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Speed creep vs cost creep


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46 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Hubs were actually 10 pts each as a suspension component, but for some reason never enforced.  It was REDUCED to 5 pts total.

 

I rather have them 2.5 pts than  0-10pts depending on the tech guy! 

 

If they all of a sudden charged 10pts for hub then people would very angry, similar to the fuel filler hose? 

 

Also I still struggle to understand how a free radiator can make things more expensive. Some OEM radiators cost a lot whilst you can get decent ebay radiators for nothing.

If you DID take points for a radiator you means that you didn't have money for a raditor. So it helps the teams that wont spend money on radiator.

Wilwood calipers are the same, for the Miata they are so much cheaper

 

Not sure about aero, for me that is a no cost saving feature and I wouldn't mind that being plenty of points.

Free cylinder heads would probably not be a good idea either as that would increase costs.

 

My point is, not all free items are the same.

 

Edited by turbogrill
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6 hours ago, mcoppola said:

But these things must be done in such asway that points don't become available to further promote speed creep. Period.

What's wrong with speed creep? If the rules are changed so the back-markers improve, you get speed creep. And closer racing. The same goes for people just improving their driving, which is bound to happen.

 

Most teams would be best off spending their time and money on practice, driver training, weight reduction, and hammering out their wheel wells to fit the absolute widest possible tires. The only way free parts have helped me in the past 10 years is lighter brakes, and again this is coming from having been involved in two cars which had FTD everywhere. I'd say flywheels will help too, but in my experience most people with lightweight flywheels didn't claim them at tech...

 

The "free stuff" that could legitimately make me significantly faster is free fuel capacity, free power, and free aero. However we now have a total capacity fuel rule, and ballooning tanks is now illegal. In this respect the rules have slowed us down.

Edited by Grant
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13 hours ago, mostmint said:

Aluminum radiator used to have points associated with it.  Now it free.  Those points are going into something else to make the car faster.  Period. 

 

The argument is it saves teams money.  Well sure it might save some teams money because they don't have to seek out old rare parts, but the speed creep going to cost me a lot of money.  We race at Nelson Ledges a lot.  In 2018 our lap times were on par with the average FTD of the top 10 cars - and we finished on the podium.  In 2021 with the same car we are like 3.5 seconds per lap behind the average of the top 10.   We went from the podium in 2018 to almost slowest on single lap time in 2021.  These are facts. 

 

What FTDing cars run an aluminum radiator? Why would they?

 

I'm sorry but 3.5 seconds a lap is not due to say 20 points getting freed up. That's driving improvements, tires, weight reduction, tires, and miscellaneous freebies (like porting, repurposed parts for aero, etc.). I'd wager it's mostly driving and tires.

 

I benefit from softer tires more than anyone. At 1950# full of gas on 255/40-17s, I can run harder on stickier tires than probably any other car in the series. It's a big advantage.

 

If you're running a 205 width tire, you're at a big disadvantage.

Edited by Grant
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For those concerned with speed creep I've got bad news for you: it's only going to get worse. Freezing the current rules won't help, because IMO most cars and drivers have many seconds left in them. Think about all the time you have left on the table vs. a pro driver in your car. Then think about all the aerodynamic components you could make with repurposed material, all the porting you could do, how much weight you could remove, etc.

 

The ruleset makes optimizing a ChampCar very difficult, so it's taking people a while to figure out how. The result (plus driving improvements) is consistent speed creep.

Slower cars tend to have their VPI reduced, which does help them. But this does not help the faster cars who tend to have their VPI increased. Some freebies like flywheels or whatever do help free up points, but not to the tune of seconds a lap. Aero can help quite a bit, but it's probably under-valued in the current rules.

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55 minutes ago, Grant said:

That's driving improvements, tires, weight reduction, tires, and miscellaneous freebies (like porting, repurposed parts for aero, etc.). I'd wager it's mostly driving and tires.

 

I benefit from softer tires more than anyone. At 1950# full of gas on 255/40-17s, I can run harder on stickier tires than probably any other car in the series. It's a big advantage.

 

If you're running a 205 width tire, you're at a big disadvantage.

Which tires are available in 2021 that were not available in 2018?  I've been running RE71R since then.  Pretty sure the RS4 was out back then (but not certain). 

 

Why in the last three years driver improvements happened like they had not in the 7 years prior? 

 

 

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COTA might be a good example, champcars lap times aren't very impressive at that track. I assume it's because most people drove it for the first time. Not saying that champcar drivers aren't good, lots of great drivers.

 

But I don't think you can master a track after 2 warmup laps. 

 

(I think the winner was a local SM guy, not sure if it's related. But they won with a non swapped NA)

 

After a roll cage a day logger should be next on every teams list.

 

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56 minutes ago, mostmint said:

Which tires are available in 2021 that were not available in 2018?  I've been running RE71R since then.  Pretty sure the RS4 was out back then (but not certain). 

 

Why in the last three years driver improvements happened like they had not in the 7 years prior? 

In 2021, A052s. RS4s or RS3s have been available for many years, and are functionally very similar. But availability doesn't matter so much as what teams are actually running. I can only recall seeing A052s at a single Champ race. They are very expensive and short-lived.

 

I can't speak to your particular circumstance, but I can speak for the September Sebring races. Sebring is a good way to look at speed creep because the track is so wide and passing is so easy. On a flow track like Road Atlanta FTDs will increase just because the rest of the field is getting quicker. We won this race twice in our old Z32, and my friend David Tenney won it five times in his SC300, with co-drivers Lee Saunders, Kevin Smith and once Randy Pobst.

Starting in 2014, Sebring FTDs were: 2:32.4, 2:31.3, 2:35.5, 2:33.4, 2:32.1, 2:34.1, 2:30.0 (there hasn't been a 2021 race yet)

 

You might point at 2020 and call that speed creep, but it was done by MK Motorsports, a powerful mustang which is highly fuel-limited. They finished on the same lap as one of Sahlen's Boxsters which had only turned a 2:32.6. So while MK turned very fast laps, I don't think this counts as speed creep.

 

Notably, my friends #225 SC300 was almost completely unchanged from year to year. At one point it got a megasquirt, which improved fuel mileage. It overheated and warped the head once, so they shaved it. It started out with headers, an oil cooler, and a few other things when the car was 400 points, but those went away when VPI was increased to 500. With its normal drivers its fastest times ranged from 2:35-36s, but in 2017 Randy Pobst got in it and did a 2:33.4 (FTD for that year). This was not a fluke, as Randy ran multiple 2:33s and his ideal was 2 seconds faster than prior years (I have all the daq from these races).

 

The #225 car had a lot left in it. The suspension was very soft and it was only on a 255 tire. However David wasn't interested in developing it, reasoning it kept winning anyway. It had picked up 2-3 seconds with driving improvements. It could have picked up more with suspension improvements and wider, stickier tires.

 

Despite its VPI increasing and despite removing parts from the car, the SC300 didn't get any slower, and in fact could have gone faster at 500 points than it had at 400. So while I don't see clear evidence of speed creep at Sebring, the potential was certainly there. But it would not come from anything to do with points.

Edited by Grant
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6 hours ago, mostmint said:

Which tires are available in 2021 that were not available in 2018?  I've been running RE71R since then.  Pretty sure the RS4 was out back then (but not certain). 

 

Why in the last three years driver improvements happened like they had not in the 7 years prior? 

 

 

I do think there are other factors, but if my memory is right, almost no teams ran the RE71r and none of the fast teams ran them at the time. Almost everyone was on RS3/4 tires. I think later, when people figured out tires, they started to run them. Now a good portion of the fast teams run them.

 

I also thinks some teams have reduced weight and improved driving.

 

One other thing for you  is that you are running PIRC and that is not the same. A few years ago, short track, bad pavement and bumps, a fast lap time was under 1:10. Now a fast lap time is under/around 2:02, basically double. You can really make up a ton more time with driver ability on the track than before, turn 1 alone is worth a lot of speed. I think being 2 seconds slower on the track would now be like 5 seconds slower on the new track. The track evolved for sure, I love it, one of my favorite tracks, but it takes a totally different driving style that before and a different car type that can do well.

 

I know one team took out a bunch of weight and did some engine items instead of running junk yard only motors with 100k miles. I know of another team that has done extensive driver focus, tons of iracing laps, only picks ultra fast drivers now. They also have a fully built motor with "stock" internals. I think a lot of teams are stepping up there games.

 

We also have teams like Sahlens, that ditched the old RX7 and go with the Boxsters and have set fast times and won a lot of races with them. I do wonder what teams that won 3-5 years ago, if they are still winning with the same car. If they are, what did they do? Or are most winners now newer recent builds?

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28 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

I think Rival S was available then?

Maybe, but no one really used them as they would not last and people were too cheat to buy lots of them.

 

I remember seeing people, a few times, try the Toyo RR ones and lasting 4 hours and going, nope, right after that. Today, it is more common place. We used to laugh of those guys and now we almost need to be them.

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12 hours ago, Grant said:

For those concerned with speed creep I've got bad news for you: it's only going to get worse. Freezing the current rules won't help, because IMO most cars and drivers have many seconds left in them. Think about all the time you have left on the table vs. a pro driver in your car. Then think about all the aerodynamic components you could make with repurposed material, all the porting you could do, how much weight you could remove, etc.

 

The ruleset makes optimizing a ChampCar very difficult, so it's taking people a while to figure out how. The result (plus driving improvements) is consistent speed creep.

Slower cars tend to have their VPI reduced, which does help them. But this does not help the faster cars who tend to have their VPI increased. Some freebies like flywheels or whatever do help free up points, but not to the tune of seconds a lap. Aero can help quite a bit, but it's probably under-valued in the current rules.

You are pretty much correct.  What I think you just laid out here is a strong argument for not giving ANYTHING more away that would free up any more points.    

 

Also a pretty good case for increasing points on some cars and increasing points on some modifications.  Aero for one.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Grant said:

I benefit from softer tires more than anyone. At 1950# full of gas on 255/40-17s, I can run harder on stickier tires than probably any other car in the series. It's a big advantage.

Very good point and for sure accurate.   I wonder, does that magic formula in the sky for determining VPI include what weight and tire a car would likely be able to run in well built and developed car?  Seems like that would be important.

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58 minutes ago, cowboys647 said:

Another car here that pays points for an aluminum radiator. That free 10 points means I can now afford a header or intake manifold. Few more hp and faster lap times.  Definitely no speed/cost creep /greenfont 

So let understand this correctly.  You took 10 points for an alum radiator instead of using a stock radiator and having enough points to have a header?  What car? Why does the stock radiator not work in this car? Does it overheat? Or is a stock radiator not available at all? I would like some more details as it just baffles me.

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15 minutes ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

So let understand this correctly.  You took 10 points for an alum radiator instead of using a stock radiator and having enough points to have a header?  What car? Why does the stock radiator not work in this car? Does it overheat? Or is a stock radiator not available at all? I would like some more details as it just baffles me.

Aluminum radiator provides more cooling capacity. We can close the grill area to reduce drag while maintaining temps. Another thing here is when drafting another car for multiple laps, temps with the stock radiator shoot up and you have to get clean air or back off. 
 

Car is a swapped Miata. If it had stock power, stock radiator would be fine but then we would be slow. 

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1 hour ago, cowboys647 said:

Aluminum radiator provides more cooling capacity. We can close the grill area to reduce drag while maintaining temps. Another thing here is when drafting another car for multiple laps, temps with the stock radiator shoot up and you have to get clean air or back off. 
 

Car is a swapped Miata. If it had stock power, stock radiator would be fine but then we would be slow. 

That is interesting. I helped Jer build his swapped Miata with and ecotec and stock radiator worked just fine. We had zero issues with overheating. Though we did really good ducting to the radiator and boxed it in. This caused all the air to flow through the radiator and not past. If you have any openings on either side it will just blow past the radiator and not through as much.  Maybe show some pictures of your setup and we can compare notes. The inlet hole was not very large at all and we had temps very low so we could have gone much smaller if we felt like it. 

 

So if I am understanding this correctly. You choose to have an alum radiator and really tiny radiator opening, or possible bad ducting, instead of having a slightley larger opening and putting a full header on there. To me, the larger opening and getting more hp will outweigh the radiator hole sizing by like a thousand percent. The miata needs every single hp you can get the tiny bit of slippery aero you might gain would not really be worth it.

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1 hour ago, cowboys647 said:

Aluminum radiator provides more cooling capacity. We can close the grill area to reduce drag while maintaining temps. Another thing here is when drafting another car for multiple laps, temps with the stock radiator shoot up and you have to get clean air or back off. 
 

Car is a swapped Miata. If it had stock power, stock radiator would be fine but then we would be slow. 

This is a good data point, but it can't be contributing to speed creep. Any car drafting someone else for multiple laps is not one of the fast outliers.

 

We run the stock radiator with good ducting, some inlet restriction, and no fan. At 162whp the highest temps we've seen is 190F. A windshielded car which can vent its hood should be able to do better. Good ducting and venting is key to reducing front end lift and drag.

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8 minutes ago, Grant said:

This is a good data point, but it can't be contributing to speed creep. Any car drafting someone else for multiple laps is not one of the fast outliers.

 

We run the stock radiator with good ducting, some inlet restriction, and no fan. At 162whp the highest temps we've seen is 190F. A windshielded car which can vent its hood should be able to do better. Good ducting and venting is key to reducing front end lift and drag.

I saw like 220-235F all the time in the MR2, changed the ducting and forced the air through the radiator without any gaps around around it now run 180-200F even when it gets really hot out. The ducting is the key for sure.

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On 9/17/2021 at 9:45 AM, JDChristianson said:

You are pretty much correct.  What I think you just laid out here is a strong argument for not giving ANYTHING more away that would free up any more points.    

 

Also a pretty good case for increasing points on some cars and increasing points on some modifications.  Aero for one.

I'm not sure if you missed my point or disagreed with it, so I'll restate: IMO the primary things that make some ChampCars fast outliers do not and never have cost points. Just look at my NC as an example. So slowing the outliers down wouldn't be a matter of adding points as much as it'd be creating new categories (like tire compound and weight). Although the trouble with limiting tire width is that wider tires are actually cheaper to race on.

 

See my post on the #225 SC300 above. The car went from 400 to 500 points and went faster. I'm pretty confident that if I bought it from David and did my best on it with 295 Coopers, we'd be < 2:30 at Sebring running 2 hours stints. Still at 500 points. I would benefit from the new brake rule, but not to the tune of a second per lap.

 

Free stuff does not speed up the outliers unless its power or weight related. They already have the spring rates and shock valving they need. They probably already cheated on flywheels. Stock radiators work fine. They don't care about oil temps. The #225 car had to remove its cooler, and would wrap the oil temp gauge around itself. It probably made a bit more power like this because the oil, even the 60-weight 300V they ran, was thinner like this.

Edit: I do agree 'free stuff' will in some cases speed up an outlier. We'd benefit from free spring rates because I can't be bothered to make custom or cut lowering springs work. I just don't think its more than 10% of speed creep.

Edited by Grant
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On 9/16/2021 at 8:47 AM, TiredBirds said:

how does it run? 

I think it has run a best of 2:48 at RA going from memory.

 

And even with a 22 gallon cell it can't go 2 hours. I want to say they pit around 1:40 or so. 

 

Prettiest ride in Champcar.

 

eta-A 2nd gen F body, assuming you can find a decent donor at a good price, is probably cheaper to build than many (most?) other cars in the series if you want to be at the pointy end. They don't need anything exotic and there are loads of suspension parts available. The rear has leaf springs however, so they can be pricey if you have to change rates. Fiberglass springs save about 70 pounds but are rather expensive.

 

Pick what horsepower you want as 300HP will be about the same points as 400hp. (Building, not swapping) Fuel range keeps high horsepower in check. The running costs will be higher than 98% of the cars however.

 

Vortec 5.7 out of a 98 Silverado>>>>>Explorer 302

 

Edited by Bandit
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On 9/17/2021 at 1:25 PM, cowboys647 said:

Aluminum radiator provides more cooling capacity. We can close the grill area to reduce drag while maintaining temps. Another thing here is when drafting another car for multiple laps, temps with the stock radiator shoot up and you have to get clean air or back off. 
 

Car is a swapped Miata. If it had stock power, stock radiator would be fine but then we would be slow. 

I run a EcoTec Miata with a stock Miata Radiator. Ran yesterday and today at PBIR and ran 195 deg all day in Florida heat.

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11 hours ago, gundy said:

I run a EcoTec Miata with a stock Miata Radiator. Ran yesterday and today at PBIR and ran 195 deg all day in Florida heat.

I had an ecotec Miata as a daily and it would overheat the stock Miata radiator on the street. It had pretty poor ducting which probably had a lot to do with it. 
 

My main point is that there is a competitive advantage to an aluminum radiator. If you could swap your stock radiator with an aluminum one and then tape 50% more of the grill, you could have less drag and therefore more speed. Just because everyone doesn’t do this doesn’t mean it isn’t done and isn’t an advantage. 
 

Our second car is getting it’s first outing at Harris Hill. It’s a turbo Miata and will 100% require a big aluminum radiator. Now that we don’t have to pay points there, we will likely be adding a wing. 

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8 minutes ago, cowboys647 said:

I had an ecotec Miata as a daily and it would overheat the stock Miata radiator on the street. It had pretty poor ducting which probably had a lot to do with it. 
 

My main point is that there is a competitive advantage to an aluminum radiator. If you could swap your stock radiator with an aluminum one and then tape 50% more of the grill, you could have less drag and therefore more speed. Just because everyone doesn’t do this doesn’t mean it isn’t done and isn’t an advantage. 
 

Our second car is getting it’s first outing at Harris Hill. It’s a turbo Miata and will 100% require a big aluminum radiator. Now that we don’t have to pay points there, we will likely be adding a wing. 

I disagree. With all the experience I have and helped build a lot of cars I have never seen an advantage to an alum radiator in a race car, actually the opposite for lap times.

 

On the street, maybe, on some turbo cars with a giant intercooler before it and ac heater core it heats up the water a lot and can overheat. That is mainly due to slow street speeds and poor ducting. In a race car, at speed, that should never be an issue.

 

Here is why an alum radiator is a detriment to a race car. Weight. Every 10lbs or so can equal .1 a second, give or take. We took out 280lbs of the care one summer and gained 2.5 seconds  a lap. An alum radiator is almost always heaver in two ways. The alum ones are larger than stock, so more alum is heaver. I have put in alum ones and they weigh more. Then you have more fluid capacity and fluid weighs more.

 

On the turbo setup, use some good ducting. Please share your setup and we will help you out. I assume you did not route the intercooler hot air into the radiator for a race car setup and both have their own fresh air.

 

To me, and please do not take this wrong, if you are choosing to use points for an alum radiator instead of a wing then you are not setting your car up correctly. If you share you setup, you can pm if you want to keep it private and I will not share it, but you should never need an alum radiator. Let us help you.

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