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Tail Lights & Brake Lights


Vic Posey
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27 minutes ago, Vic Posey said:

Regarding rule 9.9.3 and 9.3.4 - I read these rules to say that our car must have a minimum of 2 working brake lights at all times but only needs tail lights when we run head lights. 

May I please have someone confirm or correct my interpretation of these rules?

Being we run in all weather and many events are more then 7 hours, it would be best if you install 2 or more running lights while things are getting worked on back there.

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That is the rule, but I would ask why you would ever want to turn your taillights off in a race? I have a thing about never giving a driver an opportunity to turn anything on or off when it shouldn’t be, so I like to eliminate as many switches as possible.

 

I have worked as a pit marshal during night races, and you would be shocked how many cars get pulled into the pits because the driver forgot to turn the taillights on. One car was brought in 3 times because the switch was mounted in a spot where the driver could bump it while shifting.

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I use 3 brake lights in case one stops working. Two of those lights are “trailer led taillights” with wires for low power and high power in stock locations. I wire the low brightness to stay on at all times and the high brightness version comes on with the brake pedal. The third light is above the rear window and comes on only with the brake pedal. 
 

@Vic Posey  Your reading of the rule is 100% correct. 

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
3 hours ago, Vic Posey said:

Regarding rule 9.9.3 and 9.3.4 - I read these rules to say that our car must have a minimum of 2 working brake lights at all times but only needs tail lights when we run head lights. 

May I please have someone confirm or correct my interpretation of these rules?

 

It should be noted there is a proposal to change this for 2023, requiring champcars to have headlights, tail lights, and brake lights during all events.

 

From a safety perspective under adverse weather conditions, it seems like a reasonable suggestion.  It is not a rule and has not been voted on or discussed, just proposed by a fellow member.

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59 minutes ago, Chris Huggins said:

From a safety perspective under adverse weather conditions, it seems like a reasonable suggestion.  It is not a rule and has not been voted on or discussed, just proposed by a fellow member.

 

I don't like agreeing with Chris... ever

 

But Barber 2021 makes me think he's right.

 

Edited by Ben 595
year beacuse I wrote 2022... idiot.
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1 hour ago, Chris Huggins said:

 

It should be noted there is a proposal to change this for 2023, requiring champcars to have headlights, tail lights, and brake lights during all events.

 

From a safety perspective under adverse weather conditions, it seems like a reasonable suggestion.  It is not a rule and has not been voted on or discussed, just proposed by a fellow member.

 

Would a headlight have to be a proper OEM headlight? Or an amazon flood light style will do?

 

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5 hours ago, turbogrill said:

 

Would a headlight have to be a proper OEM headlight? Or an amazon flood light style will do?

 

Current rules allow flexibility in fixture choices, OEM or aftermarket (read: LED spot/flood lights). 4 fixtures total and a max total lumen output of all forward lights allowed on the front of the car within a specified "area"

 

Proposed rule would pull that back to lights only in the OEM locations but not strictly the OEM fixtures.

 

The main goal being to move away from the massive light bars some teams run that unnecessarily blind drivers ahead. 

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5 hours ago, turbogrill said:

 

Would a headlight have to be a proper OEM headlight? Or an amazon flood light style will do?

 

The proposal just says “headlights”,

 

implying at least two, but not suggesting anything more.

 

i would assume the intent was to align with current champcar rules on headlights, just make them apply to all events not just night time ones.

 

 

do you have a preference or suggestion related to this proposal?

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3 minutes ago, Chris Huggins said:

The proposal just says “headlights”,

 

implying at least two, but not suggesting anything more.

 

i would assume the intent was to align with current champcar rules on headlights, just make them apply to all events not just night time ones.

 

 

do you have a preference or suggestion related to this proposal?

I believe there is another proposal to limit the lights to the OE location and housing.  
 

I think that would be a mistake.  You’ll see teams spend big money to get fancy led lights into the stock housing and gain an advantage.  
 

Saying that all cars need headlights all the time opens up some judgement calls.  Are we going to black flag someone for having a headlight out during a sunny clear day? What about crash damage? The headlight is the first thing to get broken.  
 

I really think these things should be recommendations vs rules.  

Edited by petawawarace
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9 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

 

It should be noted there is a proposal to change this for 2023, requiring champcars to have headlights, tail lights, and brake lights during all events.

 

From a safety perspective under adverse weather conditions, it seems like a reasonable suggestion.  It is not a rule and has not been voted on or discussed, just proposed by a fellow member.

Headlights during the day even under adverse conditions only serve to blind the driver ahead. Front marker lights (amber) to go with the tailights (red) would be sufficient.

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8 hours ago, Ben 595 said:

 

I don't like agreeing with Chris... ever

 

But Barber 2021 makes me think he's right.

 

As seen in this clip. The headlights add nothing other than glare in the rearview mirror. Just having marker lights would be better. 

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14 hours ago, turbogrill said:

 

Would a headlight have to be a proper OEM headlight? Or an amazon flood light style will do?

 

I would use something designed for an actual head light, the flood style is just going to throw a bunch of light a short distance. as for the tail/brake lights, just leave the factory stuff in and roll. You might want to consider adding a high-mounted brake light if you car is not equipped with one. you WANT to be seen at all times. 

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I added a comment to amend the rule to change headlights to running lights. All new cars come with some kind of LED running lights and it is a good idea, for old cars which don’t have anything you would have to fit something. Fortunately, you can get really low-cost LED running lights, which I plan to fit to my car even if there is not a rule change.

 

Amazon.com: Rayhoo 2 pcs Set Waterproof High Power 6W 12V 6000K Xenon Slim COB LED DRL Daylight Driving Daytime Running Light Lamp For Car SUV Sedan Coupe Vehicle Universal (Xenon White) : Automotive

 

As for the light bar rule, I agree there are some really poorly done cars out there, but we have to remember that we still have a significant number of old cars with pop up headlights running in the series, especially Miata’s, and the vast majority of those cars have long since eliminated the hardware to run lights where they were from the factory

 

it is possible to do a light bar the right way, on my car the lights are pretty much exactly where the factory lights would be when the headlights are open.

 

Maybe make the rule that the lights may not be higher than the factory headlights.

 

552926593_IMG_20160731_17384201.jpg.fe5f7a8d6238db048207fcc037b996d2.jpg

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I am not sure how we ever ended up with the light bars to begin with.   I think this was a pushing the boundaries of the rules in my eyes.  The rules state the following:

 

9.9.2:  All cars must be equipped with suitable headlights.  Headlights may be OEM or aftermarket.  Cars having more than 4 light sources mounted on the car whether working or wired for use will complete removal of all lights above the count of 4. 

9.9.2.1.3:  No vehicle may have mounted less than two(2) or more than four (4) headlights.  A headlight is defined by the number of illuminating bulbs or sources – not by the housing. 

 

So, lightbars are not “Headlights”  they are auxiliary lights and are not intended to be used as headlights.  In addition to that the number of illuminating bulbs or sources of light are far greater than “4”.  I know  that a lot of  cars have them but I am sure there are creative ways to have headlights on your car. To be clear I am not trying to say that we should not be able to use LED lights instead of a conventional halogen lights, I just think that a lightbar is not the solution.   You don’t see IMSA cars with large lightbars strapped to the top of their hoods (we are roadrace cars not Baja trucks or rally cars)

 

Maybe eliminating or changing of rule 9.9.2.4 “ all headlights must be installed such that the base of the driving light lens is No higher than 6” above the highest point of the stock fender and no further back than the centerline  of  the front axle” should resolve a some of the problems.  Making this state something like all headlights must be installed no higher than original/factory location.  This way you could use the original location or lower.  This prevents lightbars from being installed on top of hoods.  Not only does this help eliminate ugly light bars it keeps the cars looking more original or factory than a bunch of thrown together cars out on the track.    

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21 hours ago, Vic Posey said:

Regarding rule 9.9.3 and 9.3.4 - I read these rules to say that our car must have a minimum of 2 working brake lights at all times but only needs tail lights when we run head lights. 

May I please have someone confirm or correct my interpretation of these rules?

This rule should also specify two working brake lights on the right and left side of the vehicle.  

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100% agree with the safety aspect of daytime head/running lights. Our experience at 2021 Nelson Ledges Saturday race caused me to purchase head lights that will always be on for every race. The spray was so heavy (at noon during the day) that our drivers were blind if a car was going for a pass on the inside of a corner. The cars that had head lights ON catch my vision in the rear view mirror and makes me more aware. Video start @ 13min in => a lesser driver would not see that. 

 

 

There's no way to efficiently police poorly aimed headlights. What, are you gonna have night time tech before races? Black flag cars and then have a headlight aiming session for 30min. With what crew? We need to trust the teams to install them correctly / be smart (LOL).

 

There are methods to manage the visibility impacts from poorly aimed headlights that work really well (tint / tape in various places).

Edited by MichaelPal
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1 hour ago, turbogrill said:

During day time the intention with front light would be to be seen? Not really to improve your own visibility?

From what I can read, yes. Even extremely bright headlights don't improve visibility during the day, just blind other drivers from behind.

 

I find it interesting that everyone seems just fine with the taillights even in the heaviest spray but want blazing headlights on the front. If brighter is better, maybe the rain light should be a rear mounted headlight - but most people would think that would be silly. 

 

Why rewrite the headlight rules when all that is really needed are front marker lights for daytime running lights? Seems like the usual overkill approach.

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1 hour ago, jmabarone said:

Guess I won't be scrapping my headlight buckets yet.

 

I wouldn’t worry too much about having to race with the headlights open, that would be silly. As a good rule of thumb, if a rule change would hurt Miata’s or E30’s you are safe from it…

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2 hours ago, smitham32803 said:

Maybe eliminating or changing of rule 9.9.2.4 “ all headlights must be installed such that the base of the driving light lens is No higher than 6” above the highest point of the stock fender and no further back than the centerline  of  the front axle” should resolve a some of the problems.  Making this state something like all headlights must be installed no higher than original/factory location.  This way you could use the original location or lower.  This prevents lightbars from being installed on top of hoods.  Not only does this help eliminate ugly light bars it keeps the cars looking more original or factory than a bunch of thrown together cars out on the track.    

 

This was a petition submitted.  

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3 hours ago, mhr650 said:

I added a comment to amend the rule to change headlights to running lights. All new cars come with some kind of LED running lights and it is a good idea, for old cars which don’t have anything you would have to fit something. Fortunately, you can get really low-cost LED running lights, which I plan to fit to my car even if there is not a rule change.

 

 

I added a similar comment to my "yes" vote for this particular petition. I don't think "headlights" per se should be required but it is so easy to add halos or LEDS or similar styles of forward facing lights these days it just makes sense.

 

We retained OEM headlights and taillights and I encourage all my drivers to keep them on at all times rain or shine.

 

Even in perfect weather, having lights improves situational awareness.

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4 hours ago, mhr650 said:

As for the light bar rule, I agree there are some really poorly done cars out there, but we have to remember that we still have a significant number of old cars with pop up headlights running in the series, especially Miata’s, and the vast majority of those cars have long since eliminated the hardware to run lights where they were from the factory

 

 

Not too hard to replace pop up lights with something else after originals have been discarded .392634580_74CC(432).jpg.e4b337fc5068ab6a0b2c2ef9c83eefb3.jpg

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