With the success that we have had with the Spec Racer class in the past, we will be offering the class again at Michiana.
Spec Racer has always been about equality of equipment, affordability, and reliability. And it still is. This is a critical step for bringing new drivers into the sport. While we welcome experienced drivers and very much like the speed that they bring, we also know that every track needs a starting point for newer racers. All drivers need to feel confident in their equipment, and Spec Racer is a class that can deliver that confidence.
Below we’ll share our thoughts on rules for the engine, chassis, & tires, as well as how they relate to the class goals. A full technical set of rules is being written to adhere to these principals.
The engine choice has been a sealed clone. The clone’s initial cost and massive use in karting made it an easy choice, and JET Karting sealed them to provide equality without having to blueprint the engines at additional cost. This has worked well for several years, though the past season has made us question the equality of power. The clone package has proven the benefits of an easy idling, pull start engine running on pump gas with an inexpensive and reliable clutch.
I had some racers point out the Briggs Local Option 206 engine. Briggs has used their incredible resources to build the equality that we were looking for. The LO206 is built with un-matched repeatability, to exacting tolerances, by a trustworthy factory that holds assembly workers personally responsible, and then seals the engines at the factory in Wisconsin. It is Spec Racer goals with the execution that only such a large and racer friendly company could deliver.
We will allow either clones sealed by JET Karting, or LO206 engines to run side by side in the class. We are expecting a weight break for the clone, and that will be determined once the weather allows us on track for testing. I believe that the LO206’s higher quality will provide better value long term, but racers will be able to choose individually.
We started with the GatorMoto chassis, and it served us well for several seasons. The price point is great, and equality is in everyone running the same thing. By last summer, reliability issues had forced us to look elsewhere for better equipment.
We will also be using the Birel R30 chassis with a 40mm axle in the future. This kart has proven itself in 4 cycle applications and can be used all the way up to Rotax with success. It is both available and reasonably priced, with all the support that Birel is known for. Because the chassis has been previously badged in the Birel line, Monza line and as ‘Step 1’ karts, there is a healthy used market providing racers even more affordability.
Both the Birel R30 with 40mm axle and GatorMoto chassis will be allowed, either new or used.
Tires have been the most consistent part of the Spec Racer class to date. The MG IR tire has proven a long durable life, with great availability. We will stay with the 4.50 front width, 6.00 rear width, and aluminum wheels. Perception of equality is just as important as equality, and we know this combination provides both.