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Discussion Starter #1
I have been fortunate to have been able to talk to a couple members of the SEB about eventual classing of the Elise. All informally of course.

The deal is, they will not seriously discuss the car until it's here. Which makes sense. They want to be conservative. They will be sensitive to the potential of hurting an existing class, by throwing the Elise in with it and finding out the Elise is the overdog. Specially since the Elise is relatively harder to buy in larger numbers.

They will have the ability to change the announced class for 12 months after the announcement without going through the formal process of class changes they would go through for reclassing an established car. That also lends itself to waiting to the latest to make an announcement.

But we can speculate... and so can they.. right? :)

Where do I think it will end up? I am hoping it will run in A Stock against the M3s, Boxster S's, and C4 Corvettes. It may get put in Super Stock against the Z-06 Corvette. That may become a class with some course dependancy as to which car will come out on top.

I used to think that they were going to just place the car in ASP, but I no longer think that. It will go in a stock class.

The issue will be if the car can be competitively classed for serious autoxers or will it be placed in a class where it can play and locally win?

I hope to demonstrate what I think the car can do as far as how well it performs against other National Champion drivers when I get it. Of course, it takes some time to set up a car for racing, but I am expecting not a lot will be required with the Elise.

In the end for me, if the car is not classed where it can win nationally, I will just run my kart or something else at big events. But run the Elise locally.
 

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I think it would be unjust to deny the Elise a Stock classification. Production in the first year is supposed to be 2 1/2 times the stock production requirement (and historically exceptions have been made for specific models that never met the requirement). Even if you assume the worst case in which the Elise outperforms the Z06, what's the real problem? The cost of entry into SS just dropped about $17k. The SEB seems to prefer to class cars so that newer models are at the top of their class. They didn't seem to mind when the Z06 obsoleted the large existing field of "regular old" C5s, so I don't think that it would be consistent to trot out the argument "just look at all the Z06 owners who would have to buy new cars to compete". Those guys obviously don't have any problem with buying a brand new $55,000 car to compete in SS, because they already did! Heck, there are people in SS who sold their old Z06 and bought a new one just because Chevy changed the power output by a few HP.

If they are really concerned that the Lotus will kill off the Z06, then either drop the Z06 into AS or finally create Super Duper Stock for the Elise. They could throw in all those stock-excluded vehicles that otherwise meet the stock requirements, too. I wouldn't mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree John and I would not mind seeind the creation of SDS.

Maybe let ANY production car that has over 1000 cars sold in the USA per year play.
 

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I agree, Im a little tired of watching the vettes dominate...seems to me they'd enjoy some good competition as it stands now they're really pretty much without competition ( boxster maybe).

They put the stock Viper straight into ASP iirc.

I recall when even the 1.8 miatas were dominating the 1st gen RX7's AND the 1.6 miatas and they reclassed the 1.8's ....so Im sure they'll try and be as fair as possible. I just cant wait to hear the whining and complaining when the big dawgs start falling to the Lotus.
 

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OneFastMiata said:
I just cant wait to hear the whining and complaining when the big dawgs start falling to the Lotus.
...especially since it's powered by a tiny four cylinder Japanese engine!
 

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They already moved the Boxster S out of the class. I guess 3rd place was just too close for comfort...

The Viper is in SS, it's just the Viper ACR (?) that's in ASP.

I would love to drive an Elise in a class full of Ferrari 360s, GT2s and GT3s, Viper ACRs, etc.
 

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I stand corrected. I didnt know they moved the boxter.

I have such a hard time with classing as it is...I have a monster miata that I drive on occassion and I swear to gosh I have to call Howard Duncan 3 times a month in order to back me up on what class Im allowed to run when competitors whine and moan.

I think Howard may have moved though.

Speaking of which, does anyone know Jim Lighthauser, used to work for SCCA now he works for Tripoint. Hes my mentor from Louisville.
 

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If it doesn't end up in SS, I'll be sorely dissappointed. I just can't see how they could justify it to themselves...

But I'm sorry to say, I think it's fairly likely we'll see ASP. Which will be okay, too... give me an excuse to begin some fun mods. :D
 

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Any new thoughts/insights on this, Randy (or anybody else), now that more information about the car is available?

I guess it's pretty much given that the Elise will be ASP legal, looking at all the other cars listed there? In his original post, Randy seemed sceptical that it would be a strong contender in ASP. I assume you're mainly worried about the power? On the other hand, the Elise should be about 1000 lbs lighter than the Vettes, and it's much smaller.

While I probably wouldn't run Stock, I agree that the Elise should be SS legal. Cheaper than the Z06, and should be (almost) as easily available once the initial demand is satisfied. If the Z06's end up getting beat... tough luck for them, nobody said that they would be winning forever.

Even if ASP is the lowest class: At least from looking at the PAX numbers, the difference between SS and ASP isn't that huge, about 0.5s on a 50s course. You would think that you could gain that much with a few SP legal tweaks, even if the Elise comes very well prepared from the factory?

The difference between ASP and SM2 is even smaller... But I believe that SM2 hasn't really developed yet, and will become much faster over the years.

Just some random thoughts, I would be interested to hear how others see it. It will hopefull become clearer once people get their hands on the car and start running it, but we need to do some bench racing to keep us entertained over winter. :)
 

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Jim L. is co-owner of BimmerHaus in Broomfield, having left TriPoint a couple years ago. Bob Tunnell is his partner. Howard Duncan moved to Kansas. BimmerHaus is at 720 566 0521.

I am on the list to buy an Elise in Denver, and want to see it in a stock class. I run in SM now, and want to get out from under the car. I'd be hard pressed to buy one and feel obliged to modify it to make it competitive in a SP class.

Jeff

OneFastMiata said:
I stand corrected. I didnt know they moved the boxter.

I have such a hard time with classing as it is...I have a monster miata that I drive on occassion and I swear to gosh I have to call Howard Duncan 3 times a month in order to back me up on what class Im allowed to run when competitors whine and moan.

I think Howard may have moved though.

Speaking of which, does anyone know Jim Lighthauser, used to work for SCCA now he works for Tripoint. Hes my mentor from Louisville.
 

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I have a Honda B18C engined S1 Elise (over 200bhp sunspeed conversion), and I've been running it at NASA AutoX in Monterey CA over the last 18 months or so. The organizers let me run in AS, since I'm on street PZero tires.
They never get warm enough to stick in an AutoX, but are OK on track days.

My results (as a novice) have been OK. I tend to beat Corvettes and mix in with the late model BMW M3's. My main problem is lack of rubber on the road, the car won't turn in well enough and has enough power to get very wild at the rear. The only time I spun off was running in the rain.

Compared to my girlfriends late model Miata (with wide 16" rubber) the Elise feels weightless and needs to be driven delicately to keep it smooth, the Miata has more rubber than it needs for the power, and the Elise has insufficient.

Eventually, I'll invest in some Yoko 038s and be able to put the power down...

Compared to the US Spec S2, my car is lighter and more powerful - 1750 lbs measured while being corner-weighted with hard top in place and full gas tank, and over 200bhp with a Spoon racing upgraded type-R :)
 

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I have it on good authority that the Elise will be classified in Stock category. There is some debate about whether it will be AS or SS. As you can imagine, they would really like to see the real deal before they decide. They have a 12 month adjustment period after they announce the class in which they can pretty much do whatever they want at the drop of a hat (after that the process for moving the car is a bit more cumbersome) and they would like to extend that as long as practical.

All of this means it may not get classed until there are actually cars at dealerships, but they really want to see it in a stock class.

Those of you who are active Solo2 participants may want to write a letter to the SEB explaining why it should be in AS rather than SS. Keep in mind, they're not idiots, and you aren't going to fool them. But I'd stress the fact that it has a really peaky motor with only 135 lb/ft of torque, really skinny 5.5" front wheels, and no lsd. I would not stress the fact that it's going to weigh less than a ton ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That is very good news Robert. I will be happy in stock. A-Stock would be great. The class (I think) could use some help with a lower class subscription.

Hmm... what else is in AS?

Acura NSX
BMW M Coupe and Roadster ('01+)
BMW M3 (E46)
Corvette C4 ('84-96)
Corvette ZR-1
Mangusta and Pantera
Mustang Cobra SVT ('03+)
Mercedes SLK32 AMG ('02+)
Mercedes E55 AMG
Mitsubishi Evo VIII ('03+)
Porsche Boxster S
Porsche 911 (993 chassis) non-turbo ('95-98)
Saleen Mustang
Shelby Cobra
Toyota Supra Turbo ('93.5+)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What is in SS?

Obviously the class killer and dominator now is the Corvette Z-06.

BMW M5 ('00+)
Dodge Viper R/T, GTS, SRT-10
Lotus Esprit Turbo
RX-7 Turbo ('93+)
Porsche 911 (996 chassis) ('98+)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looking at the two classes, it will be key to come up with some data that shows why the car should be classed in AS and why it is not a good fit in SS.

As you mentioned. Wheel spin due to the lack of an LSD. We already know that Pat Salerno tested a 156hp Elise and experienced some wheel spin issues, enough that he is very concerned about the car. 190hp is not going to make that better. We know we can tweak some things, perhaps a larger front bar to reduce the inside rear wheel spin, but that is an unknown.

The size of the wheels and tire availability. We know that the widest tires we can fit on the front appear to be 205s. Quite a difference compared to the Z-06 for example.

Lack of torque.

Other things that will be considered-

Horsepower/weight.
Lotus handling.
Ability to adjust the suspension.
 

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The Z06 is the only option in SS. I don't see that changing, or them screwing with it. Not with 40+ Z06's at Nationals.

AS is another story, with only 30 cars at Nat's:
The C4 Corvette is currently the car to have in AS.
Both the Boxster S and the new M3 have the potential to be competetive in the right hands.
The Evo VIII and the WRX STi are gonna be quick once someone figures out how to set them up - especially in the wet...
The Kozlak's just bought a 993, so you know they'll be a threat.
I think the Elise would make a very nice addition to the class.
 

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My results are at http://www.geocities.com/nasa_autox/ for events 2 and 4 in the 2003 series. I drove the Miata in event 1. There were about 5-6 cars in AS each time, and I screwed up on every run at event 4, but did better in event 2. I ran several times in the 2002 series as well.

The nice thing about the Honda drivetrain is that it has the type-R LSD :)

Also the front wheel wells don't have much clearance, especially if you fit sport suspension and lower the ride height. It may not be possible to go above 195 wide. The main thing is to fit very soft rubber, as the lack of weight means typical tires are too stiff.

I'm not sure if the dot-rated Yoko 038's (for the S1, I think 048's for the S2's bigger wheels) put the car into ASP rather than AS. I hope not....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Fastspyder, do you have an S1 or an S2?
 
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