I arrived in Tulsa this afternoon. My friend Mike who was supposed to come with me came down sick so I’m here on my own. I got registered and through tech in short time, then bought 5 tickets for the practice course. My first run was both wild and slow. On my second run I decided, based on the recommendation of one of the blog’s readers, to try a different technique. I kept my right foot on the throttle and used my left foot to brake. When I wanted the line in a turn to be tighter I pressed harder on the brake. When I wanted a wider line I let up some brake pressure. All the time I kept pressure on the throttle. It worked fabulously! The car responded very predictably to the braking technique, and seemed to come out of the corners with more authority since the constant throttle pressure kept the turbo spooled. My times seemed to be respectable, but its hard to say since only a couple of cars from my class were there at the same time I was. I kept practicing the technique and concentrated on running a clean line, giving up a little speed in order to avoid hitting any cones. After 4 runs, I felt pretty confident in the technique and intend to use it tomorrow in competition.
After the practice course I got a chance to walk tomorrow morning’s course. It’s quite long and complicated, but I think I have it figure out. Unlike Autocross, we will get a chance to do one slow “parade lap” just before competition. I think we have a different course tomorrow afternoon and a third one Sunday. Neither of those courses was set up for walking yet.
After the course walk it was time for “parc expose” where all the contestants make their car’s available for inspection. Of the 80 or so cars here, at least half of them are Subarus! I got a chance to meet several of my competitors. For a National Championship event, the atmosphere is extremely friendly. While everyone wants to do well, nobody seems to have forgotten that this is supposed to be fun. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case with some people at the Solo Nationals.
I’ll be back at the event site first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll be driving in the first heat which begins at 8:30. If you want to follow the action live log on to http://www.ustream.tv/user/SCCASolo for an audio stream or to http://sololive.scca.com/ for continuously updated standings.