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Speed creep vs cost creep


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Hi,

 

The term "speed creep" is being thrown around and people complain about cars getting faster.

 

But isn't it really "cost creep" that we want to limit?

 

The goal for motorsports should be:

- Make it safe
- Make it cheap


We are racers, ofcourse we get faster. If we really want to limit speeds for some reason we would have to put in a minimum on laptimes or something bizarre.

 

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Fuel, tires, brakes, power train all have pretty proportional costs to the speed of the cars. 

 

This is sort of beyond the obvious, that faster performance cars tend to have higher values as they have utility in the rest of the world. 

 

Unavoidable fact, when we were all racing cars prepped to a performance level that excited no one on the street, the purchase price, repair part values and running costs all represented it. 

 

You could argue the spec b cars of today are what the series would have encouraged in the beginning. I bet they are faster than the average car was in 2009. That amount of speed creep would be natural. I think what we have trying to keep a false image of a single class has exceeded that several times over. 

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2 hours ago, Black Magic said:

Fuel, tires, brakes, power train all have pretty proportional costs to the speed of the cars.

 

Disagree. Lots of things increase speed and lower running cost at the same time:

  • Weight reduction
  • Wider tires
  • Optimizing tire contact patch (suspension, camber, etc.)
  • Optimizing brake bias
  • Lowering CoG height
  • Limiting inside wheelspin

Obviously I've gone to extreme lengths to reduce weight, because it's a win-win-win. More speed, less cost, less fuel burn. I like speed creep, but not cost creep. Holding tires constant, I don't think there's another car in the series driven hard with a lower running cost than my NC.

 

Though I understand why ChampCar needs to limit speed creep. It's supposed to be an introductory series, and big speed disparities create safety issues.

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The term speed creep is used to justify not changing X rule because team A does not need X and does not want team B to have X, even though it does not really cause speed creep.

 

Perfect example just brought up is offset bushings. If you get your camber right the tires will wear even and you can get much more life out of them. The speed gain you have it minimal if at all unless you are going for FTD full out flying lap every single lap. The overall speed average will most likely be exactly the same, but you might get another race out of that set of tires. Saves money.

 

Another is free alum radiators. No one is overheating now, not a single car in Champcar, yah, go ahead, try to find one, I will wait. If you add an alum radiator you will most certainly be slower. Reasons, they are almost always heavier. BTW- more weight makes a car slower, I know, crazy concept. So cheaper alum radiators actually saves teams money and makes them slower.

 

Another is the pressured radiator overflow containers. On the Miata NC I could buy a new one at like $180 every other race and never ever have to worry about it. If I try to be cheap and save money then at race 4-5 it might blow, leave water on track and blow up my engine. If I just buy and alum one, one time cost of $180 I am good for life. Saves me money and is safer. I think the E30 is the same. As much as E30's are a direct and fierce competitor I want to see them not blow up, save money and race me to the end.

 

Accusump, adds a considerable amount of weight and saves engines from blowing up on track, oil on track, costs, ect. It does not add speed, but is points. I really wish we could asses points based on actual speed and not reliability and I wonder if the club as a hole will ever come to that thinking with us so stuck in the past.

 

Let us Yell Speed Creep if there is anything free that someone else might have and a good portion of it the time it is because people hope others fail so they can do well.

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11 hours ago, Grant said:

Disagree. Lots of things increase speed and lower running cost at the same time

 

The fastest car a decade ago sat at Rd america ran a 2:56, this year sat the fastest non ec car ran a 2:43. I agree the will be solid laptime sensitivity to camber, tire width, etc, but 13 sec a lap is well beyond what you can brake bias yourself towards. You wouldn't be 13 sec off if you removed the rear brakes, ran narrow tires and added 300 lbs to the car at the height of the driver. 

 

I think that is the level of speed creep people have issues with, and the largest inflation was a few years ago as vpi dropped, the swap weights got "updates" and the engine mod points dropped. 

 

I think we all know the trend will be towards faster laps even with the same spend, just a matter of rate.

 

Edited by Black Magic
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1 minute ago, Black Magic said:

 The fastest car a decade ago sat at Rd america ran a 2:56, this year sat the fastest non ec car ran a 2:43.

I'm from FL so don't know anything about Road America, but didn't they change the track around? Spec Miatas have run 2:42s so 2:43 is not exactly quick by Champ standards. Even the slower big tank cars routinely exceed SM times.

 

Maybe look at Sebring? That hasn't changed.

 

A decade ago I had the fastest laps at Sebring, a 2:36 while conserving heavily in a Z32. Driven flat out it could probably have done 33s. Fast forward 6 years and the #225 SC300 wins with Randy Pobst turning a 2:33. Both cars make almost exactly the same amount of power. The Z is lighter but the Lexus has better aero. The differences came from:

 

1) Not conserving fuel

2) Better driving (Randy)

3) Faster overall race pace, so less passing needed

 

In December we are going to try very hard to turn faster lap times than Crowd Control, in a 162whp Miata. I can guarantee you that's not cost creep. We'll definitely be a lot faster than #225 car, primarily because of driving (I'm much better now) and tires (Coopers > RS4s). An NC is not a better Sebring car than an SC300, not by a long shot.

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59 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

 

The fastest car a decade ago sat at Rd america ran a 2:56, this year sat the fastest non ec car ran a 2:43. I agree the will be solid laptime sensitivity to camber, tire width, etc, but 13 sec a lap is well beyond what you can brake bias yourself towards. You wouldn't be 13 sec off if you removed the rear brakes, ran narrow tires and added 300 lbs to the car at the height of the driver. 

 

I think that is the level of speed creep people have issues with, and the largest inflation was a few years ago as vpi dropped, the swap weights got "updates" and the engine mod points dropped. 

 

I think we all know the trend will be towards faster laps even with the same spend, just a matter of rate.

 

A decade, almost, 2012, we did a 2:46 FTD. Now it is a 2:43.  Not that different.  Though the majority of cars were in the 2:55-3:00 range and now in the 2:48-2:53 range.

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35 minutes ago, Grant said:

I'm from FL so don't know anything about Road America, but didn't they change the track around? Spec Miatas have run 2:42s so 2:43 is not exactly quick by Champ standards. Even the slower big tank cars routinely exceed SM times.

 

Maybe look at Sebring? That hasn't changed.

 

A decade ago I had the fastest laps at Sebring, a 2:36 while conserving heavily in a Z32. Driven flat out it could probably have done 33s. Fast forward 6 years and the #225 SC300 wins with Randy Pobst turning a 2:33. Both cars make almost exactly the same amount of power. The Z is lighter but the Lexus has better aero. The differences came from:

 

1) Not conserving fuel

2) Better driving (Randy)

3) Faster overall race pace, so less passing needed

 

In December we are going to try very hard to turn faster lap times than Crowd Control, in a 162whp Miata. I can guarantee you that's not cost creep. We'll definitely be a lot faster than #225 car, primarily because of driving (I'm much better now) and tires (Coopers > RS4s). An NC is not a better Sebring car than an SC300, not by a long shot.

 

1 minute ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

A decade, almost, 2012, we did a 2:46 FTD. Now it is a 2:43.  Not that different.  Though the majority of cars were in the 2:55-3:00 range and now in the 2:48-2:53 range.

We also did a 2:29 at Sebring like 4ish years ago. 

 

I think the main point here is some cars have gotten much faster and mainly due to 2 main reasons. 1- the drivers got that much better. 2- Tires have gotten faster.

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Yup, when we started 10 years ago we had no idea these cars could be driven flat out for 7 hours, let alone 14. We'd conserve, short-shift, do all sorts of things that slowed us down. With modern brake pads we don't even think about conserving brakes. With Motorcraft synthetic fluid we shift as fast as we can, every shift. That alone is worth a second vs. our old Z's shift quality. And we're better drivers to the point where there's no danger driving 10/10ths indefinitely unless traffic, rain, or mechanical failure interfere.

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49 minutes ago, Grant said:

I'm from FL so don't know anything about Road America, but didn't they change the track around? Spec Miatas have run 2:42s so 2:43 is not exactly quick by Champ standards. Even the slower big tank cars routinely exceed SM times.

 

Maybe look at Sebring? That hasn't changed.

 

A decade ago I had the fastest laps at Sebring, a 2:36 while conserving heavily in a Z32. Driven flat out it could probably have done 33s. Fast forward 6 years and the #225 SC300 wins with Randy Pobst turning a 2:33. Both cars make almost exactly the same amount of power. The Z is lighter but the Lexus has better aero. The differences came from:

 

1) Not conserving fuel

2) Better driving (Randy)

3) Faster overall race pace, so less passing needed

 

In December we are going to try very hard to turn faster lap times than Crowd Control, in a 162whp Miata. I can guarantee you that's not cost creep. We'll definitely be a lot faster than #225 car, primarily because of driving (I'm much better now) and tires (Coopers > RS4s). An NC is not a better Sebring car than an SC300, not by a long shot.

The difference at RA is that spec miata doesn't run the chicane.  We do.  It is worth 7 to 10 seconds.

 

I agree with everything else.

 

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23 minutes ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

A decade, almost, 2012, we did a 2:46 FTD. Now it is a 2:43.  Not that different.  Though the majority of cars were in the 2:55-3:00 range and now in the 2:48-2:53 range.

I think your car was famously above the curve on power creep, and you may have a point that the creep was just much of the field catching up to the few cars that were out there. 

 

I remember about 2015 at VIR you and I chatting. You came over to see what we had in the car, something along the lines of "it must be alot because I have alot". I think that was about the middle of the big inflation, I bolted 30-40 more hp in and instantly could keep up. We had roughly kept up before, 3 years before that you could podium with the lower power. The engine mods points deflated quickly and we had room to add the hp. 

 

Look at winners from out east you have run against, you think there isn't a strong power difference from the old Ronald's racers car to the front runners today? 

Edited by Black Magic
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3 hours ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

The term speed creep is used to justify not changing X rule because team A does not need X and does not want team B to have X, even though it does not really cause speed creep.

 

Perfect example just brought up is offset bushings. If you get your camber right the tires will wear even and you can get much more life out of them. The speed gain you have it minimal if at all unless you are going for FTD full out flying lap every single lap. The overall speed average will most likely be exactly the same, but you might get another race out of that set of tires. Saves money.

 

Another is free alum radiators. No one is overheating now, not a single car in Champcar, yah, go ahead, try to find one, I will wait. If you add an alum radiator you will most certainly be slower. Reasons, they are almost always heavier. BTW- more weight makes a car slower, I know, crazy concept. So cheaper alum radiators actually saves teams money and makes them slower.

 

Another is the pressured radiator overflow containers. On the Miata NC I could buy a new one at like $180 every other race and never ever have to worry about it. If I try to be cheap and save money then at race 4-5 it might blow, leave water on track and blow up my engine. If I just buy and alum one, one time cost of $180 I am good for life. Saves me money and is safer. I think the E30 is the same. As much as E30's are a direct and fierce competitor I want to see them not blow up, save money and race me to the end.

 

Accusump, adds a considerable amount of weight and saves engines from blowing up on track, oil on track, costs, ect. It does not add speed, but is points. I really wish we could asses points based on actual speed and not reliability and I wonder if the club as a hole will ever come to that thinking with us so stuck in the past.

 

Let us Yell Speed Creep if there is anything free that someone else might have and a good portion of it the time it is because people hope others fail so they can do well.

This is your perception.

 

I am one of the most vocal about giving free stuff away....

 

I have never come at it fr9m the perspective of slowing others down so I can maintain some "advantage".  

 

The free stuff in a few cases just allows teams to spend more points on items that can then make their car faster.  Once a car goes faster, everybody that wants to stay competitive needs to spend money to do so....

 

In other words, we have some stupid rules.  Speed creep is coming from tires and natural evolution.  I don't think anybody is arguing that.

 

It seems some teams are able to run the same budget and go faster.

 

I have spent more money to keep pace.

 

That is just my car choice apparently.

 

I get that.  I'm done arguing about cost creep.

 

Just don't put words in people's mouths please.

 

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6 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

This is your perception.

 

I am one of the most vocal about giving free stuff away....

 

I have never come at it fr9m the perspective of slowing others down so I can maintain some "advantage".  

 

The free stuff in a few cases just allows teams to spend more points on items that can then make their car faster.  Once a car goes faster, everybody that wants to stay competitive needs to spend money to do so....

 

In other words, we have some stupid rules.  Speed creep is coming from tires and natural evolution.  I don't think anybody is arguing that.

 

It seems some teams are able to run the same budget and go faster.

 

I have spent more money to keep pace.

 

That is just my car choice apparently.

 

I get that.  I'm done arguing about cost creep.

 

Just don't put words in people's mouths please.

 

And I one of the most vocal that free stuff does not equal speed. A lot of free stuff equal reliability, which some argue equals speed, but I define reliable as finishing a race as we all go flat out nowadays anyway. So we can agree to disagree and continue to discuss/argue otherwise.

 

I am not putting words into peoples mouths, people say what they say and do what they do. The true meaning behind the reasons is there and obvious most of the time if you just look for it.

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5 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

Is this due to fuel? Or the sc300 has better pwr or more hp?

Fuel and power / drag ratio. Take the #225 car, remove 100 lbs, add 295 width Coopers and stiffer springs. I bet it turns 2:29s, at least, going 2 hours on fuel.

 

Now we should be faster than that, but in an 8 hour race we'd be running 4 stops while conserving (i.e. 1:31 stints; not easy at Sebring) or 5 without, vs. their 3 with no conserving. Sebring does hot pulls. We'd need to go 1.5 seconds faster / lap faster to make up for one extra 5 minute pit stop. Not going to happen given equal drivers etc.

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2 hours ago, Grant said:

In December we are going to try very hard to turn faster lap times than Crowd Control, in a 162whp Miata. I can guarantee you that's not cost creep. We'll definitely be a lot faster than #225 car, primarily because of driving (I'm much better now) and tires (Coopers > RS4s). An NC is not a better Sebring car than an SC300, not by a long shot.

We ran :30 in November and the car is faster since then. In March during testing at a DE prior to Daytona we went :30 on dead RS4s. 

We won't be there in December. 

 

2 hours ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

We also did a 2:29 at Sebring like 4ish years ago.  due to 2 main reasons. 1- the drivers got that much better. 2- Tires have gotten faster.

Uh...in Champ-legal trim on 200 tires? I'm pretty unaware of that so surprised. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 1:35 PM, Black Magic said:

Look at winners from out east you have run against, you think there isn't a strong power difference from the old Ronald's racers car to the front runners today? 

 

I bet @chip would know best since he was winning races with them back then and is still winning races now. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 11:12 AM, Black Magic said:

 

The fastest car a decade ago sat at Rd america ran a 2:56, this year sat the fastest non ec car ran a 2:43. I agree the will be solid laptime sensitivity to camber, tire width, etc, but 13 sec a lap is well beyond what you can brake bias yourself towards. You wouldn't be 13 sec off if you removed the rear brakes, ran narrow tires and added 300 lbs to the car at the height of the driver. 

 

I think that is the level of speed creep people have issues with, and the largest inflation was a few years ago as vpi dropped, the swap weights got "updates" and the engine mod points dropped. 

 

I think we all know the trend will be towards faster laps even with the same spend, just a matter of rate.

 

 

On 9/6/2021 at 12:13 PM, MR2 Biohazard said:

A decade, almost, 2012, we did a 2:46 FTD. Now it is a 2:43.  Not that different.  Though the majority of cars were in the 2:55-3:00 range and now in the 2:48-2:53 range.



Troy is right. I won Sunday at the first Road America event, and I was running my $500 claimer class car. The week after the race if you had $500 you could have bought it at the local roundy-round. 

The 2:56 from eggboy you quoted was not a real lap time, it was a timing loop thing. Bear patrol had fast time at 3:05. 

I thought the series was like junkyard wars going into that race, we didn't know the cars were allowed to have any prep. I was also running 13/165 tires etc. Troy's time from 2012 of 2:46 is much more indicative of the speed creed. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 12:13 PM, MR2 Biohazard said:

A decade, almost, 2012, we did a 2:46 FTD. Now it is a 2:43.  Not that different.  Though the majority of cars were in the 2:55-3:00 range and now in the 2:48-2:53 range.

Actually, you did a 2:49.6 and you were ~5 seconds clear of the field.

Second fastest car in 2012 was a 2:54.5 Second fastest car in 2021 was 2:42.9

The winners of this years 7 hour race did 11 more laps than when you won in 2014 (142 vs. 131)

Not that different?

 

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

Actually, you did a 2:49.6 and you were ~5 seconds clear of the field.

Second fastest car in 2012 was a 2:54.5 Second fastest car in 2021 was 2:42.9

The winners of this years 7 hour race did 11 more laps than when you won in 2014 (142 vs. 131)

Not that different?

I hadn’t said anything yet but you kinda hit on what I was going to say. Using the Biohazard lap time from AIV days is not representative of the average field lap time progression. In fact, the AIV biohazard car might be the only car from that era that would be over 500 points in today’s rulebook.

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Our first car at COTA  >2.51 (a couple years ago, low end car)

Second car at COTA 2.43s (2 years ago?, strong midpack car)

 

Roughly same amount of money. 

 

I don't have a problem with going faster as long as I don't have to spend more.

 

 

Edited by turbogrill
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8 hours ago, ABR-Glen said:

Actually, you did a 2:49.6 and you were ~5 seconds clear of the field.

Second fastest car in 2012 was a 2:54.5 Second fastest car in 2021 was 2:42.9

The winners of this years 7 hour race did 11 more laps than when you won in 2014 (142 vs. 131)

Not that different?

 

I remembered a 2:46, but 2:49 makes sense also. I remember at 45 min I radioed my driver how much fuel was left and he said 1/4 tank. We had to pit an extra time and then slow down to conserve fuel the rest of the race. This was before I had the ballooned tank and could only go 1:10-1:15 at Road America. At the time PITT was really bad on gas also and had 1:10 stint time.

 

It is impressive the amount of laps done vs old.

8 hours ago, enginerd said:

I hadn’t said anything yet but you kinda hit on what I was going to say. Using the Biohazard lap time from AIV days is not representative of the average field lap time progression. In fact, the AIV biohazard car might be the only car from that era that would be over 500 points in today’s rulebook.

The car did go up to 540 points raced and was not changed for the last 5-7 years raced, same engine and setup though, they just added things as points over the years and rules added them. They added headers at 25 points, alum flywheel 10 and alum rad 10. There were more points added when it went away from SQ of materials to fixed values. I am thinking I went up about 75 points over the years for different rule changes. That was also a part of why I decided to part her out and get the Miata NC. I seem to make a good amount of regretful decisions when you have hindsight. Another, if I only knew. 

 

I would like to compare lap times from 3-4 years ago to now. The fast tires started to come into play around 2 years ago, and people started to use them more heavily. That will be harder to dive into though. I wonder how much that plays into it.

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9 hours ago, ABR-Glen said:

Actually, you did a 2:49.6 and you were ~5 seconds clear of the field.

Second fastest car in 2012 was a 2:54.5 Second fastest car in 2021 was 2:42.9

The winners of this years 7 hour race did 11 more laps than when you won in 2014 (142 vs. 131)

Not that different?

 

Yea Road America times have come waaaaay down over the years and the average time for the field has come down a bunch.  We we first went with our car it wouldn't do 3 min.  and there were tons of cars between 3 and 3:10.   Now,  you need to be able to run well under 3 min. all day to sniff the top 10.   Its not just tires............ we ran rs4 then and now, its drivers, its points that were freed up with free brakes, free suspension bushings, and all the other free stuff that I can't think of on only 1/2 cup of coffee.  The free stuff has been raining down like candy at a small town 4th of July parade.  Every point that has been given up has been used to make the cars faster and easier to drive.  Easier to drive is faster.

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1 hour ago, JDChristianson said:

Yea Road America times have come waaaaay down over the years and the average time for the field has come down a bunch.  We we first went with our car it wouldn't do 3 min.  and there were tons of cars between 3 and 3:10.   Now,  you need to be able to run well under 3 min. all day to sniff the top 10.   Its not just tires............ we ran rs4 then and now, its drivers, its points that were freed up with free brakes, free suspension bushings, and all the other free stuff that I can't think of on only 1/2 cup of coffee.  The free stuff has been raining down like candy at a small town 4th of July parade.  Every point that has been given up has been used to make the cars faster and easier to drive.  Easier to drive is faster.

 

In terms of costs, did those points make you spend a ton of money on things?

 

For instance bushings might be something you would have done anyways so no cost. But I think camshafts and header got cheaper. So that could be a $1000-$2000 upgrade.
ECU got free, saved us money/time/reliability but I guess for some teams that could have been a $1000 pure performance upgrade.


Also how did brakes help? Did you switch to a high dollar lightweight setup? For our car it was mostly a reliability upgrade.

 

 

 

Edited by turbogrill
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10 hours ago, turbogrill said:

Our first car at COTA  >2.51 (a couple years ago, low end car)

Second car at COTA 2.43s (2 years ago?, strong midpack car)

 

Roughly same amount of money. 

 

I don't have a problem with going faster as long as I don't have to spend more.

 

 

You don't look at building a whole second car as spending more?

 

Build a new one every year, as long as they each cost the same?

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