Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

Some of you may know that a rule change is in the works for the 2012 SCCA SOLO rules. The current rule for sway bars in the Stock class is that only the Front sway bar can be replaced/modified. There has been a proposal to change the rule saying that EITHER the front or the rear sway bar can be replaced/modified. This gives you the option of only changing the fsb or the only the rsb. This may sound like the greatest thing ever for our platform or for any FWD car for that matter, HOWEVER, I went through an experience that would say otherwise and leads me to rejecting this proposal.

When I first started autocrossing in 2008, I had a brand new Mazda3 Hatchback. The only suspension mod I had was a Racing Beat RSB (27mm compared the stock 19mm). I had stock wheels and tires. I loved it. Turn in was superb and the car rotated whenever I wanted it. PURE WIN!!!!
Until a friend of mine referred me to his buddy who was selling a set of used v710 (rcomps). Great price, great performance so I took them. This is where things went downhill for me and could possibly go downhill for others too. On the second event with these tires, maybe my 4th or 5th run, my car rolled over 3 times. It landed on all fours and I was okay.

Lets break this down. It rolled at around 35mph (+/-5mph) on a pivot cone turning to the right coming from a medium left. I turned the wheel at the usual point (may have been a little jerky) and the next thing I know I was upside down. The car just snapped into a roll. There was no forewarning, no indication, so sense of the car going over until it was too late.

This accident was the result of an imbalanced suspension mated with sticky tires and driver error. Novice drivers, heck even experienced drivers, make errors but we do not expect to roll the car when that happens. What happened was that the car wanted to rotate due to the RSB. The sticky tires did not allow it to and the stock soft springs and struts allowed the body to roll up to an unsafe degree and the weight of the car had nowhere else to go but up and over. Witnesses said that the rear of the car was about 5 feet off the ground. It was thrown into an airborne spin basically. Quite dramatic.

What this new proposal does is open the door for other people to have a similar imbalanced set up, legally in stock class and to possibly go through what I went through or even worse. We all know that rcomps are legal in stock class but are restricted to the size. Someone who does not have the knowledge and guidance can easily make the same mistake. I am trying to prevent that from happening.

In short, I will be writing to the SCCA rejecting this new proposal backing up my decision with my personal and detailed account of the accident. You live and learn on your own but sometimes what you learn may help others live. If you agree with me, it would be helpful if you could also voice your opinion to the SCCA: http://www.sebscca.com/

Thanks

Video: Not of the actual roll. The roll happened one the next run at the location I was at at 39 seconds. You can see the type of turn that it was. Witnesses said the inside rear had been lifting off the ground about a 1 foot at that point. Havent seen this video in a while. DAMN i sucked! its just horrendous. good video of how NOT to autocross, obviously.


How is driving a 100whp car more fun than a 250whp? I KNOW! Right wheel drive.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 04:30 PM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

That is a crazy story, were you alright after the crash? It's just crazy to think you flipped a relatively stock 3 three times and when you were saying the rear just snapped up 5 ft in the air I totally envisioned it haha.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 06:58 PM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

vids or it didnt happen

Speed never killed anybody, suddenly becoming stationary....that's what gets you
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 09:22 PM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

[quote author=Obey the Speed link=topic=191934.msg4045227#msg4045227 date=1307644226]
On the second event with these tires, maybe my 4th or 5th run, my car rolled over 3 times. It landed on all fours and I was okay.
Video: The roll happened at 39 seconds. [/quote]

Uhhh...ok. All I saw in the video was you driving a Mazda3 picking up the rear tire some like every fwd car with r-comps has done since the inception of autocross. That's par for course. You didn't "roll"your car. Sorry to be a stick in the mud and put a damper on your story. You had me there for a minute. Cars do and can roll over while autocrossing, yours certainly didn't.

[quote author=Obey the Speed link=topic=191934.msg4045227#msg4045227 date=1307644226]
Witnesses said that the rear of the car was about 5 feet off the ground. It was thrown into an airborne spin basically. Quite dramatic.
[/quote]

Didn't see this in the video either. The car lifted up some, it came down kinda hard and you scared yourself. End of story. No need to tell big whoppers like it rolled over 3 times or the back end came off the ground 5 ft and then show a video of that not happening
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

lol if i were you I would think I am the biggest liar/con ever. I apologize for not making it clear.

The video is of the run BEFORE the one were i rolled. ie: the video is of my 3rd run and I rolled on my 4th run. The purpose of the video was to see the kind of turn or maneuver that the roll occurred in.

I will edit for clarification.

How is driving a 100whp car more fun than a 250whp? I KNOW! Right wheel drive.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 11:02 PM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

[quote author=Obey the Speed link=topic=191934.msg4045680#msg4045680 date=1307674218]
lol if i were you I would think I am the biggest liar/con ever. I apologize for not making it clear.

The video is of the run BEFORE the one were i rolled. ie: the video is of my 3rd run and I rolled on my 4th run. The purpose of the video was to see the kind of turn or maneuver that the roll occurred in.

I will edit for clarification.
[/quote]

LOL....ok that makes more sense. The way it read made it sound like the video was showing the incident. Miscommunication over the internet.....that never happens does it? Damn, glad to hear you were alright! Did the airbags pop?
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 06:41 AM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

.

Speed never killed anybody, suddenly becoming stationary....that's what gets you
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 03:46 PM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

I'm not sure which way I am going to go on my letter.

Cons:

The safety issue that the OP mentions (although realistically, it is difficult to protect NOOB's from themselves, no matter what)

It will raise costs for those that will want to test different bars. Now, instead of just figuring out which front bar, you have to decide whether it is better to replace the front or rear, then figure out what is the best bar in the chosen position.

It will raise hell with the Stock classing. Cars that were just competitive might have the potential to become class overdogs. On a National basis, this will lead to a lot more "Car of the Year" scenarios where a car is the 'it' car for a year or two before it gets re-classed because it is an overdog.

Pro's

It will make more cars competitive, especially in classes where there are both RWD cars and FWD cars with higher HP and Torque ratings that just can't put down power. Putting on a rear bar on the FWD will even things up for them.

Even in classes that don't have a strong RWD contingent, putting a rear bar on a FWD car will make it more fun in general. Hard to argue against more fun.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 01:58 AM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

Pics of roof damage or it didn't happen.
Also I doubt you rolled 3 times as it seems more speed and/or a bigger 'unbalancing/rolling' force would be required to rotate that much mass for that long of a time period and distance.
Is the car totaled or can you still drive it?


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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 05:08 AM
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Re: Rejecting SCCA proposal for rule change: F or R Swaybar in Stock class

[quote author=krios link=topic=191934.msg4047196#msg4047196 date=1307858283]
Pics of roof damage or it didn't happen.
Also I doubt you rolled 3 times as it seems more speed and/or a bigger 'unbalancing/rolling' force would be required to rotate that much mass for that long of a time period and distance.
Is the car totaled or can you still drive it?
[/quote]

He actually posted this when it happened, pics included. Car was pretty messed up.

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