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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Per the discussion over Jamies power stering pump problem and her overwork and heat stroke at RTim, I sent in 2 proposals for Prod rules changes.

Here are the texts for you to think about. Now, do me one big favor: If you don't like these, please don't bombard the PRB on these before they have a chance to digest and post these for official comment. I am putting these here so everyone interested can be aware ahead of time, and they can be discussed at a leisurely pace. I am not in production class, and my interest in these is for safety.

Mark Bowers :)

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Proposal for allowing power steering coolers in Production Class Vehicles

Synopsis: Power steering coolers are not explicitly allowed in production class ProRally and ClubRally vehicles, per 2002 rules. Section 10.2.F.2.6 does allow ?Supplemental Accessories? to be added and one provision for this is for ?enabling easier or safer driving of the car?.

I have sincerely believed that there has been significantly increased probability of health and safety risks due to competitor?s increased body heat since we adopted requirements for higher fire suit ratings a few years ago. I have personally seen one incident of heat exhaustion at the 1999 Maine pro rally, and in 2002 one competitor (with whom I have corresponded) suffered from heat stroke at Rim in a P class car with no power steering cooler, in a car that has had repeated problems with power steering fluid aeration and requires large increases in driver effort..

The heat problems faced by rally competitors is manifoldly greater than most other forms of racing due to the extended period of competition and the other fatigue factors involved, and it has the unique problem that competitor?s cannot realistically roll down their windows and use window nets when they are in a dusty event. So, I think we should do all we can to help competitors avoid body heat build-up.

I believe that the allowance of auxiliary power steering coolers for Production class vehicles would be a very positive safety improvement, and that there will be no advantage gained for cars using these devices, since the original steering performance of the vehicles will be maintained.


Proposed change:

Add a new sentence to section 10.2.F.13 that reads: ?The addition of a power steering cooler and associated lines and fittings is permitted.?


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Proposal for allowing roof vents in Production Class Vehicles

Synopsis: Roof vents are explicitly prohibited from production class ProRally and ClubRally vehicles, per 2002 rules section 10.2.F.27.

I have sincerely believed that there has been significantly increased probability of health and safety risks due to competitor?s increased body heat since we adopted requirements for higher fire suit ratings a few years ago. I have personally seen one incident of heat exhaustion at the 1999 Maine pro rally, and in 2002 one competitor (with whom I have corresponded) suffered from heat stroke at Rim in a P class car with no roof vents.

The heat problems faced by rally competitors is manifoldly greater than most other forms of racing due to the extended period of competition and the other fatigue factors involved, and it has the unique problem that competitor?s cannot realistically roll down their windows and use window nets when they are in a dusty event. So, I think we should do all we can to help competitors avoid body heat build-up.

I truly believe that the prohibition of roof vents for Production class cars a presents continuing and very real health and safety risk that needs to be addressed immediately.


Proposed changes:

Delete the last sentence of 10.2.F.72, which reads ?The addition of devices such as roof vents, etc., are not permitted.?

Add new section 10.2.F.26.m to read: ?The addition of up to 2 roof vents is permitted.?


Proposed date of effect: Immediately on approval.
 

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Mark,

These issues have come up before. Past discussions/votes/etc.
have produced the rules as they are today. If you use power
stearing, you run with the risk of it failing. (Kind of like
using tubeless tires.)

As for the heat; Force Majeur, "The air is the air."

Patrick
 

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Mark, I do not agree with allowing power steering coolers in Production classes. It is my interpretation of the rules that this is already clearly covered: if it is not specifically allowed then you cannot do it. I think allowing something like the addition of a PS cooler is not in keeping with the spirit of the class.

Perhaps you are surprised that this is my position since I am the builder of Jamie Thomas' car that you use as an example. However, your information is not quite right about Rim. Jamie's power steering problem at Rim had nothing to do with overheated fluid or aereation. The pressure line fitting at the rack came loose on stage (a common problem with Subarus, the factory doesn't seem to tighten those down very well) and all the fluid leaked out. Jamie got overheated from having to drive one of the longest stages with no fluid in the PS system. Once in service I tightened the fitting and refilled the fluid and she had no other problems with the steering.
The power steering fade she experienced at Oregon Trail was solved by flushing out all the old, brown fluid and replacing it with some good synthetic juice.
I don't think a PS cooler is generally a necessary addition to a Production car. Some cars already come with a cooling loop from the factory.


I do agree with allowing roof vents for Production cars. This is clearly a driver comfort issue (and even a safety issue as you point out and might of made a difference to Jamie's heatstroke at Rim this year) and used to be perfectly allowable according to the rules as a driver comfort modification. It still is allowed in Canada. However, the SCCA in all of their infinite wisdom, decided to prohibit roof vents for Production cars this year. Something about roof vents not looking stock or something. Of course I can see their point, look at any car with a roof vent on it - you can barely tell what kind of car it is!:p This is a complete debacle as far as I'm concerned. Next they'll want to outlaw window nets because they don't look stock. The ironic thing is that Group N cars are considered "Production" cars by the FIA and many Group N models (Subaru WRX STi, for example) come from the factory with roof vents and are therefore REQUIRED to run them. Yet the SCCA rules ban them. Brilliant.

-DC
 

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Roof Vents

Your poposal to the PRB on roof vents was no the only one submitted. Most of the people who run the class that I have talked to are definetly in favor of them. As I remember the discussion last year it had something to do with a time issue. Obviously the safety factor should take presidence over any concern about looks. If gp N has them, why not PGT? A personal call or note to individuals on the board expressing your opinion is always the most effective way of lobbying for any rule. Roger
 

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>>The heat problems faced by rally competitors is manifoldly
>greater than most other forms of racing due to the extended
>period of competition and the other fatigue factors
>involved, and it has the unique problem that competitor?s
>cannot realistically roll down their windows and use window
>nets when they are in a dusty event. So, I think we should
>do all we can to help competitors avoid body heat build-up.

I don't see the problem here Mark. When Dave and I get too hot in our Production Celica, we just turn on the A/C. If it gets REALLY hot, like when I have the power amp on the factory 7-speaker stereo really cranked up, we just put the A/C on the "Max" setting, and it cools down right away. And I really don't get your point about not being able to roll down the windows...wouldn't that just let the cold air out??

Jeff;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There's nothing like being part of a serious discussion, and this is nothing like a serious discussion! I obviously have this all wrong; we need to mandate A/C on all rally cars!! Your wisdon is beyond words! :7

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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Frankly I don't see the benefit of allowing a PS cooler in order to reduce risk of heat exhaustion. Let's get real, it will get hot inside a rally car with or without power steering and if you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen, or roll down the window a bit, or SIMPLY CONDITION YOUR MIND AND YOUR BODY TO AVOID HEAT EXHAUSTION. I raced the same race with a similar car, sadly both myself and my driver are almost twice (mostly driver ;)) her age and it was equally hot for us, we had our fair share of mechanical difficulties however heat exhaustion was not one of our concerns. I don't see the benefit of a rule change for an issue, I personally believe, can be remedied with proper conditioning and workout.

A humble co-driver

M.Samli
 

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So you don't think I was being serious? It is a production car after all, and it just looked like too much work to remove all those pesky tubes, those little wheel doohickies, and that thing out front that looks kinda like the thingamajig on the back of the fridge.

After we added the catalytic converter on the Shadow, it got so hot inside that Dave's eyeglasses melted along with his calculator which got so warped the buttons fell out. He never once complained about the heat either, but he's pretty tough as co-drivers go.

Jeff
 

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I would have to agree with Dave Clark in regards to p/s cooler addition, this is a stock class after all!
As for roof vents-buy a cool vest system as many others have, yes it costs more however again it is a stock class. IMHO:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Mustafa,

Yes is does vary from person to person and conditioning can make a big difference. But, I don't see that a PS cooler really gives any performance advantage at all. And when you realize the you can put in a competition clutch, DMS (or darned near to it) suspension, and no boost limit for PGT, all of which net massive improvements in performance over stock, then to someone outside the P classes, it seems awfully silly not to allow something as simple as a PS cooler. Especially when oil coolers are allowed.

As far the personal conditioning goes, remember that not everyone who wants to compete here can be in the same condition. There is no prohibition for someone with severe asthma, for example, from competing. Something as simple as a PS cooler can make a huge difference for them, and allow more folks to safely participate, and enjoy a great sport.

Hey, I have made the proposal. If the bulk of P class folks shoot it down, OK by me. Again, I don't compete in P class.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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I'm not sure whether everybody sees the possible results of "modifying" or "improving" the properties of production class rally cars. I say let's limit what can be done even more, after all production classes are there to provide the entry level (read low budget) participants and beginners with a competitive edge without breaking the bank. My humble opinion is that if you want modified production cars, let's have F3, F2 or F1600 or even kit car classes here for those who want to step up from production classes to a faster and more complicated category. I remember the days Group N was affordable (I dated myself again), look at where it is now, how many competitors can afford a GrN car now without a serious sponsor?

I say if we are not careful, productions classes will outgrow the budget of the amateur competitors and the whole sport will suffer the consequences.


M.Samli
 

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>I remember the days Group N was
>affordable (I dated myself again), look at where it is now,
>how many competitors can afford a GrN car now without a
>serious sponsor?
>
>I say if we are not careful, productions classes will
>outgrow the budget of the amateur competitors and the whole
>sport will suffer the consequences.
>
>
>M.Samli

I agree with Samli. Isn't production supposed to be affordable? Well, ok, more affordable than open class. Its not ?will this modification make it more competitive.? It?s about cost, and probably appearance too. If you keep allowing changes, then separation between Prod/PGt and group 2/5/Open becomes meaningless.

I think it is a joke to call Group N production class. Lets see, buy a WRX and then spend a lot of $$$$$ to replace suspension, drive train, etc, and then a lot of money for the paperwork. That?s production? I call group N, "highly restricted open class."

As far as Jamie's problem, everyone in production/pgt had to deal with the heat. Part of heat exhaustion is dehydration. During the Del Sur turn-around I drank heaps of water and wore a hat to stay of the sun. I don't know if Jamie's problem was due to dehydration.

One part of Jamie?s story alarmed me. She said she was losing it during the transit and her navie had to yell at her to stay on the road. This put herself and others in possible danger. Remember, the rules allow the crew to switch duties. If you recognize, which may be difficult because it affects your judgment, your losing it, then pull over and switch. Navies, if you see this happening to your driver, insist they pull over and switch.

Don?t let ego get in the way of good judgment. It takes a stronger person to recognize when to turn over the leadership to someone else. I had to do it when I become sick and exhausted while leading a group up a technical, and tricky, climb up a rock face. I noticed I was making stupid little mistakes, so I turned it over someone else before those little mistakes became life-threatening big mistakes.

Paul Nelson
Navie
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Mustafa,

Actually, I agree a lot with what you say here. Especially in regards to keeping it simple and not allowing a lot of mods.

The whole suspension thing seems out of kilter with the idea of a low cost P class. However, and maybe other P class guys should weigh in here, I think one of the reasons to justify the fancy suspensions in P class actually has something to do with reducing cost. They are very expensive to start with, but if you are really driving hard in P class, you will probably wear out a set of OEM struts in 1 event, or 2 events max. If you go to the dealer and buy replacements, you will will have very soon spent what a set of DMS costs. It is unfortunate that at the same time a real competitive advantage is gained while potentially reducing overall costs. This could force everyone who wants to be as competitive as possible to pay this upfront "reliability price", because the competitive advantage that is gained.

Something similar can be argued for an oil cooler; yes it gives a possible advantage, but I would guess the rationale to have it in there is to increase reliability and reduce cost that way.

I am not at all sure what the right answers are; I'm just trying to think about all the possible aspects of what to do, and do a bit of pro and con thinking.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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>The whole suspension thing seems out of kilter with the idea
>of a low cost P class.
Drive in P class, you would find out that you will spend much more with the old suspension rules than if you were able to buy suspension under today's rules.

>However, and maybe other P class guys
>should weigh in here, I think one of the reasons to justify
>the fancy suspensions in P class actually has something to
>do with reducing cost.
Yes.

>They are very expensive to start
>with, but if you are really driving hard in P class, you
>will probably wear out a set of OEM struts in 1 event, or 2
>events max.
OEM with springs? Try 15-20 stage miles, IF you could find a set with enough dampening to not just destroy the car straight up. Hitting the bump stops hard is a good way to stress crack the front end (the un-seam welded one...) The Koni's that came with the Neon, were hard enough, but would not last more than 30 miles at speed on the stages.

>If you go to the dealer and buy replacements,
>you will will have very soon spent what a set of DMS costs.
6 Koni's from the dealer would = DMS.

>It is unfortunate that at the same time a real competitive
>advantage is gained while potentially reducing overall
>costs. This could force everyone who wants to be as
>competitive as possible to pay this upfront "reliability
>price", because the competitive advantage that is gained.
Pay now or slowly pay later. I paid more than $3000 over 2 years on my suspension so I could keep pushing hard. DMS is much less than this. And it was frustrating to continually have to slow down at the end of events to save the car.

>Something similar can be argued for an oil cooler; yes it
>gives a possible advantage, but I would guess the rationale
>to have it in there is to increase reliability and reduce
>cost that way.
Rim has Heat & altitude. It only takes about 2 miles up elisio canyon to bake most Production cars. Then you have to slow down or torch the motor. Most events this isn't an issue, but 80 degree day with a little altitude, and bingo, hot all day. I don't like to have to turn my Air conditioning off and go to the heat (Neon didn't have air, I'm just pulling a Jeffy).

>I am not at all sure what the right answers are; I'm just
>trying to think about all the possible aspects of what to
>do, and do a bit of pro and con thinking.
The class is pretty good the way it is. I would only address seam welding and roof vents. Rest is okay the way it is now.
 

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I see no performance increase from roof vents. Always seemed
like a missing part to me anyway.

However I am against power steering coolers. One more thing to
increase cost and with with theoretical performance increases. We
need to keep "P" costs as low as possible.


Ed
 

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Yea, I agree

With SagSert and Wahl.

Why should I buy a stinkin oil cooler for about $40 to $100 American when I can spend that money on some ice cold BEER to keep me hydro'd.

So I blow a few lines, or seals and need a new rack, who carse, by then I will have sold the car to some unsuspecting sap that can fix it himself. Same with the welds on the front end, let someone else worry.

I think aftermarket seats are too much too, so forget that deal, and why do I need hood pins? Thats a sixer of Pap smear blue ribbon right there bro. I can get used stock struts at the boneyard all day for my car, and down the stages, my hooptee looks like a hoppin Hydro.
Send in Tony George to cut costs and get American drivers in the series while we are at it, hey?

And you guys and yer fancy roof vents, just get some furnace ducting from one of those new subs where they wasted all the trees that looked so dang ugly in February, and put up those nice beige boxes next to each other, and hang that out the winder with some duct tape.

Can someone say DOT tires?

Come on say it! say it! Gotta be cheaper to buy a fancy tire than it is to get an oil cooler on the steering rack.
 

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RE: Yea, I agree

Oh Please, Grow up.

Why don't we just make Production an unlimited class like you want?
Give me a break. There has to be lines in P classes somewhere.

If you want to spend the big bucks, move to Gp N or Open.
Whats the point of a production class with performance enhancements
for those that can afford to add them to a "production" car?

Ed
 

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blah, blah....

wow... what have i missed here?? :7

few things here...
vents...
definately feel that they should be allowed.
still dont understand the reasoning behind the
rule change to ban them. it just seems silly to me.

Rim...
i was very hydrated. drank water n water n water for days...
but just got too hot trying to keep the car in line
really overworked myself...
next thing i knew, i wasnt doing so well.
and yes i do work out
and i do condition -
but 2wd and welded front diff at RIM
... well ....
honestly, i was very suprised at how hard it was to control the car.
but i made it through
and feel even MORE CONFIDENT now that i've done so.
it happens again, i'll be ready...
and maybe, just maybe i'll purchase an LSD ;)

PS Cooler...
? not sure how i feel about it at this point.
i'm still too new to the sport
to base an arguement on proposed rule changes...
but why allow an oil or tranny cooler?
and not any other cooler fittings? *shrugs*
i guess i dont understand the logic behind 1/2 the rules... :)
and i dont feel i necessarily need one...
as the synth. fluid seems to have solved my woes with the puking pissing ps fluid....

oh and feel free to continue your debate...
but please dont make personal jabs at me.
especially if you dont know or have never met me...
that's just not warranted people.

have fun
cheers!
jamie
www.subiegalracing.com
www.subiegal.com
 

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RE: blah, blah....

>but please dont make personal jabs at me.
especially if you dont know or have never met me...
that's just not warranted people.

Hmm. reread the entire thread. Is this a
problem? Hope you aren't refering to my
message as thats what you replied to.

A) We've met. LONG lines at Rim reg.
b) the message was a reply to logicallychalleged. ;)

Ed
 
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