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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Hi All,

 

Wanted to start a dialogue on the pit tools rule as discussed in last evenings meeting.

 

There was a question about breaker bars, and I gave a bit of a tongue in cheek answer about using the torque wrench. 

I've been thinking over the idea and hope you all can contribute some additional information.

 

So as communicated in the meeting, the idea was that tire changes would be limited to 1 (battery) impact, 1 torque wrench, and 1 jack. 

 

The idea was multi-faceted:

1 - make it more difficult to change multiple tires each stop, but not impossible for a practiced team.   

Changing 1 tire due to a flat spot or damage would not be affected, so no negative-incentive to changing in a single case.

This is a negative incentive for using super soft tires that begins to address the issue even thought it does not go very far.

 

2 - balance the pit stops between teams with 48 people and teams with 3 people. 

Having a full pit-crew would no longer be any advantage because they would not have any tools to use.

 

3 - Align perception with the series' "grassroots" market position. 

Having pit road sound like a nascar race is super cool, but doesn't leave grassroots teams with the feeling they are in the right place.

 

 

 

There are a few comments/questions that came up since the meeting that I am brainstorming

 

1. The breaker bar comment.  I presume this team does not have an impact capable of removing torqued lug nuts and first has to break them loose.    On the face that seems completely reasonable and I don't think any of us on the board would want to penalize that with this rule.   I'm open to suggestions on how to word the rule to make that happen.

2. The FWD case - where a team wants to swap tires front to back or side to side - This would take two jacks or one jack and one jack stand.  I would be in favor of adding the Jack Stand as part of the list - it is a safety device after all - would hate to seen someone get hurt from a jack failure.

3. Electric tools are a fire hazard due to sparking.   I discount this as a stretch.  You aren't allowed to do anything during fueling, and battery tools are already allowed to be used and are the most commonly seen tool on pit road for tire changes.

4.  Multiple torque wrenches should be allowed as with only one a team may not get to torque all the wheels - Another comment that I am not sure I agree with.  

 

 

One comment that did come up internally (I think from TAC), is that if we don't specify the specific tools, the teams with many people will just use those old-school "t" handle lug wrenches with weighted spinners on the non-electric corners.  That puts us right back to more people and more tools = advantage.    Is that a big deal?       That is what led us to the current specific list  - 1 jack, 1 impact, 1 torque wrench.

 

Comment away.

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54 minutes ago, Chris Huggins said:

1. The breaker bar comment.  I presume this team does not have an impact capable of removing torqued lug nuts and first has to break them loose.    On the face that seems completely reasonable and I don't think any of us on the board would want to penalize that with this rule.   I'm open to suggestions on how to word the rule to make that happen.

2. The FWD case - where a team wants to swap tires front to back or side to side - This would take two jacks or one jack and one jack stand.  I would be in favor of adding the Jack Stand as part of the list - it is a safety device after all - would hate to seen someone get hurt from a jack failure.

3. Electric tools are a fire hazard due to sparking.   I discount this as a stretch.  You aren't allowed to do anything during fueling, and battery tools are already allowed to be used and are the most commonly seen tool on pit road for tire changes.

4.  Multiple torque wrenches should be allowed as with only one a team may not get to torque all the wheels - Another comment that I am not sure I agree with.  

 

 

One comment that did come up internally (I think from TAC), is that if we don't specify the specific tools, the teams with many people will just use those old-school "t" handle lug wrenches with weighted spinners on the non-electric corners.  That puts us right back to more people and more tools = advantage.    Is that a big deal?       That is what led us to the current specific list  - 1 jack, 1 impact, 1 torque wrench.

 

Comment away.

1. Perfectly legit to use a torque wrench as the breaking bar. Set the torque to 150 ft/lbs, break all the nuts loose while the jack man is getting the car in the air, buzz the nuts off and on with the impact while the torque wrench gets reset to 90 ft/lbs or whatever you feel comfortable doing a hot torque at.

 

2. FWD front to rear swap: not sure about other teams but I have the balance point (C of G) marked as the jacking point so that side of the car goes up evenly. Both tires in the air, swap front to rear. 

 

Side to side, same idea. Diagonal? Well, that'll take more time...  But I see a jack stand as safety equipment so yes to including that.

 

3. Never seen an issue from an electric impact.

 

4. One torque wrench should be enough. That's part of the time penalty: more tires take more time. 

Edited by mender
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1.  Could you specify only one torque wrench OR breaker bar over the wall at a time?  Use the breaker bar to crack them free, then put on pit wall and grab the torque wrench. 

2. If you limit 1 impact, what advantage is 2 jacks?  I've used 2 jacks to swap tires side to side on a fwd.  It was a heavy left side wearing track and allowed us to finish without putting new tires on.  Now I would need to jack LF up, remove tire, install scrap tire, go to RF, remove tire, install old LF, lower, go back to LF, and remove scrap tire, install old RF and lower.  That seems overly stupid just to be allowed to rotate tires.  Not even adding a new one.

3. non issue

4. no issue

 

Here is the kicker......

None of this matters if we limit the tires to the reasonable compounds.  If a team is running RS4s or similar, there is little to no advantage to doing tire changes other than rotating for equal wear or using up older tires. Both of those things we should encourage anyway.  No need for teams to enforce anything, or rat their pit neighbor out.  

Edited by petawawarace
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23 minutes ago, petawawarace said:

 

 

Here is the kicker......

None of this matters if we limit the tires to the reasonable compounds.  If a team is running RS4s or similar, there is little to no advantage to doing tire changes other than rotating for equal wear or using up older tires. Both of those things we should encourage anyway.  No need for teams to enforce anything, or rat their pit neighbor out.  

Let's stay focused on the original question

so maybe go back in and edit your response and remove this comment

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1- Breaker bar- I don't see an issue with allowing this to aid in the loosening of lug nuts.  As long as it not used to fully remove the lug nuts.

2- Good idea regarding the use of a jack stand- should be allowed

3- Fake news- and as you stated it can only be used during non-fueling time anyway

4- nope- will speed things up and go against what is trying to be accomplished with this rule

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Hey Board I like the rule and would suggest wording it to allow
 

1 Battery operated device (impact driver, electric torque wrench, etc)

1 Manual device (breaker bar, standard torque wrench, ratchet, etc)

1 Manually operated jack

Jack stands as needed

 

2-3 people can change a tire or 2 in 3 minutes with that set of equipment.  8 people can also change a couple tires in 3 minutes with that set of equipment.

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1. I think you could word it as one breaker bar or torque wrench over the wall, that way they can use a breaker if they want to remove the lugs and swap it for the torque when installing.

2. I am ok with people having stands over the wall, if they want to put it on four stands and swap tires from LF to RR, go for it.

3. Electric impacts are fine, I would not limit it to battery ones, I drove for a team in the series that used a plugin the wall impact, I think those should be allowed too unless we are concerned about the power cord on pit road.

4. Nope, one torque wrench at a time over the wall.  Multiple wrenches advantage large teams.

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I realize CC doesn't want to ban tires, but it would eliminate all this complexity and self policing.  Sorta go to the root of the problem?  Not like it would be a long list either.

 

Done.

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18 minutes ago, chip said:

Let's stay focused on the original question

so maybe go back in and edit your response and remove this comment

Sorry, I disagree. It 100% pertains to this issue. 

 

Take a step back and analyze the actual issue here.  We are actually debating how many wrenches your allowed to use on your car.  WTF??

The root of this issue is that certain teams are changing tires rapidly. They are doing this because they are wearing out their tires.  Why is that happening? Its not because they have too much fuel. Its not because they cut away 50% of their bodywork. Its only caused because they are choosing to use the softest tires to gain a speed advantage. 

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1 minute ago, ETR said:

I realize CC doesn't want to ban tires, but it would eliminate all this complexity and self policing.  Sorta go to the root of the problem?  Not like it would be a long list either.

 

Done.

If there is one thing I've learned about CC peeps is they love to move off topic.

So either add something meaningful to the post- or STFU (gotta love the green font)

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1 minute ago, petawawarace said:

Sorry, I disagree. It 100% pertains to this issue. 

 

Take a step back and analyze the actual issue here.  We are actually debating how many wrenches your allowed to use on your car.  WTF??

The root of this issue is that certain teams are changing tires rapidly. They are doing this because they are wearing out their tires.  Why is that happening? Its not because they have too much fuel. Its not because they cut away 50% of their bodywork. Its only caused because they are choosing to use the softest tires to gain a speed advantage. 

Then start a new thread and discuss all you want.


Chris is asking for input on this rule.  He is not asking for other options to address the issue you think is more important.

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2 minutes ago, chip said:

If there is one thing I've learned about CC peeps is they love to move off topic.

So either add something meaningful to the post- or STFU (gotta love the green font)

 

It's quite on topic.  Relax.

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1 hour ago, ETR said:

I realize CC doesn't want to ban tires, but it would eliminate all this complexity and self policing.  Sorta go to the root of the problem?  Not like it would be a long list either.

 

Done.

Tires are also a moving target and as we have seen can be problematic when supply becomes an issue (i.e option tire).  Everyone loves the wear rates of the RS-4, but forgets that around this time every year they seem to run out of stock.

 

Consider also that teams with deeper pockets can shave tires, therefore well funded teams can still eek an advantage using the longer lasting tires.

 

1. electric impact and/or breaker bar, not both

2. stands okay

3. not a safety issue with our no-fuel policy

4. 1 tq wrench

 

My only other comment is how will any of this apply to rain tires?

 

Edited by Hurljohn
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I know this is a bit of a diversion from the original question, but could we not keep to a Keep it Simple Solution, and say that Tires and Fuel can not be done at the same pit stop?  This would eliminate the concerns of electric tools near fuel vapors (which I believe is a stretch considering you are not allowed to do this until fuel is back over the wall), and would add more time to the teams who are using a 5 min stop to accomplish both tasks.  This way if you change tires you need to make a new stop with a new 5 min window.  

 

The other question is how are we going to monitor this and enforce the rules.  What happens when we have a yellow flag close to a standard 2hr window and a bunch of cars come at one time.  How are we going to ensure that only these approved tools are used?  Making a rule that can not be or will not be enforced will just erode the authority of the organization.  

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21 minutes ago, smitham32803 said:

I know this is a bit of a diversion from the original question, but could we not keep to a Keep it Simple Solution, and say that Tires and Fuel can not be done at the same pit stop?  This would eliminate the concerns of electric tools near fuel vapors (which I believe is a stretch considering you are not allowed to do this until fuel is back over the wall), and would add more time to the teams who are using a 5 min stop to accomplish both tasks.  This way if you change tires you need to make a new stop with a new 5 min window.  

 

The other question is how are we going to monitor this and enforce the rules.  What happens when we have a yellow flag close to a standard 2hr window and a bunch of cars come at one time.  How are we going to ensure that only these approved tools are used?  Making a rule that can not be or will not be enforced will just erode the authority of the organization.  

The argument would be: “we discovered the bad tire during a fuel stop, there’s no way we’re going back out on that thing even for a lap“

 

99% of the time I would disagree but there is that chance

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What about this language:

 

"For any tire change activity that takes place on pit lane during the race:  Only one battery operated impact wrench may over the wall at a time.  All other tools must be hand powered.  Only 1 Jack may be over the wall at a time.  In the event of a more involved repair that will exceed the 5 minute minimum, these restrictions would not apply."

 

 

 

Remember how it is going to get enforced and what it is trying to curtail.  This makes it easy to spot a team who isn't following it.  No arguing if it is a breaker bar or a torque wrench.    If you're stopping to change a failed hub, more than one impact wrench isn't going to be an issue, the failed hub already took care of any advantage that you had, thus no arguing that a tire got changed with 3 guns and two jacks over the wall in the process.

 

Don't limit how many tires per stop, I've done events with that rule and it evolves into how fast can you drive through the paddock.

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1 hour ago, Hurljohn said:

Tires are also a moving target and as we have seen can be problematic when supply becomes an issue (i.e option tire).  Everyone loves the wear rates of the RS-4, but forgets that around this time every year they seem to run out of stock.

 

Consider also that teams with deeper pockets can shave tires, therefore well funded teams can still eek an advantage using the longer lasting tires.

 

1. electric impact and/or breaker bar, not both

2. stands okay

3. not a safety issue with our no-fuel policy

4. 1 tq wrench

 

My only other comment is how will any of this apply to rain tires?

 

 

1 hour ago, Team Infiniti said:

Same technology?

Tires are tires when it comes to changing- unless I'm missing something.  So why would there need to be a special mention for rain tires.

I'm thinking this rule will still allow a team to change all 4 tires at one stop.

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I think limiting the # or torque wrenches will not achieve the desired objective of penalizing teams for using fast-wearing sticky tires.  They will just skip the use of the torque wrench and try to set the guns to the right fastening torque.  Or will guess at the torque if they don't have adjustments.  When was the last time you saw a torque wrench during a televised pit stop?  But it does add risk and cost to get those guns right.

 

If we limit the # of torque wrenches we also need to mandate the torquing of wheels after use of the gun.  That would achieve the goal of slowing tire changes down.  Not adding that rule and limiting the # of torque wrenches just reduces safety.

 

And torque wrenches are not expensive.  Well, good ones are, but not one that is +/- 5%.  Those are $35.

 

Brett Shanaman

901 Motorsport

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1 hour ago, chip said:

 

 

I'm thinking this rule will still allow a team to change all 4 tires at one stop.

Same here, I think it's still within the window of 5 min for gas/tire/driver. if so why the rule? Perception? Does it add a safety issue trying to rush now as some will still do the 4 tires driver and gas in the 5 min regardless of the rule?

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Allow only one person to change tires. 

 

He runs the jack, jackstand, runs whatever tools you allow (preferably a 4 way), pulls tire off, puts tire on, pulls tires over the wall, puts old tires back over the wall.

 

Kind of green font.

 

 

All of this pit stuff is much more difficult than just saying you can't run certain tires, which CC already does with the 200 tw rule.

 

Nothing currently stopping the entire field from running Cooper/Maxxis/Nitto/Federal if they choose, none of which TR sells, so I'm not seeing the sponsor issue. Have they been asked concerning a list of tires? Most of which they do sell.

 

btw-Torque wrenches are not needed. Never heard of torque sticks? Been around for years. Never see wheels torqued with a torque wrench at the shop and in 25+ years never had an issue.

 

btw-The push to allow more than one torque wrench is just trying to circumvent the whole point of the rule.

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Edited by Bandit
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