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JDChristianson

What if there were only 2 classes?

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21 minutes ago, Scribe said:

This is deja vu from Troy's points based class petition and the discussions that came out of it.  I'll just reiterate what I said there with some tweaks:

 

1. I do not think we need to incentivize teams to build slower cars, it will only exacerbate to growing speed differentials we are seeing today.

2. Increased tire width can save you money due to the wider tire having more heat capacity which can improve tire life if you are overheating your stock-width tires.

     Yes you could just go slower, but who at the front of even a limited prep class will do that?

      Wider tires is one of the easiest ways to improve your car (low hanging fruit = accessible to everyone) 

      New tire compounds that come out every few years are one of the main contributes to speed creep.

3. I don't think aero is as effective in Champcar as people think it is, but it ends up being a scapegoat for speed creep over and over again.

     Its main use is to give amateur drivers like myself more confidence in high speed corners, which is usually where the most laptime can be found.

     The trade-off is reduced top speed, which can make it very hard to run fast laps in traffic.

     Champcars do not have enough horsepower to take advantage of crazy time-attack style aero. There is a reason those cars have and need 1000hp.

     Aero can also be very cheap due to plywood being very cheap.  There are a lot more cheap wing options on the market now.

4.  The thing that isn't talked about enough is the tried and true driver mod. 

     Here is a really good blog post about the value of the driver: http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets3.html.  It is about autocross, but it also applies here.

     A lot of the speed creep we have seen is just due to better driving.

     Every race I've done so far I have improved my fastest lap.  Some of that is car tweaks, but a lot of it is confidence.

 

You don't need giant car haulers, paid crew, and $50,000 cars to win in Champcar, and I have no issues with teams having any of those things.

I've been crewing and driving for GWR for around four years now.  That car is primarily built by two guys in a two car garage with the help of friends, a Hobart MIG welder, and a lot of beers.  Our win at the Glen recently did not involve any pro drivers, paid crew, race fuel, or engine swaps.  Chris and Will have been trying to win the Glen for 5 years and they finally got there through a lot of small changes that make the car reliable and very easy to drive at the limit.

 

No matter what you do, a team that is brand new to motorsports will not be able show up and fight for the win their first time out.  Its one of those things you have to learn by doing.  That might have been possible 10 years ago, but everyone was new to it back then.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective.  

 

Does Will know he’s wasted all that development time on aero?  ( very green font) :)

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28 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective.  

 

Does Will know he’s wasted all that development time on aero?  ( very green font) :)

 

I'm only trying to convince everyone it doesn't work so everyone takes their aero off thier cars to give us more clean air for our aero 😉

 

Joking aside, the aero on the GWR car is worth a few seconds a lap in clean air, but you don't get many clean laps in a packed Champcar race.

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5 hours ago, Scribe said:

This is deja vu from Troy's points based class petition and the discussions that came out of it.  I'll just reiterate what I said there with some tweaks:

 

1. I do not think we need to incentivize teams to build slower cars, it will only exacerbate to growing speed differentials we are seeing today.

2. Increased tire width can save you money due to the wider tire having more heat capacity which can improve tire life if you are overheating your stock-width tires.

     Yes you could just go slower, but who at the front of even a limited prep class will do that?

      Wider tires is one of the easiest ways to improve your car (low hanging fruit = accessible to everyone) 

      New tire compounds that come out every few years are one of the main contributes to speed creep.

3. I don't think aero is as effective in Champcar as people think it is, but it ends up being a scapegoat for speed creep over and over again.

     Its main use is to give amateur drivers like myself more confidence in high speed corners, which is usually where the most laptime can be found.

     The trade-off is reduced top speed, which can make it very hard to run fast laps in traffic.

     Champcars do not have enough horsepower to take advantage of crazy time-attack style aero. There is a reason those cars have and need 1000hp.

     Aero can also be very cheap due to plywood being very cheap.  There are a lot more cheap wing options on the market now.

4.  The thing that isn't talked about enough is the tried and true driver mod. 

     Here is a really good blog post about the value of the driver: http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets3.html.  It is about autocross, but it also applies here.

     A lot of the speed creep we have seen is just due to better driving.

     Every race I've done so far I have improved my fastest lap.  Some of that is car tweaks, but a lot of it is confidence.

 

You don't need giant car haulers, paid crew, and $50,000 cars to win in Champcar, and I have no issues with teams having any of those things.

I've been crewing and driving for GWR for around four years now.  That car is primarily built by two guys in a two car garage with the help of friends, a Hobart MIG welder, and a lot of beers.  Our win at the Glen recently did not involve any pro drivers, paid crew, race fuel, or engine swaps.  Chris and Will have been trying to win the Glen for 5 years and they finally got there through a lot of small changes that make the car reliable and very easy to drive at the limit.

 

No matter what you do, a team that is brand new to motorsports will not be able show up and fight for the win their first time out.  Its one of those things you have to learn by doing.  That might have been possible 10 years ago, but everyone was new to it back then.

Speed creep: over the last 4 seasons, excluding one outlier, the fastest laps has gone down by one second per year from 2:17 to 2:14.  Cars that used to be at the top (Mopar4life, Simon Says, Biohazard) no longer are even in the top 5 or top 10.  I would guess the number one contributor to the speed creep is tires, number 2 is driving ability/experience/pro racers coming in more and more.  Number three would be reliability and car improvements.  

Edited by Jer

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51 minutes ago, Jer said:

Speed creep: over the last 4 seasons, excluding one outlier, the fastest laps has gone down by one second per year from 2:17 to 2:14.  Cars that used to be at the top (Mopar4life, Simon Says, Biohazard) no longer are even in the top 5 or top 10.  I would guess the number one contributor to the speed creep is tires, number 2 is driving ability/experience/pro racers coming in more and more.  Number three would be reliability and car improvements.  

 

 

What do you think would happen to laps times if everyone was running OE ecu's and aftermarket fuel management systems were not allowed as of 3yrs ago...

 

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31 minutes ago, Racer7x said:

 

 

What do you think would happen to laps times if everyone was running OE ecu's and aftermarket fuel management systems were not allowed as of 3yrs ago...

 

Logically it would slow a number of teams down.  Remember the rampant ECU cheating going on in the past, though?  There was no way to regulate ECUs that could be flashed vs. chipped so without the rule relief, newer cars would be able to reprogram while older cars could not.  

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2 hours ago, Jer said:

Speed creep: over the last 4 seasons, excluding one outlier, the fastest laps has gone down by one second per year from 2:17 to 2:14.  Cars that used to be at the top (Mopar4life, Simon Says, Biohazard) no longer are even in the top 5 or top 10.  I would guess the number one contributor to the speed creep is tires, number 2 is driving ability/experience/pro racers coming in more and more.  Number three would be reliability and car improvements.  

So, to challenge your logic here, are M4L, Simon and Bio not running these new faster tires or did they somehow get them before everyone else

Edited by ABR-Glen
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2 minutes ago, ABR-Glen said:

So, to challenge your logic here, are M4L, Simon and Bio not running these new faster tires or did they somehow get them before everyone else? 

I believe what Jer is saying is he's piggybacking off Scribe in that the wider tires being ran are the increase in speed. Not necessarily that Simon, Bio were running tires noone else was running.

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Just now, jakks said:

I believe what Jer is saying is he's piggybacking off Scribe in that the wider tires being ran are the increase in speed. Not necessarily that Simon, Bio were running tires noone else was running.

Just saying if tires are responsible for speed creep, why would the cars that used to be fastest now be "not even in the top 5 or top 10"? Wouldn't we expect all cars to benefit relatively equally from tire development? Forget the rhetorical comment about them having the tires before anyone else. 

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3 hours ago, ABR-Glen said:

Just saying if tires are responsible for speed creep, why would the cars that used to be fastest now be "not even in the top 5 or top 10"? Wouldn't we expect all cars to benefit relatively equally from tire development? Forget the rhetorical comment about them having the tires before anyone else. 

Most of that is old cars getting tired. Some of it is things like those old cars still running the stock ECU.

Edited by morganf
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12 minutes ago, ABR-Glen said:

Just saying if tires are responsible for speed creep, why would the cars that used to be fastest now be "not even in the top 5 or top 10"? Wouldn't we expect all cars to benefit relatively equally from tire development? Forget the rhetorical comment about them having the tires before anyone else. 

I gave three reasons.  You picked tires.  I think cars are better developed in general, as evidenced by WGI, there are lots of ways to get a fast lap in terms of marquee, and I believe drivers for many teams are much improved.  I also believe teams are closer on strategies but that has nothing to do with fast laps. 

 

I guess part of what I'm saying is that Mopar, Bio and Simon Says were all developed years ago and were dominating.  Now that other cars are being developed to the same magnitude, we are seeing a lot of variety at the top and those older cars being passed in lap times.  

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Dammit.  Somebody keeps moving my cheese!

 

I know 556 v 2 will be faster (or at least, lighter, more powerful, more comfortable, and safer).

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2 hours ago, Jer said:

Logically it would slow a number of teams down.  Remember the rampant ECU cheating going on in the past, though?  There was no way to regulate ECUs that could be flashed vs. chipped so without the rule relief, newer cars would be able to reprogram while older cars could not.  

Its the inclusion of allowable aftermarket ECUs, Im not so much talking some base model microsquirt, this is directed @ high end stuff.

 

In my world, I would limit it to modified, factory based units.

Edited by Team Infiniti
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12 hours ago, Jer said:

Logically it would slow a number of teams down.  Remember the rampant ECU cheating going on in the past, though?  There was no way to regulate ECUs that could be flashed vs. chipped so without the rule relief, newer cars would be able to reprogram while older cars could not.  

Sooo, why not reflect that advantage in the vpi of those cars instead of allowing the entire field to go faster?

 

Isn't that exactly the point of vpi?

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33 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Sooo, why not reflect that advantage in the vpi of those cars instead of allowing the entire field to go faster?

 

Isn't that exactly the point of vpi?

 

10 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

Its the inclusion of allowable aftermarket ECUs, Im not so much talking some base model microsquirt, this is directed @ high end stuff.

 

In my world, I would limit it to modified, factory based units.

How do you modify an OBDI ecu?   With a pretty limiting piggy back is all I know of.     OBDII on the other hand is pretty accessible.   

 

It might have been smart to allow aftermarket to the OBDI and older cars only.   And Rob has a great point.  The VPI should have reflected that, or it needed to be lowered to account for it.  And leave that modification as one that incurs points.

 

Zero point performance mods cause speed creep....................  Performance mods include every modification from where the tire touches the ground to the roof of the car.  

 

 

We are still having lots of fun thogh

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, JDChristianson said:

How do you modify an OBDI ecu?   With a pretty limiting piggy back is all I know of. 

OBD1 here

 

We have a replacement chip sitting in a socket, some internet guys vision with different timing and fuel tables, works fine, saves some fuel and frees up 15? HP but no tune-ability. Other methods involve adding a piggybacked daughterboard that do allow track side tunes via USB just like OBD2 cars.

 

There are other ways, have heard of the very hacked honda ecu being used in different model cars.

 

Does this suck more then a dedicated system? Absolutely, and that is the entire point.

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13 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

OBD1 here

 

We have a replacement chip sitting in a socket, some internet guys vision with different timing and fuel tables, works fine, saves some fuel and frees up 15? HP but no tune-ability. Other methods involve adding a piggybacked daughterboard that do allow track side tunes via USB just like OBD2 cars.

 

There are other ways, have heard of the very hacked honda ecu being used in different model cars.

 

Does this suck more then a dedicated system? Absolutely, and that is the entire point.

so it could have been done.   makes sense. The Miata ecu is all I know about, and my level of knowledge is entry level at best.  Its tune-ability is limiting.    Another horse that was chased out of the barn never to return. 

 

 

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Like I said above in reply @Jer, opening memberships ability to legally tune was necessary, but to give people the ability to buy computers so powerful (and expensive) they can take a stock engine, using points, and extensively, legally, modify it into full race unit was the baffle. This one thing seems to break the system.

 

Fortunately very few have done this, but it is now a proven way to garner massive hp increases with ones wallet without the fear of blowing up. One no longer has to worry about the ragged edge of engine controls using factory based ECUs

 

Not looking to advocate change, just making it clear where one rules mistake gave substantial advantage to those with no financial restriction.

 

We will continue on the same path, still top 5-ing with those that choose other, more expensive methods, it can be done but does increase actual costs.

Edited by Team Infiniti
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44 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

There are other ways, have heard of the very hacked honda ecu being used in different model cars.

 

A chipped P28 is pretty nice. There is 5+ free software packages for tuning. We raced with free crome for years. 

 

http://twiki.pgmfi.org/bin/view

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31 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Like I said above in reply @Jer, opening memberships ability to legally tune was necessary, but to give people the ability to buy computers so powerful (and expensive) they can take a stock engine, using points, and extensively, legally, modify it into full race unit was the baffle. This one thing seems to break the system.

 

Fortunately very few have done this, but it is now a proven way to garner massive hp increases with ones wallet without the fear of blowing up. One no longer has to worry about the ragged edge of engine controls using factory based ECUs

 

Not looking to advocate change, just making it clear where one rules mistake gave substantial advantage to those with no financial restriction.

 

We will continue on the same path, still top 5-ing with those that choose other, more expensive methods, it can be done but does increase actual costs.

 

I mean, a Megasquirt isnt exactly breaking champcar IMO.

 

It really didn't gain us anything that we could not have done with the factory DME - I can and did tune the chip in that prior to buying a $400 megasquirt.  What it did gain me was a boat load of time, which saved me lots more than $400 in dyno time because I can make changes in real time with the engine running, use autotune, log AFR and Timing in the tuning table directly instead of a separate logger, etc.     This let me tune the car on the track/road versus on a dyno, and do so quicker.  Tuning the Stock DME required shutting the car off, flashing the chip, and starting it back up.

 

 

I'm not exactly sure what a AEM or Haltech would gain me over what the megasquirt does for me? 

I don't race with my wallet in my pocket, so lightening the wallet doesn't really make me faster.

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I actually like the original poster's idea.

 

I could even see building a Limited car for rental....

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2 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Sooo, why not reflect that advantage in the vpi of those cars instead of allowing the entire field to go faster?

 

Isn't that exactly the point of vpi?

I don't know, ask Mike.  This was all done before any of the current Board members were elected/appointed. 

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52 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Like I said above in reply @Jer, opening memberships ability to legally tune was necessary, but to give people the ability to buy computers so powerful (and expensive) they can take a stock engine, using points, and extensively, legally, modify it into full race unit was the baffle. This one thing seems to break the system.

I am not a tuner, can't re-program an ECU, but my tuner told me the stock Chevy ECU is just as robust as a MS system.  The newer ECUs have tons of capacity.  Again, I don't know much about all this.  I will repeat my statement that this barn door, just like all the other free stuff, was opened before the Board was in charge.  To reverse it now would alienate a large number of teams and cost a lot of money to them.  More likely they would just take their cars to other series.  

 

You guys need to stop arguing down the path of reversal.  I can't imagine it would ever happen.  I need to leave this thread.   

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1 minute ago, Jer said:

path of reversal

I did state I was not advocating change, just pointing out where a error was made.

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1 minute ago, Team Infiniti said:

I did state I was not advocating change, just pointing out where a error was made.

There were a lot of errors made.  IMHO practically everything that became free over a 1 year period were all mistakes.  To ask rules abiding members to not take all that stuff off their cars is not possible without huge repercussions.  

Edited by Jer
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29 minutes ago, Huggy said:

 

I mean, a Megasquirt isnt exactly breaking champcar IMO.

 

It really didn't gain us anything that we could not have done with the factory DME - I can and did tune the chip in that prior to buying a $400 megasquirt.  What it did gain me was a boat load of time, which saved me lots more than $400 in dyno time because I can make changes in real time with the engine running, use autotune, log AFR and Timing in the tuning table directly instead of a separate logger, etc.     This let me tune the car on the track/road versus on a dyno, and do so quicker.  Tuning the Stock DME required shutting the car off, flashing the chip, and starting it back up.

 

 

I'm not exactly sure what a AEM or Haltech would gain me over what the megasquirt does for me? 

I don't race with my wallet in my pocket, so lightening the wallet doesn't really make me faster.

Never said you were doing it wrong, nor do I see a way back into the barn with such things already out, but when someone exercises the wallet to build a 12.1(or more) leanburn race engine that requires much computer and colored fuel to survive, the optics of such a thing are not good. Could it be done on a Megasquirt platform, no clue, probably, but not as easily, again, it's a perception.

 

Saying that.

 

Not picking on you, but you do make a point, using all the Megasquirt features sure does speed up things that would normally take more time, effort, scheduling etc... not having to wait or work through stock ECU based issues helps bring resolution quickly, allowing this conversation about fast cars and speed creep to occur in shorter tieframe rather then rationing speed out more slowly.

 

Our next build will have the same OBD1 chipped tech, at some point I will look into a programmable draughtboard but that's just me working with a limited budget, reluctant to go on the dyno.

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