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Thread: Autocross Rules Clarification for 2005

                  
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    Autocross Rules Clarification for 2005

    There was a thread in the later part of 2004 discussing possible changes and feedback on the current classing structure.

    After discussing the rules with the Autocross committee and the NCC officers, I wanted make some rules clarifications for the 2005 season.

    The rules have not changed in terms of classing however the showroom stock class has some ambiguity that need further definition.

    1. In stock class you are allowed non-OEM replacement parts as long as they do not enhance the performance of the car.

    For example, you are allowed to replace your shocks with non-OEM say with Bilstien HD but Koni Single adjustables will not be allowed.

    Another example of this would be that if you need to replace your brakes you can replace them with non-OEM pads or rotors but they cannot be race or high performance type pads.

    Another example is that Short Shifters will be allowed, as they do not improve performance.

    Hopefully, this will illustrate the spirit of the rules. As with the past, if you feel that you car falls into a gray area, place yourself in the higher of the class.

    2. The second clarification is that you are allowed to run any size tire and wheel as long as it was available on your year, make and model. You are also allowed a variation of +/-10mm in tire width.

    I hope this helps everyone understand the spirit of the rules more effectively in the future.

    Pete
    NCC Autocross Chairman

  2. #2
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Before people start asking... Chips, CAI and upgraded exhausts will also not be allowed in the showroom class.

    ---Eric
    NCC Autocross Co-chair/Registrar


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

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    Thank you Pete and Eric for your work in the rules. Are you sure about the SSK not enhancing performance = shorter throws = shorter time to shift = faster overall times. Or, are you defining performance as "power gains that alter the power output in some fashion" vs. "additions that can enhance the car's ability to run a faster lap time in autocross"? If the former, then most of my questions are moot, if the latter, then my questions have merit -- or so I like to tell myself

    Second, how are bilstein's not enhancing performance? They have higher rebound and compression abilities than stock shocks.

    Third, your definition of "high-performance" pad is a bit obtuse. Are axxis ultimates considered high performance? They provide better bite and grip than stock mintek's. Heck, pretty much anything provides better bite and grip than stock mintek's.

    I appreciate your work guys -- I just think there is some ambiguity here still. Then again, you know what I do, I'll pick apart every word if you want me to

  4. #4
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
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    I am also curious with regards to the definition of high performance pads. I would like to switch out my stock pads for some Hawk HPS pads. Would that violate the spirit of stock? I hope not, I really want to get rid of the stock pads and all the dust they create.

    I have been debating putting on a set of upgraded sway bars, but I know that would push me out of the stock class. So I was considering just switching out my stock rubber sway bar bushings with urethane ones. I realize that this is probably in the grey area, but it doesn't seem as dramatic of a change as swapping the shocks.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
    2001 330i (my car)
    2004 Audi Allroad (wife's car and family truckster)

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    Has it ever been proven that a short shift linkage can actually improve performance? I've been beaten by one-thousandths of a second before, but it doesn't bother me if someone wants to spend the extra bucks for an questionable gain. Most courses only have one shift anyway.

    Where do you draw the line on replacement shocks? Owners of older cars should be allowed to replace worn shocks. Kevin Henry's interpretation was if the car didn't come with adjustable shocks, you can't add adjustable shocks. I think that works good. Do you think we need to get so specific that there's a list of acceptable brand/model shocks?
    Woody



    [QUOTE=NoSoup4U]Thank you Pete and Eric for your work in the rules. Are you sure about the SSK not enhancing performance = shorter throws = shorter time to shift = faster overall times.
    Second, how are bilstein's not enhancing performance? They have higher rebound and compression abilities than stock shocks.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

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    Senior Member Doby's Avatar
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    I still think the idea of not allowing SA's but allowing Bilsteins is not right.

    The SA's are cheaper then the Bilsteins and they are the trend right now (not only because of the price, but also because the SA's ride 10x better). No one who runs the cars in the NCC Stock class is going to be adjusting the shocks to make the car perform better... and if they are, more power to them to try to win an NCC trophy.

    IMO, the Bilsteins give a better advantage in autox with stock springs anyway due to the higher compression that they have over the SA's.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    It looks like Pete and I will have to come up with some clarifications to the clarifications.

    I'll try to post up some answers later today.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

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    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    OK, so to be clear, if you have an older car with worn-out shocks and rusted muffler, if you get a non-oem shock you can remain in stock class, but if you get a custom welded non-oem muffler from Midas you end up in prepared category?

    How are we going to police brake pad choice?

    Are NCC events really that competitive for showroom classes that SSK should influence the classing?


    -- Jason

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    James,
    I've seen your car, there is NO way we are letting you in the showroom class.

    Since most people rarely shift more than once per course we did not feel this would effect times significantly enough (if at all) to be considered a performance enhancement. We wanted to give some room in the showroom class or there wouldn't be many cars.

    We decided the cutoff for shocks should be at the adjustability level to make things easier for everyone. We did not want to have to get to the level where we had to specify what brand and model are included and which are excluded.

    Brakes were an issue we debated on for a while. There is always going to be some ambiguity with the rules unless we start specifying individual parts and brands. We don't want to do that. We decided it would be best to let the individuals regulate themselves with the "spirit of the rules".

    SMOODY - If you are picking parts on you car just to stay within the BMW showroom class I would suggest you simply move to the prepared class. Just the fact you no longer have to worry when selecting parts might be worth it.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkuper
    OK, so to be clear, if you have an older car with worn-out shocks and rusted muffler, if you get a non-oem shock you can remain in stock class, but if you get a custom welded non-oem muffler from Midas you end up in prepared category?

    How are we going to police brake pad choice?

    Are NCC events really that competitive for showroom classes that SSK should influence the classing?

    The spirit of the rules for Showroom stock is that maintenance items may be replaced with non-OEM parts so long as it does not enhance performance.

    The shock example is merely used to illustrate that you can use an aftermarket shock so that you are not forced to buy the stock boge shocks that wear out in 40,000 miles. SA's would not be allowed though as you can fine tune them for better handling than stock.

    This rule would apply to exhausts as well Jason. If you have a rusted out exhaust and you replace it with a Midas muffler that would be fine, as long as you didn't replace it with a HP muffler.

    With regards to the break pads, any stock type replacement is fine as long as it doesn’t add breaking performance. With example to the Axis Ultimates I would say they fall into a grey area and thus puts you in the next higher class. For a pad that dusts less but maintains the same breaking performance that would fall into showroom.

    Once again, if you feel that your car is ambiguous, you should class in the higher group.

    Pete

    PS- James, you car would never be considered "Stock".

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    yea the short shift seems like a moot point b/c most ppl don't shift more than once

    as for the brake thing... i noticed a significant difference in brake power going from my GTI with mintex pads to the OEM on my BMW. brake dust aside, i think that 99% of aftermarket pads will outpeform the OEM ones by @ least a small margin, either with more braking power or more resistance to fade; correct me if I am wrong.

    As for the shocks, they have to give some advantage over the stock ones, so shouldn't they be disallowed merely on that point of view?

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    Dang, should not have said anything. The reason I mentioned the SSK is that the whole premise is to allow non-OEM replacements if they do not enhance performance.

    Well, how is performance defined? It does not matter on whether SS is competitive or not. If the rules are going to be defined in a certain manner, let it be written so there is no ambiguity.

    You do not need to police anything. If a person wishes to depart from what is allowed, then so be it. Let them depart and live with their own conscience about it. These are guidelines people should follow -- not steadfast rules.

    I just wanted a clearer definition of what is considered "performance" enhancing mods. I would define it as parts that allow one to achieve a significant advantage in terms of handling, control, acceleration, and braking, over another competitor.

    SSK would be allowed. Axxis Ultimates would be allowed. Aftermarket shocks such as SA's or Bilsteins with stock springs would be allowed IMO, since the combination of springs + shocks/struts would be a significant advantage; but, alone -- shocks do not provide a "significant" advantage. A significant advantage being herein defined as providing a clear, and demarcated driving advantage to an individual as recognized by participants in the sport.

    In other words, if "x, y, and z" feel that it does offer some benefit; but, not a significant benefit ... then, it should be allowed. E.g., exhausts should be allowed as well if bought from Midas -- but, not from UUC/AA, etc that are dyno proven to provide add'l hp/tq benefits.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    "Dyno proven"?? Are you kidding me? The CAI/Exhausts are probably the largest gray area in terms of any type of gains. Who is to say that Ireland Engineering exhaust for an E30 is any better than Midas built one?


    -- Jason

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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    Dang, should not have said anything. The reason I mentioned the SSK is that the whole premise is to allow non-OEM replacements if they do not enhance performance.

    Well, how is performance defined? It does not matter on whether SS is competitive or not. If the rules are going to be defined in a certain manner, let it be written so there is no ambiguity.

    You do not need to police anything. If a person wishes to depart from what is allowed, then so be it. Let them depart and live with their own conscience about it. These are guidelines people should follow -- not steadfast rules.

    I just wanted a clearer definition of what is considered "performance" enhancing mods. I would define it as parts that allow one to achieve a significant advantage in terms of handling, control, acceleration, and braking, over another competitor.

    SSK would be allowed. Axxis Ultimates would be allowed. Aftermarket shocks such as SA's or Bilsteins with stock springs would be allowed IMO, since the combination of springs + shocks/struts would be a significant advantage; but, alone -- shocks do not provide a "significant" advantage. A significant advantage being herein defined as providing a clear, and demarcated driving advantage to an individual as recognized by participants in the sport.

    In other words, if "x, y, and z" feel that it does offer some benefit; but, not a significant benefit ... then, it should be allowed. E.g., exhausts should be allowed as well if bought from Midas -- but, not from UUC/AA, etc that are dyno proven to provide add'l hp/tq benefits.
    James, the idea is to limit the definition as there are too many areas that can be interpreted, hence the rather stringent rules of the past in showroom.

    The idea of the language here is NON-OEM REPLACEMENT and not upgrade parts, I think the definition is fairly good. I don't want to sit and write every possible combination that would be allowed or not as that is not the goal of this exercise.

    The idea is to clarify the spirit of the rules. I would say that if you are building your car to these specifications to gain advantage over a stock car with finding a fine line of what will be allowed an what is not, than you should go to the next class.

    A rule of thumb that can be used is that if the advertising or marketing of a product indicates an increase in performance, than it will not be allowed.

    Additionally- Upgrading to urethane bushings would be not allowed.



    Pete
    Last edited by Pete; 02-24-2005 at 10:56 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    Dang, should not have said anything. The reason I mentioned the SSK is that the whole premise is to allow non-OEM replacements if they do not enhance performance.
    Yes, you shouldn't have said anything. These rules don't even effect you. Stop looking for loop-holes.
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    Well, how is performance defined? It does not matter on whether SS is competitive or not. If the rules are going to be defined in a certain manner, let it be written so there is no ambiguity.
    There will always be some ambiguity unless we specify individual parts. We want to avoid that.
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    You do not need to police anything. If a person wishes to depart from what is allowed, then so be it. Let them depart and live with their own conscience about it. These are guidelines people should follow -- not steadfast rules.
    Yes, the general rule is - if you think something is debatable then go up a class.
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    I just wanted a clearer definition of what is considered "performance" enhancing mods. I would define it as parts that allow one to achieve a significant advantage in terms of handling, control, acceleration, and braking, over another competitor.
    Please define significant advantage.
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    SSK would be allowed. Axxis Ultimates would be allowed. Aftermarket shocks such as SA's or Bilsteins with stock springs would be allowed IMO, since the combination of springs + shocks/struts would be a significant advantage; but, alone -- shocks do not provide a "significant" advantage. A significant advantage being herein defined as providing a clear, and demarcated driving advantage to an individual as recognized by participants in the sport.
    Thanks for defining significant advantage - can you please define demarcated driving advantage?
    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoup4U
    In other words, if "x, y, and z" feel that it does offer some benefit; but, not a significant benefit ... then, it should be allowed. E.g., exhausts should be allowed as well if bought from Midas -- but, not from UUC/AA, etc that are dyno proven to provide add'l hp/tq benefits.
    We are not going to exclude parts based on manufacturer. If UUC or AA come out with an OEM-type exhaust we would then have to alter our rules again to allow it. We believe our participants within the showroom class will regulate themselves with the intent we have expressed.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

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