2016 Wilmington ProSolo #1 and the 2016 Spring Nationals ProSolo and Champ Tour

So here we are, another month has gone by since the last blog post, time for an update here on the status of Project350z.

TL;DR: Crap

So at the end of April I headed to Peru Indiana for the Gateway Autocross Association event at Grissom, I stuffed 4 tires into the 350z and headed on my way Friday afternoon.

How did the event go? It was darn cold, and I didn’t dress for darn cold. I ended up leaving Sunday morning and driving home on the RE-71Rs (drove up on the Hankooks) because I was worried about hitting some rain on the way home, and knew that the Kooks would try to kill me with some water on the ground.

The following weekend I headed off to Wilmington Ohio. This time I wasn’t taking an extra set of tires with me, I found out on Wednesday evening that the 285/30-18 RE-71Rs I ordered from The Tire Rack came in, I was fortunate enough to be able to have them delivered to Wilmington Friday afternoon. I spent a couple of hours at the Tire Discounters there in Wilmington as they got the old tires off and the new tires on. The event didn’t go so well, I just didn’t feel like I could get the car as fast as it needed to be, compared to other cars, I was off the pace for sure.

After Wilmington was a local event in which I ran the 275 tires again on the XXR 531 wheels. Tom S. drove with me for the event. Before the event I decided it was time to put the rear sway bar on the car, when I got the car it was removed. It felt much better, Tom and I finished 4th and 5th respectively on the PAX for that event (#4).

From there it was time to head to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Spring Nationals, both the ProSolo and the Championship Tour events. I managed to talk my father into driving out to Lincoln from Tucson, Arizona in his RV, mom flew on to Boston and her 50th college reunion, so dad and I got to spend a few great days together on the tarmac in Lincoln.

The events didn’t do so great, the ProSolo I finished 5th out of 7 in the class. The only saving grace was my final run, after a red light of course, I managed to run the 2nd fastest class time on the right side. It wasn’t worth anything, would have moved me up 1 spot, still out of trophies, but to me that made the whole weekend, I finally proved to myself that the car can do it,. The weekend ultimately was a story of me not being able to do it, but the car was capable. Rust, lots and lots of rust in the head.

After the ProSolo they held the National Tour (Champ tour). I finished better overall, there were 14 drivers in the tour, versus 7 in the Pro. I finished 7th, 2 out of trophies. Though I never did get the feeling I got on my last run of the ProSolo, the fast feeling.

After the poor showings in the National events I decided it was time to tear the car apart and see if change is what I need. I decided it was time to put the “old” suspension back on the car. What is the old suspension you might ask, well you can read about it here, I never did sell the suspension off the old car, so I decided it was time to try that out. The car has been up on jack stands for a month now, I finally got around to getting everything finished up today.

One additional thing I installed, there was a little issue with the potential legality of the previous camber arms on the rear end of the car. The arms came on the car when I purchased it, but I decided I didn’t want to run the risk of them being challenged with a protest at a future event. So I ordered the Kinetix Racing Rear Camber/Traction package

About the Author:

Chris Hammond
Chris Hammond has autocrossed for 24 years, racing in a variety of vehicles from a 1994 VW Golf to a 1999 Z-28, a 2003 350z, a 2004 ZO6 and a 2016 FRS. He is the founder of AutocrossBlog.com and created the ultimate autocross forum, SOLO2.ORG, years ago . Read more at ChrisHammond.com


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