What other classes did you consider and were your criteria?

How To Get Started

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:46 am
When going into SRF, what other classes of racing were you considering and what were your criteria?

My criteria competition, safety, cost, availability of races, and support, not necessarily in that order.

Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:38 pm
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:42 am
DavidNJ wrote:When going into SRF, what other classes of racing were you considering and what were your criteria?

My criteria competition, safety, cost, availability of races, and support, not necessarily in that order.


I raced one year in Formula First. I think it is a neat class format. It is open wheel, which I like, at low cost. The problem is in my area there is very little participation.

Then I looked at Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford. From safety I think the SRF are very safe. There is a seat debate on another thread about what is the best seat for safety. Spec Miata can be safe, and can be unsafe. It is largely up to the builder. I think being closed top is probably safer in the SM. The lack of fuel cell in the SM is less safe. I think cost is probably better for SM. Entry cost and cost of parts are better for SM. The negative from a cost point on SM is you never know if you have as good of equipment. So you are on a constant chase for better parts. Also there is the effort cost. I think the SM needs more work. I think you will never be short of availability of races in either. SM opens up the option of NASA as well as SCCA, but I do not think it really is meaningful. Competition is great in both. Support is more of a wash than many might think. The CSR system identifies people to buy parts from. They have definitely got me going at the race track when a part has broken, or there has been damage. I also race two weekends a year that get no CSR support. At those it becomes more dependent on local support or personal spares. With other classes running Miata, and the ability to by used junkyard parts having spares or other parts available is easier and less costly for SM.

I think they are going to be similar cost and competition while the SRF has the horsepower to weight (performance) advantage, ease of repair, and has a lot of cool factor.

Needs a Life!!!
Needs a Life!!!
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:12 pm
Location: Texas
Chassis:
821
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:26 pm
Let's just start here:
purpose built race car>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>modified street car
Drive both
User avatar
Needs a Life!!!
Needs a Life!!!
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Augusta, GA
Chassis:
494
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:58 pm
I considered Spec (aka similar) Miata before deciding on SRF. I had already owned a Miata and figured that would be a good class, but then found out that there was rampant cheating especially on the regional level.

SRF was an easy fit, because of the CSR network, and the close competition. Also, I didn't want a class where I was spending a boat load of money looking for a couple horsepower.
Kurt Breitinger
SEDIV #28
Chassis 494

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:32 am
I asked a similar but more specific question on the Spec Miata forum: did you consider an SRF. A lot of Spec Miata drivers did. The reasons for going Spec Miata where the perceived safety of a full cage and a roof, the weather protection of the roof, and expected lower costs.

Interestingly one driver brought up the Elan NP01. If that were a next generation SRF at about the same price power/weight adjusted so it could be phased in... But it is around $80k with the little addons with very few out there and only NASA ST2 to race in.

All the closed cars have a driver cooling issue in the summer, including Spec Miata and the NP01.

Novice Typer
Novice Typer
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:44 pm
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:20 pm
I drove a spec Miata for my SCCA License school and I just did not like how that car felt... the amount of body roll and lack of acceleration was dramatically less than what I was expecting. The engine was fun revving up to 7k+ but that was about it for me.

So, I investigated SRF and DSR/CSR (now P1/P2). I looked at starting cost, cost to crash/repair, reliability, consumables, competition, and cool factor. I feel that SRF was clearly better in every one of those categories except cool factor... A P1 going 175+ is pretty dang cool :)

Having been racing now for two years, I feel that SRF is the best club racing in SCCA. I had no idea how much of a factor competition would be for me. No matter where I've been in the pack there is always someone ready for a hard competitive race. Nobody is looking for a parade. We're all looking to beat the snot out of one another in the hopes that we all get faster. SM is probably similar in competitive spirit to SRF but I've noticed that it seems SM car counts have declined over the last two years here in Texas.

Another factor has been the camaraderie after the race... it wasn't one of my initial criteria but it is certainly one of the reasons everyone can't wait for the next race weekend. The collegial social aspect of SRF has been a huge positive. The idea that I have a SRF family is real for me.
User avatar
Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 12:14 pm
Location: Santa Clara, Ca
Chassis:
501
Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/kangamotorsports/
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:39 am
I considered Formula Vee (FV), Formula First (FST), Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford and Formula Ford.

Lots of reasons ended up up with me driving a Spec Racer Ford. The key most reasons were the competition, cost of running, repair costs and fun factor. After starting the other competitors made it fantastic.
James Chartres
SRF #77 - Chassis #501

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:33 am
Sal, P1 & P2 do have a cool factor. They also have no competition. A real P1 car, a Wolf GB08 with reworked Honda engine, could be close to $200k. Enterprises is reconfiguring the ESR for P2, possibly bring the price down. If they do, it could be attractive.

My biggest SRF concern is the antiquated chassis. While the drivetrain has been upgraded twice, the chassis says 1970s (e.g., rocker arm suspension and all those small square tubes). The ESR frame is 20 years newer and probably about the same cost to make. The NP01 is 30+ years newer.

James, I can easily see SRF over Formula Vee and Formula First, cars whose suspensions make a Spec Miata look state of the art. I once considered Formula Vee, even driving to Caldwell in Marblehead to look at one of their cars (then there is that boat trip with Noah). SRF seems to have become what Formula Ford once was as far as club racing. Karts seem to have replaced it as a racing stepping stone.

There is a nationally competitive SM that just popped on the market. Top 10 in all 4 races at Sebring and Homestead. I haven't made a decision...but tempting.

Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:48 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:12 am
My biggest SRF concern is the antiquated chassis. While the drivetrain has been upgraded twice, the chassis says 1970s (e.g., rocker arm suspension and all those small square tubes). The ESR frame is 20 years newer and probably about the same cost to make. The NP01 is 30+ years newer.


David,
If you are looking for the perfect race car it isn't out there. Without trying to be critical I am not sure you yet fully understand the value relationship that applies to SRF. Yes the chassis is tubular square tubes which also makes the chassis easily repairable in sections. Last year at one event I watched the PM guys (trackside mind you) repair no less than 5 cars including cutting and welding significantly damaged tubing to keep their drivers in the event. I doubt very much that would happen in SM.

Having transitioned to SRF after 30 years in FV, I found the class to be deeply competitive and rich in driving talent. More important the cars are simple in nature and with a minor amount of service between sessions (assuming you brought a track ready car) you can pretty much gas and go all weekend. Two years ago I upgraded my SRF to the Gen3 and without question that car to me represents the perfect race car. It is fast, balanced and has all of the attributes of simplicity that the SRF has always offered. If you want a level playing field the GEN3 is it!

Plus there is one factor which others may have touched on and is the reason why SRF racing is so attractive to so many drivers, which is the CSR's (Customer Service Rep's). Their services range from fully tending to your car, including pre race preparation and service, transport to and from events with weekend support, car rentals, parts, shop based major crash repair and/or minor at track services when they can. You can certainly do this yourself, but having this option has allowed me to race at tracks in my own car which were out of reach to me in the past including Sebring, Daytona, Road Atlanta and VIR to name a few.

Having seen several drivers come into the SRF/G3 ranks in the last couple of years from other classes, I don't see any of them expressing remorse about their choice. What you ultimately decide however needs to right for you.
Jim Regan
PermitLink SRF #0

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:57 pm
I agree with just about everything you're saying except for the first paragraph. The competition is great, the cars are interesting, and the CSRs are a great support network.

The frame is an antique. It isn't as safe as a modern sports racer. Roll cages are made with round tubes because the side tubes flatten ('distort') in a crash. There is on diagonal along the side of the driver's compartment but no intrusion bars. The driver is exposed, especially in rollovers. Does the chassis met the current GCR requirements for sports racers (pp 117-123)?

Racing is dangerous. Some life insurance policies won't cover it. Nothing is perfect. I may have recommended a different SRF evolution. Maybe an aftermarket ECU, new cam and exhaust on the 1.9 but a new chassis run concurrently with the old, matched by weight adjustments.

Costs are relatively controlled but pretty high compared to an oval track car of equal or greater complexity: dry sumped, adjustable suspension geometry, adjustable/rebuildable Penske, Ohlins, or JRi shocks, AP/PFC fixed calipers with floating rotors, etc. The cars are built like tanks and on a short oval speeds don't exceed 110 even though they are 500hp/3000 lb cars on 10" wide wheels with 13" wide tires. The whole frame costs about 1/2 of a SRF frame. A complete new car is less. Fenders are maybe $150, front or rear, nose and tail about the same.

The oval racing doesn't seem to be an option. Local tracks are gone. Each track has its own car rules. The closest reasonable track (3 hr tow) closed and then reopened. Just, maybe, hitting 12 car fields...it used to be 16-24. No local support at all and not really around the track either (11 cars, scattered around and often self-maintained isn't a good business model). And I still have the car although the 26' foot enclosed trailer has a lot yard equipment in it.

SM has a less formal network of firms supporting it. They also have rentals but in SM less likely to be a car that would capture a Major's pole. Costs are comparable between SM and SRF.

People in both SM and SRF like their classes. There are some that move on; SRF would be considered a step up. But one top driver is now running in STL.

These pictures show the differences.

First, an naked SRF:

SRF Frame.jpg
SRF Frame.jpg (34.43 KiB) Viewed 1039 times


Then an Elan NP01, the post recent 'budget' sports racer, both the bare frame and with a crush foam to cushion impacts:

NP01.jpg
NP01.jpg (60.16 KiB) Viewed 1039 times


Finally, a super late model stock car, note the 3/16" plate welded to the door bars.
Attachments
Stock car frame.jpg
Stock car frame.jpg (26.19 KiB) Viewed 1039 times
Next

Return to How To Get Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron