Engine Regulations

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jmtechnical
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Engine Regulations

Postby jmtechnical » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:15 pm

The present F3 competitive engines are old and outdated with production finishing some time ago. These engines cannot be bought new and rely on support of pattern part manufactures to keep these engines running. The XE engine has been particularly popular in all levels of motorsport for some time; this can compound issues sourcing quality replacement engines.

The rules I assume are meant to be restrictive intending the engine to be of standard specification. Unbolt from donor vehicle, bolt on fitting kit, exhaust & throttle bodies, tune and go racing. In reality this is not the case, the rules are poorly written with plenty of ambiguity allowing for a ‘mono engine’ to be built that far exceeds a standard engine. I do not believe that anyone is cheating but I have come to understand that people outside mono and some within believe that the only way to be competitive is to cheat. To be competitive you must understand the ambiguity within rules. This isn’t good for the club.

What is the big barrier to modern engines, Variable valve timing. If you allow in variable valve timing what happens? Power levels instantly jump up as engines like Honda F20C engines become eligible. 250hp -270hp F3 car sounds like great fun but totally unfair for the current crop of competitors who have spend time and money on developing ‘mono engines’.

What is the solution, stay stuck in the past with old engines that are far beyond their sell by date. Bring in VVT and make all the current engines uncompetitive overnight. Another solution would be to free up the engine regulations with a simple control measure, a restrictor. Choose a restrictor size marginally oversized for the current mono engines. If I wanted to spend a fortune building a grenade, great it still has to breathe through the same restrictor that a totally standard engine would.

I would love to see a F20C, Ecoboost, F4R..... Car in mono.

Please could the board make some effort into considering my proposal or publish a roadmap into the board’s intentions regarding engine regulations for the next 5 years so we can consider if an investment is viable.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Nick Harrison » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:26 am

James.

My comments are not in any way directed at the overall sentiment of your post but rather specifically at the Honda F20C which on the face of it is an interesting consideration.

On the plus side it has its roots in the H22A which is the donor engine for the NBE built Mugen so it is possible that the tall engine bellhousing for the NBE engine would be compatible.

A general comment, the F20C is strictly speaking not 'Variable' valve timing but a binary option actuated by solenoid of one cam profile or another.

The considerable if not absolute down side to the engine is that it rotates CW whereas as most are CCW. Installed in a standard F3 chassis this would result in having one forward and six reverse gears.

Nick.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby jmtechnical » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:49 am

For some reason Honda made the f20c spin the correct direction(cw from crank pulley) for single seaters, in the sense it's not a normal Honda engine (ccw from crank pulley) and a good potential donor engine. This engine is used by many for this reason.

The late mugen fitting kits are compatible with this engine which is also a bonus.

Well I suppose your right the engine doesn't have variable valve timing only "switchable" does that make it eligible under the current rules? :D

When you start to research into it there are a massive amount of fitting kits produced to fit various engine options from the major manufacturers. Even engines like the duratec that didn't make an outing into f3

Thanks

James

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby tristancliffe » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:22 am

I think a roadmap of intentions for 5 years isn't nearly enough. I think the club needs to be planning NOW for 10-15 years.

The trouble with restrictors is that they can be got around to some extent - that's why F3 engines had so much money thrown at the them to minimise the impact of the 26mm restrictor. So by adding a restrictor (and where do you do that? And how to do you police it?) you allow those with money to develop an advantage.

However, the club can't keep its head in the sand and hope aluminium block variable (howsoever) valve timing engines go away.

The weight advantage is also worthy of thought. Ballasting them to iron block weights would require a lot of lead, and that's neither cheap nor easy to safely fit in many single seaters!
Tristan Cliffe - MSV F3 Cup - Dallara F307 Image
Monoposto Champion 2008, 2010 & 2011 with a Reynard 883 and a Dallara F398, and F3 Cup and Team Champion 2012

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby andrewcliffe » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:15 pm

tristancliffe wrote:The weight advantage is also worthy of thought. Ballasting them to iron block weights would require a lot of lead, and that's neither cheap nor easy to safely fit in many single seaters!


Ballast the driver. Mono drivers + cake = problem solved.




Towards the end of the 1990's car manufacturers looked at 4 avenues to improve performance and/or economy & emissions

- aluminium blocks to reduce weight

- larger capacity engines e.g. Ford moved to a 2.5 litre engine for the performance versions of the 2nd generation Focus

- forced induction, either turbocharging or supercharging (very occasionally both)

- variable valve timing (in various different ways). Honda also used a wide RPM band (9000rpm redline on S2000)
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby coolio » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:35 pm

Andrew has my support for;

Ballast the driver. Mono drivers + cake = problem solved. :D
Kevin

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby paolo42mk » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:13 pm

Not that my opinion counts for much (if anything) but I totally agree that a long term plan or agreement on engine regulations needs to be formalised. And that's for all classes, not just MonoF3.
I'm sure the fact that Monoposto is now the only viable option for club-level single-seater racing hasn't gone unnoticed by those in the club but that's no reason for complacency.
PS: Can someone please explain why Formula Renault 2000s are being banned from MonoF3 after this season...? Thanks

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby jmtechnical » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:14 am

I hope that something can be drawn up that suits all and gives the club a sustainable future. I don’t think it should be the quest for more power the cars a plenty fast enough, just a supply of engines that are not decades old and can be purchased in a good condition would be great.

Formula Renaults don’t suit a few, with the right driver they are a quick and accessible car which has been shown last year. FR’s have been restricted heavily to around 170hp when mono f3 cars have surpassed the 200hp mark leaving them uncompetitive which is a real shame. The numbers are starting to develop this year despite been turned away by the club, if the Renaults where encouraged we would be now seeing numbers sufficient for their own class exceeding the numbers of some of the smaller mono classes.

It has come to my attention that some board members seem to want to actively limit the size of the club, FR banning is an extension of this. I just cannot comprehend these actions; from members point of view larger numbers equals lower cost, considering the board should be operating in the members/club interest I cannot understand this decision.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Shakeyfinch » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:35 pm

jmtechnical wrote:It has come to my attention that some board members seem to want to actively limit the size of the club, FR banning is an extension of this. I just cannot comprehend these actions; from members point of view larger numbers equals lower cost, considering the board should be operating in the members/club interest I cannot understand this decision.


This is nonsense in my opinion. Banning FR was one of the better decisions made by the Club in recent times. And those who feel aggrieved have only an IT technician and a University to blame.

I also don't agree that larger numbers equals lower cost. The cost of buying an incremental grid is fixed but the related entry income is variable - so take on one additional entry that requires the use of an extra grid and the average cost will be higher for all concerned until that grid is filled. I'm guessing the Club feels it has the right balance of risk and reward at present.

The Club has a board which the members elect. Those on the Board serve voluntarily and for no cost to the Club. They are no doubt in receipt of much more information than ourselves with which to evaluate all these things. Whilst they should listen to the views of members we should also let them get on with the job without constantly questioning their judgement or complaining about the decisions they make.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby paolo42mk » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:09 pm

Some interesting views there, but that still doesn't explain why FRenaults are being banned...!
If we start preventing certain types of car from entering purely on the basis that someone could cheat with them you'd have a case for banning most of the cars available today. Whose to say that an IT genius and a University wouldn't have found a way to 'bend' the rules (if they indeed they did) with a different type of car...?
The fact is that most of us are 'self-run' and just want a proven / reliable type of car should be the deciding factor in deciding whether a car is eligible or not. Something like an off the shelf FRenault would be ideal as a 'self-run' car. Would I win against a good driver in a MonoF3 car? No, and nor would I expect to. But it would be fun trying and I'd be more than happy to submit my ECU for checking at anytime to keep the powers that be happy. I think that's worthy of consideration....

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Paolo Mantegazza » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:32 pm

I have sat back to watch who comments and what is said before I throw my hat into the ring.

James has started this thread based on 1 specific class and I will deal with that shortly.
In general their is nowt wrong with the Mono engine rules across the classes it has worked well for the past 15 years or so and the bigger picture is to encourage racers with older cars out of date to race in their original championship to create fuller grids of both sectors. The Club make a huge investment in renting track time at races and the bottom line is each event needs to wash its face financially and not make a loss.
IF it makes a profit at some venues then great as there are other matters the club needs finance for.

One point you all need to consider is that the Committee members give their time FOC just like marshals at the race track so before you start moaning about them think before you criticise.
If you have a view on how certain aspects are dealt with then put your gripe into the Chairman or direct it to the committee in general and refrain from public attacks. I too have grizzles and I have let it be known to the relevant ears and IF I felt that nothing was being done I would then put myself forward for election to the Committee to then have an influence on matters.

Regarding the banning of the Tatuus carbon FRenault car that dealt with inappropriately and I was opposed to the ruling and more importantly the way it was dealt with. However as Mr ShakeyFinch pointed out 2 parties essentially fiddled with 2 cars 1 blatantly cheated by removing the restrictor at 1 championship event 5 years ago and recently another car was racing at a Non Championship event and deemed to have been tampered with.
However the Mono club is at fault here as they had No scrutineer on hand to perform an inspection but it was also a NC event so did it really matter?
IMHO the Committee made a dogs dinner of this matter and made a huge error in taking such a decision when 2 people already ran cars and 1 or 2 more people had purchased cars to run in Mono.
Bottom line is the FR car is typical of the cars that Monoposto have encouraged to come run with them either in standard spec form their original championship rules or with some mods as per Mono rules so with some 10-15 cars lying around in the UK there should be an active campaign to draw people to run such a car.

Now the the subject matter of Engines.
The poster started this thread based on his own class of car i.e. Mono F3 formally Mono2000 and there is NO logical reason to change the rules we have a healthy class with 5-10 cars on average entering the races and the Silverstone GP circuit 54 grid had 12-17 Dallara cars entered last few years. These cars have raced over 8 years with Opel Vauxhall XE and Toyota engines because Dallara had already built cars to run these engines in f3 so a fitting kit exists.
Mono then allowed in F3 engines to race with a slightly smaller restrictor fitted so the option is there to run Mugen Renault Opel baby Fiat Mercedes powered Dallara Lola Mygale Martini SLC Ralt chassis.

The option of engines lies with the driver he can run standard F3 spec engine 25mm or run standard production engine steel or alloy block non variable valve timing engine.
There is absolutely nothing stopping someone from fitting Peugeot/Citroen BMW Zetec Alfa Lancia engine that complies with the rules to any Dallara Lola Mygale Ralt SLC F3 chassis other than the fitting kit being available to install such a motor. If it is not available then the parts need to be made but I can tell you the cost in involved will be immense from creating a bell housing chassis mounts top plate shafts clutch tower oil later pipes. Add to this designing making the cam cover, dry sump, oil pump and mounting bracket and some pulleys needed to fit any engine into an F3 chassis once you have a fitting kit.

I can tell you it will be cheaper to buy 2 running F3 cars than create your own fitting kit as I have replicated all you need to fit XE to a dallara and i didn't have to employ a designer/engineer to come up with the first sample.

If you are running a car with a motor you don't like thats your problem but don't look to the Mono club to change rules to allow in engines that will could render obsolete 17-20 XE Toyota cars that are there able to go racing.
There is always someone that wants to spend more money to win but thats been motor racing since 1905 in any category in any country.
If you think people are cheating then ask the club to be more vigorous in its policing of the rules.

Personally I think every engine should be sealed in every class at the first round the car is entered at every season from cam cover to head, head to block and block to sump.
If you need to strip inspect service/ rebuild the motor in anyway then you advise the club for their scrutineer or committee member to come inspect the motor prior to the seals being broken and then return to refit seals.

Bottom line with Mono engine rules
It aint broken so why fix it?

If you want to help Mono prosper then look to encourage people to race more often.
How do we do that?
A cut to running costs fuller grids can lower entry fees
Run fewer rounds get fuller grids?

I would rather see tyre rule implemented to stop new tyres per day or weekend at every round
Rather the rules where 6 tyres allocated per weekend to cater for punctures accident damage
New tyres have to be run consecutively in 2 full race weekends in qualifying AND races.
Bar codes entered on scrutineering tyre form as they do in Karting and FFord Festival and mark the tyres.
Any foul play driver faces automatic disqualification from that event and 1 meeting ban

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Redracer77 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:04 pm

I have sent an email to the committee but yet to get a reply. I have also questioned the reasons behind dropping Formula Renault cars from the championship. No sensible reason to do it and I can only assume some people don't like getting beaten by a cheaper car. One simple answer is drive faster. Nobody can prove that the Uni were cheating as from what I hear the car wasn't checked. It is more likely that Shane is just a good committed driver. Look what he has been able to do with an F3 car...... Some people wouldn't beat shane no matter what car they drove! Banning a car based on the fact they could cheat is just madness. Anyone can cheat but I would like to think that most people like me prefer to be honest and do well within the rules. Doesnt anyone actually feel good winning in a bent car???

I have had my fair share of engine issues which after the hard work of Sean and Mike Hurley is now running really well but I dont see any reasons why we need to change what you have had as there is no major issue with parts that I can see? Yes it would be nice for a few more BHP but that is not going to make the racing any better or more cost effective. Is there really a parts shortage? It might be best to get the opinions of the engine builders?

My personal wants/wishes -

I have said it before to reduce costs we as a class needs to take away some variables such as tyre options as it massively ups the costs and the pain of transportation. I currently carry 4 sets of tyres and would prefer to restrict that to 3 at the most. I know the likes of Tristan like the open nature, but for cost we need to look at just using Pirelli slicks and wets. This might actually mean a marketing contribution from Pirelli to the club and maybe a tyre fitting service at each event. Not difficult to Police either. As was said above it might also be good to limit tyres to 4/5 sets a season max.

My personal view while we are on it that does anyone actually like qualifying?? It is a necessary evil as far as I am concerned. I would much prefer having 3 races over a weekend than 2 qualifying sessions. We are racers at the end of the day. If I got my thrills from qualifying it would be cheaper to just test! The club have increased the main championship events to 8 this year so wouldn't it be great to have a 24 race season with the top 20 results to count...... would be mega and much better value for money with a unique USP that is only really used by the championships on the TOCA package.

Plus another rule change please - can anyone with the name Robbie, Ben and Tony all have to start at the back of the grid :)

While we are at it can we have pit stops, grid girls and start money..... maybe not but I think the whole club needs to do some research and actually find out what the club in the whole want to do. Not difficult to do or set up and then that gives you the basis to make decisions for 2017 and beyond. Happy to help where I can...
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby jmtechnical » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:38 pm

Kevan you have missed the point, I have set out my ideal regarding engines. Newer engines made accessible to future proof the series. But understand for all the reasons you have mentioned it would be something that would be difficult to implement fairly. What I want to know is if an investment in mono is worthwhile. For instance if I build XE/Toyota car today and then this topic came up and the club decided to explore other engine options then I would have not been diligent. I would like a commitment from the club as to its direction. I have 3 cars, 1 runs with a zetec and needs another engine for it to be competitive (however we will not be going down this route till I can drive the car) 1 currently has an extremely completive mono legal engine in that is good for about 10 hours before it goes pop and needs rebuilding, and the last has no engine, I am trying to make a 5 year plan as to how we develop the cars within mono.

The fact board members provide their time free of charge makes no difference to the decisions, actions they take or if those decisions should be scrutinised by members. At no point have I attacked the board, my statement that board members want to actively control the size of the club has been given some reason by shakeyfish. The board must control risk when deciding the number of grids to purchase, which I agree with, but this year we do not have full grids and in my opinion the board has actively prevented entries.
The suggestion that formula Renaults have been banned because people may have cheated is crazy. If we look at the short time I have been in the club and look at all the times people have been picked up for deviating from the rules every class of car should be banned, mono would not have any cars eligible.

If it is true that FR have been cheating then let’s consider why the people who run these cars may consider cheating. Is it the poor engine regulations that favour a particular combination of car/engine? Is fair to limit one cars hp output and not another? Should the engine regulations not encourage diversity? If the engine regulations levelled performance as they are meant to do Shane Kelly would have won the championship.

Redracer77 raises a great point a referendum :D if it suits, I can setup a poll to get the members opinion on FR and the board may choose if it would like to act on the results either way.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Shakeyfinch » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:25 pm

My post about FR wasn't explicitly meant to be reference to cars not meeting the rules. More to do with what I could imagine to be the sequence of events leading to it.

My understanding is the FR cars were originally invited to participate in the championship to provide somewhere for them to run following the demise of BARC FR. A nice, opportunistic idea by the Club to grow numbers.

The condition of entry being in standard specification in order to make it extremely easy to police. Reason for this; to avoid alienating those people already in cars which would be in competition to the FR who might have spent considerably more money on building their cars before the FR was an option. These guys are actual members at this point not theoretical new joiners. Bear in mind also at this point in time the FR has only been raced in 'pro' championships and therefore it's tricky to ascertain how the car will perform in amateur hands. So sticking to the standard rules seems a sensible starting approach to me by the Club.

So what happens...an FR turns up and isn't competitive and what does the owner do....Complain the car is uncompetitive and lobby for the rules to change to make it 'fair'. Completely missing the point of its original intended introduction. How many times have we heard this before?

When a rule change is rightly declined we all know what happens next. The resulting output being a nice concoction of potential hassle, sulking new joiners and alienated existing members.

So I'm surprised we query the conclusion.

Anyhow, each to their own. Real men race bikes.

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby paolo42mk » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:30 pm

I share many of Redracer77's sentiments, and that of others that have posted on this thread.
I understand why those that have spent a lot of money on their current MonoF3 cars would feel apprehensive about any rule changes and the inclusion of cars like FR2000, but that's not a good reason to exclude them completely.
Now this may sound odd, but if I purchased an 'off the shelf' car like an FR2000 I would expect and accept the rules to favour a MonoF3 car. I do think it's important not to de-value the current-spec MonoF3 cars and the effort that's gone into them, whether that be with other cars or a change in engine regulations.
But it's equally important not to exclude cars that could bolster the grid as you never know what the future holds. Club level single-seater racing isn't growing in size, and with economic uncertainty on the horizon the club needs to be inclusive not exclusive. It only takes a handful of 'regulars' to have a year off and the club might end up struggling to fill both grids.
Although I've no intention of racing saloon cars as they're shi...


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