And why would they do that?
The car makes more power than EVERY other SM out there, a little less tq, little less revvs.. No one who has been historically at the front is racing them to show they are off? The Runoffs are heading back to Road America, so you want to take weight off of the car that makes the most HP?
Meanwhile Konrad nearly podiumed with his at Homestead in four car break away two weeks ago and Danny won both days at Daytona in one he had never even driven in a 60 car field. Sager choses his NA1.8 over his VVT in most cases. Marc Cefalo drives one and he builds more cars than all of us. You think he is just trying to give all of us an advantage? I would think if he felt the cars were not a good choice he would not have built one and continually choose it over VVTs and 99's he has raced and has at his disposal? Maybe he just feels sorry for all of us and wants to give us a better chance
Wow this got lively. For the record as the rules are right now I would choose my VVT over the NA1.8 for any important race. Sentimentally speaking I love the '95 and it has some great history on the track and some fun history with the builder Mike Tesch and competitively speaking it's close to my '01.
When the rule change to remove the restrictor plate and increase the weight to 2400 was under consideration I did a very careful test at Blackhawk to see how much quicker the car would be in the new configuration. 4 sessions with 2 each at then current 2350/47mm and 2 at proposed rules 2400/none showed that the car was no quicker. Averaging best laps across the sessions it was within less than a tenth of a second difference. It was a cool dry day nearly identical conditions to my last time out there with the VVT and I was .2 - .3 slower than the VVT times on a 1.9 mile track.
Also back in November I took a another look at data for tracks in our area (Blackhawk, Gingerman, Mid-Ohio and Road America) and in the case of the first 3 the majority of time you're on the throttle is between 5000 and 6000 RPM and even some time below 5000 RPM. The VVT car is stronger in this range for sure. Even at Road America and a 2:44 second lap more on throttle time is spent under 6000 RPM than above. So while an NA1.8 does make more peak power and it looks great on a dyno plot, that car doesn't get to use it often enough at a good sample of tracks. If we could calculate it the NB's probably make slightly more power per lap and the shorter rev limiter is also another small contributor to that deficit. This deficit though appears to be very small.
Then there is the steering/suspension difference which is harder to quantify but if you've driven both cars at 2400 pounds it shows up on the stopwatch and in how the car drives. I'm quite sure that nobody intent on truly competing in an NB would opt to install the NA front suspension in exchange for a $10,000 check. For a weight adjustment maybe but what's the over/under on that - 25 pounds? 50 pounds? Point is the newer car is slightly better in this regard.
So in my view with supporting data the NA1.8 is still at a slight disadvantage. It deserves a slight weight reduction to truly bring it to "even". We're talking about a few tenths per lap.
Just over the holidays I started thinking about our upcoming season. Both cars are inside. Both have strong engines under the hood. Both need some TLC to be ready for 2020. I made a list of to-do's for the '01 and that will be the car that gets worked on and entered in the first Majors race up here in May. That's a compelling data point.
Taking a bit of weight off the NA1.8 isn't going to upset the class or cause people to win that otherwise wouldn't or cause front runners to scrap their NB's and go NA1.8. Justified though I'm convinced it is.