Hate the BOP? Let’s design a wide-open race series.

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jan 28, 2022 | Endurance Racing, DTM, IMSA GTP, Can-Am

Photograph Courtesy Porsche

Balance of Performance is a harsh reality of today’s racing scene, whether you’re talking IMSA, NASCAR or even Formula 1. Its goal is simple: Level the playing field enough to keep one team from destroying the competition to the point where the rest of the field simply checks out and goes home.

But why can’t we go back to the wide-open days of yesteryear, whether that’s the original Cam-Am series, IMSA GTP or DTM?

The realities of BOP have been a hot topic on our forum lately and raise some questions–like how do you reward creativity while preventing the larger checkbook from always winning?

So here's a group project: Can we design a modern, wide-open race series? And to take this from idle chatter to something even remotely feasible, we'll need a business plan as well as a five-year plan. How would this wide-open series flourish and survive?

Discuss.

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Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 8:46 a.m.

You say Balance Of Performance

 

I keep seeing Buick Olds Pontiac

SuperDave
SuperDave New Reader
1/26/22 9:08 a.m.

One long time NASCAR fan's point of view:

Balance of Performance is not a thing in NASCAR.  They are all racing the same car with different decals on the front.   I think it applies, in theory, to all the major series getting TV coverage these days.  The team owners want lower costs and having a spec car is one way to do it.

A wide open racing series like old Can-Am is possible but expensive.  And sadly not as profitable for teams as a spec series.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
1/26/22 9:16 a.m.

Haven't really worked out a business model yet, but the starting point idea would be something like "Here are the safety rules, here are the specs for the fuel you need, and you get X gallons for the race. Have at it!"

Probably the best business approach would be to pitch it as a new top level for an existing racing organization - or if an existing series needed a do-over. Come to think of it - when was the last time you heard much about the Indy 500?

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
1/26/22 9:26 a.m.

"Here is $xxxxxxxxx number of $$$$$$.  This can be as huge a number as you want the series to be, so not talking Lemons here.

Please show up with car and receipts. Driver cost included. Air tunnel time  and track rental for practice also included.

 

If this sounds like the exponential version of the $2000 challenge, it is because it would be. Name one other series that has the scope of creativity and competition for a defined price.

The teams could be allowed to build on YouTube for revenue recovery back to Zero $$$ for the car. Good sponsorship opportunities also.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 9:28 a.m.

Tracks are the major limiting factor. If you have purpose-built tracks with massive (Bonneville-level) runoff room and get rid of spectators you can get away from the safety rules that are the major factor limiting F1 performance. This would instantly blow the limitations on aero and engine power wide open. Otherwise the rules wouldn't have to be massively different from F1, just allowing more cylinders/displacement, more hybrid power, bigger wings with double-DRS and maybe more driver freedom on its use, and sucker fans. Realistically they might end up making the cars remote-controlled pretty soon for driver safety reasons...

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/26/22 9:57 a.m.

Have only 4-6 races a year, and one of them be 24 hours.

This saves money on traveling logistics. One of the things really hurting the smaller teams in F1 is the 20+ race schedule.

Also it allows for development time. If a new 1500hp engine blows up, the problem probably won't be solved by next month's race.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/26/22 10:11 a.m.

The Challenge is the closest thing we have to  unlimited racing.   
  The only restrictions are financial ( which is exactly in line with our title)  we can be as clever as we wish, Engine as big as we want, as light as we can , tires as wide as we can afford. 
        It doesn't even have to be  very reliable. Just enough to go as fast as possible in a 1/4 mile, and fast enough to do the autocross.  
 Heck you can push it into the judging.  
      
Any other event where budgets aren't  restricted just isn't Grassroots. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/26/22 10:21 a.m.

I think the answer will depend a lot on how you ask the question.  Having a fun and competitive amateur/club series is very different than a mass-marketed pro series that's designed to attract the most eyeballs and sell the most tickets possible.  And there are (at least) two different philosophies involved: one is the level the field as much as possible and let the best drivers win, the other is to show off technology and engineering to the greatest extent possible.  So in short:  what are the goals for the series?

carpeforza
carpeforza New Reader
1/26/22 10:29 a.m.

Formula None

No rules, no caps, no limits.

The fastest racecars ever created on the best race tracks of the world, that every GRM’er can engineer, create, and race their own creation against the best engineers and drivers in the world! Too good to be true? Not with computers and simulation!!

Bring in everything outlawed in F1: all wheel drive, 6 wheels, skirts, sucker fans, wangs, and add in directional rocket engines, full bodywork, or whatever your imagination creates. Everything just needs to be fully CAE modeled so that the car could be run through a real physics-based vehicle simulation to determine true performance. Any innovation, like rocket engines, would be disclosed to GRM, and if GRM approved, would guarantee exclusive rights for 3 races, and then shared with the community. Like a patent, but much quicker, which would make everyone faster and keep the racing competitive.

Think of it like iRacing with content that anyone can create a physics-based race car with no limits. It could be a traditional racing organization with 100 people, or one person in a shack in the woods, but all can race against the best. GRM would need to be the benevolent overlords to run the simulations, determine the race conditions, create content, host/stream the race sessions, keep the cheating to a minimum, and rake in the profits. Easily scalable to start off small for a trial and could overtake F1 for a real physical series around the world. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
1/26/22 10:38 a.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

Haven't really worked out a business model yet, but the starting point idea would be something like "Here are the safety rules, here are the specs for the fuel you need, and you get X gallons for the race. Have at it!"

Probably the best business approach would be to pitch it as a new top level for an existing racing organization - or if an existing series needed a do-over. Come to think of it - when was the last time you heard much about the Indy 500?

 

If we're talking an unlimited series, why bring in how many gallons of fuel you can use? If you use more it'll mean more pitstops, yes? So the racers will build with that in mind and findng their own balance that works best for them. 

No limit series - just make sure it's got the basics of safety and have at it. Run what ya brung. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 10:56 a.m.

We all know it's basically impossible for three main reasons.  First with no rules you can easily build a car that can corner so fast that the squishy meat sack steering wheel to seat back spacer will pass out.  Secondly, I don't see how any open rules series could last more than a few years.  We've seen it time and time again.  Give people an open rule book with the intention of making it easier for people to build something and it starts out great, then after a year or two it becomes an open checkbook series as with the biggest spender winning, then it get's so expensive that the original guys drop out, you have one or two teams left, the the board of directors pulls the plug and it's all over.  Most recently LMP1, when the hybrid era started everyone was over the moon at the different configurations of engine and hybrid system.  For a short time it was awesome, then it got so expensive that everyone left.  Yes, diesel gate helped, but it was already failing fast.  It can work up to a point at the club level right up until you get a Scott Tucker who comes along and throws a couple of million at building a D sport racer just to beat the lap record.  He managed it easily and made a mockery of the class.  You have guys scrimping and saving, even the 'big' guys who had actual sponsorship (normally from personal company sponsorship, friends companies, or industry) may have been spending $100k a year and he drops literally millions on obliterating the class.  While a complete douche bag Scott was a pretty good 'AM' driver, his 'Pro' driver who did the testing was approaching LMP1 times in a freaking D sports racer at Elkhart lake.  There's an outstanding Dinner With Racers podcast about that car with Jeff Braun his team principle.  Ep5 from Nov 2015 about that car.  Finally, at a pro level, no manufacturer is going to sign up to an open rule book.  It just has too many options and unknowns for them to build a business plan and go to the BoD and ask for an 8-9 figure budget.  That's why in Indy car and F1 they don't just say an X capacity engine, or even an X capacity V6 engine.  They have to specify limits on V angles, bore spacing, materials, valve angles etc. etc.  This was why F1 went to specifying V10's 3.0L engines back at the turn of the century.  The prior regs had started with V8, V10, and V12 with different angles and configurations, by the end of the tenure everyone was using V10's and those that had started with V8's and V10's had to throw away tens of millions of research $$ and start again when the V10 proved to be the best overall compromise of cylinders, size, weight etc.  No one likes uncertainty.

Now, having been a Debbie downer, here's what I'd do assuming a professional closed wheel series:

  • Mandate a spec pump fuel
  • Max fuel capacity
  • Max fuel fill flow rate
  • Max fuel flow rate
  • Minimum weight for hybrid unit to be deployed only over 100mph to front wheels only
  • Spec underfloor
  • MAx wing surface area.  Only single (or double) element wings allowed which must be in a single plane (no curved wings like the front of single seaters or what's coming this year in F1 for the rear.
  • Min body surface area
  • Max down force limit, max turbulent air
  • Min vehicle weight
  • Spec tires
  • Steel coil springs only.  Max 4 per car, no firth elements etc.
  • Steel sway bars, can only be straight solid steel
  • Spec steel brake discs <- single biggest thing you can do to help passing, increase the braking zone distance.
  • Min weight for brake calipers
  • All suspension components must be metal
  • Shocks cannot be adjustable in anyway while on the vehicle and must not have any sensors or control at any time
  • Mandated safety spec
  • Max price for customer cars and manufacturers must sell to anyone who asks, even competitors
  • Max cost of spares such that a car built from spares can't cost more than three times a new car, excluding off the shelf parts like fasteners.

And I bet that not a single manufacturer will sign up.

For club racing, we're kind of there with things like D sports etc.  It becomes self regulation on the upper end of the spending curve as it's all hobbyists unless a once in a generation a Scott Tucker comes along, but they don't stay around long. 

Even at the club level the customer has spoken.  Classes like the various SCCA sports car ones are light on entries, while the more tightly regulated classes are far more popular.  Or look at something like NASA where they haver much more of a run what you brung classing, but even then they give you points for changes and too many points put you in a higher category.  That is effectively their own BOP.  'Do what you like, but if its too much you move up a class'.

The only place left for really open competition is Pikes Peak and Rally Raid

 

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
1/26/22 11:10 a.m.

Autonomous vehicles, with robotic crew members working remotely, vehicles must run 100% on alternative fuels specifically on waste products.  Dakar rally style track through several continents. Unlimited HP, Can be any wheel drive 1 to 999. Suspension has a jump button like the Mach 5 and several other weapons to deter other vehicles from wining. Last vehicle standing wins.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/26/22 11:10 a.m.

For a racing series to be financially successful you need to figure out your source or sources of revenue and adjust the rules package to incentivize those revenue sources to participate. 

Most, if not all, of the financially successful series have most of their revenue tied to the number of spectators, both live and through video media (TV and streaming).  You need something that's compelling to watch for the casual fan.  That usually requires close racing which you're not going to get with an unlimited series.  Maybe for a while but, eventually the team with the most money is going to dominate.

A series with no rules except safety and a budget cap might be viable. 

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
1/26/22 11:24 a.m.
hybridmomentspass said:
 

If we're talking an unlimited series, why bring in how many gallons of fuel you can use? If you use more it'll mean more pitstops, yes? So the racers will build with that in mind and findng their own balance that works best for them. 

No limit series - just make sure it's got the basics of safety and have at it. Run what ya brung. 

The idea is to give a small amount of balance but not too much. No matter how much a team spends, there's only so much energy in that fuel, and so this will create a point of diminishing returns when it comes to spending. At the same time, a rule like that doesn't single out any team or technology, and the only active tweaking it might need is more fuel or less.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/26/22 11:26 a.m.

For a pro series there are some templates out there, despite my not liking it NASCAR has done a pretty good job. CART at it's Zenith would be another good example.

The main dilemma is that while racing nerds (us) get all squishy about the technology and innovation the average sports/race fan doesn't really care.  

People want to see racing. Case in point the SR71 is the fastest airplane ever; would you spend money to see one flash past your seat at 2400 mph..............the first two times would be cool but after the newness wore off it would get boring. 

Without some sort of limitations be it price or specs you end up with a dominate car/team; dominate cars running away from the field makes for a boring race. 

So with all that said here is my idea: a claimer class......................you can do anything you want but anyone can buy your car for 300K. 

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 11:44 a.m.

Specify safety standards and a maximum "envelope" the car has to fit in, otherwise go wild. Electric? Sure. 8 wheels? You got it. 

To control the spending is easy. You get ONE car the whole season, period. Blow it up, wad it up, tough E36 M3 you're out. 

Also, no financial prizes. Congratulations, you won the new Can Am! Here's an NFT trophy. See y'all next year.

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/26/22 11:44 a.m.

Does anyone remember Group B?    I rest my case...

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 12:30 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Does anyone remember Group B?    I rest my case...

And that was actually quite regulated, not even close to open.  

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 12:34 p.m.

People have mentioned the spectators.  50+ years ago fans went gaga over Jim Clark or Fangio winning races by 1-2 laps over the whole field.  No one would stand for that today.  The 80's in F1 there was often 7-10 seconds between the front and back of the grid, not including the up to 10 cars that didn't qualify.  Now we see people laughing at how utterly crap Hass are when they are 3 seconds off the pace.  We as fans have spoken, we want close racing.

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/26/22 12:38 p.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

Group B died because of fatalities. Rally cars now are faster and much safer, and they cancel stages when spectators get too close.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/26/22 12:49 p.m.
NOHOME said:

"Here is $xxxxxxxxx number of $$$$$$.  This can be as huge a number as you want the series to be, so not talking Lemons here.

Please show up with car and receipts. Driver cost included. Air tunnel time  and track rental for practice also included.

 

If this sounds like the exponential version of the $2000 challenge, it is because it would be. Name one other series that has the scope of creativity and competition for a defined price.

The teams could be allowed to build on YouTube for revenue recovery back to Zero $$$ for the car. Good sponsorship opportunities also.

I love this idea. To add on to it, I propose "The Challenge Bubble" inspired by recent sports arrangements:

  • All teams housed in the same workshop/warehouse/campus Bubble.
  • Unlimited amount/expense/type of tools in the team's work space. Limited space though...
  • All teams have the same max size team. No one else is allowed to contribute. This effectively caps the total "man hours" per car.
  • Every expense is documented at the gate - what goes in must have a documented cost, including everything from raw materials to purpose-built engines. Everything else must be built on-site by the team.
  • All teams share a wind tunnel, engine dyno, chassis dyno in the Bubble. They all have the same allotment of time on each, or assigned day of the week, or similar arrangement.
  • All parts must be designed on-site. No internet access on CAD machines to prevent "outsourced" design cheating.
  • The whole winter build/prototyping/testing process is filmed Big Brother/Truman Show style. Access to footage can be episodes on TV or a paid portal for live viewing.

This has potential to bring back the possibility of the "driver constructor", like what Jack Brabham was able to accomplish in the 60s. A team could save on man-hours/budget by having the driver help build or design the car.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
1/26/22 12:54 p.m.

Money is the biggest killer of racing in so many ways. 

 

The biggest killer of a series is when someone gets ahead in the pocketbook race...

 

Hell, look at the Level 5 DSR special and what was. What it could have done was entirely kill a class if a small number of people decided to do an effort like that. If you are going to be outdone by someone with just more to throw at it. 

 

It even applies to spec series, there will ALWAYS be room to spend money for the last Nth. Time on a shaker rig, driver in the loop simulation for any setup nuances, testing, fresh spec parts...  there will be an area and if you try to control the areas, you play rules wack-a-mole.

 

The bring reciepts approach is the closest thing to working. Controlling time on computer rigs and verifying safety is the difficult area as well as continued vs new platform development costs. 

 

The other aspect is do you want actual racing, or just an engineering competition?  This is where F1 currently struggles, you have 2 maybe 3 teams with a shot, the rest are also rans and to shake it up usually takes a formula change. 

 

What if designs become open source after each season?

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
1/26/22 1:30 p.m.

Pretty simple rule book.  A maximum fuel rate, a minimum weight, and 205/50-15 200TW tires.

Art14
Art14
1/26/22 1:32 p.m.

As someone who has been around the sport and a fair number of racing series for over 5 decades, its my opinion that you cannot write money completely out of the rules or  out of the human brain. The folks with the most money simply hire the folks with the best brains and then spend the most money.

There is only one possibility that could work; and that would be to have a claimer rule of some sort on the entire car. Have basic safety rules in place and not much else, but have something in place to allow a car to be claimed by another series competitor for x amount of dollars. 

 

The amount does not really matter, that can be pounded out. A claimer rule is the only thing that would limit the expenditure of  buying ones way to first place. Yes it means that the fruits of someones thinking can be purchased, but then hasn't that always been the case?

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 1:33 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

So with all that said here is my idea: a claimer class......................you can do anything you want but anyone can buy your car for 300K. 

I thought that sounded like a great idea until I was mulling it over while grabbing gas at lunch.  Taking it to it's logical conclusion, which in racing is pretty basic as people tend to push things to their illogical conclusion.... 

First if this is a pro series where you are spending hundreds of millions you tend to have new cars every year, and unless you are Ferrari and can sell a few to your exclusive customers for multiple millions, there's not much use for old race cars until they hit historic racing.  So, if you can have your car claimed after every race all you have done is a)force the rate of development so you're coming out with substantial upgrades every race as you know the competition will get last weeks hot E36 M3 from you.  Second, you life all your components for one race not caring they could fail the next time it moves, as you are not planning on using it again.  Now, if you limit the claiming to 1-2 times a year, again, you've added cost as they just plan on making the cars obsolete and either selling them for $300K or scrapping them.  No biggie when you're spending hundreds of millions.

Next if you're talking 'club racing' then you've just made it easier for the Scott Tuckers who literally have already dropped $2 mil to build a car for one event and have no further use for it.  Last I heard his D sports racer went to Australia less engine.  Note I recall something about it was such a specialized one off it needed to be treated like an F1 engine with pre warming, then different maps for warm up and racing, then another map to shut it down or it would seize up if you just stopped it, plus a life span of one race.  Alternatively you just make it so the rich guy can buy the best car leaving the poor guy who may have 'only' spent $100K building it,without his pride and joy that has taken years and years of hard work and dedication in their garage workshop.  That person is now disincentivized to ever try again.

This has sort of been seen in Lemons.  They did away with crushing a car at every race (spectators curse or something?) as it was so unpopular with racers who saw their hard work and hours destroyed it was eliminated.  With local level circle track racing it works because the people at that level aren't in a cubic money war to start with.  The people who are uber serious about their racing are racing in higher, non claimer classes.

Look at kids karting, or even better quarter midgets.  With some something that locked down you see guys turning up with one kart on an open trailer doing everything as a family, and you see dads paying for semi's full of (I'm not kidding) 3-4 chassis, multiple engines, masses of spares and many hundreds of thousand of $$"s for a year.  What the hell would happen if those classes were open.  Imagine the dyno hours that already happen with spec sealed engines, what happens when you're looking for the last 0.0000000000000001%.

I think open rules worked 'back when' because technology was still advancing so far and fast that there were many paths to the same result.  Now technology, modeling and simulation are at the point where you are looking at ever diminishing levels or return which adds cubic dollars.  The exception being places like Pikes Peak and the Dakar where the environment dictates that there are still different routs to success.  Hell, if Rouge Cow or McLaren decided to throw some serious coin at Pikes Peak and put Hamilton or Mad Max in the car I bet they could, probably after a few years to figure it out, build a car that would make Lobe in his Peugeot look like me driving a Reliant three wheel up there with one dead cylinder.  The fact that it may cost a few hundred million wouldn't matter if they find a wealthy backer with an open checkbook.  Heck, I recall McLaren came very close to building a Land Speed record car, which should be added to the list of true open classes still, but (thankfully?) couldn't get funding for it.  That plan was basically to build a ground effect plane with full DBW which essentially flew along the ground using electronics to control it's pitch and yaw while the meat sack pointed it in it's general direction.  Like modern jet fighters it would be impossible for a meat sack to control it.  The meat sack is just there to tell it what he or she wants it to do, and the 'vehicle' electronics do the rest.  The wheels were basically just hanging down on very soft springs once in motion so they were just in contact with the ground for minimum rolling resistance and not actually transferring the mass of the vehicle to the ground.

I know I keep sounding like a nay sayer.  I love the idea of open classes, I just realize that in reality we are pining for something through rose tinted specs thats time has passed.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 1:40 p.m.

How about a list of classes/events that are truly open with minimal rules and no equalizing BOP

  • GRM Challenge, and look how the rule book on that has grown since the original 99 $1,500 challenge.
  • Pikes Peak
  • Rally Raids
  • LAnd Speed racers
  • British Hillclimb - (Home made one off carbon tub single seaters with 4.0L modified F1 engines weighing well under 1,000lb's with meat sack attached.
  • GRM Forum fantasy builds
  • Errr
  • Umm
  • LeMons '$500' creations
Geno1
Geno1 New Reader
1/26/22 1:49 p.m.

Being around long enough to have seen not only cars towed behind the loyal station wagon but some even DRIVEN to the track the one glaring evolution was money.  Lots and lots of money.  At first it was a few teams and for the most part they seemed to have more money than talent so things stayed reasonably stable.  Now you see complete rigs at the RUNOFFS!  Look what it's done to F1.  Two teams dominate and at least one driver is a rolling car wreck and only there because of daddy's.....wait for it....MONEY!

Each series has its basic restrictions; displacement, suspension and aero.  Obvious maximums for some things like length, width and wheelbase.  But any BOP comes from the loser who needs to figure out is it's because of horsepower, drag or talent.  The old Can-Am and Trans-Am series were classics of this.  Jim Hall stretched it somewhat so the ruling body pissed on his campfire.  But about that time the world economy was creating more and more people with more and more money and, well, money talks and you know the rest.  More sponsors saw a great promotional opportunity and some teams gave up begging for sponsors to picking and choosing.

Where there's a problem, be it political, economical...well, damn near any category, even racing, it's all about FTM....Follow The Money.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:04 p.m.

In reply to Geno1 :

Funny, At least in Europe money was once seen as the democratizing force in racing.  From the beginning of racing until the 60's racing was a rich mans sport.  You bought, built, ran your own cars.  That's why you had princes, royalty, titled peers etc. racing.  Then sponsorship started, and especially with all the tobacco money, if you showed promise in the lower formula, you could get picked up by teams and people could even make money racing in F3, the sponsors allowed people to reach much higher heights than they could in the pre sponsorship days.  That was still true through the late 80's and early 90's, but then suddenly in the space of a few short years there was a shift and suddenly a young successful racers who had previously been paid by an F1 team to be their test driver, were suddenly being asked to pay $1-2-3 million to get a contract as a test driver in F1.  Now it's to the point where Jean Alese had to sell his F40 that he was given as part of his Ferrari contract to pay for PART of a season in F2 for his son.

You can still make it in racing with no family money, but these days unless you have friends or family that can contribute literally millions in your younger days, you're never getting to F1.  Again, listen to Dinner with Racers, they have some good podcasts among the Indy camps, 500 winners, NASCAR champs they interview many journeyman racers who started in club racing, taught (and often still teach and coach) while making a living as the PRO driver in SRO or IMSA touring cars, GT4's etc.  It can be done, but it's not a ticket to the high life.  

 

bowtieBMW
bowtieBMW New Reader
1/26/22 2:04 p.m.

Racing rules are easy. 1) no aero.  2) spec tire.  3) fuel use limit.  Those three rules, plus safety rules for the cage etc.  Perhaps a cost limit or claimer rule.  Different classes have different levels of tire and fuel.

Unlimited racing would escalate to unworkable very quickly.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:06 p.m.

Man, I keep sounding like a negative A-hole, I don't mean to.  I love racing, always have, always will.  I do miss the old days, but I've accepted that time, technology and circumstances have all moved on.  Not to mention spectator interest which is down from the glory days in all categories inc. F1 and NASCAR, meaning sponsor $$'s are harder to find and more often aimed at Business to Business than spectators in many categories.  

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:09 p.m.
bowtieBMW said:

Racing rules are easy. 1) no aero.  2) spec tire.  3) fuel use limit.  

Define no aero.  Impossible these days.  You don't need wings to make downforce.  Hell, you can angle a 2x4 to create downforce, although it will have a lot of drag, but no rules means drag less important than POWARRRRRRRR.  It's simply not possible to eliminate aero.  I've even head interviews with F1 designers where they claim there is no such thing as pure mechanical grip, it's all aero dependent once over 0mph.

Emilio700
Emilio700 New Reader
1/26/22 2:20 p.m.

We built a local series for Miatas with specific performance caps, no BOP : SuperSpecCup. Haven't had to change the rules significantly in 9 years. For a few years we had a few pro level drivers so we added a 100lb "Rock of Triumph" ballast to the points leader for every wknd. When the pros left, we ditched that equalizer. A championship winning car can be built for $15k and run the entire season on two sets of spec tires. The cars see no radical innovation, thus keeping costs down. I’m a believer in specific performance caps and build envelopes to keep series alive.

W/O BOP or performance caps, the costs runaway and everyone leaves. The current style of BOP that FIA, IMSA and SRO use is not written in stone pre-season. That leads to corporate level gamesmanship and sandbagging. The “box chocolates” method of doling out restrictors, ballast and such is a mess.

I think a lbs/hp cap on a sliding scale could work. Also a max fuel load, to encourage some economy and further restrict hp wars. Cap tire size as ratio to car weight, so everyone has about the same max contact path to weight ratio. Set basic rules on aero surface area, moveable devices, electronics in suspension and brakes, 4 wheel steering, number of wheels, number of driver wheels, etc. IOW, give teams a “box” that they can do whatever they want in, lap times unrestricted.

My proposal for a new Hypersport series:

4 wheels only

AWD allowed

4 whl steering allowed

Transmission, free

Max 2.5 lbs/hp

Min wt 1700lbs

Max wt 1800lbs

Passive moveable aero allowed

Maximum 2 controlled moveable surfaces 1.5M² each

Maximum Tire size 315/30R18

Hybrids allowed

EV’s allowed

Maximum ICE: 1

Maximum cyl ICE: 12

Tube framed cars allowed 2.4 lbs/hp

FIA crash standards for GT2 (this will raises cost a bunch but help avoid a bloodbath)

 

JStrobel80
JStrobel80 New Reader
1/26/22 2:37 p.m.

I have to percolate on this for a bit, however off the top of my head heres a couple of thoughts...

1. Reverse start order from qualifying. 

                   You qualify on the pole, you start last. To discourage cheating/sandbagging. Race lap to 

                   qualifying lap % ratio. 

2. Point system to keep viewers engaged. Points based on where you qualify and where you finish. 

                    This ties into #1

3. No long term driver contracts. Free Agency at the end of the year. 

                    Drivers to rest on their laurels. Less financially capable drivers can have quantitative                            value based on points in #2. It could create interest to watch Bob/Roberta earn                                    their way to the top of the sport through the years. 

4. Gambling...money creates interest. 

                    How far will Bob/Roberta get this year? You win, the spectator gets a VIP weekend at                          24  hours of Daytona with the team.

5. Driver salary cap, money is in winning. A less financially backed team pulls off a win, they have

                   more development money. Not completely tied to sponsor money for teams that only 

                   win. Also, like gambling, you have to put money in to win. Sooo...all these sponsors you 

                  see on the sides of the cars, a percentage of that goes to the "pot". This benefits the                          sponsors by acknowledging them at the win ceremony, whether their team wins or not. 

Ill keep percolating for a bit

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:38 p.m.

In reply to Emilio700 :

Cool, what do you mean by 'passive movable aero'?  Is that like the F1 F duct, or are you talking about something like the old 50's Mercedes air brake, which I would consider active, even if mechanical?

One problem with lb's/hp is that Diesels, and electric come to that, get a massive 'area under the curve' advantage.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/26/22 2:46 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

My 300K claimer was a pro series.

As for amateur series I'm running a great class now, F500.  While it is a spec class there is a minimum/ maximum wheelbase and a limited section on drive lines the rest is open.  Very very limited on aero (you can have a diffuser).

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:49 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

My 300K claimer was a pro series.

As for amateur series I'm running a great class now, F500.  While it is a spec class there is a minimum/ maximum wheelbase and a limited section on drive lines the rest is open.  Very very limited on aero (you can have a diffuser).

Good one, I love F500's except for the noise due to the CVT.  How about a cheap open wheel electric series using the same rubber puck suspension system with a spec battery pack?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 3:05 p.m.
j_tso said:

In reply to jharry3 :

Group B died because of fatalities. Rally cars now are faster and much safer, and they cancel stages when spectators get too close.

Rally cars were faster about three years into Group A.  Limiting them further caused them to refine what they had.  It is probably a lot easier for the drivers, too, given that in the Group B era a rally might have five days of stages, over 2000 miles of transit and special stages, and ONE overnight halt.

Another thing to think of is that Group A was the top dog from 1987 to 1997, WRC (basically Group S with a restrictor) was 1998 to the present, with two rules restructurings in I think 2013 and 2022.

Group B was 1983 to 1986, and all of the monsters came in 1985 or later.

Group B cars were undeveloped because there was no time for development.

 

Another thing to think about, have been watching old WRC footage, from before they had a half meter of suspension travel... and realized that Sebastien Loeb's WRC career is older than some WRC drivers.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 3:30 p.m.

What about a draft (like football or baseball)?

But instead of drafting players, you draft tech.

So take something like current F1. Make 5 sizes of tires. Five gas tank sizes. Five aero packages, five chassis, five engines. Worst team at the end of the year gets first pick following year (not of all categories, but one category). Then all teams go through picking their vehicle.

Win one year, then you draft last next.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/26/22 3:54 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:
Tom1200 said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

My 300K claimer was a pro series.

As for amateur series I'm running a great class now, F500.  While it is a spec class there is a minimum/ maximum wheelbase and a limited section on drive lines the rest is open.  Very very limited on aero (you can have a diffuser).

Good one, I love F500's except for the noise due to the CVT.  How about a cheap open wheel electric series using the same rubber puck suspension system with a spec battery pack?

You forget that F500 rules allow for 600cc 4 cylinder motorcycle engines (with a restrictor plate). The GSXR600 seems to be the default choice.

If there was a cheap battery pack substitute I'd be on board, especially for autocross.  There was a F500 EV that ran pikes peak one year. Jay Novak built it, I seem to recall it being about 150lbs heavier than an F500 but that would still only be about 1000lbs.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/26/22 3:58 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Emilio700 :

One problem with lb's/hp is that Diesels, and electric come to that, get a massive 'area under the curve' advantage.

When I was building some dirt track engines in the '80s one of the local tracks talked about a HP cap to keep one of the drivers who ran my engines from dominating.  There were two issues with that plan.  One was that he was dominating because he was an excellent driver, had a well setup chassis, and excellent tire guy and always finished.  The other was that my engines had more area under the curve than the competitors and didn't make the peak power number that they were targeting in the first place.  I had an open honest conversation with the chief steward and the killed the idea before it gained much traction.  No pun intended.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad MegaDork
1/26/22 3:58 p.m.

I know this sounds silly coming from a guy with a tube framed car but I think a series using real cars and their original block/layout/drive wheels but otherwise unlimited would be cool.  

Force manufacturers to bring some cool tech into their street cars while allowing race engineers to go bananas with what they have.  FWD V-6 and boring sheet metal...but pushing 1,000 hp and struggling to figure out how to keep it on the track.  It would be entertaining, and entertaining is the name of the game.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 4:01 p.m.
Tom1200 said:
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:
Tom1200 said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

My 300K claimer was a pro series.

As for amateur series I'm running a great class now, F500.  While it is a spec class there is a minimum/ maximum wheelbase and a limited section on drive lines the rest is open.  Very very limited on aero (you can have a diffuser).

Good one, I love F500's except for the noise due to the CVT.  How about a cheap open wheel electric series using the same rubber puck suspension system with a spec battery pack?

You forget that F500 rules allow for 600cc 4 cylinder motorcycle engines (with a restrictor plate). The GSXR600 seems to be the default choice.

If there was a cheap battery pack substitute I'd be on board, especially for autocross.  There was a F500 EV that ran pikes peak one year. Jay Novak built it, I seem to recall it being about 150lbs heavier than an F500 but that would still only be about 1000lbs.

Formula leaf? Leaf drivetrains and f500 style chassis. I've long thought it would be a good idea.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 4:12 p.m.
Tom1200 said:
If there was a cheap battery pack substitute I'd be on board, especially for autocross.  There was a F500 EV that ran pikes peak one year. Jay Novak built it, I seem to recall it being about 150lbs heavier than an F500 but that would still only be about 1000lbs.

Thank you for a new time suck rabbit hole to investigate!!!

Meporsche
Meporsche New Reader
1/26/22 4:40 p.m.

Let's get in the Transmogrifier  and head back to 1953 with Buddy Palumbo.

bowtieBMW
bowtieBMW New Reader
1/26/22 4:44 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

Flat floor, no wings.  Sure there will be a little aero, even good venting to prevent lift.  Still, this would be a massive reduction in grip, extending braking distance, limiting traction, and slowing the turns.  We can get rid of those silly chicanes.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/26/22 4:54 p.m.

I wasted a bunch of time trying to answer this.

The question is about what we're trying to achieve, and in what context.

As was pointed out above, totally unlimited doesn't work in 2022 because we're too good at cars. The resulting monsters would be undriveable by humans, and would turn their occupants to paste while putting holes through grandstands if they did have an off. In an age where you can literally have 1000hp in a street driven car that's cheaper than a new econobox, we effectively have unlimited power without rules. Let aero completely off the leash and we'll be cornering over blackout numbers.

That's the technical side of the limits of unlimitedness. On the other side, we have to be clear that as much as these could be faster than anything on else, they can't be the pinnacle because the people with the money to be the pinnacle do not care for unfettered rulesets. They want to know that by having a ruleset that rewards marginal gains, they can exclude most of the world, and achieve a fairly predictable return on investment via exposure by being in the pinnacle class. Nobody actively participating in F1 is made to look clueless; Haas is getting a return on investment. (I'm not insinuating they lack clue, just pointing out that even the slowest F1 team is rightfully regarded as Elite)

I have thoughts on relatively freeform racing, but then I'm really just on a tangent to the question. On refreshing the page, I see we're going there.

My particular desire? No aero, as verified by supervised testing for ride height at varying speeds. If ICE, displacement cap; something small enough to genuinely force tradeoffs; 2L naturally aspirated, 800cc forced induction? I'm sure those are wrong, just chucking numbers out. If not limiting to ICE, we go to anyone's favorite energy limiting tech... Ammeters and fuel flow meters? I'm not worrying about nuts and bolts right now...

Business plan? What are you trying to achieve? Pro series? Amateur? It needs to be cool enough to be watchable enough to generate enough eyeballs to generate enough contingencies to cover a significant part of the cost of participation. This is an... involving endeavor. Not many folks are going to have the time and means to out-of-pocket that kind of development, but I think we kind of want to keep the sponsors out of running the teams, and instead running the series. Maybe caps on individual sponsorships, but generous contingencies paid way down the field? I'm afraid that as soon as you get one participant sponsored by Red Bull and another by Monster (or Ford and Toyota, or...) you'll have folks trying to tailor the rules to the checkbooks, and it'll be marginal gains and lawsuits before you can say "back in 2023 I could tell the cars apart..."

Definitely gone now
Definitely gone now SuperDork
1/26/22 6:01 p.m.

It doesn't need to be BoP, it needs to be BoB. Balance of Budget. Open rules, do what you can with ingenuity, only $xxx,xxx.xx allowed to be spent on car. The other guy figures out something cool? great! Now you better get as smart or smarter to keep up. We need thinkers, not millionaires. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/26/22 6:21 p.m.
Definitely gone now said:

It doesn't need to be BoP, it needs to be BoB. Balance of Budget. Open rules, do what you can with ingenuity, only $xxx,xxx.xx allowed to be spent on car. The other guy figures out something cool? great! Now you better get as smart or smarter to keep up. We need thinkers, not millionaires. 

 I think something like this has potential.   It seem like you might need to control development spending somehow as well to avoid millions of dollars being spent on things like wind tunnel work.

CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
1/26/22 6:34 p.m.

I've thought about this a lot in the past. It's tricky for sure! The best series have had the least rules, group B and C. 
 

basically today if you wanted to reignite the middle class racing, you'd need to subsidize entry fees for the racers first.  People who may be interested in racing wont be able to stomach a $500 or $1000 entry fee. 
 

after that, mandate no tire changes during the race and no refueling.  
 

mandate a spec fuel tank size. 
 

for endurance racing, mandate an overall fuel limit and tire limit  

then just have simple width/ height rules. 

then we reach the aero drag part of things... some rich and or geniuses would dominate based on aero. So, mandate a weight penalty for each win. 200lbs per win, no maximum. 

-50lbs for a 2-3 finish. -100 for 4th and down. 
 

then add the claimer rule. $30k.  Hopefully someone would make money off of making a good e46 win for $20k! 
 

I think over time it would balance out. 

 

Red5
Red5 New Reader
1/26/22 7:47 p.m.

How about a pay-per-view?  Set $1,000,000 on the finish line of a 100 lap race, no rules.  The first team that enters gets pole, the rest of the starting positions are drawn from a hat.  

Definitely gone now
Definitely gone now SuperDork
1/27/22 12:05 a.m.
APEowner said:
Definitely gone now said:

It doesn't need to be BoP, it needs to be BoB. Balance of Budget. Open rules, do what you can with ingenuity, only $xxx,xxx.xx allowed to be spent on car. The other guy figures out something cool? great! Now you better get as smart or smarter to keep up. We need thinkers, not millionaires. 

 I think something like this has potential.   It seem like you might need to control development spending somehow as well to avoid millions of dollars being spent on things like wind tunnel work.

The answer might be using "off the shelf parts only."

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/27/22 7:05 a.m.

In reply to Definitely gone now :

Requiring OE parts is why BTCC cylinder heads cost ten times what Formula 1 cylinder heads did.  Gotta buy a lot of them to find the ones with good core shift, and machining was allowed so they would get ported and angle milled and all sorts of stuff and often the wall thicknesses were so thin in spots that they were only good for a couple heat cycles before they cracked.

It should also be noted that NASCAR engines have always used "off the shelf" parts, too.

carpeforza
carpeforza New Reader
1/27/22 8:36 a.m.

In reply to Red5 :

Wasn't that the plot to "Death Race 2000"?

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/27/22 9:04 a.m.

Seems to me that every suggestion is just a BoP in a different way- instead of one that changes through the season, it's one that is there all of the time.

Spec parts are the ultimate BoP, since everything is exactly the same.  This is where NASCAR is now.  The only thing differentiating the cars is the money spent on engines and shocks.  

Spec budget is also a major BoP, since it limits the driver of what normally separates the excessive performance.

Limits are always there to let each team reach a specific limit to hope they are all the same in the end.

And I'm still curious how people think CanAm was the pinnacle in racing.  This was an era that winners won by laps, sometime multiple ones, over a fairly short race.  Sure, the cars were fast, but the racing sucked.  Even the "glory days" of CART in the 80's- winners would regularly win by a lap.   This is where medium investment teams really cringe at getting into racing- what's the point if you are just going to be lapped 5-10 times over 3 hours?  It's one thing for a person to go out and have fun, it's another thing to ask Kroger to put their name on a car that's only seen on TV when it's getting lapped.

Seems that back in the "glory days" the fascination was more about how dangerous it was than the actual racing.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/27/22 9:42 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Definitely gone now :

Requiring OE parts is why BTCC cylinder heads cost ten times what Formula 1 cylinder heads did.  Gotta buy a lot of them to find the ones with good core shift, and machining was allowed so they would get ported and angle milled and all sorts of stuff and often the wall thicknesses were so thin in spots that they were only good for a couple heat cycles before they cracked.

It should also be noted that NASCAR engines have always used "off the shelf" parts, too.

If the goal is unlimited innovation with close competition then I'm not sure that will help.  Off the shelf parts don't necessarily bolt together in innovative ways and as Pete pointed out the way to gain an advantage in series the require them is to buy a crapload, test them all and only use the ones that perform the best.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/27/22 9:43 a.m.

Ultimate Track Car Challenge with NO corporate funding. 

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
1/27/22 12:50 p.m.

...how do you reward creativity while preventing the larger checkbook from always winning?

...Can we design a modern, wide-open race series?

These are two VERY different questions. Which is the real one being asked for when people complain about BOP and reminisce about the innovative cars of yesteryear?

For me, it's the former more than the latter. So I would focus on a rule set that inherently creates a BOP by reducing the advantages of budget and increasing the advantages of creativity. As far as I can tell, the primary advantage that big budget teams have over their rivals isn't in the cost of the car itself, but in the value of the data accumulated that is applicable to the current rule set. So for a top-tier professional level series, I'd like to see something like:

1) Focus on only being substantially restrictive on a few key performance enablers at a time.

2) Regularly change which key performance enablers are being substantially restricted. The first 3 years may focus on combined tire width, drag coefficient, and total fuel per race. The next 3 years might focus on minimum weight, number of tires per race, and fuel flow rate. The restrictions have to be variable enough to substantially change the 'winning' formula and invalidate some key data accumulation that would have been specific to the prior rule set.

3) Budget cap and size limit the entire team that touches the car or its underlying data. Think of the driver as your QB, and your engineers and mechanics are the rest of the players. To field 2 cars, you may only have 50 slots to split between engineers, mechanics, and drivers, with a total salary cap of $25M.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/27/22 1:40 p.m.

I have a really stupid idea for an amateur series.

Classing by budget rather than specification.

$2k, $5k, $10k, $50k, $100k, "my IPO made national news".

It's almost certain that people would overspend their category rendering the whole thing useless. I'm just trying to figure out how to accept that there will always be people who bring a big checkbook relative to the median cost of a given series without either fruitlessly saying "you can't do that" or having the usual situation of anybody who can't or won't do that being relegated to also-rans. We have something kind of like this in that there are more and less expensive classes, but explicitly making the breaks dollars instead of specifications?

I know, I know... there are people who break every rule in Jr kart racing. I guess the other part of it goes back to my notion of non-participant sponsors and the ethos/spirit/culture of the series. How do we make it uncool to be a spending overdog? There are so many endeavors that are plainly difficult and for which there is no glory in spending your way past the hard parts; I know you can't literally be deposited on top of Everest via helicopter, but if you could, you still couldn't say you'd climbed it. That understanding sort of needs to be part of the culture of the series.

But I digress. How do we provide a target that doesn't boil down to a fiscal arms race? It's always going to be expensive, but resource parity could make a big difference. You could say that we have this because we have the Challenge, we have Lemons, and we have F1, but I think in the context of an "open" race series that framework takes on a new significance. Everyone gets the same $0.01 blank sheet of paper. What can you do within your self-selected budget? Performance for a given dollar becomes the target, not just all the performance you can afford in hopes that you can afford more than the next person.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/27/22 4:00 p.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

While your opinion is certainly valid it lacks one issue.  


The driver.  


  With identical cars. Here, pick a number out of a hat type series. Someone will always win. The rest will lose. 
 Maybe it's skill or hunger, knowledge or luck?     It takes long races to eliminate the factor of luck and a long series to showcase  real winners.  
      

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
1/27/22 6:20 p.m.

No lie I just want an enclosed Kart based class. Any tire, any production engine at 500cc or lower. Fully enclosed and with serious downforce kept in check with body sqf limitations and fuel limits. 

OR unlimited offroad kart racing where the tub is spec as are the suspension pickups and rational tires to keep the super high power out of the class. 

 

 

To be clear I don't think its possible at all, I just want a 917K replica with 50% of the power of a factory car that is fully caged and runs on pump gas and a few people to run against. 

 

 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb UltraDork
1/28/22 8:49 a.m.

Tractor pulling has a class called "unlimited modified". I think the only rules besides safety stuff are a maximum weight limit and tire size. 

This is the class where you will see a tractor with ten blown hemis linked together, or multiple engines from military aircraft, like turbines and allison v16's. Its wild. Bring your ear plugs. I can only imagine the build budgets. It works because it's not wheel to wheel competition. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/28/22 1:52 p.m.
gearheadmb said:

Tractor pulling has a class called "unlimited modified". I think the only rules besides safety stuff are a maximum weight limit and tire size. 

...It works because it's not wheel to wheel competition. 

...and the vehicles are tethered to sort of "calibrated immovable objects."

I saw this live, indoors(!), at the Cow Palace in San Francisco when I was a kid. When you got to an opening onto the arena from a corridor the sound would make you stumble.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
1/28/22 1:54 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

Haven't really worked out a business model yet, but the starting point idea would be something like "Here are the safety rules, here are the specs for the fuel you need, and you get X gallons for the race. Have at it!"

Probably the best business approach would be to pitch it as a new top level for an existing racing organization - or if an existing series needed a do-over. Come to think of it - when was the last time you heard much about the Indy 500?

Your concept sounds similar to 80s group c racing 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/28/22 2:25 p.m.
gearheadmb said:

Tractor pulling has a class called "unlimited modified". I think the only rules besides safety stuff are a maximum weight limit and tire size. 

This is the class where you will see a tractor with ten blown hemis linked together, or multiple engines from military aircraft, like turbines and allison v16's. Its wild. Bring your ear plugs. I can only imagine the build budgets. It works because it's not wheel to wheel competition. 

Sounds like the GRM  top speed challenge  I just proposed.  Comply with the safety regulations and with a challenge budget  see how fast you can go. 

iansane
iansane Dork
1/28/22 2:36 p.m.

For some reason I like the stock car idea. But with more of a V8 supercar vibe using actual road courses, not just ovals. Not tube frame racecars though; just body-in-whites with all the safety scaffolding, factory drivetrain layouts and OE based engines. 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
1/28/22 2:43 p.m.
iansane said:

For some reason I like the stock car idea. But with more of a V8 supercar vibe using actual road courses, not just ovals. Not tube frame racecars though; just body-in-whites with all the safety scaffolding, factory drivetrain layouts and OE based engines. 

Well v8 SuperCar is tube frame and they all use the same chassis 

iansane
iansane Dork
1/28/22 2:45 p.m.

In reply to MotorsportsGordon :

Yeah those chassis' are crazy to see stripped down. I just meant utilizing more tracks than ovals and a few token road courses.

Definitely gone now
Definitely gone now SuperDork
1/28/22 4:28 p.m.
APEowner said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Definitely gone now :

Requiring OE parts is why BTCC cylinder heads cost ten times what Formula 1 cylinder heads did.  Gotta buy a lot of them to find the ones with good core shift, and machining was allowed so they would get ported and angle milled and all sorts of stuff and often the wall thicknesses were so thin in spots that they were only good for a couple heat cycles before they cracked.

It should also be noted that NASCAR engines have always used "off the shelf" parts, too.

If the goal is unlimited innovation with close competition then I'm not sure that will help.  Off the shelf parts don't necessarily bolt together in innovative ways and as Pete pointed out the way to gain an advantage in series the require them is to buy a crapload, test them all and only use the ones that perform the best.

I don't think so. What I'm talking about the teams would have a very limited budget. So they can't afford to purchase 40 cylinder heads. They can afford one. And sure, they could purchase/return until they get just the most perfect cylinder possible. But that's time consuming and would not be likely to happen. After they aquire a part the team can set about using ingenuity to modify it and make it better, but not make it different. Similar to autocross rules. 

te72
te72 Reader
1/29/22 1:43 a.m.

Unlimited budget, unlimited car design, unlimited development, but... your driver has to be in high school, legitimately, and maintain a certain grade average.

 

Realistic idea, develop anything you want, but it has to be done entirely shade tree style. What I mean by this is no data is allowed. No development data other than a stop watch, literally, no gps, no sensors, nothing but a guy holding a stop watch to track sector times. This would cut down MASSIVELY on the budget requirement and incentivize a lot of creativity. In the spirit of that, no CAD either, unless we're talking of the cardboard variety.

 

This speaks to me personally, as I've never had the advantage of data, everything I've done has been a seat-of-the-pants feedback loop, and the adventure has been fun, if occasionally expensive by way of "oops" haha.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/29/22 10:49 a.m.
Definitely gone now said:
APEowner said:
Definitely gone now said:

It doesn't need to be BoP, it needs to be BoB. Balance of Budget. Open rules, do what you can with ingenuity, only $xxx,xxx.xx allowed to be spent on car. The other guy figures out something cool? great! Now you better get as smart or smarter to keep up. We need thinkers, not millionaires. 

 I think something like this has potential.   It seem like you might need to control development spending somehow as well to avoid millions of dollars being spent on things like wind tunnel work.

The answer might be using "off the shelf parts only."

Which shelf?

johndej
johndej Dork
1/29/22 11:00 a.m.

I'd like something like car must be purchased from a dealership as sold to the public plus $100,000 to upgrade safety parts, pads, tires, fluids, etc but other than that exactly as made from factory. Get us more homologation specials.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/29/22 11:04 a.m.

BTW, while throwing all this around do away with qualifying.

Run the races with the starting line up set by reverse points.  You lead the points series, you start last.

Or if you have so many participants that you must have qualifying to limit the field, run the qualifying heats reverse points. 

Or you could have the starting position decided by pulling a numbered ping pong ball out of a bag.  I know, really high tech.

Whoever came up with "You have the fastest car so you get to start in first place" anyway?

 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
1/29/22 3:10 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 who quoted :

...how do you reward creativity while preventing the larger checkbook from always winning?

...Can we design a modern, wide-open race series?

Thanks for isolating that.  My thinking isn't entirely converged just yet, but seeing it that way has been clarifying for me.

I'll agree with most here, though, that "a modern, wide-open race series" isn't possible.  Heck, even World Solar Challenge is a "limited series"... since they were "going too fast" beginning in 2005.

There's a linkage here, which I'm not certain has been made explicit:  "an exciting, extensively creative, series is only possible and popular within an 'unlimited rules format'."

I don't think that's necessarily true.  Although, I'll admit that any series that orients its marketing around "being the most diverse and creative series anywhere", is going to have an up-hill battle to fight.  Which is not to imply that such is an unsurmountable challenge.  Merely particularly difficult, in an already crowded space;  one that's dominated by various organizations/entities claiming to be "preeminent" and/or "pinnacle" displays of motorsports.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/29/22 7:34 p.m.

Say 30 teams

All in say Crown Victorias

All get a 10# NOS bottle to use whenever they wanted during the race but no more than that, when you are out you are out

All in spec tires

2.4 hours of racing on each course

Sell it on pay per view

 

 

 

 

I know, I know...

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