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#1
Tyler Kicera

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Jim's original post

 

"Different thread I suppose.. But for guys who have no interest in the ladder system or being "pro"  there seems a lot to spend and little gain from moving from Sm to Mx5 global.  We have as much competition as we can handle here in Sm.   

 

For those that want to continue their career and run pro, it is a great opportunity.. for those of us who just want to race in competitive fields not so much.  Maybe I am missing something."

 

You bring up valid points.  If you've never done a weekend, I can see that it would be hard to understand why.  

 

To be clear, this is my personal opinion after my experience last weekend

 

I'll get into more detail in the video I'm going do, but here are some highlights:

  • Professionalism - Mazda, the officials, and everyone who runs the show are all being paid to do a job and therefore you end up with a very high level of "customer" service.  These guys are at the track for YOU and they have a vested interest in doing the best job possible.   
  • Organization - Things run like clockwork.  There are detailed schedules down to the minute for most activities which takes the guess work, delays, etc out of it.
  • Communication - On and off the radio, they keep teams and competitors up to date.  Emails throughout the weekend keep everyone on the same page.      
  • Racing - the parity here is nearly absolute with the only differences being setup, driver, and wear & tear on things like engines/trans  There's no room for cheating - the LRR guys are on top of the cars and data from every car after each session.  
  • Atmosphere - these are big race weekends with lots of fans, lots of stuff on track, etc.  If you do have partners or are looking for them, these weekends have a lot more value to offer than a club weekend.  Plus, who doesn't want to walk around the IndyCar garage between sessions or watch stadium super trucks air out half a straight away!?  
  • Prizes - while the running cost for a weekend is slightly higher than SM if you field the car yourself, your opportunity to win prizes is also higher.  The series pays $4K for a win, $1K for hard chargers (driver & crew chief) all the way down to 10th place ($1000).  With a $50,000 rookie and $200k championship prize at stake, theres more to go for here than just bragging rights.  

No disrespect to club racing, but if you value your at the track experience as much as you do the racing, there are more than a few reasons why the series is a good choice.  This weekend was refreshing, enjoyable, and something I could get VERY used to.    

 

TK


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#2
Danica Davison

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In my opinion...

 

It appears that, this year at least, you have 5-7 guys that compete for a win in MX5 ... and I think the same thing is true in most SM races on any given weekend.  However, after that first group of ~5 in the MX5 cup, there is a big drop off.  I don't think the drop off is as big in SM.  I am sure it is very difficult to win in MX5 cup, (unless your name is Patrick Gallagher) but, I think it would be much more challenging to get a top 5 in a Super Tour with 50+ car field, than a top 5 in MX5 cup with 20 cars. 


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#3
Danica Davison

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To be clear, this is my personal opinion after my experience last weekend
 
I'll get into more detail in the video I'm going do, but here are some highlights:

  • Professionalism - Mazda, the officials, and everyone who runs the show are all being paid to do a job and therefore you end up with a very high level of "customer" service.  These guys are at the track for YOU and they have a vested interest in doing the best job possible.   
  • Organization - Things run like clockwork.  There are detailed schedules down to the minute for most activities which takes the guess work, delays, etc out of it.
  • Communication - On and off the radio, they keep teams and competitors up to date.  Emails throughout the weekend keep everyone on the same page.      
  • Racing - the parity here is nearly absolute with the only differences being setup, driver, and wear & tear on things like engines/trans  There's no room for cheating - the LRR guys are on top of the cars and data from every car after each session.  
  • Atmosphere - these are big race weekends with lots of fans, lots of stuff on track, etc.  If you do have partners or are looking for them, these weekends have a lot more value to offer than a club weekend.  Plus, who doesn't want to walk around the IndyCar garage between sessions or watch stadium super trucks air out half a straight away!?  
  • Prizes - while the running cost for a weekend is slightly higher than SM if you field the car yourself, your opportunity to win prizes is also higher.  The series pays $4K for a win, $1K for hard chargers (driver & crew chief) all the way down to 10th place ($1000).  With a $50,000 rookie and $200k championship prize at stake, theres more to go for here than just bragging rights.  
No disrespect to club racing, but if you value your at the track experience as much as you do the racing, there are more than a few reasons why the series is a good choice.  This weekend was refreshing, enjoyable, and something I could get VERY used to.    
 
TK

 

This is the same report I get back from Jamie Tucker who did a few races last year. Paraphrasing, what he said was the atmosphere, the program, the parity, the whole experience is everything that Spec Miata is missing. 

 

I think what hurts the entry is the risk you have to take to win, aka, crashing.  This year hasn't been as bad because the entry count isn't as high, but man did they stack it up a lot last year. The cars are so fragile and new, that every time you hit something ... it gets expensive. 


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#4
Caveman-kwebb99

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It all boils down to different strokes for different folks... While racing at Laguna and some other places seems great, there is one hell of a travel bill that we dont have to foot even doing the super tour as we can pick and choose which ones to attend.  

 

No knock on anyone that wants to run any pro series, hats off to you!  Like jim said in the other thread, for every top flight driver that makes the jump to mx5 cup you will likely be replaced by another hot shoe in sm...  there is more then enough competiton to go around!  

 

Maybe if money was no object at all the mx5 cup might be a good choice for me, but since I did not win the latest loto i have to manage my available assets as the twlight years approach rapidly. 

 

Tyler I hope you and Todd continue to have great success over there in MX5 and beyond!  


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#5
Tyler Kicera

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In my opinion...

 

It appears that, this year at least, you have 5-7 guys that compete for a win in MX5 ... and I think the same thing is true in most SM races on any given weekend.  However, after that first group of ~5 in the MX5 cup, there is a big drop off.  I don't think the drop off is as big in SM.  I am sure it is very difficult to win in MX5 cup, (unless your name is Patrick Gallagher) but, I think it would be much more challenging to get a top 5 in a Super Tour with 50+ car field, than a top 5 in MX5 cup with 20 cars. 

 

While I do agree that the level of competition at the Super Tour level is very high, the style of racing is very different.  The parity is so close and the draft is so big that you end up with pack racing like you do on rovals in SM.  It's actually a very fun style of racing and rewards a combination of both raw speed and race craft.  You have to be VERY smart about your decisions and how you set yourself up to be in the right place at the right time.  

 

I don't think the reduction in crash damage this season has much to do with lower car counts.  I believe how the series is being run and officiated with video reviews, how drivers are being penalized, etc has affected things positively.  I don't have much context from last season to compare to, but I got a pass through penalty for what could have easily been considered a racing incident.  In SM, that would have gone unpunished at the very least until after the race when video was reviewed, IF the other driver protested.   


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#6
Caveman-kwebb99

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And I must say I have watched a few of the mx5 cup races this year, just because friends are racing there. But I have to turn the comentators off after a lap or two as they dont shit from shinola!  mazda should give less to the racers for a win and pay somebody who actually understand this kind of racing to be the broadcasters 


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#7
Todd Lamb

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There are certainly pros and cons.

 

Cost is much higher, but it also comes with professional level tech with no room for cheating.

 

You get a pro series with a pro staff, that treat you like a customer and a human being.

 

The racing is intense.

 

The cars are as equal as equal gets. (aside from the timing/knock issues we had the first half of the season)

 

This year, for the most part, there have been very few incidents. Frankly, there's one offender that has been involved in most of them. The rest of the guys know what's at stake and will race as clean as possible, even in a 3 wide x 3 deep pack on the last lap. And this year things are being run by Indycar, which is a big difference in terms of philosophy when in comes to blocking, contact, and penalties. They have access to all of the Indycar live camera feeds with instant replay and some very very sophisticated number crunching software that calculates a variety of things on the fly in race control.

 

All in all, if you have the budget, it's a pretty fun experience.


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#8
sentercut

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I love watching these races. Good Night they are tight. The announcers have been horrible, but what can you do.

 

I am curious to know what is next for SM, and if and when the NC's will be introduced. It seems with 40-80 car fields at the Super Tours, Runoffs, and many Majors it would be a tactically good time to expand. I am no professional nor have aspirations of turning pro, but our class is stacked and ripe for expansion.  I am not even sure how SCCA/NASA whoever goes about expanding or starting a new class, but including another 10 years of cars into SM seems like a good opportunity to make another step in the ladder toward pro racing, or another SCCA/NASA class. I will be fun to see it develop. 

 

As far as the MX5 Cup racing goes. The cash liability is  high if you wad it up, but I would love to do it. It looks like so much fun. I think Mazda should have built the cars out more set up for bump drafting nose to tail racing because that is what it is and it seems like after every race every car needs new bumpers. But that is money into the pockets of Mazda, which is understandable as well. 

 

Congrats to Todd on the Win, and Tyler on the STRONG weekend. You guys represented SM well. 


Senter Smith


#9
Ron Alan

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 I believe how the series is being run and officiated with video reviews, how drivers are being penalized, etc has affected things positively.  I don't have much context from last season to compare to, but I got a pass through penalty for what could have easily been considered a racing incident.  In SM, that would have gone unpunished at the very least until after the race when video was reviewed, IF the other driver protested.   

"Easily been considered a racing incident"

 

Didnt see the race or your incident but this statement speaks volumes to improvements many have been seeking in SM. I'm going to assume you now know what is acceptable and what is not in this pro series :)

 

My point being...when rules are enforced...we play by them!


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#10
Danica Davison

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And I must say I have watched a few of the mx5 cup races this year, just because friends are racing there. But I have to turn the comentators off after a lap or two as they dont shit from shinola!  mazda should give less to the racers for a win and pay somebody who actually understand this kind of racing to be the broadcasters

 

Shoot I'll do it for free if they cover my expenses. I think I can do it better :)


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#11
Danica Davison

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I will admit, that Road America race was about as exciting as it can get. That intense pack racing in the front 5-7 cars looks intense and a lot of fun. You definitely need to be very mentally sharp in order to run in that group.  It is definitely not for the old people like Drago and Danny!


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#12
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It is definitely not for the old people like Drago and Danny!

Danny takes it all in stride. Jim was all out of sorts when he turned 40 (wanted a handicap), when he turned 50 (many wins in the bank), eh just another day. :bigsquaregrin:


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#13
Jim Drago

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I will admit, that Road America race was about as exciting as it can get. That intense pack racing in the front 5-7 cars looks intense and a lot of fun. You definitely need to be very mentally sharp in order to run in that group.  It is definitely not for the old people like Drago and Danny!

Now you have me teaming with Danny, what has the world come too!  I think between the two old guys we are ahead 200+ to none in the win department. :) I told you i would send you one of these flags if you wanted one :)


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#14
Jim Drago

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Danny takes it all in stride. Jim was all out of sorts when he turned 40 (wanted a handicap), when he turned 50 (many wins in the bank), eh just another day. :bigsquaregrin:

I still want a handicap!:) 


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#15
Mitch Reading

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Great discussion.  Tyler's drive through penalty in race 1 is good evidence that the pro series is working hard to keep the driving clean. 

 

Somewhere I saw a second hand quote that John Dean (I believe) remarked that an SM front runner would not be so in the mx-5 cup series.  Geez.


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#16
Jim Drago

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Somewhere I saw a second hand quote that John Dean (I believe) remarked that an SM front runner would not be so in the mx-5 cup series.  Geez.

the real question is could John podium in Sm Supertour race :)


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#17
Caveman-kwebb99

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the real question is could John podium in Sm Supertour race :)

 

Pardon my complete ignorance but has he podiumed this season in Mx5 cup? had to go look that up, yes he has one p3 for this season...

 

Further more I believe Sparky, who may or may not have been considered to be top 20 in SM when he was in the class, won last years Championship!  And Im sure sparky has had plenty of podiums along the way.

 

I think the ship sailed on that comment almost as soon as it was spoken!


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#18
Jim Drago

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Pardon my complete ignorance but has he podiumed this season in Mx5 cup?

I dont think he ran this year, but he is a former champion and obviously a very talented driver, I'm sure he would do well in SM, but IMO he would be just another one of 10-20 front runners, not some dominant force. Most former Mx5 champions have came from Sm.. All were very good drivers, none left Sm due to they were tired of winning :)  


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#19
Danica Davison

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Now you have me teaming with Danny, what has the world come too!  I think between the two old guys we are ahead 200+ to none in the win department. :) I told you i would send you one of these flags if you wanted one :)

 

Ahhhhh so I see you are counting your wins now too?  Memphis Speedway NASA weekends don't count Jim!


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#20
Jim Drago

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Ahhhhh so I see you are counting your wins now too?  Memphis Speedway NASA weekends don't count Jim!

I don't count.. You said Danny counted and was close to 100,  I knew I had to have more than him :) :)


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