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Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
2/23/15 11:37 p.m.

First I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Spec Miata debacle, not because I thought the they were evil dirty rotten cheaters etc but at the very least it was an acknowledged grey area.........when you delve into the realm you have to accept that things may come back to bite you. As for claimer classes while not having ever raced in a claiming class, I will admit it has appeal. I have a buddy who grew up around racing in the Daytona area and he has a friend who races a claimer dirt track car........he keeps selling cars to competitors, he starts winning, someone claims the car and he drags out another one and then waits for it to get claimed......I'm told he has building the cars down to a science and the "claimed cars" supplement his season. Back to cheating I'm not sure it advances anything that wouldn't have been advanced anyway, I will also freely admit to the entertainment value of clever rules interpretations.......of course if you're that persons competitor it's not so entertaining.

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
2/24/15 6:48 a.m.

Did I read the wrong article that JG posted?

I read- yes, cheating happens- sometimes it's the shiny people who no tolerance rules are very against, sometimes it's the people trying to stretch the rule book right to the edge, and sometimes its a people who just were not reading the book right. The recent Miata thing falls in the latter category.

Not sure how ANYONE got that as justifying cheating. Explaining it, sure. Perhaps justifying the ones who are at the very edge of the boundary do help the system. But many of them are not cheating- when Penske won the Indy 500 with the pushrod V8's from Mercedes- he wasn't cheating. But the rule changed the year later. Or for this group, when Mongrel won the challenge with the high $$, but very legal, Miata- they were not cheating- but their actions better defined the rule book.

Not sure how any of that justifies cheating. Just explains it, and then suggests that when a lot of honest people make the same mistake, maybe it was not intentional cheating, just a mistake.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
2/24/15 7:08 a.m.
Driven5 wrote: So gov't mandated photo ID's are OK to require for one Constitutionally protected right, but not OK to require for another...Or is it gov't mandated photo ID's are an infringement on any Constitutionally protected right? .
NOHOME wrote: If you want to win, you have to cheat and not get caught.

False...Playing the 'game' better, including interpreting the rules better, is not inherently cheating.

Cheating is a "tree falling in the woods" thing (might be a Schrödinger's cat thing also, but too early to think that hard): If you do not get caught, then you are simply a better player who is better at interpreting the rules. If you do get caught, then you are a "Cheater" and shame on you. We all agree that cheaters are an abhorrence. However, if a cheater can make it to the grave without being exposed, he will be immortalized as a "Great Man".

In my opinion, most peoples vision of "THE GAME" is way too limited. The game is what you play from cradle to grave. Last I checked, the rule book was a bit murky. Competitive sports are funny in that they try to create islands of "fairness" in what is essentially an unfair universe. And that is fine since it is harmless for the most part. But at the boundaries where they meet the real world, there will always be a discontinuity.

The real crime is to not understand that this is how the world works. The game is ALWAYS rigged, just deal with it. It's like gravity, I personally don't much like it, but I do factor it into my daily course of events as required and by doing so seem to get by.

TiggerWelder
TiggerWelder New Reader
2/24/15 8:53 a.m.

I like the way cheating is addressed in IT racing in SCCA. When you are pretty sure that someone is flagrantly cheating, a few other competitors talk to them in a non public forum, tell them that you don't appreciate it and if they don't get legal, you will protest them. If they keep doing it, you take up a collection of the competitors and post the bond. They lose the trick parts, they get points and tossed for that race. They may straighten up or they may go play in another sandbox. But you can feel good about handling it like a man and not going nuclear.
The once and done rules are bad as they take all discretion away from the rules makers. Minor is minor, major is major. If you have an ultra close 5-speed tucked into your four speed case, or an illegal cam, that is huge. If you are 5 lbs underweight or 1/8" low, that is another entirely.

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
2/24/15 11:47 a.m.

I've crewed in both pro sports car racing and Nascar, and for the most part, the most flagrant cheating I have seen is when I ran SCCA. For sure in the pro series, you stretch the rules wherever possible, but you have big money sponsors wanting results. I wouldn't really call it cheating, I call it trying to win. Nascar was a bit different in that the sanctioning body itself told people who could cheat and how, at least they did then, but that was 15 years ago. Now, who knows.

In SCCA, I simply saw many people who wanted to win by spending big money and little talent. Most of the people I saw who won however, usually just were better. I never was involved in Spec Miata so no direct experience.

A funny story though, a member of one of our 24 teams once raced an MR2 in showroom stock back in the '80's, and he commented that he ran an illegal cam, and others were doing similar things, but he wasn't a front runner.

I stand my saying that most of the guys running at the front of at least national races are pretty clean though.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
2/24/15 12:32 p.m.

my question is.. if everyone is doing this modification to the head.. why not make it legal?

Driven5
Driven5 HalfDork
2/24/15 12:41 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

That all depends on how each individual chooses to define both "cheating" and "winning", what 'game' each individual has chosen to play, and how each individual chooses to apply those definitions to their particular 'game'. Obviously you are just as entitled to your opinions, as I am mine. Unfortunately, it would seem that yours differ from mine on all accounts. Thus it would seem we are at an impasse on this subject.

docwyte
docwyte Dork
2/24/15 1:08 p.m.

This sounds like a Lance Armstrong type of thing. ALL those cyclists were doping back then. Every single top rider from that era has been caught doping. I'd wager it's still going on in cycling...

So does that mean it's ok, since everyone was doing it?

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Dork
2/24/15 1:29 p.m.

In reply to racerdave600: Well, I'm glad that I want to improve my driving, not spend a whole bunch of money to get faster. I haven't even started doing track days, yet.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UberDork
2/24/15 1:59 p.m.
docwyte wrote: This sounds like a Lance Armstrong type of thing. ALL those cyclists were doping back then. Every single top rider from that era has been caught doping. I'd wager it's still going on in cycling... So does that mean it's ok, since everyone was doing it?

If everybody is doing it, and there is a perception that it is not possible to win without cheating, you have a severe problem with the sanctioning body failing to enforce the rules.

That is a category that wasn't in J.G.'s original rant, but I'm sure there have been auto racing serieses with the same problem.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
2/24/15 2:29 p.m.

The GRM challenge is Kool you cheat you get more beer you don't cheat you get more beer win win

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
2/24/15 2:30 p.m.
Rupert wrote: In reply to JG Pasterjak: Sorry for sounding so redundant. But the bottom line is, should you know on any given day your ride might be claimed by a competitor after any given race, you'll probably not spend all that much money to cheat! We're not talking about steal your competitor's ride money here. In AMA the claiming cost was set at least 125% to 150% of the average build cost. In other words, if your ride is that hot It's worth paying a lot more than I could build it for, so I'll claim it! The other side is, as a rider I'm not going to spend a ton of money to cheat. Because if/when I do, the other team/teams will buy my rides and not just beat me with what i built. But in addition, I'll also have to start over from scratch!

Around 1996 or 7, a guy I raced motorcycles with went to the Daytona 200 to crew for the guy who owned the shop I worked at. After the 600 superstock race, while the top X bikes were still in impound and could be claimed, he walked over, pointed at the Factory Yoshimura Suzuki, waved his checkbook and said "I'll take that one".

There was a little hemming and hawwing on the behalf of the organizers, but eventually he made his point, wrote the check and brought the bike home.

Irrespective of any claiming rule, the level of fabrication and quality of preparation was better then anything I'd ever seen, and while the motor was definitely legal, it also pulled a bigger dyno number and was fatter below the HP/TQ intersection than any 600 we'd see for a few years. He probably bought it for $15k less than it cost to build, and it's likely all the engine internals were the most favorably dimensioned of hundreds measured.

When I raced karts in early 00's in the Briggs (flathead) Raptor stock alcohol heavy class, tech was done by the guy who built nearly everyone's engines. I imagine the cheating was nearly equal, but occasionally when the guy in front of me would fire up on the grid before qualifying the nitromethane exhaust was like teargas.

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
2/24/15 3:32 p.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: In reply to racerdave600: Well, I'm glad that I want to improve my driving, not spend a whole bunch of money to get faster. I haven't even started doing track days, yet.

To put a little perspective here, I remember back in the early 2000's my friend that is a professional racer ran laps in back marker IT car faster than the pole that weekend. Also, back in the early '90's, a local club member won a national championship in solo II, by a convincing margin, in a car he drove to the event in, never changed tires, and drove home. He was protested by several people and his car was totally stock and barely prepared at all. The guys protesting couldn't believe it and started listing out what they had done to their cars, all of it illegal. Anyway, I could go on, but you get the idea.

This is not to say the fast guys don't cheat, but I think more cheating happens towards the middle and back of the pack to make up for not being as good of a driver. To me, driving is the cheapest way to go faster.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
2/24/15 4:21 p.m.

How does cheating improve the racing?

850Combat
850Combat New Reader
2/24/15 9:00 p.m.

I wanted to build and drive an old car on the street as a daily driver for fun. It was eligible for SCCA DSP to autocross, but no way would it ever be the hot car in the class. My motor was built beyond the rules, and my chassis and suspension were way under the limits of the rules. I had fun with it, and did OK with it sometimes. The cheating didn't make it an overdog in the class. It was still one of the the least powerful skinniest tire car in the class, and not the lightest.

I don't feel bad about building the car I wanted and driving it in a class where it wasn't built to the letter of the rules. I don't think that my competitors did either.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
2/24/15 9:14 p.m.

Would it be fair to say that the same set of morals that allow for exceeding a posted speed limit would allow you to live with the rule bending cylinder head modifications mentioned??

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/24/15 10:11 p.m.
motomoron wrote: Around 1996 or 7, a guy I raced motorcycles with went to the Daytona 200 to crew for the guy who owned the shop I worked at. After the 600 superstock race, while the top X bikes were still in impound and could be claimed, he walked over, pointed at the Factory Yoshimura Suzuki, waved his checkbook and said "I'll take that one". There was a little hemming and hawwing on the behalf of the organizers, but eventually he made his point, wrote the check and brought the bike home. Irrespective of any claiming rule, the level of fabrication and quality of preparation was better then anything I'd ever seen, and while the motor was definitely legal, it also pulled a bigger dyno number and was fatter below the HP/TQ intersection than any 600 we'd see for a few years. He probably bought it for $15k less than it cost to build, and it's likely all the engine internals were the most favorably dimensioned of hundreds measured.

I like the idea of having enough money and balls to take up a sanctioning body on a claim.

fornetti14
fornetti14 Dork
2/25/15 9:21 a.m.

Great thread and thanks to all for contributing.
Now, my take is that you read the limits of the rules. Read, study, understand.

As an example, we raced with restrictor plates that were legal by .003-.004. We went through the machine shop expense of having a restrictor "touched" so it was exactly the legal limit regardless of how it was measured. We were accused of cheating, but we were operating within the rules and the way they were written.
The following year the rule was changed so that it read "restrictor plates must be run "as-punched" and cannot be retouched", which then made our old plate illegal.
I use this as an acceptable example of operating within the rules and exploiting an area that no one thought of until my Mechanical Engineer Dad got a machine shop involved.
I wish you all were in the tech shed when they tried to bounce us (this was a World Karting Assn. event several years ago).

Rupert
Rupert Dork
2/25/15 10:28 a.m.

In reply to motomoron:Sounds like the claiming rule worked exactly as designed! If he bought it for $15K less than it cost to build, that's the way it's supposed to work! Now he was on a more equal playing field running against the company. Whether he was as good a competitor or not, was now the issue.

Whether the motor was "legal" wasn't the question. The question was and in this case is, can the average competitor, also running "legal" have a chance against the guys with all the money in the world? As long as you can claim, you have a chance at equality that tears-downs can't provide.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
2/25/15 11:36 a.m.

Cheating and racing have a long history on all levels of the sport. I'm sure still in racing formats like Formula 1 if you are unwilling to bend the rules or outright cheat you are just unwilling to win.

I don't cheat because i'm there for fun. If I were there to win I would probably cheat if everyone else that was there to win is doing it which according to this info they are. There is really nothing you can do about it. It's kind of a "if you can't beat em join em" kind of thing.

my question is.. if everyone is doing this modification to the head.. why not make it legal?

I think this is a very good point. This is true for any form of cheating really if it's being undiscovered everyone is going to do it.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
2/25/15 11:49 a.m.
850Combat wrote: I wanted to build and drive an old car on the street as a daily driver for fun. It was eligible for SCCA DSP to autocross, but no way would it ever be the hot car in the class. My motor was built beyond the rules, and my chassis and suspension were way under the limits of the rules. I had fun with it, and did OK with it sometimes. The cheating didn't make it an overdog in the class. It was still one of the the least powerful skinniest tire car in the class, and not the lightest. I don't feel bad about building the car I wanted and driving it in a class where it wasn't built to the letter of the rules. I don't think that my competitors did either.

My e36 was run in DSP with illegal front brakes(you're not supposed to change front brake rotor size) The car won a few events locally, but usually would get beaten by DSP mainstays or IT cars......the moron with the specE30 never could beat it though.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
2/25/15 2:14 p.m.
Rupert wrote: In reply to motomoron:Sounds like the claiming rule worked exactly as designed! If he bought it for $15K less than it cost to build, that's the way it's supposed to work! Now he was on a more equal playing field running against the company. Whether he was as good a competitor or not, was now the issue. Whether the motor was "legal" wasn't the question. The question was and in this case is, can the average competitor, also running "legal" have a chance against the guys with all the money in the world? As long as you can claim, you have a chance at equality that tears-downs can't provide.

so … the first time he road the bike in competition … did anyone claim it from him ?

that would have been funny

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
2/25/15 3:45 p.m.

In reply to wbjones:

Indeed it would have been hilarious, I have a question pertaining to claiming though.....who asserts the value of the vehicle in question?

chuckles
chuckles HalfDork
2/25/15 3:49 p.m.

It is abslutely true that there are grey areas in the application of rules governing equipment in sports where the equipment is a lot less complex than a car or motorcycle. That's a natural consequence of the participants looking for the limits of what the rules allow. That's what a competitor does, nothing wrong with it. And, we all agree there is nothing "right" about intentional cheating.

It's the individual cases in the middle that are interesting. Like this Miata head thing.

Rupert
Rupert Dork
2/25/15 3:59 p.m.

In reply to yamaha: I've been out of for more years than I care to remember. But in AMA a set claiming price was set for each group of competition before the start of each racing season. X dollars for Pro, X dollars for Amateur, X dollars for Novice, etc. When you decided or qualified to race in any each class the claiming price was already posted. So you knew how much you could spend on your bike without getting burned, if it were claimed.

In the case of Spec Miata it would probably be X Grand of Dollars above MSRP. And that price would hold for that whole season or year. If the claiming price were MSRP +$5,000 and you spent $10,000 building yours, that was the $5,000 chance you took. Typically, at least in AMA the claiming price over a period of years increased with inflation. But it never decreased.

BTW: Each class had specific rules and you had to earn enough points in Novice to advance to Amateur, etc. No one just walked in and rode. And you must be a legitimate entry into the race where you chose to make a claim. And despite the names, all three classes I mentioned paid finish money. Despite the wording, we were all professionals.

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