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Old 01-03-2020, 12:39 AM   #1341
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I'm not seeing how that's different from "how do we prevent them from winning."

Pulling them out of BS makes some sense, I guess, though given the diversity in that class I can see the argument for leaving them there another year to see if they actually are some sort of overdog.

Putting them into SS with things like the GT3 RS is...
The fundamental problem is not every car can have a fair place to play where it can win. You have nine classes to place every car offered for sale in the US in the past 30 years. For the past 20 years, over 220 distinct car models have been available each year. Even if you discard everything that wouldn't generate any autocross interest if everything else were equal, you still wind up with a lot more cars than classes. And that's before the Club subdivides by classing certain options/packages differently as well.

Ultimately, for every car, the rule making bodies have the choice of upsetting an apple cart or burying. Given recent SS turnout at National events in recent years and what results at Nats looked like this year, it's hard to say the 3 Performance is buried in SS. It would have easily trophied at Nats this year. I'd expect to see them do well locally and probably pretty well at most National events, but it's a lot less likely to upset the SS apple cart and even if it does, there are a lot fewer people to piss off there than the other possibilities.

Sporty EV cars are going to need somewhere to play soon where they don't feel buried, but it will lag the market by a few years.

I can sympathize with the thought that they should have been given another year to see what happens just as you can see why it makes sense not to do that. I don't think the decision is a bad one and I'm hard pressed to think of a better one.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:49 AM   #1342
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You’d think they would class a car based on some basic performance tests like 0-60, 0-100, and or slalom times? That way cars with common characteristics in those tests are in the same class?

Slalom times would have to be tested, so maybe just simple acceleration and possibly weight?
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:24 AM   #1343
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You’d think they would class a car based on some basic performance tests like 0-60, 0-100, and or slalom times? That way cars with common characteristics in those tests are in the same class?

Slalom times would have to be tested, so maybe just simple acceleration and possibly weight?
I mean, I appreciate that there's a lot that goes into it. One big factor is AWD v. non-AWD, which (as clyde notes) presents a huge advantage in certain weather conditions, and apparently the Model 3's AWD is particularly effective.

As clyde also says, one of the things they have to take into account is real-world results. 0-60 etc. only tells you so much.

But the Model 3 is a hard bird to class. It's 0-60 times are shockingly quick for a car of its size and weight. It also seems to autocross (and handle generally) better than you'd expect given its weight and tire limitations.

That said, is it really that much of an overdog compared to other cars in BS? The results posted above don't suggest it.

That said, the classes are kind of a mess. I dare you to look through AS, SS, and BS and come up with any real unifying principle:

https://www.scca.com/downloads/48116...duced/download
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:01 AM   #1344
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You’d think they would class a car based on some basic performance tests like 0-60, 0-100, and or slalom times? That way cars with common characteristics in those tests are in the same class?

Slalom times would have to be tested, so maybe just simple acceleration and possibly weight?
If you were going to do testing like that, how do you account for the different tires shocks, sway bars, and alignment settings allowed for in the rules? And often those parts aren't available when the cars get classed.

Conceptually, it's not impossible to have every car in every possible configuration, but then you only have so many hours in the day to do the testing and you'd need the weather to hold consistent the entire time and have time to control for the surface rubbering in with use. And when another new car needs to be classed, you would need to reconvene everything again.

In a practical sense, it doesn't work.

The committee that does classing looks at all the data they can find including published tests, fits it in with everything else going on in terms of current participation, anticipated future participation, their then-current philosophical approach to classing...and, ultimately, make a best guess. And then people get mad at them because their car isn't one of the favored.

Then, they pay attention to attendance level by car type, results, what they know of the context around those results, and read letters sent by membership through the year. When they think it might be best in totality for the club if a car is moved from one class to another, they issue a proposal, take comments, and make a decision about reclassing or maintaining the status quo.

No matter how they do it, they still have thousands of cars to slice into nine classes and have maybe up to two dozen major decisions about new cars/option packages to make each year with potential to have serious impacts on participation and competitive balance.

There's no way to win that.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:20 AM   #1345
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I mean, I appreciate that there's a lot that goes into it. One big factor is AWD v. non-AWD, which (as clyde notes) presents a huge advantage in certain weather conditions, and apparently the Model 3's AWD is particularly effective.

As clyde also says, one of the things they have to take into account is real-world results. 0-60 etc. only tells you so much.

But the Model 3 is a hard bird to class. It's 0-60 times are shockingly quick for a car of its size and weight. It also seems to autocross (and handle generally) better than you'd expect given its weight and tire limitations.

That said, is it really that much of an overdog compared to other cars in BS? The results posted above don't suggest it.

That said, the classes are kind of a mess. I dare you to look through AS, SS, and BS and come up with any real unifying principle:

https://www.scca.com/downloads/48116...duced/download
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2019 SCCA Solo Rulebook page 73
Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles classed by performance potential.
• Super Street R-tire (SSR)
• Super Street (SS)
• A Street (AS)
• B Street (BS)
• C Street (CS)
• E Street (ES) – Very affordable older sports cars with an emphasis on low cost entry and acceptable availability. Class stability is a priority.

Sedans and Coupes classed by performance potential
• D Street (DS)
• G Street (GS)
• H Street (HS)
• F Street (FS) – Heavy, high-horsepower RWD vehicles in the spirit of “V8 Pony Cars.”
It was not an overdog at that one event. That car also came nowhere close to representing "fully developed" while most of the other top 10 cars did. Aside from anything Tesla can beam to the car to make it better, it was on stock shocks which I'm told are pretty awful for autocrossing. The expectation is that good shocks will be a significant improvement.

I don't know that it's the AWD thing as much as the computer wizardry (but certainly the combination) that allow the car to perform unnatural acts, particularly in limited traction situations that go way beyond the typical AWD Focus RS vs RWD turbo Camaro type AWD advantage.

I think it comes down to no one really knows what the car is capable of, other than "it's capable of more than what we've seen so far"

The SCCA does not adapt to change quickly or easily. The Tesla 3 performance represents the change that is coming. The question they need to answer first, though, is: Do the members want to run Tesla 3s right now? Or do they want to keep running Shelbys, 1LEs, Corvettes, Boxster/Caymans, GT3s, 1Ms, M2s, etc for the next few years? If it's the latter, that may mean putting the 3 in a place where they can run, but are least likely to drive others away.

It will get figured out. Not sure how quickly, but I'm hopeful for a 2021 solution.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:56 AM   #1346
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An SEB member (the primary rule making committee) unofficially described reasoning behind the reclassing decision on another forum this morning:

Quote:
I'm not speaking for the SEB, but as an member thereof - I believe we (AC's / SEB) recognize the step-change in automotive technology and we want a class for the Tesla.
I know I do. ... and then there's the Taycan, the trickledown through VW-AG, and the Tesla Roadster, and and... and personally, I love it: we're living in the future of automotive performance we were promised.

From my perspective, the fact the tech/performance is advancing so rapidly make it really hard to predict competitiveness and class appropriately. Tesla is a software company that built a car: with patches, changes, cuts and upgraded features on the fly via OTA as supply, production, software advances, and maintenance/warranty information comes available. Those OTA updates are "scare" our membership (see threads in this very forum), because the timing and performance increases are not predictable.

After Nationals in/around the end of September, Tesla hinted at a Ludicrous mode for the M3Ps, November, it was leaked Telsa had the code for it in the latest OTA updates, and by December, Tesla was preparing for 100kWh batteries and Ludicrous mode. Factor in that Tesla has already temporarily "upped" capacity in their batteries via OTA to allow for longer range and quicker charging in the case of hurricanes, and it is plausible, even likely, that all M3P have more performance available, even if that are not yet "Ludicrous Mode" compatible.

Advancing the M3P to AS appeared to be a knee-jerk-easy-button. However - looking at results from slick or wet sites last year, it was clear that the M3Ps would win AS, BEFORE any further updates. Introducing the M3P would move weather condition and OTA performance update uncertainty into the most popular class in Solo: AS was the largest Street class at 2019 Nationals and among the largest / most stable classes at Tours/Pros etc. (The C6Z is comparatively primitive TC/ABS (GM Ice Mode), and even the Boxster/Cayman isn't in the same league, though it never rains at National Events, amirite?)

Factoring in personal discussions and letters from competitors that had driven the M3P (I have driven one, not in competition) asking for it to be excluded or reclassed - SS isn't considerably faster than AS, but the tech in cars is comparable (eShocks, eDiffs, etc), and therefore I think we made the correct decision as we wait for the complete performance potential of the M3P and other EV players to enter the market.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:29 PM   #1347
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An SEB member (the primary rule making committee) unofficially described reasoning behind the reclassing decision on another forum this morning:
LOL, there are a lot of reasons to class the car in any number of places, but that is (pardon my french) fucking stupid.

"We are classing it in SS because maybe one day there will be a ludicrous mode, and also we don't want to rock the boat by dropping it into the class that fits it best."

EDIT: Also monstrously stupid is the idea that the Taycan and the Model 3 (and 2.0 Roadster?) are somehow naturally in the same class because they are both EVs. Are all ICE cars classed together? Or even all V8s? I mean, the Taycan is going to be a pheonomonally more capable performance car than the Model 3 because it is a sportscar that costs more than 2X as much. Like the GT3 RS, actually, which is also in SS for some reason.

I mean, come the fuck on. If the Taycan is going to be classed in SS, that's about the best reason possible to class the Model 3 somewhere else.

EDIT to EDIT:

I'm glad I don't have time to autocross anymore, because dealing with this kind of "logic" would make me put my head through a wall.

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Old 01-03-2020, 12:58 PM   #1348
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LOL, there are a lot of reasons to class the car in any number of places, but that is (pardon my french) fucking stupid.

"We are classing it in SS because maybe one day there will be a ludicrous mode, and also we don't want to rock the boat by dropping it into the class that fits it best."
That's certainly one take on it.

Another might be, "While Tesla has repeatedly demonstrated the car's performance envelope is elastic and no one really has any idea what it's actually capable of, only a handful of individuals numbering in single digits have demonstrated the commitment to compete in one. So, before a significant number of our members commit big bucks to campaigning 3s, we're going to put them over there—where it can still be quite competitive—for a bit where they will cause the least amount of disruption to the other 99.6% (6 of 1300 is 0.4%, right?) of competitors while we figure out how to integrate this disruptive technology into our member driven amateur hobby in a way that makes sense."
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:03 PM   #1349
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That's certainly one take on it.

Another might be, "While Tesla has repeatedly demonstrated the car's performance envelope is elastic and no one really has any idea what it's actually capable of, only a handful of individuals numbering in single digits have demonstrated the commitment to compete in one. So, before a significant number of our members commit big bucks to campaigning 3s, we're going to put them over there—where it can still be quite competitive—for a bit where they will cause the least amount of disruption to the other 99.6% (6 of 1300 is 0.4%, right?) of competitors while we figure out how to integrate this disruptive technology into our member driven amateur hobby in a way that makes sense."
Right, which is what I said above--they are going to class it in a place where they hope to bury it and prevent people from campaigning it, so that they don't have to deal with it.

As much as this unnamed SEB member claims to be embracing the future, the attitude is "this electric family sedan scares the members because it doesn't vroom vroom like everything else, but while some members are so terrified of this grocery getter that they want to exclude it entirely from competition, in my magnanimity I will allow it to compete so long as it does so only with purpose built sports cars."
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:36 PM   #1350
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LOL, there are a lot of reasons to class the car in any number of places, but that is (pardon my french) fucking stupid.

"We are classing it in SS because maybe one day there will be a ludicrous mode, and also we don't want to rock the boat by dropping it into the class that fits it best."

EDIT: Also monstrously stupid is the idea that the Taycan and the Model 3 (and 2.0 Roadster?) are somehow naturally in the same class because they are both EVs. Are all ICE cars classed together? Or even all V8s? I mean, the Taycan is going to be a pheonomonally more capable performance car than the Model 3 because it is a sportscar that costs more than 2X as much. Like the GT3 RS, actually, which is also in SS for some reason.

I mean, come the fuck on. If the Taycan is going to be classed in SS, that's about the best reason possible to class the Model 3 somewhere else.

EDIT to EDIT:

I'm glad I don't have time to autocross anymore, because dealing with this kind of "logic" would make me put my head through a wall.
Okay, so what's your alternative proposal that maintains at least a passing resemblance to consistency in preserving competitive balance in healthy classes?

I think your posts have described a position of, "Leave it where it is, if letting the very small number of people that want to run the car drive away the comparatively very large number of people that want to drive other cars and, unlike Tesla drivers, have been showing up, too bad."

I'm sure you wouldn't characterize it like that, but that's what it sounds like.

I do wonder how my own plans influence my thinking. The car I'm probably going to buy would have competed with it directly in 2019 and done horribly at most events just because of weather. At the same time, that was my plan when I expected it to stay in the class. i didn't think it was the right decision to put it there originally, but once made...okay.

The more I've thought about it, the more I've been thinking this is a very good correction in line with the program's goals which include favoring cars that people show up in over cars that might be a good fit, but come with tons of uncertainty, doubt, inspire fear...and people really don't show up in.

There were 53 drivers in BS at Nats last year, 6 in Teslas. At the other eight National Champ Tour events, 5 of 77 drivers were in Teslas. 12 of 101 drivers across 11 Pro Solo events.

I have no insights into what's going to happen, but if I had to guess, I'd be least surprised by a single EV class in 2021 growing to 3-5 EV classes by 2030 with the number of classes dependent on how many sporty EV car models exist by then.
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