No traction control in Prepared classes?

No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby Kiwi » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:45 pm

I did not realize that our current rules ban traction/stability control in the Prepared classes. The 2013 Technical and Safety Requirements read:

2. CHASSIS. BB. Dual System
1. Any device that actuates the brake independent of driver control shall not be allowed, except for Formula Libre. Devices that limit braking power independent of driver control are allowed.


The first sentence bans traction or stability control mechanisms that automatically activate the brakes (i.e., independent of driver). The second sentence seems to imply some form of anti-lock braking system is acceptable, in that braking power (force?) may be limited independent of driver control. This would be useful if the driver has applied too much force and has locked the brakes; the system could then reduce braking power to restore wheel rotation.

However, in my understanding, modern anti-lock braking systems will actually modulate the brakes at the point of lock up (when and if driver has applied too much force). So the ABS both limits and then automatically actuates the brakes, independent of driver control. Which would mean ABS is not legal in Prepared.

The following rule bans traction control in Prepared through engine power mechanisms:
5. GENERAL FF. Traction Control
1. Devices that automatically limit engine power to control traction shall not be allowed, except in Formula Libre.


So I guess my question is, why ban traction control (either braking or engine power) in the Prepared class?

Any number of modern street cars could be stripped, caged, and raced in Prepared classes while still using the stock engine management system, which, for high-powered cars like Evos, Subarus, BMWs, Porsches, etc. all come with traction control. I personally turn off traction control when on the track with my street car, but it does make it harder to drive at the limit. When teaching high-speed driving on race tracks, most driving schools I know of prefer the learning student to keep traction control systems engaged. It is safer. I believe that Prepared cars at our hillclimbs might also be safer (easier to drive at the limit) if they used traction control. Not as much fun, and maybe not as good for driver learning/training, but generally safer. A good motorsport system would probably provide a competitive advantage as well as being safer.

As the rules stand, a driver in Prepared will have to disengage traction/stability control somehow if it is a stock feature of their race car. I personally think that requiring a driver to bypass what could be seen as a safety feature exposes the clubs to liability claims if something were to go horribly wrong.

So again, why ban traction control?

Jamie
--
Jamie Melhuish
User avatar
Kiwi
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:17 pm

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby KevinGale » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:20 pm

ABS limits braking so it is allowed in Prepared classes. That is the intent of the wording under 2.BB.1

Traction control is not allowed. It goes back many years and came down to two factors. One factor was cost. We believed a good traction control system would be worth a lot of time on the hill. A good system was many thousands of dollars (and quick check shows it still would be $2000 or so for my car). We didn't want the costly arms race and decided to outlaw it. But the second factor was the driver. We kinda liked the fact that the driver had to be in charge of traction and not an electronic device. ABS wasn't an issue in this because we didn't feel it gave that much of a benefit.

Of course at the time it wasn't an issue for Unprepared or Street Prepared. Now lots of cars have it from the factory.

Not sure how a vote on it would go today.
Last edited by KevinGale on Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
KevinGale
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Sutton, NH

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby sdwarf36 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:30 pm

I personally think that requiring a driver to bypass what could be seen as a safety feature exposes the clubs to liability claims if something were to go horribly wrong.

We are not telling anyone to bypass their TC-they have a class to race in-(FL)--just not in Prepared.

The only person that can say how much TC helps or hurts, doesn't follow the message board. But when Mike was running the Porsche, said he was much slower with the TC on.
My thoughts about changing any techinal rule: does it affect any car running? (no) Does it open something up to allow someone to run? ( do you know of a particular car that will only run with us if the rule is changed?)
I can't remember anyone ever wanting to run TC in P--can anyone else?
Translating road racing to hillclimbing:
Proper tire selection== nothing hooks up on moss or wet leaves.
Staying on the racing line==anything paved is considered good.
User avatar
sdwarf36
 
Posts: 820
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:06 pm

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby Kiwi » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Kevin and Sherm,

good answers both. I agree that the cost of a good traction control (TC) system is not cheap and the results are potentially worth a lot of time on a hill. So I can understand banning it for certain classes (e.g., Prepared) and allowing it in others (e.g., Formula Libre). I also like the driver being in charge of TC, although I'm glad that ABS is allowed in Prepared for those who want it.

For U and SP, the performance will be dictated more by the car itself than by TC (an expensive sports car is always going to be faster than dad's rusty teacup).

I don't see the need to change the existing rules. I had no idea on the background story of TC in Prepared, a little "one line" rule doesn't really give the reasons for that rule... Thanks for filling me in!

Jamie
--
Jamie Melhuish
User avatar
Kiwi
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:17 pm

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby KevinGale » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:28 pm

sdwarf36 wrote: The only person that can say how much TC helps or hurts, doesn't follow the message board. But when Mike was running the Porsche, said he was much slower with the TC on.


I suspect most street systems just make you slower. If you build a traction control system with the goal of making a car faster you get a much different outcome than if you build a traction control system to make a car safer.
User avatar
KevinGale
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Sutton, NH

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby Challenger392 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:49 pm

Not to muddy the waters, but when considering traction control we also might want to think about torque vectoring. Some modern cars have traction and stability control (brake actuated) as well as torque vectoring (differential actuated), I know some Audi's have it and I'm pretty sure the Nissan GTR does. There is a very good chance the turning off the TC doesn't turn off the TV. That presents a problem in that TV provides a huge advantage and per our current rules is free. I think Mike's GTR is a good example of that advantage it gives in the hands of a talented driver i.e. 3800lb 500hp car being competative with cars 1000 lb lighter with similar power.
Luke Moultroup
Technical Support
Pratt & Whitney Engine Services

http://moultroupracing.blogspot.com/

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392
1972 Dodge Challenger 318
2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7
2004 Mazda 6
Howe Modified
1989 Suzuki GSXR1100K
User avatar
Challenger392
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:52 pm

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby Chief Geek » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:24 pm

I'm beginning to think those rules have been surpassed by technology.

Personally, I don't think the launch control built software into Walter's ECU should disqualify him from the P classes.

Heck, my $14k econobox violates both rules Jamie quoted and the Mazda2 makes the Miata look really fast. Clearly, these functions aren't limited to high-dollar sportscars anymore.

Forcing cars built within the last 10 years to run in FL can't match the original intent of those rules.

To me, it makes sense to me to delete both of those rules, they don't make as much sense as they used to. Adding TC to a carbureted Chevy small block may not be cheap, but I bet it's way cheaper than removing it from any modern car.

Paul
"Christina", New #13/#55x, '90 Miata: In progress
"Keiko", Old #13x/#55x, '96 Miata: R.I.P.
Daily Driver: '11 Mazda2 (small cars... some men have nothing to compensate for)
Chief Geek
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby KevinGale » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:05 pm

Chief Geek wrote:Forcing cars built within the last 10 years to run in FL can't match the original intent of those rules.

To me, it makes sense to me to delete both of those rules, they don't make as much sense as they used to. Adding TC to a carbureted Chevy small block may not be cheap, but I bet it's way cheaper than removing it from any modern car.


No one is forcing them to run in FL since most of the cars you are talking about are Unprepared or Street Prepared cars anyway. Even in Prepared I might be willing to allow factory systems. In fact I'd be tempted to stay they must be activated :lol: since most of them are junk from a performance standpoint. The exceptions to that rule are usually in cars that don't race with us.

And no one said you had to remove it (whatever that means) but disabling it or just turning it off isn't expensive.

Even technology loving F1 has banned it. There is something to be said for having prepared be a class that is about the drivers as well as the cars.
Last edited by KevinGale on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
KevinGale
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Sutton, NH

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby KevinGale » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:10 pm

You might think allowing the driver to have a traction control system but not turn it on is a problem but actually it is perfectly in the spirit of our rules. If they want to cheat they could just hide the system. We don't do tear downs. They could also put in a bigger engine than they claim. If they really want to cheat just so they can win P3 or whatever they can do that. I hope the plaque is worth it.
User avatar
KevinGale
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Sutton, NH

Re: No traction control in Prepared classes?

Postby britracer89 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:54 pm

I agree with Kevin.
britracer89
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:14 pm

Next

Return to Technical

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

x