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Bill Strong

Handling EC cars in our series - Part 2

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10 hours ago, ABR-Glen said:

 What about the current EC cars that aren't on the VPI list, they are being told they are no longer welcome after this year, correct? Or is there a plan to add those cars to the list with deliberately high VPI so that they cannot be competitive? That will of course open up those engines to swaps...oh the tangled web we weave. 

Admittedly, I haven't been on the forum as much lately, but I do see communication on the Slack app that ChampCar management and the TAC group uses. I don't recall seeing anything from anyone in management proclaiming that EC cars that are not on the VPI list will not be welcome next year. Perhaps I missed it. Can someone point out for me where it was stated and by whom?

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:20 PM, SLLaffoon said:

Honest question. Do you guys viewing results use the "results by class" tab at the top? 

 

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.

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15 hours ago, Rick.Cook23@yahoo.com said:

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 NP01 was at the WRL race at Mid Ohio and we also raced with it, along with a semi-professional team of Caymans and some other highly prepped cars.  We were never racing against them, nor they with us.  It was a true LeMans situation.  Timing was easy to follow and everyone knew where they stood and those that won their class seemed to feel like they won (we didnt win but were keenly aware of where we were in class).  No issues.

 

It has been a long time since I have been on this forum, but we have been running an EC E36 since, I think, 2013 and I know I have explained why before, but it is worth doing again. 

 

We started with a Mike Ogren prepped VW Golf and quickly realized that to run in the midwest at places like Road America, we needed more speed (not to say a VW Golf cannot place there, as they have).  So we bought Phil Hare's 92 E36 he was running out of Toronto.  We only race 1 or 2 times a year and we want our car to finish races and have fun. We sometimes do the former but  always do the later.

 

As the rule book became more and more detailed and "pointy" and the base E36 then started with a penalty, we decided to go EC because we were not ever likely to be racing for a podium finish and so why worry about all of the math and the points for all the little things that would make our car more reliable and more fun to drive.  Better clutch and flywheel package, oil cooler, X brace, better bushings, LSD, etc.

 

So we race EC because we do not race often enough to have the time or desire to fine tune our car or keep a log to bring it into class.  We are faster than some people and are slower than many others.  Our car is just your average CCWS car.

 

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And just a bit of perspective here folks:

 

This is just for fun.  If you are racing for anything else, you're not in the right place IMHO.  

 

  • Some of you are upset because the TV coverage spent too much time talking about the EC cars?  TV coverage - Really? 
  • Some of you are upset because the standings or live timing is confusing - OK makes sense.  But because that makes it difficult for you to explain to potential SPONSORS?  WTF?  If there is an official contingency program they understand classes, so we must be talking about locals.  More power to you if you want to get local sponsors for your team/car but, again, this is amateur hobby racing.  If it costs too much money to race in X races per year without a sponsor, then that is the real problem here, isnt it? 
  • Some of you are upset because the EC drivers are saying they won, when you really won.  I have run many Cub Scout pinewood derbies and expect to hear this kind of whining from those racers as they complain about whose dad built which winning car, but here, really?  You went home with the iron, you won.  Do you really need more than that?

Some of you also seem upset because the fastest cars (I assume like that Cayman) blow by and make the race feel unsafe.  This is the speed creep argument at its extreme, except it is being made not by the average car, but from some of the leaders.  Newsflash to the people consistently at the front of the pack, it only seems unreasonably fast when you are not doing the driving.  On a different day, some of you can appear to be that unreasonably fast car to many of us other cars out there, as we quickly try to get out of your way or later incur the wrath of blocking the pack leaders. 

 

As was said earlier, WRL has successfully managed this.  I raced at Mid Ohio among cars ranging from that Mazda NP01 to a race/restored EL Camino.  Everyone shared the track and everyone knew who was racing who and who won.  Then again, WRL runs on a different class system and rules.  I have raced at Laguna Seca with LD under similar circumstances and, again, no issues with who was racing who.

 

 

Edited by ChumpScott
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14 minutes ago, ChumpScott said:

And just a bit of perspective here folks:

 

This is just for fun.  If you are racing for anything.......etc, etc

 

Bravo, I very much concur 

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19 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

No other race series is as restrictive????  Really?????     

 

Just what an an entry level ease of access series needs  is a large pool of unlimited cars with the only restriction being 180 tires.       No thanks.  Be careful what you ask for.   

 

It seems that we agree on this point. The rule set is purposely restrictive, and EC allows teams from other series to play on occasion. 

 

The ruleset allows for the race director to not allow cars that are too fast in the name of safety. Use the existing rules to fix the issue. 

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I'm firmly in the camp that thinks that EC cars should be allowed to run as they currently do.  Whether its fuel tank too big or caymans at watkins, I'm ok with it.  I just don't want the fast EC cars mucking up the top of the leaderboards when watching, participating in, or reviewing the results of a race.  Any 999pt car has to take 50 penalty laps for short races, but the ec cars don't for some reason?  The simple fix of adding extra laps, like the nice round 100 that's been thrown around, would solve the issue but has met significant resistance from the powers at be for some reason.

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^^^^

 

 I think that we can all agree with this. It's not that the EC cars are out on track but simply the fact that they skew the results and just as ChampCar needs to give their sponsors something we also need to be able to show our sponsors our achievements without having to explain that the EC cars don't count.

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5 hours ago, ChumpScott said:

And just a bit of perspective here folks:

 

This is just for fun.  If you are racing for anything else, you're not in the right place IMHO.  

 

  • Some of you are upset because the TV coverage spent too much time talking about the EC cars?  TV coverage - Really? 
  • Some of you are upset because the standings or live timing is confusing - OK makes sense.  But because that makes it difficult for you to explain to potential SPONSORS?  WTF?  If there is an official contingency program they understand classes, so we must be talking about locals.  More power to you if you want to get local sponsors for your team/car but, again, this is amateur hobby racing.  If it costs too much money to race in X races per year without a sponsor, then that is the real problem here, isnt it? 
  • Some of you are upset because the EC drivers are saying they won, when you really won.  I have run many Cub Scout pinewood derbies and expect to hear this kind of whining from those racers as they complain about whose dad built which winning car, but here, really?  You went home with the iron, you won.  Do you really need more than that?

Some of you also seem upset because the fastest cars (I assume like that Cayman) blow by and make the race feel unsafe.  This is the speed creep argument at its extreme, except it is being made not by the average car, but from some of the leaders.  Newsflash to the people consistently at the front of the pack, it only seems unreasonably fast when you are not doing the driving.  On a different day, some of you can appear to be that unreasonably fast car to many of us other cars out there, as we quickly try to get out of your way or later incur the wrath of blocking the pack leaders. 

 

As was said earlier, WRL has successfully managed this.  I raced at Mid Ohio among cars ranging from that Mazda NP01 to a race/restored EL Camino.  Everyone shared the track and everyone knew who was racing who and who won.  Then again, WRL runs on a different class system and rules.  I have raced at Laguna Seca with LD under similar circumstances and, again, no issues with who was racing who.

 

 

I do take this seriously and show up to win overall.  This is my hobby and my passion.  

 

It is fun to win.  When somebody else claims the win, that is just painful.

 

I don't have outside sponsers (wish I did!).  I know a bunch of teams that do and they actually get traffic to their sponsers sites (Not necessarily through finishing position).  However, those sponsers want to know how you are doing.  

 

Trying to explain how you actually won the race even though you are 2nd or 3rd in the results is exactly like trying to explain what chumpcar was.  Thats why the name was changed.  It was unprofessional and had very poor optics in todays world of social media.

 

Like it or not, that's the world we live in.  Power to you if you take it less seriously, or think the ec STANDINGS are not an issue.  

 

I do think it's an issue with an easy solution.  Add the laps.

 

P.s. just so nobody is confused, I don't have an issue running with ec cars.  The ec cars aren't the issue imho.  It's how they are displayed as part of the overall results.

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55 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I do take this seriously and show up to win overall.  This is my hobby and my passion.  

 

It is fun to win.  When somebody else claims the win, that is just painful.

 

I don't have outside sponsers (wish I did!).  I know a bunch of teams that do and they actually get traffic to their sponsers sites (Not necessarily through finishing position).  However, those sponsers want to know how you are doing.  

 

Trying to explain how you actually won the race even though you are 2nd or 3rd in the results is exactly like trying to explain what chumpcar was.  Thats why the name was changed.  It was unprofessional and had very poor optics in todays world of social media.

 

Like it or not, that's the world we live in.  Power to you if you take it less seriously, or think the ec STANDINGS are not an issue.  

 

I do think it's an issue with an easy solution.  Add the laps.

 

P.s. just so nobody is confused, I don't have an issue running with ec cars.  The ec cars aren't the issue imho.  It's how they are displayed as part of the overall results.

 

Quoted because everyone needs to read this.  Then read it maybe a third time.  You know, for effect.

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30 minutes ago, skierman64 said:

Seriously, just add EC to the beginning of each EC team name. It will make it a lot more obvious. 

Or ‘disqualified’. Because a lot of people (sponsors, people on Facebook) don’t know that that’s what EC means.

 

One of my concerns is potential racers who see a cayman take P1, and they say ‘wow, I need a ton of money to compete in this series’. “Disqualified” would be much more transparent than “EC”.

Edited by enginerd
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8 hours ago, enginerd said:

Or ‘disqualified’. Because a lot of people (sponsors, people on Facebook) don’t know that that’s what EC means.

 

One of my concerns is potential racers who see a cayman take P1, and they say ‘wow, I need a ton of money to compete in this series’. “Disqualified” would be much more transparent than “EC”.

 

I just had the same thought, team names should include something obvious to tell anyone looking at the standing after the race and see the team that "won" wasn't really even competing.  Could be almost anything too:

Disqualified

Non-compete

Test only

Non-Champcar

Non-eligible

....

 

 

Or if that is too hard, you could always subtract 100 laps...

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20 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I do take this seriously and show up to win overall.  This is my hobby and my passion.  

 

It is fun to win.  When somebody else claims the win, that is just painful.

 

...

 

I do think it's an issue with an easy solution.  Add the laps.

 

P.s. just so nobody is confused, I don't have an issue running with ec cars.  The ec cars aren't the issue imho.  It's how they are displayed as part of the overall results.

 

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??.

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As I mentioned in a different thread, our car is an EC BMW but it's not fast enough to blow doors off.  At NCM I felt like I got out of T10 pretty good and I was out hustled down the straight by one of the Miatas, it was my first time there ... excuses, excuses.  If there was a way to add an arbitrary amount of laps at the END of the race, put EC next to our name during the race, maybe that would be the ultimate solution?  I'm not even sure if that's possible.  The reason I say after the race is because it's fun for us to have a chance to "race" our way to whatever position we can get to.  There were 4,000 cars on the track at Harris Hill and it was a lot of fun for me to hit the top 10 before my stint was over when I started near the very back.  It probably goes without saying that I was passed by the same Miata there multiple times though.  Some of the EC guys claiming wins really boggles my mind because they put the Champcar logos on their cars like everyone else, so it confuses me why they claim the win. 

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26 minutes ago, hybridshocker said:

The reason I say after the race is because it's fun for us to have a chance to "race" our way to whatever position we can get to. 

To me, this is still the problem.  Your "race" is impacting other cars on the results in real time.  It's not a race at all when one team follows the rules of classing and the other doesn't.  If you want to race head to head, make your car legal for classing.

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The EC cars that are claiming they aren't faster than the other classes need to also remember what might have moved them to EC in the first place.  Huge fuel cell? Tons of reliability mods? Too many suspension point adders? None of these increase straight line speed, but keep you fast in the corners or on the track longer than other cars keeping within the 500 point target, all of these keep your car on track longer than everyone else and that matters just as much as outright speed in an endurance race.  

 

I'm fine with EC cars being on track, but make it very clear to them and everyone they are not part of the race because they aren't running under ALL of the same rules the rest of us are following.

 

Another option for clarity if -100 laps is too hard, maybe EC cars don't get a team name when they register so they are listed in the results as "EC Car# XYZ".

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Man you guys are harsh....

 

remember, this is all for fun.... and.... the whole idea of EC is to let a car come race with us. The hope is that they like the racing with Champ and feel it's worth it to change their car over to be 500 point legal. 

 

If you are going to make it not fun/just a lapping day/not worth it to come out and race, if you are going to take their name away, if you aren't going to let them have a transponder, etc,  then you are going to just make the experience so terrible for them you might as well just say no EC cars allowed. 

 

Put an EC clearly in their team name, let them race heads up all day long, then put a 1000 lap penalty on them for or the final hour/30 mins/lap. Then go drink some beer  and enjoy the high of racing. 

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3 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

Man you guys are harsh....

 

remember, this is all for fun.... and.... the whole idea of EC is to let a car come race with us. The hope is that they like the racing with Champ and feel it's worth it to change their car over to be 500 point legal. 

 

If you are going to make it not fun/just a lapping day/not worth it to come out and race, if you are going to take their name away, if you aren't going to let them have a transponder, etc,  then you are going to just make the experience so terrible for them you might as well just say no EC cars allowed. 

 

Put an EC clearly in their team name, let them race heads up all day long, then put a 1000 lap penalty on them for or the final hour/30 mins/lap. Then go drink some beer  and enjoy the high of racing. 

What you described is what it I think EC used to be and what it was meant to be.  But now we have purpose built nearly unlimited cars running EC and pounding their chests that they won.   

 

Plenty of opinions have been expressed. It’s down now to seeing what the leader and BOD want the series to evolve into.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

Man you guys are harsh....

 

remember, this is all for fun.... and.... the whole idea of EC is to let a car come race with us. The hope is that they like the racing with Champ and feel it's worth it to change their car over to be 500 point legal. 

 

If you are going to make it not fun/just a lapping day/not worth it to come out and race, if you are going to take their name away, if you aren't going to let them have a transponder, etc,  then you are going to just make the experience so terrible for them you might as well just say no EC cars allowed. 

 

Put an EC clearly in their team name, let them race heads up all day long, then put a 1000 lap penalty on them for or the final hour/30 mins/lap. Then go drink some beer  and enjoy the high of racing. 

 

The harsh suggestions are because putting a 100 lap penalty on them hasn't happened yet, apparently there are issues in doing so.  So other alternatives are being proposed.

 

As far as including them, they have the option to "detune" their cars to fall under 500 points and many teams have pointed out they have no desire to do so and many teams that have run EC for several seasons. Those teams have no desire to follow Champcar rules, so they should have no problem with any of the proposals thus far since it is just about having fun for them and probably don't see any of the options above as harsh.

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3 minutes ago, Originalsterm said:

 

The harsh suggestions are because putting a 100 lap penalty on them hasn't happened yet, apparently there are issues in doing so.  So other alternatives are being proposed.

 

As far as including them, they have the option to "detune" their cars to fall under 500 points and many teams have pointed out they have no desire to do so and many teams that have run EC for several seasons. Those teams have no desire to follow Champcar rules, so they should have no problem with any of the proposals thus far since it is just about having fun for them and probably don't see any of the options above as harsh.

Just to repeat

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I actually know a team that went from ec to standard champcar.  They did so because they wanted to be part of the race.

 

So, it does work at least a little.

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12 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I actually know a team that went from ec to standard champcar.  They did so because they wanted to be part of the race.

 

So, it does work at least a little.

 

Our “for fun” car is currently EC (it’s and old SE30) but its slow. We call her EC-   We are planning on making it faster (reduce weight reduce weight reduce weight) and comply to C class by VIR24 so we can participate in the race. 

Edited by frankrehnelt
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EC with caymans and what not looks like a $1500 16hr test/driver development steal. Where else can these guys go and drop $1500 and get 2 days of wheel to wheel track rental for a driver they may be wanting to develop or modifications to the car they want real world testing for. I am shocked more teams with high end cars havnt jumped at the opportunity. 

 

EC with guys who just purchased the car, or are working out a swap, or want to just go race before they attempt to make the 500pt mark or who have a car thats 550 or 600pts looks like what it is.

 

Whatever the case, add laps, move on. If the EC car wants to know if they "Won" or how they did overall then they can see total number of laps completed and figure it out. Let the fast guys enter as long as their is room for 500pt leagal cars, and that they dont cause a problem with the rest of the population.

 

Just my opinion.

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