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Clay

MSR:C Spec Miata & Spec Boxster race series, March 15th

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Just got this notice in the mail with my bill. Sounds really tempting, and a fun/laid back way to get some w2w experience. First race is March 15th

 

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Jack got a toy and wants to play.  Good on him for bringing it to the rest of the MSRC group.

Sounds like fun if you have the right toys.

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What does a well prepped Spec Boxster and Spec Miata run with a good club level racer on each configuration at MSR-C?  1.3, 1.7 both, and 3.1?

 

A friend and I are looking at a membership out there and / or ECR and also looking at buying spec cars to play with.  Thanks.

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SB is typically 1-2s faster than SM, but I'd bet the gap is bigger if you take the median SB and SM times. In a DE type environment the power of a SB (or really the lack of power in the SM) can multiply when you struggle to take or recover from pointbys. The SM is significantly cheaper to run though.

 

Raw times aren't really a big deal with spec cars though since you're racing with people in the same car. If you aren't planning on actually campaigning them (just a DE/trackday toy) as long as they are fast enough for you to have fun (they both are) the actual times are irrelevant. For member days (especially weekdays) there are very few cars on track so overall times don't matter at all. For trackdays, typically the best scenario is finding a group of cars and drivers your speed and playing cat and mouse with them.

 

Mid-pack cars are typically about 1s slower than the podium cars but the biggest difference is in driver skill. SM is a complete momentum car, so it's easy for a newer driver to fall 3-5s off pace from the leaders (especially if you don't have much momentum car experience). The extra power of a SB is going to help keep you a little closer, but it's still a momentum car and mistakes are harshly punished by the stopwatch.

 

In my BRZ on 200tw street tires, I only have trouble passing the fastest SM on much stickier rubber. I've seen far fewer SB's but they are much harder to keep up with and if I pass them it's an accomplishment. I run 1:23's on the 1.7, 1:08's on the 1.3, and 2:06's at old ECR. I'd expect SB's to match or beat those times and a SM to be able to keep within 2s (maybe a little farther back at ECR with the longer straights but the new configurations should help us lower hp cars).

 

A SM is fastest enough to keep be one of the fastest slow cars or slowest fast cars in an advanced/instructor group at most DE's (with a good driver). A SB can keep up with the fast cars at most DE's in those same groups (depending on driver and tire).

 

The only downside to either is that they typically aren't street legal (and you wouldn't want to driver either on the street very far). The benefits are that they are pretty cheap on consumables and parts are abundant (especially SM). If you aren't planning on any wheel to wheel though, there are cheaper or faster options.

 

Buck Entriken builds and sells SM's like it's going out of style. He usually has 1-2 that serious (or friendly) potential customers can try out. Fitment can be an issue with bigger guys (SB has slightly more room but that's still a tight fit for a full-sized American).

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Sam, etc. thanks for the info. We both have trailers so street legal not a problem. We would just run local / regional and not too seriously due to work / family time demands.

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For those with a SM on the fence, you should definitely jump in!  The entry fee is $200 but half of that goes into a prize pot.  I don't think there are many signed up for the first one tomorrow so if this is something we really want to happen, participation is a must.  I'll be there tomorrow so if anybody wants to come take the prize, I'm sure I'll be easy pickin's...

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