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2011 Rules Update & Leadership Team meeting minutes


tacovini

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UPDATE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

On 11/3, the AI Leadership Team got together once again. In attendance via telecon was Todd Covini (National Series Director), Jay Andrew (Great Lakes), Chris Griswold (Midwest), Jimmy Bost (Mid-Atlantic), Ed McGuire (Southeast), Patrick Wehmeyer (Florida), Al Watson (Northeast) and RayBob Coleman (Rocky Mountain). Absent due to prior engagements were Al Fernandez (Texas) and Adam Ginsberg (California). (Individual discussions with them will take place.)

 

REGIONAL ROUND TABLE

Input from each of the regions took place with each series director briefly discussing their past year's performance and their upcoming year's challenges.

 

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP

Todd reviewed his impressions of the top 3 highs and top 3 lows of the National Championships:

HIGHS - 1) The Racing (starts, competition, minimal contact/cautions) 2) Windshield Banners professional look 3) Tech Inspections (pre-tech and post tech)

LOWS - 1) Front Splitter Rule misinterpretation 2) Final Race Dyno Anomalies 3) Regional consistency arguments

On the note of regional consistency, Todd announced that he will be traveling to most of the AI regions in 2011 to learn and understand regional inconsistencies, as well as meet our AI racers across America. First event will be Dec. at Road Atlanta for Santa's Toy Run. (Pantas Beware!) Regional feedback on other impressions of highs & lows from the National Championships was then received.

 

2011 SEASON

Todd provided brief summary of announcements to be released at the same time as the 2011 rules.

1) Windshield Banner rollout plan.

2) New AI Website release parallel with 2011 Rules.

3) Crossover events other than Championships for large AI fields to be reviewed (Hallett, Road America, Watkins Glenn, VIR...)

 

2011 RULE CHANGE REQUESTS

Todd quickly read the main topics which were submitted for review or are on the AI/CMC 5 Year Plan. 2011 will primarily be a "clarification year" and we don't expect a lot of major changes.

Overarching principles were: a) Provide a ladder from CMC to AI to AIX b) Lower the hurdle into/out of Grand AM and World Challenge c) reign in AI to be more of a central series between CMC and AIX.

 

RCR General Areas submitted of interest/review were included but not limited to:

1) Dyno Procedures

2) Ride Height (clarity, modifications, tech bulletins per chassis)

3) Front Splitter (define, clarify)

4) AIX bolt in subframes for Pre-82 cars

5) Electronic Throttle Bodies

6) Track Width

7) Power/Weight Ratios

AIX Tire sizes/construction

9) Front Frame Clarifications

10) Dashboard Clarifications

11) Shock mounting clarifications

12) Aero

13) Transmissions

14) Windshield Banner requirements

15) GPS

 

We will be actively working on the 2011 rules package in the coming weeks and plan to release them as soon as they are available.

Stay tuned....

 

-=- Todd Covini

National Series Director

American Iron Racing

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Great info. Thanks for the update.

 

I was not aware of this one

b) Lower the hurdle into/out of Grand AM and World Challenge

 

I'm interested to know why this is important. Are racers wanting to go up to pro ranks, or are pro ranks wanting to come to AI? Are other NASA classes planning to make this a priority?

 

What are some of the items considered that would make the hurdle easier?

Grand Am and AI rules are very different. Surely a car can be built to both classes (Dean has done it, and Dave R raced it), but I don't see how you can play to both sides. Don't know much about WC, other then they are getting away from highly modified cars to more stock "like". With current rules in place for AI, a car can be cut up pretty good and have many mods. Thats not the case in Grand Am. I hope this doen't leave non S197 AI cars hanging in the breeze.

 

Inquiring minds would like to know more.

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sundialracing
Great info. Thanks for the update.

 

I was not aware of this one

b) Lower the hurdle into/out of Grand AM and World Challenge

 

I'm interested to know why this is important. Are racers wanting to go up to pro ranks, or are pro ranks wanting to come to AI? Are other NASA classes planning to make this a priority?

 

What are some of the items considered that would make the hurdle easier?

Grand Am and AI rules are very different. Surely a car can be built to both classes (Dean has done it, and Dave R raced it), but I don't see how you can play to both sides. Don't know much about WC, other then they are getting away from highly modified cars to more stock "like". With current rules in place for AI, a car can be cut up pretty good and have many mods. Thats not the case in Grand Am. I hope this doen't leave non S197 AI cars hanging in the breeze.

 

Inquiring minds would like to know more.

 

I could be showing my ignorance here but next to wheels, tires and a hp/weight adjustment A FR500C could be an AI car right??

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Great info. Thanks for the update.

 

I was not aware of this one

b) Lower the hurdle into/out of Grand AM and World Challenge

 

I'm interested to know why this is important. Are racers wanting to go up to pro ranks, or are pro ranks wanting to come to AI? Are other NASA classes planning to make this a priority?

 

What are some of the items considered that would make the hurdle easier?

Grand Am and AI rules are very different. Surely a car can be built to both classes (Dean has done it, and Dave R raced it), but I don't see how you can play to both sides. Don't know much about WC, other then they are getting away from highly modified cars to more stock "like". With current rules in place for AI, a car can be cut up pretty good and have many mods. Thats not the case in Grand Am. I hope this doen't leave non S197 AI cars hanging in the breeze.

 

Inquiring minds would like to know more.

 

I could be showing my ignorance here but next to wheels, tires and a hp/weight adjustment A FR500C could be an AI car right??

 

Exactly correct, not much of a hurlde, more like a bump. Thats why I don't understand what needs to change in the AI rules in order for those cars to come join us?

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Todd and committee

 

Thanks for the update and for starting the work on what will be a small set of minor changes to the rules for next season.

 

I would like one bit of clarification, the principles listed that Dave and other are asking about, are these our long term principles, just for this season rule changes. From the context of the wording I am really not sure.

 

Thanks

Mark

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Don't get caught up too much on the specifics of the words guys. One of the downfalls of providing more communication is that folks tend to hang on every word which can lean toward misinterpretation. I'll do my best to communicate more than less as long as everyone can keep an open mind and remain civil (as we have here.)

 

The long term principle is to "grow car count". Our strategy to achieve that is typically to welcome current and obsolete racecars from other series. Today's World Challenge GTS and Grand Am GS series are amazingly close to American Iron (as noted above). We don't want to have large hurdles for them to join us in American Iron now, or when those cars get sold. Simple changes to their cars and/or ours can promote interchange into & out of American Iron and will help us to achieve our goal of "car count". (See many Mustang Challenge cars without a series today.)

 

With that said, I realize that there are some who wrongfully have the perception that "American Iron is losing it's grassroots" and that "American Iron is going away from the little guy" racing [because the pro-level cars are coming in]. I can assure you that is not the case.

 

We want to have Pros running with Schmoes.

We want to have old cars running with new cars.

We want to have high dollar cars running with budget racers.

 

We are looking at the ruleset as we always have, however, with a keen eye at what the other series are doing...so we don't wrongfully exclude a car entry on a non-performance technicality. It's a difficult job to equalize many different makes, models, length, width, aero etc. packages....but I like to think we're doing a pretty good job. Anyone see the regular guy flat black Fox run with the professionally built shiny orange cars at the Championships? Regardless of the outcome, that was an extremely close race for the championship!

 

Keep the faith guys, the process is working!!!

 

-=- Todd

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  • 4 weeks later...
marshallmosty

Todd,

Can you please clarify further on what specifically is being discussed on the following, as they are VERY vague:

 

RCR General Areas submitted of interest/review were included but not limited to:

1) Dyno Procedures

2) Ride Height (clarity, modifications, tech bulletins per chassis)

3) Front Splitter (define, clarify)

4) AIX bolt in subframes for Pre-82 cars

5) Electronic Throttle Bodies

6) Track Width

7) Power/Weight Ratios

AIX Tire sizes/construction

9) Front Frame Clarifications

10) Dashboard Clarifications

11) Shock mounting clarifications

12) Aero

13) Transmissions

14) Windshield Banner requirements

15) GPS

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Marshal: Is there something in particular that you have your panties in a bunch over? If you are waiting to change something list it or ask us and we can address your specific question before the rules are finalized. I hope you are not just stirring the pot for no reason. As listed previously, there isn't anything that someone will have to rebuild a car over. The changes are meant to be minor tweaks and are trying to keep rules stable. If that is not clear, please let us know what you are pondering or waiting to change on your car and we MAY be able to point you in a direction.

 

Oh, and by "holidays", Todd meant Easter.

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marshallmosty
Marshall: Is there something in particular that you have your panties in a bunch over? If you are waiting to change something list it or ask us and we can address your specific question before the rules are finalized. I hope you are not just stirring the pot for no reason. As listed previously, there isn't anything that someone will have to rebuild a car over. The changes are meant to be minor tweaks and are trying to keep rules stable. If that is not clear, please let us know what you are pondering or waiting to change on your car and we MAY be able to point you in a direction.

 

Oh, and by "holidays", Todd meant Easter.

 

Chris,

No real panties in a wad... Just chewing the Thanksgiving turkey with some other racers and we had a beef about how long it took to do things and how "cloudy" the water is. Maybe I was just having a bad day at work and it spewed into cyberspace...

 

However, for a list of my specifics:

 

1. Aero... what is being considered

2. Splitter... what is being considered

3. Dashes... what is being considered

4. Power/Weight ratios... what is being considered

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I too, have a vested interest in the proposals. I am literally in the middle of fabricating the splitter for my car. I suppose I should wait until everthing is finalized before I continue?? It would be disconcerting to finish, only to learn that what I produced is illegal.

 

Also, as the FNG, is there a site where finalized rules are posted? I noticed once the rules were on the internet with changes in red font. Is that all I need to monitor? When I was with the SCCA, they had 'Fastrack' bulletins that reflected all the proposals, and actual changes. Does NASA have anything like that?

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I'll provide an update on things as it has been some time, since I last posted anything.

 

There are currently NO major hurdles with the rules, there have simply been other priorities both regionally and nationally.

(Look for a number of great announcements for the series coming out of the PRI show next week!)

 

1) On the aero/splitters, we are looking to "limit the clown cars". Cars with wings on the roof or on the nose will likely no longer be allowed. Reasonable splitters & wings as run in the past by most all AI racers will still be allowed. The front aero package is currently unrestricted. If you are considering a Pikes Peak front aero package like this you may want to wait for the new rules:

01-hill-climb-suzuki-sx4-sport.jpg

If your front splitter is within Grand Am or World Challenge specs you're probably going to be OK.

 

2) Dashes are here to stay, however, some better wording clarifications are needed. We aren't requiring factory dashes and it's amazing what a couple pieces of sheetmetal or aluminum can accomplish. Clarification is needed. If you have to work on it this weekend, be creative and go from driver side to passenger side and you'll probably be OK.

 

3) Power/Weight ratios have been and continue to be discussed. If you guys don't know me by now, I wouldn't make a power/weight change 2 months before the season starts. IF there are P/W any changes (and there may not be any), it would be phased in over time and the first change wouldn't be effective until the 2012 season at the earliest.

 

ALL AI rule changes are looked at with a long term perspective to assure we are headed where we want to go. It is a long process, and I am not smart enough to make these decisions by myself. I rely on the expertise of folks who know a lot more than I do, and it takes time to arrive at the correct answer.

 

Hope this helps! I'm off to Road Atlanta this weekend to hang out with the AI/CMC crazies over there. Most everyone else who needs to review/approve the rules before release will be racing at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill this weekend, so it's probably a sure thing that the rules will not be released this weekend.

 

We'll get the rules out as soon as possible and I would love to coordinate them along with some PRI Show announcements next weekend....but no promises!

 

-=- Todd

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marshallmosty

Thanks for the update Todd.

 

Does the dash have to have a "top" also? My current dash is a flat panel with cutouts for the round gages. It stops about mid-way across the dash bar. I don't mind extending it to the passenger side, as it would just take some roll bar mounts and rectangular sheet of aluminum.

 

Just need to know to what extent it needs to be "modified".

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I for one am 100% opposed to a power to weight ratio increase. If you are trying to keep costs down, do not change it. The person with the deeper pockets will just drive away from the budget impaired.

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I say 8.5 or 9 to 1 power to weight.More power is coming sooner than later.Just look at the cars coming down the pike now.Two or three more years car will have at least another 50 to 75 hp.You can't detune but so much.

 

Robert

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9 to 1 hp/wt would probably not result in a war of deeper pockets? I could be wrong but most cars could just remove ballast? and not have to spend anything? sure there are a few who built light cars and low power setup with great handling, but it seems more just run ballast- take out the weight, be lighter at the same power, maybe easier on brakes and tires? overall costs less? I don't know- not advocating any changes at all - leave it all how it is....just not sure I agreed with a slight power/weight change inciting and all out $war$ of who can spend the most - although the cars are getting pretty nice at the pointy end of the grid these days with no changes.

 

AB

AI#46

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I agree with AJ, we need to keep AI pwr/wght stable at 9.5:1. I understand newer cars come with more hp and there is a limit of detune but it is far easier and cheaper for a racer to add ballast to meet the rule than someone to add power. AL.

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firehawkclone
I agree with AJ, we need to keep AI pwr/wght stable at 9.5:1. I understand newer cars come with more hp and there is a limit of detune but it is far easier and cheaper for a racer to add ballast to meet the rule than someone to add power. AL.

Than you put the newer cars at a disadvantage at the handling tracks, since we all run the same tire. I for one cannot restrict my motor anymore, and it is stock. That means i have to build a motor just to run with the lighter cars. The fox bodys are 200lbs lighter than me. A 9.0-1 ratio is pretty easy for most to get to, at 3100lbs that's 18hp. I would love to see 8.5 across the board.

 

I never thought this would be on the table, so I didn't put anything in for it.

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I think is is easy to come up with lots of reasons to change or not change a rule as basic as the HP ratio. I can only hope that any meeting to take such a change into consideration has a mandatory viewing of this years national race where fox, and. S197 going at it for most of the race. Not sure a clear advantage could be seen for either car in fact it seems like the cars are very close to equal delivering a close fun race. I would think a series that can produce that type of result from the rule set would be very attractive to new cars.

 

Besides after I spend my time and money this off season putting my dash I may not have time to work something a meaningless as the motor.

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z28racergirl
... is there a site where finalized rules are posted? I noticed once the rules were on the internet with changes in red font. Is that all I need to monitor? When I was with the SCCA, they had 'Fastrack' bulletins that reflected all the proposals, and actual changes. Does NASA have anything like that?

 

Years past the new rules have been posted and linked to this Forum, and yes changes noted with strike-throughs and bold/italics. Usually the post would summarize the changes/adds/deletes, so I'd assume this year wouldn't be much different? It's been a handful of years since the days of updating my browser every minute to check for the new rules, though. Looking to change that for 2011. Mister Racergirl says he wants to do 2 events! So - baby steps back into racing. I'm not sure I even know how to drive anymore, let alone race.

 

Hope the 25 Hr was a blast!

 

Christine

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With the faster CMC2 Cars getting into the AI midpack I'm all for moving AI to 8.5:1....

 

This did not seem to happen at nationals, can you post a link to my laps data so we can see to what degree this is happening and what the relative times are, I think this would really help the leadership team make some informed decisions for the future direction.

 

Thanks

Mark

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With the faster CMC2 Cars getting into the AI midpack I'm all for moving AI to 8.5:1....

 

This did not seem to happen at nationals, can you post a link to my laps data so we can see to what degree this is happening and what the relative times are, I think this would really help the leadership team make some informed decisions for the future direction.

 

Thanks

Mark

 

Hey Mark,

Look at the Hallet Lap times from this last summer....

I'm the RMR AI director so I've been in some of the leadership pow wows.

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With the faster CMC2 Cars getting into the AI midpack I'm all for moving AI to 8.5:1....

 

This did not seem to happen at nationals, can you post a link to my laps data so we can see to what degree this is happening and what the relative times are, I think this would really help the leadership team make some informed decisions for the future direction.

 

Thanks

Mark

 

Hey Mark,

Look at the Hallet Lap times from this last summer....

I'm the RMR AI director so I've been in some of the leadership pow wows.

 

Will do, but as you know the Hallet race may not be the typical mix or balance of AI to Cmc. I gathered from forum chatter that it was drawing a very good Cmc field but not so much of an ai field so that of course could allow some fast Cmc cars to catch AI cars but may not be indicative of a national trend requiring a change in the rules in the near future.

 

Just don't want the exceptions to drive the rules.

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With the faster CMC2 Cars getting into the AI midpack I'm all for moving AI to 8.5:1....

 

Not sure I follow this logic. How does moving the power to weight ratios make the midpack guy faster/more competitive? Sure he might not get past by the faster CMC drivers but he's still slow compared to the other guys in his class. More power will probably just get him lapped now by the good AI drivers as they will be able to handle the increased speeds in braking and cornering.

 

Its not the AI rules that allows a 12.3:1 hp/wt CMC car catch and pass a 9.5:1 AI driver!

 

Sidney

CMC2 #64

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