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Greg G.

Corvette Dream Car Thread

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Greg G.

Since there are some out there that think that it would be beneficial to allow open chassis/body cars (STR) into ST without any modification factor, here is a little challenge for our drivers and expert builders of the Corvette. Apparently some think, for a reason that is completely beyond comprehension to top NASA Officials, that a GT1 (or other series) tube frame Corvette with the added benefit of having absolutely no body/chassis restrictions has no advantage over a production car with frame, floor, fender well, etc. modification limitations as written currently in the ST rules. So, instead of continuing on about "mythical" tube frame cars or old NASCAR Cup cars, or even just production cars with advanced modifications like seen on some AI and AIX cars, lets focus on just one car, the Corvette. As some drivers continue to drone on about how TT3/ST3 has cost them money because of modifications they made vs TTA/PTA, I think that it might be educational and fun to have a thread here where we find out the "potential" costs of merging STR into ST with no Mod Factor. I know, some of you already get it, and have suggested various Mod Factors like 0.25, etc. So, I challenge you to post up here. NASA is definitely considering merging STR back into ST. STR was started ONLY because YOUR Regional Directors (yes, YOURS that now have lower ST car counts) promised that they had essentially hundreds of tube-frame cars in their regions sitting on the sidelines and just waiting for a NASA class to run in. This has clearly not panned out, and as many of you have pointed out, the cars that often run in STR are no faster than the top performers in the corresponding ST class. This is because these cars have not been developed, not because they don't have distinct advantages starting with the ability to have any frame, any body, any geometry, etc.

 

So, the challenge in this thread is to assume that you take an ST production Corvette that is max'd out under the current ST Rules (all model years), and suddenly have none of the limitations placed on ST cars. So, essentially, all of these rules/limitations would be gone:

b.) ST1, ST2, and ST3 only (not applicable to STR)

A rear wing (or rear spoiler for wagon-style bodies) may not exceed a height of eight

(8) inches above the roof-line (or OEM windshield height for convertibles).

c.) ST1, ST2, and ST3 only (not applicable to STR)

Modification of the OEM roof line is permitted, but will be assessed via a

Modification Factor in the “Adjusted Weight/Power Ratio”.

c.) ST1, ST2, and ST3 only (not applicable to STR)

A. Every vehicle must retain its unmodified:

1) OEM frame rails and/or Unibody, and Sub-frames

2) Strut towers

3) Inner/inboard side of the fender wells

4) Rocker panels

5) Transmission tunnel

6) Floor pan

7) Windshield frame location

 

Now, start listing all of the modifications that one could/would make to fully develop and optimize to the "new" rules. Please list the modification, your proposed cost for the modification (if you are a builder, list the cost that you would charge a retail customer), the benefit of the modification, and if possible, quantify the benefit on an "average" 2 mile track in terms of lap time estimate. Go all out, include mods that could cost $50-$100K.

 

Before some of you jump on this as "a theoretical" waste of time, I would like to point out that EVERY time that we have allowed more mods in ANY NASA series, there have been those that have taken advantage of them, followed by those that realize that the only way to compete is to spend/mod up. What we also know, is that once someone does show up with a car that completely out-classes the rest, that competitors leave to find an "easier" class to run in. Many do not stay to run mid-pack at every race like many of you have suggested. Even though some say that they would rather run 3rd-5th at every race and have 10 cars, instead of 1st-2nd with 5, it does not hold true when there is a huge discrepancy between the top car(s), and the others that have been "well prepped".

 

Here are just a few mods that we have run into in the past that you can use as starters:

Tube frame and partial tube frame conversion (with complete optimization of suspension geometry, balance, weight, engine location, ride height)

Removal of the entire floor, and raising the new floor

Modifications to the transmission tunnel to move the engine back

Tubbing of fender wells

Exhaust through the rocker panels/floor, etc. to lower ride height

Raking of the windshield and/or removal with closure of open cockpit, alteration of the roof line.

 

Don't forget about all of the little mods that you have been thinking of doing as well.

Have FUN!

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braknl8

Some folks could invest a lot of time in this thread. Is there assurance that it isn't going to be locked? I'm not trying to be rude. Just figured this was the best time to ask.

 

thanks,

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mhoward1

Can you also put as a criteria the statement "finacially feesable for you for the mod you are proposing". If it’s a dream Covette, I am sure that someone can spend a few million on a molded carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb composite monocoque chassis with a carbon fiber top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. But:

 

1) Who could afford it that already runs in the series

2) Why invest that much into a grassroots organization that only returns plastic trophies.

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kbrew8991

Step 1 - buy retired F1 car

Step 2 - put Corvette body on it RC car style

Step 3 - ????

Step 4 - PROFIT!

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mhoward1
Step 1 - buy retired F1 car

Step 2 - put Corvette body on it RC car style

Step 3 - ????

Step 4 - PROFIT!

 

 

Not so sure about step 4.

 

 

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drivinhardz06

sounds like the drill is to come up with the best mod factor possible?

 

Since the ALMS GT C6R is run off a $20 million/yr program, and likely out of the reach of 99.9999% of us to buy, build or even copy 1/4 of, something like the Whelen #31 Corvette in Grand Am is probably a pretty good case study. OEM frame rail based, but modified in certain areas. Drivetrain is set lower, roofline is OEM and aero is pretty limited in GA. Lots of cage pick up, modified floors, no rear tub (all sheet metal), no front tub or vertical A post frame boxes, custom upper A arms w/ pick ups. Side exhaust, very low ride height, ~500 hp, Emco sequential, ~ @ 2850 w/ driver with some fuel, would be right around the limit of ST1/TT1.

1:23.8 at Road Atlanta in 4th practice/Qualy this past April on essentially a Hoosier R100/R6 (Conti tire)325R/305F.

 

Using qualy/TT for an example, I'd say the car with a regular H pattern close ratio box would probably get offset by DBW throttle, bigger A6s and could very likely net out the same lap time. With better aero (they can't even run a vented hood, very small front splitter, and spec rear wing- very mild pieces even compared to many many current ST3-ST1 NASA corvettes) there's at least 1-2 secs in real aero work. Maybe more. I would be surprised if you couldn't get that car to go 1:21-1:22 at RA without the GA aero restrictions, which is about 4-5 secs quicker than the current TT1 record done by a well driven Porsche (ie, it's a good legit, well driven record to compare to).

 

You can look at any 2013 qualy result from that car at various tracks NASA visits here http://www.grand-am.com/scheduleresults/rolex.aspx

 

Cost? I can check, they are for sale

Edited by Guest

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mhoward1

Just did a quick google on ones for sale. Seems the newer ones are between $95,000 and $160,000 depending on year and team that built it.

 

You can find a 2006/08 one for $$75,000.

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Cobra4B

Tube frame and partial tube frame conversion (with complete optimization of suspension geometry, balance, weight, engine location, ride height)

C5/C6/C7 platform already has very good geometry/balance/layout. No real need to do a tube frame conversion. Plus, this is grassroots racing. There are only so many people with the time/money/now how to throw huge dollars at plastic trophies. Those with that kind of money usually blow through grass roots and go on to buying a pro ride in short order.

 

Removal of the entire floor, and raising the new floor

No benefit on a Corvette. Already has a composite flat-bottom. People just want to convert to metal for safety reasons; floor penetration.

 

Modifications to the transmission tunnel to move the engine back

Not much to be gained here on a Corvette. The engine is already behind the front wheel centerline. It's technically a front-mid engine.

 

Tubbing of fender wells

Again not a huge benefit on a Corvette. I can already run 315s square with no modifications.

 

Exhaust through the rocker panels/floor, etc. to lower ride height

Corvette exhaust is already tucked up in the center tunnel. Running the exhaust through the rocker requires building a higher false floor in the passenger compartment. It's done to remove weight more than anything. It doesn't allow you to go any lower.

 

Raking of the windshield and/or removal with closure of open cockpit, alteration of the roof line.

If someone wants to go to that level fine by me... all of the racecar parts made for the Corvette platform are based on the OEM configuration/shape. If someone wants to start modling/baking their own body panels then have at it.

 

Most of the stuff you've listed serves to help inferior cars mod up to the characteristics the Corvette chassis already has.

 

End of the day job #1 should be to increase car counts.

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Varkwso

Some of the existing cars have $160,000 in them. Maybe more. The Whelen is a great example of an upgrade. A C5R or C6R is beyond reach. But the Porsche, BMW and Ferrari that beat them last weekend at Petit are not cheap either.

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Varkwso

I would buy one of the DP Corvettes.

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ILIKETODRIVE
I would buy one of the DP Corvettes.

This is the correct answer.

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sperkins

I'm with Greg on this one. There are some (in most every region) with endless pockets that could and maybe would go to the extreme as he suggested. So where does it stop?

I think most are short sighted on this issue because of the current STR cars that are out there. Bringing the existing STR cars out of the shed would be good for car counts and competition, but it would all be ruined in just a year or so when someone decides to dump their life savings, retirement or loto winnings into a ringer ST car.

Not many have gone to the extreme yet in any STR class that I know of because there is no incentive to do so. Open those flood gates and see what happens.

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Cobra4B
I'm with Greg on this one. There are some (in most every region) with endless pockets that could and maybe would go to the extreme as he suggested. So where does it stop?

I think most are short sighted on this issue because of the current STR cars that are out there. Bringing the existing STR cars out of the shed would be good for car counts and competition, but it would all be ruined in just a year or so when someone decides to dump their life savings, retirement or loto winnings into a ringer ST car.

Not many have gone to the extreme yet in any STR class that I know of because there is no incentive to do so. Open those flood gates and see what happens.

So you want to continue to have minimal car counts? We keep shooting ourselves in the foot worrying about this mythical person with endless money who wants to use it to win plastic trophies. Most guys with that budget, who can actually drive, aren't wasting their time in NASA.

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ILIKETODRIVE
Most guys with that budget, who can actually drive, aren't wasting their time in NASA.

This is also the correct answer.

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Cobra4B
I'm with Greg on this one. There are some (in most every region) with endless pockets that could and maybe would go to the extreme as he suggested. So where does it stop?

I think most are short sighted on this issue because of the current STR cars that are out there. Bringing the existing STR cars out of the shed would be good for car counts and competition, but it would all be ruined in just a year or so when someone decides to dump their life savings, retirement or loto winnings into a ringer ST car.

Not many have gone to the extreme yet in any STR class that I know of because there is no incentive to do so. Open those flood gates and see what happens.

So you want to continue to have minimal car counts? We keep shooting ourselves in the foot worrying about this mythical person with endless money who wants to use it to win plastic trophies. Most guys with that budget, who can actually drive, aren't wasting their time in NASA.

Owner/driver of Level 5 racing, Scott Tucker, is the perfect example. Makes bajillions doing high interest loans using indian tribes as shelter from the Feds. Goes from HPDEer to racer, wins some NASA/SCCA stuff, and has now gone on to the pros. He's about the only example I can think of where some random guy had a basically unlimited budget. He blew straight through NASA/SCCA.

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sperkins

So you want to continue to have minimal car counts? We keep shooting ourselves in the foot worrying about this mythical person with endless money who wants to use it to win plastic trophies. Most guys with that budget, who can actually drive, aren't wasting their time in NASA.

Not at all. The thread was posted based on allowing STR cars to compete with no mod factors.

Bring them in for car counts, but with appropriate mod factors as a deferent to spend endless amounts of money.

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Vettedoctor

Opening up ST will cost everyone more $$$ sooner or later, weather someone builds a better C5/C6 (which are already out there btw) or if someone really goes to town on a NASCAR style car, there will be something that shows up and wows everyone.

 

The car that Pfadt prepped for Nationals is an example of such a car, it went 3 seconds faster than any other ST2 car at Nationals, and there were a lot of really good cars at Nationals. That car wasn't even fully sorted at Nationals, it was a fresh build so it will only get faster with some more sorting/testing/tweaking.

 

So if we take that as a starting point, the way I see it, I'm/we're all already 3 seconds behind going into next season. And now we want to open up the rules even further? Opening ST up to STR cars may be a short term solution to car counts, but a constantly moving mod factor isn't the answer. As Greg said someone will always be unhappy. To the guys that really start working on there cars and do find the extra speed, they will get upset if the mod factor goes up and negates the advantages that they worked hard to achieve, to those that don't work on there cars and start to get beat by a more developed car they will want a bigger and bigger mod factor. It would never end and we should be able to see that before it happens.

 

I posted up in support of opening up ST to the STR cars in the other thread but once I really thought about it I think it would end up hurting the class.

We would constantly be building these cars, it would truly never stop, actually we are already constantly tweaking with the current ST rule set. It would definitely speed up the development if we combined now.

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Vettedoctor

http://timingscoring.drivenasa.com/NASA_National_Championships/Friday/GroupD_Qualifying%20v2.pdf

 

Ian Lacy ran a 1.58.7 in qualifying the next fastest ST2 car was 2.01.0

 

I knew he ran a 1.58 off the top of my head, so 2.3 seconds instead of 3.

The point is still that coming into the 2014 season this is what we have to try to beat if we want to win. He started at the back of the field and made it all the way to 3rd in the Championship race, despite the DQ it is still a very fast car and an example of what sort of car can (and has been) built to run in ST.

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Varkwso

So the mod factor for a RX7 subframe mod is the same as a DP car?

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Varkwso
http://timingscoring.drivenasa.com/NASA_National_Championships/Friday/GroupD_Qualifying%20v2.pdf

 

Ian Lacy ran a 1.58.7 in qualifying the next fastest ST2 car was 2.01.0

 

I knew he ran a 1.58 off the top of my head, so 2.3 seconds instead of 3.

The point is still that coming into the 2014 season this is what we have to try to beat if we want to win. He started at the back of the field and made it all the way to 3rd in the Championship race, despite the DQ it is still a very fast car and an example of what sort of car can (and has been) built to run in ST.

 

The Pfadt car I saw pictures of was not a legal ST2 car based on fenderwell modifications. Not sure if this was the car referenced.

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Cobra4B
http://timingscoring.drivenasa.com/NASA_National_Championships/Friday/GroupD_Qualifying%20v2.pdf

 

Ian Lacy ran a 1.58.7 in qualifying the next fastest ST2 car was 2.01.0

 

I knew he ran a 1.58 off the top of my head, so 2.3 seconds instead of 3.

The point is still that coming into the 2014 season this is what we have to try to beat if we want to win. He started at the back of the field and made it all the way to 3rd in the Championship race, despite the DQ it is still a very fast car and an example of what sort of car can (and has been) built to run in ST.

 

The Pfadt car I saw pictures of was not a legal ST2 car based on fenderwell modifications. Not sure if this was the car referenced.

Correct, but it would be legal under the STR rules I believe.

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Vettedoctor

Yes that would be the car I am referring to, but people are saying that no one will build a class killer kind of car. And my point is that there is already a car that is running with more development than any other ST2 car I've seen and they have shown the potential the car has.

 

I'm sure that they will work out any issues with the car and it will be back and more than likely faster than it was before because they will have time to test and tune their package.

 

So again with that being the starting point for the new season do we really want to open up an already fairly open class even further?

 

Heck if you look at to ST2 cars from 3 or 4 years ago a lot of them didn't even have aero, obviously things have escalated quickly and it's an arms race as to who's going to show up with the next great thing that will make him the guy to beat. Which in turn is the next thing everyone will have to buy to stay competitive.

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mhoward1

In truth, in any open class racing that is going to be the case. Even if ST stays exactly the way it is there will be the guy who has the funds to break new ground and everyone will have to play catch up or settle. The question is do you build the rule set to try to MAYBE wrangle in that one or two national level big spender, or cater to the 99% out there?

 

The other answer is Spec classes. That is the reason they exist. I still think a Spec C5 would work as well.

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kbrew8991
The other answer is Spec classes. That is the reason they exist. I still think a Spec C5 would work as well.

or just limited modification classes, like PT... oh, wait!

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