I look forward to watching this race on SpeedTV. So, within the current rules set, which is the best chassis to have in terms of competitiveness? Mazda2, Fit, Mini, Rio?
Michael, we'll have to see what we changes in the off-season. Rumor is that there will be adjustments for the Mazda and Mini.
As it stands, I think any car can win with the right team, prep and a little luck on track. From our World Challenge, Majors and Run-offs experience this year:
We chose the Mini for its independent rear suspension and stout braking package. You have to nail the set-up, maximize the braking advantage and hit your apexes and the car will perform for you. The Mini is 2570 or 2600 pounds (depending on the year).
The Mazda2 is fast with a flashed computer and raised rev limiter that gives a wider power band in third gear that rises about 800 RPM above the competition. The Mazda is nimble and light at 2350 pounds, so it's easier on tires, but still doesn't brake quite as well as the Mini.
The Honda seems very good everywhere, but isn't the class leader in power, handling or braking. It just does all of these things very well and has great support from Honda.
We've seen the Ford perform well in the hands of a very experienced driver at Lime Rock. They haven't managed to muster a team effort on the track. Dance partners are critical in this class, at least to share set-up and data, so manufacturer drivers need to cooperate for the best results. At Road America, the lone Ford seemed to have plenty of power and cornering ability...it looked smooth.
Chevrolet designed a custom shock package for the Sonic that worked well in WC. The cars showed up late in the season and I don't think they are completely sorted. This car should have very good power.
I've only seen one KIA this year, but we are VERY intrigued by the power and four wheel disc brakes on this one. It's probably the most expensive donor car out there, but it has the potential to be top B-Spec car.
Fiat - needs help, but its already been given a lot of help including headers, We haven't seen a strong team result yet this year.
Nissan Versa? Toyota Yaris? Not sure about these. Did I forget someone?