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JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/21/22 7:36 p.m.

Perhaps Im delusional on why thinking Balance of Performance is a good idea in....RACING. I have always been under the impression that racing creates better products through trickle down technology for road cars. Seems to me that dumbing down performance creates a good show, but ultimately less advancement. It feels very "everyone gets a trophy" and I HATE that thought process. If your car is slower, do something to make it faster, create a better platform. Am I the only one that thinks BOP breeds mediocrity? I know its always been a "show" at some level, but when did it become "its not fair, make them slow down"?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/21/22 7:38 p.m.

I expected Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac 

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/21/22 7:43 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Hahaha, sorry to dissapoint y0u. However, I feel everyone agrees as to why that is probably rarely a good idea :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 8:04 p.m.

I hear you. Racing breeds a better mousetrap. But then there's history. 

Can-Am: open rules, run what you brung. Then in 1973 Porsche brought 1000+ horsepower along with Mark Donohue and Roger Penske. Someone should check my math, but I see at the most only three cars finishing on the lead lap all season. Usually it was just two cars on the lead lap. That's not super-exciting. And then Can-Am went away. (You can maybe blame the oil embargo, too, although SCCA launched the single-seat Can-Am cars the following year.)

IMSA GTP: again, fairly open rules. Then look at the 1993 season. Toyota pretty much left everyone in the dust. The fields got small, and the racing wasn't really that close. And that was the last year for GTP. 

I don't have the numbers here, so I don't want to quote them, but I remember a friend telling me what his team spent just to develop the cooling system for their Conti Cup cars a few years ago--and this was a top-tier team. I believe the line was something along the line of peeling off ten thousand dollar bills when doing that kind of work. 

 

Racebrick
Racebrick GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/21/22 8:10 p.m.

I'm sure it depends on how its applied.  In many cases it would do the opposite of breeding mediocrity, as the teams who are doing the best will be forced to innovate in order to remain competitive.  Is this being brought up because of a specific series?

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/21/22 8:11 p.m.

BOP is like pace cars allowing the field to bunch up, and letting "Lucky Dogs" get to unlap themselves.

What David said above...

But, is is a result of incredibly successful engineering producing a killer car that is so dominate it wipes out a class.  Like the Penske's 917 killing Can-Am, or Gurney's Toyota GTP car eliminating that class.   Can't have a successful race series if only one car can win.

Even so, I still don't like BOP.   

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/21/22 8:26 p.m.

IMHO it comes down to whether you're taking a short-term or a long-term view of racing as a sport.

In the short-term view, BOP gives you more exciting individual races.  Cars are closer, more passing, etc.

In the longer-term view, over multiple seasons BOP penalizes teams that do well and "dumbs down" the series.  Tactically you wind up wanting to save up your innovations, piecing them out as necessary to keep just ahead of your competition.  If you get too far ahead you need to sandbag a bit to avoid the drastic penalties.  Personally I find that this detracts enough from the "purity" of the sport that I don't really care whether or not the short-term on-track battles are exciting and I just lose interest.

 

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
1/21/22 8:28 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I hear you. Racing breeds a better mousetrap. But then there's history. 

Can-Am: open rules, run what you brung. Then in 1973 Porsche brought 1000+ horsepower along with Mark Donohue and Roger Penske. Someone should check my math, but I see at the most only three cars finishing on the lead lap all season. Usually it was just two cars on the lead lap. That's not super-exciting. And then Can-Am went away. (You can maybe blame the oil embargo, too, although SCCA launched the single-seat Can-Am cars the following year.)

IMSA GTP: again, fairly open rules. Then look at the 1993 season. Toyota pretty much left everyone in the dust. The fields got small, and the racing wasn't really that close. And that was the last year for GTP. 

I don't have the numbers here, so I don't want to quote them, but I remember a friend telling me what his team spent just to develop the cooling system for their Conti Cup cars a few years ago--and this was a top-tier team. I believe the line was something along the line of peeling off ten thousand dollar bills when doing that kind of work. 

 

And then on the other side, NASCAR has been going round and round and round and round since '48 and they are all about the BoP

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
1/21/22 8:34 p.m.

If you make things too much of a free for all, it stops being a matter of driver skill or being able to optimize a car to the extreme.  It just becomes a game of who can spend more money to build the more insanely fast car. 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/21/22 8:35 p.m.

But I want to see a fat BMW M8 race a Ford GT!

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/21/22 8:35 p.m.

Have a spec series or have BOP. Your choice. Without one or the other, that class will not last all that long because some one will come in and out spend the field and the racing will not be great. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 8:38 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

And that's a heck of a track record for keeping a series going. The DTM was all kinds of awesome in the mid '90s, but then everyone except Benz left after 1996. The end. Similar story for Group B rally but a decade earlier. 

Formula D has some wide-open rules, but it seems to work although we're talking privateers vs. factory efforts. They do have tire rules, though, that limits things a bit. And the format keeps someone slightly off the pace from being lapped, so it's still exciting. 

What is the longest that we've gone in post-war sports car racing without some kind of BOP? 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/21/22 8:56 p.m.

In reply to JStrobel80 :

Racing, real racing is brutally expensive. The motor costs between $35,000 and $80,000 in Vintage racing and at the sharp end of the pack can need a overhaul/ freshening frequently. 

Add a set of tires every weekend and  other consumables  plus the entry fee, cost of transportation and rooms  racing will easily cost thousands per race. 
       
    Thousands per race and 50-100 thousand for season.   Would you spend that to never have a whisper of a chance to win?  
    Besides, I've watched races where one car has a massive advantage over everyone else. That's what killed Can Am racing.  When the Porsche 917 dominated that was the end. Kind of hard for the audience to care about the back markers.  Audience can't see the difference  between 130 mph and 145 mph.  unless the cars are together. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
1/21/22 9:05 p.m.

BOP makes more sense than the driver rankings... Hehe.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
1/21/22 9:14 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon said:

BOP makes more sense than the driver rankings... Hehe.

Just ask Joey Hand

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 9:22 p.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon :

Yeah, ha, we haven't even gotten to that part of the equation yet. 

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/21/22 9:22 p.m.

Thanks for all the input so far, I appreciate opposing points of view to make myself less ignorant. However, most of these arguments circle back to a "budget cap" more than a engineering cap no? I understand the spending and spending to create a monster car. Then wouldnt it be about engineering within limits as opposed to mechanical restriction of advanced parts? In other words, wouldnt you learn to push the boundaries of whats possible with 70k versus just seeing what your deep pockets are capable of? "Sure we found we could get 6/10ths out of that, lets move on to a different area" instead of pushing for 10/10ths and finding the minutiae in every area, suspension, aero, fuel efficiency...the list goes on. Perhaps I just have an idealistic view of the whole thing. It seems that it becomes an IROC series with different looking cars. As a fan, I personally enjoy seeing things like the 917, or the Quattro when it came out. They are game changers and re-sets the bar for whats possible...they figured it out. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 9:25 p.m.

It's all good discussion. Thanks for kicking it off.

Engineering cap and budget cap are pretty much the same thing as engineering/testing/development all takes time. And we know what time equals.....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 9:33 p.m.

So, years ago friends of mine ran a Miata in the old Motorola Cup--more or less the predecessor to today's IMSA Michelin Pilot Cup challenge. This was semi-pro endurance racing. 

The Miatas were a little off the pace, so the sanctioning body allowed those teams something small to help make more power--I forget what, but something that sounded simple. Cool, a BOP bonus to help level the playing field.

But no one offered that part, so they had to develop it on their own. And that took time which was money. They could either feed the dyno or feed the truck, but not both. 

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/21/22 10:01 p.m.

Race organizers want full grids and figured out they can't depend on OEMs to continue to show up. The level playing field keeps the privateers engaged.

As mentioned, racing is expensive. Porsche didn't quit competing at Le Mans because they wanted use 4000hp, they didn't want to keep spending the money to make 1000.

 

The comments I see on endurance racing articles illustrate the paradox.

When Toyota wins it's all "THIS IS BORING."

When the privateers are given breaks it's "THIS ISN'T REAL RACING."

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 10:14 p.m.

I'd go as far to say that the level playing field keeps everyone engaged. Look at today's GT3. You have factory involvement from Porsche, BMW, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Audi, Lamborghini, Acura, Lexus,  etc., etc. That's pretty darn impressive. 

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/21/22 10:17 p.m.

Speaking of Balance of Performance, when was the last International Race of Champions?

Oh, right.   2006.

Scott

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 10:24 p.m.

And then there's the residual. Let's say I'm a team owner, and it's five or eight years ago and I want to race in World Challenge or some other pro series with a car of my own design. Let's make it something different like a Volvo sedan because that's rad. That's going to take cubic dollars--a lot of them--to develop.

At some point, the car will no longer be competitive. Then what? You likely sell it for pennies on the dollar. Why? There isn't a home for it, and it's a one-off.

But today we race GT3, GT4 and TCR cars. They're homologated and kept fairly even via BOP. So you spend $150,000 or $500,000 or whatever to buy the car. But it comes with factory support--could be engineers at the track, could be a truck in the paddock with spares.

And when you're finished with it, there's a worldwide market for it. You can sell it so someone on the other side of the planet. You might lose some money, but there's a market for it because that old race car is kind of a known commodity. The buyer pays a few grand for air shipping, your old car keeps racing, and you recoup something out of the deal. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/21/22 10:26 p.m.

In reply to Noddaz :

IROC is/was a weird animal. For the driver, what's the benefit for risking it all? 

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/21/22 11:21 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I started writing a long response to where I stand with residual, return on investment, passion etc and deleted it. The epiphany I had was that the days where a group of friends could sit in the garage, buy a car, develop something incredible and play on the same field is long gone. For that, we now have the $2000 Challenge and look at the engineering that happens there...magic. So, that's an entirely different topic for a different day, or person in person around a table at Daytona. 

I guess it boils down to selling TV time and tickets...not creating the best of whats possible. It must be frustrating as a driver in a know superior car, to have your foot all the way down and you're getting passed by something that shouldn't be passing you. It feels like a cheap victory to me. Here we are, I still love racing, Ill still be as happy as someone could be at Daytona, but wish things were a little different. 

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