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Congrats to B-Spec Champion Charlie James


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#1
Mike Asselta

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Proud of my partner Charlie for the walk-off win in B-Spec.  This is Team SafeRacer's second national championship (2008 SM) and we couldn't be happier.  Thank you BFG, Sparco, FedEx, Joe Gibbs Driven Oil and Carbotech!

 

B-Spec is a great class, easy to build and very close racing in modern cars!  I hope to see a lot more cars join the field as we need more drafting buddies!

 

SCCA has done a very good job of evening the performance between different models and makes. Teamwork and preparation is critical in this class.

 


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#2
Mike Collins

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Good to see you again! Great job.
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#3
Michael Colangelo

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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?

#4
chris haldeman

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Great job Charlie!!!
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#5
Jim Drago

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Congrats to Charlie James.  I started Sm racing against charlie. Great guy and glad he fulfilled a life long goal of the Runoffs win! You deserve it!

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#6
Cnj

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Absolutely awesome!

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#7
Mike Asselta

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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?


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#8
Michael Colangelo

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Thanks, Mike. Great info!

And congrats to Charlie!

#9
Mike Asselta

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You're welcome Michael.

 

...and I forgot to mention:  Team SafeRacer is now scheduling interviews for manufacturers that wish to have their car showcased next year!  Bring two donor cars and a sack of cash.  :scratchchin:  

 

Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday!

:hugegrin:


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#10
Todd Lamb

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Congrats Charlie!

 

Mike - seems like the Mazda2 is the car to beat!  :hugegrin:


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#11
Tom OPM

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Congrats Charlie, great seeing you and thanks for your support of club racing.


Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#12
Mike Asselta

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Congrats Charlie!

 

Mike - seems like the Mazda2 is the car to beat!  :hugegrin:

Todd - its still the car for ME to beat!  In my own defense, I had all the Mazda2's gapped and was in third place until a Mazda3 spun it in front of me nearly taking me out.  Conspiracy you ask?  YES!  Throw paper! 

 

In all seriousness, the Mazda2 has a ton more grunt (does that even make sense with 98 HP????) in third gear and has a raised rev limiter giving them 800 more RPM to work with. The Mini had to shift on the front hill and mid-carousel, whereas the Mazda could carry third to start/finish and to the carousel exit.  As Tony Kester said, the Mazda gears were perfect at Road America.  Laguna may be another story (who sponsors that track again?).

 

Even with 200 pounds more weight though, the MINI can out brake the Mazda. 

 

There are other manufacturers lurking out there just needing the right effort and team to make it to the front.

 

Obviously the Honda is the overdog if we could just get Joel Lipperini to admit it  :thumbsup:


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#13
Danny Steyn

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Congrats Charlie!


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#14
Charlie James

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Thanks for all of the kind words, we had a decent week and ended it with a really good setup that I was able to keep up front after turn 1.

Thank you to a great teammate in Mike and great crew led by Derek Gresham!

B-Spec is an interesting new class that really rewards momentum driving, so perfect for some additional SM switchovers :)

It was good seeing a lot of familiar faces and meeting some new ones at the 50th Runoffs, hope to see a lot of new faces next year out at Laguna.


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