I race, and will still race my '95 next year in SM. Why? Because it's a manly man's car.
It doesn't have the tweaking potential of a 1.6 with intake and AFM, and it doesn't have the power potential of a 99+ so you have to drive it like you stole it. It's heavier than the 1.6 so cornering with them, you literally have to hold onto the back end by clenching the seat with your butt cheeks. It also gets eaten alive at the top end by...well by anything else so it improves the defensive game and you get lots of chances to ask, "Are we really going to do this two wide?"
The heavier car with the earlier suspension also allows you to use up your tires faster than anyone else. While others are raving about the longevity of the SM7, I have the self satisfaction of knowing I finished the race with cords showing.
With the lower rev limiter than any other year, it greatly improves your shifting skills too. When others describe how they're just hitting the rev limiter before a certain corner, I know I was up a gear 3 corners back and working the stick shift like a Tijuana hooker in every brake zone. That also allows you to master your transmission replacement skills. I have a whole farm of dead transmissions out back. I can set them all up in formation and pretend I'm ruling over them like my personal army of minions.
None of the parts are interchangeable with any other car so you have to learn self-reliance like a homesteader in the Yukon. You can't just borrow a spare anything from everyone else in the paddock. You either have to bring one, find one within a 200 mile radius, or whittle one out of the nearest tree.
I'll knock some dents out for next year, make it look a little prettier (or at least have body panels of the same color), and turn a bolt or two to make it faster. Aside from that, you girls can drive your nimble 1.6's or your overdog 99+ cars. I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that the only thing that makes the #88 fast is the driver.
P.S. What the heck does it take to get my checkered flag? Do the admins even monitor their mail box. I earned that dammit.