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Unread 2013-03-21, 02:55 AM   #1
Mike V
 
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Default Stock Class Proposals for 2014

This is a huge copypasta, but worth the read if you fellow cone dodgers haven't already read through the email that was sent yesterday. I really like everything about this, especially the change to street tires and allowance for camber plates. Here's a quick rundown based on the rule changes below.

1) 140 treadwear street tires (200 treadwear effective 2015)
2) Dual adjustments on shocks which means no remote reservoirs (2015)
3) Plus or minus 1" wheel height allowance to allow for better tire choice
4) Disabling of traction control systems
5) Camber plates allowed
6) Rename from Stock to Street


From the FasTrack email this morning...

Stock Category Changes

Preamble – Over the last several years the sport has seen a consistent and ongoing decline in the participation in the Stock Classes. After months of deliberation, the SEB has concluded that the cause of the decline cannot be traced to a single factor, but rather is indicative of a category formula that is no longer meeting the needs of much of our membership. We believe that there needs to be a category that is easily accessible to newcomers to the sport, while also supporting a highly competitive environment for our most dedicated members. We also believe that for this environment to exist we must have a ruleset that is reflective of the needs of modern vehicles. Automobile manufacturing, government regulation, and advances in suspension design have created the safest, most comfortable vehicles the industry has ever seen, and we believe that the current ruleset is not reflective of that reality. We have been monitoring the situation for several seasons and have spent a considerable amount of time undertaking a major rewrite of the ruleset with the following tenets in mind:

The category ruleset must address our Core Values in the following ways:

1. The available allowances should create a diverse field of cars. The allowances should also reverse some of the built in limitations that prevent cars from performing on the autocross course.

2. Consumable items should have a “cost per run” that fits with the expectations of our members.

3. The ruleset should be forward looking so that vehicles produced during the coming years can compete in a manner that our membership expects.

We believe the underlying reason that members love this sport is that they “want to have fun with cars!” We want this

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 21

ruleset to broaden the base of cars and people who can do this within the SCCA’s Solo program.

With that in mind, we propose the following update to Section 13 of the Solo Rules. Highlights include the use of high performance street tires (140 treadwear in 2014, 200 treadwear in 2015), a reduction in the shock absorber allowance (2 adjustments, no remote reservoirs beginning in 2015), an opening of the camber allowance (additional camber allowed via camber plates, camber bolts, and slotted struts), an opening of the wheel allowance (OE diameter plus or minus 1”), and an opening of the swaybar allowance (changes permitted to both bars). These changes are proposed as a way to make the category more relevant to today’s cars and today’s enthusiasts, while keeping the core concepts of vehicles that are easy to prepare and easy to live with in normal street usage. You will also notice that we changed the name from “Stock” to “Street”. This change reflects the fact that these cars aren’t actually as delivered off the showroom floor, something that has caused confusion in the past.

In addition to the proposed changes to Section 13, you will also find accompanying changes to Section 14 and Section 15. Section 14 changes are limited to housekeeping – some allowances in Section 14 have been moved to Section 13, and thus removed from Section 14. Section 15 has similar housekeeping, but also a new rule – 15.12, which allows for cars prepared to the Section 13 rules to run as Street Prepared “Limited Prep” with R-comp tires and remote- reservoir shocks. This is intended to give current Stock category competitors who have invested in higher end shocks and/or prefer driving on R-comp tires a place to keep running their car with no changes needed. Limited Prep car classifications will be included in an upcoming FasTrack.

With these rule changes, car classifications for Section 13 cars may also change in many cases. An updated version of Appendix A will be published for member comment in an upcoming FasTrack. In order to make sure we have the ability to correct any mistakes made in such a large reorganization, the entire affected sections of Appendix A will be considered new classifications and subject to the 12 month reclassification window listed in 3.2

The proposed changes to Section 13, shown with revisions in its entirety, are as follows:

13. STREET CATEGORY

Cars running in Street Category must have been series produced with normal road touring equipment capable of being licensed for normal road use in the United States, and normally sold and delivered through the manufacturer’s retail sales outlets in the United States. A Canadian-market vehicle is eligible for Street Category if it is identical to the US-market counterpart except for comfort and convenience modifications as allowed per Section 13.2.A.

A member may request classing for any car models not specifically listed in Street Category, provided that vehicle was produced in quantities of at least 1,000 in that Model Year.

A car will remain eligible for National events through the end of the 30th calendar year after the manufacturer- designated model year of the car. This eligibility limitation applies only to the Street classes.

Except for modifications authorized below, Street Category cars must be run as specified by the factory with only standard equipment as defined by these Rules. This requirement refers not just to individual parts, but to combinations thereof which would have been ordered together on a specific car. Any other modifications or equipment will place the car in Street Touring®, Street Prepared, Street Modified, Prepared or Modified Categories as appropriate. Configurations involving damaged parts (e.g., blown fuses) are not typically authorized by the manufacturer and hence are not allowed.

Option package conversions may be performed between specific vehicles of a particular make and model, but only between configurations from within a particular model year. Such conversions must be identical except for 13.2.A (comfort and convenience) allowances and the resultant car must meet all requirements of this Section. These requirements are not met by simply pulling a fuse to disable a feature which distinguishes one model from another.

Alternate parts listed in a factory parts manual are not authorized unless their use is specifically referenced in the factory service manual or in a service bulletin for the specific model.

See Sections 3.8 and 8.3.1 for documentation requirements.

Alternate components which are normally expendable and considered replacement parts (e.g., engine and wheel bearings, seals, gaskets, filters, belts, bolts, bulbs, batteries, brake rotors, clutch discs, pressure plates, suspension bushings, drivetrain mounts, fenders, trim pieces, fuel caps, etc.) may be used provided they are essentially identical to the standard parts (e.g., have the same type, size, hardness, weight, material etc.), are

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 22

used in the same location, and provide no performance benefit. The allowance for use of such replacements does not include camshafts, differential covers, or ring-and-pinion sets, nor does it authorize the use of piston rings having different configurations (e.g., “Total Seal®”) from those of the original.

Hardware items (nuts, bolts, etc.) may be replaced by similar items of unrestricted origin. Safety wire, threadlocker compounds, and locking nuts are permitted. These allowances are strictly to allow components to be replaced from alternate sources other than the original manufacturer. They should not be construed as an allowance to replace components with those which could be considered a ”higher performance” alternative. Parts available as replacements through the dealers parts department, the factory, or any other source which do not meet standard part specifications (e.g., hardness, size, etc.) are non-compliant in Street Category, except as specifically provided elsewhere in these rules.

Specific vehicle classifications are located in Appendix A of these rules.

13.1 AUTHORIZED MODIFICATIONS

If a modification is not specifically authorized in this or previous sections of these Rules, it is not allowed.

The addition of small holes for attachment hardware for authorized modifications is implicit (e.g., holes for fasteners to mount additional gauges, holes for brackets to mount shock absorber remote reservoirs, holes for driver restraint mounting, etc.). However, these holes may serve no other purpose.

All repairs must comply with factory-authorized methods and procedures.
It is not permitted to use non-compliant parts even if they have been set to OE specifications. Refer to Appendix F for past clarifications of these rules.

13.2 BODYWORK

A. Accessories, gauges, indicators, lights and other appearance, comfort and convenience modifications which have no effect on performance and/or handling and do not materially reduce the weight of the car are permitted. This does not allow driver’s seat substitutions, or the removal of “tow hooks” or “tie-down loops”. Delayed shutdown devices such as the “Turbo Timer,” which perform no function while the car is in motion, are permitted. This does permit the installation of an additional mirror (e.g., Wink®), but does not allow the removal of the original mirror. “Grounding kits” specifically designed to support sound systems are permitted but may serve no other purpose.

B. Data acquisition systems (including video cameras) and the accompanying sensors are allowed but may serve no other purpose during a run than real-time display and data recording.

C. Hood straps or fasteners may be added.

D. Any fuel tank cap may be used.
E. Windshields may be folded (but not removed) provided the required mechanism is standard equipment.

F. Alternate steering wheels are allowed, provided the outside diameter is not changed by more than one inch from the standard size. Steering wheels with an integral airbag may not be changed.

D. Alternate shift knobs are allowed.

E. Spare tires, tools, and jacks may be removed. Any fastening hardware and/or other pieces that can no longer be firmly secured in the absence of the spare tire may be removed if necessary to ensure compliance with Section 3.3.3.B.1, Safety Inspection Requirements.

F. Roll Bars and Roll Cages

1. Roll bars may be added. Roll bars may be welded in. Standard roll-over hoops and covers may be removed if the resulting installation meets Appendix C.A, Basic Design Considerations. The total weight of components added must not be less than that of components removed.
2. Roll cages may be added. It is strongly recommended that roll cages be constructed according to the Club Racing GCR, though they must be bolted (not welded) into the automobile and be contained within the driver/passenger compartment. A roll cage has more than four attachment points to the body or frame or has bracing both fore and aft of the main hoop.

G. Driver restraints as outlined in Section 3.3.1 are allowed. Seats may not be cut to allow for the installation

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 23

SCCA Fastrack News

April 2013 Page 24

of alternate seat belts or harnesses. Passive restraint systems may be disabled but may not be removed. Removable seat headrests may be repositioned using the original mounting hardware only if the OE components permit it with no modifications. This includes removing a headrest and reinstalling it backwards. A horizontal “harness bar” may be used as part of the installation hardware for allowed driver restraints provided it has no more than 2 attachment points to the chassis and is bolted at those locations. A C-type harness bar may also be used. It may have 4 bolted attachment points to the chassis (2 primary and 2 supporting connections to resist rotation). Truss-type harness bars are not allowed.

H. Cars may add one rear trailer hitch. The resulting weight addition is allowed. The hitch may serve no other purpose. Factory tie downs and cosmetic pieces (e.g., diffusers) may be modified or removed to facilitate hitch installation. Complete or partial removal of the hitch is allowed for competition, provided it does not result in a reduction in weight compared to the unmodified standard configuration.

I. Tow bar brackets may be installed but may serve no other purpose.

J. Any item that cannot be held permanently in place by factory-installed fasteners may be removed.

13.3 TIRES

Tires must be designed for highway use on passenger cars. Tires may be excluded for, but not limited to, low volume production, extensive availability limitations and specialty design. Tires must meet the following requirements to be eligible for use in Street category. No tire model will be eligible for competition until it meets all requirements of 13.3. Tire models not meeting the requirements by April 30 are not eligible for competition until after the National Championship of that year.

A. Specifications

1. Effective 1/1/14 - Minimum UTQG tread wear rating of 140
2. Effective 1/1/15 - Minimum UTQG tread wear rating of 200
3. Minimum specified tread depth of 7/32”.
4. Listed in a current year or prior 2 years of the “Tire Guide” and/or “Tread Design Guide” 5. Department of Transportation (DOT) approval.

B. Eligibility Requirements – The following are prerequisites before a tire can be used in competition at National events.

1. Tire availability - Tires are considered available when competitors can take possession through retail channels. Pre-orders are not considered available.

2. The tire must be equally available to all competitors. Tires that are in short supply do not specifically violate Section 13.3. Extensive shortages may result in the tire being placed on the exclusion list until supply is replenished. Tire variations differing from standard specification, delivered only on a limited basis, or only to selected competitors may not be used.

3. The Tire Model must have tires available in at least 4 rim diameters and at least 6 sizes which meet these requirements.

4. Material Change - Tires which previously met the eligibility requirements that undergo a significant compound change, tread pattern change, or other significant redesign resets the requirement for eligibility described in section 13.B.
5. Discontinued Models - A tire model which was previously allowed by these rules continues to be compliant until the end of the calendar year following the year in which it fails to meet 13.3.B.1, 2, or 3. For example, if a tire model below the required 4 rim sizes in June of 2013, the tire model retains eligibility until 12/31/2014. 6. Reintroduction - Models that were once discontinued will be considered a new model once reintroduced and must meet all the requirements of 13.3.

C. Other

1. Any tire which is OE on a car eligible for Street Category may be used on that car in Regional Competition. OE tires must meet all requirements of 13.3 to be eligible for National Competition.

2. Tires may be shaved evenly and parallel to the axis of rotation, but may not otherwise be siped, grooved, or modified.

3. No recap / retread may be used.
4. The tire must not appear on the following list, which may be altered at any time by the SEB upon notification

of membership:
No tire models are currently listed
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Unread 2013-03-21, 02:56 AM   #2
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13.4 WHEELS

Any type wheel may be used provided it complies with the following:

1. It is the same width as standard, and as installed it does not have an offset more than ±1⁄4” from the standard wheel for the car. The resultant change in track dimensions is allowed.

2. Wheel diameters may be increased or decreased 1” from the standard part.

Wheel spacers are permitted, provided the resultant combination complies with the offset requirements of this section. Wheel studs, lug nuts, valve stems (including pressure-relief types), and/or bolt length may be changed. Tire pressure monitoring sensors (TPMS) may be removed.

Centerlock / Spline Drive / Knockoff type hubs may be converted to lug type hubs, provided the resultant combination complies with the offset requirements of this section.

13.5 SHOCK ABSORBERS

A. The make of shock absorbers, struts, and strut housings may be substituted providing that the number, type (e.g., tube, lever, etc.), system of attachment and attachment points are not altered, except as noted below. The interchange of gas and hydraulic shocks absorbers is permitted. The following restrictions apply:

1. No more than 2 separate external shock damping adjustment controls are allowed. This permits the use of shocks which originally came with more than two external adjustments, which have been converted to double-adjustables, only if the additional adjustment controls have been permanently disabled (e.g., via welding, epoxying, grinding off). Gas pressure adjustment is not considered a damping adjustment.

2. Suspension geometry and alignment capability, not including ride height, may not be altered by the substitution of alternate shock absorbers except as allowed by 13.8.F. Aftermarket strut housings are allowed provided that they meet the Street category shock requirements defined herein (i.e., that no suspension geometry changes result). This includes the position of the steering arm attachment point in the case of struts with integrated steering arms.

3. Adjustable spring perches are allowed, but the spring loadbearing surface must be in the same location relative to the shock mounting points hub as on the standard part. Shims may be used to achieve compliance.

4. The fully extended length must be within ±1” of the dimension of the standard part.

5. Electronically controlled shocks may not be used on vehicles not originally equipped with such units. Vehicles originally equipped with electronically controlled shocks may use the standard parts or non- electronically controlled alternative shocks subject to all the requirements of Section 13.5. Non-standard electronically controlled shocks are not allowed.

6. A strut’s lower integral mounting bracket, for attachment to the upright or spindle, may be slotted for purposes of camber adjustment provided it attaches to the standard location and there is no material change in ride height. Any resulting change to the position of the strut centerline is allowed.

7. Effective 1/1/15: External / remote reservoir shocks are not permitted other than standard equipment. This includes those attached via flexible lines, as well as ‘piggyback’ style.

B. The mounting hardware shall be of the original type. The use of any shock absorber bushing material, including metal, is permitted. Pressed or bonded bushings may be removed from standard parts to facilitate the use of alternate bushings which fit in the original location without alterations to the part. This does not permit the use of an offset shock bushing. A shock absorber bushing may be implemented as a spherical bearing. The bushing attaching the end of a strut to the body or frame on a strut type suspension is a suspension bushing, not a shock bushing.

For cars with a bayonet/shaft-type upper shock mount, this allowance permits the removal of the shock bushing from the upper mounting plate (e.g., drilling, cutting, burning out the bushing) and replacing it with another bushing. This also includes shock bushings located in control arms, etc. This does not allow other modifications to the plate itself or use of an alternate plate.

C. To facilitate the installation of commonly available aftermarket shock absorbers, struts, or strut inserts whose shaft size is larger than the center hole of an upper shock mount assembly, that hole may be enlarged by the

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 25

minimum necessary to accommodate the shock shaft size, provided the following restrictions are met:

1. The enlarged hole must remain concentric with the original configuration.

2. The enlargement of the hole does not require modification of a bearing (as opposed to a washer, sleeve, or plate).

3. Neither the hole enlargement nor the location of the shock shaft changes any alignment parameter. Provided these constraints are met, this permits enlarging of the center hole in an upper shock mount with an integrated rubber bushing, where the bushing is integral to the mount and bonded to the plate and the mount is provided by the OEM as an assembly. This includes drilling out and/or removal of the metal sleeve.

D. A suspension bump stop is considered to be performing the function of a spring. Therefore, the compressed length of the shock at the initial point of contact with the bump stop may not be increased from the standard part, although the bump stop may be shortened for the purpose of installing non-standard shocks. Bump stops installed externally and concentric with the shaft of a shock may be drilled out to fit a larger diameter shock shaft. Bump stops may be substituted for the purposes of installing non-standard shocks.

E. A hole may be added through the bodywork to route the reservoir and hose to a remote mounting location. Such holes may serve no other purpose. This allowance expires 1/1/15.

F. A hole may be added to an interior body panel to provide access to the adjustment mechanism on an allowed adjustable shock absorber. The hole may serve no other purpose, and may not be added through either the exterior bodywork or a strut bar. Interior panels are defined to be those pieces which cover the interior of the vehicle (including the trunk area) and are accessible from inside the vehicle. They do not include structural panels, such as wheel wells or inner fenders, which may also be accessible from inside the car but which actually form part of the body of the vehicle.

13.6 BRAKES

A. The make and material of brake linings may be changed.

B. Substitution of clutch and brake hydraulic lines with solid metal or braided metal is allowed on all cars manufactured before model year 1992.

C. Alternate brake bleeder fittings (e.g., Speedbleeders®) are permitted. They may serve no other purpose.

13.7 ANTI-ROLL (SWAY) BARS

A. Substitution, addition, or removal of anti-roll bars and supporting hardware (brackets, endlinks, bushings, etc.) is permitted. The use of any bushing material is permitted. A bushing may be implemented as a bearing.

B. Substitution, addition, or removal of anti-roll bars may serve no other purpose than that of an anti-roll bar.

C. No modification to the body, frame, or other components to accommodate anti-roll bar addition or substitution is allowed except for the drilling of holes for mounting bolts. Non-standard lateral members which connect between the brackets for the bar are not permitted.

13.8 SUSPENSION

A. Standard, as defined herein, suspension springs must be used. They may not be cut, shortened, or collapsed.

Cars with swing axle suspension may be lowered sufficiently to achieve no more than two degrees of negative

camber at rest and may use a camber compensator. Spring perches may not vary from the OE shape within the working part of the perch.

B. Both the front and rear suspension may be adjusted through their designed range of adjustment by use of factory adjustment arrangements or by taking advantage of inherent manufacturing tolerances. This encompasses both alignment and ride height parameters if such adjustments are provided by the stock components and specified by the factory as normal methods of adjustment. However, no suspension part may be modified for the purpose of adjustment unless such modification is specifically authorized by the factory shop manual or these rules.

C. Suspension bushings, including but not limited to those which carry the weight of the vehicle and determine ride height, may not be replaced with bushings of a different material or dimension.

D. Replacement control arms for vehicles having integral bushing/arm assemblies must be standard factory

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 26

parts as per Sections 12.4 and 13.0.

E. If offered by the manufacturer for a particular model and year, the use of shims, special bolts, removal of material to enlarge mounting holes, and similar methods are allowed and the resulting alignment settings are permitted even if outside the normal specification or range of specifications recommended by the manufacturer. If enlarging mounting holes is specifically authorized but no material removal limits are specified, material removal is restricted to the amount necessary to achieve the maximum factory alignment specification.

F. The following allowances apply to strut-type suspensions: Adjustable camber plates may be installed at the top of the strut and the original upper mounting holes may be slotted. The drilling of holes in order to perform the installation is permitted. The center clearance hole may not be modified. Any type of bearing or bushing may be used in the adjustable camber plate attachment to the strut. The installation may incorporate an alternate upper spring perch/seat and/or mounting block (bearing mount). Caster changes resulting from the use of camber plates are permitted.

G. Camber bolts may be installed providing these parts use the original, unmodified (except as allowed by 13.5.A.6) mounting points. Caster changes resulting from the use of camber bolts are permitted.

13.9 ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

A. The make of spark plugs, ignition coil and high tension wires is unrestricted including spark plug wires having an in-line capacitor. Substitution or addition of ignition coil mounting brackets is permitted, provided they affix to the original standard location and serve no other purpose. (Modification of the distributor cap for the purpose of installing allowed non-standard components is not permitted.)

B. On cars made prior to January 1, 1968, any ignition system using a standard distributor without modification

may be used.

B. Ignition settings may not be adjusted outside factory specifications.
C. No changes are permitted to electronic engine management systems or their programming except as allowed

by 13.9.E.

D. Additional battery hold-down hardware may be added to supplement the standard equipment in order to meet Section 3.3.3.B, Safety Inspections Requirements. It may serve no other purpose.

E. Traction Control / Electronic Stability Control and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems may be disabled.

13.10 ENGINE AND DRIVE TRAIN

A. The engine air filter element may be removed or replaced provided the air flow path remains as originally designed (i.e., no additional openings). No other components of the air induction system may be removed, replaced, or modified.

B. Engines may be re-bored to the manufacturer’s 1st standard overbore, not to exceed 0.020” (0.508mm). Sleeving is allowed to repair to the standard bore. Only OE-type standard or 1st overbore pistons of the same configuration and of the same or greater weights are permitted. No interchange between cast and forged pistons is allowed.

C. Rotating and reciprocating parts may not be balanced.

D. Port matching is not allowed.

C. Any part of the exhaust system beyond (downstream from) the header/manifold or catalytic converter, if so equipped, may be substituted or removed provided the system meets the requirements of Sections 3.5, 3.3.3.B.15, and Appendix I where applicable. Stainless steel heat exchangers are permitted only if the physical dimensions and configuration remain unchanged.

Modifications of any type, including additions to or removal of, the catalytic converters, thermal reactors, or any other pollution control devices in the exhaust system are not allowed and the system must be operable. Replacement catalytic converters must be OE if the vehicle has not exceeded the warranty period as mandated by the EPA. Converters must be of the same type and size and used in the same location as the original equipment converter(s). This does not allow for a high performance unit. If the vehicle has exceeded the warranty period, replacement catalytic converters must be OE-type as per Section 13.0.

Exhaust hangers which are bolted or welded on the car are considered part of the body and may not be

SCCA Fastrack News April 2013 Page 27

changed or removed.

D. Any oil filter may be added if not originally equipped. Canister-type oil filters may be replaced with a spin-on type filter using a minimum amount of hardware and connecting lines.

E. The installation of water expansion tanks is allowed. The installation of oil catch tanks is allowed provided the function of the PCV system is not altered.

F. Thermostats may be added or substituted. A thermostat is a device which controls the passage of water.

G. Silicone replacement hoses are permitted as alternate components provided they meet the requirements of Section 13.0 with regard to size, shape, location, and performance equivalence. Replacement induction system air intake hoses must also match the standard part in stiffness, contour, and internal wall texture.

K. A device for locking out reverse gear may be used.

L. Limited-slip differentials, transmission and differential ratios, clutch mechanisms, and carburetion, fuel injection or supercharger induction systems must be standard as herein defined.

H. Any oil or grease, including synthetic, is permitted.

N. Valve seats and guides in older engines originally designed for leaded fuel may be only substituted with alternate components if the dimensions are the same as those of the standard components.

O. Electronic traction and/or stability control systems may be turned off or disabled, as long as this does not require connection to an external system, removal of any part, or the substitution or modification of any part.
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Unread 2013-03-21, 02:59 AM   #3
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Further explanation of the reasoning for the proposed changes:

Link if you want to read it with the pictures included: http://www.solomatters.com/2013/03/s...sal-explained/

Street Category Proposal Explained
By Heyward Wagner

This week, via Fastrack, the Solo Events Board released a proposal that would radically reshape what we now call Stock Class. The proposal includes changes to the allowances for tires, shocks, sway bars and wheels as well as new language to allow for camber adjustment and the disabling of traction and stability control. All totaled, the proposal includes 36 changes to the category, including changing the name from “Stock” to “Street” to be more reflective of the true nature of the class. The proposal represents the first rewrite of the category’s ruleset in 40 years and one of the largest proposals in the sport’s history. At its core, it comes down to a simple philosophy, autocrossing should be fun, and the SEB’s belief that, more than any single factor, stock class participation has declined because the current ruleset does not provide the allowances needed to make a modern car fun to autocross.

The proposal represents a meaningful change in the philosophy of the Board. Historically the SEB has strived for rules stability in the category. To that, if you look at the Stock Class rules from 1972 you will find the foundation of what we have today. Those rules included an allowance for any make of shock absorber, the substitution or addition of a front sway bar and substitution of any part of the exhaust beyond the manifold. Though there have been incremental advances in theses allowances, for the most part the foundation of shocks, a bar and exhaust has been constant since the early 70s.

These allowances were part of a larger set of rules intended to make stock cars more appropriate for autocross. The early ruleset also included catch cans, vents, upgrades to brake lines and the replacement of steering wheels and gas caps. The purpose was not to go faster, but rather to make cars of the era better suited for the sport. In effect, the rules were intended to address universal shortcomings in vehicle manufacturing. Over time, the allowances that did result in performance gains, such as balancing of engine parts and port matching have been removed. Others, such as “windshields may be folded” have remained.


Comparing the interiors of the 1975 and 2012 Civics
Vehicles, on the other hand, have changed dramatically since 1972. It is hard to fathom that a 70’s era Civic was built by the same company as the modern version, much less that it is the same model. Newer cars are larger, heavier, safer, smarter and more comfortable than anything the 1972 SEB could have imagined. Still, like in the 70s, very few modern vehicles come off of the production line optimized for autocross. Most new cars do need some level of preparation to become a fun autocrosser. While there are things that can be done within the current rules to address these issues, the rules were simply not written with the challenges modern cars pose in mind.

It was from this foundation that the SEB took out a clean piece of paper and asked the question, “What should stock class be?” Before any specific allowances were discussed the board first considered the key elements of the category. First and foremost, the rules had to allow for dual-purpose cars. This meant that, unlike Street Touring where cars could be dual purpose but generally are not, the category rules had to encourage dual-purpose not just allow the possibility. The Board also determined that the category should provide a significant value. This does not mean that it should be built on cheap cars, but that competing in the category should provide a solid bang for the buck. The third foundation point of the category was that the rules should foster competition between as wide a range of vehicles as possible. Specifically, allowances should be considered that would overcome problems that are common in modern cars.

Above all else, the Board determined that autocrossing is something people do to have fun with cars. We have all heard statements to the effect of “come for the cars, stay for the people.” In the end, however, the fun element of driving the car has to be there for the sport to make sense. Simply put, particularly at the national level, autocrossing requires too much investment of time and money for it to be justifiable if it is not fun. It was this concept, more than any singular factor that the Board pointed to in determining the cause of the decline in Stock Class participation over the last 5 years. Stock Class cars changed, the rules did not evolve to reflect and as a result the category is not as much fun as it should be.

There is actually data to support this belief. 2007 was a banner year for Stock Class participation with 428 drivers competing in the category at Nationals. Since then the number has slid to 237 in 2012. Yet, all of the singular factors used to explain the decline of the category were present in 2007. While there was a Kumho car on the podium in Super Stock, the Hoosier A6 was the dominant tire in the category, remote reservoir shocks were legal, and there were four solid Street Touring classes to lure Stock Class competitors away (STS, STS2, STX and STU). But 2007 represents a shift. It was the beginning of the decline and the biggest changes between now and then have nothing to do with our rules.

Some will point to the economic downturn of 2008 as the root cause, and certainly it was a factor. But for the most part, National level competition on the whole has remained consistent over that time. However, the new car marketplace has seen major changes. In 2007 the groundwork was laid for all vehicles sold in the United States to have federally mandated stability control by 2012. That year 50% of new cars were sold with ESC systems standard. Vehicle safety, and as a result weight, was skyrocketing. CNN reported in 2007 that the number of airbags in a vehicle had replaced horsepower as the most important number to consumers when selecting a vehicle. The new MX-5 had just been released, larger in every dimension than the previous Miatas. The attitude toward suspension design and handling was also changing. In the years leading up to 2007 both BMW and Honda had redesigned the suspension of their sportiest cars to make them more stable and thus, more likely to understeer. Other manufactures were doing the same and part of this package was limiting front camber under load. This effectively reduced front grip so that a car would be less likely to spin and more likely to have a frontal impact, which the numerous airbags were best equipped to handle. These changes represent the biggest shift in automotive design and production since the initial Stock Class rules were written. In the 5 years since, every stock class has seen a decline. Even Super Stock is down over 35% from 2007.

It was with this perspective that the rewrite began. The Board agreed that the challenges of making a modern car fun to autocross could not be overcome with a true stock ruleset, and thus some level of allowances would be appropriated in the quest for fun cars to drive. These allowances needed to be affordable and constant with the concept of a dual-purpose car. The result is a new formula that included allowances to manage heavier vehicles, overcome electronic controls, and increase the value of the experience while staying true to the dual-purpose intention.


Under load many modern cars lose camber resulting in understeer
The new allowances, set to take effect in 2014, address electronics, wheels and camber kits. 13.9.E specifically allows the disabling of Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems without limitations as to how. Changes to 13.4 allow a plus or minus 1 inch of change of diameter on wheels to ensure that all cars have greater access to “the tire to have.” 13.8.F and G provide allowances for camber. This allows tires to maintain better contact patches while cornering. The obvious benefit is increased tire life through reduced edge wear but the larger benefit is better handling at the limits and thus, more fun to drive.

Shocks and sway bars allowances are retained but there are tweaks to both. Shocks are limited to two adjustments without remote reservoirs, effective 2015. The Board felt it was important to allow competitors to control the suspension compliance of their vehicles but it should be done in a method most consistent with stock. At the same time, the SEB wanted to allow people who are currently using remote reservoir shocks time to adapt to the new rules, so they have proposed sun-setting the remote reservoir allowance in 2015, a year after the rest of the rules are proposed to go into effect. Disallowing remote reservoirs eliminates the need for drilling holes and keeps vehicles consistent with stock configuration. Under the proposal, sway bars would be allowed on both ends to help competitors manage the weight of vehicles.

The section likely to get the most attention in the proposal is 13.3, Tires. The proposal would set a 2014 treadwear minimum of 140 and a 2015 minimum of 200. Part of the logic behind this is reducing cost per run. Some will claim that testing and optimizing 200+ treadwear tires will be just as costly as current R-Compound tires. There will always be a faction of our sport that will invest heavily in achieving the greatest pace and it is possible that the treadwear limitations will not result in significant savings for them. However, for the average competitor, the per run cost of autocrossing would be greatly reduced with the higher treadwear ratings as the number of on pace competition runs a tire could produce would meaningfully increase.

There is more to the tire discussion than cost, though. While the high grip R-Compound tires are certainly fun, the Board is inclined to believe that they are not appropriate for the category. As these tires have evolved they have drifted further and further from “streetable” and now often carry “for racing purposes only” warnings. Cost aside, this is not consistent with the Board’s vision of dual-purpose. While some competitors will opt to drive on the street and compete on separate sets of tires no matter what, the opportunity to have dual-purpose tires would be far greater under the proposed rules.

The SEB does recognize that not everyone will be excited or even willing to give up the thrills that only R-Comp grip can produce. In an effort to give those participants a place to play, the Board is proposing a limited preparation ruleset for Street Prepared classes. This ruleset would allow vehicles prepared to the limit of the new proposal to compete in an appropriate Street Prepared class on R-Compounds. The limited preparation cars would run in a slower class than their SP classing. The SEB’s goal would be to place cars where they are competitive but do not become the car to have for the class.

In all of this the Board also decided it was time to move past the name Stock and adopt “Street,” as Stock was no longer reflective of the level of preparation in the category. This is not meant to imply that there is no place for true stock vehicles in autocross. In fact, the intention of the SEB is to highly encourage regions who have accommodated membership needs with indexed street tire classes to transition those classes into a home for true stock, or unmodified cars.


Under the street ruleset, the SEB hopes cars like this BMW will become more attractive for the category
This proposal is not about making it harder, or more expensive to compete at the National level. In fact, the opposite is the goal. By allowing competitors to add simple, generally inexpensive modifications, such as sway bars and camber kits, and by limiting the scope of shocks, the SEB is aiming for an affordable package that is easier on tires, more fun to drive and allows a greater number of cars to realistically and affordably participate in the category. If successful, we may see a resurgence of cars that have been written off in the past due to camber limitations alone -cars like the late model Volkswagen GTi, the WRX/STi and a wide variety of BMW products, all of which are not able to get enough camber to be attractive stock class cars under the current rules. The goal is to find the formula that unlocks the potential of these and other modern cars and to build a ruleset that makes sense both to current members and those we hope to attract in the future. And above all else, the goal is having fun with our cars.

If you would like to provide feedback to the SEB on this proposal, please do so at http://www.sebscca.com/.
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Unread 2013-03-22, 09:44 AM   #4
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Jesus. I don't have 4 days to read all of that.

Am I correct in that what they want to do is allow you to run street tires in stock class now, adjust camber, add a rear sway bar, and change out wheels among other things? If you want to run R Comps it's now a different class?

If so, that's fucking stupid awesome.
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Unread 2013-03-22, 02:17 PM   #5
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Jesus. I don't have 4 days to read all of that.

Am I correct in that what they want to do is allow you to run street tires in stock class now, adjust camber, add a rear sway bar, and change out wheels among other things? If you want to run R Comps it's now a different class?

If so, that's fucking stupid awesome.
You pretty much have the jist of it.

Stock will now be name Street. No more remote resevoir shocks, can do both sway bars, add camber plates, can plus or minus 1" on the wheel diameter and 200 treadwear tires. The current stock cars will be moved to Street Prepared under the current rules and will be known as Limited Prep Street Prepared. An example of that is possibly the SS cars (C5/C6 ZO6 Vettes, Lotus Elise, GT3) will be classed in BSP with S2000's, Nissan Z's, BMW M3's.

Of course none of these rules are set in stone and the SEB is open to opinions and tweak of the rules proposals. If you are an SCCA member and want to voice your opinion then submit a letter to the SEB at sebscca.com
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Unread 2013-03-22, 03:42 PM   #6
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Jesus. I don't have 4 days to read all of that.

Am I correct in that what they want to do is allow you to run street tires in stock class now, adjust camber, add a rear sway bar, and change out wheels among other things? If you want to run R Comps it's now a different class?

If so, that's fucking stupid awesome.
Yep, what Brian said. I think it's awesome too!

If you've been behind the times, there is a place to play on street tires this year too. There were three new street tire classes formed - RTR, RTF, and RTA. It basically splits last year's PAX'd local street tire class into three separate classes (RWD, FWD, and AWD respectively). I would guess these classes will go away if the new Street classes are voted in for 2014.

Brian, any chance you can join us in the GT5 series again? We run with low boost on now, so it makes all the bumping much more tolerable since it's easier to catch up to the pack.
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Unread 2013-03-25, 04:27 PM   #7
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Brian, any chance you can join us in the GT5 series again? We run with low boost on now, so it makes all the bumping much more tolerable since it's easier to catch up to the pack.
More than likely probably not. I haven't even played GT5 since I stopped running the league. With me traveling a lot this season due to work I am trying to spend as much time with the family when I am at home and Sunday night is a good time for that.
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Unread 2013-03-27, 10:40 AM   #8
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I haven't run in stock class in years, and I still like all these proposals.
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Unread 2013-03-27, 12:29 PM   #9
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More than likely probably not. I haven't even played GT5 since I stopped running the league. With me traveling a lot this season due to work I am trying to spend as much time with the family when I am at home and Sunday night is a good time for that.
Bummer, you gotta at least make it to the F1 race. Only two races left! This weekend is the 650pp FF race and F1 after that.
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