Casius wrote:... all the elevation changes and blind corners, etc is what it's all about.
Parking lot Solo-II events should be a required mandatory experience for anyone trying to get a drivers licence, or within the first couple of years of obtaining a drivers licence, coupled with MCO's Winter Driving School and snowcross events.
Nothing is better than Solo-II at teaching car control, awareness of where the corners of your car are located, braking, smooth arcs through corners, etc. all with no danger of harming your car. Solo-II is very useful for teaching mental focus. You can spend plenty of time relaxing, watching and learning from others between runs, then have to focus on an intense but relatively short duration burst of sensory overload during your own run. Don't ever let anyone tell you that Solo-II is simple and therefore not worth trying. The concept may be simple, but the execution is not. The guys that are consistently good at this stuff deserve a lot of respect!
Solo-II also very quickly and clearly demonstrates that driving sideways with lots of noise and smoke, á la Fast and Furious, is almost never the quickest way through a corner. Smoothness is critical for quick lap times.
All the same applies to snowcross events, except it's really slippery. Way sideways is still not the quickest way around. You need to hunt for the maximum grip and not go beyond that. The neat thing about ice is that you don't need to be going anywhere near as fast, as on dry pavement, to reach and experiment with the limits of grip. You can learn all about how you and your car react to varies inputs at the limit of grip, all the while travelling at slow safe speeds. You can have fun and learn and compete while not risking any serious damage to either yourself or your car.
Solo-I and lapping should be the next step after that, not before. Driving at speed on a roller coaster race track is way cooler than driving in a parking lot, for sure. Plus you get to use 3rd, 4th and maybe 5th gear while using the whole width of the track to try different lines, as opposed to being forced through often frustratingly tight and narrow pylon gates in Solo-II. But, if the goal is to find the limits of your car in order to attain the best lap times, then you are likely to sometimes find yourself exceeding those limits. The inputs required to catch the car when it slides wide in a corner in either oversteer or understeer are all pretty much the same as those required in parking lot Solo-II events, or ice track snowcross events, or muddy dirty rallycross events. The difference is in Solo-I you'll be going a lot faster and things can get out of hand much quicker. You don't have a lot of time to think about it, so your responses need to be automatic and come by reflex. And those don't happen without practice.
If you want elevation changes and blind corners, then nothing