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Old 12-19-2008, 02:06 PM   #14
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1057
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2004 WRX STi
Very Yellow


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

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