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Old 05-17-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
Paisan
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At the Track All Subaru TT Series. Thoughts? Input?

A few of us who run Timing and Scoring for NASA have been thinking of writing a Spec Subaru Series for both TT and/or WTW Racing. Anyone have any thoughts on if there would be interest in this on a regional and eventually a national level. This would be for stock-powered cars and probably 2 classes (Turbo and NA) with suspension and brakes being open and the handicapping part being handled by tires and weight.

Discuss as you see fit.

-mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:56 AM   #2
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What would you use as the base car for turbo? The STI or WRX?

WRX would be cheaper but the STI is obviously a lot more beefy and would hold up better in the long run.

-Duncan
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
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We are thinking for the Turbo Class any turbo Subie will be allowed in, but we will restrict tires and weight on "higher" cars such as the STi, to even things out. We will even be encouraging Automatics to run, by giving them a significant handicap as well!

-mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #4
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The biggest reason to have a spec series is to keep costs down, and I think you'd have trouble with that. You'd need to keep weight down to keep brake and tire consumption reasonable, but that would go against the notion of using smaller tires and more weight to keep the STIs in check. It seems like you'd want to let people replace heavy downpipes and exhausts, and allow stock ECU reflashes, but doing that on an STI will get you 300whp pretty quick, and there's no way to make that cheap, especially on a heavy car with small tires.

I think the only way to make it work would be to just make it Spec WRX (not STI) for the turbo class, and also allow bigger brakes and 05+ STI wheel bearings. I'm not sure what you'd do about the weak transmissions and 2.5L blocks.

-Mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:54 PM   #5
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The transmissions aren't weak, not sure why everyone thinks that.

We would like to make it as widely available for just about anyone who has a Subaru, hence why we'll limit cars in some way, and not just Imprezas either, Legacies and foresters can compete too.

-mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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I think you might bite off more than you can chew here. All the successful spec series have cars that vary very little over the model years, or they restrict the years available to ensure it's easier to equalize the performance.

I think you'd have more luck with the turbo being Spec WRX, and then limiting it to the 2.0L cars. Otherwise you have to deal with large changes, (gear ratios, wide disparities in engine output, curb weight, suspension geometry with the 08/09 cars)

-Duncan
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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good luck.
If you look at the most successful Amateur spec series in Spec Miata, being 3 different cars so to speak causes a lot of problems. At it seems that after almost 10 years of tweaking the rules they are finally pretty even, but they will never be totally even

Like mike (grippgoat) said, youre not going to be able to keep costs down will all of these different models, and policing the rules is going to be a pain in the ass
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Hmm, well the idea is to get folks to be able to compete with basically whatever they've been street driving over the years on track. Maybe "spec" was a bad name to put to it.

-mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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how would the safety requirements fit into that?
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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Initially we will be starting this in TT, so street cars that folks have been HPDEing over the years will qualify off the bat. TT safety is the same as the rest of HPDE, at least in NASA. We see lots of folks who AX and HPDE their Subies and are pretty sure if there were prizes from Sponsors we'd be able to get a fairly decent group of folks to TT. If that proves successful, we could then see if folks doing the TT want to take the leap to WTW. With the economy the way it is, we feel TT is the route to start with due to the significantly lower cost of entry.

-mike
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:54 PM   #11
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I love the idea. Maybe allow STi's with a turbo inlet restrictor or even make STi's downgrade to a WRX turbo. Keep the turbos small and engine internals stock to limit power and it would be a lot of fun since bug eyes are really cheap and so are WRX turbos.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkRider View Post
I love the idea. Maybe allow STi's with a turbo inlet restrictor or even make STi's downgrade to a WRX turbo. Keep the turbos small and engine internals stock to limit power and it would be a lot of fun since bug eyes are really cheap and so are WRX turbos.
We'd probably restric STis to Street tires v. R compounds for the WRXs or something along those lines.

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
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Love the idea. I hope you find a way to make it feasible and affordable. I thought about trying to put together something like this in norcal a few years ago, but could never get passed the roadblocks being mentioned here.

Chris Lock
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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We'll see how it works out, if at all. I figure with 2.0 WRXs and what not coming down in price as of late, it might be a good time to get things rolling, along with the TT class started in NASA we can start slow w/o the big money output of a full on race car and see if there is any interest.

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:17 PM   #15
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We presented this to Nasa afew years ago as the :

2008 Impreza Cup Challenge presented by (insert willing and able tire manfac) but this would require ALOT of commitment and could work, but its iffy, or felt iffy at the time.

Our suggestion was STi's with a basic Cobb map, spec shocks, spec springs, spec sways ,full bushing upgrade , brake ducts, lines, and either Pagid or PFC pads. Stripped interior single seats.

Some of you may remember the t-shirts we even had made !! I had this idea since early 2004.

Myles
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:24 PM   #16
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Yeah this is an idea we've had since 1999 when we started to Auto-x and then in 2002 when we started to track our NA Subies (before there were even turboed subies).

We'll see how it works out though. We are pretty tight with NASA-NE so we may start small and see how it pans out.

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:18 PM   #17
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Mike,

There are so many modified Subarus out there (probably more than there are stock these days) so why not make it power to weight based? You could use the current rules for TT or ST classes. Maybe limit the power to weight to 10 (3000lbs/300hp) and leave the turbo and engine configuration open. This way people who don't want to strip the car for weight can run more power and those who want to run the stock turbocharger can.

I think the TTB rules as they are limit what you can do to an STi pretty significantly but allow for more with the WRX. Run any ECM, any exhaust, any turbocharger, and intercooler as long as it's within the power to weight rules.

Leave suspension and brakes open or maybe limit suspension to single rebound and compression dampening. Limit tire width to control body modifications.

Just a thought
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #18
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To paraphrase the national Ad campaign:

"Love, it's what makes subaru owners chickens..."

This is an opinion of mine that is backed by nothing more than observations i have made of people who have us modify their cars, and also those who run Time Attack or HPDE subarus in Northern CA: Subaru owners just aren't willing to make proper race cars out of their cars, because they still want to drive it on the street.

"I would like an 8-point cage, nascar bars, race seat and belts, and a fire system, but can I keep the power windows, the stereo, the door cards, and the roofliner in?"

I don't judge, I loved my street WRX. Track it? yes I would. race it? never. that would be cruel.

You can't care about a race car to race it properly. You maintain it and give it meticulous attention so it will perform, not out of LOVE! It is a working animal, not a show dog.

You just won't find enough people who hate their subarus to fill your grid.

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Old 05-18-2009, 06:44 PM   #19
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Hence the TT setup...

I know what you are saying about subie folks. I had 2 guys who I did HPDEs with for years in our Subarus. When we moved up to racing they went to Honda Challenge and I ran my 137hp Automatic, Primered 1996 L for a year then took my 94 Legacy SS and turned that into a race car. One of those guys came back from HC and drove my Legacy SS but as you say it's definitely an uphill battle for full on racing.

TT those folks who want to street drive em can still get in on the action, perhaps in the next 2 years or so the WRXs will drop so far in price they'll get into that "race" price range.

Worth a shot, keep the ideas coming...

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #20
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First.. you're not talking about a spec class, you are talking more about a "subaru challenge" like the Honda Challenge series.

Spec = the same car, parts and rules for everyone. (spec=specifications)

Spec Classes:
Spec Miata (el cheapo)
Spec E30 (pretty cheap)
944 Cup (pretty cheap)
Spec Racer Ford (Getting more expensive, but faster than the cars above and more "cool"
Formula Mazda (More expensive but fast)
Formula SCCA (Even more expensive but still fast)
Ferrari Challenge (fast, ego factor)
Porsche Cup (IMSA) (Fast, ego factor)

a few issues...

First, expense. Subarus (modern ones) are heavy cars with reasonably expensive parts. Spec series with $40,000 cars tend not to survive unless the marque is Porsche or Ferrari. (Jury is out on the Miller Cup - Mustangs) but the Panoz GT series didn't make it. ($55,000 cars) The more expensive a car it is, the "cooler" it needs to be or the faster it needs to go.

Now, of course you CAN spend $35,000 on a Spec Miata, but you can get in the series for $7,500 or so, and the cost of entry is what you look at. Unless you are going to run 1995 Impreza L's you are not going to get in a fully-equipped racing Subaru for that money - and an STI.. well it is going to cost a lot more to run, and you are looking at a car that's going to cost $30 to roll onto a racetrack.


I think that a classes might exist, but at the same time you are dealing with a unique set of owners who like to have unique cars (Subaru management knows they are a "niche" market, and within that market each of us like to have our cars different as well)

So when you take all that into account, I think it's a large step. But.. if it happens it would be cool, and I know the process begins with getting a few people to decide to do it amungst themselves, build the numbers and then go to the sanctioning body with the proof it's viable.


Jon
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:19 PM   #21
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Would be interesting to see the non-turbo series, but I really donít see too many NAís running around even on HPDE days (at least for Southern California).
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:55 PM   #22
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The idea reminds me of honda challenge except more money

Good luck and i hope it does work out
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:21 PM   #23
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Stupid economy
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:22 AM   #24
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the NA cars would certainly make it more affordable, but they are more expensive than miatas or hondas. the turbo cars are faster, and there don't seem to be as many challenge series options at that level...but that might be because it is tough to make them successful.

i just want to subscribe and see what people have to say, since i am one of the timing and scoring guys with NASA-NE. and i might run my STi in the TT, but definitely do not have the cash for wheel-to-wheel right now.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:36 AM   #25
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I don't think NA specific class would work very well. The further south you go the less subarus there are and there are even less N/As. In the long term to be successful you need to thing about the whole country not just your local region.
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