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RULE PROPOSAL: Maximum Ballast

Should GTS adopt a maximum ballast rule?  

39 members have voted

  1. 1. Should GTS adopt a maximum ballast rule?

    • Yes
      15
    • No
      24


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JSG1901

I can't even figure out HOW or WHERE to vote (CORRECTED...I finally got the option to vote and voted NO) but I am very leery of voting for a ballast limit. While conceptually it is a good idea from a safety standpoint, it is also a bit of a slippery slope.

 

The brilliance of the GTS rules is that they give you a lot of flexibility. If you have a ton of money to spend on your car, then knock yourself out. There's a place where you can be very competitive based on the car you bring to the track--whatever it is. If, on the other hand, you are working on a tight budget and can't afford to fix the leaky cylinder that puts you a bit down on power, well, because you can either remove weight or ballast down to the next-lower class, there's a place where you can be competitive, too.

 

Sooooo, given that and the realities of the cars and budgets we're dealing with, if we were to consider a ballast limit, 150 lbs is probably not enough. As outlined here by others, that's only a small fraction of the weight difference between one class and the mid-point of the next. If you assume that all of us would like to have the chance to be as competitive as we can reasonably be--which means being near the class limit in terms of weight to horsepower--150 lbs is not a large enough margin of error.

 

It doesn't take much to need 150 lbs of ballast. In GTS2, where we are limited to 14.5 lbs/hp, a 10 hp swing is 145lbs. I can get 7 hp with nothing more than a set of under-drive pulleys. In GTS1, where it's 18.5 lbs/hp, 150 lbs is only 8.1 hp. That is a pretty fine line to draw as an absolute limit.

 

Consider that we allow a 4hp variance at the dyno during after-race tech inspections and that that alone is the equivalent of 74 lbs for GTS1 and I think you have to start thinking 150 lbs is not a reasonable upper limit.

 

I don't know what the right amount is, which makes me want to say it probably makes more sense to insure that whatever ballast is attached to the car is attached in such a way that it won't tear loose under adverse conditions than to pick an arbitrary limit. Therefore, I voted against a ballast limit.

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Lemming

I voted no.

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JSG1901
Here are some results that put a spot light on the class/ballast issue:

 

GTS2

-Ballasted BMW 1:25:441

-Superfast BMW driver 1:25:430

-Ballasted BMW 1:27:640

-911 1:28:388

-911 1:28:454

-911 1:28:858

-911 1:31:613

 

Is it coincidence that all the BMWs were that much faster? Is it coincidence that the 911's, the cars that are supposed to be in GTS2, are all around the same lap times?

Sorry to be so slow getting back to this. While I'm sure these are legitimate lap times (you didn't mention which track), you left out both the level of preparation of each of the cars and the skills of each of the drivers. I'm assuming you are one of the 911 lap times here and you've admitted elsewhere that you're not particularly fast yet. No shame in that but if all the other 911s are running similar lap times to yours then either you have a spectacularly fast car being really under-driven or all of the 911 guys in your example are not particularly fast drivers yet, either.

 

There's nothing wrong with not being really fast but you can't really compare lap times between drivers of different skills and expect to learn anything from it. A several-second-a-lap difference is common even between drivers in two identically-prepared cars on the same day on the same track. Usually, it comes down to an equipment difference (mostly, it's the nut behind the wheel).

 

 

At the tracks we race at in the Great Lakes, the BMW guys are probably complaining that they can't beat the Porsches. Maybe it's car differences, maybe it's not. Before we start messing with a formula that has given all of us an awful lot of great racing, we would need to see a lot of evidence suggesting it's fatally flawed. Personally, I don't see it.

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John Milne

The basis for GTS is minimal rules other than HP/WT and safety. In my opinion that is the beauty of the class. There are many other classes that are more restrictive and may be more appropriate for someone that wants to run with a more "equal"group.

 

I do not believe that any argument that considers competitive advantage is valid in the GTS classes. If you are not competitive, then make some adjustments to the car or driver.

 

The rules specify the mounting procedure for ballast, but not a limit. If you mount your ballast per the rules it should not move or come loose. There are many heavy things in our cars that the factory considered safe to bolt in. An extreme example is the engine.

 

I vote no to ballast limitations.

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streak

I guess a question is why have classes at all?

 

The purpose of classing is to create a group of cars that should be closely matched for competition. That is absolutely the purpose for having classes. There is a reasonable expectation that within a class the capabilities of the the car should be close. The alternative is no classes at all which if anyone is able to jump from class to class at will it is sort of the same mentality.

 

Yes? No?

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ianacole

I am very hesitant to post, but...

 

 

Cars of similar prep level (read: same HP/Weight level, with the same level of ballasting), similar driver capability, and similar conditions will be similarly competitive. Where do we stop with this? Cars that weigh the same and have the same power but one is 2 - 2.5 seconds per lap faster because it has a big rear wing and front aero is not in the spirit of the series? I accept that if there is a safety concern with the mounting of ballast it needs to be addressed, at the CCR level (which it currently is not). However, to limit other cars to improve your competitiveness, in my opinion, is not in the spirit of the series.

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sstecker
I guess a question is why have classes at all?

 

The purpose of classing is to create a group of cars that should be closely matched for competition. That is absolutely the purpose for having classes. There is a reasonable expectation that within a class the capabilities of the the car should be close. The alternative is no classes at all which if anyone is able to jump from class to class at will it is sort of the same mentality.

 

Yes? No?

 

choosing what weight to run at is like setting your suspension for each track. GTS is probably the only class that you can choose that.

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ELEPHANT1
I guess a question is why have classes at all?

 

The purpose of classing is to create a group of cars that should be closely matched for competition. That is absolutely the purpose for having classes. There is a reasonable expectation that within a class the capabilities of the the car should be close. The alternative is no classes at all which if anyone is able to jump from class to class at will it is sort of the same mentality.

 

Yes? No?

 

Do you realize how much data you would need to collect to put together any reasonable argument that cars within a group are not competitive with each other? Particularly in a series with OPEN RULES. Just you wait, we've hardly begun to see a fully built GTS car, there is plenty more that can, and will, be done.

 

The single biggest variable in any series anywhere, any class, whatever is still driver skill. The second is car prep. In GTS there is a wide variety of both. Wide enough that I think it's pretty presumptuous to imply that one car is advantaged over another. Plus consider how many new racers come into the series every year. Many start as crossover cars so they may be far from optimized anyway. Heck in GTS3 most of the front running BMW's are cross over cars from BMW CCA Prepared class which is pretty limited as far as prep, there is a ton more of easy stuff that could be done for good performance gains without much effort.

 

Weigh/hp is a good start for classing but if the rules allow almost anything then there are plenty of things that can change the capabilities of one car vs another.

 

I came into GTS knowing that at anytime someone could easily build a car way better than mine and kick my arse all over the place. That is the risk I took. If I was more concerned about making sure my car was competitive I would have chosen and more restrictive series or perhaps a different car.

 

There is so much potential variability it's actually quite nice that it just seems to work out naturally right now. Hopefully that will continue as level of prep and driver skill increases.

 

Cheers.

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ELEPHANT1
I am very hesitant to post, but...

 

 

Cars of similar prep level (read: same HP/Weight level, with the same level of ballasting), similar driver capability, and similar conditions will be similarly competitive. Where do we stop with this? Cars that weigh the same and have the same power but one is 2 - 2.5 seconds per lap faster because it has a big rear wing and front aero is not in the spirit of the series? I accept that if there is a safety concern with the mounting of ballast it needs to be addressed, at the CCR level (which it currently is not). However, to limit other cars to improve your competitiveness, in my opinion, is not in the spirit of the series.

 

+1, absolutely.

 

Cheers.

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Jim Child
Here are some results that put a spot light on the class/ballast issue:

 

GTS2

-Ballasted BMW 1:25:441

-Superfast BMW driver 1:25:430

-Ballasted BMW 1:27:640

-911 1:28:388

-911 1:28:454

-911 1:28:858

-911 1:31:613

 

Is it coincidence that all the BMWs were that much faster? Is it coincidence that the 911's, the cars that are supposed to be in GTS2, are all around the same lap times?

 

What do you mean "supposed to be in GTS2" GTS is a lbs/hp series. Period. If you meet the lbs/hp for your class you're "supposed to be there". If you have a problem with the BMW's in your class then go race in PCA. If you do, then good luck beating the E class 911's and 944's. They're every bit as fast as those BMW guys.

 

If you want to do well in GTS2, then the formula is simple:

 

Work on your driving. I guarantee you that the "superfast" BMW driver would be beating you even if you swapped cars.

 

Get your car as close to 14.5 lbs/hp as possible. You should only be a few pounds over minimum when you roll across the scales.

 

Look for ways to improve the car. There are massive amounts of time to be gained in car setup. Do some homework and learn what the hot setup is for your car. People are able to make 80's era 911's go extremely fast within the confines of the PCA stock class rules. Find out how they're doing it, then take it a few steps further since anything goes in GTS.

 

This stuff takes time to accomplish. As near as I can tell you've only done 2 GTS races. There's no reason why you should have expected to be running up front right out of the box. Be patient, do the work that others have done, and you'll get there.

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CARVAL Motorsports

I did not vote, but like it or not, here is my .02 worth.

Unless it is a safety issue, rules can only be considered at the close of the current season. rules request should be forwarded to the National Director so that he may consider the appropriate presentation after consulting the CCR and NASA. I believe, without doing a search, Ian implemented a 2 or 3 week time frame at the close of the Championship. Utilize this then.

 

That said, my concerns are high for anyone attaching more than #200 in the cockpit area (unless it was encased inside a durable bulkead, similar to a fuel cell).

 

Good Day!

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ELEPHANT1
I did not vote, but like it or not, here is my .02 worth.

Unless it is a safety issue, rules can only be considered at the close of the current season. rules request should be forwarded to the National Director so that he may consider the appropriate presentation after consulting the CCR and NASA. I believe, without doing a search, Ian implemented a 2 or 3 week time frame at the close of the Championship. Utilize this then.

 

That said, my concerns are high for anyone attaching more than #200 in the cockpit area (unless it was encased inside a durable bulkead, similar to a fuel cell).

 

Good Day!

 

So all suited up you weigh less than 200lbs? ; )

 

Cheers.

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ianacole
I did not vote, but like it or not, here is my .02 worth.

Unless it is a safety issue, rules can only be considered at the close of the current season. rules request should be forwarded to the National Director so that he may consider the appropriate presentation after consulting the CCR and NASA. I believe, without doing a search, Ian implemented a 2 or 3 week time frame at the close of the Championship. Utilize this then.

 

That said, my concerns are high for anyone attaching more than #200 in the cockpit area (unless it was encased inside a durable bulkead, similar to a fuel cell).

 

Good Day!

 

Thanks Carl! Glad I'm not the only one reading my posts For those curious, here is the rule change process: http://www.nasaforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=26648

 

That said, I certainly don't want to stifle this conversation, or any others along these lines, as it would be best to hash out the context of a proposed rule change prior to the submission period. Just be aware that unless it is a safety issue, any rule changes will most likely (there are always exceptions) not be adopted prior to season end.

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ELEPHANT1
Thanks Carl! Glad I'm not the only one reading my posts For those curious, here is the rule change process: http://www.nasaforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=26648

 

That said, I certainly don't want to stifle this conversation, or any others along these lines, as it would be best to hash out the context of a proposed rule change prior to the submission period. Just be aware that unless it is a safety issue, any rule changes will most likely (there are always exceptions) not be adopted prior to season end.

 

Yeah, I kinda thought this was more of a discussion about whether it's something to consider for NEXT year. But I am always careful about assumptions when it comes to rules. ; )

 

Cheers.

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streak
I am very hesitant to post, but...

 

 

Cars of similar prep level (read: same HP/Weight level, with the same level of ballasting), similar driver capability, and similar conditions will be similarly competitive. Where do we stop with this? Cars that weigh the same and have the same power but one is 2 - 2.5 seconds per lap faster because it has a big rear wing and front aero is not in the spirit of the series? I accept that if there is a safety concern with the mounting of ballast it needs to be addressed, at the CCR level (which it currently is not). However, to limit other cars to improve your competitiveness, in my opinion, is not in the spirit of the series.

 

So taking a far more capable car and artificially forcing it to fit in a lower class with less competition because you aren't winning is the spirit of GTS?

 

Just askin

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streak
I guess a question is why have classes at all?

 

The purpose of classing is to create a group of cars that should be closely matched for competition. That is absolutely the purpose for having classes. There is a reasonable expectation that within a class the capabilities of the the car should be close. The alternative is no classes at all which if anyone is able to jump from class to class at will it is sort of the same mentality.

 

Yes? No?

 

Do you realize how much data you would need to collect to put together any reasonable argument that cars within a group are not competitive with each other?

 

Not really. That work has already been done by hundreds of other race series with decades of data collection at your disposal.

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ianacole
So taking a far more capable car and artificially forcing it to fit in a lower class with less competition because you aren't winning is the spirit of GTS?

 

Just askin

 

I'm just askin as well What's artificial about adding ballast when it's allowed by the rules? Is this any more artificial than adding a restricter plate or retarding the timing to reduce power? In my opinion, a car fully optimized for GTS-2, and I mean fully optimized in both car and driver, will outperform a car mostly optimized for GTS-3 then ballasted down to 2.

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streak

This stuff takes time to accomplish. As near as I can tell you've only done 2 GTS races. There's no reason why you should have expected to be running up front right out of the box. Be patient, do the work that others have done, and you'll get there.

 

I wish I could multi-quote, alas I'm as bad a poster as a driver.

 

I never said I should be winning my second weekend with Nasa. In fact I've very specifically stated I have much to learn and never implied that I could out drive Michael Dayton. I just put up the numbers.

 

My point is that upon entering the GTS series I had no reason to expect that I would be competing against former GTS3 cars ballasted to run in GTS2. Period.

 

In fact, when I got my first dyno I was contemplating having to ballast my car as well and universally I was advised against adding more than 80 to 100 lbs for any reason. I spoke of this in another thread. From those conversations I came away believing that this line of thinking was standard practice. "Too much ballast is to be avoided" The first reason is because it's needlessly hard on the equipment. These were shops familiar with Nasa so who am I to question their reasoning at this point?

 

So maybe my impression was misinformed during my set up for my first Nasa weekend.

 

I don't want anyone to get me wrong. My first impression of the spirit of GTS is clearly not the same but everyone has an opinion right? I'm having a blast racing and learning. I certainly don't want anyone to think I expected to dominate my rookie season. I expect to dominate the second half of my second season

 

The questions were asked and I answered from a new to GTS point of view.

 

Don't want you to think, "Ah, that Streak, what a dick." I just thought things would be a little different.

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CARVAL Motorsports

 

So all suited up you weigh less than 200lbs? ; )

 

Cheers.

 

Well, yes, I guess I do . (real close though!)

 

But remember, I am bolted to the floor (seat) with four bolts and strapped to the frame (roll bar), two additional bolts (lap belts) and two more bolts, sub strap. Also, I have a steering wheel to hang on to!

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ELEPHANT1
I guess a question is why have classes at all?

 

The purpose of classing is to create a group of cars that should be closely matched for competition. That is absolutely the purpose for having classes. There is a reasonable expectation that within a class the capabilities of the the car should be close. The alternative is no classes at all which if anyone is able to jump from class to class at will it is sort of the same mentality.

 

Yes? No?

 

Do you realize how much data you would need to collect to put together any reasonable argument that cars within a group are not competitive with each other?

 

Not really. That work has already been done by hundreds of other race series with decades of data collection at your disposal.

 

Really? Where is this at because I can think of a lotta different people that would like to see this. What other series has open rules and limits the classing of cars purely by weight/power? This is where the data needs to come from. Any other series that I'm aware of has some restrictions somewhere. Weight, aero, mods, etc. And I'm not aware of any series that allows all the different makes that GTS does AND has open rules. Maybe in Europe, I suppose they probably have amateur series over there with similar or same rules. But they won't have the data either other than maybe "we've done it for years and there are few complaints" type stuff. Which of course is what we have now. ; )

 

Cheers.

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ianacole
I wish I could multi-quote, alas I'm as bad a poster as a driver.

 

Once, you've selected your first post to quote, at the bottom of the reply window is the thread in its entirety with quote buttons at each post. You can use this to multi-quote.

 

I don't want anyone to get me wrong. My first impression of the spirit of GTS is clearly not the same but everyone has an opinion right? I'm having a blast racing and learning. I certainly don't want anyone to think I expected to dominate my rookie season. I expect to dominate the second half of my second season

 

The questions were asked and I answered from a new to GTS point of view.

 

Don't want you to think, "Ah, that Streak, what a dick." I just thought things would be a little different.

 

I sure hope you haven't taken from this thread that we don't want to hear your opinion. Quite the contrary - if we don't hear the opinions of our newer members the series will never evolve and adapt. That said, the very point of this series being started is to provide an open playground for German production car enthusiast to come test their car building prowess and their racing abilities in competition against other like-minded enthusiasts. An open rule set has just as many challenges as a spec-series rule set does, just different ones.

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JSirota

Hunt, here's where I think you are slightly misguided.

 

The spirit of AUTO RACING, in all its forms, is to take car, take a set of rules, and maximize the construction of the car so that you can go as fast as possible without violating the rules.

 

That's it.

 

Now, you can get together with your buddies and agree that you aren't going to go with that spirit. You are proposing another one: that people racing in GTS should pick the power-to-weight class where the car, as it sits in the garage, naturally falls without doing any significant development, then, don't change the car beyond that specific class. Work on the driver, not on the car, yadda yadda. That's fine for you and your buddies, but be sure, there's someone out there who will take the classic spirit of racing I described above, and he'll kick everyone who likes the "friendlier" spirit's collective butt.

 

Decades of auto racing proves that there are no rules you can write that will alter that primary spirit. So, for now, just hope that no one with that sort of spirit shows up and you'll be fine.

 

Oh, one other point: I can see that you think it's against the spirit of the class to slow your car down so that it's at the top of the game for the next-slower class. If that's easier, cheaper, and would result in the sort of competition you are looking for, why would that be any worse than speeding your car up to be at the very top of the class it's already in? Either way you've got someone who wants to win a class. That's the spirit of racing. This isn't driving, it's RACING.

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Jim Child
Oh, one other point: I can see that you think it's against the spirit of the class to slow your car down so that it's at the top of the game for the next-slower class. If that's easier, cheaper, and would result in the sort of competition you are looking for, why would that be any worse than speeding your car up to be at the very top of the class it's already in? Either way you've got someone who wants to win a class. That's the spirit of racing. This isn't driving, it's RACING.

 

Very well said!!

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streak

 

Really? Where is this at because I can think of a lotta different people that would like to see this. What other series has open rules and limits the classing of cars purely by weight/power? This is where the data needs to come from. Any other series that I'm aware of has some restrictions somewhere. Weight, aero, mods, etc. And I'm not aware of any series that allows all the different makes that GTS does AND has open rules. Maybe in Europe, I suppose they probably have amateur series over there with similar or same rules. But they won't have the data either other than maybe "we've done it for years and there are few complaints" type stuff. Which of course is what we have now. ; )

 

Cheers.

 

The PT series has just about every car you can name on a list. The base line for what cars should be competitive to each other is there as a base line. In a nutshell you don't expect a 318 to compete with a 997 right? That's what I'm getting at. those two would not start out in the same class.

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streak
Hunt, here's where I think you are slightly misguided.

 

The spirit of AUTO RACING, in all its forms, is to take car, take a set of rules, and maximize the construction of the car so that you can go as fast as possible without violating the rules.

 

That's it.

 

Now, you can get together with your buddies and agree that you aren't going to go with that spirit. You are proposing another one: that people racing in GTS should pick the power-to-weight class where the car, as it sits in the garage, naturally falls without doing any significant development, then, don't change the car beyond that specific class. Work on the driver, not on the car, yadda yadda. That's fine for you and your buddies, but be sure, there's someone out there who will take the classic spirit of racing I described above, and he'll kick everyone who likes the "friendlier" spirit's collective butt.

 

Decades of auto racing proves that there are no rules you can write that will alter that primary spirit. So, for now, just hope that no one with that sort of spirit shows up and you'll be fine.

 

Oh, one other point: I can see that you think it's against the spirit of the class to slow your car down so that it's at the top of the game for the next-slower class. If that's easier, cheaper, and would result in the sort of competition you are looking for, why would that be any worse than speeding your car up to be at the very top of the class it's already in? Either way you've got someone who wants to win a class. That's the spirit of racing. This isn't driving, it's RACING.

 

I may very well be misguided but I also hear a lot of scuttlebutt regarding a certain car trying to compete in a certain class that everyone thinks is inappropriate. Me included. Using no names I just wonder why that particular situation is not in the spirit of GTS but the very same situation with regard to what I observed in GTS2 is?

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