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Rick.Cook23@yahoo.com

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  1. Pure Black Racing had a really super weekend of racing. We were 3rd overall on Saturday, and 3rd in Class B. When was the last time 3 Class B cars were 1, 2, and 3 overall? Then on Sunday, we were running well in the top 10, until our entire passenger rear wheel/hub/spindle broke off (it’s a FWD car). No, no cheap Chinese parts for our Audi race car - but we were hit on that same wheel the previous racing weekend and likely had more damage than originally found. Nevertheless, we had a super good time racing at Harris Hill! Pure Black Racing would like to thank: Our Audi BrothersInArms Team Unintended Acceleration. Through hard racing and great sportsmanship, they have consistently made our team - and the entire field - faster and better prepared. When a 30 year old Audi Quattro can finish as well as they did, you know you have to bring your A game to beat these guys. And if you’re lucky enough to do, they will be they very first team to shake your hand and offer congratulations. Ryan, Eric, Bill, and the entire rest of Team U A - super job and thank you!! The Champ Car Endurance Series. CCES gives us a fantastic environment to race in, and is always professionally run. Just an example... when timing/scoring system had problems, CCES took immediate action, fixed the problem, and had us all racing again in minutes. We all have different goals and ideas about our racing org, but let’s never loose sight of what brings us all together - good, clean, hard racing. Thank you, CCES. The Harris Hill management. A great place to race - the birthplace of CCES - and always open to our org racing at this great track. For anyone who hasnt been to Harris Hill, the track is super fun, the spectating is awesome (from the clubhouse/concessions you can see about 90% of the track), and the corner and track workers are friendly, helpful, and professional. Thank you, Harris Hill.
  2. Ive raced WRL. Different thing altogether happening over there. Power to weight says nothing about suspension, aero, fuel capacity (well, maybe a bit more weight), brake improvements... its true they do not class cars by displacement, but by not having rules about all the other parts that go into fast lap times, they are not trying to limit spend either. IF CC wants to limit spend (not sure that is, or even should be, an objective), things like claiming rules fix that overnight. for example, if everyone racing CC knew that anyone could claim your car for - say $10k - who in their right mind would race a $20-30k car? Claiming rules would control costs, but like I said, I’m not sure that is the objective. i think we want an org where almost anyone can compete. Not win, mind you, but compete. For $5-10k, you can build a car with your buddies and go racing. That is cool! But then if you want to win races, well, it’s gonna cost more. I don’t think anyone is hiding that fact, right? You think the Boxster that just won Nelson Ledges cost more to build than my POS Audi? Of course it did. But that’s okay - every team has different expectations. Maybe be we should class cars by the worth of the tow rig that brought the car to the track. Anyone that spends $100k on a motorhome, and another $30-50k on the trailer it tows the car(s) in, has likely spent significantly more building their race car than my team. Regardless of what the rules state.
  3. Guys n Gals - this why I’ve been voicing class rules and wins. NOT by displacement - but by mods made to car. think: the greatest race on earth. The 24 hours of Lemans. the LMP2 cars have zero/none/zippo chance of an overall win. unless every LMP1 car blows up. they race for class wins - everyone does at Lemans. change the classes to stock, superstock, supercar, and unlimited. you want to spend more? You want to go faster? Cool! Sincerely! but you get bumped up in class and the class wins mean something. every form of endurance racing does this: ALMS, WEC, etc.
  4. We are a mid-pack team, a couple of class wins, but never even close to an overall win. So I don’t know what it costs to win overall. That said... We spent bout $5K for a car, cage, and all safety equipment for the car (seat, harness, fire suppression, etc.) Anyone who gets into racing like we did - on a budget - find a car with lots of parts at your local salvage yard. Yes, motors and transmissions cost money to rebuild - but it really helps to be able to easily find a salvage motor for $200. We ended up just buying an entire non-running spares car for $300 - came with extra set of wheels (you will bend/break some), electronics, suspension arms (this bend/break too, when people run into you), brake calipers and rotors. Yes, all the after market parts are better/cost more, but there is so much to learn when starting out anyhow, we just ran stock stuff, with Hawk pads and good tires, and focused on getting our driving improved. So we picked a car with lots of parts at salvage yard and bought a spares car. We had stock suspension for first two years - we focused on reliability and our driving. But cost of build - for us - was tiny compared to cost of racing. We spent between $3-4K per race in entry, tires, fuel, brake pads, etc. When we do 4 or 5 race weekends per year - that’s $12-15k for a single season - and that doesn’t include replacing engines, transmissions, etc. (see paragraph above for keeping repair costs down). So, the cost of the build is nothing compared to the cost of all the racing. We have continued to improve the car each year - after market sway bars, improves springs & struts, etc. But that’s been like $1K each year - again, peanuts compared to race weekend cost. Again, this is running a mid-pack, but reliable, low budget team. We didn’t/don’t spend anywhere near the $15-20K I see some have spent building a car.
  5. Not sure bout ur seat, but we use Ultrashield.com 1piece aluminum seat and camlock harness. With seat back brace. we mount our seat solid, no sliders. Shorter drivers use yoga pad pieces to space up, taller drivers don’t use the pads. my advice? For all the money you will spend in racing, do NOT skimp on safety. Anything. buy quality seat, harness, cage, fire suppression, racing gear- all the safety stuff. save your money (for now) and do not spend on go-fast stuff (wheels, suspension, motor upgrades, etc) Niki Lauda RIP would tell you the same thing.
  6. Ditto. And because that is true of 90% of us, class wins are all we race for. Jus like Lemans, ALMS, WEC, and so on.
  7. Different teams have different goals. Some race just to compete. Some race to win class. Some race to win overall. The EC question impacts different teams - with different goals - in different ways. I, too, have no issues racing with EC cars. Last race we ran, 4 of 45 cars were EC. They were faster than us, but not scary fast. And we ended up finishing higher overall than all 4 because we didnt have problems. That’s endurance racing. But I have zero issues racing with EC cars. As for the live race timing/scoring and end-of-race results, there are plenty of suggestions: Penalty laps No transponder Changing class structure so all cars have a valid class Adding “EC” to all the team names in timing/scoring/results but starting 100 laps down seems an easy/logical way to solve this. If EC cars “don’t count”, then I’m not sure why there is resistance to that??.
  8. I do, yes. And the 2 other teams I know best, are also keen on class results. Admittedly, that’s 3 of 100s of teams. Starting 6 years ago, our goals were (in order): - Finish a race (done, took us 3 races over a single year) - Consistently finish races without problems (done, took us about 8 races over 3 years) - Win in class (done, 15 or 16 races in, happened for us in 5th year) - Consistently win in class (still working on this one, 6 years in) - Win the overall (hasn’t happened and like 90% of teams, it’s not likely to ever happen - but that doesn’t stop us from trying) So for my team - yes, class results mean a lot.
  9. This has been mentioned before, and at least one other racing series does this already... put it in race officials hands. Put EC cars into classes based on displacement, but give penalty laps based on tech inspection at the race. Just like every other series in the world, race officials get to make that call: If you show up with a highly modified 2010 M3, and race officials rate it as a 1500 point car, you start the race 100 laps down. If you show up with a Mazda NP01 (google it, purpose built tube framed race car - I had to race against one in WRL), and race officials rate it as a 3500 point car (retails new at over $70,000), then you start 300 laps down. That allows everyone that wants to race any car they like, but puts appropriate penalty laps to cars that are not built to the rules. and give officials the right to disqualify any car deemed too fast (or slow even) for ChampCar. Alternatively, fix the classes: Stock - exactly that, and only from the VPI list (which can/should be updated regularly, once every 3 years?) Superstock - VPI listed cars with mods allowed for wheels, suspension, exhaust, and software to stock ECU. No engine swaps. Supercar - VPI listed cars, any and all mods - including engine swaps, aero, and engine mods - allowed. Unlimited - any car, VPI listed or not, with any mods. But give race officials the right to refuse any car deemed “too fast” for safety reasons. Give same class trophies/class wins as we do today. Lets drop the idea that “every class has a chance at winning the overall”. What’s good for WEC, Lemans, Daytona24, and ALMS - should be good for us in ChampCar. Prototype1 cars will always win the overall at Lemans, but the racing for class wins is fierce - even amongst the manufacturers (Porsche, Chevy, Ford, Lamborghini, Audi, BMW). These manufacturers know they have zero chance of winning overall - but they still send teams, spend 10s of millions, racing for class wins and championships. Why can’t that work for us? Stock class would allow for low-cost-of-entry, and could be used by teams to improve their cars if they want faster cars (move up to Superstock with improved suspension, wider wheels, etc.) Teams, if they choose to, could go even faster - swap for bigger motors, or bore/stroke/port/polish/supercharge - with the very same car but now racing in the Supercar class. And finally, if someone wants to race their 911 GT3, let them bring it and race the Unlimited class. Depending on whose driving that 911 GT3, it may or may not be unsafe speed-wise - officials at the track get to make that call. But anyone crazy enough to bring that kind of car to ChampCar - and take a chance of doing 10s of thousands in damage to race with a bunch of mid 90s Miatas - that’s their call. Whats the downside of either of these solutions? Allows everyone a way to start racing with low cost. Allows those that want to spend more to go faster to that - all within the rules. And it welcomes every car/team on the planet to come race ChampCar provided that you are not so fast that you are a danger to other teams. Only thing it changes - and I don’t personally see this as a downside, it’s just different - is this notion that “any car/class can win the overall”. That isn’t true in any other endurance racing series on earth - so why should we care if that change is made here in ChampCar?
  10. Okay, I only used what I could find on RaceHero - cus Speedhive doesn’t list class in the overall standings. And RaceHero is missing about half the races. So all that being said... 48 total races with RaceHero results from Jan 2017 to present (Jun 2019) C won overall 24 times, 50% - nearly all BMWs. VPI for most BMWs is around 400, so not a lot of room to mod and stay within rules. A won overall 10 times, 21% - nearly all Miatas. VPI is 250 or 300 for 90s models, so more room to mod and still stay under 500. EC won overall 6 times, 13% - (I know, EC doesn’t count, but they show up in results so I recorded them) different makes. B won overall 4 times, 8% - different makes D won overall 4 times, 8% - different makes No one tells us what car to build. Full disclosure, I race a B class car. But if we want everyone with close to the same skills and experience to have a shot at the overall win (I said “if”, maybe not everyone agrees), I have already petitioned a VPI change: Leave BMW and Miata right where they are - they are doing just fine - those teams don’t have to change anything. But reduce the VPI of every other car in the list by (I proposed) 75 points. See if that allows a bit more B and D wins. It will never be totally even, but it’s clear that C, for sure, and A, somewhat - are gapping the field.
  11. Could someone with easy access to race results data (can harvest from Speedhive, but only one race at a time - painful when I have to be working on my race car), could you please post - say over all Champ races in 2017 and 18, which class won overall at each every race, and the year/make/model of every class winner at every race? Maybe I will go try to dig out this data...
  12. No, no spectators. Jus like ChampCar - friends and family of the racers were the only spectators. im jus asking what sponsors are doing for us racers? - entry fees are going up. How much more would they increase without sponsors? - allow Champ races at some world class tracks. That great if you can haul to those tracks. But in my case, I live 30min from CoTA but Champ doesn’t race there because of cost. Would we not be racing Daytona, Watkins Glen, etc. if we didn’t have TireRack onboard? not bashing sponsors here - at all. Heck, I was a TireRack Customer before they were onboard with Champ. And I like the idea that sponsors can help all of those, not jus the winners. something like: TireRack have a twice per year 25% off sale for all ChampCar racers? 4 tires for the price of 3. i don’t know what margins are for TireRack, but if they can make money on this, use tire reviews from racers on their site, have tech spots on the ChampCar YouTube channel, etc. benefit all racers, but use in return the publicity, reviews, and tech info to sell more tires to non-racers. maybe this works better with specific tire brands: Dunlop vs Nitto vs Falken vs...
  13. Back when I was young and foolish, I raced motorcycles. And sponsorship in motorcycle racing meant that the sponsor(s) paid the racers. Racers bought their products and raced with them, ran with sponsors decals, talked them up in post race interviews, thanked them online. Sponsors paid either cash, or parts, or credits toward parts, or product. As a racer, you had to win (or at least podium), have the correct sponsor decals, and then you got paid. TireRack is doing this somewhat this year - giving 10 sets of tires away at selected events. But could Champ work other contingency deals? Some examples: - the Rock Auto ChampCar B class: get a $100 gift certificate to the B class winner at every event (must have min of 5 cars in class) Could have different class sponsors for each class. - the Chase.com ChampCar Endurance Series: $500 for 1st overall, $250 for 2nd, $100 for 3rd (min of 30 cars entered) For the record, my team has never been even close to winning an overall - but you get the idea. - the Dunlop ChampCar C class sponsor: win C class on Dunlop tires while sporting Dunlop decals, and you win a set of Dunlop tires. Or credits toward buying Dunlop tires. (No, I don’t run Dunlop tires - but you get the idea.) Has ChampCar tried anything like this? Have the sponsors pay (cash, or parts, credits?) the racers.
  14. Im not against EC cars, I’m not. Heck, I’ve raced other series in my Champ car were everything I raced against would be EC (WRL). But EC cars should not be included in the results. Just trying to suggest a way to make that happen. I checked last 4 Champ races. Only 10% of the cars were EC, and entry makes up only about 25% of my overall cost each race. Tires, fuel, oil, brakes, maintenance, travel, towing... all that makes up the other 75%. Number of cars on the grid has never changed my entry fees - up nor down - but if it did, it would be minimal compared to all the other costs.
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