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don't cut
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Ok, while welding a new seat mount yesterday, and inhaling a mixture of burnt paint and Argon, a thought popped into my head:

There has been a bit of scuttlebut over the announcement of the Group A/WRC ban in regional rallies. This will adversely affect many works teams, who use the profits from selling used WRC cars to fund their current efforts. These teams would be forced to develop new cars, similar to the US Open Class spec. This rule was layed down by WRC. David Richards runs the WRC.

Prodrive has been running a US spec Open Class car for over a year now. Since they already have much of the development under their belt, they would have a decided advantage should the new car spec come into play. David Richards owns Prodrive.

Coincedence, I think not..... :)

Dennis Martin
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i dont think it will be much of a competitive advantage on the stages but it will definately be a financial ad P.R. advantage for prodrive because they have an extremely successful track record here. as a privateer i would buy one of their cars over someone elses for sure. this may really help us prep shops.
greg
 

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straight at T
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>There has been a bit of scuttlebut over the announcement of
>the Group A/WRC ban in regional rallies. This will
>adversely affect many works teams, who use the profits from
>selling used WRC cars to fund their current efforts. These
>teams would be forced to develop new cars, similar to the US
>Open Class spec. This rule was layed down by WRC. David
>Richards runs the WRC.

Why would a manufacturer want to throw more money at the sport to develop a new spec car that isn't going to get on TV?

I can see a few possible outcomes from this rule:

1. The regional championships become total Mitsubaru Gp N championships.

2. The regional championships die from lack of manufacturer involvement.

3. The FIA and the manufacturers come up with a formula that keeps everyone happy, and a number of manufacturers actually build these cars.

4. Every championship applies for an exemption from this rule (which they are allowed to do), every year, and things continue as before. Max Mosley said that he expected the championships to all apply for exemptions for 2003 which begs the question - why try to implement this on a 6-month schedule if you know its not achievable?

I really don't see #3 as particularly likely.

Adrian
 

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or... #4

the regional championships 'for points' are stricly s1600 and you have a dozen or so eligible manufacturers; and the WRC/GRp A cars are sold, as they mostly are today, to wealthy privateers who will still run them but not for regional championship 'winner status'.

or... #5

the push is on for 'super N' to become more developed

#4 makes the most sense from a 'getting drivers noticed' point of view and I think was part of the driving factor behind the decision, but they didn't think about the rest of the fallout.
 

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straight at T
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>or... #4
>
>the regional championships 'for points' are stricly s1600
>and you have a dozen or so eligible manufacturers; and the
>WRC/GRp A cars are sold, as they mostly are today, to
>wealthy privateers who will still run them but not for
>regional championship 'winner status'.

The problem here is that the value of the WRC/GpA cars (and the support to run them) decreases in this scenario. This cuts a significant income stream, and affects team budgeting (according to a number of teams).

>or... #5
>the push is on for 'super N' to become more developed

Which would be a new class below WRC/GpA, but faster than GpN or S1600, which seemed to be the whole point of the exercise. I still don't see the value to manufacturers of building a new class of AWD car (which seems to be the implication), especially those WRC manufacturers who base their WRC on a 2WD car. This is all of them except Subaru, although Mitsubishi has an AWD GpN car (the WRC is based on a separate homologation, and is a modification of a 2WD car).

>#4 makes the most sense from a 'getting drivers noticed'
>point of view and I think was part of the driving factor
>behind the decision, but they didn't think about the rest of
>the fallout.

It makes sense except that part of the statement was that the S1600 cars weren't 'fast enough'. I'm not sure of the exact wording, but it implied that they didn't want the S1600 cars to be the top class in the regional championships.

Adrian
 

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The S1600 already has the jwrc as a venue, and inless they are trying to develope a market for second hand S1600's in the Regionals I don't see that as the car to use. There is probably enough privateers and sponsored crews running in national championships globally to absorb the ex-wrc stock.

Group N4 or Super N would be requiring manufacturer's to invest more money into a sport they feel is already expense to run in, and would not attract any new manufacturer's to participate.

My personal favorite idea is N3, all manufacturer's could take part in it, almost all manufacturer's have 2.0L non turbo 2wd's. It would take far less development costs. It would be "marketing" a off the shelf car.

The counter arguement is that it would be "slow", but any car driven to the max is exciting to watch.
 

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>My personal favorite idea is N3, all manufacturer's could
>take part in it, almost all manufacturer's have 2.0L non
>turbo 2wd's. It would take far less development costs. It
>would be "marketing" a off the shelf car.
>
>The counter arguement is that it would be "slow", but any
>car driven to the max is exciting to watch.

The problem there is that they would be slower than S1600s (S1600 is a technology-limited A6 kit-car). That would make a case for using S1600s. The manufacturers seem to be talking about a WRC with some of the good bits left off, but still don't seem to be happy.

Adrian
 

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>>
>>The counter arguement is that it would be "slow", but any
>>car driven to the max is exciting to watch.
>
>The problem there is that they would be slower than S1600s
>(S1600 is a technology-limited A6 kit-car).

We have a S1600 Ignis that runs locally, and rumour has it that there will be a F2 206 for next year too.

I realized that N3's would be slower than S1600's. I guess I was coming from the stand point of getting more manufacturer's involved. The Ban included A8's as well as WRC spec, to get the cost's down for the privateers to enter. I have read that they are studying both the South African modifieds and the Australian modified's as potential replacements. But Manufactures are still not happy with those idea's either. It would be a whole new set of development costs to get a new car competitive.

That's why I like the idea of N3, very little development costs. It could get more manufactures involved (ie Honda) or re-involved(ie Toyota and Seat). Maybe they could look at A7, but to me that also would involve new development costs, and still be slower then most of the S1600's running.
 

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>We have a S1600 Ignis that runs locally, and rumour has it
>that there will be a F2 206 for next year too.

With comparable drivers, I'd hope that an F2 (A7 kit car) would be significantly faster than a S1600 (A6 kit car). There will be an A7 kit car (Golf) running at Maine Forest next weekend.

>That's why I like the idea of N3, very little development
>costs. It could get more manufactures involved (ie Honda)
>or re-involved(ie Toyota and Seat). Maybe they could look
>at A7, but to me that also would involve new development
>costs, and still be slower then most of the S1600's running.

There would likely have to be significant expenditure to test and homologate parts for the N3 cars. A number of the currently homologated ones were really only homologated to allow the creation of an A7 or WRC car. Take the example of the Focus - an N3 Focus would have a major disadvantage compared to a SCCA-P version because it doesn't get a LSD. Ford never homologated anything other than the base car in GpN since it was really only to provide the basis for the WRC.

A7 might be an idea, but then you get into the F2 kit car area and significant expenditures again. I think the bottom line is that ANY choice will require extra expenditure and a loss of revenue to the manufacturers that currently support the WRC. I wonder if they would get sufficient exposure from the regional series to justify spending the money (the regional series have almost no media visibility in North America, so I don't know what their profile is in the rest of the world).

Adrian
 

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I have faith that the F.I.A. will pick something that will make nobody happy:p

My only fear is that it will be N4, and entry list's will look like this years Finland, about 30 Evo's and 1 Subie. While it's fun to see evo's, variety is nice too.
 

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>I have faith that the F.I.A. will pick something that will
>make nobody happy:p

That would be the same faith that I have :(.

>My only fear is that it will be N4, and entry list's will
>look like this years Finland, about 30 Evo's and 1 Subie.
>While it's fun to see evo's, variety is nice too.

I'm sure it would be like that. I can't see any other manufacturer stepping up and building a competetive N4 car. The whole point and effect of the WRC rules was that they didn't have to.

Adrian
 
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