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JSG1901

DISCUSSION CLOSED: Add a factor for sequential gearboxes

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Michael G.

Cup Cars are purposely built race cars. Those are very different from the street cars - older SMGs or newer PDKs. You can refer to manufacturers data on the speed of shifts, but the street cars are handicapped in the race environment for number of other reasons, like overheating due to the lack of cooling under high load - for example - E46 BMW SMG is essentially a six speed manual with the hydrolic pump assembly, sitting between the block and exhaust with no circulation or cooling designed. It is also restricted to the use of the stock clutch assembly with the heavy flywheel and large rotational mass as well as the use of the stock management.

Newer PDKs have their share of issues once facing the race conditions...

The bottom line, we need to be very careful, since true race and street - stock boxes are essentially apples and oranges.

Regarding the Cup Cars - it seems like those are dominating the GTS5 with very little competition from others.

Regarding other classes - I don't think we have enough data where this justifies the penalty at this time.

 

Michael G.

NE GTS Dir.

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vwmann1
I agree with the rule, but I feel that the .2 is not enough of a penalty for our rule set. Understandably, there is a need to keep the rules the same across classes, but to just use what other classes are using is shortsighted. The rues for st/str break down the hp/wt calculation much finer than we do. If you total the time savings per lap and compare those numbers to standing class records for the normal 2-3 mile race track it is closer to a total class jump. I feel there needs to be more research done to come up with a more realistic multiplier.

 

How are you calculating the time savings per lap exactly?

 

The following conclusions are arrived at using data from my racecars. Your info may be different.

 

If we use the data found by jvanhouten we can make the following assumptions:

 

Using only upshifts and using a conservative number for a sequential/double clutch gearbox of .05 of a second and an estimate of 3.5 of a second for a standard syncro h-pattern gearbox. You will see the following changes in lap time with no other variables changed.

 

Time reduction:

ABCC: 5 upshifts 1.5 sec.

Gingerman: 6 upshifts 1.8 sec

Mid Ohio: 7 upshifts 2.1 sec

Road America: 11 upshifts 3.3 seconds

 

Difference in track records between 3 and 4

ABCC: 1.8 sec

Gingerman: 2.9 sec

Mid Ohio: 1.8 sec

Road America: 4.9 sec

 

As part of full disclosure I am one of the people to propose this rule change. When I suggested this rule change I did not single out the SMG gearbox as has been done with the proposed rule change. I grouped the following gearbox options together: SMG, M-DTC, DSG, PDK, and the sequential as used by Drenth or a 997 cup car. As for the SMG, it is well known that even though the stock shift length may be slower the shift length can be changed by software only as can the M-DTC. The DSG/PDK times are well publicized as is the Drenth.

 

If using the above information, with no other changes other than the type of shifting, you can see that the improvement is close to or greater than the difference between the class records. Therefore, it is not a far flung conclusion to state that a .2 subtraction to the multiplier is not enough to equalize the improvements realized by changing this one part of the car.

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Michael G.

Douglas,

I gather you propose the Rule change just based on the data from your race cars?

If that so, I have a long list of club racers with very different experiences and data then yours. Especially when we refer to the experience of utilizing the street set ups in racing. And again - it is not always about the shift times. I would object putting E46 SMG in the same basket with the Cup Car.

I don't believe we have an evidence of those set ups killing the fields anywhere yet. Cup Cars may be a single example in some GTS 5 Regions, but not here in NE yet.

Considering the "Open and Simple" Rule set in GTS - it would be a departure from the Rules philosophy to apply penalties for potential advantage to contain the costs (as someone suggested before).

And again, If we consider gear boxes, why don't we look at the Big Brake kits with Racing ABS systems - that certainly would make the car go faster and cost about the same.

Michael.

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Brad Waite

I am usually very committed to maintaining the simplicity of the wt/hp rule set, but I admit this one has made me think. My guess is the sequential advantage in a 911 for example, is at least as great as the advantage of running slicks vs. DOT. I've recently been told a sequential box can go in my 911 for about 15k. Expensive yes, but not relative to other money spent on development over the years. This rule may make some sense, and may save me 15k.

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KTL

Let's also keep in mind that dog-ring boxes, whether H-pattern or sequential shifting are advantageous in terms of downshifts as well. Instead of having to de-clutch each downshift, like most do with synchromesh gearboxes, you just ease off the gas and bang thru the gears. Eliminating the clutch pedal manipulation is less fancy footwork for the driver to manage and that is an advantage in my mind?

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thehounder
Douglas,

I gather you propose the Rule change just based on the data from your race cars?

If that so, I have a long list of club racers with very different experiences and data then yours. Especially when we refer to the experience of utilizing the street set ups in racing. And again - it is not always about the shift times. I would object putting E46 SMG in the same basket with the Cup Car.

I don't believe we have an evidence of those set ups killing the fields anywhere yet. Cup Cars may be a single example in some GTS 5 Regions, but not here in NE yet.

Considering the "Open and Simple" Rule set in GTS - it would be a departure from the Rules philosophy to apply penalties for potential advantage to contain the costs (as someone suggested before).

And again, If we consider gear boxes, why don't we look at the Big Brake kits with Racing ABS systems - that certainly would make the car go faster and cost about the same.

Michael.[/quote

 

Completely agree. Doug's "example" was pure conjecture. Not a side by side comparison. In a class where I have seen folks use rear wings that adjust based on car dynamics, 3 way shocks, 4-channel brakes, etc. I think calling out the SMG as secret weapon might be an overstatement. If is such a threat why are there so few running and/or winning?

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vwmann1
Douglas,

I gather you propose the Rule change just based on the data from your race cars?

If that so, I have a long list of club racers with very different experiences and data then yours. Especially when we refer to the experience of utilizing the street set ups in racing. And again - it is not always about the shift times. I would object putting E46 SMG in the same basket with the Cup Car.

I don't believe we have an evidence of those set ups killing the fields anywhere yet. Cup Cars may be a single example in some GTS 5 Regions, but not here in NE yet.

Considering the "Open and Simple" Rule set in GTS - it would be a departure from the Rules philosophy to apply penalties for potential advantage to contain the costs (as someone suggested before).

And again, If we consider gear boxes, why don't we look at the Big Brake kits with Racing ABS systems - that certainly would make the car go faster and cost about the same.

Michael.

 

Michael, I used my data to determine number of shifts per lap. This is based on five separate drivers and cars. The times were posted by another member of the group. My reason for proposing this rule is so we can get ahead of the curve on this subject. The fact that these gearboxes are an advantage is an undeniable fact. What we need to have is good discussion based on fact, not conjecture, to help determine the multiplier. Numbers are the only way for us to make educated decisions. So, I encourage you to do as I have and post your data.

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jvanhouten

Just because we haven't seen many of them yet, they are coming. I know of at least two people that are considering it for the offseason and it isn't in Cup cars.

 

Regardless if anyone has used them successfully, it is well documented that shift times are substantially reduced with a sequential/flappy paddle gear box. It is a _fact_ that they shift 0.3+s faster than a standard H-pattern manual clutch gearbox which translates to more time on throttle. I don't believe this is debatable.

 

What is debatable is how much of an advantage they are. Unlike tires, were someone can do back to back testing relatively cheaply, it is substantially more difficult and costly to do with a transmission. If we are to put an assessment in, we have to use the data available (from Segers book for example) to come up with what it should be and be open to it being tweaked in the future.

 

I think we should address this issue now for three reasons:

1. True manual gearboxes are becoming more rare as manufacturers move to M-DCT, PDK, etc. They are coming either in new GTS cars or people putting aftermarket gearboxes in older GTS cars.

2. Before someone spends $15k+ to put one in, they would what to know what, if any advantage they would have in 2014 (at least) before they spend the money.

3. If nothing is done and someone in your region puts one in and is instantly 1-3 sec faster simply by writing a check, most drivers would be pretty upset. If there is any interest in cost containment in GTS, this is a place to start.

 

As far the argument that other mods also create and advantage, that is true. However things like big brakes, triple adj shocks, etc. all require driver skill to take advantage of. You put an average HDPE student in two identical cars except one is manual and one is flappy-paddle, they will be faster with the flappy box.

 

We already "normalize" driver skill independent performance factors--HP (by weight) and Tires (by ratio) and it could be argued that these gearboxes are similarly driver skill independent. (Yes, I know tires aren't as driver skill independent as HP/transmissions)

 

Note that I love the open ruleset of GTS and lover tinkering/engineering the car, but I'm fearful that without one, you won't be nationally competitive once they start to appear. It will instantly make competing at the pointy end of GTS4/5 (and possibly 3) $15k+ more expensive.

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Eric W.

You still need driver skill even w/ these boxes...

 

I draw the line at the "drenths" of the world but street car stuff? PLus that stuff may be more prone to breaking.

 

Until I see more people winning w/ these things, I dunno if Id make a change.

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vwmann1
Douglas,

I gather you propose the Rule change just based on the data from your race cars?

If that so, I have a long list of club racers with very different experiences and data then yours. Especially when we refer to the experience of utilizing the street set ups in racing. And again - it is not always about the shift times. I would object putting E46 SMG in the same basket with the Cup Car.

I don't believe we have an evidence of those set ups killing the fields anywhere yet. Cup Cars may be a single example in some GTS 5 Regions, but not here in NE yet.

Considering the "Open and Simple" Rule set in GTS - it would be a departure from the Rules philosophy to apply penalties for potential advantage to contain the costs (as someone suggested before).

And again, If we consider gear boxes, why don't we look at the Big Brake kits with Racing ABS systems - that certainly would make the car go faster and cost about the same.

Michael.[/quote

 

Completely agree. Doug's "example" was pure conjecture. Not a side by side comparison. In a class where I have seen folks use rear wings that adjust based on car dynamics, 3 way shocks, 4-channel brakes, etc. I think calling out the SMG as secret weapon might be an overstatement. If is such a threat why are there so few running and/or winning?

 

I think you should go back and read what I wrote. I have NOT called out the SMG alone. If you think I am wrong post some usable data that refutes my point.

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vwmann1

Scott:

If you would, I would respectfully request that the verbiage of the rule change be changed. As it stands right now the BMW SMG is singled out as the great offender. As I posted in my original rule change request, I would like to see all of the sequential/double clutch/auto-shifted manual gearboxes added to this rule.

 

If we have one rule it will make the enforcement easier and leave less gray area to be debated.

 

Thank you.

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vwmann1
You still need driver skill even w/ these boxes...

 

I draw the line at the "drenths" of the world but street car stuff? PLus that stuff may be more prone to breaking.

 

Until I see more people winning w/ these things, I dunno if Id make a change.

 

If you have never driven the Porsche PDK, I would suggest you do so before you state that there is driver skill involved. It is truly amazing how well that system works. There is no skill needed to pull a lever or a paddle on the back of the steering wheel.

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Michael G.

Douglas,

My data is not with the speed of shifts, but with street set ups not capable nor designed for racing application. It is a well known fact, as I mentioned earlier, that the E46 SMG pump has a small reservoir with no cooling or circulation, and located right next to the block. After 10 to 15 minutes of racing your mentioned fractions of the second all of a sudden become much slower, and in about 30 minutes of hard driving often refuse to shift. Many people tried, and many encounter similar problems. Even when you go to the expense and engineering of relocating the pump or adding cooling to it - with longer races you notice the slow down at best or limb mode. Few of the Caymans with PDK faced similar problems with the limb modes. Also, even though you can play with the programming ECU, you still restricted to the stock clutch and the flywheel which is the big factor in accelerating.

My point is before we decide to impose the penalty - we need to have the hard data, we need to identify the difference in between different types of gear boxes, and frankly, we need to see those cars winning.

Regarding the skills - everything is relative to skills. And if someone will argue that there is no advantage in fully developed aero package and big brakes and dampers - I wonder...

Michael.

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John Graber

The 2013 GTS4 National Champion had a sequential gearbox

I do not thank adding a .4 or .5 adjustment factor for this a major departure from the rules intent.

I think the addition of this modification factor is good for GTS overall.

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vwmann1

Micheal;

 

I see your point. You have sufficiently beaten the SMG into the ground. But to say because no one has so far done it successfully therefore no one ever will is short sighted.

 

Are you OK with this scenario: I go to PRI this year and buy a sequential trans axle. I put in Zach's car and he then proceeds to lower all his track records by 2-3 seconds and leaves everyone in GTS3 in the dust. For the sole reason that I was willing to write a check. You are OK with that? I'm not. It's not how I want us to win. I want to know he drove a better race. I want to know I did a better job of engineering the car. Because I can say this for sure: If some one can beat us by just writing a check, Zach and I will stop racing in GTS. That threat may just be a fart in the wind, but I am willing to bet I'm not the only one that feels this way.

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Michael G.

Douglas,

 

All I am saying, that street SMG and PDKs are all around us for more than 10 years, and so far no impact on the results in GTS that we see, apart of the few Cup Cars occasionally killing the GTS 5.

You are welcome to go to PRI and built the best car, and may pave the road for others. We will only cheer you up and learn from you.

And may be once you accomplish that and we see a great following, the potential issue you are so concerned about will be worth considering. And by that time we may actually get an idea how exactly penalize it.

Until then, I would say, we can look at penalizing true race gear boxes, like cup Cars, but not all across the board.

And there is always someone out there with the deeper pocket, and someone who drives harder.

And again, for the fairness sake, if we start penalizing gear boxes, we will need to take a harder look at other components and will agree to change the whole concept of GTS.

 

Michael G.

NE GTS Dir.

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UKRBMW

Michael,

 

With all due respect - SMG has been around for 10 years and wasn't perfect. But you can't put new PDK and M-DCT in the same category as they are quite different and significantly more advanced. You can already see PDK equipped cars in PCA racing and from what I can read they are doing well. If people are already building them sooner or later they will end up in GTS. Same goes for M-DCT - E90/92 cars are becoming more common and some will most definitely end up with this transmission.

 

I think everybody keeps pointing a finger at SMG, but the point of this rule is the other newer and more advanced boxes. SMG just ends up in the same boat. Frankly - I haven't seen many used for racing, seems they get converted to manual boxes quickly (and very reasonably). We have to keep in mind that SMG is more of an exception of being relatively bad, not the rule.

 

Alex

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Michael G.

Alex,

 

I agree, there are technologies out there, that will certainly bring advantages, like new aero set ups or computerized wings, new generation of ECUs that impossible to police (which is actually more of a problem that we see now - not the gear boxes), etc. And, yes - PDKs and DCTs are better and more advanced then SMGs, but until it actually hits us, and we can observe the actual performance improvement across the board and make some intelligent assessment of what penalty to apply - until then - the discussion is hypothetical. And even though PDKs and DCTs are better, those are still not designed for racing. BMW in the ALMS car switched from manual to sequential box 2 years ago, but they didn't install a factory DCT in it.

We may have a different discussion a year or two from now, but at this point - outside of the few Cup Cars - I don't think we actually see the issue.

We have few PDKs Caymans in the NE and none of those killing the field.

Honestly, I am more concerned with multiple maps ECUs than gear boxes.

 

Michael.

NE GTS Dir.

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UKRBMW

I completely understand. Reading all the responses so far this is a real concern for what seems to be a good number of people. As they say in my world - "perception is reality". If the overwhelming majority feels this is a pretty significant advantage it becomes a concern regardless of how we feel about it.

 

I agree with you on ECUs. Until we figure out how to get some data on cars I don't see a way to policy the ECU thing.

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thehounder
Micheal;

 

I see your point. You have sufficiently beaten the SMG into the ground. But to say because no one has so far done it successfully therefore no one ever will is short sighted.

 

Are you OK with this scenario: I go to PRI this year and buy a sequential trans axle. I put in Zach's car and he then proceeds to lower all his track records by 2-3 seconds and leaves everyone in GTS3 in the dust. For the sole reason that I was willing to write a check. You are OK with that? I'm not. It's not how I want us to win. I want to know he drove a better race. I want to know I did a better job of engineering the car. Because I can say this for sure: If some one can beat us by just writing a check, Zach and I will stop racing in GTS. That threat may just be a fart in the wind, but I am willing to bet I'm not the only one that feels this way.

 

Show me a side by side comparo for smg vs non smg or drop smg from the discussion. Problem is you are talking about what-ifs and maybes...not timesheets and results. Yes a $15k sequential transaxle might add benefit, but the same as smg...not likely. I get that your argument goes beyond SMG, but by lumping it in, it makes it the bar for the rule. Saying you are trying to "get ahead of the issue" seems curious, as many other mods have far more benefit, and while some might say you need skill to adjust shocks, I can hire that out (arms race) from a number of folks.

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Michael G.

Douglas,

 

I appreciate if you would restrain from using the vocabulary like "fart in the wind" and calling me "shortsighted". Let's keep the discussion with in the respectful opinions exchange.

Regarding the 15K advantage - someone can beat others, just by having a 3 sets of fresh slicks for one weekend, or the accelerometer tuned ECU. Regarding the gear boxes - if I can walk into the dealership and buy a stock car with the gear box designed for the street - SMG, PDK, I don't think that should be penalized if I bring it to the track. If that is so overwhelmingly better we will see everyone switching to this very soon. So far it didn't happen, and so far it is not winning.

 

Michael.

NE GTS Dir.

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abad46
Regarding the gear boxes - if I can walk into the dealership and buy a stock car with the gear box designed for the street - SMG, PDK, I don't think that should be penalized if I bring it to the track. If that is so overwhelmingly better we will see everyone switching to this very soon. So far it didn't happen, and so far it is not winning.

 

This actually is a great point. Perhaps rules wording could be something along the lines of "Aftermarket transmissions +.xx".

 

Keeps it simple and keeps the spirit of the class.

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autodoctor911

If the sequential gearboxes and even the stock autoshift gearboxes are not penalized at all, eventually all competitive cars will have them. Even if they are equalized for best lap time possible, they will still have an advantage in consistency. Yes it may take some getting used to, but I think it is easier to master than heel/toe downshifting for sure.

 

As far as the stock PDks, DSG, or whatever they may be called, on a stock car they have a built in weight penalty due to the weight of the system over a manual transmission, yet they do run quicker lap times in the hands of journalists, or even professional test drivers for Porsche.

 

Yes, the idea for GTS is to keep the rules simple, and the innovations, and engineering by competitors an essential part, but these type of transmissions would make a large number of competitors unable to compete without upgrading at significant cost.

 

The reason I say not to include H-pattern Dog-Boxes is that although they can be shifted without a clutch, they still take just as long off throttle as a quick synchro shift. They also either require very precise downshifting with a blip, or double clutching. You still have to go through neutral for every shift. I, personally can shift a synchro box just as quick as I can Dog Box with an H-pattern. It's just a different technique. It may not be very good for the synchros, but it works. The real advantage of the sequential shift is that you leave the pedal on the floor, and the computer backs off the throttle or timing, and does so faster than you could possibly do. The dual clutch transmissions can be shifted without even backing off the throttle at all, and can be even quicker than a full race sequential.

 

It seems that most people agree that the racing gearboxes with sequential shift should be penalized. The 997 cup cars, at least the first generation used a sequential conversion on the stock gearbox. I think that a .2 penalty for any sequential, clutchless shift transmission that is either an aftermarket unit, designed for racing sequential transmission, or a conversion of a factory manual transmission that achieves the same results would be a good place to start. If later on, PDKs, and other street car transmissions become dominant, then they could be penalized. By the way, the original PDK was a racing transmission for the 962.

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JSG1901

Time reduction:

ABCC: 5 upshifts 1.5 sec.

Gingerman: 6 upshifts 1.8 sec

Mid Ohio: 7 upshifts 2.1 sec

Road America: 11 upshifts 3.3 seconds

 

Difference in track records between 3 and 4

ABCC: 1.8 sec

Gingerman: 2.9 sec

Mid Ohio: 1.8 sec

Road America: 4.9 sec

Just as a clarification on the math, unless I misunderstand what you're saying, the times shown here are not differences in lap time but, rather, the additional amount of time each lap that a sequential-gearbox car would be on the gas. Right?

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JSG1901
Scott:

If you would, I would respectfully request that the verbiage of the rule change be changed. As it stands right now the BMW SMG is singled out as the great offender. As I posted in my original rule change request, I would like to see all of the sequential/double clutch/auto-shifted manual gearboxes added to this rule.

 

If we have one rule it will make the enforcement easier and leave less gray area to be debated.

 

Thank you.

How should it read after the edit?

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