32 AUGUST 2020 scca.comFEATURE
MAKE YOUR OWN BAD LUCK
It helps to begin your questwith limited driving and carsetup talent – but that is farfrom enough to match my levelof success. While you don’tnecessarily need bad luck,you need to ensure good luckis not on your side. And, forthat, here are my secrets.
Choose a car that’s unusual,this way performance partsare as unavailable as setupadvice. If the car also has noavailable camber adjustment,super soft springs, and a weaklimited slip, all the better.
Ensuring the car weighs morethan anything else in the classis a nice cherry on top.
Picking the wrong tires is also
an effective method of staying
just shy of the top spot at the
Solo Nationals. A corollary to this
is to drive on rain tires when it’s
too dry for them, or on dry tires
when it’s too wet – throwing a
Hail Mary in the wrong direction,
you could say. A side bonus to
this is that tire manufacturer
contingency programs are only
good if you finish well enough
to win them, so this way you
get to experience a crushing
defeat on multiple levels.
Another approach is to
make a plan for driving the Solo
course, then fail to execute it
properly for the first two runs. If
you want to excel at not winning
in style, as I am wont to do, the
real trick is to then execute
your driving plan perfectly on
the third and last try – and then
realize it was a terrible plan to
begin with. That realization must
occur on the last run or else
you’ll have a chance to correct
the error on a later run, and
that’s not what we’re here for.
AN ALTERNATE PATH TO SECONDSomething that works for a lotof competitors looking to walkin my footsteps is to choose anabsurdly large and competitiveclass. Back in the day when theNeons were a who’s who of Solo,go ahead and order a shiny newmodel and jump in the deep endof the pool – it worked for me.
It is worth pointing out that
someone wins regardless of
the class size, though, so depth
alone is no guarantee of scoring
a close loss. So, maybe take a
run with the emergency brake
partially on just to make sure.
It’s a tried and true method.
Picking last year’s good
car is also a good approach.
This works best if a new car
comes out and is classed
favorably in the same class. If
that new car attracts oodles of
talented drivers, all the better.
If you pick a good car but
make a major setup mistake,
that’s an exceptional way
to keep you from the top
of the podium. Go with an
expensive set of dampers
tuned by someone who is
supposed to know what