The 2016 Solo Nationals Championship drew a record number of participants.
With over 1300 total drivers in the event, the competition was sure to be high. However, the 2016 Solo Nationals out in Lincoln, Nebraska did not go as planned for me and my Scion FRS 🙁 We had serious issues with traction and grip on day 1, making the FRS very difficult to drive. As a result, we were way behind for day 2 of competition. Fortunately, we were able to make some positive setup changes for day 2. Once the car was working good, however, we were very competitive with some of the faster drivers. Sadly, the 2016 SCCA Solo National Championship came to an end with not much to brag about. We came away with a good learning experience and hope to come out stronger in 2017!
The 2016 Spring Nationals event is a great opportunity to drive on the famed Lincoln Air Park concrete surface.
Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, the site also hosts the year end SCCA National Championships for autocross racing. For the 2016 Spring Nationals, I competed in both the SCCA ProSolo event, as well as the Championship Tour event. I attended the the event for the first time in my Scion FRS. The Pro Solo autocross format features an exciting head-to-head drag racing style start. Once you leave the tree, the course transitions into a full blown autocross course. This racing format was very exciting and something entirely new for me.
Does a Sparco seat mount weigh more than a Buddy Club seat mount?
In my quest to save more weight on my 2013 Scion FRS, I had to find a lightweight seat mount. The Sparco seat mount turns out to be very heavy. My Sparco EVO race seat with the Sparco mounting kit weighed just as much as my stock seat! I had to come up with a better solution. I searched around until I came up with another option. The Buddy Club seat mount appeared to be the best option when trying to save weight with a race seat setup. Once I had both products in hand, I set out to find out exactly how much weight savings was to be gained by switching from the Sparco seat mount to the Buddy club.
The first summer season autocross is in the bag for my 2013 Scion FRS. This event #1 of 2016 was with the local BMWCCA autocross club. The FRS worked good “out of the box” with the various upgrades and initial alignment. The autocross course was very fast in some sections, which made it a lot of fun. In addition to that, it had numerous technical sections that really made you think. I am looking forward to more seat time in my 2013 Scion FRS and getting quicker as the season moves along.
A Sparco EVO seat install into your FRS or BRZ has a number of benefits.
The Sparco EVO race seat saves weight over the stock seat and also provides additional support. For this video, I go over how to properly install the seat and mounting hardware in the car. For the hardware, I used a Sparco base mount, Sparco side mounts, and a Sparco seat slider. Overall, the Sparco EVO seat install process is pretty straightforward. However, there are some tricky parts of the process which require extra care. I also compare the weight savings between the stock Scion FRS seats and the Sparco seat and mount setup.
Taking my Scion FRS out for the last winter season autocross event.
The last winter season autocross event is upon us. This also happens to be just the second race for my Scion FRS. The Scion FRS is a natural in the autocross format and it performed really good. The suspension upgrades on my Scion FRS made a world of difference. As I continue to make adjustments, the car starts feeling better and better. There is a long ways to go to get the car working as good as I would like. However, I think we are off to a good start and our results in the last winter season race supported that.
Certainly not the last, but it is time for my FRS first autocross event. After getting some of the initial upgrades in place, I can finally race it! This first event was more of a shakedown race. I really just wanted to see how the car would behave. Also, I wanted to make sure nothing broke on the car 🙂 We had a bit of a scare sliding on some loose gravel, however the day ended up great overall. The autocross course left something to be desired for testing purposes. But, it was valuable seat seat time in the FRS.
Now that I have all of my engine modifications installed, it is time to hit the dyno. Our goal on the dyno is to figure out the FRS horsepower after the upgrades. The addition of intake, headers, exhaust, and a tune should show decent improvements over the FRS stock dyno power numbers. Being that these are small boxer engines, I am not expecting miracles. Increasing horsepower and torque in the mid-range would be ideal. Turbocharging or supercharging would be the next step for even more power. However, for my autocrossing needs, these engine bolt-ons are sufficient. I also have to stay within the rules of the SCCA STX class with my upgrades.
My Project FRS is back on the road! With all of my engine modifications now installed, it is time to proceed with the FRS first start. In addition to the engine bolt-ons, the FRS was flashed with an OpenFlash tuning profile. The OpenFlash tune updates the engine parameters to account for the engine modifications. The OpenFlash tablet also allows me to fine tune the car on the dyno. Fine tuning of the car enables you to get the most performance out of your engine upgrades. We can also monitor the engine parameters to make sure everything is running safe. Lastly, the OpenFlash tablet allows me to datalog the FRS engine parameters to use for research or diagnostics after the fact.
With parts in hand, I will be installing some FRS upgrades!
The prep of my 2013 Scion FRS has begun! I will be installing a number of FRS upgrades that I have stocked up over the past month or so. I started off by removing the front bumper of the car to install the Perrin cold air intake. While I had the bumper off, I also re-sealed my headlights as moisture had built up inside them. In addition to the Perrin CAI, I also installed a Perrin intake tube and a Perrin lightweight pulley. Lastly, I installed the various suspension components in the car, including my Racecomp T2 coilovers. The T2 coilovers are the key component when it comes to handling and chassis feedback.