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I wrote SCCA and was told in November's Fastrak News that the fiat 124 will be listed as CS (street class C). We have to wait till its published to confirm. I don't know how competitive it will be in that class.
 

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CS is the right place, will see how it does. It comes with bigger rear sway than Miata (14 vs 11) and stock rules allow just one sway change for that class. Thus, Fiat owner has a bit of advantage on the sways with change of just front to big bar and already having 14mm at the rear. The Fiat is heavier, but has more torque. I think results will often depend on course design. Looking forward to watching the season develop. My times in our Fiat at first SCCA event this year suggest it has a good shot.


What I want to know is what happens after Street class, my hope is the Fiat lands in STR with the Miata. That class would allow lots more power and suspension and give the Fiat even more chance against the ND.
 

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After a year of racing our Neon in DS (D-Stock as it was known then) we jumped straight to DM (D-Modified). They didn't have classes like Street Touring back then, so it was stock, Street Prepared (very specific rules), Prepared (gutted but still very particular rules) or Mod... and we went straight for the fun zone, so we could develop parts for the Neon. Our '96 ACR was a rolling laboratory, and never quite the same car twice.

This time around, rather than bite our fingernails for a whole season and not mod the car, we've taken our Fiat 124 Spider straight to DM class. This lets us do pretty much anything we're willign to do with the car.

Obviously, it's not competitive thee yet, but we have a great baseline, and we know that every notch we move up the index results is an improvement in the right direction! Our first event is already in the rearview, with no performance mods whatsoever. My 18yo son raced with me (against me?) and was just 3 seconds slower on a 42-55 sec. course. Not bad for his first time out! The 124's balance is straight-up beautiful. With the Neon, it was like driving the front half of a car, and the 2nd half was just along for the ride. Driving a RWD with a 50/50 weight ratio means you're driving the whole car, all the time. Sadly, the stock tires are HORRIBLE. Lots of action movie noise, but not much grip.

Can't wait to get some performance mods finished and on the car, and more races under my new driver's belt :) Hopefully we'll be in good enough shape by spring '18 to make it to some divisionals (we're in the Midwest div).
 

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For those reading along and considering autocross and class choice, since my earlier post above the news in Fastrack is that SCCA decided after CS that further mods would land you in STU instead of STR.

That's unfortunate, hoped to see SCCA show some courage and put Miata and cousin Fiat 124 in the same STR class (and STR already has other turbo cars like MR2 if memory serves me). The STU class already has some very fast stuff like FD RX7, will see how that goes.
 

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After a year of racing our Neon in DS (D-Stock as it was known then) we jumped straight to DM (D-Modified). They didn't have classes like Street Touring back then, so it was stock, Street Prepared (very specific rules), Prepared (gutted but still very particular rules) or Mod... and we went straight for the fun zone, so we could develop parts for the Neon. Our '96 ACR was a rolling laboratory, and never quite the same car twice.

This time around, rather than bite our fingernails for a whole season and not mod the car, we've taken our Fiat 124 Spider straight to DM class. This lets us do pretty much anything we're willign to do with the car.

Obviously, it's not competitive thee yet, but we have a great baseline, and we know that every notch we move up the index results is an improvement in the right direction! Our first event is already in the rearview, with no performance mods whatsoever. My 18yo son raced with me (against me?) and was just 3 seconds slower on a 42-55 sec. course. Not bad for his first time out! The 124's balance is straight-up beautiful. With the Neon, it was like driving the front half of a car, and the 2nd half was just along for the ride. Driving a RWD with a 50/50 weight ratio means you're driving the whole car, all the time. Sadly, the stock tires are HORRIBLE. Lots of action movie noise, but not much grip.

Can't wait to get some performance mods finished and on the car, and more races under my new driver's belt :) Hopefully we'll be in good enough shape by spring '18 to make it to some divisionals (we're in the Midwest div).
Hi Travis! We met at the Dart meet in St. Louis. It's great to see you here, and I am excited to see what you come up with for the 124. We loved your Dart Motor mounts.

On the autocross front, we are looking at the rules figuring out how to make a specific tune for various classes. I obviously can't spill any details on a public forum, but we think we can make undetectable improvements.

Greg
 

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Hi Travis! We met at the Dart meet in St. Louis. It's great to see you here, and I am excited to see what you come up with for the 124. We loved your Dart Motor mounts.

On the autocross front, we are looking at the rules figuring out how to make a specific tune for various classes. I obviously can't spill any details on a public forum, but we think we can make undetectable improvements.

Greg
I was really hoping to autocross the Dart. We still might, just for fun. But the Dart is just too heavy to be fun and competitive with as much as it weighs. It's really amazing how different the same 1.4 turbo engine feels in the 124.

Right now, I'm shopping around for wheels & tires, and am pretty sure that to do those only once, I'm going to need to get brakes and suspension first. I put two sets of coilovers on our Neon ACR trying to get it right, and I don't want to make that expensive kind of mistake again. Brakes, coilovers, then measure clearance and get wheels & tires, and then start looking at those tunes and other power adders :) If there's work on a tune, I would LOVE to have one that can compensate for ethanol blends from 20 - 75 % . Turbos LOVE ethanol, and E85 is a "federally approved motor vehicle fuel" which makes it legal for all SCCA classes where "race gas" is not.
 

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I was really hoping to autocross the Dart. We still might, just for fun. But the Dart is just too heavy to be fun and competitive with as much as it weighs. It's really amazing how different the same 1.4 turbo engine feels in the 124.
Almost nobody is racing the Dart. We couldn't find a single one to sponsor. You're right, it's just too heavy for the 1.4. It's too bad, because the chassis is pretty darn good and with the 1750 it could be really competitive against similar sedans in motorsports. I think FCA really missed an opportunity there.

I would LOVE to have one that can compensate for ethanol blends from 20 - 75 % . Turbos LOVE ethanol, and E85 is a "federally approved motor vehicle fuel" which makes it legal for all SCCA classes where "race gas" is not.
While E85 may be legal in all classes, I am not so sure that the bigger injectors and special tune needed to take advantage of it would be. I'll need to look into that.

Greg
 

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I loved my Dart, but this car is so much more fun.
 

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Well, I've been autocrossing the 124 and putting on a new mod between each event. Since I didn't want to worry about classing, I threw the car in DM, where it will eventually be. PAX times be-damned, lol! But really, what matters is raw time. Where did the car start (with stock EVERYTHING, including tires) and where is it now?

Event (actually +1, but we didn't make it to the first event of the year)
Name (Me, Travis, or Isaiah, co-driver, welder, and student machinist)
Raw Place and Percentile (the goal is to get to 1%, which would be top raw time)

1 -- Travis = 84/103 (81.5) ----- Isaiah = 101/103 (98.0) ----- no mods yet, Isaiah's first ever autocross
2 -- Travis = 78/90 (86.8)* ----- Isaiah = 83/90 (92.2) ----- Deyeme Racing front brake vent kit
3 -- Travis = 56/72 (77.7) ----- Isaiah = 67/72 (93.0) ----- 16x7 Enkei wheels & 215/45ZR16 Bridgestone Potenza RE040
4 -- Travis = 73/106 (68.8) ----- Isaiah = 89/106 (83.9) ----- Cusco 14mm solid rear sway bar

*my best time was lost due to a timing error during the 2nd event, so I went by my next-best

I was surprised at how much of a difference the Cusco rear sway bar made, considering it's the same diameter as stock. Better bushings, geometry, and materials is what made the difference. No reason to go with gigantic stabilizer bars, since we'll be putting coilovers on soon.

Latest mod was the Cusco front bar (what a chore that was!!!), but we'll have to wait a few weeks to see how much of a difference it makes. The OE bar is hollow and judging from the weight, fairly thin-walled. Stock rear bar, like the Cusco bar, is solid.

No other 124s racing locally (in fact, we're the only FIAT there!) but there are some ND MX-5s.
As of the latest event, I was 7.031 sec. off the fast time, which was a '03 Vette Z06 in SSR. The fastest STU car was about 3.5 sec. off the fast time.
 

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With the race season over, I wanted to hop back into this thread real quick and sum up with the later results.

EVENT -- TRAVIS -- ISAIAH -- LATEST MO
5 -- 61% - 83% -- Cusco 24mm hollow front sway bar
6 -- 70% -- 88% -- TS BOV (and bad alignment)
7 -- 60% -- 64% -- DMR solid polyurethane "Firm" Rear Diff Mount

At the last event, we had some competition from an older Miata with a pair of drivers. I think that was a little extra incentive for Isaiah, and he really stepped up his game, getting to around 1/2 second of my time. As cold as it was for the final event we attended, the rear diff mount really helped keep wheel hop down, turning into a smoother, more predictable traction loss.
For that event, I was about 5 sec. slower than the fastest STU car there, a BMW M3. We beat 3 out of the 9 CS cars (most of which were MX-5's, of course).

The mods were, in retrospect, kept very light and streetable. Being in D-Mod, our PAX index times were much slower than the raw percentiles I posted. If you're in CS or STU, you can expect much better PAX results. We're interested in reality, though, not handicapped numbers, so we can see how the car responds to each change. I'm not sure what other classes the 124 would end up in with the various mods, but I hope to see more on the tracks next year!
 

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I can't watch a rear view, my vertigo is about to act up. Next time, put a camera in the front.
 

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I wrote SCCA and was told in November's Fastrak News that the fiat 124 will be listed as CS (street class C). We have to wait till its published to confirm. I don't know how competitive it will be in that class.
I was told it's in the STU class - again a class where it will not be competitive. Any updates from the SCCA to get this fun car into a more appropriate class???
 
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