April Minutes

Dietmar
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April Minutes

Post by Dietmar »

The Fv Ad Hoc Committee met on April 24.
Members attending: Steve Oseth, John Petillo, Stevan Davis, Bruce Livermore, Alex Bertolucci, Phillip Holcomb, Dietmar Bauerle
Guest: Fred Clark

In prior meetings the Committee had been discussing the topics of revising bodywork definition and the possibility of allowing some form of head surround in FV. Stevan Davis had written letters to the CRB requesting specific changes in the GCR with regard to these items. The letters have been reviewed by the FSR Committee and with their approval, have been passed on to the CRB. Depending on how receptive the CRB is to the suggested changes, we might see some request for member input ( or not) in the weeks to come.


One member of the Committee might have the opportunity to test some of the new Carbotech compounds in the near future. More information will be forthcoming if the tests take place.
A member commented on hearing that the Porterfield R-4 compounds have been tried at recent events and have proven to be more than satisfactory- but as rumor has it, might be a bit on the high end dollar wise.

Committee members who attended the 50th thanked Fred for his efforts and commented on how well the event was conducted. Fred said that there were some “usual” glitches, but all in all, things worked out well.

A Committee member commented on the quality of replacement steering boxes and whether or not we needed to revisit allowing steering racks. This discussion more than likely will continue.

Once again class combinations was brought up and how dangerous it is to combine certain classes of open wheeled cars with FV- closing speeds and driving “techniques” were especially emphasized as the Committee members were afforded a YouTube video of a recent event at Atlanta.

No other topics were presented or discussed
Next meeting scheduled for May 22
Speedsport
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Speedsport »

The crb better send that out for member input. Im already very unhappy this got freight trained through. How can something like a major rules change not be sent out for member approval?? This whole deal stinks. The committee seriously overstepped their powers on this one.
FV80
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Re: April Minutes

Post by FV80 »

Mike,
I think you're overreacting. The Committee has implemented NO rules changes .. we don't have that ability. We just recommended to the FSRC that these changes be considered. The FSRC, then agreed with them and sent them on to the CRB for consideration. There has been no "freight train". Also, ALL of these items were announced on this forum and sent out to all members of the Registry over a month ago.

The only one that should likely pass on without member input is the error and omissions CLARIFICATION about the bodywork WIDTH in front of the beam, and all we did was change the wording to clarify that the intent of the rule is that the spec of 31.75 inches is CENTERED on the car and not offset to one side which might allow fairing in of ONE wheel suspension components.

The "maybe go out for member input" was just because the CRB has the option of ignoring recommendations and tossing everything in the trash.

Steve, FV80
The Racer's Wedge and now a Vortech, FV80
To sign up in the FV Registry for updates about SCCA Formula Vee, please send me an email or PM with your name, location (city/state), make/model of car, phone # and any other appropriate info.
problemchild
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Re: April Minutes

Post by problemchild »

I think its great that the SCCA people in power are taking strong steps to stop another manifold-type situation where a few selfish people are willing to throw the FV class under the bus by taking advantage of creative rule interpretations. If a rule does not adequately define parameters that are generally accepted by the FV community, then, rather than taking advantage, point out the problem and get it fixed before it causes problems. FV does not need another revolution and 3 years of BS. Fix the rule and move on!!!
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
Speedsport
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Speedsport »

problemchild wrote:I think its great that the SCCA people in power are taking strong steps to stop another manifold-type situation where a few selfish people are willing to throw the FV class under the bus by taking advantage of creative rule interpretations. If a rule does not adequately define parameters that are generally accepted by the FV community, then, rather than taking advantage, point out the problem and get it fixed before it causes problems. FV does not need another revolution and 3 years of BS. Fix the rule and move on!!!
Who exactly are these selfish people you KEEP refering to? I don't know what crowd you hang out with, but out of all the FV people I've run across, selfish would not describe them. Maybe you need some new friends. If the CRB doesn't send it out for memeber input, then how can you state that the rule does not adequatley define parameters that "are generally accepted by the FV community." Since you're such a champion and savior of the class, maybe you can build all existing FV owners a spec car and we can all race those...sure would simplify the rules and if no one has an advantage, maybe you would finally be happy and go away.

Steve - my disapointment is from how this proprosed rules change was handled. I just can't see how such a major change can be even considered without member input. Compared to all the info gathering that was done on other issues, I think its safe to say this was pushed through on the committees own opinion that it was good for the class. If the CRB doesn't open it for comments, then I really think it is highly discouraging against other innovations in our class.
FV80
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Re: April Minutes

Post by FV80 »

Speedsport wrote:...
Steve - my disapointment is from how this proprosed rules change was handled. I just can't see how such a major change can be even considered without member input. Compared to all the info gathering that was done on other issues, I think its safe to say this was pushed through on the committees own opinion that it was good for the class. If the CRB doesn't open it for comments, then I really think it is highly discouraging against other innovations in our class.
Mike,
I'm still not clear on how you think it was "handled"....
1). Head surround - following the incident of JR2 at Sebring, essentially EVERYONE on Apexspeed and a LOT of people on the Interchange and a LOT of people that don't frequent the forums (from conversation) felt we should add some sort of head surround allowance. The entire Committee agreed. We found an existing rule in FF/FC rules and copied it pretty much.

2). Bodywork - During the Head Surround process, the bodywork definition from the GCR Glossary came up. You should agree that it's LUDICROUS for an open wheel car. We decided that it should be FIXED - not because of your innovation, but because it only made logical sense that wheels and tires are NOT bodywork (by anyone other than the GCR definition). We essentially copied our recommendation - again, from the FF/FC rules and modified it to include the beam as part of the chassis .. even though it's really NOT.. but might as well be.

3). Errors and Omissions - during discussions of the above 2 items, someone on the Committee noticed that there was no specific requirement for the 31.75 inch "bodywork in front of the beam" measurement to be centered on the chassis. It's an OBVIOUS measurement, but we decided it needed to be made (more) CLEAR in the rules as to the intent.

We then, RECOMMENDED to the FSRC Committee (via the CRB submission process) that they CONSIDER (just like any other member can do) making these changes.
I'm not sure what more you would expect of us. The idea was to get head surround allowance rules in place ASAP. I think we can all agree that we NEED that rule - at least in some cars. (maybe not?)

At any rate, according to the GCR, rules CHANGES cannot be implemented without member input, so the only one that COULD be implemented without member input (IMHO) would be the Errors and Omissions clarification. However, I am only an FV racer and I never know what the CRB might do (I'm thinking NEW classes gaining NATIONAL status without going through "the process", or maybe the often used "rules are adequate as written" response).

Steve, FV80
The Racer's Wedge and now a Vortech, FV80
To sign up in the FV Registry for updates about SCCA Formula Vee, please send me an email or PM with your name, location (city/state), make/model of car, phone # and any other appropriate info.
problemchild
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Re: April Minutes

Post by problemchild »

Its been a week. One single person is outraged.
Why drag it out? Get R Done ASAP so alot of other people don't have to spend their resorces to build cheater parts for the Runoffs that they will have to take off for 2014.
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
Speedsport
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Speedsport »

Steve - I understand and I'm in favor of the head surround addition to the rules, as well as the clarification on the body work width. I was just surprised to see the committee act so quickly on this topic, when for other issues like minimum weight, spec tires, manifolds, ect. there was much more communication with the members. It seems to me that if there was a problem with the bodwork definition, any member at any time could have sent in a request to the CRB to get it changed, and no one ever did. Contrary to the belief of a poster on this site, I'm not outraged, so no worries.
problemchild
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Re: April Minutes

Post by problemchild »

Speedsport wrote:The crb better send that out for member input. Im already very unhappy this got freight trained through. How can something like a major rules change not be sent out for member approval?? This whole deal stinks. The committee seriously overstepped their powers on this one.
Sorry, not outraged, merely "very unhappy". And just "surprised".

Good. Get on with it!

It would be very sporting if the FV community voluntarily respected the clarification now, removed any creative interpretation parts, and saved the more serious FV racers from having to waste their resources in the interim.
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
brian
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Re: April Minutes

Post by brian »

I think Steve and Michael both understand the process the CRB follows. Errors and Omission guidelines are fairly complicated and restrictive. If the intent of the language is not achieved; either due to wording or the definition of the wording, then the E&O gets more complicated and may not apply. The short cut nature of the E&O process is to address a missed decimal or obvious mistake. It is not really the best system for interpretation of existing rules. Which path is appropriate for this latest issue will be decided by the CRB. The 31.75 inch issue falls into the more complicated category and won't easily go away. I have a sense that this whole discussion found it origins during a conversation about wheel covers so I can appreciate Michael's point of view.

The committee is a great asset for our class and many times the issues they deal with are not easily resolved. They should be responsive to the members of the class but should practice considerable caution when undertaking issues for which there has not been an outcry, like this 31.75 inch rule or raising the steering box issue.

As an example of solving problems that may not exist, for years I have been providing a set up procedure for new TRW steering boxes to increase their life. Since these boxes are massed produced for street applications, they are delivered with overly tight adjustments. By readjusting the sector shaft and worm gear, something that takes less than 5 minutes, they will last for years. Yes, they will be damaged if you have significant wheel contact, but so would steering racks. In spite of that, every couple of years, someone on the committee starts pushing for steering racks when the rest of the class has not raised the issue. My objection has nothing to do with holding back the class or resisting change but personally, I do not think the committee should be an advocacy group unless charged with a specific task by the class.
The above post is for reference only and your results may vary. This post is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of SCCA and should not be considered an analysis or opinion of the rules written in the GCR.
problemchild
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Re: April Minutes

Post by problemchild »

brian wrote:I think Steve and Michael both understand the process the CRB follows. Errors and Omission guidelines are fairly complicated and restrictive. If the intent of the language is not achieved; either due to wording or the definition of the wording, then the E&O gets more complicated and may not apply. The short cut nature of the E&O process is to address a missed decimal or obvious mistake. It is not really the best system for interpretation of existing rules. Which path is appropriate for this latest issue will be decided by the CRB. The 31.75 inch issue falls into the more complicated category and won't easily go away. I have a sense that this whole discussion found it origins during a conversation about wheel covers so I can appreciate Michael's point of view.

The committee is a great asset for our class and many times the issues they deal with are not easily resolved. They should be responsive to the members of the class but should practice considerable caution when undertaking issues for which there has not been an outcry, like this 31.75 inch rule or raising the steering box issue.

As an example of solving problems that may not exist, for years I have been providing a set up procedure for new TRW steering boxes to increase their life. Since these boxes are massed produced for street applications, they are delivered with overly tight adjustments. By readjusting the sector shaft and worm gear, something that takes less than 5 minutes, they will last for years. Yes, they will be damaged if you have significant wheel contact, but so would steering racks. In spite of that, every couple of years, someone on the committee starts pushing for steering racks when the rest of the class has not raised the issue. My objection has nothing to do with holding back the class or resisting change but personally, I do not think the committee should be an advocacy group unless charged with a specific task by the class.
Yeah, lets spend another 3 yrs of negativity so one guy can have his creative interpretation of rules that were good enough for 50 years. Thanks, Brian, for reminding us why hardly anything positive ever happens in SCCA while our board members passionately fight to maintain the status quo. "Lets make sure we don't fix a problem in a couple of monthes when we can drag it out for a few years and maybe never fix it".
Hopefully, there will be some SCCA leadership people that see the need to fix problems while they only affect a few. Certainly, Brian would prefer that the committee hold meetings where they decide everything is perfect as it is, and have nothing to discuss (see Dietmar's April Fools day post which apparently was not a joke) rather than take an "advocacy group" approach. Amazing! Let's hope some of Brian's collegues feel some urgency to find a quick solution and move on.
Greg Rice
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SR Racing
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Re: April Minutes

Post by SR Racing »

brian wrote:, I do not think the committee should be an advocacy group unless charged with a specific task by the class.
For the most part, I agree. Steering boxes are hardly an issue of concern at this point. They are cheap, plentiful and as you point out can be adjusted to be fine in most all cases.

However, I think the committee does need to be proactive on some issues. Assumedly, the members have more experience than most Vee drivers and should be aware of the horizon on parts pricing and availability. On these items they SHOULD be proactive. I still think a 5 year plan should be put in place to address the Vee issues that WILL be coming if not with us now. To think that manufactures are going to continue to support all the parts needed for the existing FV drive train and running gear is foolish. (brakes, cyl/pistons, spindle components, beams, etc.)
Speedsport
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Speedsport »

Jim and Brian have made me realize what has me unhappy with the committees handeling of the bodywork change. The committee was not put in place to be the policing agency of our class, nor was it intended to be a jury to decide if the rules are adequate as written in the GCR. SCCA has had a procedure in place for dealing with those issues. If people were unhappy with the bodywork rules, individual people had the power to send letters directly to the CRB requesting a change. I also believe that the decision to make the bodywork change was not even unanimous among the individual members of the committee.
SR Racing
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Re: April Minutes

Post by SR Racing »

Speedsport wrote:The committee was not put in place to be the policing agency of our class, nor was it intended to be a jury to decide if the rules are adequate as written in the GCR. SCCA has had a procedure in place for dealing with those issues. .
Generally I agree also.

What I felt was needed from the commitee was:

1. A long term plan (see my post above)

2. A recommended solution to items that came up. As an example, One can agree or dissagree on the mainfold rule changes, but we DID need a clarification or change that represented at least an intelligent concensus input to the CRB. If the ad hoc committee did nothing on this and the general input was from the SCCA body via letters, there could have been 50 different suggested solutions from people that did not have the technical data, and experience. The CRB would (or may not) have have made a change without the leg work that the ad hoc committee had done. (and may have made a bad choice.) In any case it would have probably taken longer, if acted on at all.

In reality (I think) (correct me if I am wrong) , the committee has no formal standing with the rule making process. For all practical purposes they are just a group of guys with the experience and technical know-how that have gotten together to take input and give suggestions. Any group (or individual) of FV drivers could have done the same thing. I am sure that those not on the commitee can certainly voice suggestions (or even attend a conference call?) directly to the committee here or via email etc.

Most any issue that comes up gets lots of lip service here and on apex, etc. but usualy results in only 2 or 3 letters to the CRB, with seldom any real solutions. The ad hoc committee can help that.
brian
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Re: April Minutes

Post by brian »

I agree with Jim assessment and honestly believe the committee is an asset to the class. Over the years, advisory and ad hoc committees have become an integral part of the CRB and other boards. The Vee committee does have a quasi official status with the Formula/Sports racer advisory committee. As a detail and historical resource for the vee class, our committee has proven to be a valid resource. Ultimately every rule change has a open comment period prior to final voting so everyone can be a resource as well. The one area not considered a worthwhile resource are the forums and the uninformed keyboard commando ravings that tend to populate them.

I think rule makers do tend to favor the status quo. In an attempt to avoid knee jerk reactions and mistakes incurring the unexpected consequences of change, all of us tend to be cautious. That's a trait shared by all rule making organizations not just the SCCA. The BOD and CRB recognizes that the vee class, in addition to being SCCA's 3rd most populated class, has enjoyed the benefits of relatively stable rules. It is for that very reason that we are inherently reluctant to make changes unless there is a clear and present reason and the majority of the class agrees with the change via membership input.

The idea that I am using the 20 or so hours in a week I spend on club business, sabotaging needed change or ignoring the wishes of our membership, is ludicrous. I'm left considering the source of such nonsense and discount it accordingly.
The above post is for reference only and your results may vary. This post is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of SCCA and should not be considered an analysis or opinion of the rules written in the GCR.
SR Racing
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Re: April Minutes

Post by SR Racing »

brian wrote:In an attempt to avoid knee jerk reactions and mistakes incurring the unexpected consequences of change, all of us tend to be cautious. That's a trait shared by all rule making organizations .
Hmm. You ever watch Congress ? :lol:
problemchild
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Re: April Minutes

Post by problemchild »

brian wrote:
The idea that I am using the 20 or so hours in a week I spend on club business, sabotaging needed change or ignoring the wishes of our membership, is ludicrous. I'm left considering the source of such nonsense and discount it accordingly.
What do you do other than sabatoge potential solutions to FV problems?

One guy, the guy who keeps tainting his accomplishments with creative rule-bending technical applications, is outraged or very unhappy or surprised because of a proposed speedy fix to the unnecassary issue he created. One guy .... racing his custom car against 20 yr old production cars ... is upset. Monster mannies, wheel fairings ... what's next?

Get on with it.
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
Speedsport
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Speedsport »

problemchild wrote: One guy, the guy who keeps tainting his accomplishments with creative rule-bending technical applications, is outraged or very unhappy or surprised because of a proposed speedy fix to the unnecassary issue he created. One guy .... racing his custom car against 20 yr old production cars ... is upset. Monster mannies, wheel fairings ... what's next?

Get on with it.
Another fine job at making things personal. A two for one that time. You're getting better at it. Kudos.

What's next? If I told you this early in the season it wouldn't be any fun. I can't go around giving a heads up on how I'm going to "taint" my next accomplishment.

Sure seems like someone needs a hug.
Dave
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Re: April Minutes

Post by Dave »

Congratulations Mike on your accomplishments! Can't wait to see your next innovation. This class was built by innovators, but the mind set has changed. Spec class buy everything off the shelf, everyone gets a ribbon NO LOSERS. Can't you slow down so I can keep up. WOW what have we turned into.
jpetillo
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Re: April Minutes

Post by jpetillo »

The role of the committee is an interesting topic. There are almost as many viewpoints of the committee's role as their are folks commenting on it - this thread alone has already begun to bear that out. That's okay, though t- it will never change.

The result of this is that many people correspond with the committee about any and all issues, even when ultimately an issue can only be decided by members contacting the CRB or member response to the CRB. It's hard for the committee to turn a deaf ear and just redirect those folks to the CRB. Members correspondence with the committee provokes the discussions at the monthly meetings, as does the forum discussions. Like the other committee members, I try to convey what people correspond with me about back to the committee, and what I forward falls on both side of most arguments. I think it makes sense to discuss what people contact us about - like I said, it would be difficult to ignore.

I think what information is missing here is that on many topics, especially the more controversial ones, the amount of discussion offline of the forum between the membership and the committee members can outstrip the volume of discussion on the forum. I know it seems like it all happens on the forums, but it doesn't - the forum's only a small part with only a small number of people represented.

Oh, and committee members tend not to flame or berate people trying to have a meaningful correspondence with them. As is often stated here, getting flamed is one of the main reasons so few actually contribute on the forums. I wish we could change that about the forums - have a gentleman's agreement or something - and then we might get more contributors and then a better perception of what the membership thought about topics. John
fvracer27
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Re: April Minutes

Post by fvracer27 »

jpetillo wrote:The role of the committee is an interesting topic. There are almost as many viewpoints of the committee's role as their are folks commenting on it - this thread alone has already begun to bear that out. That's okay, though t- it will never change.

The result of this is that many people correspond with the committee about any and all issues, even when ultimately an issue can only be decided by members contacting the CRB or member response to the CRB. It's hard for the committee to turn a deaf ear and just redirect those folks to the CRB. Members correspondence with the committee provokes the discussions at the monthly meetings, as does the forum discussions. Like the other committee members, I try to convey what people correspond with me about back to the committee, and what I forward falls on both side of most arguments. I think it makes sense to discuss what people contact us about - like I said, it would be difficult to ignore.

I think what information is missing here is that on many topics, especially the more controversial ones, the amount of discussion offline of the forum between the membership and the committee members can outstrip the volume of discussion on the forum. I know it seems like it all happens on the forums, but it doesn't - the forum's only a small part with only a small number of people represented.

Oh, and committee members tend not to flame or berate people trying to have a meaningful correspondence with them. As is often stated here, getting flamed is one of the main reasons so few actually contribute on the forums. I wish we could change that about the forums - have a gentleman's agreement or something - and then we might get more contributors and then a better perception of what the membership thought about topics. John
Well said John

I also can confirm John goes out of his way to get feedback from us in the NorthEast on many subjects and does not try to infulence anyone when having a disscusion.


I think what most people miss about this class is that it is not a spec class and EVERYONE in some way or another trys to find a edge, it's even that way with spec classes it's what we do (try to win). If a person strives to make improvements or finds a edge he or she should not be singled out as being a cheat or a minipulator of the rules, the issue needs to be disscussed and action taken if needed. If wee did not have people striving for this edge we would still be racing the same cars as they were in the 60s.
Mark Filip
NER #27
Womer EV-3
SR Racing
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Re: April Minutes

Post by SR Racing »

Yep. I suspect if Mike used a special wax on his body (car), people would claim that is "not in spirit" with the class and he would have an unfair advantage. :lol:

Certainly the rules get pushed, It happens in EVERY form of competition. If you think the rules were broken then protest or lobby for a clarification. Just complaining with "it's not in the spirit" is rediculous. The "spirit" is car prep and innovation. BTW, Mike were you using steroids? :lol:

I also like seeing innovation. The body and the Ad Hoc should be watching and suggesting needed clarifications.

BTW, did anyone scream when Splitwire wires and coils were introduced? Noble said they were another 1 HP. (not true but, some people thought they needed them.)
Since it's hard to find the old 11+lb wheels, that would certainly be an unfair "against the spirit" advantage. I could go on and on. Welcome to competition. Vintage may be the place for those that have a problem with the above. (But it happens there too.)
MarkP-2
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Re: April Minutes

Post by MarkP-2 »

Jim:

You mean there's guys who bend the rules in vintage racing??? :mrgreen:

Mark
SR Racing
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Re: April Minutes

Post by SR Racing »

MarkP-2 wrote:You mean there's guys who bend the rules in vintage racing??? :mrgreen:
Mark, a bit.. :roll: But no one complains and they still have fun... "Pass the wine and cheese" :lol:
tiagosantos
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Re: April Minutes

Post by tiagosantos »

I applaud innovation and I love to see what people come up with to make our cars go a bit faster. That said, you can't honestly be saying the spirit of the class is innovation. Just look at our cars...! :lol:

While I do want to see the class evolve and feel it's fair game for people to exploit holes in the rules.. I can't seriously expect those holes not to be patched up once found. Most of our rules, however bizarrely written, have a pretty clear intention and "spirit" or whatever you want to call it. We all know the rule change process takes forever, so it's up to the innovator to time how they play the game to their advantage. Come out with something anyone hasn't thought about and you'll have an advantage for however long it takes for everyone else to catch up, or for the hole to be patched. What's wrong with that?

It's not the first time in FV that the rules have changed to make "innovations" illegal that were found to be in violation of the intent of the rule. From what I've seen in the short few years I've been with or followed SCCA, it's not even that uncommon.

How any of this can be understood to mean people want a ribbon for everyone or that there won't be any losers is clearly beyond my grade level.
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