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Last Post 12 Feb 2008 11:49 AM by  DRAG
Addition of SMS final?
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DRAG
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18 Jan 2008 05:32 PM

    I was reading on another forum that the Indy chapter added the SMS class?

    I think that is a mistake, and I'm pretty disappointed. There are only a few SM cars in this region that run slicks, sometimes 1 per event. It stinks for those guys that they will now be racing against themselves. You will have the nationally recognized class with no participation...and there are already too many classes. It seems like people would rather be handed a trophy then actually having to work for it.

    Lets hear everyone's thoughts on this. I'd especially be interested in hearing from people who run slicks.

    MichaelBenz
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    18 Jan 2008 09:53 PM
    Welcome Luke! Good to see ya here! The SMS class was added as a request of the members because SM was so deep....and because the guys with street tires were tired of getting beat by guys on slicks. A proposal was submitted and it was added at great member request...and due to many other regions running that class successfully. Street mod is fairly deep at several/many events and the street tire guys didnt feel they were getting a fair shake at it against the advantage of slicks. My car personally is not top of the class by any means....but I have been getting better at piloting it anyway! By end of last season I wasnt doing bad at all...but it was greatly because I gained some additional seat time/skills/combined with slicks that took the push out of my front end somewhat. On street tires...my car is so heavy it just pushes so bad I couldnt stand it any more. Fact is though....its probably a handicap for me honestly because of the damn cars characteristics!
    DRAG
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    19 Jan 2008 03:09 PM

    I understand why people wanted the class, but it is a shame that the guys who will suffer are those that have cars that are prepared to be competitive in the class. If the front runners went back to street tires, they would still win. What then? SMS2?

    The depth of that class is what made it so cool, and now the nationally recognized class will be empty. Bummer.

    I was looking forward to running my street tires against the slick tire cars as an extra challenge for me, but I don't want to race against one car when I can race against 10. Maybe SMS is for me too?[D]

    DRAG
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    19 Jan 2008 03:11 PM
    So now that my rant is out of the way [:D] ...are any of you guys that do run slicks going to just run street tires so that you have someone to race against?
    RonConrad
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    19 Jan 2008 03:55 PM

    This class was first proposed in Fort Wayne Region. I told those asking for it, we would give it a try. If it had support, we would keep it. Well two years later, and the class remains our most popular class. In addition to SM cars, we also allow SM2 cars to compete in SMS. Everyone seems to love the class. On a 100 car field, about 1/4 of the cars run in that class. Most of these guys just want to show up and have fun. They are NOT thinking of competing Nationally, so a region class suites them just fine. Since we started the class, a local Subaru club has been coming out in force. Those that want to run Divisional, and National events, eventually move over to the SM, or SM2 class.

    Now that Indy region has the class, expect more Fort Wayne folks to come to your event! If you are complaining about too many classes, the new "bumping" should ensure that the class has enough entrants.

    dbrier
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    19 Jan 2008 05:18 PM

    The SMS class is provisional this year. If it is popular, then it will be added. The fans of the SMS class like it for as much financial reasons as any other.

    In 2007, 4 of the top finishing 5 cars in SM were on slicks. I know at least one of those 4 who is looking forward to not buying slicks this year and running SMS. I think the class will be popular, but only time and attendance will tell. It puts us on equal footing.

    Mike, are you running SM or SMS this year?

    DRAG
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    19 Jan 2008 06:28 PM
    RonConrad wrote:

    This class was first proposed in Fort Wayne Region. I told those asking for it, we would give it a try. If it had support, we would keep it. Well two years later, and the class remains our most popular class. In addition to SM cars, we also allow SM2 cars to compete in SMS. Everyone seems to love the class. On a 100 car field, about 1/4 of the cars run in that class. Most of these guys just want to show up and have fun. They are NOT thinking of competing Nationally, so a region class suites them just fine. Since we started the class, a local Subaru club has been coming out in force. Those that want to run Divisional, and National events, eventually move over to the SM, or SM2 class.

    Now that Indy region has the class, expect more Fort Wayne folks to come to your event! If you are complaining about too many classes, the new "bumping" should ensure that the class has enough entrants.

    Ron,

    Thanks for the response. It wasn't participation in the SMS class that I was concerned about, as there is an abundance of underprepared cars running SM. SMS will be packed. My concern was with the participation in SM itself. If only a couple cars in this region are on slicks, and as stated above one more is moving back to street tires, SM is going to be empty. I can tell you if there are 2 cars running SM and 25 running SMS (as you have suggested), I am running with the larger group purely for the "fun" factor of racing lots of people. I was looking forward to running street tires against the slick cars, but not against one other guy.

    It has been stated on the Yahoo group and here that the goal for SMS was to give the street tire guys a better chance at taking home a trophy. I'm all for that, but it is at the expense of breaking up a good class. If guys are really there just to show up and have fun as you have said, then why was the SMS class needed to begin with? So that guys can win trophies. We all have a competitive bone and winning is fun [:D] It sounds fair..but is flawed. The same guys that were fast in SM will be fast in SMS.

    I am not "complaining", I just don't think it was thought out too well. It actually benefits me a great deal...my car does pretty well on street tires and I have room for much more rubber. With the goal of the class in mind, what happens if a street tire car is equally as fast as the slick cars in SM? There are a couple guys showing up that are FTD, or usually close to it, and they aren't on slicks. Again I'm not trying to bash on this thing as it may help a lot of guys out...I just think the solution to one problem might have created another. Maybe not...time will tell.

    Could you please tell me about the new "bumping" thing? Thanks.

    DRAG
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    19 Jan 2008 06:33 PM
    dbrier wrote:

    In 2007, 4 of the top finishing 5 cars in SM were on slicks. I know at least one of those 4 who is looking forward to not buying slicks this year and running SMS. I think the class will be popular, but only time and attendance will tell. It puts us on equal footing.

    Dale I totally agree. But if those 4 cars in the top 5 go back to street tires, they will more than likely be towards the top again.

    dbrier
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    19 Jan 2008 06:39 PM

    Not really,

    I was running pretty close to Jim and Mikey before they went to slicks. After that, they started beating me easily. The tires bought them at least a second.

    RonConrad
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    19 Jan 2008 08:29 PM

    I don't think it's any easier to go home with a trophy in a 20 car field than it would be in a 5 car field (depending on car prep, and driver ability), but it does give the local guy a more competitve chance than competing against a car that is fully prepped to the class.

    Does Indy Region run an Indexed class? I know Detroit region has an Indexed class that uses the PAX index.

    Most cars that get thrown into SM, are not usually set up for autocross (talking local drivers), it's usually the addition of the Carbon Fibre Hood, or turning up the boost, that throws them into the class. The SMS class is a great place for the new guy that likes to tune his car, but is just discovering autocrossing. It is also a great place for the casual autocrosser who usually doesn't travel too far out of the region.

    Some of our SMS drivers have now discovered that they want to go the next level, and are now running in SM with a fully prepped car. The SM class will be smaller, but I would predict that SMS drivers that want to move to the National Tour, or ProSolo events will eventually move back to SM.

    dbrier
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    19 Jan 2008 09:08 PM

    Exactly.

    One of the things we talked about was that none of the Indy SM cars are nationally competitive. Most of the SM cars are there due to one or a few mods. For example, the only thing that keeps me from running ESP is that my brake rotors and calipers are larger than stock. None of the local SM cars are even close to being modded to the limit of the class.

    The other thing is that SMS has a lower PAX than SM. This year it is .845 which is half-way between SM and STU. We got that number from the Ft Wayne guys, it works for them and makes IN consistant. Our large SM class, requests from the drivers, and the success of the Ft Wayne SMS class made us decide to try it this year. The SMS class will be less intimidating to newer drivers and we hope to draw in a few FW guys too. More attendance is our goal.

    The Nebulizer
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    19 Jan 2008 11:43 PM
    RonConrad wrote:

    Does Indy Region run an Indexed class? I know Detroit region has an Indexed class that uses the PAX index.

    Unfortunately, no. I proposed it at a previous meeting, but its reception was 'mixed'. I think it is a very good idea and would add a new level of competition to the league.

    turbohappy
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    20 Jan 2008 04:04 AM

    For clarity, there won't be any bumping for 2008. It may come around again and be re-proposed for next year, but certainly not this year.

    So you know, SM is NOT a big class at the national level. They had 23 entrants in open in 2007, STS had 50, SS had 70. It is a big class at the local level because of these folks who honestly fit in better in this SMS class. Remember that the class is provisional for this year. If it doesn't turn out well, that will be it. If it is successful, it will be permanent.

    Eclipse2Lancer
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    20 Jan 2008 01:26 PM
    turbohappy wrote:

    For clarity, there won't be any bumping for 2008. It may come around again and be re-proposed for next year, but certainly not this year.

    So you know, SM is NOT a big class at the national level. They had 23 entrants in open in 2007, STS had 50, SS had 70. It is a big class at the local level because of these folks who honestly fit in better in this SMS class. Remember that the class is provisional for this year. If it doesn't turn out well, that will be it. If it is successful, it will be permanent.

    Exactly. It is a pilot program for 2008. We will see how well it is received within the region, and revisit the topic for the 2009 season to decide if it should be a permanent addition (such as the Novice and X-Class were in the past).

    DRAG
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    20 Jan 2008 03:55 PM

    Somehow my questions and concerns about the health of SM are avoided and instead we keep repeating that SMS is a trial class and its existence will depend on the attendance of THAT class. I think that has been covered, and is understood. Of course SMS will be a huge success this year. All but 4 of the cars that ran last year fit perfectly into SMS, and I would suspect that some of those slick guys drop to SMS. Maybe not.

    That leaves an empty SM and you are back to where you started....all the same local guys, just in a different class, but still competing against the same people LOL! I'm a forward progress kind of guy, and it seems like a lateral move.

    Either way. It seems like enough has been said and thanks for clearing up some of my questions. See you guys in SMS [Y][:D]

    The Nebulizer
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    20 Jan 2008 04:07 PM
    DRAG wrote:

    Somehow my questions and concerns about the health of SM are avoided and instead we keep repeating that SMS is a trial class and its existence will depend on the attendance of THAT class. I think that has been covered, and is understood. Of course SMS will be a huge success this year. All but 4 of the cars that ran last year fit perfectly into SMS, and I would suspect that some of those slick guys drop to SMS. Maybe not.

    That leaves an empty SM and you are back to where you started....all the same local guys, just in a different class, but still competing against the same people LOL! I'm a forward progress kind of guy, and it seems like a lateral move.

    Either way. It seems like enough has been said and thanks for clearing up some of my questions. See you guys in SMS [Y][:D]

    I suspect your concerns are propably valid. SM will drop off to a small class. Those who remain will likely be the more hardcore autocrossers with better prepared cars and the ones more likely to run national events. So, yeah, SM will likely be affected by this trial. As to most of SMS just being all those SM guys moving over - that is true too, but now they can compete better with other classes due to the modified PAX. So, it is not a pointless shift for those racers.

    GChambers
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    20 Jan 2008 06:48 PM
    DRAG wrote:

    Somehow my questions and concerns about the health of SM are avoided and instead we keep repeating that SMS is a trial class and its existence will depend on the attendance of THAT class. I think that has been covered, and is understood. Of course SMS will be a huge success this year. All but 4 of the cars that ran last year fit perfectly into SMS, and I would suspect that some of those slick guys drop to SMS. Maybe not.

    That leaves an empty SM and you are back to where you started....all the same local guys, just in a different class, but still competing against the same people LOL! I'm a forward progress kind of guy, and it seems like a lateral move.

    Either way. It seems like enough has been said and thanks for clearing up some of my questions. See you guys in SMS [Y][:D]

    Nobody is avoinding your concerns. You just don't seem to want to understand the idea that the guys that run in SM are there because they don't really have a choice. If they can create their own class where they actually want to run and be competitive with the other drivers that want to run against them and participation numbers are high, everyone is going to be happier. Also, as Ron mentioned, this class may bring in participants from other regions. Increased attendance is always a good thing.

    I am a National level competitor. I know what it takes to run a competitive SM car. There are no such cars in the Indy region. Scott Dales Mini is probably the closest. Though it is very well prepaired and Scott is a great driver, it would not be competitive against the BMWs and Evos that win on a National level. Kevin Miller is another great driver driving a car that is not competitive on a National level. IMO, the class just barely exists in Indy despite the large number of participants because the cars that do participate are not there by choice. They are there because their owners have modded their cars to their own taste, not a rule book. What's so wrong with giving them a place to play, especially if the participation numbers are good and it possibly brings in participants from other regions? If someone does want to build a Nationally competitive SM car, I would argue that they may want to run the PAX based X class against the other local competitors who have prepaired their cars to compete on a National level.

    There are a lot of under participated classes in the Indy Region. What makes SM so special that it shouldn't become like any other class with maybe 2-4 competitors besides the fact that you run in that class?

    I'm not trying to sound like a jerk so please don't take it that way. I just want you to see the other side of the argument.

    DRAG
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    21 Jan 2008 05:47 PM

    Hey no problem. This is what the board is for...discussing stuff. I understand the other side, as I am one of those guys that has a stock car thrown into SM because of some silly modification, so I understand everyone's want for this class. I also agree that we do not have a single car in this region that is remotely close to being prepared for national competition in SM, so that said, if you can't look at this situation and see that it is a lateral move with almost ALL Indy region competitors simply moving over, then I don't know what to say. The PAX change is the difference, and it will help everyone and myself. I forgot about the PAX change, and thank you for reminding me.

    Like I said, I was just wanting to hear more about it and wondered if anyone had thought about what it does to the Indy Region in regards to the class that is losing competitors. SMS will indeed be a huge success, and my intetions were 100% free of improving things for myself. I was worried about the guys that run slicks in SM. In fact...SMS probably helps me more than anyone considering where my times fall in comparison to others on street tires, but I'm just out to have a good time if you can't tell by my erratic driving LOL [;)]

    MichaelBenz
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    24 Jan 2008 12:37 PM
    Yes Luke...I will likely remain in the SM class and run on slicks. My slicks are far from worm out....and frankly...I need em to keep my damn car steering and not pushing so badly. It made a huge difference for me last year in the handling of the car. That is my current plan anyway.
    DRAG
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    24 Jan 2008 01:04 PM

    [:D]I need to ride with you now that you have slicks. I love the sound of your car

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