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Old 01-06-2004, 08:51 PM   #1
zzyzx
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Exclamation Forester 2.5 XT: Excluded from Solo II competition

This issue came up on SCCA Forums, and since I was the original person asking the SEB for clarification on this issue, I'm going to quote myself below so you know what's going on regarding classing of the Forester 2.5 XT in SCCA Solo II competition:

Quote:
I was the one that asked for the clarification. Time this is discussed, I suppose, and this seems to be the appropriate thread.

Yes, Doug Gill confirmed that the Forester XT is currently classed in FSP. In your local Region, FSP or SM would fit. But since Regions get to do what they want, this is not the real issue.

As to National level competition, we have a problem. Here's a direct quote from Doug Gill:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

... Section 3.1, 3rd paragraph, says, "Unstable vehicles with a high center of gravity and a narrow track, including SUVs, minivans, and 4WD pickups, must be excluded." Subaru calls the Forrester an SUV and SUVs must be excluded.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As ridiculous as this may seem, this is the issue currently being investigated by the SEB.

Now, if the Forester is to be excluded from this rule, it's possible this would take a change to Section 3.1, which means the change would not be effective until Jan '05.

The other alternative is simply to class the Forester XT, thereby avoiding Section 3.1.

Needless to say, in this current day and age, Section 3.1 needs revising as the spirit of the rule as stated, when crafted, certainly does not apply to vehicles like the Forester XT. I spoke at length about this with Charlie Clark and he'd like to see this rule go away altogether.

I sent the SEB a list of reasons (all obvious to those familiar with the vehicle...), but I did not send in any recommendation of classing. If you are interested in seeing this vehicle classed, then please write a letter to the SEB ASAP. Or, if we can put together a list of source materials that proves this is not an SUV, and make a case to the SEB on these grounds, that may also be beneficial. Either way, it'll have to be classed, though, and that's a lot easier path to go down, IMO...

I find it unlikely that the SEB would consider the Forester XT an "unstable" vehicle and exclude it altogether. Even if the SEB determines that in stock form it's unstable, it can still be classed in Street Prepared. Other cars have taken this path though AFAIK not for this particular reason.

- Steve Sulatycki
Here's the link to the thread on SCCA Forums:

http://www.sccaforums.com/cgi-bin/ul...&f=19&t=000246

Right now, there are three (possibly more) options:

1) Nothing is done, and the Forester XT is excluded from National level competition based on Section 3.1 (current situation).

2) Forester XT is classed by the SEB.

3) Forester XT is classed, and SEB decides to suggest to BOD that Section 3.1 is revised.

If you have any interest/input on any of these issues, then please make yourself heard - write that email to the SEB.

- Steve
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Last edited by zzyzx; 01-06-2004 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:00 PM   #2
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Default Pics / vids

Just in case you're wondering what a Street Prepared Forester XT would look like, here's two pics, and a short vid of mine at a local autox:





And the short video:

http://home.kc.rr.com/sulatycki/stev...sleepy_run.AVI


- Steve
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:12 PM   #3
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But it IS a high CG vehicle and should be excluded for safety reasons. People roll Golfs autocrossing... the Forester is even more likely to go over.

When you put R compounds on an Impreza, you can put it on 2 wheels. When you put them on something like a Forester, there's the distinct possibility of putting it on its lid.

Andy H.
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:00 PM   #4
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I had my XT on two wheels on the stock Geolanders
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by adhowe70
But it IS a high CG vehicle and should be excluded for safety reasons. People roll Golfs autocrossing... the Forester is even more likely to go over.
That is incorrect. The COG is still low for the forester due to the drivetrain location and actual weight ballance. There is no "roll-over-warning" sticker located anywhere in any Forester, which is something that every other SUV has had for years.

Yes, any car can roll, and actually older golfs have solid beam rear axles (and small, narrow tires as well) which can increase the chance of rollover due to lack of suspension independence.
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by adhowe70
But it IS a high CG vehicle and should be excluded for safety reasons.
Andy H.
How much high is the COG in a Forester as opposed to, say the Impreza WRX wagon? Does a Forester have a COG higher than an F-150 Lightning pickup truck (4700lbs., 8.5" of ground clearance). Point being both the WRX Wagon and F-150, being on opposite ends of the COG "argument", are legal for autox competition.

Next time you post in this thread, please bring something to the table, not just an unfounded opinion without any meaningful perspective.

- Steve

Last edited by zzyzx; 01-07-2004 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:37 AM   #7
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The XT is as much of an SUV then a WRX wagon.
That is stupid. It should be allow. It sits on an Impreza chassis.
and not a SUV chassis. Point that out to them.
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:07 AM   #8
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I like this idea!

Exclude all wagons

-Tom
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by trhoppe
I like this idea!

Exclude all wagons

-Tom
Who's a bastard now?
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:26 AM   #10
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Yeah I was just thinking that. We have a guy locally that races a first generation F150 Lightning. There is no way that thing rolls less than a Forester, and I've never seen it in dangerous position. If you've ever driven a Forester, it doesn't feel unstable at all. I would guess its CoG is not much higher than an Impreza.
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:44 AM   #11
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damn, so much for my top secret idea of showing up at nationals with a XT and winning FSP

Quote:
When you put R compounds on an Impreza, you can put it on 2 wheels
i have never seen nor experienced that.

Quote:
Subaru calls the Forrester an SUV and SUVs must be excluded
Quote:
It sits on an Impreza chassis
i would also point out to the SEB that the marketing department is not staffed by engineers. or, send them some literature from SOJ about the Forester STi Type M and see if its refered to as a SUV
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:35 PM   #12
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This thread is cool. I really hope they allow the Forrester to run. Maybe they'll class my '93 Merc. Villager too.

Paul G.
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by adhowe70
When you put R compounds on an Impreza, you can put it on 2 wheels. When you put them on something like a Forester, there's the distinct possibility of putting it on its lid.
Andy H.
Quote:
Originally posted by 10th Warrior
i have never seen nor experienced that.
There is a local Utah SCCA member who put his really really low 3 series BMW on two wheels...then one wheel...then it slammed back down breaking a couple of struts.....this was at Nationals in Topeka 2 years a go I believe.

I would say...its your forester...you signed the waiver...just dont endanger the volunteers out there grabbing cones just so you can prove a point.

It is a sweet SM set up though!!!!

justin (ibis)
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:05 PM   #14
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A number of guys in the SE went for rides in the Subaru of Gwinnett XT at the SE Subaru Challenge in Tampa. That damn thing corners like a racecar and I'm sure it pulls on my WRX.

What I'm wondering is why hasn't someone issued a Press Release for the One Lap of America. With driving talent and some upgraded brakes, the Forester will surprise a few Porsches and VWs
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:40 PM   #15
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hmm i know yet another utah member that put a civic SI on 1 wheel .. .at poketallo
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
There is a local Utah SCCA member who put his really really low 3 series BMW on two wheels...then one wheel...then it slammed back down breaking a couple of struts.....this was at Nationals in Topeka 2 years a go I believe.
sorry for the misunderstanding. i was refering specifically to Imprezas. i think we've all seen those crazy FSP mkII golfs bouncing around
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Old 01-07-2004, 03:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwx
If you've ever driven a Forester, it doesn't feel unstable at all. I would guess its CoG is not much higher than an Impreza.
I've driven the XT before, and it does feel unstable to me ... it might be just preceived unstability, but I was very worried that it might topple over on a sharp turn.
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Old 01-07-2004, 04:54 PM   #18
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didnt the scca used to have the "sport truck" class?

either way, the forester is probably only minutly more topheavy than a wrx wagon. all the heavy parts are in the same place, just has a taller roof and more glass.
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Old 01-07-2004, 04:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
didnt the scca used to have the "sport truck" class?
Quote:
and 4WD pickups, must be excluded."
note that only 4wd trucks are excluded. 2wd ones are up to the organizers.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:11 PM   #20
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Maybe its just a regional thing, but the F-150 Lightning wouldn't pass tech in my region. Also, I would flunk a PT Cruiser. We had one at an event, I instructed the novice. I feared for my life becuase it was very top heavy. Also, for what its worth, poor driving habits can roll anything in H Stock and half of G Stock.

Maybe in SP trim with stiff springs and stiff sway bars the XT will be OK. But it looks like bad news to me.

Andy H.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:49 PM   #21
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I understand bemani's and adhowe's concerns, and I wish I had something meaningful (like technical info) to add to the conversation, but this doesn't sit right with me. The Forester may be marketed as an SUV but is categorized as a car for insurance purposes. I can't imagine its CG is much higher than a Golf or Focus hatchback. Prepared properly and driven properly I would think it would not pose any greater risk of rollover than those cars, or a WRX wagon for that matter.

At the risk of getting jumped on here I'll say that I have autocrossed my slow old Forester S, with stiffer sways and performance rubber (not R compunds) but on stock springs and at stock ride height, in NASA Gruppe H. I was not terribly competitive as I'm a novice autocrosser, but my times steadily improved and I didn't come close to rolling the car. I understand this may say more about the laxity of NASA's rules enforcement cf. SCCA's than about the Forester's propensity to roll under auto-x conditions.

Again without technical info to back me up I may as well be babbling incoherently. Apologies if I come across that way.

Ed

PS: I suppose there's always rallycross and TSD...?
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:24 PM   #22
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I guess the same issue applies to other vehicles that are powerful non-traditional SUVs. Infiniti FX, Nissan Murano, Acura MDX, Lexus RX, etc all come with high hp and stability control systems. Granted, they are more SUV-like than the Forrester but the line may not be easy to draw as to what is an autox-worthy SUV and what isn't.

Consider what happens if we let Forrester's compete because they are not really SUVs in our opinion, then someone gets hurt and sues. IMHO they would have an easy time of showing that it was considered an SUV, the organizer should have know better than let it run, and the waiver isn't worth anything as protection.
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by adhowe70
Maybe its just a regional thing, but the F-150 Lightning wouldn't pass tech in my region.
Funny that, considering it's currently legal for National level competition per SCCA Solo II rules.

Quote:
Originally posted by adhowe70
Maybe in SP trim with stiff springs and stiff sway bars the XT will be OK. But it looks like bad news to me.
I get the feeling you didn't even watch the short vid in my original post. An SP prepped Forester XT in a right hand off camber turn. Does it look like an unstable vehicle to you?

- Steve
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by leecea
Consider what happens if we let Forrester's compete because they are not really SUVs in our opinion, then someone gets hurt and sues. IMHO they would have an easy time of showing that it was considered an SUV, the organizer should have know better than let it run, and the waiver isn't worth anything as protection.
All legal pontification aside, the point here is that there are currently many vehicles that are legal - all 2WD pickup trucks - that don't have nearly the stability a Forester does. The original rule, as intended, no longer applies.

That said, there are many cars that at this point are well known to be unstable and prone to roll in stock trim - the E30 chassis BMW for instance - yet have never been excluded from competition. I could pontificate that somebody could sue the SCCA because the SCCA knows that this vehicle is not stable yet failed to exclude it from competition. Well, nobody has! My point is that your argument is at best very weak and would be deemed the same in a court of law.

The line certainly is "fuzzy" at this point regarding the new generation of car-like "SUVs", and the SCCA needs to update it's rules to reflect this.

Also, keep in mind that there are many cars currently classified in SP, which are not legal for stock competition. If for some reason it's not deemed stable enough in stock trim, this has no bearing whatsoever on SP or SM or any non-stock setup.

- Steve

Last edited by zzyzx; 01-07-2004 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:37 PM   #25
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Watched it. Sweepers don't bother me too much. Slaloms are typically where our locals get their cars upset. Once you get it rocking on the bumpstops, its tough to get it back under control. Watch the rollover tests on SUV's... its not the first move that puts them over... its the 3rd or 4th.

If you can keep it off the bumpstops and if the CG is low enough that it passes the "statics check" with 1.3g's of lateral force, it'll be OK. The Forester has a significantly better aspect (height to width) than most SUV's and many cars. That being said, I don't disagree with National's decision to exclude it.

Regarding the Lightning... maybe we have a narrower view of "high CG" because we have a hard time getting lots that are flat. We have one lot in particular with a decent slope on it.

Andy H.
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