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Author Topic: Tech Question... from a Tech Inspector no less!  (Read 7386 times)
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NathanStewart
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« on: December 13, 2010, 05:29:10 PM »

I finally decided to take the time during my lunch break and ask "the community" about a certain rule that has always kind of interested me.  I only have an '09 rule book available here at work so I'll refer to it... the "rule" in question is in Section 1 under Technical Inspection and it reads "All vehicle technical inspection will be based on existing class record or the next higher class where a record exists".

Now, I've been on a number of different automotive enthusiats web forums and I like to take a peek and see what search hits I get for "SCTA" or "Bonneville" or "land speed racing" and surprisingly enough I usually find something regardless of the genre of vehicle.  Namely, I like looking at people's builds or I try to answer questions when I can or just get a feel for what the outside world thinks of our little association. 

One thing that ALWAYS comes up in nearly every instance is this comment: "Now remember, the SCTA requires that you build your car to meet the safety requirements based on the class record..."  and someone usually posts up the class speed (which is obviously high if it's a record) and the original thread creator usually responds with "Aw geez, I need two parachutes, lexan windows, 20 lbs of fire extinguishing agent, 5 lugs, 1" lug nuts, a jungle gym of a roll cage, and a -20 fire suit... I can't afford all that so never mind." 

What many people don't know is that we (tech inspectors) will usually limit a car to whatever speed they safely tech to.  For example, a cute T roadster with a track nose came through new car inspection this year as a B/FMR.  It has a 401 Buick in it and it ran on methanol.  The car maybe had a 105" wheelbase, a nicely built cage, and eveything else it needed to pass tech.  At the beginning of the inspection I asked the car owner what his class record was and he says "265 mph" and then I ask how fast he's expecting to go and he says "I'll be happy if I go half that fast."  We wrapped up the inspection and I issued him a Speed Limit of 175 mph because that's what the car safely tech'd to and AFAIK, that's the tech staff SOP.

My thinking is, why make it a rule that you have to build to the highest level if we don't enforce it?  We have a lot of competitors who run for the fun of it and will never get even close to breaking a record but by the rules we require that they build their cars like they're able to go 250+ mph or whatever it may be.  I understand the idea that a certain car with a certain sized engine running on a certain type of fuel will potentially have the ability to possibly go as fast or faster than the existing class record but 9 times out of 10 they won't.  I guess it's always best to play it safe and be conservative and basically demand that people make their cars as safe as possible but I think a lot of people get discouraged when they see or hear that. 

I think people legitimately know how fast they're really probably going to go before they get into this and build a car and show up to tech.  A lot of times you can look at a car and easily say within 10-25 mph how fast it'll actually go.  This isn't rocket surgery and we've all been doing this long enough that we have a pretty good idea what certain combination can and can't do.

Sorry for the ramble but just thought I throw this out there and see what you guys think.   

Thanks!
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El Mirage 200 MPH Club Member
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 05:56:36 PM »

Maybe all that's necessary is a clean way to handle such exceptions. Perhaps adding a square mark with a speed category letter so officials know at a glance the speed limitation from either the vehicle or driver's licencing (R, E, D, C, B, A, AA, U). Then it can be by the official rules.
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 06:06:25 PM »

Good question.

I've been pondering the inverse of that question.I'm going to run in an open class- XXO/BVGCC. Now, I'm building the car to BVGC specs, so I should have no problem.

If I was only building for /BVGCC, what speed would I need to build to? And because I'm new, what happens if you exceed the speed you build to? Example, what happens if you exceed 175? Are you allowed the return record run, if you built for under 175, and have no chute?

I know there is no chance with our car, just curious.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 07:34:27 PM by 38flattie » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 06:41:01 PM »

Just how much are we talking about maybe a 2nd chute and a larger fire bottle?  very little difference in the build requirmens than those 2 "big issues"
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 07:04:01 PM »

We have a lot of competitors who run for the fun of it and will never get even close to breaking a record

I struggle with this concept.
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 07:14:48 PM »

Nathan --

And how are you enforcing the speed limits?  I've heard of this before, and seems plausible for one or two cars, or T.O.'s, but how do you do it if you get a bunch of them?  And how, again, do you do it now?

Stan
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NathanStewart
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 07:24:39 PM »

Just how much are we talking about maybe a 2nd chute and a larger fire bottle?  very little difference in the build requirmens than those 2 "big issues"

I mean having to run a chute at all.  Remember, you only need them over 175 mph but if your class record is over 250 mph then you need two of them.  How much do two parachutes cost and how often will you use them if you only ever plan on going 160 mph?  Also, 10 lb fire bottles are NOT cheap so buying two of them is pricey.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 07:31:16 PM »

Nathan --

And how are you enforcing the speed limits?  I've heard of this before, and seems plausible for one or two cars, or T.O.'s, but how do you do it if you get a bunch of them?  And how, again, do you do it now?

Stan

I hope I'm answering the question I think you're asking Stan... here goes:

Speed limit sticker goes on vehicle where it's easily seen by the starter.  Starter sees sticker and calls down to tower letting them know that the next vehicle up has a speed limit of x miles an hour.  Tower says roger we copy there is a speed limit of x miles an hour, send 'em.  Car runs and tower reports back to starter with speed.

If speed is over their limit they are usually visited by someone like me, a rover, Bill Latin, Kiwi, Kennedy, etc.  One talking to is usually enough.

We/I pretty much do the same thing with all my rookies ie I live on the Special Course all day and track nearly every rookie that goes down the course.  I had one rookie run 193 on his supposed-to-be-under-150 rookie run.  He was done for the rest of the week.

Anyways, the speed limit system seems to work pretty well now.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 07:57:41 PM »


Speed limit sticker goes on vehicle where it's easily seen by the starter. 

Seems I learn something new here every week.
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2010, 08:07:32 PM »

That is the blessing of this site. Everytime I think I know it all I just visit here. I am finding this very interesting
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2010, 08:28:20 PM »

Good question.

I've been pondering the inverse of that question.I'm going to run in an open class- XXO/BVGCC. Now, I'm building the car to BVGC specs, so I should have no problem.

If I was only building for /BVGCC, what speed would I need to build to? And because I'm new, what happens if you exceed the speed you build to? Example, what happens if you exceed 175? Are you allowed the return record run, if you built for under 175, and have no chute?
I know there is no chance with our car, just curious.

Say for example the record is 172 mph(just pulled that # out of a hat!) and you qualify for the record at 178mph! What happens in this improbable situation?
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2010, 08:55:18 PM »

The timing trailer monitors every run and when we hear the next vehicle is restricted or on a license up grade we consider the entire run from start to turn out as well as the speeds. If the vehicle is 2 or 3 miles over/under that speed and all is done correctly we tell the starter and they will sign off the timing slip. If the run has problems handling, not getting off the course, way to fast the run is rejected and has to be run over. There was a streamliner car at speed week that had to make several runs as new owner/driver was to fast etc.
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2010, 09:54:00 PM »

Nathan,  thanks for your post. I understand what you are saying and appreciate your thoughts.

I look forward to being in your tech line and having you send me off on my Rookie Salt Run.

FYI-  at Maxton we use the same tech speed limit sticker process,,, it works great too.

Charles
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2010, 10:13:12 PM »

How about this one:  we own a the record we compete in at 246(+), do we make changes for the record or the higher speeds we are achieving?
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2010, 10:16:53 PM »

Good thread . . .  very interesting . . .  Let me see if I understand this by setting up a fictitious example . . . .

Consider a K/ Diesel Streamliner.  Current record is Zero,  As I understand it, if you are running in an open record class you need to equip the car with safety equipment that is up to the standards required for the next higher class with a record.  "Open record classes: Tire requirements shall be determined by the speed in the next larger displacement class in which a record exists." The existing record for the next higher class is 116.537 for J/DS.   

Looking at the tire speed limits we see the S rated tires are limited to 115mph, and T rated tires are good up to 120mph.  So according to the rules you would need T rated tires (since 116.537 exceeds 115).

But . . . could you enter a K/DS with S rated tires if (after consultation with the tech inspectors) you are allowed to run with a 115mph speed limit?
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