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It's time for Super Tours unleash the NB cars!

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#1
Jim Drago

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It's time to keep our class moving forward.  We need to keep Sm moving forward and keep it growing. Our numbers have slowly been on the decline with SRF3 passing us the last few years.  Its time we did the same thing with SM

 

 

IMO, we have to options...

Drop the NA cars to regional only or Move All Majors and Super Tour races to SM and SM2

 

 

All cars can run SM, SM2 will be at Majors, Supertour.  Sm will no longer be a Runoffs eligible class, Just SM2. We don't wont more classes or paper champions.  I suggest we drop NA to regional only, but understand the reason some want to keep it as well. 

 

 

 

 

2020 Supertours and runoffs should be

 

01-05  Miata   2350 std weight and 2365 over bore with no restrictor plate 

99-00 Miata    2325 std weight/2350 over bore with 47 mm plate ( or whatever determined to keep same parity to VVT we have now) 

 

90--97 cars regional only 

 

 

 

I'm sure many wont like this, but it is time to at least start the conversation

 

Jim


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#2
38bfast

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What's the advantage to splitting up the class? I mean what do we get that we are not getting now? I think you are just racist against the pop up headlight cars :)

 

by ditching the plates, Now flow matters. So Heads, intakes, and exhaust are going to be very crucial in a build. Just like how the NA is now and why many shy away from building one. 


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#3
LarryKing

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Click bait :devil:

 

As long as we're ripping off the bandage, let's make SM eligible for NC cars only. Come on, how can you grow a class with 15-20 year old cars? Better yet make SM eligible for ND cars only.


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#4
Jim Drago

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Click bait :devil:

 

As long as we're ripping off the bandage, let's make SM eligible for NC cars only. Come on, how can you grow a class with 15-20 year old cars? Better yet make SM eligible for ND cars only.

new class starting for nc cars already spec mx5

and we are holding back 93% of the class for 7% .. When the NC cars or ND cars, represent 90 plus percent.. we should cater the rules to those cars


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#5
OrangeCrush86

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PM me before this is enacted so I can sell my NA before it's value drops to $0.


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#6
Danny Steyn

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Jim, I think the idea has merit, however I think there are some unintended consequences with your proposal

 

Here are my observations

  • Without plates, flow will be more important than it is now. That is a whole new can of worms that will probably require testing and thus money.
  • My cars were built to the 2400 lb spec. I know we cannot get 50lbs out of my VVT, nor 75 lbs out of my 99  without gutting the cages, and no, I don't have 50lbs of video equipment in the car I can remove! So more money!
  • And while we would all love to race faster,  faster speed means faster wear and tear on tires, brakes, parts etc, and it means we crash at higher speeds, all of these things increase costs and ultimately diminish field sizes, the very thing we are trying to increase

Not trying to kill the idea, but looking at it from another perspective


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#7
Jim Drago

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Jim, I think the idea has merit, however I think there are some unintended consequences with your proposal

 

Here are my observations

  • Without plates, flow will be more important than it is now. That is a whole new can of worms that will probably require testing and thus money.
  • My cars were built to the 2400 lb spec. I know we cannot get 50lbs out of my VVT, nor 75 lbs out of my 99  without gutting the cages, and no, I don't have 50lbs of video equipment in the car I can remove! So more money!
  • And while we would all love to race faster,  faster speed means faster wear and tear on tires, brakes, parts etc, and it means we crash at higher speeds, all of these things increase costs and ultimately diminish field sizes, the very thing we are trying to increase

Not trying to kill the idea, but looking at it from another perspective

The conversation needs to be started..

Its time.  where it goes, if anywhere. who knows. But its time

 

The weight would hurt me more than all, still the right call. 

Not worried about the flow or plates being an issue at all. that's easy. 

 

 

We dont move forward, we die on the vine.. 


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#8
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The conversation needs to be started..

Its time.  where it goes, if anywhere. who knows. But its time

 

The weight would hurt me more than all, still the right call. 

Not worried about the flow or plates being an issue at all. that's easy. 

 

 

We dont move forward, we die on the vine.. 

In your humble opinion.

Please show me the data which supports your 93% & 7% info.

From 2016 through 2018 there are twice as many entries for Regional SM events compared to Majors and Hoosier Super Tour SM events.

There is more to the SM class than Majors and Hoosier Super Tour.

Are the drivers at the Regional events unhappy.

As you well know because you been there, there are faster classes within the SCCA to race faster cars. Step up and don't with minor scare tactics attempt to force the entire class to upgrade to faster cars. In 15 years this class cost for a first rate car has gone from $15k to $40k plus.


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#9
LarryKing

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Doesn't really affect me either way as I'm a regional only/soon to be vintage only racer - but how do you think this will grow the class?

 

Are there potential racers on the sidelines we don't know about who are thinking, "If only SM was an NB only class with no restrictor plate. I'd sign-up in a heartbeat."


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#10
Jim Drago

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In your humble opinion.

Please show me the data which supports your 93% & 7% info.

From 2016 through 2018 there are twice as many entries for Regional SM events compared to Majors and Hoosier Super Tour SM events.

There is more to the SM class than Majors and Hoosier Super Tour.

Are the drivers at the Regional events unhappy.

As you well know because you been there, there are faster classes within the SCCA to race faster cars. Step up and don't with minor scare tactics attempt to force the entire class to upgrade to faster cars. In 15 years this class cost for a first rate car has gone from $15k to $40k plus.

 

I have a list of the entries so far this year, added them up and did the math.. if you doubt it, do the math ;)  You have the same info I have

 

as far as regional entries.. great.. run the class as is in regionals, this doenst effect regionals

 

There is more to the SM class than Majors and Hoosier Super Tour.... 

Correct, but HST and majors are the best examples of what the cars can do.. for others not so serious and already NOT running in majors and super tours, they have the regionals

 

 

No idea if the regional drivers are unhappy.. but this proposal doesn't effect them, so they should be no more or less "happy"

 

No scare tactics.. one member with an idea that would allow 93% of the class to run faster and be more appealing for little to no extra cost.. Its a topic like others to debate, no more, no less

 

 

There was NEVER a point where 15k car was first rate car, never. 


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#11
Jim Drago

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Doesn't really affect me either way as I'm a regional only/soon to be vintage only racer - but how do you think this will grow the class?

 

Are there potential racers on the sidelines we don't know about who are thinking, "If only SM was an NB only class with no restrictor plate. I'd sign-up in a heartbeat."

Were there people IN SRF saying  "if only we could could go a little faster I would sign up?"  Well look at their numbers since they added srf3 package, they are now beating us regularly. Their upgrade was 20k.. Ours is virtually zero 

they are running Nd1 and Nd2  in global, no reason we cant do something similar


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#12
LarryKing

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So get rid of RP and some weight. Why not "help" the NA car at the same time?
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#13
LarryKing

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Might be simpler for Jim to go SRF racing.
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#14
Jim Drago

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Might be simpler for Jim to go SRF racing.

 

So get rid of RP and some weight. Why not "help" the NA car at the same time?

 

Denny is always the optimist :)

 

the class needs to focus and move forward. The NA cars statistically have not really taken advantage of what has been given or chose to remain in regional racing for the most part.  We dont have an issue where the entries are 50, 40 or even 30%, they are less than 10% 

 

I would not want to spend the money required to do a BOP on Na cars with NB cars at this level.  It would most definitely require slowing the NB cars, which is what we have now. Speeding the NA cars up to this level would be expensive and expensive to test .. It makes little sense.   makes more sense to leave as is than to bring NA cars to that level IMO 

 

More than likely the status quo group will shoot this way under the ground and will never be taken seriously, I know this. But IMO, this needs to happen. take all the shots you like at me, Just putting out something that I feel will help the class long term . Long after I am gone from the class. 


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#15
LarryKing

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What about the NB folks that run both Majors and regionals. Would it be just a matter of putting the RP back in and adding weight to run regionals?
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#16
Ben-AdvancedAutosports

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I partially agree with Jim on this one.  Many racers have moved to running Miatas in WRL or ChampCar.  Those cars are only a little more horsepower but people feel like they are having more fun and getting more value.  People race Spec Miata for two reasons:  1)The racing is super competitive and there is always someone to race against 2)It is perceived as the best value class in road racing.

 

However... Unless you do something about the lifespan of tires the entries are still going to suffer.  The total cost of running a competitive Spec Miata has continued to go up without an equal increase in fun or value.  SRF3 tires are about the same price as SM7s, but they are getting 8-10 competitive heat cycles to our 6-8(ha).  That doesn't sound like much of a difference, but if every SM driver used 1-2 less sets of tires for the season and was still competitive they could spend that money on one more entry.  Not to mention the wear and tear that would be saved by having a less grippy tire.

 

There is also a perception that you have to have a 40k new build to be competitive at a Super Tour.  The guys with the 15k cars are not showing up anymore.  We could all build competitive cars way cheaper if we skipped the data, powder coating, rotisseries, custom wraps, italian seats annd steering wheels, etc...  

 

We need to focus on increasing value in the class.  NB only cars with no plates, a cheaper longer lasting tire, controlling entry costs, etc... is the best way to preserve the class.


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#17
Martinracing98

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I appreciate the appeal of faster. That is why when I was running SRF I converted it to SRF3. The change made a car that was definitely cooler, but 4 years in and they are still struggling with the transmission that is breaking because of the increased torque at the shift revs. They are using new internal parts and on third clutch design. The CSR I worked with said the problem will not likely be solved until they change to a new, probably sequential shift, transmission like they did in FE. He expects that to be another $10k+. For me the transmission rebuild about every 4 to 5 weekends at $2.7k was too much for me while they try and solve the problem. I sold the car and switched to SM and am having a great time. My experience in SRF3 and with 25+ years of engineering there are always unintended consequence as the result of change.

 

For me separating HST and Major drivers from regional drivers is an over simplification. I am racing 4 weekends this year (since I did not have to pay a $2.7k trans bill). One was a major. One was the June Sprints. Two are regionals. Under the proposed change my two regionals would probably have one class split in two. So my races would likely cost more because increased wear and my regional races would probably worse because of split classes.

 

I think keeping the class cool is important. I am not sure faster is the right thing though. It may trade approachable for faster. I think approachable has for a long time been one of its strong points. For me something like dog box gearbox would be a better improvement if the gears are available for a reasonable price. Transmission would probably last longer. It would enable left foot braking. In general I think it would feel more racy. I do not know if it is possible.

 

For me the top consideration is not to have something that makes it more difficult to hand pick races I want to attend with my 99 or reduce the number of cars in my class when I get there.


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#18
Tom Sager

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The SRF3 upgrade made the cars significantly faster both lighter and added what 30HP?  The cars I'm sure drive fundamentally different. It was an expensive upgrade and time will tell if their participation numbers will be maintained.  Looking at participation data is seems all the classes at Majors events had an uptick in 2017 which I'd call "the Indy effect".  Is the SRF crowd happier, maybe but they got a big upgrade.  I don't see a tweak in SM weights and removal or larger plates having anywhere near the same effect in our cars.  Don't see that change being any kind of a move forward for a second a lap which will be negated by that longer lasting tire we're getting :D .  NB only but slightly different looks like treading water to me or at best a slight thrill that is gone quickly.  Agree this will set off a new arms race with engines as there will absolutely be gains to be had with greater engine testing and development and parts searching at an effort level and cost above what many will be doing today.  I just don't see how the suggested changes makes more want to come into the class or stay in the class.  For once I'd like to see SCCA resist the temptation to split and dilute a class.  This org has a long history of doing that and rarely with a good participation outcome. 

 

I think there is more to be gained in SM through cost cutting measures (tires and reducing 3 day events) and through the introduction of more interesting formats and a return to making regional and conference racing more meaningful. Our conference schedule at least in the northern conference is becoming bland.  It's nearly the same from year to year.  If we added some interesting formats (a longer race, Nascar style qualifying, points for fastest laps or positions gained, a standing start, a no plate race, backwards race (reverse track direction where possible), a team race, etc.... ). Heck in our area I think you could replace a couple of poorly attended regionals with a restricted Majors race which only runs SM, SRF3 and a couple other better populated classes (maybe for that offer SM2 and SRF).  Give every class their own race, a lot of track time and a new and different format.  We'd probably get more entries than the regionals get now in total.  The Super Tour series is a different format, it's a top competition format, which in part is why it's popular in terms of entry numbers.  It's different, it creates enthusiasm. 

 

Lastly make conference results and participation matter more for a Runoffs entry.  None of this 2 races and you're in or whatever it is.  Run the bulk of your conference schedule and if you do well you can go.  Have a true conference championship through a conference series of varying format races with a variety of ways to earn points.  In short, make it more interesting.   The karting crowd kicks our butt in this regard.  They mix it up at least from the experience we had locally. 


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#19
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I think this thread will have a lot of pages on it when it is all said and done, and that probably means that there is something here. 

 

I agree with  a lot of what has been said, but the bottom line of what Jim is saying is undeniable truth. If the class does not evolve or improve it will wither and die. I like the idea of making a  serious change, it shows we own the class and are invested in its success. Yeah maybe whatever decisions made do not work out exactly the way we intended, but the alternative is going from the highest attended class to just another 5-12 car class that has some epic stories. 

 

I also think that whatever changes are made they should be simple and straight forward. In everything in life it is those things that work, and last. This is no different. 

 

Last, I think being inclusive of the NA's could be a win here, but not sure it is feasible. 

 

Let me know when we take are going to take a vote on it.  


Senter Smith


#20
OrangeCrush86

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I would rather get rid of Majors before splitting the class. When it comes to the SCCA, I will not support any solution that results in more classes. We have way too many as it is. I'm with other people here: make the divisional points matter and junk the Majors.

 

The only good thing about the majors is the reduced classes which lets SM have our own group. Remove the Majors, reduce classes so SM always has it's own run group, and more people would show up.

 

In regards to your suggestion about people "moving on". Keeping NA cars in SM brings more new people to SM, not less. I started in an NA car because it was cheaper. At some point I'll change to a 99 or VVT, but until I can afford a newer, nicer car, I'm paying entry fees with my NA. I was one of the few that ran a Majors as well. I will run more of them in the future too.

 

If NA cars are removed only one thing will happen for sure, your entry fees are going to go up at least 7%.

 

As far as the future of SM and car counts goes, no class can last forever. The cars will age out eventually. The next logical replacement is already in motion: Spec MX5.


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