The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
California Rally Series

There are a number of races from August - November.

Im thinking pretty hard about entering my Elise in a couple events. Just wondering if anyone on the forum has had experience with rally cross.

You have to have a full roll cage to run a staged rally so thats out for now. However the rallycross has been advertised as an autoX on dirt.

Just thought it would be even better for learning to apply car control. Plus my GF is pushing hard for me to enter them.

What do you guys think? Would the Elise be competitive in Stock Rear Wheel class? The races in Johnson Valley look like they are a close enough distance from LA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
You're kidding right?! :huh:
A good way to destroy your Lotus, rallycross is very hard on the car, not to mention the Lotus does not have enough ground clearance or suspension travel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Really? I read a huge article on the 211 doing extremely well in a rally. Figured this would be a great event. Had a bunch of questions about tires and what to expect for the event.

Im not too worried about the car - more worried about having fun.
 

·
www.theapexinn.com
Joined
·
11,688 Posts
Good Idea !!! ( IF you afford a 30 K depreciation with every rally ! ) :huh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
Really? I read a huge article on the 211 doing extremely well in a rally.
That was probably a tarmac rally

Figured this would be a great event. Had a bunch of questions about tires and what to expect for the event.
I believe the biggest gravel rally tire you can get is 15", not sure where you can find 15" rims that fit an Elise
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
I did a bit of rallycrossing in my Subaru several years back. Lots of fun - but it's the exact opposite of what this car is designed for.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
I posted this video before in this thread. It is an S1 Exige competing in Rallycross in the UK. Apparently the cost of the engine work done on this particular car would fund a brand new S2 Exige!

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Gu2grFYvz8&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Gu2grFYvz8&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
PM JWA. He is currently running a Subaru STi in Rallycross events so I'm sure he can tell you all about it and yes, the events are run in the dirt. I'm sure he will tell you, as others here have, that your Lotus will not hold up to the abuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Im trying to understand the abuse.

Now, bottoming out the suspension I can understand. But I wanted to talk with people that have done some of the rallycrosses I posted above to see if they really have pot holes worse than driving on the streets in LA.

Paint chips - I could care less.

Overall, my intuition was that it would be easier on the car with the not having as much grip. High speed turns in Hoosers seems like more trouble for our cars than dirt roads.

Also, with the low torque - it seemed like the Elise would be perfect and not just sit there spinning tires.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
The events are staged in fields that are not necessarily groomed. JWA actually practices on an overgrown farmer's field and I have ridden with him......it is hard to explain bouncing off of dirt piles, rocks, and deep ruts at speed, but it is quite violent and you can really hear and feel the suspension bouncing off the limit stops all the time. He also makes frequent trips to the tire store to have dirt and rocks removed from rim/tire bead sealing area when the tires won't hold air any longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I posted this video before in this thread. It is an S1 Exige competing in Rallycross in the UK. Apparently the cost of the engine work done on this particular car would fund a brand new S2 Exige!

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Gu2grFYvz8&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Gu2grFYvz8&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
Hell Yeah!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fk7-F4H5hOk&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fk7-F4H5hOk&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

This clip is from Johnson Valley Rallycross - one race that fits my sechdule.

It doesnt look like anything that would constitute "$30k in deperciation."

The Elise is my toy and that looks like FUN. Going to look for alternative rubber for those conditions. I dont think R888s will do much for me there.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
I thought that you guys might like to read my response to Dmbrown's PM:

Hi Dmbrown34,

Yes, I started out running a couple RallyCrosses with some surrounding SCCA regions last spring and ended up running (and winning :) ) the last half of the National Challenge season. RallyCross is a great combination of AutoCross, Solo, and stage rally - and a TON of fun. It's also great being involved at the begining years of the sport. Last year was the first year for the national program.

There are some differences from autocross, the main being that events are scored cummulatively, adding up the times off all runs throughout the event as opposed to FTD winning in autocross.

That said - running an Elise in a RallyCross is an interesting proposition. It has some precedent. There's a picture floating around of a dirt covered Elise interior that was used in an SCCA ad for RallyCross. I never found out who that was. There's even a guy who ran an S1 Exige in the New Zealand stage rally circuit.

The biggest issue is that it really isn't likley that you'll be able to run an event without leaving a mark of any kind. It will get dirt and dust in EVERY nook and cranny. So much that it is likely that you would never get all of it out. The amount of dust depends on the surface at the event that you run - but the range goes from "a lot" to "Grapes of Wrath Level Dustbowl". Also, a lot of regions will need to water down the surface between run sets, so you'll be looking at mud. Additionally, rocks are likely to be involved, so you will need to protect your rear fenders or they'll be sandblasted or worse. A gravel course will obviously be even harder on the car. As none are commercially available, you'd need to figure out how to fashion some sort of mudflaps to help a bit.

The next area to worry about is the front clam. Due to the nature of dirt, ruts and berms will form and it isn't uncommon for me to bottom out the front of my STI when going into a bad corner. I have ripped the bumper cover off twice, as do most others are some point, and scraping the bottom of the bumper is a given. In the Elise, I can assure you that you will scrape the life out of the bottom of the front clam on even the smoothest of surfaces. Maybe worse if you are on a soft surface or a corse with heavy braking zones.

So, those are the downsides. Honestly I wouldn't think of running my Elise in a RallyCross. Another problem is that RWD cars all have so much trouble hooking up that they are much slower than FWD and AWD cars, so while it may be some fun, it's also likely to be somewhat frustrating as a stock automatic Cavalier smokes you (happens all the time). It would be better to take a rental car out and enter it into an even to have some fun and feel it out before thinking about bringing out the Elise. Some regions even have a club car that they rent out and treat like a spec class, which is a good way to get into it.

Now to the practical aspects. There's the aforementioned mudflaps. You mentioned air filters. You'll have to have a hardtop. To run in stock class you can't have made many mods more than a cat-back exhaust - and you'll want to run in stock class because Prepared and Modified allow rally tires which are only made in 15" and a likely too tall to fit in the Elise's wheelwells but basically required to be compettitive.

For stock class tires they have to be street legal and (for this season) they can't have any grooves other than circumferential grooves that are more than .34" wide. So, snow tires are generally best - but depending on the surface someties a good all season works better, at least on heavier cars.

There's a series that is run along side and in conjunction with the SCCA RallyCross program that's centered on the SouthWest that you can look into here: FRX, RallyX, Dirt Trial, rallycross, Rally Sport -- Formula RallyX (sm) I think that a lot of the guys in the CA regions congregate there.

In the end, my advice would be definitely to go check out a RallyCross - but know what you're getting into and think about it before jumping in with the Elise. No matter what, it you'll have a ton of fun. and, if you do bring the Elise out, be sure to send me some pics :).

--Josh
I should reinforce that you WILL bottom every corner of the car - both suspension against stops and body against ground. Depending on the course you will encounter MUCH worse than any pothole. The biggest success at last year's national challenge was that no one rolled that year. If you're intent on doing it, ask around and look for the smoothest and hardest surface you can find.
 

·
Forum Founder
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Great idea, in another car. Find an old MR2.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
<object height="355" width="425">

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fk7-F4H5hOk&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></object>

This clip is from Johnson Valley Rallycross - one race that fits my sechdule.

It doesnt look like anything that would constitute "$30k in deperciation.
That surface looks like it is starting out as smooth as I've ever seen at a RallyCross, but you'll need to talk to some of the guys there to see how it holds up. After a hundred runs of STIs and guys on gravel tires corners get rutted, dug out, and roost berms build up. They do their best to keep the course up, but with ground clearances much higher than an Elise in mind. Just don't assume from that video that the course remains like that all day. If it was, then getting dirty will be your main problem, but I doubt it stays that solid all day.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
For comparison, here's a video of the RSR (Rally Stock Rear) class champion at last year's National Championship: YouTube - 2007 RallyCross RSR champ

That was the best maintained course I've run into, and those videos are from the morning of the last day before things got ugly. I felt like I was on a jetski the way I was busting through the berms that afternoon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,185 Posts
If you want to play in the dirt, go to Rabbit Lake dry lake bed or El Mirage. Miles of totally flat hard clay surface, so ground clearance wont be an issue. The dusk it kicks up has the consitency of baby powder. Ever see car commercials where cars are drifting across a large dirt surface? Probably shot at one of the lakebeds. However, i did get a ton of scratches on the paint which required some wet sanding to come out. Sometimes a group of people i know go out there and setup cones. Here's my experience from playing in the dirt:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f106/i-like-play-dirty-43435/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
I thought that you guys might like to read my response to Dmbrown's PM:

"That said - running an Elise in a RallyCross is an interesting proposition. It has some precedent. There's a picture floating around of a dirt covered Elise interior that was used in an SCCA ad for RallyCross. I never found out who that was."
I remember that picture being posted here on LT and it was from an Elise that had spun off track into the dirt, not from running a rallycross.

I would not run my Elise in the rallycross events they hold here in Tennessee - it is more like tryouts for a Dukes of Hazzard remake. Expect serious damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Here's the video. Please don't do this to your Lotus, it will make the black baby Jesus cry. :no:

<object height="355" width="425">

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/J-gsDv16GLA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></object>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
All of the courses in the videos you all have posted are 10x smoother than the one I ran. There were serious berms, roots, rocks, ruts, and brush all over the place - not to mention lots of deep mud pools. Don't get me wrong, the course I ran was an absolute blast, but a Lotus probably would have gotten stuck mid-lap.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top