I'm admitedly biased, since I drive a NA6. I'm never going to race HST. I don't have plans to run a majors, but that would really depend on the schedule and location...and my desire to race at a destination. So, I'd be dissapointed if this change took that off the table, but not overly so.
OTOH, I'd be VERY dissapointed if this impacted regional race car-counts. I guess that would depend on how easy it was to change the car config back for the regional rule-set.
This thread is SCCA centric. I *think* the class has alsoo benefitted from maintaining a "mostly" common rule-set between NASA and SCCA. Historically in TX, thre was significant cross-over between the orgs. I'm not sure about this year, or other regions of the country. I don't think that competition between orgs, regions, or events is good for class growth. If someone has to choose between things (for schedule, access, or rulesets) then someone loses. eventually, either everyone ends up in ONE PLACE, and ALL OTHERS die...or it ends up fractured...and everyone loses.
This class has been very successful for a very long time. I think that success has been in large part due to the commonality across the spectrum of events (from regionals to Runoffs); and the perception of affordability. It may only be a preception, but it still works (I think). You can get into the class, and go race for pretty damn cheap. You might be BOP, but there's someone else BOP to race. You can move up the ranks with skill or cash (or both)....and maybe you decide to go all-in, eventually. My little homebuilt 1.6 is a pretty damn good car with the X-factor engine---a hell of a lot better than its driver. I told Chris I'd discuss an NB, when he honestly could tell me that my NA6 was holding me back---I'm still waiting.
But, what defines the health of the class? HST entries? Regional entries? NASA? SCCA? I can't disagree with the premise that change may be advisable to continue to entice new/more blood. I'm not sure this would achieve that outcome. We already fight reliability issues with these cars at their current HP/TQ and speeds. I'm not sure how increasing all of those would improve the reliability without addressing most of the weak-points of the car---all of which equates to increased cost.
SSM and all the other splinters have never worked here in TX. At one point SSM ballooned up to like 6 cars. They started mixed in with the SM cars. Other than just to get tires, I couldn't figure out why I should convert to a slower config. I wanted to race everyone heads-up, not handicapped.
That's a lot of shotgun thoughts. I need to think about it more to arrange them into something more cogent.