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why half a milion dollars?


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#1 mariner

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 17:19

I'm not trying to knock Coyote cars in any way as I'm sure their pricing is no worse than anybody elses but I thought "Grand Am" etc was meant to be a cheaper form of sports car racing by sticking with tube frames etc.

 

I also have a LOT of respect for what Pratt and Miller have done over the years.

 

According to the Coyote  website their Daytona Propotype lists at $485,000 without engine, wheels or tyres.

 

http://coyotepm.com/specification/

 

That implies about $600K for one car on the grid.

 

Again no offence to them but in the end its very standard technology of tubes and moulded panels not even , as I understand it, a monocoque.

 

 

So why $485K - any ideas please?



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#2 Magoo

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 18:42

Seems about right to me. It's not a track day car, it's a 24-hour endurance racer. Full electronics and DA, onboard air jacks, Penske coilover dampers, KYB electric steering, radio, gearbox, wheels, etc etc etc. The pieces tally up. 

 

 

 

 

By the way, this is off topic but thank you for all the stimulating topics and conversation starters you provide here. Much appreciated! 



#3 BRG

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 20:28

The Riley car is listed at $445,000 ready to go, so Coyote price is not desperately high.



#4 Greg Locock

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 21:30

i think there's a certain amount of charging what the market will bear, and also any amortisation of development and tooling costs. If they only sell 10 naked cars and have had to build and develop two full cars then the development costs per unit sold are quite high.



#5 Magoo

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 16:21

....and half a mil sounds like a lot until you compare with it with oh, say, an Audi or suchlike. I remember one of the A8 people a few years ago saying they ran the numbers and it cost $30,000 to do a plug check. 



#6 Fat Boy

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 23:00

Obviously we're dealing with a bunch of money grubbing opportunists. I'm sure these cars could be produced for about $20k if you wanted to.



#7 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 00:51

I'll ask Cheapy.



#8 Magoo

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:18

6b9w.jpg
 


#9 Catalina Park

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:02

 

6b9w.jpg

 


Of course they are going to be cheaper if they only have to turn one direction.



#10 Magoo

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:44

Of course they are going to be cheaper if they only have to turn one direction.

 

Sure. Half price, essentially. 



#11 mariner

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 16:54

I'm not entirely convinced about this yet.

 

In 1967 Lola introduced the T - 70 coupe prototype car . Eric Broadly estimated the price at $17,000 with a Chevy SB V-8 and Hewland box. Let's say he was being optimistic and it was $20K. At the same time a Mercedes SL sports car was about $4,900 in the UK less taxes. Thats a low volume high quality road car. So the Lola prototype was 4X the price of the MB SL.

 

Today a base SL is $96K ( @$1.6/£1) in the UK pre taxes.The Coyote is about $600K with a Chevy SB, gearbox, wheels, tyres etc.

 

So it is now 6X the MB SL sports car price. These are rough numbers but its gone up around 50% relative to a quality road car.

 

Now I think its fair to say that the technology added to the SL and the resultant R+D etc is MUCH more than the technology added to the Coyote vs the T 70. In fact the T - 70 was far more cutting edge in its day than the Coyote and had good results in serious global GT racing.

 

It even had an alloy monocoque which the Coyote does have today!

 

I'm trying to eulogise old race cars but the Coyote , which may be very fair value in today's new race car market is much higher in price versus a road car than the T-70 but it's technologicaly less advanced.relative to a road car of its day.

 

That is not, I would submit, much racing progress or improved affordablity, which is raison d'etre of Grand Am



#12 Fat Boy

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 18:22

You're probably right, mariner. It looks like a great business opportunity for you. I know from what I've seen, racecar manufactures make huge profits and I'm sure you could do the same!



#13 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 19:07

Just make sure you give Fat Boy the works team.

 

I'll drive. Magoo can do PR.



#14 Magoo

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 22:35

I'm not entirely convinced about this yet.

 

In 1967 Lola introduced the T - 70 coupe prototype car . Eric Broadly estimated the price at $17,000 with a Chevy SB V-8 and Hewland box. Let's say he was being optimistic and it was $20K. At the same time a Mercedes SL sports car was about $4,900 in the UK less taxes. Thats a low volume high quality road car. So the Lola prototype was 4X the price of the MB SL.

 

Today a base SL is $96K ( @$1.6/£1) in the UK pre taxes.The Coyote is about $600K with a Chevy SB, gearbox, wheels, tyres etc.

 

So it is now 6X the MB SL sports car price. These are rough numbers but its gone up around 50% relative to a quality road car.

 

Now I think its fair to say that the technology added to the SL and the resultant R+D etc is MUCH more than the technology added to the Coyote vs the T 70. In fact the T - 70 was far more cutting edge in its day than the Coyote and had good results in serious global GT racing.

 

It even had an alloy monocoque which the Coyote does have today!

 

I'm trying to eulogise old race cars but the Coyote , which may be very fair value in today's new race car market is much higher in price versus a road car than the T-70 but it's technologicaly less advanced.relative to a road car of its day.

 

That is not, I would submit, much racing progress or improved affordablity, which is raison d'etre of Grand Am

 

A Lola T-70 is the last race car I would compare with a current DP. What do they have in common? The Lola had zero electronics and zero wind tunnel time. 

 

To see how costs are reduced in DP, compare the Coyote to a 2013 long-distance sports racer built under less restrictive rules. For example, it would take tens of millions of dollars to duplicate the current Audi R18. 

 

In this discussion, we might be circling round to an objective examination of what makes modern race cars so prohibitively expensive. 



#15 MatsNorway

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 23:56

What your actually/probably paying for is a platform that takes out every little bit of time from the lap within the rules. Sure you can do it for 1/10 the price but you will also be likely a X amount of seconds off the time set by that car.

 

Whats considered perfection in its time is the single most costly thing around. And humans have allways strived to accuire it. Back in the day Aluminium was more valuable than Gold. Today Diamonds are ranked third after Californium (used in brain cancer) and Anti matter (http://en.wikipedia....Antimatter#Cost) Swoosh! but is realistically not on demand so i guess the price is teoretical.


Edited by MatsNorway, 22 November 2013 - 23:57.


#16 Fat Boy

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 00:02

Just make sure you give Fat Boy the works team.

 

I'll drive. Magoo can do PR.

 

Only if Ricardo is already spoken for...

 

DP's are tractors. Like any proper tractor, they're expensive. It's the nature of the beast.



#17 Catalina Park

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 00:50

Sure. Half price, essentially. 

 

I would have said two thirds the price, you still need a pinion but you only need to cut one side of the teeth.



#18 mariner

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 09:44

Magoo is spot on; it is about why modern racing cars are so expensive.

 

There is not much point in a price discussion on Le Mans winning Audi's as there money is no serious problem , just like Ford in the 1960's etc BUT for goodness sake Grand Am and DP is meant to be about making endurance racing affordable ( or so they claim). The cars technology is no way new , or cutting edge, I would stick by my point that the Lola T 70 was far more cutting edge versus its contemporary knowledge base than the Coyote which is fundamentally welded tubes and glass fibre with a Chevy small block - all racing technology on sale in the 1970's. I know there are more electronics and safety gear but I went through he UK Demon Tweeks race catalogue and all the belts, extinguisher, digital dash, date loggers and radios etc come to about $10K at retail so I don’t see how that’s a reason for price growth.

 

 I have mentioned I’m in the 750 motor club in the UK and we had the pleasure of Tony Southgate, our president, come and talk to us about his career. He helped design the Lola GT (granddaddy of all V-8 sports cars), the Lola T 70 and the Le Mans wining Audi's - and, oh yes, he was chief designer of the 1988 Le Mans wining Jags.

 

So I think his experience might be relevant. He told us he had spent 3 entire years of his life in wind tunnels between 1970 and 2000. So “wind tunnel testing is why the price is up" doesn’t ring too true either.

 

Something is wrong. Again if a DP was truly cutting edge and meant to be so I would understand but to define a set of rules which are so prescriptive and even mandate 1960's tube frame technology and a SB chevy engine to “reduce cost" and end up with a $600k something somewhere is VERY wrong.



#19 Magoo

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 11:51

There is not much point in a price discussion on Le Mans winning Audi's as there money is no serious problem , just like Ford in the 1960's etc BUT for goodness sake Grand Am and DP is meant to be about making endurance racing affordable ( or so they claim). The cars technology is no way new , or cutting edge, I would stick by my point that the Lola T 70 was far more cutting edge versus its contemporary knowledge base than the Coyote which is fundamentally welded tubes and glass fibre with a Chevy small block - all racing technology on sale in the 1970's. I know there are more electronics and safety gear but I went through he UK Demon Tweeks race catalogue and all the belts, extinguisher, digital dash, date loggers and radios etc come to about $10K at retail so I don’t see how that’s a reason for price growth.

 

 

 

 

The comparison to Audi et al is key. It illustrates the cost savings in DP. Yes, the savings accrue at the cost of advanced technology, absolutely. That is the cost of cost management in racing.  Competition in hardware is strictly limited; technology is capped. 

 

But that said, there is nothing in a DP that comes from a Demon Tweeks catalog. The control ECU alone retails at $15,000. When they say DP is intended to be "affordable," they don't mean for pensioners and part-time housewives, they mean affordable for multi-millionaire sportsmen. The only way to make the DP less expensive is to de-content the car. What would you remove? 

 

EDIT:  I guess there is another way to reduce the price: increase production numbers enough to amortize manufacturing costs. But it's going to take some dozens of units at least. to realize any significant savings. 


Edited by Magoo, 23 November 2013 - 12:01.


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#20 BRG

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 19:15

But that said, there is nothing in a DP that comes from a Demon Tweeks catalog. 

Which is probably why it is so expensive.  Why source your bits and pieces from a good value supplier when you can pay a fortune for them instead?  That's the F1 way and it seems DPs are following the route taken by the "pinnacle" of the sport.


Edited by BRG, 23 November 2013 - 19:15.


#21 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 20:08

Because people want good parts not good value parts.



#22 Magoo

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 16:43

Because people want good parts not good value parts.

 

Exactly. Racers will use the best parts they can afford/are allowed. This is professional endurance racing with 24-hour events. It makes no sense to oh, say, pay hire drivers big money and then use an OE electronic unit. They have to protect the investment. 



#23 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 22:04

The comparison to Audi et al is key. It illustrates the cost savings in DP. Yes, the savings accrue at the cost of advanced technology, absolutely. That is the cost of cost management in racing.  Competition in hardware is strictly limited; technology is capped. 
 
But that said, there is nothing in a DP that comes from a Demon Tweeks catalog. The control ECU alone retails at $15,000. When they say DP is intended to be "affordable," they don't mean for pensioners and part-time housewives, they mean affordable for multi-millionaire sportsmen. The only way to make the DP less expensive is to de-content the car. What would you remove? 
 
EDIT:  I guess there is another way to reduce the price: increase production numbers enough to amortize manufacturing costs. But it's going to take some dozens of units at least. to realize any significant savings.

Why on earth does an ECU cost 15k. Decent programmable ones start at 2k. Actually a sealed OEM one would suffice anyway for a few hundred dollars. As many categorys world wide use without any trouble.
Designing and building one off chassis costs however, the more you build the less per unit.
Suspension has to be top shelf though again that can be bought off the shelf for the most part,, at least uprights, springs and shocks.
And with oo ahh top shelf components as many have found for example a $250 rod end is sometimes weaker [and has less travel] than a generic $25 one. Or use a half inch one instead of a expensive 3/8.

#24 indigoid

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 23:29

Why on earth does an ECU cost 15k. Decent programmable ones start at 2k. Actually a sealed OEM one would suffice anyway for a few hundred dollars. As many categorys world wide use without any trouble.

 

I expect that for a control-ECU series they probably put quite a lot of effort into anti-tamper, knowing that teams will do whatever they can get away with... More so than for production cars, where the customer will (should?) be concerned about their warranty. No racing series wants to be tainted with ongoing cheating scandals



#25 desmo

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 23:53

Couldn't sealed spec ECUs be randomly distributed to teams on race weekends?  In a spec series at least, nothing really has to be superlight or technically outstanding, just reliable and consistent.  Almost anything that gets the field safely across the finish line is good enough. Cheap OEM off the shelf stuff which is designed to be reliable and consistent might well be adequate, if the car is designed to accept that obviously. Or maybe not?



#26 JacnGille

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:04

Just for reference, isn't a Porsche GT3 Cup car around $250,000?



#27 Fat Boy

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:25

Pretty amazed about the noise/signal ratio around here lately. DP cars are not cutting edge technology, but it ain't the freakin' 24 hours of Lemons, either. If you want to play you gotta pay. You can spend more or you can spend less, but there's a certain threshold that it takes to get to this level. There is _no one_ getting rich by being involved in parts supply or racing a Daytona Prototype.



#28 desmo

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 15:08

I see DP isn't a spec series. That explains a lot.



#29 sblick

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 21:21

I was thinking a good T70 right now would probably be a couple hundred thousand. If you asked a shop to do an exact copy of one it would probably cost more.
I do wonder about cost sometimes. It is the racer mentality to spend as much as you can instead of seeing what will actually work. The price of failure is to high if it doesn't work though. New car ECUs are highly tested but can the electronics handle the shaking of a racecar considering the refinement of ride and NVH these days in OEM vehicles.

#30 Fat Boy

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:49

I was thinking a good T70 right now would probably be a couple hundred thousand. If you asked a shop to do an exact copy of one it would probably cost more.
I do wonder about cost sometimes. It is the racer mentality to spend as much as you can instead of seeing what will actually work. The price of failure is to high if it doesn't work though. New car ECUs are highly tested but can the electronics handle the shaking of a racecar considering the refinement of ride and NVH these days in OEM vehicles.

And , in short, this is the gist of it all. It's expensive to go fast, but going slow costs _way_ more.



#31 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:12

I expect that for a control-ECU series they probably put quite a lot of effort into anti-tamper, knowing that teams will do whatever they can get away with... More so than for production cars, where the customer will (should?) be concerned about their warranty. No racing series wants to be tainted with ongoing cheating scandals

It don't matter what it is people will cheat!
As sealed production ECU will do most jobs well. This I understand is to be a budget category. And you dyno to the ECUs capacity,, generally safer than the aftermarket stuff where engines go really good before they blow!! AND if it is the same for everyone no one has an advantage.

#32 mariner

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:47

I'm not giving up quite yet!

 

With respect to the stuff that cost about $10K at Demon Tweeks I selected only FIA approved items from top notch suppliers. If Sabelt FIA belts and Lifeline FIA extinguishers aren’t good enough for DP I don’t think it’s because of quality or FIA regs.

 

I think the heart of the problem of $600K for a spaceframe and glass fibre car using a commonly available V-8 is factory cost base and productivity.

 

Firstly nobody has ever consistently made money selling racing cars. Lotus was building 9 cars a month in the 1960's and pulled out. Lola built only upmarket cars in the end but went bust. Today there is, in practical terms, no UK customer racing car industry, the nearest is Radical who build track cars (and whose monthly build rate is the same as Lotus in the 60's). The only customer race car builder left is Dallera in Italy.

 

As a modern benchmark for the Coyote under discussion Radical now build a coupe with a Ford turbo V 6. It has a spaceframe, lots of aero design and a pretty full spec. (i.e. electrical fire system, data logger, on board air jacks, carbon wings, cockpit brake bias)   so in general principle it’s similar to the Coyote but obviously not built for 24 hr racing. It costs $150K in the UK or less than 1/3 of the Coyote.

 

Now, Il say again my main point - the coyote is NOT state of the art - it isn’t a 1,000 bhp group C type car with massive venturi's generating 5,000 lb of download and full carbon monocoque to take the resultant loads for 24 hrs - its just a tube and glass fibre car with a modified mass production engine. That’s really not so far away from the Radical coupe.

 

So why over three times as much?

 

I think its that the builders have no volume and a big, flashy factory with lots of people with important sounding names. When the UK had a race car industry the wages were low and the working conditions were poor. However it was highly productive. The average “factory" space was tiny, maybe 2,000 sq ft or so. Arch Motors mass built the spaceframes for most makers and Specialised Mouldings churned out bodywork. Production runs in these small factories were large around  40 - 50 for an F3 car, 100 - 200 for a FF car.

Nobody made a profit despite that but low overheads, shared outsourcing and long runs kept prices down.

 

Today every race category seems to have unique rules and resultant small runs. I'm guessing but I suspect eh modern factories may be 10,000 sq ft with offices etc. and the runs per design maybe 20.

 

So I think the whole racing car industry has lost productivity through reduced volumes and inflated overheads. Now I can’t do anything about that (!) but if I blame anybody its race organisers who may well suffer with reduced grids. Just look at the boom in historic racing to see where this may be leading.



#33 desmo

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 16:26

What and where are Coyote Cars LLC?  Crawling their website reveals little.  They list addresses at:

 

825 Ballough RD.

Suite 400

Daytona Beach, FL 32114 

 

which appears on Google Street View to be a nondescript building with offices or drop addresses and,

 

3495 Denver DR.

Denver, NC 28037

 

which looks like a small warehouse/shipping facility with no name or business identification externally visible on a road with several other car/racing businesses with actual signs identifying them.

 

The youtube video embedded in the coyotepm.com homepage billed as "Coyote Cars History" home page features exactly no people identified as being a principal or employee of "Coyote Cars" or any facilities identified as belonging to "Coyote Cars". After some timelapse shots of downtown Detroit (WTF?) you briefly get to see an impressive looking Pratt and Miller facade and transporter,  A couple of Pratt and Miller people talk to the camera then a guy from "Spirit of Daytona" and another from "Action Express Racing" talk to the camera, neither having anything at all to say about Coyote Cars. There's also some shots of a milling machine making some chips in a dimly lit room somewhere. 

 

There seems to be no overtly identifiable Coyote Cars HQ or manufacturing facilities. Strange.

 

I wonder if the people (outsourced or in house) actually building the chassis somewhere get a living wage, if they and their families get health care and retirement benefits? The enterprise seems to have two CEOs, Robert L. Johnson and Gary Nelson and claims an association with Eddie Cheever as "founder". I wonder what they are like to work for?

 

It'd be interesting to go over the books, break it down and see in whose pockets that $600K per chassis actually winds up.

 

I further wonder what it'd cost to build this "Corvette" in a sweatshop in China, Bengladesh or Vietnam with no safety, worker, social or environmental protections.  Maybe that's how to get racing costs down to earth (except you know the CEOs probably would just pocket whatever savings accrued as increased profit). That seems to be the way it works today in other manufacturing fields.



#34 sblick

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 20:17

I kind of agree with Mariner about volume. Everyone thinks they can make racecars but can't be dominate in the marketplace. The proliferation of race series and specific rules for each makes "mass marketing" of a race car impossible. When Lotus built their car it went all over the world and raced, and you can say the same of Ferrari's back then. What makes a Radical unique? It is not built to race in a series, it is a track day car. No rules to follow and anyone one can buy one and go have fun with it. You could say making sure a driver survives a 200mph accident is different to the old days.
I know when I worked at Roush, NASCAR frames in the 90's cost like 10k now they are in the 100's. Manufacturing tolerances and the tech to achieve that went through the roof when people started making big money in NASCAR. To keep winning you needed to keep investing in higher and higher tech. You never have time to write down your equipment because in two years it is to old. How do you legislate old tech or what is considered now poor manufacturing techniques.
The way to bring racing costs down is to consolidate all the single seater series. Not long ago it was Karting, Formula Ford, Formula Continental or 2000, than Formula Atlantics and then F1. I may be showing my USA ladder here and not Europe but you get the gist. How many single seat series are there in Europe and the world? It is almost impossible to keep track. Palmer, Renault, F3, Formula Fords, GP3, GP2, AutoGP, Indy Lights, Mazda Pro. The only way to bring down costs is some benevolent fool who buys every series and makes a one make chassis that works for multiple tiers of racing. Could the FIA define a ladder and how a car is built so whether you are in USA, Japan or Germany your Formula Ford is EXACTLY the same? That the ladder is defined for young racers to get to F1? Any deviation from the ladder and you are not allowed a super license?

Edited by sblick, 26 November 2013 - 20:18.


#35 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 20:23

They're trying to do something like that with the new FIA Formula 4.

 

But Dallara already achieved it in the private sector. "We don't care how many series there are, we'll build a tub for every one."

 

Which transitions me nicely to why Car X costs whatever. I'd have to ask someone with experience on one, ideally both, why something like Indycar is twice as expensive as GP2. Both Dallaras, both fairly high HP so I'd think loads/wear are similar. Similarish rules about bodywork, etc. Sure a GP2 car runs on much nicer tracks, but they also tend to get chucked into walls or other vehicles more frequently so part life should be similar...

 

It probably comes down to things like spec dampers in GP2 and more freedom in Indycar. The costs are probably not immdiately apparent.



#36 mariner

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 21:30

The Dallera corporate website http://www.dallara.it/ indicates just how much dallera dominates all forms of single seater racecar mfg.

 

They are sole suppliers to GP2, GP3, Indy IIndy Lights and World Series by Renault.

 

They claim 90% of the F3 market as well, so basically they have about 97 % of ALL the world's major single seater mfg.

 

I'm not knocking what Dallera have acheived but we seem to have arrived at a world where all single seters above FF and FVee are from one company -a  quite extraordinary domination.