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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just found about this. Looks like a reasonable way to get lots of racing experience, especially for us larger drivers who will not fit in spec miata, formula ford or the like.

while the series has been going elsewhere for sometime it has just come to the US with a few events to date. wondering how large the fields have been? organizer sent me an email saying he will be at infineon soon for testing where i can check out a car.

sounds like fun (no pun intended). anyone have further info?

Fun Cup
 

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Do you have any more info about the day he will be at Infineon? I'd like to check out the car as well...sounds like an interesting avenue to racing.

I'm going to install the FunCup mod on rFactor and see how it runs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i will update as i get further info. you can also email them on their website, i received a very quick response.
 

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Hahahahahaha. I punted one of those things off Buttonwillow Raceway at the 6 hour Enduro when he wouldn't get out of my way. I think you'd be nuts to buy one of those. I'm assuming it was just the driver who was awful, but he spun off track about 6 times in the first hour of the Enduro, caused other drivers to go off track to avoid him, wouldn't let faster drivers pass, and was just generally a menace.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hahahahahaha. I punted one of those things off Buttonwillow Raceway at the 6 hour Enduro when he wouldn't get out of my way. I think you'd be nuts to buy one of those. I'm assuming it was just the driver who was awful, but he spun off track about 6 times in the first hour of the Enduro, caused other drivers to go off track to avoid him, wouldn't let faster drivers pass, and was just generally a menace.
hey richard,

can't fault the car for a bad driver. was that the only funcup car in the race?

are you doing laguna with speedventures in august?
 

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Probably won't be at Laguna Seca with SV -- I'd have to drive my fully-race-prepped Miata there, plus it's not a momentum track and the noise limit is a PITA.

My plans take me to Strees of Willow, Big Willow and Buttonwillow in the next month, if I make all the planned events.

Here's something I'm not sure I understand: the Arrive and Drive rental price for the 25 hours of Thunderhill is "$4,400 per driver, 5 drivers" Fun Cup

Does that mean they want $22,000 to provide a car for the 25 hour race, everything included, for a car you could BUY for less than $35,000?
 

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I've seen although not driven the Fun Cup car. It's very well made, and has a large following in Europe.

My personal opinion, though, is that here in the US, it fundamentally duplicates an existing series -- Spec Racer Ford.

Both are purpose built spaceframes that utilize low-stress automotive engines. Both feature "sealed" rather than spec components -- meaning that you can't build your own engines or shock valving, and fundamentally, unlike some series, you don't have to have multiple gearsets for the transmission or different rear ends with ratios for various tracks.

The net performance of the cars is very similar as well. The costs new are also just about identical.

However, here are some advantages to the Spec Racer as I see it:

* Already established here in the US. There are more than 600 SRF's being actively campaigned in SCCA events this year. SRF ad Spec Miata are tied as the largest classes campaigned in SCCA.

* Large competitive fields, especially in California. 14 cars is considered a tiny field (and it was 105 degrees in Buttonwillow that day!), and up in the SF Bay Region, our events routinely have 30 cars or more. This means there's always someone that's near your speed to race against and keep it fun. In some ways I think the guys battling for 22nd have more fun than the guys battling at the front! :)

* Longstanding establishment of the Customer Support Rep (or CSR). CSR's are at every SCCA event (in many cases, more than one is there) and carry just about everything, including engines and transmissions, so you don't need to carry a stash of spare parts yourself.

* There's a market for the cars. You can easily buy a used car for around $20,000, and just as important (in my mind) you can easily sell that used car for what you paid for it. Not sure how much of a resale market there will be for the FunCup cars until (and unless) they get a big following.

As far as renting, etc., there are those options with the SRF (and really, any race car) as well. The three basic options are:

1) Own and maintain it yourself (what we typically think of)

2) "Arrive and drive" -- you own your car, but the shop maintains it, brings it to the track, takes care of it duing the race weekend, and then takes it back with them. If you don't have tools/mechanical skills/tow vehicles, this can really work out well. It's what I do.

3) Rent. Obviously, you are liable for crash damage, etc., but OTOH if you owned your car you'd be having that damage fixed anyway. If you are only going to do 5 or 6 races a year, this is probably the best option.

As far as fitting into the car, the SRF provides a TON of room. I've got a 48" waist and 58" shoulders, and I fit without any real "squeezing." There are even bigger guys than I racing as well. And because the SRF is pretty generous on minimum weight (with driver), you can run about 240 pounds before you start exceeding that minimum weight and running at a disadvantage (smaller drivers have to carry ballast to bring their weight up to the minimum). And there's at least one guy who runs top 10 in the country who can't get his car down to minimum weight.

The shop I work with will rent cars for track days as well (assuming those dates don't conflict with a race date) Heck, if you rent a car from them I'll probably bring my car out to play as well (I admit to being a track junkie who needs little excuse to get my car out).

In short...I think the sealed spec class is very cool, and the FunCup seems neat...but at the same time, history is littered with the carcasses of the "next big thing" that didn't achieve that critical mass in the end.

Steve
 

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What would it cost to rent an SRF for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with trackside support and everything else included?
 

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With all the SRF promotion by Steve lately, I think I need to rent an SRF before I make my final decision on what to buy :). I have rented a Spec Miata, Formula Mazda and Formula 500 and so far I am leaning towards F500 but the field in SF region is tiny and I on my first day out I was already faster than all but one local driver who seems to be ridiculously fast.
 

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Richard -- that's a good question. A competitive effort (although, given that the SRF will get lumped in with things like a Daytona Prototype, I'm not sure one needs to worry about being last-second competitive).

It's not that cheap, though. If we used, or example, my car, I would need a lightbar (they exist, so this is something that can be done), and then 25 hours is a lot of wear and tear on an engine and gearbox.

If I broke it down in my pessimistic mind it would look like this:

Lights: $2,000
Engine: $4,000
Gearbox: $2,000
tires (5 sets) $4,000
things I haven't thought of (brakes, etc) $3,000
Gas: $1,500

So that's $16,500. I could probably trade paying support fees for letting the shop owner drive (he's as much a track junkie as we are). I admit that assuming that I'd need the engine and gearbox is on the pessimistic side, but the middle of the night could make it easy to miss a shift an toast the engine.

So the short version is...I don't know what a rental would cost. :)

Tracula: If you are in the Bay Area, SRF is the thing to drive! :) We get our own run group (that is, you're not mixed in with other classes, etc) and big fields.

I had looked at F500 before SRF (even though I knew I'd be a VERY tight fit) but what turned me off were the small numbers. This year, the most F500's in a single race has been 3, and most races have had 1 or 0 entries.

You should do Thunderhill next weekend! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Probably won't be at Laguna Seca with SV -- I'd have to drive my fully-race-prepped Miata there, plus it's not a momentum track and the noise limit is a PITA.

My plans take me to Strees of Willow, Big Willow and Buttonwillow in the next month, if I make all the planned events.

Here's something I'm not sure I understand: the Arrive and Drive rental price for the 25 hours of Thunderhill is "$4,400 per driver, 5 drivers" Fun Cup

Does that mean they want $22,000 to provide a car for the 25 hour race, everything included, for a car you could BUY for less than $35,000?
that does sound like a lot of cash. a 4 hour arrive and drive race would make more sense in many ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've seen although not driven the Fun Cup car. It's very well made, and has a large following in Europe.

My personal opinion, though, is that here in the US, it fundamentally duplicates an existing series -- Spec Racer Ford.

Both are purpose built spaceframes that utilize low-stress automotive engines. Both feature "sealed" rather than spec components -- meaning that you can't build your own engines or shock valving, and fundamentally, unlike some series, you don't have to have multiple gearsets for the transmission or different rear ends with ratios for various tracks.

The net performance of the cars is very similar as well. The costs new are also just about identical.

However, here are some advantages to the Spec Racer as I see it:

* Already established here in the US. There are more than 600 SRF's being actively campaigned in SCCA events this year. SRF ad Spec Miata are tied as the largest classes campaigned in SCCA.

* Large competitive fields, especially in California. 14 cars is considered a tiny field (and it was 105 degrees in Buttonwillow that day!), and up in the SF Bay Region, our events routinely have 30 cars or more. This means there's always someone that's near your speed to race against and keep it fun. In some ways I think the guys battling for 22nd have more fun than the guys battling at the front! :)

* Longstanding establishment of the Customer Support Rep (or CSR). CSR's are at every SCCA event (in many cases, more than one is there) and carry just about everything, including engines and transmissions, so you don't need to carry a stash of spare parts yourself.

* There's a market for the cars. You can easily buy a used car for around $20,000, and just as important (in my mind) you can easily sell that used car for what you paid for it. Not sure how much of a resale market there will be for the FunCup cars until (and unless) they get a big following.

As far as renting, etc., there are those options with the SRF (and really, any race car) as well. The three basic options are:

1) Own and maintain it yourself (what we typically think of)

2) "Arrive and drive" -- you own your car, but the shop maintains it, brings it to the track, takes care of it duing the race weekend, and then takes it back with them. If you don't have tools/mechanical skills/tow vehicles, this can really work out well. It's what I do.

3) Rent. Obviously, you are liable for crash damage, etc., but OTOH if you owned your car you'd be having that damage fixed anyway. If you are only going to do 5 or 6 races a year, this is probably the best option.

As far as fitting into the car, the SRF provides a TON of room. I've got a 48" waist and 58" shoulders, and I fit without any real "squeezing." There are even bigger guys than I racing as well. And because the SRF is pretty generous on minimum weight (with driver), you can run about 240 pounds before you start exceeding that minimum weight and running at a disadvantage (smaller drivers have to carry ballast to bring their weight up to the minimum). And there's at least one guy who runs top 10 in the country who can't get his car down to minimum weight.

The shop I work with will rent cars for track days as well (assuming those dates don't conflict with a race date) Heck, if you rent a car from them I'll probably bring my car out to play as well (I admit to being a track junkie who needs little excuse to get my car out).

In short...I think the sealed spec class is very cool, and the FunCup seems neat...but at the same time, history is littered with the carcasses of the "next big thing" that didn't achieve that critical mass in the end.

Steve
thanks very much for the writeup. i've seen your posts elsewhere on ET about the SRF and it is a platform i am also considering. any links to further info on SRF events, rentals, used cars etc., particularly in the bay area? in a quick google check i found:

SCCA Enterprises

SpecRacer.Com

perhaps a new thread is in order.

thank you.
 

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I have rented a Spec Miata, Formula Mazda and Formula 500 and so far I am leaning towards F500 but the field in SF region is tiny and I on my first day out I was already faster than all but one local driver who seems to be ridiculously fast.
then choose a different class than the F500.
you will be bored very quickly, unless you want/like to be the big fish in the little pond
 

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SpecRacer's a good site, but not super high traffic. In the name of not drifting off into the thread-distance, I'll PM you some other info.

Steve
 

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then choose a different class than the F500.
you will be bored very quickly, unless you want/like to be the big fish in the little pond
Good point, In SBRRS I'm the guppy among sharks. you want to race against people who will challenge you to become faster.
 

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However, here are some advantages to the Spec Racer as I see it...


Steve
Hey, Steve: I've seen SRF Thunderhill lap times and they're quite quick (well, quicker than a base Elise). But the SRF makes soooo little power, and it's not that much lighter than an Elise. What, 1620lbs? My point being, It's not like a 1200lbs Barber Dodge. So in the SRF, all speed must be made in a true momentum-car kind of way -- which is a great test of driving ability, and a great teaching tool.

Now, with all that as a preamble:

When you drive the SRF, do you miss horsepower, and if so how much do you really miss it? And I am not talking in competitive racing terms -- not at all. I'm talking about the actual visceral driving experience.

In due time, I will be buying, for lack of a better term, a "disposable" car. Something I can write off mentally and emotionally if necessary. And I would be using this disposable car for for track days, with racing as only a second possibility. The SRF is a very logical choice, but the total power and power-to-weight ratio look underwhelming. Yes, I know these cars kick ass in the corners. But when I see them chug-chug-chugging down the straights I almost personally feel frustrated for the guys doing the driving!

Please tell me my concerns are unwarranted. :)

And, no, my friends, I'm not interested in a spec Miata. (1) It's still a Miata. (2) It's slower than a SRF. (3) I love single-seat, open cockpit cars.

Too bad the SRSCCA isn't so expensive, or that would certainly be a great option.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
With all the SRF promotion by Steve lately, I think I need to rent an SRF before I make my final decision on what to buy :). I have rented a Spec Miata, Formula Mazda and Formula 500 and so far I am leaning towards F500 but the field in SF region is tiny and I on my first day out I was already faster than all but one local driver who seems to be ridiculously fast.
what did you think of the formula mazda?
 

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As far as horsepower goes...I don't think there's anyone on the track that wouldn't mind more power. :)

That said, the only time I really miss power is if I'm out on a track day and allow myself to get get sucked up right behind a car that's cornering very slowly (especially at Thunderhill's 14/15 complex) and get a poor run down the straight, In truth, I really mark that to my driving error -- being close to another car only makes that driver nervous and kill my exit speed.

So, when you don't do that, while it's true you aren't getting pinned back in your seat with acceleration, it's a bit deceptive, as you still get up to a good clip. I'm far from the best driver, and I'll hit 110mph at the entry to Turn 1. Really quick guys might see as much as 115mph. My feeling is, while it's not in a winged formula car realm, it's still pretty quick. It's also a good time to flex your fingers and make sure you haven't acquired a death grip. :)

The Enterprise Sports Racer is cool (although I haven't wanted to see if I can really fit in it), but it's a lot of money, and it's not really a competitive car in SCCA. It is, though, the cheapest way to get to race in IMSA events (as the IMSA Lites 3) and get to hang in the paddock with the Audi, Penske, and AGR folks. "Cheapest" is, like everything in racing, relative. :)

Steve
 

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what did you think of the formula mazda?
I really loved it and I can fit comfortably. However, it seems that the car is need of constant maintenance work so I am looking for something a little bit less taxing. Ideally, I would like to be able to do a race (or a track day), come home, check and tighten everything and have it ready to go the next time. FM guy tell me that their post/pre race or track day procedure may include far more than that. Which is why I looked at F500... Especially since there is a local fabricator who is also present at all the races. My time frame to buy a race car is summer of 2009 but I will have to rent one soon to do 2 races to ensure that my license does not expire.
 
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