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What Would AI2 Have Looked Like?


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come to road atlanta in march. ive got a seat open for the 3 hour race. i would not be surprised if todd isnt up to his ass in alligators with this toyo mess that seems to be only getting worse.

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no more classes. Leave the rules alone. NO one has money to make adjustments to their cars with this economy anyhow. If the car doesnt meet the rules find a different class. I moved my AI mustang to ST2 and made no changes accept removing ballast and was only a couple tenths of the fastest st2 car in our region. If you dont like a spec tire, run a class that doesnt have one. If you dont like the power/weight rule run in a class with a different one. etc.etc. there are too many classes per weekend as is. Find one and race and enjoy your time. If 50 drivers in AI drove Deans AI car, for example, we would have 50 different lap times.(I only used his because he won Nationals) This racing is supposed to be fun for everyone. Its a $3 dollar trophy, find someone in the class to battle with and be happy you have the time to go racing and a series to race in. No one is getting a professional ride out of this class. The rules will never suit everyone no matter how many times we try and change them. rant over.

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....and so we reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!!!


I heard on the radio today that 2011 will be the first new car model year that factory cassette radios will not be available as an option from the car manufacturers. More on that later....


In multiple sittings, I've sat and read this thread a number of times. You all have had many of the same thoughts I have had, pros & cons, at one time or another...in discussing this with other racers, with other Series Leaders and with NASA HQ during this truly silly season. You've provided excellent feedback and insight on various aspects of the series, and what your wants and wishes would be. It is a difficult problem [sustainability of the series] and interesting how different people, different platforms and even another series [CMC] would go about making changes to ensure long term viability.


BOTTOM LINE*- Upon further review & reflection, We are NOT going to create another class called AI2 now.


a) The 2011 AI Rules are out and will be the prevailing rules for this upcoming season.

b) Anticipate the usual technical bulletins, updates and minor tweaks to the 2011 rules as needed (such as this week's 888 announcement).

c) The AI Leadership Team will continue to review the vision for post-2012 and communicate those as soon as possible.

d) There is no interest in moving away from a spec tire in American Iron and having an open tire option is not the direction we want to head to.


Some of my notes and clarifications from the thread...

1) On more than one occasion, Sir Robin Burnett, Sir Rob Bodle, Sir TJ Bain and a few others really demonstrated a firm grasp of the issue at hand and what we should do about it. (Some of you went round & round like Sir Cumference. nyuk, nyuk, nyuk )


2) The series needs to evolve and keep with the times, regardless of which car make or model arrives to the racetrack.


3) Everyone (including myself) generally agrees that adding classes is not a good thing.


4) While the concept of AI2 was not preferred approach for anyone, the idea did provide options for our current racers to infinitely have what they wanted...a choice...but at the cost of another class. Contrary to CMC, you all arguably decided that that cost for a choice was too high.


5) Many referred to ST2...the similar power ratios there...and running with other makes of cars. I will tell you that the "National Auto Sport Association" was built upon the notion that different auto sports car clubs and different cultures could separately come together to have a common place to race with their groups on any given weekend. American Iron is a culture...a common club of sorts, which is different than ST2. If we think we're having trouble equalizing a field of Mustangs and Camaros now....try throwing some Porsches, Vettes and Vipers into the mix! We are all about promoting the American Iron musclecar genre, regardless of what other series are doing.


6) Also regarding ST2 or other series, I've tested with NASA HQ as to if it is a problem that 2 series or classes have the same power to weight ratio in the overall NASA portfolio. The answer came back a definitive, "No"...for the reason in #5. It's more about the culture, brand and the association, than just the power to weight ratio.


7) In 2001, the California American Iron culture was founded on power hungry tuners, musclecar tweekers & aftermarket suspension gurus who ADDED 30-70 horsepower to their lightened factory based ponycars. Today, 10 years later, nationwide we are seeing those very same tuners, tweekers and gurus SUBTRACTING 30-70 horsepower...to their heavy, ballasted factory based ponycars. (Yes, I have heard all the arguments as to why people restrict, flatter curve, overbuilt motors, etc. and understand.) It's not where we want to be for the newer generation of cars & newbies joining the series. Period. Furthermore, factory performance (regardless of make) is now years away from where we once were in the areas of engine, suspension and chassis development. Today's factory cars don't need fender flares, extensive sheetmetal diets or heavy aftermarket changes. (Round 1 in Texas last weekend, I watched a couple brand new 2011 Mustangs with full interiors and a few bolt ons lap the track in TT with laptimes comparable to our AI field of full on winged racecars. Really.... (It's not about Grand Am or World Challenge or Pro drivers....it's about the newest class of HPDE graduates looking to join the American Iron culture in the coming years. Regardless of make & model.)


8 ) NASA data indicates that a car's popularity or prime to become a racecar is when they are a 10 year old model. That is based upon various classes, experience and entries. (I don't have any tables, charts, histograms or scatter plots to show you Marc & Jim, but you'll have to take my word on that data. ) Cars considerably newer than 10 years old are generally too expensive for the masses....cars that are considerably older than 10 years tend to get difficult to find parts. We've seen a popularity peak at 10 years. If we play with a 10 year sliding scale, the LS motored cars should be hitting their peak right about now. (Just today, I got an email from an LSX powered Grand National that really wants to come play in AI. WooYea! ) I forecast we'll see a wave of LSX GM American Iron cars soon if we can right things up a bit....followed by another wave of 2005+ Mustangs in the middle of the decade. While AI is a well oiled machine today with existing racers who have been around (for as many years me), I think given the above...AI could be loosing oil pressure if we don't look to the future and adjust slightly for the 10 year old model cars coming soon.


9) CMC and ABS futures were really separate animals in this whole AI2 discussion. Both of which will get looked at on their own merits, based on real data, with or without this proposed AI2 class. Those can't be emotional decisions but must be based upon hard facts.


10) As Ross mentioned, AI2 was thought to be "the new AIX" or where many felt as though a wilder (but limited) AI would have been before AIX was allowed to run free. Regardless of what we are talking about, whether it be horsepower, or ABS, or aero or brakes...the hardest thing to do is to take something away that has already been allowed. For this reason, we will let AIX burn brightly or burn out. Seeing Chris's, Paul's, Ernesto's and Elliott's AIX rides in magazines really fuels the fire to hope they continue to burn brightly!


11) Many made some good points about S197 concessions, and having been in this role with AI just a few years, I hadn't appreciated the history. I see that perspective now (like a frying pan to the face), and will be more cognizant as we move forward. As soon as we get more GM and Mopar involvement (from an enthusiast standpoint) I certainly hope that we can turn the frustration level onto those other manufacturer tuners, tweekers and manufacturers to step up.


12) Scott W., you always have a well thought out proposal. Yes, we've seen and listened to your A, B, C option plans of how to homologate older cars with newer. The points system for mods or technology continues to be evaluated but it's not fully baked just yet. While equalizing track widths seems like the only fair and equitable thing to do from an racecar engineering standpoint, we've avoided it due to the unintended consequences of making the older cars look more odd with even bigger stance, flares, etc...while the modern car with wider track essentially looks stock. Overall look & feel of the series has to be factored into our growth model. We really do want the Fox to have the same looking prep level as the F-body or the S197. Not to mention a track width change would then impact all those owners who would them have to change, when we really haven't seen big disadvantages to the Fox bodied car to date. (Mosty vs. Garland last weekend....2X National Champion Jay Andrew...etc...etc....)


13) Regarding my "affinity for Grand Am or World Challenge Pro Cars"...it's simply about car count, series recognition and best practices. Regarding car count, it pains me to tell a driver that he can't run with us because of a small detail, which doesn't have a big performance impact. (Pains me even more if a region looks the other way when the rules clearly say something is illegal.) We all know older pro level cars are retiring at a fast rate in this economy and I am looking to capitolize on that market of current & used race cars. I know many pro level racers who just can't afford to race at that level any more. (I also know many AI drivers who went racing with the big boys and want to come back to AI because it is more fun and less expensive. Why wouldn't we want them to add to our growth if they can play by our rules....Regarding series recognition, I want (and i think we have now achieved) American Iron to be recognized on the same level of competition of Grand Am and World Challenge...at a bargain basement price. NASA provides it's members with the most realistic, racing experience...and by raising our game, our appearance (and our attitudes) we are now recognized as a more professional series. Lastly, I work for Grand Am on a contract basis and learn a lot about how others do things. Quite honestly, there are some administrative or process oriented things that really do make a lot of sense...and so anytime I can try to bring those over to AI in hopes of improving the series, I do it.


That's it...so as David A. said, in some ways, this thread was a "Red Herring" however that was not my intent. NASA as a whole genuinely wanted to impact the least amount of AI racers. Make as many racers happy as they could AND evolve the series into another decade of Ponycar enthusiasts. (A tough task.) What was thought to have been the right solution for CMC(2), it is clear that the AI community does not feel the same way. We will lay out the AI & CMC vision for 2012+ in the coming months which will involve the eventual 3 class series with minor tweaks to AI to keep things modern and in the middle.


...so like that radio blurb I heard this morning, beginning with the 2011 new car model year, the automakers no longer provide a factory option for cassette tapes. I'm sure that decision took some time after much debate and consternation, however We too must evolve with modern times.


-=- Todd

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