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Subject: SM/SP
From: "Ron Chapman" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:35:41 -0700
If you delete all the emotional flames from Jay's response, he did hit the nail 
on the head- its cheeky and way premature to talk about combining SP and SM due 
to the imminent demise of SP because SP has "old" cars.

Let's blow by the facts that: a)  SM is not a full national class yet b) SM2 
doesn't even exist as a regional class in most places, and c) all of the SP 
classes were well-subscribed at Nationals.

The reasons that older cars predominate in SP, especially in the low 
displacement classes are 1) years of development, and 2) small cars have become 
increasingly obese over the past 15 years.  Look at the curb weights of the 
2001 Miata compared to the 1990 Miata.  And, the WRX is really quite a small 
car- where did they pack in all those pounds?

Frankly, the oldest cars have had their day in the sun- its getting 
increasingly hard to get them to continue improving them due to the drying up 
of aftermarket parts for these cars.  Eventually, they will be displaced by 
newer cars as the old ones die or reach the limits of development.

But, the idea that newer cars have more intrinsic appeal as autocross cars is 
dead wrong.  Look at the situation in road racing, where SS is withering and 
the "old" cars in IT are carrying many a regional program.

And, finally, it seems to me that those that feel there are too many classes 
just don't have a big enough program.  San Diego region has been averaging over 
200 cars, and both LA and SF average more.  In San Diego, we have double the 
number of active participants than we had six years ago.  This past Sunday, SD 
and LA easily had a combined 500 entrants.  

So, where you have lots of entrants, what's wrong with lots of classes?  If you 
don't have the entries, you can always adjust your program.Locally, prepared 
and mods don't have a lot entrants, so we've consolidated them into four 
classes with the cars paxed to level the field.

We know DG really loves SM.  SP is not popular with a lot of people, because 
its not easy to build a competitive car that's streetable.  But, don't make 
long term plans for the demise of a popular class of vehicles because you can't 
make your car competitive there unless you throw most prep rules to the wind.

Ron Chapman

84 CRX  CSP (probably coulda guessed, huh?)
99 Miata BS

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