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Alberto

Why no NASA/944 Spec in Pacific NW?

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Alberto

Hey everyone, I'm pretty new here and to road racing in general. As I've been reading more online I'm really interested in getting my start in the 944 Spec series. I live in Washington state and it looks like it's part of the country where there is no NASA or 944 Spec. I was wondering why that is? Is there just not enough interest even tho we have the SCCA here?

 

I'm originally from California and may move back at some point but for now am looking at my options here for 944 Spec, if any. If I got a 944 Spec car (and wanted to keep it spec) would that be competitive in SCCA ITS for those that know about both?

 

Thanks!

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pu911

The 944 spec type cars are run with ICSCC , they are built like ITS cars not exactly same 944 spec but very close.

Phil

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Big Dog

Gary Fordahl has a shop in the Redmond area. He is an accomplished 944 racer and engineer. He has a group of 944's that race with SCCA. Their cars are very close to our spec. They run a different tire but a spec car, with their tire, will be competitive. He can assist you. If there is anything you change, away from spec, it should be easy enough to go back if/when you return to California and want to race with NASA.

 

Good luck and have fun.

 

Big Dog

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schwank

Well, I guess the old answer to this question has changed!

 

With the announcement of NASA NW yesterday, it sounds as if Spec will finally make it up this way starting in 2013. Most of our local cars would need a few changes to be Spec legal but a Spec prep car could run under Conference PRO44 rules no problem. And it will be interesting to see how schedules play out, but it would be fun to have some crossover races with drivers from Cali and the NW mixing it up.

 

Big Dog set the standard coming up to Portland a couple years back and we had fun!

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Big Dog

Yes, yes we did have great fun. The Portland track was where I learned to rotate the back of the car to get pointed at the apex. Greg and the rest of you guys are great. Of course, I brought a knife (Toyo's) to a machine gun fight (Hoosiers). I was amazed at the way everyone drove by me in the corners, inside, outside, any side. Greg was kind enough to take my car into his shop the following Monday and redo a bunch of stuff, including the set up. That was the weekend that put me from the middle of the grid to the front end. Thanks, again, Greg. You are amazing.

 

We should look at the schedules. I would LOVE to get back up there. With any luck, there might be an opportunity to combine two race weekends close together to make the tow make more sense and I will be on the new Toyo RR's next season. Those and "rewards" weight of, say 500 pounds, for all of you guys, should even out the racing.

 

Big Dog

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MikeA

Figured I would check the forums for some NW NASA postings... and yes it was some fun having you up here a few years ago.

 

 

Since this posting Alberto has found his way into our PRO44 clan and I think we have helped him out...

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Big Dog

OK, then. That is great news. More 944 racers.

 

Now we need to figure out some regional crossover events to bring you guys together with the Nor Cal guys. Perhaps Greg can weigh in on how "equal" the new Toyo RR's will be against the Hoosier's as I don't want to repeat my last effort with you gunslingers up there in the Pacific north woods (que the music from Deliverance )

 

With the NASA option now available for you guys, are there areas where your cars do not meet the 944-Spec rule set, other than the tires? If your cars can comply with the rules, you should think about Nationals next September at Miller. I expect there will be more than 30 944's for you to race against. It will be a great time for all and an experience. We had 30+ cars spread 6 wide going into turn 1. The iconic photo, from turn one, has me getting swallowed up by a sea of 944's. I had started from pole for the championship race and was in the wrong gear when the green dropped. I came out of one in fifth or sixth place but what a rush with that many cars starting at once. It is a trip you all should consider.

 

With the new RR tire option available to you, you guys might be able to get Toyo to offer contingency money for your group. My recollection is that it pays out $400 per race or $800 for a weekend. It does require a minimum of 5 cars to qualify for the Toyo Bucks. They are used to buy more tires. Some NASA regions split the money through the class, on some basis or other, and others do it the way Toyo calls out with the money going to the top five finishers. In any event, something to consider.

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Sterling Doc

Absolutely, let's talk!

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MikeA

I'm not sure if Greg checks this forum or not, but likely to get some more traffic from all of us here the next couple months as we all hear more about NASA. I'm not going to speak on his behalf, but Greg has always been a HUGE part of the NWR SCCA team up here just to put things in perspective.

 

 

 

Besides tires I think there are just a few issues with our setup vs. traditional 944 Spec.

 

I know one big area of conflict is with the ECU's (my previous motor I would NEVER consider running a stock ECU). I'm currently in the process of rebuilding my motor and I'm not sure how that will play into this.

 

The other item I noticed is with regards to headwork... I didn't read it line by line, but we all run some pretty modified heads (ITS spec Cams, 951 Valve Springs/Retainers etc).

 

The only other more difficult reversal but easier than the other two I mentioned would be we all run an aftermarket header as well... hence why we all run custom tunes (Header, Headwork, etc).

 

I saw in the ruleset the weight vs. parts exception, but it shows for Regional events only & limited to something like 4 events. The kicker is getting a fun cross-regional event going (likely need 1 race in each region at least!) to get everyone to make the move.

 

 

I can tell you based on the previous discussions around the Toyo RR before this was even an option... i planned to pick up a set to really test out. We love our hoosiers and even though we have seen some similarly matched tires (BFG R1 is closest), we very comfortable with them. (much like RA1 is for other series).

 

 

I love the bang for the buck & overall good feedback I'm hearing from the RR, and I'm also a big fan of going to a spec tire. I have always kept an eye on 944Spec even when we were running more 944Cup ruleset...now that we've progressed into our own class it will be interesting to see the exact conflicts with our setups.

 

 

We have completed our first year as our own class in ICSCC & moved from our 2010 & 2011 schedules of only 2 ICSCC events to many more in 2012. When we separated from 944Cup... we sort of segmented our drivers. I don't think intentionally but we had about 7 of our regular drivers run 1 or 2 events only last year and the bulk of those happened to be SCCA weekends not ICSCC.

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Big Dog

Mike, I went to the ICSCC site but could not find information about your new class and your rule set. Where can I find such things?

 

You are correct about Nationals. The mods you mentioned would not allow your cars to run at Nats.

 

How many cars do you typically see in your class per race, now? What are the other guys, that no longer regularly run with your group doing? Did they stay with SCCA? Do you know why they went away from your new group? Segmenting a group is always a bummer. More cars are more fun.

 

As for the cross region idea with Nor Cal, Thunderhill is the closest track for you guys. Do you have a good track closer to us than Portland? We have a race this coming weekend at Sonoma and I will throw this out to our guys that do show up although it looks like a smaller turnout. This event is not a points race for us.

 

I am sure that Greg can come up with a program to equalize the cars between both rule sets so we can have some close, fun racing. Of course, we won't have his suspension setups on our cars so that should be good for another 300 pounds of weight for you guys.

 

Big Dog

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greg f

Most of the ITS prepared NW cars would be difficult to revert to Spec rules because of the suspension bushings. Things like a header are easy to swap for Mike A. So he could still choose. One of the reasons we adopted an ITS ruleset rather than the 944 Spec ruleset was that we inevitably end up in the same rungroup as SM or Pro3 here and the very small improvements offered by the header, ECU, monoballs, etc. Make us much more competitive so we are not mired in the middle of their races. I was on this forum quite a bit several years ago and tried to find middle ground where we could race together with spec using weight to equalize the cars but that turned out to be a dead end.

I spoke with Ron Cortez regarding the Toyo RR and I am excited to have another tire option for the NW guys. Looks to be much more competitive with the Hoosier R6, BFG, and Goodyear offerings at a decent price and normal Toyo lifespan. Greg F.

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Big Dog

Great to have you weigh in, Greg. It was terrific seeing you at Thunderhill and Sonoma. You are still my idol.

 

While there was a "dead end" before on equalizing cars, we should think about it for an informal regional rivalry. We can agree, on a small scale, and avoid "National" politics. Come up with a fair weight adjustment, add 300 pounds, and we have a deal!

 

Of course, I completely understand if you Pacific Northwest guys to not want to do that. We all understand that the best 944 drivers are in Nor Cal, anyway. I suppose we can just go ahead and award us with the championship now and save all of that racing. (The smack talk begins so I need to get Ron into this. He is our designated "smack talker".) Heck, perhaps that should be a second category of competition!

 

Big Dog

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cbuzz

Im sure Big Dog meant to say So-Cal has the best drivers.

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Big Dog

Sorry, Mr. Buzzetti, the Honorable Mr. Foxx did not misspeak.

 

Of course, you are invited to join in the fun when we get the rivalry scheduled and you can attempt to show me wrong.

 

Big Dog

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Sterling Doc

You guys could set up some regional competition that is outside of 944 Spec itself. The 944 Spec guys would stil be racing within their own class, but also in a larger group of 944s that have an informal agreement. Another option is to have the cars all run in their PT classifications (as well as Spec). Some regions do this already. I'm not sure where Pro44 car points out in PT (?PTD still), but whereever it is, the 944 Spec cars could register there. You might have a few non-944 cars in class, but it could be a fun option.

 

When SM goes to the RR's next year, you guys may have a harder time staying clear of them again...

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MikeA
Mike, I went to the ICSCC site but could not find information about your new class and your rule set. Where can I find such things?

 

You are correct about Nationals. The mods you mentioned would not allow your cars to run at Nats.

 

How many cars do you typically see in your class per race, now? What are the other guys, that no longer regularly run with your group doing? Did they stay with SCCA? Do you know why they went away from your new group? Segmenting a group is always a bummer. More cars are more fun.

 

As for the cross region idea with Nor Cal, Thunderhill is the closest track for you guys. Do you have a good track closer to us than Portland? We have a race this coming weekend at Sonoma and I will throw this out to our guys that do show up although it looks like a smaller turnout. This event is not a points race for us.

 

I am sure that Greg can come up with a program to equalize the cars between both rule sets so we can have some close, fun racing. Of course, we won't have his suspension setups on our cars so that should be good for another 300 pounds of weight for you guys.

 

Big Dog

 

 

Our official ruleset is going before the officials now as it will get adopted going into 2013 (had to remove some 944Cup details etc)...so it will be posted soon on our website that is also about to launch. It's basically ITS ruleset with a slight adjustment or two...and yes we run Greg's amazing setups so good luck keeping up.

 

In 2012 we averaged around 4 cars a weekend in ICSCC... that was with one car getting totalled the first weekend and rebuilt by the 5th race of the year. In addition we had some other failures that took out 2 other cars for most of the season. We had a few weekends of 5-6-7 cars but nothing like the prior two years that I was involved (2010 we saw consistently 10 cars a weekend and a few with 15+).

 

The other guys haven't gone away from our run group, but the majority have SCCA licenses so in order to keep them they chose to run SCCA event for the 1 or 2 events in their budget. Before 2012 we only had 2 officially licensed 944 drivers in ICSCC vs. 12-15 in SCCA. In 2012 I did a dual license SCCA & ICSCC... as well as my cousin to get a better feel of the ICSCC events & the fee savings offset the license costs.

 

It was definitely a financially tight year for many and others just were to busy with work/life to make it a strong year of competition. Portland is the southern most track.. i would say the extra 60-90 minute tow to The Ridge might be worth it though as it's quite a complex track and noone has a ton of seat time there. Disadvantage for us on home turf, but you guys will need every advantage you can get racing against us.

 

We have done fine against 90%+ of the SM's on Hoosiers... Only one SM running to the edge and on their home track PIR (gave a few of us a great battle and we lost to him in the end). All the others have watched us pull away fairly easily for most of the races this past year...

 

I would love a race where we add a few lbs to offset our mods (the current doc for "regional" only races seems to be a fair adjustment) as I don't think any of us including myself have a desire to un-mod our cars.

 

Lets keep talking and find a common ground... T-Hill has on my bucket list for awhile.

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Big Dog

I see NO reason to change your cars for a "fun" event.

 

Would those of us with NASA comp licenses be allowed to run in your ICSCC events? I do not know how many of our guys have SCCA licenses. I had one but have not run with them for 4-5 years. As I understand, SCCA would issue one based on the prior license.

 

I would think that we have one guy go out in one of your cars, in a practice session, and one of your guys go out in one of our cars, assuming a safe track (not a Sonoma). The "adjustments" would be based on each guys best time in the session. That gives both guys an incentive to put up a big number in the other's car with no sand bagging!

 

Just an idea.

 

Big Dog

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schwank

Man I got busy the last couple of days and this thread blew up! Should be an interesting 2013!

 

Like SCCA Conference is accepting of other licenses including NASA. You pretty much just have to put a 7 as your first number and that's it. The Conference Board meets this weekend to deal with the year end business so the rules should be approved then.

 

The Toyo RR is definitely looking like a compelling option. I can only race a few events next year and have to control costs so hopefully the performance is there!

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Alberto
Figured I would check the forums for some NW NASA postings... and yes it was some fun having you up here a few years ago.

 

 

Since this posting Alberto has found his way into our PRO44 clan and I think we have helped him out...

 

I was looking at the race schedules for 2013 and decided to check back here now that we have NASA in our region. As Mike mentioned, I've made some progress since my initial post and found the PRO44 group and am in the process of building my car now. I'm looking forward to a very exciting year!

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greg f

Just about finished with a rental 944Spec/Pro 44 car that I can quickly configure for either class. Big Dog can now just jump on a Southwest flight and come up to the NW and do battle with us. I will be going out to the NASA event this coming weekend at the ridge with my car.... Dont know if any of the other NW 944 racers will show up. Where do I find NASA entry lists online? Greg F.

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Sterling Doc

Usually there's link on the regional website, but I can't find one on the NW site. Maybe ping the regional director?

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