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 Post subject: Thunder Roadster basics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:34 pm 
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Hey guys, I know this board seems a little deserted with months in between posts, but I'm in the SE and my racing partner and I are looking for the next step from our '79 rx7 roadster.

Thunder roadster seems like a good bang for the buck and I think there's a pretty good showing in our region.

I can't find much new information about the car. There's a page from 2007 from some guy who is pumped up about his first thunder roadster season, but not much else. There are basic car specs all over that say the car is 76" long...whatever.

What I don't see is a transmission spec, or how they shift. I'm guessing since it's a motorcycle engine that it has a sequential shifter. Is there a clutch? Do you clutch for up and down shifts or just downs? How different from driving my rx7 is this?

I also see some different body styles, but there's not a wiki or anything for me to read about the different iterations of thunder roadster.

So what's the deal with some having open wheels and some having wider body kits? I've seen some with wings, are those just modified roadsters for other classes that aren't "spec thunder roadster" legal? There is a spec thunder roadster class right?

I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions, maybe we can compile the info and make a sticky (I don't see one here).
-durty


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:55 pm 
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I would say the easiest thing to do would be to at the next event go and talk to some of the people who actually run them as they will be able to answer all of your questions. I can do my best from the research I have done to help but hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in.maybe post in the SE section to drum up some more interest from people in your region.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:55 pm 
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Sorry double post


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:30 pm 
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Go to a SE event and get up with Randy Suddreth or Ralph Nolan. They and the whole group will readily share all they know and love about TR's. Randy has a line on any used ones for sale and may even have one himself at times.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:26 am 
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durty wrote:
Hey guys, I know this board seems a little deserted with months in between posts, but I'm in the SE and my racing partner and I are looking for the next step from our '79 rx7 roadster.

Thunder roadster seems like a good bang for the buck and I think there's a pretty good showing in our region.

Yes. Quite the bang for the buck. Where else can you buy a turn-key race car built from the ground up as a purpose-built race car for <$15k? (Of course, you can go crazy & spend mucho $$$ on a car but a basic one that'll be a strong mid-pack runner can be had for the price I stated.) One set of tires (~$500) will last you half a season if you race in every SE event. Brake pads will last you almost a complete season. Rotors will last you at least 2 seasons.

durty wrote:
What I don't see is a transmission spec, or how they shift. I'm guessing since it's a motorcycle engine that it has a sequential shifter. Is there a clutch? Do you clutch for up and down shifts or just downs? How different from driving my rx7 is this?

Yes. Sequential shifter so no need for clutch on upshifts. Some even don't use the clutch for downshifts but that's much harder on the tranny. Personally, I only clutch on downshifts. Because this is a purpose-built race car & not a street car converted into a race car, it is night & day compared to your RX-7. I went from a Miata that had practically every go-fast goodie I could put onto it that was a DD to a Honda CRX converted to a race car to the TR. Even from the CRX, it was a night & day difference.

durty wrote:
I also see some different body styles, but there's not a wiki or anything for me to read about the different iterations of thunder roadster.

So what's the deal with some having open wheels and some having wider body kits? I've seen some with wings, are those just modified roadsters for other classes that aren't "spec thunder roadster" legal? There is a spec thunder roadster class right?

There are essentially 3 body styles -- depending on the age of the car & personal preference. The completely open-wheeled versions are the original body style. Then there's the front-open & rear enclosed style & then there's the completely closed style (latest iteration). You can get any body style you want & can change from one to another. However, the body kits are not interchangeable -- you can't mix & match body kits. You have to get a complete body kit for whatever body style you want if you want to change from one to another. So, once with a certain body style, people tend to stay with that unless they change out the entire body. But regardless of the body style, the guts & frame of the car are exactly the same underneath.

The wing comes with every car. It's personal preference to run with or without it. Most of us don't run with one as it hurts straight-line speed. The cars are such aero-pigs, any little bit effects the cars tremendously. For example, drafting down the back straight at Rd-A, you'll be 10-15mph faster than if running alone. We've also found the performance gains in the corners with the wing are far negated by the loss in straight line speed -- even at tracks like CMP or RRR.

Some of the TR guys are starting to run STR3 because they're running higher HP motors. By definition, TR is a spec class & the rules state the only mods allowed are what are stated in the rule book. If it isn't in the rule book, you can't do it. The biggest differences between the cars is the weight & HP --
  • <120HP = min weight of car + driver #1500
  • 120HP - <130HP = min weight of car + driver #1600
  • 130HP - <140HP = min weight of car + driver #1700
Anything beyond 140HP, you can't run TR class.

Hope this answers most of your questions. But as someone else said, find us in the paddock & every single one of us TR drivers will be more than happy to chat with you & show you the car. The person who has the best line on any cars for sale would be Randy Suddreth.

Also, where are you located? I'm in Lake Wylie, SC (just outside Charlotte). You're more than welcome to come down to my house & check out the car if you're local. Randy's shop is literally 4 miles from my house & I'm sure he'll also be happy to show you whatever he might be working on in the shop to give you a better idea of what the cars are all about.

Let me know if you have any more Q's.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:47 am
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Location: South Elgin IL
Been trolling the board recently and I'm so glad this thread go started. I have been to the end of the internet and back researching TRs. The body was the one thing that I was really wondering about. Thanks for the info Sunny. Looks like the SE guys really got a solid membership of TR racers. The youtube videos are great too.

I'm in the Midwest Region and looking at where my next step will be after HPDE.

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