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Formula X

Racing as fast as I wanna be
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Auto racing used to be all about automobile technology. Now, it's all about showmanship, like Pro Wrestling. Drag racing is still a sport, but that's about it. There are way too many rules governing circuit racing today. How about a super-class of cars without strict limits? Rules would be: (1) Car must be safety-inspected and approved. (2) Minumum weight 1750 lbs. Maximum weight 4750 lbs. (3) Maximum length is 19 feet, nose to tail, no minimum. Max width is 6 feet, no minimum. (4) Maximum height 5 feet, no minimum. (5) Only legal fuel is regular 93 octane pump gasoline. (6) Must have at least 4 wheels. Anything goes after these 6 criteria are met. Automabile technology will again reign in racing.
Silence, Apr 15 2004

(??) Ama Formula Extreme http://www.600super...600ss_race04_fx.htm
Road racing [Letsbuildafort, Oct 04 2004]


       AMA Formula Extreme - highly modified 600cc motorcycle road racing. However even they placed restrictions on displacement. Last year they could run pretty much anything under the sun, this year, its all 600cc. But open mod. See link.
Letsbuildafort, Apr 15 2004

       People would still say that even these rules are too strict. Others too lax.   

       For example, you don't specify that car-to-car missiles are banned ...
Aristotle, Apr 15 2004

       Why a minimum weight? But + for something that I have wondered about for some time. Why restrict the technology so much? Safety can be taken care of by different circuit design.
But another type of racing that I would love to see is between unprepared road vehicles - each manufacturer picks the competitor's vehicles as they come off the production line. Then we would see a true comparison between models rather than a shell that looks roughly like the original, and everything completely replaced underneath.
Ling, Apr 15 2004

       Moto GP takes it a step further. While having only displacement restrictions per cycle type of engine (2 stroke/4 stroke) all bikes must be in whole prototype models. That means no production parts are allowed at all. No throttle bodies off of R1s, no current market engine covers, nothing. Everything on the race machine is one-of-a-kind - with the exception of consumables - tyres, chain, etc. And we see who really rides the best. (see Valentino Rossi)
Letsbuildafort, Apr 15 2004

       I think the other reason they have restrictions is to make the races more technically equal, otherwise the wealthy teams produce technology nobody else can match and it becomes dull. I seem to remember that in Formula 1 a few years ago Williams came up with a new type of suspension that allowed them to win everything; the next year it was banned, because the other teams simply couldn't compete.
spacemoggy, Apr 15 2004

       Sounds pretty good, except that I dislike the 4-wheel regulation. In an "anything goes" league you should have the option to race exotic 3 or 2 wheeled vehicles. Same goes for weight limits, really. Basically I'd want to give people the option to race a motorcycle if they want, and upper weight limits are pretty much unneccessary because I've never heard of any racing vehicle that weighed that much.   

       Basically, my ideal Formula X would have a size restriction, possibly a fuels restriction, and a safety inspection, and that's it. May the fastest creation win. Oh, and no weapons. ;-)
5th Earth, Apr 15 2004

       I'm not sure that Communism describes what you want.
I think your "level playing field" idea is good for innovation, but look at the way that the system works right now: Sponsors give financial and product support to allow improvement of sales via advertising and brand image. Giving more support improves sales, I suppose (up to a point). Remove the ability of sponsors to promote themselves, and the whole thing dries up.
The innovative team with no money, next year, might be the hot favourite with the sponsors (and perhaps cheaper and more efficient for them, too).
Development and research requires a great deal of resource. Would this be available with a level playing field?
Ling, Apr 16 2004

       Money doesn't always equal speed. I can't give you named examples, I'm afraid, but one day while I was casually watching some top-fuel drag racing on TV, The commentators remarked how most teams replace the engines on Top Fuel races after ever 2 or 3 races, some even every race. As a contrast, the next team up replaced their engine only once every ten races--obviously a less expensive proposition. And guess what--the one-in-ten team won. Multiple times.   

       As another anaology, take the sport of Battlebots or Robot Wars. This is an area where (speaking from experience) you can spend as much money as you've got, and it'll all go to something useful. Still, every competition I go to, I see cheaply built robots beat even the most expensive ones. Sure, expensive ones beat cheap ones too, but only in mostly equal amounts. Sucess is a matter of design and driving skill as much as it is money.   

       In Formula X, the freedom of design is what would give the lower-funded teams an advantage. The ability to innovate, and win because you came up with a novel new design, not because you could afford ceramic brake discs and titanium valves and shave off an extra 4/5 of an ounce compared to other racers and have an average lap time 1/10 of a second faster.
5th Earth, Apr 16 2004

       In the debacle that is Indycar open-wheel racing, there has been an underground movement for some time to do something like this. The most important, expensive and contentious aspect of current open-wheel racing is the car-to-pit telemetry; it defines the greatest degree of difference between the elite teams and the not so.   

       Nowadays, computer links give the crew chief a virtual display of all facets of performance that the car is experiencing, and the driver does not have to pay attention to this. Many woud like to limit this only to voice communication from driver to crew chief.   

       If this was eliminated, the driver would have to use experience and familiarity with the car in direct communication with the crew chief - a real competition using talent and ability instead of remote-controlled robots with Brazilian supermodels behind the wheel.
corquando, Apr 16 2004

       I like the idea very much, but i would limit the amount of fuel consumed during the race. No pits stops allowed, not even for repairs.
RaoulDuke, May 31 2005

       Going with [Silence's] rules, I think I'd build my vehicle at minimum weight, as small as possible, articulated ground-effects, a large downdraft fan, driverless (remote + computer assist), an electric final drive and a gas-turbine for power generation (or, maybe, air-cooled nuclear, which would give good impetus for keeping the speed up ;-)
bristolz, May 31 2005

       i love [corquando]'s idea of the remote controlled robots with brazilian supermodels in them - although i would open the sport to any nationality.   

       Would putting the models into a coma be legal? (this would help them weather the g-forces)
loonquawl, Mar 25 2009

       Check out the group B WRC races. There's a reason why current group A cars have restrictions and speed limiters. I guess the question comes down to if you are comfortable with a sport where a few participants and a few spectators die every year. (really it's all in our heads because quite a few competitors die of sport related injuries, just not on the pitch; if football players got injured and auto-immolated on the field I suspect that that protective gear might become the norm.)
WcW, Mar 25 2009

       I say go to the next step.   

       The ONLY rules are:   

       You can't hurt the spectators with flying debris, fuel or intense sound levels.   

       You can't destroy the track.   

       The drivers' willingness, or unwillingness to participate would auto-govern the rider-saftey aspect.
knowtion, Mar 26 2009

       //willingness, or unwillingness// - so what about the comatose models?
loonquawl, Mar 26 2009

       // //willingness, or unwillingness// - so what about the comatose models? //   

       Driver must demonstrate consciousness before deciding whether to participate.
knowtion, Mar 26 2009

       You're kidding yourself if you don't know money equals performance. You open up the flood gates to adaptive aerodynamics, turbine engines, SRBs and the like and you will only be able to put spectators on the inside of the track in bunkers as just fod from the track will be pelting and killing anything unprotected inside a 100 meter radius. The race won't be about going faster as computer co-pilots/autopilots will handle the steering and turbine powered reverse hovercraft vehicles will be able to accelerate at any speed and handle any turn, the challenge will be keeping the pilots alive as they float inside neutral buoyancy tanks breathing tri-ox to keep from experiencing the bends as their crafts manage turns of 20-30Gs. Or it will remove pilots.
MisterQED, Mar 26 2009

       @misterQED. That sounds perfect.
knowtion, Mar 28 2009

       This si a great idea, WITH the rules noted in the first post. I would love to take a car modified with JATOs out on the track!
DIYMatt, Mar 29 2009


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