sporqster
sporqster New Reader
1/1/12 10:32 p.m.

I'm building my budget and planning my build for a BABE Rally / Chumpcar / LeMons / GRM Challenge car. Build blog: www.littlelamborghini.com

I want to run this car in the 'open' class at the Challenge, not just the crapcan class.

I noticed this little tidbit from the 2011 rules:

"9: Interiors may be gutted, although the basic dashboard or dashpad must remain. If the original dashboard pad has rotted or deteriorated away, it may be replaced with a full-width piece of aluminum. "

I assume that it is legal to replace the original dashboard with a full-width piece of aluminum, for any other reason aside from it rotting away, like maybe it doesn't fit well with the cage want to use, and a piece of aluminum is lighter anyway? Why must it be aluminum? Can I use another material (steel sheet metal, plastic sheeting) spanning the distance from the cage dash bar to where the windshield meets the firewall? Will the full width dash bar with gauges mounted to steel brackets welded to the dash bar cut it?

/begin gripe session/

I'm also having a hard time making my budget planning work while getting all the requisite safety equipment in the car required for Chumpcar racing within my $2012 budget. It would make sense to me to allow parts on the car that do not present a competitive advantage (or are even a disadvantage) not necessarily be included on the budget, particularly when safety is concerned.

Example: my build looks like it will necessitate moving the stock fuel tank location. Per Chumpcar rules, this means my only option is to install a fuel cell from the "Approved" fuel cell list. NONE of these fuel cells are what I'd call cheap. Now I could pull the fuel cell out of the car and put some crappy plastic jug in the back for the Challenge, but it seems silly to downgrade the safety purely for the sake of meeting the budget. Furthermore, I will likely build some significant steel structure around the cell to prevent minor-to-moderate rear collision from rupturing it. This adds weight and is clearly not a competitive advantage, and yet I will have to account for it on my GRM paper work?

I would like to see some leniency in the $2012 on fuel cells and other bits on the car that improve safety but do not represent a competitive advantage.

I recognize the reasoning for disallowing weld-in cages as exempt from budgets while allowing bolt-ins, but it does tend to encourage installation of equipment that is less safe (or perceived to be less safe). It would be nice if weld-in cages could be made exempt from the budget, or at least partially exempt from the budget.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard SonDork
1/1/12 10:39 p.m.

This is by no means an official answer, but the purpose of the rules is not to only penalize you for items that provide a competitive advantage, but to force you to build a car that almost anyone could replicate for $2,012.

In my personal opinion, the Challenge would lose a lot of what makes it great if Joe the plumber can't take $2012 and some time to build one of his own.

unevolved
unevolved Dork
1/1/12 10:50 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: In my personal opinion, the Challenge would lose a lot of what makes it great if Joe the plumber can't take $2012 and some time to build one of his own.

Werd. The beauty of this competition is how different it is from Chumpcar et. al.

I'd imagine you'll find a lot more support in competing in a $500-road-racer class than trying to make the "Open" rules fit Chumpcars. I promise you if they make the rules accommodate fuel cells, harnesses, and seats, this group will find a way to exploit those rules in ways you didn't even think possible.

The cars that compete in the Challenge are often more along the lines of "There's no way that only cost $2000 to build!" rather than "I can't believe someone paid $500 for that piece of hammered dog E36 M3." I'd like to keep that phenomenon in place as long as possible. I used to be pretty against it, but I'm starting to side with the people that say there should be as few exceptions as possible to the budgetary rules. If it can't be recreated for $2000, it's at the wrong event.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
1/1/12 10:51 p.m.

No one's gonna kick you out of the game if you modify the dash.

It's not GRM's responsibility to make exceptions so cars can fit the Chumpcar/ BABE/ LeMons rules. That's really your problem, not GRM's.

You car would not be the first to use a portable gas can for a fuel tank to meet the budget, which was swapped later.

The Challenge almost never requires a cage for safety. Very few cars competing in the Challenge ever cross over the threshold where they actually need them.

Extra labor to participate in multiple events is respected. If you go through the effort to build a car with a bolt in cage for the Challenge, but explain to the judges that you also have a weld-in for Chumpcar which you will be swapping in the following weekend, you will gain concourse points. Extra labor is rewarded.

Why not argue with Chumpcar about their fuel cell rule?

Moving a fuel tank is almost always a competitive advantage. Are you really going to give no thought at all to where the weight of the fuel would be most beneficial? Would you choose a fuel cell that was not lighter given the choice? Lower quantity of fuel is lighter, less sloshing, etc. etc. But you knew all this.

Glad to see the effort of folks who want to use their vehicle for multiple purposes. Not much sympathy regarding the rules.

unevolved
unevolved Dork
1/1/12 11:31 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Glad to see the effort of folks who want to use their vehicle for multiple purposes. Not much sympathy regarding the rules.

This summarizes what I was trying to say perfectly, with the addendum that the amount of sympathy is inversely proportional to the amount of respect given.

JThw8
JThw8 SuperDork
1/2/12 8:34 a.m.

Since we did all 3 with our car too (Lemons/BABE/GRM) I will say it can be done. We came in under open budget, even with a weld in cage. We used a fuel cell, although it was not an FIA cert cell as the "can and bladder" type were still acceptable under Lemons rules if not located in the cockpit.

I'll admit we could have done a lot more with the car if we had not had to include the cage, and initially the cage was designed as a bolt in to keep it out of the budget, but some last minute changes made welding it faster and easier so we took the hit and had to leave some things out of the final GRM build. But that was our choice.

Noone ever said this stuff would be easy ;)

corytate
corytate HalfDork
1/2/12 10:39 a.m.

I've been thinking about bolting the idea of bolting in a cage and then welding in the edges of the brackets of the same cage later on?

sporqster
sporqster New Reader
1/2/12 10:51 a.m.

In reply to corytate:

Yeah, I've been looking at bolt in options as well. Unfortunately I want to take it road racing prior to the challenge as well as after, and tech inspection frowns upon, though doesn't outright ban bolt-in's.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
1/2/12 11:48 a.m.

Then put it in the budget.

Lots of people have.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
1/3/12 7:26 p.m.

Learn to appreciate the challenge of the $20xx build, otherwise you will not appreciate the $20xx Challenge.

Nobody will tell you that you have to understand, enjoy, or agree with the rules...you just have to follow them. Yes, they're frustrating, and are NOT meant to make a car built to modern wheel to wheel safety standards, but that's because it's not a wheel to wheel event. I can say with 100% certainty, my fuel can used in the $2011 wasn't designed for a crash and I would like to put a proper fuel cell in it. With that said, a proper fuel cell probably would have made my car more competitive.

Bryce

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
1/5/12 7:03 p.m.
Nashco wrote: Learn to appreciate the challenge of the $20xx build, otherwise you will not appreciate the $20xx Challenge. Nobody will tell you that you have to understand, enjoy, or agree with the rules...you just have to follow them. Yes, they're frustrating, and are NOT meant to make a car built to modern wheel to wheel safety standards, but that's because it's not a wheel to wheel event. I can say with 100% certainty, my fuel can used in the $2011 wasn't designed for a crash and I would like to put a proper fuel cell in it. With that said, a proper fuel cell probably would have made my car more competitive. Bryce

That's a really great statement/ summary.

Flattop
Flattop New Reader
5/3/12 5:21 p.m.

I have done many different kinds of racing, usually as the builder/mechanic. The first rule really sums it up. If it doesn't say you can you can't. I have sat thru many meetings at varied associations trying to make this and that not apply. The rules in any budget class racing are put there to make it the same for everyone. If you want your car to fit more than one type of racing you should figure that out for your needs not every ones. I plan on doing this challenge this year so that I can cross several things off my bucket list, I think the rules are short well written and easy to fit to any budget. Good luck and keep the rubber side down.

Flattop
Flattop New Reader
5/3/12 5:24 p.m.

I have sat thru many meetings at varied associations listening to people argue trying to make this and that rule apply or not apply. (Is what I meant to say)

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