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RichardP

AI Width Rule

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RichardP

I was looking over the changes to section 6.1(a) and had to chuckle. There are new numbers added for a couple of cars and the numbers seem reasonable for what you would get if you set those cars up for AI.

 

I'm pretty familiar with why the rule is written the way it is but if I was looking from the outside, I'd really be wondering what competitive advantage the Fox platform has over those other cars that it's being restricted so much more than they are.

 

This is particularly funny to me since it seems the major initial reason for restricting the Fox car's width was to keep people from hacking up their fenders and making the cars look non-stock. Apparently that didn’t work out quite as well as expected…

 

I’m still similarly confused why the Mustangs are restricted more in the amount that they can change their wheelbase, especially since some of the cars legal for the series have vastly different wheelbases to start with?

 

Anyway, I’m happy to keep hammering away at my Fox that I bought new fourteen years ago but if I was starting from scratch, it certainly wouldn’t be with a Fox.

 

Richard P.

NASA TX AI #91

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Grizlbits

I am not really sure of your question, but here I'll try.

 

The width rules for all car are written to allow all makes to use aftermarket control arms, big brakes, coilovers, with an AI 275 wide tire. The aftermarket cam/bird arms require a wider width to make it happen compared to the Fox Mustang.

 

The 05 Mustang can achieve the width with wheel offsets so the extra width was not needed.

 

That is the short version, and I can assure you the directors hashed over this for many months to come up with this. This was not a rash decision to limit the Mustangs. Many measurements were taken on all cars including the fox, 05 pony, Rousch 05 ponies (with 10" rims), stock cam/birds and cambirds with aftermarket control arms. I literally have a string of more than 65 e-mails between the directors discussing this, so If you would like a better explaination, e-mail me and we can discuss.

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RichardP

Oh, I understand all that. It all looks great when you look at the specifics of each car. I know all the effort that was put into deciding the width and all the factors included.

 

It just falls down a bit when you look at the big picture. It wasn't really a question, just an observation.

 

 

Richard Pedersen

NASA TX AI #91

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King Matt

Chris, I'll admit I haven't spent much time looking under a 4th gen F-body but are you saying that the only way you can fit a 275 tire under one is with a track width that's 2.5 inches wider than a Fox Mustang with the same tire?

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racercosmo

The only reason that Mustangs have more restrictions is that they're the main cars in the series and I may be wrong, but hasn't a Mustang won every championship so far? Only one race on the West Coast has been won by a non-Mustang.

When other cars start steamrolling the series, we'll see more restrictions on them.

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Grizlbits
Chris, I'll admit I haven't spent much time looking under a 4th gen F-body but are you saying that the only way you can fit a 275 tire under one is with a track width that's 2.5 inches wider than a Fox Mustang with the same tire?

 

-with coilovers, big brakes and Lou Gillati (I think those were the arms requested) arms, Yes. The left coast guys took the measurements off cars over there with that setup. I think the actual measurement was around 2 inches, and we gave them a little extra due to the Mustangs ruling the series as racercosmo pointed out.

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King Matt

Considering the popularity of the 4th gen F-body in SCCA T2, I'm surprised there are basically none running in AI. Based on the lap times from this year's runoffs, they would be more than competitive.

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Admiral

Michael Patterson, formerly of the Texas Region now in SoCal, has done quite well in AI piloting his ex-T2 4th Gen. Not sure of any others.

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Grizlbits
Considering the popularity of the 4th gen F-body in SCCA T2, I'm surprised there are basically none running in AI. Based on the lap times from this year's runoffs, they would be more than competitive.

 

Yes, I find that interesting also. The SCCA runoffs are well mixed between Mustangs and Cambirds, I am not sure why NASA is not. Maybe because the aftermarket (sponsors) are more plentiful for Mustangs?

 

The Midwest region has Denton, Franklin, White, McElwrath and I think one other. That is the most I have seen in any region. I think Denton will give the Mustangs a run for their money next year. His DQ kept him from winning this year. It should be a good time next year.

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JWL

The width rule is yet another challenge inherent in trying to equalize often radically different cars with all sorts of aftermarket bits. I'm the poor bastard that got to measure all the cars to try and come up with something workable and it wasn't easy, so let me give you some history and thoughts to enhance the understanding here.

 

The Fox and SN-95 limit came about when we noticed that people were widening cars more each year and we had to come up with some reasonable amount. We measured all the cars then in the series and found that the current limit was the norm and allowed a little fudge. This limit has seemed to work well and results have shown that the Foxes do just fine against their newer brethren and the SN-95's also work fine at this limit. The Foxes do need a little help in the fender department to make width, but hopefully the new fender rule helps a little there.

 

As for the S197, this number arrived after I spent time measuring the FR500C Boy Racers at a Grand Am event (thanks Primo!) and then spent another day under a bunch of Saleen, GT, and V6 variants at Galpin Ford (thanks Steve!) with a tape measure and some toe plates. I found that the number we came up with was reasonable given how much tire you could stuff inboard and where cars came out with anywhere from 8-10 inch wide rims. Although Mr. Burnett did a fine job cleaning clocks with his new ride, I think this is a reasonable limit and I can remember him wiping the floor with an SN-95 so I'm not convinced yet that the new chassis is the Grim Reaper for the lowly Fox Son-of-Fairmonts that we've come to know and love.

 

This brings us to the Cambirds. Again, I roamed the land with tape measure and toe plates in hand until I felt I had a handle on what would work. Mike Patterson was extremely helpful to me and his car (stock with the exception of LG adjustable arms) was the benchmark for the new limit. We'll see over time how this works, but after observing the parity between his car and the others in the series over two weekends, I think we're on the mark if not damn close to it.

 

So, is the method sound? I think so, but then again I'm often proven wrong and if I am wrong (again) we'll sure as nuts fix it. Is the "wide body" limit for the F-body and S197 the death knell for the Fox? Heck no. In a series such as ours, the talent, experience, and prep levels are all over the map so I think the Fox will be competitive long into the future as proven by Gary's win this year in AI-West, JG's win in TX, and Beau's win in AI-SE. That's three out of six possible titles won by Foxes, so I think we're OK for now.

 

Now, what to do about those damned Holdens?

 

-JWL

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King Matt
Now, what to do about those damned Holdens?

I'm waiting for somebody to show up with an ex-GAC Caddy CTS-V, especially now that carbon fiber panels are allowed!

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trackboss

Judging by thier lap times at california speedway those fenders need to knock off about 4 seconds to make them competitive.

 

-V

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King Matt

Are you comparing them to AIX times? Don Knowles was about a second under the AI lap record at Mid-Ohio in a CTS-V during the GAC race there.

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King Matt
Judging by thier lap times at california speedway those fenders need to knock off about 4 seconds to make them competitive.

 

-V

 

I just looked up the results of the AI race at Cal Speedway on Mylaps and Mike Armstrong ran the fastest AI lap of the weekend with a 1:49.064. Interestingly, the same Powell Motorsports CTS-V driven by Don Knowles posted a fastest race lap of 1:49.064 on the same track in the GAC race. Yeah, you're right, that's pretty far off the pace.

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Jeff F
Considering the popularity of the 4th gen F-body in SCCA T2, I'm surprised there are basically none running in AI. Based on the lap times from this year's runoffs, they would be more than competitive.

In T2 the cars are essentially stock, and in stock form a 4th gen F-body is a better choice than a Mustang-- more power, better suspension, etc. When you get into more modified classes like AS or AI those advantages go away and the Mustang becomes more popular.

 

Don't forget that in T2 they aren't running Toyo's so you can't say how they would do on AI-spec tires.

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King Matt

But remember that in T2 they are running 16-inch tires, 12-inch brakes and they have to run the stock interior, including a backseat. Stock springs and swaybars too. I'm not sure how much torque the T2 LS1s are making but based on the approx. 330 rwhp they make, they could pull quite a bit of weight out just to get down to the AI Hp/Weight ratio since they are 3500-plus pounds in T2 trim. All I'm saying is that I would expect a well-prepped T2 F-body to be very competitive in AI with just a couple of modifications. Same with the CTS-V. I think the reason Mustangs are so popular in AI is because it basically started with Mustangs and it still has a big following with the Mustang crowd.

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trackboss

Hey Matt, obviously you have not been around this game very long but you talk up a big storm. If you knew more than you say you do you would know that Mike Armstrong is my teamate. He owns the car and I set lap records in it. It is always registered under his name. Why they never put my name on it I don't know, but the entire AI west field can back me up on this. Mike and I have done this ever since I sold my old #3 car which I also set lap records in. So, that 1:49.064 you see. I did that in Mike's car and I did it with basically no previous seat time. We went out the day before and a brake line failed on the first lap. Sunday was foggy in the morning so I skipped practice and Mike went out. I then qualified and raced, won, etc. Do I think I can do better then that? I know I can. Heck, Mikes car is about as basic an AI car as you can have. Pretty much all bolt on simple parts.

The top grand am cars are pretty comparable in lap times to the top AI cars. If they were made equal I am not sure they would be faster, but I know that if an AI car ran hoosiers it would definately be faster.

According to this:

http://www.grandamerican.com/Events/SessionResults.asp?SessionID=494

 

the fastest cadillac ran a 1:50.574. When I first looked at that page earlier I missed that and saw the power motorsport cadillac only at 1:53.019 so my gap was off. So, 4 seconds? Maybe not that much, but I would bet they need at least 2. Educate yourself more about AI if you want us to take you seriously and spend less time with the data aquisition

 

-V

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King Matt

I don't care whose teammate you are, the fact is that the two cars ran identical lap times on the same track. The Cadillac's 1:49 was in the race, not qualifying. And since you have so much experience, you should know that it's the race that counts. Here's the link:

 

http://grandamerican.com/Events/SessionResults.asp?SessionID=495

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trackboss

Alrighty professor. No need to get fussy here. I agree, grand am cup cars are pretty equivalent to AI cars, but you seem to think you can come aboard here and talk us all down. I don't care who you are either. As a matter of fact from what I understand you are involved with hot rod mag. somehow. If that is the case you would know who I am as that particular magazine happened to be at one of our past races at sears point a couple years back where I not only won AI both days but I also won overall on saturday. See you at the track fast guy!

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Jeff F
All I'm saying is that I would expect a well-prepped T2 F-body to be very competitive in AI with just a couple of modifications. Same with the CTS-V.

 

I don't think the CTS-V would do too well. It isn't legal for AI.

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Ernesto Roco

This Matt guy is supposed to stop by and school me on data acquisition at Mid O. I will make sure to give him my special greeting for this special occasion. Looking forward to it Fast guy.

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JKnight

Between this thread and the rules thread, I think the smalk talking should make for a great week at Mid-Ohio in September! I'm hoping that Chris is there and competitive so we can see who ends up on top.

 

Jason

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Adam Ginsberg
I don't think the CTS-V would do too well. It isn't legal for AI.

 

Yes, and no.

 

The V certainly meets the AI requirements - 1960+, American built, 100"+ wheelbase, front engine, rear wheel drive. The only item I can see that doesn't make the car legal is it's IRS, and only because it isn't specifically stated in section 4 of the rules.

 

FWIW, a competitor in FL contacted me sometime back about running a Lincoln LS V8 - and it was approved. Not sure when, or if, it will make it out to race, but an LS would make a cool race car. Same with the V.

 

If a competitor wanted to race a CTS-V, all they would have to do is contact JWL/RF to get a ruling.

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King Matt

Hey Ernesto, be careful at M-O, you might chip a carbon fiber fender.

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Jeff F
Yes, and no.

 

FWIW, a competitor in FL contacted me sometime back about running a Lincoln LS V8 - and it was approved.

 

If a competitor wanted to race a CTS-V, all they would have to do is contact JWL/RF to get a ruling.

 

As I see it, it's no and no. The latest version of the rules is 6.2, and the CTS-V isn't legal. Period. Neither is a Lincoln LS. If someone approved the LS they apparently didn't have the authority to do so, since it isn't in a tech bulletin or in the rules. This isn't to say that things couldn't change in the future, but at this point in time neither of them are legal.

 

Let's not have another notched frame fiasco. If it's not in the rules, it isn't legal.

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