More accessible racing

One of the interesting things about racing is how some of the greats started. Lee Petty drove a six cylinder Plymouth, hardly a fast car, though he added Chrysler suspension and braking bits to it to get an edge. The six cylinder Hudson Hornet dominated stock car racing for a couple of years.

Things got faster in a hurry, especially in drag racing, where some people left as the power got higher and higher and the risks shot up accordingly.

Sometimes I think it would be fun to have a racing series that worked at the speed of the cars Lee Petty drove — and not a classic series (though there are some of those and they seem like a lot of fun, too) but one using modern cars.  This would be more accessible to more people, getting them into racing, partly because the cost of entry would be lower, and partly because you could build up your skills at somewhat safer speeds.

For a while in the 1990s, SCCA’s Pro Solo, Solo II, and Super Solo classes were dominated by Neons. That led me to think that maybe there should be a series limited to automakers’ most base cars, with a price ceiling (e.g. $16,000) and a North American sales minimum of, say, 80,000 total, and 10,000 for the particular configuration. I’d also want a horsepower-to-weight and torque-to-weight limit to keep things manageable. In short, we’re talking about racing relatively slow cars, cars that a stock (not ACR) Neon would be able to beat or at least stay even with.

We’d see Fiat 500s (not the Abarths), Chevy Sparks, and other base compact and subcompact cars. I suspect the Fiat 500 would dominate on tracks with more curves, but that’s just me. The base Mini would probably be trouble if it could make it past the cost.

Or maybe this type of racing exists and I just don’t know about it?