New engine hp cap rule


Part of the point is you want to draw people to the series…people avoid race series because of the perception…spec miiata Aka wreck miata and you need a sunbelt motor to win in a big field ( not saying that is necessarily true but the is the perception)

Spec e30…common perception is it was two classes, the haves and the have nots…again not saying that is true but that is perception in the paddock from racers in other classes… This rule helps elimate that perception so it is a good idea

Now springing it a month before nationals, not a good idea…now public. Perception will be don’t join that series, they will change the rule on 30 days notice and make you waste/ throw away $7500 motor you just bought


Does this really have anything to do with the manufacturer’s rating? An E30 will make more power with the allowances that are given to us in the rules. No e30 came from the factory with an aftermarket exhaust and 0.020 overbore, among other things.


You won’t have that even WITH this rule. Some will prep, some will prep and push the limits, some will notice there’s no dyno at the track and remove their ballast.

Until they stop calling it “racing”, it will always be like this. That’s just the cold, hard fact of the sport we chose.


Love the comments, love the feedback…Keep it coming, you/we are the voice of spec e30. We are the paying customer & the powers at be should be paying attention.

Fooshe, I offered to let Nasa tear my motor down & they declined.

Since my motor, the topic of controversy, aka the Ubber motor appears so very strong, lets take a look at the Laguna event as an example. Both days the top 3 cars where clearly faster than the entire field over the race distance…Not once, not twice but 4 times with the restarts both days. From what I understand, Larry Frasiers motor is putting out somewhere in the mid 150hp range, yet he convincingly won on Saturday & runner up on Sunday. Shawan, has very good power, lets just say over 160hp & here is this guy with the ubber motor, 10-15hp over the cars that beat him, yet cant keep pace or put the foot down & power by. Now we can argue many reasons for not being on the pace but what I can tell all of you is that up the front straight, up towards T5, up the hill to T6 I could hold pace but not gain track space on the 2 front runners…
The success & podium finishes were not because of massive HP over the field, rather connecting all the dots. Fraiser tested more than anyone & deserved the win…Of the 39 cars, how many went out on stickers both days…Who went out on stickers for Q & then stickers to race? Some would call that an unfair advantage, some would call that outspending the competition, some would say that goes beyond the spirit of the rules outlines for spec e30.
I for one don’t think the cars that beat me were cheating, I know I wasn’t cheating, how about the person in 33rd position, are any of us sure that racer wasn’t cheating, maybe driving light knowing good and well the goal was a top 10 & no chance of being teched??(not calling out the driver in 33rd position, just using as an example).

Like I have stated all along, I support the rule change for 2014 & understand the importance of perception or fact to reel things back in. I do think that maybe 160 should be the HP number but whatever.

My bitch is preparation for the Nats & the rule being implemented when most the front runners have done their prep, spent the time & money to be properly prepared & then the HP limit drops in some 30 days out & gives no allowable/legal methods to detune…
The Nats are supposed to be the biggest & best thing…Something to aspire to & bring out your A game. Some will go just for the experience to compete at a higher level, some will go to compete for the win, all the other good stuff, racing,friendship, brotherhood, drinking, umbrella girls etc is secondary to the primary goal of winning. If you happen to be one of these people who wants to win & is willing to put the rest of the work into your overall package(and I am just not talking about your car) I’m talking mental preparation, visual, physical…New tires, the right camber setup, etc…that person has the best chance to be your National Spec e30 champion. Spending $$ is only a small part of the equation…The real question…How bad do you want it, how hungry is your desire, how hard are you willing to push yourself, how many late nights out in the garage? All this & more can be achieved without cheating. It is a mindset of a champion and you can witness this everyday, in all walks of life from children on the playground to the pinnacle of professional sports athletes. It is a mindset…ALWAYS COMPETE!


I dont understand the HP difference between the East and West except that I have seen 7-10 hp variations between dynos on 145 hp engines.
I contacted the dyno company and there is no calibration for the brand of dyno that NASA is using. It is all in the software.
My 944spec dynoed 7hp lower at Miller in 09 as compared to Buttonwillow. This was a common story at Nationals. Another common story was inconsistent HP readings when a car would go back to the dyno after a race. A friend was DQ’d from winning his Championship by a couple of HP. He had spent alot of time on the dyno previous to the race. Still got bit by an inconsistent dyno.
Thr complexity of your new hp/weight rule is going to cause alot of concern and missfortune. It will require your car to be dynoed at every track just to besure you are not under weight. A straight up HP cap like 944Spec would serve your group better. We use a formula of HP + TQ divided by 2 must be less than 138 rwhp. We have a 2 hp fudge factor for the dyno. So you can actually be 140 rwhp and not get DQ’d. Our weight stays the same for all cars. I can say that it has been a positive thing for the class.
I fought it all the way to implementation because I feel that Rules Creep is a class killer.
As far as what this will do for the future of E30 is anyones guess. Mine is that it will turn newcomers off to E30. I have been watching this class grow in So Cal and I have been considering jumping ship from 944. To me the racing in So Cal has been very good with many different winners this season so far. The new rule will most likely force me to watch another year and see how it shakes out.
The lack of participation at the 2013 Nationals has me confused. Is there something going on that is not being said? There must be 50 cars racing in California alone.


On the contrary. As a newcomer, I’m thrilled that NASA is trying to do something to keep the HP even. I now feel like maybe I won’t have to spend $6000 on the motor.


In fact, the whole reason that I chose Spec E30 instead of Spec Miata is because I personally know someone who spent $25,000 trying to get every last bit of power out of his SM motor. The rules here are a lot better than some of the other classes… They not perfectly implemented, but the intent of the rules is good, and they prevent some of the ridiculousness that you see in other classes.


[quote=“JustinHoMi” post=73635]… I personally know someone who spent $25,000 trying to get every last bit of power out of his SM motor. The rules here are a lot better than some of the other classes… [/quote] another red herring.

$25k on a SM motor? A fool and his money…

I had the same shop build both a Spec E30 and Spec Miata in 2008 so I have pretty good data. The BMW is more expensive to build to the same level.

SM is expensive because the rules are tight. The better the specs, the harder it is to exploit the grey. This new dyno rule only means you have to spend $$ optimizing your dyno curve so it matches the spec. You have to spend more dyno $$ when you get to the track (you know they only do it free when the tech guy says you have to, right?).


I doubt that “matching” the spec will be much of an issue. But money will still be spent as people try to figure out exactly what they can and can’t get away with, in regards to how fat their curve is. However 1-2hp here and there is a lot more acceptable than some people having 10hp more than the rest.


Charlie Buzz,The lack of participation at the 2013 Nationals has me confused. Is there something going on that is not being said? There must be 50 cars racing in California alone.

Still plenty of time to register…Discounted rate still applies.

No secret that I have been singled out as the primary reason for low attendance, so here it is…
I will show up for the Nats with a 155-158hp motor…controversy & excuses can be put to bed…

Who’s in…Bring your A+ game & LETS RACE. If we get at least 15 people signed up I will reconsider not withdrawing my entry.

If Nasa doesn’t get more spec e30 entries, then look for other reasons why people aren’t attending the Nats.


[quote=“Steve Ferrario” post=73638]Who’s in…Bring your A+ game & LETS RACE. If we get at least 15 people signed up I will reconsider not withdrawing my entry.

If Nasa doesn’t get more spec e30 entries, then look for other reasons why people aren’t attending the Nats.[/quote]

Too many things I want to “quote” but I’m not sophisticated enough to do so…

I don’t see how the point about Larry winning with ~155hp is relevant to anything here. All that means is that the talent gap in that particular race was larger than the hp gap. Obviously a great driver with less power can beat a decent driver with far more hp - but when the skill level between drivers is much closer, the differences in cars really shows through. If two pro drivers race two cars that are identical other than a 15hp difference - who wins?

As for why the turnout is so low at Miller - I wouldn’t give the HP rule so much credit (good or bad). We had less than 15 entries at Miller in 2010 - not because people were worried about hp, but because the event was at a less than exciting track in Utah.


In my opinion, the issue of higher HP engines vs. lower is only 1 piece of the puzzle. Looking only at SoCal, there is more to it than just that. Most of the reason is the cost and time one must dedicate to such an effort.

You’re 100% right Steve F., going up against a 170hp/170tq engine in a car with the least amount of weight up top (the vert) with our cars is like bringing a knife to a gun fight when we are in the mid 150’s at the very best. It just seems like they are fighting an uphill battle before they get there. On top of that, the cost of tires, towing/transportation, lodging, entry fees, time away from work, etc. all adds up. We are at the end of our season and when you couple that with one more race weekend, the total is just a bit much unless they planned for it starting last year.

As for your Challenge Steve F., I think that was the perfect thing to say and sprinkled with awesome dust. Personally, you fire me up when you talk like that and wish I could make Nationals this year just because of that statement. I would love nothing more than to race with guys like you, Grace (even if he drives the slowest color car made), Frasier, Shawhan, Hayes…wait, scratch that last one. Hayes is too damn fast! :laugh: As a driver, I have a world of respect for these drivers (just to name a few) and would love to test myself against them any time I can. Unfortunately, it’s just not in the cards for this year as it doesn’t work for my family.

I like C Buzz’s input on this and it makes sense. However, I think the effect in SoCal will be an even greater number coming to our ranks. We have guys racing (and winning) who have not touched their engine in 2 years. We routinely race on 2-3 weekend old tires and maybe use 3 sets of tires for an entire race season…and we do qualifying races on Sunday before the main race. We don’t go out on “stickers” for every race and we all jump in and help get cars repaired or prep’d to get on the grid. That being said, we have a ball and every one of our racers enjoy being on track with one another. We even have an a big party at one of the racer’s home every year just because we want to hang out with one anther and our families. For SoCal, this rule means nothing because we don’t worry about it…we just love racing with one another. So jump on in…the water is warm Buzz!



Great pumpkin, your too late to the game to now bring in the “unfair advantage of The Vert. In theory yes, less weight up top, more weight down low, lower CG, shock tower reinforcement” etc. In practical terms, the car is no better & no worse than either of the 3 sedans that I have ever owned. It’s just different & has psych factor, that’s why I purchased it. I also get to work on my tan while driving. Really best handling car ever was little red, aka spaceship boy Rius car. The hot ticket there was the light autopower cage. Great handling car, just wouldnt want to be behind the wheel in a big impact. Did I mention that if I get called out on my Miller dare, I will show up In a sedan and not the vert.


Amen Steveo! But I just love picking that scab. The vert is soooo California!

I see this for what it is and, as I have said many times, a great driver will trump most aids. I give props where props are due and I think you could show up on a unicycle and still place well. I am simply approaching this at it’s most basic form. 170/170 numbers coupled with guys who can clearly out spend most, as well as dedicate way more time to the effort, spells out a loosing effort. Besides, we all know you can’t take a 9th place car to a first place finish. So it makes one re-think the cost, effort, time, etc. one must invest to compete. For me, this is amateur racing with guys I like to be around. Once it get’s into the professional level of preparation and competition, I need to get paid to participate. For you see, at that level it becomes more of a job than fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to win like anyone else and I want to race door to door through every corner…that’s what makes it exciting to me. But more than anything, I treasure the time behind the wheel where there is no phone, nobody tugging at me and nobody complaining to me to fix their problem(s). It’s just me, the car and my buddies all being hero’s for 35 minutes.

You da man Steveo!


Re nationals participation…a track that is inconvenient to everyone will suffer. As a business model, west coast one year, east coast the next. GO WHERE THE RACERS LIVE!!!


Wow! It has been a while since I have read the forums. I think it has been at least 3 years.

I signed in this evening to see what SpecE30 cars are selling for because I have been out of racing for 3 years and thought that my car would not be competitive because of all of the tweaks and mods that people make. We had our first 168 HP SpecE30 in the Mid-Atlantic region which was about 10+ HP more than anyone else. The talk about secret sauce and HP has not changed.

I am now thinking twice about selling it and trying to make it current again. Why? Because three years ago, my hobby and escape from my real life dyno’ed between 154 and 156 HP every time. It is stock and followed the letter and spirit of the rules. I do not want to spend more money to be competitive. I want more track time to be competitive and more importantly, just want to have fun.

I get it. Dynos are inconsistent. People want to engineer the crap out of their cars. Everyone wants that secret sauce. I came to SpecE30 in 2005 to race on a budget with other racers of like mindset. With this rule, it keeps those guys in this series and for those who want to build a faster car, I guess there are other series like GTS to satisfy that need.

Just my 2 cents from a SpecE30 from the early years. :slight_smile:


P.S. Welcome back Vic! You picked up where you left off…


I disagree. Look at the SCCA Solo nationals. They have 1200 competitors every year (in Kansas), and it’s certainly not suffering. Not to mention your average autocrosser has a much smaller budget than your average road racer.

If you make nationals completely impractical for half of the country to attend, then it greatly diminishes the value of nationals, to the point where it’s not even enticing for the locals to go to. If you’re only racing against the same people you always race against… then what distinguishes nationals from yet-another-local event?

Another driver recently told me that I should ditch the idea of SE30 and race with the SCCA instead. He said that even if I won a National Championship, it wouldn’t mean anything. I don’t fully agree with that, but I do agree that the value of a National Championship is much less when you’re only racing against half the country.


It is not much different in SCCA. Less West Coast people that East since most of the events in the last 20 years have been east of the middle kingdom.
In SCCA you will need a much more expensive car to race at the Run Offs unless you are driving a Spec Miata. All the other classes are considerable more expensive to own and operate.
There is no class at the Run Offs for E30, 944. Most classes are on full slicks too.
That is one of the reasons I left SCCA, there was no Nationals for the regional classes.
I have been to the Solo Nationals and it is an amazing event. I think it took 4-5 days to run the whole thing. As I recall I had maybe 10 minutes total driving. Seems really silly now.


I can solve this. You guys will owe me for my brilliance.

Forget all this dyno nonsense. Everyone shows up for a race, and tosses their E30 keys in a hat. Everyone randomly draws a car. You race. The best driver will be fast in anything. If Grace’s car is powered by magic pixie dust then I’ve got the same shot at a win that he does. Except it’s orange, and I wouldn’t be seen in an orange car.

Plus, the Seinfeld rental car mentality would apply. “I’m going to beat the shit out of this thing, because it’s not mine!”. So everyone will drive 10/10ths and not sand bag to hide their $25,000 engine.

Problem solved. You’re all welcome.



[quote=“ddavidv” post=73652]Forget all this dyno nonsense. Everyone shows up for a race, and tosses their E30 keys in a hat. Everyone randomly draws a car. You race. The best driver will be fast in anything. If Grace’s car is powered by magic pixie dust then I’ve got the same shot at a win that he does. Except it’s orange, and I wouldn’t be seen in an orange car.[quote]

I actually love this idea…but it has 3 flaws.

  1. Someone will put forth a car that is a piece of crap because they know the chances of getting the same car you submitted nill. If you can get the same car you put in, danger.
  2. Not everyone will fit in every car (especially me).
  3. Your comment on orange cars. Them’s fightin’ words! :wink: