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Multiclass single seater racing?


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#1 SonnyViceR

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:41

So reading through some of the other threads with mentions of F1 & F2 racing together got me thinking, why on earth is there no multi class structure in any of the major single seater categories today? Why does it have to be exclusive for sportscar racing, and to lesser extent to touring cars and some of the other genres. I mean I suppose there could be a few minor open wheeler series around with more than one class racing at the same time but almost all of them are just running with the same set of (spec...) regulations. Multiclass racing provides not only opportunities for greater grids, but also offers variety and chance to see faster cars working through traffic. Once in a while cars from the lower category/categories might just surprise too and get ahead of the supposedly superior class. It's one of the reasons I love sportscar racing so much, it keeps the blood flowing.

 

And please no, whatever you say don't come up with the safety aspect and claim that such thing would be horribly dangerous (as if it hadn't been done before) and then refer to such accidents as Webber vs Kovalainen from few years ago. In sportscar racing, differences in lap times between the highest and lower categories are infinitely higher than you could ever have for single seaters, ranging from about 5-10 seconds on regular tracks to 40-45 seconds at tracks like Le Mans. At Nurburgring 24 hours the difference is calculated in minutes, and dear god is that not the place to have an accident with anyone. And yes the open wheelers might be more fragile if contact does occur, but the thing with sportscars is that the chance for something to happen is higher due to poorer visibility in closed cockpits (especially in dark when the headlights make it difficult to see) and also the different cars behave differently. You have the prototypes going with different accelerations in straights and corners compared to GTs, while in most cases single seater make their way rather similarly.

 

Thoughts?

 

Also, if anyone has any recommendations of current (non club) single seater series that have multiple classes, preferably running different machinery/regs and not just separed because of some silly driver classification or similar nonsense, feel free to suggest, I'm listening.


Edited by SonnyViceR, 29 November 2013 - 21:46.


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#2 Disgrace

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:42

BOSS GP. :smoking:



#3 SonnyViceR

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:45

BOSS GP. :smoking:

 

Historic series is a bit far scretched but yes you are quite right.



#4 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:49

Formula 3 technically, since they often allow an older generation chassis and usually with a spec engine. 



#5 SonnyViceR

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 21:56

Formula 3 technically, since they often allow an older generation chassis and usually with a spec engine. 

 

Are they usually racing in actually different category? I don't know much about F3

 

But I'm not sure if it qualifies anyway as it's just older version of car running under the same ruleset, not something that has totally different set of regulations etc. Sure there can be sub-categories for amateur drivers and whatever but what we are talking here is primaly separation between classes that are fundamentally different


Edited by SonnyViceR, 29 November 2013 - 22:02.


#6 PayasYouRace

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 22:12

Would you include the Jim Clark and Colin Chapman Cups for atmos in 1987 F1 as a different class?



#7 Fastcake

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 22:18

It would be interesting no doubt. It's just not something that is really done in this world. For whatever reason, professional single seater races have always tended to be one formula races. There are of course some historical exceptions such as F1/F2 at the Nurburgring, but that was really done due to the lack of entries for the Grand Prix. By and large though, as most races had enough entries it wasn't something considered to be done regularly, so there was never the regular events to get the idea going.

 

Of course, while there remains no other single seater series with technical competition, any race would be rather pointless. Watching a few spec Dallara's hanging around at the back isn't going to interest anyone.



#8 Amphicar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 00:16

Several of the non-Championship F1 races in the 1960s included F2 cars - in fact (from memory) most of the grid for the 1967 Gold Cup at Oulton Park comprised F2 cars. About ten years later F5000 cars raced with hand-me-down F1 cars in the Aurora Series.

 

Edit - and the 1972 Rothmans 50,000 Formula Libre race at Brands Hatch included F1, F2, F5000 and F Atlantic cars - there was even a Lola sports car in the mix as well: http://en.wikipedia..../Rothmans_50000


Edited by Amphicar, 30 November 2013 - 00:23.


#9 pingu666

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 00:31

i think the main diffiernce is the open wheel bit, risk of entanglement is much higher



#10 Amphicar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 17:40

Several of the non-Championship F1 races in the 1960s included F2 cars - in fact (from memory) most of the grid for the 1967 Gold Cup at Oulton Park comprised F2 cars. About ten years later F5000 cars raced with hand-me-down F1 cars in the Aurora Series.

 

Edit - and the 1972 Rothmans 50,000 Formula Libre race at Brands Hatch included F1, F2, F5000 and F Atlantic cars - there was even a Lola sports car in the mix as well: http://en.wikipedia..../Rothmans_50000

There was also the 1971 Questor Grand Prix held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in SoCal, which featured a representative field of F1 cars plus the top US F5000 cars

 

donohue.jpg

 

Not to mention the 1974 Riverside Grand Prix (also in California). Although it was a round in the SCCA Formula 5000 Championship, Bobby Unser competed in a USAC Eagle-turbo Offy

 

8de8dbf72d1a03202dd1d60f50fd4019.jpg

 

Mario Andretti won both these events - the Questor GP in a works Ferrari F1 car and the Riverside GP in a F5000 Lola



#11 HaydenFan

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 19:09

Are they usually racing in actually different category? I don't know much about F3

 

But I'm not sure if it qualifies anyway as it's just older version of car running under the same ruleset, not something that has totally different set of regulations etc. Sure there can be sub-categories for amateur drivers and whatever but what we are talking here is primaly separation between classes that are fundamentally different

 

They run on track together and score points for their own class. 

 

i think the main diffiernce is the open wheel bit, risk of entanglement is much higher

 

The F3 formula seen in Brit F3 in the past is IMO, the only way multi-classed racing could be run. The older generation F3 car has been very competitive with the current gen. F3 cars in the past with some drivers managing podiums in the odd occasion. The F1-F2 races have been mentioned, but in those times, how off where the cars apart in terms of times/speeds?

 

Like pingu said, that issue is contact. The difference in speed in single seater racing comparable to sportscar racing would be like placing a GP3 car on the grid with a F1 car.

 

Would it work? Sure, but is it in the best interest of the sport? No. Slower single seaters equals to training vehicles for F1/IndyCar. Unlike GT cars running with prototypes, where the classes are unique and different. 



#12 Amphicar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 19:28

The F1-F2 races have been mentioned, but in those times, how off where the cars apart in terms of times/speeds?

 

It depended very much on the nature of the track involved. At Oulton Park and at the Nurburgring the F2 cars were reasonably close to the F1 cars of the time - and more than close if we are talking about Jacky Ickx at the 1967 German Grand Prix. In practice Ickx's F2 Matra-Ford was faster than all the F1 cars apart from Jim Clark's Lotus and Denny Hulme's Brabham. In the race, despite having to start behind all the F1 runners, Ickx worked his way up to 5th place before the suspension broke three laps before the end.



#13 HaydenFan

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 19:56

It depended very much on the nature of the track involved. At Oulton Park and at the Nurburgring the F2 cars were reasonably close to the F1 cars of the time - and more than close if we are talking about Jacky Ickx at the 1967 German Grand Prix. In practice Ickx's F2 Matra-Ford was faster than all the F1 cars apart from Jim Clark's Lotus and Denny Hulme's Brabham. In the race, despite having to start behind all the F1 runners, Ickx worked his way up to 5th place before the suspension broke three laps before the end.

 

That is what I was referring to. The cars in some places where actually close. We saw how the P1 guys where not fans of the Porsche/Acura P2 cars were in how close P1 and P2 machines where in ALMS a few years ago. Killed off the the remainders of the P1 class for a few seasons. To work that classes would have to be far apart. Like in the current classes, running F1, GP2, and GP3 on the track together. And that would bring up the entanglement issue which already is big in single seater racing. 



#14 Option1

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 20:30

I think the answer is as simple as the old marketing cliche, "It would dilute the brand."  Or at least, I believe that's what the marketeers (first on the "B" ark with telephone sanitizers) would be telling the purse-string-pullers.  Let's remember that F1 is a brand, pure and simple.

 

Neil



#15 PayasYouRace

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 21:02

 

Would it work? Sure, but is it in the best interest of the sport? No. Slower single seaters equals to training vehicles for F1/IndyCar. Unlike GT cars running with prototypes, where the classes are unique and different. 

 

I think you've hit on an important point there. Single seater formula racing has always had some sort of progression "ladder" where young drivers are promoted to more and more powerful machinery. In sportscars the different classes come from varying levels of modification from production machinery. The cars are the stars in sportscar racing so you expect GT racing to be promoted as much as the prototypes. Having them all race together makes more sense.



#16 DampMongoose

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 21:52

They should have 1 year old F1 chassis with smaller engines to run as f2 or gp2. The larger engined f1 cars would be less of a transition for younger drivers without testing and it may create less barriers country for new f1 teams.

#17 FBJim

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 22:12

I believe the first year of F3000 let competitors run old F1 cars with the F3000 engine rules- the few that actually tried this were completely trounced. Not sure what would happen today.



#18 chipmcdonald

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 13:17

It's a bit kooky that in F1 they "throw away" last years cars, while simultaneously lamenting not having new teams.

 

I bet if they were to run 2013 cars next year as a "F1-b" class, people would cheer for them more than the new cars.

 

They could contain them simply by requiring them to run a spec tire the whole race, no pitstop (since there wouldn't be room).  Allow say 4 teams, 8 cars.  It would fill out the grid nicely, allow rookie drivers a chance, provide a cheaper way in for some sponsors/F1-A potential teams, defer costs for the top line teams (as they could sell their old cars/engines immediately). 

 

Oh, wait, it would suck if they were more competitive than the 2014 cars.  Bad idea. :well:



#19 jonpollak

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 14:20

There was also the 1971 Questor Grand Prix held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in SoCal, which featured a representative field of F1 cars plus the top US F5000 cars

 

donohue.jpg

 

Not to mention the 1974 Riverside Grand Prix (also in California). Although it was a round in the SCCA Formula 5000 Championship, Bobby Unser competed in a USAC Eagle-turbo Offy

 

8de8dbf72d1a03202dd1d60f50fd4019.jpg

 

Mario Andretti won both these events - the Questor GP in a works Ferrari F1 car and the Riverside GP in a F5000 Lola

I was at BOTH those events.. :lol:

Jp



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#20 Amphicar

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 14:25

I was at BOTH those events.. :lol:

Jp

Whaaat! that and Steely Dan? I'm jealous (again). Mind you I was at the 1967 German Grand Prix and the Oulton Park Gold Cup.



#21 pingu666

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 17:01

i think f1 cars might be too fast to have multiple classes, in its current form anyways, stuff would happen too fast, and they would have to change blue flag rules too...