+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: TrackHq Learn Me Series: Learn me about Spec Racer Fords!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    769
    Liked
    237 times

    Default TrackHq Learn Me Series: Learn me about Spec Racer Fords!

    I've always wanted to drive and race an SRF. I'm thinking aout renting one for a few races next year. What can you guys tell me about these cars? How do they compare against Spec Miatas in terms of handling, performance, and drivability? How about safety?

    I currently race a Spec Miata so that's my yardstick.

    P.S., I'm not planning on leaving Spec Miata, I just want to drive a different race car.
    Last edited by MikeColangelo; 10-23-2013 at 07:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6,853
    Liked
    1429 times

    Default

    Engine in the back, expect twitchy butt handling. Also, you stop debris with your face. Bring a helmet with downforce.

  3. #3
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    2,172
    Liked
    546 times

    Default

    Next year is the last year of the current engine spec, which has been around since 1994. The new 1.6's you'll see going forward will be even more fun, since they weigh 50 pounds less (which helps with balance) and make 30hp more -- the early demos have shown that the car will be 3-4 seconds a lap faster post-conversion (so you'll be seeing lots of sub-2 minute laps at Thunderhill, for example)

    Compared to a Spec Miata, it's going to be a lot quicker in the corners (with a 220 pound driver most cars can hit the 1685lb. minimum weight without an issue), and, for lack of a better term, drives "like a race car." You are down low, and the reactions to input are very quick. Helmet off in the paddock, you'll swear it is falling apart with all the clanking and banging The rear bias with the current engine is significant, as Rob alluded to, so weight transfer is critical. You'll find that compared to most cars you'll be getting most of your braking done early and relatively straight and then hammering the throttle to use weight to pin the tail of the car. With low power right now, you can treat the throttle much more like an on/off switch.

    Most tracks will be driven in 3rd and 4th (Thunderhill, for example, until you are super-fast, and even then half the top guys don't use 5th). Laguna and Sears use 2nd for turn 11 (I just noticed that it's the same turn number ). ACS obviously uses 5th a lot. Buttonwillow for the non-A configuration can use 2nd running CCW, and 5th if you are running the longer straightaways.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    10,979
    Liked
    1477 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    I've always wanted to drive and race an SRF. I'm thinking aout renting one for a few races next year. What can you guys tell me about these cars? How do they compare against Spec Miatas in terms of handling, performance, and drivability? How about safety?

    I currently race a Spec Miata so that's my yardstick.

    P.S., I'm not planning on leaving Spec Miata, I just want to drive a different race car.
    I have a Formula Mazda for sale . . .

    Last edited by Richard EVO; 10-23-2013 at 11:27 AM.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

  5. #5
    LongWinded National Champ Bueller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,748
    Liked
    168 times

    Default

    Im an SM noob and ive driven an SRF once. In 2011 i spoke with some people, and Steve was one of the SRF drivers that gave me feedback. I ended up doing a test day at BRP and rented from Mark Ballengee who runs MBI at the track. Like Steve, Mark was very nice and helpful, so id highly recommend you talk with him also. The SRF i drove that day ran flawlessly, and its probably the most fun ive had at a test day. Mainly because i pretty much ran the entire day (checker to checker), and didnt have to do anything other than that. Mark and his crew did the rest. As far as differences, Steve covered it. The things i remember now...SRFs are faster, lighter, and the slightest steering inputs deliver quick reactions. They feel much more planted and dont have that "floaty" feel that SMs do, but if theres any wind you will feel it big time. And the rear weight bias in noticeable, so if youre not used to it the rear can suddenly step out. And you have to brake in a straight line, if youre off even slightly the rear will start to step out. Youre tucked in a pretty tight space but your head is exposed, so if it rains or theres any debris...youre sol.
    Team Rambling Warrior Poet


    RRE
    Robispec
    Girodisc
    SCM
    APR

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    769
    Liked
    237 times

    Default

    Thanks for the info, guys. Good stuff. I wonder if they'll be more popular once they get the more powerful engine?

  7. #7
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    2,172
    Liked
    546 times

    Default

    It will be interesting to see if the new engine and being "faster" attracts more people. It's still second only to SM within SCCA, and it used to be for Nationals (back when they had those!) it was more popular (but SM won out in Regionals for total numbers). In SFR it continues to have its own run group and fields -- at Laguna, 40 car fields aren't uncommon.

    My guess is that faster won't result in larger fields. The core reasons to race a Spec Racer (sealed parts so you don't ever get the "$40,000 car syndrome", engines that are generally competitive for 3+ years and cost less than $5,000 for rebuilds that are +/- 2hp, etc) aren't really changing. It's more expensive at the entry point than an SM (and you can certainly get a mid-pack SM built for very little) but it pretty much any Spec Racer that's well maintained can run at the pointiest end of any field. So you might find yourself addicted

    Steve

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts