Up until 2010, Touring 1 at SCCA had good participation and was a popular class. It was also full of great drivers and it enjoyed a lot of sponsor/manufacturer support. A benefit is that the cars could migrate over to NASA Super Touring 2 for another popular racing venue. Many drivers raced in both organizations and ran in both championships with winning results.
But then, the changes started. At SCCA, there was a lot of monkeying around with the rules. First, the T1 Corvette was threatened to be burdened with added weight and other performance restrictions. At NASA, the environment also changed. To win, it required a heavily modified chassis, body, engine and aero package. Then, SCCA flipped the other direction and turned T1 into a GT2/World Challenge type of configuration. At this point, the simple, fast beauty of T1 and ST2 was lost as big money, lots of tuning, testing and complicated cars ruled the day. Gone was the era where a driver could show up with a straight forward build with crew and driver that was one of the same. The old school T1 racing was like Spec Miata on steroids where a driver could go two or four off at 100 MPH and re-enter the track without losing a beat. No fear of ripping off splitters and under-trays in that configuration.
Cars now required a lot of work, money and expertise between sessions.
Spec Corvette brings back T1 and ST2 racing the way it used to be. And the cars are fast but with vast amounts of durability, cost savings and reduced maintenance. The best part is that now a build that used to cost $50,000 to $60,000 is down to under $20,000 thanks to the availability of C5 Corvettes and the readily available aftermarket race parts. Spec Corvette was designed to allow for the build of a car on a $10,000 C5 street car. The availability of pre-fab cages and negotiated discounts on shocks, sway bars and other parts keeps the build costs low and the car configurations very equal. Considerations have been made to allow for affordable race components that are not only inexpensive and yet fast, but promote more economical racing. Take for example the choice to allow a poly bushing for the A-arms in order to help tire life while adding a more stimulating feel to the car. The allowed upgrades take into account the age of the vehicle and allow for low dollar modifications that make sense to increase vehicle reliability. The rules also allow for the use of OEM parts if you can’t afford to do the full build on day one. Just make sure you have the required safety equipment. Take the OEM wheel hubs as an example. As the stock hubs wear out you can go to the more durable SKF hubs without compromising performance during that time. The same goes for the OEM springs, shocks and coolers. Running stock hardware in many cases won’t hurt your speed, but it will assist your pocketbook as you get started. If your car is a project that you plan to race over the first few seasons while you build to the rules, you can do that without too much handicap. Bottom line, a racer can buy a C5 corvette, install the required safety equipment and go racing competitively.