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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think NASA definitely has some hate towards Lotus and I have no idea why or where it's coming from? I've heard NASA officials say it's a "cheater" car and make special exceptions for it, yada, yada, yada.

But regardless of what NASA want to believe, the facts remain that my car was a street car and it's got a 1.8 litre NA motor (and most of my modifications have been focused on reliability and weight reduction).

I was trying to get my Lotus classified for NASA's 25hr race ... NASA seems to want me in ES saying my car comes in at 7.9 (per formula) which is GTS5 which maps to ES in 25hr. I read the GTS (Germain Touring Series) class rules (what NASA wants me to use for classification) and I come up with 10.7 which is close to 11 which puts me in GTS3 (E0) for DOT tire -- pretty sure I can easily get my car to 11 with either a tad more weight and/or a little less HP.

Rules indicate weight is WITH driver, but NASA calculated my weight WITHOUT driver. Asked for clarification on "weight" and they have not gotten back to me yet.

This isn't the first time I've gotten some crazy car classifications from NASA. But putting this in perspective Porsche Cup cars (the $350,000 ones not the $105,000 ones) are in ES, they cruise around Thunderhill in 1:47 - 1:48 range ... I'd be lucky to hit 1:54-1:55 and more like 1:57 for 25hr race pace.

Fortunately my Quaife sequential box doesn't have any significance in the classification. But, it's a hard sell to any potential sponsors who would see that in ES my Lotus wouldn't stand a chance of a podium and would be lucky to get a top 10. For me, just finishing would be a win, but that ain't what sponsors want to hear. I could "over sell" to the sponsors, but if they looked at any other past NASA 25hr events it would be obvious we wouldn't stand a chance in ES.

Did I miss something somewhere?

EDIT: The GTS rules measure HP/TQ with a DynoJet, yet some of the other class rules measure with a Chassis Dyno ... there's a 15% difference between the two which further skews the classification process.

See link to rules below, I interpreted the weight as being defined "WITH" driver ... what do you folks think?

The GTS Rules

Class Mapping Rules

Rob.

P.S. I'll still run my car in ES, but it'll be done knowing there is no chance for a podium and the only goal will be to finish.
 

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You know NASA is not good for the Lotus...they love pretty much everything but a Lotus.

It took me a year and a half to get a dyno reclass from "sur" to TTA. I had to run extra weight and couldn't gain any power to get to the class ratio of 8.7 (I was close to 1 full pt. higher) and that seemed ok to them? It killed me on tracks with long straights but I still got second in region because I drove my ass off. If I would have had the correct power I would have won.

They gave me the crap of your car comes from factory with all the upgraded parts, the larger roof scoop adds 20 hp. Anyway, I feel your pain. It gets even better for 2013 rules with new/revised classes. It moves it from a street car guys to a race team with money.

If you run, good luck, that would be a fun race to be a part of. I hope to run in it some day.
 

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Somewhat unrelated, but I think people expected these cars to turn faster lap times when we first got them in the U.S. Then when you realize these cars have pretty small tires, poor drag (but arguably a small cross section), and not that much power, the power-to-weight starts to matter less. Oh, and the car really hasn't been improved / developed for the last 10 years. With all this in mind, it's not surprising that say a Cayman S? turns similar if not better lap times.
 

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Somewhat unrelated, but I think people expected these cars to turn faster lap times when we first got them in the U.S. Then when you realize these cars have pretty small tires, poor drag (but arguably a small cross section), and not that much power, the power-to-weight starts to matter less. Oh, and the car really hasn't been improved / developed for the last 10 years. With all this in mind, it's not surprising that say a Cayman S? turns similar if not better lap times.
Ironically...a souped up caymen s was what beat me this year.
So there you have it! But I am much faster then a stock caymen s around tracks in my region.

Sorry, back to you mr. robains.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
But where is the "theory" of these cars potential coming from in NASA? Or is it more about politics of our class perception by competitors and keeping them happy?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know NASA is not good for the Lotus...they love pretty much everything but a Lotus.

It took me a year and a half to get a dyno reclass from "sur" to TTA. I had to run extra weight and couldn't gain any power to get to the class ratio of 8.7 (I was close to 1 full pt. higher) and that seemed ok to them? It killed me on tracks with long straights but I still got second in region because I drove my ass off. If I would have had the correct power I would have won.

They gave me the crap of your car comes from factory with all the upgraded parts, the larger roof scoop adds 20 hp. Anyway, I feel your pain. It gets even better for 2013 rules with new/revised classes. It moves it from a street car guys to a race team with money.

If you run, good luck, that would be a fun race to be a part of. I hope to run in it some day.
My goal is to finish, but like I said, try obtaining any sponsorship money (aka money that ultimately will in part go to NASA) ... "Sorry sponsor, we don't stand a chance of winning or even a podium in ES, but could you please give us some money anyway?".

For smaller sponsors and/or participants just finishing is enough of a "win" as that helps promote reliability and experience. But for any bigger sponsors that might want to get involved they probably want more of a podium result potential.

I'm too late to the party for 2012 entry, but I'm planning for 2013. I feel sorry for anyone with a 2-11, they have even more "adjustments" for them. I honestly don't mind racing to finish vs. racing to win, that's good enough for me for a 25hr endurance race.

But I really just want clarification on the weight ... is it car WITH driver (10.7) or car WITHOUT driver (7.9).

Another issue is the variance of rules from the NASA base classes (14 of them with anywhere from 2-5 sub-classes). Some base classes use Chassis dyno, some use DynoJet (15% difference between the two which is very significant). It all just seems very ad-hoc and given that NASA has been doing this for many many years now, one would think they would have a more "sorted" solution of classification.

I'll still run in ES, but our only goal will be to finish.
 

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I have only seen it with driver in car and what you would expect to come off track with weight wise. That goes for race groups also, not just TT. I'm sure endurance racing is different with mandatory stops, etc. but I would think they would have a rule to full tank of gas, driver and weight of car at start / finish weight based on tank size so you magically don't lose a ton of weight.

So back to an earlier question, I think it is a few things. They don't have a system to class cars on a level playing field and they don't have correct information. They don't have a pre-season car review or review to make sure your car is correctly classed. The annual they do is really not a classification but more of a safety check. So they don't have any check points in place besides a weigh in post session, dyno or if your lucky the GPS "check". So it's "easier" for them to class cars on what they want to see at the track based on turn out numbers, etc. and they don't have 1,000 lotus drivers complaining about the classing either like the vette community.

Was at work to long coding so I think I'm rambling...time for a cocktail ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree, I prefer to enter a race with the goal of "trying to win" ... after all it is a race and winning is the objective. Sure finishing 25hrs is going to be a HUGE challenge and rewarding in itself, but I still would rather enter a race with at least the potential to win rather than hope everyone else has issues and we don't.

Enjoy your cocktail ...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Double checked rules and definitely think I can get into E0 using a DOT tire like Hoosier R6 or A6.
 

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So back to an earlier question, I think it is a few things. They don't have a system to class cars on a level playing field and they don't have correct information. They don't have a pre-season car review or review to make sure your car is correctly classed. The annual they do is really not a classification but more of a safety check. So they don't have any check points in place besides a weigh in post session, dyno or if your lucky the GPS "check". So it's "easier" for them to class cars on what they want to see at the track based on turn out numbers, etc. and they don't have 1,000 lotus drivers complaining about the classing either like the vette community.
I respectfully disagree about he classing comment. NASA has the best system I have ever seen for reasonably classing just about everything in their Time Trial(TT)/Performance Touring(PT) rule set. PT is the wheel to wheel version of the TT rules.

To clarify three things:
-All weights are "as raced." Driver, fuel etc, as the car comes off track
-All dyno numbers for two wheel drive cars are to be done with DynoJet, and specific models of DynoJet at that. AWD cars can use some other types, but their are adjustment factors.
-NASA can use in car power monitoring with a Traqmate GPS, but only to identify cars for dyno testing. You can not be DQ'ed based on GPS readings.

OP, it sounds like you are talking to someone who lacks a full grasp of the various rule sets. GTS is the German Touring Series, don't know how that would apply to a Lotus.

Your last comment looks like you figured it out. New for 2013 is the Super Touring 3 (ST3) class that replaced TTA/PTA that ports over to E0. The ADJUSTED P/W for that class is 9:1. To figure that take your raw Weight/HP, then add or subtract the modification factors: (taking your 10.1 and assuming things about your car. See the PT/ST rules)

Non OEM aero (ST3 only) -.5
Straight cut gears -.2
Non DOT tires -.75
Tires 9.5" (241mm) or smaller tires +.8

For a modification factor of -.2 total

For an adjusted P/W of 9.9/1

There is also a chart with a factor for total weigh. At 2250lb its -.5 which puts you at a modified 9.4/1 at 2050lb its -.6 so 9.3/1. ST3 is one of the faster classes that ports over to E0, and looks like you get close to the limit of that class. So I think you should be very competitive.

PM me if you have any questions. NASA is great to race with, but there seem to be a few misconceptions. The power to weight classes can be confusing at first, especially when you get into the points stuff with the B-F classes. However, they do a really great job of creating close competition between completely different cars of different prep levels.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I respectfully disagree about he classing comment. NASA has the best system I have ever seen for reasonably classing just about everything in their Time Trial(TT)/Performance Touring(PT) rule set. PT is the wheel to wheel version of the TT rules.
I'm going to disagree with you Scotty. When I ran American Iron series with NASA several years ago they used the HP/Weight as one of the rules/restrictions. So what did everyone do, they built motors that would hit max HP/weight but would have a ton of torque. Torque was completely ignored in the rules as if it didn't matter ... torque is VERY significant in every aspect of race.

As far as my NA Lotus, Jerry got back to me and it was classified in ES ... yes, that's $500K Porsche GT3 spec performance ... read 1:48 lap times or better. Clearly an NA 1.8litre 2ZZ Lotus wouldn't stand a chance in ES. So I'm not doing the 25hr (not entirely because of this reason, there are other factors) - I don't want to enter competitions when I'm just field filler fodder. Now how much would you wanna bet that if I posted a 1:47 lap(thunderhill) in my Lotus it would get moved up to ES-R? ... it's not going to be NA that's for sure.

Anyway, stay tuned ... If my car in NA format gets put into top tier classes (unlimited, ES, etc.), then there is little point to keeping it NA when I can add 150+ HP without penalty ;)

Rob
 

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I respectfully disagree about he classing comment. NASA has the best system I have ever seen for reasonably classing just about everything in their Time Trial(TT)/Performance Touring(PT) rule set.
I'm going to disagree with you Scotty.

I have only run 2 seasons of TT but got heavily involved with rules after I realized how screwed I was to have a Lotus s240 in TT. They always say pick the right car to build for the right series based on what the rules allow you or something like that...couldn't be more true for NASA.

If you look at the car makes and base classing they had - power/weight then modification, it was not like that for the Lotus Exige. They imply factors to place the base class into being 100-400 hp down on power. That doesn't make any sense period, which is what robains is saying also.

With that being said, the newer TT3 rules are going to kill the street car guy in TT. We'll see...maybe Im wrong on that but it's the man reason I'm not running with NASA TT this year as the investment to be competitive is huge.
 

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Racing Classes

This is my personal opinion. Although racing classes are supposed to allow different cars and capabilities to compete, there are always hidden issues.

Hence, I aslways run in whatever the unlimited class is.

Anton
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Agree, and there are even more hidden issues in a "spec" class ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
My inquiry to Jerry was in 2012 but he was aware it was for 2013 25hr.

EDIT: Car is 1.8 Litre 2ZZ @ 219 wHP 141 TQ 1760 lbs full without driver using stock wheel size and Quaife sequential trans (still a heal/toe unit) ... going head to head with $500K Porsche's full sequential paddle shifter (no heal/toe required) 500+ HP (unrestricted) 350+ TQ, 2600-2700 lbs.
 

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1990 competition weight (with driver) and 245 or smaller Hoosier A's puts you in TT3 or E0. With the light weight being easy on tires and brakes, plus what should be excellent gas mileage from a small N/A motor, I don't see how you feel completely out classed. You don't have to run against GT3 cup cars unless that's what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, this is a quote from my Email with Jerry Kunzman dated 10/18/2012:

Rob,

Your car’s WT/HP is 1730/219 = 7.9. If you look at the GTS rules as a gauge, just because it’s simple, you’re GTS5, with or without, slicks. That’s not even close to E0 which populated with mostly GTS3 BMWs. You car’s stats are in line with other ES cars. And, it’s not about those numbers anyway. It’s always been about staying on the track, consistent laps times at 8/10th to preserve the car, and not getting any penalties. That’s how a 25 hour long race is won.

Jerry
I tried to debate this and failed.
 

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Seems to be some miscommunication here... Rob's email has car weight. Scotty's has comp weight. Comp weight includes driver. At comp weight, Rob's car is in the 9:1+ p/w ratio... NASA uses comp weight, not car weight on "normal length races"--- not sure about 25 hour...


Agree with Rob and Anton about hidden costs in spec class... IMO, there's no such thing as "cheap" in any form of racing whether racing pigeons, cars, or bicycles. "Spec" being cheap is a wive's tale (to be competitive anyway). The guys I know who race spec and do well have budgets at least as big as mine. So what's the point to go that slow and spend so much money?:confused: (I say that last bit in jest--- sorta;))

That said, I like Anton's motto. It is mine as well... Enter unlimited and hope for the best :D That's not advice, just my opinion on it... I do like the Nasa rules. They make a lot of sense compared to SCCA and allow for a lot more driving time compared to SCCA as well.

-PV
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My original thought was mis-communication also, hence why I followed up with Jerry to clarify ... his reponse 10/24/2012:

Rob,

Thanks for the patience, as I have been tied up.

The endurance rules state that whenever the class rules specify weight with driver, we’ll use that weight less 180lbs for determining proper weight for the enduro.

This makes things a little complicated so, well ave to work it backwards. If you want to run GTS3 on DOT tires, your ratio must be no lower than 11.0:1. If your HP is 219 then your car, on the scale without driver would be 2409 pounds.

That’s a long way from 1730 pounds.

Tell me if I have something wrong.

Jerry
No matter how I tried, Jerry has me in ES.

Agree with Phil, I've seen $100K + "spec" Miatas ... how does a "spec" Miata cost over $100K? ;) As far as I can tell, spec is never spec, it just means more money to make it seem spec.

Even when I was racing "low budget" 125cc "stock" Honda Shifter Karts (and I use the term low budget loosely because I'd spend $60K/yr racing them) and we had to disassemble the motors post race ... there are things tech didn't look at, so what does everyone do, they make those "unseen" work better -- and you'll amazed what can be done to a "stock" Honda 125cc two stroke ;)

Spec racing is IMHO, is more expensive IF you choose to be competitive. Unlimited is show up and hope someone else hasn't come with bigger bangers, bigger tires, and ozing carbon fiber everything ... if they do, then your hope is they can't drive fast or they hit a failure.

Rob
 
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