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Old 03-15-2019, 04:15 PM
DHRMX5 DHRMX5 is offline
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Default Who wants AS to succeed?

There seems to be two camps at work in the AS class. The few who spend $$$ and win 90% of the races and the ones who run around mid pack because $$$ engine/trans combos don't work for them.

What happened to AS? How did it morph from a place to use up POS SSGT Camaros and Mustangs in the early days to this ridiculously expensive engine package? Damn those early AS cars were junk. I watched one eviscerate it's engine at Sonoma back in 92 and take out $100K worth of Showroom Stock cars. Hitting an oil slick in Turn 10 can really ruin your day...

The rules as they exist are both archaic and expensive. How do the drivers justify taking obsolete engines and transmissions and spend tens of thousands of dollars to go slower at Sonoma (and many other tracks) than a T3 Mustang with at least a 100 fewer HP and half the suspension? A T2 Mustang will clean an AS clock at most tracks.

Is there the willingness to take the steps to make this class both more affordable AND more competitive for the V8 Ponycars?

I have heard that some of you have 18K engines that last a season at best. Mega dollars transmissions that have some of the worst gear ratios ever seen. What are you guys clinging to? Fat bulbous tires that fade at the first sign of a track? Brakes that wouldn't be used on a 2400 lbs STU car?

There is a lot of fear of the SMG and RP cars dominating AS. A legal SMG makes 325rwhp at best. My RP Coyote is 354/360. How much power do we have to spot a traditional AS car so they are comfortable? How much weight?

There is a very simple and ultimately (long term) cheaper way to run AS and get the differences in prep diminished to the point that no spec line has an insurmountable edge over the others. Without having to reinvent the wheel.

Look at the big picture. There are a ton of S197 T3/T2/track day chassis that could come to A/S. CMC cars could easily be converted to AS. As a class, you should be looking at taking advantage of that, but the perception of AS is $$$ and no competition.


Nobody wants to abandon their program. But think of it in these terms... those of you running megabuck engines can do everything it would take to make this work by simply not buying that expensive engine. Yes, going slower would suck, but that doesn't have to be the case. What you give up in the engine costs and HP (both GM and Ford have 400hp crate engines in the $7K range) you can spend on OEM based gearboxes with close ratios to negate my 6spd advantage. Brake sizes and wheels sizes to negate my advantage might cost you 6-8K to stick with the expensive stuff or take a mid level path and spend less. My wheels cost me 500 dollars a set. Trust me, I didn't lose at Sonoma because I had cheap wheels...


If you lose the $$$ engines/trans but gain back handling and braking you will end up being faster in the long run. Cheaper in the long run. Everyone is more competitive in the long run. There will be more cars built in the long run ( I have 4 chassis with the 4.6 3 valve that would love to run AS). You can run more races in the long run.


Or, you can watch your class continue to dwindle in the long run...


ps. If I have been lied to about the costs and power levels in this class then everything I said above is pure BS. In that case, please disregard...
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:41 PM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is online now
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I win lots of races and have never spent more than $12K for an engine that was built from scratch. My engines last multiple seasons, with periodic rebuilds that run in the $3K to $4K range. Currently, I retired my old 305 block engine, since it had run 8 seasons and had been overheated a number of times. The engine going in for this season ran from mid 2017, through the 2017 Runoffs and all the way through the Sonoma Runoffs, with nothing but an oil change or two. That is 16 races, with 14 wins, (one race DNF for a clutch that blew up that I bought used from Jeff Werth after the R.A. Runoffs four years ago) three track records and 8th and 6th place finishes at the Runoffs. I have the same Wilwood calipers on it that I put on 8 seasons ago. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I had to change the old PBR calipers - almost every race weekend, with pads every weekend. I throw away cheap Wilwood pads with more material on them than the old pads had when new.
I agree that there are lots of new T2 cars that can run faster than my old carb car, and they are welcome as RP cars, but not at the point of making my car a back marker.
The SMG Mustang was not invited into the class since it had multiple modifications that had been refused to AS after many requests over the years, not because anyone was afraid of its speed.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:27 PM
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DBailey DBailey is offline
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DHRMX5-From your post it appears you are perhaps new to A Sedan, and have been a bit misinformed.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:26 PM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is online now
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I would agree.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:46 PM
smithpr smithpr is offline
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DHRMX5

I think you make some really good points. Thanks for taking the time to write the post and I would like to hear more of your ideas. If you want to talk please PM me with your number and let's catch up.

I have good engines and I work with my engine builder Phil Harper to save cost as best as we can. They are more expensive than we would like but they are fairly robust. Hard parts are expensive. There are lots of ways to mess these up and many people have. I have seen so many expensive engines go boom in the first session. Crate engines typically don't go boom in the first session. My experience is that most die from lack of oil. Most engine builders are not road racing oil pan experts.

I welcome the addition of other cars to the class. Lots of ways to go fast.

Let's make suggestions and look for ways to grow the class.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:48 PM
Tim White Tim White is offline
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In my opinion, the most expensive thing about this class is tires. My engine costs are inline with Jim's, two sets of tires are close to one engine refresh. The shot down tire rule didn't change that as those willing to spend more would still have fresh sets of Rs for every weekend.

I'm not against crate engines, either carb of FI. One question I have is can you rebuild a crate engine? The second is, and this has nothing to do with just crate engines, not causing the existing cars to made non-competitive. If the right package can be found and it lowers the entry cost then I'm all for it.

In terms of growing the class, I would focus on how to get parked cars back out. Listen to the complaints, why did they park their car. I'll use the Fox body as an example, lower their weight.

My last comment is for the ASAC and CRB to be open, transparent and friendly.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:08 PM
smithpr smithpr is offline
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Tim:

Thanks for the comments. Any thoughts on what type of tire rule would reduce costs?
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:43 PM
jimwheeler jimwheeler is online now
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In my years on the CRB, I found that when classes went to a spec tire there was a reduction in tire costs. Hoosier has been very proactive in working with SCCA on spec tires for multiple classes. For SM they worked with SCCA and the new shock company, Penske, to provide a tire that works over more heat cycles to provide a lower overall tire budget. There could easily be a spec AS1 tire that would be like an R compound (or harder), that would put everyone on the same tire. The ASAC tried to do something similar last season, (de facto a spec tire, but not really) but it went down to a couple of new BoD members pushing back. When a spec tire comes in, SCCA negotiates with the tire companies, to determine contingency, tire costs, etc.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:10 PM
Tim White Tim White is offline
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I agree with Jim, a true spec tire is the only way to reduce the tire cost. One where the SCCA can negotiate with a manufacturer. One thing though, the goal of the negotiations should not be to benefit the SCCA, it should only be to benefit the driver. The first time a spec tire was attempted there was a lot of push back from the drivers because of a rumor the SCCA was getting a kickback. This seems like a logical what do you think question.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:57 AM
DHRMX5 DHRMX5 is offline
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If you want to save money on tires you need to increase your rim width. Stuffing a 275 onto an 8 inch rim is not the hot ticket. We have no problem getting multiple weekends running Hoosier As on 3400lbs Mustangs.


If a superb tire like the Hoosiers won't hold up the way this class utilizes them then prepare to be disappointed in anything less. More durability means less traction which equates to less cornering and less braking. Think the lack of ABS is a problem now? Plus you will all have to do a complete rethink on setup and brake compounds....


If you do go down the path of a harder spec tire, do the rest of us a favor and stay out of the way of our T3 and T4 cars in the corners....

And by the way, I highly doubt Hoosier would be interested in the AS class as far as coming up with a unique tire compound. They work with the other classes because of the sheer numbers involved. Not trying to be a downer, it's just the reality of the situation...
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