Jump to content

Is there more blood in the water?


Recommended Posts

Or are the sharks just getting bigger?

 

Has the time finally come where my amateur effort is no longer even remotely viable?

 

My stock pot just boiled so I'm sitting here with many hours to kill before we have soup.  

 

But, I sense a wave of change from that which we have known for years.  Change is inevitable, I realize this, but I fear the days of run what ya brung have passed us.  It's the big time or back marker. Sadly, the back markers will be priced out quickly as the money goes deeper.

 

I understand and accept the changes but as someone who has been here since the beginning, I think we are not what we once were, we have lost the sporting aspect of our origin.

 

We are but a racing series..

 

Nothing that money can buy will ever compare to what ChumpCar once was in its origins...  I can only speak for the East, but Rockingham, VIR-S ... we were crapcan.... 

 

Yeh, not so much anymore

 

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Change is inevitable but the rules still dictate how much change there can be.   I don't think Champ will turn into AER which is a full out arms race dictated by budget.   I don't think there is a large market in that. I personally don't think AER will be around too long, they have 7 races for 18? .   WRL seems to be a little better in there approach and has some more races.   I don' t have any experience with them but wouldn't be opposed to running one of our cars with them depending on scheduling.  We may do it in 18.    I think Champ does a really good job walking the line with cheap and real racing.   Cheap is a relative term though that will be different to everyone.    # of registrations will determine where that line is.    

Edited by Snake
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have legitimate concerns.  I don't think low budget teams are done winning and filling up the top 10 spots.  

 

We are a low budget, very grassroots team and we are pretty happy with our results and potential for future success.   (We were paddocked next to a team at Barber that clearly had more resources,  we didn't feel out gunned on track by them ). 

 

I do think that the leadership will have to be vigilant in keeping rules that limit speed and keep costs in check.   At times the fastest teams may have to be trimmed back rather than allowing rules that allow others to match the top speed.    

 

Too many "win at all cost" attitudes could cause trouble for sure.  It will be a fine line to follow going forward.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A tad troubling but I think the above post nails it.

 

Yes times change, the "good old days" are done, everyone is continuously stepping up a notch but the little guy still has a chance *for now*

 

Is it still fun on a shoestring? Yes, although, when the usual suspects start dropping back...........that will be the tell.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a series matures the level of competition certainly goes up. 

Like Infinity we are still bringing the same rusty knife to the gunfight.

Old age and treachery will keep us in the hunt. 

You can't bring back the day when everyone on the track was a newb. You can't make this sport affordable for someone who is truly poor.

But it will take diligence and thoughtfulness to make this grow over time. In racing the rules and enforcement get tortured to keep the faithful happy without regard for how it will squelch growth.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Want to keep costs down? Do away with "points" and go to straight up cash. Start with the VPI listing then it is $ for $. Make it a legit $1000-1500 league.  While I love the points system it really doesn't accurately represent cost. For example Power adder 100 points, nobody is going to buy a turbo and all that goes with it for $100, Cam $50, you MIGHT be able to buy a used SBC or SBF  cam for that and forget about aftermarket suspension.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 5 min fuel rule allows 3-4 person teams to compete as does the TW tire rule .   Changing the dynamics of the tires life or lateral grip   allow other factors into play liike a 10 person crew   to change tires or fuel.     

Hence my  issue with allowing the faster tires / more crew will be the start of the demise of Chumpcar as we have known it .  More cost .

 Same with fuel  , more cost=less racers.  Simple marketing . Interest /participation is  inversely proportional to cost .

 Enforcement of  the rules that we have also helps with complete transparency , (getting rid of the backroom deals  for cars and parts that the old king did. ) 

 Incremental cost increase . death by 1000 cuts.  Tires, fuel , crew. 

 Mike's  pts/swap  rules  actually favoring BA Murcan iron is a great step to reducing the Miata/BMW  sweep . Those cars are by far the best out of the box race cars. Having the rules favor some off beat cars(trucks) , favor the back yard builder  and I feel is a great way to differentiate Champ car from the rest  .

  Pic of the last true Chumpcar/truck. 

IMG_1766.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thoughts are mixed on this.  Part of me thinks, isn't it cool that you have BIG MONEY teams wanting to come play with guys that as much on a race weekend as they do on dinner and getting to beat them? 

 

The other part says, this is the edge of a slippery slope that could make it super difficult for us as an grass root effort to go out and actually win/be competitive at a race.

 

The re-branding of the series is, imho, an overall positive.  Am I 100% happy with the name, no, but I support the idea. 

 

I have yet to go to a race where I have felt like I was beneath the competition because I didn't pull up in a rental car and got off a private jet to drive a racecar that was prepped by a team of mechanics that hauled it across the country to race. Actually, I did get that feeling at our last race when I complimented the teams car and how clean and well set up they were......jerks!  It was ok though, we beat the pants off them so maybe they were butt hurt a little bit!

 

Balance is what I feel is going to be key to this series.  As new cars come in, I hope the leadership takes a serious look at the measurable and sets VPI's that make sense to our current rules set.  To place a mid 90's supra at 500pts, as lexus SC300, and a BMW e36 M50 is pretty lame for the BMW.  If it was the BMW with the M52, that makes sense to me.  Without sidetracking too much, I think the e36 which Dog runs is screwed.  It was/is a great platform out of the box 2-3 years ago, but the previous boards inability to understand that making performance enhancing parts free only made the cars that were already winning races that much more ahead, has killed the ability for that car to compete. 

 

I say that coming from a team that for 4 years campaigned a 1.6l miata and had a record of finishing in the top 5 of every race we entered that we did not have an unplanned stop.  Now, that would not put us into the top 10 in a lot of events. 

 

As much as I wish to go back, we can't.  The racing this year has felt to be much more competitive top to bottom at the events we have attended.  Fast times have seemed to get much closer for all teams, minus certain cars that seem to always be 2-3's faster......  I hope to see this series continue on its path that it is on, but to slow the curve of speed!  Drivers can get better, but if we allow it to get to a point where the cars make the driver fast, we are in trouble and I feel your concerns will really shine true.

 

TL:DR, Series is good, Change could be bad, Time will tell!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, flyinglizard said:

The 5 min fuel rule allows 3-4 person teams to compete as does the TW tire rule .   Changing the dynamics of the tires life or lateral grip   allow other factors into play liike a 10 person crew   to change tires or fuel.     

Hence my  issue with allowing the faster tires / more crew will be the start of the demise of Chumpcar as we have known it .  More cost .

 Same with fuel  , more cost=less racers.  Simple marketing . Interest /participation is  inversely proportional to cost .

 Enforcement of  the rules that we have also helps with complete transparency , (getting rid of the backroom deals  for cars and parts that the old king did. ) 

 Incremental cost increase . death by 1000 cuts.  Tires, fuel , crew. 

 Mike's  pts/swap  rules  actually favoring BA Murcan iron is a great step to reducing the Miata/BMW  sweep . Those cars are by far the best out of the box race cars. Having the rules favor some off beat cars(trucks) , favor the back yard builder  and I feel is a great way to differentiate Champ car from the rest  .

  Pic of the last true Chumpcar/truck. 

IMG_1766.JPG

Easy.  Make a max number over the wall while working on the car.  We already have it for fueling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I hope the racing gods stay ahead of is cost vs. time. Garage engineering is great but I would rather do what I do to make a few bucks and spend a small portion of that on the car and have time for other fun stuff and work. Not everyone hangs out in a cold garage for 3 months of the year. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Pee Wee said:

One thing I hope the racing gods stay ahead of is cost vs. time. Garage engineering is great but I would rather do what I do to make a few bucks and spend a small portion of that on the car and have time for other fun stuff and work. Not everyone hangs out in a cold garage for 3 months of the year. 

In another post about a dude whining about the appearance of our cars among other things,I see his ride is an E46 330i.

530 points but it shows how far we've come in what you might expect to see on the track.

I would think that car would be pretty competitive without any garage engineering at all except a cage.Also probably not a$500 car yet but cheaper every day and easier than transforming a lesser car.

Push the Easy button.

We are still running our 95 Aurora which was an honest $500 car back in the day when that was the rule. As newbs on all season radials our best times at BIR were around 2:02-2:05. Nowadays with a Star Specs,a manual swap, Northstar 4.6 swap,a locked differential,coolers like ticks on a dog and 5 years of hard knocks experience we are capable of  under 1:50 same track. I'll bet a suitably sawzalled  caged bone stock E46 330 on Star Specs can do that  or better  with the right driver. And I'd gladly take the 30 points of laps and trade for the factory engineered reliability vs our Frankenstein swap monster.

Edited by Racedad
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Pee Wee said:

One thing I hope the racing gods stay ahead of is cost vs. time. Garage engineering is great but I would rather do what I do to make a few bucks and spend a small portion of that on the car and have time for other fun stuff and work. Not everyone hangs out in a cold garage for 3 months of the year. 

That's the rub.  Its different for everybody too.  Impossible to create rules for it.

 

For example...  I am pretty damn good at the mechanical side of the car.  I SUCK at electrical.  I would gladly pay somebody for that.  I don't trust many people to do the mechanical side.

 

My buddy is a pretty good fabricator.  He can whip up parts in minutes.  If I had to buy those same parts, they might cost hundreds of dollars.

 

In other words, the rules let you choose what to work on and what to pay for.  They don't make you choose (most of the time).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

In one breath we crap all over Troy and the MR2, how he's ruining the series blah blah blah... yet, here he is... a small budget guy taking it to the big budget teams.  Go look at his car, his pickup, his trailer.  He's running a shoe string budget.

Edited by riche30
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, riche30 said:

In one breath we crap all over Troy and the MR2, how he's ruining the series blah blah blah... yet, here he is... a small budget guy taking it to the big budget teams.  Go look at his car, his pickup, his trailer.  He's running a shoe string budget.

Most are low budget teams.   We far out number the teams with deeper pockets.  Right now, the rules are such that deeper pockets aren't making teams more competitive as I see it.  Other than maybe reliability, because they could replace wear items more often.   Our tow rige is a well maintained 17 year old Truck with a gob and half of miles.   That has nothing to do with the performance of our car.  

I think it's going to be tricky going forward to maintain the grassroots level of the series.  It can be done and we can be awesome wanna bee racers well into the future, but it may not be easy. 

 

The thing helping the MR2 right now is the VPI table. And that's the case weather it's Troy, Jimmy, Bobby Or anyone that wants to build one.  

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/17/2017 at 8:09 AM, Snake said:

I don't think Champ will turn into AER which is a full out arms race dictated by budget.   I don't think there is a large market in that. I personally don't think AER will be around too long, they have 7 races for 18? .   WRL seems to be a little better in there approach and has some more races. 

 

AER is a class based racing series, with classing of cars based on qualifying times that are set at each track. So unless your building a car for the fastest class (Class 5), there is no arms race. Build what your comfortable with, and go out and race in whichever class that puts you in. I certainly understand that many people aren't as interested in defined class based racing,  but personally I don't really understand that perspective because ultimately, all most racers want to do is see how they stack up against other drivers of similarly performing cars no? Not that I am attempting to make a direct equivalency here, but nearly all the major Professional Endurance Racing Series are class based such as FIA World Endurance, ELMS, WSCC etc. For me at least, classing is just a better way of cutting through the crap that falls out when you attempt to equalize performance across a very disparate range of cars being raced.

 

AER has only had 5-7 races per year for the past 3 years, attributing the number of races that they run to their solvency doesn't really make any sense unless you understand more about their business model than I do.

 

I'm curious though as to why you think WRL's approach is better than AER's? Having run both, I have a different perspective. Is it literally just the number of races they run?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, ElectricGold said:

 

I certainly understand that many people aren't as interested in defined class based racing,  but personally I don't really understand that perspective because ultimately, all most racers want to do is see how they stack up against other drivers of similarly performing cars no? 

 

I am a racer and mechanical engineer so I enjoy outdriving someone as much as I enjoy designing and outbuilding a whole team. 

Edited by Ron_e
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were things that much different in the past? We've always been blown off the track by faster cars and faster drivers - people with 100 times more skill and experience in both the driving and in the garage. In some absurd way I still like pulling up with the dolly trailer and a few cardboard boxes of random parts in the trunk and park it next to the big rigs. Perhaps my testosterone levels just aren't high enough because I am satisfied enough if I can hang with the fast cars for a few laps, winning something isn't really in my hopes and dreams...

 

Where I personally can see a certain risk is when cars start getting too new. They get pretty fast straight out of the box, and the reliability is getting exponentially better - and when they break it is so computerized that any normal human can't do anything about it. So probably quite important for Chump - Sorry, Champ! - to be vigilant about the VPI tables and not open the floodgates too much. 

 

As of yet I still think this series has the best balance that I know of.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...