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PostPosted: February 12, 2010, 11:11 pm 
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I think we need to sanction our own cage rules, and then get those other folks to accept them. We should treat our cars more like formula cars, but our formula would allow two seats and take into account various things that make our cars locosts. This would include both sevens, locosts (book) and variants including types like the Midlana and our 750 type car etc.


I love that Idea! Now, how could we get NASA and SCCA to agree?
Perhaps if we as a group, get together and submit a set of ideas and plans to those two bodies, they might listen!


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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 2:22 am 
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16vvincent wrote:
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I think we need to sanction our own cage rules, and then get those other folks to accept them. We should treat our cars more like formula cars, but our formula would allow two seats and take into account various things that make our cars locosts. This would include both sevens, locosts (book) and variants including types like the Midlana and our 750 type car etc.


I love that Idea! Now, how could we get NASA and SCCA to agree?
Perhaps if we as a group, get together and submit a set of ideas and plans to those two bodies, they might listen!

They probably would, as long as our submission also met the requirements of each of the individual sanctioning bodies. An alternative might be to get a standard chassis & cage combo FIA approved.

Aside from that, there's very little reason for these groups to back away from what their individual safety committees are telling them. It's not like the existing rules are preventing their race fields from growing.

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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 6:21 am 
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An alternative might be to get a standard chassis & cage combo FIA approved.


There might be a problem with that. I don't think that Bernie and Locost belong in the same sentence!


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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 2:39 pm 
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This excerpt from the MSA rulebook (circa 2008, so possibly out of date) seems to indicate that a simple but beefy (2" x 0.100" CDS, 3' above the base of the seat) normal Locost single hoop and two backstays is the minimum for sports cars, which would include Locosts in England.

http://www.emamc.org.uk/archive/2008/Bl ... Safety.pdf

Their diagrams and descriptions seem to be drawn from the FIA rules, so this might be a reasonable place to start a discussion with the US racing orgs.

t


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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 6:41 pm 
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16vvincent wrote:
Quote:
I think we need to sanction our own cage rules, and then get those other folks to accept them. We should treat our cars more like formula cars, but our formula would allow two seats and take into account various things that make our cars locosts.


I love that Idea! Now, how could we get NASA and SCCA to agree?
Perhaps if we as a group, get together and submit a set of ideas and plans to those two bodies, they might listen!

I might by wrong in my base assumption, but I assume you're probably thinking of going lighter/smaller with the suggested specs and here's a serious problem -
I can't think of a single sanctioning body that allows formula cars on track with full bodied cars, therefore you'll be eliminating your car from participating in the vast majority of track days, pretty much...

Besides, good luck on making any group agree on a spec anything...

At the end of the day, even a massive cage like mine (10 point, built with +1 weight class tubing) doesn't weigh _THAT_ much comparing to the rest of the car.
I personally would rather have a car that is legal to run at any track event and weigh 30-40 lbs more.

Moti

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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 7:59 pm 
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I think that the bigger problem that we (locost builders) have is the rule book's description of the mounting points of the bar/cage. If we could get the sanctioning bodies to accept the mounting points that we have (or will have) built into the tube structure (upper shock mounts in the back and ? in the front), then we may be able to build to a known spec. Instead of building to a questionable spec or interpetion of the rules. Having been there, done that.

Built a car to the wording of the rule book only to be told that I "mis-interpeted" the wording and intent of the rule.

That is even harder when we are building a car, from scratch and then trying to fit a sanctioning bodies idea of where we should be placed.

I agree that as a locost builder, I will build to the next higher spec when it comes to tubing size (I will probably run with 1.75" or at least 1.5"x .120) but I would like to know if I run a small bend in the tubing and tie it into the floor of the chassis (instead of attaching it at the upper shock mounts), that it will be legal. I would also like to know, how as Locost owners/builders we are supposed to have the rear diagnonals attach to the rear of the frame "at an included angle of at least 30degs" when our cars end long before that angle can be reached.

It would also be nice to clarify if we can use a roll bar as part of the windshield frame.

The problem is, we each build a car to how we each interpet the rule wording, and then pray that the tech inspectors agree to how we interpeted that same wording.


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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 8:04 pm 
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Aside from that, there's very little reason for these groups to back away from what their individual safety committees are telling them. It's not like the existing rules are preventing their race fields from growing.


Contary to popular belief, it is only the Nationals that see full fields. I have been to plenty of runs where there may only be 1 or 2 cars in class. The economy is not helping, SCCA and NASA both know this. If we could get them to accept the Locost formula the same way that the Brits have.........

Just think, 2 Locosts in every driveway, one 300 hp monster for those road trips and one spec engine version for racing.


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PostPosted: February 13, 2010, 8:14 pm 
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I can't speak for SCCA fields, but in the two NASA regions I'm familiar with most classes are growing, but with a few being ignored by new racers. In many cases the problem seems to be that fields grow slowly because there are so many potential classes for a new driver to race in. There are exceptions, though, like Spec 30, Spec Miata, and Performance Touring which are growing faster than the general curve. Also if I'm remembering correctly, Super Touring is one of the fastest classes growing nationally.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2010, 9:00 am 
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Personally, I'm a long-time SCCA member. Mostly autocrosser, last 4 or 5 years been doing TimeTrials and Hill Climbs. (LOVE those hill climbs!!!!) Anyway, what the trend in both series seems to be is that most of the classes are growing, while a few seem to be going away quickly. Time Trials (TT) runs within the Club Racing rules, but allows some Solo2 classes to enter (Street Prepared, for example). In both series the "Miata" classes are doing great. There are lots and lots of Spec Miata's and C Street Prepared cars. The Super Stock classes are strong (Corvettes and such), almost all the stock classes are doing well. It's the so-called "Upper" classes that seem to be struggling. The old "Production" class that's been a staple of the road racing group is really suffering, as is the similar group in Solo2, "Prepared" classes. A Prepared and B Prepared were recently shut down in Solo2. In road racing, G Prepared, and H Prepared appear to be going away. The Solo2 Modified classes are shrinking every day. I'm not sure what this says about us as a group. Overall, attendance is growing, but there seems to be a shift in what classes are popular.

Again from a personal view, the class(es) that my MGB would run in seem to be the ones going away. Like G-P or my old Solo2 class, D Street Prepared.

Perhaps it's the aging of the cars, or the aging of the drivers or (most likely) the aging of both that's driving the shift of cars-per-class distribution.

OK, that's enough serious thought for a Sunday morning...

JDK

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PostPosted: February 14, 2010, 2:01 pm 
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Just looking for clarification and understanding on the rules for cages. Not to get in situation, which can happen easily, where I or other folks build and then find we don't have a legal car.

I have read the FIA, SCCA and NASA rules so far. I need to re-read them all.

I am not looking to make the tubing smaller or lighter. I think SCCA is allowing 1 3/8" x 083", which might be one size down from NASA. THe FIA rules I saw were very production car based. References to connecting the roll cage to the floor don't make sense in a Locost. It's a small point but it needs to be clarified what gets welded to what and how. On the UK builder's site they mention the organization was clamping down on details about mounting plates and number of tube bends etc.

Moti is your car considered an open or closed car? Some of the rules seem to distinguish this on the height of the windshield hoop. By my reading they prohibit side bars above the door for closed cars. Maybe I mis-read, there is a lot of material there. So far the SCCA ones seem clearest and most applicable - but I may be confusing rules for sportsracers/formula cars with sedans or something.

If we aren't careful the locost will be considered a formula car, there isn't that much difference - at least to my eye.

Perhaps Locosts of various descriptions could help to provide new material for classes that are fading.

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PostPosted: February 14, 2010, 2:14 pm 
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What I'm looking for in a cage:

My first accident in a race car, I spun and went into a cement wall backwards. Not bad, just had to replace one corner. The idea of an aluminum tank being used for a cushion scares me though. The rear bracing for the main hoop doesn't really seem to connect to anthing. I would like to see a rear hoop, with main hoop bracing going to it and possibly a connection down to the bottom frame rail. The rest of the rear is cosmetic and might or might not have tubing in it.

I would also like to see a direct brace from the main hoop down to a front hoop roughly at the scuttle height. The front hoop could be scuttle height or windshield height. I would like a brace from this intersection forward under the hood, maybe as far as the front, but at least as long as the drivers legs.

I would like to incline the main hoop by 10 degrees, so that the rear braces can be at 30 degrees more easily.

That's basically it. People can add to that or modify it, I'm just looking for a minimum that produces a strong, stiff and safe chassis to attach the rest of the Locost to.


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PostPosted: February 14, 2010, 10:42 pm 
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Very good design, HJ. I like the inclusion of forward downward angled bars for the leg area.
One could angle the "door bars" a bit to give more shoulder-height protection to the driver, but not necessary.

A good plan, Sir!
8)

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PostPosted: February 16, 2010, 5:06 pm 
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The problem is the production car rules assume you have a standard unit body car, the GT rules assume you have a enclosed (e.g. w/ roof) tube frame car, and the sports racing rules require a special homologation and says "It is the intention of the Club Racing Board to never classify or replica or derivative of a mass produced road car body in the sports racing classes. These classes are intended for open and/or closed sports racer/sports prototype bodywork". The Sports Racing rollcage requirements are the best fit due to the configuration and weight of a 7, but the homologation and no replica/derivatives of a production car requirements are a problem.

P.S. the angle of the "door bars" (upper side tubes) are constrained by the requirement that they attach within 6" of the top of the front and main hoops.


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PostPosted: February 16, 2010, 6:18 pm 
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Thanks Bruce that's well worded. I admit I got discouraged. I started reading the rules again and need to make another attempt - but that's why I took a break.

It did seem that they prohibet that type of upper side brace that I want with a high front hoop. I am a little guilty of trying to carry over what I look at, which is Formula Fords, to the Locost.

I think they allow GT cars to have an open top and low front hoop though. After reading this stuff for awhile my head starts to swim though...

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PostPosted: February 16, 2010, 8:15 pm 
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Hi Bruce and HJ-
Not to argue, just to clarify: By "door bars" I meant the two lower bars between front and rear hoops that typically go inside the door of a "normal" car. (If you'll pardon calling a car with doors "normal".) Their purpose is for side-impact protection. The upper bars, that go from front to back are constrained by the rules to be within 6 inches of the top of the main hoop. (Although, I think there is/was some wording about them being 75% of the way up the main hoop?) they're there in case you "turtle it".

Yeah, when I read the SCCA rules for sports racers, I get a headache rather quickly. I'm building the cage in my project race car to be more like the "production" rules, but within the SR rules as best as I understand them. High rear hoop, low front hoop (passes the "broomstick" test) with two bars in the "door" region, two overhead from upper corners, a diagonal, two down-braces from main to rear of frame and two from front hoop to frame forward. (Whew, that's a lotta stuff!)

It damn well better pass inspection!

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