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 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

7-Nov-08 09:48 AM 

I also think a winter series is a bit of a stupid idea. People don't not watch WRC because it is on the same schedule as other big events, they don't watch it because it is boring.

"Maybe there is a compromise possible to one gearbox that works for both cars, S2000 and S2000+T. And if this is a compromise with slight down sides, since it is a custom gearbox it is the same for everyone!"

That was my thought - why not just make the S2000 transmission a bit stronger?

I presume there will be some period of time where manufacturers could run their old cars but with a weight penalty or something - at this rate teams like Ford, Citroen, Suzuki are going to have less than one year to build an develop an S2000 car!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

16-Nov-08 06:07 AM 

One thing that did come out of the November WMSC meeting was that they are going to trial a 'driver ranking' system in 2009.

Does anyone know what the idea behind this, or the point of it is?

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Chris B

16-Nov-08 08:57 AM 

It's a bit on the lines of golf and tennis. But doesn't golf and tennis use it for seeding of their competitors in tournaments? In WRC I see little point for this as we do have championship standings at any point. It seems without a new promoter in place someone again had a super clever brainstorm that must be implemented and nobody has a clue what it is good for. Like instead of wondering why the show has become boring, we try to not confuse the TV audience in banning 2 names being displayed on cars in which 2 people are sitting in. So now, rather than tell the manufacturers if the future is S2000+T or not, and instead of pushing the new promoter idea, we have to implement a ranking system that nobody ever missed. For kiddies in school this would be: "Missed subject, fail class"

Sorry, can't help to air some personal sarcasm here. I personally do create such ranking lists. But it is an all time one, in which I can see that Loeb has in 112 starts 97 finishes, 46 wins and 680 career points. And that in that all time ranking, Loeb by all excellence has not the sorts of competition that Röhrl, Mikkola, Vatanen, McRae had in their days, as in fact with Loeb on 1st place, the 2nd best of the current drivers in the all time ranking is Petter Solberg in 13th!

Tho this is an all time ranking to compare the records, make analysts for stories, be aware when the next driver celebrates his 100th WRC start. What the FIA is talking about is a ranking system as in golf and tennis, which means only results of last or last two years are considered. Point? I can anser a lot of question in rallying, by I cannot anser this one, no point whatsoever!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Chris B

16-Nov-08 09:39 AM 

In fact we used to have a ranking system when WRC was not so much of a foregone conclusion and sterile unified. We used to have A- and B-priority drivers that got i.e. the best starting numbers to avoid interfering things like Loeb in a C4 WRC starting one car behind Rautenbach in a C2 R2. This I actually thought was a clever system, A-priority was gained as follows:
5 years - WRChampion
3 years - 2nd and 3rd in the championship
3 years - winner of a WRC round
3 years - ERChampion
1 year - 4th and 5th in the championship
1 year - podium finisher of a WRC round
1 year - 2nd and 3rd in the ERC
1 year - major national champion, i.e. BRC, France, etc.

Today it is not as good Never mind the quality of the driver, WRC works car has priority 1, semi official WRCar priority 2, PWRC or JWRC priority 3. And because this is FIA WRC, in the starting order it doesn't matter if you are priority 1 or 2. However we have that and we have starting order by current championship standings, so everything is sorted, no point whatsoever for a ranking system.

The IRC suffers more from this, as the lack of such A- and B-priority system as it used to be results that i.e. in IRC Portugal 2008 Simon Jean-Joseph in a Citroen C2 R2 was seeded N°2 with winner Rossetti relatively down at N°10, Vouilloz even 12, Alen 15. But even that didn't matter, as Jean-Joseph is a capable driver and as far as I remember there was not a single occasion of Jan Kopecky in the 207 S2000 - who was seeded N°3 - catching SJJ's R2 car.

It may be a silly detail, but I somehow miss the old abstract days, when on each event we had different entries with different favourites (-though that is a matter of lack of unique event character these days-) and how the drivers would be seeded. I.e. Safari did in fact pull the numbrs and such starting order out of a hat, they only had to consider A- and B-priority seeding. RAC i.e. was a classic of always trying to put last years winner at N°1 and their local heroes high up too. I.e. RAC 1984, Blomqvist was reserved N°1, even though Audi didn't let him start, N°2 was Vatanen in the all conquering 205 T16, and Jimmy McRae in his Opel Manta 400 - although he didn't start a WRC event all year, he was BRChamp and was seeded N°4 and such 3rd car on the road. And he could indeed have been an outside bet as for another example in 1987 Jimmy in the Sierra Cosworth finished 3rd overall on the RAC.

This may only be a silly detail in a long list of things that have changed to the worse for silly things that need not be. But today we have fixed entry numbers for the whole season, the starting order is long known in advance, the results always look very similar. If we have the same change in the next 10 years as we had the past 10 years, then the WRC teams can indeed save a lot of budget as there is no point starting a rally any more, all is perfectly known beforehand. Indeed maybe silly, because the fixed entry numbers do help the casual viewer to identify his driver. But i.e. for the seeding process and for outside favourites, for me WRC events used to be hugely exciting even before they started!

It is a tiny detail back to my old, big waffle. When the Safari was over with its Mercedes 450SLC and Peugeot 504 Coupé V6, I was dying in anticipation for the Tour de Corse to start with this time Beguin in the BMW M1 or M3 or Darniche in the Merc 190E or Andruet in the Ferrari or Fréquelin in the Manta 400 trying to annoy the establishment. Yet at the same time Safari did not sink in just like that and the more it did, the more I was looking forward to next years Safari, even I still had a whole year to wait. Today we finish Sardinia Sunday, start Cyprus recce next Tuesday and I think to myself "Oh no, not another one" That surely is a big point of what is missing in WRC these days - and that all is thoughts about marketing. In the example above, going from a 1980s Safari to Tour de Corse 2 or 3 weeks later, on a TV preview show I could talk you through the difference Safari - TdCorse, TdCorse last year, new and old outside favourites, seeding process, I could talk you through an hour packed with exciting aspects, making you eager to see more of the event itself developing. Today, going from Sardinia to Cyprus in a couple of days, give me 10 minutes TV time, I would hope for 8min adverts and in the remaining 2min I would bore you to tears with a perfect repeat of what I said last week!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by johnlod

16-Nov-08 10:07 AM 

My comments may have been aired before as I have only joined this thread lately.

Would a pure S2000 based WRC field not lead to a better standard of driver doing well in events.

Without the turbo it would be more important to keep the speeds up in the corners and this would presumably mean having to slide through the corners better.

The footage of the Fabia S2000 that we have seen so far seems spectacular as opposed to the point and squirt mode favoured by the turbo cars.

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Chris B

16-Nov-08 11:05 AM 

This is a different, interesting angle of the discussion again.

Well, i personally am a big fan of turbos, so maybe I would defend them beyond sense.

But if S2000 cars are more interesting in corners, it is the lack of automatic active everything that WRCars have, plus I have the impression that despite control tyres WRCars in WRC still use a very special tyre exclusive to them, that also is partly to be blamed for lack of sideways action. In return, several times now I observed that even S2000 cars are intelligent. If you compare them to a groupN Lancer, the S2000 cars brake and trun it perfect to the point, like circuit cars. Compared to WRCars they may look more spcetacular, but even compared to gN Lancers - sound ignored - they look boring.

Then I am also quite strongly asking if we really need 4x4 in rallying. One thing that people tend to forget is the effect of 4x4 under braking. Since I own a 4x4 turbo Peugeot 405 and I know well its other versions, it is mindblowing how much more settled and s the 4x4 version is under braking compared to its FWD equivalent. A 405 MI16 is one of the easiest cars to chuck a corner, fun I never had with my T16 in 7 years of trying! This surely also has a bearing on 4x4 rally cars with 4x4 systems that are cleverer than others. I am sure if you have 4x4 with active diffs in according settings, even under heavy braking while turning in, your car is more s than any road ESP system in the World!

So if S2000 compared to gN or any 2WD has a problem being chucked corners under braking, then it is the power slides we have to be talking about. If I take one of the best - and to the day most spectacular - atmo rally cars, the 306 Maxi could rev up to 11,000rpm and still needed a 7 speed gearbox and STILL it was extremely difficult keeping it at a usable rev range. Isnt it a joke that a 20,500 Euros 207 Cup rally car has more torque than a 280,000 Euros 207 S2000 It is this torque that is needed to such powerslides. Although active or non-active diffs play a role here too. But if I see that a works 207 S2000 has a torque of 250NM at 8500rpm, and only then, and even my untuned, silly road car has a torque of 380NM all the way 2600rpm to 6800rpm, then it certainly is not the engine why we see S2000 cars more sliding than WRCars. If they would be clever with the rules, and for a future WRCar give us a 207 S2000 on which nithing is changed but a turbo added, the 207 S2000+T will be a hundred times more spectacular than its atmo equivalent.

Another important consideration in your good post, Johnlod

"Would a pure S2000 based WRC field not lead to a better standard of driver doing well in events."

I am convinced that we have so much more variety and level field in IRC compared to WRC is down to the rules, not to the car concept beyond cost of cars. If it is nominated 2-car teams compared to droop scores or M2 drivers that have to bring money, never mind the talent.

Because important, interesting consideration Atmo engine gets compression through revs, meaning the engine and transmissions -see 306 Maxi example- need a lot of expensive engineering and suffer in reliability. If you see the fate of Toyota and Volkswagen in IRC, we already have a case that the most expensively developed cars are running away the rest. In WRC we would see Citroen giving Loeb the best of everything, never mind the cost. The S2000 price cap -not for the first time in such kit car formula- simply doesnt work, if you see that the price cap is 168,000 Euros, yet Peugeot and Abarth S2000 cars sell 2nd hand! for anything 230,000 Euros up!

In WRCars we have air restrictors. In S2000+T the FIA is discussing not only an air restrictor, but also a dump valve sealed at max 2bar boost. Here for once big applause to the FIA!!!! A turbo engine does get its compression the turbo boost. This not only means less cost for engineering and engine reliable. We limit the air it can breathe and we limit the max boost and we do both of this in a way that actually is controllable! This to me is the best news I have heard for a level play field ever!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

16-Nov-08 04:38 PM 

I do think John might be on to something with the higher cornering speeds of the S2000s demanding more driver skill though. I think you really have to be on the limit to get the best out of an S2000 car and I could well imagine Matt Wilson/Rautenbach being even further off the pace in IRC than WRC.

Re: The WRC tyres, they were specifically engineered this year with a greater "slip angle" to try and make the cars more spectacular. I agree that it is not the engines making the S2000s more spectacular, but then on the other hand the WRC teams are telling us that they need their fancy transmissions to handle the turbo torque.

Also, I would be very surprised if an S2000 engine costs more than a current WRCar engine. I understand your theory Chris, but the parts which can be changed, as well as the maximum revs are limited on an S2000 car, so it is not like the 306 Maxi where they are chasing ever more revs for example.

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Chris B

16-Nov-08 07:33 PM 

Haha, I think that will be an ongoing argument between you and me, Ron. I try in short:

Whatever they did to the WRC control tyre to make the action more spectacular, it did not work out. If we had less grip with these tyres, by general insider agreement the bi-product would be that the roads would be less cutting up and starting order would be less of a problem. This clearly has not happened, as Ford drivers may tell you. I also think in WRC we had a lot less punctures than in PWRC and in IRC, tho I am actually not keen on seeing rallies decided by punctures.

That demanding higher cornering speeds in S2000 cars I can agree as much as a turbo engine with wide torque range may be more forgiving. Yet I believe the cornering speeds of WRCars actually is higher, thanks to their intelligent grip. I remain at what I said before in more detail. Give an S2000 as it is a turbo engine and it will be a lot more exciting in corners than S2000 atmo and than WRC computer cars, if the driver is Loeb or Wilslow, because you have the torque for power slides at a wide range, not only half the torque at a tiny peak that you must be lucky to hit.

I doubt the engines are the cost problem of WRCars.
As a new aspect in this post, I really believe the problem is the active transmissions and i.e. Ford's trick suspension. I love my turbos, yet I am so much missing from current turbo WRCars the sensation of drivers work hard through the gears and turbos whistling, popping, banging and chirping on gear change. Listen to a WRCar and gearchanges are not even really noticeable in engine revs. Even the S2000 cars are extremely quick in gear changes, but a Ford Focus WRC sounds like a DAF Variomatic, only surely for a multiple price.
And this combines these aspects. While I doubt the engines are that expensive, I doubt the engines are costing more than the transmissions in WRCars, as we both agreed before the manufacturers complaining they need their trick transmissions to cope with the torque is utter bollox, and for once I hope the FIA keeps their stance on this! Surely a groupB Audi Quattro had a lot more torque than any of the modern WRCars, yet as far as I remember groupB Audi Quattros did not sound like a DAF Variomatic!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

17-Nov-08 03:33 AM 

Lol, yes, I think we may have gone down the same conversational route yet again! BUT...

I do agree with this:

"I remain at what I said before in more detail. Give an S2000 as it is a turbo engine and it will be a lot more exciting in corners than S2000 atmo and than WRC computer cars"

Which is why I was very happy with the rules proposal that the FIA originally came up with, but as with the FIA's worrys about costs, I am also worried that the 'new' WRCars could end up as boring to watch as the current ones if the manufacturers get their way.

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Radiv

18-Nov-08 05:24 PM 

Last Autosport reports the November meeting in WMSC the following points.

They were not able to decide the WRC future on this meeting either.

So the meeting in December will be the meeting, it will be decided something once and for all.

Why are they not able to decide - Because of cost.
The previous cost to a WRCar was supposed to be in the area of 300 000€ 18 months ago, it now in the area of 600 000€.

Why has this happened because the current WRC manufacturers pressed through that they needed more engineering freedom than the S2000+ bolt on kit.
with a pricetag of 600k most of the point is gone, and Max Mosely sent them back to the drawing board, with a 1 month suspense !

Target Get a WRC with minimum level of technology, and make it affordable in the current world of economic challenges.

S2000 is looking more and more logic to become the new WRCar format, and they are also looking measurers to be done to better match the speed of S2000 and Gr N for both to go forward. That is a mistake in my book, since they are two very different animals, but lets see wath they can come up with

For the next meeting FIA also would like an answer to how the speed of the current WRCar can be limited for the 2009 season.

Max Mosely are suddenly coming out with a clear agenda for both F1 and WRC to cost cut, and to to that putting in strict limitations in the regulations.

I think that is the correct way to go, but it should have been put in as a outspoken policy, and kept like that for the whole period the Rally Commission has worked this deal, and not given the current manufacturers the pinky finger when they asked for more freedom, they quickly take your whole hand !!!

So the December meeting of the World Motor Sport Council are supposed to give a lot of answers both for the last season of the current WRCar in 09 and especially for the future tech regs to be implemented 2010.

Tips for the outcome are welcome !!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

19-Nov-08 00:42 AM 

I agree that it is silly to try to equalise true N4 cars and S2000s.

It's not like F1 where the conditions are largely similar race to race. In rallying we have different surfaces, different speeds to contend with, more different weathers (mud, dry gravel, wet and dry asphalt, snow....)

Anyhow, if they do do it I hope they make N4 faster rather than S2000 slower!

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by RonSkoda

19-Nov-08 10:55 AM 

I was reading an article in Motorsport News today about the new Corsa S2000 which uses the X-Trac transmission.

Apparantely, the X-Trac (also used in the MG, Skoda, Proton and soon Fiat) has been designed to cope with the extra torque of the S2000+ rules.

Seemingly, the real reason that M-Sport and Prodrive don't want these new rules is that they actively want to drive the cost of the cars up! They are private tuners and so are operating to make a profit, and the more expensive the car then...

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by AndyRAC

19-Nov-08 04:11 PM 

It might sound harsh, but the FIA need to bite the bullet and tell M-Sport Ford, Prodrive Subaru to play ball - and that the cars WILL be cheaper, and simpler. If they don't like it - Tough!!
As the Jerry Williams column poinst out - there are other Manufacturers who have got S2000's - What do we want? 2/3 Teams with hi-tech, or 4,5,6 teams with simpler technology, and easier for Privateers to buy?

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Radiv

20-Nov-08 02:12 AM 

Well spoken !

 Re: WRC S2000Turbo future by Chris B

20-Nov-08 06:42 AM 

"Seemingly, the real reason that M-Sport and Prodrive don't want these new rules is that they actively want to drive the cost of the cars up! They are private tuners and so are operating to make a profit, and the more expensive the car then..."

This is an interesting point. I remember years back we had forum discussions like that, when Peugeot was still involed in WRC won everything with the 206, fans claimed they were the richest team, I defended Peugeot Sport tooth and nail. I worked for an independant Volkswagen tuner and I also arranged deals for Peugeot Sport and Renault Sport. As a customer amateur rally driver I suffered Subaru STI and a small number of other companies and then I profited from Peugeot Sport. My verdict from first hand experience from both views is very clear: Private, independat tuners must make a profit, it is their job, they need to survive, they want to turn rich. In contrast Peugeot Sport or i.e. Citroen Sport are in house factory teams. Apart from having a more direct exchange and profit with the inhouse road car research and delevelopment, these in house factory teams do not need to make a profit! They are a manufacturer department and by the manufacturer they are not seen as a money making machine but as a marketing tool! Result: the Subaru, whoever, example Volkswagen independant tuner will not like privateers beating his official cars and they are not in the least interested if orgen Jonasson or Harri Joki retire in SS2 in Sweden as long as they pay good money. Skoda, Abarth, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen Sport would be more interested that their product looks good. In IRC we have several times seen Abarth private cars beating the Abarth works cars and would not be surprised, when Peugeot starts Monte Carlo as a works team, if the works team can be beaten by Vouilloz in the Kronos car or Rossatti in the Racing Lions car. They give away top material at break even prices. Of course you still have to pay something, as they shouldn't operate at a loss, but Peugeot Sport as a marketing tool priority is that their product looks as good as possible, even with a private or amateur driver.

See i.e. the coming Rallye du Var, I am looking forward to see none less than Stéphane Sarrazin in the new 20,500 Euros 207 RC R3T Cup Car. I would bet at 20,500 Euros they are not selling you a shed!

So maybe indeed those private tuners try to push the cost. It's not that long ago and Peugeot Sport sold you a 206 WRC for 375,000 Euros. Today a 2nd hand Focus WRC goes for 600,000 Euros!

I also like that 206 WRC example, because that was less than 100,000 Euros more than a current S2000 car. Sorry to disappoint, but this was always a major aspect in the back of my mind in my negative S2000 talk. This is a kit car rule with atmo engine. You can never control cost in such kit car formula.

For a start you can never compare groupN to an S2000 Kit Car. The FIA allows composite materials and dog-gearboxes in groupN, which to my mind is 100 percent against the spirit of groupN. Despite this, groupN uses a standard shell and a standard configuration engine. In an S2000 kit car you must re-engineer the body shell to accommodate 4x4 - which is part of the reason why I would consider drooping 4x4 for good - and you can take any engine from your shelf and still change i.e. the bore x stroke layout. All this re-engineering will be carried out with motor sport in mind and NOT with budget being a consideration.

Hence change minimum weights, do what you want, it won't take long and the S2000 Kit Cars cars are ahead again. Even though we already start seeing some teams running away from others, and even though I don't like it, here an asset of IRC is that it is lower profile than WRC. Let 3-4 WRC manufacturers work on an S2000 Kit Car in an attempt to trick the rules and be ahead of the opposition - even if active diffs are not allowed, they find something else - and I bet my house in 3 years time the price of a competitive S2000 Kit Car will be double of what it is today!

This means we desperately need rules that have strict limits, best linked to what the manufacturer has to sell in numbers on the road. Yes, I love my turbos, yes, I believe with their torque they will be a lot more spectacular than current S2000 cars, but a major key is the FIA idea of adding air restrictors and a sealed blow off valve set at 2bar. WE MUST HAVE THIS! I would also go as far as making groupN shells mandatory. Of course Mr. Rochards, Koseki san etc. won't like this much and this would give us a problem accommodating transmission tunnels and 4x4 rear axles, but we should think for the sport....

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