Overview from Dick

Started By: on 2004-01-09 13:10:13

First off, I had a blast at Franklin which was my first slalom. Although I got lost a couple of times, I turned a respectable time. Then I let Art D. drive my car and he lopped off 4 seconds. Obviously driving skill makes a difference. I was grouped with the heavy weight modified class even though I was on regular tires in a fully optioned car that I drove the 4 hours to the event. I went back to work on it and managed with practice almost 6 seconds better with sticky tires. Went back to work and took it to Phoenix and still had a lot of fun. Trying to keep in mind that if it is not fun and to many rules to drag it down, participation is going to be low. Jim Anderson and myself were the tech crew at Phoenix. We had over 50 cars to check over, fill out the checklist and classify as to which class that would run in. We had an average of just under 3 minutes for each car. There is not enough time to crawl under the car and see if there are poly bushings, non stock size sway bars, hot brakes, etc. I would propose that the participants fill out the questionaire and classify their class from answering questions so that the steward just goes over the list and checks it off. As a member of the club that will hold the next Challenge, I will be involved and will try to implement things to make it go smooth for everyone. Also, everyone keeps talking about engine modifications. They are very hard to tell from looking at the engine. SNG Barratt has a new ignition replacement for the early V12's running the OPUS system. It looks idenitical to OEM but inside is the GM HEI system. Very potent and not easy to tell if someone has changed over.
One could use my car as an example of modifications. If you group suspension mods together, could my car fit into the SP heavyweight class on stock tires (320 rating tires) ? I would be suprised if so but who has the time of knowledge checking in cars at the events to tell what has bee done? Another example of equality across the range would be the XJS. The early cars ran on 215/70-15 tires. The later ones ran on wider rims and 235/60-15 or ever 225/60-16. The TWR versions had even bigger tires as mine does. Jaguar also offered a sports suspension package with stiffer springs and sway bars and shocks. If an early XJS used the factory pieces to upgrade the car, would it be bumped into the modified class and the factory modified car be in a stock class? I certainly don't have all of the answers but feel that sometimes we get bogged down in the rules.
As far as having fun, the slalom has to be kept enjoyable to all. I have broken my differential at Franklin, planetary gears in the transmission, moror mount and rear transmission mount at Phoenix. The thing to do was to fix them and try to make them stronger for the next event which I did. I am now preparing a XKE coupe with no holds barred for the slalom. I was going to put an XKR engine in but thought that would be overkill. Will have it ready for the Challenge when it comes to Atlanta. It will be a good one. Cheers, Dick