Team Hamfist Racing has its final roster of attendees at the 2009 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships. The list includes both La Rosa’s, Elena and Sandro, running in ASPL and ASP respectively with their Mazda RX7, Grant Winston running ES in his Mazda Miata, and Dave Corsaro codriving with me in STU class in the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
After my shared experience of shifter issues at the Divisional Championships with Dave, and my expectation for having to shift at the National Championships (given the scale of Lincoln Airport), I pulled the trigger and ordered all new shifter bushings from Turn In Concepts. The parts include the Kartboy Rear Shifter Stay Bushing, TiC 04-05 STi Shift Linkage Bushings, and TiC 6MT Pivot Bushings. These are going in Wednesday, just in time to break them in at Warminster Park, PA Sunday at the Philly Region SCCA autox. There is no room for error at Nationals. Every shift needs to be spot on, otherwise you can kiss your chances of putting together the perfect run in three.
Also in the scramble before Nationals, Sandro has been working hard to get his RX7 healthy. All new Mazdaspeed suspension and shifter bushings were installed last week and tested at NYR SCCA’s autox yesterday. The car felt spectacular, despite having a boost pressure loss scare after the morning heat. We discovered the bypass solenoid hose had blown off the Y-pipe. Redoing the clamp remedied the situation for the afternoon heat; however, I strongly recommended that new worm and T-bolt clamps be swapped prior to Nationals. Much like a miss-shift can kill your chances at winning Nationals; a blown critical boost pressure line severely impacts your acceleration and thus your chances of Hamfisting the competition.
Even Grant Winston, National rookie, is scrambling to get every last tenth out of his Miata. He is running over a set of SSR wheels to the machine shop to get them within offset tolerances for stock. Thus creating the lightest ES Miata wheels one could own. Good luck Grant. I’m sure E-Stock is rolling deep this year, as usual.
Good luck everyone else heading out to Nebraska! Drive safe. I hope your mad scrambles for National readiness are as fun and stressful as us Hamfists'.