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NASA Spec Iron - Thoughts?

What's everyone's thoughts on NASA Spec Iron? There's a lot of performance limitation to the Ford Performance parts the rules mandate but seems like an affordable place to start and the platform could be used down the road to bump up to AI/AIX or do a Boss 302S build (assuming you go with a '10).

The last few years I've run MX-5's in Skip Barber but have sat out this season and looking for something manageable to run.

Looking for everyone's thoughts as many of you are more knowledgable than me.
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I looked into running AIX myself, but currently there are zero cars in my area running in that class. AI seems to be doing well here so I suppose it depends on where you are in the country.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,627
2,555
Arizona, USA
Spec Iron is different from AI and AIX. It would be a good place to start for sure, you will have about 300whp if you are lucky, which isn't much for these cars but it's a spec class so whatever.

The chassis is the same as anything available in S197 2005-2014 (generally) so it would be very easy to upgrade to a Coyote engine and better shocks later on if you were so inclined.

The biggest deal is probably being in a region where there are other Spec Iron cars.
They seem to be popular in the Midwest and East Coast NASA regions; on the West Coast AI/AIX is more popular (at least from my perception).
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Spec Iron is different from AI and AIX. It would be a good place to start for sure, you will have about 300whp if you are lucky, which isn't much for these cars but it's a spec class so whatever.

The chassis is the same as anything available in S197 2005-2014 (generally) so it would be very easy to upgrade to a Coyote engine and better shocks later on if you were so inclined.
I looked into Spec Iron as well.
I went to the NASA event at Sonoma on Sunday and of the hundreds of cars that showed up only a handful were mustangs and mostly AI cars. Seems different classes are popular in different areas. So Cal its all the rage. Up here, not so much.
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I wrote to NASA and this is the reply I got:

Sal,
In Nor Cal I believe they may have one or two AIX guys that show up occasionally. I am in So Cal and we do not have any AIX cars but we do have a large field of AI cars and the class is growing.

You may want to consider building an AI car and come down to So Cal and race with us.

Rob
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
This is me at the NASA Sonoma event not being amused.
"I find your lack of Mustangs disturbing...."
18581633_10155315935948535_3391298790986114707_n.jpg
18581633_10155315935948535_3391298790986114707_n.jpg
 
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Spec iron is intensely competitive out east here. Great group of guys. AI is also very popular. I'm in AIX which ebbs and flows in participation but there were 6 entries at hyperfest and 5 AI cars. So my goal is to try and keep the class alive.

But I might get a SI car anyway!
 
Can someone give me a quick recap of AI vs. AIX? I think it's mainly power to weight. And as I understand, AI allows aero with few limitations and also very few suspension limitations.

Am I correct here? I just have not had time to look through all the rule. I wish there was a summary (cliff notes) of each class somewhere.
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Can someone give me a quick recap of AI vs. AIX? I think it's mainly power to weight. And as I understand, AI allows aero with few limitations and also very few suspension limitations.

Am I correct here? I just have not had time to look through all the rule. I wish there was a summary (cliff notes) of each class somewhere.
AI is power to weight and AIX is no power limit with a mimum weight for V6 and a slightly higher min weight for V8 cars. Also, any tire and any wheel up to 13" wide. More freedom with the cage and chassis stiffening and more cutting of sheetmetal and replacing more panels with composites. And, more Aero.
 
4,835
5,584
I was talking to Jeff, our engineer who formerly worked at Ford SVT and now works for Cosworth, about this awhile back. The main issue with ... american iron is that cars get obsoleted, wouldn't it be nice if spec tunes were introduced so that a 03 4.6 could be made to compete with the newer 4cam cars, along with the 05-09 3 cam cars. Sure, eventually the new 4 cam cars, mostly because of their suspension would eventually prevail, but there would be plenty of bread and butter fox body single cam cars that would be available to beginners. The issue with most organizations, and NASA probably has their finger on the pulse of the competitor more than anyone else, mainly because they want to make money (chock another one up for capitalism) is a way to include as many cars, competitively, in a single class. Lets face it, no one wants to win a 2 car field, it just doesn't make sense, finish in the top 10 out of 30 cars, and you've really done something.
The issue is, how to make them all equal, I believe he may be on to something there.
With regards to running AIX, everyone likes to have more open rules, until of course somebody comes along with more money than you and starts working you over every weekend, the truth of the matter is that classes with the strictest rules, usually have the highest car counts, (spec miata, formula vee, spec racer ford, etc) because they limit expenses.
Can Am, back in the day was great because it had open rules, lots of great innovation, articulating wings sucker cars and all that, then Porsche came along with an unlimited budget and killed it..dead..gone, it was never to be as popular as it was in the 60-70s.
 
5,529
6,511
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Agreed. I have been through decades of oval track rule/class/sanctioning body changes and it always ends up the same. The wild classes start big and Peter out while the blue collar limited classes thrive. Being an innovator myself, I like the freedom to experiment, and I have been very successful. However, to compete with a guy with the resources to build from scratch and constantly refine, it takes a lot of money. So someone comes along with enough money to hire that innovative guy plus have all the capitol for the best parts and tires etc. and he has a huge leg up on the rest. If that guy is also a smart and talented driver you have a dominant force and everybody else has little chance of competing, so the field dies. I've watched this scenario play out over and over and it always ends the same.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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