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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new in rally, can somebody explain me why SCCA as different rules and class than the FIA. It would seem natural to try to match the FIA class in all the US rally if you want to be able to host,and compete in a WRC rally if they come to the US. And according to the WRC web site, there is a really good chance they will come. Also it would seem cheaper for the big manufactor to race in the US under FIA rules by just bringing some of the car from Europe. Now they have to make special one just for the SCCA. Ramada rally in Nevada as FIA rules and it seems to work pretty good. It seems weard to me to have the same sport with different rules. Every body play football, baseball, soccer with the same rules all over the world, why can't we do the same with rally. like I said, I'm new, so I'm sure there is a lot of think I don't know about.
Stephan:)
 

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snip...
>It seems weard to me to have the same sport with
>different rules. Every body play football, baseball, soccer
>with the same rules all over the world, why can't we do the
>same with rally. snip...>Stephan:)

The short answer is that football, baseball, soccer doesn't have the US federal and/or state governments writing the laws on how the ball or field should be built, like they do for automobiles. US rules need to reflect what cars are built/imported here, and what can be legally operated on public roads. Even with more restrictive rules there has been several discussions here and on Rally-L about how many open class cars are in the legal grey areas.

Bill
 

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For starters, the FIA classes are all based on homologation. There are certain homologation requirements for each FIA class. These include things like number of cars produced per year and various engine and suspension restrictions. The car manufacturer has to meet all the requirements and then pay the FIA to certify the car for use in the class. The first problem is that even if the European version of the a car is homologated, the one sold in the USA probably isn't. The next problem is cost. When you race a car in that class, you are only allowed to use homologated parts. Because you can only use the homologated parts, they become expensive.

Ignoring the 20 year rule, the SCCA classes allow for the use of cheaper cars & parts that are more readily available here in the USA. Personally, I think they also allow the teams to be more innovative by allowing them to try new ideas that the manufacturer hasn't homologated yet.

Just my .02

John B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
John,
Are you talking for all the FIA class or just for WRC car. I thought Goup N was a class betwen our Open and PGT class. Meaning a stock car with more race parts than a PGT but less than a OPEN.
Also if you can't race without US homologation, how are they going to bring WRC Rally in the US, none of they car will meet US Spec. I guess they will get special permits, and if they do why can't we?
I'm just asking question to understant better, I'm not trying to prove people wrong. Remember I'm new.
Stephan
 

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As far as I know, this applies to all the FIA classes. Group N is less modified (cheaper) than Group A but both require the use of only homologated parts. I'm pretty sure that the WRC cars are actually a sub-class of Group A.

The problems you mention are valid and result in things like the recent incident where a Subaru was excluded from a rally because the transaxle was not a FIA homologated part for that model car. I don't know if it's even possible for an individual to have a car homologated - I think it can only be done by the manufacturer. Although this is changing, the manufacturers haven't been all that interested in homologating the US spec. cars because there is not enough interest in rally to justify the expense.

John B.
 

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An individual can build a homologated car, they have to build it to the standard set in homologation papers.

If you think of the homologation papers as being the specification that the car has to be built too, that is the concept.

However an individual can not homologate parts, only the manufacturer can do that.

After that it gets both complex and very expensive.

Dave
 

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Stephan,

If you run a Group N car, you must buy the parts from the
authorized outlet, because they control the homologation
process. This makes for a controlled supply chain, a monopoly.
This drives up the cost to where most indiviuals can't play.

Cars in group N must meet many regulations that include planned
obsolescence in these classes. After the papers run out, you can't
race them any more. That is a bitter pill for club racers, being
kicked out of thier class and force to go race somewhere else.

People selling the sport, and the parts to run Group N cars
have a decidedly different opinion on this matter. Open class
rules, long live open class.

So the down side is that we might not get WRC here. We are so far
from being able to support WRC cars internally that they would
see them, and then they would be gone again just as fast. Ask yourself what is different after the mess is all cleaned up and the circus has left. Would you get a drive? Would get sponsor
packages. Would you get thier cast off spare parts? Would you get more publicity? I can't figure out a practical benefit for the
club racer. You might be allowed to donate your time to help put
on the event. If that is enough, then push forward. I am more
interested in RUNNING in the top class rather than seeing the
top class change so that all I will ever be allowed to do is
watch or stand by as they run.

If I want to see a WRC event I will travel, because holding my breath
for a US event could make me turn blue.

Sorry to play the downer / realist, but this is where things are
right now. WRC is going to mexico. They have huge crowds that
show up to events. Drive there and you'll know what it's like
to be a rock star. Here your just another roundy rounder or drag
racer or some other dorky race jerk ut on the freeway hauling your
toyz about.

So whadya say, Mexico next year?

p.s. come by the garage and watch frankstein rise from the grave...
School out yet? [email protected]

paul t-
 

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The entire stated point about the Federation INTERNATIONALE d'Automoblile groups of classes known as (currently) GpN and GpA is that it is a negotiated and agreed set of rules for prep and engine capacity and process so that when you have a bunch of knucklehead swedes and finns and bleeding belgian basteeeerds, and froggie and Italians all meeting up for an INTERNATIONAL, they all have a fair chance of knowing the a car done top GPA 2000cc at home in Upplands-Väsby will be a fair match to the one done in Ruskesanta, or Rimini, or Connerré en Sarthe, so it's fair,'.

It is done in various countries so the guy with international aspirations has someplace to use the cars when they're not away.

As Timmermann points out the process is controlled so that you MUST use the parts with the right part numbers for very nearly everything or you're in deep do do.
Go to Ralli-art UK and look up the price for a GpA multi-layer steel headgasket.... utter criminal bullsheeeeet that a stinking gasket should cost over $700.


No need for the BS in any National Series except when you want to do an International. That actually has cars coming from somewhere else.
Not furriners flying in to drive in the US.














John Vanlandingham
 

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>Stephan:)

You ask many questions so I address them one by one:

As other have said - FIA cars are a lot more $$$'s. A FIA car will cost more than $30,000 min and will be a uncompetive pice of crap at that price. You can run in Open class in the US comptively for less than $20,000 and competively in Gp2, Gp5, PGT, or P for less than $10,000. A good FIA car will cost about $45,000 a very competive FIA car will cost $60,000.

There are very few FIA legal base cars here, the WRX, I think a Honda and a VW or two and the Focus and that about it.

Several contries besides the US have local classes such as Group H. France, UK, Finland, Sweden ... all have non FIA classes so the US is not the only contry doing this.

Ramada Rally does not require FIA Class Cars.

Football,Basketball etc tend to have local variations in the rules just like rallying. I belive Canada uses 3 downs rather than 4 in American Style Football. I know there are major rule variations in basketball.

The likely hood of a WRC event in the USA has nothing, zero, nada to do with what cars we run here localy. There have been 2 WRC events in the USA in the last 20 years to prove the point both used FIA clases. A WRC event has to do with having an organization to hold the event in a manner that atracts the WRC. IE a group that can spend a lot of money to hold the type of event that will have a lot of media coverage. The Hoped Mexican round has something like 6 full time year round employess trying to get the WRC to come.

The WRC is a world championship where at most there would be one event in the USA per year. The WRC is very very expinsive. It does not make since to make everyone run very very expinsive but not nessasarly faster or safer cars for the rest of the year just to be able to do one event a year. Other contrires understand this and thus have national classes as noted above.

It is important to understand that there is nothing preventing a manufacture from bring over a WRC car as the US rules prety much alow WRC cars as long as they use the less expinsive non sequintual gearboxes and non active diffs (parts sitting on the self for the cars as that is how they are sold to privetires). It realy cost less to run in the USA so it is not the rules that are preventing all the mnufactures from shipping cars over and running our events, it is the lack of economic benifit for the manufacture that keeps them away. They do not need to build a specal car to run in the SCCA events.

As for special import permits, if you are not A USA Citizen you may bring a car into the USA for one year. If you also happen to be a Manufactur you may bring in a prototype for one year.

If you realy want to run an FIA car it is far easier and cheaper to fly to Europe and rent one then to try and make a car work here in the US. Furthermore why should the rest of us spend the extra $$$$'s to join you when you can just fly to Europe for your harts content worth of FIA class rallying.
 

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For all the above reasons.......

Stephan,

American Ralling needs to remain unique for all the reasons given above. Most folks in the USA have never read Machiavelli's book, let alone cultivated it's principles for a several hundred years as the Europeans have done. Americans CAN NOT out-skulldugger the Europeans. We aren't culturally equipped for it. Within our own countries our sense of fairplay won't permit it for very long.

Skullduggery is a cultural and business art form in most European countries. Nevermind that some manufactures are Asian and American.
Europeans build monitary advantage into the rules...and the FIA is thoroughly European. A level playing field simply isn't good enough for European business interests. If they can not get a financial upperhand, they won't play.

It is my hope and prayer that rallying in America will always remain uniquely American.

Rich Smith
American and Pro-le-Ralliat
 

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RE: For all the above reasons.......

there IS NOT ONE TOP-5 OPEN class car that is less expensive than a Group N car, except maybe one has finished higher up due to odd circumstances

I can sell you a VERY COMPETITIVE high spec Group N car for $30,000 plus shipping. It actually was for sale for quite some time, without selling. You can finish in the top 10 guaranteed and top 5 overall if driven properly. You will not get any coverage, and you will not get recognized for anything, because you are not spending the $100k + it takes to run competitively in Open class against 'open' team Subaru, 'open' team Hyndai, 'open' team Mitsubishi, 'open' team AV and 'open' team Ryther. There are a few exceptions, but generally speaking if all those cars run properly and are properly driven, you should not be beating them in a Group N car (but since you've spent less, that is okay).

I guess 'competitive' is all relative. Sure, in Clubrally, you can be competitive for probably around 10k in Open class. NOT at the top level of rallying in USA, "prorally".

Privateers HAVE A CHANCE for top honours in that case, unlike here in America (yes, I know the points standings but when I say privateer I usually mean someone driving who is not driving on salary).

I know this is contrary to what other have posted and is controversial, and I rarely post about such stuff but the 'pro Open because I have an Open car' voices are more vocal than the others. And oh yeah, I own an Open class car, not a Group N car, but I KNOW group N is cheaper because I also run it elsewhere.

-Pat
 

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>An individual can build a homologated car, they have to
>build it to the standard set in homologation papers.
>
>If you think of the homologation papers as being the
>specification that the car has to be built too, that is the
>concept.
>
>However an individual can not homologate parts, only the
>manufacturer can do that.
>
>After that it gets both complex and very expensive.
>
>Dave

Actually anyone can homolagate a car, it does not require a manufacturer just money $$$$. If someone wanted to say, homolagate an Audi S4 for rally, the individule could go through all the steps required by the FIA to give birth/homolagte the car. The problem is it is rarely worth it for a individule to do so.:)
 

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One comment on the US class structures deserves to be brought up: They are the product of years of "evolution". (NO pun intended!)

We all started in one class, then the P class was added, then PGT created when the Fire Arrows were so fast in the early 80's. Everyone else became Open at that time. The G2 and G5 classes came about as the AWD took over Open, and as some P and PGT cars went past the age limit. So, our classes are a farily logical progression, based on a historical mix of occurances to meet the needs of hobbyists and some manufacturer input. (The P classes were supposed to bring some manufacturer interest, and did for a short while.)

The top FIA classes have evolved for a long time solely around manufacturer driven interests, to provide them a place to showcase their products competitively; there has been NO consideration of hobby based classifications in the the FIA top classes since forever ago. The hobby classifications have all occured overseas in the National series', as has been pointed very well in other posts here.

I don't really see any relationship between having a WRC event in the US and the present US class structure. It's purely a business venture, and is based on how the WRC perceives the event would be received, would it be good for their series overall, etc. We've had 4 world rally championship events here (don't forget the POR's in the early 70's), and while the organizer efforts were good to very good, I don't think we ever made much of an impression on the FIA organizers and the rally teams with our events.

The only way I can see a truly successful event in the USA that will last for years and years is to either:
1) FInd a BIG event sponsor that is international to foot the bill and could somehow see a benefit from spending advertising $$ on an event here versus somewhere else (I view this possibility as unlikely)
or
2) get the US public involved in a big way. And the only way I see that happening is to get the US manufacurers really invloved; many US citizens have no real interest in seeing foreign cars competeing. How you could merge the US models, with no real popular domestic production based AWD cars, with the AWD cars from the Far East and Europe, into common classes where there would be an even playing field, is beyond my imagination early on Sunday AM, and would not be well received by the current manufacturers anyway IMHO. The Europenas like to play in a different way than we do, as has been pointed out. (I sell for a German company; they realy and truly don't relate well to our business processes and markets here.)

Mark Bowers
 

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While I agree with all of the points in your post, I would point out that the head gasket probably isn't the best example. Since in Group N, "The material is free, but not the thickness", and in Group A the cylinder head gasket is "Free", the only way I can think of being forced to use a particular gasket was if it was homologated as a part of a kit (whether VK or WRC) or just a VO that had to be used in its entirity. Not having a set of homologation papers for an EVO (or whatever vehicle the gasket in question is for) I wouldn't go so far as to claim that you are incorrect,:) but a better generic example for Stephan might be a limited slip diff, where in Group N the part must be either original or homologated as a VO.

Since a good chunk of the cost of building a Group N car goes into the required safety equipment, another way of looking at this whole situation might be that here in the US, the motorsports industry is so large that we can build cars of a minimum acceptable safety level for much less than in many other countries. For instance, generally you can buy SFI approved belts for much less than FIA approved belts. If it wasn't for all the other forms of motorsport in the US though, the SCCA and any other sanctioning body would probably be stuck with having to specify FIA standards.

In terms of performance/$, I would suggest that if two American manufacturers were as dedicated to building and selling nearly "rally-ready" cars as Mitsubishi and Subaru are, the cost of running such cars in Production GT would not be cheap relative to the cost of running a WRX or EVO is Group N.

--
John
 

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RE: For all the above reasons.......

I agree with Patrick.... and he should know, he has spent a ton of money running in North America and Europe. You can not buy a used COMPETITIVE PRORALLY Open Class car for less than $40K and to build one will cost upwards of $80K.... and these prices dont include spare parts..... actually a Group N will cost nearly the same due to homolgation requirements. If you are going to run PRO Open or N, and want to run with big dogs, you better plan on spending a minimum of $150K for car, spares, and going to rallies for one year....probably closer to $200K to run the whole series. To do this, you must obviously be committed to doing this. The suspension alone on a newer Open Subie or EVO costs more than $10K. Club Rally is the saving of the normal rallyist with limited funds and limited car... there is a place for everybody in Club.... and that is the main reason it is there.

J Nelson
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KD7CMC:p
 

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RE: SCCA CLASS VS FIA CLASS - Capabilities of the US Manufacturer

As I've read through this discussion I started to wonder if there was some accomodation in the FIA rules, (Grp A, Gpr N, WRC) that would even allow a US manufacturer to try and compete. I don't have every model from GM, Ford, and D-C memorized but it seems to me that we simply don't have very many (if any) models based around the 2000cc turbo 4-cyl engine config.

Can anyone distill the FIA rules and clarify what the power-plant limitations are? I think I'm too foggy today to try and interpret...

Rob D.
 

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RE: SCCA CLASS VS FIA CLASS - Capabilities of the US Manufacturer

The way I read them, the rules distinguish between a Group A or Group N car used in circuit events or hillclimbs and cars used in rallies.

In rallies, the limitations are:
6 cylinders max.
Displacement:
3L w/2 valves per cylinder
2.5L w/more than two valves per cylinder
Supercharged or Turbocharged engines (no distinction is made) cannot have a displacement more than 2.5L.

I don't see any limitations for other events in App J articles 251-255, but I may have missed them or they could be hidden somewhere else.

Keep in mind that at least some other sanctioning bodies split Group N into several different classes based on capacity. The FIA rules allow the event organizer to divide them up into as many as 18, but some of these classes aren't applicable in rallies (i.e. over 6L) :-(


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John
 

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RE: For all the above reasons.......

>I agree with Patrick.... and he should know, he has spent a
>ton of money running in North America and Europe. You can
>not buy a used COMPETITIVE PRORALLY Open Class car for less
>than $40K and to build one will cost upwards of $80K.... and
>these prices dont include spare parts

Didn't Libra have the Elantra for sale for around 22K? and It was a winner with many different drivers.

I disagree with Pat, group N is a rediculous class to throw money at. If cage and basic chassis set up is equal-then we have to look at other items. Gearbox? probably about the same $$-engine, open class does not have specific part #'s required which could be less exspensive to build. Also we have to take in to account the difference in years of cars, open currently 20yrs group N is what 6yrs? What ever the price it generally cost more to buy homolagated items and open does not require them let alone the complete homolagated car package. It is also more likely that the group N chassis will fatigue earlier which means new tub!!!

..... actually a Group
>N will cost nearly the same due to homolgation requirements.
> If you are going to run PRO Open or N, and want to run with
>big dogs, you better plan on spending a minimum of $150K for
>car, spares, and going to rallies for one year....probably
>closer to $200K to run the whole series. To do this, you
>must obviously be committed to doing this. The suspension
>alone on a newer Open Subie or EVO costs more than $10K.
>Club Rally is the saving of the normal rallyist with limited
>funds and limited car... there is a place for everybody in
>Club.... and that is the main reason it is there.
:)
 
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