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Old 09-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #1
az ej20 fan
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Default Listing mods...honor system or tear down?

I am just wondering how SCCA can technically "class" a car without tearing it apart.

If you have some engine mods (internal) how can they possibly know without tearing it down?

I am not advocating/suggesting cheating, but how can they know unless you list it?
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
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I'm going to assume you're asking in general, and answer not to you but generally.

There are a few mods that can be detected just by listening to the engine run, idle to WOT. A lumpy cam or BOV are two that come to mind.

Beyond that there is no way to know if someone has forged internals or even an altered compression ratio without doing at least a little digging.

However, every SCCA event has the authority and process for protest, it's one of the reasons some people like competing in SCCA events. If a driver is protested and doesn't want to comply their results will be tossed (at minimum).

At the local level (in AZ at least) we're going to take the driver at his/her word as long as the driver and car perform within expected parameters--for the most part.

If a driver starts beating the regular hot-shoes--and there are plenty of jacket winners to compete against in AZ--in a car that is not fully prepared the car will be scrutinized. It may be scrutinized anyway.

That may mean something as little as having the driver describe in detail the car's mods. It may mean trolling message boards for a "bragging list" of mods. It could mean more, though that happens rarely as far as I know.

Why anyone would want to cheat is beyond me. If someone wants a local trophy badly the driver could always pick a class without other entrants. At the national level scrutineering would catch a non-complying "trophy-winning" car.

There are a lot of very technically knowledgeable autocrossers in AZ, and they pay attention to drivers and their cars at the sharp end of each category/class.

So, what class will you be running at the October event?
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Classing is done by competitors. If a car is obviously classed incorrectly, the event officials will protest it and it will be DSQed. This is for the cheaters as well as the oblivious. I saw two people get DSQed from a National Tour because they didn't realize their cars had been reclassed over the winter, and had signed up and were running the wrong class (they ran AS instead of BS).

In the case of engine mods and such, if the car does get protested -- by event officials or by competitors -- and the intent was found to be deceitful, you can expect a lot more than an event DSQ. The worst case I saw was something like a 5 year suspension from SCCA events, plus a $10K fine (which was equivalent to the contingency winnings the guy had won throughout that year). Most of the time, if the intent is to be seriously deceitful, there is at least a suspension plus return of contingencies involved... but the damage to the person's integrity can't be fixed.

Last edited by CamaroFS34; 09-19-2009 at 11:41 PM. Reason: speelings
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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I run into this all the time as a regional Tech Chief. I get folks who think they've "fooled us" by passing their SM car off as an ST car. We could really care less about the class-legality of a car, as long as the car is safe. However, the other folks in ST aren't usually as cooperative with such a scheme.

Tech doesn't ensure rules compliance, your fellow competitors (or impound officials) do. We do offer help to those who ask about proper classing though.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:48 AM   #5
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I was just curious about the process.

Any Evo schools this season Greg?

I will have to check AZS2...see if Scott or Dave are selling anything.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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In the Rulebook:

Quote:
4.6 RESPONSIBILITY FOR CAR CLASSIFICATION
The driver is responsible for the correct determination of the car’s
class/category. If in doubt as to classification or concerning the
conformity of the car or its equipment to the rules governing the
class, he may submit a Request for Clarification to the Protest
Committee, which will determine the matter under the procedures
of Section 8. It is the driver’s responsibility to assure the proper
number is on the car prior to competing.

Jon K
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az ej20 fan View Post
I was just curious about the process.
Any Evo schools this season Greg?
I will have to check AZS2...see if Scott or Dave are selling anything.
I'll be doing Phase 1 in Tucson 11/7.

I'd have preferred to do Phase 3 on 11/8 but it conflicts with a fall series event in Phoenix and I've already missed one, so I can't miss another and still win street tire 2.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
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After crewing for my stepson's circletrack effort, I have been reminded of the "honor" we uphold in the autocross world. Some people will do whatever it takes to win and have no problem building a cheater to do it. Thankfully, in Solo, we tend to take pride in getting things done within the rules and by sheer driving talent. It makes the victory or podium finish that much more fulfilling.

I think that the rulebook mainly having "allowances" instead of only listing things you cant do, has alot to do with it. It curbs alot of the creativity in skirting the rules, but leaves room for logical interpretations depending on the category you're prepping to. Not so much in stock class, but further up.


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Old 09-21-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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The only issue with the "honor" system, is that not only will some folks do whatever it takes to win, they will also do whatever it takes to win more contingency money. The more money that flows in the program, the more prevalent this will be.

Pride, character, talent, or fulfillment, they all take a back seat when money is on the line.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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I used to have a list in my car that listed all of my mods, what section of the rule book allowed it, and what terms allowed it. If anyone wanted to see something, I showed them (unless it required taking things apart, which none of my mods required).

Sometimes people simply don't know what class (ie, local guy in ESP with CF hood, trunk, wing, PnP turbo), other times they figure a mod won't help them that much. Locally, we don't care unless someone enters a class with the intent to dominate and it's clearly the wrong class (ie, SM in ST). If someone with a SM car wants to enter STU no one cares as they get beat up by the local STU hero's (driving wise, not physically).
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash View Post
The only issue with the "honor" system, is that not only will some folks do whatever it takes to win, they will also do whatever it takes to win more contingency money. The more money that flows in the program, the more prevalent this will be.

Pride, character, talent, or fulfillment, they all take a back seat when money is on the line.
Then protest them and put up the bond for the teardown. There's a process for that too. You think they're cheating? Pay the bond that it would cost to have it checked. If it is found illegal, you get your $$ back and they have to pay to fix it, put everything back together. If it's not illegal, you lose your bond and that $$ is used to pay for the repair. Simple process. This eliminates 'searching' for an illegality.

With so many similar cars, and mods, and more and more 'random' checks at national events, things *are* being found, even as small as illegal shims on valves (on a car of a past cheater... had a plausible reason for them, but he was still penalized for them as they're not allowed).

--kC
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
Classing is done by competitors. If a car is obviously classed incorrectly, the event officials will protest it and it will be DSQed. This is for the cheaters as well as the oblivious. I saw two people get DSQed from a National Tour because they didn't realize their cars had been reclassed over the winter, and had signed up and were running the wrong class (they ran AS instead of BS).

In the case of engine mods and such, if the car does get protested -- by event officials or by competitors -- and the intent was found to be deceitful, you can expect a lot more than an event DSQ. The worst case I saw was something like a 5 year suspension from SCCA events, plus a $10K fine (which was equivalent to the contingency winnings the guy had won throughout that year). Most of the time, if the intent is to be seriously deceitful, there is at least a suspension plus return of contingencies involved... but the damage to the person's integrity can't be fixed.
Sounds like Andy Hollis?
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
Then protest them and put up the bond for the teardown. There's a process for that too. You think they're cheating? Pay the bond that it would cost to have it checked. If it is found illegal, you get your $$ back and they have to pay to fix it, put everything back together. If it's not illegal, you lose your bond and that $$ is used to pay for the repair. Simple process. This eliminates 'searching' for an illegality.


--kC
I can, and I do. But that doesn't change what I said...

Money makes people do things they would not normally do. The previous example of the harshest punishment for cheating is a perfect example. The guy did not do what he did simply for a personalized jacket and a piece of wood with a plaque on it. Sure, it's our most celebrated example, but only because of it's magnitude and egregiousness. I'm sure this happens much more often on smaller scales and on smaller stages.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #14
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I agree with what you said. And that's why there's a process in place to check that everyone, or specifically.. that guy/gal that's doing it for the benjamins... can be verified.

--kC
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Then protest them and put up the bond for the teardown. There's a process for that too. You think they're cheating? Pay the bond that it would cost to have it checked. If it is found illegal, you get your $$ back and they have to pay to fix it, put everything back together. If it's not illegal, you lose your bond and that $$ is used to pay for the repair. Simple process. This eliminates 'searching' for an illegality.
How exactly does this work?

For example, let's say I buy a new Mini and start doing well enough to upset some unscrupulous 'hot shoe' (in my dreams).

They protest me at a big event, for something illegal inside the engine - obviously they'd be specific and have some 'evidence' to back up the claim.

They know from my newbie internet posts that I don't have the ability or inclination to tear down and reassemble my new car's engine.

Do they win?
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Do they win?
Not by default.

The protestor(s) post the $$ that it would take a competent party (dealer) to rebuild the engine post-tear-down, including the cost of parts that cannot be re-used (like gaskets, etc...) upon the rebuild.

--kC
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by leecea View Post
For example, let's say I buy a new Mini and start doing well enough to upset some unscrupulous 'hot shoe' (in my dreams).
I think anyone with half a brain can see someone that has done decent, has put in seat time, and got better. Most people only complain if they are either butthurt that they aren't the best or if someone goes from near last to suddenly way faster than the leaders with no in between.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:11 PM   #18
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I think anyone with half a brain can see someone that has done decent, has put in seat time, and got better
My point was that there is more than one way to cheat.

I'm sure it will never happen.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:09 PM   #19
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kC has it. In your example, that protest bond would be REALLY high, so they'd either have to be rich enough to not care, or be pretty darn sure they are right before starting the whole process. From what I've seen, protests of this magnitude usually start with some inside information... <grin>

The other side is that you'd better be sure they're wrong, or they get their bond $$ back and YOU get to pay the nice tech to rebuild your engine.

I have seen one of these where they didn't know exactly what was illegal inside the motor, but you have to list the exact rule infraction, so they picked something as far inside as they could, knowing all the parts on the way could be inspected, even if not listed in the original protest. "Casting a net" so-to-speak.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az ej20 fan View Post
I am just wondering how SCCA can technically "class" a car without tearing it apart.

If you have some engine mods (internal) how can they possibly know without tearing it down?

I am not advocating/suggesting cheating, but how can they know unless you list it?
I ran WERA for a number a years and this was a huge problem. Gsxr 750s with Gsxr 600 head and transmission is almost on detectable comepared to a built 600. It actually cause alot of stink in the ama last year with the privateers in the paddock.

they have the policy you can challenge the results of any race as long as you are on the grid and you have to pay I believe $500 to have a tear down done on the bike. If you want allow them to tear down you are disqualified and can not re enter the machine till they do a tear down.

Alot of guys will knowingly enter a class and know they are involation just to get extra track time for their class. IE enter a Supersport bikes in Superstock then pull off into hot pit before the final lap.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Splash View Post
I can, and I do. But that doesn't change what I said...

Money makes people do things they would not normally do. The previous example of the harshest punishment for cheating is a perfect example. The guy did not do what he did simply for a personalized jacket and a piece of wood with a plaque on it. Sure, it's our most celebrated example, but only because of it's magnitude and egregiousness. I'm sure this happens much more often on smaller scales and on smaller stages.
While I agree that money on the table makes things more serious, I don't buy that at all. If you are truly driven by money and money alone, you aren't autocrossing, especially if you were successful enough in your career to retire at a very young age.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:33 PM   #22
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I'm not saying anyone is driven by money alone. I am saying that contingency money adds "incentive" to make sure you get it, even if it means doing things you wouldn't have bothered to do without it. Some folks take the bait...
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