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The future of Spec Miatas in vintage racing

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#21
Ernie Cole

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I curious as to why the present state of SM racing in SCCA and NASA is in trouble? This is my first year in SM and I love it. Just the fact that I can show up to literally any racetrack in the country and have a full field of SM to race with is amazing. Whats the need to shift the future to Vintage?

 

IMO most vintage racing I've seen (going to the Mitty once a year at Road Atlanta) is cool to look at and see the cars in action, but as far as racing it just seems like a fancy HPDE. The racing I've been involved in so far in SM is much more exciting to watch and be apart of. Hopefully the SCCA and NASA continue to pull large fields for SM and allow us to push the track limits and bump and bang each other to our hearts content.

 

Just saying, not against SM also racing in vintage series, but hope that SM remains a popular class for club racing as well.



#22
Jack Marr

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does "no contact" also mean no bump drafting? or is it more "no non-consensual contact"

In CVAR it's no contact, period. That includes bump drafting.


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#23
Steve Scheifler

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I curious as to why the present state of SM racing in SCCA and NASA is in trouble? This is my first year in SM and I love it. Just the fact that I can show up to literally any racetrack in the country and have a full field of SM to race with is amazing. Whats the need to shift the future to Vintage?

IMO most vintage racing I've seen (going to the Mitty once a year at Road Atlanta) is cool to look at and see the cars in action, but as far as racing it just seems like a fancy HPDE. The racing I've been involved in so far in SM is much more exciting to watch and be apart of. Hopefully the SCCA and NASA continue to pull large fields for SM and allow us to push the track limits and bump and bang each other to our hearts content.

Just saying, not against SM also racing in vintage series, but hope that SM remains a popular class for club racing as well.

Ernie, I expect SM is doing as well as any class and better than most, though hugely better in some regions than others. Our kind of club racing overall does seem to be losing a lot of people to other formats such as Chump/Champ and track days with more liberal passing rules than was common in the past.

But, there is an argument to be made that at some point the NA cars should be dropped from the Majors/Runoffs SM class, and regardless of that there are a lot of drivers longing for the relatively low-key competition of the early days. Vintage is a logical place for them to land if NASA and SCCA fail to meet their needs.

Were you at the Mitty this past spring? I had one of the old 510s there for the Datsun/Nissan feature.
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#24
Pat Mcg

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I have run about a half dozen races with SVRA.  Absolutely the best value in racing...   There is no tolerance for touching, bump drafting, grazing, rubbing, zero.. i mean zero tolerance..  However, it is known and reinforced over and over again.   I have to tell myself every time I get in the car..NO TOUCHING.  I have found myself not diving or taking some risk where i normally would.  Just can't risk getting barred..  Too good a value, and frankly...   what is the benefit...   the bragging rights for SVRA win..  nahhh..  Its not worth it IMO...  But that is not to say... we are not racing.. I can tell you.  We are hanging it out there.. 

 

Below is one of the races from VIR..  There is no doubt... you will get a wide range of skill set in these races..   The proof is me...   I would struggle to even break into the top 20 at a HST event..  but..  I am right there in the front with SVRA..  I really am not that good..  But.  It is crazy good times for the money.  Really no different in a regional race except no touching. 

 

I am not saying or advocating for any more rigorous TECH SHED anywhere...   But.  there really is limited checks and balances in SVRA.  I would say less than 20% of the cars I have raced with there actually race in a Majors event.   I think the mindset is that, this is just for fun...  IDK.  Just my 2 cents.. Its really great times.. 

 

The Jim Cook Discussion continues!!!  It's not over yet..  lol

 

They have already loaded the schedule for next year kicking off the first race in Feb.  Hope to see some more of you out there!  The VIR race with SVRA is 4 weeks before the run-offs so...  Just saying... 

 


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#25
Pat Mcg

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#26
Pat Mcg

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https://www.youtube....jtNTy7g&t=1068s



#27
LarryKing

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I just hope the SVRA doesn't let the NB cars in and f#ck things up!


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#28
LarryKing

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In his in-car video the green car in front of Pat is Marc Cefalo, who had a pretty good run at Sonoma, so the competition in the SVRA Miata Heritage Cup ain't all Larrys.


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#29
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In his in-car video the green car in front of Pat is Marc Cefalo, who had a pretty good run at Sonoma, so the competition in the SVRA Miata Heritage Cup ain't all Larrys.

i only trust the SMMD SMPI ratings. 


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#30
Pat Mcg

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Yea... and some guy named Cates won the race even though Tony and I had faster times..   lol.           Cates..  He's pretty good Larry also... 



#31
Jim Drago

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Yea... and some guy named Cates won the race even though Tony and I had faster times..   lol.           Cates..  He's pretty good Larry also...

Both Brian and Devin cates are very solid drivers

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#32
Ernie Cole

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Steve-thanks for the response. I was at the Mitty last year (as a spectator), its always great seeing those cars getting out and getting some exercise. It does seem logical that at some point some drivers would get tired of bumping into one another and want to step into a series with a little more racing etiquette. 

 

I was excited to see 2 NA's in the top ten at the runnoffs though, it gives me hope that I can at least be competitive in my '95 regionally for some time to come. (Sounds like there are whole other threads dedicated to that argument though)

 

  I have found myself not diving or taking some risk where i normally would.  Just can't risk getting barred..  Too good a value, and frankly...   what is the benefit...   the bragging rights for SVRA win..  nahhh..  Its not worth it IMO...  But that is not to say... we are not racing.. I can tell you.  We are hanging it out there.. 

 

 

Wasn't really knocking vintage racing, the video was plenty of proof the racing is good, just right now I'm addicted to the competition and thrill of wheel to wheel racing and hope to make it to the level I've seen at the runoffs where taking those risk and dives is worth it (and you won't cause any major damage or get barred for a slight miscalculation hopefully). Insert something about if I don't run into everyone to create the gaps that if I don't take am I really a racing driver...

 

Anyway, as Steve alluded to, I would say cheap endurance racing is almost more of the future of SM than just vintage racing, and probably club racing as a whole. 



#33
gerglmuff2

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i seriously do not buy this "cheap endurance racing" thing. maybe thats another thread entirely. everyone i know who does it spends the same as me (~1,300/weekend), to drive a crappier car, that they fix more, and they might not get to drive because they break so often. 

i don't see the draw. it doesn't seem cheaper, and it doesn't seem like the racing is as close/tough (not only is not spec, the classes are very wide in performance margin). it also seems more dangerous due to closing speeds of differently classed cars, and a wider .... distribution of driver talent. 


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#34
OrangeCrush86

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It's not cheaper per weekend, it's cheaper per track hour. I just passed up the chance to race Champ at RA. $1100 for a short practice on Friday, and 4 hours of stint time. This offer was to drive someone else's car with 4 drivers total. A few months before I ran a regional at RA in SM and total cost was higher that $1100 and total on track time was approximately 2 hours. So I think the savings is mostly from splitting the costs between multiple drivers.

 

I think driving 10/10ths is more fun so I prefer sprint racing. Not to mention if you are slated for the 4th stint and the car breaks the value goes to zero.


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#35
Ernie Cole

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Right now I agree with you OrangeCrush86.

 

Before getting into it, I never pictured myself liking sprint racing, I had always been an endurance racing fan. But after running half a dozen sprint races in SM this year, going 10/10ths (or maybe even 11/10ths) is a blast! 

 

I guess vintage racing format more closely mirrors the club racing format, but hard to beat the value for hours and hours of track time potential of endurance racing.



#36
Michael Colangelo

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I just signed up for the last vintage race of the year with VARA (www.vararacing.com) here in SoCal.  In the absence of a "Vintage Spec Miata" class, I'll be competing in the catch-all Club Racer class.

 

I plan on talking to VARA leadership about the possibility of starting a Vintage Spec Miata class for next season. 



#37
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I curious as to why the present state of SM racing in SCCA and NASA is in trouble? This

Ernie, a couple of points. I think many east coast races this year were down on car counts. Many think that was because the runoffs was on the West coast. I am not totally sold that this was the issue. Many Majors races were thin and you really did not need to run many races last year or this year to qualifying for the Runoffs so I am not sure what explains the drop this year.

 

I do think that Many racers (My Mike Novak example) have found fun in racing Champ car or other endurance races and are spending time and capital doing that. I think its clearly cutting into Sprint racing numbers.

 

IMO, racers only have so much money and so much time to race. Life does get in the way and racing more than once or twice a month is difficult.

 

I know there is an effort with the SCCA to bring back some form of endurance racing. NASA used to have an endurance program, but i have lost track of what is happening with that these days.


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#38
Ernie Cole

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@FTodaro makes sense.

 

Right now, after having put the initial investment into getting a car/trailer/hauler etc. the biggest thing keeping me from doing more races is tires.

 

Seat time not withstanding, I have to spend $700 a weekend minimum on tires a weekend to be competitive sprint racing, but from what I have heard, the ChampCar guys can do a whole weekend on $500 set of tires, and those are split 3-4 ways depending on how the team is set-up. I know the other consumables will probably increase, but it seems the time commitment is similar, and race entry fee is comparable (when considering you split with the team). So maybe endurance racing isn't that bad of a proposition. I would like to see tire/cost issue addressed for SM, rather than SCCA/NASA try to compete with the endurance series. As others have mentioned, the Sprint race format has its advantages as well, and I would hate to see it die out, because I think the root of the problem isn't that more drivers want to go endurance racing, it's that right now its a much better value proposition. 

 

What tires are the Vintage SM running? 

 

BTW-new to wheel to wheel this year, so I may be out of line on some of this, but this is my current understanding from what I have gathered. 



#39
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for the 24 hour at VIR we went through 3 sets of tires and 174 gallons of fuel. 


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#40
Danica Davison

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i seriously do not buy this "cheap endurance racing" thing. maybe thats another thread entirely. everyone i know who does it spends the same as me (~1,300/weekend), to drive a crappier car, that they fix more, and they might not get to drive because they break so often. 

i don't see the draw. it doesn't seem cheaper, and it doesn't seem like the racing is as close/tough (not only is not spec, the classes are very wide in performance margin). it also seems more dangerous due to closing speeds of differently classed cars, and a wider .... distribution of driver talent.

 

It is cheap ... when you OWN the car and split everything 3-4 ways.  I spend on average 400-600 for chumpcar and get two stints. Renting cars is still expensive as shit though. Get a chump car that you and three other capable drivers will chip in on, and split every cost four ways. Simple and cheap(er).


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