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What level of building is too much?

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I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

 

Is changing the layout from front to rear or mid engine too much?  

 

Is building tube frame cars too much?   

 

Should we just worry about safety equipment and race? 

 

We have no weight limit.  We can build custom sub frames for 10 pts.  Additional tubes in the cage don’t seem to incur many points.   Just 60% of the body shape has to be intact.    Just how creative should we be? 

Edited by JDChristianson

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On February 21, 2019 at 1:25 PM, JDChristianson said:

What level of building is too much?

Any one that I can't jump from without injury. (So anything above 5 feet.)

Those big ones they call skyscrapers are especially scary to me. :o

Edited by mcoppola
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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

 

Is changing the layout from front to rear or mid engine too much?  

 

Is building tube frame car too much?   

 

Should we just worry about safety safety equipment and race? 

 

We have no weight limit.  We can build custom sub frames for 10 pts.  Additional tubes in the cage don’t seem to incur many points.   Just only 60% of the body shape has to be intact.    Just how creative should we be? 

Great question.  

 

I am not in favor of the partial timeframe semi silhouette cars.  

 

I would love to see the rules allow less free items to decrease these types of builds.

 

I don't think I am in favor of aftermarket abs and traction control systems either.

 

This is supposed to be inexpensive racing. 

 

If I had the time and money, I would definitely be redoing my subframe and hacking up the car to just have it as skins.  I would love to have real time telemetry and tire and brake temps as well.  I'm just not sure it's where we should be going.

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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

>$20k for a build is too much.  <$20k is ok.  That is the only way I can think of to answer this without getting pretty far into the weeds.  That $20k should include everything needed to take to your first race including spares.  It does not include another $20k in beer required to build the $20k car or the $20k tow rig required to haul the $20k car to the track.

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22 minutes ago, zack_280 said:

>$20k for a build is too much.  <$20k is ok.  That is the only way I can think of to answer this without getting pretty far into the weeds.  That $20k should include everything needed to take to your first race including spares.  It does not include another $20k in beer required to build the $20k car or the $20k tow rig required to haul the $20k car to the track.

Up a little from the $500 builds ten years ago ...

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2 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

 

Is changing the layout from front to rear or mid engine too much?  

 

Is building tube frame car too much?   

 

Should we just worry about safety safety equipment and race? 

 

We have no weight limit.  We can build custom sub frames for 10 pts.  Additional tubes in the cage don’t seem to incur many points.   Just only 60% of the body shape has to be intact.    Just how creative should we be? 

At the end of the day you are limited by points.

 

Even if extra tubes in the chassis are only a few points each, and a custom lightweight subframe is 10, are any teams going to spend their points on those parts? Or will they spend them on more HP, a wing, oil coolers, etc. etc.?

 

I think you can find the answer by looking at the podium cars. I haven’t seen any that fit what you are describing.

 

 

And as far as a mid-engine swap... there are some extremely nimble FF cars in our series, I don’t think it’s worth whatever points are involved (and immense amount of work) to shift the weight back in the hopes of improving the handling and traction.

I can see 500 HP supercars benefitting from rear drive and weight, but I don’t think there are any ChampCar-legal VTEC swapped Honda’s that are roasting the tires in 3rd gear.

Edited by enginerd
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1 hour ago, zack_280 said:

>$20k for a build is too much.  <$20k is ok.  That is the only way I can think of to answer this without getting pretty far into the weeds.  That $20k should include everything needed to take to your first race including spares.  It does not include another $20k in beer required to build the $20k car or the $20k tow rig required to haul the $20k car to the track.

 

based on my experience over the last year I tend to agree with this, but this gets you a pretty built car. i think you can make it out a little under that number if you have the right skills in the team (i.e. cage fab and electronics), or might end up a little over if you have to outsource one or two items.

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

At the end of the day you are limited by points.

 

Even if extra tubes in the chassis are only a few points each, and a custom lightweight subframe is 10, are any teams going to spend their points on those parts? Or will they spend them on more HP, a wing, oil coolers, etc. etc.?

 

I think you can find the answer by looking at the podium cars. I haven’t seen any that fit what you are describing.

 

 

And as far as a mid-engine swap... there are some extremely nimble FF cars in our series, I don’t think it’s worth whatever points are involved (and immense amount of work) to shift the weight back in the hopes of improving the handling and traction.

I can see 500 HP supercars benefitting from rear drive and weight, but I don’t think there are any ChampCar-legal VTEC swapped Honda’s that are roasting the tires in 3rd gear.

 

Only things I would consider moving the engine on are a truck/van build or maybe an air-cooled VW.  I think a Powerstroke under the hood might make an El Camino understeer just a smidge...

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In my humble, tiny, insignificant, opinion...I'd say the series is in a good spot.  I think it wedges nicely between lemons and wrl/aer.  Still have recognizable cars, built by great builders and other more standard builds like we run.  The ingenuity that you see from all the different teams is what I really like.  Things like danger racing and the trunk spoiler, or huggy and his under hood LED lights for night races.  Those are the things that I LOVE to see, great, simple ideas.

 

I think as of now, we have spent close to 10k on the car and 10k on expenses(fuel, lodging, food, hookers, blow) over the course of our team.  I love to compete but at the end of the day, as its been said before, I just love doing race car stuff with my race car friends.  If its finishing the race 1st or 67, still a blast.

 

All that being said, keep it close to the way it is, a good gateway drug for people to try out racing.   

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I don't see why the cost of the build is relevant. As has been pointed out, the limitation is points, not money. Nobody is building "tube frame cars", nor will they make it through tech. Section 3.2.17 already addresses this via the "maximum value free" roll cage. 

If somebody has the ingenuity to move the engine location and meet the safety requirements and can do it within the current rule set then they should go for it if it's going to make them faster. 

And not sure what the constant hang up on "custom sub frames" is. 

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7 minutes ago, Snorman said:

I don't see why the cost of the build is relevant. As has been pointed out, the limitation is points, not money. Nobody is building "tube frame cars", nor will they make it through tech. Section 3.2.17 already addresses this via the "maximum value free" roll cage. 

If somebody has the ingenuity to move the engine location and meet the safety requirements and can do it within the current rule set then they should go for it if it's going to make them faster. 

And not sure what the constant hang up on "custom sub frames" is. 

Build cost is relevant because if the price of entry is to high or unfavourable new blood will not enter the series. If you stop attracting new teams the series will not grow. 

 

It it may not matter in the rules per say. But it matters to the series as a whole.

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We've considered tubing the front end and it'd be faster.  If we go with a non Miata swap we'd move the motor further back building the driveshaft into the $1500.  In my opinion the rules have to keep up, otherwise given a few years as is, there would be some monster looking cars.  Aero alone is going to get insane over the next two seasons.  It's more open than F1, the competition and dollars are here, the only variable left is time.

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2 hours ago, Mopar 4 Life said:

Build cost is relevant because if the price of entry is to high or unfavourable new blood will not enter the series. If you stop attracting new teams the series will not grow. 

 

It it may not matter in the rules per say. But it matters to the series as a whole.

That's the way it goes. We're mostly adult males who are going to be driven by competition to get faster, spend more money and be more competitive. The series will bring in new teams. People routinely complain about other teams spending money, bringing big rigs, using aero devices, installing stand alones, running "tubular sub frames", etc.. If those teams are doing it within the rules, then what's the problem? I see plenty of teams that use cubic knowledge and skill in place of cubic inches or cubic dollars who are very competitive. Conversely, I see plenty of teams spending tons of money and spectating at the trophy presentation. 

If you want to start capping costs and asking people to show receipts, you're going to get teams who will leave and go race in WRL or AER. Without consulting with my teammates, I'm pretty comfortable saying we would be one of them. 

Pick your poison. 

 

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I dont think money matters to those with money. I also dont see where costs  have ever been capped. We got teams spending double our yearly budget on fuel in one race.

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56 minutes ago, Snorman said:

That's the way it goes. We're mostly adult males who are going to be driven by competition to get faster, spend more money and be more competitive. The series will bring in new teams. People routinely complain about other teams spending money, bringing big rigs, using aero devices, installing stand alones, running "tubular sub frames", etc.. If those teams are doing it within the rules, then what's the problem? I see plenty of teams that use cubic knowledge and skill in place of cubic inches or cubic dollars who are very competitive. Conversely, I see plenty of teams spending tons of money and spectating at the trophy presentation. 

If you want to start capping costs and asking people to show receipts, you're going to get teams who will leave and go race in WRL or AER. Without consulting with my teammates, I'm pretty comfortable saying we would be one of them. 

Pick your poison. 

 

I think the point is that all of the itema in the first post are allowed for points under the current rules.  Is this acceptable?  That's the main question...

 

I'm not sure this series is the same series it was even 2 or 3 years ago.

 

The sky is not falling.  It will be if we trend this same direction over the next 3 years, I won't be able to afford it.

 

He'll, I went from 5 and 6 races a year to 3 races a year due to increased per race cost and cost of upgrades every few months when a new loophole is exposed.

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I’ve been in this series now for 6 years. How much is too much?  I think that depends on your goals.

 

Racing just to finish?  You can do that with way less than $20k.  I think we spent bout $5k getting to our first race.

And by the way, this is a damn good goal for a 1st or 2nd year team.  

Racing to have zero DNFs in an entire 3-5 race season?  Better spend more on spares.

Racing to win your class? It’s gonna cost more - better tires, more spares, practice days, engine rebuilds, clutches, brakes...

Racing for an overall win?  I wouldn’t know, my team has never even come close. But the teams I see winning overall have spent significantly more than we spend.

 

But don’t let this discourage you.   My experience has been like this...

If 50 teams start a race, really only about 10 of them have a chance of winning the overall.

All the rest of us, we are having all kinds of fun racing for 15th, or 25th, or...  

There are always 2 or 3 other teams on the very same lap as you - that’s who you are racing with - and it’s a blast!

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Back in the old days when I was an athlete a mentor offered me a bit of advice when I started “worrying” what others were doing. His quote, “with few exceptions there will always be someone faster then you, has more money then you and has a bigger @#*$ then you. Get over it and focus on what you are doing.” His words apply to many things in life. 

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Very interesting responses.    I think these things are healthy for us to think about. 

 

To be clear, my original post was not aimed directly at cost.  If modifications are limited, speed is limited, and then cost to compete is held in check.   In my opinion, if someone can build a car between 5K and 10K and still run with the team that spent 35K because modifications are limited then I don't care what the big money spent.  

 

The examples I put in the first post are some that I don't think have been fully exploited.  Maybe they won't be, but I know people with the capabilities to do all of that with out spending cubic dollars.   I won't do it, I'm just a dreamer not a fabricator.  

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Your not going to be able to show up with a car with stock shocks and wheels and place in the pointy end of the field is a given now...

 

Do you need to spend $20K on a new build to be competitive? No...

 

But to be competitve you'll need to budget for at least $10K...

 

You'll also need to have a group of fairly quick and competitive drivers to get you to the pointy end of the field also...

 

There is a pretty big lap time margin between the drivers/teams wanting to compete and the ones with limited track experience and just wanting to have fun...

 

 

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11 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

If modifications are limited, speed is limited, and then cost to compete is held in check.

 

While I hear what you're saying, I'm not sure I agree. Look at any spec series that was meant to be "cheap" by mandating no/very very few modifications. If anything it takes more money to run up front there. Teams that spend 4-5 digits on testing days, buy 5 new OEM heads and pick the best one using a flow bench or 30 valve springs to pick out the closest but stiffest 8 or 16, new sticker tires every race, etc. 

 

Quite frankly I'm starting to think the opposite is true. Imagine a world where there were no swaps in Champcar- there wouldn't be teams/cars like @wvumtnbkr, the duratec miatas, and others who more than manage to run up front on a regular basis with what sound like very reasonable budgets. Also wouldn't be some of the cool builds with tons of potential that are going on right now.

 

11 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

 

The examples I put in the first post are some that I don't think have been fully exploited.  Maybe they won't be, but I know people with the capabilities to do all of that with out spending cubic dollars.   I won't do it, I'm just a dreamer not a fabricator.  

 

Dreamer with limited fab skills here- the only thing keeping us away from a "will be banned" build is running costs and support equipment costs. What I've dreamed up won't fit in my trailer, the 335's (or wider), 10-15 gal/hr fuel burn rate on 93 or better, and rather unknown to us platform keeping us away.... 

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19 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

 

Just 60% of the body shape has to be intact.    Just how creative should we be? 

This is one of my pet peeves.  I give full credit to a team like Parts Badger that went full tilt on adding lightness to their car by removing the backend and bringing in gobs of aero.  They have made a fast vehicle...very well done.  But I don't like it.  I think the cars should have all of their panels.  I understand the rule is there, I'm just stating my opinion that I don't like it.  I think it makes the cars look tacky.  Additionally I don't like aero.  At least not I can do F1 aero for 10pts a device.  That seems ludicrous to me.  End rant.

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19 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

I’m curious what people might think is too much for our race series.   

 

Is changing the layout from front to rear or mid engine too much?  

 

Is building tube frame cars too much?   

 

Should we just worry about safety equipment and race? 

 

We have no weight limit.  We can build custom sub frames for 10 pts.  Additional tubes in the cage don’t seem to incur many points.   Just 60% of the body shape has to be intact.    Just how creative should we be? 

If this nonsense is allowed the fields will drop off and hand a lot of cars to the $500 league. If you want to do all of that go race in the American Iron Extreme class.  The points have been dropped to a ridiculously low level, and that is why you have speed creep. Our car is basically unchanged since 2014, it was a 490+ point car, not it is under 380 and that’s after we add carb/intake swap.   I know it is too late now but a better idea would have been to limit all builds to $3500 actual cost. (less safety) 

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Why do we have a series that is too afraid to take things away?  We continually see points dropped for performance items, back room interpretations, swap weight manipulations, etc...

 

When we decided it was ok to make shocks, springs, bushings, brakes, wheels, tire size, and every other little thing 2x or free under the guise of "cheaper" "safer" racing, the series, IMHO, needed to reevaluate where it was going.  Teams no longer had to decide if they wanted to make their poor handling car handle better, or give it a bit more power.  Fuel limited cars that could build a good handling, moderately powered car to get back into the top end of the field, lost that chance.  

 

Limiting the levels we are able to take some things and maybe adding points back, even though I have been told directly that will never happen, might be a good thing. 

 

One quick thing that could be done to slow some teams down would be to mandate a max tire width.  I would say stock plus one size up.  Heck, then all these teams complaining about having to take points for flairs can calm down!

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Now don't hate on me too much, but if I had to pick a point in history where CCES might have turned the corner, it might be the E36. This is also about the same time as the switch from $ to performance. I know the E36 hasn't become the Gold-Standard everyone thought it would be, but JC got a lot of grief for trying to keep it out ( I think he was afraid of VTEC Civics as well :)  ) and then as it was brought in, other cars were allowed to get faster to "keep up" with the perceived gold-standard. I'm thinking CCES will morph into something like AER and the series that replaces this one will probably have an as new MSRP limit and/or an engine displacement limit.

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