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ITS 944 in spec 944

greg f

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Hello everyone, my name is Greg Fordahl from the Seattle area. We have a small group of 8 to 10 944 racecars here in the NW and we are considering planning for our own grid. Currently we prepare the cars to SCCA ITS regulations and race at Portland, Seattle, and Bremerton.

My intention is to use the NASA spec 944 rules with the exeption of allowing SCCA preparation at the SCCA weight of 2715lb wi. driver. This would allow the current competitors with non- Koni/Bilstein dampers to compete with a Spec car at 2600lb. The other differences in the allowances are minimal, and most of us do not take advantage of them. ( i.e. replacing the radiator with an expensive aftermarket one or changing the final drive ratio). Most of the cars here in the NW could easily be legal for Spec 944 now. I am negotiating with the SCCA to lower the minimum weight for the 8v cars, but I doubt they will bite. The changes for SCCA do not make the car a bunch faster than stock, so the 115lb penalty may be on the steep side, but I am trying to allow for someone that might build a killer ITS car to try to " buy" the class.

What does the group think? Some of us would like to travel some next year, perhaps culminating at a " runoffs" at one of the end of year Thunder Hill races. Would your group allow our cars at the higher weight?

Greg Fordahl 1983 944 #28 ITS / PCA4 2.5l n/a.

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Greg thanks for dropping by!


With respect to ITS cars and 944-spec cars. Seems to me the biggest differences that impact perfomance are in engine prep and weight.


I am not intematly familiar with ITS prep, but I do know of the famous Jon Milledge 185 bhp 944 motors. I know they are rare and quite expensive and would run circles around a 944-spec car given legal limit chassis prep and a strong driver.


So... Here is link to some 944-spec dyno charts. http://members.rennlist.com/m758/944SpecDynoCharts.htm


I have compiled these over the last few years and they represent typical 944-spec performance levels. Most track records have been set from cars on this listing.


As for how competitive an ITS 944 (without milledge motor) is compared to a 944-spec... Well tough to say. Around these parts there are few ITS cars to compare to (any make or model) so that is tough.


I guess you can use the NASA rules and make a temporary allowance for ITS prep with ITS weight. Given some time you can probably have a much better look at the actual performance differences. In time you may learn the differences really cannot be properly equalized with weight alone.


So... Just remember the guiding principles of 944-spec.

Equal cars, Low cost, Driver skill makes the difference.


The basic 944-spec rule set was crafted from the ground up to allow few things.


Firstly make the normally slow 944 a little faster and more fun to drive. Keep costs both in initial prep and maintence down. And of to provide level playing field so that each driver has an equal shot of winning. Ideally there should be no "car or model year to have" and each driver should have reasonable chance to develop his car to high prep level for a reasonable sum of money.



PS... we don't allow the 2.7L motor simply because they are rare and expensive and it is completly unclear how much weight would be required to even it up to 2.5L motor. So the simplest answer is to not allow 2.7L motors. The result is No griping or complaining about the weight factor not being right.

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Ah yes, the mythical Milledge motor. I see lots of traffic concerning those, but have never seen one go through an SCCA teardown. Our IT spec motors produce very similar RWHP numbers to yours. ( IT prep being, balanced, head shaved, multi-angle valve job ) I do not believe it is possible to produce over 165hp with a stock, legal camshaft. SCCA requires competitors to use the O.E. cam, but many builders play around with the duration in the belief that no one will spend the money to have it put on a cam doctor to measure it. I have also seen crankshafts that were " balanced " until they were 16-17lb lighter than O.E., this is also not allowed in the IT rulebook.

Any vehicles performance can be controlled via weight and rim width. The trick is to find the happy medium that promotes fair competition. I assume that you guys only run the one grid on a given race weekend? We will run the ITS grid, have a one group break and then run the PCA grid as a PCA4 car. The problem with this is that PCA4 includes D class PCA cars..... not a fair run. So we want to run in the PCA grid as Spec 944 cars instead of PCA4. Running in ITS with a car prepared completed to the spec class rules, but at 2715lb is unattractive. The BMW's, Z's, etc are too strong for that. Greg Fordahl

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Hey Greg!


How are you and Jodi? Joe started to send you an email this morning but the server wouldn't bring up your site. Anyway... It's nice to see you on the site.


If you get a chance go to http://www.spec-944.com. Our rules and cars are SCCA legal and accepted in the regions down here. Pretty much stock, but you will see when you take a look @ the rules.


Will you be down this year for the Double National? Are you going to the 24hrs in Feb? We are actually getting away for a week. Joe has not come up for breath for almsot 2 years building these Spec-cars. It's great, but we actually cancelled our vacation last fall because of them. We are now at 27 cars, with 6 in the building process right now. We have averaged about 12 cars per event the past season, and should double that number by fall.


I see Twomey tried to "adjust" his classification up there but failed.


Hapy Holidays to you and Jodi

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Nice to hear from you again and congratulations on the Crazy Redhead RSR's OA victory at the 25 Hours. You probably could have done a few more laps if you'd benched that slow-ass Randy Pobst and stuck me in the car for a while.


Anyway, now that we're all done rolling around on the floor laughing.......


As I've mentioned before, it's the goal of more than several proponents of 944 racing, to make it so that all the 944's, being raced in different sanctioning bodies, can race together. An inter-regional, then National competition is the ultimate goal for those of us who love these cars. We've just rewritten our rules to be more like Joe and Candi's group. We now require kill switches, we've made weight allowances for their lightened flywheels, we've lowered our max compression ration to 10.5:1.

So now we have the following 944 groups;

NASA 944-spec in SoCal and Phoenix (plus 2 in NorCal now).

SCCA Spec-944 in Phoenix.

POC 944 GSR in the L.A. area.


The POC rules are the same as ours (NASA) and the 2 group's cars cross back and forth easily and regularly. Stock engines @ 2600 lbs w/driver.


I think the answer for you, (and what I'd like to see) is to steer your group away from the more liberal ITS rules, and towards the 944-spec & Spec-944 rules. That way you wouldn't have to worry about BMW's in your class and you wouldn't have to run the cars at 2700 lbs.

Make sense?

Once the drivers see the stock, stable, affordable rules, I think more will want to get on board. Then, tell them they can drop another 100 lbs and they'll be really happy. The cars get really lively!

So please have a meeting with your drivers, take a look at the Spec-944 & 944-spec rules and explore adapting your group of 944's to these. It sounds like you guys are mostly stock anyway, at least from our emails. I'd just make sure that the subtle differences between the spec groups don't create any snags. For instance, Spec-944 allows Kumhos, Toyos, and Goodyears. 944-spec only allows Toyos. So if you have your guys run on Toyos, you can run in either Spec-944 or 944-spec without any issues.

That's my advice. I'd would love to see 944 starting fields here in the US like they have in Australia. Having your group of 944's join the spec ranks would make right about 80 racing 944's total! That's not counting the East Coast 944 Cup cars.

Take care and have a great Holiday.

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Hello Joe and Candi, good to hear from you. Yes, I will be at the 24hr this year working for Brumos again. We have been working overtime to make the Fabcar/Porsche more competitive for this coming season so cross your fingers for us. I have been building 3 to 4 of these 944 cars per year, but it has been frustrating because we can never seem to be at the same events! The grids have 3 or 4 of us when there are 14 cars completed up here. I am working on some " incentives" via some sponsorship, etc to plump up the grids a bit. Up here we have a bunch of guys with cars that are expensive to run, hence they do fewer events. I have tried to show them that you can have just as much fun for what they spend on tires alone per year.

My car is an 83 that I traded a set of 930 wheels for. I am currently barely competitive in ITS so I am not ready to give up yet, ( damn Norweigan heritage!). My engine is a stock 88 unit with a shaved head. I use JRZ single adjustable shocks and have fabricated monoball suspension pivots. My car is 2725lb with power windows, radio, carpet, and all interior panels in place. I have installed aluminum rear trailing arms from an 88, steel in front. I am currently working on a 1mm overbore engine using nicasil plating instead of the alusil cylinders.

Tim thinks the ITS rules are more liberal, yet I do not think I could run my car at 2600lb using the ITS rules. There just isn't 1125lb worth of stuff left. How do the guys with the 85.5 and up cars do it? Those cars are always heavy compared to the early cars. Greg Fordahl

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... It can be done. My car is an 84 and still have fully functional power windows. To make 2600 lbs I have added in my stock passengers seat (30lbs) and 40lbs of barbell weights. Now I come in at 2610-2625 depending on fuel and scales. Given that ballast and my 150-155lbs my car is about 2400 lbs.



It is possble to get these chassis to 2400 lbs which leaves 200 lbs for the driver.



As for liberal rules.... Consider


overbore, JRZ dampers, monoball suspension bushings


All of those cost $$$$$


removing the carpet, heater, headlights, washerbottle, door glass, etc cost a big fat zero! That is why we allow these mods and not the others and is direct result of having our own rules. We can do all the cheap mods that would, bump you in a crazy class (interior gutting and overall lightweight) and stop the the "expensive" mods like $5000 suspensions and pro-built motors. About 75% of us are running on junkyard motors. I knew nothing about 944s when I started on my "autocross" car in 2000. Well Since then I have learned afew things and have done two motor rebuilds in my father's backyard. Nothing fancy at all and the motors were still junkyard dogs. No more or less powerfull than anyone else.

Just the way it should be!

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You just write your own rules, have enough cars to meet the requirements, then have your own regional class. As for weight, you just need to eat more Greg! We too have some great sponsorship to offer the Spec-944 club members, and present them during the award ceremonies which is always cool, and other classes see first hand a few benifits by running this class. The last event we had 14 cars on grid. We are pretty sure we will have 24+ @ the March event. About 7 or 8 of the cars are running at CA Speedway the weekend of Daytona. Needless to say, we will not make it, but I have my car rented for it.


Joe knows all the answers to your questions off the top of his head. Email us so we have your email address. [email protected] If I recall there was one on your website, but I am @ work, and hate addresses to my list. Send us your email address


Where are you guys staying in Daytona? Is Jodi going also? We fly in the 1st for a few days in Orlando, then to Daytona, then the keys for a few days. We will look for you in the garages.


So is Buetow a Vette man now? We have not seen him at any of the Solo events here. Of course we follow you all in SOLO. So many of the same group is running that we started with in 1984. Holly cow, 20 years ago. And you and Jodi were doing it before then.


We need to get back up to the NW for a racing vacation. It would be fun to run a few events with you guys. Is Henry still racing Porsche's? I haven't checked out the regions site for ages, but we are on the email list.


Hope to see you In Feb.!

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What I meant, and what Joe Paluch said too, was that ITS rules allow for more mods(liberal). That means more money.

It's easy to get down to weight if you follow our class rules, either 944-spec or spec-944 allow stripping the complete interior, heating, A/C, radio, passenger seat, spare tire, tools, jack, etc. Weight is no problem. If removing those items bumps you out of ITS, that's ok because you said you weren't competitive there anyway, right?

You guys can start your own spec group up there and race in your own class.

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ITS also allows the removal of the complete interior less dash, the passenger seat, gutting the drivers door, 1 plastic window ( to install drivers ventilation) the sunroof mechanism, controls for same, heater, A/C, Smog controls, radio, speakers, wiring not needed, spare tire, tools, exterior lights can be removed and the resulting holes covered, headlight lifting mechanism, hood latches,etc. Am I missing anything that your rules allow in addition to these items?

Here are the main differences:

1. Engine- balancing O.E. components, match porting 1" maximum intake/exhaust. 1mm maximum permissable overbore wi. O.E. pistons. No lightened flywheels allowed. Stock injectors must be used. Any radiator that fits in the original location, any alternator can be used.


2. Chassis- any bushing/ bushing material that fits in the original arm, etc. Any dampers with a maximum of 2 external adjustments and no external reservoirs. Minimum ride height...5 inches measured at the side rocker pinchweld area.


3. Body- a front spoiler may be added no higher than 4 inches above the axle centerline and no lower than the wheel rim. No removal of the original bodywork is allowed to facilitate this.


4. Wheels- 15X7 or 16X7 wheels only. No specific manufacturer or min weight requirement. Any tire that fits that wheel without protruding beyond the fender at the axle centerline.


5. Transmission- any ring and pinion ratio and any LSD may be used that does not have electronic control.


These are the only differences I have found with a quick read through of the relevant rules. We all use 15" ATS factory wheels, do not bother changing the R&P ratio from 9:35, ( even if they break all the time!) And use either factory LSD's or Guard units. Some of us have added a 3" flat lip to the bottom of the stock front valance to cool better. Really not too scary when compared side by side. Greg F

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Agreed. Not scary at all. We could probably run together without too much adapting.

But they could be simplified and made cheaper, which means more equally prepped cars for less money. That's a really popular formula. We've been pretty effective at eliminating any one-up-man-ship spending due to perceived advantages. If you want, come down to SoCal for a NASA or SCCA event. I could put you in one of my cars for dirt cheap.

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I am with Tim.

Greg sounds like you guys' cars are pretty moderate and we probably could run together. Just like Tim said however our rules are designed to be little more simple and cheaper from the start. Less "perceived" advantages everywhere.


You have been in racing a long time and know that you can have real advantage or every can think those parts are an advantage. Well if everone perceives this or that will make them a winner things get expensive qucikly. Heck it does not have to work and make them anyfaster. Example... Lots and lots of $$$ can be spent "chasing" the best wheel and tire combo. Great thing about 944-spec is tires and wheels are spec'ed. No real or percieved advantages there!


The new guys don't want to get into the class because they precieve it as too expensive to develop a competitive car. One thing Tim, Steve, Myself and most other 944 drivers have been tring to do is to demistify these cars. Very few secrets on car prep kept. 99% of the time a newbie will a get straight answer as to what mods to make and not to make to a spec car. We don't believe that it is fair to hide behind car prep as an excuse for doing well or not doing well.

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For what it's worth. I love that so many variables are "dialed out" in our class. I was so tired of being out-spent in my 911............. I could see and hear the guys beating me drove like crap.......

I had 1 set of 7's and 8's x 16 Fuchs alloys. If anything happened to a tire or wheel, I was done. Now, with the cookies and phonies being available for around $200-$250 per set, even I can afford 3 or 4 sets. And nobody can have a better wheel than me.

That's the primary reason I jumped into this class with both feet, Greg.

I still get to race Porsches, but the rules are REALLY tight. Not airtight, but tighter than most. And we're trying to make them tighter all the time, where performance advantages are possible.

I did push for adding the phrase about mods that improve aesthetics, ease of service, safety, etc., that also offer no advantage.

Drivers love our rules.

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