Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 DC Pro Solo: Kicking off the season at FedEx Field

By: David Corsaro

What a way to start 2012!

Almost the entire Hamfist Racing crew attended the DC Pro Solo this past weekend. As always, this venue never disappoints. From the drag start on the hill, to the heavy off-camber turns, combined with different levels of grip throughout... it's quite the challenge and worth every waking second to be a part of.

Road Tire classes were the very first cars on course. Thankfully, everyone gets four morning runs and four afternoon runs so any advantage or disadvantage is basically negated at the end of the day on Saturday. Same can't be said for Sunday though.

RT classes are lumped together for Pro Solo competition this year. What this means is that RTA(all-wheel-drive), RTR(rear-wheel-drive) and RTF(front-wheel-drive) cars use their respective Stock class PAX index to determine the finishing order. In my opinion, I do not think it is fair for all-wheel-drive cars to compete against the other drivelines in a Pro Solo format, especially at DC. It was an up-hill battle(sorry I had to) for anything not spinning all four wheels at the start.

I ran pretty well on my first four runs and waited in impound for the co-drivers to finish their runs. I enjoyed an early lead in the morning but that quickly disappeared, and had me instead trying to catch a 2011 WRX all weekend in PAX. Looking over that pesky Subaru in impound I noticed that they were using 265mm wide Dunlop Star Specs on an 8" wheel.

Since these new RT classes have a lot of unknowns as to what tire sizes are optimal on whatever sized wheels, no one really knows just how big is too big. I immediately thought to myself " I am buying new, wider tires as soon as I get home", as I still had last year's 245mm Star Specs on my car. I ended up finishing second out of twelve in class, just behind Andrew Barrette who took first place driving Ken Johnson's Subaru.
That's the last time I show up with stock struts/shocks and old rubber.

I would also like to thank Steven J. Farkas, owner of SJF Performance, for the perfect alignment. Not only was it spot on, but I also picked up 2mpg having the wheels pointed straight this year as I don't believe rear toe out is needed with street tires, yet.

Jake finished first in SSM driving the RX7 and went to the second round in the Super Challenge. Jake is currently looking to Home Depot for sponsorship as he just loves that store and the color orange to boot.

Grant and Rob took the Boss Miata to second and fouth place finishes in E Stock. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with this year as they appear to have just the right amount of wedge dialed in now.

Master Yury battled his way nicely in STU and finished third, just over a half second out of first. I asked Yury about his lunches(no that's not misspelled) over the weekend and he said they felt good. I am trying like hell to get him to go to more events!! :-)

Elena™(Tiny Muscles) wheeled her way to a sixth place in a very tough Ladies 1 class.
I would like to see her get her milkshake eventually as Chick-Fil-A dissed her on Friday. You don't mess with a woman piloting a 425whp RX7. You just don't.

I also would like to congratulate our neighboring Philly region member Mike Fineberg for winning the Super Challenge at the 2012 DC Pro Solo this weekend! That is no small feat, as he bested several National Champions on his way to the top. Way to go Mike!
Here is a video of his winning runs: CLICK HERE
Like every other event we go to there are soooo many laughs and good times we will always cherish. I already can't wait for the next one!!

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