PT_SHO New Reader
9/27/21 6:20 p.m.

I recently got back from the Solo Nationals. It was great talking with J.G. at the booth! His results were certainly a lot better than mine so congratulations on the trophy. Because I usually compare my mid to low pack STU car to the local A/Street cars I decided to compare the National results. It was really interesting. It seems that an A/Street Corvette is just as fast as a CAM-S Corvette.  (and a CAM-C, a CAM-T, and for that matter a top STU car.)

So this is just to open a discussion on the matter. Is it just that there's only so much traction in a 200 tread wear tire? You have to figure that at the Nationals that most of the driver influence is dialed out by having the best of the best present. This isn't so much for me, because I am pretty iffy at being able to fit into a Corvette unless I can bolt the racing seat to the floor directly, which takes it out of being a daily. But why spend all that you can spend for a CAM-S when a Street class car seems to have all the speed?  Other than having a great topic for a bunch of build articles in GR M of course! <wink>

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
9/27/21 6:51 p.m.

If we're comparing 2021 Solo Nats data, I think you have two major factors at play between CAM-S and AStreet. First is run days. CAM-S ran on virgin concrete Tuesday and Wednesday, while A Street ran on heavily rubbered courses Thursday and Friday. Second—and all apologies to my friends in CAM-S—but the talent pool in that AS field is deeper and taller than the CAM field. Most of the bleeding-edge drivers are still gravitating to the official "jacket" classes, while the supplemental CAM classes get everyone else. 

And, yeah the tires have a lot to do with it, too. Ultimately there's just so much performance you're going to get out of a 200tw tire, and a 505hp C6 Z06 probably isn't at full throttle any more than a 650hp CAM car. 

But I think you're underestimating the effect of drivers in general. Throw me in a top-notch AS car and I'm probably lucky to be in the top dozen. And I've driven good AS cars. It's MUCH easier for me to get  a larger percentage of the performance out of our CAM car than it is out of a street class car, even though th etires are the same. Sure, the performance is there, but accessing it takes seat time and skill that I don't really have the resources for. 

ojannen Reader
9/27/21 8:50 p.m.

Looking at this from a different angle, if you want to modify your Corvette, where do you go?  If you have a track prepped Corvette, where do you go?

No street touring class

Does SSP let you install coilovers yet?  Hopefully the fast guys in McLarens and NSXs decide to stay on street tires.

SSM is an uphill fight against Miatas and Lotuses on the same tires as you while weighing 1000lbs less.

XP has the same cars as SSM but they weigh even less.

dps214 Dork
9/27/21 9:08 p.m.

I think kind of along those lines, a big factor is being able to do whatever you want to the car. Sure AS cars are just as fast (usually at the hands of better drivers) but cam cars are probably more fun to drive. Or can be set up to work on track, be easier on tires, etc.

I kind of went the same route with my AS car (of the Porsche variety so unfortunately it gets kicked all the way to xs). Fairly minor mods (second sway bar, wider wheels and tires, will do camber arms this winter). I took a slight step down in tire aggressiveness at the same time, and the result is a car that isn't really any faster around an autocross course, but the setup is less of a compromise so it's more fun especially on track and I can set it up to drive basically however I want it to. And the tires last forever, even still running on the stock 1.5* of camber. It's at least marginally more fun to drive on the street too with the extra roll stiffness.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/27/21 11:21 p.m.

I will offer an alternate opinion.  The AS is going to draw more serious hardcore competitors looking to get every award they can.  CAM is intended to be more fun, and that's not a bad thing.  Fun tends to draw a different type of driver. 

I like to go fast, but I honestly place a much larger premium on having fun.  I will push a car too hard knowing it is slow sometimes, because it can be a whole lot of fun :).

In any racing you can spend mega dollars chasing the pointy end for a plastic trophy.  I won't bore you with how many laps I ran to win slot car endurance races in the 80s with my dad.

My best advice is find a cheap car you like and drive the wheels off of it.  In a cheap car you can drive it 100% and never have a worry.  You can also learn more driving a cheaper car at 100% then you will driving an expensive car at 80%.  You'll also not have the worry of "Is my car still the class best car" every year either.  Look how many people upgraded to ND2 Miatas that were still making payments on ND1s.  Some may think that is fun, but I'd rather drive my cheapo car like I stole it. 

Patientzero Dork
9/28/21 12:45 a.m.

I think there is two main ways to look at this.

1. Decide what class you want to run and buy the car to be competive in that class.  -> AS

2. Build your car the way you want then decide what class it fits into.  -> CAM


I know this question is specifically about Corvettes but CAM is literally the only class my Mustang is legal to run it.  SCCA rules are not very friendly to the way people traditionally modify thier cars so like what was mentioned above, hardcore guys are more likely to be in AS.

STM317 UberDork
9/28/21 7:18 a.m.

I'll echo that CAM is less about being competitive at the highest level, and more about having a place to run the vehicle that you've built the way you want. Most CAM competitors just end up there because they've modified their vehicle in some way that bumped them out of other classes. They might be street cars with some mods, or they could be track cars that want to do some AutoX. I'm not sure how many people are truly building CAM vehicles to the absolute limit of the rules the same way they do for most other AutoX classes.

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