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New Champ option ?

Re: New Champ option ?

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 22nd, 2018, 9:19 am

TJ,
You are probably correct!
Just because Champ has lost over 50% of the entries it had during a similar time period that F-500 has seen massive growth doesn't mean anything.
If we just leave everything alone we won't need to worry about it much longer, we can just go ice fishing instead!
The rules some of us will be proposing soon will NOT eliminate current sleds but will require some changes {like getting rid of titanium studs} to cut costs along with some common sense rules that will make the sleds easier to drive AND tune.
We will also be proposing less exotic {expensive} engine packages that will be cheaper and more readily available.
I prefer fully modified engines BUT I realize that the majority of younger racers that are considering moving into the premier class overwhelmingly agree that less exotic, less expensive engines are the way to go.
Yes we would loose a couple of the current teams BUT the number of younger racers that would finally see an achievable path to the top would far outweigh the couple teams that MIGHT quit. John H.
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby FmrCrew » February 22nd, 2018, 10:17 pm

John you are comparing apples and oranges with Champ and F500..there will always be more entries in the lower classes, only 40 NASCARs but thousands of late models, it is the premier class it is going to be expensive and less sleds than stock racing...so if you eliminate all exotic parts will you make ONLY OEM clutches legal?

I agree, If you motor builders can make a new 600cc motor with the same HP and same torque that is a very viable option, but I promise you they will end up costing the same as what they have today after the first year...Always does..programmed ECU will be at a premium price! If you can get the good ones!! Happens in sno-cross in Lites and Sport class, want a Bender ECU and clutch kit?? cost you $25,000.00 Sport class!! Lites class!!

I seriously doubt anyone in Champ pays for Ti studs, all sponsored...

I would think we would focus on the SAFETY of the class FIRST.. mandiatory leathers, helmet lights, less sleds on grid, better sled lights, try to eliminate snow dust (ideas?) ....No insurance no racing.

400 Lbs weight rule, I promise you everyone will STILL make there sleds as light as possible and just add Lead or ever buy tungsten?? I have $25.00 per pound with out any machining..

Has anyone mentioned at ERWC Vintage 440 SM there was 50 entries?? Class has NO Rules basically...pretty much open motors 440cc, open chassis...You have built some of those motors..some of those 440 FA super mod motors cost more than any champ motor!!

With out Series Sponsorship it will die, no one will race for only entry fees, look at the NON TRL Cup races...This is the REAL ISSUE...

The best riders with the best tuners will still always win, no matter what the rules are, just a fact.

TJ
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 23rd, 2018, 9:23 am

One thing we agree on is your final statement. It doesn't matter what the rules are, the same teams will run up front.
The thing you completely overlook is the fact that if you don't make the competitive equipment affordable AND READILY ACCESIBLE for new racers to enter the upper classes it is doomed!
The front running teams do not need help or changes but if we don't take some major steps to help encourage new racers to move up it will continue to die.
THIS IS NOT NASCAR! never will be. We have a very limited number of racers that want to go out and brave the elements and an even smaller number of racers that can afford a competitive current Champ sled even IF they were more readily available.
Expensive equipment is only one of the problems but if you really believe that expensive throw-away items like titanium studs do not hurt our sport you are truly crazy! The fact that some front runners don't pay for them just makes it WORSE in the eyes of a new racer. You do however have a good point with the longevity of a carbon fiber hood.
Expensive ECU's will not be a problem if we are smart enough to stay with carbs., reprogramming a cdi box is cheap and easy.
The vintage classes are still doing well FOR NOW but they will experience the same drop in numbers before long because of rules that are too open and eventually a few race teams will spend the time and money required to dominate under these rules.
IT'S ALL ABOUT PERCEPTION from the newer racers point of view. If the newer racer can see an affordable path to possibly get to the front by buying the same stuff he sees winning he will give it a shot BUT when he looks at our current Champ class and sees things like $5 titanium studs that are a throw away item or a $5k data acquisition system or a finicky, exotic engine package that is only available from a couple sources AND then there is the intimidation factor of competing against tuners like Mike Houle, Durmont Wahl and myself. it's easy to see why the majority move to F-500 or vintage. We cannot fix all the problems but with some common sense we could increase the numbers. John H.
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby FmrCrew » February 24th, 2018, 9:42 am

John we agree on more than one item, but how we get there is the disagreement...

The use of Ti studs may not be as big as you think, I know champ teams that DO NOT use them as they don't hook up as well..I found the same thing too...yes we could eliminate them...

All of the parts I make are available to any racer, as I don't sponsor any driver with free parts...Most of my parts make it easy for sled builders as the builder make 1 part that needs a lot of fabrication, send it to me we can make that part for less than he can make it for, because of the labor and time to make all the parts out of aluminum...Plus ours don't bend or break...Thats my defense about high end parts not avaliable to all racers...Trust me I don't do this for the money, I don't make money on champ parts...the hoods should be $5,000.00, with the process we do, or more from other carbon fiber companies...

I don't know how you motor builders will be able to keep a handle on the ECU issue I see forth coming...The stock ECU from the manufacture can only be programmed from the manufacture, thus some will get better ones than others, and thats your point on how to keep it equal!! The ECU is the main performance gain on a stock motor, and it will be a HUGE difference between teams...I know and have contacted people who can open up stock ECU and write programs so that anyone can buy the program and adjust the curve on their box...maybe hand out pre programed boxes???

I would like to talk about the safety of the sport!!! lets not have riders getting hurt!! I feel that full leather race suits should be mandatory!! Yes they are expensive and NO leather manufacture will make your for free, cuz thats what all will say is the race suits are free, I don't want to pay!!! Foolish thinking...I will work with riders interested and help them find the right contact so they can get some custom leather made!!

tail lights need to addressed..I was at ERWC and watched the sleds go down the back stretch there are some sleds that you can not see the tail light!!! fact!! I wold lie to see helmet lights too!! I seen some riders chose to wear them, very inexpensive, like 10.00..

Snow Dust!! Here is my biggest concern and I would hope everyone helps make this issue better and safer...We need teams to help with this too...I would like to propose and deflector of sorts on the outside of the ski to deflect the ice chips back down...We also need a softer type material in front of the mud flap to absorb some snow dust...All speculation for sure but we need everyone to help with this...

HERE is the the biggest benefit from the reduction of snow dust!!! Champ Needs a better TV/Live stream...Nice to have sledknockers but the program, as is, will not work for attracting sponsors...If you watch Sno Cross live feed they have a great live feed with the SAME qualified announcers every week...I have played this game for many years of finding sponsor, so I know what I am talking about!!! Every sponsor needs a ROI or why spend the money!! Hard to sell a sponsor on a race no one can see!!! mainly because no one watches!! If Champ does only 1 race on real TV it will benefit all racers and teams...the costs are about 100K to produce a race...We need to find that title sponsor!!! If Tommy leaves Champ will be done as we know it.. If any of you racers are reading this please send Timmy a Thank you for all he has done for this sport!!! How in the world is Tommy Liper not in the Hall of Fame???? I remember back in the early 90s we had every race on ESPN.. sponsors where handing out 20-30K to teams!!!

John here is where we disagree, I think the Premier series in Oval racing should not be a SPEC series!! This is where the best riders, best tuners, best teams and like guys you the best minds play and race...I don't want to see it become a STOCK series...Look at Sno cross pros went all stock per the manufactures request, 12-15 sleds!!!! Look at Vintage ERWC 440 SM. open rules 50 sleds, let people, builders, aftermarket, racers play!!! trust me I have been around racing for over 45 years and seen this movie before, stock rules cost more money!!!!

Just read about last nights Champ final...Sounds like there where 3 different leaders and was a great race to watch, so the competition is GREAT in Champ!!! it is hard to run up front, so it will always be hard for new racers to be competitive for a few years, thats just fact...

TJ
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby Spy-Guy 74 » February 24th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Reality Check We had ten sleds racing yesterday in Champ, today eight sleds racing. Yoour not going to get a National TV deal with those kind of numbers. For a TV deal you need factory involement to make it happen, we don't have that and really today it's not even close. I was hoping Factory 600 was going to get them all on board again, but it didn't happen for some reason. Present time if you got all four manufactures in the same room, they would agree to even only one brand of motor in Champ Class.

If we don't get the new rules corrected this time, trust me Champ Class becomes just a new class at Pond Races. That comment is not ment to slam pond racing , but really Champ class should not have to go that route.

Snow Dust is a problem, but I believe adding sweepers have improved the conditions. If you have extreme cold, with very little wind your always going to have snow dust become a issue. TJ I think leather will be required, for insurance reasons and most likely more than just Champ drivers too. Most likely at least below the waist in all classes in the very near future.

I can see at least three or four drivers getting out of champ in the next two years, so we need to do something to create higher numbers of entries. Pro-Lite will not bring on the required numbers alone, somethings need to change to bring in more racers.

A four hundred pound weight rule would help, you can add up to 15 pounds of lead to make weight. Make it a requirement that you can only add it directly under the seat. Lead sheeting

No 106 inch tracks, try to find a series sponsorship from track manufacture

No Titanium studs, if nobody has them they become a moot point

Less Data on sleds Yes some will complain, but show where it has created more racers entering the field. I say not

I would rather see chain drives instead of belt, but really wouldn't matter to me either way

Speeds are to high on the larger tracks, it needs to be addressed

Sleds are to hooked up present time, changing that will help bring down speeds

Leave the class a carb class, mapping will make more problems down the road if you go the other route


I've always loved innovation, but really that's what has hurt champ class the most. If we had sleds that were used when Champ became the premier class I think we would see better numbers that we have today. I think the racing wold be just as good too, maybe even better.
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 24th, 2018, 4:57 pm

TJ,
I would like nothing better than wide open rules but I have not found a single young racer that wants anything to do with a rule package like that. If you talk with some of the better running F-500 guys you will find they all feel Champ is too expensive, too hi-tech and maybe too dangerous as well. We need to address all 3 of these issues.
We know there are very few experienced tuners and this is not going to get better. All of the current top tuners have been doing this stuff since they were teenagers {over 40 years for me}. There are almost no young snowmobile gearheads coming thru the ranks so we need to gear our rules so an average tuner can at least be competitive or they will not enter the class. When racers look at vintage it appears much less hi-tech so they THINK they can be more competitive than trying Champ and the corner speeds are slower so it appears safer. John H.
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby FmrCrew » February 24th, 2018, 11:18 pm

John as I have said over and over the lack of tuners is a real issue! Looking at the big picture most if not all the best tuners have raced and did it with out the aid of data...I refuse to use data on my karting team for the simple reason the driver/rider needs to feel what is going on, not rely on a computer showing data...Seat of the pants is what makes a great racer, not a little black box...If used, only for confirmation. period..

I just don't see today younger riders wanting to learn and pay there dues over the years learning there craft..look at all the Champ riders, all have been racing there whole life since 10 years old!! they all paid there dues by getting there butts kicked for many years!!! I don't know if todays generation/riders will stay around for 3-5 years before being competitive...Thats what it takes in all forms of racing....

There is not simple fix, but one thing for sure a huge change will not fix it...The racing today in Champ is as good as ever with 10 sleds can win!! I don't see any other class with that deep of a field...

On the TV/live stream idea, (WoO has Dirt Vision, that type)) thats how you build a class..Offer a good live stream/TV package the racers will want to be in the class!! Thats how you get more entries..Manufactures are not needed, and will hurt the series, they always do...We all can debate for pages and pages...The rules are set and still the same for next year...still time to do some testing on everyone ideas and come to a conclusion...

TJ
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 25th, 2018, 9:58 am

I believe a well implemented mentoring program could help, kinda like what I have done with Wanderschieds, Vanstrydonk and Lagoy, where I not only build their engines but I help with every aspect of setup.
Typically guys like myself or Mike Houle tend to keep a lot of our best secrets for a select race team or maybe 2 that we are working closely with.
Maybe it is time for us to more widely share info with anybody that buys a chassis or engine from us.
I still feel very strongly that cutting costs and slowing corner speeds slightly would really help.
Obviously TV coverage would be huge but until we get a full field of racers that is unlikely to happen.
There is a relatively easy way to reduce snow dust BUT it is very time consuming and pricey. It would not be practical at all for qualifying heats but could be done for the finals. We would need to do some testing but there is no doubt that if you use some kind of NON-FREEZING liquid such as a mixture of urea and non toxic antifreeze and sprayed a light covering over the entire track the problem could be all but eliminated. Problems are expense and being very careful to disperse just enough to wet the entire surface but NO PUDDLES. It would take some testing under actual bad conditions but certainly could be done for finals. John H.
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby tp176 » February 26th, 2018, 6:33 am

TJ,

Some of what you write about is there already - it won't make their sled faster so they won't buy it. The brushes on the skis have some effect on snow dust. The helmet lights that I brought to the meeting in Milwaukee are ORANGE, not red. They are currently not $10 - ANY helmet light HAS to be orange. No one has made one except me. When they are mandatory I can get the price down to reasonable. ECU's are programmed to what YOU ask for, not what the manufacturer thinks you should get. This is not a well fed venue such as NASCAR Cup, John is right, it is a limited pool. And I'm sorry to say TJ, NASCAR Cup IS A SPEC CLASS. Can't deny that one. It certainly is not the NASCAR I grew up in with Evans.

Tony P
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Re: New Champ option ?

Postby FmrCrew » February 26th, 2018, 8:27 pm

Tony, with all due respect, I was referring to NASCAR being TOP tier series, not like NASCAR it was a reference..Tony I also said there will always be more entries (John was referring to more entries in F500) in the lower classes like late model racing, as there should be, because the lower class riders may not ever be good enough, or enough funding to ever make Champ racing...just fact..

I know people think that Champ is to expensive, just as everything is, but I see most if not all the Champ teams with either. Semi, new 36'-45'ATC alum trailer that requires a dually pulling it...those all cost more than any champ sled you could build. If one wanted to use a 24 ft trailer with a F250 they could save enough to have a spare sled!! I guess spending priorities need to be taken in account when saying Champ is to expensive..

Tony, I have been in the meetings about the safety issues, and as usual not enough gets done, helmet lights where discussed 3 years ago!! Thats why I have not renewed with SMDG...I tried and spent my own funding on the brushes trying to initiate slowing down SOME of the snow dust issues...sent brush kits out no one tries them, only 1 F500 sled...We all have to be on board with safety and I don't see enough of that...Watch with the leathers, riders and dads will scream I can't afford $3,000.00 for a set of leathers because I get free suits now!!! Dam near had a huge catastrophe at Ironwood in 2017 race, I was there!!! I am so Happy Matt is doing ok now...Thank God for the riders radio..Great safety addition...We need more like that...

To grow and sustain Champ needs a great Live feed or TV...you guys are looking at it wrong, build it and they will come, meaning get the Live feed/TV and racers will show up because they can now be noted and mentioned and something for a sponsor to see and maybe activate...You will need to PAY for it for a year or 2 until it proves viable to make enough to pay for itself...Thats how media works.

We all want Champ to be around for many more years, I feel it is some of the best racing I watch!!

TJ
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