The race cars originally started as Sports Renaults in 1984 and were later upgraded to Spec Racer Fords (SRF) in 1994. Intended as a low cost sports racing class they are still very affordable to this day with 30 year old cars still able to run up front with brand new cars. The equivalency of cars is achieved by using a strict rule set and specification parts to keep cost down and minimize the modifications to the car. By reducing the possible modifications, it eliminates the need for a motorsport arms race, as each competitor doesn’t need to have the latest go fast part to keep at the front of the pack resulting in a true specification (Spec) class. Since the cars are so equal it is possible to simply rent a car and still win the race.
- 1.9L Ford motor with 105 hp, 115 lb-ft torque
- Ford 5 speed transmission
- Steel tube frame chassis
- Three-piece Fiberglass bodywork
- Rocker arm and lower A-arm suspension
- Rebound adjustable sealed coil over shocks
- Adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear
- Ventilated and slotted brake rotors
- Floating calipers with Hawk brake pads
- 7.75 US gallon (29 Litre) fuel cell
- 1670 lbs (756 kgs) minimum weight with driver
- Specification 13-inch alloy wheels
- 185/60R13 front and 205/60R13 rear Hoosier tyres
- 6 point harness
- Integrated fire suppression system
- Top speed 135 mph (217 kph)
- Full trackside support for SCCA events
The car is a closed wheel, open cockpit sports racer with a steel tube frame chassis and three-piece fiberglass bodywork resembling a 1960s and 1970s canam car. The car uses a combination of Renault, Ford, Subaru and custom SCCA Enterprises components. The modular nature of components allows for fast repairs with a minimum number of parts. An example is the uprights that are interchangeable front left to rear right and front right to rear left.
Motor & Transmission
The mid rear mounted engine and 5 speed transmission are specification sealed by SCCA Enterprises with each motor tuned to within a few horsepower making the performance even for competitors and reducing the cost of getting a hot motor by switching and modifying heads like other classes. The motor is a 1.9 litre inline 4-cylinder Ford Escort engine with an 8-valve SOHC hemispherical head producing 105 horsepower and 115 lb-ft torque.
The SRF includes a 7.75 US gallon (29 Litre) fuel cell allowing approximately an hour of run time at race speeds. The cars have a minimum weight of 1670 lbs (756 kgs) with driver. The central seating position and side pod ballast locations are fixed to ensure no advantages are given by changing the static weight distribution. However the car uses an adjustable pedal rack to accommodate drivers of various heights and sizes.
Suspension & Adjustment
The SRF uses solid bushings and spherical bearings with Rocker arm suspension linked to single adjustable sealed Penske or Koni shocks with a coil over shock spec spring rate. The rules are very strict with no performance enhancing modifications allowed making it a true specification car. However, the car is adjustable for ride height, castor, camber, toe, rebound and sway bars on all 4 corners allowing the driver to tune the car to their driving style and track conditions within prescribed limits.
Brakes and Tyres
The brake system also uses specification parts with custom Wilwood vented and slotted brake rotors, floating calipers, Hawk Performance brake pads and a cockpit adjustable brake bias. The SRF has a 92 inch Wheelbase. New for 2016, Hoosier provides racing slicks and wet weather tyres used by all competitors and custom developed for the SRF.
Safety is also well covered by the SRF with ample crush zones and centrally located driver with a full tube frame chassis and roll over hoops. Drivers equipment includes 6 point harness, Helmet, Head & neck restraints, full fire retardant clothing (shoes, socks, underwear, drivers suit and gloves) plus arm restraints in case of a crash or rollover. The cars also include a fully integrated fire suppression system. The SRF has an excellent track record with zero fatalities.
In 2015 the 3rd generation upgrade for the Spec Racer Ford (referred to as Gen3) began competition. The Gen3 uses a lighter more powerful 135 hp, 1.6 litre 4-cylinder Ford Sigma motor with new ancillaries such as ECU, intake and exhaust. The new motor and other changes bring the minimum weight to 1560 pounds (708 kgs) with driver. The SRFs are still eligible for competition through the 2017 season as a separate class becoming a region only class in 2018.
Parts availability and trackside support
Built and marketed by SCCA Enterprises over 900 cars have been built and delivered. The Spec Racer Ford and Gen3 have tremendous trackside support with a network of Customer Service Representative (CSR) throughout the United States that attend local and national SCCA events to provide help, spare parts, preparation and even rental cars for drivers. This level of track side support means you don’t have to scrounge for spare parts and your race weekend won't be ruined because you can’t find a specific part for the car, even at the more remote tracks.
So with all the specification items on the car how can you customize it to you? Allowable customizations include instrumentation, data acquisition, steering wheel, radios and an option for a custom Butler seat to suite your height and frame. Of course you also get to pick your driver gear and paint scheme, although there are some mandatory sponsor decals based on suppliers for the series.
The class is very popular in SCCA often with the highest or second highest car count per event. The low operating cost and minimum maintenance issues allow for both teams and privateers to compete. The large fields combined with matching performance of the cars ensure that there is always someone to race whether you are in the front or back of the grid. This makes the class a good place for beginners and hard fought competition at the front to win. The other great thing about SRF is the community always willing to help a fellow competitor and providing lots of new tips for new racers. What are you waiting for?