GP3 vs GP4

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GP3 vs GP4

Postby ebwolf » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:47 pm

Lemonata is lonely... Where are the GP4 cars?

I was looking at the roster for the 24@5280. There are 10 cars in GP3 and just 2 cars in GP4 (Lemonata and Matt's MR2). We've debated about upgrading Lemonata to run GP3 but it's just not worth the effort (or money) to improve the chassis to the point to be competitive in GP3.

The line between GP3 and GP4 happens to coincide with the power differences between a 1.8l Spec Miata (133HP) and a 1.6l Spec Miata (116HP). In theory, a 1.8l Spec Miata should class into GP3 (and a 1.6l Spec Miata in GP4). But a 1.8l Spec Miata won't be competitive in GP3. At the race at HPR in April, Bobby Unser turned some amazing 2:12 laps in a Spec Miata but couldn't match the 2:09 pace of the Stooges Miata. The leaders in GP3 are fast NA Miatas and now NB Miatas (there are currently 4 NB Miatas registered in GP3 for the 24@5280). Even a well-prepared Spec-ish 1.8l Miata doesn't stand a chance in GP3. And the guys showing up with old 944s and other marques aren't even in the same ball park.

It sure would be nice to get some of the slower cars from GP3 moved into GP4. It wouldn't hurt the competition in GP3 and sure would help GP4!
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby RacerJRP » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:17 am

FYI, it was me driving that 29 car, not Robby, and they were low 2:11 laps. ;)

To your point though, the car was not competitive compared to the Stooge's car, which is basically built to Supermiata spec. If you want your miata, of any year, to compete in GP3, go build a Supermiata.

The 29 car did start as a spec miata, but it was running a header and CAI. No idea of actaul WHP. Everything else was SM spec, and running 205 ZII's on 7" 13lb SM wheels.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby xk150fhc » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:03 am

We lost our 2.5 motor early at Heartland Park. Our spare is a 2.2, so we will be joining you in GP4.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby RocksteadyRacing » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:26 am

A 1.8 can and has been very competitive in GP3. Go look at Laminar Flow, Bill ?? (Minion Car), Sector Purple, etc. All SM cars that are piloted by great drivers. For High Plains, The old SM lap record is 2:09 in an NA. That's on hoosiers in 2009 so a decent street tire should be in the mid to low teens consistently.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby ebwolf » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:13 pm

RaceJRP: Sorry, I got my story wrong. Nice fast laps!

But past performance is not an indication of future results. Lemonata took first place in GP2 at MAM in 2014:

https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/3210510#byClass

Does that mean the car is competitive in GP2 now? If Steve Ott comes out in the Miata he drove the record lap in, will he be competitive in GP3? Lemonata took first in the 24@5280 last year but that's because GP4 was more of a race by attrition. Now that we've gotten the car to finish races reliably, we'd like to see some actual competition on track! We'd also like to have enough numbers in GP4 to actually qualify for contingencies.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby lifeisgood! » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:00 pm

Last year we took our Chumpcar stockish '96 Miata out to the 24, and ran the piss out of it to get to a 2.14 (most laps were more like 2:18s). Other cars in the class were quite a bit faster. What you are seeing is a small rulebook and people are figuring out how to game it or at least improve cars around it. The same thing happens in every series. Chumpcar went down the dark hole of increasing the rules to the point where everyone complains about the size of the rulebook. But they are trying to keep the playing field even. AER said F it, and the races don't really mean much in the series. Lucky Dog is closer to WRL in having a very small rulebook, leaving a lot to interpretation and speed creep as well. I think this is the natural progression of things in racing.

I'm on the Chumpcar Board of Directors now, full disclosure, but I was not going to bring my 1.8 back to WRL because I didn't want to invest the money it would have taken to be competitive. (I've never even heard of superMiata). But after a recent Chump race I drank the coolaid and am now building a 2.4 Ecotec Miata. Sure, it will be classed in GP2, but it should be more competitive in the class than the old one was in GP3. Contemplating racing it next April at High Plains assuming there is race then.

Back to the point-the series needs to value add SuperMiata stuff, which grows the rulebook, or potentially change all the class specs to push more cars down. But if you do, have you also just pushed the Stooges down to GP4?! A conundrum.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby red0 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:03 pm

I had the best race ever against a Miata last year at NCM in GP2. At the end of the race it was a 1.5 hour battle where the cars never got more than 10 seconds apart and were probably on average 1 second apart in that hour and a half. They had FTD for the entire field including GP1, and they could really wheel that car.

We ran our first race in GP3 with an LS motor, and then decided to go VTEC and move to a more fun class being GP2. The racing against Ronnie Phelps, the E46s, the Green E30, 4CGM, TBR, etc. etc. has been epic. I think GP2 is the most fun class. If you are really fast in GP1, you aren't racing many cars. If you are a faster team in GP2, you race the top cars in GP2 and the bottom cars in GP1.

I had some EPIC battles in GP2 in the last 2 years of WRL.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby ebwolf » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:02 pm

And that's why we are building a new car, targeting GP2. It's cheaper/easier to build a car from scratch than try to improve Lemonata to reach the same performance level. However, Lemonata has been a great learning platform and we will continue to race the car. It just would be nice to have someone to race against!
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby RocksteadyRacing » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:25 pm

red0 wrote:...move to a more fun class being GP2. The racing against Ronnie Phelps, the E46s, the Green E30, 4CGM, TBR, etc. etc. has been epic. I think GP2 is the most fun class. If you are really fast in GP1, you aren't racing many cars. If you are a faster team in GP2, you race the top cars in GP2 and the bottom cars in GP1.


Respectfully disagree on who has the most fun/competition. No disrespect to any of those teams. Those cars, their captains, etc. are all well prepared and thought out machines, but GP3 typically has a tighter faster lap grouping and is usually very similar in lap times to GP2, to the point where mid to back marker GP2 are stuck in GP3 traffic. Often times a GP3 car would be in the hunt for a GP2 podium based on laps.

However, I will add that if you are GP2 you are never racing anyone but GP2, or GP3 on GP3, etc. The rest of the cars are details that must be dealt with while navigating the race. If there is a "similar paced but not in your class" GP# car it typically only causes frustration for both cars, because passing each other is difficult but ultimately meaningless. Both cars are holding each other up. Please don't "race" us if aren't in our class.

TANGENT: I don't understand the desire to build faster and faster machines. Build a faster enterprise. The faster your machine gets, the more everything costs. Maintenance, consumables, fuel, etc. Build an enterprise that maximizes the details you can control (pit stops, spares, hospitality, etc.). You are still going to face those same issue regardless of speed, but when you blunder a pitstop in GTO, it might cost you a lap or two, GP4 may only bruise your ego.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby lifeisgood! » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:04 am

Hmmm don't race us if you are not in our class? Look, at a race people should...race. If I'm in GP2 and a GP1 car is not really much faster than me, then work for it or stay behind. I don't believe anything should be given unless a much faster car appears. Then I'll do a point by and watch it disappear in front of me. The concept of letting different classes through just because is foreign to me. When you let someone pass, you give up speed and track position. The exception is the passing and re-passing to a certain degree. If that is slowing both drivers down, then let the other car go. Maybe. :)
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby red0 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:36 am

RocksteadyRacing wrote:
red0 wrote:...move to a more fun class being GP2. The racing against Ronnie Phelps, the E46s, the Green E30, 4CGM, TBR, etc. etc. has been epic. I think GP2 is the most fun class. If you are really fast in GP1, you aren't racing many cars. If you are a faster team in GP2, you race the top cars in GP2 and the bottom cars in GP1.


Respectfully disagree on who has the most fun/competition. No disrespect to any of those teams. Those cars, their captains, etc. are all well prepared and thought out machines, but GP3 typically has a tighter faster lap grouping and is usually very similar in lap times to GP2, to the point where mid to back marker GP2 are stuck in GP3 traffic. Often times a GP3 car would be in the hunt for a GP2 podium based on laps.

However, I will add that if you are GP2 you are never racing anyone but GP2, or GP3 on GP3, etc. The rest of the cars are details that must be dealt with while navigating the race. If there is a "similar paced but not in your class" GP# car it typically only causes frustration for both cars, because passing each other is difficult but ultimately meaningless. Both cars are holding each other up. Please don't "race" us if aren't in our class.

TANGENT: I don't understand the desire to build faster and faster machines. Build a faster enterprise. The faster your machine gets, the more everything costs. Maintenance, consumables, fuel, etc. Build an enterprise that maximizes the details you can control (pit stops, spares, hospitality, etc.). You are still going to face those same issue regardless of speed, but when you blunder a pitstop in GTO, it might cost you a lap or two, GP4 may only bruise your ego.


Many of the races I was at last year had the overall winner from GP2, and most of the overall fast times for all classes were from GP2 as well. I think the evidence is pretty solid that GP2 is the most competitive class.

In the case of Hondas, going faster is much cheaper for maintenance costs, consumables, etc. Non vtec motors are for getting groceries, and just blow up if you try to race them hard. They are expensive to maintain, and costly in general.
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Re: GP3 vs GP4

Postby ebwolf » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:52 am

The main driver for us to build a faster car is that there is no competition in GP4. And the jump from GP4 to GP3 is significant. That's why I'd like to see some of the slower, non-competitive GP3 cars reclassed into GP4. Give us some competition and give them a chance!

One suggestion I recently heard was to run the Saturday race with classes fixed based on the current PWR formula. And then use the results as "qualifying" for the Sunday race.
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