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Thread: Starting to look at the spec race atoms

  1. #1
    Down Quark
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    Dec 2014
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    Starting to look at the spec race atoms

    Hey everyone my name is Justin from Virginia. I'm starting to check out the spec race atoms and downsize from the much larger faster gt style car I've been racing/tracking for a number of years. Went out and toured the TMI facility at VIR recently and it really sold me on the idea just doing my due diligence and making sure it's a jump that I want to commit to.

  2. #2
    n00b
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    i haven't raced spec atom - so i can't give you experience there... i do race formula cars though.

    i would say the first thing it to asses your budget and wants. then find the series/class that has the best # of entries and events that fit that. VIR is my all time fav track, but any class or series will be all over the area. its always more fun (and a better investment) to get a car thats in a healthy thriving class. also, personally, i prefer "spec" racing as the results are more geared to driver skill than driver budget.

    so... do want to race or just do track day? if racing, how many events a year? how much racing budget a year do you have 5, 15, 30k? if you are considering open wheel racing... have you thought about just going all in and doing Formula Ford? (somewhat cheap) and then graduate to FC/FB cars (not cheap!) do you plan to run from road atlanta to the glenn? or just VIR and summit? how many races are does the regional organization have for you class at the events you can afford to get to? (will a car and budget limit you to just 2 races a year, or will have 8 races a year to pick and choose from) if yo wont be maintaing your own car, what options do you have for mechanic / trackside services?

    i would not have any hesitation to do spec atom - if it checks the right boxes for you.

  3. #3
    Down Quark
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    Dec 2014
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    Thanks for the insights, I know they have the spec race atom series there at VIR with a some other races throughout the year that TMI co-sponsors or puts on. Isn't the atom classed into an SCCA open wheel class now as well? I haven't been able to find anything definitive on that. Talking to the guys at TMI they mentioned it but didn't have details yet.

  4. #4
    Particle
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    Oct 2011
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    DE
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    I have been running the SRA series for 4 years now. It has been a great learning experience and my first exposure to racing. The cars have been close to bullet proof and the TMI folks have done a great job supporting the series. The drivers get along well and the level of competition is high. I have no experience in other open wheel cars but from what I have seen at track days the atom requires much less in the way of set-up and tuning than most of the purpose-built race cars I see at the track. You should try to take some laps in one and see what you think.

  5. #5
    Up Quark
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    Sep 2013
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    I did the same thing and took delivery of SRA#52 in March of this year. Sold my 08 Z06. Very happy with the move. Around all the tracks I went to last year the SRA is faster. WAY more fun to drive and feels like a real race car vs a street car that was turned into a race car. Around Pitt Race I am almost 2 full seconds faster and routinely pass all the porsches and corvettes that show up. Tires, brakes, oil and all consumables are practically free when compared to the Z06. I did add a passenger seat and also added fenders because some tracks I go to do not allow open wheel cars. Good Luck.

  6. #6
    Down Quark
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    ^^^That was a concern of mine actually as to what certain track-day groups consider open wheel or not and how they receive the atom's. So I guess I might need to look into that and possibly get a set of fenders as well. I planned on getting the passenger seat option in mine as well and taking it out for the actual SRA races. I have no doubt they are faster around most tracks, what they lack in brute power they more than make up for in corner ability. I must admit that the consumables cost difference is a major selling point for me on one of these cars as well, I actually plan on keeping track of the actual operating costs when compared to my old car if I do end up pulling the trigger on putting my order in for one of these. I'm a numbers kind of guy so the more I can see it in front of me the better haha. I appreciate all the feedback from everyone though really pushing more towards joining this community with another SRA chassis in the near future.

  7. #7
    Particle
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    Nov 2012
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    Nelson Ledges would not allow me on the track - Pitt Race was cool with it though. Funny thing, as they were telling me I could not run, a Caterham drove in and was admitted with no problems. I had fenders on my car just like the Caterham, but they wouldn't budge. It might be a different story now that they changed the track management folks.

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