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2012 Super Chevy Suspension & Handling Challenge

Can You Handle It?

By , Photography by Team Super Chevy

The Autocross Course
Eleven-time SCCA Solo Champion Mary Pozzi lays out a different autocross course each year, with a variety of maneuvers and obstacles to really see what these aftermarket suspensions can do. For this year's course, Mary had something special in mind.

"My autocross course for this year's Challenge was designed to test more than just suspensions. Most modern Pro-Tourers sport LS power, huge stoppers, structural improvements, and support all this on lightweight modular wheels encapsulating wide, grippy rubber. All of this goodness has to play together well for a car to be spectacular through the cones.

"My course led off with two lower-speed sweepers, one in each direction, as I wanted to immediately find out how the cars transferred weight, maintained tire contact and traction, and balanced roll coupling between front and rear. From there, each car negotiated a four-to-five cone 75-foot equal spaced slalom to test steering ratio, spring rates, and shock settings. After the high-speed slalom, heavy braking before and in corner entry for the turnaround ensured the brakes themselves were up to the task but more important, tested each car's balance, sway bar rates and their function, tire pressures, and shock settings.

"The 'Box' took the cars through a fast entry sweeper leading into a decreasing radius, hard 90-degree right turn which tested steering response and ratio, and how well each handled changes in momentum. A fast left-hand sweeper fed the cars across the diagonal, or crossover, to a zig-zag three part "wallom" before a hard charge to the finish. Here, I was looking to ensure how each car managed power and kept rear-wheel traction, corner entry turn-in, and the ability to get rotation (if desired)."—Mary Pozzi

The autocross course is designed and laid out by our SCCA championship winning test driver, Mary Pozzi. She adds numerous features to the layout in order to test each suspension system in a variety of ways.

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