Thread: SMG in AS?
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:08 PM
Richard Pryor Richard Pryor is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 45

If you wrote a letter to the Bod regarding the SMG group bing classed in AS you will have received the following letter. If you didn't here it is posted in its entirety:

2019 AS SMG:
American Sedan Competitors,

Thank you for sharing your opinion on the recent changes to the American Sedan class. As members of the Board of Directors itís our job to review changes proposed by the Club Racing Board and approve those we find appropriate. We rely on the expertise that sits on the Club Racing Board and its committees to research and discuss these changes and conclude they are the best steps going forward before they are presented to the BOD.

As the BoD liaisons to the CRB we asked that they put together a letter to explain the reasoning behind their proposal. It may not change your opinion, but we feel it's a good explanation of why the club is going in this direction.

Thanks again, Marcus Meridith, Peter Jankovskis, Bob Dowie

From the CRB:
When AS was in its heyday, it was a garage built, simple, V8 racecar class Fast forward to 2018, where the top running AS cars are light years ahead of the typical AS garage built cars in terms of highly developed race engines and chassis. What was a 20k build has grown many times over, with the gap between the haves and have nots discouraging many drivers from running. The bottom line is that no class can easily grow when a competitive car costs 3-4 times to build vs. what other classes in the club can offer from a driving experience and overall car value.

Since its inception, the key to the success of AS was easy access to building V8race cars. 7 years ago, the committee recognized this important idea, and came up with a plan to allow late model cars into the class with no power train modifications from stock. To keep these cars in the competitive set, they were allowed larger brakes, tires, and wheels that typically came with the newer models. This was called restricted prep, RP. While the idea was noble, its success was limited due to the lack of competition and the needed chassis development that was needed to take a solid axle car from decades ago and turn it into a serious track performer. Recent years has shown RP cars like the CTS-V to be competitive, but its independent rear suspension, and much more power than any other RP car has left it as the only option to run this route.

In 2014 on the west coast, a group saw this huge gap and created the Spec Mustang. In spirit, it followed the original formula that started the AS classifications. Cheap, easy, V8 garage build race cars. They even gave you the parts list of all components to buy, and just like RP, doesnít allow any power train modifications. Its success isnít the reason why it was voted into AS, but the formula that it uses is now the running philosophy that the AS committee is using. SMG was simply the best and quickest way to kick off that idea to start this direction. We are told that more platforms are going to follow in its
place that are true to allow simplification of the AS program, while keeping the highly prepared race cars that AS is known for as the core.

As far as concerns with the car from a performance standpoint, it has the same tire size, wheel size, and weights as the RP cars that are already in the class. It in fact has the lowest horsepower/torque rating of any AS car. Compared to the top highly developed cars, the deficit is in the range of 70-95 horsepower. It makes up for that disadvantage with a well developed chassis (that anyone could do in the current RP Mustang, but simply hasnít due to the development costs), AND the only three items that are beyond the AS philosophy: 1- ABS is still turned on, 2 - a rear wing. 3 - aftermarket rear control arms.

The committee felt that ABS could be easily disabled if it becomes too much of a departure with the other cars (that is the case with the current RP allowed cars). To encourage immediate participation and better evaluate the impact of ABS, they would be allowed that feature for 2019. As far as the wing goes, yes it is mostly for visual appeal, and anyone would be hard pressed to find a significant performance gain (other than drag). But the committee again thought that if you were given the choice of a wing or 70-90 horsepower, most drivers would choose the power. The rear control arm is something that can easily be given to all cars as itís a simple cost effective component that everyone in the class wants.

As far as lap times go, there are ways to try to compare given the fact that these cars have been running in other series and classes for years. There no doubt that the SMG car can only be competitive on handling tracks. The power levels are not enough to compete in a straight line. And like all of our classes that combine cars with different characteristics, if the cars can run the same lap time but one can pull 6-10 car lengths on the straightaway, which would most people choose?

The combination of a simple, inexpensive package, that can be run out of the box, are the main selling points that brought in the idea of the Spec Mustang, not its class killing competitiveness.

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