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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:36 am 
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Hi Guys,

Well, the '16 ST Rules are out, and the Calculator tool, new ST/PT/TT Dyno Certification Form and ST Car Classification Forms will all be out within a week. So, it seems to me that it was very helpful this past year to have a few threads where drivers and potential new ST competitors had a chance to give their input and ideas in regard to specific rule items that were up for consideration. In fact, these discussions not only lead to both making some changes and not making changes to the rules, but also lead to some new ideas that were either implemented for '16 or put into the pipeline for '17 and beyond. And, as you know, while we appreciate driver input and take it into consideration, our goal is to always improve and grow the series, which means that ultimately it comes down to the series officials making the decisions on the rules, as opposed to a vote or mob rule. We always understand that regardless of what decisions are made, whether they be to make changes or not do anything, some percentage of the competitors will not be satisfied, and some will be very vocal. With that being said, we all need to remember that the large majority of competitors never actually look at (or certainly post) on these forums (unfortunately). So, just because there is some high volume about a given topic here, does not mean that that sentiment is common or the majority opinion around the country. However, we also know that those of you who take the extra time to follow these forums are often well informed, intelligent, and have some valid points and ideas that we appreciate. So, now that I'm done with my disclaimer:

ST4 is definitely planned for '17. Now, whether it ends up being called ST4 or PT4 or something else is still up for a final decision, but I suspect it will be ST4. The idea is to extend the ST series classing scheme down to the lower HP and higher Adjusted Wt/HP Ratio vehicles. And, the current plan is to set that class at a limit of Adjusted Wt/HP Ratio of 12:1 (using the Avg HP calculation that is being tested in '16 in ST3). The goal is to attract new competitors that are neither competing in ST (because they have difficulty reaching 10:1 for ST3) or PTB/PTC (because they have difficulty with the points system), and to increase field sizes of the cars that are competing in PTB currently. Assuming we add ST4 (PT4, etc.) as a new class, we would delete at least one class, which in this case would be PTB (with a consideration for PTC, but that would likely depend on whether ST5/6 (PT 5/6) become reality as well (see other thread).

So, what are we asking? As you know, unlike some other open classes, our philosophy in ST is that as we move further away from Super Unlimited, there necessarily needs to be either increased vehicle restrictions and/or an increased number of Modification Factors and/or an increased value of current Modification Factors in order to help contain costs to the competitors. While we understand that these rules do not directly prevent someone from spending a million dollars on a build, they definitely can limit the advantage gained by doing so. It does not make sense to ST officials to have vehicles that cost $3000-$7000 to purchase to essentially be required to have $40,000++ of modifications to be competitive. As you know, ST1 and ST2 have the same rules with just the exception of the different limit on Adjusted Wt/HP Ratio. This is appropriate, as these vehicles tend to be much more expensive to begin with, and it is understood that these are going to be fairly high dollar classes. ST3 is where some of these controls start to kick in, with the OEM Aero rule that allows drivers to choose to stick with OEM Aero, and the higher Modification Factor for a non-OEM sequential/semi-automatic transmission. We believe that ST4 should have an expansion of this philosophy, but we are just beginning to work on what these additional controls might look like. Additionally, we have not decided the extent of these additional controls, and it may turn out that we decide that we don't want any, and to have ST4 just mirror ST3 with a different Adjusted Wt/HP Ratio. This is where we would like this thread to focus. Please feel free to give your input on ideas for these additional controls, or the extent of the controls, or whether you don't think there should be any. Valid arguments can be made for all of these cases, so try not to judge each other or make personal attacks, but if you wish to constructively comment on ideas submitted here without getting nasty, feel free.

So, I'll start with my personal opinion. I think that ST4 should be ST4, a true extension of the ST series, and that any classes below this that may require significant differences, like a vehicle model Modification Factor table, might be best served as sticking under the PT series label. So, in that light, I think that the extent of the differences between ST3 and ST4 should be small, which will increase the draw to new competitors as less restrictions allow for more cross-classing from other series that either do or don't have restrictions. At the same time, this may mean that those in PTB will have to decide on whether to improve on their current builds or not. But, I also think that we should probably have a few additional controls. The proposed rule for quarter panels for ST3 that failed to make it to the rules may be one example. Another example may be further restrictions on Aero to some type of defined modification parameters, or perhaps a restriction on "A" tires or Mod Factor for "A" tires. I have some other ideas, but I'd rather see how many come up with the same ideas.

I'm starting a similar thread for ST5/6 (PT5/6), that will necessarily have significant additional controls as we don't want these series to end up requiring a $250K car to be the champion of the lowest level class.

Thanks for your input, and have a great 2016 season!

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National TT, PT, & ST Director
Nat. Medical Director
greg@nasa-tt.com


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:34 am 
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Our current ST3 car is well underpowered with the new averaged ST3 dyno calcs. Great position to be in for me!!! Except, there is no more weight to take out. And, I don't want to spend a $2-3k to get the 40 hp I could use. So if there was ST4 (and associated competitors tp race against), I'd switch now. If, of course I could keep my non OEM car, slicks, etc.

Main question from my mind - will there enough under-powered ST3 cars or PTB cars wanting to jump to ST4 in 2017?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:42 am 
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I used to run my car in TTB but when I upgraded for GTS I had work done to my chassis and cage which prevents that cross over. I have a 14.5 power to weight but could go unrestricted and pull ballast to get close to 12. What I'd suggest is to give consideration that there are many cars like mine with a beefed up chassis but relatively low power. I'd take a mod factor but don't want to be killed for reinforcements that sometimes enhance performance but other times are for reliability. Id be interested in crossing over and dicing with cars of other makes. That is the essence of touring car racing after all.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:15 am 
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Make ST4 just like ST3, if you want to create mod factors to keep costs down then do that, but don't introduce model specific mod factors, keep the playing field level.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:29 am 
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I agree with Greg on if it's going to be an ST class it needs to follow the same progression. Since the underlying theme is to try and rein in spending through power to weight ratio, and the ratio is targeted at 12:1 I think just heavier penalties that highlight the progression from the slower class to SU. Such as 1.0 for Aero modifications. It may seam excessive but at the lower power levels it could account for more the 0.4 in ST3. I would also propose an out right banning of driver aids, ABS, traction control, and stability control explicitly, because a lot of the cars that are going to fit the 12:1 ratio won't have the luxury of those things being factory available and if they are available they may be of a performance level not appropriate for motorsports anyway.

My $0.02 anyway.

Ryan


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:59 am 
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moremazda wrote:
I would also propose an out right banning of driver aids, ABS, traction control, and stability control explicitly, because a lot of the cars that are going to fit the 12:1 ratio won't have the luxury of those things being factory available and if they are available they may be of a performance level not appropriate for motorsports anyway.

My $0.02 anyway.

Ryan



Banning ABS is a terrible idea. Do you realize that almost all cars come with it and it is not simple to disable or remove from most cars? I don't view it as an advantage either. Same goes for stability control. Most of the time it's a huge hinderance. The traction control rule might be carried over as a mod factor but it's so hard to police, and what if you can't shut it off completely?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:31 pm 
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Arca_ex wrote:

Banning ABS is a terrible idea. Do you realize that almost all cars come with it and it is not simple to disable or remove from most cars? I don't view it as an advantage either. Same goes for stability control. Most of the time it's a huge hinderance. The traction control rule might be carried over as a mod factor but it's so hard to police, and what if you can't shut it off completely?


I would disagree, ABS is pretty big aid and its also pretty easy to get rid of too.

https://lefthanderchassis.com/v2a/14_vi ... 0063403342

Now if you are talking hindrance from your experience with an RX8 (Im assuming you drive an RX8 because of your avatar) I completely agree, that equipment sucks, but an out right ban would prevent someone from adding in say a bosch motorsports system, or using the functionality of a motec ECU. So think of it from that perspective, it is possible to have unfairly good stuff ("unfair" from the dollar perspective) so an out right ban puts the driving task on the driver, why wold any of us be opposed to that idea. And its not hard to police, no funny stuff between the master cylinder and the caliper and a cable actuated throttle. (Yes yes traction control can still be had in through manipulation of the timing and the fuel, but that really sucks)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:49 am 
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Don't ban them. Make the wording OEM only or removal. ;)

Eliminates wacky awesome aftermarket systems. Doesn't hinder people that want to keep functional OEM ABS. BAM

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:43 am 
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ILIKETODRIVE wrote:
Don't ban them. Make the wording OEM only or removal. ;)

Eliminates wacky awesome aftermarket systems. Doesn't hinder people that want to keep functional OEM ABS. BAM

FYI, we would certainly never ban OEM ABS for Time Trial, and we do want to continue to keep the rules for TT and the associated race classes completely
interchangeable. It has worked out very good for the drivers and for both TT and the PT and ST race series.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Being one of those pestering Greg for the last few months for ST4, my initial thoughts are as follows and subject to improvement based on input from others.

ST4 should be a true extension of ST system with a few additional Modification factors along the following lines:

Tires:
Group current PT tires instead of just Non-DOT vs DOT-R. Example:
[A9] (-0.X)
[A1+A2] (-0.X)
[A3+A4+A5+A6] (+0)
[A7+A8] (+0.X)

Suspension/Chassis:
Relocation of suspension mounting points (-0.X)
Increased track width >4" (-0.X)

Aero:
Flat bottom/belly tray (-0.X)
Front fascia/air dam, Splitter, Canards (-0.X)
Wing, Diffuser, Vertical Panels (-0.X)
Front Windshield (-0.X)

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