History of rule changes


There has been some discussion re. too many recent rule changes. So I thought that it would be interesting to actually go back and look at the history of rule changes. I went thru all the Regs back to 2010. There might be some little mistakes here, but I tried hard to ID the precise year that each change entered the books.

Rule changes that might impact performance. Therefore serious shit because many drivers will feel “forced” to do something
New springs (2018)
Windshield wipers can be removed. (2017)
Camber unrestricted as long as you don’t cut things (2012)
Ballast location relaxed. What drove this is that old rule created problems for people with passenger seats. (2011)
Weight drop of 50lbs (2011)
Front spoiler chin can’t go forward of bumper. Previous rule unfair to early models. (2011)
Rear camber/toe adjustment kits ok. (2010)
Front spoiler chin can be 2" long. (2010)

Rule changes that allowed a change for durability/cost reasons or to help fix a problem.
Lexan rear passenger windows ok. (2018)
Convertibles ok. This increased availability of shells, and also discouraged NASA HQ from continuing to talk of merging Spec3 with us because “SpecE30 will die soon for lack of shells.” (2017)
All cars can use vert strut tower stiffener. Tower sheetmetal was tearing.(2017).
Surge tanks ok (2016)
HiK skid plate ok. Much beefier then other solutions.(2015)
Solid motor mounts ok (2013)
Fuel surge tanks ok (201?)
Ok to delete oil pressure relief valve (2012)
Ireland HD rocker arms ok (2012)
Ok to remove thermostat (2012)
Skid plate can be thicker than previous 1/16" (2012)
Can update/backdate bumpers (2011)
Can add a strap to help hold muffler (2011)
Ok to remove instrument cluster (2010)
Ok to remote your oil filter and/or install Accusump (2010)

Rule changes that blocked a performance mod.
Can’t modify internals of diff. (2015)
OEM lollypops need to be retained. (2015)
Dyno standard (2013)
Flywheel min. weight 17.5lbs. Was a bummer because until this rule change, my 10lb flywheel was legal. (2012)
No locked diffs (2010)

Rule changes that codified standard practice.
Removal of fuel pulse damper ok (2015)
Painting engine block ok (2015)
Camera required (2015)
Battery hold down required. (2015)
Ok to fab your own passenger side motor mount heatshield. (2015)
Ok to install brake cooling. (2015)
Ok to add/remove ABS. Allows installation on early shells or disabling it if you want to try a bad idea. (2015)
Ok to remove headlight and replace it with a solid disk. (2015)
Ok to turn AFM spring dial. (2015)
Skid plate doesn’t need to be a single sheet. Can be reinforced. (2013)
Ok to cut windshield wiper and turn signal stalks. (2012)
Ok to remove fuel vapor cannister (2012)
Ok to put metal guide bushings in ATE brake calipers (2012)
Ok to remove interior door panels (2011)
Ok to install hood pins (2011)
Front shock tower brace ok (2011)
Ok to alter steering shaft angle to reposition steering wheel. (2011)
Ok to relocate battery to different place in trunk. (2010)
Ok to use replace OEM exhaust flex bellows with SS mesh flex pipe (2010)
Skid plate ok. 1/16" thick. (2010)
Ok to replace OEM door panels with sheet of something. (2010)

Lexan window rule. I said somewhere recently that the Lexan rear passenger rule was a 2017 rule. I was wrong about that. It’s a 2018 rule. Altho it’s reasonable to point to this and say “performance advantage”, there’s lots of ways for a person to move weight lower in the car if they really have a mind to it. But how many of us have seen someone fasten down their ballast by…instead of using big washers for their bolts, they instead weld the bolts to a 15lb weight UNDER the car such that the bolts stick up thru their floor pan. Then those bolts are used to mount ballast. So sure, the Lexan window issue could be “performance” if someone had exhausted all the other ways to lower their car’s center-mass.

  1. This year doesn’t get much mention up above, but there were actually big changes, just none that made much of a difference. The winner of the 2014 East Coast Champs got dq’d because his engine valves were “shiny”. Geometrically correct, but shiny. The problem was the way the words “substituted” and “replaced” were defined in the Regs. A strict reading of the Regs required us to use BMW dealer pretty much everything. I mean crazy stuff like BMW oil and a BMW battery, everything. There were >100 places this had to be fixed in order to support our common practices.

Convertibles. Yes, we really did go thru a crisis period where we were being told to consider allowing Spec3 to merge with us as a single class. They’d get a weight penalty or something. The reasoning was that E30 shells were becoming unavailable.

Tires. We started on RA1s. Then we were directed to to go R888’s. There was a bunch of bitching because of funny wear patterns and handling, so we went back to RA1s. Then we were directed to go RR’s. Each change was done with little warning and with no input from us. Each change was rec’d without much drama, an interesting contrast to the reaction to the spring change. The RR’s, since they are softer, don’t last as long as the RA1s, so imo the change wasn’t good for our wallets.

So what does this tell us. Certainly the new springs are the biggest change we’ve ever had. If you think that we’ve had too many significant changes in the past few years, maybe this list supports your point. If you think that, except for the springs rule, change hasn’t been a big deal, maybe this supports your point. But it’s good to know for sure, instead of being irritated yet vague on the details.

When I look at these rule changes, I see mostly efforts to protect the driver from being dq’d. There’s all sorts things, perfectly reasonable things, that racers have been doing to their cars over the years that weren’t precisely legal. We needed to get those fixed in the Regs so that the driver would be covered. Look hard at the “codified standard practice” group of rule changes. Most of those were to protect drivers from overzealous Impound Inspectors. Anyone who perceives those items as “no big deal” needs to go to a national event and hang around Impound on Sunday.

If you don’t like how the rules have evolved, then it’s mostly my fault. If you do like how the rules have evolved, then the credit goes to Carter (03-14) and Shawn (2015-). Most of the rule change submissions above came from me. Most of them were based on ideas from other drivers that asked me to pursue the idea on their behalf.

Is this lots of rule changes? Well, I don’t know. The average racer probably isn’t aware of every little rinky dink rule change so how would one figure that out? And my opinion on this is no good because, except for losing my fabulous 10lb flywheel, I think that almost all of changes are all pretty good. Some, great even. Of course, there’s a few rule changes up there that weren’t my idea. So those changes are dumb.

Yes, that was a joke.

Anyone want to buy a 10lb flywheel that 100% meets OEM specs?

The history of rule changes