Engine Regulations

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Shakeyfinch
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Shakeyfinch » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:47 pm

Actually if you ran an FR to standard regulations there is nothing for existing members to be concerned about and Paolo I'd support your view. And I'd also suggest the original view the Club was trying to be inclusive. It put its best foot forward proactively in amending its rules to accommodate standard cars that had practically nowhere else to run.

However inevitably indiviuals once not competitive didn't like the standard idea, blamed the rules (which they were aware of before purchasing the car), and went beyond the boundaries of acceptability to make the point.

Put yourself in the position of the Club and imagine how that scenario might play out in your own business. You'd ask them too to move on - save yourself the potential hassle and alienation - particularily when you are talking about probably less than 5% of the potential grid - focus your efforts on growing your business (grid) elsewhere.

RobManser
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby RobManser » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:36 am

I feel I should have my say regarding Formula Renaults, as I own one that I am yet to race.

Relative Performance

It's always tricky homologating two different cars in one class. As the Monoposto organisers have made very clear, if there were enough later carbon tubbed Tatuus Formula Renaults (hereafter I'll just say "FR") entered into Mono, they'd give them their own class, which I'm sure we all agree is the ideal situation. However, without enough cars for a dedicated class, bringing FRs into the F3 class under pre-existing BARC regs seems very sensible and I've always supported that decision.

Regarding performance comparisons, firstly I'll mention the problems with looking at on paper specs: firstly, horsepower figures are tricky to compare, because the FR engine has variable valve timing and the standard 2.0 litre Mono engine doesn't (although in this case there's probably too big a difference in bhp and torque for VVT to even the gap). Secondly, an F3 chassis will probably be quicker in theory, but as far as I understand it from a friend who's raced both, F3 cars use underbody aero more than FR, so will be disadvantaged at Mono ride height more. My point is that comparing specs all gets quite complicated and involves lots of unknowns, so lap times are by far the best and easiest way of looking at things. I've just trawled the web looking at BARC FR and Mono F3 lap times, and it seems that the best BARC FR times are around 2 seconds slower than the best Mono F3 times. I'm happy for someone with more time than me to adjust or correct that figure. Now, as far as I know, BARC FR ran a free ride height, so raising the ride height to 40mm is only going to make the BARC cars slower, widening that gap further.

As an FR owner, I'd be quite happy to run in a car that's 2-3 seconds slower a lap initially and then at a later date either look at making the Mono FRs faster, or if there are enough cars, creating a dedicated class; time is needed there I feel. I bought my car in full knowledge of the Monoposto regulations and I'm happy with things as they are. However, this is just my take on things and we need to be careful not to put people off - I know of one person keen to enter an FR but put off by the lack of competitiveness in class.

Grid Sizes

We must remember that BARC FR only officially stopped at the beginning of 2015 and many teams hung on to their cars throughout 2015 and may even still have them now. The car I bought wasn't even advertised when I bought it in August 2015 - I heard through a friend that the team just had two FRs sat in their workshop, presumably in case BARC FR started up again. In time, these cars are going to start getting into amateur hands like mine, but I think it's too knee-jerk to just assume that process has finished by mid 2016. There are a huge number of FRs around.

Note that Mono may need to look at closing the gap to the F3 cars to encourage FRs to come into the championship so they can get their own class... I'm happy to enter as things are, because I simply enjoy driving the car, but not everyone shares that view.

FRs in General

I'd like to say a few words in support of the Formula Renault as a car. The big attraction to me is the roomier cockpit compared to older space frame cars. One of the reasons I stopped racing in 2009 was that I never really fitted in those older cars (I raced a 1995 FR and two late 90s Formula Ford based cars in 750MC F4), which gave fairly significant safety issues, such as my head being far too high in some cars and my feet getting jammed in the pedals in others. My 2008 FR isn't exactly huge, but I fit with my head at a safe height and my feet and hands are free to control the car safely. Secondly, FRs are quite simple cars that are easy to maintain at home. Thirdly, FRs are one of the most common cars around, so parts are relatively easy to get hold of, either secondhand or via the UK Renaultsport agent. Lastly, there's the cost - you can be on the grid in an FR for about £20k including buying the car, paying someone else to rebuild it (as I've done) and buying your first set of tyres. In summary, FRs combine a modern larger carbon-tubbed car with more affordable running costs. People aren't getting any shorter and there will always be people out there like me with a Caterham/Elise type budget who want to race a single seater.

Monoposto need a vision looking forward 5-10 years, and running expensive Dallaras at one end and older spaceframe cars at the other seems to me rather limited - bringing in FRs in the middle seems very sensible to me. Naturally we also need to look at the newer FF cars, BRDC F4 / F3 etc so we don't arrive at this situation again in the future without a clear plan as to the evolution of the class structure. On this point, we shouldn't ban variable valve timing, because obviously most modern engines have it now, so we have to bring it in at some point, although perhaps not as a standard Mono engine just yet.

Banning FRs

This to me seems like a very odd decision and I'm not sure I've heard of a club banning a car before under these circumstances. Banning or changing allowed modifications is normal in club racing, but banning an entire car seems strange, particularly when they're at a performance disadvantage in their class and the FR is such a well suited car to amateur club racing (see above). I was particularly miffed seeing as I'd contacted the club about buying an FR a week before the announcement was made regarding banning them, by which time I'd already bought a car. I did the deal on Aug 3rd and the announcement was made on this forum on Aug 8th.

I can see no reason why FRs shouldn't continue in the Mono F3 class, provided they are not allowed to exceed the performance of the Dallara F3 cars. The ideal situation would be to have FRs nipping at the heels of the F3s on the tighter circuits, or obviously in their own class in time when grid sizes are sufficiently large.

Right, I've got a garage to work on so I can get my car out of storage and prep it! :D
Last edited by RobManser on Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

RobManser
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby RobManser » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:25 am

Another idea would be to just take the bold step of creating an FR class, either under BARC regs or full FR regs. It's not unheard of for a championship to have a class with just a handful of cars competing. It would make things simpler for spectators too, who seemed very confused when I sat amongst them at a round last year.

AndyY
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby AndyY » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:21 pm

Apologies for butting in from a long time departed Mono racer, but my twopennyworth: a while ago, Mono adopted the then redundant FVL cars and gave then a home to race in, they were ideal club level cars - robust, good spares availability, value for money and none too expensive to buy, quick enough and supposedly easy to drive (not that I ever realised that). They were the main stay on Mono 2000 for any years, indeed i would suggest that they became the "datum" car against which the performance of all other cars was judged. Not that that was ever written down, probably.

Moving on a few years and the FR2000 chassis is in a similar position. No longer in main stream "professional" use, lots about and not too expensive. I don't understand why the club would ban these cars, surely they are the "new" club level car of choice for those that want slicks and wings racing? After all not every one can afford a Dallara and there is now a big gap between those that can afford a FFord Zetec (or maybe a bit more) But still want to have the slicks and wings and sequential experience, and to those that can afford the F3 cars.

I would have thought that the obvious answer is to have a seperate class for BARC spec FRs, with any of the bodywork configurations allowable. The ride height would have to be 40mm, I guess, and those that want to run them can. Let everyone know that this is the plan, including those teams that are known to have chassis still sitting in workshops, and if it starts off with just one or two racing in the class, so be it, but try and build interest. I well remember racing in Mono 1800 with just a couple of cars and I don't see why you would turn down cars that are absolutely in keeping with the Mono club philosophy. The key is to have the BARC regs and police them.
Last edited by AndyY on Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andy Yeomans - former Mono 1800 and 2000 racer (!?). Now CSCC and aspiring Clubmans racer.

paolo42mk
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby paolo42mk » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:48 pm

It's interesting (and reassuring) to see that there are quite a few people who share the same views on the inclusion of FR2000 cars and their suitability for Monoposto. As AndyY has noted, the prinicple / concept is similar to what would have been applied when FVauxhall cars were given a home to race alongside older pre-93 F3 cars.

I really hope that the decision to exclude FR2000 cars next season can be reviewed and reversed for all of the reasons highlighted so far.

RobManser
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby RobManser » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:35 pm

I completely agree Andy. FRs are unique in that they occupy a space between the older spaceframe cars and the Dallaras, and that applies whether you're looking at cost, safety, or room for taller drivers, or all three. They manage this with a road standard engine and ready availability of parts and expertise.

A separate class would bury the much talked about issues with performance relative to the Dallaras, yes. We could probably even remove the restrictors to produce circa 200bhp and I suspect that a top Dallara would still be faster.

As you rightly say Andy, 40mm ride height is a negative for many, but as far as I understand it, Monoposto have no choice with regard to that. My shakedown test last month was at the car's designed ride height (~25mm) and my next test probably will be too, because I want to get back up to speed and get used to the car with a known and proven setup before I start fiddling with it; 'change one thing at a time' - a lesson learnt through bitter experience!

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Anson
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Anson » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:49 am

I also agree that it makes sense for Formula Renault to be in Monoposto but I think there might be another way of doing it.
From this year we have split the two existing 2 litre classes into three - we had Mono 2000 and Classic, now we have F3, 2000 and Classic. The end result, so far, is that both 2000 and Classic are weak with few cars entered in either.
I would run Formula Renaults in a Mono 2000 class, together with older Dallaras (currently newest allowed in this class are 95/96 model)
Classic then keeps the older cars like the RT3 and my Anson and the FVL cars. Then a decision needs to be made where the US FF2000 chassis go - whether to put them in with Classic, as before, or in the Mono 2000 class.

At the end of the day, we already have the class structure to give a home to Formula Renaults where they can be competitive in their own class. And if this would prove to be a big class, they will end up with the grid split that allows them to be racing for outright wins as well.
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Redracer77 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:52 am

Makes a lot of sense Peter.

Still no word from the club as to why they dont want them in. It would be nice for a member of the board to explain the reasons? Or if they can't stand up to the drivers wanting to race then let them in and build the class...

Over to you Mono?
Chris Hodgen
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omsracer
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby omsracer » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:25 pm

I don't understand the reason for the FR ban as like most people I tend to agree that was what Mono club was all about. As for the FF 2000 in Classic, that was tried and is the reason there are so few classics now. There is no competition for classics with FF2000 as the last three championships (?) have shown.

Obviously I am a little bias having a Classic 2000, but speaking for the others we feel we have a chance now that the FF2000's have moved. Not sure how to structure a new class for the FR but I think we are missing a trick if we ban them.
Peter Whitmore
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Russ
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Russ » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

This thread is being watched with interest by a number of the board members. You comments and suggestions are being noted.
There is an open invitation to any member to join us at a board meeting and discuss any relevant topic. We only ask that this is pre arranged and your proposals or questions are submitted to the secretary in writing before hand so they can be shared with the whole board. This gives us the opportunity to create a full and reasoned response to the member.
There is also the open forum at the end of each AGM, this is of course open to any current member and no pre booking or preparation required.
Of course if any of you wishes to join the board as a working member, we would love to hear from you and what you believe you can offer the club.
Russ Giles

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Russ » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:56 pm

Please can you all note, your real name needs to be in your handle or signature.
Forum members who do not comply are likely to face removal of their profile
please see Tony's post here
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2142&p=6943#p6943
Thanks
Russ Giles

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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Redracer77 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:48 pm

I am Chris Hodgen Mono F3 - will work out how to change my profile name in the morning - seems 95 percent of people don't use their name?

Thanks for the reply, but it still doesn't answer the question as to why the board thinks it is a good idea to ban Formula Renault cars? It surely can't be a difficult question to answer? Is there a hidden agenda that the club don't want to disclose? as the reason the regs can't be policed doesn't stack up in my opinion. Please can you let me know when the next board meeting is?
Chris Hodgen
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jmtechnical
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby jmtechnical » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:53 pm

2nd of august, I'm intending on going if allowed. I'm just writing an email to tony setting out what was asked, i will post the email on the forum.

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Anson
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Anson » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:05 am

omsracer wrote:I don't understand the reason for the FR ban as like most people I tend to agree that was what Mono club was all about. As for the FF 2000 in Classic, that was tried and is the reason there are so few classics now. There is no competition for classics with FF2000 as the last three championships (?) have shown.

Obviously I am a little bias having a Classic 2000, but speaking for the others we feel we have a chance now that the FF2000's have moved. Not sure how to structure a new class for the FR but I think we are missing a trick if we ban them.


Peter,
I don't agree with you on the relative competitiveness of Classic and FF2000 - my Anson is still competitive with the FF2000s, as is Jim with his RT3, as is Robin Dawe with his FVL - none of us has competed in a full season in classic in the last few seasons and the championship has been won by an FF2000 but all three of us scrapped with Bryn Tootel last season and were competitive.
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Re: Engine Regulations

Postby Redracer77 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:51 pm

It now seems a number of posts from pro Renault people have now been deleted from the forum.

Can we arrange an informal discussion about 2017 on Friday night at Brands?
Chris Hodgen
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