Jump to content
wvonkessler

Interest in Euro style rally cross?

Do you have an interest in prepping a vehicle for and running in a regional European style rallycross series?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have an interest in prepping a vehicle for and running in a regional European style rallycross series?

    • I am on the East Coast, and I would commit absolutely to running in a six race regional series for 2004.
      3
    • I am on the East Coast, and I have an interest in running a six race regional series for 2004, but cannot commit absolutely at this time.
      9
    • I am on the West Coast, and I would commit absolutely to running in a six race regional series for 2004.
      0
    • I am on the West Coast, and I have an interest in running a six race regional series for 2004, but cannot commit absolutely at this time.
      2


Recommended Posts

wvonkessler

Folks:

 

Just taking a poll to see who might be interested in a Euro style rally cross series. This would be the rough equivalent of dirt tracking (wheel to wheel), but over a course with some jumps, etc., and turning in both directions. Like a road course in the dirt for rallycars. Classing would probably include a "stock hatch" low cost prep, as well as "modified hatch" with more power (but 2wd) and maybe AWD as well (still in the very early formative stages on this).

 

We would probably need at least 15 folks committed to such a series within a region (East and West) to make it work.

 

If you are interested (competitor or organizer), please e-mail me as well.

 

Regards,

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whiplash

No thanks,... I put too much money into my car to rub fenders.

Would be fun to watch though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
toyfiat

I think it could have possibilities. Semi-captive audience with stadium seating that can see the whole track. That would prove good for sponsors, add in a TV deal and more sponsors will come.

To get sponsors would racers be willing to rub fenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

I gave this a lot of thought a few years back and wrote a brief that I passed to some folks in the NWR rally community. It went nowhere, of course...

 

I decided that the way to do it would be to (a) get a cooperative agreement together with one or more circle track promoters, (b) adopt/adapt the "mini stock" rules that are predominate in the area, and © run a series weighted to the winter months.

 

This gets around the common complaint about going W2W with a shiny, pretty WRX or whatever. It also leverages an existing group of cars, with the potential for better economies of scale and crossover between circle track and rallycross disciplines.

 

By setting up rallycross venues at circle tracks, existing infrastructures could be utilized (stands for spectators, concessions, etc.) and promoters would have options for off-season activities to generate revenues. There are also facilities evolving connected with road courses on the east cost, of course...

 

I think it would rock but success would require thinking outside of the typical rally box.

 

Kirk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lurch

I responded under the "Race Craft" (??) section, but I'll copy my thoughts over here...

 

Implemented properly, I think this style of racing could be huge. I would LOVE to do it. I have thought about CORR, but only because this isn't available.

 

Because it is a single venue event, you can have all the safety, promotion, and production advantages of circuit racing. You have the cool equipment and loose surface excitement of rallying. You have the drama of wheel to wheel racing. I think its a winner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gapzero

i would also be interested in this type of racing but it would definitely have to have turns in both directions, nascar on dirt would be boring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wvonkessler

Well . . .

 

We've got 7 folks on the east coast that have shown some interest.

 

We've got a few venues where this could work: (1) RPNE (PA); (2) Beaverun (PA); (3) VIR (VA); and (4) Resaca (GA). Plus other venues that have yet to be explored.

 

How much are you willing to pay for a weekend of wheel to wheel rally? How far are you willing to travel? Can you convince your friends to compete?

 

Just some preliminary questions. I have no doubt that if this gets put together, we'll be bringing in some other folks.

 

Regards,

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carlos Lopez

Well, put BeaveRun as a definite place for it.

 

It just happens that last night, while driving to the Pittsburgh airport, I had a very nice conversation with Alex Schaur of BeaveRun where he mentioned interest in converting their South Track (NOT OVAL) to compact dirt suitable for this exact type of event, bleachers, control tower and all!

 

At this point, we are seriously considering BeaveRun as a venue for various uses (a rally academy, a full rally, rallycrosses, etc.) and you wont find a more motivated group of people, from the founder to the groundskeeper, with the resources and interest in having BeaveRun associated with rallying.

 

Alex Schaur will probably attend Sandhills as an observer, taking notes and video for the purpose of the projects listed above, and myself, or someone, will be taking him around so that he can talk to competitors and officials alike as to how thay can help bring rallying to BeaveRun. So please, those of you who will be in attendance at Sandhills, make yourselves available to speak to him and show him your interest and support in participating at events at BeaverRun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gapzero

well, about 6 - 8 hours one way is about all i can travel because of work and time, im not sure what i would spend on the actuall race fees, it would really depend on the rules for the car, and what it is gonna cost to build and maintain, because of the fender rubbing and such, i would not use my actual rally car, but would build something just for this type of racing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

To clarify, I wasn't proposing an oval track only but instead, use a chunk of an oval, the access/pit road, and surrounding area - like dirt parking lots. Evergreen Speedway outside of Seattle used to host short-course WORRA (Washington Off-Road Racing Assn.) events that did a similar thing. It was great fun.

 

Kirk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wvonkessler
To clarify, I wasn't proposing an oval track only but instead, use a chunk of an oval, the access/pit road, and surrounding area - like dirt parking lots. Evergreen Speedway outside of Seattle used to host short-course WORRA (Washington Off-Road Racing Assn.) events that did a similar thing. It was great fun.

 

Kirk

 

Neither was I. We don't need to invent oval dirt track, because it already exists. Really, there are two options: (1) a complete loose surface track which has turns in both directions; or (2) a track that combines both tarmac and loose surface which has turns in both directions (ala Euro Rallycross). The latter could use portions of a road course (or even an oval), and then run on access roads/pit roads, etc. Plenty of examples across the pond.

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

A mixed surface might automagically do something to limit tires, making really specialized options a bad answer...

 

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wvonkessler

Interestingly, the tires used for Euro Rallycross tend to be closer to slicks than they do to gravel tires. And if the loose surface has been swept and is hard (like a hard dirt field in August), I have seen slick tires, such as the Falken Azenis, get better times than gravel tires in US style rallycross.

 

Just an observation.

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gapzero

yes there is also a type of motorcycle racing like rally cross, and they more of a slick/street tire than say a radial tire, so mixed surface would be fun, you could also, vary it a bit, and have both types of courses in the season

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mothra

Have you considered running on the courses used for the 4wd and 2wd offroad truck races? Closed circuit, dirt, jumps, etc. Say some of these on Speed and the course looked like it would work. Maybe go around the bigger jumps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

Thinking more about the mixed surface thing, if a bunch of the track IS tarmac, then there is net time to be gained, even if time is lost on the loose stuff. A side benefit would be decreased maintenance and degradation of the dirt surface.

 

The rules are going to be massively important for a start-up. I'll make the mini-stock rules suggestion again and advocate for one class, relatively small displacement (2.0 or thereabouts), and 2wd - for the reason stated above: If venues are going to be scarce, you don't want to design the series around cars that are going to tear the crap out of the tracks.

 

Common attributes seem to include...

 

** One pound per cc of displacement

** Stock appearing bodywork

** Plastic (or no) windows

** Lots of stock pieces required in the engines and drivetrains

** Spec DOT tires

 

Many tracks don't allow front wheel drive. More at...

 

http://www.olddominionspeedway.com/MiniStockRules.htm

http://www.desert-thunder-raceway.com/page4.html

http://www.enidmotorspeedway.net/mini_rules.html

http://crawfordcountyspeedwayracing.com/mini_stock_rules.htm

http://www.thundervalleyspeedway.com/mini-stock.htm

 

Take note particularly of Allegheny Mt. Raceway's rules - http://www.amraceway.com/Rules/rules-ministock-window.htm - how far can that actually be from the Beaver?

 

image5.JPG

 

Kirk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carlos Lopez

VERY,VERY FAR, My friend... Maybe the main difference is that BeaveRun WANTS US! They will accomodate to our needs rather than us accomodating to their rules!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

135 whole miles. Boy, do I feel dum.

 

I have the feeling that you're not tracking my point there, Carlos. It's great that BR is welcoming the idea but the wrongest thing that can be done with this kind of idea is to strike off from scratch and create YET ANOTHER set of rules that don't align with anything. Or worse yet, jam the typical North American rallying paradigm into a new venue. How long is management going to care about two guys playing chase-tail with their Mitsubarus Evo XIIIs in front of their wives and seven drinking buddies?

 

If a person could set aside preconceived notions of what "rallying" rules are - since this is an entirely different thing - he/she might take note that the demands that will be placed on a rallycross car are WAY more like those enountered by a short track stock car than a stage rally car. Have you ever seen euro-style rallycrossing?

 

By adopting - or adapting - the rules of the ministock program nearest a welcoming venue (edit - like Beaver Run, to be clear) AND emphasizing a winter series (a) there is a built-in supply of cars already completed (albeit probably not huge), (b) there is a market for cars that people want to sell, © there is a chance of some crossover entrants, (d) there is a knowledge base already in place, and (e) there is a body of potential fans already in tune with the hardware involved.

 

Or this could be another opportunity for sporty-car racers to pooh-pooh circle track racing, think they have built a better mousetrap, and create yet another short-lived rallying initiative, the carcasses of which litter the US racing history landscape...

 

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carlos Lopez

Nevermind... moving on...

 

P.s. Wilson: "...if you build it, they will come..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

Not sure I understand what's up with the eyes. Maybe it's from years of dealing with junior high kids who do that but...

 

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gapzero

i think we have to figure the rules based on what we are actually doing. stage rally places a much tougher demand on the cars, and i think that since the off tarmac sections would still be relatively smooth, that the cars could be more like stock track cars than rally cars. i also think we need to figure out why those places dont allow front wheel drive and work that out. also as far as tearing up the dirt sections , it seems that rear wheel drive would mess it up just as bad. i dont know because ive never done it, but thats just how it seems to me. also i think those that are into drifting type vehicles, might also get interested in this sort of thing, once they see someone else doing it. plus you've got those people that dont like drag racing, arent into drifting and think that rally and track racing is out of there reach or league. kinda like grassroots, for everybody, relatively cheap racing. i know of several other autocross folks that might be into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carlos Lopez

Nah, just frustration from years of dealing with that sort of mentality. But If you insist...

 

1) You said: "the wrongest thing that can be done with this kind of idea is to strike off from scratch and create YET ANOTHER set of rules that don't align with anything" How can this type of competiton "not align with anything"? For one, it aligns with just about every kind of off-road and track competition out there. I bet that when any type of competition is created, a set of rules has to govern it, right? And most likely,this set of rules will have it's roots in some other motorsports concept.

 

2) You said: "Or worse yet, jam the typical North American rallying paradigm into a new venue." O.K. enlighten me... maybe my 30 years in the sport have not sunk in yet. What is the "typical" N.A. rallying paradigm you refer to?

 

3) You said: "How long is management going to care about two guys playing chase-tail with their Mitsubarus Evo XIIIs in front of their wives and seven drinking buddies?" Boy, am I glad that you do not work for BeaveRun! It takes "VISION" to give a chance to new forms of motorsports, and their potential, given the right promotion and marketing, could be bigger than even your "ministock". We need more venue owners to be that visionary. Given the right set of circumstances like holding the event in conjunction with others like drifting (oh,wait! there is another form of newly created motorsport competition with its own set of rules that do not align to anything!) or maybe something like Hyperfest !

 

4) You said: "Have you ever seen euro-style rallycrossing? Probably more times than you have! And it is very popular in europe and it could be here too if someone had the initiative to try it.

 

5) You said: "Or this could be another opportunity for sporty-car racers to pooh-pooh circle track racing, think they have built a better mousetrap, and create yet another short-lived rallying initiative, the carcasses of which litter the US racing history landscape... " O.K. that is a mouthful... Name one "short lived rallying initiative", one that has "littered the landscape of U.S.racing history". For one, and maybe you dont know this, rallying is the oldest form of motorsport racing in the world! How's that for "short-lived"! One could even say that it is the motorsport that gave birth to all the other types of motorsport competition.

 

Like I said: We need more venues like BeaveRun with the interest in giving other sorts of motorsport competition a try. That is what "growth" is all about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gapzero

you guys argue too much, i really want this to work out, and for that to happen, we are gonna have to work together. so instead of making fun of each other and trying to find the negative, lets try to figure this out. all this time wasted on picking at each other, could be used to figure out the rules and venues and so on. just an idea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knestis

Thanks for the additional information - and no rolly eyes. It helps me to understand that we probably have more in common that we have things to disagree about, Carlos...

 

Regarding alignment, there's a tendency to align racing classes or disciplines conceptually but not in detail. The result is often that minor differences become significant barriers to entry for people who are pre-qualified if you will - who have demonstrated the interest and inclination to get involved. In the US, rallying, road racing, and autocrossing have each hurt their own potential by making it hard to cross over from the others.

 

My thinking is that, since the demands of rallycross (real rallycross) are very unlike those of any of the existing "sports car" disciplines, we may want to look elsewhere for crossover opportunities. If an entirely new set of rules results from an effort like is being discussed here, start-up is going to be tough. Your growth - in terms of participants and spectators - is going to be local first, within a few hundred miles of the venues, remember.

 

I would argue that the current paradigm in NA rallying is driven by the contemporary AWD turbocar - the various Evos. I would further suggest that many of the continuing challenges that the sport faces are grounded in that assumption of "what a rally car is" - high costs, higher-than-necessary danger, decreased opportunity for "club" rallyists, etc. It could clearly be tempting to picture the spectacle of these cars running head to head on a dirt track but in practice, how many people would be able to $participate$ in that kind of thing? How big would the fields be (or not be)?

 

You seem to suggest that this can be overcome with marketing and promotion but, if the deal doesn't make financial sense for entrants, there won't be any actual racing to market. We seem to differ on this point.

 

The chance of success of this kind of venture could be dramatically enhanced by thinking "spectator." This is also not part of the rallying POV, contrary to what die-hard rally fans might think. This is a chance to do some thinking outside of the current rallying box.

 

I absolutely do appreciate the world and European history of this game but stage rallying has that same history and has proven over and over to be a very hard sell in this market - and the market matters. Soccer (rea football) has the same difficulty and it isn't about the sport, it's about the spectators. World history doesn't mean squat to most people in this country and as far as rally initiatives that came up short in the US (forgiving my lapse into hyperbole for a minute), how about the Olympus prototype events? The old FIA North American rally championship? The various iterations of the SCCA ProRally program, each of which was supposed to be "the answer" and the latest of which disillusioned a bunch of long-time participants and spawned the conditions for NASA Rally Sport to exist? The Pro- and ClubRally breakout? Even the RSNA/CNAR?

 

We can take the moral high ground and scoff at dumbing down rallying to make it palatable for lite beer drinkin' Americans but maybe it's time we try that. If for no other reason but to get an idea like this off of the ground.

 

The supercar class can come later, after the gate revenues are flowing and the sponsors start to care.

 

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wvonkessler

Folks:

 

The nice thing about NASA/NASA Rally Sport is the flexibility in which we can address issues such as cross-over between road racers, roundy-rounds, and rallyists.

 

When the Santa Maria Sprint happened (Thank you John Dillon!), we had a serious discussion about opening the event up to cars prepared to other disciplines. Its not so much about "cars must have x,y, and z" and moreso, "cars prepared to x's regs, or y's regs, or whoever's regs, will be allowed to compete." Kirk is a road racer and rallyist, and is prepping the car to allow him to compete in both disciplines under the current rules, which is looking far ahead. However, given a threshold for safety, any car that is safe should be able to compete, regardless of whether it is prepped per the GCRs or the GRRs. I hope this make sense. The bigger the tent, the better the participation, which is why I posted an inquiry on this type of event to the other NASA forums (which the sys op dude deleted the majority of except in racecraft because some road racer bit*hed that it should be in the Rally Sport section (reminds of some of the old salts in another sanctioning body)).

 

So concept 1 is "Big Tent" and minimize barriers to entry.

 

Regards,

 

Wilson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×