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I am running for re-election for the 2019 board here in ChampCar.  I have been on the board since June 2018 when I was appointed since we had another person step down and I was the next person in line (3rd in the elections that year).  I have been a part of ChampCar since 2012 when I first raced at Road America in a Dodge Shadow.  Since then I have done over 50 weekends with ChampCar in my car and other members cars as a rental driver.   My wife and I currently own Crank Yankers Racing and between her and I we work on the vehicle in our own pole barn.  I do have one crew member who will come help from time-to-time, but essentially all the work is performed by myself and my wife. I currently do 3-4 race weekends a year with my car and I complete another 1-2 as a rental driver.

 

When I came on the board in June 2018, I thought our brand was worth more than what we were getting on a sponsorship level.  I believe we could sell this very well and get a nationally recognized company on board.  This would make our series look better with the name change from ChumpCar to ChampCar.  I started discussing with multiple national companies in August 2018.  I did this by cold calling and emailing CEOs, CFOs and other main players in those companies.  In October 2018 we had a company very interested and by January 2019 we had a contract with TireRack for a three-year deal with a two year renewal option.  I also advocated to Mike to give tires back to the members, so we made the commitment to give $10k back to members in free tires.  This decision was also made to not give it to the winners of the event, but to give all the entries a chance of winning, so we decided on a random draw at the driver’s meeting.  In December 2018, I also was able to get all but two of our series sponsors on three-year contracts.  The goal is to not have to change those side stickers often and have to buy new number panels.  In July 2019, I brought Bell on as the 2020 Helmet Sponsor and also was able to negotiate new helmets for the winners at Indy.  The goal for 2020 is to get more event sponsors on board and try to work out some other contingency deals for members, so they can benefit from some of these companies in our industry. In just one year, I have tripled the money we have received in sponsorship money.

 

In August 2018, I also volunteered to be a part of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).   This was an idea from a member that was put in place then.  We needed two representatives from the board to be on the committee, so I volunteered so I could pull my weight with the new board.  From the start, I let TAC know that I would be an advisor (a voice of the board) and not persuade their decision on all of these issues or rulebook items.  When they want input on a voice from the board then I step in and I also make sure the TAC stays on task.  For the 2019 petitions, they were all reviewed by the TAC first (4 weeks before the board discussed them) and then I presented those findings from the TAC to the board.  

 

I am not a good rule writer; that is not my strong point. I listen to members on issues and try to bring them up to the board or to Mike directly when I see fit. I am willing to go out and make marketing/partnership deals with companies in this industry to help better the members.  My goal for the next 3 years while I sit on the board is as follows:

 

•    With the increased sponsorship money, I want to keep the entry fees flat.

•    Maintain a stable rule book for ChampCar (2020 you can race your car as it was in 2019 without major changes)

•    No more free parts for any fixed items

•    Bring back more Midwest races (Autobahn and Mid-Ohio)

         o    Since I am from the Midwest I would like to see these two tracks on the schedule again.  I did make contact with Autobahn for 2020, but it will not work out in our schedule.  I will continue to be a voice for the Midwest races and a schedule to help those teams from having to travel so far

•    Remain a voice for members on issues that I see fit and are relevant to help keep this series where it is today and make it better

•    Continue to keep in mind our target audience: those amateur race drivers and builders who want to compete with a budget build in mind.  Think of it as the members who are building the cars in the garage on a shoestring budget rather than in an actual race shop.

 

At the tracks, I am usually the one coming up and chatting with your team about your build and team, trying to get to know all the members of ChampCar and how they like our series and ways we can make it better.  I have also reached out to members on issues I see fit to get their opinions, then go back to the board or to Mike and voice my opinion.  As always you can email me or give me a call/text on my personal cell phone number.  

 

I would appreciate your vote to serve this organization for the next three years.

 

Here is a picture of my family. My wife and I welcomed a future ChampCar member who was just born October 12th

20191020_110841.jpg

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
5 minutes ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

•    Continue to keep in mind our target audience: those amateur race drivers and builders who want to compete with a budget build in mind.  Think of it as the members who are building the cars in the garage on a shoestring budget rather than in an actual race shop.

 

Thanks for all your hard work in securing sponsors and working with the TAC Tyler. But most importantly, thanks for keeping the above in mind.

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1 hour ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

 

Right now I just didn't have time for it. Should have done it at the party

Why?  You got something disrupting your normal everyday life?  Haha!

 

Tyler is good for champcar.  He is good people and has done some great things with and for the organization.  The amount of money he had brought in should be enough to convince anybody.

 

In addition, he will answer any question and provide his honest feedback.  This is especially true if you talk to him at a race.  He will go out of his way to either point you in the right direction or go find the stakeholders that are involved.

 

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On 10/20/2019 at 9:04 AM, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

 Continue to keep in mind our target audience: those amateur race drivers and builders who want to compete with a budget build in mind.  Think of it as the members who are building the cars in the garage on a shoestring budget rather than in an actual race shop.

 

That there is the most important point in my opinion.

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I can not say enough how impressed I am in what I believe Tyler has done for the club.   The growth in sponsorships alone is incredibly impressive, that and every interaction I have had with him over the years has been a positive one.

 

You have my vote.

 

 

Plus Doc always makes fun of me. 

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I know we get a lot of flack for having a long rule book, etc. But what's your opinion on some of these "unspoken" rules that are floating around?

 

A good example is the hubs thing. Everyone admitted that hubs had a point value, but then it wasn't added to the FPV list "because dont want a huge rulebook". Same with the definitions of the aero devices last year. No one wanted to put in writing what an air dam was, when tech/TAC/BOD/whoever knew exactly what and how they wanted to enforce it.

 

Instances like this are frustrating because these simple additions take the guesswork out of a lot of this and would probably reduce the amount of clamor for the masses. Instead, we're sitting here wondering what other unwritten things are floating around out there.

 

It just seems odd to refuse to publish known "rules" in an effort to keep length in check.

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On 10/23/2019 at 11:16 AM, mindspin311 said:

I know we get a lot of flack for having a long rule book, etc. But what's your opinion on some of these "unspoken" rules that are floating around?

 

A good example is the hubs thing. Everyone admitted that hubs had a point value, but then it wasn't added to the FPV list "because dont want a huge rulebook". Same with the definitions of the aero devices last year. No one wanted to put in writing what an air dam was, when tech/TAC/BOD/whoever knew exactly what and how they wanted to enforce it.

 

Instances like this are frustrating because these simple additions take the guesswork out of a lot of this and would probably reduce the amount of clamor for the masses. Instead, we're sitting here wondering what other unwritten things are floating around out there.

 

It just seems odd to refuse to publish known "rules" in an effort to keep length in check.

 

I'm curious on what other unwritten rules are still floating around out there right now?  I know we put the hubs item in the last update for the BCCR.  This should have been put in during our meeting in August and we just missed the boat on it.  I don't have much of a say in the hubs rule, since I was against it from the start.  When I heard about the 2.5 point hub rule I asked who made the ruling and mentioned this was just way too cheap for a reliability issue teams were having.  Especially if we look at the price point of some of the aftermarket hubs.  An airdam was actually added in the rules last year for 10 points which it wasn't there in the year before.  I asked for graphics to show teams what all of these components were and we still don't have them, so I am not sure why there are no graphics to show these items in place yet.  The definitions, I am not sure where we missed it on that last year, but again another ChampCar fail.  I can take fault of that if you want to blame someone for it since it wasn't communicated out to the membership well.  My understanding going into 2019 was that airdams were now going to be charged 10 points from the stock bumper down.  Because there are some grey areas in our rules (there always will be and that will not go away unless you want an extensively long rulebook) there does need to be some interpretations out there from tech on how they are applying points to items.  Thus low and behold I asked for a rules interpretation document to be generated from Jay and Mike to share with members.  I suggested this be done after every race so members knew issues that came up, then I asked for quarterly and so far we have one document.  

 

As you know since Rich is on the board it also takes more than one person to be able to put something in motion (you need majority vote).   I know Jerry and I still pretty close with Mike on some issues and try to help out the membership and I will continue to do that.  For now I can't advocate for stuff I do not know about.  Sometimes members know more than I do from races.  I get a lot of phone calls, texts and emails after races though and I help talk to Mike about those issues I see fit. 

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Here are some answers to questions I was asked via PM:

 

I am  very concerned about the direction of our organization.  I honestly want the Chump put back in.  Speed is $... and speed creep is very real.  The club claims rules stability however when many new cars point values are adjusted down that claim rings false.  Z33, Honda S2000, Boxster, several BMW’s have all had massive point drops since 2016.

 

* Members wanted a checks and balance in the organization for tech issues and so the TAC was created in 2018.  This came from a member’s idea that the board put in place.  The TAC went through the VPI list and made suggestions on where they thought values on cars should be based on multiple factors (power to weight, fuel, suspension, etc).  I believe the VPI restructure in 2018 has made big improvements to closer races in this series.  VPIs continue to be looked at on an annual basis with adjustments being made.  

 

I have a few cars in my garage at the moment… … if I were to build something new it would have to start out as a much newer and costly car… I have my eye on the NC miata or the BRZ… these don’t feel like Chump cars.  These are fast cars… this is supposed to be an entry level race series with a massive volume of track time.  You have people coming straight off the street into to race with us.  I think that is a good thing… however I don’t think it is safe to have them on track in or against some of the cars in our field (I am not talking about the EC cars).  

 

* The BRZ and NC Miata are just newer cars we added to the VPI list.  Each year some new cars will be added because members want to race newer cars.  The BRZ is a 205 to 210 hp car with a 13.2 gallon fuel cell.  The NC Miata is a 158 hp car with a 13.2 gallon fuel cell as well.  Let’s look at the SC300 that is 225 hp with a 20.6 gallon fuel cell.  Now weight plays a factor in all of these, but I think these are all good comparisons for cars.  The NC Miata is engine is being used in a lot of NB Miatas which is helping their speed in races.  You still have to factor in the fuel economy and reliability factors.  It just depends on what the definition of fast is (speed in a straight line or handling in a corner).  I will welcome these new builds and see how the do against our current steed of cars.

 

Some cars should be moved to EC as they have been extensively reworked, such as certain MR2s and Miatas – I don’t understand why certain models should be moved directly to EC.  This is not something I am in favor of. Aero should have more points associated with it.  There are teams  that are claiming huge $ wind tunnel testing and again huge lap time improvement for very few points.  This MUST be corrected.  

 

* I have a wing on my car right now that I have done zero wind tunnel testing with and I have only done testing at the track.  I spent probably $750 on track days in the past two years figuring out what angle and height the wing should be at.  I like the option of having aero being a part of a package because the team owner gets to pick if they want handling, speed or reliability to build their car in our series.  I cannot control if some teams are using wind tunnel time.

 

Active Aero should be made illegal.  There are several teams playing around with wings that adjust for more or less aero as the car moves around the track.  This is a total Pandora’s box.  

 

  * I remember a very cool wing that I saw in 2013 at Road America on a Miata with a Camaro front end.  They used wiper motors to initiate an active aero wing.  That is garage engineering and I think that’s pretty cool.  I don’t know people messing with active aero.  Sounds like a good petition idea if you think it will happen.

 

Classifying cars on the VPI table so they can be used in the Swap calculator must stop also.  If a car isn’t raced it shouldn’t be on the VPI table.  Honda CRV, odyssey, silvirado… these cars aren’t here for them to be raced.  They are helping unicorn’s.  

 * We did discuss this in the TAC discussions this past year and making a list for using cars for swap items only and cars for VPI purposes.  I am not sure if this will be talked more in the future.  I think it is good to have teams with great ingenuity to use an engine from a mini van or a truck and throw it in their racecar.  The swap calculator will still stop high hp cars in the series or a high power to weight due to how it is setup.

 

Honestly I also feel more points need to be assessed to motor swaps.  I don’t think any car that gets a swap should be on the pointy end of the speed curve.  They should be swapping in reliability and have a slower power to weight curve, however the reverse is true.  Swapped cars are lightning fast.  I also HATE the political games associated with the swap math… e30 weight is a great example of political tom foolery.    

 

* How should we handle swaps in our series then?  How would you formulize a good swap calculator for us to use that is better than the one we are currently using?  We had a couple of petitions last year and they just were too confusing and didn’t make sense in how they were presented.  If you have a better idea other than ban all swaps then we would like to hear it.  We changed the weight for 2020 to a SPV which was suggested by a member in the 2019 petitions.  We are listening to the members and implementing their suggestions on how to make the club better.  Would like to hear your idea for a new swap calculator.  When completing a swap you still have to take into consideration the reliability of the engine you’re swapping in, plus the transmission, plus any reliability items (coolers or accusumps) and how much fuel the new motor will take versus your current capacity.    

 

Are you going to do anything about the speed creep? * I do plan on submitting a petition for the 2021 rules about tires and changing them during a race, but have not finished writing my petition.  Actually I’ll be writing three to see which ones, if any, the membership and the board like to help with the tire budget.  Some of the speed creep you are seeing is just teams dialing in their cars more or existing teams starting new builds and implementing items that they have leared over the last 10 years.  I think that there was a lot of speed creep or keeping up with the joneses when 2x shocks, free springs, free ecus, etc came out.  Can’t reel that back in once it is out there.  My goal is to not allow any more free parts in the series.  Also from a personal standpoint when we first showed up at Rd America in 2012 we ran a 3:23 with our Subaru.  Last fall we ran a 2:53 with our BMW and could probably get down to a 2:52 – 2:51.  There is some speed creep there, but also there is the fact there are better drivers and developed drivers in this series now as well.  We should not be penalizing teams for having fast drivers at certain tracks.

 

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Why can't we reel some of the freebies back in?  I have heard this from numerous people associated with champcar.  

 

It's a weird statement to me because champcar made the decision to lower the value of almost all items over the past 3 or 4 years.  

 

I would argue that there are much greater repercussions to making something free or a lesser value than there is to making something have a higher value.

 

#raisethevaluesofswapsandaero

 

 

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5 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Why can't we reel some of the freebies back in?  I have heard this from numerous people associated with champcar.  

 

It's a weird statement to me because champcar made the decision to lower the value of almost all items over the past 3 or 4 years.  

 

I would argue that there are much greater repercussions to making something free or a lesser value than there is to making something have a higher value.

 

#raisethevaluesofswapsandaero

 

 

I have to agree.   Aero could go up some and not be the end of the world.  The base swap number could go up some, maybe 60 instead of 50.    VPI on cars with over 250hp and 20 gallons of fuel could go up..............

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47 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Why can't we reel some of the freebies back in?  I have heard this from numerous people associated with champcar.  

 

It's a weird statement to me because champcar made the decision to lower the value of almost all items over the past 3 or 4 years.  

 

I would argue that there are much greater repercussions to making something free or a lesser value than there is to making something have a higher value.

 

#raisethevaluesofswapsandaero

 

 

 

So I would consider looking at items with a fixed point value. When I talk about things too far gone I look into these items:

 

2x shocks

Springs within a certain diameter

Free ECUs

 

Those are just opened already. 

 

If aero or a swap item needs to go up then let's see a petition on justification. We haven't heard any grumblings about it and members have seemed fine with it. Plus many people do not think aero works at speeds in our series :)

 

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34 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

I have to agree.   Aero could go up some and not be the end of the world.  The base swap number could go up some, maybe 60 instead of 50.    VPI on cars with over 250hp and 20 gallons of fuel could go up..............

 

Me with 255 hp and 18.5 gal at 500 points: "Phew... only 18.5 gal.  I feel safe!"

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3 hours ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Honestly I also feel more points need to be assessed to motor swaps.  I don’t think any car that gets a swap should be on the pointy end of the speed curve.  They should be swapping in reliability and have a slower power to weight curve, however the reverse is true.  Swapped cars are lightning fast.  I also HATE the political games associated with the swap math… e30 weight is a great example of political tom foolery.    

 

* How should we handle swaps in our series then?  How would you formulize a good swap calculator for us to use that is better than the one we are currently using?  We had a couple of petitions last year and they just were too confusing and didn’t make sense in how they were presented.  If you have a better idea other than ban all swaps then we would like to hear it.  We changed the weight for 2020 to a SPV which was suggested by a member in the 2019 petitions.  We are listening to the members and implementing their suggestions on how to make the club better.  Would like to hear your idea for a new swap calculator.  When completing a swap you still have to take into consideration the reliability of the engine you’re swapping in, plus the transmission, plus any reliability items (coolers or accusumps) and how much fuel the new motor will take versus your current capacity.    

 

@E. Tyler Pedersen I agree with ALMOST everything you've stated above. However, there is 1 issue that I've highlighted above (underlined, italicized) that I, along with many others, feel was wrong for the BoD, CEO, Tech, or whoever was involved - to vote in favor of, from the 2019 petitions. That would be using SPV as a 'fudge' value in the Swap Calculator.

There was, and is, really no need to change the swap calculator, because it performs its' intended function of limiting swaps to a target of 12:1 or 13:1 PWR before the points really start to multiply.

What ChampCar did by not using real vehicle weights for swaps (the E30 is the classic example of this) is to allow certain swaps to violate the intended function and reason for the calculator in the first place.

In the example of allowing an M50 swap into an E30 without going over 500 points, the base VPI for the E30 could have been lowered 5 to 10 points, and the M50 swap would have fallen under 500. IF ChampCar felt that the M50/E30 swap was not a huge advantage, and it hasn't proven to be, the base vehicle VPI lowering would have been a much better way of accomplishing the task WITHOUT affecting the integrity of the calculator itself!!

BY using SPV (or fake weights, or arbitrary numerical values) the calculator's intended function of limiting PWR has been violated and rendered useless.

This is the type of thing that fosters doubt, conspiracy theories, and mistrust of our management by some members, 1 of whom obviously spoke up above, with the word HATE.

I think this situation should be corrected, and my submit a petition in 2020, proposing that we go back to using REAL weights for the calculator, and adjusting base VPI's if management feels it necessary to allow certain swaps that don't prove to be unicorns to stay under 500 points.

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