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Did Anyone Also Consider Spec Racer Ford?

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#21
DavidNJ

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I seriously considered it for my son and for me. But there was no way I would participate in their motor program. The SM program is way better.Couldyuou

 

Could you elaborate on that?

 

Most of the comments I've seen have been in the other direction, that a lot of time and money goes into extracting the last hp or 2 in SM while SRF comes sealed from the factory with the ECU tweaked to make them equal.



#22
Jamz14

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Could you elaborate on that?

 

Most of the comments I've seen have been in the other direction, that a lot of time and money goes into extracting the last hp or 2 in SM while SRF comes sealed from the factory with the ECU tweaked to make them equal.

Sealed engine programs are expensive, do not guarantee equal performance from the sealed units and are an invitation for cheating. Less money and way more certainty come from a non sealed program that is open for inspection at any time and does not require you to send your motor back to the sealing company to be resealed. Furthermore, 1 or 2 HP difference is not the difference between winning and losing. The difference in winning and losing when cars are within 4-5 hp of each other is how that HP is put to the ground through the running gear.

 

My strategy is to invest in a solid motor and spend the rest of the time making the car roll free and loose to take advantage of the moderate power. I take my cue from a class of racing where it is absolutely certain that every entry makes exactly the same power, and you see the difference in winning and losing by how much time was spent improving the rolling resistance........soap box racing


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#23
Danny Steyn

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TWELVE inches to the left and it would be good bye. Watch to the end.

 

There is something to be said for the full cage, just sayin

 


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#24
callumhay

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#25
DavidNJ

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Why were they on the track at the same time? The nose of the SM would easily use the nose of the SRF as a ramp. Note that the SRF was hit by a Miata that didn't see it. There are other videos on the web where production cars on the track with SRFs don't see and crash into the SRFs. The SRF is always the loser. 

 

There was a big debate about this in SRF world a few years ago. In the period where SRF3 was coming soon they seem to feel interest in SRF wained a bit causing them to be grouped with production cars more frequently. It appears that has largely passed. 

But wrecks occur in both classes...which is what drove me into oval track racing where a super late model is less than an SM or SRF, is purpose-built tube frame chassis with great parts at reasonable prices, built like a tank, and in spite of 500hp, less than 3000 lb, 10" wide wheels with 13" wide tires hit maybe 105-110 mph on a 1/3rd mile oval. And I already have the car. The track closed, then reopened...and we are talking about one track.

 

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#26
Wolfgang

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My son, with significant national-level karting experience, and I, a rookie, drove an SRF2 for three years, which I then converted to SRF3 and we drove that for a year. I sold that to get into Showroom Spec Miata, which in the D.C./North Virginia area is now bigger than SM. Going from a kart to the SRF was much more interesting--tight suspension, purpose-built, open cockpit--than a production car. The SRF3 is an awesome car, but it's not in my budget range anymore. What was billed as a $10K DIY engine conversion was more like $15K, with SCCA nickel & diming subsequently necessary add-ons. SCCA is a parts monopoly for SRF: you have to go through your local service rep. for all parts, and even for a head rebuild the whole engine is shipped to Colorado to be fixed, dyno'd, and sealed, like $4K! Transaxles are sealed and a rebuild every 3-4 seasons by a certified tech runs $2500. Ad nauseum. Sorry for the rant! The SMM is forgiving, there's always someone to race, parts are readily available, etc.
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#27
scott sanda

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It is a tough choice. I had the choice of putting my son in one of Dave's rentals, or in a rental SRF gen 2 this year.  SM rental was cheaper, but I already paddock with an SRF, so I ended up buying a Gen 2, with the intent of also running it at Majors and bringing 2 cars to Indy.

 

I think of you Pro/Con the two, it all comes down to preference and feel. Locally here, both groups have big participation, and lots of people willing and able to mentor a beginner.  Closed cockpit is a plus for SM, but really simple crash repair is a plus for SRF.

 

SRF 2 and 3 will literally run 17 heat cycles on a set of tires without any drop off, which I don't think is the case with SM. SRF has more car to car parity than SM since it is so highly controlled, but at the pointy end of SM there is a lot of car to car parity as well just through evolution. Sm is not really "spec" since it is not all single sourced and all the motrs are not turned and adjusted on the same dyno then sealed, but it is very, very close, and does allow a certain amount of tinkering not allowed in SRF.  You can get DQ'd in SRF for the wrong oil filter.....

 

The Gen 3 conversion is 17K. I paid 13K for the Gen 2 I just bought, and it already had pretty much every available upgrade, so I'll be at 30K plus realistically 10 for "stuff", so the number comes in at $40K.

 

What does a true front capable SM cost? probably pretty similar all in.

 

You have plenty of drama BS is both class's, so that is a wash......

 

I will add that Mazda, of all the OE's does provide the best overall support and appreciation for club drivers, and that is a real factor for consideration.

 

SRF is sometimes called Spec wrecker ford, SM is sometimes called Wreck Miata.  I don't think either is true in general, but both class's have their moments. Usually Mid pack and back. Miatas have dents, SRF has duct tape.

 

My advise, if you have the funds: Rent one of each, and go with what suits you better personally.


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#28
Wolfgang

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In The SRF forums, SM is called Spec PiƱata. I've seen more frequent and worse wrecks in SRF.

#29
Danica Davison

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And we call them Spec Wrecker Fords


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#30
Mike Colangelo

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SRF3 (the recently updated SRF) seems like a great class.  These cars a notably faster than both SM and SRF2 cars. 

 

The biggest drawback I see with SRF3 is the cost of entry.  Something on the order of $30K+ for a good SRF3.  But it now has a modern engine and is a true spec class, unlike SM.



#31
Mark

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30k+ easy. Great resale value though so value is retained when it comes time to exit.


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#32
DavidNJ

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SRF3 (the recently updated SRF) seems like a great class.  These cars a notably faster than both SM and SRF2 cars. 

 

The biggest drawback I see with SRF3 is the cost of entry.  Something on the order of $30K+ for a good SRF3.  But it now has a modern engine and is a true spec class, unlike SM.

 

However, it still has a frame and safety equipment from 1983...and really looking like a late 1970s Formula Ford. Driver's often sit pretty high up and proud of the cage with the roll hoop not that far above. The current containment-like head restraint has no shoulder restraint. It is also fixed to the car, requiring the driver to move forward and twist to get out; in current formula cars they pop in and out letting the driver have relatively easy access. They have just introduced a wider fiberglass seat designed to be used with a driver specific foam liner which is common in formula cars (although, I believe most have carbon fiber seat shells).

Adjusted for inflation, the original $10k price would be $17.5k. It is now over $42k; however, competitive Spec Miatas aren't cheap either. Crash damage is often less than Spec Miata, although those huge 1970s style fiberglass body panels (designed to look like a 1967/68 sports racer) are expensive and usually patched. Resale value as a percent of purchase price also seems better. 

30k+ easy. Great resale value though so value is retained when it comes time to exit.

 

Will that always be the case? How long can a car with a body designed to look like a 50 year old race car, a chassis similar to a 40 year old race car, be an attractive racing solution? Are there more or fewer races for Spec Racer Fords? Are the fields bigger or smaller?

And we call them Spec Wrecker Fords

 

And what do your call Spec Miata? Spec Bumper Car? From my analysis, the Spec Miata seems to have closer competition (measured as cars within 2 seconds of the pole) than Spec Racer Ford.



#33
Wolfgang

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The newish Ford Racing engine is nice, for sure. The 40-odd hp increase and 50-lb weight loss in the rear totally changed the car's dynamics. The engine is the only modern part of the car, though. As noted above, there were no improvements toward crash protection. The transaxle is getting old and parts for rebuilds will be hard to get, probably another upgrade in the future. Anyone interested in SFR3--go for it! But talk over operating costs with a CSR beforehand and look at safety carefully.

#34
ajcjr

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Good read here. I sold my SRF3 last year and been thinking of coming back to road racing just not sure which car. One pro i see with the SM is the different classes you can run the same weekend and different organizations you can run with as well. I thought the SRF was a fun car, great beginner car and the SRF3 gave it a little more power. I did have concerns with more speed how the chassis would hold up but i have to say they are built like tanks. Im not sure which way i will be going but SM is on my list.



#35
Danica Davison

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Good read here. I sold my SRF3 last year and been thinking of coming back to road racing just not sure which car. One pro i see with the SM is the different classes you can run the same weekend and different organizations you can run with as well. I thought the SRF was a fun car, great beginner car and the SRF3 gave it a little more power. I did have concerns with more speed how the chassis would hold up but i have to say they are built like tanks. Im not sure which way i will be going but SM is on my list.

 

The answer is always Miata!

 

Honestly though, SM is the way to go in my opinion.  The racing is great no matter where you are in the pack. You have a bunch of  great guys that are willing to lend you parts, help you out, and teach you new things.  Also, being able to run multiple classes is a big plus.  I think one of the bigger differences between SM and SRF/3 is safety.  If you get in a bad wreck, you will be in a LOT better shape in a Spec Miata than an SRF/3.  Sure there are bad SM wrecks sometimes ... but man ... when there is a bad SRF wreck ... it is BAD. if you have a family ... I would say that safety should be high up on your list.  Those are just some of the reasons I would lean towards SM.


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#36
ajcjr

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The answer is always Miata!

 

Honestly though, SM is the way to go in my opinion.  The racing is great no matter where you are in the pack. You have a bunch of  great guys that are willing to lend you parts, help you out, and teach you new things.  Also, being able to run multiple classes is a big plus.  I think one of the bigger differences between SM and SRF/3 is safety.  If you get in a bad wreck, you will be in a LOT better shape in a Spec Miata than an SRF/3.  Sure there are bad SM wrecks sometimes ... but man ... when there is a bad SRF wreck ... it is BAD. if you have a family ... I would say that safety should be high up on your list.  Those are just some of the reasons I would lean towards SM.

 

 

thanks, yes i have a family. I was doing some testing in my srf one year at lime rock and i spun going into the left hander. The car behind me was not even through big bend and i just sat waiting for him to pass, well he fixated on me and practically hit me head on, he was in a Porsche Cayman. Thankfully my car took the impact well but i do understand the risk of being in the SRF. 



#37
Martinracing98

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but man ... when there is a bad SRF wreck ... it is BAD. if you have a family ... I would say that safety should be high up on your list.  Those are just some of the reasons I would lean towards SM.

 

I do not think things are that cut and clear. I race SRF3. I am thinking of switching to SM. One of my concerns is safety. But my concern is if SM is safe enough. I like the protection of a closed cockpit. On the other side sitting relatively close to the driver door, I do not. The SRF3 has about 1.5 foot of side crush zone from the side. I have also read about people having trouble getting roll bar clearance in the SM. So that is another concern. I have also seen some poorly mounted seats in SM. So some things are safer in SM and some are not and some I think you have to be careful to get right.



#38
Danica Davison

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I do not think things are that cut and clear. I race SRF3. I am thinking of switching to SM. One of my concerns is safety. But my concern is if SM is safe enough. I like the protection of a closed cockpit. On the other side sitting relatively close to the driver door, I do not. The SRF3 has about 1.5 foot of side crush zone from the side. I have also read about people having trouble getting roll bar clearance in the SM. So that is another concern. I have also seen some poorly mounted seats in SM. So some things are safer in SM and some are not and some I think you have to be careful to get right.

 

No car is 100% safe. There is always a chance of things to go wrong. However, I realized our cars were very safe when I witnessed first hand the wreck with Amy Mills and Joey G ... and they walked out hurting, but okay, I was very very relieved. I don't know if I have ever seen a more violent wreck like that in person. I was standing on the exit of T5 at Road Atlanta when a Porsche literally came to a stop on the exit rumble strip, the 350z hit it, he spun around and Amy mills went head on with the Z.  Then, she spun around over the hill and Joey G hit her head on, blind over the little hill, at full power ... it was surreal.  It is a real testament to how safely built Amy's car was by Leverone @ Flatout and whoever built the old Dan Tiley Car that Joey bought just a couple days before. In my opinion, I think that wreck would have been a lot worse for the drivers if it had been in an SRF.  Also, at the regional level ... a lot of SRF/3 races run with closed cockpit, full bodied cars that weigh significantly more than them. 

 

Selin Rollan Jr. hit one head on a few years ago and it ramped him up over the car due to the nose of the SRF. It is on youtube somewhere.

 

A SRF driver at the June Sprints took a broken off exhaust from one of the other cars ... too the helmet! Talk about scary. I would pick an SM over a SRF any day of the week for those reasons.


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#39
ajcjr

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I do not think things are that cut and clear. I race SRF3. I am thinking of switching to SM. One of my concerns is safety. But my concern is if SM is safe enough. I like the protection of a closed cockpit. On the other side sitting relatively close to the driver door, I do not. The SRF3 has about 1.5 foot of side crush zone from the side. I have also read about people having trouble getting roll bar clearance in the SM. So that is another concern. I have also seen some poorly mounted seats in SM. So some things are safer in SM and some are not and some I think you have to be careful to get right.

Thanks Martin, check your pm's.



#40
Martinracing98

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Also, at the regional level ... a lot of SRF/3 races run with closed cockpit, full bodied cars that weigh significantly more than them. 

 

 

I agree that is a bad practice. I think that happens less now with the increased SRF3. Locally I know we now run with some of the open wheel if we do not have our own class. If I had to run with full bodied cars I would have to do something different. 






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