WHERE TO FIND BART HOCKERMAN
Hockerman participates in a minimum of 18 events per year. Eight are usually in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) SOLO events, and eight are with the Wisconsin Autocrossers, Inc. (WAI). He also tries to round out the season with some events out of state and the Subaru Challenge at Subaru of Indiana Automotive.
“Participating in SCCA SOLO competition basically tests how in tune a driver is with his car and how well he reads a course in a parking lot that’s made out of cones. You’re not racing against other people, but against the clock. Whoever is the fastest person through the course in the quickest amount of time is the top driver.
“I keep trying to push myself to the top of the heap.”
Who can get involved in SOLO? “Any car can run in SOLO, for the most part. Each car is set up into different classes and indexes.
Hockerman started racing the 2008 STI in 2009.
Hockerman’s garage holds resources that include tools, magnetic
numbers on a refrigerator, and an air pump.
2002 WRX in Street Mod trim in 2004.
“Our events average about 130 to 140 people, so it’s where you end up out of those 130 to 140 people. When I started, I was in the 70s, and now I’m in the top 20. So you try to figure out how you fit in, and that helps you gauge how much faster or slower you’re getting or if you’ve had a bad day or a good day.
“And if it’s raining out, it’s hands-down a Subaru day!”
“WAI classes are set up on a local level for the drivers who are out there and want to compete, but don’t fall into the national-level classes.”
Hockerman also competes in the National Street Tire Challenge – a special Sports Car Club of America sanctioned autocross event open only to cars running street tires. It has four events for 2011. (See www.nationalstreettirehallenge.com.)
“I’ve added a drop-in air filter, a cat-back exhaust, upgraded front sway bar, rebuilt and revalved front shocks, and custom rear shocks by Odi at Feal Suspension. I have the stock springs with different shocks, which allows the car to have better overall handling characteristics for me.
“The stock shocks were too soft for my needs. The weight transfer of the car always went to the back of the car. It would induce understeer. With the current setup, the back is stiffer than the front. It’s like adding a sway bar without really adding one.
“The tires are a lot bigger than stock. I bought 265/35 18s. It’s a large tire for an 8.5-inch wheel, but it works very well.”
Hockerman drives his car in the winter, too, but with Blizzak™ snow tires replacing the autocrossing tires. “Snow tires are cheap insurance for any car,” he explained. “They’re a must have.”