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About erioshi

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  1. Alright here is the story. Forgive me if I get any of this wrong, or perhaps convey the wrong tone in this post. I am up late and just back from being called in to help a client work through an after hours technology upgrade that went sideways on them. It has been a long night. I talked with Mike directly about the swap. Even under the old rules he said the car would most likely end up in EC despite being within the letter of the rules. The chassis is a 1984 Porsche 928 with an automatic transmission (234 hp stock IIRC) that I ended up with it as a parts car for another 928 project. One of our group had already purchased a different car for use in Chump, but unfortunately that car had too much rust for us to feel safe bombing around a track in. We are based in Minnesota, so finding cheap, local beaters that are chump rules friendly but not complete rust buckets in the suspension and sub-frame areas can be a real challenge. So we did the math and decided to give the 928 a shot. Unfortunately the engine in the 928 would have literally required thousands of dollars in parts and re-conditioning to get it into shape for racing. The fuel injection computer looked to be toast along with the 30+ year old injectors, fuel system, timing belt and other components. No problem, let's swap it. The cheapest and easiest swap is an LS based engine. I am sure you can now see where this is going. So we did the math on an early 4.8 vortec (255 hp) with plans to keep the stock ECU and everything else, and it looked like we could just squeak the car in for under 500 points if we were willing to live with butchering the hood and using the stock truck intake and front end accessory drive on the engine. We figured no problem, even if we get a few penalty laps were were good with that. I know that there is a similarly swapped car running in the citrus series, so figured we should be OK. Not sure if that car is auto or manual though. I also know there was another team that was running a 928 with Porsche engine, but that engine lost a main bearing and I think that parked the car. So I emailed Mike and we set up a phone call. He expressed his strong dislike for anything LS based because of the potential power an LS can make. He suggested a v6 swap, but unfortunately I do not have the time to engineer a new swap for the car from scratch. With an LSx swap I can print all the templates for the swap parts I need to fabricate right off the Internet. It is actually a very simple swap. We went back and forth a bit, but his disinterest in allowing our car any serious consideration was obvious. I even offered to dyno the car for him after it was built so he could more accurately assess our performance potential. Over the winter the new calculator came out and our starting chassis may also have jumped up in points from 450 to 500. With the revised calculator our swap now comes in at somewhere between 750 and 800 points. And I know there are "legal" cars that would rip our doors off already running in chump. We looked into changing our build specifically for chump. We even considered finding a different starting platform. In the end, economics and a lack of safe, local chump friendly platforms pushed the team to begin investigating non-chump alternatives to budget endurance racing. Our team decided to build the car anyway, make the hood close like stock, use an aluminum 5.3 LSx engine I already had laying around (again from another project), and spend our time racing the car where it seems to be more welcome. So that is the whole story. We may come play at a chump event at some point, but our chumpcar situation has nothing to do with "west coast problems" or other such nonsense. Our situation comes down to limited time and engineering ability, local chassis and engine availability, and simple economics. There is no ill will, and only a small bit of frustration. We own our choices and accept the lumps. What I do not understand is the fear chump leadership seems to have of the small bore LSx engines. The LS1 is already over 20 years old .. it can go vintage racing in some venues. The older 4.8 engines are readily available used and very cheap. Support and parts for LS/Vortec swaps are available almost everywhere.
  2. This has been a long and interesting read, and it sounds like CC may be making some positive changes. There are still a couple of things that make our team unlikely to become CC regulars. They are are both loosely related, and when combined make CC less attractive to us as a series. The first is CC's points system combined with the attitude of not making all log books public. This is not F1. In a series where protests are supposed to be a significant mechanism of rules enforcement, keeping build points secret seems ludicrous. As a counter point to how CC is doing things, NASA (the racing guys, not the rocket guys), also use points systems (along with PTW, etc.) and require car classification (build) sheets for a number of their classes. These sheets are required to be submitted pre-race, are held by the series director in a folder, and can be freely viewed by any series competitor by just asking. No fuss, no muss, all essentially public. It allows a racer to easily make sure things they are curious about on a competitor's car have been properly claimed and valued. While not all points questions lead to results that everyone likes, in general both rules and points largely seem to be assessed consistently, publicly and fairly, even if everyone makes the occasional mistake. All of this goes a great distance in improving the sense of fairness throughout these series. It also offers a solid foundation for discussions of future rule or points changes. Our second issue relates to recent changes in the engine swap rules. This is not sour grapes, just an example of how the last rules change had an impact on a team that was mid-build with their car. We were building a car that met the letter of your old engine swap rules and would have been an OK car. Nothing overly fast, just something fun and not too expensive to keep feeding parts into. The new rules hit us with a huge points penalty for a 20 hp gain on 3,000 lb car. Not sure if we were coming too close to some magic number, but for an old beater with an auto tranny we were put off by being kicked very firmly into EC (lots of laps / points) knowing we would not have been anywhere near the sharp end of the field. Since we already had the car, the engine, and the swap parts, we decided not to change the build. There are other series that do not view our swap with the same level unreasonableness, so we have decided to spend our time with them. Perhaps we will run chump sometime in the future, but for now we are busy elsewhere.
  3. Chumpcar is several au from becoming a spec series. And I'm not sure how open tech sheets would suddenly force everyone into the same car. It might help a few teams that are really struggling with a bit of direction, but what's on a build sheet alone won't radically upset the finishing order. It might possibly motivate some of the teams who really do want to fight for the podium to change cars, and eventually create more direct competition within the series, but I thought that is what creating a successful racing series all is about.
  4. It's not that hard at all. I used to do similar things with mylaps all the time when I ran regional timing and scoring with another series. It offers very reasonable set of tools, but falls down when people want to do really fancy things with it.
  5. I did that too. When I was in the Marine Corps stationed at Quantico there were a couple of local groups that did steel fighting as well.
  6. Why don't you get over yourself. We're not total newbs to racing, and we know how much money we will burn in building a car. We don't want to toss that that money down the drain on a back-marker with no resale. Yes, it will take a few years for us to figure all this out, we know that and are very realistic about it. But we don't want to handicap ourselves right out of the gate. I'm done in here. I'm tired of being attacked for being open and saying "there are things here that we perceived as potential problems".
  7. That brings back memories, lol. Long before I got into racing my primary hobby involved making and wearing armor and lots of hitting people with metal swords. I did most of my helmet shaping with a large rawhide mallet starting on sandbags then moving to a dished wooden stump. For the tighter curves we we used the bottom of an old oxy tank that had failed inspection. After the pressure was gone we cut it to a good working height and turned it over - the bottom had a nice tight dish for metal shaping and it was anvil-tough. we usually did helms in left and right halves and then welded them together. Doing something with only a 4" diameter could be tough .. not much room to work inside. Nice hammer work, btw.
  8. I have no problem with engineering, templates, custom fabrication or any of the grassroots "ideals" that a few people seem to think need to be defended, or that I may have a problem with. My first plans for a tube frame car were laid out with a computer then mocked up in full size with wood. It did a great job of helping me figure out where theory and practice diverged, and working out where what looked good in a model didn't work in the real world. And yes, two of my early responses were in this thread were quite snarky - and very dryly satirical. (I know some of you really don't get it...) But I do stand by my statement that the "funny math" aspect of some chump car rules has an awful lot in common with the citrus series (and/or GRM challenge), and lowers the appeal of chump car (at least in the eyes of our team). From our perspective it moves one or more layers of competition off the track, out of general "pick your car" strategy, and into the log book & build sheet. Further, the perception that not all point valuations are equal and that the current "secret build sheets" system makes it almost impossible for competitors to know what is really going on only makes the problem worse. Now trying build a car with the potential to eventually become competitive has become a process involving not just car choice and following the written rules, but also do your funny math, get your funny math approved, then do all the other "free" stuff that contradicts the "every performance improvement has a cost" ideal, then hope your funny math doesn't get changed on you. That whole mess, along with perceived general fuzzyness of "do anything you want with a hand tool (wait .. could do with a hand tool .. even if it wasn't), it's free, but we might change our minds on you" have pushed us in a different direction. I like the ideals spelled out by chump car, but what I'm reading here doesn't always feel like part of the same same series. It may be perception, but that perception does impact where we will chose race.
  9. Fair enough. The whole idea of CAD data as part of the documentation for a chump car just sent my sense humor straight into absurdity mode.
  10. I'd like a grant please...
  11. Sorry .. my humor is apparently way to dry for most people here. Yes CAD is just a convenient tool for him.
  12. The car we are building was sent to EC. At least based on the emails I've received. Not because it didn't fit on the existing tables or meet the funky swap math, or even because it didn't fit the letter of the rules .. it did. But because it could potentially be built into something tech thought could be too fast if we decided to cheat, essentially. Yes, it is a swap. The HP gain would have been just under 10%. The swap was planned to reduce operating costs and increase reliability. We're fine paying the swap penalty and doing the math. After a straight boot to EC, and EC only - not "EC or penalty laps", our choices then became navigate the Chump system to learn the ins and outs hoping to pick the right car, or at least avoid the wrong ones, then buy and prep that new car, or build what we already have to a different set of rules without any guesswork and potential tech or rules interpretation headaches. Guess which option our team voted for...
  13. Redacted .. The humor was much too dry to effectively communicate with a forum post.
  14. Redacted .. The humor was much too dry to effectively communicate with a forum post.
  15. This matters. In the upper midwest we are a long tow to almost everywhere, so choice of tracks and and what series to run with doesn't appreciably impact the cost of racing. No organization really has an established home field advantage (other than old school SCCA and the marque based organizations), and the endurance options are all basically equal. We also have very long winters and lots of road salt and rust. That means many of the cheap, old "chumpy" beaters that the rules favor are largely long gone piles of rust up here. Older cars that are actually in good shape with solid structures tend to go for a bit more than most of us want to spend to cut up into a race car. Most of what is left are left are old sports and luxury cars that stopped running and got pushed out of the garage and then sat for a few years, or cross country trips searching for chump-worth beaters. Usually bringing back the neglected sports car or luxo-mobile is the cheaper alternative. If chump were to allow newer cars, that would give us better options. But OBD2 seems to be the devil, never mind with a few bucks worth of gear OBD1 cars are essentially just as tuneable. Between the cryptic, super-secret log-book valuations and "special" math, the perception of resistance to open and fair disclosure that much of the "inside circle" seems to show, and the myriad of unknown to anyone new and and unwritten interpretations of the few rules you do have, the whole mess is enough to make a prospective new team's head explode. Ours did. We've been quietly reading and watching, making notes and comparing our data. we've also been doing the same with the other endurance racing alternatives within our long-tow endurance market. What does it all mean? We started our group planning to build a chump car. Now, we may race chump, but we've decide to build to a different set of rules, and that series will be our primary focus. No secret cabals of unwritten rules, more alternatives in what car we can bring to the race track, less super-secret insider knowledge (and no short-bus vs common sense "special" math skills) required to figure out how we get to our chosen power level and fuel consumption. I'm sure the current crop of insiders likes their hard-earned competitive advantage, but the current system doesn't seem friendly to helping new teams climb that hill. And the current rules (and those super-secret non-written interpretations) are part of what creates this problem. All of this creates a huge barrier to entry for new teams (who may actually have some racing experience) and would like to go endurance racing with chump, but would like to figure out how to chose a car they won't need to toss because they picked the wrong horse after the first year or two. And yes .. swaps and other such stuff are present in other series, but where we're looking to play everyone seems to operating under one consistent and open set of rules. Transparency matters.