ODDBALL Question RENAULT SREN

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:56 pm
So, my Gen1 Renault SCCA racer, runs in SPU - Super Production Under.

I currently am running a Renault 2.0L engine (up from the SPEC 1.7) and will upgrade the Weber 36 to dual DCOEs with a custom intake. Next comes the Crank Trigger and coil-on-plug ignition. BTW I might have the 1.7 engine for sale for any Renault users out there.

It is a great platform for many of my interests, aero-mods, engine swaps/upgrades, using the TOYOs (cheap), AX when available, getting cheap seat time, etc.


I could ask of the SEDiv, but thought the first question might have some historical reference within this Community. [I will ask around at Sebring this weekend too!]

Now the question(s):
1. How far can I go with the chassis? I heard a rumor that Enterprise had a "rule" that it could not be used for any other "class?" Anybody know? Seems like a number of Gen2s could migrate to other options - unless it stays forever as a class.
2. If I did a "Fenske-like" mod to the side pods (make them removable/replacable) would I need a Homogenization (that's so funny I'm leaving it that way...Thanks Google!) of the chassis mod? Or as a SPU - it is open wide except for basic cage, safety, etc as outlined in the GCR/DIV rules.
3. What if I opened the body and made a March-style Formula platform with it and ran in FS? Not possible if the rumor in question 1 is true.

A major re-body seems to be open for the aero-mods, and will be a lot of fun to try and squeeze some drag out of the existing shape. And I "think" I'll be OK with just an annual Tech with new body. But my concern is running afoul of the System Enterprise on any "chassis" use.

Thanks to all.

Cheers - Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:14 pm
The one consideration about getting the SR frame homologated as anything else is that it doesn't comply with the general GCR specification for roll bars. This chassis remains the only one I'm aware of in SCCA that, technically, doesn't meet the specification on a couple of areas, if my memory serves me correctly.

The major one is the second hoop over the main roll bar hoop. When the car was first constructed, it was discovered that there was insufficient distance to clear the driver's helmet, so the additional bar was added on top of the main roll bar to compensate. My understanding is that this fails the general construction rule of one continuous length of tubing for the main hoop member.

The second is that the frame tube should exend to the floor of the car. In the case of formula/sports racers, the roll bar should be attached to the frame tubes by gussets.

In the SR, the main roll hoop is welded to the upper frame rail so it does not travel continuously to the floor of the car.

I'm not say these in any way the cars unsafe, but if you showed up with and said it was a "homebuilt" chassis that you'd like homologated, it's unlikey to meet these basic rules. That said, there's enough wiggle room in the rules to accept alternative designs. Given the safety record of the chassis, this could overcome these issues imposed by these rules.

The "Renault" configuration ban (other than in vintag) could be another issue. However, if there are enough changes to the car (different size/model engine) there could be wiggle room in overcoming.

I'd suggest talking to a knowledgeable SCCA chassis homologation inspector about the viability of a new homologation, rather than assuming that a Spec Racer/Sports Renault log book would be accepted for homologation purposes.

Here's the specific rule excluding SR's from ASR. My understanding is that the policy is strictly applied to all National and Regional classes.

Effective 1/1/97, those cars formerly known as Sports Renault and/or Spec Racers or any variants of this chassis/drive train/bodywork combination will not be allowed to compete in ASR in any SCCA sanctioned event.

Notes from the original memo outlining the transition rules:
At the December 2-3, 1994, SCCA, Inc., Board of Directors meeting the following motions were passed. They do not become effective until published in SportsCar.

SPEC RACER FORD: MOTION (LOWE/HYLTON) The BoD restates effective 1/1/97 the Ford engine and transaxle shall be the only permitted power plant. Renault powered Spec Racers will no longer be eligible to participate in SCCA events, including Regional, Restricted Regional, National, Solo or any other form of event. PASSED. Note: This was approved by Spec Racer owners’ vote in late 1992.

RACE SANCTIONS FOR SPEC RACER: MOTION (HYLTONICLARK) The BOD instructs the Club Racing Department NOT to approve any sanction request that includes “Club” Spec Racers (i.e. non Homologated Spec Racers) effective upon publication and NOT to approve any events after 1/1/97 that include Spec Racer Renault’s. PASSED.

The BOD feels that because of product liability insurance, the contract with Ford and Roush, and the previous survey of Spec Racer owners, that the above two motions needed to be made. These motions reconfirm the Board of Directors’ original intent to:

1) not allow any Renault powered Spec Racers to compete in SCCA events after 1/1/97, and

2) not allow any events to be sanctioned that include any Club Spec Racer or any other deviation from the Spec Racer classes listed in the GCR as of publication to the membership
Bob Breton - SRF 51 - San Francisco Region
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:30 am
Bob -

Thanks for the very detailed response. Those are probably the issues the other individual was referring to. Seems like I'm fortunate to be even/have been(?) able to even run in SEDiv as a SPU -- a Regional Class. :o If someone wanted to make an issue, I suppose any of the events I've run in could be retroactively disapproved? Would that effect just the SPU participants - or all that ran in those sessions? [No answers required - just wondering.]

The rule seems to run counter to the Regional Class definition/opportunity afforded by SPO/SPU. Even more interesting, BOTH rules seem to have been made in January 1997!

This from SEDiv:

Super Production O & U (SPO & SPU)
Established January 1997
Revised January 2003
Reviewed July 2006
Reviewed July 2007
Revised July 2008

January 1997 this class was accepted Division wide as a catch all for vehicles not considered formula cars from other road racing series and as a place for unique creations to have a venue in which to get track time. Vehicles must not be other wise classed in the GCR and Category Specifications. The displacement separation for Over (O) (2500cc and above) and Under (U) (2499cc and below) [Effective January 2003 and reconfirmed July 2007] and all Turbo or Super charged vehicles will run in SPO. Effective 9/22/2008 – domestic, air-cooled, pushrod engines up to 2999cc are eligible for SPU.

Series vehicles must conform to configuration safety rules of the series (owners responsibility to show proof). All non-series vehicles must at a minimum comply with safety specifications as published in the SCCA GCR and GT/Production Category specifications.

GCR Optional Regional-Only Classes
Super Production Class (SP) (Regional Class Only): Cars which exceed the preparation limitations of the applicable Production or GT Specifications but which meet the general regulations for GT category cars. This includes cars not listed in the GT or Production spec pages, such as FIA homologated Production cars.

Does this mean my Logbook Identifying my car as a SPU is fraudulent? - Or, (hopefully) I've been "teched" in, by the Regional inspectors?

I understand/get the thinking to keep the SPEC Racers "pure" and migrate to the Ford powerplants. {Not to be too obtuse, but I'm reminded of Steve Martin's line in The Jerk...}

Looks like I need to put on my thinking cap and prepare to have some long discussions with Division/Region to see what's what, before I cut any metal, build a new body. I guess Steve Fenske's original cars ran "local" only and stayed clear of any Regional/GCR issues.

The one consideration about getting the SR frame homologated as anything else is that it doesn't comply with the general GCR specification for roll bars. This chassis remains the only one I'm aware of in SCCA that, technically, doesn't meet the specification on a couple of areas, if my memory serves me correctly. --- Seen those discussions here before (recall seeing some flames too)

The major one is the second hoop over the main roll bar hoop. When the car was first constructed, it was discovered that there was insufficient distance to clear the driver's helmet, so the additional bar was added on top of the main roll bar to compensate. My understanding is that this fails the general construction rule of one continuous length of tubing for the main hoop member. --- An effort to "fix", but do-able. Good time to powdercoat the chassis I guess too.

The second is that the frame tube should exend to the floor of the car. In the case of formula/sports racers, the roll bar should be attached to the frame tubes by gussets. --- A wise move, but also do-able.

In the SR, the main roll hoop is welded to the upper frame rail so it does not travel continuously to the floor of the car. ---Makes sense and would fit in with other welding efforts above-.

I'm not say these in any way the cars unsafe, but if you showed up with and said it was a "homebuilt" chassis that you'd like homologated, it's unlikey to meet these basic rules. That said, there's enough wiggle room in the rules to accept alternative designs. Given the safety record of the chassis, this could overcome these issues imposed by these rules. --- This is where I get to start asking DIV.

The "Renault" configuration ban (other than in vintag) could be another issue. However, if there are enough changes to the car (different size/model engine) there could be wiggle room in overcoming. --- Currently on a 2.0L Renault, considering a DOHC version for more HP, but must resolve these issues before getting one imported!

I'd suggest talking to a knowledgeable SCCA chassis homologation inspector about the viability of a new homologation, rather than assuming that a Spec Racer/Sports Renault log book would be accepted for homologation purposes. ---Again, back to DIV, maybe on my knees ;)



And, at last, it seems interesting that the SPU/SPO classes don't necessarily require any homologation. Merely meet the GCR safety regs. So I might still need to work the welding issues outlined Region/Div will have an opinion I'm sure.

Bob, as always, you have been a wealth of information, and thank you. Thanks to the rest of you all for your patience.

Cheers - Jim
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:12 pm
My understanding for the onerous "end of life" rules for the Renault engined SR class was the contract with Ford provided significant penalties/liabilities to SCCA if they allowed the car to continue to run even at the local level. It's hard to say at what point the car no longer fits the definition of a Renault powered SR, but I know out here there are some SR's still running around as track day and non-SCCA cars that have different engines/carbs/etc, though still of Renault variance, and they're still not welcome in any class other than Vintage, as the Regional level.

I've given up being a prognosticator for legality ruling on cars in SCCA. That's a whole other line of discussion (and a boatload of war stories!) ;-)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:49 am
phantomjock wrote:Bob -



And, at last, it seems interesting that the SPU/SPO classes don't necessarily require any homologation. Merely meet the GCR safety regs. So I might still need to work the welding issues outlined Region/Div will have an opinion I'm sure.

Bob, as always, you have been a wealth of information, and thank you. Thanks to the rest of you all for your patience.

Cheers - Jim


That's because *in theory* SP classed cars are supposed to be production car based. Not formula or sports racer which do require homologation. From the 2018 January GCR:

Super Production Class (SP) (Optional Regional Class): Cars which exceed the preparation
limitations of the applicable Production or GT Category Rules but which meet the General
Technical Specifications of Section 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4 of the GCR for GT category cars. This
includes cars not listed in the GT or Production specification pages, such as FIA homologated
production cars.


If you dig into the Prod or GT rules, they are nominally supposed to be based on production, road going/road legal vehicles. Mind you in Oregon Region we had a Porsche 962 running in SPO for a few years and managed to claim/bluff that it was legal. It beat the snot out of plain old GT1 cars it ran against!

If nobody is protesting you and your local region is OK letting you run in SPU then go for it, but technically your SR based chassis was never a road legal production based vehicle.

Bob is correct about the original prohibition of SR or SRF running as ASR. It has since been extended to cover SRF3. ASR was created to allow the ersatz Can-Am (re-bodied F5000 cars, not the real Group 7 Can-Am cars) to have a place to run in Club races. SR/SRF/SRF3 really don't fit that model :D Add that many regions group ASR with fast Wings and Things and it's a bad run group combination. The prohibition of SR/SRF/SRF3 as ASR stands.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:26 am
Todd SRF73 wrote:If nobody is protesting you and your local region is OK letting you run in SPU then go for it, but technically your SR based chassis was never a road legal production based vehicle.

Bob is correct about the original prohibition of SR or SRF running as ASR. It has since been extended to cover SRF3. ASR was created to allow the ersatz Can-Am (re-bodied F5000 cars, not the real Group 7 Can-Am cars) to have a place to run in Club races. SR/SRF/SRF3 really don't fit that model :D Add that many regions group ASR with fast Wings and Things and it's a bad run group combination. The prohibition of SR/SRF/SRF3 as ASR stands.


My note to the Division has been sitting with a LONG 48 hour rule. As you might guess, I am necessarily a bit reluctant to "scratch the itch." But, in reviewing the GCR, I note a line in the P1 table, that includes a potential opportunity.[page 562]

Engine Type -- 4 cycle; Size 2500cc; max 4 Valves per Cylinder; Restrictors 30mm SIR; Minimum Weight 1475 -- Up to 2000cc may run at 1400 lbs. min. weight. Up to 2300cc may run at 1445 lbs. min. weight.


Of course it would involve a bunch of chassis mods to meet the "other than SRF" requirement of Chapter 9, roll hoop, diagonals, crush box, etc. It would open up a number of engine options for sure, but the restrictor plate brings a whole bunch of other issues too. In essence, I would have a homebuilt 2.0L P1, and the whole SCCA chassis certification issues to contend with [although it has simplified a bit - no?] . Unless I am not reading the table correctly - but it looks to be a reasonably new addition/edit to the GCR.

On the other hand, I do find it surprising that the "newer" chassis is allowed to run regionally in Vintage, and the GCR is reasonably clear about GEN1 in this regard - in the Logbook section:

G. All Formula and Sports Racing Cars may be required to be homologated by SCCA and issued a Certificate of Approval. Refer to section 9.2.2. for details. Exceptions are Spec Racer Ford, FE, SRSCCA, and Shelby Can-Am. The original certificate shall be presented along with the car for issuance of a new Vehicle Logbook. Additionally, former Spec Racer Renaults may compete in Vintage/Historic events using their originally issued logbook.


So that may be an option, but I'd have to retrograde the engine mods I've made to the standard Renault engine, vice the 2.0L, loose the aero (louvers, splitter, dam, wing), and source the correct tires, etc. Even then, it is a run group with many diverse "mass" issues, but Vintage seems to be a bit more "gentlemanly" in that regard, even has their own Competition License. And finally, the Vintage GCR doesn't have a Class ID for the SRR!

Ahh, what a bucket of worms I've got here!

Thanks and Cheers - JIm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:19 pm
Jim,

You may or may not have to undo some of those mods to run Vintage. If you were looking at SVRA or other Vintage groups that are relatively "strict" wrt originality, yes. OTOH local regional vintage run groups can be more lax wrt originality. They are usually more worried about the age of the car 25+ years and the drivers "intent" because afterall we all know vintage is not "real racing". Oregon Region's Vintage group for instance lets in a pretty highly modified 280ZX with wing etc. And they usually require treaded tires like Dunlops or Toyos, no slicks, you don't have to go looking for original Goodyear Bluestreak(?) tires.

Not sure I'd advise going down the P1/P2 path, there would be so many mods you'd need to do there would not be much SR left. Also from 9.1.8.A.1 last sentence in paragraph 1: Cars
built after 1-1-2014 must conform to Homologation requirements as specified in 9.2.2.
so it looks like you would have to follow thru with the homologation process.

One note, if you ever do run into trouble running SPU, your local region could always create a local region only class for you.

Good luck which ever way you go.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:09 am
Todd SRF73 wrote:
One note, if you ever do run into trouble running SPU, your local region could always create a local region only class for you.

Good luck which ever way you go.


Thanks Todd - a great early morning chuckle with that one!

I'm starting to be a bit less concerned.
Todd SRF73 wrote:That's because *in theory* SP classed cars are supposed to be production car based. Not formula or sports racer which do require homologation. From the 2018 January GCR:

Super Production Class (SP) (Optional Regional Class): Cars which exceed the preparation
limitations of the applicable Production or GT Category Rules but which meet the General
Technical Specifications of Section 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4 of the GCR for GT category cars. This
includes cars not listed in the GT or Production specification pages, such as FIA homologated
production cars.

I'm guessing the Region/Division are "comfortable" with the idea that the Spec platform is "close enough" to the intent of the Section 9 roll cage, and being built by Enterprises near enough to being "production." I believe the:
"This includes cars not listed in the GT or Production specification pages, such as FIA homologated production cars."


Clearly the SERN is not listed in the GT or Production pages, and the "such as FIA..." given only as an example and not meant to be the sole source of vehicles?

That I have a logbook, and am in SPU, I'm going to press along with that as it stands. It is always fun to meet other owners, that came up with a Renault, and chat regarding my car, and that it still runs! As the logbook certifies the chassis ( I guess), I can continue with other body mods exploring various drag reduction efforts, and add a bit of horsepower too.

I raised the questions as I plan on venturing to other regions and my logbook/car are SEDiv issued. I assume that would be accepted in others as well?

Thanks for all the help. You and Bob have the right insights I needed.

Cheers - Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:34 pm
Thank you for the information regarding the GCR restrictions on SREN. I was aware that they had been banned at the time of the swap over to Ford power, but was not aware that a ban continued to this day. We explicitly invited SREN to compete as a Regional-only class at the two most recent Regional weekends hosted by Chicago Region.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:08 pm
peterjank wrote:Thank you for the information regarding the GCR restrictions on SREN. I was aware that they had been banned at the time of the swap over to Ford power, but was not aware that a ban continued to this day. We explicitly invited SREN to compete as a Regional-only class at the two most recent Regional weekends hosted by Chicago Region.


Peter,

They can compete. You just need a Regional only class for them and per the GCR it *can't* be ASR.
Todd Butler
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