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Brockway will be run this year at LSPR, but please note, there will be NO Service before the stage. There will be no opportunity to change tires.
We have been advised by those creating the Stage Notes that it will be safer, for inexperienced tarmac drivers, to run on worn rally tires rather than tarmac tires.
I am sure this will spark some debate.
Our appologies to those that invested in new tires.
 

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Less traction=safer stage......hmmmmmm LSPR was my second race last year and if you speak with anyone who knows me my favorite stage by far was Brockway. I know how gravel tires handle on tarmac because of the transition at the end of the Burma stage. The car is in much less control. It can still reach roughly the same speeds, but does not brake as fast or turn as well. So what is safer about going as fast, but not having traction to stop or turn? As far as experience is concered it is a driver's responsibility to stay in control of his or her vehicle. If a driver is driving beyond their limits the same outcome will happen whether gravel or tarmac. I certainly recognize that Brockway has an elevated degree of danger because of the steep drops and jumps and as a driver adjust my driving accordingly. I don't see how doing the equivalent of coating the stage with water helps make it safer. I have an idea lets eliminate snow tires for sno-drift....... might improve safety.

Piearssed off,
Greg Askin
#613 Audi (inhale) 80/90/5000/4000 Turbo Quattro rally car

"A road racer sees one corner one thousand times,
a rally racer sees one thousand corners one time"
-Jon Buffum-
 

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I'd be surprised if Pete and Arne think that high-speed high-risk stages are safer with tires engineered for a completely different surface.

Wear and expense issue aside, gravel tires squirm on tarmac, breakaway is not predictable, and while most drivers have some experience driving gravel tires in anger on gravel and lots of experience flogging their street tarmac tires on tarmac, very few people have any experience flogging gravel tires on tarmac, and I can tell you it's not fun. Tarmac on gravel tires caught MARCUS GRONHOLM out on Rally GB last year. The Rumford town stage in Maine is the subject of much hilarity as cars have been known to cross the finish line backwards (after a 90 left on tarmac and gravel tires). But that's a low speed and very short exhibition stage. It's not Brockway.

So safer is questionable. If you think that will keep speeds down on Brockway I suggest it won't. The cars will go just as fast and be squirmy too, and almost all drivers will be trying this for the first time (how many people practice by writing off their precious gravel tires on tarmac?).

See other thread where people (including me) were already complaining about mixed surfaces without service: http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID2/1790.html

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Limiting tire technology has always been a way to limit car speeds. After all, that's why F1 tires now have grooves in them. Theoretically, less traction means drivers will go slower. However, I think mandating a harder compound of tarmac tire would be safer than requireing people to compete on pavement with gravel tires. As has alway been pointed out, gravel tires aren't exactly predictable when running on pavement. They will also heat up much quicker, and speaking from experiance, its very hard to tell (and also very scary) when a tire is about to loose traction on tarmac from being over heated.


Nick Polimeni
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I have to disagree with this characterization of gravel tires on tarmac. I think they can be a lot of fun, albeit not as fast as a dedicated track tire. And while I have no data, I'm sure faster than a hi-po street tire.

I had the rally car at the track several times, both on track tires (Goodrich gForce) and used tarmac tires. The extremely thick sidewall of the gravel tire means you get great feedback about what the car is doing, not unlike a track tire. No, they don't have the ultimate grip, however I found the loss of traction to be very progressive. I had a great time setting up for, and drifting, corners, especially at "higher" speeds (it was all relative in the MGB!). FYI, the tracks were Grattan and Waterford Hills. And if the tarmac was wet, the gravel tires were much more secure than the track tires.

The two downsides I found were: 1. Decreased ultimate traction means earlier braking and somewhat slower cornering with resultant slower corner exits - so slower lap times, although not by much (1:36 vs. 1:32 at Grattan, 1:29 vs 1:26 at Waterford), and 2. it really wears the gravel tires out in a big hurry. One weekend (about four - five hours of at-speed time on the track) reduces a used set of gravel tires to total junk.
 

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[font color="red"]If we are not going to be allowed to run a stage with the proper equipment then cancel the stage! [/font]

Ruining a perfectly good set of gravel tires doesn't make sense to me.

Don't compromise the handling of the cars in an attempt to slow people down. People will not slow down.

If this is true, the organizers and the SCCA should re-think this.

In my opinion, the Brockway stage is by far the most fun stage of the entire series. Leave it alone.

Chris Whiteman
 

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Why do we(ProRally Organizers, competitors, LSR members, take your pick) allow those who have never run the stage dictate tire choice to those who have run it many times(about 20, in my case)? This seems to go beyond silly into the realm of the macabre. Please don't take this personally, Kevin, as I know how hard you work to make LSPR a success, but this sort of situation seems to be happening all too often any more.
 

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Even I without ever having run proper tires on the stage want a tire change.

I usually switch to some old beat up tires to avoid using up the "good" ones on the car...

How much of a cost save is this, don't know, but makes me feel better.


IF, IF, IF you could prove the stage would be less safe on street or track tires then ban street or track tires. Require gravel spec tires...

Too much to police, I realize...

Mike
 

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If you'll permit me to appear on both sides of this debate, I offer up the following:

My time up Brockway 2001 in the Bug on worn Michelin rally tires (plus busted-up rear shocks and a boulder-deranged front end) compared to Peeper's time in the lighter, more powerful Focus shod with Bridgestone tarmac tires (if memory serves) was identical. A tie.

HOWEVER, if other information about spectators being allowed only at the hairpin and the stage ending before the jump is true then I'm left with the same sentiment Chris Whiteman shared - Why run the stage at all? If there's no jump, spectators only allowed at the slowest part of the stage after the start line and everyone is forced to blast up the thing on worn rally tires then I see precious little reason to run the stage at all.

Give me another gravel stage some where else, thanks.

Halley ...
Owner/Driver ProRally #86 - world's first New Beetle Rally Car
RealAutoSport, LLC
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Doh! My car came with a wicked set of Yokohama race slicks that I've been waiting for two years to try out. I tested them out once and the grip was sickening!

I doubt our whining here is gonna change any minds but please keep the following points in mind:

1. You will not be lowering top speeds, only corner speeds.

2. Rally tires at speed on pavement are not predictable in any sense. It would be safer to go faster on more predictable tires.

3. You will not be lowering costs for the privateer teams. At 7/10ths my car will toast an $800 set of gravel tires on Brockway. I guess I could run at 3/10ths or 5/10ths, but then why run at all? It's no longer racing at that point.

I like Mike Bodnar's idea. At least let us change to set of ratty trashed out gravel tires. I think a gentleman's agreement could be made amongst the competitors here to abide by a rule in the supps banning tarmac tires.

Not cool guys, I'd rethink this. :(

Dennis Martin
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Why not carry 4 spares in the car... and swap them before you get into the time control?

Philip J. Boer
grinner323(at)sbcglobal.net
 

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>We have been advised by those creating the Stage Notes that
>it will be safer, for inexperienced tarmac drivers, to run
>on worn rally tires rather than tarmac tires.


I thought we were supposed to be "professionals"???

Now we are tailoring stages to the inexperienced? How about we leave the fun stages and get rid of the car breakers?

2 more cents from me.

Whiteman
 

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>>HOWEVER, if other information about...the stage ending before the jump is true...
>Halley ...

Based upon stage length this year (3.30 miles) as opposed to last year (3.69 miles) and the associated transits, it appears that they have indeed chopped off the top of the stage and the finish line will be right at the big jump knocking off the last few jumps and turns. Hopefully the timing equipment will be able to record airborne cars as they go by.

Kent Gardam
 

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>We have been advised by those creating the Stage Notes that
>it will be safer, for inexperienced tarmac drivers, to run
>on worn rally tires rather than tarmac tires.

I have read the above post several times and I am totally baffled by it.

As a former organizer, I cannot understand how the opinion of someone making stage notes could or should influence how I would logically structure the stage and service locations on the rally route.

Perhaps, I have missed something here.

Doug Woods
 

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Will there be a service after Brockway? Let's hope so, running a gravel stage, a tarmac stage then another gravel stage (on gravel tires) would be insane.
 

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Gravel rally tires are very easy to handle on the pavement. Anybody who has done all the stages at Rim of the World would know that.
I'm not saying whether tarmac tires should be allowed or not, but let's at least have the facts straight.
Dave
 

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>We have been advised by those creating the Stage Notes that
>it will be safer, for inexperienced tarmac drivers, to run
>on worn rally tires rather than tarmac tires.

I was thinking about this last night, and came up with more fuel for the fire:

You say it will be safer for INEXPERIENCED drivers. Well, how do you expect these drivers to get experience if they are never allowed to try it? It's a silly argument really. A driver doesn't know how to drive on tarmac, therefore he can't, but since he can't he'll never learn, and thus will never be able too. By that logic, we shouldn't let any seed 8 guys loose on the gravel either. After all, they are INEXPERIENCED. If you were really concerned with the safety of inexperienced drivers, you wouldn't let them start!

How many seed 8 guys are realistically gonna strap on a set of slicks to their open class WRX and pile into a tree? Have we had trouble with this on Brockway before?

I'm getting a little tired of "dumbing down" of rally to the lowest denominator. Yes, safety is important, and should always be the driving factor, but we must accept the fact that there is an inherent amount of risk involved. If you remove the risk you remove the basis of the sport and we all end up TSD rallying. Learning to rally is no different than learning any other skill. You have to explore the limits, push, and sometimes make mistakes in order to learn and get better. How do we expect people to learn to handle the many situations thrown at them in rally if we never let them try?

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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I'm not really entitled to an opinion on the tire debate, but I would like to add some information about the folks who do the notes. Their programs, along with many years of experience, enable them to provide an astounding amount of information about a stage. They can isolate problem corners, predict the top speed of the stage, and provide a huge amount of information about how it will be run...all with uncanny accuracy.

And they HAVE run the stage numerous times...not in a rally car in anger, but with state-of-the-art instrumentation. My experience has been that it's wise to listen to their predictions, as they seem to know what they're talking about.

Bruce
 
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