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How do rules change between petition and implementation?


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Example #1:

From the list for rules petitions for 2015:


Submission #8


1) Identify the issue, as you perceive it. Reference any existing rule(s) that pertains to the issue. OEM Springs can be unreliable (rusty, worn) and hard to source in good condition for a reasonable amount of time and money spent. New OEM springs are very expensive.

2) Identify, if possible, your understanding of why the current rule or process was initiated and put into place (this is requested to confirm some general understanding of the larger picture; however, if you do not have such an understanding, proceed to Step #3) Current points added for aftermarket springs is 20 pts / corner

3) Propose a solution or revised rule. Petitions received without a solution will NOT be reviewed or discussed by the Board of Directors. Allow aftermarket springs to be used at 0 points add IF they are the same diameter as the OEM springs. This does not allow for smaller threaded body "coilover" springs which can also provide a weight savings. Aftermarket springs can be of the "lowering" and or stiffer nature as long as they retain the OEM shape and style.

4) Provide a list of the positive changes and/or rationale for implementing the proposed solution or revised rule Increased safety to 20-25+ year old cars when an original OEM spring could fail on track. Provides reduced cost in procuring OEM replacement springs and spares plus the time and additional alignment cost of having to swap them after a failure.


Justin Lee




From the responses to the petitions:



Submission #8 - Justin Lee: Allow coil spring replacement without value-add.

Determination: Effective 2 January 2016, competition vehicles may replace coil springs without a value-add points addition PROVIDED that the replacement spring measures the same inside and outside diameter (+/- 8mm or 0.25") of the OEM spring.


Then the tech interpretation: "if one end of a racing spring fits a stock spring pocket, it's zero points". So the intent was "safety" and cost control for a few teams that apparently couldn't buy reasonably priced factory replacement springs but ended up as a means of getting free racing springs, resulting in speed creep and the rest of the field having to upgrade ($$$) to keep up.



1. How did the final enforcement stray so far from the original intent?

2. When the petition was voted on, was there a wording in mind or was it a general acceptance of the concept first, with someone writing the actual rule later?

3. How was the intent conveyed to tech?

4. Was tech given the rule with an explanation of what the original petition proposed?

5. Was there any review/followup to see if the rule was doing what was intended?


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As an engine builder, I would liken this progression to:

1. Petition asking for some of the older engines to be allowed to use repaired/reground cams that are brought back to factory spec as a cost saving alternative to finding new factory cams. Present value is 50 points for aftermarket cam(s).

2. Petition is accepted.

3. Rule is written: "Reground cams that are within +/- 0.050" of the factory lift specs are acceptable for 0 points." 

4. Tech decides that measuring the lift would take too long and that any cam that fits in the stock cam journals is zero points, reground or aftermarket.

5. Within a year, the pointy end of the field has free cams that they weren't allowed to use before the petition, and everyone else has to buy new cams to be competitive.

6. The teams who previously were allowed to use aftermarket cams in order to keep up to the fast cars move farther back in the pack.

Edited by mender
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Mender this exactly why I had asked Bill to find and post the original rule. I was around when Justin had pushed for the rule and he is a Miata guy so I had interest at the time. You could not gain much by cutting stock springs so it helped with finding springs of higher weights but was always the intent to match the original style and shape. Only after all the deletes and changes to the rule book did it open to what has come of late. I understand everyone looks for a better way in racing as it is the name of the game. I know there are other shortened rules which may have the same effect and can only hope the push for a minimum length of rule book goes back as it was cause I would rather get beat on track then by the word smithing of the rules.


As for a Miata it didn't really help much cause I searched for ever before I finally found a company they made a stockish spring to work and we only used them for two races before going back to coilovers, while leading a race by a few laps a front one broke in half. It took us back to finish 5th with a quick change to a stock spring. Never gave them another try.

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