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View Full Version : Giving the SC a break from autocrossing



Mercutio
02-24-2011, 08:07 PM
This coming year, the SC will not be my racecar. Over the last several seasons I've had fun autocrossing first my 94LX, then the SC, then the CTS-V, and the SC again. However, during that time it's been obvious that none of those cars will ever be competitive against top-notch competition. For a while now I've been wanting to know whether I have any real talent for autocrossing or not, and unfortunately I can't do that in the SC. It's not a competitive platform, and there's no data out there to compare me to, no other drivers fielding the same car. So a while back I started looking for a car that would be competitive in its class so I can see just how good I am.

Here is that car.
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff99/featheredmafia/007JPG.jpg

It's a 99 Z/28 M6, and no, it's not as cool as an SC. But it's a much better racecar, and that's why I bought it. It is fully prepped for its class. The suspension is completely worked over using a recipe from Sam Strano, a 7-time-or-so national champion in pony cars of various kinds. It dynoed at 343 hp and 354 lb-ft at the wheels with little more than an LS6 intake, headers, exhaust, UD pulley and a ported TB for engine work. On the same dyno, my SC made 337 hp and 416 lb-ft. It has a 12 inch shorter wheelbase and weighs about 90 pounds less than the SC (despite being in a much more restrictive class with far fewer options for weight reduction) and can fit 315s at all four corners. There's no comparison to the SC in terms of handling. Sorry, guys--between the cones, this car will eat the SC alive.

So now I've got the car and no excuse if I can't perform. If I can't, well, maybe I'll end up selling this car and go back to running the SC for fun. But I've got to take a shot at being truly competitive against the best autocrossers in the country, and I imagine most of you guys can understand that desire. I still love the SC, and I won't be selling it. The SC still gets to live in the garage while this car sleeps outside.

BLOWN38
02-25-2011, 12:47 AM
Looks pretty good. Good luck!:cool:

XR7 Dave
02-25-2011, 10:29 AM
Well as much as I hate to see you behind the wheel of that car I have to say that those cars inspired me stick with my SC fetish and are part of the motivation behind SWB 003 being in my garage. In 1996 (yes that would be the LT1 version) I ran an open track day with the local SCCA club in the Dallas area and there was this one guy with a brand new Firehawk running lap after lap after lap. He was letting people drive his car, he was taking people for rides, he has just hammering on the thing! At the end of the day with a completely ruined set of race tires, he simply drove the thing home. My XR7 made 1 complete lap and on the 2nd lap I lost both brakes and oil pressure. I decided then and there that it would be fun to one day be able to thrash on a car and still drive it home. One day I'll manage that in an SC. ;)

ESP is a tough class. Assuming you do good enough to make it to Nationals you'll be running against an unlikely candidate and long time friend of mine. Mark won the 2010 Nationals in that class running an 88 T/A and more or less owns that class in the Texas region. You'll definitely get a chance to see if you are any good running against him. He used to scare the crap out of me in his 87 GT but the T/A is much faster that that was.....

Good luck!

ricardoa1
02-25-2011, 12:04 PM
Good luck and have fun, thats what its all about. GM products are known for having very good powetrains and lets face it thats the most important component on a race car.

Maybe now you can turn you SC into more of a road car then a AX car. T-56 with better gears and maybe a SC and kick but at the drag strip and road racing.

Those cars dominated the 90s. So you have a piece of history regardless.

Ira R.
02-25-2011, 12:47 PM
Looking forward to hearing your results. I figure if you can wheel the SC around the track and do as well as you have been you can't but do well in this car. A big step up with the car, now it's time for you to do the same. Good luck and keep us posted. It would be really cool seeing pictures of you and your trophies in some magazine some time :D

Ira

MagpoweredSC
02-25-2011, 12:59 PM
Sellout! ;)

Mercutio
02-25-2011, 07:24 PM
Well as much as I hate to see you behind the wheel of that car I have to say that those cars inspired me stick with my SC fetish and are part of the motivation behind SWB 003 being in my garage. In 1996 (yes that would be the LT1 version) I ran an open track day with the local SCCA club in the Dallas area and there was this one guy with a brand new Firehawk running lap after lap after lap. He was letting people drive his car, he was taking people for rides, he has just hammering on the thing! At the end of the day with a completely ruined set of race tires, he simply drove the thing home. My XR7 made 1 complete lap and on the 2nd lap I lost both brakes and oil pressure. I decided then and there that it would be fun to one day be able to thrash on a car and still drive it home. One day I'll manage that in an SC. ;)

ESP is a tough class. Assuming you do good enough to make it to Nationals you'll be running against an unlikely candidate and long time friend of mine. Mark won the 2010 Nationals in that class running an 88 T/A and more or less owns that class in the Texas region. You'll definitely get a chance to see if you are any good running against him. He used to scare the crap out of me in his 87 GT but the T/A is much faster that that was.....

Good luck!

DD, I know Mark Madarash by reputation only. He's an exceptional driver and has won the last several ESP crowns, I believe. His T/A is a good bit lighter than my car, but mine makes more power. With the right driver, a 4th-gen can still win. Sam Strano said he felt that he could contend for a championship in my car. A couple things could dramatically change ESP in the next few years, though:

-the 2012 Mustang GT may be a class-killer, especially when Sam Strano moves his from FS. Tons of power and a good suspension, even with struts.
-If someone finally builds a WRX to the extent of the rules using E85, that car could be a class-killer, assuming the car can hold together.
-It's not decided yet, but a lot of people are trying to move the 350Z to ESP. I think that move would be a huge mistake, as the Z clearly outclasses the pony cars for handling.

Mercutio
02-25-2011, 07:40 PM
Good luck and have fun, thats what its all about. GM products are known for having very good powetrains and lets face it thats the most important component on a race car.

Maybe now you can turn you SC into more of a road car then a AX car. T-56 with better gears and maybe a SC and kick but at the drag strip and road racing.

Those cars dominated the 90s. So you have a piece of history regardless.

Rico, I'd like a 6-speed at some point, but it's not a huge priority. Really the only thing I think my SC is missing is a better supercharger, and I've already talked to DD about that. And as far as I'm concerned, nothing I did to the SC for racing has made it worse as a street car, so there's nothing I have to undo. I guess I could put the stereo back in it, but honestly, I haven't missed it.

And you'll still definitely see me at the Shootout this year.

Mercutio
05-10-2011, 12:02 AM
I don't plan on talking about this car much on this forum, but I wanted to provide an update. So far, driving the Camaro, I've set FTD and top PAX time at our first local event of the season. I've also won my class at the two National Tour events I've entered, though I didn't have much serious competition.

Sorry, Supercoupe...I like you better overall, but the Camaro eats you alive on the autocross course.

S_Mazza
05-10-2011, 12:07 AM
I don't plan on talking about this car much on this forum, but I wanted to provide an update. So far, driving the Camaro, I've set FTD and top PAX time at our first local event of the season. I've also won my class at the two National Tour events I've entered, though I didn't have much serious competition.

Sorry, Supercoupe...I like you better overall, but the Camaro eats you alive on the autocross course.

If we knew what those acronyms meant, my car and I might be sad. :p

Seriously, though ... Congratulations!

Mercutio
05-10-2011, 06:33 PM
FTD is Fast Time of the Day, the top time of an event regardless of class. That one's easy.

PAX (also called RTP, Racer's Theoretical Performance) is a handicapping system that attempts to equate the performance of, say, a Mini driver in H Stock compared to a Corvette driver in A Street Prepared. Obviously, the two cars aren't equal, so trying to compare the drivers' performances based purely on their times is futile. PAX provides a multiplier for every class that gets multiplied by a driver's time. So let's say that the Vette driver runs a course in 45 seconds, and the Mini driver does it in 48.5 seconds. Who was the better driver? Well, we multiply that Corvette's 45 second time by the .862 PAX handicap for that class and get 38.79 seconds. Multiply the Mini's time by its PAX of .791 and we get 38.36 seconds. So theoretically, the Mini driver, even though he had a slower time, was better than the Corvette driver.