nemo1ner None
Dec. 17, 2013 1:50 p.m.

I am a longtime lurker, but now I need some advice.

I am currently building a 1984 VW Rabbit GTI. I have mainly autocrossed; however, I want to venture into both NASA and SCCA PDX’s, HPDE’s, and Time Trials. Since the SCCA rulebook is the most ridiculous, I have been running to it constantly and have frequently gotten frustrated with the 800+page ridiculousness of it.

Initially, I felt that this car would be good in FSP, but now I am thinking that perhaps FSP will not be doable. I have recently finished the roll cage. It is a 6 point cage with no additional points of contact to the firewall, or gussets attaching to the body. The sunroof cassette has been removed and a steel delete panel has been riveted in over the hole (overlapping 1” along the outer edge) in order for the roll bar to be as close to the roof as possible.

The motor and trans are stock and still running the original CIS engine management. The original hatch, doors, and dash are in the car as well, but that is the extent of what I have OEM wise. The hood was damaged in a previous accident, but I have a carbon fiber replacement. I don’t believe the hood is legal in FSP.

Should I try to source the parts necessary to make it FSP legal, or should I consider other classes like FP? Is the MK1 GTI even competitive these days with all of the restructuring of classes?

I normally autocross an Audi TT in DS and perform quite well in my class, but autocrossing has become absolutely boring for me. I would like to step up into actual racing, but to where I would simply become frustrated because my car is not competitive in its class.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


nemo1ner New Reader
Dec. 17, 2013 1:59 p.m.

After the accident and before body work.

How it sits now (photo taken before diagonal and harness bars were welded).

LopRacer HalfDork
Dec. 17, 2013 7:29 p.m.

I ran a 1984 rabbit in EP one season locally, it was not fully sorted and was not competitive but it was fun. I think it was EP don't really recall. I know if you decide to road race it with NASA the GTS classing is done my power to weight and it might be a little more forgiving and therefore competitive.

chrispy Reader
Dec. 18, 2013 6:57 a.m.

If it is prepped to Improved Touring specs it can compete in FSP but it won't be competitive in IT due to the allowance of 16v cars. The carbon fiber hood is not allowed in IT, not so sure about FSP. Hoods should be easy to find though. If you keep the hood, you could move to Prepared (autox) which would be Production (TT). Prepared and Production offer a lot more modification that could make the car competitive in both classes. It depends on what series you plan on doing more and if you look at the end of the Solo rules book there is an appendix for classing some Road Race cars as Solo cars. Also SCCA Time Trials support all Solo Stock, Street Prep, and Street Mod classes before moving to the GCR. NASA is a whole different animal and there may be an easier formula.

nemo1ner New Reader
Dec. 18, 2013 9:07 a.m.

Thank you for the reply. I am considering moving forward to Production/Prepared instead of backtracking to FSP.

I have another question regarding the Production classes. The appendix shows that the 1984 Rabbit 1.8L (1780cc) falls under FP, but the Rabbit GTI is listed under HP, even though it is also a 1.8L (1780cc) motor. Are they split based on the minimum weight allowance for each class?

93EXCivic MegaDork
Dec. 18, 2013 9:26 a.m.

It looks like sound deadening has been removed. So not legal for FSP IIRC. Also CF hood isn't legal.

93EXCivic MegaDork
Dec. 18, 2013 9:30 a.m.
chrispy wrote: If it is prepped to Improved Touring specs it can compete in FSP but it won't be competitive in IT due to the allowance of 16v cars.

I believe 16v cars are now allowed in FSP.

The rules said:

Rabbit, Jetta, Scirocco, Cabriolet, & Pickup (all, A1 chassis) (1975-92)

Since they are all on one line, that should mean you could update to a 16v.

chrispy Reader
Dec. 18, 2013 11:39 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
chrispy wrote: If it is prepped to Improved Touring specs it can compete in FSP but it won't be competitive in IT due to the allowance of 16v cars.

I believe 16v cars are now allowed in FSP.

The rules said:

Rabbit, Jetta, Scirocco, Cabriolet, & Pickup (all, A1 chassis) (1975-92)

Since they are all on one line, that should mean you could update to a 16v.

A car prepared for an Improved Touring Class is legal to compete in its Street Prepared class. The roll cage makes up the weight difference of not having a full interior. In the past couple of years VWs with 16v engines were moved from ITA to ITB where they pretty much make the 8v cars obsolete. The 16v cars moving to FSP also put the 8v cars at a disadvantage. True, you can use the 16v from the A1 Scirocco, or an 8v diesel from the Caddy for autox but I don't think that's the case with IT.

I hadn't realized the Golf and GTi of the same era are in different Production classes. The GTi benefits from the better block and head combination so that may account for the separation.

Another idea is to see if your region supports the Super Touring class or Special Production class. A friend of mine had a Civic that was an SMF autox car (carbon fiber hood and hatch with built engine) and a SPU Time Trial car. Another aquaintance has a former Showroom Stock Mini that was damaged, got stripped, and does Time Trails in STU (not the autox class - Super Touring Under). It basically looks like an IT prep but with more goodies under the hood.

Good Luck.

nemo1ner New Reader
Dec. 18, 2013 12:57 p.m.

Thanks for the input. It makes sense how the GTI would fall under a different class based on the motor, but I thought HP was a slower class than FP. If so, why would the GTI be listed under HP if it is the car with the higher end 8V JH coded motor? Wouldn't it be the other way around?

Our region does have STU. It will be quite entertaining to watch a 30 year old car playing with tgr likes of Evos in that class.

nemo1ner New Reader
Jan. 15, 2014 11:46 a.m.

So the car is back from having the cage welded. The car still needs to go back because they forgot to finish the weld on the dash bar after test-fitting the dash. Once it’s finished, it will go for paint. I have already etch primed the sunroof panel in order to prevent it from rusting. The cage already has accumulated some surface rust, so that needs to be primed asap.

Since it has to go back to the shop, I have been considering having gussets welded to the A pillars and roof.

nemo1ner New Reader
Aug. 27, 2014 11:09 a.m.

I have been recently questioning my door bar height. The GCR does not state how high or low the bars must be, only that at least 2 must run across the door opening.

Although egress may be easier, I believe that the top bar is a tad too low. Rather than welding an additional bar (or cutting out the existing one), I thought about adding an additional "swing-out" bar above it. It would give better protection up high, while still allowing me to get in and out easily.

There are some sites that state they are SCCA, NHRA, NASA legal; however, I can't find anything in the GCR.

Any insight is appreciated.

Leafy Reader
Aug. 27, 2014 11:56 a.m.

Fix your door bars. X design, top bar comes from the harness bar node, drops down to just below elbow height and goes back up to connect at dash bar node, lower bar comes from the main hoop base to the front hoop base and touched the top bar at its lowest point with a gusset. And of course as far into the door as you can go, which is legal even in FSP. Right now your doors bars dont do much for safety or structural rigidity.

CF hood puts you into SMF at a minimum, as long as you still have the stock sound detening stuff and most of the interior. And then you can put any VW engine in it that you want (and turbo or whatever if you want), any tranny, run wings and things, big splitter and all the other cool stuff. SMF is probably one of the best $/fast and $/competitiveness class right now in scca solo rules. And could be completely nutty for use in solo trials and scca TT.

jimbbski HalfDork
Aug. 27, 2014 10:16 p.m.

I road race a Mk II Scriocco 16V in ITA and I don't think your door bars are to low. Most other car that you will be on track with if you do road race the car will be small cars with low bumpers. Any impact in the door area will be in the lower half of the car. Even most guard rails are not much higher. It won't hurt to all another bar but you don't have to. If anything I would add 1-2 verticle tubes between the door bars so that they can't be forced apart in an impact.

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