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bmw22

Petition for other Euro cars in GTS

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bmw22

I have received numerous requests over the past 18 months to expand GTS to include other European makes. Everything from Mini to Lotus to Ferarri. I decided to make this an open discussion for current GTSers and those wishing to come into the GTS "Beir Garten" As I continue to get email request for this, I will point them to this thread to join the discussion.

 

Let the discourse begin!

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ianacole

I don't like this idea. To me it takes away the spirit of the series. That said, it got me thinking...if we did allow other European manufacturers, we could have a side competition of origin country constructor's cup (sans trophy). We could see which country manufactures the fastest cars (although we already know that ). Results could be tracked and posted on the website - just another avenue for bragging rights.

 

We could also do this with a GTS Series Constructor's cup...

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buzzracer

Agreed, it compromises the very concept of our series. My vote is no.

Other issue I see (at least in my region) is losing our identity which is what attracts racers in the first place. I can already hear some folks squawking about us pillaging SU, PT, etc..

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Lemming

I'm not in favor of adding non-German makes. If you do, then change the name to ETS Challenge.

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cstreit911

I think it would be cool to have other European cars running in NASA in some class. (Ala British Touring Cars, Euro Touring Cars) I wouldn't have a problem with them running with us either, but I don't necessarily favor dilution of the GTS series.

 

 

EDIT: I thought about it some more and the thing that worries me about this is complexity of deciding who qualifies. For example: Chrysler is owned by Daimler... So do we have to allow them?

 

I think if we limited it to cars that were physically manufactured in Europe and owned by a true European company (ie, Lotus, Ferrari, TVR, etc..) I might think about it some more. However I would not agree unless we had an approved list. We might have to open ourselves up to European manufactured American Iron if we're not careful

Edited by Guest

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bmw22
EDIT: I thought about it some more and the thing that worries me about this is complexity of deciding who qualifies. For example: Chrysler is owned by Daimler... So do we have to allow them?

 

Mercedes is dumping Chrysler like a hot potato. We had this debate a couple years ago concerning the mini and BMW. The Mini was not accepted because if we accepted the Mini, then we would have to allow a neon via the same loophole. But on the other hand, the Crossfire wouldn't be a bad addition to the GTS ranks.

 

That being said, if GTS were to open up in the future I think it would need to be done selectively. And the following conditions met.

 

1. there are no exceptions to GTS rules

2. the performance level of GTS classes continue to increase.(in other words, each year our classes get faster as more racers prep to maximize GTS rules. I want that trend to continue)

3. All new racers understand that GTS rules only guarantee competitiveness in GTS, not the other clubs)

 

Things to avoid:

1. GTS looking like a vintage racing series.

2. An influx of 20+ year old race cars that are no longer competitive in SCCA. I don't want GTS1 and GTS2 to look like a 1980's G-Prod race with a bunch of MG and BugEye Sprites oiling up the race track.

 

I too would love to see some other marques from Europe at the track, but I also don't want to complicate GTS nor do I want to see NASA add 10 more classes to the venue.

 

I see both sides of this discussion and can make an argument either way.

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scottbm3

Not in favor. I think we are still growing and don't see a reason to stray away from what we have. Just my 2 cents..

 

 

-Scott

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dmh

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't GTS Challenge supposed to be a 13/13 series? If so, it isn’t compatible to be on track in a race group with a series that is not. But yet, that is the case is it not? Maybe by opening up the field the class may be able to run in its own race group -- a 13/13 group which would attract racers that drive cars such as Lotus’s and Ferrari’s.

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bmw22
If so, it isn’t compatible to be on track in a race group with a series that is not. But yet, that is the case is it not?

 

"compatible" probably isn't the best word to use here. Yes, there were issues the first couple seasons, but the non 13/13 classes really aren't out there driving carelessly. Some groups, like American iron had to get used to the speed differential between GTS1 and GTS5.

 

 

Maybe by opening up the field the class may be able to run in its own race group -- a 13/13 group which would attract racers that drive cars such as Lotus’s and Ferrari’s.

 

That's been my goal from day 1. However, in regions where we have nice sized GTS fields, the competition is fierce and very close quartered, and yes, there is some incidental contact. Don't expect to be in a 100% contact free environment just because we are under a 13/13 rule. Our 13/13 rule is modified from the versions you'll see at PCA or BMWCCA events. It allows drivers to push the limit just a little harder without the threat of probation for going off in a turn by yourself and backing into the tirewall.

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dmh
If so, it isn’t compatible to be on track in a race group with a series that is not. But yet, that is the case is it not?

 

"compatible" probably isn't the best word to use here. Yes, there were issues the first couple seasons, but the non 13/13 classes really aren't out there driving carelessly. Some groups, like American iron had to get used to the speed differential between GTS1 and GTS5.

 

 

Maybe by opening up the field the class may be able to run in its own race group -- a 13/13 group which would attract racers that drive cars such as Lotus’s and Ferrari’s.

 

That's been my goal from day 1. However, in regions where we have nice sized GTS fields, the competition is fierce and very close quartered, and yes, there is some incidental contact. Don't expect to be in a 100% contact free environment just because we are under a 13/13 rule. Our 13/13 rule is modified from the versions you'll see at PCA or BMWCCA events. It allows drivers to push the limit just a little harder without the threat of probation for going off in a turn by yourself and backing into the tirewall.

 

If it is true that the goal has been to have GTS run in its own race group wouldn't it make sense to open up the playing field?

Wouldn't it also make sense to at least have it run in a race group where all the cars on the track are playing by the same rules?

You say you do not want 20 year old, vintage style cars to appear. Some E30s are already there, are they not? Same for SCs.

 

I realize that PCA is strict in 13/13 enforcement but look at the strength of that program. Limiting contact, 13/13, racing seems to work for high value cars. (That is why I think GTS would grow if it ran in a 13/13 race group.) Just look at the Cup car field at Sebring two weeks ago: over 60, yes 60 Cup cars!

 

Just discourse...

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RSCoupe

I vote no. Especially since we seem to be growing pretty well as is.

Also, I'll have enough trouble beating the cars that are already in the series (in my almost 20 year old car).

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bmw22

 

 

GTS is growing. and already is the largest series in NASA. In the Great Lakes region which is the region where GTS started, we already have our 13/13 run group and the larger events.

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cstreit911
(snip) Also, I'll have enough trouble beating the cars that are already in the series (in my almost 20 year old car).

 

20 years old? It's nearly new! My GTS4 car is now 39 years old. In 2009 we'll both celebrate our 40th. I'm not sure who looks more worse for wear.

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RSCoupe
(snip) Also, I'll have enough trouble beating the cars that are already in the series (in my almost 20 year old car).

 

20 years old? It's nearly new! My GTS4 car is now 39 years old. In 2009 we'll both celebrate our 40th. I'm not sure who looks more worse for wear.

 

Well, the car looks great.

 

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cstreit911

It's my kids fault, they made me old....

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RSCoupe

Yeah, kids will do that. That's why we don't have any. And I look fantastic!

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FlyingDog
You say you do not want 20 year old, vintage style cars to appear. Some E30s are already there, are they not? Same for SCs.
My car is 24 years old and will probably be 25 years old by the time I race in GTS. As beat up as it is, most people were very surprised to find out its age.
I realize that PCA is strict in 13/13 enforcement but look at the strength of that program. Limiting contact, 13/13, racing seems to work for high value cars. (That is why I think GTS would grow if it ran in a 13/13 race group.) Just look at the Cup car field at Sebring two weeks ago: over 60, yes 60 Cup cars!
Look at the numerous Rennlist discussions about racing in different groups. The guys who have raced in both NASA and PCA mostly think NASA is safer. I have seen more serious contact and heard more arguments about contact at PCA races than NASA races. There are enough guys with enough money playing in PCA racing who can ruin everybody else's day and not care.

 

Of the 60 cup cars, how many wrecked or burned? IIRC, 7 996/997 Cup cars were totaled in the 48 hours at Sebring.

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jakermc

I don't even understand the question. What are we trying to accomplish by implementing the suggestion? Is something about the existing GTS class that is broken? Shouldn't we start there?

 

Is the problem that we don't have our own run group in many regions? GTS seems to be growing VERY quickly without inviting new cars to the class. You can't expect your own run group in year one or two, be patient and let the class develop as every other class has overtime. Why dilute the original idea before it has had a chance to take hold?

 

Where is this suggestion coming from, existing GTS drivers or owners of other Euro cars who want in?

 

If the former, what are they unhappy about that they feel a need to expand the field? Are there other ways to solve the issue? If the latter, that just tells you that GTS is doing wonderfully as is, good enough to attract the drivers from other classes. The solution for them is easy, go buy an appropriate car and join the fun.

 

It sounds like we are trying to fix something that is not broken.

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CARVAL Motorsports

Well put.

 

I do not think it can be any of the GTS regulars asking for Euro additions. At least most of us to right of the big river.

 

We endured some mighty slim fields here in the Great Lakes Region in the first three years. It does take time. It does take a few people to go back to their regular race groups and be convincing to their fellow competitors about how good the racing was in GTS and NASA. Also, it takes a strong, energetic and organized leader in the region to realy solidify the direction the Series heads in that region.

 

I am not in favor of this dilution.

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cstreit911

I would add that those of you in the Great Lakes region are pretty lucky with your field sizes. Not all regions are experiencing that growth. Here in the Midwest we have so many choices for cars to run, including very active PCA and BMWCCA groups, that we have to fight for every driver.

 

Mind you under Dave's leadership we've only had 2 years and we are growing, but we're far from seeing 50 cars in GTS. We average 7-10 cars. Our choices grow are to poach drivers from those series which is very hard, develop them from the HPDE and TT series, or broaden our scope.

 

So we do have to consider the national perspective on this...

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jakermc

Texas region is still small as well, but it's where I would expect it to be given its only in its third year. I think we had about 12 cars the opening weekend this year where last year we might only have had 9. This is also a very active region with PCA, SCCA, and BMWCCA all putting on events. We have a new GTS director who is doing an amazing job so despite the competition I have good reason to believe we will continue to grow without adding other cars into the mix.

 

I am still confused about the problem we are trying to solve. In Texas we already share a run group with ST, HC, and SU cars so there is always someone to race with. I assume something very similar happens in other regions. Just beause we score points in different series does not mean we can't mix it up on the track. I don't see how adding cars to the class will make the on track racing any more fun. It just changes how we keep score in the paddock.

 

With regards to a National perspective, I though I heard that the GTS class was the biggest run group at Nationals? I'm sure that was influenced by the proximity to the Great Lakes region, but this still ensures you will have competition if you wish to measure yourself against a bigger base of cars.

 

My opinion may change in a couple of years if the growth in the series does not continue, I just want us to recognize that the class is in its infancy and we should be patient while it goes through a normal growth cycle.

 

And lets not forget that 'GTS' sounds a lot cooler and looks better on our cars than 'ETS'

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cosm3os

FWIW, here's the perspective of one of those guys coming up the NASA ranks:

 

At first, I thought "No way, we german guys gotta stick together." But now that I think about it, why not? The class is simply power to weight, so there's no problems there. Around here, we're racing with other makes anyways. For me, the deal breaker is getting more cars in class for contingencies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in it for the money; but contingencies help soften the blow a little.

 

My .02.

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gjoey66

I for one...don't want to expand just yet. If there comes a time where so many racers are wanting in our series they could just join our run group under the European Touring Series. I think one of the fundamental reasons why GTS is working is that Power/Weight is a pretty decent parameter for german cars...you start throwing in the Exige and some ferrari challenge cars and I think you'll be comparing apples and oranges...just my opinion.

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FlyingDog
I think one of the fundamental reasons why GTS is working is that Power/Weight is a pretty decent parameter for german cars...you start throwing in the Exige and some ferrari challenge cars and I think you'll be comparing apples and oranges...just my opinion.
Somebody on Rennlist compiled a large amount of data on Nurburgring times. He found that you can predict the best time in any car to within a few second based solely on power to weight. His data included a wide variety of cars from econoboxes to prototype racers, and not just German cars.

 

I think it would be interesting to add Swedes to the mix. Not many are raced and in many ways they are similar to their German counterparts in technology, design, and evolution. However, I don't think it would be a good idea to open the group now because there would be a mass influx of British cars that may overwhelm the German cars in number. I don't know about other regions, but in Mid-Atlantic GTS runs with CMC and AI. Can you imagine the carnage when a 3-4000lb American Monster runs over a 1500lb MG?

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gjoey66

Power to wieght is a great estimator...on averages...but it's very easy to skew that...it's like saying an elise...and a mustang with tons of ballast should run similar times...no way in hell. My point being that if you do the averages yes...it lines right up...but there are too many instances where it's a poor, poor predictor. in german cars it's pretty equal because most have some form of production based features...where an elise or most ferraris are easily made to be track monsters...trust me the law of averages can burn you very easily.

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