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 Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.

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PostSubject: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Thu May 02, 2013 9:38 pm


Here is a good talking point: Directly from Peter Baron on garra-fans.com forum about USCR and ALMS/GA integration.

"SAMAX" wrote:
you asked for it!

at the meeting, they asked team owners for an email with their thoughts.. i wrote more than all the others combined.. here is what i sent:

Peter Baron Random Thoughts of Awesomeness on DP/LMP2 & ALMS/Grand Am integration.

First - the 2014 season is around the corner - and the budgeting/planning needs to happen now. I need to know now if i am telling customers it is $1mm more ? $500k more? for a DP season. We need to get some input on this fast. I can not wait until October. I need to start receiving funds in October, not debating over what the budget is. I have one customer at large number for PC and i don't know if its a good number, or painfully shy. We need this information now.

Now for the meeting comments:

Classes need to be defined in a theoretical lap time/ speed ranking

1) LMP2/DP on top
2) PC
3) GTLM
4) GTD
5) GX - needs to be eliminated

GTLM I believe that GTLM has to remain constant and getting manufacturers to agree to a "5%" restrictor or any other changes will be impossible. Leave this class untouched as it ties to the ACO rules for LeMans. Manufactures (GM and BMW) put ten times into GTLM than what they do to DP. I think we all need to be realistic and digest that GTLM will not, and should not change. If all the DP teams think we should be the benchmark - all 4 others adjust, i think they are kidding themselves. The mob thought was "Majority Rules." But the GTLM mob is not to far off of the DP mob, and has significantly more factory support behind it.

PC must remain on top of GTLM..Class needs to be slowed down slightly so the DP/P2 class can easily be in front, but not slower than the GTLM. According to drivers ,the car feels massively underpowered. If you remove power - it will not be able to pass GTLM cars on a straight. To lower this class speed, I recommend taking away downforce and adding weight. Limit the cornering speeds, and give it a bit more straightaway speed. This will help its race-ability and keep it as the 2nd fastest class. Perhaps a harder compound tire than what they have this year?

GTD must be slowed down on the straightaways. They are far to fast & passing these cars in short chute sections with a DP is almost impossible. GTLM cars will never pass them on a straightaway. Throttle them back similar to how ALMS slowed the GTC to keep the straightaway speeds lower than the GTLM.

GX - find a way to get rid of this class. It looks to be there only to appease Mazda. Please get rid of it , and force this Mazda into GTD or GS. The speed differentials are horrifying and the class is more relevant to Conti racing in speed. A class for 3 cars needs to go.

Race Weekends:

Too many open variables and planning needs to happen now.

Paddock Space

the series needs to knock out the easy problems first.

pit rules...
Tires and fuel at the same time?
number of tire changers/helpers
I assume no booms for fuel?
paddock questions
amount of space per entry?
20' canopy per car? 26' for two? what is corvette and all going to do with the 2 car monstrosities? if so i want each car to have a 20' canopy..
set up days? should be minimal to keep travel costs down.

Split races
Need split races on tracks like Lime Rock, Mid Ohio, Kansas, Indy. Glen Short, 50+ cars on these tracks will be a disaster, especially will how close the gaps will be in speed.
Perhaps send Prototypes to Long Beach, and GT cars to Baltimore (like the pre-2007 Grand Am seasons)

Length

Race weekends should be defined as a standard calendar duration - "days at track"

6 hour or less events should be scheduled and routinely structured as 3 day event. who cares about television.. We often get pushed to the next day due to a rain delay for Nascar truck qualifying.

Day 1 - set up day that allows teams to come in based on flights that day - not have to stay the night before. ( perhaps exception - west coast teams to east coast races)
a new event - perhaps a late afternoon session for familiarization

Day 2 Practice and qualifying

Day 3 Warm up of 30 mins and race.
Warm ups really need to be 30 minutes and only 30 minutes
30 minutes allows times for cold mornings to get car and tires up to temps and let a pro ( from a pro am car) do a little set up - but not long enough so you feel compelled to put on a set of stickers like many teams for Road Atlanta warm up
To look professional, it should be mandatory to keep the team's paddock complete - and not torn down prior to the race. It looks a bit off with the fans walking around the paddock, and having them look at a loaded hauler and a race car sitting there alone - prior to the race. Races should be early enough so teams can finish the race, load the trailers, and get to major airport that night - avoiding anther day on road - reducing Hotel, Fly In day rate costs, per diems, and rental car fees.

Daytona 24 - It was an absolutely terrible idea to have a photo shoot 1st thing Wednesday morning, so we had to have a crew there Tuesday night - and not Weds Am,. ( cost about $3500 per car for this?)
Daytona, Sebring and Petite - Needs to be Set up Wednesday and run Thursday - race saturday. We can not afford the 7 days on the road at Sebring and Petite. Cutting out these days could potentially avoid adding at least $150,000 - $200,000 per car for 6 total test days on the road.
Eliminate the Roar before the 24.. Its sandbagging fest anyway. We are not planning on attending this event in 2014. Its a waste. We will learn more in 1day of private testing than the whole 3 days at the Roar.

Audi and other constructors.
This would be the best thing that could happen for the series. I have faith that the current management could keep "Audi" under control and have them build to the same rules as all the current manufacturers. But to be safe, a rule should be allowed that there is a price cap, and manufactures musth have capability to provide chassis and spares to all customers. One alternative... engine manufactures can not build chassises - only body kits. Since Dallara did most of the heavy lifting on the LMP1 Audi, i'm sure would partner with Dallara if they ever wanted a car. I would love the chance to compete against the biggest name in prototype racing on a level playing field.

The big subject.. the DP- the future and the speed

Everyone knows the LMP2 chassis has a limited life. At best the 4 existing HPD chassis will be good for another 2 season. Internationally LMP2 is a PRO AM class. -( Are you going to keep LMP2 requirements with a Silver Driver? ACO Minimum drive times? ) It is a nice thought opening up to European P2 teams, but we have enough cars in the US to make incredible racing. No one in the stands or on US TV even knows who OAK, Greaves, PeCom ADR Delta even are. You need to grandfather in the 4 running LMP2 cars ( and only these cars with their existing team) for 2 seasons and say going forward you need a DP. Put it out there in stone and people will commit to DPs. Ed Brown and Scott Tucker - if they are still in racing in two years, will need new cars. If new teams want to jump on board for 2014 and do not have a car - the message should be clear to get a DP. If Scott Tucker's and Ed Brown's private jets collide mid-air - the whole LMP2 debate is gone - and should be treated as such.

it is imperative that the DP is sped up + 3 to + 4 seconds to have proper series integration of the 4 series classes ( should be eliminating GTX!).

To speed up the DP - and integrate with the P2 car..
I am sure these are all things you know - but to try to arrive on similar Downforce to weigh ratios, and HP to weight ratios.
LPM2 car - runds with existing LeMans aero kit and add ride height & harder tires to drop lap times. Enough time should be put in to this as my daughter's 6th grade science fair project.
Remove Aero
Add ride height - weight if necessary
hard rides
repeat until slower than DP
Ed Brown/Parton have never been to LeMans, and Tucker only goes with 1 car, so why worry about keeping these cars to exact ACO rules.

I think the angry DP mob at the group discussion was a bit out of control... Show me a study saying its going to cost $40,000 to manufacture new pick-up points for carbon brakes, and ill get you a study showing how to make $35,000 designing pick up points. People are missing the point. Carbon Brakes is not going to magically make the tire more sticky so it can brake later. We are at the limit of tire adhesion. If anything - reducing the 12lbs per corner of rotating mass will take stress off the pick up points. When have you heard of a car failing from pick up points? Owners need to accept change and know that we can improve the show by opening up the wallets and improving the technology on the cars.

Overall, i think the series needs to come up with realistic plans testing parts prior to the end of year.
Back in 2003 - i believe these cars were about 2200lbs and had about 475 BHP. We are much over that now and reliability has only improved.

Simple ways to get the car faster.

50 BHP from motor manufacturers
search for an existing efficient dual element rear wing - that can be reproduced for reasonable costs.
Carbon Rotors - i believe of the course of a season - cost would be mildly different.
Carbon Clutch
More front aero. - In P2 they have the massive elephant ear dive planes. For sure there are frontal bolt on pieces that can add substantial aero without massive costs.
( 6 speed gearbox? dont think its much - but worth a try - we have a few 6 speed clusters and can test if asked)
No bodywork, spitter changes. Manufacturers might tell you there in more in a longer, wider splitter. But not aerodynamicists. They believe it is pretty maxed out and returns would be the smallest of any area.
If you do come out with something like a new splitter, make it spec - for all cars and cost capped at like $5000. I dont care if its plywood. The $20,000 splitters have to go! Look to develop cost capped parts when possible.

These are all pretty simple, but we need to get these items testing in cars now and quantify on track - not CFD and simulatior! I am happy to contribute services and 3rd car we have.

Tires - people are trying to compare p2 speeds at Sebring 2012 with confidential Dunlops to a 2013 P2 on a car on Customer Michelins that has traction control, weighs 300 LBS less and have 125 HP less. Then extrapolate that info against a LMPC car on customer Michelins in 2012 vs Contis in 2013..? , For starters.. the P2 fastest race lap was 1.5 seconds quicker in 2012 - and the race pace was significantly quicker ( at least 2 seconds a lap average?) - and our last stint at Sebring in 2012 was a triple stint.

But Compare apples to apples... The DP with 575HP ( was that the politically correct number? :-) ) 2325 lbs and no traction control - destroys tires.. this is where a quality tire shines through..

The pirelli of 2010 is still a far superior tire - in both speed and life.

Sorry for the following section Hoosier guys.. Just because i don't like your tires doesn't mean you are not good people!
In 2010 - the pirelli was great- we could do all of the practices and get by on weekend with the mandatory 5 sets- and we sometimes did it on 4 sets.. Now with the Pro Am 7 sets... I jump for joy when we get through the weekend on 6 sets thanks to rain! Thats so wrong - that the series increased the amount of tires by 2 sets, and shrunk the fuel cell 25% so the Conti could make it a stint! Make a worse tire, and make more money. I am quite confident - that all the owners would have gladly paid for customer michelins/pirellis and to pay for a support truck / mounting service to take car of us these last 3 years instead of using contis. The tire is one of the largest "black-eye" issues i have trying to attract customers. Almost all of the conversation with customers is related to " how bad is that tire?" Give us a proper tire so i can sell some seats to customer. Just as Jim Matthews.

And the 2 sets over 11 races for 2 cars over 2 season, roughly $193,000 to my budget ( 2 cars * 2 sets * 11 weekends* 2 years *$2200/set). That a lot of 2010 Pirelli tires that were still 1.5 seconds faster at the Glen 6 hour 2010 vs 2012 Conti I tire!! that hurts me, that hurts the customer, the sponsor and that fans in the crowd that are in the stands watching all the DPs parked because they have to save tires.

Just bring back a Pirelli spec tire and we have 1.5 - 2 seconds of the 6 seconds we are looking for!

People mention marbling? its going to happen no matter what.. GTLM will still have exotic tires. Unless you want to kick out Falken? We still have tremendous pick up problems with the continental tires. I don't think the lack of marbles is why Tim/Ganassi had such an easy Daytona! I'm the little guy in the field - and if we can suck it up, everyone else should be able to.

In conclusion!

When are the paddock / pit rules going to be decided?
1) 3 day - 2 night race weekends for sprint races
2) Weds noon unloads for 10 hour + weekends ( Petite will go the full 10 hours in 2014!)
3) DP speed improvements

Tire Tire Tire
Carbon Brakes
Carbon Rotors
50+ hp
dual element rear wing
better allowances for front bolt-on aero bits to balance dual element rear wing.

Thank you for your time, and reading this to the end!
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PostSubject: Re: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Thu May 02, 2013 9:44 pm

I agree with everything he says. With the exception that it should be dp only from 2014. It should be p2 only but hey there's so few of them it doesn't really matter.

Lmgt has to stay as it is. It has the biggest manufacter involvement and changing would be a massive mistake.

Everything else has to fit in around it. Gx should go, gagt should be slower in a straight line, lmpc need less downforce and more straight line speed and crucially dp's need to be faster, about 6 seconds a lap. It's not like f1 where that would cost 60 million quid. Open tyre rules and an extra 50 to 100 horse power will sort that.
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PostSubject: Re: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Sat May 04, 2013 9:33 pm

LMP2 cars donít put on as greater show as DPís do. DPís sound better, produce better racing and donít have traction control.

I donít care if P2ís are faster, this is irrelevant to me. I donít sit there and yearn for DP cars to be two seconds faster a lap. The racing is what matters, not ultimate laptimes. Letís just be frank, the unified prototype is never going to lap as quickly as an F1 car Ė therefore this obsession about LMP prototypes being faster needs to end.

In America, DP is going from strength-to-strength with bigger grids than ever before. In comparison, P2 in ALMS is a bit pathetic. It is clear that P2 has fallen out of favour in America, therefore, the united series shouldnít prop up a failing category.

Baron advocates getting rid of steel brakes for carbonfibre brakes. What a genius idea that is Ė itíll make the stopping distances shorter and hence overtaking under braking more difficult. Rolling Eyes

Most critically, the unified seriesí prototype needs to be unique and different. IMO, LMP1 or LMP2 arenít exactly the most exciting categories around. Neither category have grown much. They shouldnít be used as a yardstick for DP development or the development of a new unified prototype.

Carbon brakes? I donít care Ė I want better racing? Better laptimes? I cannot tell the difference as a spectator. However, I CAN tell the difference between thrilling races and dire traction-control assisted races.

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PostSubject: Re: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Sat May 04, 2013 11:14 pm

It won't hurt dp's to be a bit faster they are too slow and will struggle to be the gte cars over a race distance. getting rid of continental alone will take make them faster and save all the teams money. As for carbon brakes perhaps that's not a good idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Sun May 05, 2013 10:01 am

DP's could have more power, but that is the only way I would want DP's to get faster.

DP's are fast where it matters - down the straight's. The lack of downforce compared to other cars ensures that cars can follow each other effectively through turns.


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PostSubject: Re: Uscr as usual Peter Barron gets it right.   Sun May 05, 2013 10:42 am

Better tyres would help them follow. I agree the need there is no need for more downforce.
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