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Bill Strong

Handling EC cars in our series - Part 2

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11 hours ago, Jer said:

It was suggested to me that I'm trying too much by another Board member.  

@Jer is very trying. I can personally attest to this.

 

I too read the Forum, but rarely post anymore. We are now on page 13 and very little has changed from page 1. Great ideas and we value the input. I suspect that most of the BoD does read it just to help formulate their own opinions and responses when it comes time for BoD meetings.

Edited by Doc
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3 hours ago, Jer said:

The last thing I can find from the Board, in summary form:

 

The ChampCar Endurance Series provides its members with a fun, affordable and competitive entry level road racing experience at the most iconic circuits across the US.

 

I won't get Dee Dee's vote next time, but I'm still going to address what I said I would.  These are my opinions, not speaking for anyone else.  

 

EC class IMO primarily affects the affordable aspect of the mission statement and secondarily, the competitive aspect.  Here is why.  We have members wanting to be competitive or at the top of the leaderboard, even in this thread, debating whether to bring or build an EC car vs. a classed car.  Let's say we change nothing.  At many races, EC will not be an issue, as it is not today, but at the high speed, high demand tracks-Daytona, WGI, Road Atlanta, Indianapolis, VIR and Road America, EC will likely continue to grow and those teams will more and more dominate the leaderboard. Teams making decisions on which way to go will consider building an EC car.  But EC is unregulated, so it turns into an arms race, with top times dropping by many seconds year over year as teams throw more and more money at their cars.  Again, these are all my opinions, but I think that's part of the issue with some of the other series.  Runaway spending, downward rocketing lap times (2:02 at WGI, as an example) and more and more trophies bought with money than with ingenuity.  That turns away average Joes who look for another series to run in.  I do not want Champcar to become THAT.  So EC is fine, but start many laps down or are not listed with the qualified teams, and let's go have fun.  It might hurt EC entries, but will protect the integrity of the series.  

Don't take me wrong Jer, I appreciate what you and the other board members do  for  this organization.  I get what everyone is saying about the EC class just didn't like naming out a team that has been supportive to our group for a few years.  (  I never smoked,  but would never say negative comments about  R.J. Reynolds  when I ran in the Camel GT series).   Having said that for my last time  I voted for you and would vote again for you if you run.  One of many things about ChampCar I like is that you can have discussions on this forum agree/disagree and still remain friendly on and off the track.  

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4 hours ago, Jer said:

The last thing I can find from the Board, in summary form:

 

The ChampCar Endurance Series provides its members with a fun, affordable and competitive entry level road racing experience at the most iconic circuits across the US.

 

I won't get Dee Dee's vote next time, but I'm still going to address what I said I would.  These are my opinions, not speaking for anyone else.  

 

EC class IMO primarily affects the affordable aspect of the mission statement and secondarily, the competitive aspect.  Here is why.  We have members wanting to be competitive or at the top of the leaderboard, even in this thread, debating whether to bring or build an EC car vs. a classed car.  Let's say we change nothing.  At many races, EC will not be an issue, as it is not today, but at the high speed, high demand tracks-Daytona, WGI, Road Atlanta, Indianapolis, VIR and Road America, EC will likely continue to grow and those teams will more and more dominate the leaderboard. Teams making decisions on which way to go will consider building an EC car.  But EC is unregulated, so it turns into an arms race, with top times dropping by many seconds year over year as teams throw more and more money at their cars.  Again, these are all my opinions, but I think that's part of the issue with some of the other series.  Runaway spending, downward rocketing lap times (2:02 at WGI, as an example) and more and more trophies bought with money than with ingenuity.  That turns away average Joes who look for another series to run in.  I do not want Champcar to become THAT.  So EC is fine, but start many laps down or are not listed with the qualified teams, and let's go have fun.  It might hurt EC entries, but will protect the integrity of the series.  

Thanks Jer.  You pretty much nailed several issues that need to be taken very seriously for the long term health of the series.     

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On 6/5/2019 at 9:55 AM, chip said:

and yet CC still gets much better turn-out than these other class based groups...

must be a bunch of 'front runners' that keep coming back

 

Not to fear monger, but we get murdered in attendance by another series with classes (lemons) on both coasts. 

 

How much of that is their open rules to find a place to put you\compete, vs the partying and burning man outlook on cars.....i admit hard to tell. But people there do go to compete against cars in their class, and B C D lemons cars keep the timing and scoring app open alot....

Edited by Black Magic
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10 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

 

Not to fear monger, but we get murdered in attendance by another series with classes (lemons)

 

How much of that is their open rules to find a place to put you\compete, vs the partying and burning man outlook on cars.....i admit hard to tell. But people there do go to compete against cars in their class, and B C D lemons cars keep the timing and scoring app open alot....

Cultural, as you know, class tech is totally up to being judged, oddly, when we judge, or call out any little bit of a racer trying to bring something inappropriate we get torched and pitchforked.

 

More people need to react the way Tuttle or Lucky Kid, quickly adapt and thrive, rather then harbor sour grapes for half a dozen years.

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3 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Cultural, as you know, class tech is totally up to being judged, oddly, when we judge, or call out any little bit of a racer trying to bring something inappropriate we get torched and pitchforked.

 

More people need to react the way Tuttle or Lucky Kid, quickly adapt and thrive, rather then harbor sour grapes for half a dozen years.

 

Totally agree. Fascinating counter to our over engineered enforcement style, is the lemons "this is what we say you need to do, deal with it" approach. They give laps to good teams even with equally prepped cars to a bad team, and struggle less with the philosophical debate about if they should give more aid to cars that are hard to race\"need more". They just hand it out and move the goal posts as needed, almost weekly. 

 

Each has a market, theirs is bigger at times by a large factor. Maybe tempering our rules rigidity with some subjectiveness like they do could add to the series. 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

Not to fear monger, but we get murdered in attendance by another series with classes (lemons) on both coasts. 

I can't bring myself to race with them at all, under any circumstances.  

 

 

  

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52 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

Maybe tempering our rules rigidity with some subjectiveness like they do could add to the series. 

 

 I would love to agree but then we’re full circle in the situation getting accused of backdoor deals ...

 

How about  my previous suggestion of a looser rule set strictly for the west?

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41 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

 I would love to agree 

so follow the rules that you like?   or just the ones you can't talk your way out of?    Anymore I won't say anyone is wrong, but I am not going to pretend to understand either.  

 

Just going to go  have fun.

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My no transponders for EC idea (which I was completely serious about) seemed slightly unpopular.

Next idea is you only get to run a specific car in EC ONCE.  If you want to race that car again, bring it into compliance with the rules.

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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

Just going to go  have fun

 Guessing you have never attended a Lemons race?

 

 Safety tech and classing are two different entities, you are run through separate lines for each, You can try to talk yourself out of anything, but at the end of the day you are subject to a judges opinion on what class and how many laps...

Edited by Team Infiniti

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9 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

 Guessing you have never attended a Lemons race?

 

 Safety tech and classing are two different entities, you are run through separate lines for each,You can try to talk yourself out of anything but at the end of the day you are subject to a judges opinion on what class and how many laps...you can try to talk yourself out of anything but at the end of the day you are subject to a judges opinion on what class and how many laps you get.

you are correct, I have not ever been to a Lemons race.   Partly because of what you just described.   I don't get it, don't want to be part of it, and I'm glad all of the folks that go to them like it.

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44 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

you are correct, I have not ever been to a Lemons race.   Partly because of what you just described.   I don't get it, don't want to be part of it, and I'm glad all of the folks that go to them like it.

 

I didn't know about Champ until I started racing lemons. I ran FWD oval before going to college and had the itch for racing and started back up with some lemons after I graduated. 

 

There is 0 chance I would have that same opportunity in current times in either lemons or champ. We won Lemons A class and a Champcar race in 2011 with a car that had less than $2,000 into it. I only got into it because I had a car that would be reasonably competitive and needed to only invest probably $500 to be compliant with the safety rules. At the time people I knew were building SMs for $15,000 and I thought that was outrageous. Now people are spending much more than that in Champ. 

 

Detroit_Fall10-0224.jpg

 

That is the kind of racing I like. I don't need to, nor can I afford to race some high dollar porsche. Its just as much fun, or maybe more fun for me to race something straight out of the junkyard. 

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12 minutes ago, red0 said:

 

I didn't know about Champ until I started racing lemons. I ran FWD oval before going to college and had the itch for racing and started back up with some lemons after I graduated. 

 

There is 0 chance I would have that same opportunity in current times in either lemons or champ. We won Lemons A class and a Champcar race in 2011 with a car that had less than $2,000 into it. I only got into it because I had a car that would be reasonably competitive and needed to only invest probably $500 to be compliant with the safety rules. At the time people I knew were building SMs for $15,000 and I thought that was outrageous. Now people are spending much more than that in Champ. 

 

Detroit_Fall10-0224.jpg

 

That is the kind of racing I like. I don't need to, nor can I afford to race some high dollar porsche. Its just as much fun, or maybe more fun for me to race something straight out of the junkyard. 

Great story and that is what Champ should strive to be.  A place where very average joe can race.    

 

Maybe we need to be attentive to the bottom 2/3 of the finishers.    Just a thought. 

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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

described

We have participated in a few lemons races, with the same car, they are heavy on cage safety and lighthearted on classing, if you go in with the right mindset you can have a lot of fun, otherwise trying to win will be deliberately made hell on you, it isn’t for everybody, in a different time and team dynamic it could have been us doing a couple champ races with our lemons car

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3 hours ago, Black Magic said:

 

Not to fear monger, but we get murdered in attendance by another series with classes (lemons) on both coasts. 

 

How much of that is their open rules to find a place to put you\compete, vs the partying and burning man outlook on cars.....i admit hard to tell. But people there do go to compete against cars in their class, and B C D lemons cars keep the timing and scoring app open alot....

but one series is about racing...

the other about parade laps...

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4 minutes ago, chip said:

but one series is about racing...

the other about parade laps...

Don’t be fooled,  we stacked up about the same in that crowd as we do here.

 

 Look up the humid TT recap 

 

 The only reason I’m discussing this here is because black magic was thinking about loosening rules rigidity in a similar fashion as the Lemons crowd, personally   I believe that formula does not stretch here

Edited by Team Infiniti

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22 hours ago, FlorahDorah said:

I like cheese. Still like pie too. 

I'm embarrassed to admit that even though I finally made it to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse last Friday after the Detroit GP, I still didn't try a Pizookie.

(Their meal portions were so big, I couldn't justify another 2000+ calories..)

Next time for sure...

@Snake @Snorman@FlorahDorah

Edited by mcoppola
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19 hours ago, Doc said:

I too read the Forum, but rarely post anymore. We are now on page 13 and very little has changed from page 1. Great ideas and we value the input.

 

 

This discussion sometimes reminds me of the above skit....

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3 hours ago, Black Magic said:

 

Totally agree. Fascinating counter to our over engineered enforcement style, is the lemons "this is what we say you need to do, deal with it" approach. They give laps to good teams even with equally prepped cars to a bad team, and struggle less with the philosophical debate about if they should give more aid to cars that are hard to race\"need more". They just hand it out and move the goal posts as needed, almost weekly. 

 

Each has a market, theirs is bigger at times by a large factor. Maybe tempering our rules rigidity with some subjectiveness like they do could add to the series. 

We are not WRL, AER or Lucky Dog.  We also are not Lemons.  Adding subjectiveness is definitely not going to help, it's just going to piss off members.  Lemons gets away with it because it's known going in and the stuff happening on the track is less important than what is happening off the track.  Sometimes less is more, so we start (as stated numerous times) with scoring changes and go from there.  Let's see how NCM goes.  If separating out EC cars is the solution, then we can put this to rest.  

Edited by Jer
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The first time I went through ChumpCar tech it was pretty subjective. I'm Talking about pre-VPI, pre-AIV, real $500 stuff (or as close as you could reasonably get). IIRC you had to declare all your mods in actual dollars and the tech guy decided if you got laps, I don't think there was any $10/lap rule back then.

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On 6/2/2019 at 7:10 PM, SonsOfIrony said:

 

Yuck.

 

If it's a double 8 at Road America a 550 point car looses 20 minutes of track time per day.  No thanks.

 

Not to mention you need a bunch of staff to babysit all the cars at the end of pit road, and release them on their respective laps, while also not blocking pit out.

 

Nope, no thanks.

OMG, that averages to 5 minutes per 2 hour stint. Kill me now... 

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1 hour ago, ABR-Glen said:

The first time I went through ChumpCar tech it was pretty subjective. I'm Talking about pre-VPI, pre-AIV, real $500 stuff (or as close as you could reasonably get). IIRC you had to declare all your mods in actual dollars and the tech guy decided if you got laps, I don't think there was any $10/lap rule back then.

Oh the good old days. I think the rules were 3 pages.

Just get it to the track and race. 

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1 hour ago, ABR-Glen said:

The first time I went through ChumpCar tech it was pretty subjective. I'm Talking about pre-VPI, pre-AIV, real $500 stuff (or as close as you could reasonably get). IIRC you had to declare all your mods in actual dollars and the tech guy decided if you got laps, I don't think there was any $10/lap rule back then.

We were a lot closer to lemons in the early days,  We even had prizes for the best themed cars in the first year or two,  My how things have changed...

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I was originally going to respond to several of the statements in the original post since it was only 3 pages.  Then I realized it is 13 pages as well. So, Sorry if I'm restating what has already been posted.

A little history.  I'm a west coast team that enters 4 or so races a year.  I live in Portland, Oregon area and have raced as far away as Utah and Willow Springs.

I started in Chump 6 or 7 years ago and built my car to match the rules at the time.  Keep in mind that my perspective is from someone who started under a different regime that had the "conform or leave because we have the best thing going" mentality.  Because of that I had decided to move on to SCCA racing because their rules seemed more stable.Unfortunately it just wasn't that much fun.  Too much big money involved and too little camaraderie. So, when the chief narcissist officer of Chump left, I spent the next year racing with SCCA, WRL, Chump and Lucky. I really appreciate how much the current Champ administration has done to run things better than the previous regime, but the rules are still my least favorite and because Lucky runs mostly the same tracks, I reward their rule set with my business.

I decided I wanted to build my car how I wanted to build it and since all the other leagues had a place for me with that perspective, I decided to just accept EC if I ever run with Chump/Champ again. Won't bring a build sheet, Just a safety tech check off and put me in EC.  Not because I'm trying to hide anything. Plenty of teams can attest that if they come over and ask I'll talk to them about what I've done and that I'll coach any team through how to avoid the mistakes I've made.  I just don't want to bother filling it out.  

 

 I am still OK with that decision and would be perfectly fine with a 100 lap penalty to start the race and keep me from muddying the results. Even at EC my car and drivers can't beat enough of the "500" point cars so I already accept that we aren't going for the overall win.  And having a set 100 lap penalty makes the math a lot easier for me to do in my head when I want to see how well I actually competed.

However, If I had been abiding by the rules and built my car to them and then all of a sudden due to a recent rule change I'm EC, I would be pissed. And the previous (possible current except that I don't bother keeping up on them any more) rule volatility is a big part of why so many west coast team choose to race elsewhere and why you struggle getting car counts out here.  The die was cast and most of us just don't feel the need to move our dollars away from who truly welcomed us for the last few years. There just hasn't been a good reason to make a change so I look at the other schedules first.

 

I can understand and agree with the concern over closing speeds.  You should pick a top speed for a track and if a team goes over that, pull them off track.  Yes, get a radar gun and enforce it if you actually are concerned about it.

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