New SPEED TC Rules Package to Cut Costs, Development
SCCA Pro Racing has released changes to its 2009 rules package for the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship, designed to reduce both engineering development and cost to race teams.
“When I first took on this job less than a year ago, one of the main things that was evident was the need to scale back the investment necessary to run at the front of Touring Car,” SCCA Technical and Competition Director Ken Tripkos said. “The racing at the front of the series is outstanding and we have dedicated teams doing an excellent job. However, both real and perceived costs have diminished the size of the overall field and that needs to be addressed.”
The new rules package reduces both permitted suspension modifications and overall power output of the engines.
New cars for 2009 will retain stock suspension pickup points and the overall ride height will be raised from 3.0 inches to 3.5 inches.
“Much of the developmental cost and engineering in a Touring Car is in the chassis and suspension,” Tripkos said. “With the previous ability to relocate suspension pickup points within a certain radius, teams were completely re-engineering good factory setups to try to get down to the permitted ride height.”
Engine power outputs will be developmentally limited to approximately 260hp (a five percent reduction from 2008). The acceleration performance rate will be based closely on that of a stock BMW 330i. Stock transmissions will be utilized unless a necessity is proven for a stronger component. Additionally, full diameter clutch discs are required with stock diameter, ferrous flywheels.
“The power needed to be competitive has put both real and perceived strains on other components within the engine and drivetrain,” Tripkos added. “While there will need to be some alternate components and development for the smaller motors, most of the powerplants will remain largely unmodified in both the rotating assembly and the cylinder heads.
“Less power and stress at the clutch will promote longer gearbox life and allow some cars to retain their stock and stock-type components, reducing costs.”
“We’ve received a lot of input and support from manufacturers, current teams and potential teams, and we have made some positive changes to the Touring Car Championship rules to reduce the cost of entry and maintenance costs throughout the season,” SCCA Pro Racing President & CEO Robert Wildberger said. “We’ve done this while recognizing that the SPEED Touring Car Championship had some of the most competitive racing between brands in any North American series in 2008 and many of our teams have considerable investments. The goal is to promote growth without diminishing the current product. We believe that the new rules will accomplish this.”
Current cars will continue to be eligible for competition, with adjustments to balance with cars built to 2009 specifications.
2009 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Rules Change Summary
2008 – Pickup points may be moved
2009 – Original pickup points must be retained
2008 – 3” ride height minimum
2009 – 3.5” ride height minimum
Wheelbase and track
2008 – Unspecified
2009 – Specifications established for each model
Spindle modifications to correct bump steer
2008 – Permitted
2009 – Not permitted. May be corrected through offset bushings and/or tie rods
2008 – Ferrous or Aluminum
2009 – Ferrous only
2008 – Unrestricted clutch and pressure plate design
2009 – Stock diameter clutch required
2008 – Standard or alternate sequential gearboxes permitted
2009 – If approved based on need, sequential gearboxes will carry an up-front penalty to balance performance potential
2008 – Cars permitted one set of gear ratios and two final drive ratios
2009 – Cars permitted one set of gear ratios and one final drive ratio
Dry Sump Oiling System
2008 – Permitted with 10lb penalty
2009 – Considered for approval on case-by-case basis
2008 – Mechanical or electric water pumps permitted
2009 – OE-type water pumps required
The complete 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Rules will be released in November. Additional information about the 2009 Touring Car rules package changes can be found in participant bulletin 20 at http://www.world-challenge.com/files/competitors/WCPB20-2008.pdf