Announcing SCCA Club Spec: One car, multiple disciplines

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jun 13, 2023 | SCCA, Club Spec, SCCA Club Spec

Image Courtesy SCCA

Wish you had a single car that was equally competitive in multiple motorsport disciplines? Then SCCA’s all-new Club Spec could be your answer.

The concept behind Club Spec is to offer a single class across multiple SCCA programs in which the same car can be equally competitive without further modification between disciplines.

While there is a basic plan for what Club Spec will look like, the SCCA is looking for input to help develop the class:

Club Spec is in its infancy, and to grow the concept, SCCA needs your help. What we do know is that Club Spec should initially target competitive classing in National Time Trials competition and SCCA Autocross as a supplemental class. From there, Club Spec will hopefully advance into RallyCross and SCCA HillClimb, incorporating Track Night and RoadRally from day one due to the incredibly welcoming nature of those programs.

More specifically, the SCCA is looking for help in deciding what cars should be included in Club Spec, as well as deciding if 200tw street tires offer enough performance for the class. You can give your input directly to the SCCA with this survey.

For more information about Club Spec, tune into our live chat on the subject on Wednesday, June 14, at 9:00 p.m. ET with Heyward Wagner, Sr. Director, Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs.

The live broadcast will be shared across our platforms: YouTubeFacebook and also grassrootsmotorsports.com.

You can read the entire press release announcing the new class below.

Club Spec – One Car Does It All

Imagine, if you will, a vehicle that can be built once, then driven competitively in different Sports Car Club of America® (SCCA) competition types without further modification – and then driven on the street to and from events, or even to work. Impossible, you say? This is no pipe dream – this is the Club Spec concept.

Built on the success of Solo Spec Coupe, Club Spec is an idea that would introduce a series of spec classes over the next few years that do everything SCCA does. One class would perhaps be based on a roadster with another on a muscle car, with each Club Spec car utilizing a designated performance kit and optional safety items that would allow enthusiasts to participate competitively in any SCCA program.

Want to be competitive in SCCA Autocross and at Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty events, while also having a car built to withstand SCCA RallyCross, can turn every lap of every session of a Track Night in America® Driven by Tire Rack event, is capable of climbing mountains in SCCA HillClimbs, and will run without fault at RoadRallies? Club Spec can deliver.

As more members push toward participating in multiple disciplines, the concept of “one car for all the things” is not only gaining momentum, it’s a necessity. “Long gone are the days where every member picks their competition type and stays there forever,” explains SCCA’s Senior Director of Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs Heyward Wagner. “Yes, we do have members who autocross or road race and have no interest in trying out other forms of participation within the SCCA – and that’s great. But at the same time, the Club has more and more members looking for a one-size-fits-all vehicle that can be competitive and fun no matter the venue, allowing them to autocross one weekend, run a Time Trials event the next, and be competitive in both.”

There are two ways to learn more about Club Spec, and one involves reading the text below. The other involves checking out the Grassroots Motorsports Live broadcast on Wednesday, June 14, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, where Wagner will be chatting with the folks from Grassroots about this very concept.

The Definition of Fun

The way SCCA competition is structured, participation in multiple aspects of the Club in one vehicle is possible; being competitive everywhere isn’t guaranteed. The Club Spec concept takes participation and competitiveness and mashes them into one fun and relatively affordable package.

Club Spec is in the early stages of development, meaning we’re considering which car or cars would best complete the goal of ‘one car for all the things,’” Wagner says. “We know that a roadster doesn’t fit into everyone’s lives, and not everyone wants to drive a sedan. Some people may want to drive something newer and more expensive than others are able to. So, we really want to understand buying preferences and interest first, and then we can work with SCCA program boards and our partners to come up with options that are both realistic and exciting.”

Fun is the primary tenet of Club Spec, but so are tuning allowances that are easy to understand and implement, with no loopholes in the rules. Club Spec also eliminates the “car of the year” problem that plagues certain competition classes. Club Spec allows members to buy once and compete for years.

It’s important to note that Club Spec may eventually involve wheel-to-wheel racing, but it would (at least initially) target SCCA events that do not require an SCCA Full Competition License. In the event that Club Spec cars are classed in Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing’s wheel-to-wheel series, a full roll cage would not be required for the likes of autocross, track days, RallyCross, and so on.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Sounds good, right? So where is Club Spec? Much of it is in your brain.

Club Spec is in its infancy, and to grow the concept, SCCA needs your help. What we do know is that Club Spec should initially target competitive classing in National Time Trials competition and SCCA Autocross as a supplemental class. From there, Club Spec will hopefully advance into RallyCross and SCCA HillClimb, incorporating Track Night and RoadRally from day one due to the incredibly welcoming nature of those programs.

To reach Club Spec as an SCCA-wide initiative, the Club needs your help. SCCA is looking for input on a variety of topics, including which car or cars should be included in Club Spec and whether 200TW street tires offer an acceptable performance level.

How do you tell us this information? Fill out this survey!

I’m Pumped! When Does This Roll?

The survey will gauge interest in the concept, largely steering Club Spec’s timeline.

SCCA’s drive is to maintain momentum on Club Spec, with the results of the survey – and a gameplan – shared around the time of the 2023 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships. Should the response be overwhelmingly positive, Club Spec’s launch could involve as many as two classes introduced in National Time Trials and SCCA Autocross (as supplemental classes) in 2024, expanding in 2025 and beyond.

All of that largely depends on you and the results of the survey – so take the survey.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/13/23 12:01 p.m.

I really like the concept. I'm eager to see this develop.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
6/13/23 12:17 p.m.

So in 1997 I bought a Showroom Stock Miata that I competed with locally.

I road raced, autocrossed and rallycrossed it.  I was season points champ in SSC, and runner up in E-stock (I think that was the class) and runner up in stock 2wd.

On top of that the car was my daily driver; I'm glad we are coming back to this concept.

Hopefully it won't turn into a wallet waving contest and we'll have cars that can be had for under 20K classed in this group.

ztnedman1
ztnedman1 Reader
6/13/23 12:23 p.m.

So SSC stays.  Add:

 

Miata

 

Corvette

 

???

 

M2/Supra? Porsche? Civic? 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
6/13/23 12:50 p.m.

Here is my thoughts for this:

Lowering springs, sway bars and uprated dampers/shocks. (no coil-over kits for the lower classes).

Camber plates.

Muffler - open as long it doesn't exceed decibel level X

Tires - stock size.

Wheels - open as long as they are same dimensions and weigh the same as the originals.

My reasoning:

Suspension; Coil-over kits are $1000-$2500 (or more) than simple lowering springs / kits.

Camber Plates; help tire life

Tires; the single biggest expense and doing everything possible to keep the costs down is vital. Hence the stock sizes.

Muffler; you want something that sounds like a race car but also won't make you deaf or annoy people.

Wheels; people will want to personalize there cars but given the cost of ultra lightweight wheels.

Historically SCCA has lacked understanding as to what the average local competitor has to spend. This concept sounds great but would be very easy to have spiral our of control cost wise. I love the concept so I'm excited to see what they do with it.

 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/13/23 12:57 p.m.

If I can run the NA Miata I am already working on I am interested.

If I have to go buy something else. Not so much.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/13/23 12:58 p.m.

I think SSC works well because the cars involved were all built to the same spec. You don’t need to hunt for a unicorn–no need to find that non-sunroof 16v Jetta coupe.

What other fun, sporty, fairly reliable car offers a similar pool today? NC Miata? Eighth-gen Civic Si? A later Mustang? E9x BMW?

Very eager to hear what the people want. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/13/23 1:03 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

So in 1997 I bought a Showroom Stock Miata that I competed with locally.

I road raced, autocrossed and rallycrossed it.  I was season points champ in SSC, and runner up in E-stock (I think that was the class) and runner up in stock 2wd.

On top of that the car was my daily driver; I'm glad we are coming back to this concept.

Hopefully it won't turn into a wallet waving contest and we'll have cars that can be had for under 20K classed in this group.

We did something similar with an SSC/D Stock Neon. We autocrossed it, we road raced it, we hill climbed it, we drove it on the street. 

If RallyCross existed back then here, we probably would have done that with the Neon, too. 

ojannen
ojannen HalfDork
6/13/23 1:04 p.m.

Whatever we pick, could we include a seat swap allowance or pick a car with more interior room?  I don't fit in Miatas, BRZs, Civics, or Corvettes with stock seats.  Technically, I fit in a Miata but I would have to trailer it to events in case it rained on the way home.

The ~360hp early M2 would be a fun pick.  Prices are depressed because you can get them with 80 more hp.  Room for kids in the back.  Carbon roof means extra headroom.  DCT or manual.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
6/13/23 1:06 p.m.

i assume this will include all of the timed events and likely not door to door racing because i can't imagine it being safe driving a car on the road /w a full cage without a helmet.  

so what will that entail autocross, time trials, touring?  Will it include rally cross, drag racing?  If it includes rally, autocross, and time trials it would be great to see an SCCA one-lap of america style event where they do track day/time trials autocross and rally between the events

in terms of makes what does everybody think?  I would love to see 3 car types and would prefer new or newish cars that will have a long service life

FWD - hyundai elantra N comes to mind as being affordable, quick, and usable every day.   

roadster - ND2 Miata - Mazda is a big SCCA sponsor and the miata is a track/autocross capable car right out of the box.  

 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/13/23 1:17 p.m.

I like the concept, and I'd love to compete in a multi-discipline series, but I have a feeling the chassis chosen will be more expensive (new) than what I want  to spend.  NC miata would be the sweet spot for me, but they need $$ hardtops for rallyx.

How about AE101 corollas?  Now we're talkin!

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