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RULE PROPOSAL: Add a factor for racing gearboxes


JSG1901

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In all practical terms there is an open "spirit" to GTS but rules used are to create fair competition. Byproducts like controlling cost and creating accessibility are also heavily considered. A race gearbox is an advantage pure and simple. Basically unlimited gear ratio selection and ease/speed of shifting.

 

Making an argument that a racebox makes racing more practical is sort of ridiculous. My crappy OEM gearbox has lasted 6 years? How many Porsche and BMW drivers are swapping transmissions every couple of events??? I honestly can't name one.

 

How would you treat a factory gear box with a custom gear set then, gear ratio selection but still synchro shifted (slow), but also a short rear end drive can lead to "close" ratio for some people with factory gear box to.

 

How would you treat a factory gearbox with a sequential shifter attachement? (Which is similar to swapping for a short shifter in the end...) is that considered "race box" or no penalty? Because in fact it problem would be only a very small advantage.

 

What if one combined both of those but kept synchro and factory casing... technicly it still not a race gear box but does it gets penalized versus the high end race gear box stuff?

 

A brand new 4 speed dogbox is under 4000$, all over the place at 1500-2000$ used from nascar resellers.... is that considered expensive? Yes the very high end stuff is pricy and better, but most of their advantage over cheaper units = weight reduction and (less rotating weight so of course) less drivetrain loss. But in a whp/weight scenario neither of these 2 factor makes much of a difference.

 

Correct - they are relatively cheap new or used, however I've yet to see somebody selling a bellhousing adaptor for BMW (maybe I missed it, but most of the "usual" places don't have them). Plus you will likely need a custom driveshaft. All this cost money so no matter how you look at it this is not a simple plug and play.

 

However, I can understand folks being opposed to it. I can see it both ways to be frank. A competitor in me wants an adjustment for it, GTS purist says leave it alone.

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Well I haven;t raced in GTS yet - because my engine (S14 bmw) is a high revving, peaky hp engine. It's a GTS5 car that runs GTS3 times...barely.

 

The only way my car would be competitive would be to use a true close ratio Dog Ring 'box allowing the car to always be in the powerband - which is effectively what a highTQ/highHP engine already is.

 

Taking tq out of the equation doesn't help peaky engines one bit.

 

SO, if this goes through, guaranteed you would never see me in GTS.

 

I don;t think this is a good idea.

 

Creating rules to try and keep costs down is unlikely to work. You want to keep costs down?

 

As long as there is contingency available, people will spend ridiculous money to win that extra tire.

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either have a factor for all gearboxes like SMG II, DCT, PDK, dogbox, sequential or don't have a factor for any.

 

Reasoning is to be on an even playing field with the factory quick shifting boxes one would need to move to a dogbox or a sequential. It wouldn't really be fair to penalize one and not the other.

 

"Transmissions are limited to 6 forward speeds. Aftermarket sequential transmissions must increase the weight [ A)by a factor of (insert appropriate factor here) or B) by (insert flat weight amount here)]. Reverse must be operational."

 

B (fixed weight amount adder across all classes) would affect the lower power/weight classes more, and would be more of a discouragment from the $$ race in GTS1/2 maybe 3, if you make the adder high enough.

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My vote is for no penalty, especially if it is for a factory option on a street car.

 

Ok, but we know you're building a DCT car ! How is it coming along by the way?

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I agree with this rule change.

 

I think that any car with sequential or electronic shifting should be effected. Including the BMW SMG. I am not saying that I think that the BMW system is great. I have no idea, but the Porsche system may be. They have their own version of the SMG and it may be a big advantage. Again, I do not know because of my limited experience with it.

 

That said, the next generation of the BMW system might be great too. If you are going to have a rule, then it should be across the board.

 

Thanks

 

Ed

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Again, if the intention of the proposed rule change is to equalize the playing field, there are many other aspects outside of gearboxes to be considered, doing which will significantly change the philosophy of open rule set in GTS. We also need to have data to support the proposal, which is simply not available. The data mentioned before is mostly anecdotal at best. We have much more data on improved performance from aero, brakes and adjustable suspension, all of which is still free...

We simply don't see scores of cars equipped with those gearboxes killing the competition. Contrary, very few have those and competition seems not affected.

 

Michael G. NE GTS Dir.

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Again, if the intention of the proposed rule change is to equalize the playing field, there are many other aspects outside of gearboxes to be considered, doing which will significantly change the philosophy of open rule set in GTS. We also need to have data to support the proposal, which is simply not available. The data mentioned before is mostly anecdotal at best. We have much more data on improved performance from aero, brakes and adjustable suspension, all of which is still free...

We simply don't see scores of cars equipped with those gearboxes killing the competition. Contrary, very few have those and competition seems not affected.

 

Michael G. NE GTS Dir.

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I was initially for this rule change, but it is a slippery slope for an open rule set group. Soon we will be talking about width of tires (oh, we already are) and how many speeds your gear box is. Pretty soon we will be on a points system like TT. Isn't that how PT already is. If you are worried about how competitive your car is, go race there.

 

I feel the same way about tube frame cars too. I used to own one. Not really an advantage. Just if your car is a tube frame, you got to figure you are all out prepared to go with it and that is why the cars would be faster.

 

Thanks

 

Ed

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I say no. it opens the flood gates for other restrictions, and in a mostly open rule set detracts from the series. not really sure this is an issue yet as much as close ratio boxs are.

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No matter what argument you make about "shift time" a factory paddle shift like SMG should not be in any way considered similar to a dogbox or sequential.......

 

But a dogbox or sequential should be penalized. Anyone that has one would agree that it's an advantage. Personally I think any car with a non-OEM gearbox should be penalized. The exception to the rule would be a Cup with the factory dogbox and a line item could be written to include that car.

 

The issue behind the rule proposal as I see it is not a "racing" gearbox as much as it is what makes whatever gearbox you have shift faster. The SMG certainly does that. Reliability under racing conditions is another story and that's not necessarily what we're talking about here.

 

When you say non-OEM gearbox, that opens a whole new can of worms in terms of additional rule-defining statements. I can have my OEM gearbox fitting with dog face gears very easily. The gearbox housing is unaffected and remains OEM. I'd argue that my gearbox is still OEM-like in that the case remains the same. Internals are generally the same too. Mainshaft and pinion shaft, ring & pinion (I technically have a transaxle) are unchanged. Just the gears themselves and the gear engagement changes. It's still an H-pattern but I would be able to partly lift to shift and do it w/out the clutch. The shift time is a bit quicker but i'm still rowing the gears to find the right gear and time it right- especially on downshifts.

 

In all practical terms there is an open "spirit" to GTS but rules used are to create fair competition. Byproducts like controlling cost and creating accessibility are also heavily considered. A race gearbox is an advantage pure and simple. Basically unlimited gear ratio selection and ease/speed of shifting.

 

Making an argument that a racebox makes racing more practical is sort of ridiculous. My crappy OEM gearbox has lasted 6 years? How many Porsche and BMW drivers are swapping transmissions every couple of events??? I honestly can't name one.

 

What rules to create fair competition and cost control are you referring to? It's weight:power and that's pretty much it? It's WIDE open when it comes to aero & suspension and those make the car fast more so than a hot motor dialed in to your class limit.

 

Plus unlimited gear ratio selection already exists in Porsche GTS land. All of the 911 cars in our midwest region have gearboxes with modified gear ratios. It's how we can compete with the BMWs that have better gears, in terms of close-ratio or gear spacing, in them from the factory. Plus the BMW's can swap out a diff in an hour or so to optimize their speeds for various tracks. Not quite that easy in transaxle-equipped car. Not complaining here. Just stating that BMW trans are set up nicely for racing and there's really not much of a need to change gears. Advantage BMW.

 

I simply stated that in my case a dog box could make more practical sense for ME. I was being selfish. My older gearbox is known for going thru synchros and it's wise to refresh them after so many miles/hours, otherwise gear crunching is unavoidable. I could swap in dog face gears or I could upgrade to a later generation transmission that's more race durable (and incidentally could be equipped with pro shift dog face gears too......... ) . But I never said people were swapping transmissions every few events. However I have seen people have problems with transmissions that required at-track heroic fixes. Porsches with synchro teeth replacement and BMW blown diffs and clutches have happened in our region in the past.

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Kevin, you make a good arguement. I didn't want it to sound like your points aren't valid. Your original statement sounded like running a race-box would be "in our best interest" which I disagree. Most of us at a given power level have very good success with the OEM gearbox. But you are right, some cars with wonky original equipment (like you stated) or cars that make a lot of power (like Kurt's car) need either a race gear box or non-OEM gears to be proper race cars. I guess given my stand on a factor, all the BMW GTS 5 or U cars (lets say they all install a race box for reliability) will be on an unequal playing field with lets say Porsche's that have a more adequate OEM gearbox.

 

I have to admit the more and more I read this thread my mind is slowly changing

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Of all the rule changes that have been proposed this year, this one is the only one that has some quantifiable data behind it. I agree that the factory auto-shift boxes should be excluded from this discussion. They just have not proven to be reliable/robust enough to be usable in a racing environment. They are designed for someone who wants a sport based car but have not invested the time to learn how to drive a manual.

 

We have a rule for non-DOT slicks. We have been able to determine they are faster and therefore offer a real quantifiable advantage. The same can be said for dog/sequential boxes. You know (A)how many shifts you have per lap, you know from your data (B)how long your car is not accelerating during the shift,you can determine (b) how long a dog box shift is. A*(B-b)=C C being the amount of time you can subtract from the lap time.

 

So, I do believe this is a quantifiable advantage.

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Of all the rule changes that have been proposed this year, this one is the only one that has some quantifiable data behind it. I agree that the factory auto-shift boxes should be excluded from this discussion. They just have not proven to be reliable/robust enough to be usable in a racing environment. They are designed for someone who wants a sport based car but have not invested the time to learn how to drive a manual.

 

We have a rule for non-DOT slicks. We have been able to determine they are faster and therefore offer a real quantifiable advantage. The same can be said for dog/sequential boxes. You know (A)how many shifts you have per lap, you know from your data (B)how long your car is not accelerating during the shift,you can determine (b) how long a dog box shift is. A*(B-b)=C C being the amount of time you can subtract from the lap time.

 

So, I do believe this is a quantifiable advantage.

 

What most forget in our type of racing is that the driver is usually a very big factor. Remember this is Club style racing. I was at a BMW Club race a couple of weeks after NASA Nationals at Mid-O. Two(well more than two, but for analogy) of the top built BMW's in the country were there racing. One driven by a multiple time GTS/BMW Club National Champion and the other by a ex WC, current Grand-am CTSCC pro driver. Both cars at this race would have been classed GTS5 cars in the config they were running. Both on slicks. One E46 M3 BMW(club racer) with standard BMW 5 speed gear box, the other a E92 BMW M3(pro) with a $15K+ Drenth Seq transmission with SWOL. Both set-up for Mid-O. Guess which one turned the faster laps times and won the races ??

 

It's not always easy to say that this part or that part is better or faster. There's much more to it, that's all I'm saying. The rule set we have works pretty well for what we do. I'm not in favor of complicating them, especially when it really affects so few in the grand scheme of it all.

 

Just my $.02

 

-Scott B.

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Sure they are faster But to your point, Scott's, and 50% mine now (my mind is changing !), whether or not it is or isn't an advantage maybe we shouldn't have to address it with a rule until it starts to become an issue.

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