Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The idea of this tread is to constructivly, inteligently talk about the possibility of Making Group N and N prototype the top class in SCCA Pro Rally. Please try and stick to the topic. I encourage you to look at it in terms of the future of the sport.

Here is a link to the Australian web site that outlines the N prototype class designed to allow cars that are not N to compete with similar specification. Think Tim?s Focus or Libra?s Tiberons with original doors, hatches, glass, dash, console, heater core and a 32 mm restrictor. Basically the original car plus a rally suitable drive train and suspension that doesn?t exceed the N capabilities.
http://www.cams.com.au/bulletins/B02-70%20Rally%20-%20Group%20N(P)%20Regulations.pdf

Bear in mind also that Ford almost certainly will have a new N car in 2005.
Other manufacturers are undoubtedly thinking about it given what is happening in Aus. the Production Car World Championship, and the car market in general.

Here is what I and others have said in the other thread and elswhere thus far.

Glen wallace wrote:
I'd love to see ProRally go to a production formula (e.g. Grp N) where the playing field in terms of $ spend is somewhat more level between factory and private teams - it would be interesting to see something that isn't effectively a 2 or 3 team competition.
(yes, I know you can still spend a bunch of money on a Grp N car...)

Greg Pachman Responded:
Glenn
You and I think alike. A couple of months ago I floated a balloon out to Subaru and Mitsubishi asking what they would think if Group N became the top class of rallying in the US instead of Open. It kind of died on the vine. I honestly don't know what the rank and file, SCCA, or PRB would think because it never got past a private conversation between the three of us. I won't speak for them but here are some pros and cons.
1. It would screw the AFR rally team because there is no Group N 4wd Focus yet. Andy said to be competitive we would have to run a Mitsubishi or Subaru and that would dilute some of the drama of the third type of car. It didn't stop me from proposing it however.
2. While Group N parts are cheaper they are not always cheaper to maintain because they tend to break quicker than the stronger parts Open regulations allow.
3. A lot of our costs are fixed (travel/entry fees) and it doesn't matter what kind of car is entered.
4. I think policing Group N will be tougher.
5. Some sponsors and factories like the word "Open" better for marketing purposes.
That said the benefits would be more competitive cars out there and I think it would be slightly cheaper.
Greg

Glen wallace Responded:
I think Grp N might have more traction with the manufacturer teams than you might think. "Someone" needs to parcel the idea up in a digestible format.
Rather than the word "open" the focus should be on the word "championship" in whatever form it is.
Understood on the "drama" of 3rd manufacturer issue, but personally it isn't like AFR is a Ford factory team, so I think whatever car you run would be ok providing it is outright competitive.
I think if the championship was Grp N, you might see even more privateers coming out of the woodwork.
Glenn



I wrote
>But the SCCA
>can make car rules that limit the effect that money has. I
>really think that doing something like in Aus. with N and I
>think they now have N prototype for manufacturers that don't
>have N cars. It makes it so privateers can keep up and bring
>other sponsors in and it reduces the barriers to entry for
>other manufacturers.

Eric Burmister Responed
Not so sure doing away with Open class entirely is a good idea...the formula does allow for some pretty cool and exciting hardware...
The above example sounds good for parity, alot like our P and PGT classes...Group N, but not really. Just not as exciting as the Open cars, though, huh? I just don't have a good answer.

I responded:

I don't know if the N cars are that much less exciting. The last time I watched was MFR 2001 when Tim ran his N car and he was every bit as exciting as the Open guys. With the switch from 40 down to 34 the difference is going to be even smaller except for teams running sequential gear boxes which I happen to think is ridiculous from a cost perspective and the WRC Motors required by the 34 is also ridiculous especially considering the current situation. I personally would value a competitive situation with more than one manufacturer and privateers being able to take the fight to them much more than I would like seeing 2 cars fly by at warp speed and everyone else getting blown away. Yes the ideal situation would be to have Subaru, AFR, Mitsu, Ford and Hyundai all running almost WRC cars and dicing it up. (Now I am going to be called the devil) But since that is not happening and we seam to be sliding in the opposite direction with 1 of 5 maybe a change of approach is in order.
The other end of the stick is that there are so many open cars out there now that there will be a lot of upset people if this goes through it wouldn?t be very good to say privateers can run open cars and make factories run N. So now we have come full circle back to there is no good answer just the lesser of two evils.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
I think making Gp N the top class is a bad idea because there are no true 4wd GpN cars sold in the USA. OK the WRX is very close and the Mitsu could likely be converted but only a EvoVIII and those are not exactly laying about in large numbers. There is also some speculation that Mitsu will retire the Evo at least in the US - leaving a one make class (Hmmm good for drivers but not nessasarly good for advertising drama)

Second Gp5 and some Gp2 cars will be faster.

Third, you do not like the 20 year rule then you will not love the expiration of homologation.

I think we should move to adopt a lot of the FIA rules on running an event (add longer services in the sups) and FIA rules on equipment such as firesuits, helmets, cages, seats and belts with grandfathering current stuff. But untill we can get the cars built for GpN in the US we should not use FIA car classes.

There might be some hope in the new idea of National Rally Cars the FIA is looking at - but that sounds a lot like our Open Class to me.

Derek
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
>I think making Gp N the top class is a bad idea because
>there are no true 4wd GpN cars sold in the USA. OK the WRX
>is very close and the Mitsu could likely be converted but
>only a EvoVIII and those are not exactly laying about in
>large numbers. There is also some speculation that Mitsu
>will retire the Evo at least in the US - leaving a one make
>class (Hmmm good for drivers but not nessasarly good for
>advertising drama)
>
The cars we do have are closer and more numerous and a lot easier to convert never mind import or actually have the dollars to purchase than WRC cars:)

>Second Gp5 and some Gp2 cars will be faster.
Not unless they get a lot faster and I also think the rules should be changed so those classes don't get out of control.
>
>Third, you do not like the 20 year rule then you will not
>love the expiration of homologation.
>
I would suggest doing as the Ozzies and extend the homologation to any car that?s homologation has expired in the last 4 years. Since homologations run out when a body style is more than 2 body styles old and a body style usually lasts 4 years? with Japanese manufacturers this gives you what 12 years? Think 1992.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
660 Posts
I would like to see Open class stay for three reasons:

The main reason is cost. Sounds funny huh? Here's why: ProRally still isn't Pro (we drivers still need to buy our cars). The minimum cost to build even a basic GN car is still very high by most people's standards. It must be a newer expensive car with expensive homologated goodies. However the Open class allows a person to build or buy something like a DSM or 323 for 1/10th the cost, to test yourself against the big dogs.

The secondary reason is that I like to see a variety of cars and clever build-ups. A GN top spec would only lead to even more "sameness" than we have now.

The last is that the older stuff that Open allows gives the class some "underdogs" to root for. I think every sport needs an "Eddie the Eagle" (pathetic olympic ski jumper, both hated and loved by the sports world). :)

Jim Cox
#558

PS One exciting way to elimiante Open that I might support would be if the GN, G5 and G2 specs were tweaked such that the 2wd cars had an equal shot at the overall event wins. Perhaps balasting the GN and G5 cars or something? That way the whole ProRally field (except Production classes) would be in the hunt for the win. Much more exciting than today's events IMHO. If needed, marketing could just report the their latest Fo-bu-chi "won" (the GN class) even if a 93 Mustang took the overall. }>
 

·
SURF!!! I'll cover you myself!
Joined
·
663 Posts
"I think making Gp N the top class is a bad idea because there are no true 4wd GpN cars sold in the USA. OK the WRX is very close and the Mitsu could likely be converted but only a EvoVIII and those are not exactly laying about in large numbers. There is also some speculation that Mitsu will retire the Evo at least in the US - leaving a one make class (Hmmm good for drivers but not nessasarly good for advertising drama)"

Yeah, but the prototype formula makes it a bit easier to make a non-homologated car legal. It's a great idea, you could build anything into a ProtoN-class car, as long as it's in the spirit of the GN rules. Though, who desides what can be done to each car, can the SCCA be trusted to not favor brands?

N cars are expensive to build if: you start with a US car and change everything but the shell(unwise). Or, you build the real deal new, from scratch with all the correct parts(unreal). N cars are cheap if you buy a complete car from overseas and ship it in.
_________________________________________________________

"Second Gp5 and some Gp2 cars will be faster."

Not likely, a proper N car, driven by a an equal driver? No way. If so, who cares, they rock!! Andrew Havas???

There is always going to be a 4WD car that is underdriven, and a properly driven 2WD can always beat it.
_________________________________________________________

Third, you do not like the 20 year rule then you will not love the expiration of homologation.

Eliminate the rule from the SCCA druel book. Just like right now, there are NO exceptions for otherwise legal N cars with VIN/cage issues. Cut out the back room "special agreements" and put in the damn book!
_________________________________________________________

"I think we should move to adopt a lot of the FIA rules on running an event (add longer services in the sups) and FIA rules on equipment such as firesuits, helmets, cages, seats and belts with grandfathering current stuff. But untill we can get the cars built for GpN in the US we should not use FIA car classes."

I agree 100% but, use the Proto N as top class.

_________________________________________________________

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
>I would like to see Open class stay for three reasons:
>
>The main reason is cost. Sounds funny huh? Here's why:
>ProRally still isn't Pro (we drivers still need to buy our
>cars). The minimum cost to build even a basic GN car is
>still very high by most people's standards. It must be a
>newer expensive car with expensive homologated goodies.
>However the Open class allows a person to build or buy
>something like a DSM or 323 for 1/10th the cost, to test
>yourself against the big dogs.

It is cheeper just to show up in an open class car but to do something with it? I'll save you your 1/10 cost your going to get your a$$ kicked!
>
>The secondary reason is that I like to see a variety of cars
>and clever build-ups. A GN top spec would only lead to even
>more "sameness" than we have now.

N prototype isn't exactly sameness and leads to some very clever buildups. Toyota fields basically a matrix in the Australian Championship with an ST205 drivetrain.

The other thing with these rules you actually have a chance on a privateer budget to do something clever and have it work. Unlike the current situation where it is a big waste of time because you are going to get creamed anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
The results I have looked at show that Supper 1600's are faster than GpN cars. So why do people think Gp2 and Gp5 cars will not be faster??? Ok a supper 1600 is a trick little car but still only has 1600cc's and a min weight - Gp2 and Gp5 do not have these limitations.

UK top A6 car 14th Top Gpn Car 18th

Someone wish to look up other rounds?
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
Derek,yes, but this is a second or third order question

>The results I have looked at show that Supper 1600's are
>faster than GpN cars. So why do people think Gp2 and Gp5
>cars will not be faster??? Ok a supper 1600 is a trick
>little car but still only has 1600cc's and a min weight -
>Gp2 and Gp5 do not have these limitations.
>
>UK top A6 car 14th Top Gpn Car 18th
>
>Someone wish to look up other rounds?

Derek, with 'our' adopted PatR doing the WRC rounds this year I have been paying a bit more attention to the results a bit more than 1-2-3-
and consistantly the little 1600s have beaten the heavy, restrictive GpN cars, EVERY EVENT and they are after all as you point out only 1600 AND driven by younger guys with less expeience, it is presumed.

You are also right about the joys of running out of homologation expiring, I have just looked to confirm but I couldn't find it but my memory says Homologation ends 5 years after the model ceases production, not anything at all to do with bodystyles.

No, I think this is wrong, too restrictive a choice of cars, ultimately still turbo 4wd, which means that the car is still much too much a factor in the equation.

And youse guys forget that the process is too fraught with too many people looking for things to give themselves a big advantage as it is, and already the established 'Group' N which we have, actually one class N4, is already stinkin' to high heaven with ill-concieved, questionable protests,threats of protest etc.

Do we really want to design something which will be from the outset a a snake-pit of litigation and carping?

No once again we are thrashing around kvetching about details of some theroretical future class when there isn't ANYTHING AT ALL guiding our rambling.

I suggest we examine what we are supposed to be proving when we rally.

I say we should be trying to detirmine the best driver on that particular day, and as such we want to minimize the cars' overarch importance.

But whatever the case IF WE DETIRMINE What we want to accomplish and state it clearly, them maybe the means is a bit clearer.

In any case, simplicity in rules, simplicity of 'selling' the idea to peeps.
Ever hear of Formula 2000, later known as Gp222?

Nearly any 2000cc 8v motor can be made to give an easy 175 bhp, a bit more work and 190bhp is there, and there can be a bit more from some good 16v motors.
How many cars with a 2000cc limit could be fielded?

With a 2000lb min weight, how many cars would make it thewre, so the need for weighing the cars is obviated.
2wd is easy to check, and it's a snap to confirm a 2 man crew.

No sequential box as again it is a huge advantage, and same time lowering the skill level required at a 4-5 times cost.

The differences which would be remaining would be small percentages not advantages of 3 or 4 times.
Even a well done H car could have fighting chance of a reasonable result.


And above all, easy to 'sell' the whole idea.
More direct 'identification'.








John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
Homologation expiry

>You are also right about the joys of running out of
>homologation expiring, I have just looked to confirm but I
>couldn't find it but my memory says Homologation ends 5
>years after the model ceases production, not anything at all
>to do with bodystyles.

Homologation currently ends 7 years after the end of production of the homologated model. The FIA allows an extended limit of 11 years for championships, other than the WRC, if the championship organizers (likely the ASN) want it. I think the extended limit was introduced when they realized that very few companies were homologating N4 cars for rallying.

As for A6/Super 1600 cars beating N cars, there was some controversy in the BRC a few years ago when privateer Production Cup cars (GpN) occasionally beat works A7 Kit Cars (something to do with who got shown on TV...), which should be somewhat more capable cars than S1600 or A6 Kit Cars (which are not necessarily the same thing).

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
I don't think you'll get a lot of argument from any serious amateur competitors about the need to fix our class system. I liked the now abandoned British system whereby there are two Championship classes and points earned in class determine points toward becoming The One True National Champion! I like it because it makes 2wd as relevant as 4wd, and because it would ultimately reduce the cost of being competitive and put the series back in the hands of the drivers. I also believe in having 2 classes: 4wd Open and 2wd Open. If you think about it awhile, you may come to the conclusion that this would make all existing and future cars competitive (albeit with modifications required to many cars). P & GT are dead anyhow, and GpN has no validity in the US market(there are no street legal GpN cars sold in the US). I also believe in an age rule(for the National Championship), and the FIA model is a good one(explained elsewhere in this thread by JVL).

You may now feel free to flame away.

P.S. While it is good to see what other ASNs do, it would be wrong(contrary to what DC would have you believe) to assume that it must be better if they do it that way in Australia(or New Zealand or England or Afghanistan or even Canada). We all have different government and beaureaucratic rules to follow; we have differing attitudes from the populace and varied safety and emission regulations to follow; licensing differs(drivers', not competition) and attitudes toward recce and speeding likewise vary. The goals of competitors, sanctioning bodies and sponsors often differ. The correct path for ProRally will not be the path followed elsewhere(any elsewhere).
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>I don't think you'll get a lot of argument from any serious
>amateur competitors about the need to fix our class system.

Which bit of it? None of the classes were very well subscribed from a national championship point-of-view (say, six or more events). If I read the results correctly, there were 6 Open (counting the second Subaru that unfortunately had two drivers), 3 GpN, 3 Gp2, 2 PGT, 1 Gp5, and 0 P. In the model below, that would be 11 4wd Open and 4 2wd Open.

>I liked the now abandoned British system whereby there are
>two Championship classes and points earned in class
>determine points toward becoming The One True National
>Champion! I like it because it makes 2wd as relevant as 4wd,
>and because it would ultimately reduce the cost of being
>competitive and put the series back in the hands of the
>drivers.

IIRC, this became very confusing, both from a competitor and an outsider point-of-view. It also means that the championship contenders don't necessarily race against each other, so it isn't always a challenge of drivers, it can be a challenge of points acquisition (the top driver in the class with the least serious competition is likely to be the champion). There is also credibility issue if the driver in the lesser class wins the championship - driver A beats driver B in every event, but driver B wins the championship because he was in a different class...

>I also believe in having 2 classes: 4wd Open and
>2wd Open.

I think the ProRally (national) championship should be something like this. The ClubRally series should have more classes.

>P.S. While it is good to see what other ASNs do, it would be
>wrong(contrary to what DC would have you believe) to assume
>that it must be better if they do it that way in
>Australia(or New Zealand or England or Afghanistan or even
>Canada). We all have different government and beaureaucratic
>rules to follow; we have differing attitudes from the
>populace and varied safety and emission regulations to
>follow; licensing differs(drivers', not competition) and
>attitudes toward recce and speeding likewise vary. The goals
>of competitors, sanctioning bodies and sponsors often
>differ. The correct path for ProRally will not be the path
>followed elsewhere(any elsewhere).

Also true. As an example of this, Canada went with a modified version of FIA timing rather than the strict FIA timing because the modified form can help discourage speeding on transits.

Adrian
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
For the record, I'm against this. Mainly becuz I love planting my right foot and watching four streams of gravel shoot backwards spraying the poor spectators. :)

But.... If we were to go down this path, I think a better way to word it would be as follows:

We should adopt GrN PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, and not GrN preperation standards.

Basically that means that the performancing enhancing parts of the car would be covered by GrN rules. These parts would most likely be restrictors, gearboxes, motor prep, brakes, and maybe diffs. But prep rules such as roll cages, plumbing, safety glass, guages, holes in the hood, wiring, etc.... would not be GrN specific stuff, but rather a looser standard written by the SCCA.

This would allow you to build prototypes based on a known drivetrain, as well as allowing the grandfathering in of current open class cars. For example, in my car I would have to put in a smaller restrictor, but I would not have to cut out my non-FIA roll cage. The AFR Focus-scort would OK as long as they used an stock Cossie motor and GrN trans.

Make sense?

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
Yes on muddy Gravel:

OK I looked up the results for the WRC in 2003 where both GpN and A6 cars competed.

Turkey
14 - A6 Clio | 15 - A6 VW Polo | 16 - A6 Ignis
17th 1st GpN car Lancer
18 to 22nd all A6 cars then 2nd GpN 23rd Lancer

Greece
16th A6 Clio | 17th A6 Clio | 18th A6 Ignis | 19th A6 Ignis
20th 1st GpN, Lancer | 21 GpN Impreza
22 - A6, 23- A7, 24 N4

Finland
15th N4 Lancer | 16th to 18th N4 Lancers
19th 1st A6 Ignis | 20 A6 Clio
21 N4 22-23 A8(WRC cars)|
24th to 28th all A6 cars then the N4 cars start again.

Wales Rally of GB
14th A-6 Ignis | 15 Fiat | 16 Renault
18th 1st GpN4 Impreza

So it looks like A6 1600 cars are about the same speed at GpN4 cars, now people do not spend $100,000 on Gp2/5 cars here in the us but we have a lot more room to build the car up in Gp2 we get 800cc's more motor and in Gp5 well we get lots of good stuff like turbos etc.

Derek
 

·
SURF!!! I'll cover you myself!
Joined
·
663 Posts
"New European Rally Champion Bruno Thiry believes that a Super 1600 car could get the better of a Group N car under the new regulations that come into force next year.

World Rally Cars will be banned from the European Championship at the end of the season in favour of Regional Rally Cars. As no manufacturer has yet built such a car (which permits conversion from two- to four-wheel-drive, but not turbocharging) Group N becomes the ?top? class instead. But as all major European rounds are on tarmac, Thiry reckons that Super 1600 could be the answer.

?A Super 1600 is closer to a World Rally Car. Group N is four-wheel-drive, but I think Super 1600 will be quicker, because it?s a real rally car,? he said.

Four-wheel-drive users have taken all but one of the last 18 European Championships, but under different rules."

___________________________________

The above taken from WorldRallyNews.com

If we are talking S1600, you have to realize they are full blown WRC cars, with many of the same componets on their WRC car brothers. They cost 3 times what a GN car costs. So I don't consider them a realistic option, especially here in the USA.

Can a G5/G2 car be quicker? Not likely, but again, if they were, so what...........

The only arguments I have seen against this GN proto class are personal, this must be looked at from a long term perspective.

____________________________________

We must also be carefull of what is allowed with such a class, I look at the AFR car and wonder if anyone has thought, gee, engine relocated, can I modify my tunnel/firewall and relocate the engine in my WRX or EVO rearward?

For some reason I recall reading years-a-go that the SCCA rule book clearly stated that the engine: "must retain it's origanal orientation". I have all rule books back to 95 and I can't find it. Anyone remember seeing that? Or am I wrong?


Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
You guys are getting confused between removing open class altogether and what is the championship class.

Right now, who are the likely 2004 ProRally championship contenders? Subaru is one, assuming they don't pull out.

Is Andrew Havas in an Rx7 likely to beat Pasi Hagstrom in a pseudo WRC car?

How about Andrew Havas or someone of his caliber in a privateer Grp N car vs Pasi in a factory Grp N car? It has to be somewhat of a closer race.

The reason to make Grp N the ProRally championship class is to make it a competitive class for the championship.

How come no one has built an open class monster that can beat Subaru or Mitsubishi? (AV Sport is one).

Sure, building a proper Grp N car is expensive but knowing your competitor is not in a $500k WRC car makes it a little closer.

And then even the performance difference between a local homologation :) Grp N car and an international Grp N car isn't huge --- look at the Grp N cars running this year and the origin of each car.

To the people whining about this making your open class car obsolete, I'd be surprised if you had a serious chance at giving the manufacturer teams a run (with the exception of the AFR Focus - they have been at least close). Open class could still exist and you could still rally, but it would not be the championship class.

If you want close racing, you need a formula with some constraints. Open class doesn't have that, Grp N does.

Glenn

PS I was discussing Super 1600 with David Campion at Wild West and he said they are indeed VERY expensive to run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Followup suggestion: someone should talk to the ARC (Australian Rally Championship) people and find out what issues they went through in making their championship Grp N.

Everyone (in the press anyway) seems to agree the outcome has been a more exciting and more hotly contested series. This is good for the sport!

Remember, the EVO isn't even sold in Australia!!!! At least we do have the WRX and EVO sold here.

Glenn

PS Oh look, a privateer just won the Tasmania rally, beating a factory car:
http://www.rally.com.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.newsid&newsid=2441&cfid=17820929&cftoken=90470295

PPS his co-driver Julia Rabbet is pretty cute...

PPPS http://www.rally.com.au is a nice web site. Very clear and professional. It would be great if we (SCCA ProRally) could get there from here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
>Yes on muddy Gravel:
>
>OK I looked up the results for the WRC in 2003 where both
>GpN and A6 cars competed.
>
>Turkey
>14 - A6 Clio | 15 - A6 VW Polo | 16 - A6 Ignis
>17th 1st GpN car Lancer
>18 to 22nd all A6 cars then 2nd GpN 23rd Lancer
>
>Greece
>16th A6 Clio | 17th A6 Clio | 18th A6 Ignis | 19th A6 Ignis
>20th 1st GpN, Lancer | 21 GpN Impreza
>22 - A6, 23- A7, 24 N4
>
>Finland
>15th N4 Lancer | 16th to 18th N4 Lancers
>19th 1st A6 Ignis | 20 A6 Clio
>21 N4 22-23 A8(WRC cars)|
>24th to 28th all A6 cars then the N4 cars start again.
>
>Wales Rally of GB
>14th A-6 Ignis | 15 Fiat | 16 Renault
>18th 1st GpN4 Impreza
>
>So it looks like A6 1600 cars are about the same speed at
>GpN4 cars, now people do not spend $100,000 on Gp2/5 cars
>here in the us but we have a lot more room to build the car
>up in Gp2 we get 800cc's more motor and in Gp5 well we get
>lots of good stuff like turbos etc.
>
>Derek

The problem with these examples is that all of these are JWRC rounds and don't count for the PWRC. As such, these events will really only have local drivers competing in GrN (which is why the results in Finland were better for GrN drivers :) ) Also if you look at the GB results, the GrN cars were leading the 1600 cars earlier in the rally, until they either went out (i.e. PWRC champion Martin Rowe) or had problems and lost time (i.e. Gavin Cox)

Having been to the Costa Smeralda rally (will replace San Remo in the WRC in '04) in Italy last year, which was a round of the Italian Gravel Championship and a low coeff ERC event, the GrN cars were definitely quicker on gravel, but a S1600 car driven by a good driver (i.e. Paolo Andreucci, etc.) is pretty close (to my surprise - tv coverage doesn't do S1600 justice). On tarmac, I'm sure the S1600 car would be quicker by at least 1 sec/mile.

However, when it comes to cost, a good S1600 car will set you back at LEAST $150K and the cars are very fragile (although they are better than they used to be). By contrast a full 'Super N' EVO 7/8 will cost $80K - $100K (lightweight, dog box, good diffs, etc.), while a full spec Prodrive GrN Impreza N8 will cost ~$120K. The parts are widely available for the GrN car, and at least on the Mitsubishi, they are VERY durable.

As for Open/Group N, Group N cars are a bit boring to watch IMHO, although the cars are definitely getting quicker. They just don't have the raw speed/power of a decent open class car though.

IMO, to contain costs, Open cars should be relegated to H-pattern gearboxes and no active diffs. The active diffs just take too much driving out of the equation. The WRC would be more exciting as well if they went back to that format; though I don't know how well the new generation drivers would react to that.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top