • Jensen Healey
  • Lotus
    • 7, 7A
    • Eclat
    • Elan +2
    • Elite, 1216cc
    • Elite 2+2
  • Mazda
    • Mazdaspeed Miata
    • Miata 1.8 (‘98+)
    • MX-5 (‘06+)
  • Pontiac
    • Solstice (‘06+)
    Porsche
    • 9141.7, 1.8, 2.0L
  • Saturn
    • Sky (‘06+)
  • Toyota
    • MR2 Spyder
    • MR2 Supercharged

I've attached an image of an Excel file I made that includes specifications of all the cars listed. You can also download the PDF file of the original xls.
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File Type: pdf 2006_solo_rules_CSTOCK_cars.pdf (17.2 KB, 208 views)
File Type: pdf C-Stock_Car_Comparison.pdf (8.8 KB, 446 views)

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[8] - Solo II Novice Handbook: A guide to help you make it through your first season


This PDF is an awesome resource for anyone green to the subject of going to an Autocross or even what one is. Covers things to bring, what to expect from the event, what to expect to be doing throughout the day, etc. I'm not going to post the full text of this PDF because it's rather large. I will post the Table of Contents to get an idea of what it includes.
  • What is Solo II?
  • On Being a Novice
  • Description of the Novice Program
  • What to Bring to an Event
  • What Happens at a Solo
    • Registration
    • Tech Inspection
    • Course Walking
    • Drivers' Meeting
    • Your Runs
    • Your Work Assignments
    • Fun Runs
    • Course Clean-up
    • The Awards
  • Tech Inspection Requirements
  • Working Rules and Safety
  • Car set-up Tips
  • Course Walking Tips
  • Driving Tips
  • Solo Etiquette
  • How to Help Out at an Event
  • The Rule Book and Classes
  • PAX Index
  • Championship Points
  • SCCA Membership
  • Beyond the local Region
  • Recommended Reading
  • Back To Reality

::EDIT::
Replaced the old handbook with the new 2006 version.
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[9] - A Checklist for Autocrossers

This PDF covers some of the items in the previous PDF but is purely a list of items to bring with you to an event. Some of the items are geared more towards the more dedicated, but some of them are good ideas to bring along that you might have not thought about. Good item to print out the night before and check off as you get ready.
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File Type: pdf A_Checklist_for_Autocrossers.pdf (11.8 KB, 178 views)

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[10] - Car Setup and Troubleshooting Guide [general]

Another good PDF resource that goes over some of the more advanced ideas of car tuning. This is not a definte guide, but gives some ideas and examples for you to start building your own modifications off of. The PDF goes over the following topics.
  • Effect of Suspension Changes
  • Antiroll Bar Changes
  • Shock Absorber Changes
  • The Importance of Tire Temperatures
  • Solving Handling Problems
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Car_Setup_and_Troubleshooting_Guide.pdf (35.3 KB, 392 views)

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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[11] - What if my car has OnStar?

If you have a car with OnStar you should be aware that driving in a manor that Autocrossing promotes may cause certain conditions to occure that will trick OnStar into thinking you've been in a crash and the airbag has deployed. This can result in the very ackward situation of OnStar calling you while in the midle of a lap while still racing. Just be aware of this situation since there is no work-around available at this point. The only sure way to avoid this is to not activate OnStar with your car.

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[12] - The basic items to get you started

This is a simple list of a couple items you'll want/need to do your first Autocross event with.
  • need - Entry fee, usually anywhere's from $15~$40 for the day
  • need - drivers license, some places ask to see it, some use it as trade in for loaner helmets
  • need - blue painters tape, you'll need to put numbers on your car and not all places have tape for free usage (or look into magenetic numbers)
  • need - sunscreen, trust me you'll need it

  • want - A helmet of your own so you don't have to loan one, you can get SNELL M2005 helmets for under $100 now if you look online
  • want - folding camping chairs, you're going to be there easily 8 hours and not all venues have seats or places sutable for sitting
  • want - refreshments/food, not all events have food vendors that come on sight so you'll either want to bring money to get items, or a little cooler with some drinks and food
  • want - empty your car, take everything out of your car before you leave otherwise you end up with piles of stuff you took out of your car before that you have to find some place to store, most places require the trunk to be empty to pass tech inspection
  • want - to remove your floor matts, most places require you to drive without the floor matts in the car, and if you can't put them in the trunk then you're stuck laying them on the ground somewhere
  • want - umbrella/appropriate clothing, it might rain, it might be super window, super cold, super hot, etc. dress to be prepared for the day

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  Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum > Saturn Sky Discussion > Autocross and Racing Discussion (SKY/Kappa)

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