We accept surpassed the government-mandated allocation of the banderole “Killer Bees” for these cars, so let’s aloof say these are fun, fast and bargain Bs. And there are added of them actuality congenital all the time. Tiny, bargain cars from Mazda, Honda, Mini and Kia are actuality angry into chase cars all beyond the country to attempt in SCCA, Apple Challenge and Gran-Am contest in 2012. The acreage does not yet access the celebrity canicule of the Honda CRX in the Escort Apple Challenge or the Volkswagen Rabbit or Scirocco alternation of decades past, but by 2013 it’ll all be activity abundant guns–maybe.
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The SCCA hasn’t absitively yet whether the B-Spec cars will run in their own new chic or whether they’ll abide in the SSC chic as they accept been. It ability be that the SCCA holds off until 2013 to abstracted the Bs into their own class. Apple Challenge appear that it is adopting rules–three contest in 2012. Grand-Am should advertise its B-Spec rules soon. And the Canadian Touring Car Alternation appear that it is adopting B-Spec rules.
As for the cars, the greatest cardinal of B-Spec chase cars congenital so far assume to be Mazda 2s. The Mazda 2 is the lightest of the Spec Bs but additionally has the atomic ability in banal form. That should all be counterbalanced out by the SCCA with weight penalties and assimilation restrictions on competitors, though.
Even this aboriginal on, Mazda 2s accept been apparent at contest all beyond the country. Wisconsin’s Dave Wheeler congenital a Mazda 2 and afresh campaigned it in the SSC chic at Sebring in the SCCA Nationals. Randy Hale of Connecticut collection his Mazda 2 at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, as able-bodied as at hillclimbs, autocrosses, bounded contest and a 13-hour endure. Charles Paquin of Pennsylvania raced a car congenital by Hale at track-day contest and has affairs to chase it after this year in Spec B. Joel Weinberger and Continental Mazda of Naperville, Ill., accept a aboriginal car that is aloof cat-and-mouse for a abeyance but contrarily is done. And the Mazda R&D abode car, with “more afar on it than a Greyhound bus,” has been campaigned by the centralized racers at Mazda at any chase they can tow a bivouac to.
Mazda 2 B-Spec kits should advertise for about $2,600 from Mazdaspeed Motorsports back they clearly go on auction soon. The kit includes Bilstein coil-overs, advanced and rear springs, rear bar, strut address plate, a cat-back exhaust, braided stainless anchor lines, advanced anchor pads, air filter, oil acknowledgment and an A/C annul kit.
The Mini banderole is actuality campaigned by acclimatized adept Brad Davis of Mini of Charleston. This will be Davis’s 10th year antagonism Minis, and he has garnered added than a few top-10 finishes at the SCCA Runoffs. Mini of Charleston is architecture the kits to catechumen the adventurous Mini into a Spec B racer. Davis said that alike with an assimilation restrictor asthmatic airflow from 60 millimeters bottomward to 33 millimeters that “the car still feels peppy.” He estimates application in the chase adaptation at 112.
“However, because the car is engineered and advised so abundant better, it’ll be a lot easier and cheaper to race,” Davis enthused.
The Mini has gotten two canicule of testing at the BMW Performance Center and two canicule at Virginia International Raceway.
“Through corners it’s absolutely dialed in well,” Davis said.
Kia affairs to chase at atomic two Rio five-doors congenital by its accomplice Kinetic Motorsports. It showed the cars off at SEMA.
Kits for converting the Honda Fit (Fit kits?) will go on auction from Honda Performance Development (HPD) on Feb. 1 for $2,800. For that you get coil-over shocks, springs, advanced anchor pads, braided stainless-steel anchor lines, camber bolts, a cat-back exhaust, air clarify and an A/C annul belt (though rules acquiesce for air conditioning). You still accept to add a cycle cage, window nets, a antagonism bench and 205/50-15 tires.
Right now there are three B-Spec Fits congenital by Honda’s after-hours agent chase club and one added in the works in Florida apprehension its kit. But Honda admiral say there accept been lots of inquiries from both the United States and Canada.
We haven’t apparent any cars congenital yet from the added acceptable manufacturers, Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. But there could be a few hidden in garages.
To advance their entries in the accessible B-Class antagonism segment, Honda and Mazda arrive a few acclaimed car hacks to the Willow Springs racetrack for a drive a while ago. It would be the additional time we’d apprenticed the Fit in Spec B trim and it was still fun. The agent articulate smoother than the Mazda 2, and the turn-in was as if it was captivated on with Krazy Glue. The application was appealing wimpy, but that aloof armament you to accomplish the best out of your antagonism line. And if anybody abroad is aloof as underpowered, this could be fun. For our allotment we managed to bolt a Mazda 2, but that ability not accept meant anything.
The Mazda 2 acquainted aloof a tad heavier, which it isn’t, so maybe it was that the weight alteration from ancillary to ancillary acquainted aloof a little slower, as if the cycle was a little bigger controlled. The bankrupt was absolutely louder. It was fun, too. These cars accord you affluence of time to plan out your corners, alike as you’re active through them, and affluence of allowance for acclimation errors. If you could circuit one of these, you’d accept to absolutely try hard. Both cars accomplished the fun promised in the saying, “It’s bigger to drive a apathetic car fast than a fast car slow.”
Most makers are adage you could go antagonism in a new car for about $25,000 total, the cheapest you’ll be able to chase in any new car, probably. Sure, you could get into a (very) acclimated Spec Miata for as little as $8,000 for a turnkey beater back-of-the-pack entry, and a Formula 500 access apparently starts at $10,000. International Touring beaters can be had for $1,000 and up. Then there’s consistently the accomplished Le Mons thing, which is a apple unto itself and apparently starts at $500 a car. That looks like fun, too. But Spec B cars are bargain and they’re new.
“Theoretically, affairs a acclimated Spec Miata or a Miata kit would be beneath expensive,” said Steve Sanders, MazdaSpeed Motorsports development manager. “But a lot of bodies appetite to chase a new car. This allows you to do that at both the club akin and pro level.”
“The botheration is racing’s gotten too expensive,” said Honda’s Lee Niffenegger. “It’s harder to get into. So were aggravating to get those guys, the new claret in, accord ’em an opportunity.”
Now, aloof let us try out that Mini.
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