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rx555 07-03-2021 06:50 AM

Indy Runoffs 21
 
Will we have a good turn out for Indy this year? The first time there with 40 cars was great but it doesn't seem like as many guys are running this year.
The majors/super tour season is all but over. I was looking at the entry numbers for the year and they aren't great. I think it was 107. The only classes lower than us are P1, P2, GT1, GT3, GTL, and F5.
Are all the rule changes scaring people away? Just taking a year off? Once at Indy was enough? Fallout from the pandemic? Moved to another class?
I plan to be there. I'm sure the usual top teams will be. Who else? At least AS is in with T1 for quali this year instead of GT.

Danny"TheKraken"Richardson 07-03-2021 10:57 AM

We will be there. I think indy in 2017 was a complete let down as far as the track itself. I think the scca as a whole will struggle to match half of the entries they had in 17. I know a bunch of regulars that are not going or haven't run much this year to just save it for VIR in 22 and 23

rx555 07-04-2021 03:15 AM

That's what I was thinking on entries too. The national office seems to think they'll get 900 cars again and I kinda doubt it. People who are close will go and a those who missed out last time. I feel like it'll be more like 600.
I'm not going because it's a great track to drive, more because it's Indy and a Runoffs that's 4 hours away. Not planning on VIR, but we'll see.

I noticed there is a regional at The Glen coming up that has around ten AS cars entered. That's more than any Tour race other than Mid Ohio. Those guys are probably just doing it for fun without worrying about Runoffs like the Waterford group does.

PamRichardson 07-04-2021 09:34 AM

AS Regional Challenge
 
That group is new this year and in the building process. The qual race yesterday had 6 cars, not sure if there are mechanicals or those that could not make it. We expect them at Summit Point July 24-25. So far 7 cars are registered. We are thinking that we may get 3 or 4 more.

Their contacts are John Blanchard (Chair of the ASAC) and Tom Brown (previous AS member). Feel free to get in touch about the Challenge. Tom Brown just finished (first time out) a 5th Gen FP car. We are looking at it for our next car. People interested in building cars should get in touch with someone who has been around a while! I've been in the class in 1992, Danny, officially since he was 17 in 2004 (note that he got hooked when sitting in the stands at the Runoffs when I was driving as over 40 ground pounders flew by turn 7).

Feeding more cars and drivers into the Regional programs help to build the entire AS class. Cars/drivers seem to dip their toes in Super Tour/Majors at some point to get the feel. Most of the top teams are willing to mentor, and that includes both Danny and me. Years ago when the class began, we invited people to our garage. That invitation is still and always will be open.

For our part, anyone who is interested can PM Danny or me, or post on the Facebook page or messenger us.

Pam

Richard Pryor 07-05-2021 08:24 PM

West Coast Attitude
 
Hi, Pam,

I'm sure you'll see several AS cars from the Northern Pacific Division at the 2021 Runoffs...several Spec Mustang/AS cars will be going to experience Indy. Indy is a bucket list track for many drivers, and as you note, many did so the first time around to the tune of 900 strong. I am aware of several AS drivers who are qualified from here but won't be going as it is a "been there, done that". And I doubt you'll get very, very few AS drivers going to VIR in the two subsequent years. Way too far, way too much time and money.

So where does that leave AS in California? We're emulating the Waterford Hills AS group lead and emphasizing fun in AS without the cutting edge cost of Runoffs level prep and commitment. We've created a class, Muscle Car (MC) in the San Francisco Region, that is AS rules frozen at 2018 specs (no Spec Mustangs) and has a 100 tread wear tire rule for cost containment. With the pandemic winding down we're seeing interest from AS racers who dropped out for various reasons over the past years and from new racers interested in the sound and fury of an American V8 Muscle Car.

Four 3rd Gen Camaros and Firebirds have been rescued from garage hibernation and will be running later in the year and in 2022. Several 4th gens are being built right now (both RP and FP versions). And there are five new drivers joining SCCA and MC for 2022 starting with the SFR Drivers' School in January. Four cars ran the Laguna Seca Regional last month and there will be five at the next one in a few weeks and for the Labor Day Regional there will be eight MC cars on the track including two Mustangs new to the group. We anticipate having 10-14 car fields in 2022 with continuing interest in the class.

One of the factors that convinces racers to join the MC group is money. Since we're all out for fun, cost containment is a big incentive to join MC. Getting rid of Hoosier $1500 per weekend (or more) tire bills in favor of $900 per set (or less) for Toyo, Maxxis, Nankang, Nitto, etc 100 TW tires is a big draw. And so far both Toyo and Maxxis tires are showing incredible durability and consistency with one car on Maxxis having 3 full double race weekends and 3 full track days and no change in grip levels or lap times. Running 100 TW tires is something, IMHO, every AS group should consider. They run about 2 seconds a lap slower than R7 times but if everyone is on the same tire wouldn't you rather have a set of tires that costs almost half what a set of Hoosiers costs? and lasts six times as long?

So, that's my summary of AS on the West Coast...we're going to see old AS cars become MC cars...AS will continue to be populated by Spec Mustangs...AS cars will not be going to the Runoffs from here....we'll see a growing and popular AS style MC group over the next few years..it's going to get back to having fun with AS cars in the MC group.

It seems to me that AS will continue to decrease in numbers and interest due to increase in cost of participation at the top level. Regional pockets of older, lower prep cars may join together and have just as much fun at a much lower cost. It's just different goals.

Tim White 07-06-2021 10:30 AM

I'm going. We didn't have 40 cars in 2017, it was 30 cars. I hope we can equal that. Personally, I loved the track, I thought it flowed really well.

PamRichardson 07-06-2021 04:20 PM

Hi back to Richard Pryor!
 
Hi Richard!

Good to hear from you and glad things are going well out there! Glad also that you are putting together a West Coast version of the AS Regional Racing Challenge! I hope it is successful and all the folks there continue to have fun. As you said, that is the goal!

Pam

Ken Felice 07-06-2021 05:34 PM

race for fun
 
I don't want to through water on your post. I am very glad that you are getting more AS cars. The runoffs that were in Cal. if you remember were better attended by the cars from east of the miss. river. We like to also have fun and we will travel to do it .Please try to remember what the rules are for AS why do you have change with out going thru the correct channels.
We are AS legal and plan to stay that way, to stay in AS not by changing the rules with out class input.

Ken Felice

Richard Pryor 07-06-2021 07:54 PM

New Rules
 
Hi, Ken,

As you point out, the AS contingent at the last two Runoffs at Laguna and Sears Point validate the trend of A Sedan dying out on the West Coast. If it were not for the addition of the Spec Mustangs into AS you would not have more than a few AS cars on the West Coast. For all intents and purposes AS is a dead class on the West Coast. You aren't going to see any growth in AS numbers; only decline. Once a class begins to decline in numbers in different areas of the country it is hard to bring it back. Momentum begets momentum...either up or down.

I guess I wasn't clear about our intentions with Muscle Car. The MC class is a San Francisco Regional only class based 90% on A Sedan rules circa 2018 prior to the latest round of cost increases. The MC class rules are formulated by a three person Board of Directors and are aimed toward keeping costs down (hence the 100 tread wear tire rule) and no continual cost creep in preparation allowances like AS has experienced (i.e., brakes, cams, etc).

The Prime Directive for the MC rules is to keep it simple and cheap (well, racing cheap that is) and encouraging for new drivers to join the class by building a new car, buying an existing MC car (two are for sale...one holds the MC track record at Sonoma; the other holds the lap record at Laguna and Thunderhill...they are each $12,000 including a new set of Maxxis 275/40/17 on new American rims) and third option of finding an old garaged AS, CMC or T2 car and bringing it up to spec.

As a result of this we have a new class that had only two cars in 2020 and has eight cars this year and twelve or more cars expected for 2021. It's too late for AS on a National level to grow countrywide...I expect it to continue to shrink in numbers..but regionally there is the opportunity for an AS based class to take root and thrive in various areas such as is now happening in three areas.

A good sign of things to come is that four new racers will be going to the SFR Drivers' School in January to join the MC class. Two of them are rescuing old AS cars, one is building their own and one is buying an existing car. A good trend all around.

I have an extra MC Camaro that is available for racers interested in MC and for people who have always wanted to race and are interested in MC. It is available for open track days at Laguna Seca at no charge. And it is available for rent at SFR races. Waterford Hills AS alumni Anton Savinov ran the rental Camaro at Laguna and set a new track record and ended up with a second and fourth in the weekend races. If anyone reading this has always wanted to race at Laguna, here's your chance...fly in and stay at a Carmel B and B and have a blast at the track. And I guarantee you'll have fun.

PbFoot 07-06-2021 10:27 PM

American Sedan has a rich history in the SCCA and I'm proud to have been there for most of it.. The class has out lived many other classes within the SCCA, but as Richard eluded to all good things come to an end and AS may be in its twilight.

Three of the six SCCA conferences will probably only send 3-4 cars total to the RO's this year. AS appears to be a regional class that still has a national level standing. Best of luck to those true believers and I hope a renaissance is in the offing.


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