Second time at this post – first time I wrote for 20 minutes and all was lost!
I received today a letter from HRSR regarding their recent AGM where there was a lively debate about oversize engined cars running in the series.
Along with the letter is a voting form that will determine how the series is run for 2009 and beyond so if you are a member of HRSR and race a saloon I would encourage you to vote.
The background is that in 2000 at the AGM it was proposed that all cars running in HRSR would need to run engines as per homologation papers as many cars at that time were running oversize engines. As I understand what happened at that time, anyone with an oversize engine could race until 2003 but no new oversized engine cars would be allowed. There was also some form of freeze on selling a car to another competitor if it had an oversize engine. Anyhow, that’s not that important. Apparently they then agreed not to enforce this for 2004 and it has remained that way with some cars running oversize engines in 2007 (and they will be out in 2008 as well). I believe that no new cars are allowed with oversize engines.
The debate at the 2007 AGM was if going forward, oversize engined cars should be allowed and we are now being asked to vote. This is to determine if only the oversized engine cars currently allowed to run are allowed to continue running but no new oversize engines or if anyone can run an oversize engine.
I feel the third option should have been included – that by say 2009, no oversize engine cars at all should be eligible! I missed my right to participate in the AGM so have myself to blame for not being part of the democratic process.
My issue with this is that it diminishes from the quality of racing for competitors in FIA cars (except Mustangs or other V8s) to compete with other cars of their type. For me, my 1600cc FIA Cortina can never hope to compete with a Cortina running a 2 litre twin cam and 4 wheel discs. Also the hot Anglias (running 1300cc as 100E or 1500cc as 105E), 2010cc Alfas, etc all mean that there have been few FIA cars competing recently, except again Mustangs which pack the muscle to run with these far quicker cars.
We are not all out there for overall honours and there is always a race to be had with the cars around you. But for me it’s a big negative of the HSCC saloon racing and detracts from the great racing they have in other series.
The argument regularly aired is that FIA cars often run near the front of the grid and have been very successful. My experience is that this is true of a Mustang but even the best driver in an FIA Cortina is going to be left in the dust by most of the hot cars running outside homologation spec.
If the series opens up for more oversize engine cars from 2009 and beyond, then it is unlikely to attract too many FIA cars in my opinion. I feel they should move to homologated specs over a reasonable period to keep to the spirit of historic racing as is currently widely recognised.
There has of course been huge debate on this issue on these forums, in the paddock and countless bars. Clearly one can see which way I will be voting and if anyone needs help with which box to tick on the form, please let me know!
I would encourage everyone to vote who has an interest. And perhaps we can conduct some form of debate / discussion here as well.