I'm inclined to agree a bit with Dave on this issue. To me, the Mazda doesn't feel completely 'right', and the aero model feels much less sophisticated than what I remember of LFS' model. It's all a bit moot for me to talk about, since I'm not a race-driver and I don't know what a real Star Mazda feels like, but all in all, I just can't get a feel for the car, and I don't think I ever will. The Solstice, Skip Barber, Spec Racer, Late Model etc all feel fantastic on road courses, but the Mazda feels detached and I never have a clue what the car is doing at all.
When I learn a new track in the Skippy I can keep it on track and gradually increase my pace until I am up to speed, but in the Mazda I will spin and spin and spin until experience or trial & error teaches me what speeds are possible. It's quite frustrating and although I know there's a problem with the driver, I can't help but feel that there's something lacking in the car as well. It's not hard to drive - it's much, much easier to drive than the Skippy, but I can't connect to it, and I can't feel where the limit is and when I'm about to step over it.
Case in point: When I drive the Skippy around a new track, after 10 laps I can figure out roughly what my optimum lap would be after a week of practice, and roughly how far I would be off from the top qualifying time. In the Mazda, I never know until I look up the qualifying charts, and then it's always shocking to see that there's another 1-2 seconds to gain on top of my estimate. It's like I always need visual confirmation from others to determine what my own maximum pace could be, and it feels absolutely impossible to sense the limit of the car.
It's a bit of a shame really, because I can't seem to step away from the Skippy as there's no series out there which is more interesting to me.
- The SRF is great, but driven around dead-beat tracks and the competition seems to be rather stale in comparison to other classes.
- The Mazda doesn't feel right (see up) although it seems to be the most competetive class with some degree of activity.
- The Radical just feels like utter bile. I really wouldn't want to be caught racing it dead.
- The Daytona Prototype was pretty much stillborn in my mind; way too little activity and races at bad times. The car itself feels 'alright', but I don't like the lazy revving engine and silly low-power in first gear. Here's an endurance-class race car that is beaten off the line by a damn Solstice for the first 50 meters: it's sad. I know I can gear the car to spin the tyres off the line, but for example the Chevy Truck has a worse power/weight ratio, and it spins like a maniac into 2nd with similar gearing. It just feels like they wanted to make standing starts retard-proof really.
Anyway, ramble ramble, I'm done