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ianacole

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

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ianacole

You started the ballast thread because there are cars that fall into a "natural" class that are ballasting down to a lower class resulting in you not being competitive within your class. Since you weren't competitive, it must be that the cars have an unfair advantage.

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Damon in STL
So, all, back to the original topic : What is the spirit of GTS? Some place where anyone with a German car can come play with like-minded enthusiasts without a lot of overhead, or some place that someone with a German car can come be competitive?

 

Ian,

 

My answer to your question above would be yes. Both.

 

I picked NASA over BMW CCA and SCCA because my car fit into the NASA rule set the best. And, the fact that no other cars were in SCCA ITR in my home track region and BMW really has no race presence west of the Mississippi and east of the Rockies. I'm highly involved with the local BMW chapter and had a somewhat hard time making the decision to race with another group.

 

Camaraderie is high on the list of why I track a car. Car guys are great. Track guys are great. Racers are great. So, hanging out with the track junkies is a big part of the draw. But, I'm also competitive. So, having other similar cars in class is important too. But, everyone needs to start somewhere and I really believe driver ability will make a big difference at this level. So, money doesn't always make the fastest car....often...but, not always.

 

Damon in STL

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Lemming
You entered into this playground with preconceived notions, and it seems to me that since they where not upheld, are looking for reasons other than the preconceived notions.

 

 

I don't follow you. What reasons am I looking for?

 

I cannot answer for Ian, but my take on it is that you feel that you cannot be competitive in GTS2, so therefore the rules need to be changed so that you can be. I do not write this to slam you, just my take on the situation. As I posted, I think if you get you car down close to the 14.5 range, you will not be unhappy (unless you can't drive; ). Will this affect your ability to race in other series, probably.

 

My car was built specifically with GTS3 in mind and that costs me when I race with PCA. As a PCA GT4S car, I cannot compete with a well built 911 (eg, J.H.) that is allowed to be lighter with more HP. Luckily for me, those boys have not come to play with the PCA at Barber when I have raced there. When they do, I will not be in front of them, even with the home field advantage.

 

My advice, build your car for your primary series and go after it. All other races with different clubs and rules are just for shits and giggles. If you happen to win a few, that's just icing!

 

 

Edit - I see that Ian replied while I was composing and having a cold one. Maybe I could have answered for him

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good hands
You started the ballast thread because there are cars that fall into a "natural" class that are ballasting down to a lower class resulting in you not being competitive within your class. Since you weren't competitive, it must be that the cars have an unfair advantage.

 

Jeff Curtis started the ballast thread. He is respected long time racer here at NASA so his personal experiences and possible feedback from other racers must have triggered something to start the conversation.

Edited by Guest

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streak
You started the ballast thread because there are cars that fall into a "natural" class that are ballasting down to a lower class resulting in you not being competitive within your class. Since you weren't competitive, it must be that the cars have an unfair advantage.

 

Prolly should review who started all these threads. Wasn't me.

 

I was competitive with the other Carreras in the field, as previously noted we all had very similar lap times.

 

I have repeatedly stated that I have no expectation of competing for a podium in my rookie season unless its a class of 2.

 

"natural" was terminology used by another poster.

 

In amateur racing, with very few exceptions, the car is the advantage hence your whole analogy about the spec miata leaders spending more to prep their cars. The car is the advantage.

 

The statement that you use to describe me could just as easily describe anyone who go so far as to bolt 400 pounds in their car. They couldn't compete in their class so thy went down a level to have an advantage.

 

This thread was born of a trackside discussion. That discussion was not started by me either. It's worth having. All I heard in the paddock was how ridiculous the "money race" has gotten in GTS 3. Wild rumors of cars with $200,000 plus invested to win. No way to win with out dumping the kind of money most people don't have. Again not a discussion I started. Ironically that complaint was from the competitor who then added 400 lbs to his car and brought the "money race" to GTS 2. The very thing he was criticizing in GTS 3. He had one reason for moving down a class, he couldn't compete in GTS 3.

 

I was not alone in being shocked upon discovering how much weight had been added to some of the cars. All the new people I spoke to over the course of the weekend had a similar reaction. They came in with the same notions I did I guess.

 

Personally I can't speak to the spirit of the rules because I wasn't part of the discussions that created the series.

 

Do I agree with the practice? No.

 

Do I understand that that is how the GTS game is played now? Yes

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ianacole
Prolly should review who started all these threads. Wasn't me.

 

I have repeatedly stated that I have no expectation of competing for a podium in my rookie season unless its a class of 2.

 

"natural" was terminology used by another poster.

 

Yep, my apologies.

 

In amateur racing, with very few exceptions, the car is the advantage hence your whole analogy about the spec miata leaders spending more to prep their cars. The car is the advantage.

 

And so the more money spent will translate to a better opportunity to win - same with GTS. If we implement a ballast rule, will that really keep the $200,000 car out, or have a better opportunity to attract a "budget" racer?

 

The statement that you use to describe me could just as easily describe anyone who go so far as to bolt 400 pounds in their car. They couldn't compete in their class so thy went down a level to have an advantage.

 

Or, they decided where they wanted to run and built a car to maximize the rules.

 

This thread was born of a trackside discussion. That discussion was not started by me either. It's worth having. All I heard in the paddock was how ridiculous the "money race" has gotten in GTS 3. Wild rumors of cars with $200,000 plus invested to win. No way to win with out dumping the kind of money most people don't have. Again not a discussion I started. Ironically that complaint was from the competitor who then added 400 lbs to his car and brought the "money race" to GTS 2. The very thing he was criticizing in GTS 3. He had one reason for moving down a class, he couldn't compete in GTS 3.

 

Arguments from sour grapes should be taken with a grain of salt. Could I ballast down to GTS-1 and win there? Perhaps. Would I have as much fun. Not likely. I picked GTS-3 because that's where most of the cars are, and I'll work to stay there. And, I'll be adding power and ballasting up, because that's how I want to build my car. And just to be clear, it's not so I can be a "natural" GTS-4 car ballasted down to GTS-3, it's to overcome inherent flaws in my car of choice.

 

I was not alone in being shocked upon discovering how much weight had been added to some of the cars. All the new people I spoke to over the course of the weekend had a similar reaction. They came in with the same notions I did I guess.

 

And most that I've spoken to have the feeling that as long as it's properly secured don't have an issue with it. How did you approach people with the question? Did you ask them "Can you believe he's running 300lbs of ballast? I think it's rediculous" or did you ask "Do you have any strong feelings on how much ballast is too much?"

 

Personally I can't speak to the spirit of the rules because I wasn't part of the discussions that created the series.

 

Neither was I, and I really wanted to get the pulse of the community, hence this thread. Believe it or not, I do appreciate the discussion.

 

Do I agree with the practice? No.

 

Duly noted, as it was in the actual thread about ballast.

 

Do I understand that that is how the GTS game is played now? Yes

 

Now, back to my "preconceived notion" point. The rules and the game hasn't changed since all this started, but now you have an "understanding ... of how the GTS game is played" that wasn't part of your original understanding when you came into the series.

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CARVAL Motorsports

 

Obviously there is a problem with GTS that needs to be addressed. The current rule set definitely needs some tweaking to get entry numbers back up. Just say'n....Chuck

 

Chuck, I have been reading the same rant for two seasons now. It, as you have been told several times before, is hard to make a car competitive across several different classifications. GTS does not need to fix any rules. Where the organization has been the strongest for 4 years, the Great Lakes region, we have had tremendous car counts, very close racing, at every event. 2009 has shown that the economy can effect the hobby. I have competed religiously, every event and three championships since 2004. My car is parked this season, and it sure has nothing to do with the rules! There are a large number of us amatuers that had to reassess priorites this year. I am glad to hear that you are still able to run in so many events. I copped an email from PCA Club Racing earlier, and they were scrambling to get to the break even point for May Mid Ohio, an event that generally sold out in about 4 days of open registration. That is evidence enough for me that things are not normal.

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streak
Prolly should review who started all these threads. Wasn't me.

 

I have repeatedly stated that I have no expectation of competing for a podium in my rookie season unless its a class of 2.

 

"natural" was terminology used by another poster.

 

Yep, my apologies.

 

Accepted

 

 

 

The statement that you use to describe me could just as easily describe anyone who go so far as to bolt 400 pounds in their car. They couldn't compete in their class so thy went down a level to have an advantage.

 

Or, they decided where they wanted to run and built a car to maximize the rules.

 

Streak:

Not so with this specific case in their own words. Of course there are many others building to a specific class.

 

I picked GTS-3 because that's where most of the cars are, and I'll work to stay there. And, I'll be adding power and ballasting up, because that's how I want to build my car. And just to be clear, it's not so I can be a "natural" GTS-4 car ballasted down to GTS-3, it's to overcome inherent flaws in my car of choice.

 

Streak:

This sums up a very big reason for me to participate in GTS 2. During all this discussion the thought to move over to PT has come up. The problem would be that my buddy and I would be the only PTD cars in the field. As rewarding as it is to get my Winner plaque I'd like it not to be because I finished 2nd out of 2 (I have one of those from last November) Having a full field is a much much bigger draw for me. Finishing 3rd out of 6 or 10th out of 20 has much more appeal to me assuming I can do that well. I have a German car and GTS has a 13/13 that I like so GTS is a series to which I gravitated. Really a no brainer. Heck, I even bought a GTS hat.

 

I was not alone in being shocked upon discovering how much weight had been added to some of the cars. All the new people I spoke to over the course of the weekend had a similar reaction. They came in with the same notions I did I guess.

 

And most that I've spoken to have the feeling that as long as it's properly secured don't have an issue with it. How did you approach people with the question? Did you ask them "Can you believe he's running 300lbs of ballast? I think it's rediculous" or did you ask "Do you have any strong feelings on how much ballast is too much?"

 

Streak:

I was not approaching anyone to inquire their feelings on ballast. It was just a group of us hanging out and talking. No rabble rousing from me. There are also a few who do think there should be a limit and they aren't all noobs.

 

 

Now, back to my "preconceived notion" point. The rules and the game hasn't changed since all this started, but now you have an "understanding ... of how the GTS game is played" that wasn't part of your original understanding when you came into the series.

 

You just wait, at Hyperfest I'm going to take a page out of the Mercedes grand prix playbook from the '30's and strip the paint off my car. Must be about 4 pounds worth. Who's got a Dremel tool?

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good hands
Heck, I even bought a GTS hat.

 

 

 

Your committed now. You couldn't change if you wanted to

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Michael Dayton

The trackside discussion was brought about because of one guy...? no? Yes, there is money being spent on GTS3 cars but it's relative (if that exists in racing, ha). This all boils down to the one guy...then folks looked around to their competitors and said look at how much ballast he has...must be an advantage...well, the one guy has been known (or at least suspected of...and i'm only repeating) cheating! If he's not cheating (or we can't prove it...see other thread about VIR dyno) then we'll limit the ballast and bump him up a class...just speculating here.

 

With all due respect Hunt and Brez...I think you guys have carried this to the next level. Jeff could (and maybe i'm giving him to much credit, Ha!) drive your cars, tweak them some and be competitive with the ballasted BMWs. I could be wrong. It takes a few years to develop the driving skills and make enough money to tweak the car etc etc give it some time. We need and want you guys and your friends to come out and race with us so please don't take this as a slam.

 

Also, something that hasn't been mentioned...if we begin modifying the rules then our liasions/tech stewards have more work to do and they do enough as it is. Honestly, the guys with the fast cars have developed their cars over a few years and spent smaller amounts of money over longer periods of time...nobody that i know of has come out first race with macdaddy of all GTS cars and kicked everyone's ass...and even if he did it still takes the other 2/3's. 1/3 car, 1/3 driver & 1/3 luck!!

 

Sorry to ramble but the spirit and beauty of GTS is the simplicity. Let's keep it that way.

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streak

The discussion was started about one guy. The objection was about the practice entirely and over the course of the discussion it was discovered that more than one guy had in excess of 300 lbs in the car and considering the feedback in this thread it's common practice.

 

As far as cheating, I think we are talking about a different guy The competitor I refer to has never been mentioned in the same sentence with the word cheat. I want to be clear about that. I'm not accusing anyone of cheating. It will be interesting to see the group reaction if that other guy is found to be 100% compliant yet have an unfair advantage due to his equipment.

 

Yes, Jeff and Josh could get in my car right now and beat my best time. They can drive the snot out of a 911.

 

I plan to participate as much as possible. The economy being what it is may cut my season short but . . . .

 

I do appreciate the discussion and patience.

 

Can we have a GTS 1 1/2?

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ianacole
It will be interesting to see the group reaction if that other guy is found to be 100% compliant yet have an unfair advantage due to his equipment.

 

To which equipment? 285 tires on a car that normally runs 225s (that's where I'm headed), the two-foot tall wing on the of a car that didn't originally come with one, the twin-turbo RS6 motor in the old Audi Quattro, permanent lexan windows in the doors, converting my McPherson strut system to a twin A-arm setup, or the Gumpert?

 

The point is there is no such thing as an "unfair advantage due to equipment" in GTS. We are allowed to equip our cars the way we best see fit, and if someone perceives an advantage based on a competitor equipping their vehicle a certain way, they are free to try the same equipment.

 

Do you want to be competitive, or do you want to be first? I had a blast competing for 3rd place this weekend (didn't get it, but still had a blast). I got lapped twice (or was it 3 times?) at Nationals last year by the front runners in my class, and left knowing I was coming back. This year I'm competing for not last, and I'll have a great time doing it. To me, this is the spirit of GTS ... building a German car the way I want to build it and then having a place to race with like minded enthusiasts. I don't need to be first to make it worth while (although it's awfully nice when it happens), but I'm still finding a great deal of competition in my neck of the woods in the finishing order.

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streak

BTW Michael, the $200,000 car discussion was not directed at a Porsche product, it was actually referring to one of the RRT Bimmers. Just thought you should hear the rumors

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Michael Dayton
The discussion was started about one guy. The objection was about the practice entirely and over the course of the discussion it was discovered that more than one guy had in excess of 300 lbs in the car and considering the feedback in this thread it's common practice.

 

As far as cheating, I think we are talking about a different guy The competitor I refer to has never been mentioned in the same sentence with the word cheat. I want to be clear about that. I'm not accusing anyone of cheating. It will be interesting to see the group reaction if that other guy is found to be 100% compliant yet have an unfair advantage due to his equipment.

 

Yes, Jeff and Josh could get in my car right now and beat my best time. They can drive the snot out of a 911.

 

I plan to participate as much as possible. The economy being what it is may cut my season short but . . . .

 

I do appreciate the discussion and patience.

 

Can we have a GTS 1 1/2?

 

Ha! I needed GTS 2.5 last year!!

 

Ok...but I still think the underlying reason this discussion came about was becuase of the suspected non-compliant person...and then the discussion took a turn...

 

As for the 100% compliant...you either are or your not...unfair advantage due to equipment doesn't exist.

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Michael Dayton
BTW Michael, the $200,000 car discussion was not directed at a Porsche product, it was actually referring to one of the RRT Bimmers. Just thought you should hear the rumors

 

 

Well that's just not the case. I have first hand knowledge of their/our car(s). Nice rumor though!

 

Comparing yourself to RRT or someone like them is just not comparing apples to apples. These guys have years of experience and have dedicated themselves and their business to developing fast BMWs. Not to mention Barry is a damn fast driver! James and Adam can hold their own too.

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jakermc
The discussion was started about one guy. The objection was about the practice entirely and over the course of the discussion it was discovered that more than one guy had in excess of 300 lbs in the car and considering the feedback in this thread it's common practice.

 

 

I'm curious, how much "ballast" do you think you have in your car? Based on your signature I am assuming that your car was built for a PCA Stock class. If that's true then I think (I'm not 100% clear on the PCA rules) your car still has glass windows, A/C compressor, carpet, full dash, rear seat pads, etc. Is this correct?

 

In GTS, all this stuff is effectively ballast. Our rule set allows us to remove it so a decision to keep it in the car is basically a decision to run heavier than you have to. Isn't that what ballast is? How much needless weight is in your car? The gap between you and the guy with 300 lbs of lead brick might not be that great.

 

It seems to me that you are trying to differentiate between someone using lead bricks for weight and someone carrying non-racing parts as weight. Stripping the stuff out and using lead is nothing more than good engineering, not an unfair advantage. And by the way - doing this is nearly free if you do the work yourself!

 

As others have said, a cross-over car will almost always give something up to a car built specifically for a series. This will be true no matter how the rule book is written and works in reverse as well - a GTS built car will be uncompetitive in PCA. Either build a car specific for the class or deal with the compromise you made. Either way you'll have a blast racing with friends at the track, and that's what matters most.

 

 

Hey Ian - any truth to the rumor you will be joining us Texas folk at Hallet in June?

Edited by Guest

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ianacole
Hey Ian - any truth to the rumor you will be joining us Texas folk at Hallet in June?

 

Plenty of truth

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streak

Hey, I just know the rumors! Personally I think you have about $350K in it, maybe 4

 

Rumors can be fun.

 

I guess "unfair advantage due to equipment" is the wrong terminology. Maybe its more accurate to say "advantage" because cars do have advantages over one another. I am referring to the type of car that seems to have the GTS 3 ranks riled up as if it is too far a stretch to be in GTS 3. Maybe its not a "natural" GTS 3 car. The accusations are flying. I will assume that that situation will get put to rest at Hyperfest. Doug, the GTS liaison, was adamant at SP that they were going to be vigilant about cheating this season and I applaud him and GTS for it.

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Michael Dayton
Hey, I just know the rumors! Personally I think you have about $350K in it, maybe 4

 

Rumors can be fun.

 

I guess "unfair advantage due to equipment" is the wrong terminology. Maybe its more accurate to say "advantage" because cars do have advantages over one another. I am referring to the type of car that seems to have the GTS 3 ranks riled up as if it is too far a stretch to be in GTS 3. Maybe its not a "natural" GTS 3 car. The accusations are flying. I will assume that that situation will get put to rest at Hyperfest. Doug, the GTS liaison, was adamant at SP that they were going to be vigilant about cheating this season and I applaud him and GTS for it.

 

Damn, I'm always out of the loop on the rumormill!! Well, we have a little more than $350 in it...btw, what's the "K" mean?

 

Bottom line, put him on the dyno, weigh him and disclose all switches, ecu, blah blah...if he's legal than great, everybody will shut up and go racing. Btw, what happened to him at SP last month?

 

As the more sophisicated cars come into the series such as the one in question, then the "disclosures" maybe something to enforce/comply with. We had to do it at nationals but it's never been done at the regional level, at least not MA that I know of.

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ianacole
I will assume that that situation will get put to rest at Hyperfest. Doug, the GTS liaison, was adamant at SP that they were going to be vigilant about cheating this season and I applaud him and GTS for it.

 

There's rumor that I will be at Hyperfest as well. Please make sure to come by and introduce yourself.

 

We are pursuing a number of avenues to help us manage and enforce compliance better. I might as well put this out there now in reference to the spirit of the series, as I've voiced this to some already ... there are two things that I absolutely will not tolerate: 1) Contact between cars during warm-up/practice/qualifying sessions (I'd rather not see contact at any time, but realize that racing happens), and 2) willful cheating. In my opinion, these two practices/activities will have a greater impact on GTS participation numbers than any other aspect of our series.

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streak

Not sure what happened at SP. Engine trouble?

 

Ian, You'll be happy to know that Doug was very pointed in his discussion of compliance. So pointed in fact that I briefly wondered if I was cheating

 

Either way, the message was crystal clear.

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Michael Dayton
Not sure what happened at SP. Engine trouble?

 

Ian, You'll be happy to know that Doug was very pointed in his discussion of compliance. So pointed in fact that I briefly wondered if I was cheating

 

Either way, the message was crystal clear.

 

At VIR everyone knew there wouldn't be a dyno so he raced and won I think. But at SP, it was made very clear that the scales AND the dyno would be used...he came in early during qualifying and didn't race...hmm.

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ELEPHANT1
We are pursuing a number of avenues to help us manage and enforce compliance better. I might as well put this out there now in reference to the spirit of the series, as I've voiced this to some already ... there are two things that I absolutely will not tolerate: 1) Contact between cars during warm-up/practice/qualifying sessions (I'd rather not see contact at any time, but realize that racing happens), and 2) willful cheating. In my opinion, these two practices/activities will have a greater impact on GTS participation numbers than any other aspect of our series.

 

+1. Having dealt with tech stuff for several years I completely agree, especially on the cheating/noncompliance thing. I applaud all your efforts.

 

Cheers.

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cwbaader

Carl, I did answer you earlier but the computer ate my answer. Actually I have been ranting (as have others) about the rule change since its inception. I have a winning ITA car in the southeast division of SCCA and have no intention of changing the car to meet any other series. To that end, I usually use the NASA events as test and tune for the SCCA races. I have been around since NASA began and originally ran GTS1 for which my car happened to be optimized. With the rule change I was moved to GTS2 where I have to race cars classed well above me in the other three series I run. I enjoy winning and being competitive. The reason I haven't been running NASA this year is that the numbers are so small that I can't win any contingency. That, and along with the escalating cost of being competitive has me racing just SCCA this year.

 

Perhaps you can explain to me how torque was added a second time in the rules process. Chuck

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ELEPHANT1

If one comes to GTS and expects to NOT see $200k+ cars, well, probably the wrong series. It's gonna happen, it's only a matter of time. I'm not anywhere near $200k (heck not even $100k thankfully) but I'm way over my original cost plan for my car....and I've not done anything with engine internals that is not stock class compliant...no cams, no special pistons (1st overbore but stock Mahle replacements), stock bearings, stock valve springs/retainers, stock rods....all stock. If I ever finish gathering parts and actually build the motor I'm working towards it will cost nearly as much as the chassis itself. But it's hopefully a long time goal finally achieved. And I won't be in GTS2 any longer either. ; )

 

Cheers.

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