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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dug this out of another thread since I thought it deserved more discussion.

>>We had the same idea suggested it to people and were told
>>that 20k is "way too much money" and "a total ripoff" so I
>>think that people are still not open to that idea. There are
>>plenty of suitable platforms of which some are homologated
>as
>>well.

For a spec class to work in America, the car has to be recognized by Americans so it can be marketed. That's why every spec class exists

>
>Similar feedback in-here unfortunately. People 'wisely' don't
>keep track of their seasonal expenses, so they don't realize
>that's 'about' the cost of 6 events/year; only to start from
>the same level next season.
>The cost of the car itself and it's rally prep. work aside,
>our conservative budget feasibilty came out about $17K from
>tires to transport to entry fees, everything you can imagine
>to run 6 rallies/year in US. Anybody doing it less than that
>in any car must be working wonders, I'd like to hire them to
>run my car(Oh BTW, I'll require at the start of every event:
>the entry fees and car insurance paid, at least 6 new tires to
>chew on, the car in 'tip-top' shape, crew-gas-food-maintenance
>at each service area.)

It could be done for less and currently is by many, and you don't really need all the tires. People are fieding reliable efforts for less.

A spec class would be great. It's just too expenisive though. I know I couldn't afford to pay Jeff his fee. There is talent worth seeing out there but it is hidden in the little teams that most people don't even notice and they aren't going to be able to afford the $20,000 per year. That's why a spec class needs serious financial support from a sponsor for it to be successful.

My main gripe with the $20,000 per year price tag was and is that 90% of the people who have the money for it are already out there in too much machine for their skills. Do you guys really think that most folks who have a big fast car and a speedfactor of .92 or 93 or less will be worth watching in an underpowered 2wd car?

But we may be getting ahead of ourselves here. I don't think we really have a depth of field that is worth showing off yet. We need to grow it and groom it. How do we do that? I think it's things like Group F that will do it. Group F has taken off in the hearts and minds of many rallyists that are doing their best to get out and race and learn but real change is going to take time. Group F is one of the only things out there right now saying "You can do this and you belong with us. Come learn about rally and what makes a team fast." to novices who are looking for mentoring. In my opinion the novices should be where the majority of our attention is focused.

Bjorn talked about the cars in Sweden he saw and there were 25 guys in the class and they were all pushing hard. That's excitement for competitors and fans alike that doesn't need a press release. That is what Group F is and where Group F is going! We have had a few close battles already. We have had as many as 18 cars in the class. It's just starting and it's going to continue to grow. The drivers are having a blast and more are coming. I'd wager that the driver that put's US rally on the map again, really on the map I mean, will have had the Group F sticker on the side of their car at one point.
 

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don't cut
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A few things a spec class will need to really work...

1. It needs to be regional, not national. Or maybe both, but first and foremost regional. Perhaps WSRC and ESRC and CenDiv. Most countries run entire series in areas the size of California, not the size of the US. It's the travel costs that will kill most competitors.

2. It needs full on manufacturer support. This means deeply discounted cars and parts. Package deals on rally parts. Onsite parts and tech support. And big contingency.

3. It needs a major payoff, preferably in a funded ride for the next season. In other words, you need a reason for a guy to save up three years worth of rally budget in order to do one season of the spec series.

4. It needs proper promotional support, paid for by the organizer or sponsors, not the competitors. It needs to be something the competitor can sell to his sponsors.

IF you notice the last three seem like utopian long shots. That's why we don't have a spec series yet, and probably won't for a while. But that doesn't mean we can't work towards it. It is a worthwhile and attainable goal.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RE: I can't believe this, I'm bucking for Subaru

>A few things a spec class will need to really work...
>
>1. It needs to be regional, not national. Or maybe both, but
>first and foremost regional. Perhaps WSRC and ESRC and
>CenDiv. Most countries run entire series in areas the size of
>California, not the size of the US. It's the travel costs
>that will kill most competitors.

Thats a good idea to help more competitors make the events.

>
>2. It needs full on manufacturer support. This means deeply
>discounted cars and parts. Package deals on rally parts.
>Onsite parts and tech support. And big contingency.

Yep, I agree here too. There needs to be critical mass of competitors to make the product exciting enough. But then who would it be exciting to? People who know rally. We aren't enough of a market.

>
>3. It needs a major payoff, preferably in a funded ride for
>the next season. In other words, you need a reason for a guy
>to save up three years worth of rally budget in order to do
>one season of the spec series.
>
>4. It needs proper promotional support, paid for by the
>organizer or sponsors, not the competitors. It needs to be
>something the competitor can sell to his sponsors.
>
>IF you notice the last three seem like utopian long shots.
>That's why we don't have a spec series yet, and probably won't
>for a while. But that doesn't mean we can't work towards it.
>It is a worthwhile and attainable goal.

It might sound wierd from me but of anyone Subaru would be the best fit since it's already a product that people like to rally, they are already supporting the series with parts and such.

How could RA make it more desirable for them? A TV infomercial shown on OLN, get local Subaru dealerships heavily involved in the Rally, get all sorts of stuff their target demo buys already at the rally like a 20 and 30 something expo. Get those new Volkswagon buying weenies to buy Subarus. M360 should be all over this.

OK now I need to go hurl.

But how would the average Joe be able to get into a Sube? Get Maybe Protrac or DMS could buck for suspension sponsorship. Maybe a desperate tire brand like Hankook would throw out free or discounted tires. Maybe a hotel chain like Super 8 or Best Western or Holiday Inn would throw in free or discounted stays.

Man it seems like an arguement I've regurgitated a zillion times. I guess that I wish M360 was all over this for ALL RALLYISTS first. Man if I keep writing world peace is next.

Out.
 

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RE: I can't believe this, I'm bucking for Subaru

Subaru ran a Spec 2.5RS series in Australia last year and it was very successfull. I think they had like 15 competitors that competed in the Spec series. Last year I think the money payouts were based on finishing position, but this year they have both payouts for winners as well as "startup money", that will be evenly distributed to the teams throughout the year. Here is the spec car:

"The 2.5 litre five-speed manual cars will sell for $35,500 (Incl GST) and will be limited in number. Each will be supplied with FIA homologated roll cage fitted by Bond Roll Bars, Sparco Pro2000 seats and side mounts, Sparco 4 point 3"/3" harnesses, Sparco V type crutch straps, fire extinguishers, hi-tech exhaust, DMS giant 50mm suspension and window tinting."

If you take away the 10% GST that's about $25,500 given current exchange rates. I think cars are more expensive in Aus than here, the regular Impreza RS there is like $30k AUD, which is $23000 USD. Here a new 2005 RS is $18k MSRP.

The only catch I see is that Subaru of Australia is not owned by Fuji Heavy Industries, like Subaru of America is.
 

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don't cut
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RE: I can't believe this, I'm bucking for Subaru

>
>Yep, I agree here too. There needs to be critical mass of
>competitors to make the product exciting enough. But then who
>would it be exciting to? People who know rally. We aren't
>enough of a market.
>
This is what my #4 bullet point is for. It needs to be promoted beyond the 2500 members of SpecialStage. Heck, rally in general needs to be promoted beyond the members of SpecialStage. That's why a spec class is long shot at this point.


>>
>>4. It needs proper promotional support, paid for by the
>>organizer or sponsors, not the competitors. It needs to be
>>something the competitor can sell to his sponsors.
>>

>
>It might sound wierd from me but of anyone Subaru would be the
>best fit since it's already a product that people like to
>rally, they are already supporting the series with parts and
>such.

Subaru is already going above and beyond with their contingency programs. Since there is a lack of decent turbo AWD cars in North America, they could pull a Mitsu and just skate on the competitors backs. In other words, they don't need to support competitors cuz we'll run the cars anyways. As much as this doesn't help people like me, Subaru would be better off spending money and effort promoting the series instead of funding teams in a series that no one sees.

>
>How could RA make it more desirable for them? A TV
>infomercial shown on OLN, get local Subaru dealerships heavily
>involved in the Rally, get all sorts of stuff their target
>demo buys already at the rally like a 20 and 30 something
>expo. Get those new Volkswagon buying weenies to buy Subarus.
> M360 should be all over this.

Again, RA and M360 need to sell rally before they can sell a spec series. Only when rally is so popular that people are clamoring for "more, more, more" will we be able to introduce a commercially successful spec series. An example of this would be all the motorcycle builder shows on cable now. First they had American Chopper, and once it became a hit they spun off a bunch of other shows like Biker Build off and Southern Steel. So, when we see Pat Richard talking with Jay Leno on the Tonight show, then it might be time for a spec series.

>
>OK now I need to go hurl.

Me too. I tried watching southern steel the other night. That show is horrible!

>
>But how would the average Joe be able to get into a Sube? Get
>Maybe Protrac or DMS could buck for suspension sponsorship.
>Maybe a desperate tire brand like Hankook would throw out free
>or discounted tires. Maybe a hotel chain like Super 8 or Best
>Western or Holiday Inn would throw in free or discounted
>stays.
>

NO, the series makes the payoff so big that the average Joe will be willing to sell everything he owns, work three jobs, save up for a couple years, and do a season win or bust. The goal of a good spec series is to weed out the best drivers, not provide long term low cost rallying for clubman competitors.

>Man it seems like an arguement I've regurgitated a zillion
>times. I guess that I wish M360 was all over this for ALL
>RALLYISTS first. Man if I keep writing world peace is next.
>
RA seems more concerned with building up rally (the sport in general) and rallies (the events) than ralliests at this time. Personally I think this is an oversight, as you can't have high quality series without high quality competition, but I realize they have limited resources (lemme repeat that, RA has LIMITED RESOURCES) and they are prioritizing. Given the incredible pace that they are working at (going from zero to functioning sanctioning body in under 3 months), I don't think it will be long before they get around to competitor oriented issues. Hey, the SCCA had 30+ years and couldn't do it, lets give RA a little bit longer.

Jake, Steve Gingras and I are thinking of buying dueling Rx-7's, if for no other reason than to idle them next to the RA truck and drive JB Niday insane. Join us and we'll create our spec series from organizer hell. We'll just get like 10 shells and do an assembly line prep on them. Imagine you and I in identical, disposable, high power/weight rally cars, racing each other. No tree would be safe! }(

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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RE: I can't believe this, I'm bucking for Subaru

We're starting an unofficial Spec Subaru class here in Colorado. The only rule is naturally aspirated 1.8, 2.2, or 2.5. We have three 2.2s, and two 2.5s already. The only real rule is low budget is recommended. I know two of the three cars were bought for under $1000. Four of the five are bone stock drivetrains and motors. All four should have good rally suspension soon. Four on DMS, one on Tein. We're talking about running it unofficially at the hill climb series and having an actual prize at the end of the year to the winner. Kind of the same idea behind Group F. Being able to push each other to be better drivers, and have a better idea of our abilities compared to each other.
 

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RE: I can't believe this, I'm bucking for Subaru

Grant said:
"The only real rule is low budget is recommended."

I do hope you have something more spelled out than just a "recommendation" to keep it "low budget."

And "low budget" needs to be defined. By your choice of suspension you have already hinted at a level you are looking for...a level that is high for some and low for others. Everything is relative.

If, on the other hand, you are 4 buddies in the same income tax bracket who decided to build Subarus to beat on each other...uhhh...prepare for an arms race unless you define some more rules and prepare to complain about the "price of being competitive" within 2 years.
 

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Subaru

DMS doesn't cost, it pays.
Less broken parts and DNFs make it cheap if you're in it for more than a season.
If you stay off pavement, all the cash in the world won't make a whole bunch of difference if these guys stick to the NA plan.
(although I wish they'd nix the 2.5 which is the major expense-raiser in the deal).
rz
 

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RE: Subaru

Let's just say that in our tax bracket we get all of our federal income tax back and student loans really help to finish cars and get us to events. And Mark and I have a saying the jelly is not a luxury we can afford for our sandwiches. I think Mark's even nixed the bread lately after 100AW.

The low budget on suspension comes back to the point of not breaking stock or cheap ones. Though two of us (myself included) haven't actually figured out how we're going to afford to buy them and probably won't have them for quite a while. Only one engine is the 2.5. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as I truly believe the 2.2 to be a better engine overall. Non-interference, less head gasket problems, cheaper, more part in junk yards, etc.

Hopefully when people see the amount of fun and competition we're having this year in close to equally competitive cars we'll get a few more of them. I'm planning to make a package deal where we'll build the car for people with seats, harnesses, skidplates, and a legal cage included for a set cost.
 

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RE: Spec racing

Just an FYI

Just got off the phone with Ralph Luciu.
He's the director of the new Honda/Michelin Challenge and works for Honda Canada.
(In CDN$)
Cars are supplied with factory seals and are $16,100
Mandatory Equipment Package $6,000
Seat/Belts/fire/hans and wheels/tires bring it up to $30,000
Operating expenses run $15k to $25k for the season.

This is cheap road-racing.
That's why I'm a rally-guy now.

No, he has his hands full with this and isn't interested in a gravel spec series.

rz
 

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RE: Spec racing

>Just got off the phone with Ralph Luciu.
>He's the director of the new Honda/Michelin Challenge and
>works for Honda Canada.
>(In CDN$)
>Cars are supplied with factory seals and are $16,100
>Mandatory Equipment Package $6,000
>Seat/Belts/fire/hans and wheels/tires bring it up to $30,000
>Operating expenses run $15k to $25k for the season.
>
>This is cheap road-racing.
>That's why I'm a rally-guy now.
>
>No, he has his hands full with this and isn't interested in a
>gravel spec series.

This is pretty funny. An old 1988 Canadian Honda/Michelin car was my first rally car. It did one rally (with me) and then proved too much of a PITA to support. IE. I was custom manufacturing strut riser pads then CV cups were breaking because the axels were now extended too far. Then the tokicos wore out - then rally tires were hard to come by etc. etc.

I now have a close to maxed out (well from an all OEM parts perspective) NA Impreza. It's got DMS, an RA box w/ DCCD, 2.5 DOHC, WRX brakes and rear LSD.

To put it all in perspective: last weekend at DOOWOPS I got spanked by a stock PGT RS (well the firt day he broke the tranny :)and we both got spanked by a 1990 Legacy with updated 4.11 gears and a stock 2.2L and no DMS. I thought I was going pretty fast (sort of) - so Gabe must have been really going fast shaving off about 20 sec per 10 mile stage!

If I had to do it all again I do the following:

Look harder and buy a mid 90's 2.2L 5spd 4WD impreza - not a 93 1.8 FWD like I did. The conversion - although educational - was a PITA. Then I'd make sure it has 4.11 gears. I think they all do - but I'm not too sure.

Next I'd take it straight up to Rocket Rally for the entry level rally kit. I did actually do this with my car and it was awesome. I have an appreciation for how much knowledge and effort is required to prep a car and it was really really worth it to have Pat and crew do it. Drop it off. Write a Cheque. Pick it up. Simple. It even had a log book! The kit had lots of things that were a real problem with my Honda. The cage is great, the underbody protection is comprehensive, appopriately designed and burly. The seats and belts are selected based on Pat's actual crash experience. they'll even ditch your mullfer to make the car sound like a rally car. But don't do it if you're driving to rallys.

Next I'd just go rallying until I actuially needed to spend some more money on my car to get faster than the next NA subie guy.

As far as costs go I see it like this: (in USD)

Base car with beat clutch or something: 2000 USD (pleanty out there)
Rocket Rally Stage I Rally: 4000 USD (i think & maybe even with 6 beat tires)

So for ~7K USD you can have a nice new looking rally car and suits and a couple of helmets and an extra set of OEM suspension. Go Rally.

Then I'd ponder DMS. It's pretty cool. And probably economical in the long run - if you stick with it. Maybe you won't so maybe there isn't even a long run. I have it and it rocks. But it is expensive. If you rally a few rallys without it you'll certainly appreciate it more when you have it! I wouldn't ponder anything else.

Then as time goes by you can add:

WRX brakes: $500. I have these. I'm not using them!

4.44 gears with an RA box and rear LSD: ~2000USD. I have have this. I can't see how it's making me any faster so far :)

Motors Motors Motors. Take your pick. There is so much stuff out there. The early 90s JDM EJ20 turbo motors are even pretty cheap at like $1000 bucks. I have one of these too but I don't see why I should install it while Gabe V is still embarassing me with his 2.2L. Plus he NA motors are simple and reliable and really cheap. Also, the turbo motor has A LOT of hoses to come loose :)

As far as I'm concerned the NA spec Subie class thing will happen all by it's self when people realize that they can get completely into the sport 7K.

I fact I may have to build a one of these cars on speculation just to get them out there - anyone interested?
 

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RE: Spec racing

Wow. You described pretty close to what we're doing. I'm starting with two cars, a 92 wrecked 2.2 Legacy that I bought for $3000 back in 99, and a 93 Impreza L I bought for $1000 in January. First is updating the 93 to 96 spec for PGT purposes, 2.2L motor from Legacy, dash board from a 96 and I'm there. (PS> All the older Impreza's were 3.9 The 4.11 will be turbo Legacies, Foresters, 2.5RS, maybe Outbacks and/or newer Legacy / Leg GTs). Okay, back to the build, set of Sparco Seats and brackets, Sparco harnesses, cage, self made custom skid plates, Porterfield pads on stock brakes (sticking to drums on rear for now). We plan to have two identical cars, mine and Mark Malsoms. Not a thing done to motor, tranny, brakes, or diffs for now. Just cheap build and get out there and try to beat each other. If I can keep up with Mark I know I'll be improving, and having me coming from probably behind him should keep him pushing himself to learn and improve. And that is the goal. Kind of like the idea behind GF.
 

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RE: Spec racing

Glad the spec talk is back up and running..

Andy,

Great conversion on your car. Have done a few of those fwd to awds too, a good bit of work. You'll find out the perks of your shorter(and stronger) gears and DCCD when you get more used to your car. A great run out first your first one. Oh, and Gabe wasn't the only 2.2 n/a faster than you at Doo ****.. ;-) LOL

Back on track, there are many ways to go with a good starting point like a 93-01 Impreza or 90-99 Legacy. Lots of interchangeability..


" (PS> All the older Impreza's were 3.9 The 4.11 will be turbo Legacies, Foresters, 2.5RS, maybe Outbacks and/or newer Legacy / Leg GTs)"

A few swaps later...

-Imprezas (93-01) also came with 4:11s w/auto (for conversions). Manuals w/ 1.8L 3.90, some 2.2 L, OBS w/4:11. The RSs came with close ratio 4:11s (98-01), LSD rear standard (00-01).

-Foresters (99-03) came w/ 4:11s, 4:44 on autos, LSD on '00 up 'S' models, XS, XT.

-Legacies..:7 90-94 L, LS 4:11 manual, auto, Turbo 3:90 (rear LSD '91) manual, 3:90, 4:11 auto. 95-99 L, 3:90 manual, GT 4:11 manual/ auto,
96-02 Outback 4:11 manual, 4:44 auto, rear LSD '00 up w/ cold weather pack/ ltd.

Make sure that you get get the rear axles that match the rear diff when you are swapping due to the different stub shafts.

Anyone need a prepped 2.2 Legacy w/ 4:11s? or help with your swap..;-)
or spec class car. Those are fun builds.

Entirely agreed that 2.2s are the warhorse of the lineup in the cost per mile ratio, and reliability wise. You can try and kill them, but they just won't die...I've witnessed (and heard KAKAKAKA) the death of more 2.5s than a person should be exposed to. Those cars are good 2.2 swap candidates.

Or go Gp F, less moving parts.. 2.2 FWD Impreza L or Legacy, hmmm..;)
 

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RE: Spec racing

Correct me if I am wrong, but only the Forester, newer Outbacks, Legacy Turbos, and 2.5RS had the LSD correct. My 2.2 in my Legacy has been through hell and back and still runs super strong. I've abused that engine worse than just about anything. One time I pulled up to get gas and decided to check the oil. Dipstick was dry so I go in and buy two quarts. Add them, wait a few minutes and check the oil again. Just a drop on the tip. My response was, well I have two more quarts in there than I did before and drove off. The next weekend the car started overheating on a friend. He checks the coolant and it is dry. Adds a few gallons and keeps going. Also had the timing belt snap one day after 90K since last replacement and simply replaced it and kept going. All of this occurred between 210-215K miles on the vehicle. Hear any stories of abuse from a 2.5, nope. Thanks for all the info on diffs.
 

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RE: Spec racing

yeah
my 2.2 turbo has been amazing too, its my daily driver/TSD car
ive got about 350,000kms on it and its still running strong
same as the tranny (its an auto)

only things ive had to do to the engine itself is change the coolant hoses, timing belt, and alternator. everything else on the car that has needed work has been cv boots, axles, brakes, more brakes, more axels, and exhaust.

i love the 2.2
 

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RE: Spec racing

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Rocket Rally Starter Kit for impreza/legacy. Maybe you can even get local installation in your area? Maybe you can install it yourself? Value. Value. Value. You don't even need to do the research about what car has what - they'll set you up real good. I'd they kinda have a bit of a track record to say they know what they are doing.

http://www.rocketrally.com/managed/index.php?module=CMpro&func=viewpage&pageid=26

I got beat by two NA 2.2s at doowops? Crap. Hmmmm - you guys better be at Oregon Trail! Does it matter that my 2.5 motor is KAKAKAKA? Ok no excuses. It still makes power. Let's just hope it doesn't go KAKAKAKA KA BOOM.

-Andy

PS Should it be a 'rule' that we all run on beat rally tires? hehehe.
 

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don't cut
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RE: Spec racing

>I've said it once and I'll say it again: Rocket Rally Starter
>Kit for impreza/legacy. Maybe you can even get local
>installation in your area? Maybe you can install it yourself?
>Value. Value. Value. You don't even need to do the research
>about what car has what - they'll set you up real good. I'd
>they kinda have a bit of a track record to say they know what
>they are doing.
>
>http://www.rocketrally.com/managed/index.php?module=CMpro&func=viewpage&pageid=26
>
Doesn't get much easier than that. Throw in an odo and com, and you're ready to dodge trees. This is what the sport needs to reduce barriers to entry. Bravo Pat!

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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RE: Spec racing

The place Grant is talking about would probably do the same thing as Pats shop, has similiar but not as vast of experience with building rally cars.


Looking at probably the ready to roll package with no rally tires from Grant.
 
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