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Old 22 Apr 2012, 22:35   #91
mountainstar
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Personally other than doing some karting for fun with other drivers I know, I've never run in karts, never been into karts and probably never will be. So I'm no expert on it.

But what I have seen with karting is similar to what other people have mentioned. I'll never forget seeing at one national meeting I happened to be at(for other reasons), Nascar sized car haulers turning up and disgorging one little tiny kart with 4-6 mechanics fawning over it.

To me that approach is like using a B-52 to open a can of Coca Cola. Karting today is very far removed from what it once was.

It's too much and it's way over the top and to me compared to the good ole days, the "fun" element is totally missing from junior formula categories, even from 10 years ago. And by fun, I don't mean extra curricular activities at or away from the track, I mean the racing itself today is both boring, plain, soulless, emotionless. Too much over reliance on one make cars and control parts. Dull.

It's almost like people are spending enormous sums of money going through the motions to be a robotic racing driver, almost all of whom never even touch F1. I just don't see the passion or interest from drivers like I used to. And it's probably why up until a few years ago, I knew just about every formula series in the world and about all the drivers and now I could care less for the most part.

And I'll tell you another thing I see is all this obsession with data logging and engineers and that blah blah you've got to have it in all these junior formula cars cause that's what they've got in F1. #1, most race engineers I have met don't know a damn thing about driving and all that data is two dimensional because you have to have the context of the whole situation from the person that actually sits in the car. I see a huge over reliance on it and drivers are not developing their own instincts and race craft and the ability to communicate and provide feedback.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 10:02   #92
Flavio Galtieri
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And I'll tell you another thing I see is all this obsession with data logging and engineers and that blah blah you've got to have it in all these junior formula cars cause that's what they've got in F1. #1, most race engineers I have met don't know a damn thing about driving and all that data is two dimensional because you have to have the context of the whole situation from the person that actually sits in the car. I see a huge over reliance on it and drivers are not developing their own instincts and race craft and the ability to communicate and provide feedback.
I know exactly where you are coming from, I had never used data logging when I was driving, I thought the invention of the electronic tacho was pretty advanced....

Once I started getting into it again with my son, club racing, I was quickly converted to the benefits though. It's like anything else, if you know how to use it and interpret it you can have an edge on car setup and it will give you pointers as to driving technique, where you are fast, where you are slow.

Where it gets really interesting is when you load the data into a home simulator and try things out before even getting to the track.

I take your point though, I think sometimes that there are an awful lot of people staring at screens in the paddock who might not have read the manual, but overall I thinks it's a plus and hasn't raised costs much. The need to have all those engineers may have, but that's a different point.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 23:12   #93
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To get back to the question posed in this thread the maybe the answer is no. Not for well planned, organised and promoted series that offer a great deal while controlling budget anyway.

http://www.ten-tenths.com/forum/show...=130784&page=8

http://www.f3open.net/index.php

Maybe for mega-bucks series it is harder and series that offer cheap budgets but deliver little whan all is said and done find it the hardest.
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Old 25 Apr 2012, 12:57   #94
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Originally Posted by mountainstar View Post
And I'll tell you another thing I see is all this obsession with data logging and engineers and that blah blah you've got to have it in all these junior formula cars cause that's what they've got in F1. #1, most race engineers I have met don't know a damn thing about driving and all that data is two dimensional because you have to have the context of the whole situation from the person that actually sits in the car. I see a huge over reliance on it and drivers are not developing their own instincts and race craft and the ability to communicate and provide feedback.
i agree with that - it's something i've heard from a driver who has worked with teams who should know better too. he mentioned that the data engineer is sometimes unwilling to listen to when something doesn't work but that his spreadsheet says will. there's a disconnect between reality and theory. the important thing is not that the physics and maths say it will work, but that the driver feels better able to drive the car quicker. you need engineers with, like mountainstar says, enough experience of actually dealing with cars and understanding them to know where a driver is coming from, and the understanding to be able to interpret the information in front of you. i think it's to do with the over-formalisation of qualifications as much as anything - how is it possible for people to get engineer jobs within top teams without having touched an actual racing car aside from posing with one as a fanboy and building a formula student car?

the data itself isn't a problem then, the issue is with how it's being used.
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Old 25 Apr 2012, 14:39   #95
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Hhhmmm... I'm not so sure about that. I think we're overdoing this a little. From my own experience, I've found 'data' and 'data analysis' to be a very helpful aid in improving lap times. I've used the AIM Mychron 4 suite, including Race Studio 2, in karting [without a data engineer]. It's very easy to use. Everything's pretty self explanatory. You can see what you're doing wrong with far greater precision than on feel alone and get ideas on how to correct it. Now I appreciate that the level of set-up and adjustment of the car in the case of a slicks and wings single seater [such as F3] would require a far greater level of expertise - hence the need for an engineer - but as far as dismissing the use of data in relation to improving one's driving... I'm not sure that's the right direction.

If you take a look at this video, you'll see the kind of information you can get from a data trace and get some ideas on how it could be used to improve what you do over a lap.

Video here.
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Old 25 Apr 2012, 23:48   #96
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I visit this forum each day, but only very rarely is something posted that I feel strongly enough to comment on, so thankyou Bella for raising the question to something so close to my heart.
Like many others who have posted before me, I firmly believe that too many championships lead the career drivers confused and bewildered as to which path to follow. Even with the required budget, guessing which is the best championship to choose to further that career is nigh on impossible in this day and age.
Even as a small child the ladder was easy to recognise and follow.
Start in Formula Ford, make the jump to Formula Three or maybe Atlantics (oh how I miss that championship), go on to Formula Two, if you get stuck stop off in Formula 5000, and then if you are lucky enough Formula One.
Grids were always full, as there were simply no other choices.
Manafacturer involvement was the main reason this changed over the years, creating series to promote their various brands. Organisers and governing bodies jumped at the chances, keen to promote more races at more circuits.
The downside of course is that grids became diluted. F3 was no longer a championship only held in your own country, and the European F2 championship disappeared altogether.
I know it's an impossibilty now, but if we went back to those core championships of the past, budgets, drivers, and teams would all be channelled into certain areas, creating full grids, even heats to decide who would go onto the final. Just think, the Formula Ford Festival of old, but in every championship at every round!
Avid motorsport fans that they were, my parents took me to my first meeting at a month old, and at 45 now I have regularly attended both national and international meetings ever since. But I find it impossible to keep track of the various European single seater championships now, let alone those throughout the world. For too many years to remember, the motorsport community has tried to make Joe Public aware that F1 isn't the only single seater championship in the world, but with the leisure pound harder fought for than ever, trying to persuade someone to go to a predominately single seater meeting is nigh on impossible. I find it grossly unfair that the promoters couldn't care less about how many spectators come through the gate, and rely solely on entry fees to run a meeting. Corporate and track days are only things of fairly recent years, and that revenue has made those promoters care even less as to how many people actually want to come and watch their meetings.
The technical debate isn't really an issue, we will never stop teams and drivers trying to seek an advantage, whether it be through engines, tyres, telemetry etc. This will happen whether there be 3 championships or 330.
Single seater racing isn't in crisis, it just lacks direction, lacks clarity as to which path to choose, whether it be the F1 wannabe, or the casual fun racer.
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 00:36   #97
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I was reading an interview with Mark Blundell today in Motorsport magazine and he was talking about in his 1st year in Formula Ford he ran 70 races and won 25. There was a whole plethora of places to race a FF1600 and now that is all gone.

Instead there is this wide variance of one make championships. It's dull, boring and a lot of the drivers don't even really compete against one another because of it.

Over here in the USA, they started up a National FF1600 championship and it has taken off with success and you can run a kent motor or the new Honda Fit motor. The Honda requires minimal maintenance and can go 5 seasons without a rebuild. The series runs at very technical and historical tracks like Watkins Glen, Mid Ohio, VIR and Lime Rock. You can run a car on your own or have a professional shop do everything for you for around $50K-$70K a season. There is even a little bit of prize money on offer.

I think we need to get back to that level of realism without the farkles and have a focus on competitive racing, not building a rocket to go to Mars.
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 12:08   #98
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Back to Basics

I believe there may be two reasons why junior single seater series are so expensive:
a) cars tend to be unnecessarily complex and so spares are expensive
b) most rely on 'teams' to run the cars (who have many mouths to feed)
This is not what most young drivers need, or can afford.

Talk about going back to FF days or perhaps looking at M/C engines?

Well, Ralph Firman and David Baldwin recently came out of retirement to build a space frame chassis that works extremely well.

We fit it with a lightweight, high revving and CHEAP Suzuki GSXR 1000cc engine and restrict it to 150bhp. Chain drive. F3 rubber.

The young driver learns to drive a car with three pedals and a gear lever - no frills. We run all the cars with one team in identical setup - so no excuses or moaning and more importantly, 'wallet based achievement'. The best driver on the day wins.

Its cheap and extremely effective.

We use a top driver coach (Andy Pardoe) to work with all the drivers (looking at output from an AIM logger and a Go-Pro camera in each car). The drivers develop very quickly - as all the 'bull' stops.

The result? Our first 'suck it and see season' with 14 x 20 minute races, including tires for 34,000 pounds all in. As an organizer I can tell you this is about our cost.

Of course we are entitled to make a margin so next season we will charge more but still less than 47,000 pounds. If the winter gets too cold, jump on a flight to Dubai and join us! Its called Formula Gulf 1000.
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 14:25   #99
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@GulfSport, the car concept of Formula Gulf is fine, but the problem is that its yet one more spec. formula among the myriads that are already out there. I mean, how many different spec. formulae do we need ?

In my mind there are two fundamental issues with single seater racing globally.

o Cost -and we've explored some of the reasons behind that.

o Too many incompatible formulae at the same level.

The only way I can envisage a solution to this is from the top - by the FIA. However, having seen their attempt at this in kart racing, I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 17:01   #100
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Back to Basics

You may have too many spec Formula series and I sympathize with the issue of dilution - but here, we don't. Formula Gulf 1000 is the only one in the region.
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Old 28 Apr 2012, 14:32   #101
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Also, for a series like a Formula Ford or F1000-2000, I would personally go with a weekend that looks like this

90 min practice Wed or Thursday(depending on what day a feature race is held; sets grid for race 1 and q-race 1)
Heat race 1(results set grid for Heat race 2, top four get spots in the feature, same day as the practice)
15 minute warmup
Heat race 2(result sets grid for Heat 3, top four spots not in the feature get in to feature)
Heat race 3(top four not in feature get into feature)
Pre-final(inverted grid, with the the final four feature spots set.)
Feature



Race lengths are timed
Heats 1-3, 25 minutes
Pre-Final, 1 hour
Feature, 1.5 hour long

Three plus hours of racing action in a single weekend. What a young racer needs most. Get a rock hard tire, give them three sets.
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Old 28 Apr 2012, 14:55   #102
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Originally Posted by ptclaus98 View Post
Also, for a series like a Formula Ford or F1000-2000, I would personally go with a weekend that looks like this

90 min practice Wed or Thursday(depending on what day a feature race is held; sets grid for race 1 and q-race 1)
Heat race 1(results set grid for Heat race 2, top four get spots in the feature, same day as the practice)
15 minute warmup
Heat race 2(result sets grid for Heat 3, top four spots not in the feature get in to feature)
Heat race 3(top four not in feature get into feature)
Pre-final(inverted grid, with the the final four feature spots set.)
Feature



Race lengths are timed
Heats 1-3, 25 minutes
Pre-Final, 1 hour
Feature, 1.5 hour long

Three plus hours of racing action in a single weekend. What a young racer needs most. Get a rock hard tire, give them three sets.
all of which would come with a budget that would cause a very sharp intake of breath!

There is little value in races that long for drivers early in their careers? only f1 and indycars (any more) have single seater races that last that long. 20minute race formats work well, add in the cost of car damage as young fatigued drivers start chucking it off the road

practice on a wednesday/thursday/friday? thats just going to cost too much as it ceases to be something a "lad and his dad" can do because daddys got to work!
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Old 28 Apr 2012, 16:58   #103
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Maybe young drivers should stay in karting ! At most club kart racing events, a driver gets practice, three heats and a final [all for around 40.00 entry]... albeit they all take place on the same day. Championship events have even more races.
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Old 8 May 2012, 07:52   #104
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No surprise that Ralph and Dave's latest chassis "works extremely well" in a one-make series, but it's being towelled by 10 year-old Van Diemens in the F2000 Championship Series and by Stohrs in the F1000 Pro Series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfSport View Post
I believe there may be two reasons why junior single seater series are so expensive:
a) cars tend to be unnecessarily complex and so spares are expensive
b) most rely on 'teams' to run the cars (who have many mouths to feed)
This is not what most young drivers need, or can afford.

Talk about going back to FF days or perhaps looking at M/C engines?

Well, Ralph Firman and David Baldwin recently came out of retirement to build a space frame chassis that works extremely well.

We fit it with a lightweight, high revving and CHEAP Suzuki GSXR 1000cc engine and restrict it to 150bhp. Chain drive. F3 rubber.

The young driver learns to drive a car with three pedals and a gear lever - no frills. We run all the cars with one team in identical setup - so no excuses or moaning and more importantly, 'wallet based achievement'. The best driver on the day wins.

Its cheap and extremely effective.

We use a top driver coach (Andy Pardoe) to work with all the drivers (looking at output from an AIM logger and a Go-Pro camera in each car). The drivers develop very quickly - as all the 'bull' stops.

The result? Our first 'suck it and see season' with 14 x 20 minute races, including tires for 34,000 pounds all in. As an organizer I can tell you this is about our cost.

Of course we are entitled to make a margin so next season we will charge more but still less than 47,000 pounds. If the winter gets too cold, jump on a flight to Dubai and join us! Its called Formula Gulf 1000.
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Old 10 May 2012, 19:23   #105
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No surprise that Ralph and Dave's latest chassis "works extremely well" in a one-make series, but it's being towelled by 10 year-old Van Diemens in the F2000 Championship Series and by Stohrs in the F1000 Pro Series.
What's the goal of lower-level formula? For a car manufacturer to maximize the speed of its car and therefore the cost for the team and driver or for the driver to learn how to drive a racecar?
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