In early 2009, the Mallett team had the opportunity to prep a 2008 Solstice to race in the FIA GT4 European Cup.
Organized by the Stephanie Ratel Organization (SRO) and sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), The GT4 European Cup follows a formula similar to the FIA GT Championship (GT1 and GT2), with races held across Europe. The vehicles used are generally factory-built with extensive modifications to meet strict safety and performance requirements.
The FIA, based in France, sent inspectors to examine the Mallett Solstice for homologation. There was a language barrier as Chuck and Lance spoke no French and the inspectors spoke little or no English. The French professor from nearby Baldwin Wallace University came to the rescue and translated the proceedings for both parties. After a six-month process, Mallett Cars was fully certified as an official FIA constructor and the Mallett Solstice was homologated to participate in the GT4 series.
Other cars in the class include the Aston Martin Vantage N24, BMW Z4 coupe, C6 GT4 Corvette, Lotus Exige Cup GT4, Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo Light, and the Porsche Cayman.
FIA rules state that the car’s dimensions and shape must remain true to the original, as must the front and rear overhangs. The car is required to have catalytic converters and must carry enough fuel to race for one hour.
For safety and weight reasons the interior of the car is gutted, then fitted
with a roll cage, fire suppression system, fuel cell,racing seat with harness, and netting on the driver’s window and interior. Every aspect was carefully scrutinized by the FIA inspector.
The standard four-cylinder drivetrain was replaced by a Mallett modified LS3 V8 which produces 400hp at 7700 rpm, a race-spec clutch, close-ratio 6-speed trans with Mallett shifter, 3.73 differential, and uprated axles. The dry-sump oiling and Aeromotive fuel system are designed to withstand Extended track sessions. Engine, transmission, steering, and differential coolers were added. Modified suspension components with Mallett/Penske Double adjustable coil over shocks provide the performance and adjustability required in a race car. All GT4 cars must run spec tires on fixed rim sizes. Since only the size was specified, this car sports custom ultralight wheels. Brakes are also fixed in size but not construction, so Brembo provided racing rotors, pads, and calipers to complement the modified factory brake system.
The factory steel hood and doors were reproduced in lightweight carbon fiber but were deemed illegal, so the factory parts were modified and replaced. The hard top, required by the series, was replaced with a carbon fiber SCCA-approved top with lexan rear window. The bodywork is subtly modified throughout to improve on-track performance while still adhering to series rules.
List of modifications below:
- Mallett LS2 V8 Race Conversion
- Zero Tolerance Balance & Blue Printing of Rotating Engine Components
- Exedy Racing Clutch Assembly
- 8300 Mallett/Penske Double Adjustable Coil Over Shock Set
- Mallett Custom Race Application Radiator
- Mallett Body Graphics
- Mallett Custom Number Plaque & Badging
- 6-Speed Performance Transmission
- (Cryogenic Enhanced & Hardened Race Gears)
- 3.73 Differential
- Race Prep Shifter with Delrin Knob
- Mallett Custom Built Race Application Axle Shafts w/Aeromotive Fuel Rails and Regulator
- Mallett Custom Sway Bar kit
- ARE Dry Sump Oiling System
- Engine Oil Cooler
- Differential Cooler
- Power Steering Cooler
- ARP Long Wheel Stud
- Race application Hood Latches
- Poly-Urethane A-Arm/Differential Bushing Kit
- Pontiac Solstice GXP Front Fascia Option
- Pontiac Solstice Jazz Vented Race Fenders
- Pontiac Solstice GXP dual rear Exhaust Fascia Option