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The future of Champ

The future of Champ

Postby Flatout » February 19th, 2014, 9:46 am

With this season just over half completed in the East we are quickly running out of drivers due to injuries. In just about all the wrecks, speed was a common denominator. The Champ class has simply become too fast. The sleds accelerate, corner and enter the corners as fast as the 600 sleds of just a couple of years ago that were abandoned because they too were too fast. The threshold between acceptable and "too fast" seems to be the 100 mph mark. Back in 95 when the motors were upped to 440 from 340 36 mm carbs was thought to be enough to keep the speeds in check. Then it was discovered that even 36 was too big so 34 mm round slides were adopted. Well now even 34 mm carbs do not hold back the power output and the speeds again have crept over 100 mph on a lot of tracks. It is time we make a decision as to how we are going to bring the speeds down without A) breaking the bank B) taking the competitiveness out of the sport and C) making the show boring for the fans. We also want to keep the drivers we have and attract more drivers by making it a lot safer. We also want to show the insurance companies that we are addressing the problem so that we can continue to keep the sport alive.
Ok how do we do it? There is talk of going to smaller carbs. Basically this will be a de-tune to the existing engines. Cheap but not much fun for the engine builders.
There is talk of restricting the carbides and studs. Basically this will force the drivers to slow for the corners but does not address the acceleration or top speed issues and may make the sleds less safe in an emergency.
Then there is talk of reducing the displacement by sleeving the existing engines to 340cc. This is the route I favour because it means that the engines will be "full race engines" but just less hp. Change the name simply to "Pro Champ" or F1. The only rule change in the book would be 34cc versus 440 cc as engine displacement.

I know there will be people that sneer at this saying they are fine the way they are but seriously something has to be done before we lose more drivers to injury or worse.

I am quite worried about the future if we don't do something. Any constructive input will be appreciated

Howard Gifford
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby PDRacing » February 19th, 2014, 11:29 am

Hey Howie,

Just a thought, if speed limiting is a factor, is there a possibility if you take
in to account what drive clutch and size of drivers, you could impose a Max gear ratio each sled is allowed to have.

The gear ratio, would in fact limit top speed obtainable, and yes some teams could try to increase rpms but that would be a minimal variable.

Just an idea,
Richard Scroggs #13 EPT
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby dimanche » February 19th, 2014, 12:40 pm


You bringing sled to Eganville? If so, who is driving?

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Re: The future of Champ

Postby Spy-Guy 74 » February 19th, 2014, 4:10 pm

Howard at this time I really don't have an answer what should be the future of champ class. For me it's become more exciting than even the old F-1 class and that's always been my favorite class. Imagine if there was 35 or 40 sleds showing up in champ class now, as there were back in the F-1 days. I truly love all motorsports, but there's nothing more thrilling or exciting as champ class at this time for me.

The drawback I see going to say a 340cc engine package would be for the bigger driver, I don't know if they could compete with less power. At this time to me they're at more of a disadvantage than ever before. The sleds are so hooked up now it seems even the little guys have no trouble wrestling the sleds around the corners. A few years ago it seemed Dustin had an advantage, more muscle, more weight and was able to hold the sled down better in the corners. After watching the last two years I don't think either of those two factors are an advantage anymore, when they ran the Formula 600 class it showed he could out muscle the smaller fellows. With the 440 power plant he can't and I can't see how a 340 would work for a fellow like him.

I wouldn't really be in favor of a spec size of gears either for everyone. I guess if there is change, I would like to see it left up to the drivers or owners of the sleds in the class. We do need to get more new involvement in the class, or things are going to suffer in the near future. I would really like to see higher numbers in say a semi-pro champ class. Champ class is an elite class with many great drivers and tuners, it's not really something to jump into without getting your feet wet first. I'll be the first to say, I don't have the answer for the future, but I sure don't want to see it go away either because something wasn't done to preserve it!!!
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 19th, 2014, 5:48 pm

I agree that speeds are slightly too high but after watching a lot of these crashes it's obvious to me that corner speed and over aggressive handling abilities is more to blame. The majority of the bad crashes happen when racers just lightly bump into each other or from something throwing the driver off balance such as blowing a belt or avoiding another sled.
These sleds are too "stuck" to the race track. If we had carbides with a 50 degree angle instead of 60 the sleds would be able to slide more when incidental bumping occurs or a belt blows.
I don't think we need to limit traction in the rear because racers will automatically reduce rear traction slightly to match the front after just a little testing.
No matter what rules are made regarding aggressive driving there is always going to be some of it and there will always be blown belts upsetting the drivers balance it's up to us to change the these sleds SLIGHTLY to make the racing safer for all.
The cheapest/easiest way to reduce straightaway speed would be a pressed in restrictor of around 32mm in the carbs we already have. John Hooper
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby Flatout » February 19th, 2014, 11:12 pm

John I am assuming you mean 70 degrees rather than 50 degrees. Yes this was an idea I had as well last year to adopt the 70 degrees for all classes to make them all less aggressive. I was shot down!!!
I like the idea of reducing HP with a restrictor plate but I think 2 mm won't do much especially if you still allow boost bottles. The boost bottle sort of turns the carbs into a 2 barrel for each cylinder. I will put an engine on my dyno with 30 and 32 mm restrictors and se what the h.p. drop actually is with and without a boost bottle.

Another thing we need to slow the champ sleds down is better fuel testing and more severe penalties for fuel cheats. This is my first year doing tech and there are some teams that pass the standard Digatron and ceric acid tests but have pretty noxious smelling fuel.
I have reagent tests coming that can detect for additives that pass the other two tests.
Perhaps we need a spec fuel that is sold at the track.
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby Ovals Forever » February 19th, 2014, 11:38 pm

Forget the restrictor or smaller carbs, take away carbide and traction and the speeds will go down, the sleds will be less aggressive witch in itself will make them safer.

Bottom line this sport is dangerous, always has been and always will be, at 70 mph your odds are not good when you hit cold or half frozen hay bales, plywood, or wooden poles, or get hit by another sled, the human body is not designed
to hit shlt like that at those speeds.

Every form of motor racing except for motorcycle and snowmobile racing have have become much safer, roll cages on sprint cars, enclosed cockpits on race boats, safer bearers, safer racecars etc etc etc but in our sport we have helmets, pads and hay bales, we all know how dangerous it is, the drivers except it, the fans love to watch it, but even after all the bad injuries, the deaths of Jim Adema, Sammy Sessions, Jerry Bunke, Jim hertzig, Flip Mervin, Dan Devalt, and im sure there is more, every time someone gets hurt we act like holly sht this sport is to dangerous we need to do something, we need to slow them down, well the truth is yes it is dangerous it has been for over 40 years, and they have been going 100 mph for at least the last 30 and as long as we are running at theses speeds with nothing more than a helmet a few pads and hay bales sht is going to happen.

I'm all for safety it breaks my heart when someone gets seriously hurt or worse, I am not one that goes to a race of any kind hoping to see a crash but I honestly don't know how you can make this sport safe, there are things that I believe would help but it is never going to be safe.
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby Mr.Pipe » February 20th, 2014, 12:38 am

I agree that taking some carbide angle away would be a relatively painless way to slow the corner speed of the entire group, and also make the sleds easier to drive.
Having a gear limit would be a real no-no, as it would only cause higher belt speeds, complicating the current belt reliability issues.
I'd really like to see the belt problems put behind us for good, so there could be less sleds stopped on the race tracks...that's got to improve safety.
The 32mm carb idea would help a bit, It would take the edge off the power numbers, but might be a temporary solution if keeping them below 100 mph is the goal.
I'm all for stricter fuel rules enforcement or anything that keeps cheating fuel away from our sport, but I'm not convinced that the champ class is having a cheating fuel problem right now.
What fuel tests were done on the Champ qualifiers at Alex?? Watcher?
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 20th, 2014, 6:31 am

Howie you are correct on the 70 degree angle, I was upside down. There have been a few of us that have suggested the less aggressive carbides for a while and been shot down BUT now that we are really lacking driver numbers because of injuries we would be FOOLS to not take this opportunity to make our sport safer before it's too late.
I really like your plan for stricter fuel testing, i have also noticed certain sleds have funny smelling exhaust that is not created from anything normal. John H.
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Re: The future of Champ

Postby diskvalve » February 20th, 2014, 8:43 am

I like the 70 degree carbide idea. The carbides will not penetrate as deep, reducing the rutting and possibly also the added bonus of making the ice surface last better .. This idea will make the sleds push a bit and the teams will reduce the amount of studs to balance the handling, making them handle looser.. This combination will make the sleds overall easier to drive , more forgiving in sudden moves and make high siding less likely .. I also like the idea of smaller carbs that will take the edge off the peak horsepower and top speed without hurting much performance out of the hole and exiting corners .. I think to start going to VM 32 Mikunis will be the best route.. They can be purchased new for under 100.00 each and use the same tuning components as the existing VM 34 mikunis.. mike gifford
Last edited by diskvalve on February 20th, 2014, 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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