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Australian Touring Cars query -lap times Sandown - a comparison 1974 to now


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#1 mymemoryfails

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:56

Hi,

My apologies if this has been covered elsewhere ( I couldn't find a thread).

Some of my early teenage memories at car racing tracks were events like 1974 Sandown 250. A bit of googling and I find Moffat's falcon (group c spec) lap record of 1min 16 seconds. I know the track has been altered since then with chicanes at the corners before front and back straights. I dont know when this was done, or how much time it would add to a lap. Also of course there would have been resurfacing, and other reprofiling changes.

My question is : how would say the cars of that time do on this current circuit? In 2011 we can see a Group Nc spec car in the 1:22s, so I wonder if the cars we see today would be travelling at a similar pace to our "heroes of yesteryear". I know modern technology helps the current guys a fair bit.

I would love to read others opinions/ take on this. Thanks. :)

mymemoryfails



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:48

There's a vast difference in the circuit...

There's been an S-bend put into what used to be the Pit Straight. To do this, the front straight was shortened, but even more so is the wiggle that was added to make possible the existing pit area. That removed a fast corner that led onto the front straight, and there were two tight corners added there too.

Formula Vees would be the best way to tell, or maybe FFords... front-line Historic FFords vs FFords of the late seventies. Or F5000s, 1980 vs now but allow for their extra 80hp or so.

#3 johnny yuma

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:13


Bathurst times tell a similar story,the Biante series cars which are less controlled than Group Nc
have still not bettered the times set by Moffat there in the TransAm 40 years ago.
Goodwood returnees also tell me F1 cars of the Jim Clark era campaigned seriously at Goodwood today have never matched the lap times achieved there in the day by top teams and drivers.
"The racer's edge' is not a place all can visit !

#4 Catalina Park

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:33

Bathurst times tell a similar story,the Biante series cars which are less controlled than Group Nc
have still not bettered the times set by Moffat there in the TransAm 40 years ago.

I suppose a longer track and three more corners wouldn't make any difference?


#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:16

After John Bowe told me yesterday that his '69 Mustang has 600hp coming from its 351 Windsor engine, and that it does it reliably and without fuss, I'm prepared to believe that power delivery is never an issue in this regard...

There may be control tyres, but I'd be prepared to believe that anything available today, no matter how much 'control' is in place, will be better than the best of the sixties and early seventies.

Maybe we should compare times at Phillip Island? That's a circuit that's a tad shorter and hasn't had anything added to slow anyone down?

#6 mymemoryfails

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 00:56

Thanks for the replies.

Got me started to digging deeper myself

It seems difficult to compare eras, as Ray said the tracks have changed a lot, or gone out of business sadly.

Bathurst would have changed a fair bit with the chase added.


I have been looking at other circuits for comparison and found that at Phillip Island for 1973 250 mile race Peter Brock's xu1 fastest time was a bit over 2mins (I know it was endurance race and also track condition was poor-breaking up) I also believe the track was a little longer to Honda corner at that time . Nowadays a good group Nc XU1 is down in 1 min 53 or 54.

Looking at Improved production : Terry Walker posted lap record for Wanneroo 1972 - Bob Jane Camaro - 1 min 5s. by Comparison Andrew Mediecke TCM Camaro May 2011 fastest lap 1min 4 sec

Symmons Plains Bowdens posted about Moffat's Mustang lap record of 60.4 seconds in 1972. Nowadays John Bowe TCM Mustang Nov 2010 lap record is 57.7 ( Top 10 in race were under Moffat's record - including a Valiant Pacer!)

Anyway my point is not to diminsh the achievements of yesteryear - they will always be the heroes and the "real deal". However it seems that (I know the modern cars have the advantage of greater horsepower and freedoms, tyre technology , circuit surface etc) when we go and see the Touring Car "replicas" of today at historic meetings etc, we will witness basically representative speeds of the good old days.

:)
mymemoryfails


#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 05:00

Wanneroo is one place that hasn't changed, so that's a good one...

Also Baskerville and Symmons, but I don't know whether surfaces are different. Lakeside has probably had enough widening and other changes to make it a tad faster.

#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:21

Lets get real, all of the abovementioned tracks have been modified, corners streamlined, kerbing, even straights widened which in effect makes corners a little less sharp.
Then far better surfaces [which with better tyres] give a pile more grip than the old.

Big bad Sandown is not quite so bad these days, BUT the last 2 corners onto the front straight, and the start of the straight are built on a swamp and the bumps move and get bigger or smaller depending on the season, even the weather. There is 2 seconds there alone when it is rough, though todays better shocks will help a lot.

As for Bathurst there is another thread on here from the late 70s with KB and others running 5000s around there. Look at the pic, it is a different place.Looka t old footage across the top to Forest Elbow is a characture of what it was. Plus the Chase.
Both still grat circuits but entirely different.
I have brought this up before in relation to Mallala, the place is MUCH changed in its 30 years of operation with Clem. Yet alone the original version of the 60s.

Strangely enough the circuit with the least changes is AIR, that is probably slower than its heyday.
And it is becomng a Drag Strip again,,, as an eighth mile track!!

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:25

Wanneroo is one place that hasn't changed, so that's a good one...

Also Baskerville and Symmons, but I don't know whether surfaces are different. Lakeside has probably had enough widening and other changes to make it a tad faster.

Waneroo has changed a lot, Symmons had had a lot of changes recently for the Thupercars.. Baskerville I am not so sure.
And Lakeside looks a lot tidier now than those old 70s clips there.
Any track that has seen big time events are quite different.
So any comparisons are really pointless.

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:30

After John Bowe told me yesterday that his '69 Mustang has 600hp coming from its 351 Windsor engine, and that it does it reliably and without fuss, I'm prepared to believe that power delivery is never an issue in this regard...

There may be control tyres, but I'd be prepared to believe that anything available today, no matter how much 'control' is in place, will be better than the best of the sixties and early seventies.

Maybe we should compare times at Phillip Island? That's a circuit that's a tad shorter and hasn't had anything added to slow anyone down?

I doubt the 600, but the heads used on those cars are eons better than Moffats, the Hoosiers are better than the Gooddays.Though probably not a great deal faster, though a bit more consistent. The MCM cars though are heavier than the 70s.
And PI is quite different from its reopening too.

#11 D-Type

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 13:51

Would it not be better to compare average speeds? That would smooth out the effects of minor changes to the lap length.

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 14:23

Yes, except where said minor changes were easing of corners, which I imagine many were

#13 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 15:13

Maybe we should compare times at Phillip Island? That's a circuit that's a tad shorter and hasn't had anything added to slow anyone down?



Ray, we see Philip Island on TV fairly often here and it's a great track. I'd be interested to know which bit has been shortened up over the years . To the untrained eye (and always via the TV lens) it's hard to see accurately.



#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 20:59

I don't know what the corner is called now, but it's the one behind the pits...

There's a dam just above the corner and the ground below the dam was subject to a lot of moisture, so the corner was moved back to avoid the worst of this.

So when the cars come out of the Southern Loop and up through the long fast left sweep, they are into the braking area for this corner sooner... and there's a shorter run from there to Siberia.

The original track was 3.0 miles.

#15 Catalina Park

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:54

It is very easy to see where they shortened Phillip Island when you look at the Google Maps image.

#16 Haggis 2

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 03:31

Waneroo has changed a lot, Symmons had had a lot of changes recently for the Thupercars.. Baskerville I am not so sure.
And Lakeside looks a lot tidier now than those old 70s clips there.
Any track that has seen big time events are quite different.
So any comparisons are really pointless.



Wanneroo's layout has not changed at all in it's 42 years. It has been resurfaced twice, but no changes have been made to the shape of the circuit, no corners added, reprofiled or changed in any way. It's probably the best circuit to measure this against.

It would appear from Terry Walker's excellent results archive that touring cars did not officially visit in 1974 but if we look at 1973 lap times from the top players were: Moff (Ph3) 68.7, Brock (XU1) 69.00, Big Pete (Charger) 70.3 and Murray Carter (Ph3) 71.1.

Compare to this years historic TC race at the V8's and you get: Brad Tilley (Ph3) 64.9, Trevor Talbot (XU1) 67.04 and Mick Wilson (Charger) 67.09. I look at these cars today, which are supposed to emulate the cars of the era, and the improvement in times is easy to understand. They all run uprated brakes, modern suspension componentry and have the benefit of another 40 years of tyre and engine development. This makes a true comparison impossible, and Ray is right in saying the only way is to do it with a category run to a strict formula.

Brendon Hagarty

Edited by Haggis 2, 22 October 2011 - 03:35.


#17 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:18

Wanneroo's layout has not changed at all in it's 42 years. It has been resurfaced twice, but no changes have been made to the shape of the circuit, no corners added, reprofiled or changed in any way. It's probably the best circuit to measure this against.

It would appear from Terry Walker's excellent results archive that touring cars did not officially visit in 1974 but if we look at 1973 lap times from the top players were: Moff (Ph3) 68.7, Brock (XU1) 69.00, Big Pete (Charger) 70.3 and Murray Carter (Ph3) 71.1.

Compare to this years historic TC race at the V8's and you get: Brad Tilley (Ph3) 64.9, Trevor Talbot (XU1) 67.04 and Mick Wilson (Charger) 67.09. I look at these cars today, which are supposed to emulate the cars of the era, and the improvement in times is easy to understand. They all run uprated brakes, modern suspension componentry and have the benefit of another 40 years of tyre and engine development. This makes a true comparison impossible, and Ray is right in saying the only way is to do it with a category run to a strict formula.

Brendon Hagarty

I will beg to differ about changes. The kerbs are there now, not in the old days. There is other changes from watching it on TV. Plus the surface now is a lot better than the 70s. [though not quite as a couple of years ago] And there is a lot less sand around now than in the past, and that has always been slippery.
And I have not even been there, just watch it on TV and talk to people that have raced there.

The Muscle Cars are out and out race cars, whereas the Moffat, Carter etc cars even in 73? were only mildly modded production cars with in the case of the Fords 150hp and a thousand RPM more. Rims are similar sizes. Before that they were 'series production' cars

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 22 October 2011 - 08:24.


#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:25

That's right, modifications were limited in 1973...

Original manifolds, heads too IIRC.

#19 Haggis 2

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 23:50

I will beg to differ about changes. The kerbs are there now, not in the old days. There is other changes from watching it on TV. Plus the surface now is a lot better than the 70s. [though not quite as a couple of years ago] And there is a lot less sand around now than in the past, and that has always been slippery.
And I have not even been there, just watch it on TV and talk to people that have raced there.

The Muscle Cars are out and out race cars, whereas the Moffat, Carter etc cars even in 73? were only mildly modded production cars with in the case of the Fords 150hp and a thousand RPM more. Rims are similar sizes. Before that they were 'series production' cars


Lee, I do race there, and I speak from the experience. The only corner where kerbs have any impact is turn 7 at bottom of the hill, and I don't reckon it's measurable. The sand is the same; or maybe worse than 1973 because they didn't plough up large run off areas of soft sand for traps in those days and the loamy soil, high in lime content, clumped quite well and in addition was held in place by weeds and plentiful crops of "pig face" ground cover.. The resurfacing was done over 7 years ago and the surface is now pretty much back to, if not worse than, it's pre resurface condition. In 1973 the surface was only 4 years old and near perfect -very high quality asphalt. I agree with the muscle car comment and that point was made in my post. You cannot compare the cars, but the circuit, if you were to compare like cars, is comparable. Good drivers in Ralt RT 4s do very similar times now to what were done in the early 80's.

Brendon Hagarty

Edited by Haggis 2, 23 October 2011 - 01:57.


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#20 johnny yuma

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:59

That's right, modifications were limited in 1973...

Original manifolds, heads too IIRC.

You need to take 1971 lap times for Series Production,1972 was the domain of factory specials where managers like Firth wrote out their wish list and the car manufacturers obliged,1973 the cat was half out of the bag with Toranas running 3 48mm webers with 3 chokes blanked grafted onto stock 3 stromberg SD manifold

But really you need to take the Improved Production lap times of pre -1972 because Appendix J as revived in 1980,which became GroupN,had almost identical rules regards weight ,bodywork,trim and componentry.
Biante series is well beyond Grp N or Improved Production,for example XU1 can run
4 wheel discs and 15 inch wheels.Even so Trevor Talbot's besT Bathurst XU1 time is 2.33,Brocks best in a 1973 -RULES XU1 was 2.34.5. And I belive the 4 seconds added to the track's length is made up for by the wider,smoother track. According to Ian Tate's writings as Engine Builder,the 202 red motor can now put out 305bhp reliably (for a while...),but 38 years ago in 1973 was circa 240bhp.Whither progress ?















#21 stuartbrs

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:10

Judging by the condition of Baskervilles surface I would say it hasnt been resurfaced in a very, very long time.. unfortunately, I doubt it will ever be resurfaced again :(

Edited by stuartbrs, 24 October 2011 - 07:11.