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Thread: Getting back into W2W racing: help me decide on car and class

  1. #1
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    Default Getting back into W2W racing: help me decide on car and class

    So, due to a variety of things going in my life over the past year or so (death of family member, super busy at work, etc.), I sold my race car (a B-Spec Mazda2 ) and took a break from racing. I'm ready to come back but just don't know which class and car I want. There are a lot of smart and experienced racers here and I'm hoping the collective brain trust of TrackHQ can help me decide which car and class to choose.

    Here are my goals:
    1. Fun and reliable car - life is short and I hate wrenching at the track. I just want to have fun driving a race car at cool tracks. Power and torque are nice but I've always enjoyed driving small, quick cars that handle and brake well.

    2. Nothing that will break the bank in acquisition, build/prep, and maintenance. $30k max for the car in race-ready form whether I buy or build. Regionally competitive.

    3. Something that I can develop my driving and racing skills in. Truth is, I'm a mid-pack driver on a good day and often times worse than that. I want to be a better driver and racer.

    4. I prefer W2W racing with the SCCA but would also do Time Trials with NASA and Time Attack with GTA. So, an SCCA class with good competition that could also be somewhat competitive in TT.

    5. Something that could also be street registered so I could drive it to WSIR 5 miles away.

    I'm kinda done with Spec Miata (no offense) but I am intrigued with Spec E46. I'd get back into a B-Spec car ('cause they're fun) but it's no fun being the only one in your class. SCCA T3, T4, and STL all seem viable but just not sure which car. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Look at motorsportsreg for the 2017 scca runoffs. Look under attendee list. This is the best subcribed runoffs since 2014 when I started going.
    https://www.motorsportreg.com/index....341ADF7D48DF60

    The classes shown are natuonal classes and I have not seen more subcribed than this since 2014. I think it safe to say looking at these numbers gives a window into how scuscribed the classes are. But you also should look at calclub scca and look at their class numbers. For example on the east I could have 10 T2 cars and will see 30 at tje runoffs. But in cali we got about 3 T2 cars. So T2 is not strong here in sopac. Nasa and scca have too many classes for decent class participation. Both orgs need significant class consolidation. If you want competition it has to be SM or SRF3. What made me a better racer is racing out of my region on tracks new to me.

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Supermiata has real suspension that SM does not, more power, faster, far less contact/crashing, lower costs. Arguably a better looking car too. 10 race weekends. Free BBQ at most events.
    Mentorship and coaching from the pros. Camaraderie from every driver. Exciting racing with standing starts and inverted grids. Also the advantage of being able to bolt together a competitive car from the get-go. It is a proven published formula, not a black art or Secret Sauce to be able to run at the front. You just have to be able to drive. It is not spec Miata

    My second choice would be ST3, ST4 in NASA. 3x as expensive but a cool car.
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    Perhaps I can offer an alternative: MX-5 Cup car (Well, I didn't say Spec-Miata!).

    1. It runs in multiple racing organizations Global Cup, and VERY competitive in the Pirelli World Challenge (TCA-class) Series

    Mazda Global MX5 Cup - Pirelli World Challenge

    2. I can find out leasing cost on the teams within our paddock (Pirelli World Challenge)

    3. Considering you're looking at the, "small fish in a big pond", scenario, why not drive for a team with professional drivers that can help get you up to speed quicker

    4. With The Pirelli World Challenge Series, you're getting several hours of television coverage (CBS Sports Network)-something you can tout when hunting for sponsorship. PWC will help with Sponsorship acquisition/activation process

    5. Yeah, can't help you with that-especially in California!
    Last edited by 2GRX7; 08-22-2017 at 06:13 AM.

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Two new classes I'm intrigued by that fit your budget are Supermiata S1 and Spec Corvette. S1 doesn't have as many cars as S2 but they sure look like fun and can easily be raced in NASA ST4 I think. Spec Corvette looks like it checks lots of boxes by being fun, fast and affordable.

    I haven't looked at SCCA classes recently because I find their rules for things like wheel sizes to be odd and antiquated. STL seems to be fairly popular from my limited knowledge so I'd look there first if you really want to W2W with SCCA.
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    The NC MX-5 Cup cars can run in SCCA T4 and STL if I remember correctly. Not sure about ND's.

    It doesn't appear that there are many serious (built for the class) SCCA STL cars west of the Mississippi, although with the Runoffs coming here next year I know a few Nor-Cal STL folks are preparing for that. Regionally there's always someone to race against up here and I believe it's the same for Cal Club. Plus SCCA gets to run at Laguna Seca several times a year up to 103db. :P

    If I had $15k to drop all at once, I'd go Spec Corvette. I think SFR SCCA announced that it will be a regional class next year. The email announcement from the region wasn't worded very well.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagnerov View Post
    I think SFR SCCA announced that it will be a regional class next year.
    SCCA CalClub in southern California is also doing Spec Corvette. Spec Corvette also crosses over to SCCA T1 and NASA ST2/3.
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    I would say the Touring 2-4 categories of the SCCA are the right fit. You get a newer, low maintenance car to drive with low car prep compared to any NASA class. No crazy builds. Spec E46 (which you mentioned) is allowed in T3. I personally think the prep is kind of high on that car, but you can buy ready built ones easily from multiple shops up and down the west coast.

    Touring 2-4 has low cost of entry and the car builds are limited (stock engines, etc). Only real modifications done are for reliability and a very small bit of chassis adjustment. Classes are relatively well balanced and the car count for T4 in CalClub is decent for Majors events. West coast T3 car count can be good as well, but they are mid adjustment of that class. I think the Spec E46 will remain competitive.

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    What scca needs to do with T1 through T4 is to get rid of those four classes and make them TA aand TB and consolidate them. Every T1 car could make can be made slower to run in T2 and every T2 car could be made faster to run in T1. The same probably goes for T4 and T3.

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    Thanks for the responses, guys. Lots of good info and I appreciate it.

    I didn't know Spec Corvette ran on street tires. That's interesting. How competitive could it be in SCCA T1? Seems like it'd be an underdog there. Also, are the doors gutted for the cage or do drivers keep the door windows in place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    Thanks for the responses, guys. Lots of good info and I appreciate it.

    I didn't know Spec Corvette ran on street tires. That's interesting. How competitive could it be in SCCA T1? Seems like it'd be an underdog there. Also, are the doors gutted for the cage or do drivers keep the door windows in place?
    IMO the spec vette is like the c5 run as T1-LP for limited prep which gets more HP and less weight to make it more competitive in T1 which allows wings and splitter in full T1 trim. The spec vette on equal tires which is legal in T1 (hoohooA7) should be faster than C5 speced as T1-LP. I think it will be track dependant where a C5 in T1 trim will clearly beat a C5 in T1-LP trim. The reason for T1-LP was to allow something very similar to what we had in 2012 T1 before the formula change and allow a C5 to run T1 and T2 in the same weekend with just a restrictor and ballast change trackside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    IMO the spec vette is like the c5 run as T1-LP for limited prep which gets more HP and less weight to make it more competitive in T1 which allows wings and splitter in full T1 trim. The spec vette on equal tires which is legal in T1 (hoohooA7) should be faster than C5 speced as T1-LP. I think it will be track dependant where a C5 in T1 trim will clearly beat a C5 in T1-LP trim. The reason for T1-LP was to allow something very similar to what we had in 2012 T1 before the formula change and allow a C5 to run T1 and T2 in the same weekend with just a restrictor and ballast change trackside.
    Yes, Carl pretty much nailed it. A Spec Corvette with A7s on it will run in T1 as a LP car. LP cars don't have the wing and splitter. I figure and LP car will have the advantage and run faster at a track like ACS where it is about high speed and low drag, but at a track like WSIR with a lot of time spent in fast turns the winged version will have the advantage. Basically changing tires is from Falken 615K+ in Spec Corvette to Hoosier A7s for SCCA T1 racing. Throw in a restrictor plate and go to 295 tires from 315s, and you can race T2 (add some ballast) the same weekend.
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    Also with the C5 vette platform you can be at the lowest near streetcar prep level SCCA T2 and just add gas and oil and still be 160mph at our fastest track Daytona. You can modify in SCCA and continue to prep and run T2, T1-LP, T1, GT2, and GT1 and go as fast as your right foot will let you. Then figure out what the C5 can do in NASA and add in SpecCorvette and the C5 platform is the American Miata with good starting horsepower.
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    Yeah, the more I learn about SpecCorvette, the more I like it.

    I will most likely put my 2012 Mustang Boss 302 up for sale soon. Great car, but I never drive it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    Spec Corvette also crosses over to SCCA T1 and NASA ST2/3.
    Oli - Are you saying that a Spec Corvette with a tire change (like A7s) would be competitive in NASA ST2/3 or are you saying you could do a "crossover build" and convert a Spec Corvette into a NASA ST2/3 car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grabbed_Crow_Mobe View Post
    Oli - Are you saying that a Spec Corvette with a tire change (like A7s) would be competitive in NASA ST2/3 or are you saying you could do a "crossover build" and convert a Spec Corvette into a NASA ST2/3 car?
    Spec Corvette is a tire change away from SCCA T1 LP. A full build for NASA ST2 on most tracks would include a wing and splitter. As I recall ST3 now penalizes aero so a horsepower limitation would put Spec Corvette straight into that class with Hoosier A7s.
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    Quick question on the Spec Corvette: For a 220 lb driver (I know, I'm slowly losing weight), how hard is it to get the weight down to 3250 lbs in these cars if the doors aren't gutted? I'm assuming the air conditioning is worth about 40 lbs or so.

    Also, does the Pierce Motorsports cage allow for a passenger seat?
    Last edited by MikeColangelo; 08-24-2017 at 06:53 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    Quick question on the Spec Corvette: For a 220 lb driver (I know, I'm slowly losing weight), how hard is it to get the weight down to 3250 lbs in these cars if the doors aren't gutted?

    Also, does the Pierce Motorsports cage allow for a passenger seat?
    For maixum room for a passenger seat I suggest you have him relocate the main hoop diagonal. My GT2 car allows the passenger seat to go all the way back. The standard Pierce set-up requires the seat to be in the forward position.

    As far as weight goes at 220 lbs, you should be able to get to 3250 without major weight reduction efforts. It is easiest in a Z06 with the door windows and panels removed. A bit harder in the couple with door glass.
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    PS. My GT2 car can make 3250, but it does not have crazy weight savings work either. Door panels and windows are gone, but it has two fire systems, an additional five gallon fuel cell so I can do 100 miles in Trans Am, big oil coolers with fans, wing, splitter, shock reservoirs and some other stuff that I can remove for a few pounds.

    I weigh about 190.
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    I say easy peasy. I made the previous 3180lbs in 2012 T1 trim with electric windows, dash pad, HUD, and working A/C + gutted interior. I have a 04 Z06 which has the lighter oem CF hood which is worth 12lbs IIRC? I also have full 120 wall 1.75" dom tubing one spec up from required and very heavy aluminum custom full containment seat. I think 3250lbs should be a breeze.
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