3) A well-prepared SP/SM car is *fast*. That means you have less time to
react, and that small mistakes bite you much harder.
I agree with almost everything you wrote except this. This may be true for
somecars, but not all. It especcially isn't true of a neons. By the time the
aligment and tire pressures are set for good cornering grip, the (stock) struts
are set to provide good turn in, everything has been sacrificed for what grip
and response one could get. There is little/no safety net for mistakes. A
national level setup in a neon is almost impossible to drive, becuase even a
relatively small mistake will have you do a 180 almost instantly. The extreme
camber limits allowed mean there is no chance to put down even the power you
have. Small changes in line destroy speed that otherwise could be carried
through the course.
In my DS neon, I was along for the ride, I had to plan well in advance, and by
the time I was ready to start approaching a turn, it was too late to make any
changes, or make anything up later in the course. My test of driving skills
started at the first corner. Little bobble on that first corner, lap time is
shot. 3" to left of proper entry for the second, lap time is shot. Single
elimination tournement at every corner.
Every little mistake is instantly magnified in a stock car. A little bobble
that will cost .2 in the DSP neon, would cost .7 in the DS neon. There is less
time to react in a more highly prepped car, but the stock cars bite much
harder, and have no ability to recover. Virtually all manners have been
sacrificed for the chance at the mystical perfect run.
But I do agree wholeheartadly, I learned a lot about driving in the car when it
was stock. It also helps that I stumbled into this sport at a time when there
was immense depth of driving talent in DS (lots of help)