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Thread: What is a "touring car?"

  1. #361
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    I think further fracturing of classes in the SCCA (sports car STL v. non-sports car STL or whatever) is a huge mistake.

    That said, I understand the issue and that I am part of the problem. I probably WOULD build a FrankenNSX or an Esprit or some nonsense for the class....

    It seems to me if you are at the "how" v. "why" stage that the real difference between sports cars and non-sports cars is frontal area. If so, what you are looking for is a CD X frontal area modifier of some sort.

    Beyond that, I think any of the characteristics you are looking at are red herrings.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  2. #362
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    If the SCCA is at the 'why' stage then they had better 'fracture' the class. To create a class, have people build dedicated cars and then potentially outlaw those cars would be ridiculous.

    If we are simply talking about a reorganization of how to 'penalize' sportscars, then I could potentially listen to that - as long as it is done on a fresh piece of paper.

    If we are talking about any addition of 'penalty' to what the weights are right now, I call total BS as the data that I see simply does not support it. The Majors and the Runoffs results show parity. Any other data that proves the contrary I would love to see.

    And Jeff, I suggest that you would choose a 'frankenNSX' or Esprit because you would simple rather drive that layout, not because you see an advantage that you could expose. The weight differences are quite significant. And only 7" wheels...
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  3. #363
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    As I stated in my letter, the parity you seek can't be achieved by whole sale changes based off of vehicle architecture. Thank you for the polite reply, but it appears you're not ready for the reality of the situation. I predict that no matter what happens my car will be made even less competitive than it already is. Talk about kicking an under dog while it's already down.
    STU BMW Z3 2.5liter

  4. #364
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    you guys make it sound like the sky is falling..they talked for HOURS about this the other night..... Nothing was rushed, no conclusions were jumped to...

    I'm sorta betting that, after the runnoffs this year, nothing drastic is happening

  5. #365
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    I'm'a not gonna get into an Internet play-by-play, ain't got no time for that. But something you need to keep in mind is that there will be no more new classes. In fact, you need to start paying attention: within 5 years the SCCA will start whittling down the classes to "14-16". So you're just wasting your time arguing that.

    More importantly, however, if Super Touring gets caught up in that consolidation, then the "competitiveness of our cars" is the least of our worries...for STU/STL to continue to exist as discrete classes, they need to differentiate themselves from all the other categories; they need to be something more than a "DOT-tired and winged version of EProd".

    Right now they're decisively not.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  6. #366
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    If the SCCA is at the 'why' stage then they had better 'fracture' the class. To create a class, have people build dedicated cars and then potentially outlaw those cars would be ridiculous.

    If we are simply talking about a reorganization of how to 'penalize' sportscars, then I could potentially listen to that - as long as it is done on a fresh piece of paper.

    If we are talking about any addition of 'penalty' to what the weights are right now, I call total BS as the data that I see simply does not support it. The Majors and the Runoffs results show parity. Any other data that proves the contrary I would love to see.

    And Jeff, I suggest that you would choose a 'frankenNSX' or Esprit because you would simple rather drive that layout, not because you see an advantage that you could expose. The weight differences are quite significant. And only 7" wheels...
    Not entirely. I think frontal area is a huge overlooked (maybe for good reason) advantage/disadvantage in IT. I see it in my car. CD sucks. But frontal area is small. It matters and probably would with an Elan, ESprit or NSX.
    NC Region
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  7. #367
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    Not entirely. I think frontal area is a huge overlooked (maybe for good reason) advantage/disadvantage in IT. I see it in my car. CD sucks. But frontal area is small. It matters and probably would with an Elan, ESprit or NSX.
    So how do you qualify that frontal area as an 'advantage'? If it's top speed vs other cars in ITS, how do you then separate frontal area from 'class leading torque'?

    Just curious how anyone is mathematically coming to the conclusion that poor CD + small frontal area is...what?

    As to the SCCA and classes, no doubt we don't want to add more. But the issue is to look beyond that hard stop and see where growth could happen while at the same time actually consolidating something. I would say, 'we have X classes today. If we were to clean sheet this we would go with the elimination of these 3 and the addition of these 2'...or something like that. Rip the bandaid off if you have to. I like that there is an effort not to expand, but you can still add classes without 'expanding', you just have to be willing to trim the dead branched to allow for new growth.

    No ideas what classes those would be, just a conceptual example. Maybe all the classes are perfectly healthy. LOL
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  8. #368
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    Uh, my car doesn't have class leading torque, trust me.

    The data I've seen of Miata v. RX7 v. Z car v. TR8 v. Mustang shows me that you either need slippery, or small frontal area. It IS an advantage over 100 mph, sometimes markedly so.

    I fully agree with you it is hard to quantify this stuff, which is why we stayed away from it in IT.

    However, if STL is looking for the difference between "sports car" and "nonsports car" then this is it. Everything else seems like a red herring to me (doors, engine orientation, etc.).
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  9. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    ... "DOT-tired and winged version of EProd"....


    GA
    Except IF I were in EP my car would be 300lbs lighter and the 1st and 2nd place cars would be 116lbs heavier.
    STU BMW Z3 2.5liter

  10. #370
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    ...you just have to be willing to trim the dead branched to allow for new growth.
    How do you reconcile the above with your earlier admonition that "outlawing cars" built for STL would be "ridiculous?"

    EVERY class has a philosophy, Andy, and (not holding my breath) should the PTBs get it together and start paring classes for Majors, the distinctions among those philosophies are going to become extremely important. In the SCCA Club Racing paradigm, those distinctions are about mechanical attributes of the cars involved. The less homogenous any given class is, in terms of those attributes, the fewer are its distinctions from other classes. If Prod and ST have lots of commonalities, Greg's right that the argument for having both gets pretty thin.

    The other option, a more inclusive (dare I say "progressive") approach, is to allow greater latitude in mechanical attributes in a class. That's not typically been the first principle for the Club, but we have been drifting that direction. If that's what we want to do, someone needs to make a strategic decision and really commit - like to indexed or "break-out" classes set by lap time rather than car design and improvements. I don't think the NASA PT experiment hasn't been a resounding endorsement for that kind of approach but if we're just going to look at "parity" at the RubOffs, then we're really doing it even if we don't fess up and admit it.

    My argument has been, and continues to be, that STL is new enough that P. Keane's original vision for the class still has a lot of untapped potential, particularly in a mix with fewer classes, as long as it maintains what makes it different.

    K

  11. #371
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    It's simple Kirk, STL is new. It has participants. It has new builds. It has rules. The classes I talk about possibly being weeded out are the ones that have floated around the Mendoza line for years and years while the SCCA continually lowers the bar for minimum participation.

    This is a new class that is growing, and by most accounts has achieved some semblance of parity. Whatever Peter's original 'vision' may have been, that isn't the class that was created form the first day it was in the GCR. What was created was a cc/weight class allowing family-based engine swaps, regardless of chassis. Period.

    Super Touring Light (STL) is a small-bore 'tuner' class for reciprocating engines of displacements of 2.0 liters and under. STL encompasses a lower level of allowed modifications compared to STU. As with STU, spec lines are not required for eligibility; unless otherwise specified, any vehicle meeting the model year and engine displacement limits is eligible for this class.
    When I babble about this stuff, I am specifically babbling about the potential of either eliminating a configuration/configurations within a class that has been legal since day 1, and/or the ADDITIONAL competition adjustments from what is already rule, that is obviously working.

    Again, if we are talking about redoing the 'adders' by renaming them things like 'sports car', 'interior volume', 'frontal area', etc...then fine...as long as the net isn't any more difference in weight that we see today and that has proven NOT to give any of the 'designs in question' an advantage.

    I do not see what is broken here. If you are worried about looking too similar to another class (EP with wings or whatever) then it's the allowances, not the cars.
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  12. #372
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    so if they consolidate classes, how rapidly would that process take place? Kill/consolidate a couple a year?

    is this talk something well know club racing directors are leaving the national office over?

  13. #373
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    From December Fastrack (my emphasis):

    MOTION: Instruct CRB to administer a 10-year Class management program that contains the following elements:
    1. Immediately institute a 3 year stability period for all classes during which no new classes will be considered. Note that an exception will be made for SRF3 due to timing.
    2. Undertake a 6 month study to determine a 14-16 class Majors (national) club racing structure to be fully achieved by 2025.
    3. Based on 2025 class structure, establish category-based committees populated with subject matter experts. These committees to specify best path for current classes to arrive at 2025 targets. The process to be complete within 12 months of program start.
    4. Based on category committee results and internal deliberation, establish and administer a phased approach to reach 2025 class configuration in year 4 through 10 of the program.

    Lewis/Kephart. For: Patullo, Walsh, Butler, Kephart, Lewis, Lindstrand, Helman, Pulliam, Harris. Against Hanushek, Langlotz, Zekert PASSED 9-3.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  14. #374
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    I NEVER remember what the date is and thusly, never remember when fastrack is out. Adam FTL

  15. #375
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    From December Fastrack (my emphasis):

    MOTION: Instruct CRB to administer a 10-year Class management program that contains the following elements:
    1. Immediately institute a 3 year stability period for all classes during which no new classes will be considered. Note that an exception will be made for SRF3 due to timing.
    2. Undertake a 6 month study to determine a 14-16 class Majors (national) club racing structure to be fully achieved by 2025.
    3. Based on 2025 class structure, establish category-based committees populated with subject matter experts. These committees to specify best path for current classes to arrive at 2025 targets. The process to be complete within 12 months of program start.
    4. Based on category committee results and internal deliberation, establish and administer a phased approach to reach 2025 class configuration in year 4 through 10 of the program.

    Lewis/Kephart. For: Patullo, Walsh, Butler, Kephart, Lewis, Lindstrand, Helman, Pulliam, Harris. Against Hanushek, Langlotz, Zekert PASSED 9-3.

  16. #376
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knestis View Post
    Kirk I'll have to save this picture for future use but I think you are way off base. Clearly there is a path to 13 classes for Miatas plus a catch all for everything else. In all seriousness, I would be happy to see a well thought out long term class strategy and transition plan but I also have my doubts that as an organization we can get there.

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  17. #377
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    Oh, make no mistake - I'd be VERY glad if this idea were to work but I've got 35 years of experience with the Club that's telling me it won't survive the initial planning. The decision making process is too "responsive" to small numbers of loud voices. Again, I hope I'm wrong but...

    K

  18. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knestis View Post
    The decision making process is too "responsive" to small numbers of loud voices.
    It also seems to be relatively deaf to large numbers of softer voices....
    Houston Region
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  19. #379
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    So, why do we have a need to consolidate?
    Solo has 50 or 60 classes (:-)) and pulls big numbers at the runoffs.
    We/SCCA is not in a position to be sending racers away!
    Why can't everyone be a winner??? Trophies are cheap and entry fees are high!
    Jerry
    NER South

  20. #380
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    And for every one of those 50-60 Solo classes, there's a Ladies class. WTF! Is it a muscle sport?
    Ed Funk
    NER ITA CRX, ITB Civic, ITC CRX (wanna buy a Honda?)
    Smart as a horse, hung like Einstein!

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