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11/27/17 09:37 AM
A new class idea?
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#14226 - 11/03/17 01:18 AM A new class idea?
dcb Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 1009
The two most successful SCCA classes in terms of entrants at the moment are Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford. While I'm sure that racing at the front of these classes is great fun, watching them is dull in the extreme. Two reasons come to mind, the first is that all the cars sound exactly the same - that was part of the plan. And the second reason is that they all look the same.... 'cause they are.

The competitors in these classes seem to try to create some kind of unique look through complex paint and graphic schemes, but in the case of SRF I've got a new plan. Remember Dwarf cars, or Legends? Well how about a class where you can re-body all the aging SRF cars as classic LeMans cars of the fifties. There could be a choice of a Testa Rosa, D and C Jag, Aston DBR and???. And then allow individually designed headers so that the cars would sound uniquely different.

Yea, I know that some would have an aero advantage or something, but so what, they'd look a lot better and be a ton more fun to watch

On another note, does it make sense to everyone that vintage groups are allowing Miata's from the 90's, but don't allow other SCCA modified cars from the same years?... just a thought.

Dave Brown

#14228 - 11/03/17 07:56 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Doug Meis Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 394
Loc: NC
That idea occurred to me back when the Legends cars first came out. My thought was just to put the old bodies on the legends cars themselves but they would fit much better on SRFs.

So I posted this on a different thread but my timing was spot on - the "what is vintage racing" argument is ripe for winter discussion:

All of this touches on that eternal question that keeps the tiny flicker of a flame that is this forum alive - what is "vintage racing"? That is the bigger question. It is also a moving target. Does it include Spec Miatas? what about other "spec" series racers? BMW E30 & E46? other Improved Touring cars? SCCA GT and Prod cars post 1972? How old should a sports racer or Formula car be for "vintage" racing?

Very few events can draw full fields of Pre-1972 production cars, sports racers and Formula cars. Lord March can pull it off at Goodwood (all pre-1967, I believe?). Last time I checked, Lord March is not putting on any events in the US.

So, now that we are on the cusp of daylight savings time, we can entertain ourselves during the long winter nights with another round of "what is vintage racing" Shall we start a new thread?

#14229 - 11/03/17 09:18 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Firebird Offline

Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 317

As you know I'm into the Pony cars, they are my passion, and my ideas for Pony cars is well known. Unfortunately the major sanctions aren't too keen on my ideas so we're left with a handful of dedicated guys running where and when we can in fairly evenly matched but distinctly different cars.

The Australian Trans Am series is extremely popular, and I believe it's because their rules are simpler, more cost effective, and more evenly applied than the sanctioned Pony car classes here. It's hard to fathom a group half a world away runs a better Pony car class than we in the US can. They limit how many sticker tires you can run, require rev chips, all cars must run on 94 octane with a max of 11:1 compression. Pretty simple.

For the major sanctions I'd like to see a similar set of rules for three classes at basically 5 liter, 6 liter and 7 liter. If you see a Pony car with an AS or BP on it these days, it's not even close to what was back in the day, so stop trying to put on airs.
Original Pony cars back in the day might have pumped out 450 hp at 7000 rpm. These days add several hundred to the HP and a few thousand to the RPM for the front runners, and that cost a lot of money.
Then add in multiple sets of tires at $1200 a set, (Pony cars eat Bias Tires), and ~4 miles a gallon at $10 a gallon for race fuel.

Our cars are expensive to run as is, but I've seen a lot of guys drop out due to the unlimited HP and money now allowed in the Pony car ranks. Even with my modifications I can't keep up with their 9000+ rpm HP and new tires every race.

I'm working on a new pump gas engine now, and while it won't compete with the big dogs it will afford me to run more often.
At our level it's a passion and a hobby not a career, and I'd just like to see an affordable and level playing field to actually race in, which in turn might bring some guys back.
Right now it's a few big team regulars running in the top at every event, the rest of us aren't really racing much, we're basically running track days in old cars, and while it's still fun, it gets old.

Gordon Slingerland

#14230 - 11/03/17 11:52 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Doug Meis Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 394
Loc: NC

I agree in concept with your thoughts on the Pony Cars and isn't that at least part of the idea of the "Outlaw" rules? The p/w limitations to discourage spending the big bucks for the big power?

A lot of the restrictions that would try to level the playing field require equipment and manpower to police - a luxury that few vintage groups can afford.

It is really hard to create limited, equal classes without going over to either a complete "spec" class like Miatas, BMW E30/46, Spec Racer Fords or spec components like complete engines (FF, FV).

Mostly it is hard to regulate budgets. Without spec cars and major components, the haves will find a way to spend the budget on something to go faster than the have-nots.

#14269 - 11/15/17 08:16 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Firebird Offline

Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 317
Now this is Pony car racing. Car count in the teens, even performances.



On topic, I noticed most of the small bore fields are even, SR's, FF's etc... why can't the Pony cars be done the same way? I know it's not simple, but in a way it is.
At present in the main sanctions Pony car classes it's the money up front and everyone else, mainly due to unlimited engine and tire budgets.
I remember not long ago it wasn't that way, rev chips were required which evened the field, but that Pony has left the barn, pun intended.

We do like our Outlaw class rules, Lee and I have totally different cars but we ran nose to tail for 12 laps Saturday, separated by only 1.7 seconds at the end.
All through the race and at the end it was a Mustang, Firebird, Sunbeam and Jag, all tightly grouped the entire race. Nice mix of makes and dead even the entire race.
That was a very-very fun race to be in. Hope it looked as good to watch as well.

Great thanks to all the VDCA staff that put it on.

Edited by Firebird (11/15/17 03:15 PM)
Gordon Slingerland

#14272 - 11/16/17 07:44 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Doug Meis Offline

Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 394
Loc: NC
If you wanted to emulate FFs and S2000 for evenly matched cars, mandate a particular crate motor (maybe pick a couple for Ford and GM) and a min. weight. That's the key to the parity and relative low cost of those classes.

It's not far off of what you have now with the OV rules so I don't know if it's even necessary. glad you had a good time at RA. I hope we can do it again next year in the same calendar spot since we are due a better weather weekend.

#14276 - 11/17/17 08:36 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
Firebird Offline

Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 317
Somehow, somewhere, our Pony car classes in the US lost its way.

I'd like to see a major sanction embrace a new (evenly matched) Pony Car race series, either using the OVR concept or by using the 5 liter, 6 liter and 7 liter classes. I wouldn't mandate a crate motor since a cubic inch, compression ratio limit and rev limit chips will somewhat equal the engines out. 8000-9000+ rpm engines should not exist in the Pony car classes.

Gr A. The 5 liter class gets the 302's into it, lots of those around. 7500 chip
Gr B. The 6 liter gets the very standard 350 engines into it or small block strokers. 7200 chip
Gr C. The 7 liter gets the 427-428's into it for brands that don’t have smaller competitive engines, or those that just like the big cubes. 7000 chip
Allow .060 overbore in all of them and you have some pretty standard lower cost engines across the board, and pump gas cuts cost, as does tire limits.

I understand the real pedigree historic cars do need their safe place, and to keep their real class designations, but the majority of Pony cars are either recent builds or of little historical value. Let's actually race them, in a series, like they were meant to be. The Aussie’s are building and adding new cars every season and have a growing series, why can’t we here?

Seeing how well the Aussie T/A series does is bitter sweet. Nice to see them do it as the cars are awesome, but a real shame we can't do it here, they’re our own cars and our own style racing for Pete sake.
Gordon Slingerland

#14304 - 11/26/17 09:56 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
V8vairmike Offline

Registered: 05/10/14
Posts: 438
I think NASA use to use a Chassis Dyno and an HP limit to keep everyone in check ??

#14306 - 11/27/17 07:49 AM Re: A new class idea? [Re: dcb]
hoffman900 Offline

Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 543
Loc: New Jersey
There are so many ways to spend a ton of money with any rule set.

Seeing how well the Aussie T/A series does is bitter sweet. Nice to see them do it as the cars are awesome, but a real shame we can't do it here, they’re our own cars and our own style racing for Pete sake.

Those are high dollar builds, too. They just have more highly prepped cars and more drivers with equal talent, so the racing is tighter, but close racing doesn't mean cheap.

If you're around racing long enough, you'll realize that no matter what the rules are, the same prep shops and drivers are going to win.


Carl Jensen R.I.P. 1943-2017
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