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How to reconcile West coast vs. East coast for Nationals


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Just out of curiousity since I don't run in your series....


How are you going to reconcile the differences between the car classes between West and East coast when it comes to Nationals? Clearly NASA has a bias towards the west coast boys (just look at the forum categories), but who and how does that all get resolved for Mid-Ohio?

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  • Tim Comeau


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Any National Championship for 944 spec will have cars prepared to 944 spec rules and meeting the 944 spec rules.


We currently have 944 spec cars in 3 regions and are expanding into a 4th region.


944 spec does not run in the east coast, but not because the class is not avalible, but because no body runs in the class.



Now on the other hand if you are taking specfically about 944 cup and 944 super cup and nationals.


Well my question is 944 cup a NASA class or run as sort of a "guest" group in the NASA Virginia region?


When it comes to rules... There are some significant differences that make it near impossible to allow all 944 cup cars in 944 spec. 2.7L motors are not allowed in 944 spec for example. However it does not mean that all cars are exclusive of each class without a couple quick changes. It also does not mean a 944 cup and 944 spec car may not run close times. Knowing what I do about 944 cup rules I can see how it maybe possible to allow 944 spec cars in 944 cup in a fair fashion to the ideals of 944 cup.


for the rules follow http://944spec.com and click the rules from the menu on the left.

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Differences? What are the differences? What is the class called on the East Coast. Is there a set of rules we can see??


Jim in general 944 cup is class devised to combined the PCA I stock 944 and the SCCA ITS 944.


Cars can be prepared PCA Stock class rules or SCCA IT rules then are weight adjusted to even them out.


There are quite a number of detail rule differences... those include things like


2.7L motors with added ballast

rear coilovers and proper race dampers (Moton, JRZ)

Wheels larger that 15" and wider than 7"

Open tire rules

Added motor prep for SCCA IT cars

Changes to final drive



Those are just a few that I can come-up with off hand. Now interms of speed the spec car may not give up that much since depending on the prep level car weight runs from 2600 to 3000lbs.


more can be found at http://44cup.com

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BTW, I am not picking on you guys. I am highlighting a problem that I think NASA has as they move forward. 944 Cup in MidAtlantic and Southeast is a big field and it seems a little unfair if NASA makes Nationals be to specs that are basically limited just to the west coast guys, especially when most of the potential cars might come from out here.


The 944 guys can give you more specifics, but it isn't uncommon to see 40 car fields out here so it is a pretty healthy class. I count 11 cars as the max for a single weekend in SoCal. My wife runs the class out here which is why I was scratching my head on how NASA is going to handle it (and whether I need to plan on some things for the homologation).


My $0.02 is that NASA needs to be thinking about how to reconcile these things now or there are going to be a lot of mad people later in the year. It isn't just the known classes like 944 and RX-7, you've also got Kit Car Challenge, Spec SRT, etc. that are examples of inconsistencies across the country. At the end of the day it can't be that "west coast rules" always prevail. It already is a little frustrating that the promotional stuff (like the web site) seems to focus on west coast stuff. For example, I am told MidAtlantic is bigger than NorCal in terms of membership, but you sure wouldn't get that from the boards.


I am sure it will get worked out. The good news is that Nationals is going to force NASA to start thinking from a national perspective. Just growing pains and those are good things to have.

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He has a point!! NASA is the sanctioning body out there and the rules are different than our rules out here. Some one somewhere needs to address this asap and come up with a set of "National" rules to run this in. They allow alot of other car choices and adjust with weight and car prep. We have 944's and 924S's with 2.5's only. There is a big disparity here! Maybe our series directors neeed to talk to the east coast guys and work on the rules!!

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Maybe our series directors neeed to talk to the east coast guys and work on the rules!!


The biggest problem between the two classes is goals of the class.


for 944 cup the stated goal is place to race the 944 prepped to PCA Stock class or SCCA IT class.


944 spec however is class designed from the begining as place to race equal 944 with little to no linkage to any other 944 class prep rules. So I don't see how 944 spec can adopt many 944 cup rules and keep with the idea of 944 spec.


944 cup can certainaly adapt a rule set to allow for competitive 944 spec cars with in the current 944 cup framework.


Now for 2006 It may be best to just have two classes 944 cup and 944 spec. Yes there is duplication, but I don't know of any way to properly handy cap a 944 spec car to run in 944 cup. The prep level of cars falls between I Stock an H prepared in some ways and others are lesser than I stock. So should a 944 spec run at H prepared weight of 2750lbs or run at the 944 spec weight of 2600lbs or less My guess is this cannot be accuratly determined unless well prepare cars with good drivers share the same track.

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Well my question is 944 cup a NASA class or run as sort of a "guest" group in the NASA Virginia region?


The 944 Cup runs with NASA technically as a guest series in the MidAtlantic and Southeast Regions. Two more Chapters will open in 2006: NorthEast and Suncoast. Most of these races will be run with NASA as a guest series. In 2005, the 944 Cup had the most entries of all the NASA MidAtlantic series/classes.


The 944 Cup has been invited to participate in the NASA Nationals in September and I expect the 944 Cup will be heavily represented there.


Four or 5 years ago we tried to work out a rules set for 944 Cup and 944 Spec to be one, but could never make it happen. For the Nationals, the easy solution would for there to be 3 classes for the 944's: Cup Class, Super Cup Class, and Spec Class. We can all run together in the same run group. This requires no rule changes in either series.


Dave Derecola

National Director

944 Cup


944 Cup Talk Forum: http://44cup.zeroforum.com/

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Dan and Dave,

Good to hear from you guys here!

We're all 944 racers at heart.



Regarding your statement, "it isn't uncommon to see 40 car fields out here so it is a pretty healthy class." I would disagree that it's a class. It seems to be more of a "group" of car classes lumped together and handicapped by weight. I salute Dave's efforts to bring as many water-cooled cars to the track as possible, but it's a very different situation than what we have in the 944 spec class.

We have 944 spec groups in Arizona, SoCal, NorCal. We have a sister group in the POC (944 GSR ) with nearly identical rules because many of us are dual members. We also have the 944 spec class in ZONE 8 within the PCA's AX and TT programs. I hope to introduce the 944 spec concept to PCA Club Racing in 2006. Of course, the SCCA has another sister class called spec 944 in Phoenix as well. There are about 80 cars total in the different groups.

Dave's idea of 3 different classes seems the best at this early point, but I'm not sure about us all running together.

It would be great to grow this simple, inexpensive, equal class on the East Coast and it would certainly make event "weight" management and rules compliance simpler for the event directors because our cars are pretty much all the same. I would encourage all 944 racers to review our rules, discuss them with other 944 racers, and get them to shake hands on the idea of building cheap, equal 944's. It's been welcomed in NASA, SCCA, POC, PCA already. All it would take is 3 or 4 of your 1983-88 NA 2.5 944/924S regulars to commit to preparing their 944's to spec rules for 2006. There's your core class group. Then, we could compete at a National level in a simple apples to apples manner, but in even bigger numbers. You'd still get the same attendance numbers at races, but you'd get better racing, which sells.

I'll assist in any way possible to grow this fantastic concept throughout the country.

At your service,

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The 944 Cup has been a succesful format here on the East Coast both in numbers, and quality and affordablilty of racing. So getting 3 or 4 of our cars to switch over to 944 spec rules to promote another series doesn't make much sense from our perspective. Be like us suggesting the West Coast switch over to 944 Cup format. Gave up on that idea a long time ago.


Competing at the NASA Nationals against the 944 spec cars is not that important to us that we would undo everything we have built to date.


So, good luck in 2006 and see ya in the paddock at Mid Ohio.

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Reading this topic and having been involved with state, regional, and national governing bodies for ski racing in the US a few years back, for way too many years, and having seen identical east-west issues about National Championships tossed about has motivated me to post.


As discussed, to have a National 944 Championship (NC) under one specific class rule set would be difficult and unwise for the same reasons posted by others. To change succesfull approaches and rules for any region just for the sake of a few to spend mega bucks to go to a NC is a waste. To continue to grow in numbers on a state level, it is beneficial to only slightly tweak a set of rules that have worked. There is a need to increase participation on a state level first, be strong there and then have regional level events. Become strong there and then add a NC to the top of the pyramid. When the pyramid progression is too narrow at the bottom it ain't worth it. When the numbers are strong and the pyramid bottom is wide, then and only then filter up.


In other words, why waste NASA time and effort to host a NC when only a select few will race a NC venue in a specific 944 class with very little to no participation/competition from the other side of the country. That is not a NC!


But then again, maybe I am missing something here as a 944spec rookie, long time forum stalker, and hopeful 2006 competitor?

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I have to agree with Dave (and Ray) too! Why would they want to fix what aint broke? It seems the most sensible solution is to run together, but within the already established rules. I understand where Tim is coming from, he wants big equal fields. But, it can't be at the expense of only one side?



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Not to throw cold water on anyone... but in those scenarios what would be the point of Nationals? In a realistic scenario, are you going to have 6-8 cars travel all the way from the west coast... to race against each other? Mid Atlantic has a similar dillema since Nationals is the same weekend as one of their regional races. Mixing based on different rules means you have a glorified exhibition race with ribbons being passed out with all the meaning of what a 7 year old gets for soccer. Yaaawn. (Oh, sorry!)


As someone who has run NASA with the NorCal, Arizona, Nevada, Northeast, Ohio/IN, Southeast, and MidAtlantic and done some National races, the fun part is the uncertainty of measuring yourself against "the other guys". Merely sharing the track doesn't cut it.


I don't claim to know the cars that well, but my suggestion - and you didn't ask for it - is that the directors try to make an educated guess as to a way to equalize 944-Spec and 944-Cup for Nationals. No, it won't be perfect. But maybe you can do some weight, restrictor-plate, or popular tire thing that might work. Something. Anything. I am sure you guys have enough information to make some VERY educated guesses. But something that gets you to a one-on-one race that makes the race mean something. Even if one set of cars is at a disadvantage, you can still have everyone excited and muttering "Wait until next year!" when the racing is done. Shoot, guys always make excuses when they don't win so now they'll have one even before the race!


The really good news for you guys is that both groups have what I consider to be some of the best leaders in club racing. I am confident you can get something done, but I am equally confident that if you don't, your experience at Nationals will be unsatisfying.

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Respectfully DanElam, I would object to changing the rules in either class to a National only class. What is the value in winning a National Championship if the class only exist once a year?


I would not make the trip to Ohio unless I can drive the same car I've been driving all year.

The question was asked, what is the point of a NASA Nationals all together?

Just look at SCCA's Runoffs which has come along way with TV coverage.


NASA Nationals is a great idea and will take a few years to grow to a respectable event but we have to start somewhere


If the current 944 classes continue to grow steadily then in a few years the title "National Champion" will carry alot of weight whether it be 944spec or 944cup

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My take on Nationals is this...


For NASA in General it is a great idea. It give NASA another high profile element and attraction. I do feel that being at Mid-ohio while being a great track really hurts all west coast guys. Hey for use it is at LEAST a 2 day tow if not more. That is alot of expense for "bragging" rights.



If this were Honda Challenge then West vs East would make a ton of sense. However it is not. It is West vs East to a different spec.


Like I said before I don't know how to really handicap cup vs spec. There are too many detail changes.



Also Like Mike Weitze I am not looking forward to altering my car to compete a Nationals. I am very happy with 944 spec as it is and very happy with rule set. Frankly I feel strongly that 944 spec has the best rule set to fit my needs and desires as a racer. 944 cup I personaly feel has too many allowances and compromises and is more costly series to race in. As you soon as you say..."I only costs money to run at front!" Well I do run at front of 944 spec on tight a budget on a car that has all the best. Because of the rules I can have all the best and be on tight budget.


So that is why I really like 944 spec rules as they stand. If I were east coast I probably would have a upper mid pack 944 cup car. What would be nice is a rather simple way to test things is to allow cars prepped to 944 spec a place in 944 cup. What I mean is now you allow cars prepped to IT or PCA and have specfic weights and alterations set in place for those cars.


Why not add a line for cars preppred to 944 spec trim complete with 15x7 cookies and 225/50 R15 toyos RA-1. Try it and see if folks want to prep cars to that spec. My guess is that as trial period you can allow the cars 100% as is at 2600 min (50lbs less that PCA) and see what happens.


My gut feel is that a 944 spec has PCA power levels, but with lesser deveoped SCCA suspension. So that would mean they would be pretty close as is especially if stuck on toyo's and at most may be need to run a 2550 lbs to be equal.


On the west coast we can offer 944 cup rules in addition to 944 spec rules. There is no way to properly put 944 cup cars in the 944 spec class as it defeats the entire idea of a spec class, but we can see how many "944 cup" prepped cars show up. Given the very few I Stock and ITS cars in California and Arizona I would not expect alot however. Remember 95% of some 80 to 100 944 spec (and spec 944) cars were purpose built for our series and not adapted from any other series. Off hand I can think of two adapated cars. 1) Chas Wirken's car was an I stock car and 2) What was Jeff Grow's car was prepared to POC specs. That is all as far as I know. The rest are convereded street cars or former DE/Autocross cars.


Now what nationals can be is 944 spec vs 944 cup shootout. To my knowledge it would be the first time well preppared and well driven 944 spec and 944 cup cars ever drove on the same track let alone the same time.

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I'm being misunderstood, perhaps partly my fault. I'm not trying to have you undo anything that you've built. Keep building your racing series. You'll have your same series, the same drivers, maybe even the same cars. I support the idea of a National Title, but we have no common denominator.

My point is, it would be impossible to race the East/West cars evenly because of the diversity of models among the 944 class types in the 944 Cup series. Adding weight or using a different tire would be, at best, a guess to attempt leveling the playing field. I wouldn't want to drive across country without knowing I had a chance of winning, based solely on my driving and car set up abilities. Could I be beaten by a guy who spent big $$ on a Milledge ITS engine?

Having made that point, my goal would be to standardize among the 944 groups. It always has been. We've made good progress with this goal between NASA's 944 spec and the SCCA's Spec 944. We've changed our rules to be more like theirs in order to promote crossover participation and the continued overall growth of 944 racing here in the Southwest. I've made it clear to Joe and Candi Stubblefield, (SCCA Spec 944) that it is NOT my goal to destroy the empire they've built. Rather, I'm pushing for alliances among ALL 944 groups that will benefit us all.


Dilly, we're not fixing what ain't broke. They're not broke. They're just different. But if we race for a National Title in the 944 spec class, it's just us from the West Coast in that class. That's not a National Championship. We're not racing against guys from elsewhere to see who's the best, are we?


944 spec and Spec 944, and even the POC's GSR class have only slightly different rules, but they are the simplest, cheapest ones out there. Because of that, it makes sense to build towards THAT formula for a National Championship.

I'm not asking for the 944 Cup series to be "reformatted", or their existing rules changed. As Joe suggests above, (I just read that post) I'm asking for the 944 spec class to be introduced on the East Coast and pushed as the standard class for future National Championships.

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I think that once again I have to say that any two cars can compete fairly against each other given the proper weight, wheel size and engine formula. Some of the East coast competitors that I have seen place quite high in the standings are not using the proper interpretation of the rules. Several of the cars are using a 2.7l engine stating that they are ITS prepared when SCCA only allows the 2.7l engine to be used in an 88 model year car at a higher base weight than the 2.5 cars. So stuffing a 2.7l in an 83 944 isn't SCCA legal, but they still run them in 944 Cup.

I would propose that you make the largest group, ( by participation numbers) the standard set of rules for the event. If it is Spec 944, then the cars would weight in at 2600lb. If I have a SCCA ITS car, it would weigh 2715lb, PCA car at it's weight, etc. Then adjust the weight tables accordingly to achieve parity. Tim constantly refers to the mythical " Milledge engine" like it is the anti-christ to 944 racing or something. Given the restrictions on engine prep that exist in the SCCA rulebook, it is my opinion that significant power gains cannot be achieved without replacing the camshaft, ( not legal) or the intake manifold, ( not legal) or the "J" boot on the intake, ( not legal). Thus it boils down to the same thing in racing worldwide, compliance to the rules. You need your competitors to comply to the rules as set out for them. I think that the group needs to understand that if there are " cheater" engines out there, and I am sure there are, that they were created to address a percieved imbalance in the rules. In the case of the ITS 944, it would be racing against cars with between 50 and 75 more HP and in some cases less weight. Racing with other 944 cars removes the need to break the rules. The suspension and final drive differences are more than compensated for by the weight difference. If the general opinion is that 115lb is not enough, then it is way simpler and easier for me to add more weight, ( like more gas?) than to install all of my stock 944 spec parts.


Greg Fordahl 83 ITS 944, 86 Spec/ITS 944

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"Tim constantly refers to the mythical " Milledge engine" like it is the anti-christ to 944 racing or something."

Constantly, Greg?

Anyway, I've heard his ITS engines make 180-185 at the flywheel. If it ain't so, let me know.

Engine builders ARE the antichrist when it comes to our SPEC class, Greg.

They have a tendency to want to slip in some of their speed secrets, legal or not.

How would we learn how much weight is enough to equalize the different cars? You don't need to do that if the cars are built to the same formula throughout the country.

I'd like to find a way to make this work, but it's got to be simple, cheap, verifiable, and the participating drivers need to have confidence that the cars are as equal as possible.

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The best thing about 944 spec is that it is a straight up fight.


everyone has the same gear (at least as much as possible) and we all race each other.


So when the day is done and the race is over there is no arguing or bickering that the "compensation factor" is wrong or that applies more to some tracks rather than others. Nope it is all rather simple.


Do you know how much arguements have come up about the 1.6 vs 1.8 spec miatas? Folks continue to argue that the weight difference is too big or too small. Hell drive a 1.6 and get beat by a 1.8 and the difference is too small, drive 1.8 and get beat by a 1.6 and say the difference is too big.


Drive a 2.5L 944 spec at Big Willow and get beat and the only thing you can say is too small are your balls!

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Funny, Joe! But true. Thanks for the laugh....


So let's do this. Let's make a concerted effort to spread the word across the country about the 944 spec concept. Tell all the NASA and SCCA chapters and show them our websites and rules.

Grassroots magazine write ups?

I still haven't accomplished the PCA Panorama magazine thing yet.

Do you know anybody across country who races a 944 at all? Talk to them about the 944 spec concept!

Vaughn Scott?




Come on, guys. We made this class happen in AZ, then SoCal, now NorCal.........Greg Fordhal's group could easily conform to the SCCA's Spec 944 rules. There is no NASA chapter up there in Seattle.

Maybe in a year or two, we'll have enough 944's around the country to have a real National Championship?

It's a good thing...Let's build it!

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I agree that engine builders can ruin your day, ( and the bank account ) in a spec series. FYI, a customer of mine purchased a car from the east coast with the JME " Holy Grail Special" motor installed. It was no faster down the straight than my stock 88 engine,but the engine hours on his were unknown. He had the misfortune of selecting the wrong gear at the wrong time and flattened all of the lifters, bending a few valves. After dissasembly, we found that the head had been cut way past the minimum deck height. This can be checked externally by the way. Numerous grey area items were noted. Rebuilt and dynoed it made 144HP at the wheels, which calculates out to 165HP or so at the flywheel.


In Spec Miata I wasn't aware that there was still any concern between 1.6l and 1.8l cars, as the concern has shifted entirely to whether you have a $6000.00 Sunbelt prepared engine or not. Pretty funny to have a $6K race car with a $6K engine in it. 944 Spec could learn from this.... if SCCA doesn't come up with some sort of controls for the rampant engine costs to be competitive, then the class is in for trouble later on. I was only suggesting that some compromise might be in order to help grow the 944 class via this National Level event. #1 would be to make it clear that the cars from the East need to be compliant with their own rules to attend, no cross specification cars. And #2, then pick a weight that you are comfortable to start with. ( with a GT3RSR, 100lb increases the lap time at Mid O by 1.35sec according to my handy Bosch Lap simulator) I would think that you should make 15X7 wheels mandatory, and what ever tires you can get contingency for. The only cars this impacts are the PCA cars, but it is low impact considering the cost of cookies. Greg F

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144 rwhp is well above average, but not monster HP. Our NASA cars average 130-135 rwhp.

Agreed, 7 x 15 wheels are the standard among PCA Zone 8, NASA, POC rules. Cookies or phonies only. Not sure about SCCA sizing.

Those first 3 org's also mandate use of one tire. The TOYO 225/50/15 Proxes RA-1. I don't want to get beat by a guy and wonder if it was because he was on Kumho's or Hoosiers, etc.


You know, if I could produce a video of our close racing and make people understand that the close racing is a direct result of our rules..........people would build the cars to our tight rules.

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