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Getting into sports car racing, SCCA style

By tech in Culture
Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:56:12 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Sports car racing is alive and well in the world today, and is less expensive and more accessible than most people think. All that's generally required to get in on a casual basis or really hot and heavy is a car, a modest inital investment (a few hundred USD), and a free weekend or two every month. Thanks to complex classing systems, almost any sporty car can compete.

If you like going fast, this article is for you.

Chances are, you live within 2 hours of an active track, that holds dozens of amateur events each year. Yes, you can participate in those events! This story is a guide to getting started.

The first step in getting into sports car racing here in the states is familiarizing yourself with the SCCA. The SCCA is either directly responsible (by promoting events) or indirectly responsible (by licensing drivers, providing safety and performance rules, and providing insurance to private promotors) for the vast majority of events being held.

The Sports Car Club of America is a 65 000-member, non-profit organization featuring the most active membership participation in American motorsports today, and promoting more than 2 000 amateur and professional events each year. (SCCA site)

The SCCA is a grassroots-centric organization. 109 regional chapters conduct almost all of the events, while the national club provides resources that make the chapters' operations possible: coordinated rules, licensing, insurance, etc..

The mainstay of the SCCA is its Club Racing program - more than 300 amateur road racing events are held at local and national levels through the year. (SCCA explains itself)

The second step is to decide just what you want to run. The SCCA promotes a variety of events in several broad catagories:

Club Racing
Club Racing includes the more than 300 road racing events each year. Club Racing is *not* geared toward circuit-chasing racers, but instead caters to those who want to test their skills on a part-time basis. As such, the champions (totalling 25 in as many classes) are decided through a seperate set of events: 65 National races, and the annual Valvoline Runoffs. Events are held on dedicated raceways, positioned all over the US.

Solo I
Solos are single car speed competitions, ran against the clock. A Solo I event takes form of either a Hill Climb, Solo Trials, or Flat Track Trials. The nature of a Hill Climb is obvious - one car is sent up a hill at a time, and the shortest time wins. Solo Trials are held on marked (by cones, flexible pylons, maybe barrels, and other low-damage-potential marking devices) courses where speeds do not reach everyday highway speeds, but where the shape of the course induces a serious speed rush. Flat Track Trials are held on a dedicated raceway, and speeds reach those of any other event on that track.

Solo II
Solo II, the American brand name of autocross, is the natural extension of Solo I. Events are held on marked courses, usually constructed on deserted parking lots or airstrips. Speeds are much higher than the similar Solo I Trials.

Road Rally Road Rallies are held on open public highways, at or below the legal speed limit. These types of rallies aren't races at all, but instead the point is to arrive at the destination exactly on-time (not early or late). The twist is, you aren't given the time up front - only the average speed required on each strech of road to the destination.

Performance Rally
Most of you will be familar with Performance Rallies - cars barely squeek around turns on hazardous gravel or dirt roads, while hordes of spectators look on in the seemingly most dangerous possible positions. Every driver has a co-driver (navigator), and the racing sections (special stages) are connected by quick trips (transit sections) on open public highways where the participants must obey all traffic laws. Performance Rally is further divided into Club Rally and Pro Rally.

SCCA Pro Racing
The SCCA also organizes and officiates many professional racing series including the Trans-Am series, SPEED World Challange, and Spec Racer. They aren't covered here, but more infomation can be found on the SCCA Pro Racing website.

The third step is to become a member of the SCCA. The cost will be between 70 and 100 USD, depending upon the speed demands of your SO and/or children. (This includes both national and regional dues.)

You'll also need to order rulebooks. You'll certainly need the General Competition Rules (CGR), which will cost you 25 USD (30, for non-members), and maybe a rulebook specific to the events you participate in (15 USD for members, 20 for non-members).

When you look over the rules, you'll probably notice a few modifications you'll need to make on your car, and a few items you'll need to purchase. Most events require at least a helmet ($150-$250) (though some, like Road Rallies and Solo I Trials (except when driving a convertible) don't.) You may also need a fire and abraision resistant suit ($100-$250), a rollbar ($150-$400), compeition seats and harnesses ($200-$400), or other safety gear.

In general, racing in the SCCA starts cheap and gets more expensive as you get more experience. That's good.

The fourth step is to get licensed. For Club Racing, you'll need to first get a novice permit ($55). Almost everyone 16 years of age or older with a valid driver's license is eligible for a novice permit. With such a permit, you can attend SCCA competition driving schools.

After you've attended and completed two schools ($100-$200 each, and worth every penny) you are eligible to enter two regional races. Once you've done that, you're eligible for your regional competition license. For more information on Club Racing licensing, check out the SCCA's Club Racing licensing guide.

For information on getting a different competition license, check out the SCCA's site.

Sports car racing is indeed alive and well, and what's more, it's easy to participate in. I hope that you've found this article informative, and if you enjoy going fast and the thrill of competition, I hope you persue them in the form of racing in the SCCA.

The SCCA is not the only motor sports organization in the US, though. Others include:

MCSCC, or the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs, is similar in structure and events to the SCCA.

The Grand American Road Racing Association is similar to the SCCA in many respects, but is only in its third season. If nothing else, they have already brought about changes in the way road races are conducted, and more organizations (and competition between them) is usually a Good Thing.

SVRA, or the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association - "Some people collect art - we race it."

CART, which stands for Championship Auto Racing Teams, is active in the US. They sponsor the FedEx Championship Series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

IMSA, or the International MotorSports Association, is active in the US. They sponsor the American LeMans series, as well as the Grand Prix American. As far as I am aware, this is a purely professional league.

Organizations similar in purpose to the SCCA exist in many countries, and a few are listed here:

In other countries, look at the FIA's list of affiliated member organizations, in 118 different countries.

There are more sports car racing clubs and organiztions in America and in the world than I could hope to list and describe, but a Google search on sports car racing can be fruitful.

Thanks for reading,


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Do you own a sports car? What's its personality?
o Light, nimble, modest - Miata 19%
o Wicked fast, screw turns - Viper 1%
o Fast, gives the turns a shot, and doen't cost as much as a small house - Corvette 8%
o Noisy, 3 foot wing, burns rice - Civic 4%
o Wicked fast, *and* nimble, but does cost as much as a small house - Porche 4%
o I don't own a sports car, but I wish I did. 30%
o I think going fast is dangerous and/or stupid, and so are the people that do it. 18%
o Other (comment) 11%

Votes: 143
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o SCCA site
o SCCA explains itself
o SCCA Pro Racing website
o become a member
o order rulebooks
o the SCCA's Club Racing licensing guide
o The Grand American Road Racing Association
o Federation Internationale de L'Automobile
o Confederat ion of Australian Motorsport
o New Zealand Hot Rod Association
o The Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Limited
o the FIA's list of affiliated member organizations, in 118 different countries
o a Google search on sports car racing
o Also by tech

Display: Sort:
Getting into sports car racing, SCCA style | 123 comments (110 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Poll : Other (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by dissonant on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:26:48 PM EST

If you really want to go fast, and nimble, without mortgaging your home, try a motorcycle. ~$8k, a little practice, and no small amount of raw nerve, and I garuntee you can make 99% of the sports cars out there look like they're standing still. You'll also get ~40 mpg while doing it.

Good Point (none / 0) (#9)
by tech on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:31:08 PM EST

But, sports cars can actually go their top speed without making death a very likely near-future state.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]
Given the same road... (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by dissonant on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:47:14 PM EST

...which if you're getting up to top speed, needs to be long, straight, closed to traffic (and wildlife), and unpatrolled, I don't see doing the same speed on a bike as being much less dangerous, assuming you have proper protective gear (i.e. bike has proper aerodynamics, you're wearing full race gear and helmet, etc.). If you're north of 100mph in just about anything (that's street legal\not super-exotic) and you spill, your chances aren't good.

Personally, I'd rather take a nice twisty mountain road than go ultra fast on a straightaway.

[ Parent ]
Good Point, Again (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by tech on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:51:58 PM EST

But I don't think you'd ever convince me that a bike's safety at speed could ever compare with a car's safety at speed considering: In a car, you have all the protection you have on the bike, plus better (indeed, existant) restraints, protection from contact with obstacales (like, a full body), a possible rollcage or rollbar, etc.

I like motorcycles. Mostly dirt-bikes for me, but I see why people like sport-bikes. I just can't imagine racing one.

About the straight track being needed to get a car to top speed, you're quite right. My Miata tops out at about 130 (drag limited), and it takes a while to get there. Other cars, however, (and certainly bikes) can get upwards of 100 MPH very, very quickly, and almost all tracks have straights that would allow it.

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To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

Speed at 40mpg (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by spinfire on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:43:56 PM EST

Many people race Volkswagon TDI diesel engines, and get over 40MPG while doing so.  Although VW has yet to release the larger TDI engines in the US, these cars obtain marked performance increase after only chipping.
Freelance Hacker. spinfire on FooNET.
[ Parent ]
Fuel efficiency vs. chipping (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by PhadeRunner on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:02:12 PM EST

"these cars obtain marked performance increase after only chipping"

At which point they lose all fuel efficiency bonuses because what does chipping actually do?  

It instructs the engine to increase the injector opening times so more fuel is burnt for more power at lower revs.  

VW use very conservative timings to inflate their MPG figures to impress the very types of people who buy VW diesels.  I'll leave identification of said drivers to the reader given the above information as a guide...

[ Parent ]

VW diesel mileage (4.50 / 2) (#46)
by rantweasel on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:48:04 PM EST

Given that with VW's timing, the TDIs (at least the ones sold in the US) get 50-55MPG, chipping them to get more power and only 40MPG is still pretty nifty.  It's certainly more efficient than a Viper.  Not to mention the fact that there is something appealing about racing diesel.


[ Parent ]

Proofreading is a good thing. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by spinfire on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:36:46 PM EST

Late nights don't bode well for clarity. VW makes large TDIs, even a V8 that has some 400 ft-lb of torque. But they aren't imported into the US for a variety of reasons, the biggest being a lack of market (also, US doesn't mandate Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel Fuel, increasing emissions.

If you knew anything about diesel chipping, you would also know that some chip replacements increase mileage, by several miles per gallon. A well designed ECU program doesn't inject more fuel unless the driver is requesting it all the time, and even then 40mpg is really the lowest it will go.

VW uses a conservative program to improve engine reliability by decreasing wear. Reliability is the one thing any performance engine upgrade is likely to decrease, bar none.

I apologize for being unclear and brief in my earlier comment :)

Freelance Hacker. spinfire on FooNET.
[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by strlen on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:10:57 PM EST

Motorcycles are great, and you can always pick up a used one for even cheaper. But most people aren't prepared to sacrifice the time to learn how to ride a motorcycle (I wouldn't go near a track day without having riden for at least a year), nor are they willing to put up with very high chance of injuries when racing (you're at much higher change of being injured when you take your bike for a track day at Laguna Seca, for instance, rather than when you auto-cross a car. Is there even anything like auto-cross available for motorcycles?).

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
yes (4.50 / 2) (#19)
by demi on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:27:53 PM EST

Is there even anything like auto-cross available for motorcycles?

Yeah, it's called rush-hour traffic. Or at least that's the way they play it on Westheimer and US 59 here.

[ Parent ]

In addition (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by strlen on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:55:40 PM EST

You don't need a sports car for autocross, or even rallye. For 8k you can pick up an excellent condition used Corrado VR6, or a used Integra GSR, both of them light-weight, 170 hp hatchbacks, which don't really classify as sports car (they're FWD), but will do superberly in Solo II, and at an occasional track day.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Yes, but (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:19:08 PM EST

motorcycle racing, while it takes skill, is basically a sport for people whose courage exceeds their common sense.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Common sense? (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by phliar on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:04:05 PM EST

Anything outside the bare minimum for living one's life is outside "common sense" -- by definition. The common person does not do things like race, or climb mountains, or fly airplanes.

Motorcycle racing on the track is very safe. Wearing full leathers you can survive a "get-off" at 100 mph without a scratch, assuming you don't hit anything while sliding. (The bike might even survive with very little damage besides bent clutch/brake levers.)

Everything you choose to do has a risk associated with it. Every person has a different amount of risk tolerance. Evaluate the risks objectively and then decide if it's acceptable for you. Tarring bike racers as having more courage than common sense just makes you look foolish.

I do not have any dependents; for me, bicycle racing, flying, riding motorcycles all have acceptable risk after taking what I consider basic safety precautions. Mountaineering got above my risk threshold so I stopped. I don't think of mountaineers as stupid, though.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Well (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:03:02 PM EST

Whether you survive being separated from your bike at high speed obviously has a lot to do with whether there's anything to hit, but 100mph? That's not much comfort, since motorcycle racing typically gets to much higher speeds than that. Remember, over the range of speeds you might typically cover, every added 10mph roughly doubles the impact you'll experience should you actually collide with anything. At any speed above 140mph or so(common, but not constant obviously,) you run a very real risk of even an angle impact(say, of you with the road...) causing severe injury or death - particularly since you might well bang your head really well more than once, which will mostly negate the benefits of a helmet.

I didn't say motorcycle racing was stupid. What I said was meant as follows: anyone who thinks too closely about what could happen probably won't be competitive. You really need a certain amount of (perhaps admirable) bullheaded damn-the-consequences attitude to do that. I'm not beyond taking risks, but I prefer my risks to be of the "yeah, this happens to some guys, but really you might as well worry about having a heart attack as long as you're careful" variety.

By the way, what kind of mountaineering were you doing? I wasn't aware it was all that risky, unless you decide to go climb Mt. Everest or something like that.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Motorcycles (none / 0) (#80)
by phliar on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:35:34 PM EST

but 100mph? That's not much comfort, since motorcycle racing typically gets to much higher speeds than that. Remember, over the range of speeds you might typically cover, every added 10mph roughly doubles the impact you'll experience should you actually collide with anything.
True, the highest speed is considerably higher, in the range of 150mph. However, you spend very little time at those speeds, and you can only do that on a straight -- you're not very likely to crash then. Crashes happen at the turns. Makes sense, because the race happens at the turns.

The exact speed doesn't matter: everything is predicated on not hitting anything. (A speed of 25 mph may kill you if you hit something solid, like a curb.) You hit the road, then you slide until you stop. A reasonably gradual stop without losing skin -- hence the leather. You must slide; if you start tumbling you'll break something. You also don't want your bike to run into you.

You just have to look at the injury/fatality stats: compare riding or driving on the street with racing on the track. Racing has an excellent safety record. (Your "angle impact" has no bearing; think physics, decompose the forces into normal and tangential components.) Another telling fact is that racers are very sane, calculating, and conscious of their mortality -- no bullheads. Perhaps that's just evolution in action.

(Mountaineering in a separate post.)

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Gah (1.00 / 1) (#82)
by majubma on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 12:13:58 AM EST

Your "angle impact" has no bearing; think physics, decompose the forces into normal and tangential components.

Great, now factor in friction, dipshit.

--Thaddeus Q. Thaddelonium, the most crookedest octopus lawyer in the West.
[ Parent ]

Such eloquence! (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by phliar on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 12:42:08 AM EST

Great, now factor in friction, dipshit.
Ok; the forces on your head go up by 0.03%. (What do you think the coefficient of friction is for polished fiberglass on asphalt?)

I'm sorry for you: your hostility to anyone describing their experiences that happen to run counter to your preconceived notions obviously results from feelings of inadequacy.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Uh-huh (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by majubma on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:03:26 AM EST

And what, your whole suit's made of fiberglass?

Please explain how you land on the ground at high speed without tumbling. I'd be glad to entertain your delusioned ideas of physics.

Have a hint--Kinetic energy increases with the square of speed, and in order to bring your flailing body to a stop that energy needs to be dissipated.


--Thaddeus Q. Thaddelonium, the most crookedest octopus lawyer in the West.
[ Parent ]

What's your problem? (none / 0) (#97)
by phliar on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:39:37 PM EST

Please explain how you land on the ground at high speed without tumbling.
Please watch some movies of Grand Prix racing. (I know how to write without resorting to invective.)

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Never mind the loosers (none / 0) (#120)
by Djinh on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 04:09:35 AM EST

Never mind the 4-wheeled loosers that are too chicken to get on a bike.

They're still hurting from when a 250cc Yamaha chopper smoked their ultra-hip tuned and ported V8 wannabe-racer...

They'll never learn and will always be stuck in their slow, clunky and crappy cars.

We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

How do you figure? (4.50 / 2) (#71)
by spcmanspiff on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 08:29:03 PM EST

I consider myself pretty risk-averse ... I won't touch a motorcycle with a twenty-foot pole, for example.

Just out of curiosity, why do you feel that mountaineering is so dangerous? It's one of my favorite things. :) -- and unlike, say, riding a motorcycle in traffic, risk management is pretty feasible.


[ Parent ]

Mountaineering (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by phliar on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:52:19 PM EST

I decided to answer both your and trhurler's question in one message.
Why do you feel that mountaineering is so dangerous? It's one of my favorite things.
The "objective risk" -- things you can't control.

What does mountaineering mean to you? Distinguished from hiking, I mean.

For me, mountaineering means steep, ice/snow, belays required. Stiff boots, probably plastic double boots, with crampons. (Usually folding crampons -- rigid crampons are for technical ice; mountaineering doesn't have to involve that. Just like technical rock climbing doesn't have to be involved -- although you're better off being good at both.) You need to know roped glacier travel and crevasse avoidance and rescue. You need to know weather. Avalanche awareness and rescue. Self-arrest with the axe. I know too many people who have died doing this -- a serac falls on you crossing an icefall and there's nothing anyone can do.

I haven't done anything high-altitude. A few rambles in the Colorado Rockies, a trip to the Mont Blanc area of the Alps. Ice climbing is also outside my risk limits. Rock climbing is ok, you only have to worry some idiot sending rocks on your head as long as you don't do anything stupid.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

I guess it's a matter of perspective... (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:32:44 AM EST

... but for me, all of the risks you mention are "manageable." That's not to say that plenty of people don't roll the dice and are fine, or die, but that you can deal with things in a nice, objective, sit-back-and-plan manner as opposed to split-second life or death swerves.

Your comment about rock climbing mostly applies to all the things you mentioned: glacier travel, technical ice, avalanche-prone slopes -- they're all okay as long as you don't do anything stupid. "Stupid" includes being ignorant of the dangers involved and charging on anyway; I freely admit I know almost nothing about avalanches, so I won't touch territory where it's a concern without a very experienced and trustworthy partner.

The difference, to me, is that in mountaineering, you can stop, look at a danger, decide the risk involved, and evaluate alternatives. On a motorcycle, once you start riding it for real instead of puttering around empty roads, the number of things "out of your hands" climbs just as high as in a mountaineering situation, but your decision time drops from (days/hours/minutes, and even weeks on a huge expidition) to a few seconds at the outside. It's pretty rare for split-second decisions to be necessary in mountaineering, and when they are, they're things you've prepared and trained for as best you can in advance.

That's not saying there's no risk, but you have a lot more time to think about whether it should be taken or not. Ice falls will always be dangerous, but they can be suicide on an abnormally warm day. Areas with frequent rock/ice fall will usually have scars and other signs. Etc...

Plenty of mountaineers will push on when they should be taking a break to think things over, and they get punished for it often enough -- but at least they had full control over their exposure, unlike the hapless biker who gets mashed by an SUV that didn't brake in time.


[ Parent ]

True... but (none / 0) (#99)
by phliar on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:56:55 PM EST

First, I should add that on a bike, you do have time to think and evaluate the options -- maybe a fraction of a second, but thinking does go on. (However, note that I make a distinction between racing on a track and riding on the road -- the risks are very different between the two. You don't worry about that drunk in an SUV talking on his mobile phone. There should be no life-or-death swerves on the track.)

Where have you gone mountaineering? The people I know who bit it were in the Andes. One serac, one falling cornice high above. Another guy actually survived an avalanche. The snow in the Andes does have a reputation for being poor. (Have you read Touching The Void by Joe Simpson?)

but at least [mountaineers] had full control over their exposure
Not always. Climbing rock, you have good anchors and can trust your belay. On snow or ice, you can't always count on your anchor. (This is why I'll climb rock, but don't want to climb ice.)

Ultimately, my evaluation of the risk is coloured by the people I know who have died, and the circumstances in which they did.

PS: If you head up into the steeps, you really should learn about avalanches -- weather, snow conditions, beacon searches etc.. If you're in the Bay Area, there are excellent weekend training clinics held by ASI in the Donner area.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

I think you misunderstand when I say ... (none / 0) (#103)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 06:16:24 PM EST

"controlling exposure."

You choose not to climb ice; thus, you're not exposed to those risks. Me? I'll ice climb -- on a toprope from a big fat rock or tree anchor. :) That's what I mean by "controlling your exposure," not that there's some magical way to make leading ice a perfectly safe activity.

Most everything (there are always exceptions) you do in mountaineering has a known risk, and you have plenty of time to decide whether to take it or not.

Obviously there are plenty of extremely risky things you can do when climbing of any sort; the thing that differentiates it in my mind is that you can carefully decide exactly how much risk you're willing to accept.

It's a lot harder to do that with a crotch-rocket. :)

I'm thinking of taking a basic ice climbers' course to get a little more formal about ice -- lots good skills to learn, even if I'll never do it again; also, there are tons of good avalanche courses here (Colorado) and I'm waiting until winter to pick one out. Most backcountry deaths here are due to avalanche, so I'm really pretty paranoid about 'em.

p.s. If you're into cragging and ever in Colorado, I'd be happy to head up -- plenty of rock that's climbable even in the winter!


[ Parent ]

Few things (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by strlen on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:07:26 PM EST

Question: do I need a racing license, to participate in Solo II events?

And you may want to mention the speedfreakz program, which makes the membership due for those under 26 only $30.

Otherwise this an excellent topic. There used to be an organization called N.A.S.A. in my area which held open-to-all autocrosses at an air field, but they were kicked out of that air-field, and their events are suspended indefinately. But chances are there's an organization like that in your area as well. In addition, my community college also holds yearly autocrosses, and a local VW/Audi tuner, also holds yearly autocrosses at their shows. So SCCA, by no means are the only ones who setup amateur racing events.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

No. (none / 0) (#15)
by tech on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:16:03 PM EST

However, you will for Solo I (oddly enough). There is a Solo II license, but it is not required (although may be desirable).

More information on Solo licensing can be had here.

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To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

Also, on SpeedFreakz (none / 0) (#17)
by tech on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:19:12 PM EST

I forgot to mention, but SpeedFreakz costs 50 USD to enroll in (if you want to be eligible for licenses. A non-competitor's option is available, cheaper).

I haven't looked into SpeedFreakz, but it looks like a way to market to younger drivers (which is not a bad thing) by offering some discounts, and a few additional benefits (cool stickers, a magazine subscription).

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

More questions (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by wumpus on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:39:56 PM EST

How much room does a helmet take up? I'm 6'5" and there is only so much room in any car (no the answer is not a miata only with the roof down). I have to admit that taking a Breeze (it fits and has a stick shift) to autox would be goofy, but the driver is more likely to limit performance in this case than the car. Wumpus

[ Parent ]
Helmet? Not much (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by strlen on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 07:17:40 PM EST

Just get a good motorcycle helmet, that has both a snell and DOT rating and covers your face. I have a HJC CJ-12 for my motorcycle, which cost me $160, and is both snell and DOT approved. It will work for any racing event, car or motorcycle, and is excellent for street riding in the motorcycle. It barely adds any more size to your head, and you should fit fine.

As for breeze, is that the Plymouth version of the Stratus? If so, user named nstentz on this board (k5) is the one to talk as he's had a tuned up stratus and knows all about tuning those cars for spirited driving / autocross. Overall, they should perform decently. There's people running Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords at autocrosses, and neither of those car are smaller, or have a more advanced suspension setup than a stratus would.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Helmet (none / 0) (#72)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 08:32:14 PM EST

2" or 3". It shouldn't be a problem.

Yes, go to a motorcycle shop and look around. Like another poster, I also use an HJC CL-12. They're inexpensive, and really, really nice. If you get one of them, get the 'breath box' with it. I have yet to find out if it's useful in sports car racing, but on dirt, at night, it really helped keep the shield unfogged.

Don't spend more than 200 USD on a helmet. After you have the proper Snell (and almost all Snell-rated helmets are DOT rated (DOT (Dept. of Transportation) is really lax)) rating, the rest is just features (vents, padding).

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

Poll: Other - I Own A Bitch Car (Ford Focus) (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by thelizman on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:16:14 PM EST

It's missing on cylinder number 2. Lets start with, "I just moved to North Carolina from Arizona", and I'll let you know that I did'nt get past Tucson before I started having these problems. Stopped in a small town near the Arizona / New Mexico border, and replaced the spark plugs. All is well until the engine warms up again, then I stop at a dealership in Carlton New Mexico. The tech hooks the computer up, determines that there isn't enough power on cylinder 2. He replaces the sparkplugs (but with motorcraft instead of autolites), charges me a hundred bucks, and I go on my way feeling like a chump. Then, by Las Cruces, the engine starts missing again. I am a chump now, not because I was right about my being wrong, but because it cost me a hundred bucks to replicate what I had already figured out: spark wasn't the problem. I go to the next likely suspect: the fuel injector. Note: my car has distributorless ignition. Somehow I got it into my head that this equated to coilless as well, but untill plasma firing spark plugs become more than a drawing-board nicety, I should know better. So, in 3000 miles, only one dealership along I-20 has a fuel injector. Unfortunately, I'm 100 miles past it just outside of Dallas, TX when it's located. So, I continue on on 3 good cylinders, and 1 okay cylinder. Get here to North Cackalacki and replace the fuel injector. Well, it's not as bad anymore, but them I'm not doing interstate driving. I stop at autozone, pick up a fuel filter and a coil pack. Tomorrow I'll actually put them on. Meanwhile, I'm cussing myself for having bought a ford, much less a ford focus.

It's a bitch car. Granted, you can make some modifications to give it real cock-and-balls, but at the end of the day, it's still a rice-rocket wannabe bitch-car.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Not a fan of the Focus in general (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by PhadeRunner on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:11:01 PM EST

In fact I agree with you that it's a bit of a bitch car.  However you can't completely diss a car which has independent rear suspension.  I doubt for a moment that there's more stable turner for the money.  

Stick a V8 in it though and you'll lose all that advantage and turn it into something which understeers badly and has zero turn-in capability.  

Much better to take a 2.0 4 cylinder and make some real performance mods.  Custom engine management, throttle bodies, cam shafts and cylinder heads should do it.  

Chances are you could take it to 230bhp+ and still be able to drive round corners too.  It'd beat the V8 on the circuit any day.  

[ Parent ]

Suspension question (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by phliar on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:14:51 PM EST

[Ford Focus] ... you can't completely diss a car which has independent rear suspension.
Don't all modern cars have independent rear suspensions? I thought pickup trucks and SUVs were the only vehicles still using live axles.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Not live axels but not completely independent (none / 0) (#88)
by PhadeRunner on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 05:08:40 AM EST

No actually most small cars don't have completely independent rear suspension.  In typical driving conditions you'd tend not to notice.  

Once you start banging the rear wheels over apex kerbs on racetracks you'll soon see the difference and be glad of it.  

[ Parent ]

More suspension questions (none / 0) (#100)
by phliar on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 02:01:45 PM EST

I know what a live axle is, but I don't know what the other terms mean: completely independent, "double wishbone" etc. How about a quick rundown of suspensions? I don't know anything about cars, but from bikes I imagine you tweak the damping, rebound etc. based on the track. Also, how much leeway do you have in these Solo events to upgrade shocks, springs etc.?

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Well, they can be good... (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by DanTheCat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:24:19 PM EST

If you live in europe and get the ralley version. Now that would be a kick-ass car...

Dan :)

I was in need of help
Heading to black out
'Til someone told me 'run on in honey
Before someone blows your god damn brains out'<
[ Parent ]

My bitch car has leather panties.... (2.00 / 1) (#69)
by blixco on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:54:44 PM EST

...and a strap-on. I drive the Focus SVT, which is an unrefined, snarling little bitch. It goes like hell, it stops even faster, and the handling is rated at .92...in the real world, I can out corner every Boxster I've run across on Spicewood Springs road. On the edges of it's ability, the handling is predictable, with a steady 4 wheel drift, easily correctable, and no major understeer.

SVT isn't quite the pure snarling sports car that many people who buy them think it is. It's intended to be well balanced, fun, and a good autocross car, but is also nicely streetable.

Jackson Racing is going to make a supercharger for the SVT in January (according to the last posts I saw on focaljet.com). Dunno how they'll deal with the already high compression (10.0:1) without strengthening the rods, but I understand it'll make 220 horsepower. In a car that weighs almost nothing.

It's ridiculous looking, and I get these strange looks from the older folk I work with, but the damn thing is just a hell of a lot of fun.
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Loser (2.00 / 1) (#73)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 08:41:12 PM EST

I assume you mean your car has a .93g skidpad rating. So does my Miata, and any other car on-track. Vipers out skidpad you.

Yes, four wheel drift is easily correctable, but it should be corrected mechanically.

Boxters aren't real Porsches, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't believe you.

It doesn't understeer because you aren't going fast enough to make it. You must have good brakes.

It *is* suprisingly light, 2700lbs for the Focus and 2100lbs for my Miata. Wow. Considering the extra space inside and the size of the Focus, that's quite an accomplishment.

All that being said, I like Focuses (their seats and shifters suck, though), and I think they're well suited for amateur rallying.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

Ahem. (none / 0) (#75)
by blixco on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 09:01:33 PM EST

My car held to .91, though the factory says it'll do .93 Didn't feel like buying a new set of tires that day.

Four wheel drift doesn't start to happen easily, but when it does it's completely predictable, unlike a lot of smaller cars I've driven. This car has no problem on that edge; it does nothing unusual. I've yet to make it lose control, except at the skidpad.

It has astounding brakes, but the understeer just doesn't enter into the equation at the speeds I corner at. Again, the understeer is minimal, and the car behaves precisely the way you'd expect.

The SVT seats are different than standard focus seats, and the tranny is a 6 speed Getrag that I still don't quite have a handle on, but it's a nice unit. The clutch is suprisingly easy to deal with, and the pedals are perfectly placed for heel-toe.

So far as the Boxster goes, you don't need to believe me. Doesn't really make a difference. I can't help it if the four Boxtser drivers I've encountered can't drive.

Vipers outskidpad me? Heck, they only cost four or five times as much...

I'm not too serious about autocross with this car, since it's my primary transportation. But it's a hell of a lot of fun, and it was quite a bit less expensive than the competition. Autocross events are mainly annoying though, because of the attitudes involved.

In re: your numerous attempts at insulting me, you've only illustrated what I know all too well, which is the only problem with Miatas (and Corvettes):

The owners.
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

Oh and a few tips (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by strlen on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:59:51 PM EST

On the slight tangent of cars, the notion that you need to be rich to have a sporty car is false. For $5,000 you can pick up either a: early-to-mid 80's Porsche 944 (one of the best handling cars ever.. front-engine water cooled Porsche), early 90's VW Corrado VR6(170 hp, light weight car), or an decent condition early 90's Miata. Also early BMW's (old 3-series, bmw 2002), early Datsuns (early Z-cars, 510s), will give you a great deal of performance, for a very minute ammount of money (quite possibly within a $3,000 budget).

You don't need to be the Sultan of Brunei to autocross or participate in an occasional track event.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

Indeed (none / 0) (#22)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:16:32 AM EST

That's a very good point that should have been made more strongly in my article. I paid 4k for my Miata, and I think it's more mechanically sound than something off the Ford lot.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]
Ford 0wnz Mazda, f00l (none / 0) (#94)
by nanobug on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 11:28:11 AM EST

If you don't know anything about cars, stick to making fun of Kia and Daihatsu.

[ Parent ]
Yo Foo! (none / 0) (#111)
by minusp on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 08:41:16 AM EST

Ford "0wnz" Jaguar, too, and it doesn't seem to have improved the Ford/Mercury/Lincoln offerings one bit. In fact, the only difference, really, between an Escort and a Mazda 323 is that the Escort is crap.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
w0rd (none / 0) (#114)
by nanobug on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 02:05:04 PM EST

Actually, I agree with you on that point.  I'm just saying that Mazda vehicles often get a lot of their underpinnings from Ford offerings, and vice versa.  Therefore, it's pretty pointless to say 'My Mazda is more mechanically sound than something off a Ford lot' when a Mazda dealership is nothing more than a rebranded Ford dealership.

[ Parent ]
My Miata is a 1991 Model (none / 0) (#118)
by tech on Fri Oct 25, 2002 at 11:38:42 AM EST

And has no Ford components. Ahem.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]
Poll: Other - Screaming Chicken (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by speedfreak2K2 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:24:54 AM EST

The 80s year Toyotas. Light, fast, and fun. (Screaming Chicken because of the emblem Toyota used back then.) I have an MR2 Hardtop with a few mods. I would like to get into a road rally in the Dallas area, but it doesn't look like there are any. Performance rally would be lots of fun too, but again, most likely none in the Dallas area, and I'd like to be properly equipped for something like that.
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
Poll: Other. Civic LX Type-R of course (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:29:56 AM EST

1996 Honda Civic LX sedan, automatic transmission. Type-R.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
Rice, baby. (none / 0) (#25)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:38:02 AM EST

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:36:05 PM EST

What do you mean? Teh sticker says Type R so teh car must be a Type R!!!111

Actually I drive a stock Civic EX with no stickers whatsoever (even though I have a VTEC I don't spray paint it on the side of my car).. but if I see a riceboy riding low in an LX sedan with a 3 foot wing, I do point and laugh.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Poll: Other 2000 Buick Regal GSE (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by The Turd Report on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 11:20:10 AM EST

3.8l w/ supercharger and some mods to put it up to 320H.P.

Other: Classic (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by RobotSlave on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:15:26 PM EST

I don't race my P1800, but my mechanic owns three, and he races them, and he wins.

A stylish 30+ year-old car that can do 100+ mph comfortably is just dreamy. They don't have to break the bank, and they tend to go up in value.

....not a ferrari. not a jag. it's a volvo! (none / 0) (#122)
by crazy homeless guy on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 07:35:14 PM EST

my daily driver is a 1968 1800s. not the fastest car in the world off of the line, and my engine is consuming a little bit of oil. ....but it is fun to drive. it is hilarious the number of heads it turns also. go ahead and spend $40,000g on a sports car, you will be pretty upset when my way old skool but still cool 1800 gets more attention. i figure if i cannot afford a fancy car, i might as well drive a funky one.

[ Parent ]
Not Miata, NEON! (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by dram on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:50:04 PM EST


Heh (none / 0) (#35)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:55:56 PM EST

Normally, I would say that Neons aren't nimble or modest, but Skip Barber has created reasonable doubt.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]
Normally, I would... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by nstenz on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:36:46 PM EST

...say Neons aren't fast either, but Hahn Racecraft would flat-out prove me wrong.

[ Parent ]
Alfa Romeo (fast, red, Italian) [n/t] (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by PhadeRunner on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:53:14 PM EST

(In the shop) (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by dram on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:44:26 PM EST

I time trial with the SoCal Alfa Owners Association and it is amazing how many of them break down on the track. Do you have any idea how much oil an Alfa holds? Do you know how long it takes to clean 8 quarts of oil off of a track? Waste of time I tell you.

And do you have any idea how hard it can be to find parts, especially if you live in a place where there arent quite a few other Alfa owners?

With all of that being said, I wouldn't mind having one of the older GTV's as a track car.


[ Parent ]

Driving an Alfa is not about practicality... (none / 0) (#89)
by PhadeRunner on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 05:15:28 AM EST

...it's about blind love.  Sure I know that they're sometimes unreliable.  I know that the electrics are shagged in anything but the most latest models.  I can imagine what its like not to be able to find parts*.  

None of that matters; it's an Alfa.  They look better, sound better and drive better than practically anything else on the road at their price.  They've also got one of the most rich racing histories of any car company.  

Surely its your duty as an Alfa owner to forgive its misgivings and keep it on the road at all costs?  

* I live in the UK and drive a relatively recent Alfa so I don't have those problems myself.  

[ Parent ]

I would have to agree with you... (none / 0) (#101)
by dram on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 02:12:16 PM EST

My dad had a '76 Spider that he restored and then sold before I turned 16 (I was pissed). So I understand how you feel. But its not a car I would recommend to people for a track car unless they knew what they were getting into and knew how to fix anything on a car.


[ Parent ]
Corvette-based but $80K (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by leviramsey on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:57:52 PM EST

ie, Cadillac XLR.

[Don't have one, but certainly would get one if I could afford it]

So... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:21:57 PM EST

Are you ever going to quit drooling over cars you can't afford and get something nice that you can?

By the way, that $80,000 Corvette variant won't be as nice a sports car as the cheaper Chevy version. Sure, it'll have a bunch of comfort goodies on it - that add weight and remove practicality for hard driving. What kind of sense does that make? Spend more money, get less car, but with a different set of badges, a different set of sheet metal, and a bunch of added weight? Why?! What is with this Caddy fetish?

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Good, but... (4.66 / 3) (#40)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:23:56 PM EST

I thought Solo I events were at higher speeds than Solo II? I must be confused.

I suggest emphasizing the Solo II stuff in any future followup article, because that's the way 99% of people who actually try this are going to start out, regardless of the car they have. It is cheap, easy to get into, and while you need a helmet, you almost certainly don't need to weld, drill, or otherwise screw with your car, though I think there are exceptions in certain convertibles with insufficient roll protection?

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

RE: Good, but... (none / 0) (#42)
by tech on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:29:01 PM EST

Solo I track events are faster than Solo II autox, but Solo I autox is tamer. Also, AFAIK all convertibles require a rollbar for Solo II, though quite a few cars have factory functional ones.

And you're right, Solo II is what most people go for, though Club Racing is hella fun and almost as easy to get into.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

You've got Solo I and II backwards. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
by greyrat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:45:20 PM EST

I know many many a Miata that is Solo IIed with no roll bar -- and Corvettes, S2000s...

From the SCCA Solo II home page:

"Solo II is the SCCA brand name for autocross competition. Solo II events are driving skill contests that emphasize the driver's ability and the car's handling characteristics. This is accomplished by driving a course that is designated by traffic cones on a low hazard location, such as a parking lot or inactive airstrip. While speeds are no greater than those normally encountered in legal highway driving, the combination of concentration and car feedback creates an adrenaline pumping experience."

From the SCCA Solo I home page:

"Solo I events are single-car speed competitions which require many of the safety measures used in racing, but provide a speed thrill. It brings the driver into high speed competition and yet does not expose the competitor to all of the risks involved in racing."

I've won my divisional class in Solo II twice, so I know a bit about it.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]

My other car... (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by DanTheCat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:36:29 PM EST

While it's not wicked fast yet, it should be in the near future... :) I have a '69 datsun raodster: 2 litre, OHC, dual carbs, so light-weight you can't drive it in the rain safely. (which is fine, since it was permanently converted by the previous owner, i.e. no top whatsoever, and i live in cali) It's in rough shape right now, but it's still damn fast and fun. Picked it up cheap, $2,500, and there are readily available parts. You can even get a dual side-draft weber kit for it! Of course, that costs more than I paid for the car, but...

And for that poster who thought cars were safer than motorcycles? Ha! You should drive around here in my datsun. See lots of bumpers, I do...

Dan :)

I was in need of help
Heading to black out
'Til someone told me 'run on in honey
Before someone blows your god damn brains out'<

Datsuns (none / 0) (#115)
by jred on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 05:52:32 PM EST

I love Datsuns. I have a '73 1200 that rocks. Mainly because of it's lines & color (Gumby Green). It doesn't move very fast, top speed is right around 60. I'm holding onto it, though. One day I'll have more money & time, and I really want to put a v8 in it. With extensive modification under the skin, it'll easily hold it. Talk about the ultimate sleeper :)
[ Parent ]
Oops, forgot poll. (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:46:48 PM EST

Sorry for the extra post. Anyway, your options do not include any place to put my Impreza WRX. It isn't as fast as the fast options you give, it isn't as nimble as the nimble ones, and it isn't as fast or as nimble as the middle ground you give. But, it IS a fast car that will corner and which is affordable by ordinary human beings who actually have other things they spend money on too.

Oh, and in the rain, the "competition" has no chance whatsoever.

There really is no excuse for the fact that I have yet to go to a Solo II event. (Well, none except for the fact that I can hardly find time in my weekends just to do what I'm already doing, but ignore that...)

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Miata? Bah. (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by Pyrion on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:50:06 PM EST

Miatas are go-karts with attitude.
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
Go-karts rock! (5.00 / 2) (#67)
by DanTheCat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:41:19 PM EST

Most fun I ever had on four wheels was my friends go-kart. Hot damn! 50mph never felt so fast! And the sequential gearbox was freaking awesome. You could slay all at a regular autocross meet with one of those bad boys, and that was with a 80cc engine. There is a 125cc class too...

Dan :)

I was in need of help
Heading to black out
'Til someone told me 'run on in honey
Before someone blows your god damn brains out'<
[ Parent ]

yo ass (none / 0) (#117)
by anonymous cowerd on Tue Oct 22, 2002 at 08:59:34 PM EST

Drive one, hard, then come back and talk.

Yours WD "'93 B" K - WKiernan@concentric.net

A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
[ Parent ]

No need to. (none / 0) (#123)
by Pyrion on Sat Dec 07, 2002 at 09:34:22 AM EST

Mazda Miata vs 1967 Dodge Pickup with a 318 small block. Generated a smokescreen with the rear tires at the starting line, and it got lost in the smoke. :)

"Drive one hard"? First thing that comes to mind is "drop the tranny at the starting line". :D
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Heh. Mazda Protege. (4.50 / 2) (#48)
by greyrat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:50:17 PM EST

One of the winningest cars in Solo II overall (which means they also have a friendly multiplier on the index) for the latst couple years.

All you need is $500 to $800 outlay in a spare set of wheels and competition tires. And you can take the kids to see the grandparents in the same vehicle!
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

Er? (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:08:27 PM EST

I thought you were another one of those Neon guys?

Anyway, the Protege is a nice car, and I admire its success, but unless I could afford to have a second car just for SCCA, there's no way I'd buy it, for one simple reason: it doesn't meet my standards for street use. Namely, available with all the goodies I want for long trips and enough power so that I don't have to act like a cartoon racer to get up to highway speed by the end of an on ramp.

Speaking of that last item, what the hell is it with people lately? They all seem to want to enter highways at 30-40mph. I swear, people love causing accidents out of sheer stupidity...

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I was at the Evolution Driving School in 2001 (4.00 / 2) (#52)
by greyrat on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:25:28 PM EST

and a couple of the instructors (married with a newborn) had a rental Protege that they had driven here. Of course after they laid out the training courses, they had to test them. You should have seen that baby (the car I mean) haul -- even on cheap street tires!

I mention the Protege for the purposes of 'bang for the buck'. A bit less expensive than a Neon or a WRX, and they really don't suck like you think for getting on the highway.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]

Ramps (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by Rand Race on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:12:15 PM EST

Ever notice no one calls them acceleration ramps any more? No, now they are entrance ramps. Feh.

Hell, on the crappy freeways in this state most SUVs simply can't get to highway speed on the short-assed ramps. Not that many of them actually go the speed limit on the freeway - in the inside lane (not the passing lane, but the big-assed POS truck lane these days) - anyways.

The MP3 Protege I tested blew me away with its handling. Simply fantastic for a FWD car. But the low output of the plant was definitely a downer. If they'd make a 13a Renesis rotary for it though (or, gods forbid, a 15f tri-rotor Renesis)...

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

The MP3 has gotten faster. (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by nstenz on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:41:31 PM EST

There's now something called a MazdaSpeed Protege, I believe. It's mostly identical to the MP3, but it has more like 170 HP instead of ~130. Perhaps you should have a look at one. =) I don't know if they're at dealers yet- I believe I saw a review in Car & Driver.

[ Parent ]
Two things (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:52:13 PM EST

One, there is a faster Protege coming out, but not many of them will be sold, and it isn't that much faster. See Mazda's website if you care. They put a turbo and an intercooler on the base engine, but since they didn't want to actually build the engine for a turbo properly(which would presumably jack up the price beyond their $20,000 target,) the result is not as nice as you might hope. However, the car is probably eminently tunable, if that's your thing.

Two, I really don't like rotaries. I drove an RX-7 a friend used to own, and while it was fun passing people on the highway, that was all the engine had to offer as far as I could tell. Above 80mph, it lacked the top end to really pile speed on, which I expected given its peak output figures(and had no problem with,) but what surprised me was that unless the engine was already wound up rather high, it was worse than most economy four bangers I've driven, even in first gear. That's just not right, given the price premium they put on the things.

Of course, that was a 2 rotor, but the 3 rotor and bigger(ie, race) engines are so expensive that you'd never see one in a Protege anyway, so it seems silly to worry about that.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well, there's a turbo protege coming (none / 0) (#78)
by strlen on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:10:30 PM EST

There's a turbo protege coming, with a 170 hp Mazdaspeed motor. Should be available in early months of 2003, if not now. Only 2,000 of them will be brought. I personally don't see why they didn't do it earlier, by simply putting the 170 hp Focus SVT motor in there. I considered a Protege alse, but they simply lack the comfort I needed for trips to LA, and space I needed for transporting useless junk (SGI monitors and the like, and the Protege 5 station wagon wasn't out at that time).

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#96)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 12:56:32 PM EST

I'm sure SVT only wants their products in Fords for branding reasons, and remember that SVT only puts their work into vehicles they work over top to bottom. The thing I don't get is why they bothered with a turbo if they weren't going to do it right. That car ought to be in excess of 200hp peak, with a big flat line across the top half of the rpm range - and it wouldn't cost much more to make it that way. Instead, they're building a car that still won't be fast, selling it to people too young and inexperienced to know better, and hoping that exclusivity will sell the cars. They're probably going to succeed, but that's just slimy.

If you want proof positive that they're ripping people off, look at turbo applications for other Mazdas. Not the drag race setups, but the nice, reliable, conservative street tune versions. You won't find any that make less than 200hp peak, and you won't find any that don't run at least down near 14 seconds in the quarter. This new MazdaSpeed thing does neither, and yet the price differential relative the base car is probably bigger than the cost of a "mild" aftermarket setup.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by strlen on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 06:27:15 PM EST

I haven't researched any kits for the 2.0 Protege motor, but the Protege 2.0 is quite different from the Miata 1.8 (which actually puts out more power, despite smaller displacement). I guess one of their reasons is because they either didn't bother to reduce the compression ratio on the 2.0 motor (stock compression ratio and a turbo would shorten the life of the engine.. and while that may be fine for an after market setup, the manufacturer may not be ready to handle waranty costs associated with that). In addition there's the emission issues, as not all street-able turbo kits pass the dreaded CARB test (which is required for California and NY). Often times you see kits which are "49 state legal", etc..  In fact, I've even bothered to search for all Mazda turbo kits though the CARB database (its available on the web), and found no certified turbo kits. Doing a search for "50 state street legal" +"turbo" +"Protege" on google turned up no results.

In addition, they may have also done so as not to compete with their own Focus SVT, which is what VW/Audi group has been doing for ages: by keeping the boost artificially low for several years on Passats and Jettas for 150 hp, as not compete with the 170 hp and 190 hp Audi A4's, or keeping the boost for 150 hp on the GTI, as not to compete with the 180 hp, and 225 audi TT. And  in Europe, keeping the boost level on the Audi S3, as not compete with the TT as well.

Also, keep in mind that this is a turbo, which means its likely easy to tune. Such is the case with VW's 1.8T: outputs 180 hp stock, but a $500 chip tune boosts you to 215 hp (by increasing the boost to a still conservative 1.0 bar), but what's more importantly, 249 lb/ft of torque. Such a setup, from what I've read on forums, can yield a low 14 second quarter mile, and high 13's are possible with down pipes, exhaust systems, further increased boost (1.1 bar or 1.2 bar).  And this is with VW's, where the after market scene still isn't quite as big as with Japanese product, so I'd definately expect a similar after market to be available for the Protege.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Feh (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 08:04:24 PM EST

First of all, if their two liter isn't making power, then they need a different two liter(or likely just a different head, intake, set of cams, and exhaust,) or maybe they ought to just use that 1.8 liter. This is a matter of corporate stupidity.

Second, most of the stuff that's not CARB approved but is still reasonably mild would pass; remember, getting certified is not free.

Third, if they're only producing 2000 cars, I doubt very seriously that they're overly worried about warranties, since at least half the buyers will immediately void their warranties anyway.

Fourth, the car ought to be competitive with the SVT even at a lousy 170hp; it has similar power/weight and torque/weight ratios and a similar price tag.

Fifth, that chip for the GTI also makes it peaky as hell, which is a real pain since the car has a big flat torque curve from 2500rpm up in stock form. Sure, it might be great for the strip, but on the street or a road course, you'd probably be happier without it. Less power, sure, but more usable power. The dyno graphs are telling; this is like those guys who put aftermarket MAF ecus on every car they can, and you find that after tuning, they gain maybe 5-10% extra power at the cost of making the car so peaky that it is useless on the street.

Sixth, Audi/VW has more to worry about than Ford/Mazda, because the Ford and Mazda products are really different, whereas Audis these days are just VWs with higher price tags, even mechanically speaking. A friend ditched his A4 for a GTI, dropped his payments by something like $200 a month, and basically has the same car in a different body style, except the VW, being a year or two newer, is also actually nicer. He's probably going to get that chip you were talking about even though he never does any racing, because he has no common sense. (With relatively low lateral grip compared to what it "could" be, slowing down in corners is going to kill his acceleration even if top end power is impressive. A full job on the suspension, wheels, and tires would alleviate this considerably by letting him corner faster, but he won't do that for financial reasons.)

Finally, the Protege aftermarket sucks right now, and I imagine it will go on sucking, because they're not making enough of these cars to matter. You have to sell a substantial number of cars before anyone wants to bother doing the tooling to produce parts for them. You'd think there'd be a huge aftermarket for the WRX; the truth is, there are a lot of generic parts badly fitted using lame universal adapter kits full of slotted boltholes and so on, and two or three companies providing real engineering of any kind whatsoever. This is a pattern seen over and over again for practically every car not made by Honda and not containing a 5.7l Chevy.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You don't really need a car (5.00 / 2) (#49)
by TheWake on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:08:12 PM EST

For those that are without a car, the SCCA also needs plenty of workers to run every aspect of the events. If you want to be involved, but can't or won't put your car on the track, volunteer.

The best way to see the race is as a flagger...

But- (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:57:37 PM EST

Do you put a big red R on the cars to make them go faster?


"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

No big red R (none / 0) (#110)
by minusp on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 08:27:59 AM EST

But I do put a small black and yellow VAT on a rear window. It's not the cause, but they do go faster...
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
Other (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by Rand Race on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:47:52 PM EST

I've got an '89 RX-7 GTU NA I paid $3400 for with the engine rebuilt to my specs (lightweight rotors, street-port, better seals). Dropped another $2500 or so into it to open up the intake and exhaust, beef up the fuel delivery, stiffen the suspension, and stuff as much rubber under the wells as possible. That got me a sportscar that handles like a dream (stick with a 944 all day long) and is fairly fast (mid to low 14s in the 1/4) for about 6 grand.

It's not the car the 3rd gen RX was - wicked fast and nimble as hell bone stock - but much cheaper and the NA rotaries are much more durable than the turbos, plus they have at least some torque on the bottom end.

Alas, the local rotary shop closed up so I'm divesting myself of my rotaries - may stuff a lightweight Ford 302 or Chev 350 into the 89 when it blows - but if you have someone in your area that'll work on them cheaper than the Mazda dealer will (not hard, they want more than this car cost me in the first place to replace the engine... a stock 180 HP plant at that) take a look at the 2nd gen RX-7s. Cheap and fun.

I used to do some cone-chasing in a slightly modded '85 Honda CRX, but if I was going to do it again I'd be looking at MG Midgets/Healy Sprites. Nothing I'd want to drive in traffic in this day and age, but balls-out fun on a track... plus there's a local shop that specializes in modding Spridgets for SCCA.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Question (none / 0) (#79)
by strlen on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:12:18 PM EST

Is there a reason you didn't consider a low-mileage JDM motor (available for $800 from f3cs.org)? What is possible with an NA rotary in a 2nd gen in any case?

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
J-Spec (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Rand Race on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 10:07:55 AM EST

I just don't trust a used rotary that hasn't been rebuilt by someone who knows what they are doing. Plus much of the replacement cost is installing the engine and its accompanying mess of vacuum hoses. And I thought fc3s only offered turbos anyways: I can convert it to a V8 for cheaper than I can convert it to a turbo, and a 350 with aluminum heads and a T5 transmission is lighter than a turbo 13b and Mazda tranny.

You can get serious horsepower out of a rotary, but you'll never get serious torque out of one. Pull off all of the belt driven engine accessories and run them electrically, put some heavy duty apex seals on the rotors, and upgrade the fuel system and ECU and you can spin a rotary way up. And, as HP=(T x RPM)/5252, a 150 FtLb 13b (about stock for a '89-'91 NA) can churn out 455 HP at 16k RPM.

As with most any engine, if you got the cash you can get the power.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Austin Mini (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by minusp on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:52:58 PM EST

A real one... 1960. Haven't run it in Solos yet, haven't finished it, either... Used to run a '63 MG 1100, though - lowered ridiculously, 13:1 compression, big cam, open(ish) exhaust, burned straight Sunoco 260 (in the day), later Cam2 or VP, 4.13 diff, P215-35-13 rubber. I OWNED all the tin under 2 litres for a while... and drove it every day.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
MG! (none / 0) (#95)
by geoffeg on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 12:25:40 PM EST

I own a 1969 MGB GT. I found it in a junk yard and have been restoring it for a few years now. It's almost done, just need to do some minor repairs. When I had it restored I had to have engine work done so they bored the engine .060 over and put an aluminum head on it. I'm guessing I get a few more horses that way.

The problem I have is that I know it can't hold it's own if I were to race it against newer cars. I'm more interested in having fun in competitions rather than winning but I'm also very concerned about being as safe as possible. I also don't want to drive with a bunch of stuck up snobs or 16 year olds with 2003 Honda Civic's.

Next summer I'll start to look for a group in the area I live (southwest Ohio, USA), maybe there is a classic sports car racing group.

Have fun with your mini! :)

[ Parent ]

Re: MG! (none / 0) (#109)
by minusp on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 08:23:52 AM EST

Believe it or not, an MGB* can be pretty competitive in class... the motors are pretty bulletproof, even when modded pretty thoroughly, and the suspension can be fixed to work well (think 'no more lever shocks') The GT having the advantage of body stiffness. Which aluminum head are you using? If it's an "open chamber" head, you've got 9/10 of it right there... lose the stock intake and get one from Maniflow or eq. Maybe lose the HS4s, and change to the later HIF4 or HIF6. Or go way wild and put on a 48DCOE Weber (gobs of power, but tough to set up right.) Get a decent header and exhaust. There, I spent under 2K of yer hard earned, now you have about the same HP as the ricer, way more torque, and probably a lot lighter, especially if the bumpers seem to be from a '67... and it definitely does NOT look like every other thing...

Above all... drive it and enjoy it!
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]

A note about Solo II not being fast: (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by nstenz on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:47:13 PM EST

A friend of mine with a Camaro ran a few Solo II events when he was in the state a while back. While normally Solo II is at rather low speeds, the course one day had a long straightaway with a sharp corner at the end of it. The Camaro was getting to 60+ MPH before having to brake for the corner. I was told it was rather unusual to have a Solo II course set up like that, but they did it anyhow.

In other words, I don't know about that speed issue.

Yep, there's "fast autocrosses" (none / 0) (#77)
by strlen on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:07:21 PM EST

There's a group called American Autocross in my area, who do hold high-speed autocrosses, designed for older muscle cars, who's main ability is their speed, rather than their nimbleness (this isn't actually an issue with modern f-bodies.. a modern Camaro will handle jsut as well as any Civic/Integra/Eclipse/Talon/etc.., and usually better, due to RWD). Couple of my VW friends attended, and found it to be a very different (get got up to 80 mph!) but still enjoyable experience, just likely not as safe.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
In SoloII, the car isnt' the issue.... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by Julius X on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 08:41:26 PM EST

When you drive Autocross (aka Solo II), anyone will tell you that the most important element of doing well is not what you drive, but how you drive it.  Being able to know where the cones are, which way you need to go when, and making sense of it all while barreling down the course with no time to glance at your gauges to even see how fast you're going- this is autocross.  

Of course, it does help to have some additional components (i.e., a nice car that complements your driving style, if you have one), but with the class system in place that Solo2 uses, it pretty much makes the diffferences in car type/class/speed secondary to driver skill.

I've done it only a couple of times so far, and done it my '92 Eclipse (base model; 1.8L n/a engine, 199,000 miles, all stock.) and placed fairly well both times.  I've seen people with '88 Plymouth Reliant Stationwagons go out and take the course, and not do half bad. (not as well as me, but hey who's counting grin)

However, if you're looking for a good AutoX car, Miatas do well as others have said, there are LOTS of them there.  I have a personal preference for DSMs (Eclipse/Talon/Laser), and am looking forward to taking my "new" '95 Talon Turbo AWD out to AutoX  next month.

THe one thing that is clear though, is that it is FUN.  Go check it out, and have a good time.  If you want to learn how to become a better driver, drive your car fast and hard, and do it safely, you won't have a better time many other places....

-Julius X

But what about.. (none / 0) (#76)
by stormie on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 09:44:51 PM EST

..an article on getting into chariot racing, SCA style!

Re: Voting Other (Troll, prolly.) (none / 0) (#85)
by a20vertigo on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:17:11 AM EST

I own a Volvo 240. Not the most sportiest looking of cars, but a 2.3L OHC with a 5-speed transmission can really get around :)

Put a V8 in it (none / 0) (#112)
by hovik on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 09:53:06 AM EST

You can probably fit a small V8 in your 240 without to much trouble. Check AllTheWeb for links.

[ Parent ]
Happen to be a TBricks member? (none / 0) (#121)
by kableh on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:20:08 PM EST

I've owned a couple of Volvo 240s, and still own an '83 242ti. If you haven't already, check out www.turbobricks.com. We have a mailing list with some really bright Volvo geeks.

[ Parent ]
I always thought (1.00 / 1) (#87)
by auraslip on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 03:22:53 AM EST

it was common knowledge that American made(and ESPECIALLY ford) cars suck shit for reliabilty. Except the hummer. woo?
heh (none / 0) (#98)
by Work on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:45:51 PM EST

nowadays you're liable to find the same components and engines in foreign and american cars (as an example, the toyota matrix and pontiac vibe are mechanically IDENTICAL underneath the panelling)

As for 'american made', i must assume you're talking out of your ass, since the majority of supposed high reliability cars (like honda and toyota) are actually built in american factories, by american workers.

Ford and mazda are closely partnered (the mazda b-series truck and ford ranger are the same thing), and ford owns jaguar in england and has large stakes in other european car makers...

GM owns volvo and also has stakes in other large european makers, as well as some korean vendors.

American luxo-brands (cadillac, lincoln) today have reliability ratings and fit and finish that match foreign counterparts....

[ Parent ]

I think he wants to say american designed (none / 0) (#106)
by speedfreak2K2 on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 09:42:25 PM EST

I really don't think american construction has too much to do with it. It's not the factories that choose to design cars where the rear bumper falls off after a certain amount of time. I would be ROTFLMAO if a saw the rear end of an escalade start to slide.
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
[ Parent ]
Still makes no sense. (none / 0) (#107)
by Work on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 11:14:32 PM EST

The majority of toyota automobiles sold in the US are designed in the US by american designers working for toyota.

Of course various parts on all manufacturer's autos might be designed in your pick of a dozen countries...

[ Parent ]

ok (1.00 / 1) (#108)
by auraslip on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 03:01:54 AM EST

What I meant was that ford specificly was know for being un-reliable. Yeah....or something
[ Parent ]
Uk? (none / 0) (#90)
by starsky on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 06:10:29 AM EST

Anyone do anything like this in the UK? I would be interested in that. I have an old Nissan 200sx, pretty fast in a straight line but not so good at that turning thing... :)

Indirectly... (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by dreamquick on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 09:47:06 AM EST

You could just simply find the nearest race circuit and call them up, take the car for a track day and do a little networking there as I'd imagine most people who go to those sorts of things would know the right answers. Of course that does assume that the people who run the tracks couldn't answer or don't fancy a nice social day out on the track. - Tony

/* #include <comedy_sig.h> */
[ Parent ]
SCCA is costly, Try Karts instead! (none / 0) (#93)
by HardwareLust on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 11:24:18 AM EST

SCCA Racing is a gas. Literally. Road racing, Solo II, etc. Great fun, I agree. Can be a bit spendy, though, especially if you want to WIN. There's lots of rich (or moderately rich) guys who spend TONS of money trying to win SCCA races and SOLO II. Unless you got some scratch to spend (or you're actually Michael Schumacher in disguise), you're not going to win very much. BUT, what I think is even more fun, and is cheaper is KARTING. Did you know that you can do all these things he mentions in a Kart, go just as fast, and spend less time and money. Solo II in a 125cc 6-speed racing kart is about the most fun I've had on wheels of any sort. Road racing at Sears Point in my 100cc Yamaha powered racing kart was *way* more fun (and safer) than in my Miata. Also, getting a license and racing a kart is much less hassle than SCCA, mainly because Karts are so much safer than racing in real cars (especially when there's other people on the track with you!) If you're interested in racing, you should be checking out Karting first, not SCCA, IMNSHO.

If you disagree, POST, don't moderate!

Unless you join a spec class. (none / 0) (#102)
by dram on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 02:27:43 PM EST

Like the Spec Racer Ford or the Spec RX7 class - which I think is still just a regional event, but I'm not positive. The original outlay of money might be more, but its not prohibitavly expensive.

Anyways, have you seen how much money people pump into karting? Maybe it's different where you are, but around here people spend more on karts than on SCCA racing. At least for the cheaper classes of SCCA, sure Formula cars will be more expensive. But I really think that a SRF would be cheaper than karting in the end.


[ Parent ]

I Karted (none / 0) (#119)
by tech on Fri Oct 25, 2002 at 11:46:48 AM EST

For like 5 years. It was fucking fun, but I must say, I think it's more expensive than Club Racing. I mean, when we quit, we had bought three chassis at about 2400 USD each, and sold two, had a 16 foot enclosed trailer, 5000 USD in normal tools, 1000 USD in tires, 500 USD in specialty tools... etc.

It *is* fun, though.

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

Other: Honda S2000 (none / 0) (#113)
by Squeezer on Wed Oct 16, 2002 at 01:31:11 PM EST

I have a Honda S2000 and I am a speedfreakz member. I go to to the local SCCA SOLO II events. I have a lot of fun doing it and usually place in the top 10.

Other: 350Z Touring 6-speed (none / 0) (#116)
by magus123x on Thu Oct 17, 2002 at 04:33:58 PM EST

Daytona blue, black leather interior. 6 speed of course, no auto.
VIN says the engine was tested and dynod at 292HP, 280lb-ft.

Ah... the wise decision to pre-order paid off. :)

Getting into sports car racing, SCCA style | 123 comments (110 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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