SP rules have only a few flaws: R compound tires instead of streets; unlimited mini clutches; stock long blocks; and the propensity to class tiny or featherweight cars with big or heavy ones that seems to cross all the SCCA classes. Look, heads/cam/strokers wont make that big a performance difference for a lot of cars for solo, but would sure open up the class to a more heavily populated demographic. That same demographic wants to be able to open track, drag, and street drive their cars so a miniclutch is ridiculous.No one wants to spend $1500 on a set of 12 - run tires, so race tires are ridiculous.
No want wants to spend wind tunnel money, or drive around with a scraper so low in the front they can't get into a parking lot, or with a bunch of home depot crap bolted all over their car, so any aero mods should be essentially regulated to be non functional.
Then you would have the best set of rules yet. I expect attendance would skyrocket, especially if marketed properly.
the SM rules were a valiant effort to do SOMETHING to shake the inertia, but the rules are a complete and total disaster. ST was just another strange response to the tire issue; phase both into the new SP rules and you have a great class that will appeal to a lot of enthusiasts.
Yep, all good points Chris. After spending five figures on race tires last year I am getting pretty sick of it. "70 usable runs" on Hoosiers is a pipe dream, as it is more like 10-20 before they start to go off. That is absurd.
And mini-clutches were ALWAYS a bad idea. I like Andy's "stock type and diameter (working surface and OD) of both clutch and flywheel. Stock # of plates, too" proposal. That should be, like... an SP rules proposal.
And I was there with Chris when SMod was introduced, fighting to get the sane changes in that SP was missing. We fought and fought with DG, but ultimately SMod has been mostly an attendance failure, due to some odd rules allowed and other common aftermarket mods that were banned.
And I could give up aero if it was EQUAL among all SP entries.
If someone is losing because they don't have a mini-clutch, then there is something wrong. I can daily drive my exedy twin clutch perfectly fine on the street. It's very livable. It's not uber-light. But it's overkill for 400whp. I choose it for the ease of rebuilding and durability for pro launches with a co-driver. In reality, a single plate ACT or similar clutch with lightweight flywheel would be more than enough.
Just because you haven't done a miniclutch in your SP car doesn't mean the next SP guy isn't thinking about blowing the $$$ on one. If you think "they don't help" then support the SP clutch proposal above to outlaw them.
Who is blowing blocks in SP?
Boosted cars have to deal with head gasket, head and block damage. You have an EVO, which has a brute strength iron block. Not many other motors with stock internals can run 30+ psi of boost regularly without damage.
With an aggressive co-driver I get 50 competitive runs out of Hoosiers and 70+ useable runs. Kumhos are about 100. The bfgs look to be close the Kumho in wear.
On concrete, and Nationally competitive? 100 runs? I would disagree, massively. Didn't you get straight-timed by a street driven CSP Miata last weekend??
And strokers? Come on man. Who runs those in solo now?
Who runs strokers? They are outlawed in many classes. But anyone that is allowed to and wants to be competitive would, if they didn't have a turbo. You have your "cubic inch displacer" (turbo), but there isn't a similar mod for NA cars that can add the same level of power. And anytime you have turbo and NA cars in the same SP class.... the turbo cars will ALWAYS make more power.
So many SCCA classes are somehow "displacement based" (Prepared, SMod) that even when they are allowed, stroker motors are often penalized heavily. But if you run a turbo you can run as much boost as you want, and using the 1970s FIA based displacement/turbo equivalency rules you still end up lighter and with more power. It is starting to improve, little by little, in classes like XP... but those classes still heavily favor a small displacement boosted engine.
Who ever mentioned the sway bar comment about ripping mounts. There are many stock cars that do that, and many ST cars that do it. So what?
There are bigger problems in many SP classes than swaybars. A-arms ripping out of cars, ball joints failing, unibody seams splitting, wheel hubs failing. These are areas that cannot legally be upgraded in SP to match the grip forces that massive R-compounds can provide. This isn't as big of a problem in Stock or ST, and in SMod you can change much of this... but it is a real problem in SP. CSP Miatas flinging wheels off willy nilly.
SP allows changes that make cars un-streetable, but don't allow changes to suspension geometry to fix basic flaws (i.e. roll-center), and give boosted cars allowances, with no analagous allowances for everyone else. My car is an NA 4-cylinder in DSP (LOL!). I'm considering sticking on a turbo and moving to SM so I can make needed suspension changes (but didn't SM start out as a class for street cars with engine swaps? ;-)
Whoa! Good points in there, Don. My ESP car was becoming very unstreetable, and I hadn't even yanked the A/C or emissions yet, but for this season we had to do all of that and more to try to be competitive. And it had all sorts of WACKY rear geometry that basic lowering causes on these Solid Axle RWD cars. Anti-squat problems that are normally easy to fix with $100 bolt on lower control arm relocation brackets...
But those brackets are banned in SP, and I think even in SMod. Moving pick-up points is verboten in so many SCCA classes. We added those brackets to my ESP car after the 2012 Solo Nats and it made a tremendous improvement, and now I'm never taking them off (welded them on a week ago). $100 bolt-on brackets that push this car into C Prepared. Super common aftermarket mod done to many thousands of solid axle RWD cars. Been popular for a couple of decades, just not in the SCCA.
I agree with Terry that ST needs to make room for the muscle cars.
I wish more people would agree, and then send in a letter to the SEB
As someone who used to try to recruit car nuts into our sport, i just disagree with some of you guys. None of the guys i brought in stuck with it, largely because of rules.
Truth. Chris and I both worked with a large collegiate sports car club for many years, and pushing the somewhat stuffy Solo rules on young college kids that were all doing common, aftermarket mods was tough - because almost everything they wanted to do or had already added to their cars put them into very tough classes... Prepared, Mod, etc. These were all average, daily driven cars built on extreme "broke student budgets", but the rules were killing these guys. And still are.
The Texas SCCA region had a Solo School over the last weekend (above) with record attendance (after two Cars & Coffee events got us in front of the right people) and all 5 students I worked with had done simple mods to their daily drivers that pushed them into weird, uncompetitive classes. I didn't scare them off with any of that, just tried to get them hooked on the sport, improve their skills, and show up to the Solo event the next day. "Just run Novice tomorrow... we'll figure out classing later", but that only works for so long. Then they see all of their common mods push their cars into crazy classes, and that's where the struggle begins - how do you KEEP these people in the sport?
I know miniclutches have gotten better since they were allowed, but seriously, do you really think allowing a $5000 14 lb clutch/fw assembly with no self adjuster and very debatable streetability is a good idea for street prepared? 12 -20 runs was my experience on a6's before you start losing tenths. Even if i is 90 that is still over $20 per run for a lot of cars. Not a real amateur friendly tire.
90 competitive runs on modern R compounds (aka: Hoosiers, until the R1-S gets more data; Kumhos were pushed out of the tire wars years ago) is a pipe dream, Chris. As someone who durometers their tires regularly, and has been data logging for years, that number can be cut by a factor of 4. Then the tires are still "quick" and usable, just not as fast as when new.
Aero is a pet peeve, but allowing aero can never be described as anything other than an extensive money and time investment for no good reason. Something bad for any amateur sport.
True... on our "ESP" Mustang we've played with splitters, spoilers and rear wings and have made multiple iterations of each... and we still haven't even scratched the surface of proper testing. Have been reading Neil's book (ThinkFAST) and picking his brain and we have a LOT of aero testing ahead of us for NASA TT3 competition. If they had banned the 1960s-era spoilers in SP, I would have gladly pulled off that big mess out back - then we wouldn't be at any potential disadvantage to other cars in the class.
Several rear aero iterations on our multi-use Mustang. Left is our track set-up, right was for ESP autocross
I dont really care much anymore about long block mods, as factory power has now exceeded even hoosier rubber. My stock z already makes more power than any tire can put down. Longlocks would be a bigger deal in the slower sp classes. The main reason i advocate for it is that it would be a major improvement to our ability to get car enthusiasts on board with our sport. I love you guys. I just disagree.
I'm with you on 95% of your points, Chris, but like you I'm on the outside lookin in. I've always pushed for more common sense mods that match what the aftermarket is offering, mods that the average guys are doing, to attract them to Solo.
I heard positive noises after the recent SCCA convention. The word "change" was apparently used a lot. I hope the folks running Solo can work on the entrenched people/rules/classes and apply this new idea. SP and SM need major updates, and an eventual merge of these two categories could help attendance. Add one or two more ST classes, to allow more cars into this category, and then we're getting somewhere.