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LJ32

WE ARE ALL WONDERING... everyone that doesn't drive a GTScar

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loftygoals

Parts of this thread echo my exact sentiments on what is wrong in amateur racing--too many classes.

 

Do we really need million different spec classes? Spec E30, Spec3, Spec E36, Spec E46, 944 Spec, Spec Boxster, and those are just the German spec classes. Do we need multiple power to weight series? In my opinion, no. I think having a jumble of classes just makes things confusing and intimidating to new racers. There is nothing that grows a series like car counts. The more there are, the more that join. I think NASA and we, the NASA Customers, should push to unify things.

 

I think the alignment of TT/PT/ST was a ultimately a good move. Some did not like how the changes occurred, just like how many didn't like how the GTS power to weight changes occurred this year. As an organization we should learn from those changes and develop a better process to implement any major changes such as class consolidation. My biggest take away from previous rule changes is that people don't like to feel like they were blindsided by the rule modifications. Thus, I think for any class consolidation to be successful, we would need to target 2-3 years out and work on approving the rules long before we start racing under the new classes. This way everyone's expectations are managed. This of course doesn't mean everyone would be happy. There will always be people that are resistant to change even if the change is for the better.

 

I could envision NASA in just a few classes:

  • Entry to Mid Level (would encompass all spec classes, PT, HC, CMC, etc)
  • Higher End (Power to Weight Classes, minimal Rules Set, encompassing ST, GTS, AI, etc)
  • TT (Classes aligned with the racing classes for easy crossover)

 

Now to make things more interesting, you could have sub-classes or a class within a class. This means that existing spec classes could live on. For example let's call the entry to mid class Performance Street [PS] (I just pulled this out of my @$$ to call it something, the name isn't important). We have a Spec E30 and it falls into PS2. It has designated a sub class of Spec E30. Thus it would be competing for point in both overall PS2 points and for Spec E30 points. There could be the bigger contingencies in the primary class (ie PS2) and sub classes (ie Spec E30) could have their own contingencies. I'm sure now that I've mentioned contingencies someone will be upset that if they finish 1st in their subclass they make not podium in the primary class and might not get free Hoosiers, or whatever. Well, that's what's awesome about this plan: With fewer classes, sponsors can afford to reward finishers deeper into the field. Also with fewer classes you will almost always meet the minimum number of competitors to be eligible for prizes. I would see there being tire prizes of sub classes with spec tires.

 

I'm sure there are holes in my idea. It isn't even a fully formed thought, but something I have been pondering for a while. I just thought I would interject it here and see if anyone could develop my ramblings into something that could make sense, grow NASA, increase competition, and increase the fun factor.

 

-bj

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Sterling Doc

As I mentioned before BJ, you are a man of big ideas.

 

Everyone wants others to run in their class (as is) for more competition, but few are willing to run in "some other" class to make for bigger car counts. We can't have it both ways, and I think some consolidation is a good idea, even if some sacred cows are gored along the way. I think planning out a few years is a very good idea to ease the pain.

 

Fundamentally, there are two approaches to racing classisfication, the Spec model, and the Balanced Performance (BP) model (yes I made the last one up). You might argue that within BP there are two divisions: the more limited points for mods, and the more permissive/expensive GTS/ST HP/Wt.

 

Spec is attractive for it's limitations resulting in cost savings, and theoretically, equal cars. It is also very good at making orphan, local only classes - remember the GTI Cup, SE-R spec series, Spec Neon, Spec Focus?

While I think there is value to Spec (obviously!), I do think the proliferation is an issue, and, at some point we need to look at options there. SE30 & 944 Spec run essentially identical lap times, as is, with equal caliber drivers. As these cars get older, and more scarce, there may be an opportunity in combining them. We also need to take a hard look at all the Spec classes, and see if we need to cull the herd a bit. How long do we let Spec 3, Spec Boxster, etc. limp along as regional only (in terms of car counts) classes? How long do new classes have to prove themselves before we move on?

 

As for the BP model, we could definitely improve car counts through alingment, and I think there is value to that. The hard part is the heritage, and esprit de corps of the existing "brands". Change is always hard, and has to be balanced against long term benefit. The SCCA has done a poor job managing existing classes, and has suffered for it. NASA has now been around long enough that legacy plays a role here, and will be challenged by this moving forward. My personal opinion is that things won't be so bad after a year or two of hand wringing with more alingment of classes, and in the end, we'll have more fun in the bigger sandbox. It is a big deal to make these changes, and I'm glad I'm not in charge of that!

Edited by Guest

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ILIKETODRIVE

I think a simplistic way, albeit not easy way, to consolidate Spec classes: Come to an agreement of a PTW. For instance, 944 Spec and Spec E30 and Spec Miata and Spec Boxster. Dyno, weigh, ballast, done. Get them all similar and run a giant "Spec" race. That way, none of these cars "die" because their class "died".

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Cobra4B

We have 4 in ST2 this weekend at VIR. Admittedly GTS3 is strong. Wish we could all race together and have 10+!

 

For me I simply don't want to learn/build a new platform. I'm OK with building to some revised rules... just went through all that with the demise of PTA.

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mhoward1
We have 4 in ST2 this weekend at VIR. Admittedly GTS3 is strong. Wish we could all race together and have 10+!

 

Will you have 5 in SpecZ?

 

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loftygoals
Wish we could all race together and have 10+!

 

I'm OK with building to some revised rules...

 

I think this would be the position of most racers if they were given ample time to prepare for the changes and knew it meant bigger fields and more contingencies. The hard part is coming up with a ruleset that people are mostly in agreement with and doesn't alienate a group of cars that is currently successful by limiting or handicapping them under the new rules.

 

I think that last bit is the absolute hardest part. It seems every rule change is advantageous to some and detrimental to others. Given the wide range of equipment that is run in NASA, I don't know if that will ever be totally avoidable when making sweeping changes.

 

-bj

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Sterling Doc

This is getting a bit OT, but SE30 and 944 Spec are equal as is, and SM is not far off, depending on the track. Equalizing the HP to weight would make for less parity - SE30's have power, 944's have handling and aero advantages.

 

BJ makes a good point as to why change is painful. Someone always loses, and they are typically *not* happy about it! Sometimes worth the greater good, but always painful for some.

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JS154

My car is an SCCA STU/BMW CR DM-lite car. I don't race GTS for 3 reaons:

 

because I believe the dyno is too easy to cheat with electronics,

the "3/4 car width is enough room" rule.

Thirdly, I have an S14 - and GTS is all about torque, not power.

 

But the biggest reason is the dyno thing. Anyone can program the electronics to recognize "GPS speed >=Zero AND FwheelSPD=Zero AND rpm >=Zero THEN reduce ignition timing by 20 degrees".

 

Sure, I can play that game to, but I'm not interested.

 

To flip this around, and re-present as , "What would I want to run in GTS?"

 

A turbo car, unrestricted with aftermarket electronics, traction control and ABS, programmed for the same dyno parameters above.

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Bnjmn

Did GTS not adopt the rule where you can download and view an engine map for compliance?

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Sterling Doc

JS, GTS has adopted a full car width + 6" in its rules, it can (and has) DQ'd outliers based on GPS based performance, and the new dyno rule make a flat TQ curve less important. So, now you can come race.

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Luke P.

Not much to add to the discussion besides the fact that if my equivalent GTS class, be it GTS2 / GTS3 would cross DIRECTLY into an ST class with good car counts at the same PW, I'm sure MANY of our guys would switch. Car counts and contingencies are KEY!

 

In fact, I really enjoyed running Enduro's in E0 against different makes and models, some guys you have to battle under braking, watch for others sneaking by in corners, others pass on straights and get repassed in other sections- it's fun!

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realspeeddan

LJ32,

 

I know this is an old topic by now, but every time I see it I laugh. Get out of your bubble, dude.

 

At the first race of the season we had 17 GTS entries and only 5 ST entries here in the northeast. Come to think of it, we had almost twice as many entries in AI as ST (more than twice as many if you count AIX).

 

Your premise is so flawed that your topic headline makes more sense when interpreted backwards... Everyone that doesn't drive a GTScar is wondering why...why dont you drive a GTS car?

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LJ32

lol,

bubble??? when Im the one willing to run gts classes and gts rules???

Do some research across all the regions timesheets and look at how pitiful they are this year.

you have 5 tiers and 80% of the region races have 1 and 2 cars in each. most empty.

You say you had 17, well why not have 22.

22 cars among 5 tiers is better than 17.

 

Id say step out of your regional "bubble" and look across the states guy.

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cstreit911

Lots of posts trying to convince a lot of guys passionate about GTS to come and run ST. This is starting to sound like the ex-girlfriend who keeps driving by your house.

 

If you're willing to run GTS classes and rules, that's awesome. Get yourself a GTS legal car and come on out!

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