B-Spec Race Cars Complete First Group Test

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B-Spec racers in formation for first group test

B-Spec racers in formation for first group test

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When you think of the Honda Fit, Fiat 500, Mazda2, or Ford Fiesta, your first thought probably isn't, "hey, that'd make a great road racing car!" That's exactly what the new B-Spec class hopes you'll think, however, and seeing these pint-sized racers all together, it might just happen.

Last week, the SCCA hosted the first group test of the cars to evaluate performance parity and potential for each of the cars. SCCA club racing board representative Tom Start said, "We were able to gather a lot of useful data that will go directly toward the specs for 2012. We expect to have an additional test sometime in January, with additional manufacturers participating as well."

The cars ran on BFGoodrich tires with Charles Espenlaub, Peter Cunningham, Kuno Wittmer, and Andy Vrenko taking the wheel in five lap sessions. The drivers then debriefed technical staff members on each car's behavior. Data acquisition systems were also used to evaluate each car's performance. All cars were run as built, then with engine restrictors and also with 100 pounds of ballast on board, likely to evaluate the different methods the series might take to enforce parity.

The formula for the B-Spec racers, with individual adjustments for performance, is tentatively set for final release in January 2012. Kia may yet join the fray if this Kia Rio B-Spec concept car for SEMA is any indication.

The new class kicks off next year in the hopes of drawing in new racers with a more affordable spec series, as well as leveraging the manufacturers' desire to see these cars put in front of new audiences. The SCCA will incorporate the B-Spec racers into its Showroom Stock C class. Grand-Am and Pirelli World Challenge officials have expressed interest, but not yet made any plans for the new class.

 
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