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JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
11/6/14 6:10 a.m.

Probably a good number of you got this email, but thought it was worth posting some of the highlights. Basically, Mazda wants to start moving Spec Miata closer to a stock class. Major rule change is the future requirement of running a stock cylinder head. Personally, I was really pleased to hear this. I don't race in Spec Miata, (though I seriously considered it) primarily because the cost of things like trick cylinder heads and air flow meters was just too high.

Here are some of the key excerpts from the email:

"Spec Miata purpose and intent (SCCA General Competition Rules): The Spec Miata (SM) class is intended to provide the membership with the opportunity to compete in low cost, production-based cars with limited modifications, suitable for racing competition.

The rules are intentionally designed to be more open than the Showroom Stock class but more restricted than the Improved Touring class.

Less than 15 years ago, the concept of Spec Miata was born. The essence of the class focused on a low cost, fun, competitive environment that was relatively easy to enter. If a participant found a good donor car, added safety equipment, a hardtop and a bolt-on kit of performance parts purchased through Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, they would have equipment capable of racing at the front of the field.

Throughout the years, the class veered from the original intent and direction. The scope of the class has crept into something beyond its original intent. While the essence of the class may remain the same, in some respects, it has lost its way, pushing the definition of "limited modifications" and the notion of "low cost." Mazda, SCCA and NASA all agree that changes must be made for the long-term health of the class, regardless of which sanctioning body operates the races.

Long-term Goal of the working group: For Spec Miata to be a healthy, growing and economical class across organizations, where a racer can be competitive utilizing a stock Mazda Miata that is enhanced with bolt-on performance parts acquired through Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development.

Only un-modified heads would be permitted for competition at the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs."

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
11/6/14 6:12 a.m.
Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
11/6/14 6:16 a.m.

Is this like the Jerry MaGuire manifesto? Will someone get fired for daring to speak out against perfectionist/deep pocketed racers who ruin it for everyone else?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/14 6:29 a.m.

This is a direct result of the Runoffs debacle.

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
11/6/14 6:40 a.m.

I've got a well broken in '99 head if someone wants to swap my original for their modified head.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk SuperDork
11/6/14 6:45 a.m.

...and to think, I ran my Spec Miata with a stock 164,000 mile head. No wonder I was a mid-packer.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/6/14 8:05 a.m.

It had to happen some time, next the more-money-than-skill crowd will find a new thing to sink cubic dollars into to make the car faster, eventually they'll successfully lock out the innovative or skillful "riffraff" from upsetting their nice stable spending competition, then it will get so bad that there will be a major scandal and a new major rule change will address it, returning to step 1.

It's the ciiiiiircle of liiiiiiife....

MrChaos
MrChaos Reader
11/6/14 8:19 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: This is a direct result of the Runoffs debacle.

guaranteed that is what this is from.

nocones
nocones SuperDork
11/6/14 8:22 a.m.

I envision a future of the 1% better flowing stock heads costing $3000.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UberDork
11/6/14 8:28 a.m.

Now someone will just flow bench 100 heads and find the best one. Until there is a single source for sealed engines, people will still chase that extra 0.5 HP with money. It's one reason the ND spec cars directly from Mazda sound appealing.

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
11/6/14 8:28 a.m.
MrChaos wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: This is a direct result of the Runoffs debacle.

guaranteed that is what this is from.

Yeah, they talk about it and some of the specific violations in the full memorandum.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/6/14 8:30 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Now someone will just flow bench 100 heads and find the best one. Until there is a single source for sealed engines, people will still chase that extra 0.5 HP with money. It's one reason the ND spec cars directly from Mazda sound appealing.

That has a much poorer ROI than the trick headwork they were getting away with before. So, good.

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
11/6/14 8:30 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Now someone will just flow bench 100 heads and find the best one. Until there is a single source for sealed engines, people will still chase that extra 0.5 HP with money.

Yeah, I was just going to say this. Somewhere, a spec miata shop is hoarding shelves of miata heads and will be selling you that one-in-a-thousand head that got a slightly better casting, or slightly more on-center valve seats, etc, probably for twice the cost of the trick machined heads.

Oh well. I can hope that it won't be as big a difference in performance as there is now between a stock and machined head.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/6/14 8:33 a.m.

What was this runoffs debacle?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/6/14 8:35 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: What was this runoffs debacle?

http://www.scca.com/news/?cid=52091

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/6/14 8:38 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

Holy E36 M3, what were the issues with their cylinder heads, outright cheating or liberal interpretation of the rules?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/6/14 8:41 a.m.

Outright cheating, reached through liberal interpretation of the rules. There was a thread about it somewhere. Some of the owners had no idea and thought they'd bought a fully legal engine, and the builders were wishfully thinking that they were staying within the rules.

moxnix
moxnix Reader
11/6/14 8:45 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: In reply to GameboyRMH: Holy E36 M3, what were the issues with their cylinder heads, outright cheating or liberal interpretation of the rules?

Depends on who you ask.
This is a good post that shows the liberal interpretation of the rules side with their appeal.
http://mazdaracers.com/topic/4768-everything-runoffs-2014/page-17#entry66855

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
11/6/14 9:07 a.m.

Question, how long does it take to stab in a miata motor?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
11/6/14 9:11 a.m.

My question is... where are they going to get these heads?

Used, then rebuild/valve job and such?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/14 9:15 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Now someone will just flow bench 100 heads and find the best one. Until there is a single source for sealed engines, people will still chase that extra 0.5 HP with money. It's one reason the ND spec cars directly from Mazda sound appealing.

I'm 100% behind a sealed engine/trans combo for a spec series - assuming the cars are still in production or close to it. It's interesting that the ND car will be one step further, it's more like Porsche Supercup where you buy the complete car. Not as cheap on the surface as Spec Miata, but I'll bet it would be cheaper to run at the front.

Unfortunately, sealed engines aren't really an option for Spec Miata now unless Mazda comes up with 2-3 certified rebuilder shops to service the market. I've heard of something called Sealed Spec Miata that is meant to do this, I think. Or you take the SuperMiata route and just impose a power cap.

moparman76_69
moparman76_69 SuperDork
11/6/14 9:21 a.m.

So the 10th place qualifier caught wind of the engine builders possible bending of the rules and protested to try and get a better finish?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/14 9:26 a.m.
moparman76_69 wrote: So the 10th place qualifier caught wind of the engine builders possible bending of the rules and protested to try and get a better finish?

Does it really matter where he qualified? He was right, they were illegal.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
11/6/14 9:30 a.m.

This does nothing to address the reason I stay out of Spec Miata and I have had several friends get out-- indiscriminate bashing on track.

LOL at the Circle of Life comment. Spot on!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/6/14 9:39 a.m.

Interesting, I just found out that 2015 is the last year for MX-5 Cup. As soon as the car goes out of production, the source for sealed new engines is gone. Can't really blame Mazda, they want their headline series to be the current car. And the new one is a looker.

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