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Author Topic: package tray cage concerns resolved
Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Guys,

This affects everyone in and around this region that has a cage by Tony C. Per the SCCA, there will be no new log books, or annual techs completed for those with these cages. The reason is the door bars not connecting to the main hoop itself, but to a plate on the rear deck. We had this same discussion in one of my old threads about paint, and we came to the conclusion that there was a Supp. regulation allowing Miata's to have a cage with this style because it is actually safer. Well, allegedly that is NOT true. And now one tech inspector in this region has raised hell.

There are over 150 Miata's and more s2000's in the SFR alone with this cage. If SFR head tech decides to go along with this tech inspector, all cars with these cages may not be allowed to race until altered.

Call or write SFR's head tech and let them know your feeling on this issue!

I for one am not going to make my cage LESS safe to comply with SCCA. I will just race NASA instead...

[ 02-19-2010, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: Drago ]

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
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Yikes... will send an email.

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Already on it.

--------------------
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Savington
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I was looking forward to running a couple of ITE races this year (300whp+ turbo Miata). If this is true, it looks like I'll be filling my schedule with other events.

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Thanks for the heads up Sean,
I'm in the same boat.
Thanks Jim as well.
J~

Evil Genius
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This also includes all of my cages as they also have the door bars attached to the vertical plates rather than a hoop that goes to the floor.. that puts another bunch of cages into play here. So if you have an Evil Genius cage you have the same issue. There are other cages that use the same construction technique, so not having a TC cage doesn't let you off the hook... I'm on the case as well, talking to SCCA tech

-John

--------------------
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Spencer N
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Not really sure if this will apply to annual techs. From what it sounded like this affects anyone with a new build that has a cage of this design. A fair number of cage builders who have been doing SM cages for a long time build their cages this way.

What I inferred from my limited discussion with tech inspectors was that older cars with log books might be grandfathered in while new builds are well... out of luck unless you fix it. Of course, no one will really know until a final decision is made. So before I go and make an assumption, I am just going to wait and see what they decide.

I am in the same boat. Since my car is a new build, I am waiting to get my log book prior to this years school. If this doesn't pass this means my car, which is built identical to thousands of other cars won't pass tech.

Putting an angle in the nascar bars to reach to the main hoop is not safe. I obviously won't be compromising my safety and would rather run with a NASA if this becomes an issue.

NV Racer Verified Driver
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I brought this to Morris Hamm's attention when I transfered my cage 2 years ago and he said that it was completely legal and a proven design. I am sure common sense with prevail. If not the loss of revenue from 150 cars in the region will make them think twice.

Dennis

Shop Teacher
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Ok here is the skinny on the cages. Its not pretty, I talked to Samantha the Co Chief of Scrutinizing for the SFR SCCA. The problem came to be last week, when it came to the attention that many of the cages built in our area were not built to SCCA specs. It made its way to the National level. John Bauer (Tech Manager of Club Racing) Sent out a freeze on all cages not built to the SCCA specifications. There are two problems with the TC and Evil cages.
1) The main hoop is not fastened to the floor pan
2) Both Door bars MUST be fasten to the main hoop. Not a plate.

Yesterday John Bauer sent Gary Meeker (Executive of Stewarts for SFR SCCA) an approval for the Main Hoops. The door bar issue still stands as noncompliant. Any cage that dose not have both door bars attaching to the main hoop ARE NOT LEGAL. Samantha stated that TC and Evil need to contact the CRB to address the problem. Gary Meeker is in contact now trying to clear up the situation. Samantha also stated that they are all aware that many of the cars signed up for the up in coming SCCA school as well as the Nationalís will be affected. They are hopping to have this matter resolved in the very near future. We need to email John Bauer to let him know how we feel on the matter jbauer@scca.com
Look for updates in the new Fast Track.
Al

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Al Angulo
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Mike Smith
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The construction some of the SM cages in fact does not meet the GCR even thought the cages have been used and in place for years. Not sure why this is up now.

In any case I talked with Bob Dowie in New York, heís the head of the SCCA Competition Racing Board. They are aware of the issue have looked at safety issues if any and are in the process of getting CRB Board approval (a few have already seen and approved) to issue a tech bulletin. Once this is done they will issue a special document that will be on the SCCA website until the next fasttrack is published.

Bob was very supportive and felt confidant this would be solved. I asked him to work on getting something out on the SCCA web in the next 3-4 days and he said he would work toward that.

SFR recommendation is not to worry; we feel this will be a non issue. Hold off scheduling your tech inspections for a few days so you donít waste your time and then need to reschedule. Once we get the approval weíll post on the SFR website as well as here.

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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email sent

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
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Thank you Mike (and CRB/etc)!

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Guys, don't be too worried about this. It will be handled and will be legal before too long. Had emails all day on this.


Jim

--------------------
Jim Drago
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Spencer N
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Good news

quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
Guys, don't be too worried about this. It will be handled and will be legal before too long. Had emails all day on this.


Jim


Darrell Adams
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Thanks Mike, thanks Drago!

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Savington
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Just sent an email. If this is an example of the blind bureaucracy I can expect with the SCCA, I'm sure I can find other organizations to run with. I drive and race to have fun, not to deal with crap like this.

rhart Verified Driver
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Savington

I think the several posts above are pretty positive. Let's give it a few days. I think the SCCA is really trying to do the right thing here.

Rick Hartbrodt

Ken SM-94 Verified Driver
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By "crap like this" you must mean how SCCA adjusts thier rules to allow non-compliant cages?

Or maybe you missed the last few posts stating that it will be fixed soon?

Nice work once again Drago!

Shop Teacher
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what did Drago do?

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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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I mentioned this quite a while ago on this board. At that time the people who were aware of the thread that could be effected by this rule chose to do nothing.

IMO the cage builders bear some responsibilty for either not knowing the rules or ignoring them.

If I was taking someones money and I knew where they were racing the car, I'd make every attempt to follow the rules or make them part of the decision not to.

I agree that it is a good design and am glad that it will turn out well for all involved.

Let's apply this lesson to other areas of our hobby and see if there are any other potential jackpots...

This was clearly an area where some chose to deviate from the rule book

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I brought this up several months ago regarding Sean's cage. People told me I was wrong and let it go. The problem isn't with SCCA....the GCR is what we all build to and abide by. The problem is that TC or whomever came up with the original design should have sent a letter to the CRB stating why the cage design was better and why the GCR should be modified to allow this type of design for Spec Miata.

I spoke to a member of the BOD tonight and he was speaking with Bob Dowie (CRB) to work at fixing a mess that wasn't created by SCCA....but definitely affects our club and our drivers (and unfairly since this has been around for several years and lots of drivers bought these cages believing they were legal). As he stated Bauer has no authority to ban these cages or allow them...that is the job of the CRB and the BOD. This will be worked out shortly. Lesson for the future don't ignore the GCR rule just because you think you have built a better mouse trap. Submit the idea to the CRB and get the rule changed.

--------------------
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Well said

Viet-Tam Luu
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I finally got around to calling one of the SFR travel techs today to get my annual tech renewed and found out about this issue right as it came to a boil, it seems.

My car is one of those "affected". I have never, not for a nanosecond, had any doubts about the safety or design of the TC cage in my car (and yes, I have "tested" it).

The timing of this whole affair is a bit odd (given that some folks have been aware of the issue for months if not years) and unfortunate and inconvenient for those who need to get their cars ready in time for the March school.

Still, I'm confident the matter will be resolved in a satisfactory manner soon enough and am encouraged by the urgency and promptness with which the issue is being handled by all parties.

--------------------
Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
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Savington
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quote:
Originally posted by Ken SM-94:
By "crap like this" you must mean how SCCA adjusts thier rules to allow non-compliant cages?

Or maybe you missed the last few posts stating that it will be fixed soon?

By "crap like this" I mean how the SCCA can either ignore or overlook something like this to such a degree that dozens of race cars are affected, and then make a sweeping decision, without any publicly visible discussion or research into the matter. It's not as if TC and EGR have been building these "illegal" cages for 6 months, and the national tech manager finally caught wind - these cages have been going into cars for god knows how many years with no issues, and now suddenly it's a huge issue, big enough to disallow annual techs over?

As a newcomer to the organization, it puts an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. The idea that something that is commonplace and accepted as safe can arbitrarily be outlawed from competition makes me think twice about spending money to obtain the license, decals, etc. to run with the organization.

I have faith that the local Region leaders will get it sorted out, and in all likelihood it won't be an issue, but that doesn't wipe the slate clean of the poor decision in the first place.

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Savington,
Chill. There is a misunderstanding about these cages that will be cleared up to everyone's satisfaction. No need to get your nomex in a bunch.
These cages are not built to the letter of the rule. The rule says, "Two side tubes connecting the front and main hoops across both door openings are mandatory."
That being said, this will all be fixed.
wheel

[ 02-18-2010, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: wheel ]

Bdragoun
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Hi - this is Tom from 7s Only Racing. Our Miata cages fall under this same situation. When SM first got started, we emailed pictures to both SCCA and NASA and got approval for our design.

Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Savington:
quote:
Originally posted by Ken SM-94:
By "crap like this" you must mean how SCCA adjusts thier rules to allow non-compliant cages?

Or maybe you missed the last few posts stating that it will be fixed soon?

By "crap like this" I mean how the SCCA can either ignore or overlook something like this to such a degree that dozens of race cars are affected, and then make a sweeping decision, without any publicly visible discussion or research into the matter. It's not as if TC and EGR have been building these "illegal" cages for 6 months, and the national tech manager finally caught wind - these cages have been going into cars for god knows how many years with no issues, and now suddenly it's a huge issue, big enough to disallow annual techs over?

As a newcomer to the organization, it puts an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. The idea that something that is commonplace and accepted as safe can arbitrarily be outlawed from competition makes me think twice about spending money to obtain the license, decals, etc. to run with the organization.

I have faith that the local Region leaders will get it sorted out, and in all likelihood it won't be an issue, but that doesn't wipe the slate clean of the poor decision in the first place.

All groups will do things to piss large amounts of folks at one time or another, in about 3 years you are going to run out of organizations and be off to a new hobby with that kind of attitude.

Is SCCA perfect? Nope! Should these cages have been allowed from day 1? Probably not. The racing season hasn't begun up there, you got folks on this thread trying to make it right and no matter what it's not good enough. Trust in Drago.

--------------------
All this has happened before, and will happen again

cam Verified Driver
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Can someone post a pic of the cage problem?

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davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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By the letter of the GCR, these cages are not allowed. The fact that this has not been questioned for several years has no bearing on the legality of the cage design. Example, if I speed today and do not get caught, and I get caught speeding tomorow. Can I tell the judge that I got away with it yesterday, so it must be ok today. Not in my traffic court.

All that being said, it appears that SCCA is working on a solution. Kudos for SCCA being open minded and working with their customers (the drivers) to solve the problem quickly. 10 years ago the answer would have been "fix it or don't race"

For those who want to bash SCCA, let me tell you a story about NASA. 3 years ago, I made a small design change to my roll cage. Never had an issue. Until an eagle eyed tech inspector in Colorado noticed that my cage did not technically meet the NASA rules in one single dimension. The design did meet the SCCA rules and was way past the NASA rules in every other design element.

I got calls from the car owner, the local NASA SM administrator in Colorado and the midwest, the midwest NASA Comp Director and the owner of NASA. I was told if it does not meet our rules, the car can not be raced. They did offer a one race waiver for cars that did not normally run NASA events.

I changed my cage design back to the original design and currently have no issues.

I am not intending to bash NASA on this item. I am mearly pointing out that sometimes sanctioning bodies have to make decisions. NASA is known for quick, user friendly decisions. But in my case they stuck to their guns. SCCA is known for their slow reaction time and not always being user friendly. Although they are trying to change that image. In the TC/EVG cage issue, it appears that SCCA is reacting quickly and in a positive manor.

TC and EVG should contact any other sanctioning body that their customers may wish to participate in. Be proactive.

Dave

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quote:
Originally posted by cam:
Can someone post a pic of the cage problem?

Cam,
Check out the thread on the SSC miata resoration. You see the attachment point of the "door bar" is on the plate and not tube. Its easy to see in the pic with the cage in 2 pieces in the driveway.
door bar

db

Shop Teacher
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Most drivers donít understand the complexity of building a cage. Im sure some of them have read the GSR pertaining to construction of a roll cage, and more than likely it made no sense to them. I donít blame the drivers that paid to have their cages done, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the builder to know the current rules and regulations isnít that what we are paying for. So we wait to see what the out come will be.

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Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
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quote:
I donít blame the drivers that paid to have their cages done, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the builder to know the current rules and regulations isnít that what we are paying for. So we wait to see what the out come will be
Why all the negativity?? Everyone is working together and at an incredible pace to get this resolved. After emailing SFR tech and the SFR office yesterday, I received a phone call within 20 minutes and Mike Smith posted here within a couple of hours.

I don't really know what else we can hope for from the people doing the work but count me as mighty impressed (and thankful). [thumbsup]

Shop Teacher
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I am not trying to promote a negative attitude just stating how we ended up in this situation. I am sure TC and EVIL are working hard to resolve this problem.

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Savington
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quote:
Originally posted by Lance Snyder:
Trust in Drago.

Will do. I don't mean to be a negative nancy, just displaying my dismay at the whole thing. I'm sure it will all get cleared up.

Spencer N
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Not trying to open up a huge arguement BUT... I would think that if this was NOT ALLOWED WHATSOEVER tech inspectors should not have ok'd the hundreds of cars with a cage of this design. That would be analogous to getting pulled over and the police tell you it is acceptable to speed.

I can't imagine that this is something that just hasn't been seen by anyone. Like others have said, there has been talk about this for years with nothing done with regards to formally deciding its legality other than a bunch of amateurs arguing over the internet. This means tech inspectors are knowingly approving this. As far as I am concerned, if it passes inspectors, is run on hundreds of cars, and has been used for many years now I really don't see the point in all this negativity by some of the people bashing cage builders. Heck, 7's racing above said they received approval from SCCA for this design.

quote:
Originally posted by davew:
By the letter of the GCR, these cages are not allowed. The fact that this has not been questioned for several years has no bearing on the legality of the cage design. Example, if I speed today and do not get caught, and I get caught speeding tomorow. Can I tell the judge that I got away with it yesterday, so it must be ok today. Not in my traffic court.


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quote:
Originally posted by davew:

...
Example, if I speed today and do not get caught, and I get caught speeding tomorow. Can I tell the judge that I got away with it yesterday, so it must be ok today.
...

Are these speeding lessons the new version of ďThank you for your inputĒ? [Big Grin]

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It looks like this will be worked out.. I spoke to Jerry of NASA this morning, this design of cage is accepted by NASA for Miatas. I remember a written exception for the design about 5 years ago, as does Tony (TC Design) I cannot find it now, but again, NASA has confirmed that this design is legal. I speak here as a NASA tech inspector and after having spoken to Jerry.

When I started building Miata cages back in 2003 I saw cages like this and noticed that they didn't conform to the GCR, I contacted the SFR tech people and asked if it was OK to build cages like that. The answer was something like this: 'we are issuing log-books to cages of that design'

I got a similar answer from NASA and they even posted a document to the effect..

To restate what I said at the beginning of this post- It looks like this will be worked out. Mike Smith and others are on the job. Please stay calm and wait for the wheels to turn

-John

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Evil Genius
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Bush:


IMO the cage builders bear some responsibilty for either not knowing the rules or ignoring them.


All of the builders here, Tom from 7s Only, Tony from TC Design and I, were assured that we were building legal cages by the powers that be from multiple sanctioning bodies. We know the rules and will not ignore them..

--------------------
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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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Did you get it in writing?

Otherwise the GCR is all they have to go on.

My point is that getting that approval means nothing without documents or an actual rule change.

Not getting proof is the same as ignoring the rules.

Its a lot like running with scissors.

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Bush:
Did you get it in writing?

Otherwise the GCR is all they have to go on.

My point is that getting that approval means nothing without documents or an actual rule change.

Not getting proof is the same as ignoring the rules.

Its a lot like running with scissors.

Is it me or does this sound like along the lines of Tech Shed Legal?
J~

Mike Smith
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Hi Everyone,
Just received the following from Bob Dowie. He and his Board did a great job getting the situation fixed and fast. I'm the first to be critical of bureaucracy and there was none of that.
Mike Smith
SFR RE

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to let you know that a racing memo (attached) will be posted on the web site, the Tech folks will be receiving official notification from the NA of tech soon. We didn't have to mention the plain of the plates since it's already covered in the cage rules. Let me know if there are any additional issues.
Thanks, Bob

RACING MEMO
DATE: February 18, 2010 NUMBER: RM 10-02
FROM: Club Racing Board
TO: All Participants
SUBJECT: Correction to roll cage side protection specification
Effective immediately, in GCR 9.4.7.D, add a new second sentence:
Tubes that are welded to any part of the same mounting plate are considered to be connected to one another (see 9.4.E.3 below).
SPORTS CAR CLUB OF AMERICA, INC
PO Box 19400, Topeka, KS 66619-0400
(800)

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Thanks Mike, Bob. Good work.
J~

KW78
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Bush:

IMO the cage builders bear some responsibilty for either not knowing the rules or ignoring them.

If I was taking someones money and I knew where they were racing the car, I'd make every attempt to follow the rules or make them part of the decision not to.


You know that's quite a BS assumption...

Back in '04 when I started building spec miata cages, and the GCR Section was a bit of a cluster (Showroom stock cage specs, plus GT, plus prod, plus exceptions for SM, IT, AS.... on and on) I consulted our regional chief of tech, who also happened to be National chief of tech.... and we discussed the design in question w. rulebook out. The real problem today seems to be a one-off interpretation of the rules by someone in CA, plus the cage section has morphed (for the better I think) over time, so the exact layout of details has changed.

Basically, a cage plate is considered an attaching point. All tubes on a cage plate are attached together. And while it is preferred in most cases to have direct tube to tube attachment, in the SM case the rule is satisfied, because they are attached.

The other rule considered for these cars, and others like MR2's etc, was something like "When it impractical or unsafe to construct a roll structure meeting the minimum requirements as set forth above, an alternate design roll structure may be approved".....

No, I am not going to find my old GCR's for an exact quote...

My .02
Kyle

KW78
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Damn It!!! I type too slow!! LOL.... As I'm writing what we clarified in 04, it is resolved... Too funny...

Thanks tho to Bob et al...

Kyle

Viet-Tam Luu
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Since Mike already posted the text, I'm assuming it's okay to post the PDF of the Racing Memo for your printing enjoyment:

http://forum.specmiata.com/files/00010238/RM_10-02.pdf

--------------------
Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
SFR-SCCA #14 ITS
Director, SCCA San Francisco Region

Juan Pineda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Thanks to everyone for getting the GCR language fixed.

BTW, I'm not sure it's a problem for all TC Design cages. The REQUIRED TUBE on my TC Design X bars is legal, as it connects to the main hoop above the plate. An OPTIONAL TUBE connects to the plate on the rear deck. Note: only one bar is required, any additional bracing is optional, and requirements for that bracing are not specified.

-Juan

--------------------
www.ArtOfRoadRacing.com Race Craft Clinic - Thunderhill - 30 Jan 2011

TC_Design
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Thanks to all of those that helped get this done over the past few days. When you work together, things get done.

-Tony

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Thank You Mike for getting this handled so quickly. You are one of the reasons the SFR is so great.


Michael Niemann
Team MiataKa Racing

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Perfect. Now I can get my annuals done. Thanks SCCA.

rhart Verified Driver
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Thanks Mike and all the other SCCA people who got this done so quickly. I'm new to the SCCA and it was my car that started this mess. I'm glad I'm good to go along with the many others with this design.

Rick Hartbrodt
Monterey

 
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