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Author Topic: Runoffs results parity discussion
B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Andy Rushing:
There are problems with trying to use the lighter flywheel to cure the problem the 1.6 is having at RA... The speed the cars are at when they hit The Hill at RA is probably too high for the lighter flywheel to make a measurable enough difference--the cars just aren't changing in speed enough at that point for it to make a difference. Also, for those three spots on the track where the cars get into 5th gear (where I'm sure the 1.6 starts to get killed as well), the lighter flywheel will not help enough.

Wouldn't Cams be much easier to spec, build, install, and enforce? I was against it last year, but perhaps it should be explored as an option.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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fastbrewer
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Are there now enough '99s to justify a basis for an SM2 type class that can run without the restrictor and less min. weight? It would be a faster class with the same great handling car we all know and love!

Compete against the 01-05's and possibly handicap the 05+ MX5's to have the next evolution in a Spec Mazda Club Racing class

I know that's the last thing we need in Club Racing is another class but it would greatly simplify the 1.6 vs. '99 debate!
It would also be (in my opinion) less difficult to balance the 1.6-1.8


And one last thing, Thanks JD for sharing more history on the evolution of this class. It is very enlightening to read and study for those like me who are only into it in my 3rd year!

-Jon

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Jim,

I am willing to donate some time to help with the data analysis if you feel it can help.

quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
CRB hat on...
We have data from the following cars and we will analyze it from start to finish.

99's
Gorrarian
Drago
Vanvurst

1.8's
Beaver and Gerber

1.6's
Verges and Slattery

I think we have a good sample of what these cars are making and feel it is fair to say that all of the data box samples are cars I would say are top notch or very close.

It is imperative for the 1.6 to be competitive for the health of SM. If the data shows that the early 1.8 and or the 1.6 can not compete. Changes will be made. I have been the biggest proponent of rules stability, but over stability, it is important that all versions of the cars can truly win.

Also look for much stricter and very defined do's and don't's with Cylinder heads and valve jobs over the next few months. The FSM is not near specific enough and the cars need to be reigned back in closer to stock and/or a very specific and enforceable rules set on heads needs to be established. I am working on something as I type and we will have a better and completely enforceable rule with go/no go tools etc as they have in some of the other classes. This will take some of the advantage pro motor builders have over the local machine shops etc.
Thanks again
Jim


--------------------
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Greg Garneau
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quote:
Originally posted by fastbrewer:
Are there now enough '99s to justify a basis for an SM2 type class that can run without the restrictor and less min. weight? It would be a faster class with the same great handling car we all know and love!

Compete against the 01-05's and possibly handicap the 05+ MX5's to have the next evolution in a Spec Mazda Club Racing class

I know that's the last thing we need in Club Racing is another class but it would greatly simplify the 1.6 vs. '99 debate!
It would also be (in my opinion) less difficult to balance the 1.6-1.8


And one last thing, Thanks JD for sharing more history on the evolution of this class. It is very enlightening to read and study for those like me who are only into it in my 3rd year!

-Jon

That's what I have thinking all along... Take the SSM class and make all the 1.6's conform to those rules. Have SM2 for all the 1.8 cars and adjust them accordingly.

fastbrewer
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Garneau:
That's what I have thinking all along... Take the SSM class and make all the 1.6's conform to those rules. Have SM2 for all the 1.8 cars and adjust them accordingly. [/QB]

For the record my suggestion was to leave the 1.6's the way they are WRT current rules and weights. Not as restrictive as SSM. Maybe adjust the 94-97 1.8's a bit for weight but also leave them alone, or maybe allow the 94-97 the 4.3 rear end as well.

SM2 would be for all 99+ cars

-Jon

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Good discussion going on here. It is productive and reasoned, I had to check and see what website I was on! [rolling on floor laughin]

I promised to keep my mouth shut about parity till after the runoff's so now I can weigh in. I think everyone realizes something has to be done, the question is what. The first step is to get the CRB/SMAC to analyze the data that was gathered. But not just the data, the data will need to be analyzed in concert with the video of the race to try to determine when a car was in the draft, etc as that has a huge effect. Once that is done we will know if we are off by .01% or 10%. Then you can start looking for solutions.

Having spent a lot of time analyzing this in the past based on some pretty good data sets I can tell you that just throwing weight/RP at the cars will not get us where we need to be. The root cause has always been torque, and weight/RP are not effective ways to address the torque disparity.

There are several approaches to solving the problem, cams, flywheel, clutch, etc. Before we can pick the right one we need the results of the data from RA.

BTW, I think splitting the class is the last option I would consider. [twocents]

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If the class is split, I'm finding another class to race in.

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Whatever is done the primary goal should be to reduce cost and encourage new participants.

When I read about 'motor development programs', owning multiple generations for various track/conditions, 'all-out' builds, it bears little resemblance to the class I joined 8 years ago, and I doubt that SM is now the class that the originators envisioned. You know, low cost, entry level, rewards driver ability?

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I'm struck that we're discussing a complicated set of variables without always considering the effect they have on one another. For example Miller is flat and the 1.6's did well there. RA has lots of elevation changes and the 99's were the car dejure there.
My take away is that we are going to see tracks where different chassis / engine combinations are advantageous. Add to that the fact that there was a push a few years back by the top guns to build 99's and we now have a lot of that vintage SM's being wheeled by hot shoes who have gone to school on the set up and engines for two plus years.
The result is anything but surprising.
Rick

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David Dewhurst
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As we are blue skying a future do we know how many of each car are out there? Economy & the presumed results at the 09 Runoffs on the hills of Road America may well have contributed to the number of 1.6 & 94/97 cars at the Runoffs.

1.6's ?

94/97's ?

99/01's ?

92/05's ?

--------------------
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Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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quote:
Originally posted by Sean Allen:
If the class is split, I'm finding another class to race in.

Me too!!!! Splitting the class is not an option. On the flat tracks down here in Florida all of the cars are very, very close. The last race the top 4 cars walked away from the field (all national cars); there was 1 1.6, 1 94, and 2 99s.

--------------------
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Many folks said they would quit if the '99 was included. Its posted at this site. Many did, SM still got bigger and few people remember who quit (I remember, I wish they were back with us).

I think it would be great for Roger to help analyze the data. Maybe he can attend a tire test and hang out on my lawn chair as well?

I Love MEAT......

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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How did the different years Place Jamie? i.e. who was pushing air, and who was benefiting?

-bw

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
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Every change made so far has made a different car the one to have. That means to me we are pretty close.

It will never be even for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

I have 2 ideas:
1) Change the rules every year (with a clear advantage to one car) so every car gets a turn at the top of the heap, and you only have to wait a few years for your time to come around. The people who spend too much money will continue to do so by having a rotating fleet of cars.

2) Keep the rules the same for 3 years at a time so people can flock to the preferred setup, and stay there for a few years without worry and expense.

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

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quote:
Originally posted by Casey Z:
Good discussion going on here. It is productive and reasoned, I had to check and see what website I was on!

We can't have you being confused about which site you're on Casey...so that you can keep it straight, here is my proposal.

1.6's get KERS and adjustable front spoiler.

99's get 80lbs off, a 45mm restrictor and a hardtop Gurney strip.

94-97 keeps the same restrictor, except with open ECU and a push-to pass button.

--------------------
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D.B. Cutler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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As a '91 1.6L owner with a gently used RE pro motor in it as well as a completely rebuilt tranny and a torsen rear end, I'm not in favor of splitting the class and making the 1.6L cars conform to SSM rules. The last thing that the SCCA needs is another class.

Over the last few years I've spent a ton of money trying to improve my equipment so that I can at least know that the reason that I'm getting beat is me and not my car. About two years ago I said; "That's it, enough is enough" and I stopped spending money on equipment and started to concentrate on my driving more. Guess what, my times lap times still went down. However, my car is now considered "competitive for regional only" as far as I can tell.

I don't think I'm alone in this economy in my thinking. Whatever we do to improve parity we need to keep the owners who have already invested money in there cars in mind. A new $20 RP for the '99s and more weight is a cheap answer for parity. Plus, the early 1.8L guys will be happy to remove a few pounds.

I'm not sure about what to do with the different ring and pinions in the 1.8L cars. Put it to a vote ? Make it an option for a few years ? Not sure. I don't know if I like the idea of forcing 1.8L guys to spend a bunch of money on R&P gears.

As far as bringing in the MX-5. Sure why not. As long as they have to run at 4500 lbs, I'm all for it. [thumbsup]

PS: And don't lower the weight of the 1.6L cars. I can't get there now even while eating the freaken' tree bark that my wife is forcing me to eat for breakfast. [banghead]

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
quote:
Originally posted by Casey Z:
Good discussion going on here. It is productive and reasoned, I had to check and see what website I was on!

We can't have you being confused about which site you're on Casey...so that you can keep it straight, here is my proposal.

1.6's get KERS and adjustable front spoiler.

99's get 80lbs off, a 45mm restrictor and a hardtop Gurney strip.

94-97 keeps the same restrictor, except with open ECU and a push-to pass button.

That won't work for me. I am a member of the SM Teams Association (SMTA) and we have a gentleman's agreement not to use KERs this year. I hear Drago is working on one though... [Big Grin]

--------------------
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Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Even better idea...allow the older cars higher compression, let the MX5's in at stock compression and limited prep. 1.6's get 14:1, sequential transmissions, and you get to cut the windshields off; 94-97 only get 11:1, 99 stock.

Antonio--tongue firmly in cheek (sort of)

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larryw
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Great discussion as I'm feeling a little fed up with the class.

The costs seem to be escalating. My 1.8--even with a a decent motor--is a dog. I'd very quickly concede I can't wheel the thing but the speeds at which I've been passed by 99s has been disheartening.

What's wrong with sealed crate engines? Compliance, in the regionals I run, is nonexistant. I'm not suggesting we do engine teardowns. Who wants to put their motors back together?

Why not have a trackside dyno? I know that the numbers are only relative, but this seems like a good way to ensure parity. THen we could balance with weight adjustments. I'd rather increase the compliance fee to get a portable unit there. Let's see who's making what. Who cares how much valve lift someone has, what we want to know is output. There must be something I'm not thinking of.

And while I'm on the box, please, please don't talk of splitting the class. Diluting the fields will kill SM. ANyone ever been karting? I did and there was a new class every two years, that slowly thinned what had once been popular. I was at the Glen a couple of weeks ago and they run SSM. I could not figure out the logic behind that class. The guys there said that they had a stock intake and more restrictive exhaust. Is that enough of a cost saving to justify its existence? The guys there said that there's a gentleman's agreement not to use pro motors. I'm sure that works...

SSM seemed to me as a flawed way to keep the class cheap and close. Sealed engines and a trackside dyno could get us there, imo.

Please tell me how I'm wrong.

Chris Griswold Verified Driver
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RA is my home track, 65 miles away. I considered running SCCA this year so I did not have to drive 1500 miles to MMP. Then I remembered I have a 1990 that never did well against the 1.8's at RA. Enough said, NASA it is.

The 1.6's at MMP did do fairly well, but the west coast is full of them, (25 od 40 cars at MMP) My run up to forth came from mainly good braking. My 1.6 is a crate engine that I had Stewart deck the heads and do the legal valve job, nothing fancy. I definitly did not have the strongest 1.6 as I had a run on Grant Westmoreland on the main straight, pulled my bumper to the front of his door, then he drove away from me and I barely held his draft after I tucked back in (quite embarrasing actually).

I had the 3rd fastest lap, probably with a draft, but sheesh, there is a difference in 1.6 power. Maybe my car would have benefitted from a high altitude tune on the dyno at MMP.

This parity thing is very difficult and I don't envy Drago and the board trying to keep the 99's the fastest, oops, I mean the class even. You will never please half the people. DO NOT lower the weight of the 1.6 again. I have to run on fumes to get to 2295. That sucks having to run that low all the time.

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Greg Garneau
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Uhhhh, splitting the class isn't really a new idea... both NASA and SCCA have the sealed-spec class. Out here on the left coast, our SSM fields have been getting pretty sizable. So, in my opinion, it would not be starting something new as so much as forcing the 1.6 guys to form to the sealed rules that are already in place, and then let the 1.8's run light and fast! [Wink]

GW
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splitting the class would be an absolutely terrible idea !!!

Jason Holland Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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People forget that NASA did this three years ago. Problem is, no one ran in SM2. [Frown]

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RA is a motor / torque track. Everyone knows this. It only has 12 or so turns and it's 4 miles long. Not much of a drivers track. Then add all the uphills. If you change the rules for parity around RA it will mess up just about every other track. JMHO

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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I think most folks now understand that RA is different and why, but from what I've heard, the CRB would likely make a balanced choice with data taken from other tracks/races. That being said, the big show should count for something as it does a big part for defining our class and sets a certain amount of expectation for new competitors coming into the class and building cars.

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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quote:
Originally posted by D.B. Cutler:
I don't think I'm alone in this economy in my thinking. Whatever we do to improve parity we need to keep the owners who have already invested money in there cars in mind. A new $20 RP for the '99s and more weight is a cheap answer for parity. Plus, the early 1.8L guys will be happy to remove a few pounds.

I'm not sure about what to do with the different ring and pinions in the 1.8L cars. Put it to a vote ? Make it an option for a few years ? Not sure. I don't know if I like the idea of forcing 1.8L guys to spend a bunch of money on R&P gears.

Great post. I would do the 4.3 change. However, it is more costly than making adjustments using weight and plates.

quote:
Originally posted by 38BFAST:
RA is a motor / torque track. Everyone knows this. It only has 12 or so turns and it's 4 miles long. Not much of a drivers track. Then add all the uphills. If you change the rules for parity around RA it will mess up just about every other track. JMHO

I think Road America should be a main consideration in car parity since many who run the National circuit do so in order to get to the Runoffs. I agree that other tracks need to be considered as well, but a car of any year should be able to win the Runoffs.

Didn't you just buy a '99 this weekend? [Wink]

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Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
How did the different years Place Jamie? i.e. who was pushing air, and who was benefiting?

-bw

In the first race,
1st-1.6L (1990)
2nd- 1.8 (1994)
3rd 99
4th 99
Second race
1st 94
2nd 99
3rd 99
4th 1990
We all ran within a 2 tenths of each other all weekend and it made no difference who was in front. They were very close on a flat track. Also I have a fast 1.6 that I have raced for a while as well and both the 99 and 1.6 seem to be very equal. Of course RA is not flat but any change that would be made to help in the hills is going to give an unfair advantage in the flat.

--------------------
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Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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How about the runoffs being at a flat track like Sebring? I'm just saying.

--------------------
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quote:
Originally posted by 38BFAST:
If you change the rules for parity around RA it will mess up just about every other track. JMHO

Couldn't agree more. Just at Jamie Tucker states about the tracks in his area we have proven in the DC region that any car year can win at our home track. They are as equal as it gets. Changing the rules for one track seems crazy. 38 cars attended the runoffs, one race. How many cars run each and every weekend at regional and national races across the country and we are going to change the rules because of that one track and one race.

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You really can't compare regional and national results. Anyone know how many 1.6 L cars have won a national this year?

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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Can't speak for any other division, but here is the breakdown from the SOWDIV:

Top Ten in points:
1.6; four
1.8; one
99; five

Wins;
99; five
1.6; three
1.8; zero

As a side note, out of those 1.6 cars that scored wins, they only entered 5 out of the 8 nationals.

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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
You really can't compare regional and national results. Anyone know how many 1.6 L cars have won a national this year?

Not sure why you can't. There are lots of regional racers out there that are more than capable of running and doing well at national races but just choose not to.

We did have a national at Summit this year but only 5 entered. I know at least 3 were 99's and I am not sure about the other 2. Only 3 finished on the lead lap and they were all 99's but it has nothing to do with the 1.6 not being competitive. The 1.6's that do run at the track generally set the fastest laps and quite often win and they are as fast or faster than any of the 99's that were at the national.

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Put it in perspective - how many SM's in total actively run at tracks across the country? Are we going to make adjustments based on just the 38 that go to Runoffs?

I think the argument could be made that if you aren't willing to spend the money for the 99, you probably can't afford to win the Runoffs anyway, at least while they are at a power track like Road America.

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quote:
Originally posted by Todd Lamb:
Are we going to make adjustments based on just the 38 that go to Runoffs?

I am sure adjustment were made with only 29 in 2008.

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Todd Lamb:
Put it in perspective - how many SM's in total actively run at tracks across the country? Are we going to make adjustments based on just the 38 that go to Runoffs?

Adjustments have been made every year since the class went national based on the runoff's results. Why should this year be any different?

quote:

I think the argument could be made that if you aren't willing to spend the money for the 99, you probably can't afford to win the Runoffs anyway, at least while they are at a power track like Road America.

And what are we supposed to do with our 1.6 or 1.8 we have sitting in the garage for the next two years while we are running our new 99's we build? For that matter what do we do with our 99 that is obsolete when the runoff's move in a couple of years and the 99 is no longer the CTH? What if the runoff's stay at RA for the next 10 years? The logic in your statement escapes me.

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Todd Lamb:
Put it in perspective - how many SM's in total actively run at tracks across the country? Are we going to make adjustments based on just the 38 that go to Runoffs?

I think the argument could be made that if you aren't willing to spend the money for the 99, you probably can't afford to win the Runoffs anyway, at least while they are at a power track like Road America.

But one could argue that would be against the class philosophy, as well as the philosophy of most racing series, both pro and ameteur :0) The goal is usually equity among homologated cars.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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The more I think about it, cams might to be the only answer to this problem. There is already a spec that can just be changed. Yes, I know... philosphy of the class [Smile]

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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D.B. Cutler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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What ? It's perfect logic if you have a top notch 99.

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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
quote:
Originally posted by Casey Z:
Good discussion going on here. It is productive and reasoned, I had to check and see what website I was on!

We can't have you being confused about which site you're on Casey...so that you can keep it straight, here is my proposal.

1.6's get KERS and adjustable front spoiler.

99's get 80lbs off, a 45mm restrictor and a hardtop Gurney strip.

94-97 keeps the same restrictor, except with open ECU and a push-to pass button.

I like that idea, but do we have to make our on KERS, or can we buy from Mclaren, Ferrari, BMW? What if we have a KERS failure during the race?

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OK then, why has attendance continued to decline at national events and the Runoffs? I know "it's the economy stupid", but I bet other forces are at work?

And is this a problem?

Personally I think everything's fine, and we should do nothing.

D.B. Cutler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Bruce,

I'd be ok with new cams for the 1.6L. I wouldn't buy them right now, but when my next rebuild comes around I would.

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Bush:

It will never be even for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Because the base cars are different, they will never be even at all tracks. There will always be one that is better at a given track.

That said, do we aim for equality at the track for the national championship, or shoot down the middle for the average joe and leave an overdog at the runoffs?

Or do some of you really think we can make all the cars even at all the tracks?

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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While it's highly unlikely that the CRB would consider changing cams within the spirit of the class, does ANYONE have ANY strong objections to the idea?

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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Are we aiming for equality at Road America, or everywhere?

If its RA, then what do we do in 2 more years if it moves again? Take out the cams, or add something else?

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Adjustments in the past were usually based on the results from the Runoffs, why would it not be any different this year.


Pat

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keeping the faith for the 1.6

Arrow Karts

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
While it's highly unlikely that the CRB would consider changing cams within the spirit of the class, does ANYONE have ANY strong objections to the idea?

I would argue that the CRB accepted the idea that cams could be changed within the "spirit" of the class when they published a cam spec. It basically acknowledges that cams are being changed. Think about it...

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Greg, Cams fixes the track dujour problem by equalizing the torque issue. Of course this would necessitate starting over on weights and RPs, so it's not all as easy as it sounds.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

Blake Clements Verified Driver Series Champ
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I think it was JD many moons ago that said build all 3, and slowly but surely, I'm starting to believe in that policy.

I think the 1.6 needs help and needs the light clutch or light flywheel back, just like when the cars were dominant in the 2006 Runoffs.

As for the Sean Yepez campaign, I don't buy into any of that. Give the cars the 4.3 and thats IT and lets see how they do.

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Blake Clements

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quote:
Originally posted by Casey Z:
quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
While it's highly unlikely that the CRB would consider changing cams within the spirit of the class, does ANYONE have ANY strong objections to the idea?

I would argue that the CRB accepted the idea that cams could be changed within the "spirit" of the class when they published a cam spec. It basically acknowledges that cams are being changed. Think about it...
Casey, you're exactly right. The ship has sailed on cams when the cam spec came out.

Off-topic - but if you think we have it bad, you should see the T1 guys talking about parity.

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Blake Clements

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Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Blake Clements:
Give the cars the 4.3 and thats IT and lets see how they do.

This is going to sound counter intuitive but if you do the math, adding the 4.3 to a 1.8 will make things worse not better. You basically turn the 1.8 into a 99. Again, it is all about torque...

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

 
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