What other classes did you consider and were your criteria?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:41 am
I came from SM and imo if you're really looking for competition and close cars SRF is the only game in town.

The costs aren't close if you want to run at the front in SM as they are similar and not spec. Those extra unspec horses cost a lot of money. It's not just hp, there are other "special" parts that cost quite a bit to make you faster.

Both are a lot of fun. If you do your own work then SRF is so much easier. If you have deep pockets and want to buy speed then go the SM route.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:53 am
DavidNJ wrote: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


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

NP01.jpg


Finally, a super late model stock car, note the 3/16" plate welded to the door bars.


You are comparing apples and oranges.

NP01 is a whole different beast. On a different planet cost wise and much higher speeds.

Stock car oval racing is dying as you stated. Most small tracks are not safe. Doesn't matter what car safety is like.

The part you might be over looking is the dimensional space between the driver and the outer edge of the cage. The square tubing might give more, but there is good amount or room for it to do so before intruding on the driver. In a stock car you are sitting right next to the door, so it has to be beefed up.

No one has ever been killed in an SRF since it's been around for 30 years. I don't think many other classes can say that.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:30 pm
JoshO wrote:
DavidNJ wrote: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


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

NP01.jpg


Finally, a super late model stock car, note the 3/16" plate welded to the door bars.


You are comparing apples and oranges.

NP01 is a whole different beast. On a different planet cost wise and much higher speeds.

Stock car oval racing is dying as you stated. Most small tracks are not safe. Doesn't matter what car safety is like.

The part you might be over looking is the dimensional space between the driver and the outer edge of the cage. The square tubing might give more, but there is good amount or room for it to do so before intruding on the driver. In a stock car you are sitting right next to the door, so it has to be beefed up.

No one has ever been killed in an SRF since it's been around for 30 years. I don't think many other classes can say that.


Actually the NP01 and the ESR are very similar to the SRF. The key differences are much more modern chassis (the SRF dates from around 1980, ESR mid 1990s, NP01 maybe 5 years ago), aero, sequential transaxle, and to an extent upgraded components (brakes, shocks, etc.). Just going to a modern frame should affect the cost at all if the components are kept the same, and only slightly with a pushrod suspension.

Those little square tubes provide minimal protection and I wonder if they have ever become a shaft that impaled something. There is a video of an SRF driver with a tire mark on his helmet from a 944 in a mixed session.

At the time I went oval (1990) it was booming and road racing was dying. Now both are pretty weak. SCCA is a mere shell of what it was in the 1970s. HPDEs and private tracks where the ultra-rich store their Ferraris are booming. In some parts of the country oval racing is still alive (within 90 minutes of Tampa there are 6 active paved short track ovals).

Short track (< 1/2 mile) paved ovals are inherently safer. The entire track is observed from one location. Yellow or red lights go on with the touch of a button. Many tracks have marshal to driver communication mandated. With the shorter distance around the track, fire equipment, ambulances, and wreckers less than 1 minute away. They tend to be located near population centers often having a significant hospital nearby. In contrast, because of their size, road racing tracks tend to be off in the countryside away from hospitals.

The other item is speed. Road racing tracks tend to have long straights and even less powerful cars reach high speeds. My 74hp Opel used to exit Lime Rock's downhill at 95 and hit near 100 at the end of the straight. My 500hp super late model hits around 105 at the 3/8 mile Evergreens short straight exiting a 65mph corner. The ovals have guard rail alongside the track on the outside, with guardrail or small runoff areas on the inside. Road racing often has big grassy verges that seem to project the car back across the track as often as letting the driver regain control.

The Death of SRF 562 https://youtu.be/z57OHLyDMHE

I'm not saying SRF is bad...I'm here because it has so many unique positives. But the safety issue is my sticking point.

I started another thread on the frame, in part because I am curious if it complies with the current GCR.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:35 pm
You have posted comments on at least three different threads and all of them negative, Why?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:00 am
enzo wrote:You have posted comments on at least three different threads and all of them negative, Why?


Not negative...but I'm trying to figure out how others have dealt with the issue. The safety issue is my biggest SRF concern and my interest in SRF occurred just after Sebring.

In amateur road racing there are really 2 classes that have competitive fields: SRF and SM. Many competitors chose between the two classes. Both classes are rather close in costs.

I like that the SRF is a purpose-built race car. Having had both, the purpose-built car is infinitely easier to maintain or fix after a crash. They also handle better and are more tunable (at least compared to an SM).

As I stated at the top of the thread, by criteria are competition, safety, and cost.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:00 pm
Note that the death of SRF 562 is due to car to car contact, the fault (imo) of a driver coming back on track while not under control. Neither driver was injured to my knowledge (please correct me if wrong) and 562 was considered a write-off by the owner who is a multiple time national champion and deemed it time for a new chassis. I didn't see the damage, but I highly suspect 562 could have been repaired and run competitively if they had chosen to do so. It would have taken time and some coin, but doable. The alternative was a new chassis and they had the ability and desire to go that route.
Cliff (driver of 562) can verify or deny.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:55 pm
David I have been in this class for 22 years and as far as i'm concerned there are no issues. This is a very safe class to be in, having said that this is racing and there is always an element of risk.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:13 pm
Racer X wrote:Note that the death of SRF 562 is due to car to car contact, the fault (imo) of a driver coming back on track while not under control. Neither driver was injured to my knowledge (please correct me if wrong) and 562 was considered a write-off by the owner who is a multiple time national champion and deemed it time for a new chassis. I didn't see the damage, but I highly suspect 562 could have been repaired and run competitively if they had chosen to do so. It would have taken time and some coin, but doable. The alternative was a new chassis and they had the ability and desire to go that route.
Cliff (driver of 562) can verify or deny.


Besides, it was the death of the car, the driver was fine, and in a much better mood than I would have been (we were paddocked next to him).

And I'm pretty sure someone ended up using most of the chassis.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:46 am
dave wrote:Besides, it was the death of the car, the driver was fine


I think it was Subaru that used to do a commercial about cars that gave their life for the driver. I think that is how it supposed to work. Sacrifice the car. Protect the driver :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:00 am
DavidNJ wrote:
JoshO wrote:
DavidNJ wrote: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


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

NP01.jpg


Finally, a super late model stock car, note the 3/16" plate welded to the door bars.


You are comparing apples and oranges.

NP01 is a whole different beast. On a different planet cost wise and much higher speeds.

Stock car oval racing is dying as you stated. Most small tracks are not safe. Doesn't matter what car safety is like.

The part you might be over looking is the dimensional space between the driver and the outer edge of the cage. The square tubing might give more, but there is good amount or room for it to do so before intruding on the driver. In a stock car you are sitting right next to the door, so it has to be beefed up.

No one has ever been killed in an SRF since it's been around for 30 years. I don't think many other classes can say that.


Actually the NP01 and the ESR are very similar to the SRF. The key differences are much more modern chassis (the SRF dates from around 1980, ESR mid 1990s, NP01 maybe 5 years ago), aero, sequential transaxle, and to an extent upgraded components (brakes, shocks, etc.). Just going to a modern frame should affect the cost at all if the components are kept the same, and only slightly with a pushrod suspension.

Those little square tubes provide minimal protection and I wonder if they have ever become a shaft that impaled something. There is a video of an SRF driver with a tire mark on his helmet from a 944 in a mixed session.

At the time I went oval (1990) it was booming and road racing was dying. Now both are pretty weak. SCCA is a mere shell of what it was in the 1970s. HPDEs and private tracks where the ultra-rich store their Ferraris are booming. In some parts of the country oval racing is still alive (within 90 minutes of Tampa there are 6 active paved short track ovals).

Short track (< 1/2 mile) paved ovals are inherently safer. The entire track is observed from one location. Yellow or red lights go on with the touch of a button. Many tracks have marshal to driver communication mandated. With the shorter distance around the track, fire equipment, ambulances, and wreckers less than 1 minute away. They tend to be located near population centers often having a significant hospital nearby. In contrast, because of their size, road racing tracks tend to be off in the countryside away from hospitals.

The other item is speed. Road racing tracks tend to have long straights and even less powerful cars reach high speeds. My 74hp Opel used to exit Lime Rock's downhill at 95 and hit near 100 at the end of the straight. My 500hp super late model hits around 105 at the 3/8 mile Evergreens short straight exiting a 65mph corner. The ovals have guard rail alongside the track on the outside, with guardrail or small runoff areas on the inside. Road racing often has big grassy verges that seem to project the car back across the track as often as letting the driver regain control.

The Death of SRF 562 https://youtu.be/z57OHLyDMHE

I'm not saying SRF is bad...I'm here because it has so many unique positives. But the safety issue is my sticking point.

I started another thread on the frame, in part because I am curious if it complies with the current GCR.


I like how detailed your analysis is, but here are my thoughts:

NP01 fundamentally might be the same concept. however, only 30 exist. They are well over double the cost of a gen3. Likely proportionally costly to run. Speeds will be higher so that starts to offset safety of the more modern chassis.

Oval racing does have better safety/communication info, but incidents are more frequent due to higher car count per mile. Many of the infield/pit entrances/gates are not properly designed and offer chances bad "freak" accidents. Safer barriers don't exist. Which is even more important in my opinion, as every turn is basically a big hairpin with no runoff. Half of all racing deaths in last ten years were at small ovals: http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports ... you-think/

There are no doubt hazards with road racing. There is large opportunity to be smarter about safety measures in road racing. You can find a thread where I bring up that point.
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