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Author Topic: new here, ready to learn
Brian Newton
Member

Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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new to SM, not cars. ive had the car bug for a while now. my friend and i have decided to build a miata, eventually getting it SM ready. but for now it will be our HPDE and autox car.

i soak up information like sham wow so any information, tips, advice, gut feelings any of you have about something i bring up, id love to hear it.

first question. is there any evidence that shows any year range is better than another? of course the series is set up so that all cars are equal, but there are always differences and tradeoffs.

thanks in advance for any and all help you guys offer.

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Ears open, ready to learn.

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
MegaModerator

Region: mid south
Car #: 2
Year : 1999
Posts: 4275
Status: Offline
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Brian
Use the search button, it is your friend! Type parity and you will have enough reading material for the next few months..

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Enduro addict

Region: Northwest, Oregon
Car #: 79
Year : 90
Posts: 3336
Status: Offline
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Hey Brian, nice last name! [Big Grin]

Here's one to soak up: the search function. SM.com has been around for nearly nine years now, and lots of discussions have been held on every topic. Pick one (say, "brakes") and search on it. You'll be reading for hours.

Your question about the year range is an apt one, and you will find lots of discussions on that too. Attempting to keep the various cars (1.6, 1.8, 99+) equal is a huge undertaking, which has had varying success. [yep]

For starters, if you haven't already, read every discussion you can in the "Spec Miata" and "Spec Miata Garage" forums. That will give you a good base on knowledge. Better yet, get hooked up with a couple of your local SM racers and they can help you learn about the class and the cars as well.

Welcome and good luck.

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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Region: Atlanta
Posts: 2470
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Great, just what we need.. more Newton's. [Big Grin] [duck]

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

Brian Newton
Member

Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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we cant help but be drawn to each other. thanks guys, youve already been a big help. some forum's search engine sucks, nice to know this one actually gets relevant results.

--------------------
Ears open, ready to learn.

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Enduro addict

Region: Northwest, Oregon
Car #: 79
Year : 90
Posts: 3336
Status: Offline
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Newton:
we cant help but be drawn to each other.

You know, it's rare for a newbie's post to carry such "gravity." [Big Grin] [rolling on floor laughin]

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Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

J. Douglas
Member

Region: San Francisco
Car #: 72
Year : 90
Posts: 17
Status: Offline
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I hate it when people don't use caps.

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
Member

Region: Kansas City
Car #: 95
Year : 1991
Posts: 311
Status: Offline
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some people don't like wearing them.

Yeah, it bugs me too. I think it is because the younger generation doesn't know how to type.

SEARCH and keep your non-capped posts to a minimum. This site is for Cappers!

Ron Alan Made Donation to Website
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Region: SF
Year : 95
Posts: 235
Status: Offline
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Jerry,

From one old guy to another...RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON [thumbsup]

But the younger guys complain we don't text!

Brian...fair warning...SM is a black hole!!

Welcome [Smile]

--------------------
-RA


"Happy birthday, I didn't get you a present...Oh, mom got you one? Well, that's from me then too, unless it's shitty."
9:52 AM Sep 14th, 2009 via web
http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

Brian Newton
Member

Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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OK, so what im getting from the parity search is that, just like any other racing series, success on a national level(which im not at all concerned with at this point)is completely dependent on 2 things: the money your are willing to put into your setup(suspension tuning, and dyno time mostly) and skill of the driver. But im also seeing that the 99+ has advantages in the engine, mostly "under the radar" tuning options.

So all in all ive gotten that a 1.6 will be completely sufficient if i just want to get on the track and have fun.

Ive also read that to have an SM ready car, without any extra work on tuning the engine, it will probably take about 10k give or take. This, of course, depends on how much i can find a decent car to start with, and what needs to be done to the car to get it reliable and to OEM spec.

Any thoughts?

--------------------
Ears open, ready to learn.

Brian Newton
Member

Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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To Pat,
I guess the apple doesnt fall far from the tree.

--------------------
Ears open, ready to learn.

Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
Loose Member '09 & '10 Great Lakes Regional Points Champion

Region: Cincinnati Great Lakes
Car #: 60
Year : 1990
Posts: 1487
Status: Offline
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Newton:
new to SM, not cars. i soak up information like sham wow so any information, tips, advice, gut feelings any of you have about something i bring up, id love to hear it.

Tip #1 Send Qik Nip all of your money.
Tip #2 Ignore all other advise
Rick [Big Grin]

--------------------
Fortune Cookie Racing SM 60
Directions for use: Race, Rumple, Repair ... Repeat!

Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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Region: Atlanta
Posts: 2470
Status: Offline
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ThE WoRsT PeEpS ArE THe OnEs WhO UsE cApS EvErY OtHeR lEtTEr!

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

-Bob-
Member

Posts: 240
Status: Offline
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Brian,

Someone a year or so ago made a great analogy that I think you should consider.

Dig a hole 4 foot by 4 foot wide that is two feet deep. Place $100 bills over the entire bottom of the hole so no dirt can be seen,

Then....

Burn the $100 bills with a lighter and at any time if you feel a reservation put the fire out and find another hobby.

Best I could offer..

J. Douglas
Member

Region: San Francisco
Car #: 72
Year : 90
Posts: 17
Status: Offline
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Brian
You won't find a better bunch of guys to race with. No ego's to deal with or Prima Donas. If you find a 1.6 or anything ready to race just buy the thing start putting in the seat time. Promise yourself to not change set-ups or trick of the week buying for at least a year. Just make sure the thing runs and go drive. I will tell you you will have the time of your life if you keep it simple. I have tires that I am running right now that are from 2005 that A guy gave out of his back yard. They have been through 3 winters. Had to knock the snow off to get at them.
Above all, All of the shops that get mentioned on this list are very easy and honest to work with. The Cowboys that give advice on this site always have been there, done that. They will save you time and money when they can.
Respect there help and try and keep in mind they have a great sence of humor. Good luck and just get to the track and get to the driving end of things.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
Posts: 2000
Status: Offline
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The Spec Miata (SM) class is intended to provide the membership with the opportunity to compete in low cost, production-based cars...

It didn't take me long to realize that "low cost car racing" is more of an oxymoron than "jumbo shrimp".

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Brian Newton
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Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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I have absolutely no problem spending money to get into this, I have a huge burning desire to get on the track. Even if I decide just to do HPDE and autoX, and maybe some TT. I dont care one bit if theres not another car on the track. I LOVE driving. The competition side of this sport is not really a goal. If it becomes one, im 25....i have plenty of time to get to that. First things first, i have to learn to drive a car on the track.

That being said, I do understand that SM is a "low cost" option. Low cost being relative to other racing series.

As far as I know, there is no CHEAP way to go racing. Someone once said "the quickest way to make a small fortune is to start with a big one and go racing"

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Ears open, ready to learn.

Motor City Hamilton
Member

Region: Great Lakes/Detroit
Car #: 51
Year : 1994 Miata
Posts: 401
Status: Offline
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I started in ITC in a $2,500 Honda Civic. Cheap reliable car. I put a few thousand dollars into it over 5 years to make it more competitive. Once I got to the point where my lap times were very consistent lap after lap and I was able to make a sandwich and eat it too while driving down the straights, I moved to SM. More expensive, but more competitive class.

If you do choose to go Spec Miata, don't worry about what year to build. Find a good, rust free donor and build it, any year. By the time you are ready to get serious, the rules will have changed and the overdogs today are likely to be underdogs tomorrow.

Also, buy Dave Wheelers book, if you do build. Best $18 I've spent. I do recommend you hire out the cage work to a pro shop who has done a number of Miatas. Spend the bucks on this important safety item.

Good luck.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
Posts: 2000
Status: Offline
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While I agree that one car may be the overdog one year and the other next, I did find out a very valuable thing I wish I had known when I decided on the car to build for myself. Check out what others in your region are driving. If you pick the one nobody else has, it's much harder for them to give you advice on how to set up the car or fix it, harder to find spares on a Sunday morning or used parts for your build. Very helpful group but on many occaisions people have tried to help me out and then realized I have the oddball car.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Brian Newton
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Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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Thanks, Keith. Something to definitely keep in mind.

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Ears open, ready to learn.

hoverducky Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: San Francisco
Year : 1993
Posts: 89
Status: Offline
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When I was looking to get into track driving or racing but didn't have an appropriate car, I did the Skip Barber thing. After the three-day school (formula cars, this was pre-MX5) I knew I liked the track but wasn't sure about the racing. So I did the advanced two-day, a car control clinic, and a race weekend. I've never regretted any of it.

The way I see it, Skip Barber or similar is the cheapest and fastest way to learn how to race. It might be the cheapest way to race decent-sized fields of equalized cars, period. It isn't the same as owning your own car, but then again it isn't the same as owning your own car.

Just sayin'.

Scott

Brian Newton
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Region: SCCA North Carolina, NASA Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 37
Status: Offline
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I gotcha on owning your own car.

Just wanted to say to everyone, thank you so much for all your input, im sure ill ave ALOT more questions. Its great to know theres such an amazing support chain here.

--------------------
Ears open, ready to learn.

   

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