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Red Tornado

I think this post is a wonderful example of where we will head but must not loose the advantages and appeal the series currently enjoys.

 

Meaning new models bring new sponsors and support. In theory new cars (or more expensive full race prepped cars) should always have the ability to be slightly quicker. Key word here is slightly and more due to better developed newer parts. Full race prepped factory race cars probabaly push this to the extreme but if they have to live within the same rules as us then all should be fine. Besides more the merrier.

I wish there would actually be more folks wanting to run camaro's and challengers when they come out. If a factory setup car that sells for $75k is the best way to do that then so be it as long as they don't have some huge advantage.

 

But we can't loose the grassroots reality of AI which is anyone can really be competitive without spending a fortune. That's the appeal and beauty of the class.

 

In my mind the perfect AI car to the max of the rules has not even come close to seeing the track yet.

 

So my vote:

Yes allow them, no question.

Clear up gray area as Jay suggests so it eliminates questions.

Allow rule updates after season to adjust for any unique competitive advantages of a new model added during that year if there are some real issues.

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In my mind the perfect AI car to the max of the rules has not even come close to seeing the track yet.

 

You need to get out more....

 

Let's see, Patrick Lindsey's car is pretty darn close to the rules limits...I have seen two outstandingly prepared cars in here in TX with at least 5 more that are getting VERY close to the rules limits and the drivers are getting faster too.

 

Don't know about anyone else in AI nationally, but where are these BIG sponsorships you are boasting about???? Best I have seen are drivers/owners own deep pockets, some moderate contingency money from MM and Toyo... and the occassional hard charger awards from Race shops that support our region. Haven't seen any big tobacco or beer money enter the AI series yet. If you are talking about getting $10k/yr or more sponsorships, there is going to have to be some TV time and a hell of a lot more print press than just a one page "nasa speed report" in GRM... Sponsorships require exposure for their dollar, not just a bunch of expensive race cars running around...

 

I personally don't get where you think spending $75-100k buying a $40k street car and spending that much again developing it into an AI car to the full extent of the rules really fits into the AI series?? You do realize that the Charger is a $40k right? Camaro ain't going to be cheap either and most S197 mustangs, even the 05's are still going for $20k used and you haven't even started buying parts for it yet, not to mention the go fast goodies for the modern cars are a REALLY expensive compared to good ol' fox body parts and Five liter motors!

 

I swear sometimes, you guys sound like a bunch of Porsche Owners that think spending Big bucks means that your fast...

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Red Tornado

Personally I don't think anyone has maxed out under the new rules or with aero. My opinion.

Power to weight sure people are there but ideal chasis, etc..

 

The reality is if someone wants to spend $300k on a AI car I say more power to them.

 

If you want to run a new model than yes $75k is likely going to get you in the game.

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99cobra2881

If this is where AI is headed then screw it, I'll stick with HPDE. I don't like the idea of a mega bucks series and if the people that decide the rules are too blind to see where this might be headed then I'll gladly step aside and let them sail over this waterfall. $75k AI cars is NOT what this series was all about in the beginning and Ill be damned if I even attempt to race in a series where that is the status quo!

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If this is where AI is headed then screw it, I'll stick with HPDE. I don't like the idea of a mega bucks series and if the people that decide the rules are too blind to see where this might be headed then I'll gladly step aside and let them sail over this waterfall. $75k AI cars is NOT what this series was all about in the beginning and Ill be damned if I even attempt to race in a series where that is the status quo!

 

Personally, IMHO, I think the rules guys are in denile. They have great visions of what the series COULD be...however, may be failing to remember what it actually is and why we were choosing it as opposed to A-sedan or other VERY expensive race series.

 

Is this where AI is headed...tough to look that far into the future but the signs are there. Maybe this is a test to see if the market is there... I think if you want to see the series grow, keep it simple and cheap and no exotic stuff.

 

 

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$75k AI cars is NOT what this series was all about in the beginning and Ill be damned if I even attempt to race in a series where that is the status quo!

 

Well, I hate to tell ya, but there's already some cars running that probably have that price tag on them. This just makes it easier and speeds up the development cost since Ford already did a bunch for ya.

 

I complain about it too because I loved the grassroots feel of AI when I first found it, but the cars are just evolving to the rules package.

 

Just go out there and do what you can with what you've got. Parts don't make the car fast, the driver does. I've got $100 that says there'll be someone in the top 10 in AI at Nationals 2008 on a 255/50/16 CMC tire

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I've got $100 that says there'll be someone in the top 10 in AI at Nationals 2008 on a 255/50/16 CMC tire

 

You may lose that money! Have you checked out prices on 18" wheels lately?! I am finding some for $119 on closeout that are identical in offset and size as the 2000R's and about 5lbs lighter.

 

Hey, we are only talking about spending $8k here and I would have 14" brakes, 18" wheels and about 10lbs savings in rotating mass.....

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You may lose that money! Have you checked out prices on 18" wheels lately?! I am finding some for $119 on closeout that are identical in offset and size as the 2000R's and about 5lbs lighter.

 

Hey, we are only talking about spending $8k here and I would have 14" brakes, 18" wheels and about 10lbs savings in rotating mass.....

 

Then take the bet. Saving $100-200 on a wheel you're buying once to lose $100+ on a tire at least twice a season is nuts. Those better be some fast tires!

 

Anyway, we GM guys (especially 3rd genners) don't know anything about aftermarket parts. No one makes anything but heavy, knock off wheels and drag race suspension and brakes. It's a miracle when we don't have to make something.

 

Good thing we've got 19lb 17x9.5 Z06 front wheels and option to run 13" Corvette brakes now that I can fit more then a 12" rotor, but the car only weighs 2950 so I don't think I'll need them. On a less-then-it-sounds-like-it-should-cost note, some Corvettes had 18x9.5 Magnesium wheels

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Then take the bet. Saving $100-200 on a wheel you're buying once to lose $100+ on a tire at least twice a season is nuts. Those better be some fast tires!

 

 

I am guessing nobody had keyed in on all my Sarcasm over the last few days... What I am basically saying is that now that the rules are open...people are going to spend the money to upgrade whether they are faster or not... only time will tell if the wallets are going to open up or not. I mean you have to look at guys spending $40k in motors for a single event are coming into the series, where is that going to leave the average guy in AI???

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Red Tornado

All I am saying is that if the rules work well then regardless of if you spend $10k or $100k the cars should both be competitive.

 

The rules shouldn't run anyone out the series and to do it cheaply. Like I said though if someone wants to spend insane money and have a car that is equal to everyone else then bring it on. I don't know what Jeff has in his car but he finished 4th at nationals and was ahead of many of those "brand new cars" (including my car which I promise you has more cost in it)

 

I am sure my car when first setup was at least $80k in costs. Now granted I got it for low $20's after it wasn't useful anymore in the grandam series but if I had gotten it first year it would have cost a ton.

 

Until someone runs up front with one of these $100k cars and crushes all others I think it's a fun what if discussion.

 

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I am guessing nobody had keyed in on all my Sarcasm over the last few days...

 

I should've made that two separate thoughts. I agree with you and I'm trying to bait you into coming to the Nationals.

 

It did make me look at the 'vette Magnesium wheels though. 18x9.5, 19lbs.

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robbodleimages
If this is where AI is headed then screw it, I'll stick with HPDE. I don't like the idea of a mega bucks series and if the people that decide the rules are too blind to see where this might be headed then I'll gladly step aside and let them sail over this waterfall. $75k AI cars is NOT what this series was all about in the beginning and Ill be damned if I even attempt to race in a series where that is the status quo!

 

Personally, IMHO, I think the rules guys are in denile. They have great visions of what the series COULD be...however, may be failing to remember what it actually is and why we were choosing it as opposed to A-sedan or other VERY expensive race series.

 

Is this where AI is headed...tough to look that far into the future but the signs are there. Maybe this is a test to see if the market is there... I think if you want to see the series grow, keep it simple and cheap and no exotic stuff.

 

 

 

I am writing a series of magazine stories about building a Bondurant Racing School '99 Cobra 4V into an AI car. I had a Grand Am Cup engineer who also builts AS cars look at the NASA rules and suggest a course of action.

 

His response was, "how much money do you want to spend? With these rules I can build you a serious race car. Its only a matter of how much money."

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2007 nationals had the top times pretty close in AI. Hell, the top 4 AIX cars were all pretty close with not many rules at all. You guys keep ignoring the driver and are letting the big $ scare you. Jay Andrew does not have a big dollar build and he is on top. Cubic dollars is not the way to be faster than Jay. Keep grasping at all those expensive parts that will make you faster.

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I figure that if I take a 4-year depreciation cycle on the engine, my car is free by now! But seriously, a few thoughts:

 

I still don't understand why everyone thinks 18's are an advantage. Same width, same OD, tire weighs more, comparable wheels will weigh more. No reason to believe that there is any more grip to be had. In fact, I have evidence that a 255/50/16 RA1 (CMC size) has just as much grip as a 275/40/17. Regarding the brake package; you can put 14" brakes (the max allowed by the existing rule) inside of a 17" wheel on the older cars with less offset. The 18" wheels just allow the newer cars to get there.

 

TJ, get used to being outspent in racing... but understand that you can get 95% of the way there with a modest budget by being smart, diligent, and focused on always improving both yourself and the car. I get a lot of satisfaction from the process; every event, a little bit faster. That last bit between where I am and up-front would sure be easier if I could drop $100K on a new-from-scratch car, but what fun would that be?

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robbodleimages

Money is a factor and I am afraid that there is no denying it. You can make up for in some ways and in some cases. In some cases you just can't.

 

When racing can often be about things as small as a second or less on a 2.5 mile high speed race course the more different ways you have to get that second is an advantage. The more money you can bring to bare on the problem, the more options you have to find that second or two.

 

One of my competitor has a great rig that allows him to bring all the spares and tools he needs and a comfortable place to get out of the southern heat. Thats worth time on the track.

 

He has a second car that he brings to the track and can afford to run that in DE4 to get extra track time. Affording both the car and the second entry fee is beyond the capability of many. you can't tell me that that is not worth time on the race track.

 

I am lucky enough that my situation allows me the luxury of a crew chief and a crew. A small crew, but a crew never the less. The difference that made in my times just by being able to focus more on the driving has been immeasurable.

 

I know what its like NOT to have enough money to get parts I need or track time I need and I know what its like to have a few luxuries and it has a significant impact. You can try to sell me that it doesn't but I am not buying.

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TJ, get used to being outspent in racing... but understand that you can get 95% of the way there with a modest budget by being smart, diligent, and focused on always improving both yourself and the car. I get a lot of satisfaction from the process; every event, a little bit faster. That last bit between where I am and up-front would sure be easier if I could drop $100K on a new-from-scratch car, but what fun would that be?

 

Jeff, I get what you're saying. Bob, Bryan, and Sidney have been trying to drill it into my head for 3 years and every year I understand it a little more. I changed a lot to the car over the off-season, so hopefully it's all in the right direction.

 

I still get sucked into the money argument every time though. D'oh.

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D Algozine

Drivng Skills

Money

Time (both to practice and/or work on the car)

 

In my opinion, it's the combination of the three items listed above that determine how fast an individual is going to be. We could argue until we are blue in the face, but each individual has there own amount of these three catagories. Making the best of these three is what makes the difference. However there is no denying that a lot of money can greatly improve the other two, but money is not the end all.

 

So how does this tie into the rule discussion. Open ended rules or wider open rules better allow money to tip the scale. Most of us running AI don't have cars that are built to the edge of the rules, so seeing the rules open up for anything, is just further away from where most of the current cars are built. Again, I always ask the dumb question, then why are the rules opening up? I think I hear, that it allows more cars in, but at the cost of possibly alienating most of the exsisting cars.

I don't feel the FR cars are going to ruin the series, and I do still believe that driver skill, and car prep rule the day, but that can change quickly as things "open up" and racers with money get better, the gap between low buck and fast, and high dollar and learing, gets norrowed.

 

The basic principle of AI is power to weight and having a spec tire. Well how are we policing the power to weight at events? And, now that the spec tire size has changed, thats another variable.

 

From the marketing side, meaing both new drivers and potential sponsors, there has to be competition between manufactureres. The current direction looks more like a spec Mustang class to me. Give the GM cars there only advantage back (LS1). Then figure out what other rules can be tweaked to incurrage other Makes, ie, more GM, Dodge...? The current marketing for AI is supposed to be the throw back to the 60's trans am racing with the slant towards the after market. I love it and think it will continue to work, if it stays on that course.

So with that being said, I say leave the rules alone unless it helps out cars other then the Mustang. Someone could make an aguement that 18" wheels will help the GTO and STX, but I don't know much about either of those cars.

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Dave, (I have to call you that now instead of Bruiser, Crash, etc due to the condition of my body panels after nationals....)

 

Relax, there will be a ruling soon about this car. The rules makers have been discussing this car, particularly the ABS module and the transmission. It will be posted either here or more likely in the stickies on the top of the forum very soon.

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I still don't understand why everyone thinks 18's are an advantage. Same width, same OD, tire weighs more, comparable wheels will weigh more. No reason to believe that there is any more grip to be had. In fact, I have evidence that a 255/50/16 RA1 (CMC size) has just as much grip as a 275/40/17.

 

I would love to see the data before I spend $1500 for a set of 18's... The basic theory we are applying is based on the fact that sports cars over the years have gone to shorter sidewalls which improves tire carcass stability, and therefore overall lateral grip. Seems to be backed in pretty good repeatable data over the years as cars have gotten better handling numbers. One negative I will post about 18's is that they are much less forgiving at the limit than the 17's...they act like Hoosiers and release VERY abruptly. That could be bad on a tight course with a lot of fast transitions...but great on a highspeed open course. Maybe the fast setup would be 18's in the front and 16's on the rear?!

 

Who really knows for sure?! Need the data I guess.

 

I am glad to see this discussion sort of diffuse a little bit compared to before but I think we are all on the same step of alert to keep things in check...we being the racers that is!

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robbodleimages

It seems to be working out that we are fielding two cars for 2008. One on 17s and one on 18s. Its nothing that we planned. But it will allow for us to compare some. Will also allow for us to try 18s on the front and 17s on the back if we want to.

 

By the way, the Konig sponsor program is a way to get some 18s and keep the cost down.

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It seems to be working out that we are fielding two cars for 2008. One on 17s and one on 18s. Its nothing that we planned. But it will allow for us to compare some. Will also allow for us to try 18s on the front and 17s on the back if we want to.

 

By the way, the Konig sponsor program is a way to get some 18s and keep the cost down.

 

Who is the "we" and "us" you are referring to?

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The rules makers have been discussing this car, particularly the ABS module and the transmission.
What about the transmission is in question? It's a production TR6060 from the GT500.

 

I would love to see the data before I spend $1500 for a set of 18's... The basic theory we are applying is based on the fact that sports cars over the years have gone to shorter sidewalls which improves tire carcass stability, and therefore overall lateral grip. Seems to be backed in pretty good repeatable data over the years as cars have gotten better handling numbers.
Hmm. You've taken the fact that sports cars have gone to shorter sidewalls over the years, and that sports cars have gotten better handling numbers over the years, and come to the conclusion that sidewall aspect ratio directly relates to lateral grip. Wow. Solid reasoning there. Apples to orangutans.

 

How convienient that this month's Grassroots Motorsports just arrived, and has an article on the subject. Page 115. Check it out.

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The rules makers have been discussing this car, particularly the ABS module and the transmission.
What about the transmission is in question? It's a production TR6060 from the GT500.

 

I would love to see the data before I spend $1500 for a set of 18's... The basic theory we are applying is based on the fact that sports cars over the years have gone to shorter sidewalls which improves tire carcass stability, and therefore overall lateral grip. Seems to be backed in pretty good repeatable data over the years as cars have gotten better handling numbers.
Hmm. You've taken the fact that sports cars have gone to shorter sidewalls over the years, and that sports cars have gotten better handling numbers over the years, and come to the conclusion that sidewall aspect ratio directly relates to lateral grip. Wow. Solid reasoning there. Apples to orangutans.

 

How convienient that this month's Grassroots Motorsports just arrived, and has an article on the subject. Page 115. Check it out.

 

I said THEORY cheezwhiz!

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Red Tornado

If someone runs one of these and doesn't win there first race and every race after the hell they will catch from everyone may make them wish they never bought it...

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