ted, there are 8 bolts there, like i said, i believe only 4 are mandatory. it looks as though the mid plate will become part of the firewall, yes. here's a pic of my own car. you can see the mid plate is part of the firewall. the mid plate here is attached by 4 bolts.
the solenoid is a line lock.
dale, that's an interesting observation. you would need to talk to that chassis builder to find out his reasons for build his chassis that way. i will repeat this again. no 2 chassis builders build a car exactly alike. they have their own reason's, thoughts, and secret stuff they do to their chassis to make it (hopefully ) outperform the other brands. there are basic rules they must abide by in construction for saftey(those would be, what are found, in the sfi manuals and the sanctioning body rulebook) after that it's up to the builder on how he builds the car. some work better than others with certain drivetrain combinations. it's definitely a world of black arts and hidden secrets.