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For Your Consideration - A new look at rules


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As a board of director member in my 3rd, and most likely final, year of my term I've had a lot of time to reflect on how we handle the rules from an administrative point of view.  Quite frankly, as a board member, I've been concerned for quite some time that in the near future CCES will no longer be able to keep up with the exponential growth and detail of the ruleset we currently employ.  90+ petitions last year to review.  Over 110 petitions this year.  Tens if not Hundreds of emails that have yet to be reviewed and technical bulletins written for.  

In light of that I grabbed several fellow racers and pitched a different type of ruleset.  Yes, it has some holes in it.  There's alot of questions to be answered before we could actually use it.  But I wanted to share it with you, the masses, and let you all give some generalized feedback.

This has been presented to the current board and while the board was kind enough to read and review it it didn't get much traction.  I have been encouraged to post it just to see if the general membership felt differently than they did.  I held out for a couple of weeks, I wasn't going to post it.  But gnashing of teeth over current and coming rules has me thinking a new direction IS the direction of the future. 

So, here it is.  A quick look at what I've called CCES 2.0.  

 

(In powerpoint... CLICK CCES2.0Edit2.pptx.  Edit1 won't let me remove it)

 

CCES2.0 Edit2.pptx

 

CCES2.0-Edit1.pptx

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Rich,

 

Thanks for the effort/time you put into this idea/plan and for your work as a BOD member over the past 3 years.

 

Definitely a challenge to present ideas that are outside of the normal stream of how things are going, so thanks for posting this.

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6 minutes ago, MichaelPal said:

How would cars exceeding the 75hp/1000lbs be impacted? Laps? Exclusion to EC

 

 

Disqualification if found to be cheating the rules.  EC (if we allow such a class) if they showed up prior to the race knowing they are in non-conformance.  

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Very interesting, trying to figure out if our current car could be worked to meet those rules, or would be better to figure out a new platform. 

Any random weigh bridging or just the weight at the end? 
As I would build a car with a 22 gallon tank, and slam the thing full of fuel for the last stint. All the other pit stops I would only put 13 gallons in. That is around 90lbs difference.
NASA has proven you can engineer a dyno curve to get that 9.9% tolerance. So expect people to be asking all about the official dyno in question. 
Will official Dyno be available for pre-race check? for teams can then add the correct ballast.  

BTW I like my side skirts for looks. 

Probably want to limit aero a little. As that would be one of the ways to gain a huge advantage over others. Should do a total wing surface area max allowance.  

Edited by dwendel
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2 minutes ago, dwendel said:

Very interesting, trying to figure out if our current car could be worked to meet those rules, or would be better to figure out a new platform. 

Any random weigh bridging or just the weight at the end? 
As I would build a car with a 22 gallon tank, and slam the thing full of fuel for the last stint. All the other pit stops I would only put 13 gallons in. That is around 90lbs difference.

BTW I like my side skirts for looks. 

Probably want to limit aero a little. As that would be one of the ways to gain a huge advantage over others. Should do a total wing surface area max allowance.  


K-I-S-S (keep it simple, stupid).  Much like our current ruleset, the race director has the final say.  If they think shenanigans are afoot (like what you've proposed) they can pull you off the track at any given time and weigh your car.  

As for aero I was thinking the ruleset would all but mirror what we do now.  12 inches to the front, rear and not exceeding body width, etc.

 

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When ever I write rules for my clubs I always try to think of a way to cheat or loop hole the system as all racers will exploit any nanometer you allow them to. So keep that in mind with the KISS method. 

 

Also probably want something to forbid ECU map or boost controller playing. 

 

For example one could make it so that 75% throttle pedal input is max engine power and 100% throttle input will retard the ignition to meet the dyno number. 

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I applaud the effort.  Ultimately here's what I see though:

  • big $ aero
  • big $ suspension
  • big $ brakes
  • high power motors
  • a switch that puts the ECU into a different mode so now that motor makes only average power (and only needed if there's a dyno at the track)

I for one have zero problem with a long rule book.  The reality of our "short" rule book is just that there are a lot of rules that aren't written down.

 

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Issues:

 

- This clearly caters to syphoning in new teams who already race WRL / LDRL. It comes at the expense of enormous rebuild / rework costs for existing teams. After some quick math, I see $8,000 in rebuild / rework to take my top 5% of the field ChampCar and convert it to a top 5% ChampCar 2.0

- ChampCar has a unique ruleset. The proposed is a mashup of LDRL and WRL. Unique is good. Unique builds brand loyalty. If ChampCar adopted this I would no longer race ChampCar exclusively but would spend some of my limited budget at WRL events if they happened to be at closer tracks.

- “No more ‘rules engineering’” is laughably naive. Don’t kid yourself here thinking that you will eliminate that by introducing any other ruleset. 

 

Edit - the criticism about endless emails looking for clarification is valid, but this is not the answer. The answer to that is to tell tech: “hey! Stop saying yes when people ask for exemptions!” 
Most of the requests are already answered in the rules, people just don’t like the value shown so they want to weasel something different.

Edited by enginerd
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2 minutes ago, enginerd said:

- “No more ‘rules engineering’” is laughably naive. Don’t kid yourself here thinking that you will eliminate that by introducing any other ruleset. 

 

this.  you think teams in IMSA, WEC, etc aren't doing this too?

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Thanks @riche30!!!!

 

A few thoughts:  

- Love the simplicity and eliminating points and counting etc.

- I think this is a step in the right direction.  I think that having values for every little thing is ruining the series and you bring up solid points that it confuses everyone.

- Eliminates laughable values for items like hood vents (I laughed, a lot, then cried when I saw 2.5pts per) that make the series look childish in the grand scheme of things.

- Some other guys also brought it up, but the engine mapping manipulation (9.9% over, switch in the car to can tunes prior to dyno etc) will make things more complicated for racers and tech.  I like the generalization of a metric that allows you to do whatever you want as long as you fall in there, but requiring Dyno charts and then having a dyno at the races is a lot.

 

Suggestion: Rather than HP/Weight, what about Fuel/Weight (with a max HP limit for speed differential safety).  Effectively does the same thing but you can do a simple fill and pump out rather than hopping on a dyno.  Not perfect either, but an easier/cheaper enforcement. @Jamie

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50 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

dyno numbers are the easiest thing to fake.

 

and watching WRL weight each car before the race also makes an easy way to cheat.  I pointed it out to a few of the tech guys at a race.

Cars would not be measured at the beginning of the race. Would be on way to impound. Caught adding/removing weight during the race I’m sure could be figured out. 

Edited by jakks
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54 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Issues:

 

- This clearly caters to syphoning in new teams who already race WR / LDRL. It comes at the expense of enormous rebuild / rework costs for existing teams. After some quick math, I see $8,000 in rebuild / rework to take my top 5% of the field ChampCar and convert it to a top 5% ChampCar 2.0

- ChampCar has a unique ruleset. The proposed is a mashup of LDRL and WRL. Unique is good. Unique builds brand loyalty. If ChampCar adopted this I would no longer race ChampCar exclusively but would spend some of my limited budget at WRL events if they happened to be at closer tracks.

- “No more ‘rules engineering’” is laughably naive. Don’t kid yourself here thinking that you will eliminate that by introducing any other ruleset. 

 

Edit - the criticism about endless emails looking for clarification is valid, but this is not the answer. The answer to that is to tell tech: “hey! Stop saying yes when people ask for exemptions!” 
Most of the requests are already answered in the rules, people just don’t like the value shown so they want to weasel something different.

$8000? Please give some quick bullet points. I don't know the ins and outs of your car, but I know E30s, and I don't see where $8K is coming from.

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1 hour ago, Grufton said:

I applaud the effort.  Ultimately here's what I see though:

  • big $ aero
  • big $ suspension
  • big $ brakes
  • high power motors
  • a switch that puts the ECU into a different mode so now that motor makes only average power (and only needed if there's a dyno at the track)

I for one have zero problem with a long rule book.  The reality of our "short" rule book is just that there are a lot of rules that aren't written down.

 


The aero would be equivalent to our current rules.
High power motors do you no good, unless you're adding weight to your car to offset it.

Switchable ECUs can be caught.  

All of that being said... this was an exercise in seeing if there was a better way.  Just because I think it might lead to a simpler rule book doesn't mean its the best option.  I'm fully aware of that.  My goals were to develop an easy to understand rule set that allows teams to build more reliable cars.  A more reliable race car is a lot more fun to drive than the one that's going home early, again.

 

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1 minute ago, riche30 said:

 


The aero would be equivalent to our current rules.
High power motors do you no good, unless you're adding weight to your car to offset it.

Switchable ECUs can be caught.  

All of that being said... this was an exercise in seeing if there was a better way.  Just because I think it might lead to a simpler rule book doesn't mean its the best option.  I'm fully aware of that.  My goals were to develop an easy to understand rule set that allows teams to build more reliable cars.  A more reliable race car is a lot more fun to drive than the one that's going home early, again.

 

Free oil coolers for everyone!!!!

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1 hour ago, Grufton said:

I applaud the effort.  Ultimately here's what I see though:

  • big $ aero
  • big $ suspension
  • big $ brakes
  • high power motors
  • a switch that puts the ECU into a different mode so now that motor makes only average power (and only needed if there's a dyno at the track)

I for one have zero problem with a long rule book.  The reality of our "short" rule book is just that there are a lot of rules that aren't written down.

 

Did you read the rules?

  • big $ aero - same aero rules as what we have now, so where's the big money?
  • big $ suspension - Nothing adjustable beyond ride height, so unless you're building up a cache of pre-valved shocks for every track, where's the big money?
  • big $ brakes - Calipers over 4 pistons not allowed, so where's the big money?
  • high power motors - Sure, but then you have to add ballast to get back to your target
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14 minutes ago, mindspin311 said:

$8000? Please give some quick bullet points. I don't know the ins and outs of your car, but I know E30s, and I don't see where $8K is coming from.

- Engine swap / dyno time / ECU shenanigans
- Coilover adjustable suspension kit / springs / dampers 

- Adjustable camber / caster plates

- Different suspension components: control arms / trailing arms

- Adjustable sway bars

- Racing diff, maybe a trans, too. 
- Splitter / wing / diffuser

- Coolers / accusump (if deemed beneficial)

- Many teams would need a new fuel cell as well, ours is already 22 with displacement blocks so we would avoid this cost. 

Edited by enginerd
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Overall I think its getting the series in a better direction. Every ruleset can be "engineered" or cheated in some way, so what's new there? Things are simple. It opens up participation for cars like Spec Miatas and Spec E30s without having do to anything other than maybe add/subtract some ballast. Looks like there's clauses to prevent big ticket items like dampening adjustable coilovers. Would we lose a few cars, probably. Will we then gain them all right back by adding teams that currently DONT race with us because of some weird rule we have, 100% guaranteed.

 

As usual, everyone just wants to poke holes in things instead of understanding the benefits.

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I love the “choose your own path” deal with ChampCar. 
Partsbadger threw the kitchen sink at aero and out corners everyone, RBank runs high power turbo Saab’s without points to spare to improve handling, Riley went American iron with big engine and tires, some e30 teams go for aero and some for engine.

 

What is proposed would be a homogenized snoozefest of cars with similar acceleration, similar cornering, similar everything. You say “this will move the series in a better direction, why try to poke holes in everything”. I disagree with the main premise, this would not be a better direction. 

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22 minutes ago, riche30 said:

The aero would be equivalent to our current rules.
High power motors do you no good, unless you're adding weight to your car to offset it.

Switchable ECUs can be caught. 

 

I only see three limits on aero:  no active, no carbon fiber, and nothing between the wheels.

Imagine what the Partsbadger folks would do if they didn't have to use leftover parts.

 

High power is completely possible with no extra ballast if you have a switchable ECU, and I view it as absurd to think that would be enforceable.  That's the whole reason ECU's are open in the first place.  Heck, there's no rule about it so it's fine anyway!

 

18 minutes ago, mindspin311 said:
  • big $ suspension - Nothing adjustable beyond ride height, so unless you're building up a cache of pre-valved shocks for every track, where's the big money?
  • big $ brakes - Calipers over 4 pistons not allowed, so where's the big money

 

You're misquoting your own suspension rule.  The only thing NOT adjustable is shocks.  Anything else is fair game as long as it connects to the original location.  And as we already know, the enforcement of a "location" is very vague.  Imagine what the Riley folks would do with this.  As for brakes, there are plenty of big money options that still have four pistons.  They are better, and it would be one more way to "buy" speed.

 

5 minutes ago, mindspin311 said:

As usual, everyone just wants to poke holes in things instead of understanding the benefits.

 

People like us, poking holes in rules, is what forces us to have long rule books.  I think it's naive to expect true racers to do otherwise.

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I like the general idea.  But, ECU's can be changed at the flip of a switch.  Even a factory ECU can be put into knock mode and reduce horsepower by 20-30.  Too easy to cheat the system.  Do the math for me, so i make sure i got it right.  If my car weights 2600 lbs, What is my maximum allowed horsepower?

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1 minute ago, Lethal Cliff said:

I like the general idea.  But, ECU's can be changed at the flip of a switch.  Even a factory ECU can be put into knock mode and reduce horsepower by 20-30.  Too easy to cheat the system.  Do the math for me, so i make sure i got it right.  If my car weights 2600 lbs, What is my maximum allowed horsepower?

195hp

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I think champcar has (very slowly) been moving to a more PWR based ruleset. This gets right to the point.

I think it's great - my vote is yes! With the caveat that I think we can do a far better job with our current rules methodology than we currently are.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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  • Bill Strong changed the title to For Your Consideration - A new look at rules

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