Solo I in Ontario
Reprinted without permission (but with the best of intentions) from CASC-OR - Always check there for the latest info, or review the 1998 CASC-OR event schedule. This info is admittedly old, but it should give you the basics of an understanding of the sport.
Solo I got its start in Ontario in the late 1970s. A group of motorsport enthusiasts who wanted to enjoy the thrills and excitement of road racing - but who lacked the financial resources to compete in a full racing series - decided to create a new sport.
By using the parking lot autoslalom (Solo II) series as a model, these enthusiasts adapted the concept to fit on an actual race track. The early, informal events grew into a series which has now gained sponsorship from major automotive parts manufacturers and includes contingency awards supplied by the tire companies.
The current series is comprised of eight events held over four weekends, preceded by a Solo I school and dedicated lapping days. The series is administered by the Solo I Committee, made up of representatives from various CASC affiliated clubs in Ontario.
The Solo I program has evolved to the point that it is recognised as a stepping stone to Regional and/or National road racing. Lessons learned in Solo I competition have proven invaluable to drivers who have subsequently found themselves racing internationally. In addition, the time spent behind the wheel in Solo I can be credited towards a Regional racing license. This makes it easier - and less expensive - to progress up the motorsport ladder.
In Solo I you are competing against the clock. The objective is simply to drive the track in the fastest possible time. Unlike traditional road racing, you are not driving door-handle to door-handle with your fellow competitors, so the chances of damaging your vehicle are greatly reduced. Timing is electronic, and times are recorded to the thousandth of a second.
Competitors are released onto the track one at a time, carefully spaced. You drive a warm-up lap , several hot laps, then a cool-down lap, and return to the pits. Although there might be several other cars on the track with you, their lap times will be comparable to yours, and the spacing ensures that you never catch up to them, or they to you. Thus, you are truly racing alone, or Solo.
There are four main categories of vehicle preparation in the Ontario Solo I Series:
Stock: This is the usual entry level for new competitors. The cars are essentially in as delivered condition, with the exception of the required four point safety harness.
Super Stock: In this class, some modifications are allowed, but these are typically limited to suspension component changes.
Street Prepared: This is the last class that runs on street legal tires. Also, a combination of both suspension and engine modifications are permitted.
Modified: This is the final category, and it covers both open- and closed-wheel race cars which run on slicks.
Within each of the above four groupings there is a further breakdown of specifications to enable similar cars to compete with each other on an equal basis.
During the course of a Solo I event, competitors are required to assist through their participation in marshalling, timing, and management, technical inspection, or scoring. This allows the competitor to gather experience in the behind-the-scenes activities of a racing event. It also helps to keep the costs down, thereby making Solo I more affordable.
The Locitite / Permatex Solo I Championship usually begins with an open house in April, followed by a school in Shannonville in early May. Then the series runs for four weekends (counted as eight separate events) throughout the summer, interspersed with several lapping days that give competitors a chance to work on set-ups and to practice. The Series usually concludes in mid-September, and there is a year-end awards banquet.
All events are held at Shannonville Motorsport Park, using either the Nelson or Fabi circuits.
If youve watched road-racing on television, and thought youd like to try it but didnt know where to start, Solo I may be the place for you. It offers you the opportunity to get involved in a thriving, grassroots form of motorsport without the usual costs associated with road racing.
You will need to join a CASC-OR Solo I affiliated club, and it is strongly advised that you participate in the season-opening Solo I school.
Go to the CASC-OR web site, or ask one of our local Gurus!