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Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:26 am
by Nick Harrison

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.


Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:22 am
by tristancliffe
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!

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:15 pm
by andrewcliffe
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)

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:35 pm
by coolio
Andrew has my support for;

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

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:13 pm
by paolo42mk
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

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:35 pm
by Shakeyfinch
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.

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:09 pm
by paolo42mk
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....

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:32 pm
by Paolo Mantegazza
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

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:04 pm
by Redracer77
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...

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:25 pm
by Shakeyfinch
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 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.

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:30 pm
by paolo42mk
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...

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:47 pm
by Shakeyfinch
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.

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:36 am
by RobManser
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

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:25 am
by RobManser
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.

Re: Engine Regulations

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:21 pm
by AndyY
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.