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Handling EC cars in our series

As an organization, how should we handle EC cars?  

68 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. How should we as a series handle EC cars at our races?

    • Allow as many as want to register and let them play on the track with us. Don't change a thing.
      10
    • Limit them to five at any race unless the race is under-subscribed, and make it clear they are not part of the race during broadcasts.
      11
    • Allow team only a few races running EC, then they either build to the rules or go to another series. This is how the rules used to be.
      10
    • Let them run but do not classify them in the standings.
      24
    • Make them take their laps, be it 5 or 500, and classify them.
      19

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  • Poll closed on 05/29/2019 at 05:46 PM

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Yeah, I am completely on board with giving them a lap penalty.  It's really frustrating when the leader who happens to be in EC laps you just before the caution comes out.   

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We have folks wringing there hands over 1 lap for non EC cars and we want the EC to add 100? Seams like most of the discussion has been from non EC teams, but I wonder what the EC guys would do if you put them 100 laps down at the start. Wonder if it would effect their participation in future events. Not just the big events but all events.

 

As for asking them to just get their act together and take points, what will we do with a Caymen? Or the JCW mini, E46 m3? They are there to show the potential of the car/driver/team as well, some of them to learn and grow. 100 laps or more down to start they may just find somewhere else to go.if they are semi reasonable no issues. Sign up with a 911 gt3 or something absurd, yeah I think champcar already reserves the right to say no to the entry.

 

As for booting EC cars once the max limit of cars is reach for non EC, that's a tough pill for EC owners with renters to swallow.....  Now maybe EC signups open a set number of weeks after signups for non EC so either get in before the EC signups or risk a spot.

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13 minutes ago, Huggy said:

I was hit (hard) by a EC car at sebring.  It sucked to have our day ended by a M3 e46 that was poorly driven but had enough power to be fast on the straights.

 

No offense to Sahlens - they were nothing but respectful with the cayman, but I really don't think it makes sense in our series.  

 

I understand why they were allowed, to add to the bottom line, and I really do get that, but as I understand it the series is in good financial standing at this time.  There is an opportunity cost to allowing cars of that caliber in our series. For example, I have thus far avoided racing in AER because they allow cars like that BBY ford mustang or 911 cup cars, which are SO MUCH faster than what us "regular" people can field.   I actively consider avoiding popular EC car races like Sebring, Daytona, etc because of the higher chance of EC cars causing incidents.

 

I actually messaged Doc during the broadcast this weekend to see if he could move the camera to another car instead of just the cayman - it really doesn't fit the image of our series and I hope that we did not give anyone the wrong idea, regardless of how considerately it is driven.

 

I think some "judicial governance" needs to be issued or exercised.  Allow cars that fit the "spirit" of the series, but avoid cars that are above and beyond what is reasonable.  E46M3 is right about the limit of what I would consider as fitting the spirit of the series.  Mini S definitely fits, same with the ACME nissan, or others.

 

I definitely think that sold out races should prioritize non EC cars.  Indy is probably gonna be particularly full of EC cars which kept lots of cars built for the series out of the race.

I think I agree with this entire post.  I knew we had common ground.     Well said.  

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+1 on either add a bunch of laps, or just total it and make them take their laps.

 

We considered running our Supra EC at both Ledges and Gingerman last year, but ran D with a bunch of laps and still had a ton of fun working our way up the field. 

 

7 minutes ago, hotchkis23 said:

That said, I agree non-ec should be priority for the large events.  Allow the EC cars to enter, but be put on a waiting list.  Then make a payment deadline for non-ec and once it expires ec cars can sign up, if they can pay in full or they get skipped to the next EC car.

 

I was thinking something similar- cutoff date/later registration for EC cars. If you're signing up as EC, you don't get to sign up till say 6 weeks before (picked a number). Give the field a chance to fill up with classed cars, but after X date, anyone can register. 

 

Total ban is bad news for the club, while the big races have waiting lists, others need those EC cars to pad the numbers. At the same time though, a "soft ban" by limiting entries per team will have the same effect. If a team only has 3 EC entries a year, they're going to use them on big races (Daytona, Sebring, Laguna, The Glen, RA, etc), not the little races where we need them. 

 

Might be able to limit EC entries on a per-race basis, but how do you handle teams getting bumped to EC? (wrong size fuel cell, swap with no paperwork, mis-understood rules, etc) Do you send paying customers home since we hit the "EC limit", or explain to teams why we now have 8 cars classed "EC" even though their entry at #6 was denied? Doable, yes, but not ideal as @chbright points out.

 

To @Huggy and @JDChristianson's points, there 100% needs to be a hard cap on speed for EC. The rules already have a thing in there for being able to send home things that are too fast, maybe that's a bit harsh compared to filtering when registering, but it's an option.

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love the idea of +100 laps.  it's so annoying to get home and tell people   "we came in 23rd, but you can't really count 8 of those cars so........"  this takes away the excuses.

 

also, I'm fine with a car like the cayman on track BECAUSE of how well they drove and stayed out of the way.   IF we get more cars like that one but driven by lesser drivers (respect for the race or skill) I would hate it.  so I'm not sure how to police this.

Edited by theblue
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1 hour ago, Huggy said:
 
 
 
56 minutes ago, Huggy said:

 

I actually messaged Doc during the broadcast this weekend to see if he could move the camera to another car instead of just the cayman - it really doesn't fit the image of our series and I hope that we did not give anyone the wrong idea, regardless of how considerately it is driven.

 

 

 

 

This is my fault. 

I try not to put cameras into EC cars unless it is late in the race and it is hard for me to quickly find a car to put a camera is as cameras go down.
As some of you know, I did not show up to the race until the green flag Saturday morning as I had to attend my son's high school graduation. I enlisted the help of a ChampCar employee that shall remain nameless as he is my boss. He was having some major issues with getting one of the cameras set up. It was an issue that if he had more experience with them, he would have sorted it out. But the race start was quickly approaching, he just threw the other camera in the nearest car, which was the EC car from Sahlens.

 

This won't happen again, and I apologize for the mistake of one of my helpers. I will be writing up the individual and will send him to remedial camera installation training within the next few weeks.

 

 

Edited by Bill Strong
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As someone who will possibly be bringing an EC car to the table in the near future, I support the idea of 100 laps added.

 

It keeps us on the table so we can still track how the car is doing, but lets the 500 pointers run their race without race monitor/hero getting all messed up.  The 100 lap number also makes it easy to judge how the car is doing overall by just subtracting 100 laps.

 

I also think the idea of opening up entry to 500 point only cars 1 or 2 weeks before EC cars makes sense as well.

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Yea, I could get behind giving the ec cars 100 laps or more, just so they kinda play in there own zone.  I mean you registered as an EC car knowing you are not eligible for an overall anyways, so what does it matter if your 100 laps down to the rest of the field.  I don't think anyone is really building an EC car for champ as much as they are just bringing what they have.  I would say however if we are going to do that, give the EC's something to fight for...trophy, waffle house gift card...whatever.  At least that way it becomes more than a test day for them.

 

As far as keeping EC cars out of registration...nah...first come first serve.  Everyone knows when registration starts and ends, get your money down early and you wont have to worry about EC cars taking your spot.

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You guys better give me all the credit for coming up with the minus 100 lap idea!!

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In for the 100laps!

 

Okay who is going to break it to them that they wont be able to post on Facebook/IG that they won overall anymore? 

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FWIW I heard the announcers at the beginning of Saturday talk about how Boston Whiners won the 12hrs at Thompson in 2017.

 

Actually, we won. Boston Whiners was EC. Not gonna lie, that kinda pissed me off. Another example of the confusion of EC not being in contention for the overall. I figured the announcers would have got that one right. Oh well.

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14 minutes ago, Richard said:

You guys better give me all the credit for coming up with the minus 100 lap idea!!

 

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Just for discussion:

 

There are currently 7 cars registered for the Utah ChampCar race, not one of them a Mustang.  Last weekend there were 7 Mustangs in a 32 car field at Utah, or 22% of the field.  EC does not seem to be looked upon favourably, likely most if not all of the Mustangs would have the Lucky Dog allowed 24 gallon cell which would make them EC in ChampCar.  While I personally agree that 100 laps is an OK solution as far as removing confusion with the timing but will it further discourage possible participation?

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So I built a new car last year to run EC with Champcar.  GASP!  And it's a miata.  DOUBLE GASP!

 

Honestly, it didn't start out that way.  I came out of 2018 totally on fire saying "Hell yeah I'm gonna build a new team and a new car!"  Then Texas got totally boned on the Champcar calendar for 2019 as I'm making some key executive decisions knee deep in the build.   Screw it, I want reliability and fun, so I'll just go with all the hotly-disputed reliability items to my hearts desire and EC-it-up at the two smaller races.  Then supplement with another slightly quicker series that has quite a few dates in Texas.  Not preferred, but you don't leave me much choice Karen.

 

Can't say I disagree with you guys though.  I've shaken my fists at the same thing.  I'm just that small demographic that doesn't know what the eff to do yet.  Till then, I can support the 100 laps idea.  It also might poke a few teams to not just sit on EC indefinitely.  Time limits unnecessary, nobody likes sitting at the bottom.

 

To help prompt the move out of EC, the calendar could use consistency for the racing collective in a region to build and maintain to an evolving ruleset....gotta keep that base involved.  I realize that's not always possible.  Maybe I'm in a subset that says "Lemme see how this plays out first".  Word is that Texas will have more races next year again.  Sure hope so, then I'll consider making some serious changes and pulling that EC off the door. 

 

 

Edited by ETR
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2 hours ago, theblue said:

love the idea of +100 laps. 

I like this too.  In theory, you could race in class with a 1000 pt car.  That would give you 50 laps, so EC should start with something more than that.  100 doesn't seem arbitrary when you think about it this way.

 

28 minutes ago, ETR said:

So I built a new car last year to run EC with Champcar.  GASP!  And it's a miata.  DOUBLE GASP!

Well, you could just take however many laps and run in class...Unless you used carbon fiber or a larger fuel tank or some other thing that automatically bumps you into EC.  

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1 hour ago, Richard said:

You guys better give me all the credit for coming up with the minus 100 lap idea!!

Anyone in last place or more than 50 laps down will henceforth be doing a "Richard"

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3 hours ago, chbright said:

We have folks wringing there hands over 1 lap for non EC cars and we want the EC to add 100? Seams like most of the discussion has been from non EC teams, but I wonder what the EC guys would do if you put them 100 laps down at the start. Wonder if it would effect their participation in future events. Not just the big events but all events.

 

As for asking them to just get their act together and take points, what will we do with a Caymen? Or the JCW mini, E46 m3? They are there to show the potential of the car/driver/team as well, some of them to learn and grow. 100 laps or more down to start they may just find somewhere else to go.if they are semi reasonable no issues. Sign up with a 911 gt3 or something absurd, yeah I think champcar already reserves the right to say no to the entry.

 

As for booting EC cars once the max limit of cars is reach for non EC, that's a tough pill for EC owners with renters to swallow.....  Now maybe EC signups open a set number of weeks after signups for non EC so either get in before the EC signups or risk a spot.

Thats the point, EC wasnt put in place to be a class to run and build a car. It's supposed to be for those unique cases. Not the norm.

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52 minutes ago, morganf said:

Anyone in last place or more than 50 laps down will henceforth be doing a "Richard"

Hmmm...I just had a bad idea for the class trophy.

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Our team got caught by the EC leader FCY yellow issue.  We got passed by the Cayman, seconds before the FCY came out.  That sucked.

 

The 100 lap penalty for EC is a good idea.  We ran EC in 2 races this year.  We would have been okay with that lap penalty.

 

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Be honest with ourselves, more than half the field of legal ABCD classed cars are not competitive, and are not really there to add competition to the leaders. I don't really see an EC car detracting from the competition if they are replacing a legally classed car handfuls of seconds off pace. 

 

Now I could see a signup procedure that uses yearly points\standings as priority for busy races like Indy. First day or days priority is given by champcar points to sign up. Only classed car score points. After that initial sign up period, spots are filled based on first come basis (Hard to feel sorry for teams that don't get their stuff in early and miss the race). The series I work in does it this way, to the point that buying a team's points is a market...

 

I would worry about closure rate with some of the big powered cars, and I can think of a few methods of reducing power easily if we need to. Simple wire in MSD rev limiter or drop in intake restriction.  Or just leave it to the teams, we expect you to change your shift points to target a lap no faster than xyz, or we will black flag you. Only a few times have a seen a car with straight line speed well in excess of the faster legal cars (not banned yet, bio 1.0 mr2, etc), and I think it would only take a little coaching to ask them to leave 1000 rpm off the car on the straights, or just tell their drivers to keep it clean and let faster laptime cars go despite their drag race prowess. 

'

The EC market can be a direct link from other series into ours. Close that off and the better lemons cars have no gateway. I agree we need to separate them in the scoring in a "encouraging" way to make people want to build legal cars, but not slam the door shut on reasonable cars that just don't match our rules right now. 

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14 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

Be honest with ourselves, more than half the field of legal ABCD classed cars are not competitive, and are not really there to add competition to the leaders. I don't really see an EC car detracting from the competition if they are replacing a legally classed car handfuls of seconds off pace. 

 

Now I could see a signup procedure that uses yearly points\standings as priority for busy races like Indy. First day or days priority is given by champcar points to sign up. Only classed car score points. After that initial sign up period, spots are filled based on first come basis (Hard to feel sorry for teams that don't get their stuff in early and miss the race). The series I work in does it this way, to the point that buying a team's points is a market...

 

I would worry about closure rate with some of the big powered cars, and I can think of a few methods of reducing power easily if we need to. Simple wire in MSD rev limiter or drop in intake restriction.  Or just leave it to the teams, we expect you to change your shift points to target a lap no faster than xyz, or we will black flag you. Only a few times have a seen a car with straight line speed well in excess of the faster legal cars (not banned yet, bio 1.0 mr2, etc), and I think it would only take a little coaching to ask them to leave 1000 rpm off the car on the straights, or just tell their drivers to keep it clean and let faster laptime cars go despite their drag race prowess. 

'

The EC market can be a direct link from other series into ours. Close that off and the better lemons cars have no gateway. I agree we need to separate them in the scoring in a "encouraging" way to make people want to build legal cars, but not slam the door shut on reasonable cars that just don't match our rules right now. 

Good points.  Right now the consensus seems to be to start them at minus 100 laps.  In that manner they are not shut out from racing, but don't clutter up the standings for spectators and announcers.  They aren't technically in the race anyway so it shouldn't matter.  Bring what ya got, register and have fun.  

Edited by Jer
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I think there are 3 different problems:

1. Inclusion of EC in overall.  Messing up the car picked up for FCYs, as well as announcers, position, etc

2. EC cars taking up spots for ABCD cars

3. Speed differential

 

Personally, I only care about #1. Isn't there a way to do this in software without adding laps?  Two races:  (1) ABCD and (2) EC

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This is all pretty reasonable and most people seem in line.  Everyone must be in a good mood after a long weekend??!!

 

If it were me, the way I would propose the final petition is:

 - Make a check box for EC/Non EC when signing up for the event.  Limit EC entries to 10% for the premier (typical sellout) events until after the 60 day early payment deadline then open it up.

 - Always have pace car pick up the non-EC leader.

 - Find a way that maybe racemonitor/racehero can show only ABCD cars.  Like a class within a class, options to show by 1) Overall including EC, 2) Overall non-EC 3) by separate class

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Just now, Jer said:

Good points.  Right now the consensus seems to be to start them at minus 100 laps.  In that manner they are not shut out from racing, but don't cluter up the standings for spectators and announcers.  They aren't technically in the race anyway so it should matter.  Bring what ya got, register and have fun.  

 

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