If you are a diehard Autocross fan, chances are you have looked into competing in the Sports Car Club of America’s Championship Tour. These events were designed to prepare drivers to compete against national championship competition and gives seasoned autocross enthusiasts the chance to race against some of the tougher competition at events across the United States.
For the 2018 season, eight challenging courses were selected across the country. The final stop of the championship season took place in Packwood, Washington, in July. Getting the opportunity to run this particular course is on the bucket list for many drivers. The course is strategically situated on the site of an abandoned lumber mill at the foot of Mt. Rainier providing a stunning backdrop for both racers and fans to enjoy for an entire weekend worth of racing.
Nearly 300 competitors battled for position across more than 40 different classes this year. One such competitor was Steeda-sponsored driver Dennis Healy from Lake Oswego, Oregon. His 2015 Mustang GT appeared near the top of the podium thus far in the season and he credits much of his success to the suspension upgrades he has installed from Steeda.
“The class I was competing in along with my co-driver Jim Boller, CAM-C, had 12 entrants,” Dennis said. “With a handful of former national champions in the mix, I knew I’d have to bring my A-game if I wanted to be on the podium at the end of the weekend.”
Dennis Healy's 2018 SCCA Championship Tour Results
• Crows Landing Pro Solo: First in CAM-C
• California CAM Challenge: Second in CAM-C
• Packwood Championship Tour: Second in CAM-C
• Packwood Pro Solo: Second in CAM-C
• CAM Invitational: TBD (in September)
• Solo National Championships: TBD (in September)
Prepping For Packwood
Dennis’s mission was to get a podium finish at Packwood to put him in prime position for a shot at the upcoming Solo National Championship that was taking place in September. Because the course at the abandoned lumber mill was unlike any of the previous tracks he had competed in earlier in the season, Dennis knew he had to optimize his 2015 Mustang GT’s suspension for maximum grip come race day.
“I worked tirelessly in the months since the spring national events on a softer, more Packwood-friendly setup — since my previous one was optimized for high-grip and low/no-bump concrete surfaces,” Dennis explained. “Experimenting with a softer suspension setup, including the massive Steeda 38mm front sway bar, I brought the most compliance I’ve had to date.”
Sunday morning saw all the top drivers leapfrogging each other on all four runs for a spot on the podium. As the times dropped, Dennis had won his first-round matchup but ended up coning-out in the round of 16. But his hard work earlier in the weekend was enough to secure a second place overall finish for the weekend.
The Steeda suspension upgrades Dennis made to his 2015 Mustang GT paid dividends, and after the dust had settled on a full weekend of racing, he had secured a spot on the podium in Packwood, Washington.
Dennis had this to say about the battle at Packwood. “Needless to say, CAM brought the heat this weekend; I’m about as happy as I’ve ever been not finishing on the podium!”
Next up will be the SCCA CAM Invitational and Solo National Championship events in Lincoln, Nebraska. Both championship events will offer formidable competition once again. But with his Mustang’s suspension dialed in thanks to the team at Steeda, Dennis and his 2015 Mustang GT are ready to go.