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  #1  
Old 07-02-2006, 08:21 PM
plance1
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Default Spec Miata or American Sedan??? Dumb Newbie Question

Im interested in getting involved in racing. I love spec miatas and the AS series and I know people on this forum might be biased but I would love to hear some commentary about the pros and cons of each. Seems like there are more people to race with in Spec Miata.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2006, 08:55 PM
SedanMan SedanMan is offline
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Default dollars or sense

Mr. Wheeler would be the man to answer this question as he currently races both. He is a long-time AS racer and I'm sure he would be able to contrast the differences between the two. At the risk of sounding like a typical car salesman, "how much do you want to spend?".
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2006, 08:48 AM
Steve T. Steve T. is offline
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I don't know what it is like in your region but here in the North East there has been a few regionals that had so many Spec Miata's if you qualified out of the top 40 you were not in the race.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2006, 10:01 AM
Jonny
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What you really should do is to buy my SM so that I can finish my AS car! I have two SM's that need to go and a long list of mustang parts that need to be ordered.

If you want to know about SM give me a call. The class is great! The cars are easy to work on, well supported by Mazda, there is a great website with answers to all your questions, ect, ect.. However...if you really want to run up front, expect to spend as much as it cost to run in the top 10 for AS, and by ready to file and deffend protests, and...Get a good body man! But if you win in SM, you can rightfully brag. I don't think there is a more competitive class in SCCA right now.

Jonny
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2006, 10:07 AM
King Matt
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If you love V-8, rear-wheel-drive ponycars, the appeal of classes like A Sedan, Camaro-Mustang Challenge or American Iron is understandable, but based purely on participation numbers, the racing market has clearly declared a winner. When I got into road racing a few years ago, several factors lead me to build a Mustang, including the fact that I had lots of experience with them, plus many contacts that made it financially the best choice at the time. But if I had to start over again, I would probably go with a Spec Miata. Since the fields are so large, there is good competition at all levels. You can spend what it takes to go as high as your talent will take you or run in the middle or even back of the pack with a very cost-effective race car and still have a lot of fun.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2006, 11:20 AM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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I just got back from Hallett, where Ted ran my ASedan against one other car, winning from the pole. I raced the SM and was mid-pack in a 30+ car field. My car had a Sunbelt engine, which blew up, several races ago, due to driver error. The tranny does not shift like an ASedan and I did a few 2nd to 3rd shifts at 7200 rpm that ended up in 1st, not 3rd. The junk yard engine, $650 plus a new water pump (changed at the first race) is not competitive with any of the front runners. The "pro built" engines cost $5,000 plus you provide the crate engine from Mazda, $2,000.
I also had to change a front cross member and one corner of the front suspension, $250 in parts from the salvage yard, after the last race. Much more contact in SM than in AS, even when AS was known as a crashem class.
When this season is over and Ted no longer is trying to qualify the AS for the Runoffs, the SM would be the one to go. I would stay with the AS.
SM would take a big financial and time commitment to move up to where I am in AS and, personally, I don't think I would be willing to make that commitment like I did with the AS car.
It's a lot of fun in SM and can be run very cheaply, if you don't mind being in the group of five or six cars running for 15th place. They are easy on tires, brakes, fuel and maintenance.
So, it depends where you want to go with your racing. Get out there, have some fun and have some people to race against......SM all the way. Be a front runner and top ten at the Runoffs.....either class, but plan to spend about the same money and time to make that happen.
Jim Wheeler
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2006, 03:17 PM
Jonny
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OK - I just saw a AS car for sale on Corner Carver's where the guy has $90,000 into it. I guess it Will cost more to run AS. A pro built SM car is going to cost $30,000 (cheap!).
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2006, 03:26 PM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is offline
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You can buy Jeff Robbins beautiful 05 Mustang for $50K, maybe less. It is one of the nicest race cars, of any class, I have seen. Carbon fiber valve covers, dash panels, etc. Great engine.
$90K??? I don't have that kind of money in my car, trailer, spares and tow truck combined, and my tow truck is a two year old 4 door Duramax 2500 4WD.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2006, 04:16 PM
Steve T. Steve T. is offline
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I have seen many regional AS Camaros and Mustangs going for around $15,000 with extensive spares and trailers included. If you are paitent and keep an eye open you can usually find a good regional AS car in the $5,000 to $9,000 range with a few spares and no trailer.
Showroom Stock Spec style racing has always been a great idea on paper. Cost looks like it is controlled and it would seem as though everyone is on a level playing field. But as Jim said, for some reason to be a top half to front runner you always seem to need deep pockets.
Pick up a copy of Mark Donohue's book "The Unfair Advantage" to see what great lengths some will go to get just a little bit of an edge.
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2006, 10:43 AM
t4wallace t4wallace is offline
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Happy 4th to all.

We have looked REAL hard at SM and have mulled over everything that has been said here. The racing is good, but so is/was AS in CenDiv.

In CenDiv, AS was like SM in terms of higher car counts with good cars. It was usually 4-5 deep for the win with 12+ cars turning out at events. This was at the National level. That has dropped off for reasons that have already been covered on this site.

Price of entry for both classes will be what you deicide to spend. Wheel has the best view of both. I know K. Smith runs both, but I'm not sure how much he stops in here since the SM is his car of choice right now.

I still maintain that AS IS a driver's class, so I'm not sure that's the issue for me. Not changing/bleeding brakes, lower powertrain cost, lower fuel bills and lower overall maintenance appear to be a great combination.

They're both great classes and I personally think that you can't go wrong in either.

Put it this way, I WILL make sure that the SM Runoffs race is TiVo'd.

TW
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Great Lakes, Detroit Region
Hoosier Tire

Last edited by t4wallace; 07-04-2006 at 11:00 AM. Reason: friggin typos
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