SCCA Reclassifies Tesla Model 3–All the Way to the Top Rung

Photography Credit: Rupert Berrington

Those who bought a Tesla Model 3 Performance with hopes of dominating SCCA autocross might want to chill for a few: Effective January 1, that car has been moved from B Street all the way to Super Street.

David Marcus drove a Model 3 to last year's Solo title, holding off Mark Daddio’s 2019 Mustang Shelby by 0.070 second. In Super Street, the Tesla will face off against the latest Acura NSX, Porsche GT3 and Corvette Z06.

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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 1:49 p.m.

Wow!

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/2/20 1:54 p.m.

Ooooooooof.

RedBarchetta
RedBarchetta New Reader
1/2/20 2:01 p.m.

This is the SEB's way of shaking their fist at a cloud and telling electric car owners to GET OFF MY LAWN.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/2/20 2:03 p.m.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/2/20 2:05 p.m.

Can't wait for the Elon Musk angry tweets about this. Maybe he'll call the SEB a bunch of pedophiles too.

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/2/20 2:06 p.m.
RedBarchetta said:

This is the SEB's way of telling electric car owners to GET OFF MY LAWN.

I kind of feel the same way. Wasn't the driver already a National Champion in a different class a few years ago? So it isn't like some random jabroni jumped in and embarrassed everyone, and he won by not even a 1/10th of a second... Seems like it was in the right class already?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 2:07 p.m.

Or he'll look at it as a compliment. The M3P has received a power bump via an OTA upgrade since the end of the season. I suspect the regular Model 3 (currently in DS) will get a revisit as well, as it's up about 15% with the optional "Acceleration Boost". That car has different suspension and skinnier tires, but in terms of performance it's a lot closer to the Performance than it used to be.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/2/20 2:09 p.m.
mtn said:
RedBarchetta said:

This is the SEB's way of telling electric car owners to GET OFF MY LAWN.

I kind of feel the same way. Wasn't the driver already a National Champion in a different class a few years ago? So it isn't like some random jabroni jumped in and embarrassed everyone, and he won by not even a 1/10th of a second... Seems like it was in the right class already?

It's new and different, of course it rubs the SCCA the wrong way. A win by 0.070 seconds hardly seems worth going to S/Street. I could see if they even tested it in A/Street for a season.

Justjim75
Justjim75 Dork
1/2/20 2:10 p.m.

"The key to winning is finding the unfair advantage "

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/2/20 2:10 p.m.
mtn said:
RedBarchetta said:

This is the SEB's way of telling electric car owners to GET OFF MY LAWN.

I kind of feel the same way. Wasn't the driver already a National Champion in a different class a few years ago? So it isn't like some random jabroni jumped in and embarrassed everyone, and he won by not even a 1/10th of a second... Seems like it was in the right class already?

the issue isn't the driver or the hardware of the car itself. it's the fact that the car is getting over the air updates to increase the performance through software. Thus taking a car that started the year competitive in BS and now on the way to possibly being a class killer.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 2:13 p.m.

It's an interesting problem to have to face, that's for sure. And it's going to start happening with more cars.

RadBarchetta
RadBarchetta New Reader
1/2/20 2:15 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

This is a great example of the SEB classing cars based on politics rather than performance. Not the first time, either.

captdownshift
captdownshift UltimaDork
1/2/20 2:17 p.m.

It should only be B stock if utilizing autopilot. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 2:19 p.m.

I want to see someone stand at the finish line and summon the car. That could be pretty interesting.

Also, the center screen now shows traffic cones. Could make for a pretty fun watch. Maybe we cover the windshield and make the driver navigate by the screen...

 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/2/20 2:26 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Also, the center screen now shows traffic cones. Could make for a pretty fun watch. Maybe we cover the windshield and make the driver navigate by the screen...

 

I feel like a safety steward might have something to say about that.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/2/20 2:29 p.m.

I did not even think about OTA updates!! Yeah, that could make for a big deal. 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/2/20 3:16 p.m.

I'm also curious if, maybe, he'll just say "Berk it" and make some crazy autocross software, or make a ridiculous autocross version. It's Elon Musk, one can never predict.

Confession: I bummed my friend's phone and twitter account (I'm not a Twitter user) and shot him a tweet asking his feelings on the subject. If nothing else, might get a weird, uninformed rant.

_
_ Dork
1/2/20 3:47 p.m.

We should all remember that this is the first time that a Tesla has been used to win national championship. That means the more they dial it in, the greater margin that win will be next year and the coming years

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/2/20 4:22 p.m.

Yes, he won by less than a tenth of a second. In a car with completely unmodified suspension that has since gotten a substantial power bump. There's a fair amount more left in the car than what he showed. AS was two people short of being the largest single class at nationals this year and is probably the most consistently attended class across the full national event season, there's absolutely no reason the SCCA should be risking the success of that class to appease the handful of people who want to autocross their teslas. THe right solution is a street EV class, which it sounds like will happen eventually but "now isn't the time". I'm not exactly sure I agree with that, but then again think about how many people will be whining about "too many classes" if they did make that new class only to never have more than three people show up all year. Which is about the current level of tesla participation at the national level as far as I can tell.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 4:36 p.m.

I don't think "street EV" makes any sense, because the choice of propulsion is a small aspect of what makes a car good at autox. It makes more sense to keep them mixed together. EVs might punch above their weight (so to speak) but they're not all going to be as fast as an M3P. Show up with an electric Fiat and you'll get your butt handed to you if you're up against nothing but other EVs.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
1/2/20 4:38 p.m.

Is anyone working on allowed EV modifications? What is the equivalent of a cold air intake...running a larger gauge wire? What happens if you swap the magnets in the motors? Would anyone even know if a car was running a larger motor? Or half a battery pack? (to save weight)  I don't envy the SEB.

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
1/2/20 4:52 p.m.

Kind of reminds me of  how the turbine engine was effectively outlawed from Indy cars by cutting the  allowed intake area.  

Not to mention Jim Hall's 2D with moveable wing being outlawed and the  Chaparral 2J sucker car the same.   

I thoroughly dislike people who outlaw innovation that changes the game.     

Though I guess the trebuchet builders were pissed at the cannon builders for good reason. Not to mention the longbow union fighting against firearms being introduced.  

Come to think of it I haven't seen anyone using a horse for transportation since last year's Houston Rodeo ride.  The saddle makers need to stop that internal combustion engine before it takes away from their business.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/2/20 4:53 p.m.

Just saw a post on Comment from David Marcus on Facebook..

 

"I didn't love autocrossing the Telsa, and mine got retired from autocross right after Nationals.  It accelerates like nothing I've ever felt, but corners like E36M3.  Its the polar opposite of a miata and I'd rather autocross a Miata"...

 

Interesting words coming from a National Champion.

Was on the National Autocross news  post about this rule change..  Can't link on this computer..

 

Linky to facebook

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 5:15 p.m.
pinchvalve said:

Is anyone working on allowed EV modifications? What is the equivalent of a cold air intake...running a larger gauge wire? What happens if you swap the magnets in the motors? Would anyone even know if a car was running a larger motor? Or half a battery pack? (to save weight)  I don't envy the SEB.

I don't know of any Tesla power upgrades other than those coming from Tesla itself. I suppose you could bolt the stronger RWD/M3P rear motor into a Long Range if you wanted a cheater, but then you'd have the same running gear as a M3P without the suspension. Running a partial battery pack to save weight is an interesting idea!

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
1/2/20 7:12 p.m.

Having to set up the scales for regional events will keep the cars at the "as delivered weight from the dealer" is going to be the norm in this brave new world.

Having a way to add camber is going to be the next from the factory,  to help save the Hoosiers they run in SS.  

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
1/2/20 7:22 p.m.
jharry3 said:

 

Come to think of it I haven't seen anyone using a horse for transportation since last year's Houston Rodeo ride.  The saddle makers need to stop that internal combustion engine before it takes away from their business.

I wonder what class a Horse and Buggy,  would be put in. The buggy and horse would be stock other than polyurethane horseshoes for better grip, and maybe switch the wagon from drums to disc brakes.  

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/2/20 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

You mean, David Marcus, pro driver at the $2000 Challenge? 

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
1/2/20 7:38 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I don't think "street EV" makes any sense, because the choice of propulsion is a small aspect of what makes a car good at autox. It makes more sense to keep them mixed together. EVs might punch above their weight (so to speak) but they're not all going to be as fast as an M3P. Show up with an electric Fiat and you'll get your butt handed to you if you're up against nothing but other EVs.W

I'm no autocross lover, but it seems like there are soooo many classes already, what's one more?

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
1/2/20 7:55 p.m.

My take, which is worth exactly what everyone has paid for it. 

The world, including a whole bunch of people on this forum, has been touting how much faster these are compared to simple gas powered vehicles. Better in just about every metric. Why would they not be classed on the top rung. 

Maybe the SCCA was actually listening.

Thank you for your input.

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/2/20 7:57 p.m.
Toyman01 said:

My take, which is worth exactly what everyone has paid for it. 

The world, including a whole bunch of people on this forum, has been touting how much faster these are compared to simple gas powered vehicles. Better in just about every metric. Why would they not be classed on the top rung. 

Maybe the SCCA was actually listening.

Thank you for your input.

 

That's my take as well. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/2/20 8:13 p.m.

I guess I'll be the voice of reason here and say that while this move is certainly a bummer for Tesla owners, it's also 100% understandable. Teslas are not being "outlawed" by any stretch of the imagination, simply moved to a class where they're not as likely to be overdogs.

Seriously how can you even build a ruleset to accommodate a car that could gain 15% more power from an OTA update on the night before an event? How do you fairly class a car that's constantly changing, and the owners have little to no control over those changes? That would be a tough task for a major professional organization let alone a club. I think the reclassing has less to do with any inherent competitiveness of the Tesla and more to do with the unmanagability of the frequency and magnitude with which the car's performance envelope changes.

ojannen
ojannen Reader
1/2/20 8:15 p.m.

Speed wise, it should have gone to A Street but then spec C5Z06 would be randomly disrupted when it rains.

Is anyone actually inconvenienced by it going to SS and competing for a trophy instead of a win?  The class change only really affects drivers on the regional circuit.  You can still win locally.  We had one get FTD against well prepped ST cars recently.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/2/20 8:28 p.m.
ojannen said:

Speed wise, it should have gone to A Street but then spec C5Z06 would be randomly disrupted when it rains.

Is anyone actually inconvenienced by it going to SS and competing for a trophy instead of a win?  The class change only really affects drivers on the regional circuit.  You can still win locally.  We had one get FTD against well prepped ST cars recently.

AS makes sense from a current performance standpoint, but then you potentially upset what is currently the largest class in all of Solo. I think there's a legit case to not do that if you don't have to. I think there's also a case for keeping similar cars together as much as possible. It's not easy to explain to someone who doesn't know much about autocrossing that "this is the class for Corvettes... and this one weird electric car"

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/2/20 8:31 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 :

Another thing to consider that most people do not is that the car's track mode released 14 months ago with a 3.5 second 0-60. 

Post solo nationals, that same car is now running sub 3 seconds to 60 in the dry thanks to OTA updates. 

 https://electrek.co/2019/11/14/tesla-model-3-performance-0-60-mph-acceleration-dips-below-3-sec-software-update/

Even as the car sits right now, I don't think it's a B Street car anymore. and the SAC and SEB are not going to put it in A Street where it could become a course dependent winner that can destabilize the most popular national street class right now. 
 

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/2/20 8:32 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

I guess I'll be the voice of reason here and say that while this move is certainly a bummer for Tesla owners, it's also 100% understandable. Teslas are not being "outlawed" by any stretch of the imagination, simply moved to a class where they're not as likely to be overdogs.

Seriously how can you even build a ruleset to accommodate a car that could gain 15% more power from an OTA update on the night before an event? How do you fairly class a car that's constantly changing, and the owners have little to no control over those changes? That would be a tough task for a major professional organization let alone a club. I think the reclassing has less to do with any inherent competitiveness of the Tesla and more to do with the unmanagability of the frequency and magnitude with which the car's performance envelope changes.

thank you for coming in to reiterate this. 

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/2/20 8:33 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
ojannen said:

Speed wise, it should have gone to A Street but then spec C5Z06 would be randomly disrupted when it rains.

Is anyone actually inconvenienced by it going to SS and competing for a trophy instead of a win?  The class change only really affects drivers on the regional circuit.  You can still win locally.  We had one get FTD against well prepped ST cars recently.

AS makes sense from a current performance standpoint, but then you potentially upset what is currently the largest class in all of Solo. I think there's a legit case to not do that if you don't have to. I think there's also a case for keeping similar cars together as much as possible. It's not easy to explain to someone who doesn't know much about autocrossing that "this is the class for Corvettes... and this one weird electric car"

I've been so busy writing comments over in book of faces land, you beat me to the punch. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/2/20 8:53 p.m.

I guess I should also point out for the zillionth time that Solo Street Class rules are inherently volatile and biased toward newer cars and prone to "flavors of the month" because you will never ever ever ever build any sort of parity by applying the same prep allowances to different cars. 

This is partly by design—keep freshness in the classes and keep them from stagnating. It's hard to market a program to sponsors where the competitive cars are old and irrelevant anywhere but this one venue. Plus, in a weird sort of way, flavor of the month creates parity by making the competitive cars easily available to every driver. I can walk in to any Mazda dealer in the country and buy an MX-5 that can win a national championship. That's better in a lot of ways than having to find one 25 year old car with an option package that they only made 30 of to be competitive.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/20 9:07 p.m.
Dave M said:
Keith Tanner said:

I don't think "street EV" makes any sense, because the choice of propulsion is a small aspect of what makes a car good at autox. It makes more sense to keep them mixed together. EVs might punch above their weight (so to speak) but they're not all going to be as fast as an M3P. Show up with an electric Fiat and you'll get your butt handed to you if you're up against nothing but other EVs.W

I'm no autocross lover, but it seems like there are soooo many classes already, what's one more?

It’s got nothing to do with the number of classes. An EV-only playground (like the “metal car” class used by my local Corvette club) is going to be wildly unbalanced. EVs vary as much as ICE cars do. An early Leaf would be as competitive as my classic Mini would in Metal Car, where you can also find purpose-built rotary X1/9 autox weapons. Why would you segregate them just because of how they motervate their wheels?

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/2/20 11:22 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

That's better in a lot of ways than having to find one 25 year old car with an option package that they only made 30 of to be competitive.

That brings up memories of a certain championship results, where ten out of ten cars in a certain class were 1989 CRX Si.  Might have been 1990.  Apparently there was a one year only deal where certain option packages could be had with certain option deletes.

Rons
Rons Reader
1/2/20 11:26 p.m.
jharry3 said

Not to mention Jim Hall's 2D with moveable wing being outlawed and the  Chaparral 2J sucker car the same.   

I thoroughly dislike people who outlaw innovation that changes the game.     

 

I can not let hyperbole go unchecked the 2D wing was outlawed with all the other movable aerodynamic devices F1 and F2 cars were being built with aerofoils mounted directly to the suspension and failures were causing horrific crashes. The 2D got caught in the movable device ban. The 2J's snowmobile motor and fan were also determined to be movable devices and were therefore subject to the ban.

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
1/3/20 5:37 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

If EVs are able to get a big HP boost with an OTA, they're a different ballgame. Also, you could argue that they have superpower traction control compared to ICE cars. I'd suggest multiple EV classes if there is too much variation, but really, who's going to take anything other than a Tesla or Porsche EV to autocross these days with any regularity? I toy with the idea of taking my i3, but then I'd need to get real tires and I get less interested in that idea.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/3/20 6:38 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

You mean, David Marcus, pro driver at the $2000 Challenge? 

The man myth legend indeed. 

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/3/20 7:27 a.m.
Rons said:
jharry3 said

Not to mention Jim Hall's 2D with moveable wing being outlawed and the  Chaparral 2J sucker car the same.   

I thoroughly dislike people who outlaw innovation that changes the game.     

 

I can not let hyperbole go unchecked the 2D wing was outlawed with all the other movable aerodynamic devices F1 and F2 cars were being built with aerofoils mounted directly to the suspension and failures were causing horrific crashes. The 2D got caught in the movable device ban. The 2J's snowmobile motor and fan were also determined to be movable devices and were therefore subject to the ban.

Which is how and why the Brabham BT46 (AKA the Fan car) was legal.  The Chappal used snow mobile engines to turn the fan.  The Brabham used the fan mainly for cooling.  Gordon Murray designed it to be 55% cooling : 45% downforce.  As the 'primary' function was cooling it was legal.  In fact the FIA measured it as 60% cooling, 40% downforce.  Bernie Eccelstone withdrew the car after it's one and only race, and win, to keep FOCA going.  The rules were changed at the end of the year, long after it was witdrawn, to prevent other cars from doing the same thing.

Back to the Tesla, it makes me laugh that it was in BS.  BAck when I cared about autocross my 90 1.6L Miata was in BS.  My how times have changed.

I can't wait to see how the Porsche Taycan does through the cones.  A car built by a company that knows and cares about performance as opposed to Tesla's one trick pony.  

Frenchie
Frenchie
1/3/20 9:00 a.m.

<points and laughs electrically at Tesla 3 owners>

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/3/20 10:03 a.m.
Dave M said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

If EVs are able to get a big HP boost with an OTA, they're a different ballgame. Also, you could argue that they have superpower traction control compared to ICE cars. I'd suggest multiple EV classes if there is too much variation, but really, who's going to take anything other than a Tesla or Porsche EV to autocross these days with any regularity? I toy with the idea of taking my i3, but then I'd need to get real tires and I get less interested in that idea.

Following that logic - why do we have multiple classes for the ICE cars? Really, who's going to take anything but a Miata or Corvette to autocross? It makes perfect sense for the classes to be based on actual performance, and if that means that a silent four door sedan is competing directly with Honda's supercar, well, that's how it works.

The OTA "problem" is going to apply to every vehicle eventually. You'll be able to rent turbo overboost for the weekend, or the torque vectoring will learn a new trick. Mid-season reclassification may become a thing and hooo boy is that going to be fun to watch.

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
1/3/20 10:29 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I agree OTA updates are not just a problem for electric cars.

And re: electric Porsche - don't be surprised when it sucks (even at autox or track days) compared to the Tesla. Remember that innovators can often copy the old guard, but the old guard struggles to copy the innovator. Example: Apple's iPhone worked well enough as a Nokia but Nokia could never make something that worked well enough as an iPhone. And Kodak. And IBM. And Timex. Etc etc etc.

See also: Nissan leaf vs any Tesla ever.

bklecka
bklecka New Reader
1/3/20 10:48 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had the same idea to trade in my 2018 Focus ST and buy a Model 3 dual motor performance and be king of the hill with nothing but a tire change. This seems to be very unfair to Tesla owners. There are really no upgrades that can be done to make a Tesla quicker where ICE users have infinite options to improve performance within their class. The future is electric. 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/3/20 10:56 a.m.
bklecka said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

There are really no upgrades that can be done to make a Tesla quicker where ICE users have infinite options to improve performance within their class.

Uhh, not within Street class, which is what we are talking about. The performance improvements are in fact quite finite. Street is the most restrictive class in SCCA autocross. One sway bar can be upgraded, added or removed. Any width tires, but on stock width rims, +/-1", Shocks can be changed out. Drop-in air filter (Tesla's can't do that, but there is very little gain there anyways). Cat-back exhaust (drop some weight and pick up some power cars, but again, very little gain).

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/3/20 11:07 a.m.
bklecka said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had the same idea to trade in my 2018 Focus ST and buy a Model 3 dual motor performance and be king of the hill with nothing but a tire change. This seems to be very unfair to Tesla owners. There are really no upgrades that can be done to make a Tesla quicker where ICE users have infinite options to improve performance within their class. The future is electric. 

Such as?

It's highly unlikely that an OEM will up the power output of your ICE just because they can, but that does actually happen with a Tesla.  I know it's possible to make a little more power from an ICE, but I also know that there's no way it would be released officially to their consumers.  The "legal" modifications don't really thing- which is exactly why they are legal in Stock class.

And all of the non-powertrain things that actually improve performance is equal.

aw614
aw614 Reader
1/3/20 11:53 a.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

I guess I should also point out for the zillionth time that Solo Street Class rules are inherently volatile and biased toward newer cars and prone to "flavors of the month" because you will never ever ever ever build any sort of parity by applying the same prep allowances to different cars. 

This is partly by design—keep freshness in the classes and keep them from stagnating. It's hard to market a program to sponsors where the competitive cars are old and irrelevant anywhere but this one venue. Plus, in a weird sort of way, flavor of the month creates parity by making the competitive cars easily available to every driver. I can walk in to any Mazda dealer in the country and buy an MX-5 that can win a national championship. That's better in a lot of ways than having to find one 25 year old car with an option package that they only made 30 of to be competitive.

Cough cough e90 m3 cough cough lol

 

On the Tesla side of things and OTA updates, I guess it is possible one car may get that OTA update and one car doesn't? Curious to see how other cars will be classed in the future and I want to see Porsche's stuff come out soon

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/3/20 12:09 p.m.

Where do Teslas go once they get out of Street? Do they go anywhere out of Street? I kinda want to see a Street Mod or Prepared Tesla Model 3 now. Gut it, huge-by-wide Hoosiers with fender flares, maybe a wing and splitter. It'd be wild, I'm sure. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/3/20 12:16 p.m.
aw614 said:

On the Tesla side of things and OTA updates, I guess it is possible one car may get that OTA update and one car doesn't? Curious to see how other cars will be classed in the future and I want to see Porsche's stuff come out soon

The cars really want to update. It takes a while - maybe a week or so for it to roll out everywhere - but trying to prevent a Tesla from doing an OTA is going to require constant "no thanks" decisions on the part of the owner. If a M3P hasn't received the update that included the power bump, it was by dint of effort on behalf of the owner. 

Really, an OTA update is just an easier way to get the same updates that may have been applied by the dealer. For example, the 2001 Miata emissions update that required a dealer visit, or the aerodynamic fix applied to the original Audi TT to sort out the handling problems. 

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/3/20 12:33 p.m.

Serious Q on the OTA updates.  Does it prevent the car running?  Does it need to be off line like a phone or a watch?  The reason I ask is I was talking to to someone over X mas dinner who is a marathon runner.  He has a (I think) Garman or Fit bit running watch.  Whatever it was, it was a top line smart watch just for runners.  He traveled to Japan for the (again I think) Tokyo Marathon and early morning local time the day of the marathon the watch received a forced over the air update.  Suddenly thousands of runners getting hyped up for the race find their fancy watch MIA.  He said there were hundreds of people calling back to the US, where it was still business hours the day before, yelling at customer service who apparently did abort the push.  I wonder if this could happen with cars too?  BTW, they now check major international race dates and avoid software pushes for 24 hours before.  

Anthony Dowd
Anthony Dowd New Reader
1/3/20 12:49 p.m.

In reply to Dave M :

You should run it, the i3.  I ran a 2015 and 2017 3500lb VW e-Golf locally in HS, switched cars mid season.  I won the championship within two different clubs.  Luckily, the Fiesta ST's and Civic Si's didn't show up enough to bump me down.  When they did show with 200tw tires and a decent or National Championship (Chris Carris) drivers I was bumped down. But, I persisted and stuck to it, only winning due to poor class participation.  I believe I am classed properly, 3500lbs, 135hp/215lbft, non adjustable camber and no easy upgrades besides a sway bar and maybe shocks and struts  I did end up top ten in PAX in both clubs.  I will never see an OTA update like a Tesla can.  Most EV's currently out, My VW e-Golf included are compliance cars.  Until recently, Tesla was the only performance EV besides maybe the i3 and i8.  To group us all together would be unjustified because one manufacturer can do an OTA performance upgrade.  

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
1/3/20 1:11 p.m.

Seems about right, otherwise BS will be the Tesla Model 3 class.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/3/20 2:13 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

Serious Q on the OTA updates.  Does it prevent the car running?  Does it need to be off line like a phone or a watch?  The reason I ask is I was talking to to someone over X mas dinner who is a marathon runner.  He has a (I think) Garman or Fit bit running watch.  Whatever it was, it was a top line smart watch just for runners.  He traveled to Japan for the (again I think) Tokyo Marathon and early morning local time the day of the marathon the watch received a forced over the air update.  Suddenly thousands of runners getting hyped up for the race find their fancy watch MIA.  He said there were hundreds of people calling back to the US, where it was still business hours the day before, yelling at customer service who apparently did abort the push.  I wonder if this could happen with cars too?  BTW, they now check major international race dates and avoid software pushes for 24 hours before.  

The car is unavailable for about 25 minutes. When an update is available, the car will let you know and then offer to set an update time - it defaults to the middle of the night. You can also choose to do it immediately. When the time comes, it counts down the last couple of minutes and gives you an abort option up to the point where the update starts. You also get notifications on your phone that say the same thing.

So while it would be theoretically possible to get yourself in a situation where you need the car and it's unavailable for 25 minutes, it would be pretty difficult to do so.

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
1/3/20 3:06 p.m.
Anthony Dowd said:

In reply to Dave M :

You should run it, the i3.  I ran a 2015 and 2017 3500lb VW e-Golf locally in HS, switched cars mid season.  I won the championship within two different clubs.  Luckily, the Fiesta ST's and Civic Si's didn't show up enough to bump me down.  When they did show with 200tw tires and a decent or National Championship (Chris Carris) drivers I was bumped down. But, I persisted and stuck to it, only winning due to poor class participation.  I believe I am classed properly, 3500lbs, 135hp/215lbft, non adjustable camber and no easy upgrades besides a sway bar and maybe shocks and struts  I did end up top ten in PAX in both clubs.  I will never see an OTA update like a Tesla can.  Most EV's currently out, My VW e-Golf included are compliance cars.  Until recently, Tesla was the only performance EV besides maybe the i3 and i8.  To group us all together would be unjustified because one manufacturer can do an OTA performance upgrade.  

What's really stopping me is the wheel/tire situation. In that, the i3 has wacky OEM wheels with silly narrow tires (175/55 in the rear on 20s...oh yeah, they're staggered too!) so I can't just mount some RE71s and call it a day. Maybe I'll get out there with the OEM tires and see what it can do!

 

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/3/20 3:09 p.m.
NickD said:

Where do Teslas go once they get out of Street? Do they go anywhere out of Street? I kinda want to see a Street Mod or Prepared Tesla Model 3 now. Gut it, huge-by-wide Hoosiers with fender flares, maybe a wing and splitter. It'd be wild, I'm sure. 

SSP or ASP is where some of the not street class eligible supercars have gotten pushed in the past.


Tesla Model 3 is legal for ASP in 2020. came out a month or 2 ago.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
1/3/20 3:19 p.m.

Anybody see the Dale Earnhardt NUMBER 3 Tesla Model 3, that the guy got for free?

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/3/20 3:26 p.m.
spacecadet said:
NickD said:

Where do Teslas go once they get out of Street? Do they go anywhere out of Street? I kinda want to see a Street Mod or Prepared Tesla Model 3 now. Gut it, huge-by-wide Hoosiers with fender flares, maybe a wing and splitter. It'd be wild, I'm sure. 

SSP or ASP is where some of the not street class eligible supercars have gotten pushed in the past.


Tesla Model 3 is legal for ASP in 2020. came out a month or 2 ago.

Ooooh, I want to see an ASP Model 3. Probably wouldn't be competitive but it'd be awesome. Imagine a Model 3 that turns as well as it accelerates.

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/3/20 3:43 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Go look up John Laughlin's Optima OUSCI GTE car

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/3/20 3:48 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Adrian_Thompson said:

Serious Q on the OTA updates.  Does it prevent the car running?  Does it need to be off line like a phone or a watch?  The reason I ask is I was talking to to someone over X mas dinner who is a marathon runner.  He has a (I think) Garman or Fit bit running watch.  Whatever it was, it was a top line smart watch just for runners.  He traveled to Japan for the (again I think) Tokyo Marathon and early morning local time the day of the marathon the watch received a forced over the air update.  Suddenly thousands of runners getting hyped up for the race find their fancy watch MIA.  He said there were hundreds of people calling back to the US, where it was still business hours the day before, yelling at customer service who apparently did abort the push.  I wonder if this could happen with cars too?  BTW, they now check major international race dates and avoid software pushes for 24 hours before.  

The car is unavailable for about 25 minutes. When an update is available, the car will let you know and then offer to set an update time - it defaults to the middle of the night. You can also choose to do it immediately. When the time comes, it counts down the last couple of minutes and gives you an abort option up to the point where the update starts. You also get notifications on your phone that say the same thing. So while it would be theoretically possible to get yourself in a situation where you need the car and it's unavailable for 25 minutes, it would be pretty difficult to do so.

This is, of course, how Tesla does it currently. There's nothing to prevent someone like FCA* from doing something stupid like scheduling a forced OTA update in the middle of LA rush hour. This is simply to show that it can be done reasonably intelligently, but it would be possible to do it surprisingly badly.

I have questions about that runner watch update story, but it's a good framework for asking a pertinent question :)

 

 

 

*As the owner of a FCA vehicle and having dealt with their recall process, this example was not chosen randomly

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
1/3/20 4:52 p.m.
Robbie said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I agree OTA updates are not just a problem for electric cars.

And re: electric Porsche - don't be surprised when it sucks (even at autox or track days) compared to the Tesla. Remember that innovators can often copy the old guard, but the old guard struggles to copy the innovator. Example: Apple's iPhone worked well enough as a Nokia but Nokia could never make something that worked well enough as an iPhone. And Kodak. And IBM. And Timex. Etc etc etc.

See also: Nissan leaf vs any Tesla ever.

Motorcycling is full of dead innovators/innovations and things the Big 4 did better only one year later than ATK, Cannondale, VOR, Vermati, Husaberg, Maico, Hodaka and a bunch of companies almost no one remembers. Tesla's main advantage is that it cares the most since it doesn't have F-150, Silverado and subprime (Nissan) on it's mind 24/7.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
1/3/20 8:40 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

Just saw a post on Comment from David Marcus on Facebook..

"I didn't love autocrossing the Telsa, and mine got retired from autocross right after Nationals.  It accelerates like nothing I've ever felt, but corners like E36M3.  Its the polar opposite of a miata and I'd rather autocross a Miata"...

Interesting words coming from a National Champion.

That's the thing. Admittedly I've only flogged a performance version Tesla 3 once. The acceleration was a cool parlor trick for 15 minutes or so, but the thing never stopped feeling heavy. That's not fun. Even if you can teach a pig to dance, she probably still won't be much of a partner.  

bklecka
bklecka New Reader
1/3/20 10:10 p.m.

There is basically NO aftermarket support for the Tesla's. Nothing. If you have a popular ICE powered vehicle there are definitely lots of upgrades across the board. From bushings, brakes, suspension, clutches, exhaust, etc. the list goes on and on. You can't really think it is fair to place a economical mid-sized family sedan in the same category as proper sports cars. This is a play to keep the electrics out of racing by making them uncompetitive. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/3/20 10:38 p.m.

You can get several different coilover setups, springs, sways, brake upgrades, adjustable control arms and forged wheels. There is an aftermarket. 

Okay, no clutch and exhaust setups but I’m sure they’re coming soon ;)

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
1/3/20 11:01 p.m.

I don't feel that aftermarket companies are specifically avoiding Tesla out of malice; rather they don't feel that the Tesla consumer is someone that changes suspension bushings, swaybars, springs etc. New cars not called Mustang, Miata, Camaro or 86 often have poor aftermarket support for years. Remember that a lot of Tesla people do not come from the land of car people but rather tech early adopters. Teslas are the only cars they actually care about and they literally don't know of the existence of these parts. I mean it's not like 3rd Gen F-Bodies and subframe connectors where there are 18 different companies making them and that's OK.

It's not like they can put anything but one swaybar and a set of single-adjustable shocks on in Street anyway.

bklecka
bklecka New Reader
1/3/20 11:56 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I have looked in all the regular spots for aftermarket parts for the model 3, Amazon, Rock Auto and Summit and they have basically nothing but organizers and spare tire covers. I'm not doubting you found aftermarket parts but I don't know where they are hiding. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 12:29 a.m.

Amazon, Rock Auto and Summit? It’s not a drag Camaro! That’s the WalMart and Harbor Freight of the aftermarket. You won’t find quality Miata parts on any of those websites either. For good parts for specialty cars, you look to specialists. The people who develop and test parts, not generic resellers with no knowledge of their commodity products.

Try Unplugged Performance, Mountain Pass Performance and Bulletproof Automotive to start. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
1/4/20 7:31 a.m.

I've never even autocrossed. And I've never driven a Tesla and probably won't but I'm somehow fascinated by this discussion.

It got me thinking though. An update to the software can increase the power delivered as was discussed but can the suspension be upgraded similarly?

I don't know enough about the suspension controls but theoretically, spring rates, roll stiffness, traction control... can't that also be "updated" remotely? 
 

(Keith, I think a free-flowing Borla cat-back and a high quality clutch would really wake up the Tesla)

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/4/20 8:17 a.m.

In reply to Dave M :

What is the i3's bolt pattern, he asked, noting the SCCA RallyCross rule that said that wheels meant for temporary tires are not legal for competition

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/4/20 8:19 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Amazon, Rock Auto and Summit? It’s not a drag Camaro! That’s the WalMart and Harbor Freight of the aftermarket.

Point of nitpick:  I'd suggest that Rock Auto is the Harbor Freight of the aftermarket, whereas Summit is paradoxically the Rock Auto of aftermarket performance.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 9:18 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

I've never even autocrossed. And I've never driven a Tesla and probably won't but I'm somehow fascinated by this discussion.

It got me thinking though. An update to the software can increase the power delivered as was discussed but can the suspension be upgraded similarly?

I don't know enough about the suspension controls but theoretically, spring rates, roll stiffness, traction control... can't that also be "updated" remotely? 
 

(Keith, I think a free-flowing Borla cat-back and a high quality clutch would really wake up the Tesla)

In the case of the Tesla, the suspension is fairly conventional. So no downloadable spring rates. The torque vectoring system (aka stability and traction control) could very definitely evolve and improve. On other vehicles with magnetorheological shocks (Corvette/Camaro) or some sort of hydraulic springing mechanism (McLaren?), for example, improved suspension control is a real possibility. 

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
1/4/20 10:05 a.m.

The SCCA sandbox is really straight forward.  For the Street cars.  Buy you car, do not change/enhance your car ( yes you can change the front or rear sway bar, not both and you can not change the springs or their spring hats), you can change the struts/shocks and you can change the rims +/- 1" of diameter but the offset change is very limited.  

So, having scales at your local events will come into play when you think someone is running less than the factory delivered battery pack.

The software issue is going to be the "rabbit hole",  it should be easy to spot when these cars come into grid pulling a generator to plug into between runs.  At a nationals level event these will be the cars taking a "mechanical" between each run to juice up before they head back out.

Does it count if your car calls into the factory all by it's self for an upgrade?  Would that violate the "do not change/enhance your car" thing.  You might have to post the last date of your current download and it's rev level on the car, next to your number and class letters.  Just to cover disclosure.

I understand the not yet delivered to the public suspension system is going to be epic, but the weight of the car and the tires are still an issue.

They might not be an issue at a Pro Solo, the tires will have a very hard time not becoming molten.  You could just take two runs and park the car.  They do not make you take all your runs, yet.  Brave new world, 'ish?

David

  

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
1/4/20 11:13 a.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to Dave M :

What is the i3's bolt pattern, he asked, noting the SCCA RallyCross rule that said that wheels meant for temporary tires are not legal for competition

5 x 112, but there's very little available in the way of tire selection. Better in 19s than 20s but not by much. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 11:39 a.m.
jr02518 said:

The software issue is going to be the "rabbit hole",  it should be easy to spot when these cars come into grid pulling a generator to plug into between runs.  At a nationals level event these will be the cars taking a "mechanical" between each run to juice up before they head back out.

Does it count if your car calls into the factory all by it's self for an upgrade?  Would that violate the "do not change/enhance your car" thing.  You might have to post the last date of your current download and it's rev level on the car, next to your number and class letters.  Just to cover disclosure.  

I don't understand the thing about plugging in between runs being something to spot. The cars perform best when the battery is warm and full, so charging between runs is a logical thing to do if there's any noticeable drop in state of charge.

But the real rabbit hole is cars that evolve. That's the story here, not "SCCA hates EVs". This particular model has become faster with absolutely no input from the owner. The factory is increasing its performance, and these are not really optional upgrades. Because of this evolution, it's becoming more competitive and could legitimately belong in a different class at the end of the season than it does at the beginning. How does the SCCA deal with that? 

It's interesting that Tesla has decided to push out at least some of the increased performance for free instead of holding it back to make the 2020s "new and improved!" over the 2019 or taking money for the upgrade. There may be technical reasons for this, that 5% power bump may be tied into improved battery management. It could also be that Tesla has a different way of looking at a vehicle than other manufacturers, something more akin to software than hardware. That's a totally different discussion. But the fact that it was delivered for free and it was difficult/impossible to avoid means that the owner really wasn't part of the decision to upgrade the car. It's not like bolting on a new set of shocks. The car self-modified. 

The Model 3 Performance has shown that this sort of gradual performance increase is indeed a real thing and not just a theoretical possibility, and it just so happens it was class-competitive beforehand so it's really brought the issue to light. It will happen again and with more vehicles regardless of whether their fuel tanks contain flammable liquids or electrons. This is the most interesting thing, how to deal with these evolving cars from a classification standpoint. 

Say the C8 Corvette development team comes up with improved software for the stability control system. Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 11:53 a.m.

GRM did a great summation of the SCRAMP fracas at Laguna Seca. I'm hoping they take a deep dive into what these self-modifying cars mean for the SCCA and rule sets in general, because that's more interesting than the fact that it's a Tesla that brought the issue to light. They're the perfect magazine to do it well. Talk to Tesla about the performance improvements and why they got rolled out the way they did. Talk to chassis and powertrain engineers from the other OEs about the potential for this to happen elsewhere. Look at the concepts of OTA upgrades in general. It's either going to be GRM or Hot Rod, and now that Philip Thomas isn't at HR anymore it's going to be GRM :)

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
1/4/20 12:19 p.m.
Keith Tanner said: Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

That's what I'm wondering too. Right now this whole thing seems limited to Tesla products and power production. What happens when the rest of the car can get updates for improvements 

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/4/20 1:37 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:
Keith Tanner said: Every automaker is constantly developing their cars, and this is usually updated with a model year release. But it turns out they can deliver this improved stability control to the C8 via OnStar. It's a slam-dunk upgrade in terms of performance and safety, so they do it. It turns out this new programming is worth a couple of seconds on an average autox course. What then?

That's what I'm wondering too. Right now this whole thing seems limited to Tesla products and power production. What happens when the rest of the car can get updates for improvements 

The rules now state that any official change mid model can result in an immediate reclass. That's what's happening here, otherwise the class change would have to be put out for member comment and not go into effect until next season. If something like described happened, a major update to diff or damper tuning that results in a significant performance advantage, presumably the same will happen. To the specific hypothetical situation, a) no software change will result in a multiple second pickup unless the system was initially tuned wrong (not detuned or not optimal, but actually wrong) and b) the c8 is probably going to SS anyway so it would probably just get left alone since that's what SS is for.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 1:48 p.m.

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/4/20 3:44 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

it's not mid season, but the rules allow new cars 2 full years of reassignment by the SEB at any time INCLUDING mid season during those first 2 years. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 4:11 p.m.

Thanks. 

Brian_13
Brian_13 New Reader
1/4/20 4:11 p.m.

Having read through all the comments, I can only suggest to anyone else joining the discussion to just read Keith Tanner's posts and you'll have an excellent understanding of the situation.

I'll throw in one more comment, anyway:

Tesla traction control is not so special, and not unique to EVs, because (in models produced so far) they do not use separate left and right motors; they drive an axle with a single motor through a plain open differential. Front-to-rear drive torque balance is easy for them to adjust (in the AWD models), but other than that they're doing what every other manufacturer does (which means dragging individual wheel brakes to change drive torque distribution).

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/4/20 5:58 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you’d like, I can come up with another hypothetical but my question would be no less valid.

Is the Tesla reclassification mid-season? Serious question. I thought we were between seasons at this point. 

Going into detail might not have added anything to the discussion. But my point was that they do in fact have a rule for that specific type of eventuality. Mid season in this context means "whenever it happens" outside of any of the normal time limits on classing changes.

bklecka
bklecka New Reader
1/4/20 6:42 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :   Do you have a Tesla?  If so,  can I pick your brain before I make my purchase?  These are the upgrades I am looking for.

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/4/20 7:12 p.m.
Brian_13 said:Tesla traction control is not so special, and not unique to EVs, because (in models produced so far) they do not use separate left and right motors; they drive an axle with a single motor through a plain open differential. Front-to-rear drive torque balance is easy for them to adjust (in the AWD models), but other than that they're doing what every other manufacturer does (which means dragging individual wheel brakes to change drive torque distribution).

Not all vehicles with active torque distribution do it by braking one wheel.  Honda and Ford have systems that do active per-wheel torque distribution at the differential level, at a minimum.  (Honda had it, what, 20 years ago?)  I have a recollection that Mitsubishi also had one but it was so poorly implemented that people disable it.

 

The key thing with any active torque distribution, whether it is directly done in the differential or patched in with brake application, is HOW it is implemented.  Doing proactive torque vectoring will always be better than a reactive "traction control" type algorithm.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/4/20 7:34 p.m.
bklecka said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :   Do you have a Tesla?  If so,  can I pick your brain before I make my purchase?  These are the upgrades I am looking for.

 

I do, feel free to drop me a line. I've also talked about it a bit here: Living with a car from the future

EVs may have an advantage in torque vectoring due to their speed of response and very high level of information as to what the motors are doing.   I don't know for sure, but I have my suspicions. Once we start to see three or four motors, things get really interesting because then you do get that direct control over each wheel instead of messing with the differential or the brakes.

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/5/20 9:05 a.m.

Of course they have an advantage in torque vectoring, how could they not?  EV has 100% of its torque available instantly, not the case with ICE

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 11:27 a.m.

I figured I would bring some context behind the Over the Air software updates that seems to be at the center of everything.

 

Here is the power output before and after the latest 5% power increase OTA update.  The car that won at Nationals would be represented by the "before" lines.

 

Now if we look at this in real world acceleration testing, we can see the solid green and dotted green lines line up nearly identical with the dotted line representing the old update being slightly above the solid until higher speeds where the solid line barely overtakes the dotted.

 

Here's the text that was posted with these graphs to Reddit

Working with u/dgcaste we sampled hi-res data from the CAN bus while flooring his Model 3 Performance from 0 km/h to 160 km/h on both 2019.32.12.2 and 2019.36.2.1/2019.40.2.1. Conditions before/after the updates were kept as similar as possible: the battery was preconditioned to between 45-50°C and SoC was between 88-93% as several back-to-back runs were taken. Stats from the best run of each firmware show the following improvements:

  • Peak power increased from 409.7 kW (549 HP) to 432.6 kW (580 HP) above 70 km/h, a 5.6% increase

  • Front motor peak power increased from 195.5 kW to 203 kW, a 3.8% increase

  • Rear motor peak power increased from 251.5 kW to 265 kW, a 5.4% increase

  • Peak torque remained unchanged at 653 Nm (split 233 Nm front and 420 Nm rear)

0-60 times were 3.43 s (before) and 3.46 s (after), though some dips in power seen in the first few seconds of the after tests indicate he likely didn't achieve the fastest 0-60 time possible. Times were measured from the moment speed was detected. Due to the wheel sensors not registering motion until some rotation occurred, this means some amount of rollout was likely involved in the times.

As we can see the update was quite insignificant in real world acceleration, hardly deserving of being buried in SS.  There's not some magical 25 or 50% more performance to gain, the updates are simply as Tesla learns how to better manage the battery and motors with real world data gathered from the fleet.  At the end of the day the car is still 4100lbs on 8.5" wide wheels with no alignment adjustments (Yes, only Toe is adjustable from the factory).  A car with a performance alignment has a lot more to gain than any of these updates have added. 

 

Yes I am slightly biased as I bought a Model 3 Performance to run next season but there is so much misinformation around about these cars I figured some hard data would be nice.

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 12:26 p.m.

In reply to SK360 :

2 things

1. You're partly missing the point that the car is getting OTA updates to the performance and is therefore a liability. Tesla has shown they're going to continue chasing the performance as they get more comfortable with how to maintain reliability of the drivetrain and batteries. 

2. Data is good. You should take this data and write a letter to the SEB showing it, making sure they have it.  

side note: But your bias has to be left out. SEB is NOT going to listen to anything you have to say unless you can be unbiased. If you don't leave out your bias it will very likely come off as, this is affecting me and should be changed because because I don't like being put into SS. 

 

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 12:46 p.m.
spacecadet said:

In reply to SK360 :

2 things

1. You're partly missing the point that the car is getting OTA updates to the performance and is therefore a liability. Tesla has shown they're going to continue chasing the performance as they get more comfortable with how to maintain reliability of the drivetrain and batteries. 

2. Data is good. You should take this data and write a letter to the SEB showing it, making sure they have it.  

side note: But your bias has to be left out. SEB is NOT going to listen to anything you have to say unless you can be unbiased. If you don't leave out your bias it will very likely come off as, this is affecting me and should be changed because because I don't like being put into SS. 

 

I agree OTA updates are uncharted territory for this sport but it's only going to become more common with 5G connected vehicles and OBD3.  This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing).  I guess my point is yes it changed the performance but as we see the real world impacts were negligible.  The car took 1st, 9th, 13th and 31st in BS at Nationals, seems like it was classed well for how it performed and this was an emotional response to "what if" instead of actual data.

Some have suggested an EV class... but that kills any other EV that's not a Model 3 Performance and it only adds to the current microclassing mess.

I may take the time to write something up to them but really I stick to local events, ones that follow SCCA rules but aren't SCCA affiliated for various reasons so I'm not sure how much I care at the end of the day.  Just sucks to see the car buried.

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 2:16 p.m.

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 2:32 p.m.
dps214 said:

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

The car that won BS had an Unplugged Performance rear sway bar as well.  Unfortunately it seems everyone's concentrated on making coilovers instead of shock replacements, hopefully it changes in the future.

 

The fact that the step classes in Street can't be based on actual performance and are locked into emotional attachment (like AS "is for Corvettes or RWD" instead of being the next logical step from BS) is part of the problem with the current classing system IMO.

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 2:53 p.m.
SK360 said:
dps214 said:

In reply to SK360 :

The thing you're missing is that the car that won was also completely unmodified aside from wheels and tires, unlike any other car at the top (well maybe not the gt350 but that's an actual performance car with factory active dampers so there's no real improvement to be made legally there). And on a car with known soft suspension, aftermarket shocks and sway bar make a world of difference. The car's potential is beyond that of BS, even before the update is factored in. The update isn't the reason for the reclass, just the cherry on top. It is a little unfortunate that it had to jump all the way to SS, but AS is basically the most popular class in autocross at the moment and there's no reason to disrupt that for the single digit number of people who want to autocross Teslas. And fwiw most of SS is well over 3000lbs with 8.5" (maybe 9"?) wheels at one end of the car, and don't really make any power below 30mph, without a fancy awd system. Honestly if I was buying a car purely to win SS anywhere other than Nationals, the Tesla would be a serious consideration.

The car that won BS had an Unplugged Performance rear sway bar as well.  Unfortunately it seems everyone's concentrated on making coilovers instead of shock replacements, hopefully it changes in the future.

 

The fact that the step classes in Street can't be based on actual performance and are locked into emotional attachment (like AS "is for Corvettes or RWD" instead of being the next logical step from BS) is part of the problem with the current classing system IMO.

I mean I want to agree with you on principle,b the system seems to be working. The subjective classing system is also laid out in the rulebook, it's far from an unknown quantity. The fact is most of the street classes are close enough on time that you get to a point where subjective factors are about the only way to go. Well, aside from combining classes, but I imagine that combining SS, AS, BS, and CS wouldn't make anyone in any of those classes happy.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/5/20 3:27 p.m.

Wonder when they will require the top 10 finishing Teslas to take the heads off and have them inspected. . .. . .Oh wait. . . .. . laughcheeky

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 3:36 p.m.

Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles classed by performance potential.
• Super Street R-tire (SSR)
• Super Street (SS)
• A Street (AS)
• B Street (BS)
• C Street (CS)
• E Street(ES)–Very affordable older sports cars with an emphasis on low cost entry and acceptable availability. Class stability is a priority.
Sedans and Coupes classed by performance potential
• D Street (DS)
• G Street (GS)
• H Street (HS)
• F Street (FS) – Heavy, high-horsepower RWD vehicles in the spirit of “V8 Pony Cars.”

 

Seems pretty clear in the rulebook that skipping AS because "it's a popular class" or it's "for Corvettes" isn't in the spirit of how it's written.  I guess we'll see this year if the car can be made competitive in SS.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/5/20 4:16 p.m.
SK360 said:
This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing). 

I guess my hypothetical scenario wasn't so hypothetical :)

If the Model 3 Performance upgrades didn't make a huge difference, the addition of "Acceleration Boost" for the Long Range certainly did. That knocked about a half second off the 0-60. That is a modification chosen by the owner (analagous to a supercharger pulley change offered by the factory, for example) instead of a standard upgrade - but of course, it could have simply been rolled out to all Long Range owners for free had Tesla chosen to do so.  

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 4:22 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
SK360 said:
This is just the start (my C7 got a magnetic ride suspension update from GM that increased performance, not OTA but still shows how things are changing). 

I guess my hypothetical scenario wasn't so hypothetical :)

If the Model 3 Performance upgrades didn't make a huge difference, the addition of "Acceleration Boost" for the Long Range certainly did. That knocked about a half second off the 0-60. That is a modification chosen by the owner (analagous to a supercharger pulley change offered by the factory, for example) instead of a standard upgrade - but of course, it could have simply been rolled out to all Long Range owners for free had Tesla chosen to do so.  

Agree.  The LR AWD is a wolf in sheep's clothing in DS right now.  I assume that will get reclassed as well.... but where?

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 4:38 p.m.
SK360 said:

Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles classed by performance potential.
• Super Street R-tire (SSR)
• Super Street (SS)
• A Street (AS)
• B Street (BS)
• C Street (CS)
• E Street(ES)–Very affordable older sports cars with an emphasis on low cost entry and acceptable availability. Class stability is a priority.
Sedans and Coupes classed by performance potential
• D Street (DS)
• G Street (GS)
• H Street (HS)
• F Street (FS) – Heavy, high-horsepower RWD vehicles in the spirit of “V8 Pony Cars.”

 

Seems pretty clear in the rulebook that skipping AS because "it's a popular class" or it's "for Corvettes" isn't in the spirit of how it's written.  I guess we'll see this year if the car can be made competitive in SS.

Mocking the fact that it's a popular class misses the whole point. Classes with high participation are therefore popular. Because they're popular the SEB and SAC aren't going to mess with them just to mess with them and classify a controversial car and upset what is obviously working for that class. 

Keeping participation high as they can is a goal of the SEB and all the advisory committies.

The Model 3 has had to have classing addressed twice already. April 2018, all of the Model 3's got put into DS. Then 12 months ago the M3P pushed the bar enough that they were forced to move it to BS ahead of the 2019 National solo season. During this past year the SEB and SAC added language to the rules allowing them to immediately reclass a car if it recieved a increase in performance from when it was initially classed. 

this was added to section 3.2 of the rulebook in the June fastrack. 

“If a manufacturer issues an official specifications change (software or otherwise) to any previously-classed vehicle, and that change is deemed significant enough to warrant reclassification, the SEB can request the BOD to approve an immediate classing change.”

The SEB obviously does not feel leaving the Tesla right now in BS is good for BS. In order for a class to be allowed to have an overdog, the participation has to show that the one car can carry the class. There was only 3 Teslas in BS at nationals among 5 drivers in a class of 53 participants. The caymans and BMW's are by far the most popular option, with the super ponies being right behind them. 

As an example, the 10th gen Honda Civic Si was the best thing to happen to G street, 59 participants at nats this year and the vast majority being the Si, with the Focus ST in the mix. Participation has skyrocketed in 2018 and 2019 over past years and the vast majority of the 2019 field was the Civic. so the SAC and SEB have the evidence needed to leave the class alone because the single model is popular and the class is stable and popular. The Focus ST was previously the GS class overdog and it was shown to not be able to carry a class to proper participation numbers, so the SEB started adding in more options. 

Same thing happened in D street where the WRX couldn't hold the class participation. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/5/20 5:02 p.m.

this was added to section 3.2 of the rulebook in the June fastrack. 

“If a manufacturer issues an official specifications change (software or otherwise) to any previously-classed vehicle, and that change is deemed significant enough to warrant reclassification, the SEB can request the BOD to approve an immediate classing change.”

Cool. Sounds like the rule structure is already there. That'll hold for a little while as performance increases remain fairly uncommon. In 10 years when performance specs could potentially be much more fluid overall, reclassification could be a full time job. 

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 5:09 p.m.

I won't be convinced the current SCCA classing system is not broken.  It's overly micro classed at this point and fasttrack tries to continually patch it.  
NASA-X's classes make much more sense.

 

As far as 3.2, we must have different definitions of significant.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/5/20 5:10 p.m.

It will be defined as "other competitors complaining" :)

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 5:12 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

yep, definitely going to be interesting to see how things progress. 

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 5:19 p.m.
SK360 said:

I won't be convinced the current SCCA classing system is not broken.  It's overly micro classed at this point and fasttrack tries to continually patch it.  
NASA-X's classes make much more sense.

 

As far as 3.2, we must have different definitions of significant.  

I'm not claiming that SCCA's class structure is perfect. But it's built the way it is, for a reason, and works very well overall. If you don't like it, you can go play with other people. 

You have a lot of skin in the game vested in your opinions with how you feel about the Tesla Model 3 performance. I pulled the data out 3 pages ago in the thread towards why the SEB has their reasons. 

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 5:26 p.m.
SK360 said:

I won't be convinced the current SCCA classing system is not broken.  It's overly micro classed at this point and fasttrack tries to continually patch it.  
NASA-X's classes make much more sense.

 

As far as 3.2, we must have different definitions of significant.  

Again, the ota update was not the reason for the reclass.

I'm not saying that the scca classing system is perfect by any means. But AS is literally the second largest class in the sport right now and usually the most competitive as well. So clearly people like it as is. Throwing in the still relatively unknown Tesla to disrupt the class just for the three people who want to autocross them is asinine by any measure. It is a little bit of a chicken and egg thing because the car needs to be classed reasonably to get people interested in the first place, but a car is never going to get favorable classing if it's not popular. The Tesla was clearly an overdog of sorts in BS from the beginning. If 40 people showed up to Nationals in them, I bet it wouldn't have been moved. But they didn't, five people did, two of which have already moved on because they didn't like it. There's all kinds of cars buried in basically every street class that never get moved because there isn't enough demand to outweigh the risk.

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 5:30 p.m.
spacecadet said:
SK360 said:

I won't be convinced the current SCCA classing system is not broken.  It's overly micro classed at this point and fasttrack tries to continually patch it.  
NASA-X's classes make much more sense.

 

As far as 3.2, we must have different definitions of significant.  

I'm not claiming that SCCA's class structure is perfect. But it's built the way it is, for a reason, and works very well overall. If you don't like it, you can go play with other people. 

You have a lot of skin in the game vested in your opinions with how you feel about the Tesla Model 3 performance. I pulled the data out 3 pages ago in the thread towards why the SEB has their reasons. 

I just went back to see the data you posted.  Brooks from dragtimes is who got 2.9 0-60 with the newest update with 1ft rollout.  Interestingly enough you can watch a video of his from earlier in the year where he was able to get 3.0 with a 1ft rollout on the previous "BS" power level.  Looking at the CANBUS data I posted in the last page can confirm this as well, there's a negligible difference.  
That's a fantastical article, nothing I would base performance opinions on

 

But this will just keep going in circles as we won't agree, yes I am passionate about it because owning the vehicle and knowing that the impact of the 2 performance updates that have been released in the last 2 years have been minimal at best but people talk like the BiWeekly OTA updates constantly contain performance tweaks and that's far from the truth. Track mode hasn't gotten a tweak since release, I'm hoping for more customization around it.

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 6:06 p.m.
SK360 said:
spacecadet said:
SK360 said:

I won't be convinced the current SCCA classing system is not broken.  It's overly micro classed at this point and fasttrack tries to continually patch it.  
NASA-X's classes make much more sense.

 

As far as 3.2, we must have different definitions of significant.  

I'm not claiming that SCCA's class structure is perfect. But it's built the way it is, for a reason, and works very well overall. If you don't like it, you can go play with other people. 

You have a lot of skin in the game vested in your opinions with how you feel about the Tesla Model 3 performance. I pulled the data out 3 pages ago in the thread towards why the SEB has their reasons. 

I just went back to see the data you posted.  Brooks from dragtimes is who got 2.9 0-60 with the newest update with 1ft rollout.  Interestingly enough you can watch a video of his from earlier in the year where he was able to get 3.0 with a 1ft rollout on the previous "BS" power level.  Looking at the CANBUS data I posted in the last page can confirm this as well, there's a negligible difference.  
That's a fantastical article, nothing I would base performance opinions on

 

But this will just keep going in circles as we won't agree, yes I am passionate about it because owning the vehicle and knowing that the impact of the 2 performance updates that have been released in the last 2 years have been minimal at best but people talk like the BiWeekly OTA updates constantly contain performance tweaks and that's far from the truth. Track mode hasn't gotten a tweak since release, I'm hoping for more customization around it.

You're still missing the point (understandably so because a lot of others are as well). The latest update had nothing to do with the reclass. You're correct that the update performance data doesn't support a class change...because that's not the data they based the class change on.

There's an easy solution for you anyway. Local clubs are allowed to modify the rules to suit the needs of their region. Non scca clubs have even more freedom because they're not actually bound to the rules. So talk to the leaders of the club you run with, explain to them the BS (pun intended) of the situation, and get them to allow you to run in BS. Or find a nasa-x event.

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 6:23 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

so where's your source since you're so confident the OTA updates had nothing to do with reclassing the Tesla in SS? 

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/5/20 6:51 p.m.

Okay, "nothing" may have been strong wording on my part. But several SAC/SEB members have made it clear that the concern isn't over that specific update as much as the OTA update system overall and all the unknowns and unpredictability of it, on top of the fact that the car is arguably beyond the performance envelope of BS as it sits right now. Words used included "if it was an ICE car we likely still would have moved it".

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 6:56 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

ok, we're totally on the same page then. I'm friends with those same people. 

the performance was being discussed here on page 5, but if you go back to the beginning of the thread. I made reference to the same concerns on page 1. 

 

SK360
SK360 New Reader
1/5/20 7:13 p.m.

I can accept the last OTA update not having an impact on the reclassing.  Using "what could be" from OTA updates as a reason is hard for me since in 2 years nothing of massive significance has come out, I'm really hoping there's a Ludicrous update for the performance coming soon but I'm guessing it will come with a higher model with 100kw battery pack.   If they really feel it's competitive in SS as is, I guess we will see how the year goes.

I don't care enough about a plastic trophy to care where I run personally, I just enjoyed watching the cars represent at Nationals and open some eyes to what they can do.

Also the car is eligible for ASP, all existing solutions to add camber adjustability makes it illegal there too.  It's a real pickle since they tend to eat the outside shoulder of tires when driven hard.

spacecadet
spacecadet SuperDork
1/5/20 7:25 p.m.
SK360 said:

I can accept the last OTA update not having an impact on the reclassing.  Using "what could be" from OTA updates as a reason is hard for me since in 2 years nothing of massive significance has come out, I'm really hoping there's a Ludicrous update for the performance coming soon but I'm guessing it will come with a higher model with 100kw battery pack.   If they really feel it's competitive in SS as is, I guess we will see how the year goes.

SCCA Solo is not about giving every car a competitive class. it's about giving every car a class. (barring rollover safety issues, looking at you base Fiesta and Fiat 500).

The M3P very much started changing perceptions the moment they showed up. The Model 3 performance is the EV we've been promised as car people for years. Not only going fast in a straight line, but having the thermal management to continue to turn laps and having the dynamics that it does. Totally mind bending.


and on the performance in SS. it's expected to win any event it enters with rain. 

Lug_Nuts_23
Lug_Nuts_23 New Reader
1/6/20 8:43 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Torque vectoring like this? https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15116128/2014-mercedes-benz-sls-amg-electric-drive-first-drive-review/

Top Gear also drove this car; Jeremy Clarkson found it a lot of fun due to the torque vectoring. I believe I also read a description that said that with the torque vectoring you could actually push the accelerator further to turn tighter/correct your line because the software would overdrive the outside wheels more.

The SLS Electric Drive is probably the coolest electric car made so far.

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
1/29/20 5:41 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Adrian_Thompson said:

Serious Q on the OTA updates.  Does it prevent the car running?  Does it need to be off line like a phone or a watch?  The reason I ask is I was talking to to someone over X mas dinner who is a marathon runner.  He has a (I think) Garman or Fit bit running watch.  Whatever it was, it was a top line smart watch just for runners.  He traveled to Japan for the (again I think) Tokyo Marathon and early morning local time the day of the marathon the watch received a forced over the air update.  Suddenly thousands of runners getting hyped up for the race find their fancy watch MIA.  He said there were hundreds of people calling back to the US, where it was still business hours the day before, yelling at customer service who apparently did abort the push.  I wonder if this could happen with cars too?  BTW, they now check major international race dates and avoid software pushes for 24 hours before.  

The car is unavailable for about 25 minutes. When an update is available, the car will let you know and then offer to set an update time - it defaults to the middle of the night. You can also choose to do it immediately. When the time comes, it counts down the last couple of minutes and gives you an abort option up to the point where the update starts. You also get notifications on your phone that say the same thing.

So while it would be theoretically possible to get yourself in a situation where you need the car and it's unavailable for 25 minutes, it would be pretty difficult to do so.

Ooo, ooo, that means that SCCA needs to add another classification for reason you can't run, the EDNS instead of mechanical did not start.  There is also an emergency mechanical problem allowance but that has a time limit IIRC (never used it nor seen it used).

At the Solo Nationals you never have 25 minutes between runs, so you'd miss one if things went the worst possible way.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/30/20 8:26 a.m.
Lug_Nuts_23 said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

 I believe I also read a description that said that with the torque vectoring you could actually push the accelerator further to turn tighter/correct your line because the software would overdrive the outside wheels more.

This was one of the interesting characteristics I found with driving a spool in a rear drive car.  Once past a certain amount of lateral force, adding power would tuck the nose tighter into the corner like someone was pulling on the bumper with a rope.  I think it's because the inside tire would be past the point of max grip on its slip ratio curve, so accelerating would result in mainly the outside tire getting the grip.

 

This is one example...  It was kind of eye opening with my S60R that I could tighten a line by accelerating, albeit it was nowhere near as pronounced an effect.  (Something something 4000lb car on 8" wheels)

dps214
dps214 Reader
1/30/20 9:37 a.m.
PT_SHO said:

At the Solo Nationals you never have 25 minutes between runs, so you'd miss one if things went the worst possible way.

That's absolutely not true. Especially when you add mechanicals into the equation. Would be interesting to see the ruling on if forced software update is a valid reason for a mechanical.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/30/20 9:55 a.m.

As I noted, it would basically be your own damn fault for getting into that situation. It's not something that happens by surprise. It would be like having to do an emergency oil change.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/30/20 9:59 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

"Emergency oil change" sounds like the guy who shows up at a half hour before closing on a Friday, with no appointment, and he needs an oil change because he's going on vacation that weekend.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/30/20 7:36 p.m.
Toebra said:

EV has 100% of its torque available instantly, not the case with ICE

Not true.  It takes 1/10th of a second.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/30/20 7:47 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

GRM did a great summation of the SCRAMP fracas at Laguna Seca. I'm hoping they take a deep dive into what these self-modifying cars mean for the SCCA and rule sets in general, because that's more interesting than the fact that it's a Tesla that brought the issue to light. They're the perfect magazine to do it well.

That was the grand and omnipotent Steven Cole Smith.  Just point him at this subject and he'll get to the bottom of it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/30/20 9:38 p.m.

In reply to Jerry From LA :

Let me fire up the SCS Signal. 

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