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Champcar has an issue with the rules on fuel cells. I do believe that the goal of allowing fuel cells was to increase safety and keep costs down.  I've done some digging, and while there is a petition in to change the wording, there are some issues with it as I see it. My hope here is that perhaps the BOD and/or TAC may see this and realize that something needs to be done.

 

Here are the specs used for motorsports:

 

SFI 28.1 - These are drag racing cells. They are polymer cells without a metal casing.  Some cells do come with metal containers, but they are not required by the certification.  These are thin, plastic, unprotected fuel cells. NOT suited for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years (optional one time 2 year extension if sent back to mfg)

 

SFI 28.2 - These are crash resistant fuel cells specifically for Midget and sprint cars.  They are very odd-shaped cells meant for the rear of these specific cars and have to meet specific conditions for crashes associated with these types of cars.  They may be suitable for road racing, but their odd shapes are not practical. These DO NOT expire.

 

SFI 28.3 - These are flexible fabric bladder cells that are generally encased in a metal or other structural container (Carbon Fiber).  Very suitable for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years.

 

SFI 32.1 - These are Stockcar spec cells. Similar to 28.3 with some improvements. Very Suitable for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years

 

The FIA ratings are all the same except that they have different specs for tear and puncture testing. FT3 being the lowest, and FT5 the highest. They do allow the use of poly or "hard-rubber" material for the cell if it passes the required tests. The "hard rubber" cells only pass the FT3 standards.  These DO expire after 5 years (optional one time 2 year extension if sent back to mfg)

FIA FT3 

FIA FT3.5

FIA FT5

 

There are no SFI or FIA rated cells that do not expire (except the 28.2, but I don't see us putting sprint car cells in our cars).  So all cells would need to be within the date if Champcar wants to follow the standards.  There is an argument that Champcar needs to follow these rules to maintain legal protection from SFI/FIA, however I believe that argument falls flat on its face when you allow cars with 40 year old stock steel tanks to race.  

 

I do believe that there are valid concerns about the fabric style cells deteriorating over time and failing. These are specifically the 28.3 , 32.1 , FT3.5 , FT5 , and some FT3 cells. The problem is that the FT3 cells that are not a flexible fabric material (they are the "hard-rubber" ones) are the most popular and affordable cells in grassroots racing. These are the ATL, Sports Cell, Saver Cell, Fuel Safe Endure series and others. These types of cells do not deteriorate like the fabric ones do.  They are not as strong as the fabric type, but they do still meet the FT3 standard.

 

I do think that the smartest solution, and the one that makes the most sense for cost conscience racers is to allow the "hard-rubber" cells to be used past their expiration date.

 

Example of possible rule wording:

 

- Fuel cells must conform to SFI 28.3 , 32.1 or FIA FT3 (or higher)

- All cells must be enclosed in a 20 guage (or greater) steel container

- FIA FT3 bladders made of a "hard-rubber" construction may be used for upto 5 (or even 10) years after their expiry date. 

 

Any thoughts?

 

Edited by petawawarace
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The way I see it, regardless of anything else, if SFI/FIA puts an expiration date on it, ChampCar (because of insurance/lawyers/etc) is forced to follow that date.  The same is true of belts, window nets, seats, fire suppression and racing gear.  All have an expiration date that ChampCar now enforces.  The stock tank argument has merit, but the requirement could be to require all cars to have a fuel cell, which I'm sure is not the path ChampCar or it's members would want to take.

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46 minutes ago, petawawarace said:

Champcar has an issue with the rules on fuel cells. I do believe that the goal of allowing fuel cells was to increase safety and keep costs down.  I've done some digging, and while there is a petition in to change the wording, there are some issues with it as I see it. My hope here is that perhaps the BOD and/or TAC may see this and realize that something needs to be done.

 

Here are the specs used for motorsports:

 

SFI 28.1 - These are drag racing cells. They are polymer cells without a metal casing.  Some cells do come with metal containers, but they are not required by the certification.  These are thin, plastic, unprotected fuel cells. NOT suited for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years (optional one time 2 year extension if sent back to mfg)

 

SFI 28.2 - These are crash resistant fuel cells specifically for Midget and sprint cars.  They are very odd-shaped cells meant for the rear of these specific cars and have to meet specific conditions for crashes associated with these types of cars.  They may be suitable for road racing, but their odd shapes are not practical. These DO NOT expire.

 

SFI 28.3 - These are flexible fabric bladder cells that are generally encased in a metal or other structural container (Carbon Fiber).  Very suitable for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years.

 

SFI 32.1 - These are Stockcar spec cells. Similar to 28.3 with some improvements. Very Suitable for road racing. These DO expire after 5 years

 

The FIA ratings are all the same except that they have different specs for tear and puncture testing. FT3 being the lowest, and FT5 the highest. They do allow the use of poly or "hard-rubber" material for the cell if it passes the required tests. The "hard rubber" cells only pass the FT3 standards.  These DO expire after 5 years (optional one time 2 year extension if sent back to mfg)

FIA FT3 

FIA FT3.5

FIA FT5

 

There are no SFI or FIA rated cells that do not expire (except the 28.2, but I don't see us putting sprint car cells in our cars).  So all cells would need to be within the date if Champcar wants to follow the standards.  There is an argument that Champcar needs to follow these rules to maintain legal protection from SFI/FIA, however I believe that argument falls flat on its face when you allow cars with 40 year old stock steel tanks to race.  

 

I do believe that there are valid concerns about the fabric style cells deteriorating over time and failing. These are specifically the 28.3 , 32.1 , FT3.5 , FT5 , and some FT3 cells. The problem is that the FT3 cells that are not a flexible fabric material (they are the "hard-rubber" ones) are the most popular and affordable cells in grassroots racing. These are the ATL, Sports Cell, Saver Cell, Fuel Safe Endure series and others. These types of cells do not deteriorate like the fabric ones do.  They are not as strong as the fabric type, but they do still meet the FT3 standard.

 

I do think that the smartest solution, and the one that makes the most sense for cost conscience racers is to allow the "hard-rubber" cells to be used past their expiration date.

 

Example of possible rule wording:

 

- Fuel cells must conform to SFI 28.3 , 32.1 or FIA FT3 (or higher)

- All cells must be enclosed in a 20 guage (or greater) steel container

- FIA FT3 bladders made of a "hard-rubber" construction may be used for upto 5 (or even 10) years after their expiry date. 

 

Any thoughts?

 

Just an FYI-Most cell manufacturers are shifting from steel containers to aluminum 

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4 minutes ago, scottyk said:

Just an FYI-Most cell manufacturers are shifting from steel containers to aluminum 

 

Most of the entry level cells still have steel containers. There are options for aluminum ones as well.

 

The FIA and SFI standards don't actually specify what type of enclosure the bladders need to be in. this is from SFI 28.3: Competition Fuel Cell Bladder: A flexible enclosure for fuel that is generally encased within a metal container or other appropriate structural material but which has the capability to undergo moderate crash loads while retaining integrity and resisting rupture.

 

Its the sanctioning body that usually stipulates what type of container the bladder has to be in.  An LMP3 car for example wont have any container as the bladder would be installed in the chassis of the car. Nascar will specify what type/thickness of the container around the bladder. 

 

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32 minutes ago, CoachMK21 said:

The way I see it, regardless of anything else, if SFI/FIA puts an expiration date on it, ChampCar (because of insurance/lawyers/etc) is forced to follow that date.  The same is true of belts, window nets, seats, fire suppression and racing gear.  All have an expiration date that ChampCar now enforces.  The stock tank argument has merit, but the requirement could be to require all cars to have a fuel cell, which I'm sure is not the path ChampCar or it's members would want to take.

 

So that's the issue. Does Champcar follow the FIA/SFI standards to the letter? Allowing stock steel tanks obviously isn't following any standards other than what the car manufacturer made them too (which did not include racing use).  

 

It all comes down to the Insurance provider. They will read the rules and assign the level of risk that they feel appropriate. 

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Your information on SFI 28.1 is completely wrong. On plastic drag racing cells nobody bothers to put a SFI sticker on them since no organizations require them. They are not exactly thin either, they are rotomolded plastic, exactly the same as most factory fuel tanks nowadays, and almost certainly thicker than factory tanks.

 

The only manufacturer I know who sells an SFI 28.1 cell is Jaz, and it is exactly the same as their normal production cell, but they charge you extra to pay for the SFI sticker. It is a thick rotomolded tank, which is enclosed in a steel container, and filled with foam. SFI 28.1 cells do not have any expiration date since they don’t have a fabric bladder, and don’t degrade any more than a factory rotomolded fuel tank which may be 30 years old on the cars run in ChampCar. As a side note RCI will sell you a fuel cell built exactly the same way, rotomolded cell inside a steel container and filled with foam, but they rate their cells as SFI 28.3. this is merely a scam on their part to make you need to buy a new cell every 5 years.

 

If it was just me making the rules no car would be allowed to compete with a stock fuel tank, but I don’t see that argument winning any time soon.

 

The SFI sticker in this picture is kind of hard to read but is a legal SFI 28.1 certification sticker.

SFI.jpg.7462d14afa057cfd8b0de9764dfcb3d4.jpg

Edited by mhr650
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36 minutes ago, mhr650 said:

Your information on SFI 28.1 is completely wrong. On plastic drag racing cells nobody bothers to put a SFI sticker on them since no organizations require them. They are not exactly thin either, they are rotomolded plastic, exactly the same as most factory fuel tanks nowadays, and almost certainly thicker than factory tanks.

 

The only manufacturer I know who sells an SFI 28.1 cell is Jaz, and it is exactly the same as their normal production cell, but they charge you extra to pay for the SFI sticker. It is a thick rotomolded tank, which is enclosed in a steel container, and filled with foam. SFI 28.1 cells do not have any expiration date since they don’t have a fabric bladder, and don’t degrade any more than a factory rotomolded fuel tank which may be 30 years old on the cars run in ChampCar. As a side note RCI will sell you a fuel cell built exactly the same way, rotomolded cell inside a steel container and filled with foam, but they rate their cells as SFI 28.3. this is merely a scam on their part to make you need to buy a new cell every 5 years.

 

If it was just me making the rules no car would be allowed to compete with a stock fuel tank, but I don’t see that argument winning any time soon.

 

The SFI sticker in this picture is kind of hard to read but is a legal SFI 28.1 certification sticker.

SFI.jpg.7462d14afa057cfd8b0de9764dfcb3d4.jpg

 

Its not as simple as you make it sound.  The 28.1 is the minimum standard. The bladder on a 28.1 cell can be many different thicknesses.  Many higher rated cells could easily pass the 28.1 rating and be sold as such. But that doesn't mean the cheaper cells are as good.

 

Here's the link to the SFI 28.1 standard. See under section 2.6 where it lists the expiry date.  Also note that there is no requirement for any steel container in that standard. Just because yours has it, doesn't mean that they all have to come with it.  A good comparison would be a window net. It can be SFI rated, but the mounts you make yourself. 

SFI SPECIFICATION 28 (sfifoundation.com)

 

If you notice on your cell, the vent and supply fittings are just through the plastic. Sanctioning bodies that require SFI 28.3 or the FIA standards require that the bladder be completely enclosed. 

 

Regardless, if Champcar wants to allow 28.1 cells, that's fine, but they do expire the same as the rest.

Edited by petawawarace
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38 minutes ago, mender said:

Just curious if anyone has info on actual bladder degradation and lifespan.

 

 

Members only.

But yes.
Tuttle had an expired one split open at Sebring.
There have been a couple of others over the past 4 years that I have been attending all the races.

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13 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

 

 

Members only.

But yes.
Tuttle had an expired one split open at Sebring.
There have been a couple of others over the past 4 years that I have been attending all the races.

And his balls split open as well. 🤣Man he has bad luck with fuel stuff.

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As I live in the boonies I follow a number of series to find racing within a day or two drive. Champcar is going a different direction than every other amateur race series I follow. No one is going the direction of expiring fuel cells. The suggestion that this is the direction we have to go as a series is in my opinion ill-informed. 

 

SCCAhttps://cdn.connectsites.net/user_files/scca/downloads/000/061/199/GCR - March Updated.pdf?1646174289

 

9.3.26. FUEL CELL SPECIFICATIONS All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell complying with these specifications, except for Touring, B-Spec, Spec Miata, Improved Touring, American Sedan restricted prep, production-based Vintage cars, and cars where the stock fuel tank is located between the axle center lines and within the main chassis structure (i.e., frame rails, etc.). Stock fuel tank must remain in its stock location, or as otherwise specified in the GCR. All safety fuel bladders shall be constructed and certified in accordance with the FIA FT-3 or higher (FT-3.5, FT-5, etc.) or SFI 28.3 specifications. Fuel cells do not time out and have no expiration date. Alternatively, safety fuel cells shall be constructed in accordance with FIA FT-3 or higher or SFI 28.3 specifications and tested to those requirements by an independent facility as witnessed and certified by a Professional Engineer. The results of these tests shall be submitted to the Road Racing department for inclusion on a list of approved suppliers...

 

WRL - https://static1.squarespace.com/static/611fe48f61d6702c42301722/t/61ce4ff26d87606987d3e7a7/1640910835005/WRL-RULES-2022.1.1.pdf

FUEL TANKS AND LINES: Fuel cells are allowed if properly installed and maintained. Fuel, brake, or oil lines passing through the passenger compartment must be rigid metal tubing or steel-braid armored with properly installed AN fittings, free of damage, kinks or leaks. Fuel cells must be designed for automotive use, consist of a deformable bladder or rotary-molded plastic vessel with a metallic enclosure and be manufactured by recognized manufacturers approved by WRL. All removable fuel and vent caps shall lock securely when closed. Spring loaded "Monza-style" are not allowed. Cell must be properly protected, plumbed and vented. WRL officials will make the final determination on what is a proper and safe installation. Onboard fuel storage is recommended to be limited to 1 factory fuel tank plus 0.5 gallons (max) surge tank OR 1 fuel cell plus 0.5 gallons (max) surge tank. However, an auxiliary tank may be used with WRL approval (photos/description of aux cell must be submitted to race@racewrl.com at least 30 days before event) If an auxiliary tank is used, both primary and auxiliary tanks must be vented independently, include a check valve, if check valve is not designed as a rollover valve, a rollover valve must also be installed. A fill neck spill collector shall be fitted for non-factory fill locations so as to prevent fuel from being spilled inside the car. At no time may either the main or auxiliary tank become pressurized or leak fuel. if there is any doubt, please ask before arriving at tech.

 

Luck Doghttps://www.racelucky.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020LuckyDogRulesv1.2.pdf

 

Fuel Systems can be the vehicle’s OEM gas tank (with venting) or an aftermarket SFI-rated fuel cell with rubber molded bladder. FUEL CELL+AUXILLARY TANKS+SURGE TANK=TOTAL ONBOARD FUEL CAPACITY. FUEL CAPACITY IS LIMITED TO 24 GALLONS. There may only be 1 fill location, no dual filler necks, no dumping two jugs simultaneously.Fuel cell vent lines must terminate in a location that is lower than...

 

AERhttp://americanenduranceracing.com/docs/aer-rulebook-2022-2.pdf

Aftermarket fuel cells (specifically, fuel tanks installed that are not the original fuel tank in the original position of the car) of any size are permitted but not required. Any aftermarket fuel cell installed in any car must comply with the following: 2.6.1. The entire aftermarket fuel cell, including (but not limited to) the enclosure, construction method, bladder, and foam must comply with the provisions outlined in the FIA FT-3 standard. 2.6.2. Fuel cells without an exterior metallic case must be enclosed in metal. 2.6.3. Any aftermarket fuel cell installed in any car must have the appropriate discriminator and/or roll-over valves to prevent fuel spillage in the case the car rolls over. 2.6.4. When installing an aftermarket fuel cell in a car, it is allowed to keep and use the original fuel tank in the car, so long as it is in the original position of the car.

 

IMO Champcar is soon going to push racers away with the costs. Literally last week it was a belt rule change. I decided to run FIA belts so no impact to me, but it will affect most people. The series has lost its way in regards to costs. Every year we are adding both new entry costs and on going costs recertification costs with minimal impact to actual safety. There is a reason arrive and drive teams are becoming a big part of the series. Everyone else is being costed out.

 

I am in no way against reviewing safety items. I am no way against reviewing fuel cell safety rules, but I do believe we have to actually have an open and honest discussion about it. What is driving the rule change? What is the actual need? Are we deviating from other similar rule books? What is the ongoing cost? What is the impact to safety? That hasn't happened yet and I don't see any indication that it will.  

Edited by veris
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1 hour ago, veris said:

As I live in the boonies I follow a number of series to find racing within a day or two drive. Champcar is going a different direction than every other amateur race series I follow. No one is going the direction of expiring fuel cells. The suggestion that this is the direction we have to go as a series is in my opinion ill-informed. 

 

SCCAhttps://cdn.connectsites.net/user_files/scca/downloads/000/061/199/GCR - March Updated.pdf?1646174289

 

9.3.26. FUEL CELL SPECIFICATIONS All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell complying with these specifications, except for Touring, B-Spec, Spec Miata, Improved Touring, American Sedan restricted prep, production-based Vintage cars, and cars where the stock fuel tank is located between the axle center lines and within the main chassis structure (i.e., frame rails, etc.). Stock fuel tank must remain in its stock location, or as otherwise specified in the GCR. All safety fuel bladders shall be constructed and certified in accordance with the FIA FT-3 or higher (FT-3.5, FT-5, etc.) or SFI 28.3 specifications. Fuel cells do not time out and have no expiration date. Alternatively, safety fuel cells shall be constructed in accordance with FIA FT-3 or higher or SFI 28.3 specifications and tested to those requirements by an independent facility as witnessed and certified by a Professional Engineer. The results of these tests shall be submitted to the Road Racing department for inclusion on a list of approved suppliers...

 

WRL - https://static1.squarespace.com/static/611fe48f61d6702c42301722/t/61ce4ff26d87606987d3e7a7/1640910835005/WRL-RULES-2022.1.1.pdf

FUEL TANKS AND LINES: Fuel cells are allowed if properly installed and maintained. Fuel, brake, or oil lines passing through the passenger compartment must be rigid metal tubing or steel-braid armored with properly installed AN fittings, free of damage, kinks or leaks. Fuel cells must be designed for automotive use, consist of a deformable bladder or rotary-molded plastic vessel with a metallic enclosure and be manufactured by recognized manufacturers approved by WRL. All removable fuel and vent caps shall lock securely when closed. Spring loaded "Monza-style" are not allowed. Cell must be properly protected, plumbed and vented. WRL officials will make the final determination on what is a proper and safe installation. Onboard fuel storage is recommended to be limited to 1 factory fuel tank plus 0.5 gallons (max) surge tank OR 1 fuel cell plus 0.5 gallons (max) surge tank. However, an auxiliary tank may be used with WRL approval (photos/description of aux cell must be submitted to race@racewrl.com at least 30 days before event) If an auxiliary tank is used, both primary and auxiliary tanks must be vented independently, include a check valve, if check valve is not designed as a rollover valve, a rollover valve must also be installed. A fill neck spill collector shall be fitted for non-factory fill locations so as to prevent fuel from being spilled inside the car. At no time may either the main or auxiliary tank become pressurized or leak fuel. if there is any doubt, please ask before arriving at tech.

 

Luck Doghttps://www.racelucky.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020LuckyDogRulesv1.2.pdf

 

Fuel Systems can be the vehicle’s OEM gas tank (with venting) or an aftermarket SFI-rated fuel cell with rubber molded bladder. FUEL CELL+AUXILLARY TANKS+SURGE TANK=TOTAL ONBOARD FUEL CAPACITY. FUEL CAPACITY IS LIMITED TO 24 GALLONS. There may only be 1 fill location, no dual filler necks, no dumping two jugs simultaneously.Fuel cell vent lines must terminate in a location that is lower than...

 

AERhttp://americanenduranceracing.com/docs/aer-rulebook-2022-2.pdf

Aftermarket fuel cells (specifically, fuel tanks installed that are not the original fuel tank in the original position of the car) of any size are permitted but not required. Any aftermarket fuel cell installed in any car must comply with the following: 2.6.1. The entire aftermarket fuel cell, including (but not limited to) the enclosure, construction method, bladder, and foam must comply with the provisions outlined in the FIA FT-3 standard. 2.6.2. Fuel cells without an exterior metallic case must be enclosed in metal. 2.6.3. Any aftermarket fuel cell installed in any car must have the appropriate discriminator and/or roll-over valves to prevent fuel spillage in the case the car rolls over. 2.6.4. When installing an aftermarket fuel cell in a car, it is allowed to keep and use the original fuel tank in the car, so long as it is in the original position of the car.

 

IMO Champcar is soon going to push racers away with the costs. Literally last week it was a belt rule change. I decided to run FIA belts so no impact to me, but it will affect most people. The series has lost its way in regards to costs. Every year we are adding both new entry costs and on going costs recertification costs with minimal impact to actual safety. There is a reason arrive and drive teams are becoming a big part of the series. Everyone else is being costed out.

 

I am in no way against reviewing safety items. I am no way against reviewing fuel cell safety rules, but I do believe we have to actually have an open and honest discussion about it. What is driving the rule change? What is the actual need? Are we deviating from other similar rule books? What is the ongoing cost? What is the impact to safety? That hasn't happened yet and I don't see any indication that it will.  

 

 

 

I just wanted to address a few parts of this conversation from the perspective of a BOD member.

 

1. The 2023 petition on fuel cells in no way is requesting a change to the expiration requirements.  The verbiage is specifically asking to add SFI 28.2 and 28.3 as allowed certification levels.   

2. Current and historical enforcement at the track level has allowed any SFI or FIA rated cell to participate (Even the 28.3 that are not explicitly allowed by the 2022 bccr)

3. Current enforcement at the track, at the discretion of the current tech team, has been requiring teams to provide documentation of cell dates and giving one-race waivers when they cannot produce said documentation.   

4. The expiration situation is over the objection of some (myself in particular).  I 100% agree with your assessment that requiring currently dated cells places a financial burden on teams that we do not want to condone.  I can say with 100% certainty that the "Expiration" issue has NOT originated with and is not something "voted on" by the 2021 or 2022 BOD.  

5. The 2022 fuel rule mitigates the cell advantage issue to an extent, as now the maximum allowed capacity of OE tank cars and Fuel Cell cars is limited to the same amount.  However, it does not completely eliminate the fuel cell advantage (one purchased with real world dollars, and the "expiration" issue makes this advantage cost more real world dollars) as there is no guarantee that a team will be able to get +2 gallons via venting and filler mods on a stock tank.  Cells are also much more likely to be able to efficiently pickup all of the fuel at low levels.

6. The recently announced SFI belt rules affects very few teams.  I do not have hard data (no way to access the data stored in our tech system).  However, per the account from two tech inspectors, they can recall only a handful of teams using SFI rated belts.  The majority of the belts used in our series were and are FIA rated.

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4 minutes ago, Chris Huggins said:

3. Current enforcement at the track, at the discretion of the current tech team, has been requiring teams to provide documentation of cell dates and giving one-race waivers when they cannot produce said documentation.   

4. The expiration situation is over the objection of some (myself in particular).  I 100% agree with your assessment that requiring currently dated cells places a financial burden on teams that we do not want to condone.  I can say with 100% certainty that the "Expiration" issue has NOT originated with and is not something "voted on" by the 2021 or 2022 BOD.  

So who or what is driving the expiration requirement if it's not the BOD?

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4 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

 

 

 

I just wanted to address a few parts of this conversation from the perspective of a BOD member.

 

1. The 2023 petition on fuel cells in no way is requesting a change to the expiration requirements.  The verbiage is specifically asking to add SFI 28.2 and 28.3 as allowed certification levels.   

2. Current and historical enforcement at the track level has allowed any SFI or FIA rated cell to participate (Even the 28.3 that are not explicitly allowed by the 2022 bccr)

3. Current enforcement at the track, at the discretion of the current tech team, has been requiring teams to provide documentation of cell dates and giving one-race waivers when they cannot produce said documentation.   

4. The expiration situation is over the objection of some (myself in particular).  I 100% agree with your assessment that requiring currently dated cells places a financial burden on teams that we do not want to condone.  I can say with 100% certainty that the "Expiration" issue has NOT originated with and is not something "voted on" by the 2021 or 2022 BOD.  

5. The 2022 fuel rule mitigates the cell advantage issue to an extent, as now the maximum allowed capacity of OE tank cars and Fuel Cell cars is limited to the same amount.  However, it does not completely eliminate the fuel cell advantage (one purchased with real world dollars, and the "expiration" issue makes this advantage cost more real world dollars) as there is no guarantee that a team will be able to get +2 gallons via venting and filler mods on a stock tank.  Cells are also much more likely to be able to efficiently pickup all of the fuel at low levels.

6. The recently announced SFI belt rules affects very few teams.  I do not have hard data (no way to access the data stored in our tech system).  However, per the account from two tech inspectors, they can recall only a handful of teams using SFI rated belts.  The majority of the belts used in our series were and are FIA rated.

 

Chris, respectfully I don't believe your 1st point is true. The petition clearly states fuel cells will expire out. Then erroneously suggests it won't impact anyone other that those with currently expired cells. Which is clearly false as it will affect everyone with a fuel cell as they will start to expire out.  See text circled in red. 

 

One other note. Point 3 is a reasonable way to enforce expiring fuel cells. The issue is should this be happening at all. I would argue no. IMO the tech team needs to get on side with the board. The board should make a call on if cells will expire. If they do that should be clearly indicated in our rules and be enforced as per point 3.  If not change the wording from sfi/fia certification in the rule book to sfi/fia rating, aligning with other series wording, and stop expiring fuel cells. 

 

To my point the board should ask these questions when deciding. What is driving the rule change? What is the actual need? Are we deviating from other similar rule books? What is the ongoing cost? What is the impact to safety? 

 

image.png.4da4c9bec2da07594ff973c6238ff351.png

Edited by veris
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The only manufacturer I know who makes ChampCar legal cells, which are SFI 28.1 with a metal container is Jaz. A big downside is that they skip from 16 gallons all the way to 22 gallons, which makes it more difficult to match the original capacity of many cars which race in the series.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
1 hour ago, veris said:

 

Chris, respectfully I don't believe your 1st point is true. The petition clearly states fuel cells will expire out. Then erroneously suggests it won't impact anyone other that those with currently expired cells. Which is clearly false as it will affect everyone with a fuel cell as they will start to expire out.  See text circled in red. 

 

One other note. Point 3 is a reasonable way to enforce expiring fuel cells. The issue is should this be happening at all. I would argue no. IMO the tech team needs to get on side with the board. The board should make a call on if cells will expire. If they do that should be clearly indicated in our rules and be enforced as per point 3.  If not change the wording from sfi/fia certification in the rule book to sfi/fia rating, aligning with other series wording, and stop expiring fuel cells. 

 

To my point the board should ask these questions when deciding. What is driving the rule change? What is the actual need? Are we deviating from other similar rule books? What is the ongoing cost? What is the impact to safety? 

 

image.png.4da4c9bec2da07594ff973c6238ff351.png


i understand your position, but if you look in the screenshot at the current rule and the proposed rule, there is no change related to expiration.  The mention on expiration is just a comment that I don’t really understand.

 

my position has always been (and continues to be) that the bccr specifically calls out the certifications that “expire” - i.e. seat belts, window nets, helmets - and if it does not, then “certified” means that it has a sfi or FIA sticker on it but it doesn’t have to be in date.   Tech/Ops doesn’t necessarily agree with my viewpoint obviously.

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On 3/15/2022 at 8:51 PM, Chris Huggins said:


i understand your position, but if you look in the screenshot at the current rule and the proposed rule, there is no change related to expiration.  The mention on expiration is just a comment that I don’t really understand.

 

my position has always been (and continues to be) that the bccr specifically calls out the certifications that “expire” - i.e. seat belts, window nets, helmets - and if it does not, then “certified” means that it has a sfi or FIA sticker on it but it doesn’t have to be in date.   Tech/Ops doesn’t necessarily agree with my viewpoint obviously.

 

You and I are fully in agreement here on the way it should work. I don't think we agree with the intent of the petition as written. Perhaps you and Bill chatted and his intent was to stir the pot. :)

 

My recommendation to the board would be to revise the rule: 9.2.10.3 All fuel cells must have a SFI or FIA rating. 

 

That would align to other rule books as well. Then have the board and tech/ops get in alignment. I specifically voted for Ray onto the board so there wasn't any distance between the board and tech. 

Edited by veris
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