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JDChristianson

What if there were only 2 classes?

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An innovative idea but what's the problem we're trying to solve here?  More entries?  The ChampCar brand-identity is "single-class racing", it's foundational to the series and makes CCES unique among its competitors.  For the initiated we know there's A, B, C, D, EC class 1st place awards, but for neophytes we simply race for 1st place.  There's better ways to encourage entries than rewriting the core tenants of what makes ChampCar ChampCar.

 

That said Jeff, I think the idea of a "limited prep stock" series with lower cost, less prep time, less "speed" seems to hold water ... but that's under the assumption that there's critical mass of such people in a racing market that's already saturated with enduro-series choices. 

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12 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

something will need to happen to keep "easy access to grassroots racers" in the mission statement....  Its a good thing to to have them coming over, but its also going to get pretty intimidating for the teams that are new or only get 3 weekends a year on track due to budget.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with these two statements.

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2 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

 

I wholeheartedly agree with these two statements.

Of course we want to encourage new teams to enter.  But take a step back and consider what we're asking of them ... build a car that needs 100s of hours of work and $1000s to race at premium tracks for 14 to 24 hours.  That's something potential customers need to literally buy in to, before they spend $1 to register for a race.  There are many grass-roots racing options that compete with ChampCar for racer dollars that don't require that kind of commitment ... local auto-cross clubs, gentlemen "race" series, regional racing SCCA/CASC, etc.

 

Before considering making changes to a company's foundational brand-identity wise leadership spends lots of money on market research to make sure these changes will be embraced by the current clientele and draw in new customers.  Anyone remember New Coke?  

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27 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

There are more and more very accomplished racers coming into our fold.  They are not coming over to with limiting speed creep in mind.  Its a good thing to to have them coming over, but its also going to get pretty intimidating for the teams that are new or only get 3 weekends a year on track due to budget.

 

If you take a team like Real Time, wow  that is an accomplished team. They ran an EG civic with a B18B swap, I looked it over and it could have been replicated for probably around $7,000 YMMV.  That was around 2013-2016 I remember them racing at Road America. 

If they were to do that again now, they might decide to run an S2000, a TL - Type S etc. Those are $10,000 cars before you even start the build. 

 

If I was looking from the outside in wanting to start road racing I would look at what people are running. If I saw B18B EG civics being piloted by Real Time I would think that I could compete with them and this could be fun. If I saw S2000s or TL - Type S etc, I would probably shy away due to budget constraints. 

 

I am using the Hondas as examples, but the Boxster and BMW M6 and others are in the same boat. I'm sure you can get a roached Boxster at auction for $4,000 or whatever, but to have it race ready you are talking a ton more money than something like an E36 or a Civic, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, miatainium said:

Of course we want to encourage new teams to enter.  But take a step back and consider what we're asking of them ... build a car that needs 100s of hours of work and $1000s to race at premium tracks for 14 to 24 hours.  That's something potential customers need to literally buy in to, before they spend $1 to register for a race.  There are many grass-roots racing options that compete with ChampCar for racer dollars that don't require that kind of commitment ... local auto-cross clubs, gentlemen "race" series, regional racing SCCA/CASC, etc.

 

Before considering making changes to a company's foundational brand-identity wise leadership spends lots of money on market research to make sure these changes will be embraced by the current clientele and draw in new customers.  Anyone remember New Coke?  

Jerry, you are certainly not wrong.   I do however believe that what you just said is also a two way street.   Stepping back and looking at what it takes to compete in this series for an overall win is getting harder and more costly.    Its a difficult balancing act for sure.    

 

I do not want to change the foundation of the brand.  Someday maybe enhance it with a addition that builds off of the original foundation.  

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21 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

You've said that a couple of times.   I respect that.   Help me understand why?

 

 

What part of the system is broken now to justify this major change in the series?   EC?   

They appear to be addressing that immediately.   We will see in the future how it was handled and what effect it will have on the registration #'s.   Chasing away EC cars is not a good thing.  It will strengthen the other series and increase costs in this one.   I do think a limit HAS to be put on what types of cars are allowed in EC, I think the solution starts there.   Caymans shouldn't be running no matter whose registering them.   Same goes for E46 M3's, continental series cars, and various factory purpose built race cars, the series does not need them and goes against the image imo

 

I think changing the entire classing structure of the series is a huge overreaction.    I believe people like the classes and track how they are competing in class.     

 

IMO a 500 point class would just be champ class, not super champ right?    Wouldn't super champ be even more intimidating?   

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22 hours ago, Snorman said:

Why does it seem like every year somebody has this great new idea to completely change the classing/VPI system? 

Last year it was points-based classes...

This discussion is fundamentally the same as pts based classes.  To me that makes inherently more sense than engine size based classes.  But I am a strong "no" as well. 

 

John 

Edited by Hurljohn
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8 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

  Stepping back and looking at what it takes to compete in this series for an overall win is getting harder and more costly.    

 

 

You are always the first to site out of control costs and added expenses for rule changes/interpretations/etc.  I do agree with you that it is expensive to go fast and stay at the pointy end.  Problem is you went out and wrote a petition to increase costs.  It was completely self serving allowing you to spend more on a swap for your car.    Therefore, I now tune out all your complaints about added costs even if they may be valid. 

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I don't want class racing in the sense proposed here because it kills the everyone running for a single win vibe.   When you look at other series you often see expensive cars who run for the front and the "4 dudes in a garage" will never be able to spend enough to hunt them.  Champcar doesn't often get this problem, but it comes up from time to time and those guys move on or the rules bring them back to the fold where they should be.  I think that other series look down on us a little, but when they show up to drive they change their tune because for the most part your wallet doesn't buy wins around here and even if you have money this is a more rewarding win. I also agree that speed creep is a little bit of a problem mostly due to aero and tire size.  I don't think it's unrealistic to think we might move towards tire width being no more than 20 over stock so that all cars can go bigger but not so much.  Perhaps aero does need to become free, but more limited like 6" where rules are 12" now to give a taste but not bonkers levels of extra grip.

 

what I'm saying is keep it simple and true to the vision.

 

anyway, that's my Friday morning ramble.

Edited by theblue
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55 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

You've said that a couple of times.   I respect that.   Help me understand why?

 

I agree with Snake - I don't see what is broken so why would we change this.

 

Similar proposal was brought to the board and turned down

 

Sure our classes are quirky but like what metric are we trying to meet - equal distribution of class wins?  Allowing rookie teams to win their class?  When I showed up in 2011 we ran in the back because we didn't know what we were doing - there was a lot to learn and no amount of classing was going to fix that. 

 

Quite honestly if a new team wants to drive Watkins Glen or Sebring or Laguna Seca are they really worried about closing rate?  I know that wasn't on my list of concerns when forming the team and running in my first race.  After that, well we had sampled the crack, er I mean product

 

FWIW we raced at Nelson Ledges last year at 394 TCV and I am 100% sure we could fit the limited prep proposal and stay under 400.  We finished 3rd.  How does that help?

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16 minutes ago, Snake said:

 

What part of the system is broken now to justify this major change in the series?   EC?   

They appear to be addressing that immediately.   We will see in the future how it was handled and what effect it will have on the registration #'s.   Chasing away EC cars is not a good thing.  It will strengthen the other series and increase costs in this one.   I do think a limit HAS to be put on what types of cars are allowed in EC, I think the solution starts there.   Caymans shouldn't be running no matter whose registering them.   Same goes for E46 M3's, continental series cars, and various factory purpose built race cars, the series does not need them and goes against the image imo

 

I think changing the entire classing structure of the series is a huge overreaction.    I believe people like the classes and track how they are competing in class.     

 

IMO a 500 point class would just be champ class, not super champ right?    Wouldn't super champ be even more intimidating?   

You’re making a couple assumptions that are not consistent with why I floated this idea.    It has nothing to do with EC.  I’ve been thinking about this for quiet awhile and just felt an urge to chat about it.  I view it as a long term thought process, a growth and sustaining strategy.  Trying to think beyond the hood so to speak.    

 

Certainly the detail of calling it SuperChamp could be the wrong name that was merely an off the cuff title.    

 

Green font coming.   If you respond I will know you have not tuned me out.     My wife does that and it works pretty good for the both of us.    

 

Seriously. Have a great Friday,  I’m going to.  

 

 

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28 minutes ago, miatainium said:

Of course we want to encourage new teams to enter.  But take a step back and consider what we're asking of them ... build a car that needs 100s of hours of work and $1000s to race at premium tracks for 14 to 24 hours.  That's something potential customers need to literally buy in to, before they spend $1 to register for a race.  There are many grass-roots racing options that compete with ChampCar for racer dollars that don't require that kind of commitment ... local auto-cross clubs, gentlemen "race" series, regional racing SCCA/CASC, etc.

 

Before considering making changes to a company's foundational brand-identity wise leadership spends lots of money on market research to make sure these changes will be embraced by the current clientele and draw in new customers.  Anyone remember New Coke?  

 

Im not saying we need to fundamentally change the brand of the series.  But if you look at the recent results of WGI we were 14th in fastest lap with 2:17.  Even just 3 years ago in 2016 we would have had the 3rd fastest lap time.  Even for a top team/perennial favorite like Simon Says it starts getting pretty hard to compete without going all in on their car (im putting words in their mouth here, but seems that way from my point of view).  Or look at Mopar4life, Those guys were fast and consistent, but Im just not sure they could keep doing that in a Neon (Im sure they could, but it certainly would be a lot tougher speed wise).

 

I also dont believe the racing is any better at a 2:15 (2:12??!!) lap compared to a 2:20.  In fact, I would bet it would get harder if that was the standard set.

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18 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

I also dont believe the racing is any better at a 2:15 (2:12??!!) lap compared to a 2:20.  In fact, I would bet it would get harder if that was the standard set.

 

I don't disagree with you, but isn't this proposed 2 class system meant to have 500pt 2 minute full speed-creep cars compete with 2:30 low-prep cars?  I'm not seeing how that's helping from a safety perspective.  

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@JDChristianson 

 

What do you think about us making our own class\recognition within a race? Meaning if champ won't recognize the class we can do it on our own. 

 

Teams who wish to compete in this gentleman's class email on of us with what your car is\has for mods, and we keep tabs on how we do relative to each other and bs about it, pass around some silly trophy, beer for the winner, etc. 

 

We disagree a little on the exact wording on what to allow in, but i think we have a good idea of the actual cars\combinations we would consider as balanced competitors. 

 

Something to work on.....

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I would like to just reign in some of the values for stuff which should naturally limit the speed creep back into a slight incremental creep.

 

That would help with new teams and budgets for veteran teams.

4 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

@JDChristianson 

 

What do you think about us making our own class\recognition within a race? Meaning if champ won't recognize the class we can do it on our own. 

 

Teams who wish to compete in this gentleman's class email on of us with what your car is\has for mods, and we keep tabs on how we do relative to each other and bs about it, pass around some silly trophy, beer for the winner, etc. 

 

We disagree a little on the exact wording on what to allow in, but i think we have a good idea of the actual cars\combinations we would consider as balanced competitors. 

 

Something to work on.....

Sounds like y'all should just use the 2015 chumpcar rules.

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2 minutes ago, miatainium said:

 

I don't disagree with you, but isn't this proposed 2 class system meant to have 500pt 2 minute full speed-creep cars compete with 2:30 low-prep cars?  I'm not seeing how that's helping from a safety perspective.  

 

Right, gotcha, I really dont have much comment on the class based system.  I was more commenting on the other comment I made about the series possibly slowing down a touch, to which Bill commented on and started a bit of a side topic.  I have personally always wanted to race for the overall and dont care about the classes.

 

Im also not too concerned with the safety of closing speeds and such either.  I am more just thinking about making sure new teams want to come enter like we did 5 years ago (see red0's comment about about civics vs S2000s/boxsters) and also cost to keep going reasonable.  I know , I know... racing is expensive and it costs a lot to win, Im just not sure the racing is any worse if that speed/cost is dialed back a touch (think well prepped integras/neons/626s/etc compared to well prepped swapped eclipes/swapped miatas/Maximas/etc running 5 or even 10s per lap faster)

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The mission statement allows most anyone access to bucket level racing @ facilities normally only seen on TV, what exactly are we trying to fix?

 

Access is still available to anyone with the capital to field any car of any prep level on the vpi list

Pointy end speed, no matter what the auto-sport, has always been relegated to those with the most ingenuity and typically the deepest pockets, I say this series, AS-IS, has done a darn good job of keeping $$ from dominating.

 

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44 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

 

Sounds like y'all should just use the 2015 chumpcar rules.

 

Even then we had already committed to a power to weight target too high for what we are discussing here as a jr class. Some of this was subjective that certain cars with large following or who race often needed to be allowed to play lap free. 

 

If you were starting over again, do you think the major cost is the springs\bushings\ecu stuff that was given away for free recently, or that you can't use a majority of the cheap cars available to race at their stock power levels and be within a zip code of the power to weight target of the series. That means engine swap, often trans swap, supporting crap to make them work..... Etc.

 

Cars in mind that take a ton of stuff to compete now...non vtec integra,neon, 1.6 miata, focus, civics.... Are also cheap to get as used race cars....

Edited by Black Magic

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14 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

The mission statement allows most anyone access to bucket level racing @ facilities normally only seen on TV, what exactly are we trying to fix?

 

Access is still available to anyone with the capital to field any car of any prep level on the vpi list

Pointy end speed, no matter what the auto-sport, has always been relegated to those with the most ingenuity and typically the deepest pockets, I say this series, AS-IS, has done a darn good job of keeping $$ from dominating.

 

 

I would agree, I am always worried about the $$ creep but as-is a good job indeed. 

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I actually agree with the two class system over the arbitrarily constructed displacement system that's currently in place. Call it ChampCar and ChampCar Limited Prep though.

 

 I would rather have a single class where the cars are evened out through the Fixed Value List, but those days are long gone (far too many 0 point and very low point parts).

 

 

I was watching the Road Atlanta live stream earlier in the year and one of the commentators mentioned that a whopping number of new teams had shown up, something like 50 new teams, yet the overall car count was about the same as the previous year. My first thought was; Where did the 50 teams from last year go?

 Taking in to account bucket list teams (say 50%) that still leaves 25 teams who did not return to Road Atlanta; Why not?

 

 

12 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

 I say this series, AS-IS, has done a darn good job of keeping $$ from dominating.

 

 

 You don't think the million dollar budget has anything to do with the Tuttle Eclipses and Sahlen's Boxster from finishing 1-2-3, at The Glen?

 

 

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48 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

 

I would like to just reign in some of the values for stuff which should naturally limit the speed creep back into a slight incremental creep.

 

That would help with new teams and budgets for veteran teams.

 

I’d for sure be on board with this as well.  If this could be done it would go along ways to containing cost and speed.  

 

What specifics would you pull back?  And how much?  

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10 minutes ago, Richard said:

You don't think the million dollar budget has anything to do with the Tuttle Eclipses and Sahlen's Boxster from finishing 1-2-3, at The Glen?

All I can sort of speak for is tuttle, with the same budget he has been trying for 4? years, tell me, does that sound like $ dominates?

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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

You’re making a couple assumptions that are not consistent with why I floated this idea.    It has nothing to do with EC.  I’ve been thinking about this for quiet awhile and just felt an urge to chat about it.  I view it as a long term thought process, a growth and sustaining strategy.  Trying to think beyond the hood so to speak.    

 

 

You still haven't pointed out whats wrong with the classes.   What is broken?  I just threw out EC as that's what everyone is complaining about currently.    What isn't sustainable currently besides the west coast? 

 

I think we can all agree that there are other areas in the series that need attention.   I think one of the petitions that was approved this year was particularly dangerous (not the one you wrote that was approved).    The current class structure isn't a problem 

 

 

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