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S2000 on a competitive level

 
Old 05-28-2018, 02:40 AM
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Question S2000 on a competitive level

Hey guys

I am starting to get into track racing and I notice there just is not a lot of s2000, especially in big tracks. I always wondered why don't we see them often at high level competition.
Since our S2000 are just amazing in handling, with a supercharger, a proper tune, and widebody for wider tires, are our cars not capable of beating these track beasts like the Z06s and 997s assuming the driver mod is the same level? Is it because of class regulations for events? I mean, what is it that we just don't see s2000s very often? Anyone pros want to chime in?

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Old 05-28-2018, 07:08 AM
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Why would someone race an S2000? Porsche actively sponsors race series and builds 3 or 4 different ready to race cars. MB does the same.

Race cars are built to rules and the rules are designed to attract manufacturer and sponsor interest. The S2000 has been out of production for a decade and didn't sell that many overall, and especially in the last 2 years. There is no real push to make the S2000 a factor in any big league car.

The rules often limit modifications. While it is possible to build modified S2000s, it is possible to build modified Corvettes and Porsches. Racing puts extreme, repeated, and constant loads on the engine, driveline, and chassis that it will never see on the street. The main straight on most road courses have a longer period of wide open throttle on one lap than a car will ever see on the street. Once getting to the OEM, emissions legal power levels of a street Corvette or Porsche, a decidedly not emissions legal S2000 would need changes to the transmission, differential, rear axles, bearings, etc.

Where the S2000 has found a home is in track day/HPDE events and the low-level competition of NASA and a few other organizations. There, with a few simple modifications to the brakes and suspension, the S2000 has proven a reliable companion. Some shortchange safety at those events, with big discussions on that topic on this forum and on the forums of other popular track day cars.

When it was current the S2000 was common in some Japanese racing series. About 6 years ago there was an extreme S2000 built for WTC time trials. Drag racers have brought it up to 1200+hp, leveraging its position as the only OEM RWD with the very popular K-series type engine. A cheaper way to get to those power levels would be to put in a 2JZ.

On the street, the S2000 is still a unique high-performance minimalist small roadster in a way the Miata and Boxster, its two closest conceptual competitors, don't match (Miata misses high-performance, Boxster misses minimalist).
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:14 AM
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:31 PM
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s2000 is an awesome platform for time attack, check out the entry list for Gridlife track battles. Grassroots wheel to wheel racing tends to work better with a mass produced chassis like the miata or the e36 bmw, cars that are readily available. The upcoming Spec Corvette series will be interesting to see since there were so many of them produced, a competitve c5 build could be raceworthy under $25k. For pro level competition David up above totally nailed it.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:21 AM
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Prima Racing has fielded a few S2000s in NASA and SCCA wheel-to-wheel racing. There were a few other wheel-to-wheel builds from the northern California scene before that, though I'm not sure if any are still active other than Prima. And of course, there are plenty of time attack vehicles in various classes all over the country.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thomsbrain View Post
Prima Racing has fielded a few S2000s in NASA and SCCA wheel-to-wheel racing. There were a few other wheel-to-wheel builds from the northern California scene before that, though I'm not sure if any are still active other than Prima. And of course, there are plenty of time attack vehicles in various classes all over the country.
The year the SCCA Runoffs where in California the S2000s dominated. However, there were fewer entries and those cars had sequential gearboxes. Not inexpensive.

Unless you have deep pockets and usually having minimal competition, the S2k isn't the first choice for competitive racing. If you want to improve your driving skills, other than traveling pro series (e.g. F4 Championship, F2000 championship, etc.) the only choices are Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, and oval track racing.

Remember, in competitive racing the chassis is a throwaway. It could be destroyed in a wreck at any time. That doesn't need to be twisted beyond recognition. Even a relatively minor hit can twist the chassis beyond cost effective repair. It happens all the time in Spec Miata, Spec E30, and 944 Spec. In Spec Miata I've been told that the top runners replace their chassis every few years because "they wear out" and aren't as fast. Of the classes mentioned, oval track cars are the easiest to repair after a crash, then Spec Racer Ford.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thomsbrain View Post
Prima Racing has fielded a few S2000s in NASA and SCCA wheel-to-wheel racing. There were a few other wheel-to-wheel builds from the northern California scene before that, though I'm not sure if any are still active other than Prima. And of course, there are plenty of time attack vehicles in various classes all over the country.
For the OP.

Prima Racing « Prima Racing Website Prima Racing

Last edited by freq; 05-30-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by freq View Post
A mixed bag of local racing with 3-to-5 cars in the class. The SCCA Runoffs has a bigger field, which they won the last time it was in California. But many of the teams east of the Rockies don't make the trek to California and have never run the West Coast tracks. Everyone isn't Sandro Espinsoa.

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Old 05-31-2018, 05:14 AM
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Where are you looking? The NASA TT and Time Attack guys beat Corvettes and Porsches all the damn time. You don't see S2000s in the "professional" series because the car is 10 years old. The S2000 along with the E36/E46 M3s and Corvettes can be made to compete in damn near any time trials/attack class or racing class with any "amateur" organization such as NASA, Gridlife, GTA, and SCCA.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:14 AM
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As DavidNJ said, a lot of the sponsorship will drive what direction teams/drivers go. I think if you are a driver and want to be signed then Global MX-5 is the place to be.

Regarding chasing Dollars: NASA at COTA expects to run 170 spec Miatas this year at the nationals! Toyo prize money (just Toyo) will pay out:

1st - $80,000
2nd- $15,000
3rd - $10,000

that attracts the talented.
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