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Message from NASA National Office re: GTS Rules

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7VO-VOM

I am actually working with AiM on adding TPS and other data channels to the standard BMW PT6 CAN protocol. When my car is back on its wheels they offered to send me a beta version and they expect to have it released before year end. Once I have that, my car is going to the dyno. The comparison method should be similar if not easier than the current black boxes and it would be more definitive. A percentage deviation would simply need to be determined and could be constantly refined based on known non-cheaters.

 

I have no problem with you running your Cup car in GTS1. More competitors is always good. I also think restricting aero in GTS1 is foolish. All classes should be the same except for power to weight. I am glad you enjoy spending money to then wear out and break your car in order to spend more money. I, on the other hand, would like a reliable car. I would rather spend my time at the track racing and hanging out with friends instead of fixing the car. Then when I go home, I'd like to spend money on upgrades and beer instead of repairs and shop charges.

 

You pretend to know about my car, how much power it should 'naturally' have, and how much I spent on it. This is an E92 M3 built as a TT3 car in Texas. The lower dyno runs are stock with new plugs, coils, and filter. The higher runs are with well over $5k in mods including Bimmerworld headers and full race exhaust, Macht Schnell Stage 2 intake, and underdrive pulleys.

headers%20vs%20stock.jpg

This is not unusual for S65s. So, now that it's clear that I don't have a 400hp car and I have only re-tuned it slightly to get a fairly flat curve with a 300hp peak, let's move on to the cost. For a ground up build, I spent about the same on my E92 M3 as I would have on an E46 M3, and significantly less than a 997 or Cayman would cost. All of those fit well into GTS3, so how much more do you think I have to spend before you think I should move up to GTS4? I can probably spend another $50k+ before I get to the cost of a newly built GTS3 Cayman. I'm glad you approve of my car being in 3 based on cost and real world 'natural' power.

 

Your concept of displacement limits are foolish, will drive up costs and do absolutely nothing to reduce cheating, whether actual or perceived. If anything, it encourages cheating by providing an obvious benefit to built engines and aftermarket engine controls. It will also have to be constantly adjusted for newer technology and available engines. In your mind it may not have to change, since it looks like the displacement limits were determined (by you?) looking at a list of Porsche models over the past 35 years. The outlier is 928s which would all be in GTS5 despite making GTS2/3 power without an expensive custom built engine.

 

I'm pretty sure Grand Am never said to an ST team "hey, you spent more than other teams and your displacement is slightly higher than our arbitrarily determined number, so you are now in GS". Even if they had, Grand Am is a Pro series with sponsors, paid drivers, and real winnings. We win wood plaques with stickers on them. People choose to race with NASA in GTS because they want to avoid the rules circus of PCA, BMWCCA, and especially SCCA. You might want to be careful when comparing your proposals to them. When you go from "look at how much better we are" to "hey, we aren't as bad as them", you have become as bad...

 

I'm pretty sure most people joined GTS so we could build and race whatever we wanted within the simple and fair power to weight structure. You thought your displacement rule met harsh resistance. Let us know when you get your "dollars per class" rule written so we can universally pan it, point and laugh, then go race elsewhere.

 

Thanks for the sarcastic banter.

 

PS: I hear your 997 is for sale. Are you get tired of Spec-Cup Car or does it cost too much to run? Feel free to detune that thing to come play with the cool kids. Not only will you possibly have more fun, but you might save some maintenance money so you can afford to buy me a beer or two in thanks.

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vwmann1

Ed

 

No matter how much water you add to the pot when you boil it down I am always coming to the same conclusion: NASA is not holding up their end of the deal. When NASA accepts money from me they are obligated to provide a safe level compliant playing field. Now on the safe part I feel NASA excels beyond any other group. On the Compliance part they are almost doing nothing. No matter how many black boxes or rule changes you bring in at some point you need to determine HP. A dyno is the only way to measure that. Until there is a dyno at EVERY event you cannot guarantee the compliance part. It is not the competitors job to determine how that is done. It is the sanctioning bodies job. That is what we are paying for and right now we are not getting what we have paid for.

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Michael G.

Matt,

 

I have a question, but please, don't take it personally - it is not to you directly, just using the example of the different dyno you showed above.

 

My assumption that some, if not many will show up with something closer to the higher dyno set up - roughly 5K of upgrades or so, vs. the completely stock set up? Then you use some kind of the de-tuning method to tailor the HP down to desirable level - somewhere close to stock numbers, for example to fit to the lower class, if so decided? The same applies to most of the cars currently running. Many set up to switch between lower and higher class pretty easy and quickly.

 

So, what besides personal honesty stops someone from switching from one mode to another in case of no compliance protocol on site?

 

We clearly understand that proposed limitations will not stop those few, and only better compliance by properly developed on board devices would give us an armor to police. Meanwhile, we also clearly realize that we will not have that in the near future. By the way, I have no doubts that your tests on TPS data will be helpful, but it is still far from the level of the device we are looking for.

 

That is why, we keep coming back to the agreement that limiting cars in classes based on combination of displacement, HP and TQ is probably the best solution we have for now. The day we get that long awaited on board tool - many things will change.

 

Doug,

 

There is no dispute that dyno is helpful, but it is especially helpfull when we have the boxes in cars at the same time, so we can compare data in the boxes from dyno and the track. The first time we had a chance to do it at VIR and got a lot of interesting and useful data that we still evaluating and finding stuff we never expected.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat Dir.

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vwmann1
Matt,

 

Doug,

 

There is no dispute that dyno is helpful, but it is especially helpfull when we have the boxes in cars at the same time, so we can compare data in the boxes from dyno and the track. The first time we had a chance to do it at VIR and got a lot of interesting and useful data that we still evaluating and finding stuff we never expected.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat Dir.

 

Michael

You and the NASA upper management continue to speak in vagaries with way too much conjecture and far too little factual data. To date you have offered not a single actionable solution to the lack of compliance enforcement. This is what your participants have paid you to do! The continuing attempts to deflect the conversation away from this base problem is extremely frustrating at this point.

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J Smith
...So, what besides personal honesty stops someone from switching from one mode to another in case of no compliance protocol on site?

 

Sigh. What stops people from doing this in any racing series when there are no tools to check compliance at the track? This is certainly not a GTS specific. And if you and the other regional directors think cheating is so common in GTS (by the way, I don't see it being anywhere near as common as you make it out to be), you're fooling yourself thinking that creating complex rules limiting certain engine sizes/types to certain classes will stop it. If someone wants to cheat, they are going to regardless of the rules in place.

The key is compliance. Not who can run what where.

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erik911

My assumption that some, if not many will show up with something closer to the higher dyno set up - roughly 5K of upgrades or so, vs. the completely stock set up? Then you use some kind of the de-tuning method to tailor the HP down to desirable level - somewhere close to stock numbers, for example to fit to the lower class, if so decided? The same applies to most of the cars currently running. Many set up to switch between lower and higher class pretty easy and quickly.

 

That is why, we keep coming back to the agreement that limiting cars in classes based on combination of displacement, HP and TQ is probably the best solution we have for now. The day we get that long awaited on board tool - many things will change.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat Dir.

 

I have no skin in this game as I haven't run GTS for several years, and plan to continue to run ST3, but was considering potentially GTS3 depending on participation. I own 2 German race cars, a 1971 Porsche 911RSR clone and a recently acquired 1995 M3 that I did an S54 swap with.

 

Other than trying to save my old dinosaur 911 with carbuerators, the reason I purchased the M3 and did the S54 swap using an AEM system because it was an incredibly affordable way to have 4-5 class competitive cars all in one with a tune upload and potential tire change (ST3, ST2, GTS2, GTS3, GTS4). Between the purchase of the car, the engine swap and electronics I have less than $35k into buying and upgrading the car, if you divide that by 5 competitive class options, how can it get any cheaper than that? Especially if you can increase counts in multiple classes by having options, vs being stuck in a one man race potentially. And with my car at about 2800 lbs, most of these choices except GTS2 would not require any ballast.

 

Mine is a stock internal motor, and as far as the "upgrades" you refer to are an aluminum tube with a cone filter on it (about $60) for an intake into the stock airbox and an aftermarket header into a single 3" exhaust ($1200 including muffler) as running a catalytic converter stock exhaust system doesn't make much sense in racing. These are the same basic parts everyone with an S54 will have to make to race. This does increase the horsepower by virtue of the unrestricted exhaust, but it is also so you aren't fooling with expensive cats burning out. The ECU was not cheap, around $4k, but using a stock ECU would have cost $2-3k to get setup properly and tuned and then it would have restrictions. The really expensive stuff is the aero, suspension, brakes and tires, the unregulated items. Not the core power plants (at least with an S54).

 

Since you ask, basic de-tuning of the S54 is not rocket science and is accomplished by reducing ignition timing or by closing the throttle bodies to limit the air coming into the engine. The same basic principal as using a throttle stop or restrictor plate. For reference, my max hp is now 318whp, max tq is 241wtq. (most race S52s have similar tq BTW, just don't rev as high....) For GTS3, at 2800 lbs, I would detune to 255hp or 80% of the engines potential. Plus sticking to conservative hp levels means more affordable running costs.

 

Tunes can either be loaded via laptop individually for the day/session, or for me I have my switch in the "legal" position, which is under the hood and not accessible to the driver. As has been expressed before, the guys with the stock BMW ECUs, only have a limited number of flashes before they get locked out and the ECU requires big bucks to unlock. That is why I went with the AEM. Using tamper tape or mandating that only one tune exist in the ECU for that day/group, whatever seems like a viable option. But I tend to be one of those trustworthy guys...my old car was carbuerated, so not much I could do there on the fly. The AEM can also output a log of engine data, etc. You have to tell it what to log, but it may be another option for compliance on cars so equipped. Not my area of expertise though.

 

IMO, for GTS, maybe the displacement limit has some merit? But still requires adjustment it appears to avoid someone having to jump 2 classes in one rule change? But the minimum weight based on one specific engine (S54) really does not seem to be appropriate in this type of hp/wt class, especially with its history. That one single rule change made me go from a potential participant setting my car up to run in GTS3, to just sticking with ST. I think that point was already made by Andrew Morton earlier in one of the discussion threads.

 

Best of luck.

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vwmann1
Matt,

 

Doug,

 

There is no dispute that dyno is helpful, but it is especially helpfull when we have the boxes in cars at the same time, so we can compare data in the boxes from dyno and the track. The first time we had a chance to do it at VIR and got a lot of interesting and useful data that we still evaluating and finding stuff we never expected.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat Dir.

 

Michael

You and the NASA upper management continue to speak in vagaries with way too much conjecture and far too little factual data. To date you have offered not a single actionable solution to the lack of compliance enforcement. This is what your participants have paid you to do! The continuing attempts to deflect the conversation away from this base problem is extremely frustrating at this point.

 

Michael,

 

Here is the perfect example of the lack of facts you guys are using to make decisions:

 

Bryan Cohn, in an email to Lawrence Gibson, stated that the "GTS2 ECC champion had 600lbs of ballast in the car" THAT IS AN ABSOLUTE FALSEHOOD!!!! Zach's car weighs 2780 dry with driver. Car competed at 3152 for the season regionally. We had to add fuel and lead to bring the car to 3306 for the ECC because of the dyno inconsistencies. Inconsistencies you Michael witnessed firsthand. As a side note, when we returned home our car dynoed within 2 hp of the original dyno cert turned in at the beginning of the season.

 

Do you want to know why your racers are ridiculing you and the NASA upper management. It is because of situation just like this.

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7VO-VOM
So, what besides personal honesty stops someone from switching from one mode to another in case of no compliance protocol on site?
Michael and I took this discussion offline. To summarize...
  1. Drivers should not run with other drivers and an organization they do not trust.
  2. INASA National does not trust GTS participants and has proven itself untrustworthy to participants.
  3. From a driver's perspective, the only resolution is for NASA to solve their inadequate compliance and leave the rules alone.
  4. From NASA's perspective, the ease of changing ECU parameters is becoming easier and that trend will continue, and as a result they feel the need to change GTS and continue to change GTS to compensate for their inability to ensure compliance under the current open rule set.

 

In some regions, there is compliance, trust between the drivers, and trust in the regional management, so there is high participation. I am lucky to be in one of those regions. Other regions, apparently, have no compliance, constant perception of cheating, ambivalent management, and low participation. Again, this is a failure of NASA to provide a safe and fair racing environment, and a consistent experience across regions for its participants/customers.

 

It is clear that we are at an impasse. Can the drivers afford to go elsewhere? Can NASA afford for the drivers to go elsewhere? Can the regions, already seeing lower car counts and budget crunches, afford to see the drivers go elsewhere? I guess we'll all find out in the near future how far NASA National wants to push those questions toward an answer.

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erik911
So, what besides personal honesty stops someone from switching from one mode to another in case of no compliance protocol on site?

 

[*]From NASA's perspective, the ease of changing ECU parameters is becoming easier and that trend will continue, and as a result they feel the need to change GTS and continue to change GTS to compensate for their inability to ensure compliance under the current open rule set.

 

 

So, what's the difference between GTS and ST and even PT, where there are a multitude of cars that use aftermarket ECUs that have the capability of switching tunes?

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7VO-VOM
So, what besides personal honesty stops someone from switching from one mode to another in case of no compliance protocol on site?

 

[*]From NASA's perspective, the ease of changing ECU parameters is becoming easier and that trend will continue, and as a result they feel the need to change GTS and continue to change GTS to compensate for their inability to ensure compliance under the current open rule set.

 

 

So, what's the difference between GTS and ST and even PT, where there are a multitude of cars that use aftermarket ECUs that have the capability of switching tunes?

I don't understand that. From what I understand, you can buy a tuner from Summit Racing for a couple hundred dollars that can live tune a Corvette to whatever power level you want. A friend who used to race ST2 disliked those because the newer Vettes could adjust on the fly throughout a weekend and his older C5 couldn't. He is not the type to whine, so NASA probably didn't know (or care). The BMWs NASA is targeting most need to swap $500+ boxes with $500+ of tuning work done on a dyno. Even my car requires a laptop, cable, several minutes, and power cycling the car to swap between $500+ professionally created custom tunes.

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Bnjmn

Nothing that you understand about corvettes is correct if you are referring to the C6.

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brkntrxn
.... From what I understand, you can buy a tuner from Summit Racing for a couple hundred dollars that can live tune a Corvette to whatever power level you want. A friend who used to race ST2 disliked those because the newer Vettes could adjust on the fly throughout a weekend and his older C5 couldn't...

 

 

By all means, find me an item number in the Summit Catalog to this unicorn tuner. Sorry, but that is BS. We CANNOT change tunes on the fly with a Corvette. I use HP Tuners and the only way to do it is via a laptop, a programming dongle to the port under the dash, AND a recycle of the ignition power. If someone is that good to do that on a back straight at 140+, then by all means they can win because they are better at triple tasking than I am.

 

If your friend really has a part number, post it up so we can investigate.

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911.racer
Ed

 

No matter how much water you add to the pot when you boil it down I am always coming to the same conclusion: NASA is not holding up their end of the deal. When NASA accepts money from me they are obligated to provide a safe level compliant playing field. Now on the safe part I feel NASA excels beyond any other group. On the Compliance part they are almost doing nothing. No matter how many black boxes or rule changes you bring in at some point you need to determine HP. A dyno is the only way to measure that. Until there is a dyno at EVERY event you cannot guarantee the compliance part. It is not the competitors job to determine how that is done. It is the sanctioning bodies job. That is what we are paying for and right now we are not getting what we have paid for.

 

I understand what you are saying. But, You must also realize that there are plenty of ways to electronically defeat the dyno at the track. Everything from changing the tune from when the front two wheels are spinning to manually changing the tune, to adjusting the tune per gear, to manually hitting a go button. Nasa is choosing to limit the exposure by limiting the detuning and therefore limiting the impact of non compliance.

 

Nasa is not asking the competitors to determine how to do measure compliance. Every race series makes changes to the rules. They have opened up this discussion to receive feedback and ideas on the potential rule changes and how they may affect their customers. I am not aware of any group that does this. Most other organizations announce the rules and everyone adapts to them.

 

The bottom line is that a dyno is nice, but can not be relied upon as the sole measure of compliance.

 

Thanks

 

Ed

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mcdonaldsracing

Ed, so why not focus your efforts on those cars that have the ability to change their tune on the fly? If, in fact, that is the true reason these changes are being made??? As it's been said before, those of us running stock engine mgmt do NOT have the ability to change our tunes on the fly. Why should those of us that don't have that ability be punished for something that we can't do in the first place? Or.....why not cut the desire to have different tunes by saying that you can only run one GTS class per year? If you start the season in gts3, then you must run gts3 for the remainder of the year. Or, even more extreme, just outlaw aftermarket engine mgmt to eliminate the possibility of changing tunes on the fly. My bad, that would never work b/c cup cars. Heaven forbid we make a rule that would affect p-cars and only a handful of the BMW's across the country.

Edited by Guest

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vwmann1

 

I understand what you are saying. But, You must also realize that there are plenty of ways to electronically defeat the dyno at the track. Everything from changing the tune from when the front two wheels are spinning to manually changing the tune, to adjusting the tune per gear, to manually hitting a go button. Nasa is choosing to limit the exposure by limiting the detuning and therefore limiting the impact of non compliance.

 

 

Ed

 

Yes that is all possible, but have things like this ever ACTUALLY been found on a competitor's car? The point is if there is nothing physically in place to judge compliance then there is nothing to deter cheating. It will be far easier for someone to fool a data box with a lesser sophisticated ECU than it will be to fool the dyno with the same ECU. I have seen only a handful of cars, like maybe four at ECC and Zach was one of the four, that even have an ECU with enough sophistication to be able to pull off what you are alleging will happen. Every other class winner had a stock ECU. It all feels a little chicken little to me.

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Michael G.

But in cases (many) when there is no compliance tool (such as Dyno or Black Box) at hand - you don't even need to switch maps on the fly or use the switch (which was always the topic of discussion). With the higher potential of new engines as stock, being de-tuned and able to switch ECUs to go to a higher tune, lower class etc., there is no way for officials to verify which ECU or tune being used.

By the way, there are different opinions on the ability of the stock ECU in newer cars to hold multiple maps.

 

The idea of selling ECU and restricting car to the one declared class for the season - valid, but doubt will be very popular since will be seen as an attack on the freedom of choice again.

 

So, all the points made are very valid, but until we have a predictably functioning on board compliance device - we will still face the same old issue.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat. Dir.

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Bnjmn

Instead of waiting for AIM, why doesn't NASA contract someone to make Arduino based loggers? You don't need anything fancy (in terms of hardware, firmware or software) and parts/expertise are cheap and common. Even with power supply, custom firmware and enclosures you may be looking at ~$150/each (assuming a decent sized run). Arduinos could easily handle spark, rpm, fuel and MAP inputs, and you could incorporate GPS if you wanted. In any case, you would be able to confirm on-track data is consistent with dyno data.

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Michael G.

Bnjmn,

 

Choosing a vendor or supplier is not up to the GTS - it is a business of NASA and I am sure there are reasons why AIM was selected. I know that few years ago, when the program started - few options were considered.

 

Michael G

GTS Nat Dir.

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ILIKETODRIVE

So rigidity is > getting it right?

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7VO-VOM
By all means, find me an item number in the Summit Catalog to this unicorn tuner. Sorry, but that is BS. We CANNOT change tunes on the fly with a Corvette. I use HP Tuners and the only way to do it is via a laptop, a programming dongle to the port under the dash, AND a recycle of the ignition power.
Sorry, poor wording. I didn't mean live on track. I meant on site without a dyno. I am guessing it is like the diesel tuners where you plug in a box that looks like and OBDII code reader, push the +25 button, restart and go. He didn't say they were cheating. It was just a luxury he did not have because of technology evolution. They were changing between sessions and hopefully not between track and dyno. If they couldn't keep up on the straights, they added some power and weight for the next session or day. If they didn't have the grip in the corners, they trimmed off power and weight the next session or day.

 

As long as somebody has the same tune in qualifying, the race, and on the dyno, I don't care if they can swap between a race and TT, or practice and qualifying. Now it's clear most regions can't police that. NASA thinks that's a serious enough problem to destroy GTS when really all they need to do is train some people and provide a dyno, which helps all classes, and that Ryan Flaherty was claiming to do at least as recently as 4 years ago. I am in a region that regularly impounds people for dyno pulls after qualifying and races. We're getting screwed.

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Bnjmn

Obviously this is a sidebar and should not detract from your argument, but I think he misunderstood the situation, which is basically the same for C5s as it is for C6s (and ~all other cars that do not support multiple maps from the factory).

The plug in tuners like described are basically toys, for any remotely serious use, the tuning tools and map swapping procedures are the same for c5 and c6.

I'm not sure if you can wiggle a Duramax engine into GTS (the electronics are German) but it supports hot tune swaps at the touch of a button. However the engine weighs 845lbs.

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Rob S.

I only run TT but enjoy technical discussions so I read threads of other groups. GTS seems like a great group and it would be a shame to see it disband.

Restrictors have been successfully used for about as long as racing has been around. Don't need a dyno or black box to check power because you can only draw so much mass flow through a specific size orifice. I know the STU class in SCCA uses a combination of restrictors and weight/weight adjustments to level the field. Obviously, GTS has more than one class but maybe through the use of restrictors, the issue of calibration switching and detuning could be addressed. For example, a larger displacement engine at the same vehicle comp weight in the same class as one with smaller displacement engine would get a larger restrictor because of it's capability to have more area under the pwr curve. Not an easy task to assign restrictor sizes and weight adjustments but it takes care of the largest issue I see right now, the lack of an accurate method to verify compliance.

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paffy

As someone who's considering an entry into GTS next year, this topic is of a huge importance to me. I haven't found any data supporting the various positions and decisions.

 

Here are some basic simulations I've ran for two hypothetical GTS2 cars, one with S52 and other with detuned S54, everything else identical. The dyno maps should be a pretty decent match to come up with the same 221HP figure as per 2015 NASA rules.

 

The theoretical laptime difference at NJMP Thunderbolt is 0.4 seconds, not taking into consideration the extra shifts needed with the S52.

 

Paul

 

detuned S54

s54_dyno_zpsvpfkulo8.jpg

 

S52

s52_dyno_zpspdifpnpf.jpg

 

lap comparision - distance vs speed

njmp_gts2_zpsnejnfpi0.png

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Michael G.

Rob,

 

The idea of the use of the restrictors was viewed almost as it would be an attack on the personal freedoms in the original proposal and was killed before we had a chance to discuss it.

 

Michael G.

GTS Nat. Dir.

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Bigcloud
As someone who's considering an entry into GTS next year, this topic is of a huge importance to me. I haven't found any data supporting the various positions and decisions.

 

Here are some basic simulations I've ran for two hypothetical GTS2 cars, one with S52 and other with detuned S54, everything else identical. The dyno maps should be a pretty decent match to come up with the same 221HP figure as per 2015 NASA rules.

 

The theoretical laptime difference at NJMP Thunderbolt is 0.4 seconds, not taking into consideration the extra shifts needed with the S52.

 

Paul

 

detuned S54

s54_dyno_zpsvpfkulo8.jpg

 

S52

s52_dyno_zpspdifpnpf.jpg

 

lap comparision - distance vs speed

njmp_gts2_zpsnejnfpi0.png

 

 

What software is that you are using to simulate? Thanks.

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