Where'd the S197 go?

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Where'd the S197 go?

Postby Al Fernandez » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:09 pm

I think its a little funny that nobody has commented on what I think is a fairly major change in the 2014 rules...the elimination of the S197. Ok ok, I was kind of a prick for not actually saying anything in the Directors Cut post :lol: I was sure that'd be one of the first things commented on.

Anyway, this was mentioned to me by several folks though never formalized in an RCR. You may not know, but we had zero S197s compete in CMC in 2013, no doubt due to the fairly dramatic changes to the rules that we made for 2013 in an effort to equalize (ie slow the damn things down) them to the rest of the field. Since doing so made the package unattractive enough that all of the existing drivers chose to run in another class, and perhaps more importantly due to the creation of Spec Iron specifically for the 4.6 S197, it made perfect sense to just eliminate it from CMC. I hope that makes sense to you guys and that you're happy with that decision.
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Postby JJKJ » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:33 am

I posted in the the other CMC promotion thread that I think growing CMC and ensuring its long-term survival means we have to find a way to successfully integrate the new GM and Ford platforms. I know I'm new to CMC but I've been around amateur racing for many years. Why would you want to send a potentially large contingent of racers off to another class when our goal is to increase car count and attract new drivers?

My vision for CMC is that it always serves as the entry-level class for those who want to compete with their Camaro/Firebird/Mustang. CMC would be the stepping stone to faster classes for those who want to make that jump. Thinking not just 1 or 2 years down the road, but 5 to 10 years down the road, this class will begin to dwindle and die off and other classes that will include and cater to the new platforms will grow.

I'm not saying there wouldn't be challenges to making that integration happen, but in my opinion it would be a worthwhile effort.

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Postby Supercharged111 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:00 am

I don't think they wanted to eliminate them, but nobody with an S197 ran CMC this year. Why? The car is capable of so much more than the average CMC car. It gets massively dumbed down. If you owned an S197, would you want to dumb it down that far? Perhaps if it meant cutting your racing budget in half, but if you've got the money to build an S197, you've probably got the money to run it uncorked. I'm guessing that that, combined with the creation of SI, a place to run uncorked, is why no S197s ran CMC. Had the Camaro not ceased production for so long, this may be an easier problem to solve, but at this point it's only 1 platform that some think should be allowed, right? What about the new Camaro? My guess is A: it's not yet old enough and B: it'd be really, really difficult to fit it in CMC. Moreso than the S197. It has IRS, 430hp bone stock and weighs what, 4,000#? You're not going to get it light enough to be close to what currently exists, and even with the weight finding the point to choke it to the point of no advantage would also be difficult. Even then the suspension is probably still light years ahead. Once you're doing 100mph, torque/hp become much, much bigger factors than weight. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but what have other series done to make such a drastically different car fit in a series? Is CMC truly doomed? Or do we just keep evolving to keep these old cars on track, i.e. control arm mounts and the 5.3? I think we can keep running what we've got for a long time, but on the flip side you don't want to wait until it's too late to make a necessary change. What is that point?
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Re: Where'd the S197 go?

Postby MHISSTC » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:32 am

Al Fernandez wrote:...we had zero S197s compete in CMC in 2013, no doubt due to the fairly dramatic changes to the rules that we made for 2013 in an effort to equalize (ie slow the damn things down) them to the rest of the field. Since doing so made the package unattractive enough that all of the existing drivers chose to run in another class, and perhaps more importantly due to the creation of Spec Iron specifically for the 4.6 S197, it made perfect sense to just eliminate it from CMC. I hope that makes sense to you guys and that you're happy with that decision.


...aaaannnnd CMC just officially became a vintage series.

It's a good thing we've started to make allowances that work towards increasing the longevity of the various platforms.
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Postby Sidney » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:59 am

Supercharged111 wrote:...but if you've got the money to build an S197, you've probably got the money to run it uncorked. I'm guessing that that, combined with the creation of SI, a place to run uncorked, is why no S197s ran CMC.


I ran the numbers to build an S197 CMC car with the help of Steve Poe last year and it could be done for $16,000 to $20,000 using a manual '05 GT and doing the labor yourself. Using the Ford Catalog to build an SI car is over $30,000 using the same donor and several that built them are talking $40K.

Using Autotrader there are plenty of S197 Manual GT's for $8,000 to $10,000 that don't need paint, engine swaps, trans swaps, major bodywork or RUST. There were plenty of races where 3rd gens on 16's outran Anders when he was on 275's. The S197 in itself isn't a class killer just as Suck Fumes' SN95 isn't either. Any brand new build on any chassis using all the rules allowed...is going to be at the front. It's just a fine chassis that is new and who wouldn't want to build a new car versus dragging an old Fox out of a junkyard?

My point...I think there are drivers out there that would spend $20,000 to race an S197 but aren't going to spend $30,000+. Shoving them out of CMC last year with the insane rules is the reason they didn't run CMC in 2013. The unknown is how many would have been built for CMC but those drivers went to other classes or other platforms altogether.

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Postby suck fumes » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:33 am

I would have built a CMC s197 but then I saw the 2013 rules and changed my mind haha.
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Postby Supercharged111 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:54 pm

suck fumes wrote:I would have built a CMC s197 but then I saw the 2013 rules and changed my mind haha.


Did your reasoning coincide with my ASSumptions?
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Postby suck fumes » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:13 pm

All I know is spec iron is really taking off here in Texas. We already have 5 cars that will be ready by January and maybe a 6th on the way. I just think spec iron is a much more appealing class to new people as of right now. I don't know anyone that has said they want to build a CMC car. Spec seems to be the wave of the future in NASA.
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Postby MHISSTC » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:18 pm

Sidney wrote:Using Autotrader there are plenty of S197 Manual GT's for $8,000 to $10,000 that don't need paint, engine swaps, trans swaps, major bodywork or RUST.


Those are good prices. I've been searching on a regular basis for a higher mileage S197 Mustang GT to use as a daily driver that could eventually be used as a track car. I've only been able to find V6s in that price range. Decent manual GTs seem to still in the 10-13k price range anywhere within a 300 mile radius of me. I imagine the prices of the 4.6L S197s will have another significant drop once the new 2014.5 and 2015 Mustangs come out.
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Postby Steve91T » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:33 pm

Unfortunately there are going to be some tough decisions to come. I feel that we should be racing with 5th gen Camaros and new Mustangs. But they are fast. It makes absolutely no sense to try to slow them down to mid 90's numbers. Our only option is to up the power level. The LT1, LS1, and the new 5.3 can make 330 rwhp easily. The new cars could run more power, but will have much more weight to out around. The problem is the 3rd gen's and older mustangs.....they'll probably need blowers. :)

All I know is a 5.3 with a cheap cam will lay down 330 hp. That doesn't cost much. And it'll allow us to run with the late models, increasing car count, which will keep the series alive.

I know this isn't going to be a popular idea, but personally, I see no other way.

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Postby Supercharged111 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:51 pm

Spec F-body. :lol: I'll drop coin on longtubes, a cam, and a tune, pretty sure I could make some extra juice and maintain reliability. I miss the 100hp I gave up to come to CMC. Problem is, power doesn't come near as cheap or as easy as bolt-ons to the Ford boys. LT1/LS1 needs no power mods to make the numbers, quite the opposite. The 5.0 Ford boys need GT40 or GT40P parts plus shorties to make the numbers. Not a biggie here in Colorado Springs, but this shit doesn't grow on trees everywhere. The 4.6 boys need longtubes and a PI engine to make the numbers they make, which still isn't maxxing out their allowed torque. It's just so far for either of the platforms (S197/5th gen) to have to meet in the middle. Technology is a cold, unforgiving bitch. We'd literally need sacrificial guinea pigs to run CMC for the sole purpose of figuring out how to make those cars fit. I can totally understand why they're putting this off or dismissing it entirely, the new cars are just that much better and I really think the 5th gen Camaro would be a more difficult fit than the S197 because it has way more power, torque, weight, and an IRS which the Fords aren't allowed to run even though legal years come stock with it. If they do allow it, it'll fundamentally change CMC, but if the cost of building a newer car is the same as an older one, no biggie? Save for the pre-existing guy who'll have to react to the new rules to make the numbers. I think the objective is to please as many as possible, and I may have answered my own question in that the point at which CMC seriously pursues making all these generations competitive with one another is when enough people are willing to bend (old guys powering up, new guys building cars to power down/dumb down) to the measures necessary to make it work. Since we're largely running the older cars, I think we're a few years off yet.
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Postby Steve91T » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:11 pm

I agree that we're probably a few years away from power changes. The one thing that might be used to our advantage is the weight of the new cars. They are pigs and that might be what saves us. Keep them heavy and restrict the power and let us come up in power...not much, just enough. That might work. It would actually make the newer cars more attractive because you wouldn't have to do much at all to them. Weld up a cage and go racing. If this is done correctly, it might actually bring back the "original" CMC. Grab a mustang or camaro, weld in a cage and hit the track. It'd be like the "good old days" of CMC.

But for now, let's keep what we have. These new rules are exciting and I think they are going to make CMC more attractive. But we need to start planning for the future.

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Postby cozog » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:38 am

Adding 100hp/tq will put us in AI territory. Adding more hp increases cost exponentially. Think of the rear susp issues for SN95/Fox. The whole thing would need to be redone. Not mention brakes, cooling, diffs, etc. that will wear out so much faster.

Personally, I'd love to see a modern Camaro/Mustang/challenger/charger series with limited or spec modifications. Maybe SI will grow into that... dunno. But CMC is prob never going to be at those power levels as it totally changes everything, especially cost.

I think there's more opportunity to dumb down 2005+ cars than trying to upgrade 30 year old fox/3rd gens. What about new v6 cars? They're at 300/280... just saying.
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Postby Steve91T » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:50 am

cozog wrote:Adding 100hp/tq will put us in AI territory. Adding more hp increases cost exponentially. Think of the rear susp issues for SN95/Fox. The whole thing would need to be redone. Not mention brakes, cooling, diffs, etc. that will wear out so much faster.

Personally, I'd love to see a modern Camaro/Mustang/challenger/charger series with limited or spec modifications. Maybe SI will grow into that... dunno. But CMC is prob never going to be at those power levels as it totally changes everything, especially cost.

I think there's more opportunity to dumb down 2005+ cars than trying to upgrade 30 year old fox/3rd gens. What about new v6 cars? They're at 300/280... just saying.


I think 50 rwhp is all it would take, but you are right, it'll add cost. I just hope we can keep CMC alive.

The new V6 cars is a very good idea. Those cars are really cheap and might actually handle better with less weight up front. If they can get them light enough, those cars might actually run well with us.

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Postby wastntim » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:09 am

Personally, I was disappointed to have the S197 leave the class. We lost some good drivers and some fun racing. Plus, I felt it made the class more appealing to new drivers. Face it, most of the guys racing in CMC are guys who drove these cars when they were growing up and in their twenties. Younger drivers today likely never yearned to own a fox body or a third gen as they weren't even being made by the time they were driving and the fourth gens are not far behind. One of the things that made my third gen so appealing was that a third gen was my first sports car but when we lose the appeal to the younger drivers, we clearly put a lifespan on our class. I think we should start working on new names for it, as a change will be needed soon. Maybe, the 20th century Camaro Mustang Challenge? Because when you start telling someone that you run in the Camaro Mustang Challenge you immediately have to qualify that its only "old" cars in the class.

I wish more work was done on making the cars more even rather than the massive reduction to the S197 power numbers last year. The problem was, however, that many are so against modifying the rules to make the older cars handle better to compete with the S197 which left only one choice - kill the S197. Maybe it would be too cost prohibitive. I can honestly say that I don't know the answer. I just feel like we did not do enough before a decision was made that was so drastic that it scared away every S197 owner.

I guess that part of my problem is that I'm kind of a Techie. I'm one of the people who likes to see things get better and enjoys the improvements that come forward in technology. I relish the benefits that my Iphone provide over my old flip phone. I love my DVR and not having to watch commercials at length and when it comes to racing, I guess I look to enjoy some of those same benefits. Kudos to the directors on the implementation of the spring perch rules. Yes, we all could become masters of cutting springs and shims to try to adjust our ride height and cornerweight our cars but when technology provides us a simple, inexpensive way to accomplish these same things that will be infinitely easier, I am going to want that as an option. Call me greedy, but it is the way we live nowadays and fighting it is futile. If you think you can fight it, tell your kids they cannot have the newest phone or video game and tell them they will be happier without it. See how that works.
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