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#1
Strongbad

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Which track is more 'fun' to drive in a SM?

 

I feel like most racers will be going to COTA for the NASA Championships but wanted to know if Sonoma would be more of a blast to drive ?

 

Opinions, comments?

 

Joseph



#2
J. Pressman

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I've yet to drive either, though I hope to be on-track at COTA in two weeks.  My guess would be that Sonoma is more fun, and COTA has more of a "wow" factor being a current F1 facility.

 

At this point I'm planning to attend NASA nationals at COTA rather than SCCA at Sonoma.  Drive time, cost, and time commitment all play into that decision.


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#3
Jim Drago

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Which track is more 'fun' to drive in a SM?

 

I feel like most racers will be going to COTA for the NASA Championships but wanted to know if Sonoma would be more of a blast to drive ?

 

Opinions, comments?

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

I think Sonoma will be more fun to drive. Cota is an amazing facility and I am very good there... but If I could only drive one track for the rest of my life.. Road Atlanta,Vir, Sebring and Road America rate above Cota IMO from the fun factor. I think Cota has 5 second gear corners in SM.. I hate second gear corners in a Miata. The track is so safe, that you don't get much of pucker factor there at all. That being said, I will be doing the NASA Champs at Cota for sure as it was just way too expensive to head west in 14. If we get a full trailer for Sonoma, we will do both. Otherwise will be just doing NASA this year.

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#4
tLinder

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Sonoma is the clear "fun" winner, but with COTA being ~200 miles away from me, that's where I'll go.


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#5
Ron Alan

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Being my home track and never running COTA...I will be biased towards Sonoma of course! 

 

Of all the tracks on the West coast I would have to say Sonoma has the edge on being the true "Drivers" track. You barely get a mental break and the brief moments you do you will be checking mirrors hard and compromising your line to defend. Then of course there is one side of your brain that is saying "shit, shit,shit, lift!" and the part saying "grow a pair loser!" Bottom line is walls and tires are close...you have to respect the track or it will eat you up! So for this reason "fun" isn't always a word used to describe Sonoma! At the limit it separates the top tier from the rest very quickly!

 

And for those who have only seen Sonoma on TV...we do not run the NASCAR configuration or the Indy layout. It's a combination of the 2. Like Indy...we run the carousel(turn 6)and the back straight into the short turn 7. And like NASCAR, we run 8a then high speed 9 and 10...not the Indy or motorcycle chicane at 9. Turn 11 is the long way...not short like Indy or bikes.

 

I do hope some of you top guys from the East can make the trip! But completely understand if Texas is as far West as you come for the year. I'm hoping to organize a group of drivers to make it East to COTA to at least show we do exist out here in the land of fruits and nuts! And before the PC police scold me...I love my fruits and nuts!


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#6
mhiggins10

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Sonoma is the clear "fun" winner, but with COTA being ~200 miles away from me, that's where I'll go.

I'm wrestling with this too.  Not sure I'll make the commitment to race enough of a season to qualify (and I'll be wayyyy at the back regardless), but the proximity and the caliber of the facility sure makes COTA tempting.  The paddock and garages are just next-level (beyond what I expected when I first ran there).

 

I also only have run with SCCA so far, so there is the whole "new tires, new stickers, new patches, new rules" to deal with...


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#7
Steve Scheifler

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Ron, can you link us to an SM video that really sells it?
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#8
Caveman-kwebb99

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I am sure there are plenty of great vids of sonoma, I have raced at both tracks and Sonoma is much more fun! Cota is better for night life probably, and its a much nicer facility, but a drivers track is Sonoma, tons of elevation changes very technical and even some ballsy turns!


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#9
OrangeCrush86

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So... you guys running both NASA and SCCA at the same time. Do you have two cars? Or are you peeling stickers every weekend?



#10
Ron Alan

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So... you guys running both NASA and SCCA at the same time. Do you have two cars? Or are you peeling stickers every weekend?

My cars are red or white...have red and white duct tape! 

 

Ron, can you link us to an SM video that really sells it?

Sell? I can show you a lot of crash videos! Here is what turn 1 and 2 look like with a big ass field! You climb about 100+feet between the start and turn 2...160' by turn 3a! Turn 2 and 3a are blind as you come over!

 


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#11
Xav

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I'm wrestling with this too.  Not sure I'll make the commitment to race enough of a season to qualify (and I'll be wayyyy at the back regardless), but the proximity and the caliber of the facility sure makes COTA tempting.  The paddock and garages are just next-level (beyond what I expected when I first ran there).

 

I also only have run with SCCA so far, so there is the whole "new tires, new stickers, new patches, new rules" to deal with...

 

 

So... you guys running both NASA and SCCA at the same time. Do you have two cars? Or are you peeling stickers every weekend?

 
I can agree with the tires thing. But for the most part those who do cross organization races generally just have both stickers and patches on their cars/suits and then put tape over the organization that they're not running in. As far as the rules, please specify which rules are 'new'. When I took this role I spent a lot of time revising our rulebook to be practically identical. 

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#12
Duane Polsley

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#13
EricJ

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So... you guys running both NASA and SCCA at the same time. Do you have two cars? Or are you peeling stickers every weekend?

Blue tape over the 'other' sanctioning body's stickers.



#14
mhiggins10

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I can agree with the tires thing. But for the most part those who do cross organization races generally just have both stickers and patches on their cars/suits and then put tape over the organization that they're not running in. As far as the rules, please specify which rules are 'new'. When I took this role I spent a lot of time revising our rulebook to be practically identical. 

 

Pure conjecture as I haven't gone through the NASA rulebook, but at my competition school it was mentioned that the definition of racing room is different between the two sanctioning bodies- SCCA defining it as 4 wheels on pavement, and NASA only 2.  I also heard (again, rumor- not rulebook) that NASA typically is a bit more aggressive in what they allow drivers to get away with.

 

If I decide to run NASA, I'll read up for any differences.  I'm curious what those that run both series regularly think.


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#15
Ron Alan

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Pure conjecture as I haven't gone through the NASA rulebook, but at my competition school it was mentioned that the definition of racing room is different between the two sanctioning bodies- SCCA defining it as 4 wheels on pavement, and NASA only 2.  I also heard (again, rumor- not rulebook) that NASA typically is a bit more aggressive in what they allow drivers to get away with.

 

If I decide to run NASA, I'll read up for any differences.  I'm curious what those that run both series regularly think.

I actually think aggressive is used in the wrong context here! What NASA allows and who will be at fault is clearly spelled out...so with that in mind all drivers are responsible to report contact. This is what I feel NASA is aggressive about...not relying on corner workers to call in incidents. And if only one driver reports the other is automatically penalized in some form.

 

Racing room as SCCA defines and NASA defines is different. SCCA is 4 wheels on the track while NASA says 3/4 car width has to be left if the passing car hasn't established position. If the passing car is up to the area of the mirror(subjective depending on RD)at turn in then the car being passed has to leave the passing cars 4 wheels on the track. Bottom line in NASA...if you dive in late and barely have overlap you have to be prepared to drive off track to avoid contact. Now if the car being passed goes all the way to the apex and forces the overlapped car off track completely or there is contact...the car being passed will/should be at fault. But the burden of safety is always on the passing car who has to establish position.

 

SCCA...no one gets talked to unless an incident is called in or one party protests.


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Ron

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#16
Xav

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Pure conjecture as I haven't gone through the NASA rulebook, but at my competition school it was mentioned that the definition of racing room is different between the two sanctioning bodies- SCCA defining it as 4 wheels on pavement, and NASA only 2.  I also heard (again, rumor- not rulebook) that NASA typically is a bit more aggressive in what they allow drivers to get away with.

 

If I decide to run NASA, I'll read up for any differences.  I'm curious what those that run both series regularly think.

 

Gotcha. One thing that makes comparison different is how NASA is structured. Each region can (usually do) do things slightly different due to culture and who's in charge as RD.

I can only speak for the Mid-Atlantic and say that we work very hard at making safety #1. Nothing is perfect. However, anyone who has run in our region knows that safety is our priority.

 

I hope you give NASA a try and if you have any questions, feel free to message me.


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