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Old 10-02-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
roninsoldier83
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Default Request for an SCCA member...

So, I haven't competed in an autoX event in years. Not since my old '04 WRX, which was sold years ago. Recently, I've had a strong itch to try and get back into the SCCA, specifically autoX and I really wanted to try out rallyX as well. So, I started by reading the updated 2009 rules and consulting members via local chapters. At first, my car seemed like the perfect candidate to run in STU or Street Prepared AWD, until I noticed I had performed 2 modifications that would bump me out of those classes. The modifications in question are modified stock injectors and a Walbro fuel pump. I performed these modifications in order to be able to run E85, which my car has been running for over a year now.

I noticed the rules in STU and P4 both state that you can run E85 (as well as any other legal for Federal use pump fuels, ect), however the rules on modifying your fuel system obviously discourage it's use if you don't have enough fuel overhead to run it. So, instead of simply whining about it I chose to write the President of the the SCCA (Jeff Dahnert), in which I stated the following:

Quote:
Hello to you sir,

I am writing to you today on behalf of a rule that I don't view as making any sense specifically in the autocross Street Touring class & rallycross Prepared class. What I'm referring to specifically is not being able to run larger/modified fuel injectors and an aftermarket fuel pump. The reasons why I say those rules don't make any sense, is technically extra fuel doesn't correlate with moving more air or making more horsepower necessarily. Extra fuel overhead just means your injector duty cycles will be lower/further from static, essentially just making it more of a motor safety modification, along with a larger fuel pump, as it won't have to work as hard to provide the same fuel pressures needed, again, just an extra element of safety for your motor.

It could be argued that extra fuel overhead might allow you to increase boost pressures on turbocharged/supercharged vehicles, however in ST boost cannot be altered, meaning additional fuel overhead is irrelevant as it's not helping you make anymore power or gain an advantage over any car on the field other than having additional fuel overhead, increasing motor safety.

You also list those classes as being able to run E85 as a fuel source, which is part of the reason I'm writing. E85 isn't as efficient as gasoline, and as such requires about 30% more fuel to reach the same lambda air:fuel ratios. This means, for most people to actually run their vehicles safely on E85, they would require larger injectors & fuel pump. Meaning, even though E85 is allowed in the class, rules about injectors & fuel pumps discourage it's use, which is a shame. It could be argued that E85's resistance to detonation would be considered an advantage, however in these classes Sunoco 100 octane can also be used, which when tuned for is comparable to E85, but Sunoco fuels can easily be used with stock fuel systems, which makes rules like these biased against the large E85 movement sweeping across the nation.

On 91/93 octane pump gas, larger injectors & fuel pumps offer no advantages in either one of these classes other than additional motor safety, which in my opinion is never a bad thing in a street class. Allowing the changing of injectors & fuel pump would however allow people to run E85 at autoX/rallyX meets and still be competitive while allowing them to run a much cheaper & more widely available alternative to Sunoco high octane unleaded fuels.

Due to the reasons listed above, I am asking you to at least consider a revision to these rulings for future seasons in these street classes. I thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Brandon Meadows


I was actually shocked, I received a very timely, response from president of the SCCA, and informed me of the following:

Quote:
Brandon,


Thank you for taking the time to present your thoughts. You did a very nice job of presenting your point of view. By way of copying him, I am forwarding your comments on to Brian Harmer our Solo technical specialist. Any questions about rules or suggestions for changes will be handled through him and the SEB. Thank you again for taking the time to make your thoughts known. If a person doesn’t let us know of their concerns there is no way we can address them.


Jeffrey S Dahnert
President and CEO
Sports Car Club of America
Topeka, KS 66619
P(785)862-7108
F(785)232-7228

I was really impressed that my email was actually read and responded to quickly. I then received an email from Brian Harmer who asked me for my member number. I explained to Brian that I have not been a member of the SCCA for years, but that I used to compete in both D stock & then later in STX in my old WRX, but let my membership expire when I sold my WRX after coming back from my 2nd tour in Iraq.

Brian was very professional, but informed me that since I was no longer a member of the SCCA that he could not forward my suggestion for a rule change onto the SEB, as a request for a rule change could only be made by a member.


So, I'm in a bit of a pickle... last I checked, a membership fee for the SCCA was $65, which isn't a ton of money, but at this point I don't know if it will be worth it, as I would not be allowed to compete in the classes that my car really should be classed in with (STU & P4). I suppose I could run in BSP or Modified AWD, but in reality, my STI is my daily driver, and would stand no chance at being competitive in either one of those classes without spending a ton of money and taking away from my car's daily driver capabilities (read: no go with the wife haha).

I could probably also just lie or don't mention that my injectors/fuel pump have been modified, and technically, the injectors are just modded stockers, so no one could visually tell the difference, but that's not my style. I like to play by the rules, and go through the proper channels rather than being a liar or a cheat. This is something I would not consider.

I guess I could pay the membership fee on the off chance that they might accept my rule change proposal, however that's kind of a long shot. So, before I shell out SCCA member fees, I am here on Nasioc, asking my fellow Subie owners if anyone that holds a SCCA membership would be willing to submit my request for a rule change? For reasoning listed above, I don't see the problem with allowing fuel mods in these classes, as it doesn't add anymore power per se, and if you're using it to run E85 like myself, well, E85 is already legal & without being able to crank up the boost beyond stock levels (ST classes), it really doesn't offer any advantages over 100 octane people run on a stock fuel system.

If anyone who is member of the SCCA agrees with me, it would be truly appreciated if they would at least submit the request I attempted to submit earlier, and if anyone disagrees, please feel free to give reasons why as I can't think of any.

I thank you for your time.

-Brandon

P.S. To anyone who wouldn't mind submitting my request, Mr. Brian Harmer's email address is bharmer@scca.com as I understand he would need to be the official that passed on the request to the SEB. Thanks again!
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Last edited by roninsoldier83; 10-02-2009 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
neilschelly
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Not for nothing, but you're asking members to submit rather significant rules modifications so you can run an underprepared car in both autocross and rallycross competitions?

Rules changes aren't made for one car to find an easier class to fit in. They aren't made for single competitors ever, especially when they aren't a member. They definitely shouldn't be made to accomodate someone with an underprepared car, and any car that's intended to compete in both rallycross and autocross is an underprepared car in one or both of these venues.

Get a membership because you want one. If you don't want one, well, then I guess you don't have to get one. Rules changes aren't made overnight anyway, so if you're going to wait for the rules to fall in your favor before joining, it's going to be awhile.

Go autocross because you want to autocross and go rallycross because you want to go rallycross. You don't have to join the SCCA to do that, but it will probably save you the cost of your membership in your first year if you come to more than a few events, since you'll save the $15 for each weekend membership fee.
-N
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
KC
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Quote:
What I'm referring to specifically is not being able to run larger/modified fuel injectors and an aftermarket fuel pump. The reasons why I say those rules don't make any sense, is technically extra fuel doesn't correlate with moving more air or making more horsepower necessarily. Extra fuel overhead just means your injector duty cycles will be lower/further from static, essentially just making it more of a motor safety modification, along with a larger fuel pump, as it won't have to work as hard to provide the same fuel pressures needed, again, just an extra element of safety for your motor.
What happens when you do run the allowed modifications that allow more air and then add more fuel? It does add more HP. While you did cover yourself with 'neccessarily' there are cars that can make a better use of the suggested fuel modifications (turbo/Supercharger) then those that cannot (N/A).

Like Neil said... run where the rules allow. I would be inflamed myself if I fuond out rules were being changed by non-members. Sorry, it´s a club. Either pay your dues, or not.

--kC
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
leecea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilschelly View Post
They definitely shouldn't be made to accomodate someone with an underprepared car...
I agree with everything you and KC said, except I don't understand what the prep level of the OP's car has to do with anything.

A rule is ether a good rule for the class or it isn't.

Whether the rule's proposer is an elite competitor or a mid-pack runner shouldn't change that.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
neilschelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
I agree with everything you and KC said, except I don't understand what the prep level of the OP's car has to do with anything.

A rule is ether a good rule for the class or it isn't.

Whether the rule's proposer is an elite competitor or a mid-pack runner shouldn't change that.
My point was not whether not not the competitor is an elite or mid-pack runner. My point is that the rules are designed to create a ladder of class preparation levels. They are never going to be modified so that people who run cars that are not trying to be competitive can be beat by less of a margin.

Rule changes are made when cars that are prepared to the limit of the rules can't be competitive because the wording of the rules unevenly disadvantage some cars in a class. New rules allowances are made when there's enough motivation from people in a class to make the allowances, and hopefully, when those allowances will hopefully increase participiation in a class level without giving undo advantage to only some cars.
-Neil
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
leecea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilschelly View Post
My point was not whether not not the competitor is an elite or mid-pack runner. My point is that the rules are designed to create a ladder of class preparation levels. They are never going to be modified so that people who run cars that are not trying to be competitive can be beat by less of a margin.

Rule changes are made when cars that are prepared to the limit of the rules can't be competitive because the wording of the rules unevenly disadvantage some cars in a class. New rules allowances are made when there's enough motivation from people in a class to make the allowances, and hopefully, when those allowances will hopefully increase participiation in a class level without giving undo advantage to only some cars.
-Neil
Thanks. That's a very reasonable clarification. However, I'm not sure about a couple of points:

1) It seems like the OP is saying the current rules do disadvantage the E85 user versus the Sunoco 100 user. One could imagine an area where E85 is available and 100 octane is not. However, I admit that I'm not sure if the OP's technical argument is correct.

2) The recent Fasttrack contains a proposed change that doesn't seem to be driven by the need to equalize fully preped cars. It is just providing a lower cost equivalent way to do something already allowed if you spend the $$s.

Quote:
NOTE: The goal with this proposal is to allow an alternative, cost-effective method of performing the same functions allowed by current rules.
Anyway, much as this is a fun debate, it probably isn't very useful for me to keep beating the horse. Sorry.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:38 AM   #7
cucamelsmd15
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This is simple, really. You want to run STU? Put the pump and injectors back to stock.

KC hit the nail on the head here:
Quote:
What happens when you do run the allowed modifications that allow more air and then add more fuel? It does add more HP.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:09 AM   #8
gbwrx
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I don't understand why you wouldn't want to pay the money to be a member just because of some rule. Like someone else said.....if you want to autox then just do it. It was stated that you can run BSP but didn't want to put a lot of time or money into the car. You will have to do this with STU also.

Now just remember if by chance this rule is changed and you buy a membership. There is always the possibility of another rule changing that will make X mod illegal for you. This happened with the rule clarification for ST awhile back and it is just part of the sport. I agree to just go back to stock injectors and fuel pump, buy a membership, then write your letter. Or just have fun how the car is now.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
fastfreddy
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A stock STI would be competitive in M4 in rallycross.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
ULLLOSE
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The ST winning Civic at the Solo natls was supposedly sunning on E85. Reading the OP it makes it sound as though this is not possible. Must not be the case.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:49 PM   #11
ProDarwin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULLLOSE View Post
The ST winning Civic at the Solo natls was supposedly sunning on E85. Reading the OP it makes it sound as though this is not possible. Must not be the case.
The Civic can run E85 w/o issue due to huge factory injectors. The STi needs upgraded injectors to flow enough for E85.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #12
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Jason,

The OP is specifically referring to STIs, which tend to push the upper limit on their injectors and fuel pumps when tuned, either for more boost or for E85. I have no idea what the winning Civic needed to do for E85, but chances are he didn't need to upgrade the fuel pump or injectors.

Chris H.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 PM   #13
ULLLOSE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDarwin View Post
The Civic can run E85 w/o issue due to huge factory injectors. The STi needs upgraded injectors to flow enough for E85.
That is surprising. Who would have thought that an 89 anything ran such a low duty cycle on its fuel system.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #14
motoring
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I talked with the owner about the E85 system in the Civic. He said with the stock fuel system he was not able to see the gains he would have with larger injectors, but there was no net loss either.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #15
cucamelsmd15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draken View Post
Jason,

The OP is specifically referring to STIs, which tend to push the upper limit on their injectors and fuel pumps when tuned, either for more boost or for E85. I have no idea what the winning Civic needed to do for E85, but chances are he didn't need to upgrade the fuel pump or injectors.

Chris H.
Modded injectors are a requirement to run E85 in almost any Subaru, including the STI.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:27 AM   #16
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Let's say that they allowed this rule, hypothetically, but only if you're going to run E85.

Here's what happens: those that want to be at the top of the game go "Hmm, can E85 provide me any advantage over what I'm running now?" and "I'll have to find out and do some testing".

They now have to find out which fuel injectors can give the best performance combined with the best fuel pump, and not to mention, the allowed tuning variables through the current rules... dyno time, events, etc....

Allowing these modifications solely to make use of E85 increases the cost to many to test to see if it does offer an advantage or not.

And if it does work? Lemming mentality and "everyone's gotta do it to be competitive". Then you're back in the cycle of having the local guy, that just wants to run locally like yourself, complaining that you have to spend too much money to be locally competitive and they quit the SCCA.

--kC
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