Autox suspension for STF?
Let me start this by saying that I am a 15 year autocrosser who is familiar with the ST category, but this is my first attempt with the Mazda3. I have searched for the answer from several sources but have come up empty. I have a 2012 3i that I will be using for STF next season. The car is mostly stock except for a rear sway bar, but I will be attacking the suspension over the winter. I know it isn't going to be the car to have for the class, and I'm okay with that. I want to maximize the car's abilities, but it needs to retain a decent amount of comfort since it still gets used for hauling my 2 kids on a regular basis. I also want to get it done as cheaply as possible. Yeah, I know-- cheap isn't best, but I don't expect this to be my autocross ride for more than a couple of years.
So here's the question: what would be the best route for me to go for changing the suspension? The only options in my price range are a cheap set of coilovers or doing springs/shocks/camber plates (Swift/Koni/Corksport). The cheap coilovers worry me since the build quality and performance abilities seem questionable; however, the spring rates tend to be higher, and the smaller diameter spring should allow more negative camber up front. I can also get the car's ride height just like I want it. Both of these options will cost about the same.
The right solution is to get a set of higher quality coilovers and be done with it, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money for what could be a short term effort on the wrong car for the class. My gut says to go for quality shocks with good lowering springs, but the pros of the coilovers are tempting. So which way should I go?