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Spirit of GTS (From: RULE PROPOSAL: Maximum Ballast)

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jakermc

The spirit of GTS is 'equal cars' as measured by hp/wt. It is very much a technology and engineering series versus a spec series. Not all cars will be equal, I think that should be generally understood by most. But we all are free to make decisions and/or spend money to become more equal. This was never intended to be a budget series, there are other options for that.

 

The spirit of GTS is also a catch-all rule set to allow bastard cars that don't fit with other organizations to race. For example I can run my modded up 1983 911 with NASA instead of racing with the PCA where I would compete with GT3 Cup cars. It also allows competitors to run in multiple organizations without killing themselves to move back and forth. I know several BMWs do this.

 

Limiting ballast would seem to go against my idea of the spirit of the series. Plus, it may force people to race in a class that is less competitive then where they want to be. I could run in GTS-4 and be guaranteed a podium spot every weekend as there would very likely be less than 3 cars. Or I could ballast into GTS-3 and fight for it. If forced to run in GTS-4, I might leave the series as it would hardly be worth the hassle and expense to 'race'.

 

I also don't think its just the high technology cars ballsting down to beat up on older chasis cars. My antique 911 has no ABS, no P/S, no adjustable shocks, still runs torsion bars, etc. and I ballast down to run with the new technology BMWs. Its more fun than running in a thin field and I like the challenge of competing against the newer cars. Why stop me from doing this?

 

And tell me, what is ballast? To stay in GTS-3 I have left in my passenger seat, have working power windows and power sunroof, and a spare tire in place. I also need to run 35lbs in my cool box if my tank in empty. In addition to this I also carry about 130 lbs of lead. In total I am carrying more than 250lbs of extra weight, but are you saying that I'm OK because only 130 lbs is lead brick? But if I pull the passenger seat (or any of the other extra stuff) and replace it with lead I have to go up a class? Put a limit on ballast and you will simply have people putting passenger car parts back in their race cars to make the class. This is also against the 'spirit of GTS' as it limits the creativity of our build and the ability to race the 'perfect' car we dream about building, at least in our own eyes.

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jakermc

Sorry, one last point.

 

What happens if you dyno your car and build it to the minimum weight with a max ballast rule in place. Then you come back the next year to re-dyno your car and record a higher value? That happened to me this year, I came in about 4hp higher this year than last.

 

Exact same engine, different environmental conditions, different tester but now I have 4 more hp. Fortunately I was able to add another 48lb lead brick to stay in class. What would I have done if I was at the max? Only two options, unstrip the already stripped race car or go up a class. Seems silly to do either when nothing really changed. Thankfully I was able to add ballast that I'll carry until the next dyno run.

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good hands
As an aside I also think Nasa should do away with points and trophies.

 

I believe everyone should come away a winner. Wouldn't we all be happier that way. A Plaque for every race that just says Winner

 

And Hoosier should give EVERYONE free tires for just competing...

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cbuzz

GTS has the best possible rules set of any class IMO.

 

Rules creep is what kills classes. You have all the rules you need.

 

Charlie Buzzetti

Spec 944

GTS-1

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cwbaader

I would love to run hp/weight. Maybe when NASA realizes horse power is a function of RPM and Torque we can run real horse power to weight classifications. Chuck

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cbuzz

The rules should probably read TQ to Weight ratio. But then would give an advantage to the rotary guys.

 

Not sure exactly what you mean Chuck, fill me in.

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mikew968

As others have said this is a great rule set so let's leave it alone. If there is a safety issue then we'll deal with that issue by issue.

 

That does not mean there won't/can't be tweeks but the foundation is weight/hp.

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cwbaader

I am going to post my response to a couple of private emails I just got:

 

 

"The GTS rules require cars that make more HP than TQ to average them to get the process HP to use in the HP to weight calculation. Using my car as an example, I make 137hp and 170tq; therefore, I must use 154hp times 14.5 lb/hp to get a minumum weight of 2233lbs. Absolutely unobtainable in GTS2. If I were to be classified by HP only, I would be GTS1 @ 2534...exactly where my car was prior to the implementation of the hp/tq rule.

 

Note, per the current rules, both of our cars are between two classes. I have observed, racing the last couple of years, that cars that move down a class with higher hp are always faster...hp to weight be dammed.

 

Another note...you came over from PCA and I came from SCCA and BMW. Our cars, to be competitive in GTS require many many $$$$. Ultimately I feel the series will self destruct because the cost of being competitive is excessive.

 

Hope this answers your question. Chuck"

 

"There has been a huge discussion on www.improvedtouring.com about adders in improved touring for torque. The consensus ended up that torque is already figured in horse power therefore it does not matter. What does matter is the area under the power curve and optimizing the gears. Chuck"

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Jim Child
I have observed, racing the last couple of years, that cars that move down a class with higher hp are always faster...hp to weight be dammed.

 

I haven't noticed that at all in GTS2 in Great Lakes region or at Nationals. In fact no "natural" GTS3 car running ballast to make GTS2 has ever won in Great Lakes or at Nationals.

 

One of the strongest competitors in GTS2 is a "natural" GTS1 car running extra light. At Mid Ohio he's beaten me in my "natural" GTS2 car at least as often as I've beaten him.

 

Lately I've had trouble keeping up with another "natural" GTS2 car that runs about 20 hp less than me and thus enjoys a 290 lb weight advantage.

 

So I've got plenty of evidence that lighter cars have the advantage, the exact opposite of your conclusion. In reality there are too many other variables, driver skill and experience, car setup, non-hp mods, etc. for us to be making any such conclusions.

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streak
I have observed, racing the last couple of years, that cars that move down a class with higher hp are always faster...hp to weight be dammed.

 

I haven't noticed that at all in GTS2 in Great Lakes region or at Nationals. In fact no "natural" GTS3 car running ballast to make GTS2 has ever won in Great Lakes or at Nationals.

 

 

So I've got plenty of evidence that lighter cars have the advantage, the exact opposite of your conclusion. In reality there are too many other variables, driver skill and experience, car setup, non-hp mods, etc. for us to be making any such conclusions.

 

It seems to me that after looking at race results it is clear that those cars that are "natural" GTS 3 cars dominate GTS 2. Ballast just isn't the equalizer it is supposed to be.

 

It's interesting that you use the term "natural" If you look at the upcoming entry list for Hyperfest the GTS 3 field is loaded with M3's and 325's and a few have entered GTS 2. Seems like those cars are "natural" GTS 3 cars and the lap time stats put them right in the thick of the GTS 3 competition. Those lap times put them at a pretty big advantage in GTS 2. The ballast doesn't hamper the times. That's pretty good proof that ballast isn't a concrete equalizer. The ballasted GTS 2 cars run the same lap times as those same cars running in GTS 3. Of course there are those variables you stated.

 

Now, if we went with TQ to weight . . . . Those cars with restrictor plates generate low end torque to their advantage. Depending on the track it is a big advantage.

 

Not bitching, just more discussion.

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JSG1901
It seems to me that after looking at race results it is clear that those cars that are "natural" GTS 3 cars dominate GTS 2. Ballast just isn't the equalizer it is supposed to be.

So, Hunt, I'm trying to understand what you mean when you say "natural" GTS3 cars are dominating GTS2. I run a 944 S2 with a stock motor. I have lightened the car somewhat to get down to my minimum weight but even at full stock weight my car easily fits into GTS2.

 

Last year, out of 13 races I won 10, was DQ'd in another (after winning), finished 2nd once and DNF'd one (after leading) when I'd not tightened a brake bleeder valve enough. In there, I won all three races at the National Championships including the final race with a 17-second margin over second place.

 

I'm not sure I see how my "natural" GTS2 car is being dominated by those big bad boys who are sneaking down from GTS3 and taking advantage of a loophole in the rules.

 

The difference you are seeing and experiencing is the driver. Give me two equally fast drivers in two equally well prepared cars with matching power to weight ratios, one of which is several hundred pounds lighter than the other, and the odds are in favor of the lighter car every time. That doesn't mean the lighter car will always win, but he'll win more.

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jakermc
The difference you are seeing and experiencing is the driver. Give me two equally fast drivers in two equally well prepared cars with matching power to weight ratios, one of which is several hundred pounds lighter than the other, and the odds are in favor of the lighter car every time. That doesn't mean the lighter car will always win, but he'll win more.

 

 

+1

 

In the Texas region there is no evidence that high hp cars with ballast are beating up on lighter cars.

 

In theory a lighter car will be better at braking and turning, while they would be equal in acceleration (I'll ignore the area under the curve argument to keep things simple). Why do you think a high hp car with ballast can reverse the natural laws of physics?

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Michael Dayton

It seems to me that after looking at race results it is clear that those cars that are "natural" GTS 3 cars dominate GTS 2. Ballast just isn't the equalizer it is supposed to be.

 

It's interesting that you use the term "natural" If you look at the upcoming entry list for Hyperfest the GTS 3 field is loaded with M3's and 325's and a few have entered GTS 2. Seems like those cars are "natural" GTS 3 cars and the lap time stats put them right in the thick of the GTS 3 competition. Those lap times put them at a pretty big advantage in GTS 2. The ballast doesn't hamper the times. That's pretty good proof that ballast isn't a concrete equalizer. The ballasted GTS 2 cars run the same lap times as those same cars running in GTS 3. Of course there are those variables you stated.

 

Now, if we went with TQ to weight . . . . Those cars with restrictor plates generate low end torque to their advantage. Depending on the track it is a big advantage.

 

Not bitching, just more discussion.

 

Hunt - a stock M3 with safety and some interior remaining fits nicely into GTS2 without ballast. As matter of fact, I removed some of the interior to lower my weight (had to put it back in for BMWCCA I Stock rules). I was 3150# and 215 hp IIRC.

 

FYI, The 325's in GTS3 for Hyperfest are not stock motors and some aren't 325 motors at all...just 325 chasis. The "natural" terminology should be stricken from the thread....

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cwbaader

"FYI, The 325's in GTS3 for Hyperfest are not stock motors and some aren't 325 motors at all...just 325 chasis. The "natural" terminology should be stricken from the thread.... "

 

My point!!! Money makes a winning car. What you have is similar to SCCA production racing with 15k motors and 10k in shocks for an AMATURE series

 

If you want proof, look at the GTS entries in the Southeast so far this year. Three races to date, total GTS entries 27. We have 7 so far for Barber. Two years ago (before some members could not follow the rules at Roebling Road and made asses of themselves after the fact) we had 16 entries in GTS2 alone. IMHO NASA has created a monster because to be competitive you must optimize your car for GTS and that renders it mostly unraceable in other series. My two cents. Chuck

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streak

"natural" was not my term. Just expanding on the phrase Jim coined is all.

 

And yes I know, its always the driver even if the rest of the field has lost before the winning driver has gotten his car out of the trailer

 

While there are a few here that participate on a genuine professional level, most are amateurs who have winning cars.

 

Again, not looking to make sweeping changes. You all have opened my eyes to the way the game is played in GTS.

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Michael Dayton

My point!!! Money makes a winning car. What you have is similar to SCCA production racing with 15k motors and 10k in shocks for an AMATURE series

 

If you want proof, look at the GTS entries in the Southeast so far this year. Three races to date, total GTS entries 27. We have 7 so far for Barber. Two years ago (before some members could not follow the rules at Roebling Road and made asses of themselves after the fact) we had 16 entries in GTS2 alone. IMHO NASA has created a monster because to be competitive you must optimize your car for GTS and that renders it mostly unraceable in other series. My two cents. Chuck

 

Chuck,

 

Doesn't money make a winning car in any series...spec, pro or amateur? I do agree that a purpose built GTS car will dominate in the right hands. Until then one can be competitive by crossing over.

 

NASA/GTS gives us a place to race just as the other organizations do but they don't guarantee we will be competitive...pick your car/organization and go racing.

 

We're a bit off topic though...what do you think of the ballast issue Chuck?

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cwbaader

I think it should be limited to the weight of the driver. Chuck

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cbuzz

As much as I am opposed to adding any rules to GTS. A ballast limit is probably the best way to do that. I think more in the 150 lb range would be better. That is alot of weight to add IMO.

 

GTS-1 944

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good hands
Michael Dayton

Hunt - a stock M3 with safety and some interior remaining fits nicely into GTS2 without ballast.

 

 

What year M3 ? M3's Hp range greatly like 911's depending on year. I think what Hunt was trying to say by the term " natural " is cars that started with similar HP . An older 911 starts with roughly the same HP as an E30. Other cars that fit this HP band are 944 turbo's, 944s2's and BMW 325's.

 

An E36 has roughly the same HP as a Porsche 964 which are much faster more sophisticated cars right out of the box and generally run in GTS3. Is it fair to group the cars listed above with the 2 mentioned here and just add extra weight ? As of right now the rules say yes which is why there is this discussion.

 

 

My point!!! Money makes a winning car. What you have is similar to SCCA production racing with 15k motors and 10k in shocks for an AMATURE series

 

Chuck

 

And I agree with Chuck. This is what I was hoping to avoid.

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streak

If 100lbs = 1 second then looking at historical lap times for the last couple of races it seems like those cars with large amounts of ballast in GTS 2 should win or at the very least have a strong podium finish in GTS 3

 

I did a quick analysis of similar cars (M3 and 325) of past race results. I threw out the obvious anomalies and only compared the cars that I could verify were M3's or 325. I chose those because there are more of them thereby creating a more accurate result.

 

Average times:

 

GTS 2 VIR 2:16

GTS 3 VIR 2:12

 

GTS 2 SP 1:25

GTS 3 SP 1:23

 

By the logic of the group the ballasted GTS 2 cars should be 3 to 4 seconds faster if they remove the ballast so why don't they? Why not lose the weight and run in GTS 3? Clearly they would be in contention.

 

BTW the average ballasted GTS 2 times are very solid top third lap times for the GTS 3 class.

 

If the original intent was to have a grouping of cars that would run similar lap times then there has been a blurring of the class lines IMHO. GTS 2 runs in either Stinger or Autobahn while GTS 3 runs with Thunder for a reason. GTS 2 is not supposed to mix it up with GTS 3. The division of the race groups aren't only by convenience, there's a logic to it. That speaks to the "spirit"

 

As for the GTS 1 944, I can promise you that if I ballasted my 911 to GTS 1 I might be challenged in the corners against him but down the straight, particularly a straight like VIR, I would be able to initiate a zero skill pass at will solely based on the hp and top end of my car. Ballast be damned. Similar to an M3 that starts with a 30 hp advantage.

 

Any word on where my Winner plaque is?

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Lemming

 

As for the GTS 1 944, I can promise you that if I ballasted my 911 to GTS 1 I might be challenged in the corners against him but down the straight, particularly a straight like VIR, I would be able to initiate a zero skill pass at will solely based on the hp and top end of my car. Ballast be damned. Similar to an M3 that starts with a 30 hp advantage.

 

So do it, you might be surprised at the result.

 

I run GTS3 in a 227 rwhp car running against much higher HP cars (e46 m3) that are heavier. I have no problem hanging with the e46 on the backstraight at RA.

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streak

 

I run GTS3 in a 227 rwhp car running against much higher HP cars (e46 m3) that are heavier. I have no problem hanging with the e46 on the backstraight at RA.

 

 

Am i missing something here? Not knowing any specifics of your car I'd be interested on how you manage to hang with a car with a stock rwhp advantage of over 50 hp on the straight?! Assuming that the e46 has done nothing to his engine you are saying that in a drag race you are equal to an e46?

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Lemming

Don't know, I've never drag raced an e46 from a stand still. What I do know is that coming out of a turn and heading down even a long straight like RA, I don't get blown away by the higher HP cars that are heavier. You have to remember that I am 5 to 600 lbs lighter than they are and it takes them longer to get up to speed. Also, the aero on a 924S is pretty good. Not sure if that will remain true this year as I put a wide body kit with front spoiler and wing on my car, I'm guessing my straight-line speed will suffer.

 

With respect to natural GTS class fits, I run a 968 engine in my car. Most 968's are running in GTS2, I run GTS3 as I have the engine in a very light car (completely stripped 924S). My wt/hp ratio last year was 11.03 coming off track. IMO, this is a better setup than taking a natural GTS3 car and ballasting it down to GTS2.

 

I don't know if you posted where your car sits relative to wt/hp in your class, but if you are not at the edge, you are not where you need to be.

 

Now if my car started off sitting at 13 wt/hp and I didn't want to spend the money to get the car down in weight, then without a doubt, the best thing to consider is adding weight to get down to the 14.5 limit and class the car as a GTS2

 

Right now I'm considering supercharging my car. I could add lots of weight and keep it in GTS3, but I will likely opt to keep it as light as possible and go to GTS4 as long as I can get close to the edge, around 8.502.

 

I'll take a lighter lower-powered car over a heavy high-powered car on the tracks I race any day of the week.

 

 

Edit - so I just went back and looked, you do not state you hp/wt ratio, where do you sit? If you are at 15 or greater, then you may have your explanation.

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Michael Dayton
Michael Dayton

Hunt - a stock M3 with safety and some interior remaining fits nicely into GTS2 without ballast.

 

 

What year M3 ? M3's Hp range greatly like 911's depending on year. I think what Hunt was trying to say by the term " natural " is cars that started with similar HP . An older 911 starts with roughly the same HP as an E30. Other cars that fit this HP band are 944 turbo's, 944s2's and BMW 325's.

 

An E36 has roughly the same HP as a Porsche 964 which are much faster more sophisticated cars right out of the box and generally run in GTS3. Is it fair to group the cars listed above with the 2 mentioned here and just add extra weight ? As of right now the rules say yes which is why there is this discussion.

 

 

My point!!! Money makes a winning car. What you have is similar to SCCA production racing with 15k motors and 10k in shocks for an AMATURE series

 

Chuck

 

 

1995 E36M3 130k miles....from the factory they produced 240hp at the crank and weighed 3300# give or take... The E36M3's running in GTS3 have all had work done to them...at least race cams if not more...including mine...I moved up to GTS3 with 3.0L and cams...I only won if Eric or Doug broke...the E36M3 needs the S52 with cams, etc to win...some (ok only one that I know of) have put the S54 in...avoiding spending money in car racing is feasible as long as you don't want to be competitive. it's an either or thing

Edited by Guest

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Lemming

 

I run GTS3 in a 227 rwhp car running against much higher HP cars (e46 m3) that are heavier. I have no problem hanging with the e46 on the backstraight at RA.

 

 

Am i missing something here? Not knowing any specifics of your car I'd be interested on how you manage to hang with a car with a stock rwhp advantage of over 50 hp on the straight?! Assuming that the e46 has done nothing to his engine you are saying that in a drag race you are equal to an e46?

 

I don't have any footage of me running with the e46 posted but I do have one of me chasing Hinkle's 993 RS (I class) at Barber. Clearly the 993 RS is pushing quite a bit more HP than I do, watch and see if there's much of a difference in speed.

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=914794460834126067

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