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One make, no interest


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#1 Brandstormer

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 03:52

I've just been reading the thread about 'The decline of Australian Motorsport' and it motivated me to start another thread.


When I started racing (F.F's in the late 70's) there was an amazing amount of manufacturers in each and every category of racing both here in Australia and overseas.

I remember with great fondness the battles between Van Dieman, Royale, Crossle, PRS, Tiga, Palliser etc etc etc in F.Ford in the UK. And similarly between Van Dieman, Royale, PRS and Elwyn, Galloway, Elfin, Bowin etc in Australia.

Additionally, I remember the Ralt vs Martini vs March etc etc battles in F3, the manufacturer battles in both world F2 and Australian F2 and even Touring Cars here in Oz had a varied field. I remember the late 60's and early 70's at Bathurst - Alfa vs Mini vs Falcon vs Mustang vs Cortina vs Anglia etc etc etc.

Look at some of the threads in here on the heydays of F3 and Formula Junior. The amazing array of manufacturers for me was one of the great spectacles of motorsport. The beginning of Formula Renault was littered with different makes.

Now we have the days of 'One make racing' and I for one HATE IT!

When I walked away from racing in the late eighties the trend had started, and now I think it's sadly become a terminal disease.

Look at Formula Ford today, a couple of manufacturers only. F3 is now pretty much one make. GP2 is a one make series as is Indy Cars, A1GP, Indy series, and there's plenty more and to me they are all pretty sterile. Australian V8's suffers the same thing, Holden vs Ford - Yawn! They are all missing the manufacturers.

Even sportscars and LeMans suffer somewhat from big manufacturer domination. Someone please beat those boring bloody Audi's!!!

Unfortunately in a country with the population and isolation of Australia even Historic racing isn't a solution.

A big question: Is F1 with it's customer cars headed the same way?

Unfortunately I don't see it ever changing. Those days have been and gone, and I for one think the variety of vehicles was one of the major factors that made the good old days so great! But I can hope....

I look forward to your comments.

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#2 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:48

Its really down to how things are financed, and because the costs are so incredibly high, the teams and drivers are duty bound by their sponsors to take as little risk as possible, which means to pick the known front runner.
The same applies when it comes to being a series organiser. if you give the competitors one option your series sponsor is more likely to get more entries and close racing. If you don't know who or what you are going to get on your grid in a years time, nobody will sponsor your series because they dont know what they are getting.
The only real way is to take non automotive commercial sponsorship out of the equation, taking us back to around 1968.
Personally I believe there is a place for one make racing, The escort Mexico sries , BMW County challenge and BMW M1 Procar series were pretty entertaining, as is A1 GP.
But as you observe, it seems to be taking over, and that is not a good thing. there needs to be less money in motorsport -seems an odd thing to say, but i believe thats the basis of it.

#3 RTH

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:40

I agree completely. It is to fundamentally misunderstand the appeal of any motor sport to imagine that it is made better by everyone being in the identical equipment. Variety, technical interest, and the 'David and Goliath' aspects are vital ingredients also the man in the street with his home built car beating the filthy rich Barons.

Costs have been made high by the people who run it. Costs do not always need to be high and they were not high in the 60s 70s and 80s motor sport was at least up to national level run by true enthusiasts who were doing it after working hours unpaid. Circuits were in the hands of people who cared about motor racing. The competitor and the spectator used to be regarded as important and to be looked after.

We have had a period of world economic boom lasting nearly 20 years much of it fueled by artificially low interest rates causing people and countries to run up big debts, that now may well soon come to an end and amongst other things motor racing's excesses will not any more be afforded and the whole scene will have to change or (very likely) disappear.

#4 Stephen W

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:48

The one-make series always give value for money as the races are often competitive however the cars usually are not especially when compared to other similar cars. The one that instantly springs to mind is the Van Diemen Multisport that provided close racing as a single make series but with an XR3 engine and gearbox it was never going to be that quick when pitted against other sports libres.

I agree with Huw, teams in F3 for example are very rarely going to pick either a Ralt or a Lola when the Dallara is a proven package. Their sponsors would not be too impressed if their driver(s) was pottering round at the back of the field, so the 'known product' is the safe choice.

I suspect another reason for single chassis/engine choices in F3000, or whatever it is being called this week, is done on the back of reduced costs. Again performance is supposed to be a level playing field with the driver's talent shining through! Mind you it didn't do Justin Wilson much good!

I am not against this 'new' concept of customer cars in F1 after all it worked well in the 50s and right on through to the 70s with the 'privateers' doing a super job.

I have noticed that of late there are getting to be precious few starters in some of these 'one make' series. Is this down to either spiralling costs of maintaining the competitive edge or a couple of very talented drivers putting off the 'tuggers'?

:wave:

#5 Gary C

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:11

'The one-make series always give value for money'
Not to me they don't!

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 11:07

To my way of thinking, the one-make racing is one of the greatest types of racing that deters the enthusiast...

The enthusiast, the ones who know what racing is about, are the backbone of the sport. They're there rain or shine, they pay to spectate, they travel to spectate, they buy the magazines, they aspire to race themselves and some of them live those aspirations.

But the enthusiast is turned off by this stuff. They ultimately stay away from the races as they're being offended by what's put on offer. And the reason the one-make racing is put on offer varies between 'appealing to a broader market' and 'serving the desires of the manufacturer'...

Note that neither of these reasons considers the true enthusiast.

So he is offended. Instead of going to see a variety of cars racing, he's asked to tolerate a classless matter between 'equal' cars that mostly will end up in a bunfight over eligibility or biffing and barging.

Why should he go if his beloved sport is being prostituted in this way.

Why should the promoters put this on unless they are pandering to the money being offered by a manufacturer or grasping at straws as they try to increase their gate?

Unfortunately, they never seem to realise that there are more enthusiasts offended to the point of staying away than there is long term numbers of others attracted to see this sham.

#7 RTH

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 11:12

100% agree Ray. :up:

#8 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 11:36

There is another problem in these one make formulas that makes a real sham of it all, and that is that is not a driver that wins the series or the race - it is the team, and, 9 times out of 10, its the team that has the most resources -the best backer.
A really good driver can be in a team that hasn't worked out how to use the rules to their best advantage, and be nowhere - Driott France won the A1 Championship last year was because they had something up their sleeve that no one else did.
This year David Sear's outfit seems to have it. I'm not decrying the drivers, they have worked hard for it - but at the end of the day they had better cars, despite being 'equal'. if this is to be the case, they might as well have different cars and be done with it.

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 12:30

I believe the proliferation of one-make racing has done more to destroy 'the sport' than any other single factor. Quite apart from diminishing driver, entrant, organiser and above all public choice it has banished what was demonstrably an excellent training school for new race engineers, and the paucity of outstanding new talent in this area alone is responsible for the collapse of worthwhile competitiveness across the board in the major professional Formulae.

:cool: Discuss?

DCN

#10 kayemod

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 13:16

Originally posted by Doug Nye

:cool: Discuss?

DCN


Don't need to, you've said it all.

#11 Pat Clarke

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 13:26

Whilst I heartily agree with all that is said above, and agree that the one make formulas have deterred me from attending a contemporary race meeting in many years.

Maybe the answer lies with us ? There have been several threads lately talking about the good old days in Clubmans and U2s etc, and how those classes were permitted to be 'politicked' into oblivion.

Maybe it's time for a new 'Clubmans' formula? The successful original was based on adapting parts from contemporary cars, 105E Fords, A Series BMCs etc, parts adapted from different cars used in the chassis, ie A&A uprights.

What about a formula based on contemporary small cars? Every car maker in the world has a 1600 FWD car. Why not a rear engined formula using one of these engines? I envisage something like the Lolita I saw recently at Eastern Creek. (It had a Mini engine and trans) in that no aero body would be allowed.

Full width body, but central seater for safety. Feet behind the axle line etc.

I know all these engines are EFI, but so what? Perhaps have them use the original ECU. Or a cheap spec ECU with limited inputs. No electronic control of anything except spark and injectors.

Kart level instrumentation, simple data logging. Standard 13" wheel using whatever tyre Formula Ford are running. Standard brakes. Say, set a 'homologation' number for the doner car at a BIG number, like a million. That will keep out all the hotrods.

No composite chassis, ie metal construction only.

No limited slip differentials...maybe even easier to police a 'spool'.

Permit engine mods with the usual caveats (no addition of material).

In other words, a car that an amateur could build and race economically.

Is there an opening to go back to basics, back to our roots? There must be a zillion FSAE graduates who would like to build and race (or sprint or hillclimb) a car.

Maybe contemporary motorsport has gone so far up a one way alley (barbed with advertising and aerodynamics and ego) that it can never back out?

Just Pat D'Rat musing over a glass of red late on a Sunday night.
Regards
Pat

#12 Valvert

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 13:40

Originally posted by Brandstormer
Even sportscars and LeMans suffer somewhat from big manufacturer domination. Someone please beat those boring bloody Audi's!!!


I think a lot of this problem has to do with either the cars being too good or the tracks being too bad (or both). Most cars seem to run on rails making it very hard to see the difference between drivers, especially if they are not driving close to eachother. On top of that the tracks have become increasingly dull and less challenging for drivers. Drivers can make huge mistakes now without it ending the race, because of the tarmac run-off areas. Seeing a single car pass by is just extremely boring nowadays (if you even see it from your spectating viewpoint 100 metres away behind a fence...).
Excitement should now draw from competitiveness. To get competitive racing, you need to equalize. This is what I find so strange about your opening post: you hate equalizing, yet you hate it when one make (Audi) dominates?

#13 MonzaDriver

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 13:54

Originally posted by RTH
.............. Costs have been made high by the people who run it. Costs do not always need to be high and they were not high in the 60s 70s and 80s motor sport............................


I would like to expand this thought of your RTH, based on my idea.
Cost have been made high by the people who run it............. for example the drivers.
Because if there are too many persons that would like to learn or try motor racing, that also mean a lot of competition. If there are few drivers ( from few wealthy families) who can afford 100.000 Euro Pounds Dollars for a season...... the competition it's a lot less. And those drivers from few wealthy families just because their father can pay the bill...........they suddenly became champions or at least very good racing drivers, also because only them can practice with the racing car.

Let's see this from the owner of a racing team point of view.
If a season cost say 30.000 Euro, then the following season maybe with the same cars, cost always 30.000 Euro, then the following season a young racing driver with father's wallet on his hands wants absolutly a seat on that racing team, well it's easy for the team manager to ask 45.000 Euro for that seat, maybe always with the same cars. The only problems is if the father like to pay the bill. If he likes it's done.

Say this driver, is not very good, people who supply the tyres or those who overhaul the engine,
could help him with new and very sophisticated products, well in this case it's the team manager not happy because his income became less, if he have to buy something new.
But maybe this is an easy problem, because if this young driver and his father are really " determinated" to win ( like the journalists wrote) the team manager could ask for the following season 70.000 Euro so he can supply them with brand new engines and fresh tyres............... and so on...........

Let's see this from the sponsor point of view.
Maybe I am really old but I doubt very much that a sticker on the nose of a FF now running at Oulton Park or on a Formula Monza running here really have a publicity meaning !!! ???
But also the sponsor maybe is happy of this increase of money he " has " to justify.

Not to mention the fact that a today's paddock of whatever formula, it's much more beautiful to see, than those on the 70's, full of people with dirty hands, with this stupid idea to look after a racing car. Can you compare this families made environment with today's glamour?

About families, today you can notice that drivers's age it's really grow-up, 50 years old.......or so.
Well a race it's also a very beautiful place to go with the mistress, so this another great improvement!!!!!!!!!!

MonzaDriver

#14 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:18

A lot of good comments, risk adversion has a lot do with it, also lack of creativity, plus people have become more meek (smaller balls). If life mimics life and movies are art; then let's use movieas as an example. How many friggin' Superman, Godfather and Rocky versions are up to?

Unfortunately, I simply think we are living in the most boring period in world history accompanied by a spineless mass led by even less spineless leadership. Sorry to be so negative, but as an individual I am really lost to as how we are going to get this planet turned around and headed back on a good path.

Bring back quality, bring back pride and bring back a sense of what is best foe everyone not the "lucky" few.

Tonight I'm off to Barrett-Jackson perhaps the most decadent event of them all. Will it be Bollywwod or Hollywood?

I was fortunate to race Ff in the day and it was a blast and thanks to Fritz the Whizz I've been reunited via email with Ted Wentz and we swapped a few great stories from the day. I even raced a Meryln Mk. 11 in a Historic FF in a race at VIR in September and it was a blast. I have driven FFs,
Ralt RT-4, March 76B, March 741 and a Reynard 91D. Quess which car I enjoyed the least? The 91D, it's simply a shifter kart with body work, plus it's all technology not driving pleasure.

So maybe it's technology that killing society, friggin' iPhones, iPods, Friggin' Blackberries and bloody cell phones. How the frig does someone with a 30 word vocab carry on 30 minutes conversation...with subtle grunts? :love: :lol: :yawn: :eek: :smoking: :down:

#15 RA Historian

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:25

I am glad to see that I am not the only one dismayed by the rise of spec car racing. Over here in the US it is an alarming trend.

Champ Car is going to the same specification Panoz DP-1 after having been de facto spec for a couple years with the Lola-Ford. The IRL is de facto spec with the Dallara-Honda. Atlantic has been spec for years. The IRL's Infiniti Pro Series is spec. Virtually all the smaller pro classes are also. Even the FF2000 series is mandating identical chassis for 2007. The southern based "stock" car series has been the same except for the engine for years. Now the bodies are going to be identical with the farcical "car of tomorrow".

Even Formula One is dismaying. Once at the forefront of technical variety, it is not anymore. While I have no problem with displacement limits, I do not care for the mandate for V-8 engines. Give them a displacement limit, but if they want to build a 4 or a 12 or a 16, let them. Much more interesting that way. Now these frozen specifications and limits on almost every dimension, well, I am losing interest.

The pro racing with the most variety over here is the American Le Mans Series. True, the Audis dominate, but that is not by fiat, but by accomplishment, so that does not bother me at all. The LMP-2 class this year will be interesting with factory supported efforts from Porsche, Honda, and Mazda in a variety of chassis. On a lesser scale is the SCCA's World Challenge which features a large variety of production based sports cars and sedans.

But, and this is a big but, that sadly is the exception. We are becoming, as stated by many above, a sport of single make racing.

And I do not like it.

#16 JSF

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:33

Racing car design has followed the same path as the Aerospace industry, to compete you need highly technical designs which takes large resources to achieve, this fact over time reduces the choice available.

In the days of multiple chassis formula there wasnt a huge amount of advanced technology involved, so it was relatively easy for a good engineer to produce a competitive car, the variables between good and bad, haves and have nots wasnt that huge. These days unless you have the same quality of engineer (or even better) and the tools at his disposal you wont be able to produce anything people will want to buy.

Huw comments about the teams influence on who wins on the racetrack. That has always been the case and always will be. Without a good team that is prepared to work as long as it takes, who is flexible and can think on their feet, who can read the input of a driver and translate that into setup requirements you will never win anything. It's no good being the fastest guy out there if you are fighting a bad chasis setup that destroys your tyres or worse your wheel falls off. You remember legendary driver/engineer teams for a reason, without the two parts of the team working you will achieve nothing, always has been that way and always will be.

#17 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:49

Anyone here ever watched GP2?

#18 JSF

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:56

I managed to catch one race last year, i am usually working when it's on and dont have enough interest to remember to record it. Never seen an A1GP race as i dont have Sky.

#19 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 14:57

There's a double whammy in effect: you reduce the diversity of cars and say "but it's all about the drivers", but where are all best drivers? Contractually locked in to one series.

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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 15:00

Ross I have, and it is great; but I'm not sure why? It seems to be more about attitude, desire than anything else. The drivers seem to be willing to take big risk. Here in the States the Formula Mazda series seems to be the same...REALLY aggressive.

Raw basic animal hunger... :clap: But with a bit more brain power than say a meathead like Paul Tracy. :smoking:

#21 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 15:06

They've clearly managed to hit a sweet spot where the racing works, and the drivers are significant enough as those in touching distance of being the next F1 golden boys.

#22 Stephen W

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 15:22

Originally posted by Ray Bell
To my way of thinking, the one-make racing is one of the greatest types of racing that deters the enthusiast...


Unfortunately there are not enough enthusiasts willing to attend meetings and whilst the masses outnumber the enthusiasts then the appeal of the one-make series for the sponsors will remain!

I do agree with Doug Nye's comment about the stifling of talent brought about by the one-make series. However we have a 'de facto' one make series in British F3 where the dallara has swamped the opposition. This also cannot be good for the sport!

#23 Sharman

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 16:10

I've said it before and I say it again, A Le Mans race should be for same as you can buy road going motor cars, that was the original concept which should have been adhered to. There is still a bit of diversity there. And any way I blame the Ford Motor Company who started it all with FF restricting the engine option.

#24 petefenelon

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 16:57

Originally posted by MrAerodynamicist
There's a double whammy in effect: you reduce the diversity of cars and say "but it's all about the drivers", but where are all best drivers? Contractually locked in to one series.


It's not just one make racing that's destroying interest, but the existence of parallel, competing, undersubscribed one-make series.

There used to be a reasonably well-defined 'career path' in mainstream single seater racing. But now... well, just below F1 you've got GP2, A1GP, FNippon, and now ChampCar (which I do regard as generally being better than most one-make series); arguably even World Series Renault. There's a whole pile of "F1.5 - F2.5" categories in which up-and-coming drivers can actively avoid competing with one another until they reach the top of the greasy pole - and F1 is becoming a virtual spec series these days.

Now, once in a while the cars are good - the GP2 rules have led to an absolutely splendid piece of kit - but the principle remains: why are there arguably five one-make formulae occupying the space that should be taken by one multi-chassis one?

And this extends further back into the sport - F3 (effectively one-make); FBMW; FRenault...

My theory: A young driver these days attracts "attention" by dominating a series. So it's incumbent upon that driver's pushy dad management to ensure that their man doesn't ever encounter anyone else quick on the way up. Careers are stage-managed to ensure that young hotshoes don't bruise their own reputations competing against anyone half-decent. Whether this causes the plethora of half-arsed one-make single seater series or merely supports it I don't know, but it means that the "good old days" where a bunch of drivers moved up through the ranks together and the world had a reasonable idea of who was good and who wasn't and who might move up and who wouldn't is long gone.

Do you wonder why I don't give a tinker's cuss for most modern single-seater racing?

#25 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 17:34

Originally posted by petefenelon


Now, once in a while the cars are good - the GP2 rules have led to an absolutely splendid piece of kit - but the principle remains: why are there arguably five one-make formulae occupying the space that should be taken by one multi-chassis one?


There isn't room for multi-make single seater racing between karting and F1, the economics just aren't there. Even with a culling of the formulae.

#26 petefenelon

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 17:45

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


There isn't room for multi-make single seater racing between karting and F1, the economics just aren't there. Even with a culling of the formulae.


I think there is room for it; there's room for it in racing by and for enthusiasts.

There is clearly barely room for multi-make single seater racing in F1 now, with Honda/Super Aguri, Red Bull/Toro Rosso, and Prodrive/??? next year. (And I can see Williams and Toyota merging when Toyota realise they'll never win a race with their elephantine setup and/or finally get kicked out for cheating).

I'm hoping that at some point - ideally soon - the manufacturers will realise that it's not worth the effort of parading near-identical cars round in front of third-world audiences, and we might get something resembling proper motor racing back.

#27 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 17:53

Club racing is the last place I'd go to see how motorsport should be run.

#28 RTH

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 18:13

Originally posted by Pat Clarke
Whilst I heartily agree with all that is said above, and agree that the one make formulas have deterred me from attending a contemporary race meeting in many years.

Maybe the answer lies with us ? There have been several threads lately talking about the good old days in Clubmans and U2s etc, and how those classes were permitted to be 'politicked' into oblivion.

Maybe it's time for a new 'Clubmans' formula? The successful original was based on adapting parts from contemporary cars, 105E Fords, A Series BMCs etc, parts adapted from different cars used in the chassis, ie A&A uprights.

What about a formula based on contemporary small cars? Every car maker in the world has a 1600 FWD car. Why not a rear engined formula using one of these engines? I envisage something like the Lolita I saw recently at Eastern Creek. (It had a Mini engine and trans) in that no aero body would be allowed.

Full width body, but central seater for safety. Feet behind the axle line etc.

I know all these engines are EFI, but so what? Perhaps have them use the original ECU. Or a cheap spec ECU with limited inputs. No electronic control of anything except spark and injectors.

Kart level instrumentation, simple data logging. Standard 13" wheel using whatever tyre Formula Ford are running. Standard brakes. Say, set a 'homologation' number for the doner car at a BIG number, like a million. That will keep out all the hotrods.

No composite chassis, ie metal construction only.

No limited slip differentials...maybe even easier to police a 'spool'.

Permit engine mods with the usual caveats (no addition of material).

In other words, a car that an amateur could build and race economically.

Is there an opening to go back to basics, back to our roots? There must be a zillion FSAE graduates who would like to build and race (or sprint or hillclimb) a car.

Maybe contemporary motorsport has gone so far up a one way alley (barbed with advertising and aerodynamics and ego) that it can never back out?

Just Pat D'Rat musing over a glass of red late on a Sunday night.
Regards
Pat


Pat I think you have the basis of a very good idea here.

For instance the 1.0 litre Vauxhall Corsa uses a physically tiny 3 cylinder engine and 5 speed gearbox which even in standard road form will rev to 8000rpm (it's probably derived from a Japanese motor cycle engine ) The whole driveline package including driveshafts and brakes would transplant from the front of the vauxhall city car to the rear of a multi make chassis single seater.

Unlike Formula first or Multisports this package is narrow enough and low enough ( its lost in the Corsa's engine bay ) to blend in to a hansome narrow formula junior type racing car.

It does a good enough job hauling a 1000kgs road car , in a simple no frills steel spaceframe /GRP very basic 400kgs single seater with 4 " of ground clearance and no wings fixed wiring loom standard ECU and narrow say 6" wide wheels it would make a very cost effective and fun to drive and watch little racing car.

The whole new Vauxhall Corsa is only £7000 - so the engine/gearbox cannot be very expensive.

You have to use those bits , those dimensions . the rest of the car free . Could be a home build or any racing car maker.

I had some experience running Vauxhall junior cars in the early '90s it was a good concept.......except being a one make and parts prices I thought were unacceptably and unecessarily expensive, open to any manufacturer would have slashed the purchase cost and repair cost ......as well as add the magic ingredient inter- marque rivalrary

#29 Rob Ryder

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 19:39

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Club racing is the last place I'd go to see how motorsport should be run.

Yes, but the first place to go to if you want see how motorsport should be ENJOYED!

#30 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 19:44

And I agree. So enjoy it while you can instead of worrying about how horrible other forms of motorracing is and how perfect they would be if only they did this that and the other.

#31 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 20:43

Pretty sterile outlook...that's no way to improve and progress.

DCN

#32 sterling49

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 21:14

I don't know if they are still around, but the 750MC used to have pretty effective cars and fast to with the Reliant ? engine, as long as all of the tricks, data logging and 40 ton race HQ's can be kept away from club meetings it will be great to have a series without all of the technology.Doug Nye's idea re the Corsa engine is great :up:

#33 petefenelon

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 21:41

Originally posted by sterling49
I don't know if they are still around, but the 750MC used to have pretty effective cars and fast to with the Reliant ? engine, as long as all of the tricks, data logging and 40 ton race HQ's can be kept away from club meetings it will be great to have a series without all of the technology.Doug Nye's idea re the Corsa engine is great :up:


They're in the process of switching from the obsolete Reliant unit (which in turn replaced the Austin) to the FIAT FIRE, which can be picked up for buttons and is apparently pretty much unburstable.

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 21:51

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I believe the proliferation of one-make racing has done more to destroy 'the sport' than any other single factor. Quite apart from diminishing driver, entrant, organiser and above all public choice it has banished what was demonstrably an excellent training school for new race engineers, and the paucity of outstanding new talent in this area alone is responsible for the collapse of worthwhile competitiveness across the board in the major professional Formulae.

:cool: Discuss?

DCN


Taking a contrarian point of view on this one, the top F1 people don't come from inside racing these days and haven't for a while. The career path is through advanced engineering education - PhDs in CFD, aeronautical engineering, control systems etc rather than starting off with a welding torch and an idea for a slightly faster FFord. Then again, there's nowhere like Lola/March/Reynard/Brabham/Lotus/Cooper where you can learn how to design a competitive single seater, because there's no need for single seaters to be competitive!

I'd look to the F1 teams trying to poach top sports car peole if the current rule set ever shifts enough to allow real broad-brush creative thinking rather than endless small optimisations... but it seems that that's the route the soi-disant pinnacle of the sport wants to take.

#35 ensign14

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 21:59

Originally posted by petefenelon
Careers are stage-managed to ensure that young hotshoes don't bruise their own reputations competing against anyone half-decent. Whether this causes the plethora of half-arsed one-make single seater series or merely supports it I don't know, but it means that the "good old days" where a bunch of drivers moved up through the ranks together and the world had a reasonable idea of who was good and who wasn't and who might move up and who wouldn't is long gone.

I've always thought this is one of the reasons behind the comparative failure of FPalmer Audi. Johnny Hotshoe suddenly can't outspend Justin Wilson and looks a tosspot in comparison.

And as Pete says the way into F1 for non-drivers is to be headhunted from school almost (and with Hamilton it may soon be the way for drivers). I suppose it's almost a throwback to where the likes of Nazzaro got drives via being mechanics, rather than coming up through the voiturette ranks...

#36 MonzaDriver

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 22:03

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Pretty sterile outlook...that's no way to improve and progress.

DCN


Well maybe this thread it's sterile.....................
but there is more truth here, than in the whole collection of motor racing magazines,
we've read in all those years.

MonzaDriver.

#37 PeterElleray

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 22:05

"I'd look to the F1 teams trying to poach top sports car peole"

Pete - i can assure you that they are very definately not enlightened in this respect at the moment..;)

#38 2Bob

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:09

What's even worse than one make races is one make celebrity races eg the BMW race at the Australian GP. What a mob of wankers and the commentators are worse AND they take up prime TV time with it ............

#39 Bob Riebe

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:56

The pro racing with the most variety over here is the American Le Mans Series. True, the Audis dominate, but that is not by fiat, but by accomplishment, so that does not bother me at all. The LMP-2 class this year will be interesting with factory supported efforts from Porsche, Honda, and Mazda in a variety of chassis. On a lesser scale is the SCCA's World Challenge which features a large variety of production based sports cars and sedans.


IMSA/ALMS is spec. not in construction, but in all other areas.

For a maker to build a car, and have its performance reduced to a specified level, so everyone is the same, is actually more of a farce than using the same engine and same chassis.
It assume people are too stupid to notice.

NASCAR, as much as the France boys wanted a generic spec. engine, is oddly enough, still the series which now has the most liberal set of rules in engine performance.(Until they can operate without Detroit, the France boys will still have to keep brown-nosing)
All restrictors are the same size, and when they are not used, superor engineering can make a big difference.
Block and heads are approved only, but as a Ford engineer said about a cylinder head, you develope it, and continue entering for homologaton until they finally say yes.

Far better than ACO/IMSA, FIA methods of building a better mouse trap, and then have it performance penalized till they are happy till the little Mussolini style governors are happy.

As much as I despise what NASCAR has become and done to racing, it hurts me to have said the above.
Bob

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#40 cosworth bdg

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:07

Originally posted by 2Bob
What's even worse than one make races is one make celebrity races eg the BMW race at the Australian GP. What a mob of wankers and the commentators are worse AND they take up prime TV time with it ............




Bob, Money from manufacturers speaks all langauges and breaks down all barriers especialy with the likes of the
organisers and C.A.M.S. Regards Peter. N.

#41 cosworth bdg

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:16

Originally posted by Bob Riebe


IMSA/ALMS is spec. not in construction, but in all other areas.

For a maker to build a car, and have its performance reduced to a specified level, so everyone is the same, is actually more of a farce than using the same engine and same chassis.
It assume people are too stupid to notice.

NASCAR, as much as the France boys wanted a generic spec. engine, is oddly enough, still the series which now has the most liberal set of rules in engine performance.(Until they can operate without Detroit, the France boys will still have to keep brown-nosing)
All restrictors are the same size, and when they are not used, superor engineering can make a big difference.
Block and heads are approved only, but as a Ford engineer said about a cylinder head, you develope it, and continue entering for homologaton until they finally say yes.

Far better than ACO/IMSA, FIA methods of building a better mouse trap, and then have it performance penalized till they are happy till the little Mussolini style governors are happy.

As much as I despise what NASCAR has become and done to racing, it hurts me to have said the above.
Bob




Just like our V8 Supercars,...Wankers at their best...................

#42 RA Historian

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:18

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
It assume people are too stupid to notice.

Thanks for the compliment.

#43 petefenelon

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:14

Originally posted by Bob Riebe


IMSA/ALMS is spec. not in construction, but in all other areas.

For a maker to build a car, and have its performance reduced to a specified level, so everyone is the same, is actually more of a farce than using the same engine and same chassis.
It assume people are too stupid to notice.


ALMS has made itself look silly over GT1 with the constant fiddling to ensure parity between Aston and Corvette... but I suppose it has to, there's only four cars there.

Two of the four classes in ALMS are dead in all but name, they've gone the way of J-class yacht racing; P1 will be an Audi walkover this year, GT1 is stage-managed. However P2 will be one of the most fascinating prototype seasons for a long time with Porsche, Acura and Mazda all competing with radically different approaches, plus the teams that have been the backbone of the class for a while. GT2 always provides close racing too.

I prefer the Grand-Am approach of openly saying "we're going to peg the power output/weight of this particular combination and here are the bits you can use" to unsubtle fudging of the rules. At least GA are open about the fact that they enforce parity. Hell, they can even ensure rough parity between tubeframe specials and proper production GTs...

That said, I think both sports car series in the US will have a good 2007. The Daytona entry is typically mouthwatering and bodes well for the rest of the season, and if you ignore P1 and GT1 ALMS should be a cracker too.

#44 metalshapes

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 22:04

Originally posted by Pat Clarke
Whilst I heartily agree with all that is said above, and agree that the one make formulas have deterred me from attending a contemporary race meeting in many years.

Maybe the answer lies with us ? There have been several threads lately talking about the good old days in Clubmans and U2s etc, and how those classes were permitted to be 'politicked' into oblivion.

Maybe it's time for a new 'Clubmans' formula? The successful original was based on adapting parts from contemporary cars, 105E Fords, A Series BMCs etc, parts adapted from different cars used in the chassis, ie A&A uprights.

What about a formula based on contemporary small cars? Every car maker in the world has a 1600 FWD car. Why not a rear engined formula using one of these engines? I envisage something like the Lolita I saw recently at Eastern Creek. (It had a Mini engine and trans) in that no aero body would be allowed.

Full width body, but central seater for safety. Feet behind the axle line etc.

I know all these engines are EFI, but so what? Perhaps have them use the original ECU. Or a cheap spec ECU with limited inputs. No electronic control of anything except spark and injectors.

Kart level instrumentation, simple data logging. Standard 13" wheel using whatever tyre Formula Ford are running. Standard brakes. Say, set a 'homologation' number for the doner car at a BIG number, like a million. That will keep out all the hotrods.

No composite chassis, ie metal construction only.

No limited slip differentials...maybe even easier to police a 'spool'.

Permit engine mods with the usual caveats (no addition of material).

In other words, a car that an amateur could build and race economically.

Is there an opening to go back to basics, back to our roots? There must be a zillion FSAE graduates who would like to build and race (or sprint or hillclimb) a car.

Maybe contemporary motorsport has gone so far up a one way alley (barbed with advertising and aerodynamics and ego) that it can never back out?

Just Pat D'Rat musing over a glass of red late on a Sunday night.
Regards
Pat


In Allan Staniforth's book " High speed Low cost" , he talks about building a single seater race car and a 2 seater version of it.

A class for home built Race Cars like that ( but based on more modern drive lines ) would be a lot of fun to watch, and be involved in .

Maybe with spec components that could be bought in bulk, like Shocks, a selection of Springs, Tyres, Instruments, and Safety equipment ( to try and keep the costs down...)

#45 Bruce R Moxon

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 22:36

Originally posted by Pat Clarke
Whilst I heartily agree with all that is said above, and agree that the one make formulas have deterred me from attending a contemporary race meeting in many years.

Maybe the answer lies with us ? There have been several threads lately talking about the good old days in Clubmans and U2s etc, and how those classes were permitted to be 'politicked' into oblivion.

Maybe it's time for a new 'Clubmans' formula? The successful original was based on adapting parts from contemporary cars, 105E Fords, A Series BMCs etc, parts adapted from different cars used in the chassis, ie A&A uprights.

What about a formula based on contemporary small cars? Every car maker in the world has a 1600 FWD car. Why not a rear engined formula using one of these engines? I envisage something like the Lolita I saw recently at Eastern Creek. (It had a Mini engine and trans) in that no aero body would be allowed.

Full width body, but central seater for safety. Feet behind the axle line etc.

I know all these engines are EFI, but so what? Perhaps have them use the original ECU. Or a cheap spec ECU with limited inputs. No electronic control of anything except spark and injectors.

Kart level instrumentation, simple data logging. Standard 13" wheel using whatever tyre Formula Ford are running. Standard brakes. Say, set a 'homologation' number for the doner car at a BIG number, like a million. That will keep out all the hotrods.

No composite chassis, ie metal construction only.

No limited slip differentials...maybe even easier to police a 'spool'.

Permit engine mods with the usual caveats (no addition of material).

In other words, a car that an amateur could build and race economically.

Is there an opening to go back to basics, back to our roots? There must be a zillion FSAE graduates who would like to build and race (or sprint or hillclimb) a car.

Maybe contemporary motorsport has gone so far up a one way alley (barbed with advertising and aerodynamics and ego) that it can never back out?

Just Pat D'Rat musing over a glass of red late on a Sunday night.
Regards
Pat




Cabernet Sauvignon? Merlot? Shiraz

I like the idea of this sort of formula - but there are far too many classes already. Which one/s go? There are people out there with no place to race what they already have. Every new class just makes it harder for them.

I looked at the CAMS manual online recently (very bored that day) and saw no generic sports car class - nowhere to race a bespoke sports / racing car like people used to build. That's sad.

And Pat, I was actually thinking very similar things to you in regard to building my own mid-life crisis car - 'cept I was thinking a Camry V6 or WRX driveline in the back and a simplified wedge-shaped body (like a McLaren M8). But I have neither the time nor money to do more than daydream.


Bruce Moxon

#46 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 22:50

The 750 Motorclub's '750 Formula' category?

#47 petefenelon

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 23:22

Originally posted by MrAerodynamicist
The 750 Motorclub's '750 Formula' category?


See posts 32 and 33 ;)

#48 leestohr

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:27

In a recent RaceCarEngineering magazine, there is a good article on the problem of spec car series.
Adrian Reynard summed it all up with a great quote - he said "we really don't have automobile racing anymore do we? all we have is driver racing."
So unfortunately true.
The article points out that far from making the racing more exciting for the spectator - there can be no passing when all the cars have the exact same brakes, weight, tires, etc. Sure the spec cars are close together, but you won't have much passing.
There is nothing fair about spec car racing, the best driver will still usually win. The problem is the others are not allowed to use their skills to modify their cars or even to spend more money for more horsepower to try and beat the best driver. What's fair about that?
Spec cars are pitched as fair and economical with better racing - but the truth is the opposite. It is all about profit for the manufacturer who gets the monopoly on the series. When was a monopoly a good thing for the consumer?

#49 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:59

One of my favourite racing classes is formula libre. I am also a big fan of handicap racing. The beauty of these when combined is that given one meeting a nd three races, the final being a handicap based on the first two scratch race results, gives every one a fair crack at leading or winning, and you can 'run what you brung'. I believe that a formula like this can still excercise the mind of a designer because given the different circuits that the series goes to, an ideal format vehicle can be attempted.

#50 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:36

I agree with the points raised that multi-make racing is more interesting, provides better training for both drivers and engineers, etc, et al. But is it practical?