As an ex member of the SMAC, I can tell you some of the things that were discussed on the old weight numbers and ballasting. First, I can say that it was a fight to get the lotus in at all, and second, the SEB raised the weights over the suggested levels. Other than that, it was suggested that a nice multipurpose (street/track/auto-x) forced indcution elise should probably add weight for reliability purposes. Larger radiator, larger oil cooler. Followed closely by a larger intercooler. Possibly stronger axles and trasnmissions as well. Other than that, prime locations to add weight were the supsension subframe connectors and the suspension cross braces. (large pieces of steel connected to major frame bolts low in the frame and allowing some ability to trim balance).
It was identified even before the discussion was forwarded to the SEB that people would us the seat brackets for this purpose. The 50lb per segment came out of the that discussion. The intent was to limit the amount of weight the mounting hardware had to deal with.
Failing that you can get into other allowances. Wings, surge tanks, drysumps/accumulaters etc..
I'm sorry if you took my post as a complaint. That wasn't my intent. It is a fact however that the class is presently heavily dominated by a single build. I actually think that Elise/Exige builds might be able to crack that lock on the class but nobody's really tried a serious full out SSM build for a lotus as far as I know.
Very intersting history you give in any case. I agree that there are some things that should be added that will add some weight. When I think about the thing I would do if I had the money to really do a serious build, a TVS supercharger + intercooler adds some, plus if one pushes things up to the power level likely required, an e153 tranny might be a good idea, which adds weight too (any1 know how much?), and 10" wheels all around would add weight, and as you say, a few lbs for aero. Also, I suspect the hubs may need to be upgraded too, my mechanic is convinced that that is a weak point in the system. If one starts from stock and goes directly to SSM (don't pass go, don't collect $200), perhaps the ballast isn't too bad, but lots of the perf parts are weight reducers too, (wheels, ultra-discs, clutches etc).
However, for someone who progressively builds up their car (like me) rather than doing an ground up build from the start, one winds up shaving weight until the boost goes in, so the ballast to be applied at that point can be substantial. This is arguably just a flaw in my build strategy, so again I'm not complaining but my car is probably around 1875 or so right now with 1/3 tank of fuel, so even if I do eventually do a tranny/supercharger/wheels and a full tank of gas I expect to need at least 3 segments.
However, I can now put the weight low and in the front....
Perhaps I missed it, but I haven't noticed the part of the rules that allow replacement of the radiator with anything other than oem? Have to admit I haven't combed the rules for that one yet though.
The only thing I ever really thought was unfair was the previous rule about ballast in the trunk or spare wheel well, neither of which is and option in the elise/exige.
I totally agree with the limitation of 50 lbs per segment although the way the rules were written previously that would have had no effect on "heavy seat brackets" because the were ostensibly "not ballast" since they were not in the trunk or spare wheel well, and just "heavy parts". I always felt that that sort of creative interpretation was very very questionable. After all, how is non-functional weight added to a part not ballast anyway? Discussions I read talked of wrapping the seat brackets in Lead... in other words people would be spending time working poisonous heavy metals into to things, just to pretend it wasn't ballast, and the chances of it being applied in a way that is hard to inspect and perhaps not properly secured sound high. Hardly a desireable side effect...
The recent change to allow ballast "within the bodywork" is a very very good thing IMHO because it prevents people from doing outlandish things to put weight in funny places if they can't or don't want to put it in the trunk. Now, just find a location with space and strength and bolt it down. Plain and simple. This (IMHO) was the key change that makes it thinkable to really do a full SSM build. (If someone wants to give me a spare $20k or so I'll give it a shot...
Out of curiosity what were the recommended weight levels?
2005 Lotus Elise, Starlight Black # 111 SSM NER SCCA Solo II >> UltraDiscs, SS brake lines, BOE tow bar, plywood/cf splitter, Antigravity XPS-SC1, BOE QT exhaust, BWR SS swaybar, charlie-x tune, Fujita F5 CAI, Nitron S/A Med, 8 sqft AutoX Wing (decklid mounted), AC Delete, BOE motor mounts, MWR underdrive pulleys, PPE Header, BOE TOC wet sump, v2 Arms. Fizanza Fly, Exedy ST2, OS Giken LSD, BWR Bogart 10.5" wheels ~1842lbs/~205bhp N/A ~1.5 Lat G