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: Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:59 am
JoshO wrote: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.


Some oval track cars are a bit wilder. On pavement, the next step is NASCAR modifieds: 650hp, 2600lb (5x the power and just a bit more weight than a Spec Miata) on 16" wide tires with 13" wide wheels. Solid axle front and rear. There a variety of open-wheel sprint and midgets. Some really extreme; one class has 8L Chevy's with wings on the roof that look like they were cut off an airliner. Then a lot of these classes or a variation run on dirt. Then there are low-cost legends which aren't that slow but don't have much protection around the driver.

So yes, some oval track racing can be dangerous.

Compared to a Spec Racer, the extra cost of the NP01 comes in its sequential gearbox, roof, more expensive brakes (Stoptech). The MCS shocks are probably not much different in cost than the Penske's. Elan just couldn't build for a price.

A stock car chassis is around $3500, maybe 40% less than an SRF, closer in design to an NP01, and with more material than either by a bit. Upper control arms with bearings, mounts that use slugs to reposition, are about $140. Really cheap arms are maybe $50.

They say a new P2 version of the ESR will be less expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if a comprehensive look at the costs of the SRF couldn't bring it down 20%-30% while improving safety.
User avatar
Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:15 pm

Chassis:
654
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:16 am
We pay a premium for a parts, but know we have the same parts as the guy beside us. You seem to be doing a significant amount of research, which is great. If I were you, I would make a list of questions and set up a call with a CSR, a private prep shop, and possibly some independent drivers. I'm sure there are more modern, safer, and faster cars available, but we all feel comfortable with the safety and the cost of the SRF/SRF3. That is why we race them. I was the car upside down at 17 in Sebring. You can bet your ass, I'll be right back on the grid as soon as my car is fixed. I feel just as safe if not safer than I did prior to that race.
John Greene
SeDiv #29

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:30 pm
john_greene wrote:We pay a premium for a parts, but know we have the same parts as the guy beside us. You seem to be doing a significant amount of research, which is great. If I were you, I would make a list of questions and set up a call with a CSR, a private prep shop, and possibly some independent drivers. I'm sure there are more modern, safer, and faster cars available, but we all feel comfortable with the safety and the cost of the SRF/SRF3. That is why we race them. I was the car upside down at 17 in Sebring. You can bet your ass, I'll be right back on the grid as soon as my car is fixed. I feel just as safe if not safer than I did prior to that race.


No doubt SRF and SM are the only large fields in US amateur road racing. The gap from SRF3 to SRF is about the same as the gap from SRF to SM. At Watkins Glen last year, the top 20 SRF3 cars were covered by 4 seconds, the top 20 SM cars by 3 seconds. At Homestead the top 20 SRF3 cars cover 2.6 seconds, the top 20 SM cars 1.7 sec. Whether the cars are equal by buying the same parts and sealed motors and shocks or by be required to meet tight specs the classes are about equally competitive.

Those numbers are probably tighter than most amateur oval track fields.

Costs are also comparable. A nationally competitive SM is between $25k and $35k. A new one between $35k and $40k or so. An SRF3 fits right in that range. Parts can be a bit more expensive for SRF3, but body repairs a bit more for SM. Too close to call IMHO.

I've talked with Mike and the local chief instructor about some of the issues. The posts here are to find how SRF racers have wrestled with the same issues.

in your Facebook post about Sebring you indicated you weren't posting your video because you didn't want your wife to see it. Fortunately for me, my wife always missed my bigger wrecks. This is racing...there are crashes. At the runoffs, 20% of the SRF3 field DNF'd from crashes.

Why are crashes something we need to hide? Everyone knows the injuries and fatalities in F1, Indycar, NASCAR Cup series. Why are statistics from the SCCA "Safe Racer" program secret? In my office we have a saying: "if you have to tell everyone the paint color is blue, it probably isn't".

I'm a bit surprised that a class run by SCCA and populated by generally an older set with families, jobs, etc. hasn't demanded the latest in safety equipment.

In 2001 I was in a t-bone. I was trying to pass three cars in front of me and it looked like they slowed each other up so I went around. There I found another car sideways across the track, no yellow lights,, less than 5 seconds or so had passed. between the give in my belts and the stretch of my neck my helmet hit the front roll hoop and the steering wheel was bent inside out. The car needed a new front clip, radiator, suspension, etc. and was back on the track in 3 weeks.

I purchased my HANS device the next week. Are there changes in your car that would have prevented or reduced your injuries? A containment seat? A more comprehensive rollcage structure, maybe closer to an FIA CN car (like the won that won P1 at the Runoffs).

For reference, this is what my oval track car looks like. I don't have the time to prep and run it. There are no CSR equivalents that I am aware of.

Me Racing.jpg
Me Racing.jpg (26.83 KiB) Viewed 924 times
User avatar
Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:15 pm

Chassis:
654
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:49 am
"Safe Racer" is the name of a sponsoring company, not a slogan or philosophy. It's much easier for the professional series to keep up with that data. There are likely HIPPA laws preventing a club from releasing injury data as well. Nobody is against safety improvements (a little padding here, a brace there, a different seat, etc), but you won't convince 600 drivers that they will need a new chassis next year because they don't look like the $90000 NP1 for NASA or a 3500 lb stock car. Our chassis design has been tested and has a great record of keeping the drivers safe.
John Greene
SeDiv #29

Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:26 pm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:24 pm
I currently have a ESR and a GEN3 SRF, I used to have a GEN2 for years.

Before that I started in FF back in 1984, and drove just about everything except for GT1 and FA over the years.

While some will argue that the spec parts from Enterprise via the CSRs are overpriced, the availability of parts either at home or trackside overwhelms the equation such that the program is truly a model of success.

I call my CSR, and the next day a box of parts the actually fit the car arrive in a box.

Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:11 pm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:21 pm
My understanding is that a nationally competitive (podium) SM car is over $50,000 and that you'll spend $5,000 per year to remain competitive. Apples to apples, SRF3 is less expensive to acquire, and while parts are more expensive, they are cheap to repair and are overbuilt. SRF racers tend to be very active in SCCA steward roles because they spent most of their race weekends hanging out in the paddock socializing.

Part of the safety margin of SRF is physics. Stout 1,500 lb. cars can only do so much damage to other stout 1,500 lb. cars.

Still Learning to Type
Still Learning to Type
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:05 pm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:12 pm
john_greene wrote:"Safe Racer" is the name of a sponsoring company, not a slogan or philosophy. It's much easier for the professional series to keep up with that data. There are likely HIPPA laws preventing a club from releasing injury data as well. Nobody is against safety improvements (a little padding here, a brace there, a different seat, etc), but you won't convince 600 drivers that they will need a new chassis next year because they don't look like the $90000 NP1 for NASA or a 3500 lb stock car. Our chassis design has been tested and has a great record of keeping the drivers safe.


The HIPPA laws prevent personal data, not aggregate. Deaths via accident are regularly reported in the media. "A great record of keeping the drivers safe" would be great but you have only anecdotal evidence for it. Note: many people injured in amateur racing accidents drop out.

The frame could be a modification or new. It could be phased in. If safety trumped cost for SCCA-E, then the cost could be modest. I'm pretty sure a major stock car builder (e.g. Lefthander Chassis) could knock could make a profit of them an SCCA-E at a price point in the $4k-$4.5k range.

But most importantly, what change would you make to avoid injuries? Leg protectors? Knee protectors? Containment seat? Taller roll bar? Roll bar forward brace mounted higher to the hoop and more forward on the chassis?

Dog Licked Racing wrote:I currently have a ESR and a GEN3 SRF, I used to have a GEN2 for years.

Before that I started in FF back in 1984, and drove just about everything except for GT1 and FA over the years.

While some will argue that the spec parts from Enterprise via the CSRs are overpriced, the availability of parts either at home or trackside overwhelms the equation such that the program is truly a model of success.

I call my CSR, and the next day a box of parts the actually fit the car arrive in a box.


Absolutely agree the CSR is an important part of the SRF world and really what makes it sing. Oval tracks used to have vendors leased concession rights at the track and a track welder, in some ways similar to the CSRs' services.

That doesn't mean that SRF couldn't have a lower cost structure. In some ways SRF3 masked a significant price increase. If the price was 20% lower, SRF would be a lot more attractive to SM and other drivers.

Greg-Cirillo wrote:My understanding is that a nationally competitive (podium) SM car is over $50,000 and that you'll spend $5,000 per year to remain competitive. Apples to apples, SRF3 is less expensive to acquire, and while parts are more expensive, they are cheap to repair and are overbuilt. SRF racers tend to be very active in SCCA steward roles because they spent most of their race weekends hanging out in the paddock socializing.

Part of the safety margin of SRF is physics. Stout 1,500 lb. cars can only do so much damage to other stout 1,500 lb. cars.


I've been talking to Joe Drago at East Street. His cars are nationally competitive and he regularly sells new ones for $33k without dash or seat. He has a used one that finished top 10 in all 4 Florida nationals for under $26k, race-ready and delivered. On annual costs, how much do people at the pointy end spend on engine and shock rebuilds at SCCA-E or on tires?

If SRFs only raced with SRFs it would be one thing. If it could be out with a production car weighing twice as much and that can't see it clearly, or with formula or other sports racers that may be 5s-10s per mile faster. The do flip and ride up over each other while the driver's head is exposed. In rear impacts the exposed rear tire can launch a trailing car. There is an quasi front crush zone (the radiator) but not in the rear.

Some of these are very easy modifications for most of these that are not very expensive. To they extent they make what might be an expensive crash and turn it into a more modestly priced crash, the changes could pay for themselves. To the extent they mitigate the financial risk they could make the racing closer.

Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:45 pm
Location: Oregon
Chassis:
404
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:58 pm
Nobody has mentioned resale value of a SRF or gen3. I have not heard any other race car in any other series that retains the resale value like a SRF. Buy used, use it , and then resale for just about the same as purchase price.
Safety in the pocket book
User avatar
Forum Hermit
Forum Hermit
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:28 pm
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:34 am
My brother and I were racing Pintos.
We wanted to drive something better.

I wanted FF
He wanted SM

We compromised on SRF :mrgreen:
Dave Gills
#80 Red/Silver (chassis 504)
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Ready to Write a Book
Ready to Write a Book
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:11 pm
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:14 am
DavidNJ wrote:If SRFs only raced with SRFs it would be one thing. If it could be out with a production car weighing twice as much and that can't see it clearly, or with formula or other sports racers that may be 5s-10s per mile faster. The do flip and ride up over each other while the driver's head is exposed. In rear impacts the exposed rear tire can launch a trailing car. There is an quasi front crush zone (the radiator) but not in the rear.


If you run Majors or in populous regions (DC Region, S. New Jersey) you will not have to run with production cars or formula cars. In fact, I've never seen SRFs with formula cars.

And as to safety, all the supposition in the world doesn't count for more than the actual 40 year, 800 car history of the class. Ask any older corner worker what SCCA class has the toughest, safest cars. A corner worker has to be able to get you out of a burning car. They'd much rather be running up to an SRF than an SM.
PreviousNext

Return to How To Get Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest