Diving into SCCA’s new Solo Spec Coupe autocross class

Images by Jason Isley

Diving into SCCA’s new Solo Spec Coupe autocross class

SCCA / SportsCar Magazine

Diving into SCCA’s new Solo Spec Coupe autocross class

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SCCA’s Solo Spec Coupe (SSC), the SCCA’s first spec autocross class, is coming on fast and furious, as is evidenced by SSC suspension kit sales surpassing initial expectations. Like many of you, we couldn’t help but get sucked in – so we decided build a car.

Rather than spend our own money, however, we found D Street (DS) autocross competitor and past SCCA Solo National Champ Richard Hayter was very interested in converting his 2013 Scion FR-S to SSC trim, so a partnership was formed.

“A Spec class where everyone is using the same car, tires, and equipment is extremely appealing from a no-excuses, just drive point of view,” Hayter explains of what drew him to the class.

The DS FR-S is not Hayter’s first experience with the platform, having previously built a Subaru BRZ for Street Touring Xtreme. The SSC class bridges a large gap between Street and Street Touring, and does so at a potentially large cost savings.

“Having previously built an STX twin, I knew I did not want, nor could afford, to go to that extreme again,” says Hayter. “It’s great fun racing, but not so much a great daily driver.”

With a car lined up for our build, we sourced our SSC suspension kit from Tire Rack. Priced at $1,767 shipped, the kit includes pretty much everything you need to covert a 2013-’16 FR-S or BRZ for the class.

In the kit, an Eibach Pro-Kit Plus includes the required springs, which nicely lower the car and increase spring rates over stock for improved handling. Additionally, replacement front and rear sway bars, which are adjustable, further allow the driver to fine tune the handling.

“Our Pro-Kit lowers the FRS/BRZ one inch in the front and rear with a progressively wound 25- to 40-percent increase in rate over the factory springs,” says Mark Krumme of Eibach.

“The anti-roll kit offers an increase in bar diameter as well as fine tuning through two-way adjustability. The front bar is a 25mm tubular bar with a 256-percent increase on the holes furthest from the center of the bar and 317-percent increase in the holes closest. The rear bar delivers a 100-percent increase at the furthest and a 200-percent [increase] on the closest settings.”

The kit also includes components from SPC, which allow additional front camber, as well as a full range of adjustment to rear camber and toe – which is lacking in stock trim.

One piece unique to the kit is the Koni Sport dampers, which were built with performance driving in mind.

“When we first did the development for the FT86, long before we knew SSC was going to exist, we knew that this car was going to be expected to live in the autocross community,” says Koni’s Lee Grimes.

“So, when we did the actual development for the car, we had autocross in mind to begin with. We developed it to be driven on the street in full soft, and have that 100-percent adjustment range up from there for your personal tuning. It was intended to be autocross-friendly.”

Koni was approached by Tire Rack to develop a cost-effective, performance-oriented damper package for SSC, and since the Koni Sport for this platform was engineered with performance driving in mind, it was already a good fit. To help control cost and ensure equal competition, Koni developed a program from which it could use a production-based damper.

“Every Koni shock is dyno tested at the factory; they have a baseline they have to meet,” says Grimes. “When we get [the SSC shocks] at Koni USA we dyno test them to a tighter tolerance than the normal production, to make sure these are better matched than a normal off-the-shelf situation. When they meet the more refined standard, we do the tamperproof seal.

“There are about seven steps these shocks go through before they become SSC shocks,” Grimes explains. “We use a tamperproof sticker we previously had used in an oval track series, and are putting other hidden markers in place, so we will see if someone has worked on the shock.”

The SSC program is currently consuming the bulk of the FT86 platform shocks being built by Koni at its Holland manufacturing center, but future plans should streamline the process, aiding turnaround time and helping control production costs.

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