moonman: your point that masami's driving skills is the key factor in securing the win does hold some ground. but i prefer to believe that winning takes both driving skill and the right equipment (competitive car, motor and batts).
as for slower sales of the special, here's my view on possible reasons:
1. the rumours of a new yoke tc being floated around as early as dec 2001?
2. some factory drivers' (most notably barry baker and chris tosolini) reluctance to switch from the worlds chassis to the special and the negative publicity which resulted. i read somewhere that barry once said "my car sucks" in reference to the sp? any of our fellow yoke drivers from the US care to tell us more of the juicy details?
3. a lot of new and very competitive touring cars have been released this past 2 years
still, the fact remains that masami has used the mr4 sp to win the japan nats 2 years consecutively, and 3 cars managed to make the a final in south africa. so surely it can't be all bad?