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Christina Lam went from the sidelines to full-on track enthusiast in 8 simple steps.
I was looking for a little information and know there is alot of knowledge here. I read the article about 2nd gen RX7s but the racing info talks more about IT. How about Autox?
I have a line on an 88 GTU. Good service history, a little tired cosmetically. The price is pretty nice.
How would this car stack up in e-stock or csp? I understand the miatas are the uber cars here, but would one make a credible and regionally competitive option?
Any insight would be appreciated.
I used to auto-x a '87 GXL. The car has way more grip than the Miata or 2nd. gen. MR2, but it is heavier (N/A 86-88 coupes [a.k.a. Series 4] were in the 2600-2700lb range depending on options, N/A 89-91 coupes [a.k.a. Series 5] were in the 2800lb range). The LSD helped it power out of corners but the lack of low-end torque meant I had to keep the engine screaming or else it would bog down easily. The power steering was slow and the steering wheel is huge- a 360mm steering wheel helped a little. Manual steering racks are quicker -I have one on my turbo project and it turns in more quickly. Disconnecting the rear sway bar helped it turn in a little. Koni or KYB adjustable shocks are the way to go. Brakes are excellent, esp. with stainless steel brake lines.
I am a novice, but even an experienced autocrosser had a hard time in my FC against the Miatas and MR2s. A later 89-91 model might fare a little better since they had better low-end torque, faster steering and a better power/weight ratio in spite of the extra bulk, but don't expect any miracles. You might be competitive in a small club. I raced my RX-7 in a very competitive club (New England Region SCCA) and I was little more than an also-ran.
There was a rare GTUs model that competed in STS at this year's Solo Nationals but the best it could muster was 14th place. This was the driver's first year with it, so that may factor into the placing.
I think a well set-up FC could be a dark-horse in STR. The more open rules really help the car since it is so choked up stock. FCs can take a lot of tire with only a little fender rolling and they respond well to ECU tuners like the R-Tek.
We autox'd our rx7 for several years in CSP. compared to the miatas it jsut couldnt cut it. It was a good time but rarely were we faster then the miatas. the rx7's largest problem is the torque to pull it out of the corner is not really there. Now i havent done much autox since we put the 5.12 diff. so that may have helped it dramatically. it may be better in a non prepared class as well. but built as an ITS car running CSP i was faster in a miata. dont let this detour you though. I love my rx7 and cant imagine racing any other car.
There is probably a reason why you don't hear much about FC RX-7s in autocross. An '88 GTU might be a bit more competitive than any other model besides the GTUs since it came with an LSD, and should weigh less than a GXL, but it would probably take a bit of work to get there. It would certainly be fun to drive. Do a hot compression check on the car before you buy it and make sure the secondary ports are working before you buy it.
Here's some info on an STS RX7:
Build Thread: http://www.rx7club.com/showthread.php?t=871641
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