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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just looked at the proposed rule changes and it seems that the 34 mm restrictor proposal for Open class has vanished and been replaced by a 32 mm (or worse) proposal.
I hope this is a typo or that I misunderstood it somehow.
Who is the intended beneficiary of taking it way down to 32 mm?
Is this an attempt to dumb down Open so that Group N can win all the events? --Kudos to Pat Richard for generally doing that so far.
Why should the US have smaller restrictors than the British Rally Championship or the World Rally Championship?
If this goes through, my car would need anti-lag, carbon fiber, kevlar, active electronic center diff, new ECU, forged pistons, and new rods, for my car to be close to on par with the group N cars.
A 32 mm Open class would be nuts.
The past few years, SCCA rally rules have just been making it more and more expensive to go fast. Let's not hear any of that "racing is expensive, if you don't like it go play golf" crap.
I'm generally pretty calm, but this sort of thing really annoys me. Feedback to follow through appropriate channels. Nothing less than 34 please!
Dave Hintz
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Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

I was told that "we need to slow these cars down," hence the proposal for a smaller restrictor in Open. However, the performance of Pat and Shane shows that shrinking the opening doesn't necessarily make the cars slower.

However, As Mr H points out, we see that changing the restrictor does add significant cost to the owners who will need to change things around. Additionally, those with the bigger wallets will be able to spend the dollars needed to optimize their cars for 34/32 mm, thus disenfranchising the lower-budget teams who are otherwise competitive despite their limited funding.

In my opinion, I'd say leave the Open class restrictor alone.

P.S. If you're looking for something to axe, consider dropping Group N or blending it with PGT. Howard Duncan had some interesting ideas in that regard that might keep people in both camps happy.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
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>I just looked at the proposed rule changes and it seems that
>the 34 mm restrictor proposal for Open class has vanished
>and been replaced by a 32 mm (or worse) proposal.
>I hope this is a typo or that I misunderstood it somehow.

The "smaller-than-34mm" refers only to cars with greater displacement than 2399cc.

The current rules call for a 40mm restrictor up to 2399cc and a 36mm restrictor above that. The question is whether the 2005 restrictor for cars with a displacement greater than 2399cc should be 32mm, 30.7mm, or some other measurement.

- Christian


Bjorn Christian Edstrom
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Actually, the current rule calls for 36mm above 4000cc unadjusted... which for me is something like 2350 in my Subaru. The SCCA BoD wanted 34mm immediately last year and the PRB pushed it out to January '05 so everyone had time to deal with it. The question is; right now the restrictor gets smaller at 4000cc (36 vs. 40), so with 34 being the "smaller displacement" restrictor size what should the "larger displacement" restrictor size be?

J.B. Niday
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the clarification.
Apparently, there is a typo of the proposed change in the bulletin on the SCCA website. It says "adjusted displacement" and I guess it should say "unadjusted displacement."
I understand the reasons for the switch to 34 mm, and I really do appreciate the way the PRB gave us lots of time to plan for it. I was just freaking out because it looked like it had been lowered to 32 mm.
Dave
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Why should we drop Group N? IT seems to be pretty effective so far, should we drop it because there are too many people that cannot read a homologation form correctly? INstead you are suggesting that we should blend Group N into PGT which is currently the class that is most in need of help. PGT has strange rules that cannot be policed except by the competitors themselves. We should dump Group N into that when people have the hardest time already reading the simplest VOs? I feel that the reason that Group N has been getting so many top finishes is more of a testament to driving talent or the lack there of in Open. One way to drop speeds is to introduce spec tires and limits on total tires per event. The last thing we need to do is make things more complicated then they already are by blending a clearly defined FIA class with a muddled regional class thus further distancing ourselves from international standards. We should do this to accomplish what? Sorry but I am more than a little confused.

Dave I have not met you personally though we have spoken on the phone before so do not take this as a personal attack but more of another competitor questioning your assertion. You say that to be competitive in open you will need to change a whole host of parts. Now i ask you have you ever driven a 34mm restrictor car? You claim that you will need all of these parts to be competitive but until you drive the car you are just guessing because even with all the parts you think you need you may not be competitive. Frankly in the SCCA it is pretty evident that driving talent not equipment is what wins rallys. I think that the SCCA does not take a logical view on rule changes but hey even the FIA legislates millions of dollars of development out the window on a whim. Finally face the facts rallying is expensive and if we don't want to spend the money involved we can either go out and have fun and run at the back or we can go choose another hobby like flying kites. Once again not a personal attack but an attempt to change your paradigm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tifosi77,

With regard to your comments about the open class, please go back and carfully read what I wrote. I didn't complain about a 34 mm restrictor. Also, I didn't say what it would take for ME to be competitive in Open. Since you brought it up, I'll say that I mainly need more seat time in 4WD and I need to take more risk. Now that we've put that to rest, let's get back on the real subject.

What I said was that for my car (if a 32 mm restrictor were required) to be on par with a Group N car, it would need comparable parts. This is a fact. It has nothing to do with drivers, it's just a statement about what it would take to make two cars equally competitive. Let's assume that both are to be driven by the same driver to keep it simple.

Dave
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back to the original question

As Edstrom an Niday pointed out, the original question was intended to be what size restrictor should be required for large displacement (e.g. 2.5 liter) Open class cars. Am I alone in thinking this was worded incorrectly in the bulletin (or had a typo)? Anyway now that it's clear what issue was intended to be discussed, I'm not sure there is an obvious correct answer.

I agree that bigger engines shouldn't be allowed to have bigger restrictors than smaller engines. So if a 2-liter (unadjusted) open class car needs a 34 mm restrictor, then a 2.5 liter (unadjusted) open class car shouldn't be allowed to keep a 36 mm restrictor. So, the question is "to what level should it be reduced for the big motors?" I'd say either 34 mm or 32 mm for the big motors (I don't care which).

I've been alternating between child care, internet, and yard work today. Now I'm going to do something more fun. Have a good 4th of July.

Dave
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RE: Back to the original question

If they changed open to 32 I dont even think my talon will run? I run a stock ECU and dont wanna take the time and money to tune a standalone...Its just not worth it in the talon...
At 23 its hard enough to make it to events and pay entry fees....

I guess I should have built that integra instead of a ratty old talon
:(

Such is life....

Regards
Larry
 

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RE: Back to the original question

Anyone see the irony in talking about eliminating the slower classes (P and G2) while simultaneously trying to slow down the fast classes? Your talon should still run if you're still running the stock MAS. I personally think that we should try to align ourselves with FIA standards.
 

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RE: Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

John Dillon co-drives occasionally with me when his busy schedule allows. I'm one of those underfunded teams that he mentioned running an old Eclipse in Club 4WD Open.

Although quite aware that I'm not the greatest driver out there by a long way, I drive trying to win, even though this is pretty well impossible against the Evo's etc.

My car probably makes around 300hp with the 40mm.

This estimate comes from the fact that I can just about beat the local Group N cars, if I'm lucky. ( You try beating Stephan in his PGT WRX! ) Also from watching Tony Chavez (in my car) being outsquirted by Nick's Evo 6.5 at the Ramada super special last December .

So, now we get a 34mm for 2005.

Underfunded means that I can just about maintain the car in good shape to run selected CRS events only. (Nothing against the "money" guys as I'd be doing exactly the same thing if funds were available to me.)

While fully aware of the insurance problems, I'm afraid that also means goodbye SCCA, I'm not interested in making my car slower.

Steve #344
 

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RE: Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

If you want to slow the cars down, try bigger brakes

Less engine power will place an even larger premium on cornering speed and I suspect more cross breeding of cars with trees

Part of the talent of driving involves the use of the brakes as well as the steering wheel and throttle.

Matt
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RE: Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

Once upon a time, FISA decided the GpB cars were too fast, and they were banned. New restrictive rules were crafted which cut horsepower in half. Within 2 years, the new GpA cars were faster than their predecessors had been. The manufacturers simply used brakes, gearing, and chassis refinement to get speed. Oh, and the "newer, slower" cars cost twice as much to build. If this isn't enough evidence, look at F1 and CART. Similar rules had no effect on speed; they only delayed it.

The moral of the story: Attempts at "slowing cars" with artificial rules only serve to drive up costs. They NEVER slow the cars down.
 

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RE: Back to the original question

Why would any right thinking American suggest that the US align themselves with the rest of the world? The next thing you'll be suggesting going metric! :p
 

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RE: Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

somone said "Additionally, those with the bigger wallets will be able to spend the dollars needed to optimize their cars for 34/32 mm, thus disenfranchising the lower-budget teams who are otherwise competitive despite their limited funding"

well, this is a rather ridiculous argument, full of irony. ALREADY, those with the bigger wallets ARE able to spend the dollars needed to optimize their cars for 40mm. Well outside the boundaries of UNLIMITED spending for a PGT/GRPN/GRP2 car. The only class with similar unlimited outcomes is grp 5. The 40mm boundary is definitely outside the boundaries of otherwise competitive teams with limited funding.

And, with 40mm, the ability to spend AT LEAST AS MUCH as with 34mm exists. In fact, there is the ability to spend MUCH MORE, because the resultant power output is that much higher, with respect to the drivetrain etc. etc. The argument that "you dont need to" is actually just an argument because they haven't been outspent yet. They were in 2002/2003.

Furthermore, 40mm actually disenfranchises all teams in all other classes.

A well driven 32mm car (PGT or N) or Grp 2 or Grp 5 has a much higher chance of beating a less driven 34mm car. A well driven 34mm car WILL ALWAYS BEAT a well driven 32mm car. If you need examples, look north of the border. Furthermore, 34mm will mean that we will have a very close racing, harmonized classes with well-driven cars in the lower classes beating less driven cars in the higher classes, all the way up the chain, from prod/grp2/pgt/grpn/grp5/open. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The only argument to make, if it was worth making, would be "we want low budget cars at the top of the field". Well, nothing changes if you go to 34mm. The same cars will still beat 32mm cars if driven equally. Again, using Canada as a great example of a sanctioning body that made the change. Now, up here no one seems to be complaining about it. In fact, the lower budget guys, mostly of whom run in PGT (P4) and Grp 2 have moved right up the field. It in fact strengthened the lower classes, if anything.

I dont disagree that with a simple 40mm car you can beat "maxed out, unlimited spending lower class cars". The shortsighted part of this argument is that nothing stops a "maxed out, unlimited spending 40mm car". And thus we go, round and round. The guys with the 'hot' 40mm cars are NOT going to spend more money building a 'hot' 34mm car. The guys with el cheapo 40mm cars are not going to be finishing at the top, but they wouldn't be anyways in 2002/2003 (when there was 'unlimited" spending in that class). 2004 just happens to be a year when only one or two are spending big bucks in open class, so they seem to have a chance. Its shortsighted to think it wont happen again, especially because it can and probably will.

The fact is, and will always be, if you keep 40mm, the opportunity to outspend and the boundaries of that outspending are much higher than if you go to 34mm. Giving examples of WRC cars is ridiculous. If you wanted to, you could also spend a zillion on a 40mm car (seems to have been done already a few years ago). The point is, putting an upper bound on that zillion.

And before you say "be rid of them altogether", one only has to look at the bigger picture. That someday, someone can and will spend to the max in the class (i.e. 2002/2003). Thats why you want to cap it. It has nothing to do with slowing the cars. Take the opportunity to do the right thing.
 

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RE: Back to the original question

There is a 32mm restrictor on my Talon, running the stock ECU and it runs great. Would it be better with a bigger restrictor, probably but then it wouldn't be legal in CARS P4, NASA SS or SCCA PGT. As of now I have three options to choose from if I want to race.

Gary
 

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RE: Keep open at 40 mm restrictor

>
>A well driven 32mm car (PGT or N) or Grp 2 or Grp 5 has a
>much higher chance of beating a less driven 34mm car. A well
>driven 34mm car WILL ALWAYS BEAT a well driven 32mm car.

Pat, I completely agree with you from a competitive standpoint. The only people who have to worry about the restrictors are hacks hiding behind big horsepower. But....

No matter what we do there will always be the someone who will outspend everyone else. It's even possible to outspend someone in Production or GrN. I remember Mark N. telling us at Oregon how the zillion dollar Prodrive GrN car outpulled the other domestic GrN cars he drove. So whether it is 34mm, 40mm, GrN, or whatever, there is always the opportunity for someone to take it to the max and get an advantage.

So instead lets look at it from a "bang for your buck standpoint". For the guy who just wants a fast car, 40mm is pretty easy to make cheap power. My car makes right around 330 hp using a stock block. This block is cheap, reliable, and will last a couple seasons. If I go 34mm, to keep that same 330hp I'll have to crank up the boost, which will necessitate and expensive built block, and that block will only last half a season at the most. Or lets look at a club guy with an open class Eclipse. With 40mm he can still effectively run the stock engine management, but drop to 34mm and he'll most likely have to buy an expensive aftermarket ECU to make the engine run worth a darn. In either case, we have two choices: buck up or go slower. Bucking up isn't always an option, and if we wanted to go slower, we would picked a slower class (such as PGT) in the first place!

If this rule only affected high dollar Pro championship teams, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But it's also affecting the run for fun, club, and general privateer guys who are really out there to have a good time. Yes you can have fun in a less powerful car, but maybe we don't want to. Maybe we want really fast cars. After all, we already have slower ones, why can't we have faster ones?

I think we've proven it's no longer a safety issue. So now it comes down to a competition issue. If a GrN driver is concerned that his talent is being masked by slower drivers in faster cars, then the burden should be on him to bump up classes and get an open car. In other words, why should my car be slowed down so that an GrN or GT driver can be more competitive? Why doesn't he just put in a bigger restrictor and race me heads up?

Dennis Martin
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