Drivers Praise Supercar Lites After Popular Test

Written by Chris Leone. Posted in Features, News, Series News

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Published on January 19, 2013 with No Comments

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 19, 2013) Last week’s Supercar Lites test, held by Olsbergs MSE and the Global Rallycross Championship in Lake Elsinore, CA, attracted droves of attention to the new class. But perhaps more importantly, it also drew significant praise from many of those who got to drive the 300-horsepower cars that will comprise the GRC’s development series.

All in all, over two dozen drivers from every background imaginable cycled through OMSE’s two Lites cars over the course of the weekend. Many had never driven the car before, adjusting on the fly from anything from stock cars to off-road vehicles to even motorcycles.

Trevor Snow, 19, said that out of all the cars he’d driven in his career, the Lites car was closer to a dirt modified than the asphalt modifieds he’s been racing. “The Supercar Lite is mainly like the dirt modified because it’s sprung a lot lighter and has so much weight transfer,” he said, “so I found that the more you had the chassis loaded, the easier the Supercar Lite was to drive.”

Some drivers had to adjust their driving style to compensate for the Lites’ various characteristics. Jim Beaver has raced in trophy truck events for nearly a decade and found that one of the biggest differences in going to the smaller car was changing his cornering technique.

“(On) first instinct, those cars will go sideways in a split second,” Beaver noted. “So I was drifting sideways in every corner because in a trophy truck, that’s what you do—every corner is a drift, you’re sideways and in the dirt. With these cars, it’s not that way. In the gravel sections, that’s okay, but in the asphalt, you have to drive it like a proper racecar.

“So it was breaking the habit of going sideways in every corner and actually driving the car like it was meant to, specifically on the asphalt sections of the course.”

But this wasn’t the first time in the car for Tanner Whitten or Tommy Boileau, who had tested with OMSE in Las Vegas after last year’s GRC season finale. After their second experiences with the car, both drivers praised its continued development.

“I would say that the differences between the first and second test were leaps and bounds forward,” Whitten said. “The first session, the car felt like it had a substantial amount of understeer, which I think was a good thing for the first test because none of us drivers had been in a car like that before. They made the car rather predictable.

“But as soon as we showed up for the second test and got in the car, I could tell right away that the horsepower was (raised), the RPM range was a lot higher, the car just drove substantially better.”

Boileau agreed, adding that his grasp of the car had improved as well. “It definitely had a more neutral balance, so it was a lot more driveable and fun to drive. Not only was the car improved in almost every aspect, but I kind of got the first test jitters off my back and I improved my driving quite a bit.”

For the series, the good news is that many of the drivers who tested are actively looking to put together full-season programs. Snow confirmed plans to run the full schedule, while Whitten and Boileau are looking to solidify their programs as well.

“I think it’s a great series, and this is going to help grow the brand substantially,” Boileau said.

“I think that, long-term, just looking at the demographic and the potential of this sport, that rallycross in general has the potential to completely take over the US market,” Whitten added. “I think this is the future of American motorsport for sure, and I’m all in.”

Photo © Mixtape Media Co.

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