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Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:59 pm
by George Schilling
If you've competed in a PRO SOLO in the past.........no need to read on.........there's nothing for you here. You've already marked your calendar and are planning on registering in the next few days if you haven't already.

But if you're NEW to auto , or have been autox'ing but have NEVER entered a PRO SOLO..........CONSIDER THIS!

THE PRO SOLO FORMAT IS BY FAR THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE AUTOXING!

WHAT IS PRO SOLO?
The Pro Solo format combines the best of drag racing and autox. Competitors will line up side by side and stage, just like at the drag strip. Your heart will begin to pound as you watch the count down on the timer. Once timer hits zero, you'll rev your engine and prepare for launch. Yellow, yellow, yellow, better drop the clutch, green, and you're smoking the tires trying to get the best 60' launch you can, Once at the 60', you'll split off onto mirrored autox courses and race to the finish. WOW!

EXPERIENCE DOESN'T MATTER!
Whether your new to autox or a grizzled veteran, this is an absolute blast. I used to think regular autoxing was addicting, but Pro Solo competition has made me a true addict. Since this format only comes around LOCALLY once a year, this is one event not to be missed!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
The dates are March 23-25, 2018. Friday the 23th consists of explaining the format to new folks, making practice starts, and a welcome party provided free of charge where you'll meet fellow competitors and chat about your launch times. That is followed by two days of thrilling competition on Saturday and Sunday. All this for only $130 with juniors specially priced at only $70. WOW again! Did I mention FREE FOOD?

YOU HAVE TO HURRY!
Early entry deadline is March 21, 6pm CDT. Regular online entry is $130, juniors entries are $70, and onsite entries are $200. More importantly, this event is capacity controlled and will sell out. So please get your entry in right away. This is too much fun to miss. For more information and a link to register, click here. Want to know the rules governing Pro Solo including car classing and indexing, click here.

IF YOU ONLY DO ONE AUTOX EVENT A YEAR......MAKE THIS THE ONE!

SEE YOU THERE!

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:10 pm
by George Schilling
Did you register yet?

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:13 pm
by Mike Simanyi
Yep! Did you?

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:14 pm
by Steve Ekstrand
Simanyi and I are both running the same National event.... This is going to be YUGE!!!!

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:08 pm
by Mike Simanyi
I'm looking forward to it. Big time, muchly.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:45 pm
by Eric Wong
In for H Street! Aside from the drag launch, anything else a first timer should be aware of in how this differs from one of our local events?

The launch should be easy in an EV, at least :D

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:08 pm
by Kevin Pao
There's a whole host of differences.
- Tech (putting on the required stickers: tirerack, scca, etc)
- assigned spot before the start (different for every session).
- 4 runs (2 runs each side) each session
- impound after your runs

I think I'm forgetting some stuff but those are the ones that come to mind.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:12 pm
by Rick Brown
Kevin Pao wrote:There's a whole host of differences.
- Tech (putting on the required stickers: tirerack, scca, etc)
- assigned spot before the start (different for every session).
- 4 runs (2 runs each side) each session
- impound after your runs

I think I'm forgetting some stuff but those are the ones that come to mind.
The 4 runs are back to back, no time in between to adjust anything unless you have someone to check tire pressures for you.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:06 pm
by Eric Wong
How many seconds will there be in between runs? No spraying tires once I've started my four runs, right?
I'm pretty sure the Nexens will be fine with that...

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:30 pm
by Kevin Pao
Eric Wong wrote:How many seconds will there be in between runs? No spraying tires once I've started my four runs, right?
I'm pretty sure the Nexens will be fine with that...
No tire spraying

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:06 pm
by Max Hayter
Highly recommend signing up for the Evo Holeshot school.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:38 pm
by Eric Wong
The extra $50 for Evo school is a bit much at the moment and I'm not sure how much of Friday I can attend. I was a bit hesitant to even do this at $130.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:56 pm
by Anthony P.
Eric Wong wrote:The extra $50 for Evo school is a bit much at the moment and I'm not sure how much of Friday I can attend. I was a bit hesitant to even do this at $130.
Practice runs are $20 For 4 and are recommended. The hole shot school is a good value. Maybe find a friend to co drive and in return for a ride and tires he pays your entry?

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:30 am
by Reed Gibson
Anthony Porta wrote:
Eric Wong wrote:The extra $50 for Evo school is a bit much at the moment and I'm not sure how much of Friday I can attend. I was a bit hesitant to even do this at $130.
Practice runs are $20 For 4 and are recommended. The hole shot school is a good value. Maybe find a friend to co drive and in return for a ride and tires he pays your entry?
To clarify, it's practice starts that are $20 for 4. I'd recommend the Evo school as a first timer to explain what all you need to do at this event.

This ain't your momma's weekend autocross!

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:40 am
by Randy Gonzalez
Hey Eric,

Since it's your first time, I'll try and shed a little more light on the subject (although I'm by no means a ProSolo expert, I've just done a few).

Starting with grid: You'll have an assigned grid spot. It'll be a number (like 121) and you'll find your assignment on a sheet posted on a board near the tech tent (it'll be grouped by classes, so you grid with all the other folks in your class). A little different than the way we do it, but it's easy. When it's time to run, the grid folks will stage your class up in pairs and you'll all drive to the start line as a group. You'll know who you're going head-to-head with and you'll stage next to them and drive up to the line next to them. This is where the adrenaline starts flowing...it's clear we're all here to race! :thumbup:

When they say "back-to-back" runs, they mean you finish your run, exit the finish chute, and immediately drive back to the start line (which may have 2-3 cars in it in front of you, but typically no more than that). There's two start lines (left and right) and you alternate between the two each lap. You'll be staged in grid with a direct competitor and you'll typically be racing against them each lap in that session. Sometimes the lines get uneven and stacks get a bit out of sync, so you might end up against somebody else during the session, but don't worry, it's scored based on your individual lap times on each course (basically like any other autocross event).

Now the drag race start is a bit different and it can be quite intimidating if you've never done it before. Here's the basics: You work your way up the starting line till you're "next". There is a burn-out box about 2-3 car lengths long. It's probably irrelevant to you in your Bolt (I'm sure that car won't let you hold the brakes and spin the tires). Some do a little burn out and some don't (face it, most of us don't do that to our cars ever and we just don't want to make a fool out of ourselves trying it for the first time in the middle of a serious competition). Now, once the event gets humming, there's a clock running between cars (I believe it's like 15 secs)....once the cars in front of you take off, the clock starts running for the start of your lap....basically, you have 15-20 seconds to fiddle around with your burn out and get your car staged in between the staging lights in prep for the Christmas tree start. Stuff is happening pretty fast here and your heart will be pounding.

Now I'm not a drag racing guy, so excuse me if I use the wrong terms, but here's the basics of the staging lights. There are boxes on both sides of the starting line. There are 3 separate light beams that you'll be breaking: The first is the pre-stage, the second is the stage and the third is the starting line (I think it's called the guard beam #tolazytogoogleit). At the top of the Christmas tree are two white staging lights. When you break the pre-stage beam with the nose of your car (or tires), the first pre-stage light lights up. When you break the second stage beam, the second light lights up. To be properly staged, you need to break the pre-stage and stage beams but not break through the guard beam (the actual start). If you do break the guard beam, a red light will come on and you'll have to back up. This is all quite stressful because you see the count down clock running and you know that you have just a few more seconds to get your car staged.

Once both cars are staged, the Christmas tree light sequence is triggered (note: this is done manually by a guy sitting in a chair right there). The actual lights go yellow, yellow, yellow, green. The yellows are like 1/2 sec apart (they aren't super fast like you see at some high end NHRA stuff). The trick is to take the lag time of your car into account and launch such that you break the guard beam just after the green light. You'll get a reaction time at each start....a 500 (milliseconds) is a perfect start, a 600 means you were late by 1/10th of a second crossing the start line (guard beam)...a 499 or less means you crossed the start line too early and you'll get a "red light" start (basically a DNF). They also record a 60ft time (like a typical drag race) so you can see how well you launched.

Once you've started, its just a typical autocross lap. Depending on how the courses are laid out, you may find a few points that you are facing your competitor (not too close, but across the lot) and you'll know if your ahead or not. The head-to-head aspect with the precise drag race start is what make the ProSolo events incredibly exciting and challenging. Folks travel in from all over the country for these events, so there will be some very talented drivers to network with. The competition is fierce, but it's the same great autocross hang that we all love. And don't let the level of competition intimidate you, this is where you get to meet the best guys and learn from them.

As for the Evo school...this is such a different thing that we'd all recommend the school. They train you on the light boxes, the tree, give you some techniques on how to stage shallow to allow you to start just a tick early (and be moving just a tick faster over the start line) and things like that. Of course you and the other students own the start line and you'll get a bunch of practice starts. By the end of the school, you'll have the confidence to pull up to the line and get staged quickly.

They also sell practice starts for like $5 per....at a minimum, if you can make it out Friday, I'd invest at least $20 in a few of those just so the rest of your weekend isn't a disaster because of the start boxes.

I hope that helps clarify a bit, and if I'm sharing the wrong information, please correct me.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:50 am
by Randy Gonzalez
And since a picture is worth a thousand words....this is a horrible lap :roll: , but the camera angle kinda gives you the whole ProSolo start and get back in line story:


Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:29 am
by Rick Brown
Randy Gonzalez wrote: Once both cars are staged, the Christmas tree light sequence is triggered (note: this is done manually by a guy sitting in a chair right there).
Not exactly. Normally the lights are triggered automatically, after the countdown clock reaches zero and you hear a loud beep, it doesn't care if you are staged properly or not. The guy in the chair only does the triggering if something abnormal occurs, like a bunch of cones need to be reset. The countdown clock is stopped, the guy stands up and when things are ready he will point to each driver for a nod that they are ready, then after a slight pause start the sequence.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:33 am
by Max Hayter
Rick Brown wrote:
Randy Gonzalez wrote: Once both cars are staged, the Christmas tree light sequence is triggered (note: this is done manually by a guy sitting in a chair right there).
Not exactly. Normally the lights are triggered automatically, after the countdown clock reaches zero and you hear a loud beep, it doesn't care if you are staged properly or not. The guy in the chair only does the triggering if something abnormal occurs like a bunch of cones need to be reset. The countdown clock is stopped, the guy stands up and when things are ready he will point to each driver for nod that they are ready, then after a slight pause start the sequence.
Not correct - the lights are always manually triggered by the starter (I know as I have worked this position many times). The lights come down to zero, there is a beep and the starter hits the button. We try to keep the gap between the beep and hitting the button for the lights to come down consistent. When i do it, I hear the beep, say the word "bollocks" in my head, and hit the button.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:35 am
by Rick Brown
Max Hayter wrote:
Rick Brown wrote:
Randy Gonzalez wrote: Once both cars are staged, the Christmas tree light sequence is triggered (note: this is done manually by a guy sitting in a chair right there).
Not exactly. Normally the lights are triggered automatically, after the countdown clock reaches zero and you hear a loud beep, it doesn't care if you are staged properly or not. The guy in the chair only does the triggering if something abnormal occurs like a bunch of cones need to be reset. The countdown clock is stopped, the guy stands up and when things are ready he will point to each driver for nod that they are ready, then after a slight pause start the sequence.
Not correct - the lights are always manually triggered by the starter (I know as I have worked this position many times). The lights come down to zero, there is a beep and the starter hits the button. We try to keep the gap between the beep and hitting the button for the lights to come down consistent. When i do it, I hear the beep, say the word "bollocks" in my head, and hit the button.
Yeah, you're right, been quite a few years since I did starter, but I was thinking it was automatic. Old man memory. I normally did "and 1 and 2".

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:44 am
by Max Hayter
Starter has two button sticks...

Left stick :

Single click - stop/start shot clock
Long click - rest shot clock to 20

Right stick :

Single click - start light coming down (doesn't work if more than two cars on course, so you always have to watch for that).

On a manual start, generally I like to have the shot clock at 20, do the pointing and then hit the right stick. Having a moving shot clock during a manual start is really distracting.

It's quite a responsible job, which is why you generally see the same folks doing it.

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:23 pm
by Kevin Pao
Max Hayter wrote: When i do it, I hear the beep, say the word "bollocks" in my head, and hit the button.
that's a lot of bollocks

Re: Whoo Hoo! The PRO Solo is Here!

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:07 am
by KJ Christopher
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