mightymike
mightymike New Reader
4/30/12 8:09 a.m.

I was inspired at The Mitty this weekend to keep sanding and working on the Capri.

It will be a while before I get into the mechanical aspects of the restoration, but which is "easier"-getting an SCCA Improved Touring car that was last teched 17 years ago up to current IT specs or making it a vintage racer?

If I come across a deal on parts I will need (driver’s seat, wheels and tires, etc) I don't want to buy something that would not be legal for the type of racing I'd like to try or that would bump me into a non-competitive class.

My current goals are to do a drivers school(s) to get licensed again and race in one or two regional or vintage races in the Capri and then retire it to car shows and Auto-X. It would kill me if I smashed the car beyond repair after finding it and getting it back. I know it isn’t a one-of-a-kind classic or anything, but it means a lot to me. So if the racing bug bites hard, and I can afford it, I would look at buying a competitive IT car/spec series car/vintage racer to keep racing.

Can anyone point me to the HSR rules/car classes? Other vintage racing organizations I should consider?

I think the movie “Love the Beast” inspired me to find my old car. In the movie, after he wrecks his car, Eric Bana suggests that anyone who cares about a car shouldn’t push it as hard as he did in the race. IF I want to really race again I think a car that I can race at 10/10ths, AND have no emotional attachment to, is right for me.

Until then I’ll keep sanding and racing the kart.

alfadriver
alfadriver UberDork
4/30/12 8:28 a.m.

I actually did that, but I never had the goal to go IT racing with it.

If you want to do both, I would suggest that you really need to examine the rule sets very closely. The IT car I got still has a lot of the sound deadening in it, and I know there are rules against being super agressive in weight savings- such as gutting the doors (except for cage allowance).

And while I'm not fully onto the IT rules, from what I kind of follow, the main rule changes recently have been more about cage design. So you should see how much work it would be to update it. Which isn't a bad thing for vintage racing, too.

But when I was looking into vintage racing, the rules were pretty close to each other- weight vs. engine displacement, and basically unlimted engine/trans rules. Limited suspension rules that are close to IT. If you can swing multiple powertrains to swap when you go to different events, it may be worth it. There's also a prep level that's barely more than IT, which puts you into a lower Production class than the full Production rules put your car in- I think called Limited Prep. That may match better to vintage rules.

The one thing I do know- IT is a whole lot closer to SP than vintage rules would be- a lot of vintage guys I know run really custom transmissions that would never work on an autocross....

Good luck- my path got stalled when I stopped enjoying working on the car.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
4/30/12 9:08 a.m.

I vote historic racing partly because it seems to me that the drivers in vintage racing are very careful to avoid body contact. I am building my Spitfire for vintage racing.

Raze
Raze SuperDork
4/30/12 9:20 a.m.

First off, AWESOME! One thing you said though bothers me:

mightymike wrote: I think the movie “Love the Beast” inspired me to find my old car. In the movie, after he wrecks his car, Eric Bana suggests that anyone who cares about a car shouldn’t push it as hard as he did in the race. IF I want to really race again I think a car that I can race at 10/10ths, AND have no emotional attachment to, is right for me.

Eric also said that he's going to rebuild the car because he has sentimental attachment to it and he knows he'll spend more than it's worth, and a guy like that can do it because, well, he has the money to spend like that. IF you want to run 10/10ths buy a second Capri, then you don't have to worry about blowing up yours...

I personally would stick with vintage racing. Besides running against period competitors you're going to find these are the guys who have an attachment to their cars and are there to enjoy them as much as race them. Just my .02...

oldtin
oldtin SuperDork
4/30/12 9:46 a.m.

I'd give some more thought on what you really want with the capri - Sounds like you want a cool old capri and you want to race but aren't sure you want to race an old capri.

For only a couple of races, do you really want to go through the time and expense of wheel to wheel safety prep (fuel system, cage, fire, seats...)? Then you have a caged street car after a couple of events (I don't think cages belong in street cars for the most part).

If you want to race a capri, I'd say vintage is a little easier/cheaper on prep for what it would take to run mid pack or better.

jimbbski
jimbbski Reader
4/30/12 10:08 a.m.

Being a multi past owner of Capris I vote for making it SCCA IT legal as far as safety is concerned as well as keeping suspension mods IT legal as well. With the rule set in IT (I am a current IT racer.) you can do quite a bit with shocks and other suspension mods. But I would keep it simple and then you can race the car in vintage but still have the option to race it in regionals.

I am going to a vintage race at Watkins Glen in June where 2-3 Capris should be in attendence and on track. As great as the European racing history of the Capri is I see very few in vintage in this country.

Javelin
Javelin UltimaDork
4/30/12 10:16 a.m.

There is only one correct answer here: Vintage. Way less of a chance of cracking it up, less expensive. It doesn't make much sense to burn through a ton of money to make it IT legal again just to never race it.

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
4/30/12 10:21 a.m.
Raze wrote: I personally would stick with vintage racing. Besides running against period competitors you're going to find these are the guys who have an attachment to their cars and are there to enjoy them as much as race them. Just my .02...

+1. This is my plan for my crusty 1800ES as well. I've developed an attachment to the silly car but it is way too far gone to restore to OE conditon. But restoring to a "race car" appearance (50' @ 50 mph) should be within my means and skill.

I've read the various vintage groups rules and safety is something that seems fairly open. If you have a vintage car with an old log book, you 'might' be able to run it as it was. However, it seems if you are building a car from the ground up, they lean towards having the car conform to more modern safety standards. I've seen even more historically significant cars upgraded when it comes to safety - when I sat in the Sam Posey Challenger a few years ago, I noticed it was equiped with a modern seat. Personally, I plan to run a full cage and HANS compatible seat.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
4/30/12 10:32 a.m.

I'd definitely get out to an event at the tracks you plan on running to spectate both and talk to people. Each group has it's own vibe. Figure out which one fits your interests the best.

Caged car on the street does suck btw.

fasted58
fasted58 UltraDork
4/30/12 10:41 a.m.

Vintage

From my observations vintage owners/ drivers seem to have a greater appreciation and pride... much like their cars... maybe maturity is the word. They still prepare to the nth degree, are more careful on track but still drive it like they stole it.

Did I say that right, I dunno... just my .02

mightymike
mightymike New Reader
4/30/12 10:50 a.m.

I really appreciate the thoughtful replies...

The Capri is a car I built from the ground up, raced in SCCA Improved Touring for a few races, sold 20 years ago and recently bought back:

Reward-Help me find my old race car!

So it already has a cage, old logbook, etc. I have just started sanding the 8 (!) layers of paint the old racer/owner put on it. Mechanical restoration after that. The motor turns freely but I have not tried to start it yet, check compression, etc.

I want to get it back on the track for a few races, just to complete the circle so to speak. I'd like it to look like it just rolled off the track from a race circa 1989. Vintage racing sound like the least expensive option so far. Then I'll decide to keep racing it, get another race car...who knows!

Where can I see some vintage racing rules to make sure I don't make a mistake. Is HSR the way to go? I'm in the southeast and it looks like they have quite a few events at the tracks near me.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado PowerDork
4/30/12 12:48 p.m.

IT's had a lot of rules creep in the last 8yrs. If you want to race hard (with a chance of a victory or two), I'd recommend Vintage. OTOH, have you seen that article in the current issue of Sportscar about updating an IT car for ST?

HSR: http://www.hsrrace.com/Race-Series.html
SVRA (.pdf): http://www.svra.com/SVRA/SVRAHome.nsf/attachmentweb/EJEN-5ZUTB7/$file/SVRA+Rules+&+Regulations.pdf?OpenElement

mightymike
mightymike New Reader
4/30/12 1:01 p.m.

In reply to friedgreencorrado:

Which month? I share them with my sons...

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado PowerDork
4/30/12 1:09 p.m.

In reply to mightymike:

June 2012. Cover has a red Cayman autocrossing, and the cover blurb is about the Road Tire autox classes.

PS122
PS122 Reader
4/30/12 1:24 p.m.
mightymike wrote: Is HSR the way to go? I'm in the southeast and it looks like they have quite a few events at the tracks near me.

Vintage racing groups are quite regional, so take a look at who holds races at the tracks in your area. Then attend a few events and see which group offers that best 'fit'. Best of luck and I vote vintage all the way!

racerfink
racerfink Dork
4/30/12 1:31 p.m.

You're going to spend A LOT of money entering HSR events compared to SCCA. The Central Florida Region has it's own vintage class that runs on most regional weekends. Check into whether your region does the same.

mightymike
mightymike New Reader
4/30/12 2:21 p.m.

In reply to racerfink:

With regard to entry fees? It looks like the HSR weekends are $575 or so, SCCA regional races about half that?

I need to see if the cost of updating to IT specs would offset that, but in reality I'll only be able to do 3-4 events a year, so the entry fees might not be the deciding factor after gas, food and lodging for myself and crew, etc. Good to know though, thanks.

VIR, Road Atlanta, Roebling Road, Carolina Motorsports Park are all within a 4 hour tow, so I am blessed in that regard.

I'm anxious to see the article friedgreencorrado mentioned. Might open up even more possibilities.

I wonder if my wife will figure out the reason I bought a Snell 2010 helmet for kart racing?

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
4/30/12 3:03 p.m.
mightymike wrote: I'm anxious to see the article friedgreencorrado mentioned. Might open up even more possibilities.

Hard to say... There is also some pretty serious rules shake-up that was proposed in the latest FastTrak - basically combining the IT and Showroom Stock classes:

http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/12-fastrack-may-club.pdf

Give yourself to time to read it - there's quite a bit to digest - but from my quick review, it looks like your car may not be legal in IT at all and you would have to either go into Production or go Vintage.

The entire subject seems to be ignored over on SCCAForums.com, so I'm guessing there is a more frequented forum for those classes where the "why's" and "how's" of this proposal came about.

mightymike
mightymike New Reader
4/30/12 3:30 p.m.

In reply to Ian F:

I looked at that...Are they combining Touring and Showroom Stock or Improved Touring and Showroom Stock?

Iappreciate all of the feedback. Research at this stage will save money and frustration down the road.

racerfink
racerfink Dork
4/30/12 4:11 p.m.

In Central Florida region, entries are about $200 at Sebring, a little more for Daytona. Vintage is slightly less, but not much.

racerfink
racerfink Dork
4/30/12 4:11 p.m.

And yes, it's TOURING, not IMPROVED TOURING, that is combining with Showroom Stock.

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
4/30/12 6:44 p.m.

Ah... My bad. There are so many door slammer classes I've lost track... That does make more sense.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado PowerDork
4/30/12 7:03 p.m.
racerfink wrote: And yes, it's TOURING, not IMPROVED TOURING, that is combining with Showroom Stock.

That actually makes sense. IIRC, the Touring classes were just a reaction to improved technology in street cars (allowing race brake pads, aftermarket shocks/struts, and cutting the muffler off so it sounded like a race car).

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