Eternal sponsored Auto-X driver took third in class Sunday’s web dude Rory (hey, that’s me :)) nabbed a third place in Novice class in the Reno Region season-ender SCCA Solo 2 auto cross event on Sunday. This was my second auto-x event ever, the first being Saturday.

It was a wet day, the course had standing water with a bit of sprinkling during the second run group in the morning (I was working the course during the first run group). The second run group also means the course was slick with tire “marbles”, making for limited traction for all. The Subarus were proving all wheel drive has its place in Solo competition all day long.

My ’07 WRX Wagon (that I’ve had for two and a half months) is bone stock suspension wise, with a set of 17×7.5″ wheels (.5″ wider than stock, negligible difference) and well-used 225/45 Bridgestone RE070 tires (original tire on Subaru STIs, awesome auto-x tires). The car received a “Stage 2″ engine treatment Thursday and Friday of last week – new Stage 2 Exedy clutch and ACT lightened flywheel, along with an Invidia V3 divorced downpipe and Blitz Nur Spec Touring exhuast (about as quiet as it gets for a full 3″ catback). A local shop also put a Stage 2 tune on the car, keeping it mellow as the car’s my driver, and while I wanted power, I wanted fuel economy and reliability more.

Anyway, My fourth run on the short wet-specific course was my best, nabbing a 42.6xx second time, about 3.5 seconds off the course best (also a Subaru wagon :)). About halfway into that run I started hearing a clunking out of the front suspension, so I backed off a little. I was ready to drop that time some on my fifth run (of six), but heading into the first corner the car was clunking, and after the second corner it was making a metal on metal scraping sound from the right-front. I backed off and limped the rest of the way around the course and parked the car, not making my last run.

Despite having some issues with the stock suspension, the car performed incredibly well given my lack of skill, and I’m quite happy with a third place finish. I’m fairly confident that I could have shaved some more time off, possibly putting me in a higher class rank, but that’s racing.

My results on Saturday were not nearly as good – my no-points best run put me in 11th, first being an Ariel-frickin-Atom (in Novice – wtf????), my points run was, well, no so good.

The 2011 season is right around the corner, and I’ll be ready. Dropping a new suspension package on the car soon, it will be entirely new (used, of course, I work at a snowboard shop after all), and ready to race. Adjustable struts and sway bars, uber stiff springs with probably too much drop, a healthy aggressive alignment, and much more.

Also hoping some of our motorsports oriented suppliers step in and help out with the funds, running every event of the season on a snowboard shop salary is gonna be tough.

Pics are… I don’t know. I didn’t get any, and not sure if anyone else did either :( I’ll post ‘em up if I can track any down.