SCCA Announces Solo Spec Coupe Class for Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ
This is the first time there has been a spec class for autocross competition.
Spec racing is nothing new. From Spec Racer Ford to Spec Miata, classes specifying a particular car with a particular set of modifications level the playing field and make competition all about the driver, rather than the car. On Monday, at the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals, the SCCA announced the first spec class for Solo competition: Solo Spec Coupe.
This new spec class features Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ models built between 2013 and 2016. (2017 and newer cars are ineligible due to numerous changes brought about the mid-model update.) Unmodified cars may compete, but packaged designated Stage 1 and Stage 2 are available to upgrade cars competing in this class. Stage 1 consists of factory sealed Koni Sport shocks, Eibach Pro-Plus springs and sway bars, and an SPC front alignment kit, available from Tire Rack at a discount for SCCA members; Stage 2 adds 17-inch diameter, 8-inch wide wheels and 225/45R17 tires.
The FR-S-slash-BRZ is an affordable enthusiast car, and early examples like the ones legal for Solo Spec Coupe have depreciated significantly since they were new. The choice of this car and these specific modifications are intended to help keep costs down and to allow these cars to be used as daily drivers as well as weekend warriors. Even a fully-modified car with the Stage 2 package would likely be enormously fun on the daily commute as well as dodging cones. Yet the 225-millimeter width tires are barely wider than the stock 215s, which means that drivers will have to be on the ball to manage their limited traction. But keeping the rear wheels behind the front wheels is part of the challenge—and the fun—of these cars.
It will be interesting to see just how popular Solo Spec Coupe will be. Many autocrossers already drive the FR-S or BRZ; other competitors may see it as a way to get close competition on a budget. And some FR-S/BRZ owners who don't currently autocross may see it as a good way to get involved in the sport, especially since bone-stock cars are welcome.