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23racer
11-11-2010, 11:58 AM
I just want to understand the direction that STU has taken in the last couple of years. My Cougar is a legal 2009 World Challenge Touring Class car, that has had no changes made to it. It meets all of the weight and build rules for that time. Is it still legal for STU?

I read all the discussions on pick up points and control arms and seam welding for STL, I was just wondering about the present and future direction for STU? My car has a completely fabbed suspension, built motor (to WC requirements) and seam welded and cage stiched shell.

If I wanted to come down and play with you guys at Mid Ohio or Watkins Glen, would the car be legal and for how long?

Eric

Greg Amy
11-11-2010, 12:09 PM
It meets all of the weight and build rules for [20090 world Challenge]. Is it still legal for STU?
Theoretically, yes. The goal for STU is to allow legal World Challenge Touring cars to compete.

However, the verbiage that points to 2009 PRR and VTS is being removed for 2011. The new STU rules are intended to be inclusive of the PRR/VTS, but practically speaking I'm aware of some instances where there are rules conflicts between VTS allowances and the 2011 STU rules.

I recommend you review the STU in total, comparing the allowances in there to what you've done to your Cougar. If there are things that are allowed in the 2009 PRR/VTS but not allowed in 2011 STU rules, then you should bring those to the attention of the CRB via http://www.crbscca.com/. It's my guess they will make vehicle-specific allowances to welcome your car into STU (just a guess; I'm in no position of power...)

I suggest 2011 will be a transition year, and IMO you should have no concerns about competing in STU in 2011 in a 2009 PRR/VTS-legal car. I'm confident the ST Advisory Committee will iron out these wrinkles soon enough.

GA

23racer
11-11-2010, 12:12 PM
Thanks Greg. The car was accepted as legal by SCCA Pro as recently as 2009 using its last VTS from 2003. No changes to the car have taken place in years other than to return the car to race condition. I geuss if I want to play in STU, I will need to follow up with the CRB.

Greg Amy
11-11-2010, 12:16 PM
If the car was built to 2003 WCT rules, it's probably legal as-is to the 2011 STU rules. Read the rules and see:

http://www.scca.com/documents/Fastrack/10/10-fastrack-aug.pdf

If you have any questions after reading that, feel free to ask...

Don't expect the CRB to give you a blanket "approved per 2009 PRR"; they won't do that. You'll need to review the rules first, look for discrepancies, and if you find any then contact the CRB for a variance approval.

GA

Matt93SE
11-11-2010, 12:35 PM
What Greg said. I'm no authority either, but since STU was designed as a class for a place specifically for WC Touring cars to play, then I see no reason why they wouldn't allow the car with a proper VTS and/or meeting the current STU rules.

Based on the rules, is there anything on the list you've done to the car that is/was legal for WC but not for STU?

that said, the VTS for my 240SX specs a car with MUCH fewer mods than what STU allows. 7" wide wheels, panhard bar (on an independent rear suspension), 11.5:1 compression, stock transmission, etc etc etc. Then again that VTS is from 2000 season and the world is much different since then.

anyway, it's worth taking a look at the current rules to see if the car is legal as-is with the STU ruleset. If so, then no worries. If not, then a line-item specific allowance based on the Cougar's VTS should be allowed.

23racer
11-11-2010, 04:27 PM
After a quick look through the only things that leapt out at me are the ;

1) In Car adjustable sway bar - I have one that will need to be moved to meet the rules.
2) Front splitter - Mine has a 3" upper surface. I will need to trim it back.
3) Rear wing rule - unless I am reading this wrong, it needs to be no lower than 6" below the roof line. What is the maximum height?
4) Compression ratios - 12.0:1 ????? a bunch of WC legal cars are well above that. My VTS allows 12.8:1
5) Wheel Widths - My VTS allows for 8" wheels, I guess that means I need to ask.

Everything else I am in compliance with, so with a bit of work and changes (as long as its not permanent) I am in compliance.

Thanks for the information. It gives me a lot to think about.

Eric

Greg Amy
11-11-2010, 04:35 PM
3) Rear wing rule - unless I am reading this wrong, it needs to be no lower than 6" below the roof line. What is the maximum height?
Rule states "minimum of 6.0 inches below the peak of the roof." that means it has to be 6" or more below the roof line.


4) Compression ratios - 12.0:1 ????? a bunch of WC legal cars are well above that. My VTS allows 12.8:1
I think they're aware of that; the 2010 champ was allowed 12.5:1...

Correct on the other items; I'd recommend changing them and/or requesting variances. Supplying your original VTS sheets with that request is a plus.

GA

JohnW
11-11-2010, 08:48 PM
First, Nice car!

I think the problem comes into play due to the W-I-D-E range of VTS sheets in World Challenge. Many of the WC "Touring Cars" VTS sheets are very, very different.

Attempting to build a new National STU rule book to cover those differences is going to be nearly impossible.

Maybe a more flexible STU rulebook needs to be continued- to reduce the number of cars that need to be fixed due to the 10 things that instantly became illegal. Example. Does a wing really need to have 8.5 chord or less? Does that really need to be an issue in a class that has such diversity and high-end prep levels?

The pinnacle of Touring Car's were built to the 08-09 WC rules. Maybe that should be the "Max" spec listed in the rulebook?

I humbly suggest that the STAC consider a wide range of prep to keep as many original TC's legal with out requiring thousands of dollars to update.

lateapex911
11-11-2010, 08:54 PM
I agree John. I've always wondered HOW they were going to make all the WC cars 'equal" as they have such disparate specs over the years.

Rabbit07
11-11-2010, 10:06 PM
The thought behind the removal of VTS sheets was to freeze the performance level of the cars to approximately 2009 specs. This includes STO and STU. STO posed a larger issue with this, however there are some really fast Touring cars out there. Just an FYI, we are still getting letters that say please slow down the WC cars in STU. Then we get letters that say please keep the WC cars as is with VTS sheets. We are trying to get this balanced and it won't be easy.

Rabbit07
11-11-2010, 10:10 PM
I just want to understand the direction that STU has taken in the last couple of years. My Cougar is a legal 2009 World Challenge Touring Class car, that has had no changes made to it. It meets all of the weight and build rules for that time. Is it still legal for STU?

I read all the discussions on pick up points and control arms and seam welding for STL, I was just wondering about the present and future direction for STU? My car has a completely fabbed suspension, built motor (to WC requirements) and seam welded and cage stiched shell.


If I wanted to come down and play with you guys at Mid Ohio or Watkins Glen, would the car be legal and for how long?

Eric

Please send your VTS sheet to us @ www.crbscca.com . We'll work on getting it added, your car shouldn't be an issue for STU. Also feel free to email me at [email protected]

Rabbit07
11-11-2010, 10:16 PM
Maybe a more flexible STU rulebook needs to be continued- to reduce the number of cars that need to be fixed due to the 10 things that instantly became illegal. Example. Does a wing really need to have 8.5 chord or less? Does that really need to be an issue in a class that has such diversity and high-end prep levels?




We are working hard at trying to find some resolution on the wings. I have been coresponding with WC to obtain some specs to verify. The worst likely senario in that wings such as the APR will be approved. That doesn't mean that every person that requests a different wing will get it. We want parts approved that are available to the competitors.

JohnW
11-11-2010, 11:09 PM
Just an FYI, we are still getting letters that say please slow down the WC cars in STU. Then we get letters that say please keep the WC cars as is with VTS sheets. We are trying to get this balanced and it won't be easy.

Hi Chris-

I find it odd that folks are asking to "slow down" WC cars in STU, since that was what STU was set-up for... a place for retired World Challenge cars to race on a club level.

Humbly, may I suggest- maybe those requesting the slowing of WC cars should reconsider STU? Maybe their focus should be on STUlite? "Super Touring" (including World Challenge Touring Cars) by it's nature is going to be fast and very expensive. It's just what it is.

You're right. This task isn't going to be easy for you guys! G/L.

JohnW
11-12-2010, 08:02 AM
We are working hard at trying to find some resolution on the wings.... That doesn't mean that every person that requests a different wing will get it.

Hi Chris-

One more thing.
Why?

Why must the STAC spend energy specing a wing (and perhaps dozens of other parts)? Yeah, maybe limit the width to 48-50 (?) inches. But. This maybe be one of those line-items that is used to restrict participation when it was an attempt to control costs(?).

What problem does it create if racer-1 buys an ebay wing, racer-2 buys the APR and another spends thousands on a ubber custom unit?

One could argue that choosing to run a cheap-o or pimpy custom thingy is one of the draws to STU in the first place.

.02

Chip42
11-12-2010, 08:27 AM
and if someone wants to spend money on aero they can do that at any wing size. making it smaller wont limit the potential investment, it just forces people who already have something to buy something else. just leave it as it was and concentrate on the WC homologation and whatnot.

23racer
11-12-2010, 10:09 AM
As somebody with one of these cars, I would humbly suggest that it would cost me more to "de-tune" the car than to pay for its running costs in the way that it sits. The car is a great time capsule of great tech in a "Stock" tub car. I also know that if I show up at a track, like Watkins Glen, I will do okay, but that the car will be running about 3 - 4 seconds a lap slower than the top cars from 2009. At Mosport, the fastest the car has gone is a high 1:34 and most of the time we run in the 1:35's and 1:36's. The fastest WC TC Lap is a 1:29 in Qualifying, but most of the race laps are in the 1:32's and 1:33's. Its interesting to note that in the Canadian Touring Car Championship, which runs pretty much open with some weight controls and a 235x40x17 max tire size, the times are very similar even though the cars run hp levels like top WC Cars at around the 330 - 350 hp level.

I recognize that my limitations are due to the car being built using the best tech in 2001 and the physical limitations of the design of the car. Small, cheaper things like changing the front splitter and changing the rear wing, may cost about $500 each and may help the cars go a bit quicker and keep them more relevant in appearance to the average spectator. Those costs pale a fair bit when I look at spending $500 a weekend in fuel, $1200 in tires and I factor in the rebuild costs for the engine, transmission and brakes.

I am not saying that there shouldn't be controls, but I think there needs to be an understanding of the relative cost/value benefits to certain mods in different classes. Maybe the rear wings could be teched simply by having a box that is located off the rear fascia on struts. If the wing fits within it, great your good to go. I personally could care less about what wing my competitor has on his car. If he has an APR or Crawford wing, good for him, he has more cash than me. I need to step up my game to run with him. I am running a spec 48" aluminum wing with a small Gurney Flap. The car works fine and I can realize high speed handling effects with its adjustment. I don't think a new rear wing will get me 2 seconds a lap. I need another 50 hp and moving the engine back and down to get rid of my 59% front weight bias, then I can run with the Bimmers, :happy204:.

Eric

JohnW
11-12-2010, 11:37 AM
I don't disagree with Eric, but I would add that my overall point is simple whether we're talking about wings or widgets.

The STAC should attempt to keep the rule set as SIMPLE as possible. The less restrictive in terms of specing things and limiting options the better. The more rigid the rule set the more difficult it will be to attract drivers that have a problem or two with their car.

IMO, there should be max standards (Example- 12.5-1 is norm and max in WC) it should be the max in STU. Done. No need to incorporate 20 different VTS sheets and assign ratios on a case by case basis. This is club racing.

If many want a cost effective STU that is a "improved, Improved Touring type car- then build all those limitations into STU lite.

.03

Greg Amy
11-12-2010, 11:59 AM
I agree with you, John. SCCA can't - won't - get into too much individual allowances/variances. It just can't happen. Pro could do it because they had a dedicated group of guys that were PAID to do it, and were paid to do it quickly. Club just isn't in a position to work that fast, nor does it historically play the "benevolent dictator" role.

On the other hand, if there are limitations in STU that are not in line with what Pro generally accepted as "given" - you offer the 12.5:1 compression ratio as an example - then I believe the STU rules should be changed to reflect that given. Those changes/requests will need to come from folks like you and Eric that have the experience with them.

Then, in the end, I'd like to see the Club help in this transition period by allowing some individual vehicle variances that they were given by Pro, in order to get them to run with us. If those variances are minor they can remain as line items, but if they're large - for example, 13:1 compression - then they can be given a sunset time where the competitor will eventually be required to roll them back.

Trust me, the last thing we want to get into is too many individual and significant variances. That, right there, will turn into a snowball and result in the failure of the category.

My 2 cents (I'm cheaper than John).

GA

23racer
11-12-2010, 12:49 PM
I agree with both of you guys, wow a consensus, :happy204:. It obviously wouldn't be accepted by the CRB.

If you can somehow keep the rule book simple and inclusive, rather than complex and exclusive, it would make sense for me and a number of other teams that have ex-WC Touring class cars to come out and play in the SCCA. If I needed to replace my wings, change my motors (I have 2 full on Kinetic 2.5L motors), change my gearboxes, then the cost threshold will be too high for it to make any sense and I will just stay where I am.

As an example, I looked at playing in a couple of races with the USTCC Series, then I looked at the need to build a new motor and it didn't make any sense.

The simpler he rules, the easier tech is and the more cars you can attract to the class. There is no way my car could ever or would ever be replicated as its just a weird package. If it couldn't run in STU, then if I wanted to run in the U.S. I guess I would need to look at HSR or NASA. I want to keep the car original so that someday it may have some nominal value as the last Pro Road Racing Mercury ever built.

Eric

Knestis
11-12-2010, 01:34 PM
...the last thing we want to get into is too many individual and significant variances. That, right there, will turn into a snowball and result in the failure of the category. ...

That should be inscribed on all STU trophies.

K

Matt93SE
11-12-2010, 03:21 PM
I have a stupid idea..

instead of spec'ing weights, displacement, compression, etc etc etc etc, why not just let the engines go and limit power/weight or torque/weight for each class- given the engine is from same MFR as the car. (Acura= honda, mercury=ford, infiniti = nissan, etc)

Say STO max is 5lb/hp, STU is 10lb/hp, and STL is 15lb/hp. (just grabbing numbers out of thin air. I'm sure those aren't applicable but you get the point.)

Then each competitor can build whatever engine they want and they can either weigh the car down and have tons of power, or they can run a light car with less power.

NASA does that with Performance Touring although looking at the rules it looks like they're having fun policing it w/ dynos, GPSs, and weight issues.

It's at least another alternative to think about...

lateapex911
11-12-2010, 05:58 PM
Yea, how do you control that. I say I have 200hp. How will you prove I have more? An chassis dyno right off the track? A 3rd grader can fool that. Are you going to put a Data aq/gps system in EVERY car? Then back calc aero and so on? Only at the big races? (then wonder why the turnout is small?)

I know NASA does the points thing, and uses dynos, but, if any class gets really popular, those systems are begging to be gamed.

Matt93SE
11-12-2010, 06:46 PM
Yea, how do you control that. I say I have 200hp. How will you prove I have more? An chassis dyno right off the track? A 3rd grader can fool that. Are you going to put a Data aq/gps system in EVERY car? Then back calc aero and so on? Only at the big races? (then wonder why the turnout is small?)

I know NASA does the points thing, and uses dynos, but, if any class gets really popular, those systems are begging to be gamed.

I forget some of the workarounds with that, but basically the dynos are done at "approved" facilities with someone else driving. Any ECU with multiple programs must be stated on the car's spec sheet and all estimated power outputs noted on the sheet. IIRC the driver isn't allowed to be able to change ECU programming while in driver postion either. just like shock settings and etc with us. That prevents the driver from using a hot program on the track and then dialing back 15hp as soon as they come off the track.

GPSs are "randomly" placed in cars. cars are weighed as soon as they come off track, just like we are. the car's as-raced weight is used to calculate numbers, not the spec weights listed in the logbook.

based on the weight and GPS data, a lb/hp number can be calculated. at lower speeds you shouldn't have to worry about aero drag too much, so they can use the lower speed accelerations to calculate instead of end-of-straight conditions where aero is more important.

Afraid of putting a GPS in your car so you won't come and play? Whatever. Don't cheat and you won't be called a cheater. I have nothing to hide on my car and make every effort to stay within the rules- even if I'm not competitive or don't agree with them.

It's an idea that may be worth looking at. There will alwyas be caveats with any system, but I think they have a good idea. the hard part is policing it. but then again, how is a tech inspector supposed to be able to police all the various cars and setups allowed in STU? I bet dollars to donuts I could swap in a JDM engine and the local techs would never know the difference. How are they to know I'm not running a factory turbo? so on so forth.

mossaidis
11-12-2010, 09:13 PM
change the TB/IM using parts from different motors (i.e. more JDM parts), mixed gear sets, the list goes on...

lateapex911
11-12-2010, 10:26 PM
IT brings up an interesting point, and it's rather foundational. In club racing WE police ourselves, via the 'honor system' and the competitor protest system. In Pro racing the sanctioning body is charged with policing us.

it creates a much different approach. In Pro racing, many (most) competitors try and find the space between the lines, and try and get away with whatever they can, and it's up to the officials to catch them. In club racing, it's up to your competitors to catch you. The techs in SCCA (almost always) are there to facilitate a protest, and rarely initiate a mechanical protest.
So, the NASA approach with dynos and GPS units is rather hybrid. I imagine the approach taken by competitors is a more honest one, BUT, some will see the system as one to game. yes, of COURSE it's illegal to have multiple maps, but, to a guy who wants to game the system, that's irrelevant. Kinda like radar detectors were illegal in certain states. "yea, it's illegal, so speeding!" says the speeder....LOL.

I think the approach can work, and especially in tighter classes, with limited cars and engines. I think the guys down south have done it with their big GTA cars. But, I can see where if a class becomes popular the gaming/sandbagging will be the result.

JamesL
11-18-2010, 02:10 PM
I personally can't stand the approach NASA uses for the power:weight classes. Using peak hp as the only deciding factor in determining weight just doesn't seem like an accurate or fair way of doing things.

What about the area under the dyno curve? What about the power band? What about the torque(I know they do (hp+tq)/2 for the cars with greater peak torque than hp)?

If a competitor is allowed to swap any engine that their manufacturer has produced as long as they are below X peak hp(or in the case of the Super Touring Nasa classes, swap ANY engine period), the permutations to find the optimal combination of torque and area below the curve are almost endless. While, on the outside, it seems to be a cost saving idea... if the class/classes were to actually become popular (say more than 7-10 drivers at Nationals maybe?) and the competition upped the stakes, it could become enormously expensive to find the most competitive package.

lateapex911
11-18-2010, 02:15 PM
^^^^
Ding ding ding.
With emphasis on "I know it sounds cheap, but if more than 7 guys show up...."

Now add in the 'game the dyno" tempation to save all that money you'd have to spend and it gets murkier.