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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know where this falls, but I would like to know how this will be classed in Solo II (SCCA) by model. We are kind of going on the assumption that the base car or with touring will be in Super Stock. What mods put it in ASP or something else? Where will the LSS model start? Will mods push it somewhere else? Should they be in the same class to start? That makes no sense.

I have a base car and have been warned against putting LSS rims on it (which could hold a wider tire) because it will bump me up in class. So now I want to put stickier tires on, but am struggling with 195 vs 175 fronts and what tires are available. Will changing the tires throw me up in class? Help!!
 

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From what I've heard (mostly on this board) the SCCA isn't going to class the car until after the Nationals (tm). It probably won't be classed until 2005. I've been watching the Fastracks for news on the Elise and haven't seen anything yet.

As to standard vs. LSS I don't think the SCCA will distinguish between them. LSS is more of an option than a model. Plus, you could change shocks, wheels, and tires on a standard model and still call it stock. You couldn't put height-adjustable shocks on a stock Elise though.
 

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I'd just run it stock the way it is, until you get really good at it. Chances are, it will take a while before you can out drive the car as is. Then you can start to think about "improving" the car's abilities.

When I autocross (which unfortunately isn't very often), the only time I'm trying to beat is my own. If I was ever to get competitive, then I would start to think about changing the car and taking it serious.

My first autocross was 25+ years ago in my Elan. I had the second fasted time of the day- several seconds faster than the third best time, and only a couple of hundredths slower than the full race prepped car that was first. It was the car, not the driver - but I still had a blast.
 

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Surferjer said:
I don't know where this falls, but I would like to know how this will be classed in Solo II (SCCA) by model. We are kind of going on the assumption that the base car or with touring will be in Super Stock.
All versions of the car will be in one class. The LSS and non-LSS will both be together.




What mods put it in ASP or something else? Where will the LSS model start? Will mods push it somewhere else? Should they be in the same class to start? That makes no sense.
If they created classes for each variation of every model of car, there would be hundreds of classes. Well, they almost do that for the Miata. :) One thought is you can always convert a car to the top variation if you want.

What mods? Easier to first point out what mods are allowed in stock. Very simply...

You can change tires to any DOT legal tires that are approved by SCCA. You can change rims, but they have to be the same size and within +/1 1/4" offset. You can change shocks. You can align it to anything the car is capable of. You can change anything on the exhaust behind the cat. You can change fluids, spark plugs, filters, brake pads (consumables).

In a very general rule... the car has to be as it came from the factory (possibly!) with documentation to back that up. It did not have to come that way, but it has to be possible to order it that way. A non-LSS car with LSS front rims is not possible to order (as an example).



I have a base car and have been warned against putting LSS rims on it (which could hold a wider tire) because it will bump me up in class. So now I want to put stickier tires on, but am struggling with 195 vs 175 fronts and what tires are available. Will changing the tires throw me up in class? Help!!
Wait until we try it, but I would (if I were you) put 205 sticky tires on the rims you have and stay in stock class.
 

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By the way, the car is classed right now in A Prepared. Not legal for Nationals, but anywhere else it is the class for the car.

It is not legal for ASP since is not yet legal for Stock and not specifically classed in SP either.

Eventually I expect to see the car in SS and ASP. After Nationals.
 

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I maintain a sticky for auto-x rules on a Subaru message board. I'll be happy to do the same here once the classing gets clearer. This is somewhat car specific, but it might still give you an idea:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174189

It will be simpler for the Elise because it won't fall into an ST class.

Major modifications you can do for SP compared to Stock: Wheels of any size, springs (stiffer, lower), suspension bushings, additional camber adjustment, lighweight battery, air intake, headers, full exhaust (no cats required, you can run leaded race gas), engine management, differentials (LSD), clutch, flywheel, pulleys, AC removal.
 

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>>A non-LSS car with LSS front rims is not possible to order (as an example). <<

LSS = wider wheels up front + height adjustable revalved dampers and ~ 10% stiffer springs and the +8mm rack shim. The wheel style, weight or included tires don't matter. The dampers can be changed in stock anyway, so you could add custom Konis or something when available.

So with a wider front wheel, the LSS F&R springs and the LSS rack shims you can convert your car to the LSS package. Any wheel can be used if it meets the dimension +/- either 5 or 6 mm in offset. Or would SCCA require proof that a VIN originally came with either the stock or LSS bits? And no changeovers were possible? I thought that the idea was that you had to make ALL the changes from one to another and not pick and choose. So for example if LSS came with a 100 pound subwoofer in the trunk that was not considered removeable you'd have to add that too to have a full LSS package. The changeover can be done in a few hours. Lotus did this to many cars for the launch.
 

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Right. You can change any non-LSS car to LSS. But you have to do all of it. You can't pick and choose. That means the shims and springs really, and of course the LSS sized rims.
 

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Jerry,

The Elise should currently compete in Super Stock because it meets the eligibility requirements for Stock category, and any unclassified car that does not fit a "catch-all" is in Super Stock by default. However, there is a clause that states that unclassified cars "may not be eligible" for Divisionals, National Tours, or the National Championships.

At some point before January 2005, I expect the car to be classified. I would bet on Super Stock.

Randy has laid out the basic rules for the Stock category. The LSS and standard suspensions really aren't different enough to separate them into two classes. The only differences that aren't negated by the Stock allowances are: 10% stiffer springs, 1" wider front wheels, and 5mm lower ride height. The 5mm and 10% aren't that significant, so it's really just down to the front wheel size. Besides, it would be legal and trivially easy to convert a standard car to LSS, as others have mentioned.

Consider that the standard 5th generation Corvette is in the same class as the Z06. Most of those can't be converted, because the Z06 is a hardtop. Those that could be converted, would take a lot of work...like replacing the engine. They'd be better off just trading their car in on a Z06.

The rules aren't crazy; they're very sane. They are just not optimized for the happiness of someone who has already bought and set up a car before they get into the sport, and wants to run the car as-is against competition at the highest levels. The rules are intended more to promote equal competition and stable classes specifically for National-level competition. Fairness to every possible configuration of every conceivable car driven in local competition just isn't possible. Besides the feasibility of making such fine distinctions, you'll see more variation in times due to driver skill and the general state of maintenance/setup of the car than due to the exact model or options packages.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all. John-I have read that I cannot change my wheels to LSS (one inch wider) wheels without kicking it out of SS. That makes no sense if I can change it all over to LSS.

Oh, and I can't put 205s on my standard rims-195s barely fit according to Arno. So hmmm......

I have no beef with SCCA rules. They are what they are and I'm sure very fair. They put me in ASP my first race, but no worries. I doubt I'll ever race for Nationals or anything like that; just having fun. And boy howdy is it fun!
 

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I should note that after now having spent a lot of time in both the LSS and non-LSS cars, I totally agree with what I was told by Lotus UK.

Most people will not be able to really use the differences in the cars.

If you have a non-LSS car, just autocross it. It will be fine.
 

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Surferjer said:


Oh, and I can't put 205s on my standard rims-195s barely fit according to Arno. So hmmm......
I disagree. I don't know for sure, but there is always a certain idea of what is reasonable and doable as far as tire fitment. And then there are what the autocrossers do.

I ran 225s on my 6" rims. Most non-autocrossers will tell you that you can't do that.
 

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John Stimson said:
Jerry,

The Elise should currently compete in Super Stock because it meets the eligibility requirements for Stock category, and any unclassified car that does not fit a "catch-all" is in Super Stock by default. However, there is a clause that states that unclassified cars "may not be eligible" for Divisionals, National Tours, or the National Championships.
Unfortunately, the car also is required to have been sold in quantities of 1000 in the previous 12 months at US dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From another thread under Suspensions etc....:

"BINGO! That's what I was looking for. Now I have a plan for the future. Put LSS tires on a second set of standard wheels, Change em in the garage at home, drive to the track and race, drive home and change back to my normal tires.

Thanks. Peace out.

Jer"


Thanks for the help. Now we wait on the SCCA. Sorry about the 1000 car deal, Randy. That means you have to wait until next year, right?
 

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Surferjer said:

Thanks for the help. Now we wait on the SCCA. Sorry about the 1000 car deal, Randy. That means you have to wait until next year, right?
I can't run the car nationally and win. That is all.

I really don't care about locally so I will run it in APrepared or just let them DSQ me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Excellent! I hope you wipe the floor with them and give them something to think about for next year....
 

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Randy you better sandbag at nationals, if the elise ends up on stock exclusion with all the other lotus' I'm going to cry.

I'm hoping to run SS in 05 while working out my plan to build a national level SM2 car for 06. The worst possible scenario, run stock in ASP for 05 and plan for a fully prepped ASP car in 06.

As far as Tires go I WILL cram hoosier A3S04 205/45/16 on the front and a 245/40/17 0r 225/45/17 on the back depending on how the car drives. SM2 or ASP would be an entirely different story as far as tires go. With flared fenders there is no telling what you could fit. 275's in the front would be a good start though.
 

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del105 said:
With flared fenders there is no telling what you could fit.
I never completely understood what you can do to the fenders in SP, and what a reasonable approach would be. The rules say that "fenders may be modified for tire clearance". I guess the brutal way would be taking the sawzall to the fenders, and cutting out a section around the tires. Would that be legal? I've seen cut fenders on SM cars, but those rules are more liberal. In any case, it sounds painful to do that to a nice Elise.

On cars with sheet metal, do they typically just pound the fenders with a BFH to gain tire clearance? That obviously wouldn't work for fibreglass. So what do you do on an Elise? Some cutting and then custom fibreglass work to create nice flared fenders?
 

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Surferjer said:
John-I have read that I cannot change my wheels to LSS (one inch wider) wheels without kicking it out of SS. That makes no sense if I can change it all over to LSS.
Here's the reasoning: Except for the Stock category allowances given to all cars, you are only allowed to have your car configured in a way that could be ordered from the factory. If you were allowed to pick and choose, then that would basically be additional required preparation for everyone.

For example, suppose that there was an options package with a more powerful, heavier engine and altered mounting points on the chassis for different suspension geometry, and a heavy permanently-mounted audio system. First, someone would have to make the determination about which engine was better in that car for autocrossing (lighter, or more powerful), and which suspension geometry was preferable. If it turned out that the package A engine and the package B suspension were the best, then everyone in the class would have to transplant an A engine into a B car, then replace the B package stereo with an A package stereo. That's a lot of work, and very expensive. It's the sort of thing they like to reserve for Street Prepared and beyond.

Just changing your front wheels might seem like a simple and innocent thing, but there's a lot of baggage that goes with it.

In real life, people may not care in regional competition if you run the LSS wheels, if your plan is to eventually upgrade to the full package. But also in real life, running the LSS wheels won't make much difference in regional competition. It's up to you, but I think it's preferable to play it by the book as much as possible.
 
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