New Regional NASA Class: Low, Low (lowest) Cost- Big Fun! Front4Club

Discussion in 'Wheel to Wheel Racing' started by Cventurini, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Cventurini

    Cventurini New Member

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    In the spirit of building competitive, close, and low cost racing, me and some other racers have been developing and testing different platforms, tires, and parts to see what is the best way to build a new racing class. We wanted to emphasize parity, competition, low operating cost, future growth for the sport, and most important fun!
    The magic formula that we've created isn't complicated.
    -cars that require little effort and cost to build and maintain but are still tons of fun to drive
    -rules that are easy to follow, inclusive of different vehicles, builds, drivers, and that support competition and keeping costs in check.
    -a culture that fosters growth, talent and develops a positive, learning atmosphere, while promoting competitive spirit.
    - explore new, non-saturated options for motorsports racing in the Rocky Mountain region, while also being able to include existing drivers/cars from other existing sanctioning groups. (think WRL etc)

    Our answer to all of these was to build a class around front wheel drive, 4 cylinder cars.

    -We already have a half dozen cars being built, some for as little as a couple grand including the car.
    -Speeds are compatible to other classes that already exist, but for much less cost, with a more inclusive ruleset. (these cars weigh nothing, have decent power, and handle extremely well!)
    - 100tw tires, this allows people to use the tried and true, long lasting, R comps like the RA-1, Nt01, RC1, while allowing drivers using 200tw tires from other series like lemons, WRL, auto-x, to remain competitive (our testing has shown that the competitive 200tw tires are as fast, or faster than 100tw R comps anyway)
    -connect racers with time trialers by allowing all participants to compete for fastest lap times of the day and other daily prizes, events, challenges and awards. (major awards!) Also pairing HPDE and time trailers with racers within the group as part of a mentoring/ development program
    -hp to weight rules determined by (hp+tq) /2 , build your power the easiest, cheapest way you want, we don't care how you get there, as long as you don't exceed the class limits. We've all raced different series before and see how people exploit rules limited by certain parts, or certain hp limits. By making the rules power to weight limited, and including tq as a variable, cars can easily meet the rules power requirements without spending thousands of dollars to squeeze out a couple hp and gain an unfair edge.
    - Choose whatever car you want that fits the requirements, no spec car. The cars that are being built (mostly honda) are extremely cheap to maintain, parts are super inexpensive, and are reliable as heck, I think I've changed 1 CV axle and done 1 oil change all of last season and that was with running every TT session, multiple HPDE sessions, and every PPIR time attack event.
    less time wrenching=more time racing!

    We're still refining some final aspects of the class, but if you are interested in close, lowest cost racing with a strong driving culture reach out to me or check out our website!

    https://front4club.wixsite.com/home

    Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/399338050503049/
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  2. Bottoz

    Bottoz New Member

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    Is this thing legal?!?!

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. ndogg

    ndogg New Member

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    Sounds like a fun idea. I can tell you that there is a reason why most NASA classes do not use torque in the calculation. Most people don't really understand what that "engine" torque number means (or how meaningless it is in how fast a race car is). By having HP and torque in the calculation you have created an easy way for a certain type of engine to gain an advantage.
     
  4. MHISSTC

    MHISSTC New Member

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    I want to start a TT-Silver run group. All full sized front engine/rear drive 4-door sedans more than 15 years old that meet a certain HP:weight ratio running a full interior on stock size performance all season tires and stock wheels with an automatic transmission. Bonus HP:weight allowances given for fully functional HVAC, power windows, air ride suspension, moon roofs and power leather seats. Think luxury boats that can be driven in comfort to, from, and ON the track like a Crown Vic, Mercury Marquis, Lexus LS400 or GS400, Infinity Q45, Chevy Caprice, etc.
     
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  5. WestonP

    WestonP New Member

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    This is going to be an awesome year! I'm hoping swap the new B20 into my Integra by next week, then a little engine tuning, the usual W2W gear, and it's ready!

    Now we just have to figure out how to fit 2 cars onto my 20ft trailer... :eek:
     
  6. Cventurini

    Cventurini New Member

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    The rules arent perfect, but we race in other groups that only have hp limits and have cars that are not only maxing out the hp limit but have much more tq than hp creating an obvious advantage.
     
  7. Cventurini

    Cventurini New Member

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    2018 will be amazing for racing!
    I feel like if a Front4 car beats a CMC car then there should be a public award/shaming for that?
    time to make some stickers ;D
     
  8. ndogg

    ndogg New Member

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    I totally understand where you are coming from. This "obvious" advantage is why some classes still use TQ in the equation. These are the classes that have rule makers that do not truly understand the math/physics behind accelerating a race-car. The only thing that matters is the HP in the usable RPM band (dictated by the gearing)...

    Since you are only using peak HP vs usable HP in your equation, this TQ factor may not be a huge deal. But I'll tell you right now whoever has the highest revving engine with the lowest peak torque will have the advantage as long as their power band is large enough to stay in between shifts.

    I have no skin in this game so do whatever you like :)

    This is a super cool idea and I really like your rule set though don't take this the wrong way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  9. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 New Member

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    Sounds like it's time to bring back the manties.
     
  10. WestonP

    WestonP New Member

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    I enjoy this topic, but the key difference here is that you are talking about quantifying the entire usable HP range (which is also interchangeable with torque when you're using 2D data like this), whereas we and most race classes prefer to err on the side of having a clear and simple rulebook, with the typical practice being to base it on the peak dyno numbers and vehicle weight.

    To properly equalize that would be quite a mess for a rule book... At a minimum, for just acceleration alone, it would need to take all of the points from the engine dyno plot, along with each transmission gear ratio, the final drive ratio, drive wheel size, vehicle mass, and aero CdA (we'll just assume that rolling resistance and other losses are close enough between these cars). I've written a few implementations of this stuff in software applications over the years, so I assure you that our rule does not come from any lack of understanding of the math and physics, but rather a desire for simplicity and practicality. Even if we provide a calculator app that does all of this, that's still a lot of data for the competitor to input (which is also hard to verify for rules enforcement), and it's a pain for a competitor who's trying to figure out how much more power he can add, or how much more weight he can pull out of the car.

    So, no matter what, we're going to need some compromises and over-simplifications in order for a vehicle equalization rule to be practical, and with that comes the potential for some killer combinations. This isn't a "spec" class, so there will be some differences between cars anyway, but it is our job to keep that in check, and to keep things fun and competitive. Like most any race class, that's something that we'll just have to keep an eye on, put some actual data to, and make adjustments as warranted.

    Using "(Peak HP + Peak Torque) / 2" versus weight is simple, very well understood, and it fits all of our objectives right now. There are undoubtedly better formulas that might cover a wider range of engines or variables, but we also intentionally don't have a very wide range of engine characteristics in this class (all 4-cylinders, small-ish displacement, naturally aspirated).

    The inclusion of torque is important to address the fact that there is both a widespread perception, and often a mathematical reality, that cars with lots of torque can have an advantage on the road course if they are only regulated based on peak HP. There are also a number of things that a competitor could do to capitalize on this, while staying well within his target HP limit, if we were to leave torque unregulated.

    It is true that including torque in this calculation could help the high-revving VTEC engines which have good horsepower with not nearly as much torque... That's actually intentional because a straight HP vs weight rule doesn't work out very fairly for them. Again, if we were taking into account the HP or torque for each point across the entire usable RPM range, then that would be a different story, but using peak numbers is inherently imperfect.

    Another example is that we're putting B20's into some of the Integras (due to their preferable cost, condition, and availability), which are not expected to make more peak HP than their stock B18A/B's, but they make more torque and are a clear and provable advantage on the track. Without our torque rule, this would be a big uneven advantage that everyone would have to go out and buy in order to be competitive, but because of the rule these cars get more weight as they should.

    Ultimately, this all boils down to it being better for us to sample two imperfect data points rather than just one imperfect data point. I've not seen another class that has really solved this situation (many seem to do far less), although I have seen some good ideas that could come into play if we end up desiring a more involved system.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  11. ndogg

    ndogg New Member

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    Sounds like you have a good grasp on the trade offs then! Good luck on this series guys!
     
  12. Dan williams

    Dan williams Administrator Staff Member

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    Most important of all. Just get out there and in the game!!
     

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