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Vx220 Racing?


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#21 cyberman

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 01:32 PM

Are some of the guys on LOT seriously considering racing at the weekend and retaining their car as a daily driver during the week? Other than cost saving, I can't see any ohter reason why someone would be reluctant to fit a full cage.


Yes, I think so. The only way to do that is insist they are unmodified production cars in my view. You can do a geo-setup and change your pads. Otherwise, apart from complying with the safety regs, thats it. Then we have Elise 1, 2, VxNA and VxT classes. No engine mods: ECU to be reloaded with standard map on scrut requirement.

Anything else soon becomes damned near Formula Libre - as we are incidentally demonstrating.

MSA are being nice: I have to go see the medical chap in the next couple of weeks and he will decide if I might be a danger to an unsuspecting public. No booze and upper body strength exercise for as long as I can stand it (about a week if previous form is anything to go by).

Edited by cyberman, 20 June 2006 - 02:08 PM.


#22 Thorney

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:59 PM

There's no intention to compromise on safety, merely see what options are available to fit enough safety equipment to keep the driver safe but the car useable. As I said, I can't go into intricate detail but needless to say its a level of security and safety that I'll apply to my own skin so I'm not about to compromise on that.

#23 cyberman

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:25 PM

There's no intention to compromise on safety, merely see what options are available to fit enough safety equipment to keep the driver safe but the car useable. As I said, I can't go into intricate detail but needless to say its a level of security and safety that I'll apply to my own skin so I'm not about to compromise on that.


John

I am not having a go at you.

I too would like to race the Vx and I'll take my chances. Hell, when I was young, I would have played Rollerball.

But we are talking a series with a wide range of experience and vehicle performance. There is a very much increased chance of a shunt. Somebody in a near road car just out for the first (or thereabouts) time is not going to understand how fast that turbo nutter mega barge is going to catch him on the straight or under braking. You know this, Partridge knows this, Gary knows this, I know this: we may stay out of trouble - but the limited experience driver we just nerfed because he didn't think we were there?

I dunno, I think there is a duty of care here too. We can all form a judgement for ourselves when the regs become clear. We can all carry extra weight if we choose too. In the interim, unless terminal velocities are limited, I prefer to argue for the fullest safety rather than road usability. Anyway the two aren't necessarily incompatible.

Ian

#24 cyberman

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:26 AM

Look I know I've banged on about roll cages to the point of being boring and I apologise. But this clip landed on my desktop yesterday quite fortuitously. It shows what can happen in sports car racing. A small nudge leading to a high speed excursion. They really aren't that much faster than we can be. Frames around 12 - 13 seconds show the roll cage clearly.

RockAndRoll

Just one of those things.

Edited by cyberman, 21 June 2006 - 09:31 AM.


#25 Thorney

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:17 AM

Oh I'm not taking this persoanlly at all and safety is the No 1 issue with regards the regs to this. All I'm suggesting is that there are ways and methods to create a safe driver environment and thats what we are considering now. No opinion is boring on the matter and I'm certainly listening to opinions of everyone who is interested in particpating.

#26 cyberman

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 06:40 PM

Errm, yes I think I know what you mean. I had a discussion with some of the organisers today. Reading between the lines there is very large bullshit being talked about how a race series can be regulated that *is* a race series.

I got the feeling that what was more likely happening was that there were some well-intentioned but naive people at LOT being taken over by more energetic interests. It sounded to me as if the clear conflict between engineered safety and the need to fill grids and keep costs to a minimum by allowing near road cars to run was likely to resolved by making the racing little other than a procession.

This to be achieved by rigorous use of the invitation mechanism to allow the TPTB (and their trusted mates) and anyone they had room for who wouldn't be a challenge. That is one way, certainly, of keeping it safe. However, if all that is intended is a parade of succesful interests, why not a get an elephant or two and few liberty horses?

I do trust I'm wrong.

#27 calypsoelise

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 06:31 PM

Just read through this and all i can say is theres a sh*t load of bolllox posted by people who should know better, have their own commercial interests at heart and obviously know very little about the team involved in setting this series up. Both myself and others involved have obviously wasted many hours talking to a few people on here who have not listened to whats been said - will have words with you directly if you turn up at brands on Monday. Cyberman in particular if you don't like the way we are doing things then Graham has recommended 2 other series you can race in suggest you'd better go and look at those as you don't sound like you're looking for the same thing as us - why arn't you looking at those series anyway? At the moment only a handfull of Elises - not sure how many VX220's if any, are racing in the UK - you can count the number of elises on the grid for the last 2 rounds of the mid engineed series on one hand so there has to be something wrong with those series. We are setting up a series that will potentially get some of hundreds of track day elises we have in LoT onto the grid. If we get the formula right for our members then great if not then you can come on and slate it but until then if you don't like what we are doing go and set your own series up, or support a series like the mid-engineed which at the end of the day needs new blood. Hope to see cyberman and graham on monday evening so that we can put a few things to bed and stop having to waste our time talking to people who obviously don't listen to what they are told putting that time into our real members.

Edited by calypsoelise, 24 June 2006 - 06:56 PM.


#28 cyberman

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 10:50 PM

Just read through this and all i can say is theres a sh*t load of bolllox posted by people who should know better, have their own commercial interests at heart and obviously know very little about the team involved in setting this series up.

I am sorry to say I really don't know what that paragraph means - certainly I have no related commercial interest.

Both myself and others involved have obviously wasted many hours talking to a few people on here who have not listened to whats been said - will have words with you directly if you turn up at brands on Monday.

Don't know about others but I listened to what I was told by a number of sources and have found inconsistencies in the individual remarks and across the group. One then tries to make sense of it by comparing with one's experience and with the normal rules of conduct. Some of it still seems worrying and one will be glad of enlightenment.

Cyberman in particular if you don't like the way we are doing things then Graham has recommended 2 other series you can race in suggest you'd better go and look at those as you don't sound like you're looking for the same thing as us - why arn't you looking at those series anyway?

The issue is that no one I respect appears able to spell out quite what you are looking for. I had heard that an Elise tub based race series was on the cards - it sounded good to me. Then I heard more and some of it seemed wrong and possibly dangerous. Or incompatible with competitive racing as I understand it. I know I'm out of date but I have owned and driven AF2 and AF1 cars, held a full International race licence and been a CAMS examiner. It may not make me smart but I can spell "wheel to wheel".

As to running in another series, subject to the exigencies of other agencies I do plan to be out before season's end: hopefully in the VxT if we can make it a. competitive and b. reliable.

At the moment only a handfull of Elises - not sure how many VX220's if any, are racing in the UK - you can count the number of elises on the grid for the last 2 rounds of the mid engineed series on one hand so there has to be something wrong with those series. We are setting up a series that will potentially get some of hundreds of track day elises we have in LoT onto the grid. If we get the formula right for our members then great if not then you can come on and slate it but until then if you don't like what we are doing go and set your own series up, or support a series like the mid-engineed which at the end of the day needs new blood.

I think your intent is laudable and I believe I have already said so. I am concerned that where you mix cars of very different performance (e.g. 360bhp Audi engined S1s and 120bhp K S1s) and novice race drivers that there is potential for a serious shunt. You appear not to believe this: I hope you are right but I don't know how you can be. I have had two good friends die in race cars through no fault of their own and quite a number come damned close. Accidents happen in the best regulated circles. However carefully weeded people cannot be coerced or cajoled into behaving flawlessly on a track.

Hope to see cyberman and graham on monday evening so that we can put a few things to bed and stop having to waste our time talking to people who obviously don't listen to what they are told putting that time into our real members.

Perhaps you would answer one question: one of your organisers has said to me "I hate the idea that you are thinking of building up a spare car" - as if one might be banned (sorry, not invited) for doing so. Yet this chap (and at least 2 others) plans to run a car in the series and enjoys a commercial facility allowing them to rebuild a bent car in a week. How many 10 race series have you seen where a bent car doesn't some time arise? Is any privateer who can compete on an even basis (by pre-building a spare) to be disallowed?

You need to answer that carefully: either its racing fair and even, or its a bent series in which some may play with a senatorial advantage or its pattycake and you need some elephants to make up the parade. Which is it to be?

Edited by cyberman, 24 June 2006 - 10:57 PM.


#29 TarmacTerrorist

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 12:58 AM

Hello Thorney, how you doing mate? Thought I'd nip over and see what your all upto, nice to read that you'll be out there racing in the VX next year btw...Would you believe it, Im just preparing my car to go racing also :itchyscratchy: . I'm entering it into the production class of the MESC series for the remaining rounds of 2006 and will be following the progress of the up and coming LOT racing with great interest, especially in the class regs.. Who knows, we may be sat on a grid somewhere next year giving each other the 'shifty' racing eagle eyes....... :D Gav

Edited by TarmacTerrorist, 25 June 2006 - 01:43 AM.


#30 calypsoelise

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 09:31 AM

Ian Once our regs are finalised and released to our members myself and the other 'more technical' guys will be more than happy to answer any questions that come up from those LoT members interested in taking part. the concept of what we are trying to achieve will obviously have to be made clearer - and if that means a few people think we will get a procession then fair enough - you should probably look at some of those looking to take parts history both on track and as organisers before blurting off like that. We have a large number of regulars attending our trackdays with 20+ races under their belts - including me and we've previously set up another successful series. You obviously haven't listened to what i've said to you about LoT or understood about us from our website and comments such as:- Get some lollipop in a standard Elise move in front of you in the braking zone and you may *have* to T-bone him. are not what LoT and our events are about. I've personally been organising events for over 5 years now with relative success and with the team thats behind this series I'd be very surprised if we didn't reach our goals. I've sent you mail and further discussion & Q&A's about the series will continue on LoT forums - where they are meant to be anyway.. once our regs have been finalised and published. I do hope you get your VX on a grid in the near future with another series. Paul

#31 Thorney

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 10:53 AM

I don't think any really positive or negative comments can be made about the series when the actual tech regs and rules have not even been written yet - surely its just conjecture. The whole purpose of me starting this thread was to allow the VX community to get involved (if they wanted to be) or offer comment - and for that it has been successful. However before we start to criticise anything perhaps we actually see what that thing is going to be, I'm certainly keeping all of my own options nice and open on every facet of car preparation or involvement until things evolve and solidify (as they will). One thing though, Paul and Jez have been instrumental and succesful in creating and developing one race series already (the PBMW) which has been taken to the next stages well by its current team (of who whom I am one - however I claim no direct personal responsibility, I do very little compared to Liam, Dave, John and the others) so Paul and Jez have a track record of success. I see the Lotus racing series as a progressive step on from that series so am delighted to be involved at this stage. I suppose what I dont understand is the human nature to criticise and knock when the very thing people are knocking (I'm not criticising you Ian, just an observation I've got from others) hasn't even been born yet? Comments from other parties (not here) are easily explained by commercial interests and there's nowt wrong with that so long as people are aware of those interests. Lets let it breath before we start to slag it off yes?

#32 Thorney

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 11:23 AM

Hello Thorney, how you doing mate? Thought I'd nip over and see what your all upto, nice to read that you'll be out there racing in the VX next year btw...Would you believe it, Im just preparing my car to go racing also :itchyscratchy: . I'm entering it into the production class of the MESC series for the remaining rounds of 2006 and will be following the progress of the up and coming LOT racing with great interest, especially in the class regs..

Who knows, we may be sat on a grid somewhere next year giving each other the 'shifty' racing eagle eyes....... :D

Gav

Cool. Wonder why you'd gone quiet. :D

#33 cyberman

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 11:58 AM

Ian
I do hope you get your VX on a grid in the near future with another series.

Paul


paul@elise160.net paul@elise160.net

Re: Lotus on Track

Dear Paul

Responses in red. You'll forgive me if I publish this in its entirety I trust?


Ian

Having read through your comments on VX220.org where you have made it quite clear that you have no respect for either Elise owners or those involved in running LoT I have decided to revoke your membership of LoT.

You justify your action of disbarring by stating that I have no respect for Elise owners or those running LOT. Respect is something that is earned and not commanded by fiat. However, let me shade the conclusions to which you have jumped.

Elise owners? I owned and raced Loti before many of them were born and I have a very considerable affection for the tribe. Me, I wave at Elises and even, on a bad day, Exiges too.

The organisers of LOT? I have said I thought you well-intentioned but naive. I have also said that I thought your intent laudable but the implementation, as I understood it, to be impractical or mistaken. My representations concerning engineered safety were, in a yet unsettled situation, designed to help you find a better solution. A good organiser encompasses such help either by adoption, refutation or development of a new solution. Such action generates respect.

Saying "Fie on you and get thee hence" is not generally considered a rational response to uncomfortable truths where, potentially, life and death are concerned. Organisers have a duty (often disregarded) beyond their ego and convenience.


I invited you to join based on our conversation about trackdays and your desire to race so that you could attend our days and move on to the racing potentially from there. You obviously haven’t read any information about LoT or what we stand for or listened to anything that’s been said to you over the phone. We run LoT in our spare time without financial reward so being blunt don’t appreciate people wasting our time or having digs when they are not aware of all the information.

Your recollection is flawed. I had joined LOT and we had spoken about administrative matters approximately 2 months before our discussion of the series. The fact I don't express the party line as the only view does not mean I am unaware of LOT's ethos. I think it laudable and the efforts of the organisers selfless and valuable but we all do pro bono work for our own reasons.

As to "wasting your time" apart from one conversation with you by telephone some weeks ago I have not spoken with you about the series. My discussion of matters here in Vx land were concerned to ensure that the safety issue was properly understood and debated here. I hold to my view that you can't manage driver behaviour adequate to compensate for a lack of engineered safety: well not without gelding the poor b****rs.

In discussing the matter with others it became clear to me that not only was the safety issue potentially being fudged but that other considerations had arisen which if cast in the operating procedures would introduce inequity. It seems to me that drawing these matters to the attention of the organisers before the regs are published allows the issues to be dealt with before there is uproar. You clearly think its unhelpful: at this point I start to think your a clot. But each to our own.


This comment in particular is not what we’d be looking for from someone wishing to join our 1000 or so members on track:-

Get some lollipop in a standard Elise move in front of you in the braking zone and you may *have* to T-bone him.

I don’t think many Elise owners would appreciate that either.

Why not? This remark is extracted from a discussion of "contactless racing" with widely varying performance vehicles and drivers. You have a potential 3 : 1 disparity in power and 100's : 1 disparity in experience. If you are racing a powerful car with experience you will be braking at 1 G (or whatever) from say 150mph. A minimum power car may be braking from 110 mph and an inexperienced driver will not be watching his mirrors adequate to see the missile coming his way: he then turns in on an early line occasionally catching the car about to pass him unawares.

T-boning the hapless is often an arresting experience and less damaging than aiming for the barrier. There is nothing you can organise (unless you are not racing) which will avoid this. Perhaps I should have said numpty rather than lollipop, modern argot often escapes me. As an unmodified Elise will be the least powerful car out there the choice was natural: if a Vx NA were slower I'd have used that.

I do feel that you seek to traduce me by the way in which you have taken this remark out of context and have otherwise fabricated reports of my behaviour and intent. In earlier times I'd have considered seeking the protection of the Courts. Feel lucky that I have mellowed.


Anyway if you are due a refund please let me know and I’ll post a cheque immediately – from memory I bodged your account to let you in until money could be sorted at a later date .

On this occasion your memory is correct and nothing is owed. Your Paypal link was broken - ah yes - I think I decided that you were inappropriately carrying forward context on your link to Paypal which made it impossible to pay that way for those of us who keep our financial information secure .
We will continue to set our series up and I wish you well in whichever series you end up in if you are granted a license.

I trust that you have a level playing field, decent competitive racing and intrinsic safety to the standards set out in the Blue Book. Please note: Q60 doesn't hack it for the faster cars: to deal with upside down on a bank you must have face forward protection. Otherwise things will get inside to stir up the driver. 170mph cars? Upside down is a risk.

Kind regards

Ian Douglass
Mobile: 0771-4104540
EMail: icd@cybersolver.com
Tel: +44-1491-410282
Fax: +44-1491-410053

Edited by cyberman, 25 June 2006 - 12:00 PM.


#34 cyberman

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 12:44 PM

I suppose what I dont understand is the human nature to criticise and knock when the very thing people are knocking (I'm not criticising you Ian, just an observation I've got from others) hasn't even been born yet? Lets let it breath before we start to slag it off yes?


JT, I don't think I've criticised (in the sense of knocking or seeking to destroy) anything and I'm curious why anyone might think that is my intent. I want only that the series would work and work well.

I am aware of background discussions of the safety issues which have not surfaced here and I do have my own views. As an engineer and ex-race driver those views should have some utility if I haven't yet lost my marbles. That they don't immediately endorse what some others may wish doesn't invalidate them. By sharing what one knows before the regs are settled one has a better chance of ensuring that reasonable concerns are addressed. After they are settled you are on a hiding to nothing.

You will note that I have not said I would not accept the regulatory outcome. I have said I preferred to argue for the highest standards of engineered safety given the wide disparity of experience and vehicle performance. The response has not been comforting: the desire to minimise engineered safety and replace it with managed behaviour (which was the next remark) seems to me ill-considered. I have no reason to believe that I am wrong and the organisers right in this regard and have received no arguement other than "we know best".

The last issue, of equity, seems obvious. We have people who plan to run in the series organising it and being influential (because of the managed behaviour issue) in determining who will run in it and how they may conduct themselves. Its an impossible nonsense and no "Chinese Wall" can deal with it.

This is clearly seen in the response to my own quite gentle arguements and examples. Cross teacher and you can go stand in the corner silly boy. Mad, quite barking.

#35 Thorney

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 03:37 PM

Debate is great. Debate as regards safety in such matters is not only great its an absolute requirement. Debate based on opinion, conjecture and limited information still has value but it cant be relied upon for any real forward momentum. My point in all this was that no-one has actually said to me in any shape or form what level of cage has been determined by the organisors - ergo its a bit hard to criticise a decision on safety when no such decision has been made. If LOT (or rather the race committee) had stated - "we're thinking of x cage type and y safety level" I can see every reason why a dissenting view (regardless of which way it went) would be perfect valid to criticise or offer an alternative opinion, but the fact is that other than opinion there has been no official position taken therefore overt criticism is a bit hard to level. However your opinion on safety generally is a valid one, I have no argument with that. My own opinion is this, my car will have a full cage. The three cars we are building will all have full cages. The owners of these cars will have a choice, its their car but I'm not going to give them one even if they did see differently to me (and I doubt they will) as if the cars will carry TMS logos on them then I want them as safe as is physically possible. However by way of a comparison, there are a variety of Elises racing in a variety of series with A frame cages in all to good effect so you can see the position that least needs investigation and its an investigation we'll be part to as we've been developing a half cage/track day cage for the VX anyway. I think this thread as degenerated purely due to the fact that forums sometimes are crap places to get a point accross, a lot of the effect is lost through lack of physical presentation. I would not be involved in this series if I thought for one millisecond that safety was not a priority, I don't think that the race committe or you actually think any differently on this point, however the way that has been communicated has fallen down. Can I suggest a step back, see what transpires via discussions with the cage manufacturer/MSA and FIA and then re-open when more details are confirmed?

#36 cyberman

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 03:58 PM

but the fact is that other than opinion there has been no official position taken therefore overt criticism is a bit hard to level.


Thats not quite right. Simon Scuffham, who is organising the cage / roll bar aspect, has stated on LOT that he is not looking at a full cage solution and it will only be adopted if they are obliged by TPTB.

I think your position vis a vis TMS very sensible. I would have adopted a similar position - whatever the regs say - as I have already stated. As the chaps seem to have taken their ball home that will no longer arise.

I take your point about investigating the current Elise / Exige roll bar A-frame solution. However, having been upside down on a bank following a throttle jamming open, saved from injury (well death really) only by forward brace bars from the roll hoop, I do think I have adequate experience to comment (Amaroo Park). You can turn a Lizzie over just as easily.

#37 jules_s

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 07:51 PM

Debate is great. .....

I think this thread as degenerated purely due to the fact that forums sometimes are crap places to get a point accross, a lot of the effect is lost through lack of physical presentation.


Hear hear,

I wont ever be participating (cant afford to and have time issues) but would love to watch such an event.

I simply don't understand why somebody posting a safety 'opinion' on a forum should be banned from LOT or any other organisation for that matter.

Seems to me that these sort of issues should be discussed on line and opinions taken forward into a face to face meeting with the interested parties.

This thread seems to be degenerating into internet handbags IMO....which is a crying shame :(

#38 garyk220

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:33 AM

Erm, if that's the type of reaction to genuine comments offered by someone with extensive race experience and a real interest in taking part, then I think I'll look for a more suitable VX race series too! Perhaps there's enough interest for separate Production and Modified races, rather than compromising the regs and 'entry qualifications' to satisfy those wanting to race without risking damage to their daily driver.

#39 Thorney

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:38 AM

I'm not aware of the full details but my understanding is that this particular thread is not the main cause for the bad feeling.

#40 cheeky_chops

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:50 AM

I have met Ian - thoroughly nice "old skool" chap. Seems to have the right kind of experience you would want to draw upon when setting up a new series? I also know that Paul(calypsoelise) and his team do a sterling job in organising LOT and all the other events associated in their spare time. I am sure they have to deal with a raft of crap/nutters too... Kiss and makeup?




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