Author Topic: WCMA Road Race Classing Review  (Read 48456 times)

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February 18, 2014, 09:45:09 PM
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Spec Volcanic

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Attached is the Preliminary Report of the WCMA’s review of its’ road race classing structure (IT, ST, GT).

The WCMA requests that all members and competitors with an interesting road racing (particularly the IT, ST, and GT classes) to review and comment on the attached report, which includes The suggestion to adopt a new classing structure for the 2015 race season.

Please submit all comments regarding or concerns with the finding in the report or the classing structure suggested to Gary Roberts @ gary.roberts@nov.com by April 18, 2014. All comments will be reviewed and discussed by the WCMA Tech committee before the submission of the final recommendation(s). We are looking forward to hearing both opposing and supporting viewpoints. While we will try to capture fed back based on the discussions on the varies forums, we strongly encourage members and competitors to discusses this topic here on the WCMA forum, and submit comments to email the above address.

Note Open wheel, Vintage, and Spec Class are NOT included is this review.   

Gary Roberts and Doug Campbell

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 10:02:15 PM by Spec Volcanic »

February 18, 2014, 10:39:43 PM
Reply #1

sturat77

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I can't seem to download the file... but when I figure it out I will give my 2¢ worth.

I'm the mean time, my first thoughts are why do we keep messing with the rule set? Only a couple years ago they were heavily revamped and ST added. Now "here we go again" is my first thought!

Perhaps some insights into the reasoning behind making changes would be useful. What are you trying to accomplish by changing classification rules?

I am not meaning to criticize something I haven't even read yet, merely looking for some background to help me (and others?) understand when we do read! :)

Thanks and I look forward to reading of  the proposed changes with an open, and informed mind!

And for the record, I am very interested as I am in the process of building another car and this could dramatically affect my plans.

Sturat
77 Acura Integra
?? Honda Civic

Thsnks

February 18, 2014, 10:48:15 PM
Reply #2

Spec Volcanic

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WMCA Road Racing Classing Review – Preliminary Report

Authors: Doug Campbell and Gary Roberts

Rationale

Over the past several years the WCMA has received numerous comments regarding the current classing structure both at AGMs and via E-mail. During this time the WCMA has made changes both small and large to the rules, with little effect on the content or number of comments. Key concerns raised include;

Lack of inclusiveness
•   Certain makes and models require a minimum weight not conducive to racing
•   Certain “common” modifications are not allowed or permitted in “Entry Level” Classes

Do not reflect the current state of motorsports
•   GT Displacements
•   “Tuner Mod’s” are not permitted in “Entry Level” classes

Ability of members to travel or to attract racers from other areas.
•   Majority of class do not match any neighbouring regions

Lack of competiveness
•   Classes allow too great of a disparity between cars to create competition.
•   Too many Classes

While these concerns come with varying degrees of accuracy, it has been many years since the WMCA last did a ground up review of the rules and not just adapted or modified our existing rules.

Mandate

Review current classing rules from all neighboring regions to determine if there is an existing rules set that will meet the need of the WCMA and its members, and could be a suitable replacement of any combination, or all of IT, ST and/or GT.

Criteria

The following criteria will be used to help formulate a recommendation;
•   Must be more inclusive
•   Should not exclude any current competitors
•   Must align with areas that members could visit, or other racers could visit from.
•   Must maintain some level of affordability
•   Should be well suited to  address the issues of Modern Cars and Modifications
•   Must maintain or reduce the number classes
•   Must offer a reasonable competitive balance within classes
•   Must be viable as a long term solution.

Summary of Rules Reviewed

CACC-BC (British Columbia): GT, GTS and IP.
http://www.caccautosport.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2013-Race-Regs-Final.pdf

CACC-BC runs a rule set with an approach somewhat similar to the WCMA. They Run SCCA GT1,2,3, and L with 3 classes or GTS “catch-alls” (<2.0L, 2-4L and >4.0L). IP cars must meet SCCA IT prep rules, however they are reclassified by displacement (IP3 >1750CC and SM, IP2 1750-2750CC and Pro-3m, IP-1 >2750 CC and ITE, a “catch-all” that allows some additional modification not permitted in other IT classes) and min weight is Manufacturer curb weight – 100lb.
A transition to the CACC-BC rules may be easy, however, they do not meet many of the key criteria, including being more inclusive and not excluding current competitors, and offer little to no upside to the current WCMA classes.

CASC-OR (Ontario): GT http://www.casc.on.ca/sites/default/files/casc_2014_qf_gt.pdf

CASC-OR runs a GT1-6 for sprint races where type of vehicle and level of modification is not a factor in classing. Car classing is a bracket system based solely on lap time; each track has its own lap time for each class, and it is possible to be in a differently class at each track.
This does create classes that run very similar lap times, and is very inclusive, but it does not truly create a competitive balance and is not in the spirit of racing in the WCMA.

CASC-OR (Ontario): GT Challenge  http://www.casc.on.ca/sites/default/files/casc_2014_qg_gtc.pdf

For endurance races the CASC-OR runs “GT Challenge” with Classes of GT, GS, ST1, ST2, ST3 where classes are based solely on power to weight, with no adjustments due to differences in chassis or driveline layout. Classing is wide open with a few exceptions. The rules appear to be more, a set of supplemental regulations for endurance racing, than a complete classing structure.
These classes do again offer a very inclusive structure, with little to no limitations on what can be run. Using solely power to weight does put affordability at risk as all other areas of modification are fully open.  Also included in this review are other rules are primarily based on power to weight but are more complete.

ICSSC (Conference): – Multiple http://www.icscc.com/references/comp_regs_2013_complete.pdf

ICSSC runs many classes, almost all SCCA or catch all’s based on these classes. In some cases confusingly, these classes are listed both as individual classes and rolled up into one catch all (Example rule 1307: “Improved Touring A (ITA), Improved Touring B (ITB), Improved Touring C (ITC), Improved Touring S (ITS). These classes shall run under current year SCCA rules“ and rule 1325: “ITX This class shall run under current ITA, ITB, ITC, & ITS SCCA rules. (Fall 2011)”). There are some Spec classes but they are not included in this review at this time.
ICSSC would offer a nearly unlimited number of classes to pick and choose from, however there is no reason not to go directly to the SCCA for the classes, and the catches all’s do not eliminate any of the WCMA’s issues.

SCCA (Sports Car Club of America):  - GT, ST, and IT

http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/2014%20GCR%20February-mobile1.pdf

The WCMA’s current classing structure is largely based on the SCCA’s GT, ST, and IT rules, on allowed modifications, and members of the WCMA should find the SCCA rules fairly familiar.  The WMCA has not always followed the SCCA’s updates, which have led to some differences, most notably the Single Inlet Restrictor rules in GT. The current issues related to inclusiveness in the WCMA are largely related to the SCCA rules on allowed modifications. The SCCA also has other classes, but most of those are targeted to a specific car or group of cars.
Following the SCCA rules exactly should level the competitive playing field, however without adding more classes, it would only compound the WCMA’s current issue with inclusiveness, and exclude some current competitors, and force GT cars to move to SIR’s.

NASA (National Auto Sport Association): – PT and ST (Performance Touring and Super Touring)
http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/performance_touring_rules.pdf
http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/Super-Touring.pdf

NASA’s PT and ST classes are designed to work together where, if desired, a competitor can progress their car slowly up through PT into ST.
PT (PTB-F) works by starting cars off in a base class with some “free” modifications, and allowing other modifications by claiming points which, as they are accumulated, move cars up to a higher PT class and eventually into ST classes. This points system, while a little complex, does allow cars to run with a wide variety of modifications, and ensures all cars can have a home in PT.  NASA has as minimum adjusted Power to weight for each class to help ensure competitive balance.
ST (ST1, ST2, ST3 and SU) classes are based power to weight ratios (higher then PT) with some adjustment. ST1-3 cars can maintain a relatively stock chassis (Frame rails, Floor pan, etc), or with an adjustment to the power to weight chassis can be modified or a full tube frame, SU is a truly unlimited class (excluding safety)
PT Example - 92-95 stock (less safety equipment) Civic weighing 2390lb on RA-1’s is in PTF, but if that same car was to upgrade Swaybars , header, exhaust, remove the cat, and add coilovers and run A6’s, it would be in PTE.
Like the SCCA, NASA also offers many other classes targeted to one car or one group of cars. (eg: Spec BMW E30 and German Touring Series) We would not recommend adopting these other classes unless competitor numbers were sufficient.


Conclusion

While some regions rule sets offer a solution to some of the WCMA’s concerns.  NASA with PT and ST is the only one to offer a suitable alterative to the current WMCA IT, ST, and GT classes that meets 100% of the criteria.
•   Must be more inclusive
o   Every car regardless of modification has a place to race.
•   Should not exclude any current competitors
o   All WCMA IT and many ST cars will find a competitive home in PT, and the balance in ST. All GT cars should find the same in ST.
•   Must align with area that members could visit, or other racers could visit from.
o   NASA runs races across the US including the NE. NASA cars should also be able to run in the CASC-OR and ICSSC, and, any CACC-BC, CASC-OR, ICSSC, or SCCA could run in the WCMA
•   Must maintain some level of affordability
o   PT maintains entry level affordability and allows development of the car over time.
•   Should be well suited to  address the issues of Modern Cars and Modifications
o   Both PT and ST allow modern cars and modifications.
•   Must maintain or reduce the number classes
o   The number of classes is reduced from 11 to 9
•   Must offer a reasonable competitive balance within classes
o   Statistically, the large number of cars and competitors running NASA rules, ensures a reasonable calculation of competitive balance within classes
•   Must be viable as a long term solution.
o   NASA is a strong organization that regularly updates and maintains their rules. There is no reason to expect this to change in the near future, and that these rules should be viable for years to come.

Recommendation

That the WCMA replace IT, ST and GT class rules with a reference to NASA’s PT and ST in the same format, as we have done with Spec Miata, for the 2015 Race Season.

Next Steps

1)   That the WCMA publicly announce this review and its’ conclusion, to all members and competitors via the Web forums. 
2)   Provide a period for members and competitors to provide written comments or concerns for review and consideration. This period should be not less than 6 weeks but should be completed no later than May 1st
3)   The WCMA Tech committee (lead by Gary Roberts and Doug Campbell) to review all submissions for consideration, and review. This period should be not less than 6 weeks or more than 8 but should be completed no later than July 1st
4)   Gary Roberts and Doug Campbell to submit a final recommendation to the WCMA upon completion of the review within 2-4 weeks (Based on the outcome of the review, the final recommendation will recommend the immediate announcement of change to the rules for 2015, or if after the submissions and input of the tech committee, a clear conclusion could not be reached, the announcement of PENDING change in the rules for 2015, to be finalized at the AGM)
5)   That the WCMA publicly announce the final review and its’ conclusion
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 06:07:54 AM by ChrisS »

February 18, 2014, 10:51:35 PM
Reply #3

Spec Volcanic

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I can't seem to download the file... but when I figure it out I will give my 2¢ worth.

I'm the mean time, my first thoughts are why do we keep messing with the rule set? Only a couple years ago they were heavily revamped and ST added. Now "here we go again" is my first thought!

Perhaps some insights into the reasoning behind making changes would be useful. What are you trying to accomplish by changing classification rules?

I am not meaning to criticize something I haven't even read yet, merely looking for some background to help me (and others?) understand when we do read! :)

Thanks and I look forward to reading of  the proposed changes with an open, and informed mind!

And for the record, I am very interested as I am in the process of building another car and this could dramatically affect my plans.

Sturat
77 Acura Integra
?? Honda Civic

Thsnks

It downloaded fine for me and some others but you are not the only one to report and issue so I have post the raw text (above) please excuse the formatting

I think you will find the Rationale and Background are covered in the document

February 19, 2014, 01:18:32 AM
Reply #4

zhao

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Lack of competiveness
 Classes allow too great of a disparity between cars to create competition.
 Too many Classes


As far as this goes, IMO there are too many classes for the field of cars we see at events, and Yes, some classes are completely outdated (GT for example basically will have any current production car someone might consider building into a race car fall into GT1 due to displacement rules), so it would be logical to update classes, and possibly combine/eliminate some such as gt5/gt4 (and lump them in with gt3) which are 2 classes where you actually can't build a modern car to complete in. It would be logical also, probably more logical in fact, to clone the classes of a neighbouring region that has already solved this problem successfully.


However, the part about lack of competitiveness because there is too much of a disparity between cars to create competition, I feel that is a non issue. There is and will always be a huge difference between the skill of drivers, so even if everyone is driving the same car, setup the same way, with the same modifications, they are still going to be running different lap times.

The other thing is, if people want to be competitive, they should read the rules, pick a car that classes well, and then pick modifications to maximize the potential of that car in that class. One should not randomly build the car they want how they want, and then complain about how its not competitive or is put in some crazy class because of one modification. I feel for the guy who built his car well to the rules, and then had the rules change on him drastically, but the guy building his car after the current rules are written has no excuses why his car isn't competitive. So if you build a yugo style race car, dont complain when its not competitive in IT. And if its not competitive in IT, dont slap a big brake kit on it and end up in ST, and then complain how its even less competitive there also.

(part of the reason why people build uncompetitive cars, other then being stubborn, may be because the rules aren't written so someone new to the sport can understand them easily. A simple breakdown of how a race weekend is generally structured, and a very simple definition of classes in layman's terms would probably go a long way to clarifying things for someone building a race car for the first time. It probably wouldn't hurt to publish the last 5 years class attendance for each class. I know I heard one person commented that they built the wrong car for the wrong class because they had no clue that there wasn't actually anyone that raced in that class.)

February 19, 2014, 07:07:03 AM
Reply #5

Spec Volcanic

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Thanks for you comments Kris

February 19, 2014, 08:45:27 AM
Reply #6

sturat77

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Thanks for putting all the info up!  I did get it to download on a normal computer...  and lo and behold all my questions are answered in the document!  Thanks guys, I will respond after a good read through.

Sturat

February 19, 2014, 09:25:25 AM
Reply #7

cloud7

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Thanks for the info.  I will review the NASA rules and forward my thoughts.

Simon

Acura RSX Type S #53 IT2

February 19, 2014, 11:13:07 AM
Reply #8

JustinL

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Sounds like a great idea to me. My 944S2 is a US built car that was set up for NASA rules and shoe horning it into WCMA rules is pretty tricky. The current STO/STU rules create a strong incentive to run small displacement, but high bhp/L engines. With a power to weight ratio formula and some limits on wheel width and tires, pretty much every car should find a place to race. There are a bunch of local racers who go to the states to race under NASA and this would open it up for them to have a place to race here too. Likewise cars built here could go there and race under essentially the same rules.

I hear you Kris on the not building a car that doesn't fit the rules. We are both of the same philosophy about building vs. buying race cars in that it's always cheaper to buy one that's already done. The rules as they are now put limits on what cars people would shop for, and that eliminates a large chunk of potential cars that people would like to race. I'm trying to say, nobody is going to shop for a Corvette or a Mustang to race in STO because it will have to weigh so much. Conversely, in STU like I mentioned on Straightpipe.ca, the S2000 is the only car to have.

I understand that dynoing cars will be a cost, but I think it's well worth it to have classes that are balanced by power to weight ratio rather than bhp/L.

February 19, 2014, 12:29:21 PM
Reply #9

Streetwise guy

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Don't know.  I like the idea of building a car to a certain rule, and the guy that does it all better gets to win.  NASA has some good ideas too, and I presume it works quite well.  The IT weight/displacement/ignore everything else about the car program we went to a few years ago sucks donkey balls, so its got to go.

I'd vote to move IT back to SCCA rules and blend GT/ST into the NASA rules.  3 IT classes, 5 or 6 Modified classes.

February 19, 2014, 12:36:43 PM
Reply #10

Spec Volcanic

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Thanks for the comments Jim and Jason

February 19, 2014, 01:04:34 PM
Reply #11

The Radium King

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I think there's quite a few lappers, time attackers, AXers, drifters, etc., who have cars that they would consider taking over to door to door racing. not everyone has the funds to build a new car to suit the rules, especially when the car they currently have is 99% there. a lot of these cars have mods that would put them in ST but are too light and get orphaned as a result. and run the numbers on a 5L mustang running in ST-O - it would have to weigh 4,400 lbs straight out of the box. the nasa rules seem to avoid these issues. in nasa, that same mustang can show up and run st-3 at stock weight of around 3600 lbs (I'm assuming a 400 hp car with no other modifiers) or gut it and run st-2 at 3200 lbs - he always has a class at the weight he choses to run at. as Justin says, however, you may see a reduction in emphasis of the small Japanese turbo and rotary engines which seem to work with the current rules ok, and more larger displacement American and European cars.

February 19, 2014, 04:02:14 PM
Reply #12

SputnikRSS

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A note on the ICSCC having catch all classes.

I believe this is done so they can run multiple run groups on a weekend as they sometimes have single race weekends (Prac/Qual/Race). With the dual group entry which is usually discounted it gives the driver twice the track time for say 50% more than a single entry. Helps out both the club organizing and the drivers.


February 19, 2014, 04:16:59 PM
Reply #13

aavery

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so i have gone trough the calculations, and i will fall into PTC , now we use to have 6-8 cars in stu. how man people are in PTC

 

February 19, 2014, 04:48:42 PM
Reply #14

Al36rx7

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As Streetwise Guy said.  Keep IT as it was.  WCMA ST/GT can be merged together using NASA ST lb/hp ratio.  In some cases, a highly modified STU engine will be much the same as a GT3 engine.  The need for an additional lower HP/Wt ratio class may be required for the STU competitors that have not built up their engines as much as others.  This could be an option in my opinion.

The thing is to do some reading about the different options before Poo-poo'ing all of them. 

However...Whatever is decided is fine...But we need to keep a stable rule set.  Continual change is not helping either.

Cheers.
A. Brown
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Pistons??.....I Don't need no Stinkin' Pistons!!