Project MR2 Turbo: Prepping for the Final SCCA Solo Champ Tour of 2020

Update by J.G. Pasterjak to the Toyota MR2 Turbo project car
Dec 3, 2020

This year has been a weird one, and it’s kind of fitting that the national SCCA autocross season ends in the same place that it begins every year: South Georgia Motorsports Park.

The Dixie Tour opened the 2020 season March 14-15, and if those dates seem familiar, it’s because that’s the weekend the proverbial crap hit the fan re. Covid-19. Anyone listening to the news while driving to the event heard wall-to-wall discussions of impending shutdowns, quarantines, crowded hospitals, and a general sense of, “Well, I guess this is happening.” 

There was even real-time chatter about whether the event would happen at all, or if competitors in transit would be asked to return home–or sent home once arriving at the site. 

Well, nine long, long months later, the SCCA national Solo crew returns to the scene for a redux of the Dixie Tour that will try and make peace with our current pandemic. Not that it will be business as usual. Since the return to real-life events this summer, the SCCA has been vocal about on-site countermeasures and social distancing precautions, and pre-event communications for this event in light of the recent viral surge have reinforced that messaging and reiterated that best practices will be present and enforced. 

Although things will be a little weird, it’s a little weird at what we’ve gotten used to over the course of the year. So while the hugs and handshakes won’t be there, neither will the anxiety about what the immediate future of motorsports looks like. 

But enough rambling about the state of the world, we have a car to get ready for this weekend’s Tire Rack SCCA Dixie Winter Champ Tour. Luckily, our 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo didn’t need much besides a quick look-over and a good bath. Having recently  freshened many of its most questionable systems, getting it ready for an autocross is now mostly a matter of filling the tank and hitting the road.

We did take some time to order some proper magnetic numbers and class designations from Autocross Digits, and for about $65 including shipping, they were worth every penny. We also ran some vinyl off of our own cutter to recognize our friends at Falken Tire since we’re running on their Azenis RT660.

Due of our MR2’s Gen 4 engine swap, the car doesn’t fit into most traditional SCCA Solo categories, but the supplemental Xtreme Street category takes all comers who want to compete on 200tw street tires. At 2754 pounds with a quarter tank of gas, our MR2 slots nicely into the XS-A class, which specifies a 2750-pound minimum weight without driver, and has few other rules aside from the aforementioned 200tw tires. 

While our relatively mild MR2 may not be prepared to the limit of the scant rules–a dedicated Xtreme Street build would likely bear little resemblance to a true road car aside from general shape–the use of 200tw tires equalizes things somewhat, and provides a great outlet for folks who just want to build cars the way they want to build them and not worry about making a minor change that takes them out of a certain class. The SCCA is expecting to make some policy statements in the offseason about the future of the Xtreme Street category, and we’re anxious to see where the philosophy of the classes is heading.

So, if you see us at the Dixie Tour this weekend, it’s either because you’re competing or you snuck in because SCCA Covid regs don’t allow spectators at the moment. So give us a wave if you see us on the road heading to or from, or say hi from a safe distance if you’re one of our fellow competitors.


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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/4/20 9:35 a.m.

JG's competition this weekend. And does he have a co-driver? 

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