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http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=216345&FS=

Pontiac Solstice debuts
Racing series SCCA-RACE
Date 2006-05-02

Pontiac Solstice Debuts in SCCA National Road Racing


WARREN, Mich., May 2, 2006 -- Pontiac Solstice will make its much anticipated debut in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Road Racing this Saturday, May 6 at New Hampshire International Speedway in the New England Region May National event.

Newly classed by SCCA in Showroom Stock B (SSB) for 2006, a Pontiac Solstice prepared by Phoenix Performance will be driven by 18-year-old amateur phenom Andrew Aquilante.

"Anticipation for this weekend has been building within GM Performance Division since the introduction of the Pontiac Solstice," said Performance Division's resident racing guru John "Heinrocket" Heinricy. "We always felt the Solstice would be a great option for the weekend racer in SSB, and now we finally have the opportunity to prove that theory."

Aquilante is the SCCA 2004 Rookie of the Year and 2005 Philadelphia Region Driver of the Year. He is also the two-time defending Northeast Division Touring 1 (T1) champion for 2004 and 2005 driving a Corvette C5 Z06.

His race-prepared Solstice is one of the first to roll off the line with the Z0K Club Sport regular production order option package. The option is designed for the weekend racer and is currently available to order through any Pontiac dealership.

Developed by GM Performance Division, the Club Sport package features the standard five-speed manual transmission along with antilock brakes (ABS), a limited-slip differential, an improved power steering cooler and a suspension option called FE3. The FE3 suspension will be standard on the recently announced 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP.

No other options are available when ordering the Club Sport Solstice, but some components and safety equipment must be added to make it track ready, including a racing-only hardtop, racing tires, higher friction brake pads, rollcage, seatbelts, etc. A catback exhaust system (sans muffler) will maximize the power output.

The Pontiac Solstice's primary competition in SSB will be the same competition it faces in the marketplace, which includes such competitors as the Mazda Miata, BMW Z4, Acura RSX and Honda Civic.

"The predominantly Asian competition is well established in SSB, but we know the Pontiac Solstice is up to the challenge," said Heinricy. "The Club Sport option provides racers with a current model GM vehicle built to win in SCCA SSB racing, and winning on the race track helps translate into winning in the marketplace."

GM Performance Division develops compelling, low volume, high-performance production and specialty vehicles, including the 205 hp Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, 395 hp Chevy Trailblazer SS and 400hp Chevy SSR; the 400 hp CTS-V, 469 hp STS-V and 443 hp XLR-V from the Cadillac V-Series; and the 205 hp Saturn ION Red Line.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

-gm.com-
 

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That is great news. I am anxious to see Sol's on a track and very anxious to see how the Solstice aquits itself in SSB.

A lot of non-GM people seem to think the Solstice is all show and no go. I think they are in for a rude awakening. But my opinion doesn't mean squat. I just want to see the results.

Thanks for a great post! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is great news. I'd love to see it on the track.
I found this today as well but I think it was already posted:
Google news says it posted about 10 hours ago.

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/convertibles/0605_2007_pontiac_solstice_mallet_v8/

By Don Sherman
Photography: Randy G

Click here to zoom.

More power than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, less expensive than a base Porsche Boxster, lighter than a Chevrolet Corvette Z06. That's a tall order, especially when you add a soft top and a stylish exterior. Too tall, in fact, for any manufacturer, but perfect for Chuck and Lance Mallett of Berea, Ohio. With nearly a decade of experience tuning Corvettes and Cadillacs under their belts and a family racing heritage rooted in the 1950s, these boys get what they want the old-fashioned way-by wielding heavy hammers.

The Pontiac Solstice depicted above is one of the first 1000 cars off the line. Chuck Mallett seized it from a South Carolina Pontiac dealer's clutches with evil intent: to rip out the factory's 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder and pound in 400-hp's worth of 6.0-liter LS2-Corvette-V-8, then add a "Mallett V-8 001" serial plate to the dash.

To squeeze eight cylinders into a four-cylinder hole, it was necessary to notch the right frame rail and shift the rack-and-pinion steering gear a tad. Two belly pans were altered to permit use of the stock V-8 exhaust manifolds and catalytic converters. While clearances are tighter than what GM condones, the installation is clean and neat thanks to the use of OE-style wiring and plumbing.

Twist the ignition key, squint your eyes, and the Solstice morphs into a Corvette convertible humming the standard V-8 rumble. The motor music is piped through a Corsa muffler, then out a single exhaust tip in the interest of stealthiness. Except for Mallett forged-aluminum wheels wrapped by 265/35YR-19 Michelin Pilot Sports and a few discreet Mallett badges, there's nothing to give away the ruse.

Click here to zoom.


Indulge the throttle, however, and the jig is up. Winding through the stock 3.91:1 axle ratio, first gear is useless except for those with a wheel-spin fetish. Second is almost as bad. But on a below-freezing, low-grip day, we did clock a 4.9-second 0-to-60-mph run by launching in second gear with engine rpm barely above idle, feathering the throttle until the tires finally hooked in the middle of third gear. Our 13.0-second, 114-mph quarter-mile pass should be a cinch to beat on a warm day.

The Mallett-ized Solstice rattles and rocks like no stock Pontiac. Stiffer springs, thicker antiroll bars, tighter Penske dampers, and larger hardware from Stainless Steel Brakes help keep the monster in line-sort of-but you shouldn't shop here if you expect highly refined behavior.

If you'd be happy with a stealthy beast, act now, because the Malletts intend to build only 100 examples. Prices start at $20,000 (plus the core Solstice or Saturn Sky), not including the larger brakes, nineteen-inch footwear, double-adjustable dampers, and other options you'll probably want. A two-year limited warranty (but no "Get Out of Jail Free" card) is included.
 

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"The predominantly Asian competition is well established in SSB, but we know the Pontiac Solstice is up to the challenge," said Heinricy. "The Club Sport option provides racers with a current model GM vehicle built to win in SCCA SSB racing, and winning on the race track helps translate into winning in the marketplace."
I assume Asian means Miata but is the Mini Cooper S in SSB as well?
 

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sixgun said:
... No other options are available when ordering the Club Sport Solstice, but some components and safety equipment must be added to make it track ready, including a racing-only hardtop, racing tires, higher friction brake pads, rollcage, seatbelts, etc. A catback exhaust system (sans muffler) will maximize the power output.
...
OK, I have seen discussions on here before about hard tops, but is this one available somewhere? If so, I missed the post and can't find it.
 

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Not in Speed TV Schedule

salstice said:
Does anyone know if this race will be televised?
I checked the schedule for this weekend and all I could find of interest is the F1 race in Germany(?). I don't think Speed televises the SCCA events.
 

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I met a fellow Sol owner at the local car show the other night - he said he owns two Corvettes and this car handles just as well.
 
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