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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:46 pm
This posting is prompted by the recent release of the Board's November 5, 2019 minutes.

I have a few questions perhaps some of the senior members could help me with. I'm happy to take those off forum via a PM or my email directly; chainplates-AT-hotmail-DOT-com rather than risk airing any unwelcome comments here. [But, here is OK with me]

I acknowledge that the SCCA GCR says;
"Effective 1/1/97, those cars formerly known as Sports Renault and/or Spec Racers or any variants of this chassis/drivetrain/bodywork combination will not be allowed to compete in ASR in any SCCA sanctioned event."

Was this rule made to "encourage" conversion to the SRF? Now nearly 23 years on, it seems a bit out dated, and I imagine those reaming few Sports Renault will most likely not convert to a Gen3, given costs, and availability of transaxles (I've heard) becoming an issue.

Or, was this made for perceived safety issues due to weight or speed differentials in the ASR group? I currently run in SEDiv as a SPU. Other Sports Renault in other divisions are racing in the Vintage class. In either class/run group (SPU/Vintage) there are significant weight and speed differentials, yet not perceived to be a problem.

Was the ruling made with respect to the vehicle's construction? In a previous thread there were questions inquiring if the SRF met today's GCR "safety standards." I don't agree with that original questioner, as I find the construction of the chassis to be on par with the several formula class vehicles, that are readily converted to Sports Prototypes. The numbers of safe racing hours in the class suggests this is not relevant issue.

I am clearly "late to the party" to submit a letter to the Board, But want to gather information before considering that approach.

I am grateful for the opportunity to run in these classes. The Sports Renault is iconic (OK - quirky), and can be cost-effective vehicle for competition without some of the encumbrances associated with meeting "Spec" requirements. A non-sealed engine/transaxle makes for some interesting performance enhancements (Dual Side-draft Webers, ignition, camshaft) and cost effective maintenance, the choice of brakes, shocks, tires also effectively lowers the costs of competition. Additionally, as the GEN2 SRF is now a Regional Only Class, a simple pen and ink change to the GCR changing the sentence to read;
"-------- Those cars formerly known as Sports Renault and/or Spec Racers or any variants of this chassis/drivetrain/bodywork combination ----- may -------- compete in ASR in any SCCA sanctioned event."


Car count goes up, more racers participate, lowering costs, all good. The option for those wanting to convert to GEN3 may do so.

I anxiously wait for comments/inputs.

Thanks and Regards, Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:46 pm
My understanding is that rule change was a contractual obligation with Ford as part of the Gen2 conversion. The only "official" place that the car was eventually allowed to run in SCCA is in SCCA Vintage.

As a "die-hard" Renault driver (even leaving SCCA to run NASA for a season in 1997) the most fun I had was beating the early Ford conversions (especially before they finally adjusted the spring rates). Probably the most fun I ever had was running an oval race at Phoenix Intenational with the Renault, swapping the lead back and forth with a Ford as I was able to go flat out into T1, while the Ford could power past on the back section. Seems like we did it every lap!

Once we moved to NASA and were allowed to change carburetors and cams, the power-to-weight ratio was on par (or better) than the Ford and laps times were comparable (or better), especially given the bloated rear weight of the Gen 2 Ford. Running with NASA was "interesting", but that's an entirely different conversation!

The Gen3 conversion really brought the car back closer to the balance of the original Renault (though I'd like to see Enterprise's address the springs to better suit the balance of the car).

I'd recommend a conversation, first, with SCCA Enterprises or SCCA board to see if the Ford contractually obligations related to the Renault are still in effect (assuming my information is correct). Assuming it's no longer in force, that might encourage the allowance of an RSR (in some form or another) as a Regional-only class. From a Regional level, entries are their lifeblood and encouraging participation of any class (especially a well-proven, safely designed car) .
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:08 pm
Bob -

Thanks for those insights and suggestions -- That is EXACTLY the background detail I was seeking. Also, I appreciate your vector to Enterprises and HQ. I'll also work with SEDiv. (As at one point there was one idea being tossed around to place my car in P2! Better thinking prevailed.)

The new Prototype X and FX classes offer interesting verbiage in the board minutes. These seem to indicate the board is open to ideas -- a good thing. I'm hoping my mods will bring my car on par or surpass the Gen2s. But that will now be next season's challenge.

Thanks again. Jim
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:30 pm
Prototype X !? I've often wondered about putting the 1.0L 3 cyl. Ecoboost engine in an SRF chassis.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:22 am
Jim

The reason for the prohibition of Sports Renault is indeed the contract which the Club (Enterprises) had with Roush / Ford. Basically, a Sports Renault could not participate anyplace in Club Racing. Originally there were a couple of more paragraphs which limited Sports Renault to vintage racing. The intent was definitely to encourage conversion to the Ford engine.

At the end of the contract with Roush, the underlying reason to prohibit Sports Renault in Club Racing was removed, The GCR language was revised to reflect the new status. I'm not sure why the prohibition to compete in ASR was not removed other than weight / speed considerations mentioned above.

At the request of a couple of competitors, the South Jersey Region developed a ruleset for Sports Renault so that the 'Gen 1' cars could compete is SCCA regional racing:

http://www.nediv.com/images/nedivclassrules/NJRRS-SR_Rules.pdf

Gen 1 cars have run in a handful of regionals and all of the Devil in the Dark 12 Hour events.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:28 am
xvracer wrote:Prototype X !? I've often wondered about putting the 1.0L 3 cyl. Ecoboost engine in an SRF chassis.


Maybe lighter, but Turbo puts you into SPO with the Big Cars! Seems I saw 120+ HP? Much more available from a Honda mod - up to 200.

There is a lot of discussion on the FX and PX over at the Formula site (ApexSpeed) https://www.apexspeed.com/forums/showth ... sses/page2

Much about Form cars but the SRs are in it too. I hoping for the dust to settle and see if there may be a "fit" for a re-engined, re-bodied, lightened, (formerly) Sped Renault.

Had an email from Robey Clark (current chef of Enterprises). He allowed it was a weight/speed issue on the ASR prohibition.

Terry has some good insights on the history too. Seems a shame to keep Gen1 and some Gen2's in the "barn" when they could fit into a catch-all Sports Prototype class like the Formula S - "run what you brung."

Cheers - Jim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:41 pm
I'm not sure I follow Robey's reasoning to continue the exclusion. Note the start date of the rule is 1/1/1997. This was put in deliberately to ensure that no one could sneak around the Renault prohibition, rather than based on any safety or other considerations (IMHO)

As far as his point about power/weight in ASR, if you look at the class rule for Sports Racers, it effectively allows pretty much any formula car to be converted to full body, including FV. I can't imagine that a full body FV Sports Racer would be safer to run in ASR than a Sports Renault!

Effective 1/1/97, those cars formerly known as Sports Renault and/or Spec Racers or any variants of this chassis/drive train/bodywork combination will not be allowed to compete in ASR in any SCCA sanctioned event.
Single seat Formula car chassis (Ex.: FA, FC, FF, FV) fitted with enclosed bodies (as specified in these rules) may run in a Sports Racing/Prototype Class (ASR, P1, P2) provided they comply with the require- ments of the Classification Specification and GCR Section 9. This means that all Formula Atlantic, Formula Continental, Formula F, and Formula Vees running in Sports Racing categories shall have bodywork which complies with the appropriate category Classification Specifications. The ex Formula car chassis need not have any former engine(s) fitted. Converted cars will maintain their former SCCA registration vehicle numbers. Each converted car shall meet the homologation requirements of section 9.2.2 and have a new Vehicle Logbook (with new pictures); however, the former Logbook will be securely attached to the new Logbook. This procedure will enable Race Officials and Scrutineers to identify a single seat Sports Racer as formerly having been a bona fide Formula car. New Single seat Sports Racers may be of new construction and must meet the homologation requirements of section 9.2.2.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:44 pm
breton wrote:
As far as his point about power/weight in ASR, if you look at the class rule for Sports Racers, it effectively allows pretty much any formula car to be converted to full body, including FV. I can't imagine that a full body FV Sports Racer would be safer to run in ASR than a Sports Renault!

Effective 1/1/97, those cars formerly known as Sports Renault and/or Spec Racers or any variants of this chassis/drive train/bodywork combination will not be allowed to compete in ASR in any SCCA sanctioned event.
Single seat Formula car chassis (Ex.: FA, FC, FF, FV) fitted with enclosed bodies (as specified in these rules) may run in a Sports Racing/Prototype Class (ASR, P1, P2) provided they comply with the require- ments of the Classification Specification and GCR Section 9. This means that all Formula Atlantic, Formula Continental, Formula F, and Formula Vees running in Sports Racing categories shall have bodywork which complies with the appropriate category Classification Specifications. The ex Formula car chassis need not have any former engine(s) fitted. Converted cars will maintain their former SCCA registration vehicle numbers. Each converted car shall meet the homologation requirements of section 9.2.2 and have a new Vehicle Logbook (with new pictures); however, the former Logbook will be securely attached to the new Logbook. This procedure will enable Race Officials and Scrutineers to identify a single seat Sports Racer as formerly having been a bona fide Formula car. New Single seat Sports Racers may be of new construction and must meet the homologation requirements of section 9.2.2.


I'm considering making just that kind of presentation (when I get some more facts). It should be pretty easy to do a kinetic energy comparison between several variants of cars. Just using min weights and max speeds (or weight to hp/torque) ought to be close enough. Greg Holmburg did a nice racing costs spreadsheet that ought to be a good start.

Interesting stem; "...New Single seat Sports Racers may be of new construction..." suggests an opening for a modified Sports Renault -- just maybe... BTW I'm interested in jumping into any class that makes sense; ASR, or the P1/2 class.

I haven't dug into the new board notes to fully understand where they are heading with the Prototype X class.. If the objective is to lower the number of classes - to what end? Something like NASA or CHAMPS where I gather it is broadly based on dyno/weight/whatever? I don't play in those so only have a vague understanding of the classification schemes.

As an aside - a the upcoming Turkey Trot @ Sebring, my SPU is in the same run group as the rest of the SRFs. I'll be the one at the end of the conga line as they will most likely get a split start. But is good competition and a chance to build some skills.

Thanks again Bob for the encouragement.

Cheers - Jim
When I used to fly, I was called an AVIATOR.
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