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Thread: Global Rallycross 2012

  1. #106

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    First off, I want to apologize to Rally OBXT, I was being a bit of a dink. Sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by tbtstt View Post
    I would argue that when Foust and Pastrana went head-to-head in the US (on the rally stages), Pastrana was in a works car whereas Foust was not (if I recall - I await correction from you guys on that one!), so I would say that comparison is a little skewed.
    While I do agree, The SRTUSA cars development back then (when they ran the GD body style) was nothing like now IMO. Foust though was running on the Rockstar team with Andy Pinker, seems Rockstar has been more than willing to spend the dough.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbtstt View Post
    Subaru stuff
    I think one thing to consider is that Subaru's aren't rallycrossed for a fairly specific reason; they can't physically make as much power at the end of the day as many other modern 2.0L engines, and they (for the longest time) didn't have a gearbox that could stand up to 600hp. From my understanding, this is why Subaru's are NEVER rallycrossed at the pointy end of the field in Europe, because they just aren't competitive. I'm curious as to how SRTUSA got around this, or if they didn't get around it and are just hoping they can put in a good show with good drivers. I think that unless they are running at the same power levels as the other rallycross cars, that they won't do so hot this year...


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  3. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post

    I think one thing to consider is that Subaru's aren't rallycrossed for a fairly specific reason; they can't physically make as much power at the end of the day as many other modern 2.0L engines, and they (for the longest time) didn't have a gearbox that could stand up to 600hp. From my understanding, this is why Subaru's are NEVER rallycrossed at the pointy end of the field in Europe, because they just aren't competitive. I'm curious as to how SRTUSA got around this, or if they didn't get around it and are just hoping they can put in a good show with good drivers. I think that unless they are running at the same power levels as the other rallycross cars, that they won't do so hot this year...

    Has the curb weight of all the cars been listed somewhere? Last year it just seemed like that Skoda was so much smaller/lighter than both the Fiesta and subarus (but especially the subarus) that is just took off so much faster from the start....equal power or not, that thing was just so nimble.



    this year will definitely be interesting for the SRTUSA rallycross cars....I got to tour VTSC this winter with the Sr. Tech that I know over there....I got the full tour EXCEPT for the one room where they were building/testing engines.....secret stuff, no tours, no public allowed

  4. #108
    Forum Moderator Rally OBXT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    First off, I want to apologize to Rally OBXT, I was being a bit of a dink. Sorry
    Don't sweat it bud.

  5. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by UP2MTNS View Post
    I got the full tour EXCEPT for the one room where they were building/testing engines.....secret stuff, no tours, no public allowed
    Considering Crawford couldn't make a 600hp motor for Verdier... I think Rocket has one car that dyno'd 450whp, but that's without the restrictor. I wonder how wizz-bangy these motors actually are (probably insane).

    I absolutely do agree though, shorter wheelbase = better. Probably a big reason for the shift from the Focus to the Fiesta, not only because of the WRC but it "appears" the rallycross Fiesta is significantly shorter than the Focus.

    I'm just extremely pumped to see this taking off, hopefully it's not a one hit wonder. Too bad the first event happens same weekend as Rocky or I'd fly out

  6. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby45 View Post
    EDIT(My wording was terrible):. What Travis does have is A.D.D. in the sense that he is not stuck on a particular type of motor racing so he never takes the time to practice one for a period of time in which to use his talent to the full abilities. If he would stick to one type of racing you could see his talent actually show but he never does so he tends to get a little bendy. Shoot I can't blame him though, I grew up wanting to race everything. If I had the money I would race everything and be happy doing it.
    Yeah I agree, especially with the last line and its the same thing I would say to those who knock Block as well. If the opportuinity was presented to me, there is no way I would say no.

    At the level Pastrana is entering these sports though, he needs to be fully commited to get a result. Flitting between stuff may be satisfying to him but, to me, its unlikely to yield consistently good results.
    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    While I do agree, The SRTUSA cars development back then (when they ran the GD body style) was nothing like now IMO. Foust though was running on the Rockstar team with Andy Pinker, seems Rockstar has been more than willing to spend the dough.
    Yeah, thats a fair point. Thinking back I'm sure the Foust car was a Vermont prepared one, wasn't it? And given that they basically are SRT USA, thats as good as a works car!

    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    I think one thing to consider is that Subaru's aren't rallycrossed for a fairly specific reason; they can't physically make as much power at the end of the day as many other modern 2.0L engines, and they (for the longest time) didn't have a gearbox that could stand up to 600hp.
    Although I agree that there aren't as many big BHP examples of the EJ engine as there are say, YB engines, there are competition cars in the UK and overseas making 700+ BHP from EJ20 engines. Rallycross only requires 550 - 600, so I disagree that the engine is unsuitable for use in rallycross.

    The gearbox issue just means they weren't talking to the right people. None of the works cars in the ERC use factory developed gearboxes. They are either developed in conjunction with a specialist or just bought directly in from an outside source. The gearboxes in the OMSE Fiestas for example is a Maktrak item. The WRC teams are exactly the same, some components on the car may carry the manufacturers name, but they will have been developed by an external source.

    This is the advantage the Fords have in the US at the moment: they have a history in rallycross and know what is needed and where to get it from. Dodge clearly aren'st stupid and they have figured this out, hence why they went to OMSE for the build of the Dart.
    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    From my understanding, this is why Subaru's are NEVER rallycrossed at the pointy end of the field in Europe, because they just aren't competitive.
    Per Eklund ran a (successful) Impreza in the ERC in the mid 90's and Patrick Van Mechelen has run a GDB Impreza in Belgium in the last few years, taking wins with that car.

    The problem is, is that there is no works backed Subaru effort in the ERC. There is a huge amount of knowledge with regards to Ford, Saab, VAG etc. engine tuning and car development in Europe, plus the Ford and Citroen efforts have extensive WRC development to draw from as well. I think its worth pointing out that the first couple of years the Mk.6 Fiestas were run in the ERC the results were patchy, but they improved over time and, once Ford themselves endorsed the OMSE team, the cars have improved immensely.

    If Subaru were to back (and obviously fund) an ERC effort, then I'm sure the Impreza would be capable of becoming a winning car. But for those non-works drivers in the European Championship who are looking at cars, its makes more financial sense to pick one of those manufacturers with an known history than it does to pour money into the development of a completely new car.
    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    I'm curious as to how SRTUSA got around this, or if they didn't get around it and are just hoping they can put in a good show with good drivers. I think that unless they are running at the same power levels as the other rallycross cars, that they won't do so hot this year...
    They talked to the right people. The engines in last years car were, as far as I'm aware, all built by an ex-Prodrive engineer and it looks like they have taken some outside consultation on the design of the car as well, as last years GRC Impreza looked far closer to the current build specification of similar ERC machinery.

    As was mentioned earlier in the thread I think the difference is clear to see already. Watch the coverage from X-Games 16, then the same again from X-Games 17 and the Imprezas, although cosmetically similar, are like two different cars (which, under the skin, they no doubt are). Higgins and Mirra both got good results and, although not officially part of the works effort, Pastrana was fast in his Scoob as well (and that was with the hand control issue).

    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    I absolutely do agree though, shorter wheelbase = better. Probably a big reason for the shift from the Focus to the Fiesta, not only because of the WRC but it "appears" the rallycross Fiesta is significantly shorter than the Focus.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Shorter wheel base cars are more agile and, for rallycross, thats obviously a good thing. However the short wheelbase cars can be skittish, especially in the wet (and especially with 550 BHP!).

    Notable the winner of the ERC for the last three years has been a longer wheelbase car (Focus). (After yesterdays season opener though I think there is a very good chance it could be won by a short wheelbase car driven by a certain American this year... )
    "If in doubt... flat out"!

  7. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbtstt View Post
    If Subaru were to back (and obviously fund) an ERC effort, then I'm sure the Impreza would be capable of becoming a winning car.
    This is all really good info! Now I'm curious though, Ford had a factory backed team in the ERC when the Focus was being rallycrossed? I assumed that most cars that didn't descend from GroupB ones had been mainly privateer development...

  8. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    This is all really good info! Now I'm curious though, Ford had a factory backed team in the ERC when the Focus was being rallycrossed? I assumed that most cars that didn't descend from GroupB ones had been mainly privateer development...
    No, you're pretty much right. Even back in the Group B days the vast majority of the development was carried out by privateers rather than the manufacturers (some manufacturers were more helpful than others, especially as they had warehouses packed with Group B cars and parts that no one wanted!).

    MSE started off, basically, as one guy (Andreas Eriksson) with a passion for (and motorsport history with) Fords who wanting to build himself a Mk.6 Fiesta for rallycross. He partnered with Olsberg for the engine and that was the foundation for OMSE. Results came slowly and, when Eriksson opted to switch to the Mk.7 Fiesta the reputation he had, coupled with Fords desire to make a move on America with the Fiesta (via Pikes Peak and X-Games), meant they they enlisted MSE to run the programme. The "official" Ford sponsorship happened then and they have been seen as the "works" Ford team since. The number of cars they have produced has ramped up quite a bit since as they seem to be fielding more and more cars globally. I personally think the cars have made a huge leap in performance in the last 18 months as well. MSE have only ever dealt with rallycross Fiestas though.

    Kenneth Hansen Racing is seen as the other "works" team (with Citroen backing), though I note that Mtechnolgies also have Citroen Racing backing as well.

    To expand on my earlier point there are a number of specialist rallycross cars builders in Europe and it is from these that the bulk of the front running ERC machinery come from. So although they are "privateer" machines, they are produced by specialist rallycross car builders - often with extensive manufacturer history - and not just built as odd one offs. Although technologies have moved on there is a lot of dependance on tried-and-tested parts in rallycross, engines being a prime example. As long as there are engine builders producing competitive, reliable, powerplants, no one is really interested in going out an spending money (especially in the current financial climate) on something new as it will no doubt cost time and money (and Championship hopes) to do the job of whats already available. Often when a "new" car debuts in the ERC if you look closely you'll see its underpinnings will be related to another proven ERC machine.

    One of the big risks MSE took was to opt for a Duratec engine in the Mk.6 Fiesta, using the knowledge of Olsberg to overcome its weaknesses. Initially there were issues, but after perseverence, they've turned it into a very competitive engine. (I'm a little confused with regards to the engine situation with MSE now though, as I know at least some of their cars now use Mountune engines. I'm not sure if this means the Olsberg produced engines have now been dropped or if they are using a mixture of both).

    So, to clarify my earlier remark, given the situation in Europe, the only way I could see an Impreza making a big impact on a series like the ERC is if someone made a big, heavily funded, attack on it. For that you'd need an experienced rallycross car builder, an experienced Subaru engine tuner and someone to throw a lot of money their way (which, I think, could only really come from a manufacturer), hence why you'd need a "works" supported effort to really make an impact.

    With the current financial situation in I think its unlikely that any of the experienced rallycross builders will make a sudden deviation in the direction of Subaru but, a thought that has crossed my mind, is if SRTUSA manage to produce a competitive Impreza rallycross car in the US whether a European driver might be interested in bringing one over. If one comes over and starts to do well, it won't take long before more will follow...

    (Sorry, didn't mean to harp on so much, just wanted to clarify what I was trying to say )
    "If in doubt... flat out"!

  9. #113

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    Makes much more sense!

  10. #114
    Senior Dirty Member Moby45's Avatar
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    A lot of good info to read here lately. This is great and actually very helpful guys.
    "You're here for a good time.. Not a long time." -Colin Mcrae




  11. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy View Post
    Makes much more sense!
    Excellent, was hoping that chunk of text made sense!

    Well just a few weeks until this kicks off. Will be interesting to see how it goes but, at this stage, there are still a lot of unknowns with regards to the 2012 GRC season.

    Looking beyond this year I see that the dates for the 2013 Global X-Games have been annouced:

    January 24 - 27: Aspen, Colo.
    March 20 - 22: Tignes, France.
    April 18 - 21: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.
    May 9 - 12: Barcelona, Spain.
    June 27 - 30: Munich, Germany.
    August 1 - 4: Los Angeles, Calif.

    Its unconfirmed at present if the GRC will go Global at these venues, or if it will follow its own path.
    "If in doubt... flat out"!

  12. #116

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    Excuse the double post, but I bring more news: and I reckon you could even call it rather good news!

    Looks like Subaru have themselves a new rallycross team and a couple of new drivers...



    ...I wonder if this means no Higgins in the GRC in in 2012, or if he will be fielded by the SRTUSA team? (Who I imagine are running the Subaru Puma team anyway).

    Great to see Isachsen will be back in action in 2012 though, the GR Impreza should hopefully be a much more reliable platform for him this time around!
    "If in doubt... flat out"!

  13. #117
    Forum Moderator Rally OBXT's Avatar
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    Nice! Thanks for sharing!

  14. #118

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    Was kinda pissed to not see Higgins! Thought for sure he was driving the blue/white/yellow car. Bucky Lasek?! Really?!!!

  15. #119
    Forum Moderator Rally OBXT's Avatar
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    ^^ Remember, to be an american rally / rallycross driver, you just need to be popular, not good.

  16. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by lminette View Post
    Was kinda pissed to not see Higgins! Thought for sure he was driving the blue/white/yellow car. Bucky Lasek?! Really?!!!
    Yeah, the choice of Lasek surprised me as well. I'm sure there was a snippet of video of him at Dirtfish a while back, but I didn't connect that and the GRC. Guess he's another good name for bringing support in, but what about results?...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rally OBXT View Post
    ^^ Remember, to be an american rally / rallycross driver, you just need to be popular, not good.
    I guess he won't mean as much to you guys in the US, but Isachsen won the ERC title in 2009, 2010 and 2011, so I think he is worthy of Higgins seat.

    Having said that Higgins may still drive the GRC (or at least X-Games) under the SRT USA banner (I know its basically the same team behind it all), but the main focus seems to be on him winning the RA title again. They say Mirra is "leading" the rallycross team, but it was Higgins who was most responsible for setup and development of the rallycross car last year. I can't imagine they'll turn that responsibility over to the still relatively inexperienced Mirra.

    Its going to be interesting to see what results Sverre can get out of the Impreza.
    "If in doubt... flat out"!


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