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NASA 2011 SSM Rules


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#1
john mueller

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NASA has published their SSM rules for 2011.

http://www.nasaprora...miata_rules.pdf

There are a few changes from last season:

  • 3. It is no longer required to have engines sealed but you must conform to a maximum of 106hp and 102ft/lbs. (Dyno instructions are in section 4 of the rule document)
  • 3.1.4.4. Adjustable Fuel Pressure regulators may be used.
  • 3.1.6.1. Catalytic converter may be removed and replaced with the replacement pipe part # 0000-06-5423. All other exhaust components shall remain OEM stock. The installation of Mazda Motorsports exhaust part #0000-06-5425 (Mazda Comp Exhaust) is allowed.
  • 3.1.8.5. The Upper Radiator Seal, part # NA75-50-OK7A is allowed. Racer tape or similarand insulating foam strips may be used to seal gaps between radiator, radiator core support, and plastic under-tray. Racer tape or similar may also be used in lieu of, or in conjunction with, seal plate to seal the top of the core support.
  • 3.1.11.5. It is permitted to use the “R” model tie rod ends part # N021-32-280A
  • 3.1.11.6. Steering rack may be shimmed between the rack and subframe at its two mounting locations. Each rack mount utilizes two bolts; both bolts must pass through each shim at that location. Shims must be the same dimensions and be made from aluminum or steel. Total thickness of shims can not exceed 12.70mm (0.50 inch) in thinness/width.
  • 3.1.21.2. Steering lock mechanisms must be removed or disabled.

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#2
Connie 62

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I wish NASA would rename the class. This isn't SSM.

#3
Rob Burgoon

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I wish NASA would rename the class. This isn't SSM.


And what is? That silly class that allows 1.8s?
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#4
Scott Krzastek

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I wish NASA would rename the class. This isn't SSM.


Agreed. No real difference from SM.......

#5
Rob Burgoon

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Agreed. No real difference from SM.......


Except for the no 1.8L allowed part.
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations!

#6
AJElise

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I think what Jim and Scott are referring to is, why did the rules need to change for SSM this year? They were fine in 2009 and 2010. Isn't stable rules and minimal modifications the idea of this class, especially since there is only 1 legal model? There was no need for adjustable fuel pressure regulators, FC bumpstops (legal in NASA SSM last year too), and shimming steering racks.

I do like NASA because it is 1.6L only. I also like the new engine horsepower/torque rules.

No matter, I'll be out there running SSM with NASA. Saving up my pennies to come out to Mid-Ohio this fall so hope to get a good SSM group showing.
AJ
#163 SSM
2010 NASA MA Rookie of the Year

#7
Rob Burgoon

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I think what Jim and Scott are referring to is, why did the rules need to change for SSM this year? They were fine in 2009 and 2010. Isn't stable rules and minimal modifications the idea of this class, especially since there is only 1 legal model? There was no need for adjustable fuel pressure regulators, FC bumpstops (legal in NASA SSM last year too), and shimming steering racks.

I do like NASA because it is 1.6L only. I also like the new engine horsepower/torque rules.

No matter, I'll be out there running SSM with NASA. Saving up my pennies to come out to Mid-Ohio this fall so hope to get a good SSM group showing.


The reason is probably that the class is struggling and John wants to try to "cross pollinate". I hear you though, the optional stuff is certainly a compromise.

However, the SCCA "SSM" class, however well subscribed it may be, is still a joke in my eyes simply because it allows 1.8s. Should be called SM05 or whatever year they froze the rules at.
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#8
john mueller

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I & NASA understand and mostly agree with the "SSM purists" on keeping SSMs rules distinctly different from SM. However for some reason NASA SSM has only been somewhat successful in the Mid-Atlantic Region... Which is great, but begs the question: Why does it work there and nowhere else?

Realizing the rules were not inclusive enough to already built cars, NASA decided to try something while still allowing established cars to remain competitive (by leveling the field with a HP & TQ cap). ie. I'll need to remove my adjustable fuel pressure regulator when I run SSM to make the 106hp cap (which I plan to do at Mid-Ohio 2011 Nats if anyone cares).

As Rob pointed out, NASA is allowing some minor SM parts as options to allow those 1.6 drivers who have been thinking about trying SSM the ability to do so without significant investment (time & money) in car prep. The idea is to give those 1.6 drivers who don't have (or believe in) a 'pro motor' a place to compete for wins.

Big thanks in advance to drivers like AJ who are willing to give it a shot.
We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#9
Connie 62

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However, the SCCA "SSM" class, however well subscribed it may be, is still a joke in my eyes simply because it allows 1.8s. Should be called SM05 or whatever year they froze the rules at.

Rob,
SCCA SSM does include the 1.8L cars, but the minimum weight and restrictor plate make even the best 1.8L cars able only to get top 10 finishes. Over the years the 1.8L cars have just about disappeared in WDC. Out of a 45 car field (that's right 45 SSM cars entered in every MARRS race) only 1 or 2 are 1.8L cars. Eventually I'd like to write them out of the class.
NASA had a clean sheet of paper when they wrote the rules. They excluded the 1.8L and that was a smart move. Nothing else that they've done with the rules since then has been smart. And this year they've reached a new low.
I expect the SSM cars in NASA would have come from SCCA SSM drivers who want to test the NASA waters. But not with the new rules. I also doubt we'll get any SM cars from NASA (or from SCCA SM). That kinda makes the NASA rules a class killer.

Jim Thill
#17 SSM NASA
#11 SSM SCCA

#10
john mueller

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I expect the SSM cars in NASA would have come from SCCA SSM drivers who want to test the NASA waters. But not with the new rules. I also doubt we'll get any SM cars from NASA (or from SCCA SM). That kinda makes the NASA rules a class killer.


Jim;
I truly am not trying to be cheeky, I really want to understand... Could you or someone help me understanding how a 1.6 held to 106hp & 102tq WITHOUT an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, FC bumpstops, and shimmed steering rack is at a significant disadvantage than one with all the optional stuff? Or, is it more the departure from concept/ideals of SSM the problem?

Again, I just want to understand so I can effectively communicate it upward.
We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#11
Scott Krzastek

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Could you or someone help me understanding how a 1.6 held to 106hp & 102tq WITHOUT an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, FC bumpstops, and shimmed steering rack is at a significant disadvantage than one with all the optional stuff? Or, is it more the departure from concept/ideals of SSM the problem?

Again, I just want to understand so I can effectively communicate it upward.


It's my understanding that SSM is supposed to be the "keep the cars basic and simple" class, which is one of the main reasons that I have an SSM car. There shouldn't be any "optional" parts. By getting rid of the required sealing, it is now too easy to cheat, unless everyone is taken straight from the track to the dyno. There is no other way to police it. At least with the seal, the cars are supposed to be at the set hp/tq figure. There was nothing wrong with the SSM rules as they where previously written.

#12
Connie 62

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Scott, I agreed with the NASA decision to stop sealing cars. That's because in NASA Mid-Atlantic we have a Dynojet at the track for all events. And yes, we will take cars directly from the track to the dyno after qualifications and races. You see, we have a no-nonsense SSM Mid-Atlantic manager...me! I've been around SM and SSM for about 10 years now. If you're cheating, I'll catch you. NASA Mid-Atlantic will be a level playing field for all. I plan on using the same car I use for SCCA. That means it won't have 99 shock hats, a fuel pressure regulator, or shimmed steering rack. I hope all the other SSM competitors will show up with the same package.

John, I'm not new to this game. I built WDC SCCA SSM to the biggest regional class in the nation. Averaging 45 cars per event. It took 4 years but drivers came to realize that they could have just as much fun even though they were 0.7 second a lap slower than an SM. They come because the rules are stable, economy minded, and enforced. We spec cheap parts. When drivers started showing up with $150 Nology plug wires, we speced the stock NGK. We restict timing to 16 degrees to minimize the chance of engine damage. The MazdaSpeed exhaust is the biggest bargain in the racing universe and we mandate it. Use the stock exhaust if you must, but you won't make 106HP. I pleaded with Jason Holland not to include the 99 shock hats in the original rules package. But he thought that there would be a synergy between SCCA ATL and NASA SE. It didn't happen. And it won't happen with the new NASA SSM package for the reasons I stated above. Our top 10 cars in a WDC MARRS race are separated by tenths of a second. If we gave any one of those guys a NASA rules car, they would run away from the field.

And where did the 106HP number come from? After dyno testing hundreds of cars we realized that bone stock crate motors and a lot of untouched street motors could make that number. Spend money if you want, but we'd just have to detune the car, and if you detune it too much it turns into a dog even though its peak HP was 106.

So lets say we get 15-20 SSM cars at NASA Mid-Atlantic events, (we won't)none of them will be going to Mid-Ohio because they won't want to spend $1000 to make the car competitive. Now, NASA Mid-Atlantic has a chance of making it a successful class if everyone agrees to show up without any of the "optional" components. But when the first guy comes in with a car max prepped to NASA rules, it's over, the class will die.

Jim Thill
#17 SSM NASA
#11 SSM SCCA
#3 ITA SCCA

#13
Scott Krzastek

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Scott, I agreed with the NASA decision to stop sealing cars. That's because in NASA Mid-Atlantic we have a Dynojet at the track for all events. And yes, we will take cars directly from the track to the dyno after qualifications and races. You see, we have a no-nonsense SSM Mid-Atlantic manager...me!


Awesome! That's great to hear Jim. At least in the Mid-Atlantic region we will all be on the same page.



And where did the 106HP number come from? After dyno testing hundreds of cars we realized that bone stock crate motors and a lot of untouched street motors could make that number.


My brand new crate motor just put down 97hp, but that's another story and hopefully it gets better......

Edited by skrzastek, 02-09-2011 08:43 PM.


#14
AJElise

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You see, we have a no-nonsense SSM Mid-Atlantic manager...me!


Who is this guy? Kind of pushy! :D

We do have a great group here in Mid-Atlantic, usually 6-10 SSM cars per race and 15-20 SM's. I know the consistency between MARRS and NASA rules is the reason for the # of SSM cars.

John, you should fly out here for a race weekend like HyperFest; nice SSM rental cars right at the track. 5,000 + spectators, WV girls and a Daisy Duke Contest!

If we have a good # of cars registered for Nationals to have a class, I may upgrade to NASA SSM spec prior to Mid-Ohio in Sept (= run SM in my region and any races with the other Club). Just would rather spend that $ on tires and buying a few rounds at Bucks Tavern (Mid Ohio).

Until then, I just need to figure out how to beat Jim!

-AJ-
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#15
Protech Racing

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I like the SSm class, but it should be SSM, no changes. I have an old 1.6 that we are looking to rebuild. The SSM was perfect .
The low SSM car count in FL. is not going to change. Soon.
The SM rules are kinda of joke here also.
SRF is the way to go for true parity, I guess.
MM

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#16
LeahEpting

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You see, we have a no-nonsense SSM Mid-Atlantic manager...me! I've been around SM and SSM for about 10 years now. If you're cheating, I'll catch you.


<3 Don't ever change. :)

Yeah, it's a little less encouraging for crossover to know that my WDC prepared and sealed SSM is not going to be up to "spec" for a hybridized form of SSM in NASA. Shame since this was the year I was thinking about making that crossover.
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#17
Rob Burgoon

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<3 Don't ever change. :)

Yeah, it's a little less encouraging for crossover to know that my WDC prepared and sealed SSM is not going to be up to "spec" for a hybridized form of SSM in NASA. Shame since this was the year I was thinking about making that crossover.



Over a few parts that aren't going to make you much faster? What I hear is "waaaaaaaaah, I can't compete even if I have nearly the same same car but not quite, waaaaaaaaah."
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#18
Brandon

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Over the years the 1.8L cars have just about disappeared in WDC. Out of a 45 car field (that's right 45 SSM cars entered in every MARRS race) only 1 or 2 are 1.8L cars. Eventually I'd like to write them out of the class.

Jim Thill
#17 SSM NASA
#11 SSM SCCA

Caution: thread hijack (and I apologize in advance for doing so)

Jim,
I'm not trying to publicly pick a fight with you - it's a fruitless endeavor when done on the Internet - but publicly stating such an attitude against the 1.8 NA cars does a great disservice towards any sort of inter-regional participation here in the NEDIV of the SCCA (let alone NASA). Couple this with a direct refutation of your assertion on the total numbers of cars, least of all the number of 1.8 cars in "...every MARRS race.." as disingenuous leaves you with little credibility other than being "NASA-MA SSM Chairman".

I participated in two MARRS races last year (8 races total NEDIV-wide for 2010) and can assure you outside of the WDC region there are a large number of 1.8 cars running races labeled as "SSM". Now, whether you choose to accept the ruleset they're prepared to as being "SSM" or not (primarily around sealing and other minor parts allowances - shock hats & tie rod ends seem to be the biggies), you're alienating a potential group of participants solely to, in my opinion, maintain your sandbox there at Summit as your own.

I don't have any qualms with that approach (since I'm only in my second season this year and the 2 complementary races series (Pro-IT & NJRRS) I'm focusing on for 2011 don't have any visits to SP) which may suit you better in the end anyway. Point in fact: after the qualifying session in October's MARRS11 event, without even an introduction from you, your first words to me were "Pop your hood." I obliged without question but I knew exactly what you were looking for (sealing, plug wires, plate, intake) to see if I was playing nicely in your sandbox which I was (apart from being sealed) TYVM. You then went on to lecture me about "...to continue to participate in MARRS events you'll need to get sealed..." I may have been a rookie but I'm still an adult and do understand how series points are handed out.

This approach and attitude of "WDC SSM Rules" versus everyone else's seems to the biggest issue to potentially revise and maintain a "NEDIV SSM Committee". I was hoping to do something with that this offseason (in conjunction with Jerry Rigoli) but after speaking with some folks who I thought might make good participants I found willingness waning with the primary reason the ever-pervasive "WDC SSM Rules works for us" mindset. Shift that mindset and the single biggest barrier to agreeing on a common ruleset might go away...

*shrug*
I wish we had coherent rules across the entire NE (SCCA & NASA combined) but we don't.
Apart from the NASA rules disallowing the NA1.8 I'd have to say theirs would be a better basis for SCCA's "NEDIV SSM Rules" ultimately.
I can dream, can't I?

Thanks for reading,
Brandon
#48SSM
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#19
wreckerboy

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Brandon -

Let me premise this by saying that I am not here to defend Jim Thill, or his actions, or even his approach to you at MARRS XI. I will even agree with you that there are probably more than two 1.8 cars competing there, though I have never done an actual count. I will defend the "WDC SCCA SSM Rules" because they work. The number of participants present every weekend is proof of that. They work precisely because of things like you observed in impound and that I hope Chris Windsor continues as this year’s class rep (in tone if not in tenor).

Just like you, I live in NJ, and have a number of places available to me to race that are a lot closer than Summit Point. When I chose to go Miata racing WDCR and their SSM program won out for me going away because I like the mentality of the rule set. Is it perfect? Of course it isn’t. But it's close enough to what I think Spec Miata shoud be for me to make the 500 mile round trip to race there multiple times per year. A large number of people are voting with their entry dollars in favor of that “WDC mindset” and if my experience is any indicator, that is self-fulfilling - one of the reasons I race there is because of the large fields.

Quite frankly, in light of that, I cannot see what all the fuss is about. When this came up a few years ago I believe it was Mike Collins* who said something along the lines of "WDCR was listening to what its membership wanted and providing them with exactly that." Maybe people in other parts of the division don’t want that rule set, and that’s cool too. But it works for us. Why change? If I run SSM elsewhere, I'll either accept being at a competitive disadvantage, or change the car to meet that ruleset.

*Please correct if wrong.

Rob Myles | "I didn't lose, I got out-painted!"
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#20
AJElise

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Leah,
No worries, your car will be up to snuff. There is no hybrid needed to run SSM in NASA Mid-Atlantic. We ALL run MARRS SCCA SSM legal. We did at VIR last month, will this month and will be at Summit Point next month. The Dyno procedure set for NASA is meant to give the same comparable HP numbers you should get from Ed York or Bret. The only difference is you have to weigh 2300# min and have to be a 1.6L to be eligible for contingency.

As far as a 1.8L, you just enter in SM with NASA. We all run in the same race group and start group anyways (we have split starts for PT and SM-SSM).

Brandon,
Looking forward to another fun battle with you this year. It's your turn to beat me by 1/8 car at the finish line at NJMP this year! That was fun and wish my camera was working.

Rob,
Hope to race with you this year. Been watching your video posts, thanks for the SP tips; I hope I can use them on Jim this year.

-AJ-
AJ
#163 SSM
2010 NASA MA Rookie of the Year




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