|Like the Mazda 2 the Fit came with an unmuffled pea shooter exhaust. Since the car had to run an inlet restrictor, we presume that this was done mostly to save weight.
When following other editors at the event with a racing background, I noticed that both cars seemed very evenly matched. Over the course of a lap, I could neither gain nor lose much ground with either race car unless I made a mistake which typically was slightly overdriving and sliding a bit too much. With a B Spec racer it is important to nail the transitional phase from braking to cornering perfectly and skate the car right on the edge of the friction circle so as not to lose much cornering momentum. It is also very important to focus on maintaining good exit speed and unwind the wheel full without apexing too early.
|Both the Fit and the Mazda 2 kept the stock rear drum brakes. This seemed to work fine for these low powered FWD nose heavy cars. The Fit had HPD brake pads made by Cobalt which were very effective but the car seemed to have a long and mushy pedal. Since the car came straight from the 25 hours of Thunderhill, it could be that the brakes simply needed to be bled. However, the stock Fit had the same sort of brake feel.
Both of these cars handle so well that they are sweet natured and difficult to spin even though neither car understeers very much, unlike many light switch oversteer, twitchy FF race cars. A few journalists managed to spin and have minor off road excursions but no harm befell either car. Another cool thing is that although both cars were hammered hard all day long by a group of journalists neither car missed a beat all day. Neither car needed the slightest bit of work done to them. The Tri Point crew inspected and rotated the tires on the Mazda 2 but that was about it, it wasn’t even needed and they really probably just did it since we asked them to jack up the car so we could take some pics of the undersides. Even the tires of both cars had little wear after a full days flogging. Did we mention that the Fit had just come from the 25 hours of Thunderhill with only an oil change?
|At this moment, HPD is still working on the final kit specs. A little more roll stiffness would be nice. We are being pretty picky though as the car did handle well.
|In the end, the Mazda 2 had a slight edge in braking and cornering while the Fit felt good, was stable and had more motor. On the track it was pretty even with drivers having to use the positive points of both cars to stay in the hunt. We loved driving these cars, both the factory and race versions.
Overall, B-Spec seems to be a fun and exceedingly cheap class to run. Even experienced drivers will enjoy the challenge of maintaining speed and will learn new aspects of car control. Hopefully we will get to document the builds of a few of these soon. Looks for the class to grow and hopefully thrive!