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PostPosted: August 18, 2010, 9:01 pm 
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Those are horrifying weights. You would have to run sedan tires at 1800 pounds. They aren't really talking sports cars anymore, more like oval track refuges. The Showroom Stock (SSC) cars from the seventies weighed less then that, Rabbits, Fiestas, etc.

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PostPosted: August 18, 2010, 9:34 pm 
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Preface: My hat's off to you guys looking to run in organized racing.

For me, watching the above discussion only underscores why I have zero interest in it. Many rules to bracket in your creativity yet at the same time be expensive. Then, next year's rules may change on a whim, causing you to spend $$$ or $$$$ to reengineer the car.

Then there's spending lots of money at each event (to be seriously competitive) on always-new tires, if not frequent engine rebuilds (or blown-up engines) for what, a $10 plastic trophy and bragging to your office mates who, frankly, aren't impressed by anything less than a V8.

For me, I'm happy to just attend trackday events, where it's run-what-you-brung and there's no rules. For me, it's so much much less stressful, who cares what the exact mods are that you or anyone else has, just go out and see how your car does against that Evo, Porsche, or Corvette Z06. While there's no $10 plastic trophy, no one knocks you off course in order to win said trophy.

But than again, that's just me. I guess I just don't have the passion bad enough.

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PostPosted: August 19, 2010, 5:36 am 
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Yeah, it's a sad addiction. Unfortunately after my fill of lap days and then Time Trial events, it seems that escalating things to full on racing is one of the only relatively sane and legal ways to keep bumping up the adrenaline levels. For me, I think it's more about racing than winning; the trophies are nice when they come, but it's the on-track experiences that stay with me.

It's probably worth noting that all the weights I quoted are car + driver + ballast (race ready) for the required minimums. They sound bad, but could be worse; take roughly 200 lbs off each of those weights for a "car only" figure. At least by working with total package weights, being a jockey isn't a required part of chasing the podium.

As for rules stability, NASA is generally pretty good. The STR classes (STR1/STR2) were newly introduced in 2009 as an addition to the ST/SU rules, so it's not too surprising to see some teething adjustments. The more established ST/SU classes (ST1/ST2/SU) have been very stable for some time with only minor adjustments. NASA also seems to do a pretty good job of keeping things stable for other established classes as well. I cant really speak for the TT/PT classes (not locost / homebuilt friendly anyway) since they were just going through teething as I decided to escape from time trials and move into full on racing .. I decided to sidestep all of that by targeting the ST/SU rules set. Still, having rules changed that I was already working/spending/prepping towards does hurt.

Since I'm this deep in, I'll probably just build a locost and go join the party. But I have been crawling the 'net to see what else I could race for the same money.

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PostPosted: August 19, 2010, 9:19 am 
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I should have added that at trackday events, just because it's not real racing doesn't mean there's not some seriously fast hardware out there. Things have changed in these days of ECU-controlled cars, especially turbos, and it's quite normal to see 500+ hp Evos. A Locost may have them (and everything else) on an autocross or very twisty roadcourse, but trackday events are run on real road-racing courses, where speeds are well above 100 mph for a long time. Up there, aero counts for a Lot, and it matters little that a Locost is 1200 lbs or has a great power-to-weight ratio. Even the curved tube exo-car that we can't say the name of can only do 140 with 300 hp... that's a serious liability out there.

So... where am I going with this... I guess it's just a reminder that without some serious aero work, a Locost quickly gets out of its element once speeds are >100 mph. Relating that to this thread means doing a ton of work for body fabrication and watever testing might be possible. Then, as was mentioned, once the aero's fixed, the car gets punted up into a tougher class... it's a moving target that took all the fun out of it - for me. I ended up thinking about the rules the entire time instead of just having fun. But, I am envious of you guys who do tough it out. Running wheel-to-wheel... well, it doesn't get any better than that, but the fuss and bother and politics were too much for me.

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PostPosted: August 20, 2010, 9:06 am 
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erioshi wrote:
It looks like TTU and TTS are now essentially fully compatible with ST1 and ST2 respectively, allowing ST1/2 prepped race cars to also compete in Time Trials without modifications. At least that's how it looks based on my initial scan of the rules. If so, this makes it easier for one driver to buy twice the track time (and consumables ;)) or share a car between two drivers for a weekend.

This is excellent.

Too bad about STR weights.
The aero/no-aero mod factor on a seven throws my ST2 car into STR1 so I was never that interested.

Moti

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PostPosted: September 7, 2010, 6:33 am 
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very interesting...

horizenjob wrote:
The all or nothing aero approach has me wondering. I read the other thread and see they will allow a modest airdam and funny top front fenders. The funny top would probably help the rear fenders too.

So is it an aero mod if your rear fenders are bolted to the upright, like the fronts? Once in awhile you see that on a seven, I think even on the very early Lotus' (like the six?).

How about extending the belly pan up under the engine to the front of the car (worry about cooling later)?

Would a 1" rubber skirt along the bottom sides of the engine area be right out?

:BDH: That's a problem with being an engineer, your always trying to get around things...

Maybe STU is doable, once you get the big dirt track wing. It would be so worth it just to see people faces. The Seven roll cages just look like their begging for a little bit of fairing, with a thousand ponds of downforce...


Maybe venturi floors with blowers at the rear? and a tail? covered wheels? front diffusers? airfoil roll cage? wow! that got me going!


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PostPosted: December 16, 2010, 4:20 am 
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It's that time again .. the initial release of the 2011 NASA CCR, ST and PT rule sets have been published. The time trial rules should be released shortly.

CCR (Club Codes & Regulations): http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/ccr.pdf
ST rules: http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/Super-Touring.pdf
PT rules: http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/performance_touring_rules.pdf

The big news is probably that everything stayed pretty stable. I consider that mostly good, lol.

In ST there was some clarification in relation to body/chassis/subframe questions:
Quote:
1) S T1 and ST2 only (not applicable for STR1 and STR2): Every vehicle must retain its OEM frame rails (or unibody), strut towers, floorpan, and subframe. Tube-frame chassis conversion (partial or complete) is not permitted without a waiver from the National ST Director. Relocation of suspension mounting points, modification and/or relocation of the firewall with engine relocation ten (10) inches or less, and modified K(cross)-members are all permitted. Floorpan modifications to include items such as subframe connectors, roll cage bracing, and fuel cell placement may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the National ST Director. Such modifications will be subject to approval and possible modification factor assessments. (See Appendix A—Floorpan mods.)

This clarifies how the rules allow relocation of the suspension mounting points and engine. The engine stuff was basically implied before (as engine swaps are unlimited), but it is nice to see that moving suspension the mounts is also clearly allowed. When I talked with Greg earlier in the year, he had said moving the mounting points was legal, but the rules didn't specifically state it. This means that lowering a car by pushing all the suspension mounts upwards (using the existing subframe/chassis) is a valid path to dropping ride height, improving aero and lowering CG.

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PostPosted: December 18, 2010, 4:05 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
...Then there's spending lots of money at each event (to be seriously competitive) on always-new tires, if not frequent engine rebuilds (or blown-up engines) for what, a $10 plastic trophy and bragging to your office mates who, frankly, aren't impressed by anything less than a V8....


Odd spot for a first post here but the background is that I'm coming off of 7 years racing SCCA ITA and am beginning a Locost project (which brings me to this wonderful forum). I always try to put up a counterpoint whenever I hear the ubiquitous "all this for a $10 trophy" line which drives this comment.

If you think people race for trophies or bragging rights/respect you really haven't thought it through.

I couldn't describe one plastic trophy I ever won but what I have is something I KNOW most other's don't have. I have priceless, vivid, incredible memories of everything from my first competitive pass at driver's school to my first poll, first win, first big crash, etc. In fact, I have vivid memories of every poll, every pass, every win and every crash. These memories are why you race and why you do all sorts of other basically wasteful things in life that people who have not done them don't understand. If I'm ever in a condition where I can no longer drive all I have to do is call up any one of those moments to put me right back in the seat. Sure, I have one or two from 4 years of track days but I have one or two from every race I ever started (I think you just risk more when you have immediate competition from those around you, successful navigation of risk makes for good memories).

Looking at a photo of me at a track day cooking through a corner makes me think "Good times!" Looking at a photo of a great moment in a race makes my whole body tingle and my hair stand up.

All that said, I'm out of racing for a good while because I'm ready for an engineering challenge which is difficult to find in racing and it does play total havoc with the bank account. However, if you haven't tried it you really are missing a big piece of the car guy puzzle and I would never dream of discouraging someone from giving it a shot just as most on this forum would encourage anyone with the true desire to build their own sports car.

So, those kicking around the idea of eeking out a nitch in NASA for a less traditional Locost style car please go for it! I think it will be tough with the current rule structure for all the reasons currently discussed but maybe down the road there will be a real home for racing these cars in the US. Certainly you will have the time of your life.

Alex


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PostPosted: December 24, 2010, 12:53 pm 
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Yo Alex!
Amen and Well Said, Sir! Every race I ever went to, win, lose or break the car, I left feeling like I'd just made a deposit in my life's bank account! You summed it all up perfectly!

JD Kemp

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PostPosted: December 24, 2010, 2:29 pm 
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ajmacdon wrote:
...If you think people race for trophies or bragging rights/respect you really haven't thought it through.
....

All good points, but to be objective, they must be balanced against: the very high cost, the changing rules book, cheating, broken cars, poor sportsmanship, crashes, and getting hurt. We're all into cars for different reasons, and I applaud you for the enjoyment you got out of it, but for me, competing against cheaters, poor sportsmenship, and the high costs remove all the fond memories, but I guess that's just me.

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PostPosted: December 25, 2010, 4:36 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
All good points, but to be objective, they must be balanced against: the very high cost, the changing rules book, cheating, broken cars, poor sportsmanship, crashes, and getting hurt. We're all into cars for different reasons, and I applaud you for the enjoyment you got out of it, but for me, competing against cheaters, poor sportsmenship, and the high costs remove all the fond memories, but I guess that's just me.
You seem to have completely confused the terms "objective" and "subjective"...As your comments have an obvious bias from your individual past negative experiences.

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PostPosted: December 25, 2010, 10:46 pm 
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Driven5 wrote:
As your comments have an obvious bias from your individual past negative experiences.


There's some other way to come to decisions?

I definitely pay a lot more attention to my personal experiences than I do from anecdotal stories from friends, interweb, whatever.

EDIT: After I posted and saw my Christmas avatar I realized I needed Santa to jump up and down trying to pack down all the food I ate. There's no way I'm going to sleep easy tonight and I haven't eaten since about 3:00

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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 4:11 am 
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After a couple years of very light-weight car unfriendly rules within NASA's ST classes, the new 2014 rules have been posted, and they look to be a bit more locost friendly than the 1012 and 1013 rules.

In a nutshell:

1) The penalty for tube framed cars has been reduced, and they have been rolled back into the main ST classes instead of being assigned to their own STR sub-classes.

2) Light weight cars are recieving less of a penalty, and cars with normally aspirated engines of 1.9 liters and under are being given bonus due to low displacement.

3) An ST3 class has been added that focuses on power to weight ratios near 9.0 lbs per 1 whp.

While the overall mix still tends to give far fewer whp to a 1450 lb (with driver) locost than it does to a 3000 lb Corvette, the allowed power for the locost is significantly higher than it used to be. With the new rules, the locost would be allowed almost 1/2 the WHP of the Corvette, lol. While I'm not sure these changes will be enough to get me back to building my stalled NASA ST race car, but at least it is an improvement over where things were the last couple of years.

Links to NASA's website and the applicable rules should be listed the posts above somewhere.

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