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codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/17/23 7:11 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Not lifting probably kept it from going over.

Yeesh, the editing and soundtrack make that video REALLY annoying.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
3/17/23 8:11 p.m.
pheller said:

Bummer. 

What did/do Formula Carts cost new? 

I just see some serious advantages in a smaller, suspended, cheap platform ala a shifter kart but easier on the body. That's pretty much a Formula car. 

You can buy a Formula 600 / F-Mod car for as little as 2K. Typically they are around 5-6K. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/17/23 8:11 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Not lifting probably kept it from going over.

Yeesh, the editing and soundtrack make that video REALLY annoying.

 

Truth.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/17/23 8:17 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

Ha! You are right!  That was a biggie that was supposed to be in there and they either took it out or forgot to leave it in.

 

Whoops!  Let's see if anyone else notices

Wattage
Wattage New Reader
3/17/23 11:03 p.m.

Autocrossing for the first time in about 15-16 years this weekend, kinda psyched. 

Jumping in a friend's Miata and seeing some old friends and then setting up my Fiat 500 to AX, no expectations of doing anything but having fun and wasting money lol

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/18/23 12:49 a.m.
Wattage said:

Autocrossing for the first time in about 15-16 years this weekend, kinda psyched. 

Jumping in a friend's Miata and seeing some old friends and then setting up my Fiat 500 to AX, no expectations of doing anything but having fun and wasting money lol

Go have fun!

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
3/18/23 9:38 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Toyman! :

They also severely restricted the Mod ruleset in order to cut down on problems.  A lot of old Mod cars are now no longer legal.

Is there a quick summary of what got tightened up there?  I haven't run at a Rallycross in a few years, so I'm a little out of the loop. 

In terms of height/width, I don't remember that being required in the past, although it might have been a recommendation.  But there was always the caveat of "if the safety steward at the event isn't convinced it's safe enough, it's not running".  Oddly, in the region I ran with for a while, the 1 or 2 rollovers I can think of didn't involve questionable height vehicles or anything, just aggressive drivers and the right screw up in the right spot on a course.  Although I did have my one "uh...  this might bad" moment when I lifted late in a slalom and got the Jeep sideways on packed gravel/dirt at something in the ballpark of 60. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/20/23 9:07 a.m.
Wattage said:

Autocrossing for the first time in about 15-16 years this weekend, kinda psyched. 

Jumping in a friend's Miata and seeing some old friends and then setting up my Fiat 500 to AX, no expectations of doing anything but having fun and wasting money lol

So, good times this past weekend? 

camopaint0707
camopaint0707 New Reader
3/20/23 9:46 a.m.

In reply to Wattage :

how did it go?

goingnowherefast
goingnowherefast GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/21/23 9:18 a.m.

As a small data point, in the last 5 years there have been two new large roadcourses that have been built in the Metro Detroit area. The second will be (phase 1) completed this summer, while the first is enjoying lots of finicial success. So I guess at least with that anecdote, it appears that the future of roadracing continues to look bright. 

PubBurgers
PubBurgers SuperDork
3/22/23 9:02 a.m.

For me personally, the time commitment is definitely a large part of why my autocross attendance totally tanked once I got married and had kids. It's hard to dedicate a full weekend day to. I'm looking at finally attending a couple of events this year in VA now that life circumstances allow. Last year they had a couple of events the next town over, 20 minutes away. This year there are no events there so it's a 1.5 hour drive to the nearest event. I'm still up for it, but 3 hours of commuter driving in one day is definitely a lot for a quick event.

Totally agreed that an autox day is about seeing all the cool cars, talking to car peeps, and getting to drive like batman for a few minutes. It's an experience.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/22/23 9:47 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Not lifting probably kept it from going over.

If you look closely you can see the driver did the right thing and countersteered when it got up on two wheels - although a bit late in the game.

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
3/22/23 11:57 a.m.

I still think that we're missing the big picture, and that's community support. Without it, there's no "have your back" when new sites are pitched, people will be more prone to complain about noise, and few will show up to spectate. That last one is a two-faced problem because not only aren't they interested, but they don't tell others. Look no further than NASCAR to see how community support makes (or made...) it happen for decades. Auto-X (or any low-interest activity that needs community support) cannot flourish in that environment.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/22/23 12:47 p.m.

In reply to kb58 :

  Advertising and spectators, I may be wrong, but I think most insurance (likely including SCCA) does not allow advertising for spectators due to liabilities.  This kind of limits community support possibilities. I have seen some success flexing tourism to small remote towns with a suitable site (usually airports). Economic impacts, # of out of town visitors, hotel stays, meals at resturants, increased awareness of other attractions in the area as well as awareness in the newspaper (back when those were a thing).

 

 

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
3/22/23 3:43 p.m.

you guys honestly think people are interested in coming out to a parking lot and seeing random people driving around cones?  Seriously?

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/22/23 3:53 p.m.
docwyte said:

you guys honestly think people are interested in coming out to a parking lot and seeing random people driving around cones?  Seriously?

Maybe if the event were attached to Cars and Coffee, but those are already safety chit-shows.  smiley

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/22/23 4:47 p.m.

Martin Sports Car Club autocrosses next to the landfill–or, what I think is the landfill because it doesn’t smell like one yet pretty sure it’s listed as one.

Anyway, while we’re out there on Sunday, people are coming and going past the autocross site. 

This past weekend, I noticed several people pulling over to watch us run. Maybe they thought we were cool, maybe the thought we were wasting a perfectly good Sunday. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/22/23 6:20 p.m.

I've seen some success making it some percentage car show. 

 

Our local club also saw a lot of success because we grilled and had a smoker, ribs and pork chops for participants and really made it a party atmosphere

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
3/22/23 6:37 p.m.
dps214 said:

The thing is there's nothing to be at the forefront of. SxS really aren't a good fit for rallycross or anything similar, at least not in vaguely stock form. IIRC allowing them was proposed at least a year or two prior and was rejected by membership. Maybe it could have been implemented in a way that it would have worked, but it would have precluded anyone from just showing up to try it out. Along those lines, allowing UTV tires for all cars was also probably not a good idea.

Our experience ended with the inevitable rollover. In fairness, it was comically fun while it lasted. FTD usually by multiple seconds even still running on the stock tires with basically zero lateral grip. But even with the wide track model and lowered like 4-6" more than was required, it felt sketchy basically anytime you turned the wheel more than a few degrees. We initially lowered it to the legal limit of the rules and my codriver immediately rolled it just messing around in his yard. Part of the justification of it was thinking that it would be robust enough to be basically maintenance free, and it was immediately apparent that that wasn't the case. A front control arm bent before even making it to the first event. Somewhere along the line a rock ironically got stuck in one of the rear wheel scrapers and punched a hole in the inner barrel of the wheel. Just nothing about it was confidence inspiring.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

To be fair, a lot of them were already illegal, but nobody ever bothered to read or enforce the mod rules. Actually that's part of the problem with the SxSes too.

Man that's unfortunate. Why do these things roll so damn easy? COG too high? Too much grip? 

It's just a shame because I think more people would get into rally and/or rallycross if the prospect of vehicle maintainence and safety additions was less expensive. These days you can easily spend 2x the amount on cage+safety equipment as you will on the rest of the car for stage rally. 

Rally nor rallycross has something akin to the F600 chassis. The closest we've got is SxS. 

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
3/22/23 6:39 p.m.

I take that back, there is one other option - Cross Karts. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/22/23 7:02 p.m.

In reply to pheller :

Those things have a heap of promise as a do anything motorsports platform. Search YouTube and you will see ample evidence of their popularity in hillclimb in Europe. If they got popular enough over here to generate autox and roadrace classes too...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/22/23 7:08 p.m.

In reply to pheller :

Too high, too narrow. 

Such tall vehicles as CRXs and stock height WRXs have rolled.

 

I mean, IIRC autocrosses have more rollovers than rallycross, but still...

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
3/22/23 7:10 p.m.
pheller said:
dps214 said:

The thing is there's nothing to be at the forefront of. SxS really aren't a good fit for rallycross or anything similar, at least not in vaguely stock form. IIRC allowing them was proposed at least a year or two prior and was rejected by membership. Maybe it could have been implemented in a way that it would have worked, but it would have precluded anyone from just showing up to try it out. Along those lines, allowing UTV tires for all cars was also probably not a good idea.

Our experience ended with the inevitable rollover. In fairness, it was comically fun while it lasted. FTD usually by multiple seconds even still running on the stock tires with basically zero lateral grip. But even with the wide track model and lowered like 4-6" more than was required, it felt sketchy basically anytime you turned the wheel more than a few degrees. We initially lowered it to the legal limit of the rules and my codriver immediately rolled it just messing around in his yard. Part of the justification of it was thinking that it would be robust enough to be basically maintenance free, and it was immediately apparent that that wasn't the case. A front control arm bent before even making it to the first event. Somewhere along the line a rock ironically got stuck in one of the rear wheel scrapers and punched a hole in the inner barrel of the wheel. Just nothing about it was confidence inspiring.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

To be fair, a lot of them were already illegal, but nobody ever bothered to read or enforce the mod rules. Actually that's part of the problem with the SxSes too.

Man that's unfortunate. Why do these things roll so damn easy? COG too high? Too much grip? 

It's just a shame because I think more people would get into rally and/or rallycross if the prospect of vehicle maintainence and safety additions was less expensive. These days you can easily spend 2x the amount on cage+safety equipment as you will on the rest of the car for stage rally. 

Rally nor rallycross has something akin to the F600 chassis. The closest we've got is SxS. 

There are rally classes for them. But you still have the safety equipment expense because SxS safety structures are more like the safety structure built into a normal car than the real roll cage that they happen to resemble.

The rollover issue is a combination of issues. The base of it is that they just aren't intended to turn with any real speed. Fun story, literally one of the first things the dealer salesman told us was that if we wanted to do donuts in it, to be prepared to exit the donut under power because if you lifted mid-spin it would immediately roll (that uh...turned out to be very true even slightly lowered). Even lowered significantly they still tend to have high CGs compared to overall height due to the high ground clearance, and generally soft suspensions that allow a lot of roll (remember they're intended for compliance not turning) and therefore a lot of CG shift during cornering. If you lowered one to the ~6" ride height of a normal slightly lifted car and put stiffer springs and real sway bars (the stock sway bars on these things are comically useless) on it, it'd probably be just fine. But at that point you've basically rebuilt the whole suspension to make it work decently - that much ride height change requires shorter dampers and you'll have probably way screwed up the suspension geometry by moving it out of its intended operation range. So you're back into the high effort and expense range.

The other thing is the tires, and this is why the SCCA should have stuck with the original ruling that UTVs had to run automotive tires, and definitely shouldn't have then also allowed UTV tires to be used in prepared/mod classes. It's also where we made a bit of a miscalculation (and others could pretty easily fall into the same trap). Those tires also aren't really intended for cornering, they don't generate much lateral grip. We thought that would be a good thing - minimal lateral grip, minimal rollover risk. But as it turns out what they are really good at is digging into soft ground. So you're approaching a corner a bit too fast and turn in, initially it pushes so you instinctively take out any throttle input you may have still had, it slides out a bit more to the loose stuff on the outside of the corner. Normal tires would mostly just plow through that but the SxS tires dig in and over it goes...which as best we can tell from the video is what happened in our case. This also explains the donut issue from above...as long as you keep the tires spinning it's fine and you can drive out of the spin, but as soon as you lift the outer tires dig in over it goes.

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
3/22/23 7:13 p.m.

Track days have wrecks. Motocross has injuries. Golf can flare up some injuries. 

Having rolled a SxS, it wasn't a scary experience. It would've been less scary with more body panels, window nets or window nets etc. 

Unlike in a road going car, even the basic cage of a SxS is more than enough to support their own weight. 

We rolled it back over, fired it up, and drove it home. 

Guess I don't understand the SCCA's take on this. It's a motorsports. Stuff is going to happen. As long as you plan around the inevitablity, and hte vehicle is equipped for it, what's the issue? 

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
3/22/23 7:28 p.m.

I mean they haven't kicked them out or changed anything about the safety requirements yet so apparently they're on about the same page as you are?

The thing is a SxS designed and built by adults would do exactly what you want. Unfortunately none of those exist to my knowledge. What we have are vehicles engineered (and having some industry insight I use that word somewhat lightly) like a car with basically single use roll structures and parts that just aren't up to the task of anything outside of their intended operating envelope.

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