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Unlimited Racing Championship brings spirit of Can-Am to new ALMS Heritage Series


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#1 Neuz

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:42

Maybe I missed a thread somewhere down the line but when I saw this article I got pretty excited! Does anyone know anything about this? About how many competitors have/will sign up? This could (almost) be the revitalization of the Can-Am series!

http://www.motorspor...g-championship/


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#2 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 13:40

This is my favourite quote: "the cockpit will accommodate drivers up ... 280 pounds".

So is this the future of historic racing? "Heritage racing"?

#3 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 13:41

Maybe I missed a thread somewhere down the line but when I saw this article I got pretty excited! Does anyone know anything about this? About how many competitors have/will sign up? This could (almost) be the revitalization of the Can-Am series!

http://www.motorspor...g-championship/


As this appears to be a one-make spec series (albeit on a grand scale :up: ) I struggle with the misnomer "unlimited" in the title.
I would have thought "Entirely Limited" or "100% Limited" would be better - if clearly not very good for PR....
However,as we know, even the original Can-Am was never 'unlimited' , no matter what degree of rose-tinting is added to the lenses of nostalgia.

Nice car however :love: :up: . Way more appealing visually than most of the current rather skinny, pared-down prototypes.



#4 Neuz

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 13:41

I got excited when it said "it could seat two"!! Take me, take me!! :)

#5 RA Historian

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 16:18

I am one of many who is viewing this with less than absolute enthusiasm. As Simon points out, a spec car series is NOT unlimited! Carbon fiber construction with M8F look alike bodies, whopping big V-8s, and likely amateur drivers; a recipe for chaos?

Speaking of M8F bodies, did McLaren give its OK, license them, or is the design in the public domain?

Use of the name Can Am? Hardly. The name is owned by the SCCA and I would be very surprised if they OK the use of the name for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is a series they do not own and it is sanctioned by IMSA, not them.

This is a support series run by IMSA and it will be a preliminary to the main event, which is the ALMS. Just another side show, and just what the world needs=another spec car series.

As far as I am concerned, the original Can Am is gone and no amount of wishing, replica cars, etc., will bring it back. Best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Not all will agree with me, but it is just how I feel.

Tom

#6 E1pix

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 17:38

I for one am damned excited about this!

Many months ago, inspired by the re-born Tasman Series, I posted on the F5000 thread how awesome it would be to start building those cars and doing it all over again. I stand by that, and this is a step up from the concept.

Spec cars or not, replacing the past or not, I don't care.... that was then, it is gone, and this is now.... and re-living beats remembering.

That all said, I too am jaded overall by many failed attempts I've seen in the past. But with this as with all of them, I'll wait until it fails to presume it will.

I LOVE IT!

#7 Red Socks

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 17:43

Half a million dollars each to race a brand new car which in many ways has nothing to do with modern racing. Why??

#8 Tom Smith

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 18:15

The technology is specifically to make them safe, have longevity, and be flexible for a wide range of driver skills.”
3 things Can Am cars 100% weren't.

#9 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 20:19

I am one of many who is viewing this with less than absolute enthusiasm. As Simon points out, a spec car series is NOT unlimited! Carbon fiber construction with M8F look alike bodies, whopping big V-8s, and likely amateur drivers; a recipe for chaos?

Speaking of M8F bodies, did McLaren give its OK, license them, or is the design in the public domain?

Use of the name Can Am? Hardly. The name is owned by the SCCA and I would be very surprised if they OK the use of the name for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is a series they do not own and it is sanctioned by IMSA, not them.

This is a support series run by IMSA and it will be a preliminary to the main event, which is the ALMS. Just another side show, and just what the world needs=another spec car series.

As far as I am concerned, the original Can Am is gone and no amount of wishing, replica cars, etc., will bring it back. Best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Not all will agree with me, but it is just how I feel.

Tom



Thanks, you put your finger on it for me, too.

#10 D-Type

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 21:05

Although people look back nostalgically on Can Am, what was the real attraction?
(1) Close racing? No, the racing wasn't close - it was the "Bruce and Denny show"
(2) Innovative? Yes, but the winning McLarens were conventional - they simply got the state-of-the-art correct.
(3) Spectacular - Yes, yes, yes
(4) They were "sports cars" two seater racing cars, originally with lights purely because that's where the roots lay - in the Cooper-Monaco and Lotus 19 and their derivatives. Wouldn't formule libre have been more appropriate/ And wasn't the second phase of Can Am, Formula 5000 with full width bodies even sillier?

Looking at this new series, it has two things in it's favour.
(1) The noise and spectacle could resemble the original
(2) Rose tinted memories of the original

Being a 'spec series' shouldn't be a disadvantage in a country where the two main forms of racing: NASCAR and Indycar are both effectively one make series

#11 Bob Riebe

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 21:47

I am one of many who is viewing this with less than absolute enthusiasm. As Simon points out, a spec car series is NOT unlimited! Carbon fiber construction with M8F look alike bodies, whopping big V-8s, and likely amateur drivers; a recipe for chaos?

Speaking of M8F bodies, did McLaren give its OK, license them, or is the design in the public domain?

Use of the name Can Am? Hardly. The name is owned by the SCCA and I would be very surprised if they OK the use of the name for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is a series they do not own and it is sanctioned by IMSA, not them.

This is a support series run by IMSA and it will be a preliminary to the main event, which is the ALMS. Just another side show, and just what the world needs=another spec car series.

As far as I am concerned, the original Can Am is gone and no amount of wishing, replica cars, etc., will bring it back. Best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Not all will agree with me, but it is just how I feel.

Tom

I also agree with you.
This is just another spec. series, the cancer that has ruined road racing.

I imagine they will be big-block Chevrolets, or what ever after-market pieces of said same is used, but 700-800 hp.
So what?
The IMSA-Trans-Am Cat. II/AAGT cars got that over thirty years ago with one four-barrel carb.

This will gather attraction for a year out of curiosity, and then start the slide to obscurity, UNLESS the engine comparment specifications are eliminated.
Then maybe it could be interesting but I doubt the IMSA wants such cars to make their version of spec. racing look pathetic.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 19 September 2011 - 21:48.


#12 Frank S

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:20

I am a bit skeptical about a brake system that is designed to "reign in" the car's speed.

Edited by Frank S, 20 September 2011 - 02:20.


#13 D-Type

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 19:56

I am a bit skeptical about a brake system that is designed to "reign in" the car's speed.

Maybe it's based on the King Cobra's system  ;)

#14 Cynic2

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 23:14

I agree wth Tom on this one.


So someone's planning a series which pretends to be the CanAm (but can't use that name), for cars which pretend to be McLarens (but aren't), for a half-million bucks (which will be more like $700,000 on the grid ready to race with the necessary crew and such), so that some heavy-set guys can pretend to race old cars (but which aren't).


Why not buy continuation Lola T70s or Chevrons? More or less the same thing, aren't they?


This series seems to be an answer to a question nobody asked. I have a feeling it will never get off the ground.


Cynic


(And relating back to an earlier topic, can these things get FIA papers as M8F McLarens . . . ?)

#15 RA Historian

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 23:54

We certainly are on the same page, David. Another question is, assuming that this thing does get going, and if it does I think that it will be short lived, when will one of these ersatz replicas show up at some US 'vintage' race and be allowed to race as a 'vintage' race car? With so many US 'vintage' racing organizations so notoriously loose on their eligibility requirements, you know that it is going to happen.
Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 20 September 2011 - 23:54.


#16 cheapracer

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:15

Half a million dollars each to race a brand new car which in many ways has nothing to do with modern racing. Why??


Why not? What do you mean by "modern racing"?



#17 cheapracer

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:20

and just what the world needs=another spec car series.


In fact it does but the spec has to be correct and done properly with a "grunt" class would work well - but not at half a million dollars for a play class, will not attract the right people for longevity.

I remind you too that America's 2 biggest classes by far are spec classes, Miantas and Spec Ford Racers.


#18 E1pix

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 19:39

I remind you too that America's 2 biggest classes by far are spec classes, Miatas and Spec Ford Racers.

Like it or not, this is correct. Spec classes were created to save racing, which they have. Think back to A Sports Racing, Can-Am cars raced by amateurs and having had its nostalgic moments and pretty good fields (1972 Runoffs comes to mind). Now imagine ALMS cars being raced by amateurs at Club events. Impossible. I blame technology and lenient rules packages for much of the price escalations in our sport.

Do I wish it had all never happened? Of course.

This new series could be grand, but Yes, the cars are very pricey. It'd had a better shot in the '90s when many more people actually had money. But I do have hope for it being a success, even if in a rose-glassed way.... why wouldn't we want it to be?

#19 Bob Riebe

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 20:25

Like it or not, this is correct. Spec classes were created to save racing, which they have. Think back to A Sports Racing, Can-Am cars raced by amateurs and having had its nostalgic moments and pretty good fields (1972 Runoffs comes to mind). Now imagine ALMS cars being raced by amateurs at Club events. Impossible. I blame technology and lenient rules packages for much of the price escalations in our sport.

Do I wish it had all never happened? Of course.

This new series could be grand, but Yes, the cars are very pricey. It'd had a better shot in the '90s when many more people actually had money. But I do have hope for it being a success, even if in a rose-glassed way.... why wouldn't we want it to be?

Spec. classes merely spilled over from SCCA amateur racing lower classes. They were NOT created to save racing, and actually started it on its long, although a decade is NOT very long, slide into irrelevance

When the SCCA eliminated prod. requirements after 1982, classes that had been important enough for factories with huge budgets to participate, i.e. Datsun verses Jaguar final Cp production req. race, which was well covered by racing rags in the day, was the final hurrah before SCCA amateur racing sank into tube-rame and spec. class obscurity.

Before that people could take their Ap, Bp, Cp, Dp, Ep, etc., that had no experation date, not to mention formula and sports racer cars, to professional races that came to their region.
After that it was either spend a lot of money to build a new tube-frame car, or go into some spec. class that did not have a professional equivalent so beyond week-end amateur races served zero purpose.

Spec. or one class specification racing amounts to all cars being same shit-same pile and is boring.
This is best shown by GARRA still being considered a nothing more that an over-blown amateur racing week-end and the IMSA on the verge of going belly up again.
If they think another spec. series, scamming off of something that was unique and spectacular forty years is going bring fans back, it merely shows the arrogance and ignorance of the promoters.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 21 September 2011 - 23:51.


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#20 Bob Riebe

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 20:28

In fact it does but the spec has to be correct and done properly with a "grunt" class would work well - but not at half a million dollars for a play class, will not attract the right people for longevity.

I remind you too that America's 2 biggest classes by far are spec classes, Miantas and Spec Ford Racers.

They were once out fielded by Formula VEE-- so what?

#21 E1pix

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 20:52

Spec. classes merely spilled over from SCCA amateur racing lower classes. They were NOT created to save racing, and actually started it on its long, although a decade is NOT very long, slide into irrelevance

When the SCCA eliminated prod. requirements after 1982, classes that had been important enough for factories with huge budgets to participate, i.e. Datsun verses Jaguar final Cp production req. race, which was well covered by racing rags in the day, was the final hurrah before SCCA amateur racing sank into tube-rame and spec. class obscurity.

Before that people could take their Ap, Bp, Cp, Dp, Ep, etc., that had no experation date, not to mention formula and sports racer cars, to professional races that came to their region.
After that it was either spend a lot of money to build a new tube-frame car, or go into some spec. class that did not have a professional equivalent so beyond week-end amateur races served zero purpose.

Spec. or one class specification racing amounts to all cars being same shit-same pile and is boring.
This is best shown by GARRA still being considered a nothing more that a over-blown amateur raing week-end and the IMSA on the verge of going belly up again.
If they think another spec. series, scamming off of something that was unique and spectacular forty years is going bring fans back, it merely shows the arrogance and ignorance of the promoters.

I agree spec racing can be less attractive than mixed fields, but what to do about that comes down to money. Trust me, I think we all miss the Old Days with the wipe of a hankie, I know I do.

If I'm not mistaken, Bob, the first spec series I recall was Shelby Can-Am, and while it was bad it was created to lower the funds people no longer had for Can-Am, version I or II. I do not for a minute think spec racing "trickled up," as it were, from Club racing up to pro levels. Per Grand-Am, I also disagree, in 2005 the Series was really gaining steam and many events had close to 30 DP cars. It has sadly waned since then for a variety of reasons. Could that series use some bigger-name drivers? Of course it could, but such are the times in American road racing in general, there's too many Series and classes to fill at all levels, and administrators at the helms needs to wake up to that.

I totally agree though that SCCA's move from Prod classes towards mixed GT classes killed the interests of Datsun-Sharp, and British Leyland-Huffaker/Group 44. By the way, in the "pre-spec" years of the '70s which I think you're referring to, factory Jaguar funds were spent on B Production, not CP.... though some like Freddie Baker and Roger Bighouse ran CP independently, amongst others. In CP, Leyland supported Triumph TR6s to compete against Datsun-Sharp in the "end times." I do not know of any professional races that used anything below C Production, or B Sedan, however.

In that vein, SCCA's class structures of the present are disemboweled from the past, the idea of a roofed Honda racing a Bugeye in HP, for one, is ridiculous and ignores the branding that SCCA flourished with for decades. I actually wrote a "racing rag" of my own in 1976, so well recollect those glory days of club racing. They were truly Grand.

Whichever direction road racing takes, I will support it whenever possible.

#22 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 22:40

Good, bad or otherwise, if the this Heritage thingie comes close enough to my town, it's likely to pry enough dollars out of my pocket for a gate admission.

#23 E1pix

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 22:42

Good, bad or otherwise, if the this Heritage thingie comes close enough to my town, it's likely to pry enough dollars out of my pocket for a gate admission.

:up: I'd buy you a beer.... though that would require my going to SLC where beer's hard to find. :)

#24 jj2728

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 23:14

For the briefest of moments when I saw the photo I thought I was looking at a M8D and I suppose that's a good thing. The whole idea sounds interesting.

#25 S A Dunbar

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 23:19

Spec. classes merely spilled over from SCCA amateur racing lower classes. They were NOT created to save racing, and actually started it on its long, although a decade is NOT very long, slide into irrelevance

When the SCCA eliminated prod. requirements after 1982, classes that had been important enough for factories with huge budgets to participate, i.e. Datsun verses Jaguar final Cp production req. race, which was well covered by racing rags in the day, was the final hurrah before SCCA amateur racing sank into tube-rame and spec. class obscurity.

Before that people could take their Ap, Bp, Cp, Dp, Ep, etc., that had no experation date, not to mention formula and sports racer cars, to professional races that came to their region.
After that it was either spend a lot of money to build a new tube-frame car, or go into some spec. class that did not have a professional equivalent so beyond week-end amateur races served zero purpose.

Spec. or one class specification racing amounts to all cars being same shit-same pile and is boring.
This is best shown by GARRA still being considered a nothing more that a over-blown amateur raing week-end and the IMSA on the verge of going belly up again.
If they think another spec. series, scamming off of something that was unique and spectacular forty years is going bring fans back, it merely shows the arrogance and ignorance of the promoters.


100% correct. 1983 was the beginning of the end of SCCA amateur club racing as it had existed since it's inception...

#26 RA Historian

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 00:00

In fact it does but the spec has to be correct and done properly with a "grunt" class would work well - but not at half a million dollars for a play class, will not attract the right people for longevity.

Half a million for a silly spec car is ridiculous; for a portion of that cost you could buy a real McLaren M8F with a racing history.

If I'm not mistaken, Bob, the first spec series I recall was Shelby Can-Am, and while it was bad it was created to lower the funds people no longer had for Can-Am, version I or II.


A lot of spec series existed before the ill-conceived Shelby Dodge cars were inflicted upon the world, both in SCCA and IMSA. Remember the SCCA's Rabbit/Bilstein Cup in the 1970s? Their VW Golf Series in the 1980s? IMSA's Le Car Series and Alliance/Encore Series in the 1980s? SCCA's Spec Racer (the Sports Renault) Series in the 1980, and so on. As far as the Shelby Dodge Pro Series is concerned, (I will NEVER use the term "Can Am' with respect to that unwanted pro series) it was one of those series that nobody asked for and it came and went in three or four years without making a ripple on the pond and nobody mourning its departure. The cars were ugly, slow, and an answer to a question nobody asked. They did not exist as a replacement for the real Can Am or the Son of Can Am, but rather because Carroll Shelby saw an opportunity to make money and the SCCA was only too ready to go along with it.

Good, bad or otherwise, if the this Heritage thingie comes close enough to my town, it's likely to pry enough dollars out of my pocket for a gate admission.

You may not even have the chance. Through e mail and personal conversations in the last few days with many in various levels of racing administration, the consensus seems to be split. Half of those to whom I talked said that if it does get off the ground it will be gone in an over/under of two years. The other half said that it would never get off the ground.

We shall see.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 22 September 2011 - 00:04.


#27 Aero426

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 00:16

While I like the concept, I am circumspect as to how many people will step up with the cash for the series to fly. Until the cars show up for a grid, I don't see a whole lot to hand wring about. The announcement of the intent of the series is something alltogether different from reality. That said, I would rather watch ten M8F style cars hammering around over a bunch of Daytona Proturtles any day.

#28 RA Historian

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 00:19

I hear you, Doug. Looking at a recent photo of next year's Riley DP I am encouraged that they will look a lot better than the Pontiac Aztec spec cars to which they have an unfortunate likeness today!
Tom

#29 E1pix

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 00:38

....A lot of spec series existed before the ill-conceived Shelby Dodge cars were inflicted upon the world, both in SCCA and IMSA. Remember the SCCA's Rabbit/Bilstein Cup in the 1970s? Their VW Golf Series in the 1980s? IMSA's Le Car Series and Alliance/Encore Series in the 1980s? SCCA's Spec Racer (the Sports Renault) Series in the 1980, and so on....

My mindset was more in line with purpose-built race cars, such as this new Series, so "assembly-line series" never entered into my thinking in that sentence. But I spoke in error.

Yet those were all "Pro Series." My point was that spec racing did not originate in club racing as Bob claimed, and that they were specifically created to lower competition costs. They have done that, love 'em or not. I don't, really, but do understand the realities that formed their existence. Even NASCAR is spec in many senses, as is IndyCar, as will F1 be in time. I hate the trend as much as anyone.

I'm all ears for any discussion on what can be done to change any of these money-based trends. Only complaining about our mutually-loved sport will result in more Status Quo. Regardless, a spec series of even faked "Can-Am" cars still beats stick-and-ball for me.

Edited by E1pix, 22 September 2011 - 00:41.


#30 arttidesco

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 00:59

I'd rather see a racing series with these cars being trashed than anything that might be conceived as genuine, it does not have the series name which inspired it, it won't attract anything like the level of competition that the series did that inspired it and it certainly won't attract anything like the same numbers of spectators, the prize money will be nothing like the original series. Really what's the problem as has been said every other major series in the US is a Spec series I think there is plenty of room for this kind of series, I do have some reservations about the exactitude of the McLaren like body but I don't think anyone with real knowledge is ever going to confuse one of these vehicles with anything historic. Would I pay to go and see this series run in the UK ? Hell yeah ! (as I believe the saying goes in the good old US of A :-)

#31 ggnagy

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 02:29

Formula Vee - Spec series (more restrictions to a FV then than a Spec Miata today, outside the bodywork.
Formula Ford, Sports 2000 - Spec motor series.

you want to know where the spec class cr@p started? It started right there. It happened the moment someone decided they had a popular, but uncompetitive car for the class structure at the time.
Because FF ended up a pro racer proving ground, the second excuse that they are "drivers" classes was propagated, to mask the "competitive but unpopular" ugly root truth.

I'd much rather run my little open topped "tube framed" Sprite against a CRX (and VWs, and Minis, and Toyotas, and Fiats and Spitfires) where everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, than go back to spec hell where the cars are so the same that one HAS to phrases like "chrome horn" and "Rubbins racin" just to get to the front.

#32 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:02

My mindset was more in line with purpose-built race cars, such as this new Series, so "assembly-line series" never entered into my thinking in that sentence. But I spoke in error.

Yet those were all "Pro Series." My point was that spec racing did not originate in club racing as Bob claimed, and that they were specifically created to lower competition costs. They have done that, love 'em or not. I don't, really, but do understand the realities that formed their existence. Even NASCAR is spec in many senses, as is IndyCar, as will F1 be in time. I hate the trend as much as anyone.

I'm all ears for any discussion on what can be done to change any of these money-based trends. Only complaining about our mutually-loved sport will result in more Status Quo. Regardless, a spec series of even faked "Can-Am" cars still beats stick-and-ball for me.

One thing that came to mind, as I finally got to a sprint car race this year after far, far, far, far, far too many years, was they could take the M8W (M8 wannabes) and put the 410 sprint car engines in them with gasoline or alcohol or what ever fuel systems strikes their fancy, and they would have Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota ( yes Toyota has a sprint car engine that has won) on the grid.

They would have plenty horse power and if it lasted maybe other chassis.

Wishful thinking?
Probably/absolutely especially as these cars would put to shame anything on road courses nowadays and would have antis doing what they could to stop them.

#33 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:13

Formula Vee - Spec series (more restrictions to a FV then than a Spec Miata today, outside the bodywork.
Formula Ford, Sports 2000 - Spec motor series.

you want to know where the spec class cr@p started? It started right there. It happened the moment someone decided they had a popular, but uncompetitive car for the class structure at the time.
Because FF ended up a pro racer proving ground, the second excuse that they are "drivers" classes was propagated, to mask the "competitive but unpopular" ugly root truth.

I'd much rather run my little open topped "tube framed" Sprite against a CRX (and VWs, and Minis, and Toyotas, and Fiats and Spitfires) where everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, than go back to spec hell where the cars are so the same that one HAS to phrases like "chrome horn" and "Rubbins racin" just to get to the front.

Some thing that made me sad, and kind of got my hackles up, was all the new small class RWD sports cars that were created and produced over the past twenty some years.
Pre-82 they probably could have found their way into one of the SCCA production classes and/or smaller sports car classes in pro races.

One could have had the small Pontiac/Saturn, BMW shoebox, Mazda, and others I cannot think of being homolgated and raced for sales room purposes but Tube-frames killed any chances of that ever happening.

Up until last year, I still had the Autoweek and Competition Press where the SCCA spokesman so proudly proclaimed the SCCA was going to drop is homologation production rules and imitate NASCAR.

Brilliant!

#34 E1pix

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:01

.... Would I pay to go and see this series run in the UK ? Hell yeah ! (as I believe the saying goes in the good old US of A :-)

:up:

Formula Vee - Spec series (more restrictions to a FV then than a Spec Miata today, outside the bodywork.
Formula Ford, Sports 2000 - Spec motor series.

you want to know where the spec class cr@p started? It started right there....

I do not see Formulas Vee and Ford in the same vein as strictly a "spec series" at all by today's definition. Restrictive rules? Yes, as in most racing classes. Spec engine, meaning built by one outfit? No. Spec chassis? No.

One thing that came to mind, as I finally got to a sprint car race this year after far, far, far, far, far too many years, was they could take the M8W (M8 wannabes) and put the 410 sprint car engines in them with gasoline or alcohol or what ever fuel systems strikes their fancy, and they would have Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota ( yes Toyota has a sprint car engine that has won) on the grid.

They would have plenty horse power and if it lasted maybe other chassis.

Wishful thinking?
Probably/absolutely especially as these cars would put to shame anything on road courses nowadays and would have antis doing what they could to stop them.

I like that idea, Bob, very much. And I'm glad you got to a sprint car race, I love that and it's been like 20 years for me.... great racing indeed and oh-so-rarely they stayed on their business model and hence, it lasted.

I might still suspect one mandated motor may be cheaper to run, maybe.... but as you said all these other motors are out there, are proven and relatively durable (and could be de-tuned from their 900 bhp to a much more reliable 700 bhp, I'd suspect), and thus may actually be cheaper to run because of said competition. We all know what monopolies can bring....

One idea I had was that since this new Series mandates one chassis, why not at least allow varied body configurations that emulate other famous Can-Am designs? One glitch to that, and something I haven't addressed that other rightly have is design copyrights on this M8F look-alike. Now, I can't imagine that wasn't signed off straight away, it had to have been with this kind of outlay (unless such copyright has term limits as I'd suspect). But if there's one complaint I've long had of racing is the copying of others' ideas, everywhere we look. I make my living via copyright, so am ultra-sensitive to this, but recognized this at age 12 long before kids typically think these things. To me, a big part of racing's appeal is design brilliance and originality, and since we seem to live in a world of ever-increasing examples of copying everybody else (witness reality tv, for one), I fear this originality is going/has gone away in matters far beyond racing. The use of the term "Can-Am" is another matter entirely, I noticed the hyphen missing on the site and wonder if a slick attorney thinks that's enough.... a question for SCCA, I suppose.

Yes, you are correct about the potential speeds of these cars. I would suspect they'd be a solid 10 seconds quicker than a true M8F at places like Road America, and for me, that would be really something to witness.

.... One could have had the small Pontiac/Saturn, BMW shoebox, Mazda, and others I cannot think of being homolgated and raced for sales room purposes but Tube-frames killed any chances of that ever happening....

You are spot on here as well. Tube frames should have never entered into the Club-level equation.

Edited by E1pix, 22 September 2011 - 04:08.


#35 Option1

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 18:32

Hmmm, I like the idea of using the M8W (lol...love that designation) body and chassis but allowing freedom of engine manufacturer. Would make a wonderful replacement series for the world's ugliest series race cars, the current Daytona Prototypes. The DTP bodies are almost spec as it is, and even though there is some variation they are uniformly fugly. I'm sure the M8W's would also end up faster than the DTP cars which are also surprisingly slow, oh and did I mention ugly as well.;)

Just a thought.

Neil

#36 E1pix

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 19:09

No offense, O1, but you failed to mention what you think of the looks of DP cars. :wave:

Yes, I agree and think Bob is spot on with thoughts of varied engine suppliers. I would presume this could open sponsorship doors as well, and adds some "non-spec" interest to at least the engine bays.

Could that also entice other users of these engines to race as PR for said engine builders? Possibly.

Will the organizers set aside arrive and drive car(s) to get this going? Yes, if they are smart.

Could we see other drivers showing up to represent NASCAR engine builders? Possibly. (despite my despising said series, it does get attention)

With an equal driver.... I would suspect these cars would be 10-15 seconds quicker than a DP car at, again, Road America for an example. The DP pole was 2:01 this year, the lap record for ALMS is around 1:50, Indy Cars around 1:40. If this new chassis is correctly done and well driven, 1:45 - 1:50 seems about right, if not faster.

Thanks, O1, see you there.... I'll buy you a brat and won't ask to borrow your lenses.  ;) You might and I'd let you. :)

Edited by E1pix, 22 September 2011 - 19:12.


#37 Cynic2

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 19:54

Ignoring all the pretense of this series (CanAm, McLarens, hero drivers), this already appears to be Spec Rambo, but with 800 HP engines. Adding more horsepower for drivers whose major skill may be in writing checks seems to me to be giving more liquor to teenage boys.


Perhaps when we see more on the series, and know that only drivers (a) able to write big checks for the experience and (b) with the skill, temperament and background to race these cars, my objections as a long-time organizer will be satisfied. Tom, though, remembering the huge smash-up at the start of the 2005 BRIC, may be harder to convince.


Cynic

Edited by Cynic2, 22 September 2011 - 19:59.


#38 E1pix

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 20:28

By the end of your first paragraph, I was already drawing parallels of this to vintage racing in the faster classes.

The BRIC crash in GT is a point well taken. Where my mind was wandering in reading your words was in vintage Can-Am, where the good guys are a solid half-minute faster than the backmarkers. That's a potentially-dangerous spread, but elimination of such unqualified drivers would be far worse. In that class, the risks of destroying history are so great as to create a hazard from financial fear alone, much less the hazards of sport. Many, or dare I say "most" of those drivers have little to no real "qualification" to be racing those cars, either, beyond their checkbooks. It seems to me that's far worse in the danger perspective than this new series.

Though I do understand your concerns, what exactly makes you presume the drivers in this series will be any worse than in vintage Can-Am? Until proven and protested by the competitors to the contrary, for the good of our sport, I say "Let Them Race."

With all due respect.... there's hacks in almost all forms of motorsport, and managing that is up to the drivers to deal with, not the organizers.

#39 Cynic2

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 00:06

By the end of your first paragraph, I was already drawing parallels of this to vintage racing in the faster classes.

The BRIC crash in GT is a point well taken. Where my mind was wandering in reading your words was in vintage Can-Am, where the good guys are a solid half-minute faster than the backmarkers. That's a potentially-dangerous spread, but elimination of such unqualified drivers would be far worse. In that class, the risks of destroying history are so great as to create a hazard from financial fear alone, much less the hazards of sport. Many, or dare I say "most" of those drivers have little to no real "qualification" to be racing those cars, either, beyond their checkbooks. It seems to me that's far worse in the danger perspective than this new series.

Though I do understand your concerns, what exactly makes you presume the drivers in this series will be any worse than in vintage Can-Am? Until proven and protested by the competitors to the contrary, for the good of our sport, I say "Let Them Race."

With all due respect.... there's hacks in almost all forms of motorsport, and managing that is up to the drivers to deal with, not the organizers.



You raise several good points, and I don't have time to answer all right now. We seem to agree that in vintage CanAm the drivers have more respect for the cars, and therefore (or not) the other drivers. Does the equation change when we remove the "irreplacable" factor of the cars? Do the egos of some of these drivers, who have to be the biggest and fastest and loudest, change? I'll admit I have limited experience with that group, as a group.

(For those not from the US, my "Spec Rambo" comment hails back to the SCCA spec Sports/Renault class, which quickly acquired the Spec Rambo nickname from the skill and driving style of too many in the class.)

And for liability reasons, if nothing else (and there are other, better, reasons, including the safety of other competitors) I feel the organizer must deal with the hacks and fools, preferably by denying them access to the track. I recognize my viewpoint here may differ from many others.

Cynic

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#40 E1pix

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 00:51

And for liability reasons, if nothing else (and there are other, better, reasons, including the safety of other competitors) I feel the organizer must deal with the hacks and fools, preferably by denying them access to the track. I recognize my viewpoint here may differ from many others.

Cynic

I understand C2, very well stated in all cases. :up:

It seems our commonalities far outweigh our differences, and that's the way it should be for all us Speed Lovers. If that were always so, our sport may again grow. [apologies for the hokey rhyme here :) ]


(Edit: If you wish to hire me as Moderator, please send Blowhorn and Metallic clothing.  ;) )

Edited by E1pix, 23 September 2011 - 00:53.


#41 Cam2InfoNeeded

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 01:57

I think the 2 big draws of the old CanAm series were:

1) Yes, the opportunity for innovation. Yes, the bulk of the winning Canam cars the basically conventional Team McLarens (but highly thought out, sorted, and tested), but don't forget about the Chapperals (2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, and 2J), along with the Autocoast Ti22, some of the Lolas, a couple of Ferraris, but mainly for me at the end with the turbo Porsches, and Shadows. I don't think we will see anything like variety this in the new series. Back then, just knowing you were going to a race where new ideas were welcomed and tried, even though they usually failed due to poor development and refinement.

2) World famous drivers (too many to list).

I would like to see were this series goes. but it won't anything like the original. Most of us are nostalgic about the old series, and even seeing replicants motoring around might be enough for us to shell out for the tickets.

#42 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:45

Ignoring all the pretense of this series (CanAm, McLarens, hero drivers), this already appears to be Spec Rambo, but with 800 HP engines. Adding more horsepower for drivers whose major skill may be in writing checks seems to me to be giving more liquor to teenage boys.


Perhaps when we see more on the series, and know that only drivers (a) able to write big checks for the experience and (b) with the skill, temperament and background to race these cars, my objections as a long-time organizer will be satisfied. Tom, though, remembering the huge smash-up at the start of the 2005 BRIC, may be harder to convince.


Cynic

While I agree some have more money than talent (actually I think this is in F-1 also) but when one mentions the 2005 BRIC, I cannot but help think of the 1996 US 500. :cool:

#43 Tom Smith

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:30

Maybe I missed a thread somewhere down the line but when I saw this article I got pretty excited! Does anyone know anything about this? About how many competitors have/will sign up? This could (almost) be the revitalization of the Can-Am series!

http://www.motorspor...g-championship/


They had that car on display last year at a vintage race at Sonoma. I happened to go the event to see an old buddy I know from Mclaren who was there running Mario's ex VPJ F-5000 Lola. He reminded me of all the surplus steel ammo boxes Mclaren use to carry around the spare car parts in. I told him yeah I do remember all those boxes, heavy. Any way, there were some vintage Can Am cars there and it was parked in the garage area where they were. At that point it was touted as a street legal car, which now has morphed into a spec race car. If you look closely at the images you can see a bunch of tail lights in the tail and turn signals at the aft end of the wing fences. It had headlights also. I briefly looked at it to see what they copied from a real chassis. The guy starts telling me how aerospace engineers made the chassis so much better bla bla bla. It has a bunch of NC machined billet aluminum crap, aluminum transmission case that looks like an Emco, billet aluminum side covers, and probably aluminum wheels as well. Looked much heavier than any real McLaren and not much if any safer to me. I'm pretty sure somebody will crash-test one sooner than later if they haven't already.
About all spec racing does is make it more costly to cheat, ask Penske.

Edited by Tom Smith, 23 September 2011 - 05:50.


#44 10kDA

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 03:11

TAt that point it was touted as a street legal car, which now has morphed into a spec race car. If you look closely at the images you can see a bunch of tail lights in the tail and turn signals at the aft end of the wing fences. It had headlights also.


This was my first impression too, that it compared to an original Can-Am car about the same way Ford's recent "GT40" compared to the Le Mans winners. I don't quite get the business model here. If you want to play, you have to come up with nearly half a million to show up and race a car which will be prepared "identically" to everyone else's? So your investment is not even under your own control to improve, or try to find an advantage? The only hope will be if the car owners hijack the series and make it real. After all, it's their money. Otherwise it's only an exhibition, not a race series, and as such, it will only succeed as some kind of novelty.

I think the reason the original Can-Am was such a big draw was that Johnson/J-Wax et al. were paying out some good money, good enough to bring in drivers and teams who were eager to get a piece of it. The series started in September as all the other major series had ended or were winding down so the GP and Endurance drivers were available, USAC was just about done for the season, and teams could go at this new comparatively big money series pretty much all-out. When the series came To A Track Near You, it was a chance for North American race fans to see drivers they had been only reading about. I think that's what got the crowds coming initially, then after a couple of years when the reality sank in that the big block Can-Am cars were likely faster than the F1 cars of the day, and all kinds of new ideas were being tried to get a piece of the financial action, the popularity snowballed.

This new "series" will be about as satisfying as watching over someone's shoulder as they play some dumbass sim-racing computer game. If I want to see Can-Am cars, I'll go to a vintage event and see the real thing. It may not be a real Can-Am event with world-class drivers actually competing, but it will be the real-deal hardware. This new thing isn't even a "virtual" version.


#45 cheapracer

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:06

and put the 410 sprint car engines in them with gasoline or alcohol or what ever fuel systems strikes their fancy, and they would have Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota ( yes Toyota has a sprint car engine that has won) on the grid.

They would have plenty horse power and if it lasted maybe other chassis.


It's a great idea which I have been posting previously for what Indycar should be doing right now to save itself rather than the Honda engine, what a great sense of identity for the fans with patriotism coming to the fore even if there is a Honda parked in their driveway - certainly works that way for Australia.

Yet those were all "Pro Series." My point was that spec racing did not originate in club racing as Bob claimed, and that they were specifically created to lower competition costs.


This makes me tear my hair out, "lower competition costs"?? - then why does spec racing cost so much? I don't mean Miata and SFR series that are with all respect boring, I mean fast exciting stuff .....


I'm all ears for any discussion on what can be done to change any of these money-based trends. Only complaining about our mutually-loved sport will result in more Status Quo. Regardless, a spec series of even faked "Can-Am" cars still beats stick-and-ball for me.


It's amazingly simple actually, spec a chassis that can be built by anyone competent in the area or a shop and use production items in a clever manner, you don't need to spec expensive magnesium uprights when you can darn well use cast irons ones "when everybody is using the same upright!!" ffs!! - use an engine that's widely available and reasonably optimised such as what Bob mentions above. Use a 4 speed gearbox to keep costs down, more ratios means engine builders will up the ante, wide ratio means easier to achieve wider power spread.

I am entering production on my budget track day car these days (cheapracer) and will look at a seriously cheap but seriously exciting spec racer next year, it not only can it be done, it bewilders me why it hasn't been done.

This is one theme (but not the car itself and not looking for commentry on it and yes it's butt ugly ...)
http://www.jaylenosg...ts-car/1031321/
.... and i'd rather see 20 of those driven hard than the 5 or 6 of these Can Ams with maybe only 2 going hard.



About all spec racing does is make it more costly to cheat, just ask Penske.


No I'll ask you, that's unique to spec racing is it?


#46 E1pix

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:55

My comments were opinions and not to be taken out of context as wordbyte fodder.... nor were my posts solely designed entirely for self-promotion.

The Can-Am replicas are at the very least classified as race cars. Watching 20 strange street cars racing around doesn't interest me personally.

Regardless, Good Luck.

Edited by E1pix, 24 September 2011 - 05:57.


#47 cheapracer

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:43

nor were my posts solely designed entirely for self-promotion.


Not self promotion, I like to believe I am doing it to improve motor racing and certainly make it more widely available, I neither need the money and I can certainly find other ways to make it a lot easier if I did.

The Can-Am replicas are at the very least classified as race cars. Watching 20 strange street cars racing around doesn't interest me personally.


Ahh, you missed what I said; "This is one theme (but not the car itself...)

"Theme" as in LS Chev powered spaceframed beasties - and yes, real race cars.  ;) Since there's nothing around to use as an example the Deronda is about as close as I can get as an example - as poor as it is.

Regardless, Good Luck.


Don't need luck, I need skill, money and good looks - fortunately I have all 3 in abundance.

and finally ...

My comments were opinions and not to be taken out of context as wordbyte fodder.


Is this your first time on the internet?? :lol:



#48 Duc-Man

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 16:28

This makes me tear my hair out, "lower competition costs"?? - then why does spec racing cost so much? I don't mean Miata and SFR series that are with all respect boring, I mean fast exciting stuff .....


Well, the intention and what comes out in the end are two different things.
Also: even the Porsche supercup is boring for a spectator no matter how fast and exciting it is for the drivers.

We had a couple years back a spec series called V8 Star that ran for 3 years. The cars were technicaly identical but you could pick between four (later seven IIRC) sedan style bodies. The organizers of the series even took care that the different models produced the same downforce and had the same aerodynamical balance.
The spectators liked it and it had some big names in it but the series failed for various reasons. Mostly through mistakes from the organisation, wrong decisions of race control rather than on the racing side.
Bottomline: it worked great for the first two years and it were all the 'same' cars.

Now with this new can-am lookalike series: why not? Specially if the maker of the cars comes up with 2 or 3 other bodies.
The original can-am lived off big engines, big money and big names and for a while the big excitement was the question who's gonna win? Bruce or Denny?
I think can-am is sometimes a bit over-glorified.
Don't get me wrong, I love to see those cars racing.
Also I don't really care if they are fake or the 'real thing' just give me some damn fast cars with their big engine sound.

Now put your worries aside and see what happens.



#49 Bob Riebe

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 17:17

Well, the intention and what comes out in the end are two different things.
Also: even the Porsche supercup is boring for a spectator no matter how fast and exciting it is for the drivers.

We had a couple years back a spec series called V8 Star that ran for 3 years. The cars were technicaly identical but you could pick between four (later seven IIRC) sedan style bodies. The organizers of the series even took care that the different models produced the same downforce and had the same aerodynamical balance.
The spectators liked it and it had some big names in it but the series failed for various reasons. Mostly through mistakes from the organisation, wrong decisions of race control rather than on the racing side.
Bottomline: it worked great for the first two years and it were all the 'same' cars.

Now with this new can-am lookalike series: why not? Specially if the maker of the cars comes up with 2 or 3 other bodies.
The original can-am lived off big engines, big money and big names and for a while the big excitement was the question who's gonna win? Bruce or Denny?
I think can-am is sometimes a bit over-glorified.
Don't get me wrong, I love to see those cars racing.
Also I don't really care if they are fake or the 'real thing' just give me some damn fast cars with their big engine sound.

Now put your worries aside and see what happens.

The trouble with the highlighted above is it is same shit-same pile. The so called "different" bodies makes it worse as it is a scam trying to foist on the public same-shit same-taste only it looks different on the surface.
Road racing has always been about one brand proving it is better than another brand and for any series to use faux variety is the sanction saying the spectators are to damn stupid to know any difference.

#50 RA Historian

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 21:48

The trouble with the highlighted above is it is same shit-same pile. The so called "different" bodies makes it worse as it is a scam trying to foist on the public same-shit same-taste only it looks different on the surface.
Road racing has always been about one brand proving it is better than another brand and for any series to use faux variety is the sanction saying the spectators are to damn stupid to know any difference.

Rather like nascar!