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Old 12-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
M. Hurst
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Default Rally America Green Challenge Proposal

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #2
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OH yea! I can't wait to see this 160 hp Honda FCX Clarity show up in rallly form
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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I'd recommend skipping Sno*Drift! (-30F + hydrogen fuel cells = Fail)
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:24 AM   #4
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Maybe all the cars should be fitted with a system beneath the rear bumper that sprays pine seeds, frogs, and sunshine onto the recently "aerated" soil behind the rally car .

But I kid. As a tech nerd, I like alternative energy race cars, but I agree I don't see this getting a whole lot of traction until they can figure out how to make these technologies work on circuit cars first.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:36 AM   #5
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There have been a few biodiesel, E85, and hybrid rally cars already. It's nice to see RA working to help generate some buzz around them.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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another fail from RA. People hardly have money to run what they have much less to invent rally hybrids
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
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another fail from RA. People hardly have money to run what they have much less to invent rally hybrids
How can requesting comments from people about a possible concept be "another fail from RA"?
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:18 AM   #8
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hey mike you should do it by mass (weight) and give each type of acceptable technologies (fuels) a scalar as done with the displacement rules (i.e. turbo 1.4) by using the known g/kwh for 'well developed technologies'. this is the only way to foster development to entice people to pick fuel category based on g/kwH where they know they can somehow exceed the 'industry status quo'. Otherwise how are you going to measure a hydrogen car, for example... using who's temp, the storage tank's or...
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:33 AM   #9
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How can requesting comments from people about a possible concept be "another fail from RA"?
asking for comments is not, but this is much too soon and this concept while interesting will not work for a while.
RA should concentrate on helping current series in the upcoming season if there is to be any season at all. This past 2008 series had much less turnout even without the crisis we see now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patr View Post
hey mike you should do it by mass (weight) and give each type of acceptable technologies (fuels) a scalar as done with the displacement rules (i.e. turbo 1.4) by using the known g/kwh for 'well developed technologies'. this is the only way to foster development to entice people to pick fuel category based on g/kwH where they know they can somehow exceed the 'industry status quo'. Otherwise how are you going to measure a hydrogen car, for example... using who's temp, the storage tank's or...
That may be the ultimate result, a specified total amount of energy allowed for the competition, with adjustments (multipliers) based on factors that are both based in politics (energy security) and CO2 release during production and consumption...but I think we need a vastly simplified method for the beginning, and refine it as we go.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:20 AM   #11
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It's like a crossover episode with SpecialStage in here.
There's been plenty of talk about tuning to run on E85 and that would be an interesting option for a sub category or class. For the horde of WRXs out there it would be a matter of tuning and maybe a few bits that wouldn't be too expensive compared to the rest of preparation, especially if it could be offset by the availability of E85 in bulk at rallies.

Diesels would be interesting, too, but there just aren't enough available in the US right now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
asking for comments is not, but this is much too soon and this concept while interesting will not work for a while.
RA should concentrate on helping current series in the upcoming season if there is to be any season at all. This past 2008 series had much less turnout even without the crisis we see now.
What would you propose?


I think this is the perfect time to try to get out there in a "green" movement.

Car mfr's are dumping their motorsports programs worldwide...and we know that the current rally structure had no pull for mfr's before this (other than Subaru). Add to that a possible government funding/tax credits for "green" R&D, and a "green" championship at RA just MIGHT pull in corporate funding, which is RA's stated goal for eventually reducing entry fees and other costs for the low-budget racers.

Don't like it, don't build to it. I've heard nothing about them dropping traditional classes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fliz View Post
What would you propose?


I think this is the perfect time to try to get out there in a "green" movement.

Car mfr's are dumping their motorsports programs worldwide...and we know that the current rally structure had no pull for mfr's before this (other than Subaru). Add to that a possible government funding/tax credits for "green" R&D, and a "green" championship at RA just MIGHT pull in corporate funding, which is RA's stated goal for eventually reducing entry fees and other costs for the low-budget racers.

Don't like it, don't build to it. I've heard nothing about them dropping traditional classes.
I would like to consolidate other rally series like NASA and make them into one. Who needs 2 if there is harly enough competitors for one.
People should talk and reach some agreements. I agree that drastic changes will need to be made to each of the series regulations and rules but ultimately you're getting the best of 2 worlds while benefiting from the higher number of entries.
Make let's say 12 rallies and 8-10 of them mandatory for National Championship. Keep rest regional and allow for minimum budget to compete at National level. Not everyone needs and should compete in National. I about only 8-10 teams that had the means last season.

This is all about the survival now. Time to innovate will come later.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
asking for comments is not, but this is much too soon and this concept while interesting will not work for a while.
RA should concentrate on helping current series in the upcoming season if there is to be any season at all. This past 2008 series had much less turnout even without the crisis we see now.
Well Marcin, the concept is not aimed at being a requirement for everybody. It's merely testing the idea to see if there's any interest in competing in such a class and collecting ideas from folks to refine the concept if indeed it should some day be implemented. Participation would be completely voluntary just like choosing any other class to run in. I don't see how considering adding a class can be construed as neglecting the upcoming season, but what I will take from your comment is that you believe it's too soon for such a class (and it very well may be).

I'm pretty certain that alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids are on their way in. Regardless of whether or not we believe that the global warming phenomenon is a crisis or a hoax, automotive technology is going to be changing. Just like a Suzuki Swift isn't going to be competitive with an open class Subaru, these newer vehicles are going to have new components that are unrefined from a competition standpoint and won't be comparable to the top cars of today. A little bit of forward thinking may provide a class where they can compete with each other in terms of fuel efficiency, carbon footprint and so on along with the endurance, serviceability and speed involved in rally. I don't anticipate a hybrid providing the same type of viewing experience as a fire breathing turbo AWD monster, but the challenge of actually driving one of these newer technology cars is going to be very similar to driving any other car albeit with a few new requirements (hence the talk of extra fueling stops and such for charging batteries, the increased quantities of E85 required and so forth).

Some day I can envision people buying aftermarket performance parts for their Prius. Just because a car is "green" doesn't mean it can't be made more fun to drive. But instead of replacing the cam and adding a larger turbo people might be replacing the batteries with lightweight high performance energy cells and re-flashing the ECU to drive more current to the wheels (and arguing with the dealership about voided warranties ). I don't claim to know exactly how or when all of this is going to shake out, but I don't think it's a bad thing to have put some thought into preparing for it.

The bottom line will always be determined by the competitors though. If nobody shows up to run the class, then the class won't actually exist even if it is written in the rule book. So we'll see how it goes, and what it might end up looking like.

I'd like to tap some of the imaginations out there to see if we can't come up with some meaningful criteria that might make such a class interesting from an energy efficiency/emissions as well as the usual reliability and overall stage time standpoint. It'd be cool to have a place to rally the first 100% electric STi

Cheers,
-Doug
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
I would like to consolidate other rally series like NASA and make them into one.
Yeow, take that one to a new thread please. It has a history of ballooning into yet another maniacally long argument session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
This is all about the survival now. Time to innovate will come later.
Or perhaps innovation is what will ensure survival and abandoning any new concepts in favor of pursuing an old avenue that has shown no signs of making headway for years now will ensure demise. My crystal ball is in the shop, so I like to hedge my bets and try to remain as flexible as possible (meaning I'm not going to exclude either avenue).

Cheers,
-Doug
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #16
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i also think that the only way for alternative fuel cars to fully catch on is for them to have some sort of presence in motorsports. they need to be sexy and exciting. having them in rally could do that.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #17
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In the short term, this proposal helps support the resale value of crashed VW TDIs so somebody can drop the drivetrain into a built-up rally Golf.

This way they'd actually get out on the stages without having to reinvent the wheel (much).
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Hurst View Post
That may be the ultimate result, a specified total amount of energy allowed for the competition, with adjustments (multipliers) based on factors that are both based in politics (energy security) and CO2 release during production and consumption...but I think we need a vastly simplified method for the beginning, and refine it as we go.
using status quo g/kwH scalars and mass, you will foster innovation... i think this is actually easier to measure/scale/police than anything else but I could be wrong... what would we do in the hydrogen case ?
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:51 AM   #19
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another fail from RA. People hardly have money to run what they have much less to invent rally hybrids
Invent what?
Adapt a suspension and put a cage in it. Easy.

Hardly have $. Toyota gave the car and V8 Tundra to tow it with for free, just for presenting a proposal. Take advantage of what the manufacturers want to promote and race for peanuts or even get paid. You may not win, but a slow day racing is better than a fast day commuting to work.







Rallying a hybrid was interesting. There were new technical challenges to overcome and driving techniques to learn different than gas powered rallycars. Transits were less boring because we'd learn how and when we could charge the battery by watching the in-dash display and then make strategies to arrive at the arrival time controls with a fully charged electric battery for better stage performance.

I haven't read the RA link but applaud the attempt at new ideas and hope somehow, sometime a new manufacture may become involved.

Dave Shindle
Codrove the first hybrid rallycar in N America in 2003 including beating a WRX by 15 minutes

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dch View Post
Just like a Suzuki Swift isn't going to be competitive with an open class Subaru ...
Unless, of course, the Swift is driven by Frank Sprongl.

Doug Woods

Two classes only - AWD and 2WD
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCRallyDave View Post
Invent what?
Adapt a suspension and put a cage in it. Easy.

Hardly have $. Toyota gave the car and V8 Tundra to tow it with for free, just for presenting a proposal. Take advantage of what the manufacturers want to promote and race for peanuts or even get paid. You may not win, but a slow day racing is better than a fast day commuting to work.







Rallying a hybrid was interesting. There were new technical challenges to overcome and driving techniques to learn different than gas powered rallycars. Transits were less boring because we'd learn how and when we could charge the battery by watching the in-dash display and then make strategies to arrive at the arrival time controls with a fully charged electric battery for better stage performance.

I haven't read the RA link but applaud the attempt at new ideas and hope somehow, sometime a new manufacture may become involved.

Dave Shindle
Codrove the first hybrid rallycar in N America in 2003 including beating a WRX by 15 minutes


^^ Very cool
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #22
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Unless, of course, the Swift is driven by Frank Sprongl.
There always has to be at least one wiseguy in the crowd doesn't there...

I'm pretty sure Frank in a 300hp AWD car could run away from himself in a Swift though. My assumption was driver talent being equal, of course. If we had a bunch of Franks and Duplesis wheeling the green cars it would be very entertaining indeed.

Cheers,
-Doug
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:04 PM   #23
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Very Cool !
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:36 PM   #24
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I lost interest at "Green".
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:23 PM   #25
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This has some potential...

Actually, I can see someone with relatively deep pockets finding major competitive advantage by converting a WRX over to a serial hybrid driveline. The engine is connected only to a generator, the wheels connected to an electric motor (or two, or four) and a high-power (not necessarily high-capacity) battery pack.

You can constantly put 300-400HP into your battery from the engine, but you can draw out maybe double or 3x that at peak so long as your average draw is less than what the motor is putting in. It makes the turbo inlet restrictor essentially irrelevant. Think GpB peak power levels...

The first one would be cubic dollars to build and debug though...
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