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NC Spec On The Horizon


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3 replies to this topic

#1
Hollywood

Hollywood

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https://racer.com/20...eneration-mx-5/


The contingency changes alone are massive. SM 2.0 on the way...

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
99 SM | 99 WRL | 08 S2000 CR | 18 CIVIC TYPE-R


#2
865

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Nice!  This is a welcome development.  The NC is a great platform for a new spec race class. 



#3
Hollywood

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Interesting cross post from Mazdaracers:

 

"One of the biggest hurdles is, how can you make a case for building a $30K+ NC-series car over an SM, especially when SM is still so strong?

 

Sure, the NC series will appeal to some that don't want the ultra-competitiveness and yes, (ahem) rough reputation of SM. But if you really want to race, it's hard to pass on the current, excellent state of SM. I know, because I already made this decision -- I started racing in an SM locally, then I gave up on the class after finally acquiring a pro motor just to have Head Gate happen and require me to spend more money. After a year without a race car, I gave T4 a try in a 2010 MX-5 for two seasons. Now I'm back to SM.)

 

 

 

I'll say that the NC chassis really is a great car. I really enjoyed driving it after you get used to the steering. Upgrade a few things like wheel bearings and they are mechanically robust cars, as long as you're in an NC2 2009+ (which then brings the build cost up because those donors aren't as cheap). But, for those that aren't familiar with the NC as a race car, there are some things that need to be considered...

 

 

 

1) You can't bump draft in the NC. Really, one or two attempts will wind up costing you around $1,000 in parts alone. The nose of the NC is soft, bumper covers ($530 with racer discount) will crack, headlight assemblies are $350-$500 each and break easily, grilles break with the bumper covers and so on. With so many less NCs being sold compared to the NA/NB, used parts are much harder to come by and a lot more expensive.

 

2) Tires. A set of Hoosier A7/R7 is over $1,200 a set. Having a spec tire would hopefully bring that cost down, but it was difficult when we were camber limited by the T4 rules to a max of 3 deg. A track like Gingerman would cord the shoulders in 3 sessions. Also, note that T4 requires use of the 17-inch factory wheel. What will Spec series do? Move to a lighter and more robust wheel? The '06-'08 wheels do crack.

 

3) Brakes. The NC is a heavier car and not only absolutely needs cooling ducts, but goes through brakes/pads a lot faster. Even with cooling, the front rotors will heat crack badly and can warp, too. It all adds up in running/maintenance costs.

 

4) Weight. I'm struggling to see how they are going to make the cars able to run multiple series/classes in SCCA and NASA, when the required weight of the car in T4 is so high. I'm roughly 210 lbs and I had to run 170 lbs of ballast in the passenger side of the car AND have a minimum of 4 gallons of fuel to make the min weight of 2,750. So, yes the Spec series cars can be much lighter than 2,750, but you aren't going to want to run the car in other SCCA and NASA classes due to having to change so much in the car setup. Brings me to my next point...

 

5) The NC is MUCH more time consuming and a pain to setup. This could potentially be solved with different parts, but given the NC front suspension design, we had to jack the car up and remove the wheel for every spring height/corner weight adjustment, then put the tire back on, lower, bounce, and remeasure. There is no room to get the spanner wrench in to move the shock collar because of the upper A-arm.

 

6) The "cheap" NC donor cars are still only the first two years of the car, 2006-2007. All of the 2006-2008 cars have motors with internals that are not as strong and will blow up. So you'll have to factor that into the cost. Additionally, the early transmissions are also not as robust as the 2009+. Upgrading an old trans to the '09+ internals can be done, but it's over $500 in (discounted) parts alone, plus labor. Heck a 6-spd trans core is going to cost you roughly $700-$1,000.

 

 

 

Yes, the NC is a great car to race, I really loved mine, but the whole concept is going to differ from SM. The NC was successful in PRO series, but when it comes to amateur racing, there are certainly challenges that I look forward to see how they are addressed. Parts costs so much more and break easier. Yes, Mazda can supplement that for a bit, but for how long? How much more are you willing to spend on your race car? Amateur racing is already expensive.

 

I truly hope Mazda is successful, but I see SM as staying strong for a while yet and was a factor in making the switch back to SM."

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest hurdles is, how can you make a case for building a $30K+ NC-series car over an SM, especially when SM is still so strong?

Sure, the NC series will appeal to some that don't want the ultra-competitiveness and yes, (ahem) rough reputation of SM. But if you really want to race, it's hard to pass on the current, excellent state of SM. I know, because I already made this decision -- I started racing in an SM locally, then I gave up on the class after finally acquiring a pro motor just to have Head Gate happen and require me to spend more money. After a year without a race car, I gave T4 a try in a 2010 MX-5 for two seasons. Now I'm back to SM.)

 

I'll say that the NC chassis really is a great car. I really enjoyed driving it after you get used to the steering. Upgrade a few things like wheel bearings and they are mechanically robust cars, as long as you're in an NC2 2009+ (which then brings the build cost up because those donors aren't as cheap). But, for those that aren't familiar with the NC as a race car, there are some things that need to be considered...

 

1) You can't bump draft in the NC. Really, one or two attempts will wind up costing you around $1,000 in parts alone. The nose of the NC is soft, bumper covers ($530 with racer discount) will crack, headlight assemblies are $350-$500 each and break easily, grilles break with the bumper covers and so on. With so many less NCs being sold compared to the NA/NB, used parts are much harder to come by and a lot more expensive.

2) Tires. A set of Hoosier A7/R7 is over $1,200 a set. Having a spec tire would hopefully bring that cost down, but it was difficult when we were camber limited by the T4 rules to a max of 3 deg. A track like Gingerman would cord the shoulders in 3 sessions. Also, note that T4 requires use of the 17-inch factory wheel. What will Spec series do? Move to a lighter and more robust wheel? The '06-'08 wheels do crack.

3) Brakes. The NC is a heavier car and not only absolutely needs cooling ducts, but goes through brakes/pads a lot faster. Even with cooling, the front rotors will heat crack badly and can warp, too. It all adds up in running/maintenance costs.

4) Weight. I'm struggling to see how they are going to make the cars able to run multiple series/classes in SCCA and NASA, when the required weight of the car in T4 is so high. I'm roughly 210 lbs and I had to run 170 lbs of ballast in the passenger side of the car AND have a minimum of 4 gallons of fuel to make the min weight of 2,750. So, yes the Spec series cars can be much lighter than 2,750, but you aren't going to want to run the car in other SCCA and NASA classes due to having to change so much in the car setup. Brings me to my next point...

5) The NC is MUCH more time consuming and a pain to setup. This could potentially be solved with different parts, but given the NC front suspension design, we had to jack the car up and remove the wheel for every spring height/corner weight adjustment, then put the tire back on, lower, bounce, and remeasure. There is no room to get the spanner wrench in to move the shock collar because of the upper A-arm.

6) The "cheap" NC donor cars are still only the first two years of the car, 2006-2007. All of the 2006-2008 cars have motors with internals that are not as strong and will blow up. So you'll have to factor that into the cost. Additionally, the early transmissions are also not as robust as the 2009+. Upgrading an old trans to the '09+ internals can be done, but it's over $500 in (discounted) parts alone, plus labor. Heck a 6-spd trans core is going to cost you roughly $700-$1,000.

 

Yes, the NC is a great car to race, I really loved mine, but the whole concept is going to differ from SM. The NC was successful in PRO series, but when it comes to amateur racing, there are certainly challenges that I look forward to see how they are addressed. Parts costs so much more and break easier. Yes, Mazda can supplement that for a bit, but for how long? How much more are you willing to spend on your race car? Amateur racing is already expensive.

I truly hope Mazda is successful, but I see SM as staying strong for a while yet and was a factor in making the switch back to SM.

 

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
99 SM | 99 WRL | 08 S2000 CR | 18 CIVIC TYPE-R


#4
Vinnieb

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Filed under "I'll let someone else try that out."  

 

I loved MX5 Cup conceptually.  I hope that allowing people to bring their own cars doesnt turn it into SM.  What's important for me is a class that leaves it in the hands of the driver.  For the most part that means spec classes.