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Author Topic: Rally Race Spec Miata
Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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I've got a 93 Spec Miata and I haven't been able to do much racing last year. Early 11' I was looking at doing some Rally cross events, I was hoping I could do these in my Spec Miata. Other than the ride height (which I can adjust right?) what else would I need to do to setup the car for Rally. Also, what's the likelihood that I'll damage something on the car racing on the dirt? What would get damaged? Any other tips?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Randy Thieme
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Region: Oregon
Car #: 51
Year : 1993
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I've done some rallycross in the past, my first foray into competition motorsports. Raced a Honda CR-V against Subaru Brats in a Light Truck/SUV class. A lot of fun kicking up rooster tails of mud.

Please, please do not rallycross your SM. Look at autocross instead. Compared to road racing cars, stage rally and rallycross suspensions are relatively soft with a lot of movement. Just take a look at the jumps the cars take in WRC. Even after increasing the suspension movement by raising the ride height it's not something the SM shocks were designed for. And suspensions take a beating in rallycross. I've watched cars literally peel tires off of the rims more than once and a number of broken shocks. The mud gets everywhere underneath and is difficult to remove. It tends to bake hard onto the exhaust, especially if the soil is clayish. Some car washes have forbidden rallycross drivers from taking there cars through the wash because they're so covered with mud. I could never get my SUV completely clean underneath until winter came and did a lot of driving in the rain.

Now that Ive dumped on the whole idea (sorry) the other side is, at least in Oregon, rallycross is unofficially looked at as a potential feeder series for stage rally. More so than autocross is looked on as a potential feeder for road-racing. Most of the Oregon stage rally drivers also compete in all the local rallycross events on a fairly regular basis. So if racing in dirt, mud and snow is something of interest rallycross is a good way to get your feet wet and meet people involved in stage rally. But buy a second car or try it in your daily-driver, not your SM. Please.

Bob815
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Year : 1992
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I've thought about doing this with my Spec Miata. I thought maybe if I bought new shocks and springs and swapped them out I could try an event or two (and tires obviously). I'm not too concerned about dirt and mud on the car - but if we're talking bent subframes/control arms/etc. I would pass. I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has ever tried this as well.

Bob

Mike Colangelo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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+1 to what Randy said.

Randy hit the nail on the head regarding the Oregon SCCA rallycross events (of which I've also competed, too). I've also rallycrossed (in a rental Neon - ha!) down in SoCal and can tell you that SoCal rallycross events will get your car very, very dusty if they are still held out in the desert. Dusty inside as well as outside!

In every rallycross event that I've been to, once the ruts start developing - and they will - you will start seeing people damaging their cars. Typically, the first things to get damaged are side skirts, air dams, fender liners, and tires getting pulled off the rims. That's why I cringe whenever I see a nice, shiny, new Subaru STI or Misterbichi Evo out in a rallycross event. Personally, I think rallycrossing your SM is just a bad idea (no offense!).

Why not pick up a $1500 Craigslist beater car and go have fun in that? If and when you damage it, you probably won't care. Dodge Neon, BMW E30, Honda CRX, and maybe even a cheap stock Miata all make good rallycross cars. There are many others, too.

Here's a tip: Snow tires (such as Blizzaks) make great rallycross tires and will still keep you in the street tire class.

Mike Colangelo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Here's a picture of me driving a 1989 Dodge Colt (totally stock except for gravel tires) at a rallycross school event in Hillsboro, OR (outside of Portland). That car was a blast to drive. I never had to lift off the throttle. I just turned the wheel and left-foot-braked to make it rotate. [rockband]

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Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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My other cars I could do it with would be my 2011 Mustang GT, or my 2011 Hyundai Sonata, both would completely suck I think..

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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So would it be better to just sell my Spec Miata and buy a rally car or would it be better to convert my Spec Miata to Rally?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Randy Thieme
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Region: Oregon
Car #: 51
Year : 1993
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As tough as Miata's are they may not be the best choice. If your thinking of eventually doing stage rally a potential hidden expense may be the cage. Offhand I beleive the cage in a rally car has to be stronger than in a road racing car. We hit tire walls. They hit trees. Suggest checking the rules for the sanctioning bodies, or any local stage rally people you might know. If you're just planning on RallyX then it doesn't matter.

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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You don't need a cage to run rally cross. Read the rally cross rules to determine what you can do to the car, and still keep it in a stock
rear 2wd class. Then go run.
I think a Miata would be a hoot in rally cross. It would not do too well with the SM spec suspension. You want a lot of suspension travel and a pretty soft set up. Not what the SM spec suspension offers.
wheel

ASedan full time
SM part time
Former Pro Rally
Former Baja
Former Pikes Peak Hill Climb,
Former stadium Class 8 Pickup racer.
Well, you get the idea.

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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What would be a good suspension I could put on the Miata? Would I be able to just upgrade my cage to one that would work with Stage rally eventually?

Otherwise I'm just doing rallycross for now, I hope to do stage eventually, but not for now..

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1993 Spec Miata #94

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Go and do rally cross. You will need ground clearance and suspension travel. Remember, when you raise the car up, your camber will go all to hell. Get the car to a decent ride height and then set up the alignment.
Stage rally vs rally cross is just like road racing vs solo. They all require different set ups. That being said, a car that works well for rally cross is a good start for a car that will work at the much higher speed of stage rallies. Also, all rally crosses and all stage rallies are not alike. A set up for one RC might not be right for the next one, etc.
On the cage side of things, there is nothing like hitting a tree, with your roof, as you are sliding sideways, on your door, in the dust, at night...... to make you a believer in a good cage.
wheel

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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Ok, it sounds like I'm better off starting with some sort of Front Wheel Drive car and building that up. If I'm going to have to totally modify the cage and suspension I might as well just sell my spec and start fresh. What do you think?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Mike Colangelo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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A Miata at stock ride height will do OK as a rallycross car.

But forget about the Miata as a stage rally car. Some sanctioning bodies do not allow convertibles even with a hard top. But the more practical reason for not using a Miata as a stage rally car is the cramped cockpit. With a stage rally rollcage, race seats for both driver and co-driver, and other equipment normally put inside a rally car, it will simply be too cramped.

I personally think a FWD car is the way to go if you're just starting out.

Try this website for lots of great info on stage rally, including getting started:
http://www.specialstage.com

Where in California do you live (north or south)? In February, the California Rally Series is holding a 2-day rally school. Here's the CRSes website:
http://www.californiarallyseries.com/Home/index.aspx

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
Posts: 43
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I live in So. Cal, but ridgecrest isn't all that far. I'm definitely going to go to the Rally school in Feb. Yeah, I've been to those sites, I'm a member on specialstage. I had a 92 Sentra back in the day that I did a little rallycross in..

I guess I'm going to sell my Spec Miata and buy a rally car. Should I buy a complete car or just buy a stock vehicle to modify?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Randy Thieme
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Region: Oregon
Car #: 51
Year : 1993
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Colangelo:
But forget about the Miata as a stage rally car. Some sanctioning bodies do not allow convertibles even with a hard top. But the more practical reason for not using a Miata as a stage rally car is the cramped cockpit. With a stage rally rollcage, race seats for both driver and co-driver, and other equipment normally put inside a rally car, it will simply be too cramped.

Mike is exactly right. I forgot some sanctioning bodies won't allow convertibles period.

If you want to eventually drive try getting a ride as a navigator/co-driver as a step towards that. Then you won't have to wait until your car is finished to get right in the action.

Hqen2000
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Year : 1993
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If I just get a basic car I can do some rallycross events in it, right?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Mike Colangelo Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Hqen2000:
If I just get a basic car I can do some rallycross events in it, right?

Sure. That'll work. That's what most people do.

Get some rallycross seat time in a street car and then, when you're ready, buy a good, used rally car. Just like Spec Miatas, it's always cheaper and quicker to buy a used rally car. Just make sure that the logbook is current (or not too out of date) and that the rollcage is still legal.

Here's a picture of my car which I bought from a rally racer down in SoCal last May. It's a 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R that runs in Group 2:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hbrucep/5112627618/in/set-72157625109520263/

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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Very nice.. Can you quickly explain all the different groups to me.

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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How would a 2011 Mustang GT with 420hp do at RallyX? Too much power/weight? It's 3500lbs.

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1993 Spec Miata #94

Hqen2000
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Region: Southwest (California)
Year : 1993
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How much was the sentra?

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1993 Spec Miata #94

   

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