Race Class Profile: 944-Spec

Features, Racing I By Winding Road Staff I August 28, 2014

Just because you want to race Porsches doesn't mean you'll have to sell vital organs to afford it. The 944-Spec series was conceived to offer Porsche enthusiasts a way to go racing with limited expense and low operating costs. Consisting of spec-built 1983-1988 Porsche 944s and 1987-1988 Porsche 924Ss, 944-Spec follows a similar concept to that of Spec Miata and Spec E30 in that, due to the parity between cars in the class, driver skill is the biggest factor in regards to a racer's competitiveness. Let's take a look at some of the details of the series and car setup:

Sanctioning Bodies/Organizers:

  • National Auto Sport Association – The sanctioning body for 944-Spec. Check out the NASA 944-Spec rules for 2014 here.
  • Spec944.org – News, results, standings, forums, regional contacts, and technical information resource for 944-Spec racers.

Race Format: Sprint

Typical Race Length: 25 to 50 minutes

Car Type / Production Dates:

  • 1983-1988 Porsche 944, normally aspirated, 2479 cc, eight valve engine
  • 1987-1988 Porsche 924S, 2479 cc, eight valve engine

Engine:

  • 2479 cc, eight valve engine. All engines, components, and parts must have been offered for sale in a Porsche 944 from model years 1983-1988 with 2479cc, eight valve normally aspirated engines only and sold by a dealer in the United States. All engines and their internal components must remain stock and within factory specified tolerances. Engine blocks, crankshafts, pistons, connecting rods, camshaft, head casting and cam tower casting must be the original factory part or genuine OEM replacements.

Output: Approximately 150 horsepower. HP + torque figures, divided by 2, must not exceed 140 on the dyno.

Weight: 2600lbs minimum (with driver)

Data System: Unrestricted

Suspension Adjustability:

1) Koni – Front: 8641-1038 Sport, 8641-1414 Sport / Rear: 26-1209 Sport, 8040-1035 Sport

2) Bilstein Front P30-0104 Rear: B36-0161, B36-2052

  • All suspension components must be stock parts and mounted in unmodified original factory mounting locations.
  • Shocks must be either the original factory installed shocks or the following models and part numbers (custom valving is not allowed):
  • Camber plates are allowed provided they bolt to the chassis using existing shock mounting holes and make no modification to the shock tower.
  • Any rate spring is permissible in the factory original location only. Coil-over systems are prohibited in the rear.
  • Any sway bars are permissible as long as they are not cockpit adjustable.

Tire Size: Toyo Proxes RR, 225/50/15 (dry) / Toyo Proxes RA-1, 225/50/15 (wet)

Aero: No air dams, wings or spoilers are allowed other than stock components.

Special Features:

  • Aftermarket performance engine management chip is allowed with a 25lbs increase in minimum weight.
  • Aftermarket performance headers are allowed with a 25lbs increase in minimum weight.
  • Flywheels lighter than stock are allowed with a 30lbs increase in minimum weight.

Constraints:

  • For a full list of 944-Spec requirements, check out the 944-Spec NASA CCR here.

Car Cost: $4,000-$9,000 (used), $11,000-$15,000 shop build (new)

TypicalCar CountRange: 10-15 cars per race, depending on region/event

Strongest Regions:

Weekend Run Cost:

During the 2010 racing season, an intrepid 944-Spec racer itemized his DIY run costs into this handy chart below. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary, and costs for some of these items may have gone up slightly since this chart was created

Given these expenses, a race weekend should range between $500 to $700 including entry fees. Lodging and trailering costs should also be considered.

Crossover Classes:

Record Lap Times/Tracks:

  • Buttonwilow – Course 13 CW / Charles Buzzetti / 2:05.807 – 10/09/2010
  • Laguna Seca / Charles Buzzetti / 1:46.864 – 07/06/2013
  • Road America / Eric Kuhns / 2:46.807 – 10/08/2011
  • Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CCW) 4 / Tyler Palmer / 2:02.228 – 01/12/2013
  • Miller Motorsports Park Full (4.5M) / Norman Hamden / 3:32.887 – 06/15/2008

Example shops providing support:

Shops Providing Arrive & Drive Rental:

Here's some great footage of some Spec 944s going toe-to-toe at Mid-Ohio Raceway from the Bennington Motorsports "Green Machine" 944 driven by Dan Pina, with some Spec E30 and GTS mixed in with the pack:

 

 

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