View Full Version : ITB Geo Storm

03-20-2002, 07:49 PM
Hello everyone. Ok, so I have a question regarding these vehicles... Anyone seen one race before?? I noticed that both the GSi and the base model are eligible for ITB. Im assuming that the GSi model has a bit of a weight disadvantage.... Anyway, does anyone know anything about racing these vehicles? They are pretty easy to find and are cheap too. Thanks!


03-20-2002, 10:00 PM
Interesting question. They both come with a 1.6 DOHC engine that I THINK is essentially a derivation of the MR2/GTS twin-cam. It is rated by the manufacturere at 130hp (little horsies, I expect) although the GCR lists their CRs as different - 10.3:1 for the Prism and 9.8 for the Storm. My sense is that they are not very common but are cheap, if you can find one. The Storm's biggest problem is that it is bug uttly.


Bill Miller
03-20-2002, 11:22 PM
Intersting that the Storm has a 1.6 DOHC motor yet is an ITB car. If it is well and truly based on the venerable 4A-GE Toyota motor, it's even more interesting.

Doing a little reading of the ITCS yields the following

Geo Storm GSi

1600 DOHC, 31.0/28.0 I/E, 9.8:1, 96.5", 14" or 15" wheels, 5-spd, disc/drum, 2380#

Toyota Corolla FX-16

1600 DOHC, 30.7/26.0 I/E, 9.4:1, 95.7", 14" wheels, 5-spd, disc/disc, 2445#

Both cars are FWD.

If I looked at the specs lines of these cars, there's no way I'd figure one for an ITB car and the other for an ITA car. Especially when the ITB car has: bigger valves, higher compression, can run 15" wheels (albeit 6" wide), and weighs less.

I know people that tried to get the MR2 (same engine as the FX16) bumped down to ITB, and I'm sure the same thing was tried w/ the Corolla GTS. I also know that the request fell on deaf ears.

I can't understand how on earth the Storm got classed in ITB when it is so close in almost every aspect w/ an ITA car.

Just read a MotorTrend article from 1990 on the car. 130hp Isuzu engine (also shared by the N/A Lotus Elan http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/eek.gif ). Overall review was that it was a fun, well-mannered car that did well in the twisties.

It was only slightly slower in 0-60 than a CRX Si (9.1 vs. 8.9), and over a full second quicker than a Suzuki Swift GTI (10.2).

On paper, the Storm looks like it should be a great ITB car. Can't say as I've ever seen one at the track though. Sure can't understand why it's an ITB car and the Toyota is an ITA car. Just one more example of why there needs to be a clearly defined process for classifying cars!!!!

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

03-20-2002, 11:49 PM
Hmmm.... Well isnt THAT interesting..... See, I thought the same thing when I saw that the GSi was classed at ITB. My college roommate had the base model and that thing hugged corners like you wouldnt believe on little 13in tires.... I was thinking that the GSi might be able to give the CRX Si a run for its money, yet there it is, classified in ITB. So, now that we have established that its classification makes no sense, what is the difference, according to the GCR, between the GSi model and the base model?? The base is a SOHC that makes just over 100 hp. Is there a weight differential that allows the base model to be lighter?? Or is it just one of those things where the SCCA saw the name "Geo" and stuck em in the same class???? Thoughts fellas?


03-21-2002, 01:25 AM
Only the GSi-spec Storm and Prism are listed in B - not the base models. The GCR lists two Geo base models in ITC...

Spectrum (1989) 1481cc @ 2020#
Storm (90-93) 1588cc @ 2355#
(No Prism)

Since the Storm GSi is listed in B, one would assume that the C version is all of the others, which have the 100hp engine. The specs are the same for both cars, however, with the exception of the valve diameters - which appear to be wrong in the C listing. Unless it actually has larger exhaust valves than intake valves.



Bill Miller
03-21-2002, 08:47 AM
Another interesting comment in the MT article on the Storm GSi is that at the limit, it tended to slightly oversteer. Even the author made a comment that he was surprised at this. A FWD car that has a stock set-up to oversteer at the limit. Now that's something I never thought I'd see! http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/eek.gif

Has anybody actually seen one of these things at the track??? Were they ever in SS? If so, what class and how'd they do??

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

03-21-2002, 09:27 AM
Be careful, if you ever build such a car. Make sure it is not fast enough to ruffle any feathers of our existing ITB folks. They will find a way to bump it up into ITA. Remember the Accord?

Dead Skunk
03-21-2002, 10:18 AM
To see at least one ITB Storm go to www.the-spa.com/jim.arenstam/ (http://www.the-spa.com/jim.arenstam/)

03-21-2002, 10:48 AM
Where do I begin? I've studied these cars a bit and have some info.

First. Geo Storm = Isuzu Impulse, hence all Isuzu parts, no relation to other Geo's.

Second. Geo Prism = Toyota Corolla.

(The GSi models of both cars happen to look a lot alike, 1.6 DOHC, 130 HP, FWD, strut suspension, but that's only coincidence.)

The Prism GSi got a motor was unique to it. No other Toyota in the U.S. got it. Yes, it's similar to other 4A-GE stuff (I forget the exact designation for the Prism) but it makes more power via a different head and intake. The FX16 and MR2 got the lesser version. MR2 and Prism share brakes, but the FX16 has smaller brakes.

The MR2 is a good ITA car, while it's down on power from the Prism GSi ITB car, it's mid-engine configuration should be faster on the track.

The FX16 though is basically an underpowered, underbraked, two door Prism GSi with the same wheelbase, and almost identical suspension pieces. But I'm drifting a bit.

There are a few Storms and Prisms out there being raced. They must not be class killers, or we'd hear more about them, right?

Or perhaps horsepower to weight isn't the whole story?

And if you're wondering why there are 16 valve 1.6 liters in ITB, what about the 16 valve 1.5 liter Honda in ITC?? Shouldn't it be a real class killer? With some development, it ought to do really good. Oh, wait, one won the ARRC. In like it's 4th race.
(No offense the the Zen Racing gang, they build great cars and are great drivers. Want to win the ARRC? Drop them a line.)

03-21-2002, 02:16 PM
Ok, granted that HP to weight may not be the whole story, but it seems to me that there could be another reason why we havent heard of any Geos being class killers. Ive noticed that a bunch of people dont want to deviate from what is known as a good racer. Thus, most folks dont want to experiment on an unproven platform. Since there arent a whole lot of Geos running in IT right now, that may be why we dont hear about them. Anyway, Skunk, what part of that website is the photo of the racing Geo?? I cant seem to find it there....


Dead Skunk
03-21-2002, 05:09 PM
The ITB Geo Storm I mentioned above can be seen by opening "Owners Gallery"

Bill Miller
03-21-2002, 06:08 PM

I think that's the 12-valve Honda in ITC. Also, the mid-engine nature of the MR2 does give it a balance advantage, but given the 160# weight penalty, I'd take the RWD Corolla GTS. And while the MR2 is a fun car to drive and race, there's no way it stays w/ a Mk I CRX Si giving away almost 400#.


I don't know if I'd want to bet the farm on the Accord staying in ITA. Denver seems to have realized that they may have stepped on their crank with this one, and is considering moving the car back to ITB.

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

03-21-2002, 06:23 PM
[Steve Lockett ran a Storm in MARRS ITB about 1997. Not a great deal of power, and poor handling due to the motor being in front of the front wheels.
Steve was good enough to own ITC in a Scirocco the year before, so it was not the driver.
He is doing Import Drags with it now -And Making Money!

"Bad" Al Bell
ITC #3 Datsun 510
DC Region MARRS Series

03-22-2002, 11:10 AM
The '88-'91 Civic HB is a SOHC 16 valve 1.5 liter. Rated at like 72 hp. Don't know how to verify it, they do say "16 valve" on the valve cover if you ever see one. (A definite short coming of the ITCS by the way. SOHC and valve size doesn't say how many valves there are.)

And I'm not saying the MR2 would be competition for the CRX, just that it isn't an ITB car, like the Prism GSi. I guess I didn't make it sound that way.

[This message has been edited by tderonne (edited March 22, 2002).]

03-22-2002, 09:38 PM
The Storm handles as well in stock form as in "built" form... As BadAl says, it's about as it's going to get from the factory.. very little left in it...

Others like this are the Probe GT and Mx6 V6, their potetial is already nearly realized as they come... so many cars are this way.

04-01-2002, 02:06 AM
Hi Gentlemen ...never raced a Storm or saw one raced, but 1, actually 2 were built for world challenge back in 90, i believe.....i think they were "slugs". Very well prepared cars, neat cages and all that...but i think the gearing was way off...and i believe they died a slow death somewhere.....but "who'd a thunk" that a Volvo would rule the ITB world.....lol...guess it makes you think


08-27-2002, 06:39 PM
Ok, I need a clarification here. It appears that both the GSi and the base Storm are qualified for ITB. Now, I thought I saw a post somewhere on here saying that the base has been moved to ITC. Is this the case, or are both models still ITB legal???


08-27-2002, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Jiveslug:
Ive noticed that a bunch of people dont want to deviate from what is known as a good racer. Thus, most folks dont want to experiment on an unproven platform.


George Roffe
Houston, TX

84 944 ITS car under construction
92 ITS Sentra SE-R occasionally borrowed

08-30-2002, 07:19 PM
I've seen one Storm race - it was dog slow.

I have also seen one Prism GSi that was well prepared. It was in the top three hunting down Volvos.... I was surprised at how fast it was. My only concern (knowing diddle about the car) is that only one year is listed in the ITCS. Don't know what that does for availability.

09-06-2002, 12:26 AM
I think Bad Al remembers the first year out with the car. I had SO many problems with it that year!

Lets see, fuel pickup, overheating, BRAKES!!
stone stock engine (all 103 hp at the wheels)
balance issues. The first few races were pretty bad.

After sorting over the winter and a IT engine rebuild (120 at the wheels) things went much better! It even took pole on the old long course at Pocono.

This is a super ITB car, be be warned parts are hard to get, you are gonna have to make just about everything. There are some real
hurdles to overcome to get this car fast.

BTW, my old ITB Storm is now a drag racer.
Ready for this, it runs 10.4's at over 138 mph on the still stock Isuzu bottom end. This thing has a fantastic motor in it!!


09-12-2002, 01:32 PM
Sort of a cross post but don't miss the Geo that is listed in the classifieds. If this were September of 2003, I would take a long look at that one...


10-22-2003, 03:34 PM
looks like theres another one now... oh well, too bad you got a VW on your hands now.

btw, if the storm has gearing issues, cant it be solved by a FD?

[This message has been edited by Tyson (edited October 22, 2003).]

10-22-2003, 10:20 PM
Ooh! Deja vu...

Prince Makaha
10-24-2003, 05:31 AM
Ok..............guess I missed this one.

Was wondering about the 1992 storm that had 15 inch wheels and a 1.8 liter 140hp twincam?

I haven't seen this car classed or discussed but I guess the tiny brakes are a problem.

[This message has been edited by Prince Makaha (edited October 24, 2003).]