Track Days

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Postby BigJon » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:09 pm

What car(s) do you have for running a track day?
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IRL-Champ Car Unification

Postby barfle » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:22 pm

Well, it seems like the major open-wheel bodies in the US have decided to rejoin their forces.

One thing I hope this doesn't mean is fewer races, although it does seem like there will have to be some consolidation. But it also means that we no longer have to choose between SQ and CD-4 (anyone besides me remember those?).

Any thoughts?
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:00 pm

It's a tragedy of titanic proportions for people who love racing. I’ve been in mourning for weeks. The idiot inheritor finally has what he always wanted, absolute power over American-style open wheel racing. But he did it by utterly destroying the sport and everything that was great about it. His scorched earth policy has left us with scrawny fields; more weak teams than strong; a majority of piss-poor drivers; poorly promoted race tracks; few tracks who will even still talk to us; ugly looking, horrible sounding and dangerous race cars; and about a tenth the audience we enjoyed in 1994. The Indy 500 is a pale shadow of itself. The spectacle and worldwide respect is gone, never to return, I fear. The IRL is in rough shape even with the takeover. If Honda pulls out, it could collapse altogether.

Don’t get me wrong, CART and Champ Car are no angels in this matter. The CART IPO was probably the single biggest blunder in US racing history because it decoupled the teams financial incentives from their incentive to put their individual best efforts on the track and support the series whole-heartedly. Despite Chris Pook’s heroic efforts, the CART bankruptcy was a well deserved finale for the misguided greed of the owners. Also, the teams never being able to agree upon a benevolent dictator to run the series fairly, with all parties benefiting from the good times, caused a lot of their own problems. Lastly, CART should have moved Hell to run the Indy 500 every year after the 25/8 rule was removed and stuck it to the joke teams that were running the series at the time. Grabbing the lion’s share of the Indy pot may have folded the series in its infancy.

Champ Car continually undercapitalized the efforts for its entire existence. Not paying for the best people and the best television to expand their series caused them to be also-rans in the minds of the folks who were their pool for expanding their fan base. The unequal ownership and vision for the series also hurt their growth.

It is rumored that Tony George spent more than $100 million of the family fortune and the NASCAR race income to support the IRL. Had he truly believed in his “vision” of American oval track heroes racing at Indy, he could have poured that money into a top-flight team along with ladder series cars for promising drivers dirt drivers to hone their rear-engine pavement skills. Had he stuck to his knitting while promoting the hell out of the Indy 500, we might be discussing today which racing series is the most powerful in the world, Champ Car or NASCAR.
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:20 pm

It's kind of funny - in the last couple of years, I've started paying attention to Champ Car, and finding that I enjoyed the races. It's pretty obvious that the cars are different than the IRL cars, so it looks like a lot of hardware could be available on eBay soon.

I will always love the Indy 500. Even the idiocy of that other George fellow can't take that away.

I thought CART was doomed when Penske decided to move back to the IRL. I was surprised they lasted as long as they did, but it appeared that they were making something more than just another "American Basketball Association" lately. Guess I was wrong. Again.

But here's the fan/engineer's opinion about the big problem with open wheel racing - there isn't enough passing on the track. Most of the lead changes happen during pit stops, and that means that the racing is actually secondary to the pit crew's precision and timing. The cars are usually driven full throttle all the way around oval tracks, and that means there is little chance for overtaking. While I certainly get a kick out of the speed, the cars need to accellerate and decellerate on the track in order to give the fans some competition to watch. And it might mean that we get drivers with real talent.

When it comes to ugly cars, I wouldn't call them that, but before the wings and sidepods they were a lot sleeker and prettier. Also far more dangerous. Franchitti would be a poshumous Indy champion instead of one that moved "on" to NASCAR.
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Re: Track Days

Postby piqaboo » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:39 am

What is 'open wheel' racing?
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:03 pm

Race cars where fender don't cover the tires. Mostly it covers races series where they race autos called "formula cars" It also refers to the "specials" that are often seen running on dirt ovals. Some popular open-wheel series:
Formula 1
http://www.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/ ... mbnail.jpg

Indy Racing League
http://cache.jalopnik.com/assets/resour ... danica.jpg

The former Champ Car World Series
http://champcar.ws/content/photos/2007/ ... P_0010.jpg

Formula Atlantic
http://www.champcaratlantic.com/content ... P_0094.jpg

World of Outlaws
http://www.cottontaildesign.com/images/ ... nser11.gif
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:07 pm

piqaboo wrote:What is 'open wheel' racing?

It's the kind of motor racing where the wheels and tires are exposed or "open."
For example:
Image

Indy cars are "open wheel." NASCAR cars have fenders, so they are not.
For example:
Image

If you follow sports car racing, they have fenders, so they are not open wheel either.
For example:
Image

To me, open wheel is what race cars should be - vehicles built solely for the purpose of going fast, not for carrying passengers, luggage, or even spare tires. They do seem to carry advertizing, though.
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:18 pm

barfle wrote: But here's the fan/engineer's opinion about the big problem with open wheel racing - there isn't enough passing on the track.

The Champ car guys agreed with you, that's why the redesigned DP-01 they raced in 2007 was the first car designed with two of them in the wind tunnel. The idea was that the first car wouldn't screw up the second car's air so it could hang close enough to pass when the opportunity presented itself. And if you watched the races last year, it worked really well. The comfortable following distance was halved from the old car and the drivers looked really racy.


barfle wrote: When it comes to ugly cars, I wouldn't call them that, but before the wings and sidepods they were a lot sleeker and prettier. Also far more dangerous. Franchitti would be a posthumous Indy champion instead of one that moved "on" to NASCAR.

In comparison to the Lola, Reynard and DP-01 designs of the last 15 years, the IRL cars are very ugly. If Franchitti had been in any of the other cars, he probably wouldn’t have blown over either time. The IRL formula of “stuck-down” cars on ovals means massive front wings that are very pitch sensitive. If an IRL car in full oval trim is raised 2 degrees, it is almost guaranteed to go over. The champ car formula was much more resistant to blow over with the small front speedway wings and the more aggressive angle of attack. Check out the violence of Mario’s flip when he was testing at Indy for his son’s team. http://youtube.com/watch?v=kMeE9NAh60I That was just a low piece of debris he hit.
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:03 pm

Hmmm, seems I need my technology to help me pay attention.

I was browsing in my DVR over the weekend and it just so happens that the F1 season is underway. I guess I've been under a rock.

I had recorded two grands prix, and watched the Aussie. Seems Ferrari has a few issues to work out, but one thing that surprised me was in the post-race interview with Lewis Hamilton, who remarked that the car was much easier to drive this year than last. With the loss of traction control, that surprised me.

No doubt I'll be running a little bit behind for a while. I know there's another race alrady run but I haven't watched it yet.

Hamilton's sophomore season is off to a good start.
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:34 pm

So, how about those Beemers! :toast:
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:52 am

You mean Bimmers? :fight:
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:09 pm

Everyone has been wondering if Danica could win. Congratulations to her. I missed the race (the scheduled race was rained out, and the delayed race was poorly advertised), but from the coverage I've been able to read, she passed Helio for the lead with three laps to go, and took her first set of checkers.

I've regularly lamented how Indy car races are won in the pits instead of on the track, and this race seems to have depended on pit strategy as much as on wheel-to-wheel racing, but staying in contention IS an accomplishment.

Brava!
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:47 am

So, she has been renamed from Danican't to Daniwon't-do-it again. Don't forget that this race was against half of this year's field. Once the former Champ Car teams are up to speed, they will shuffle the Princess of Pout to the midfield, where she belongs.
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Re: Track Days

Postby Serenity » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:06 pm

Why do you care so much that Danica Patrick won the Japan race? Aren't you happy for her? Why are you donwplaying her "accomplishment" with explanations such as the "big boys weren't into it"? You should name your next daughter Danica (vroom-vroom).
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:25 am

Because she's been promoted beyond all reason, given her talent, by the people who have destroyed the form of racing I love. She's a propaganda piece, given documented excessive and unfair chances to win and she was still unable to deliver. Japan was the final set-piece before all the big boys start to play in the sandbox, so it would not be unreasonable to assume that she was given extra advantages again to win this event too. Even if she was given none, perception has been tainted by prior events.

Just think “Anna Kournikova hype” when you hear her name and you will understand my hatred.
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Re: Track Days

Postby Serenity » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:04 pm

Close your eyes and think of "paradise"
Breathe in....2...3....4....5....6....
Breathe out....2...3....4....5....6....
Repeat ten times
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:11 pm

Serenity now!
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Re: Track Days

Postby barfle » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:00 pm

I don't know if Danica is any better driver than Janet Guthrie or Lyn St. James. But she's been stronger in the hunt than either of them, and has passed for the lead under green (which holds a lot of weight in my book).

I know she has better equipment than either Janet or Lyn, but somehow I doubt that either Rahal-Letterman or Andretti-Green would give a competitive car to someone who is no better than Milka Duno.
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Re: Track Days

Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:43 pm

No one is no better than Milka.
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Re: Track Days

Postby Serenity » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:17 pm

BigJon@Work wrote:No one is no better than Milka.

:dunce: Does this mean everyone plays at the same skill level as Milka?
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