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Discussion Starter #1
I see conflicting thoughts on this when I did a search. The way I see it is that the Elise hardtop is not a structural component and the car, much like 911 targa (pre 993), gets its support from the windshield frame and the roll cage. I just ordered, and didn't get a hardtop, but the dealer thought I might need one for track. Any thoughts/advice?
TIA
 

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It depends if you are using it for race. Most of the open-track/auto-x events that I have been to require a roll bar for convertibles, but do not require a hard top. However, for full on competition race (SCCA, NASA), a hard top is necessary.

At NASA last week, I was talking to a few guys about the possibility of setting up an elise spec league, and the hard top issue popped into my mind too, as I did not order one either. It doesnt much matter though, as you can always order the top later.
 

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Modern Wedgie said:

At NASA last week, I was talking to a few guys It doesnt much matter though, as you can always order the top later.
Just trying to think ahead, don't really want one and with heartland park down the street from me I have the chance of seeing some track days a few times/year, but no hardcore racing.
 

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The elise has a roll bar that is not easly seen as it is covered by plastic and other cosmetic parts. I will be making a roll bar for the elise and I dont want people to be mistaken that there is no roll over protection in this car from the factory, when infact there is. Will they let you get on the track in your elise with out an aftermarket roll bar, I am not sure but I would assume all org's will when the factory system is made more known.

AdamP
 

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I don't think you need to add an aftermarket roll bar just to prove one is there. Maybe just show up with a pic of the chassis to prove its existence.
 

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Having chaired a number of track days, autocrosses & other events, the question of hardtop vs canvas top vs no top is driven primarily by the insurance carrier & safety.

I've found that the rules on tops varies by insurance carrier. Some top, others no top. K&K is most prevalent and asks for roll bars, but top isn't neccessary for track days. Roll bars & tops however are needed for "races & time-trials".

From a safety aspect many groups require tops (hard or soft) with the window rolled up. Why you ask? Because the natural tendency of a driver when a car is rolling over is to attempt to stop the car by hold your arm out the window/top!!!

The SCCA requires open cars without tops - like sports racers & formula cars, to have the drivers wear arm restraints to prevent the limbs from waving at the spectators when the driver is inverted...
 

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fyi, the built in roll bar is not MSA certified. All the Elises that took part in the Macau GP last year had to have a certified roll bar fitted.
 

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hermanslotus said:
BMW CCA CLUB requires roof on, and my chapter wants ONLY hardtops, no soft tops what so ever will they allow on a race track.
Same here ... the 'CCA in California requires hard tops.

Whether this is actually more safe I'm not sure.

Most groups around here require you to run with windows open (sometimes even in the rain :( ).

I've never heard the limbs-out-of-the-vehicle concern. Seems this would be a problem in hard tops with windows down as well.

As another data point, the friends I have who time trial their S2k's usually have no hard top and top down (apparently easier to get your out of the car if you flip. They do have fairly beefy rollover bars, but as I'm sure you know, the problem is the windshield deforming. Scary. No time trialing S2k's for me...

Best,
John
 

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khamai said:
Having chaired a number of track days, autocrosses & other events, the question of hardtop vs canvas top vs no top is driven primarily by the insurance carrier & safety.

I've found that the rules on tops varies by insurance carrier. Some top, others no top. K&K is most prevalent and asks for roll bars, but top isn't neccessary for track days. Roll bars & tops however are needed for "races & time-trials".

From a safety aspect many groups require tops (hard or soft) with the window rolled up. Why you ask? Because the natural tendency of a driver when a car is rolling over is to attempt to stop the car by hold your arm out the window/top!!!

The SCCA requires open cars without tops - like sports racers & formula cars, to have the drivers wear arm restraints to prevent the limbs from waving at the spectators when the driver is inverted...

What is the requirement for GGLC?
 

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Isn't the Elise is consider to be a targa top (like F50) instead of a full open top convertable like Miata or S2k?
 

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stuttgart said:
What is the requirement for GGLC?
Open cars typically require roll bars - Elans, M100s, Sevens. Stock Elise roll structure is consider sufficient.

Keep in mind these requirements are for a track day with restricted passing and is a non-competitive driving event. Any contact with anything = you're out.

Were we to conduct a "racing" or time-trials event the requirements would be much more stringent.
 

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Modern Wedgie said:
At NASA last week, I was talking to a few guys about the possibility of setting up an elise spec league, and the hard top issue popped into my mind too, as I did not order one either. It doesnt much matter though, as you can always order the top later.
Don't you mean to say, you can put a deposit on a hard top and get on the list. If your dealer has sold enough Esprits you may get it in 8-12 months. :)

Steve
 

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Babak:

At the Lotus Ltd. track event, any convertible has two options either a roll bar meeting the "broomstick test" or hard top in place.

I just received an invite to a BMW track day and the said NO convertibles. Too much liability I guess.

For what it's worth!

Mark Pfeffer
(No tree hugging here!!! HE HE HE) :D
 

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Feffman said:
Babak:

At the Lotus Ltd. track event, any convertible has two options either a roll bar meeting the "broomstick test" or hard top in place.

I just received an invite to a BMW track day and the said NO convertibles. Too much liability I guess.

For what it's worth!

Mark Pfeffer
(No tree hugging here!!! HE HE HE) :D

Mark,

Most if not all chapters in the BMW CCA will allow a hardtop. My chapter is one of many that will only let the Elise onto a track for any driving event as long as it has the hardtop. Yes, this is due to insurance reasons.

The BMW CCA will allow just about any type of car as long as it's NOT a convertible. All you have to do is join the BMW CCA for $35 a year and you can drive just about any car at their many track events across the USA. BMW CCA is one of the few clubs in America that donot require you to drive or own a BMW to participate in their events. So one can bring their Elise to any of their track events as long as it has a hardtop in place.

Best Wishes,
Mitch
 

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hermanslotus said:
Mark,

Most if not all chapters in the BMW CCA will allow a hardtop. My chapter is one of many that will only let the Elise onto a track for any driving event as long as it has the hardtop. Yes, this is due to insurance reasons.

The BMW CCA will allow just about any type of car as long as it's NOT a convertible. All you have to do is join the BMW CCA for $35 a year and you can drive just about any car at their many track events across the USA. BMW CCA is one of the few clubs in America that donot require you to drive or own a BMW to participate in their events. So one can bring their Elise to any of their track events.

Best Wishes,
Mitch
I think Porsche Club of America will let no p-cars run as well.
 
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