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I can't rember where I saw this, but I rember that somewhere I saw a rally seres that had its own "beginer" championship. In this class there was only one kind of car allowed and it had to remain mostly stock (saftey stuff.. you know). The car of choice was the Geo Metro (non turbo). Now I though AWESOME a cheep car that isn't too fast... perfect for beginers. This would force them to work on their driving skills rather then their heavy foot skills, cuz to go fast in a car with no pick up really requires a light touch and to be able to maintain your momentum. Sooooo I was thinking that this would be an awesome class to have for a nation wide championship so these beginers could feel included. After people graduate from this class they woud sell there old rally car to move up so there would be a few pre built cars in the market for other beginners to snatch up. I think that this would be great to bring new people into the sport. With hardly any mods alowed there would be a logical cap on how much someone could spend on making their car fast, so the price wouldn't be quite so intimidating to beginers. I know that there are probably one or more faital flaws in my idea (my logical skills aren't functioning verry well today).

Any comments on "my" AWESOME idea?

Otis
 

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If you buy me the car, I'll race the class.

If its my money I'd like to buy a car I'm halfway interested in. I'm starting in G5 in a 340hp 92 fwd eclipse. I know its fast, and I know I "should" start slower, but I think I can control it and take baby steps towards being faster and faster. Goal 1 for me is finishing a rally...well goal one for me is entering a rally, but once I'm in I want to finish. I'm not sure what my goals will be after that. I guess goal two is to learn to drive faster without rolling or hitting a tree.

Jay
 

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With the ratio of time spent working/building/repairing the car to participation in rally events being something in the neighborhood of 100:1 I hav eto say no to this idea. Can't see putting my money into a car that I don't like. Now if the cars were free or giant contigency money was available to all starters I would give it a try. But if rally forced to prove my self in a class like this before moving on I would try another form of motorsport.
 

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I agree I would not build somthing I was not interested in. I have a hard enough time dumping money into a shell that is not "current" body style, as resale is even tougher if the car is old. I am building a 91 galant VR4 and my reason for car selection is easy I wanted somthing that would be competitive and parts would be reasonable.

The car was free, that was a good start. I'm sure not going to spend a truck load on some slow uninteresting "beginner" car.

I would take my money and go back to motocross if this was required.
Even at the beginner level they will let you jump anything you are willing to try.

Josh
 

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The Geo Metro Spec class is unique to the NWR/NorPac Division. It was thought up by Ray Damitio, premiere rally organizer and, up until recently, co-driver (SCCA yanked his license because they thought he was too old) (co-driving for John Lane will do that!).

The thought behind the Geo class was that it wouldn't be the amounts of money you could toss at a car to go fast, it's all about driver skill.

Yeah, it's only got 55 hp; yeah, it's slow in the wrong hands. In the right hands, it's scary fast. Vance Walker rented Ray's Geo for a rally, and beat the pants off most of the field of competitors in their shiny Subarus. Todd Lengacher did the same thing. I'm working my way up there... slowly but surely... :)

The car itself can be found for as little as $500.00, but you have to know where to look. Mods are the expensive part, but as we've prepped the cars to Production class rules, it keeps costs down.

Maintenance: oil change before the event. Wash car. Fill up on gas. Check tire pressures. We've changed the spark plugs, wires, and cap once in the last 2 or 3 years. We had to change the engine last year, but at $350.00 (incl. shipping from Cali) that wasn't a big deal. The old engine had a lot of miles and was pretty tired to start off with.

Bottom line: I rally way more cheaply than a lot of people, and have more fun at it. I get good gas mileage, even at red-line all day, and the spectators love me. If I had more time to devote to it, I could probably get some good sponsorship, but I'm spending my time trying to build the class so I can have someone to compete against at my own car's level instead of going out and embarrassing all the newbies in their flashy cars. :)

I've got the rules for our class in a word doc that I've sent to quite a number of people all over the place. It takes finesse and skill to drive one of these things in rally, even more so to be competitive. Strategy and momentum! Beat people where you can, in the corners, downhills, and in the dark, 'cuz you can't do much about those long straight sections. :)
 

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The theory of starting in an underpowered wonder is very valid. All those F1 and Indy car drivers started in karting. Most motocrossers ran nothing faster than a 125 , most started on pee-wees or 60CC bikes. (name a motocross champ who started on a open class bike) Valentino Rossi rode 125'S and lastly all those dominate Scandinavians start out in gutless wonders.
Obviusly build a car that turns you on but it is not likely you will become really fast starting in a high horsepower car. It has nothing to do with talent but the horsepower will make it easy to over drive the car and scrub of speed without knowing it. Consider doing a couple of events in a beginer car, then moving up. Me I love the Metro concept , I race a gutless wonder and you have to drive really hard to get a good result. I had a high horsepower car , it was a rush but the maintence costs had a tendency to take the fun out of it.
Trust me there is a great joy and taking an underpowered wonder and just driving the living hell out of it.

My.02 , Tom Grossmann
 

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RE: class may not have class but would with critical mass...

What makes a fun car and class are many others doing the same thing so that the car doesn't matter.
I did a couple years in GT5 which is the slowest GT class in club racing. Doug Peterson, who builds indy car engines and runs Comptech (like the WC Acuras) and Joe Huffaker who builds championship winning Trans-Am cars, run in GT5 'cause its more fun than the faster, more expensive cars. They are both great drivers who don't need to hide behind HP to have fun and race. Get 5 of any single type car running in every event and in a few year's time you'll have 20. (look at EVOs in the NE!)
re:
http://www.sandblastrally.com/2004/competitor-entry-list.cfm
rz
 

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RE: class may not have class but would with critical mass...

Randy off topic here but....as a driver and owner of a Datsun 1200 you are correct about GT5 relative low horsepower but great competion with guys who have had the same car for 20 years. Rally could use a class like this. How about Group 1.5 - under 1500cc cars ???

Tom
 

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RE: ideas?

I'm just observing and commenting as a response to our newer arrivals misguided opinions that a free car is the cheap route to competition. We who know, know the car is the cheap part. Travel, tow-rigs, equipment, shop space, missed work and rebuilding all add up more than anyone imagines unless they've done it. All one needs to do is to look at the classifieds at all the cars for sale that almost made a rally or just a couple and are now for sale. Its also fun to see how many have Sparco seats, steering wheels, false floors and other "Rally stuff" bolted on because it's "needed".
Just guessing that the largest single existing group whould be the place to start.
rz
 

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RE: ideas?

Randy funny you mention a "free" car. In 1999 I was given a free D-sports racer with a blown motor. It only took about $5000 in parts to get it going. My buddy did the labor free as a sponsorship deal. If you added his labor the car would have been $25,000. Once I started racing it It devoured parts at about $350 a month. Shock rebuilds , tires , heim joints etc. Keep in mind I also used stock Yamaha FZR 1000cc engines which coould be had for $900. Throw in entry fees and other exspenses and I spent another $6000 for local events for over a two year period. So kiddies my free car cost about $600 a month.
We have a local Vegas driver who thought he absolutly had to have a wazoo all wheel drive turbo car and will likey end up spending $40,00 when it is all done.Once it is going he will spend about $1000 an event minimum. I do notice a trend among new young drivers buying zootie parts because they look good. So if you want to go Rally get a stock class car and while your mates are building their killer turbo 9 wheel drive thing you will have 6 or 7 Rallys under your belt. If your friends make fun of your "slow" car tell your friends my motto "It's faster than a set of bleachers"

Tom
 

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RE: ideas?

I have to agree that low power is a lot of fun and cheap! I borrowed Nick's '78 Toyota for the Santa Maria rallysprint, the first time I've driven in compettion for about 4 years. Although only 74 or so horses, I had a blast in it. Only lifted when I got lost in my own dust! The results sre available somewhere. I would recommend a low power car to start with for fun factor and cheapness.
 

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realistic

I just want say I was a crew member/ chief for Eric Eaton. I have seen the costs I have also seen the time and effort that is included in building a rally car. I am taking my time If I can be rallying in the next year or two, I will be happy. I want my car to be fun to drive and RELIABLE. After Eric's 323 I would not want to inherit another cars issues. At this point I KNOW what is good and what needs help on my car. The last thing I want is to be 3 or 4 miles into the first stage and have some poor hack job repair come unglued.

I have good help / guidance from people like Eric and JVL. I have previous experience in Snowboarding at a high level, and also have had the privilege of seeing and riding bikes both (MC and BMX) with Eric.

And once again I will not and would not, invest in something I was not interested in. NEVER.

My car has a brand new motor with forged pistons and cromolly rods I built it. I just rebuilt my transmission, and I am in the process of rebuilding the spare. I have a brand new cossy turbo sitting waiting for it's new manifold. I will be going the way of the JVL suspension. I then need a cage.

For what I have and will spend, sure I could have bought a prepped car, but I can spend a little today and have something much nicer tomorrow. When it breaks, I can then blame me!

I have no big dreams other than being able to go slide in the dirt with you guys.

:7
Josh
 

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RE: edit

What some seem to be missing about here is that one reason for a cheap, low power spec series it to provide a reasonable entry point ...
The car is originally built for, say, $6,000, and after the first owner has learned how to finish events, conserve energy, and make their time controls on time, they sell it to the next guy for $5K, and he does $1K of repairs/re-fit to the car.
The process repeats itself, and your car costs in your first year were $1,000 (don't rip apart the pricing ... the numbers are for argument's sake)
This can work as long as you pick a car that has tons of spares available for next to nothing ...
The hidden beauty is that with a spec class car, there can be some really close racing and the likelyhood of being able to 'share spares' is prety good ;-)
 

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critical mass...

. Rally could use a class like this.
>How about Group 1.5 - under 1500cc cars ???
>
> Tom

Tom, it's beenn done here in the NW before back in 91-94.
Same people pushing then as now with the Gooey Class.
Waaaaaaaaay more sucessful then, there were a whopping 4 cars built and average 2 cars in class.
Called 'Rally Lite'.

The problem with the presumption of selling it to eager beginners (when one tires of nodding off on straights longer than say 100 yards)(the second 100 yard straight)(can somebody imagine some the the Albertan roads is a Gooey!!???) is there is not a ready market of eager beginners who seem to want to start in tiny 1500s or tinier Gooeies. (or similar gutless limited mods car)

A person is then stuck with something they have spent all the fixed costs on and nowhere to go without selling the car. No growth potential in the type of cars that were built then or now.

A 1600 class limit would have been smarter then as folks could get reasonably sized cars such as real 510s, 1980-1986 Toiletta Carollas, Colts, Golf, Pontiac Lemans, which could start as relatively benign spec cars and WHEN the inevitable desire for more speed arrives, the person doesn't have to sell the car to up-rate the powerplant.

There was recently an executive metting of the Plenary Council of the Politburo of the CCCP and I moved to adopt the comrades from Finlands weight/cc rules,after furious and elequent debate, Comrade D. Bottles, said it his normal foceful and incisive way "Hhhhmmmmmm, yeah, why not, seems to be worked out pretty good for them" and seconded the motion, vote was unanimous.

So now all those little sheeety little sheet cars can be in the revisionist Grope 222.

And Tom, when comparing bikes come on try and remember, those little 125cc are not slow, they have always made lots of power, but not too much for the average beginner to get a grip on, and with the lesser power have less trouble hooking up, and the rest they make up with closer ratio boxes and waaay shorter final drive, and hence are about the same speed as 250s for the average amature.

And don't forget, they are _real_ competiton bikes.

The little sheetbox little things are barely cars.

(And I liked watch hot nasty modded GpA 1300 Skodas, but they went like stink.)





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

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

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RE: critical mass...

John I'm keenly aware 125's are not slow after having gone 130+ MPH on one at Riverside. I boought one specificly because they are competition bikes , when I use them as example of underpowered I mean relative to an open class bike. So back to our post subject; how about this then , Group 2 suspension with standard 1600cc engine. Good suspension and prep would keep car together and standard engine would keep cost down?

Tom


PS John I had originally wanted to ride 50 CC GP class but it was non-exsistent in the USA and FIA canceled it before I could get my 102LB body to Europe.
 
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