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> I want to go from HPDE's to competitive racing...
Steve91T
post Sep 16 2011, 03:23 PM
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And I don't think it's going to be in an F-body.

I've got a 97 SS with tons of mods. It's an absolute blast on the track, but rather expensive. Tires, brakes, fuel, and not to mention opti sparks (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) . I love HPDE's, and I still have tons to learn, but I am dreaming of wheel to wheel racing. I've been doing HPDE's on and off for 12 years now, and I'm very comfortable in the experienced groups.

I've been thinking for years about Spec E30. It seems to be in my price range, but the cars, to me, are boring. I know everyone raves about how much fun the series is, but it doesn't excite me.

Spec Miata is another boring car, just more expensive.

FFR challenge would be fun, but out of my price range.

I've lately been thinking about Legends cars. Either that or the Thunder Roadsters. I've heard they are a blast to drive, relatively inexpensive to maintain, and if you crash, it's a lot easier to fix than an old street car. I live in VA, as you guys know, Charlotte, only 3 hrs away, is home to racing. The legends cars were born here, and has the largest turnout. Seems like you can get a legends car for less than $10K used. That's more or less the cost of a Spec E30.

I also know they can and do race them on road courses. I'm not sure what I think of the small circle tracks, but I'm sure they'd be fun.

Anyway, what do you guys think?

This is something I'm looking at doing in about 2 years. I'm going to be heading to pilot training for the Air National Guard sometime early next year, but after that, I'll have some free time again. It'll give me time to save up the money.

Thanks guys,
Steve
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GlennCMC70
post Sep 16 2011, 04:32 PM
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And why have you not considered CMC? Reason I ask is you already know the F-body. Thats takes alot of variables off the table w/ regards to how the car feels, how to tune the set-up and what does and does not work not to mention knowing the car mechanically already.
A large part of why I have been able to do so well in CMC is that I drove an F-body in HPDE for so long before I moved to wheel to wheel.
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Steve91T
post Sep 16 2011, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (GlennCMC70 @ Sep 16 2011, 12:32 PM) *
And why have you not considered CMC? Reason I ask is you already know the F-body. Thats takes alot of variables off the table w/ regards to how the car feels, how to tune the set-up and what does and does not work not to mention knowing the car mechanically already.
A large part of why I have been able to do so well in CMC is that I drove an F-body in HPDE for so long before I moved to wheel to wheel.


It's definitely not out of the question, but again the problem is cost. Now, I'm just assuming here, but I think it's going to be a more expensive form of racing. Maybe not the initial purchase price, but the cost to maintain the car through a season must be higher.

I also didn't think there were "that" many people racing CMC. I want to be a part of a growing group.

I could be completely wrong though. (probably am).

Another concern is crash cost. It's far more expensive to crash a Camaro with a unibody than it is a purpose built race car that has clips and cheap body panels that can be fairly easily replaced.

I'd love to hear your opinions though.

Thanks,
Steve
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GlennCMC70
post Sep 16 2011, 05:20 PM
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I thought the east coast had a large CMC group. I could be wrong.

I cant counter the "crash cost" part. I lost my first one last year. I was a hard hit and was fixable, but it was cheaper for me to just replace it.

My big costs for CMC racing are tires, brakes and hubs/rotors. Everything else holds up just fine.
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Steve91T
post Sep 16 2011, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (GlennCMC70 @ Sep 16 2011, 01:20 PM) *
I thought the east coast had a large CMC group. I could be wrong.

I cant counter the "crash cost" part. I lost my first one last year. I was a hard hit and was fixable, but it was cheaper for me to just replace it.

My big costs for CMC racing are tires, brakes and hubs/rotors. Everything else holds up just fine.



If you don't mind me asking, how much did you spend to get started? Remember, I'm going to have to buy a dedicated track car. So, maybe $10K for the car after required equipment?

How long to brakes tires, and hubs last? How much to replace them? I've read that the TR cars can go 2 seasons on a set of brakes and possibly tires. At least one full season on tires. But the engines are about $4K, and don't last forever.

I have nothing against CMC, or spec miata/E30, or anything similar, but for some reason, I keep leaning towards the Thunder Roadsters. It just seems like using the sealed engines, and the same car, the cars will be more similar in performance, and will end up costing less.

I know the problem with spec miata is the fact that you almost have to rebuild the engine to the allowable specs to gain the extra 4 hp.

How is it with CMC?

This post has been edited by Steve91T: Sep 16 2011, 11:05 PM
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GlennCMC70
post Sep 16 2011, 11:25 PM
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QUOTE
If you don't mind me asking, how much did you spend to get started? Remember, I'm going to have to buy a dedicated track car. So, maybe $10K for the car after required equipment?

I built me own car (top shelf build in 2004) and all my gear cost me about $10K (suit, hans, all safety). It can easily be done for less. Mitch and myself have built some nice cars for under $7k.

QUOTE
How long to brakes tires, and hubs last? How much to replace them? I've read that the TR cars can go 2 seasons on a set of brakes and possibly tires. At least one full season on tires. But the engines are about $4K, and don't last forever.

Pads last about 3-4 weekends. It really is track dependant. Rotors last about a season for fronts, 2-3 for rears. Once agian, track dependant.
Pads cost about $180 forthe fronts, $140 for the rear. Hubs are a hit or miss. I get over a year on used ones. My seasons are 24 races and 12 quals, and 6 practice sessions.

QUOTE
I have nothing against CMC, or spec miata/E30, or anything similar, but for some reason, I keep leaning towards the Thunder Roadsters. It just seems like using the sealed engines, and the same car, the cars will be more similar in performance, and will end up costing less.

Big thing to keep in mind is: Go where the car count is, and race in a series where the rules in place can accually be policed.


QUOTE
I know the problem with spec miata is the fact that you almost have to rebuild the engine to the allowable specs to gain the extra 4 hp.
How is it with CMC?

I ran my 1st 2 seasons on a junkyard motor that has 80K on it. It made 285rwhp/320rwtq 100% stock. CMC back then was 230hp/300tq, so I ran a restrictor plate. Now CMC is 260hp/310tq and I still need a restrictor plate. I had a motor rebuilt in early 2007 (Feb) and it has lasted me up to this point w/ no loss in power. I make 263/309 w/ a 40mm plate in place. My rebuild cost me $1700 for the long block. I've had the trans rebuilt once. I've never hurt a diff.
Spec Miata's flaw is that they have no HP/TQ limit. They can make all the power they can afford as long as they use the OEM/legal parts. CMC limits the parts and the power. Top SM motors will cost you $15K easy. I've heard stories of $25K.
If you run SM, consider SSM. They have a HP limit.

I love budget racing, but I love racing w/ alot of cars even more.
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Steve91T
post Sep 16 2011, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE (GlennCMC70 @ Sep 16 2011, 07:25 PM) *
QUOTE
If you don't mind me asking, how much did you spend to get started? Remember, I'm going to have to buy a dedicated track car. So, maybe $10K for the car after required equipment?

I built me own car (top shelf build in 2004) and all my gear cost me about $10K (suit, hans, all safety). It can easily be done for less. Mitch and myself have built some nice cars for under $7k.

QUOTE
How long to brakes tires, and hubs last? How much to replace them? I've read that the TR cars can go 2 seasons on a set of brakes and possibly tires. At least one full season on tires. But the engines are about $4K, and don't last forever.

Pads last about 3-4 weekends. It really is track dependant. Rotors last about a season for fronts, 2-3 for rears. Once agian, track dependant.
Pads cost about $180 forthe fronts, $140 for the rear. Hubs are a hit or miss. I get over a year on used ones. My seasons are 24 races and 12 quals, and 6 practice sessions.

QUOTE
I have nothing against CMC, or spec miata/E30, or anything similar, but for some reason, I keep leaning towards the Thunder Roadsters. It just seems like using the sealed engines, and the same car, the cars will be more similar in performance, and will end up costing less.

Big thing to keep in mind is: Go where the car count is, and race in a series where the rules in place can accually be policed.


QUOTE
I know the problem with spec miata is the fact that you almost have to rebuild the engine to the allowable specs to gain the extra 4 hp.
How is it with CMC?

I ran my 1st 2 seasons on a junkyard motor that has 80K on it. It made 285rwhp/320rwtq 100% stock. CMC back then was 230hp/300tq, so I ran a restrictor plate. Now CMC is 260hp/310tq and I still need a restrictor plate. I had a motor rebuilt in early 2007 (Feb) and it has lasted me up to this point w/ no loss in power. I make 263/309 w/ a 40mm plate in place. My rebuild cost me $1700 for the long block. I've had the trans rebuilt once. I've never hurt a diff.
Spec Miata's flaw is that they have no HP/TQ limit. They can make all the power they can afford as long as they use the OEM/legal parts. CMC limits the parts and the power. Top SM motors will cost you $15K easy. I've heard stories of $25K.
If you run SM, consider SSM. They have a HP limit.

I love budget racing, but I love racing w/ alot of cars even more.



That's very helpful and very interesting. I'll definitely look into CMC more.

Thanks again.
Steve
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AllZWay
post Sep 17 2011, 02:09 PM
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I'll echo a lot of what Glenn has already said. I am not sure you can beat the cost of racing in CMC.

I built my car for around 8k in 2006.

I usually get a 4-6 weekends out of a set of front pads and 2-3 years out of rears and I run stock rear pads.

I usually get a full season out of front rotors and rears bascially never wear out.

I go through two sets of tires per season.

I ran my first 135K junk yard motor from 2007 until this April when it finally gave up. I replaced it with another $500 junk yard motor.


My car is pretty much a budget built car with factory guages and modified factory wiring, but it has won a lot of races as it is.
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GlennCMC70
post Sep 17 2011, 02:21 PM
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James is selling himself short. He is a Regional Champ and is one of the top 5 drivers who ever raced in CMC. His car is plenty fast.
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wstukas
post Sep 18 2011, 05:01 AM
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If you're in the Charlotte area, does that mean you would race with NASA Southeast? We have an ever growing AI field, and a healthy CMC2 field as well. For the last few race weekends, half the AI field has been rookies (me included). We even had a very fast '08 dodge challenger race with us last race weekend. I'm building a second AI F body for a friend who will race with us too. It's not uncommon to see 8+ car fields this year, we even had one with 15 cars at Road Atlanta this summer!

Ditch the opti for a LTCC unit (or better yet, an LS1!), and come race CMC2 or AI with us!

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GlennCMC70
post Sep 18 2011, 02:40 PM
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LTCC unit is not legal in CMC.
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CrashTestDummy
post Sep 18 2011, 06:16 PM
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A friend of mine recently got a Legends car, and has been running it. He is having a blast, and it's not _too_ expensive to run. He's not running in any Legends series right now, usually just going out and beating up on more expensive cars on track and going home. He needs more gear, as he's pretty much on the rev limiter after the start. He got taken out at the last race by a VW, but it's just some rod ends, a front shock and a wheel, and he'll be back on track.

Other than that, Spec E30 would be another route. If you ball it up? Meh, it's just a Beener. (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/nutkick.gif)

But that's me. I don't WTW because I don't have anything I can easily ball into a tire wall and not have feelings for when walking away. I do rent-a-racer for LeMons, and that's done it for me lately. It's not as cheap as they like you to think, but I don't have to worry much about the car between events.
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Blainefab
post Sep 18 2011, 07:50 PM
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With NASA, it seems that the group of people in each class matters as much as the car that they are driving. NASA encourages folks to get to know fellow drivers, and I believe this reduces avoidable contact on track. NASA is also very open and likes to show new racers around.

So, go to some NASA events, find the series directors and tell them the decision you have ahead of you and ask them the questions - they will have a more regionally specific response than we can here. Here in NorCal, the Legends and TR group tends to be separate and isolated from the rest of the classes - they do their own tech, have their own impound and scales, and do not appear to mix with the rest of the racers. I'll SWAG that that is part why, in sessions that they are mixed with other classes, they tend to cause a lot of angst on track. Working impound, I've been the first official ears that a racer gets to after a session, and I can't count the number of times I've heard "that damn Legend is a (insert insult here)". Probably completely different lines and braking points have something to do with that. If your region has enough car count to have dedicated sessions for the Legends/TR then this won't be an issue.

I've been close to SpecE30, built one, and NorCal has the largest fields in NASA - we've scaled 32 cars after a qual. SE30 is a true spec class - no monkeying around with brakes or suspension. Beyond the safety prep, you'll need to spend well under $1000 on spec shocks, springs and exhaust. Wheels and tires are $800 a set, complete. The cars are extremely well matched, performance is up to the driver and fine tuning setup. The BMW hardware appears to be bulletproof and plentiful in boneyards.

CMC is struggling in some regions, healthy in others. Rules creep has zinged the cost compared to E30. You and I are Chevy guys, if I was building a budget car it would be for CMC - there's a history (legend?) of competition between the bowtie and blue ovals that complements the class, and is absent in SE30 and SM. The disparity of platforms makes for many more choices and opportunities to spend money. Above all, V8's rock.

If you can't build the car yourself, buy an existing car. Get to know the cars and teams in your region, schedule your buy for this time of year, prices are lower in the last part of the year. While there are beater cars in any class, CMC has been around for a lot longer than SE30, and while I believe you'll spend less on a CMC car than a SE30, there will be some questionable older hardware out there - I would encourage you to have an independant shop do an eval on any used race car. The thoroughness and accuracy of annual tech varies a lot from region to region.

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GlennCMC70
post Sep 18 2011, 08:58 PM
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Alan - I think the "issues" that always seem to crop up from class's that originate from paved ovels or dirt stem from a complete lack of seat time or road course seat time. Just because a guy has spent 10 years on dirt does not qualify him to race on a road course. More times than not those guys are an HPDE2/3 guy at best. The directors of those series "vouch" for them all too often when they should not. They likely have no idea how there actions cause issue. We run w/ "those" cars sometimes durring Sat practice. Everyone of our guys dreds it. They always do something dumb. Contact in practice, put a car in the wall ending practice early, oiling the whole track down - alwasy something.
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Steve91T
post Sep 19 2011, 02:08 PM
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Wow, I just found out that TR's never really took off. They only race them at a couple of different tracks. And I know that Legends cars are mostly circle track, which would be fun, but I'd rather do road racing.

I might have to look further into Spec E30. It's just that I've been for a ride in several, and while anything on the race track is fun, it just seems like the car is boring.

I know Alan said some good things about them, but could you guys see yourselves racing them? I also don't know anything about SSM, it's something I think I'll look into.

I just really like the idea of a purpose built race car. Like someone said, if you crash it, you unbolt the damaged parts, and bolt new ones on. They are made for this.

I am mechanically inclined, but I can't weld. Someday I want to learn, but it's going to have to wait.


One thing that I did notice is the Legends cars are racing all over the place, all the time. Of course this is circle track stuff, but it's racing.

What do you guys think about circle track racing? Have any of you done it? I remember when I was a teenager, my dad used to bring me and my brother to the Legends car races at Charlotte during the 90's. They were a lot of fun to watch, and I'm sure even more fun to race.
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Xscream
post Sep 19 2011, 02:38 PM
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QUOTE (Steve91T @ Sep 19 2011, 09:08 AM) *
Wow, I just found out that TR's never really took off. They only race them at a couple of different tracks. And I know that Legends cars are mostly circle track, which would be fun, but I'd rather do road racing.

One thing that I did notice is the Legends cars are racing all over the place, all the time. Of course this is circle track stuff, but it's racing.

What do you guys think about circle track racing? Have any of you done it? I remember when I was a teenager, my dad used to bring me and my brother to the Legends car races at Charlotte during the 90's. They were a lot of fun to watch, and I'm sure even more fun to race.


I raced Legends for three years in the mid-west. You assumption is right, they are primary used for circle track but there are a lot of people that do run them on the road course. The Thunder Roasters were interesting and thought they would have been better received. There are two areas of these cars I am concerned about, engines and tires (what a shock, hu?).

In road racing and even the longer circle track races, the FJ motors just don't hold together well. 600 racing several years ago developed a water cooled head for the Thunder Roasters in an attempt to help the temp/engine life issue. It was assumed they would be allowed in Legends but that never happened. Before there were two engine programs, sealed and open motors. The sealed motors now can only be rebuilt by US Legends Cars. While you can still run a unsealed 1216 motor and have it re-built by anyone, engines are harder and harder to find, the prices are going up (when I started a rebuild was 1k, I've been hearing 3-4k for a freshen up now) and if you do well at a national event, it will be coming apart.

The tire rule favors those who shave tires down, run them for one race and have them destroyed. The series states once two consecutive wear bars are shown, the tires are destroyed - but they were legal in the event. Guys are literally putting tires on every night. I ran 16 races on my right sides before I replaced them in 2005. I don't think this is prevalent everywhere, but be aware, at a competitive track or national event, this will happen.

If you were going to go circle track racing again, the expense of the car, parts, and tires is almost identical to a big 8 car. Gas is the only expense that is greater. Granted, if you buy a big 8 car, you can't switch it from road course to circle track at will. They were a blast to drive, but parts have gotten a lot more expensive and motors are no longer cheap - that's why I got into them.

This post has been edited by Xscream: Sep 19 2011, 02:40 PM
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Steve91T
post Sep 19 2011, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (Xscream @ Sep 19 2011, 10:38 AM) *
QUOTE (Steve91T @ Sep 19 2011, 09:08 AM) *
Wow, I just found out that TR's never really took off. They only race them at a couple of different tracks. And I know that Legends cars are mostly circle track, which would be fun, but I'd rather do road racing.

One thing that I did notice is the Legends cars are racing all over the place, all the time. Of course this is circle track stuff, but it's racing.

What do you guys think about circle track racing? Have any of you done it? I remember when I was a teenager, my dad used to bring me and my brother to the Legends car races at Charlotte during the 90's. They were a lot of fun to watch, and I'm sure even more fun to race.


I raced Legends for three years in the mid-west. You assumption is right, they are primary used for circle track but there are a lot of people that do run them on the road course. The Thunder Roasters were interesting and thought they would have been better received. There are two areas of these cars I am concerned about, engines and tires (what a shock, hu?).

In road racing and even the longer circle track races, the FJ motors just don't hold together well. 600 racing several years ago developed a water cooled head for the Thunder Roasters in an attempt to help the temp/engine life issue. It was assumed they would be allowed in Legends but that never happened. Before there were two engine programs, sealed and open motors. The sealed motors now can only be rebuilt by US Legends Cars. While you can still run a unsealed 1216 motor and have it re-built by anyone, engines are harder and harder to find, the prices are going up (when I started a rebuild was 1k, I've been hearing 3-4k for a freshen up now) and if you do well at a national event, it will be coming apart.

The tire rule favors those who shave tires down, run them for one race and have them destroyed. The series states once two consecutive wear bars are shown, the tires are destroyed - but they were legal in the event. Guys are literally putting tires on every night. I ran 16 races on my right sides before I replaced them in 2005. I don't think this is prevalent everywhere, but be aware, at a competitive track or national event, this will happen.

If you were going to go circle track racing again, the expense of the car, parts, and tires is almost identical to a big 8 car. Gas is the only expense that is greater. Granted, if you buy a big 8 car, you can't switch it from road course to circle track at will. They were a blast to drive, but parts have gotten a lot more expensive and motors are no longer cheap - that's why I got into them.



Wow, well that's some great info. I really appreciate your thoughts. Disappointing though. Maybe I'll just race radio controlled cars (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)

I'm still going to look into CMC or AI cars, although I feel they are still going to be too expensive for me. Spec E30 is huge out here, and I'll look into SSM. As much as I can't stand the sounds that Miata's make, I bet they would be fun to race.

What other spec style racing have people on here done?
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Steve91T
post Sep 19 2011, 04:19 PM
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QUOTE (Steve91T @ Sep 19 2011, 11:17 AM) *
QUOTE (Xscream @ Sep 19 2011, 10:38 AM) *
QUOTE (Steve91T @ Sep 19 2011, 09:08 AM) *
Wow, I just found out that TR's never really took off. They only race them at a couple of different tracks. And I know that Legends cars are mostly circle track, which would be fun, but I'd rather do road racing.

One thing that I did notice is the Legends cars are racing all over the place, all the time. Of course this is circle track stuff, but it's racing.

What do you guys think about circle track racing? Have any of you done it? I remember when I was a teenager, my dad used to bring me and my brother to the Legends car races at Charlotte during the 90's. They were a lot of fun to watch, and I'm sure even more fun to race.


I raced Legends for three years in the mid-west. You assumption is right, they are primary used for circle track but there are a lot of people that do run them on the road course. The Thunder Roasters were interesting and thought they would have been better received. There are two areas of these cars I am concerned about, engines and tires (what a shock, hu?).

In road racing and even the longer circle track races, the FJ motors just don't hold together well. 600 racing several years ago developed a water cooled head for the Thunder Roasters in an attempt to help the temp/engine life issue. It was assumed they would be allowed in Legends but that never happened. Before there were two engine programs, sealed and open motors. The sealed motors now can only be rebuilt by US Legends Cars. While you can still run a unsealed 1216 motor and have it re-built by anyone, engines are harder and harder to find, the prices are going up (when I started a rebuild was 1k, I've been hearing 3-4k for a freshen up now) and if you do well at a national event, it will be coming apart.

The tire rule favors those who shave tires down, run them for one race and have them destroyed. The series states once two consecutive wear bars are shown, the tires are destroyed - but they were legal in the event. Guys are literally putting tires on every night. I ran 16 races on my right sides before I replaced them in 2005. I don't think this is prevalent everywhere, but be aware, at a competitive track or national event, this will happen.

If you were going to go circle track racing again, the expense of the car, parts, and tires is almost identical to a big 8 car. Gas is the only expense that is greater. Granted, if you buy a big 8 car, you can't switch it from road course to circle track at will. They were a blast to drive, but parts have gotten a lot more expensive and motors are no longer cheap - that's why I got into them.



Wow, well that's some great info. I really appreciate your thoughts. Disappointing though. Maybe I'll just race radio controlled cars (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)

I'm still going to look into CMC or AI cars, although I feel they are still going to be too expensive for me. Spec E30 is huge out here, and I'll look into SSM. As much as I can't stand the sounds that Miata's make, I bet they would be fun to race.

What other spec style racing have people on here done?



Check out this video I found. I was just at VIR, and this little Spec E30 was roughly 6 seconds faster than in my 430 HP Camaro. Of course I'm an amateur and on street tires, and he's a pro driver. Still impressive. But what is that 3rd gen Camaro that passes down the back stretch at about the 1:45 mark? Is that a CMC or AI car? He's flying!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdoSnKdgEXk
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Doug Phillips
post Sep 19 2011, 06:12 PM
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Sorted out my protruck and won my first event. Camaro saved my ass two weeks ago when I broke a srocker stud in the truck, raced home to get the Camaro and had an absolute blast!!

But the Camaro has to go, can't have two cars. Very well sorted and fast. Willing to negotiate.

http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/index.php?sho...mp;#entry162339
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GlennCMC70
post Sep 19 2011, 07:38 PM
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AI is just stupid expensive. Most of those cars are int he 30-40K range.
In that vid - that was not a CMC car. It pilled too hard down the straight. Looked alot like a AI car.

If spec E30 is big where you are, that is likely where you should look. If CMC has anywhere near 15 cars per event, I would pick that over E-30.

Look at rule stability as well. CMC has not done well w/ this. A few years back NASA HQ forced CMC to allow new cars. This forced the Directors to creat CMC2 untill we coulf figure out how to get the cars the same performance wise. Now that we have it pretty close, we are back to 1 CMC class for 2012. This alone will cause the car count in CMC to jump.
For now most all the CMC Directors have a goal of minimizing change for a few years. Spec E-30 may have been through this, of is about to. Tires is another big deal. FOr now Toyo RA1's suck, but they suck the same for everyone and the suck the same for a long time.
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