2017 Autcross classing banter

Discussion in 'Mustang EcoBoost Autocross' started by Squid, May 7, 2017.

  1. May 7, 2017 #1
    Squid

    Squid Moderator Staff Member

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    What did you do to end up in "SM?"
     
  2. May 7, 2017 #2
    zhent

    zhent Ecoboost Member

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    I told them that I planned on changing out the wastegate. The turbo hardware rules are strange... I kind of had a choice. I'm leaving it here for this season while I work up the car, and will re-assess next season.
     
  3. May 11, 2017 #3
    zhent

    zhent Ecoboost Member

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  4. May 11, 2017 #4
    Squid

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    14.10 Section C
    I have not changed anything after the "engine inlet" (compressor). From what I read, I can change anything up to that point.

    14.10 Section E
    Strange read there. Intercooler if they don't want it changed, should not be listed under engine management (IMO). Not sure how to read that, but I'm not changing my boost levels per se, however when they kick in. I've not altered the wastegate/BCV or any of that. (Yet. ;) )

    Oops. You're right. I changed the charge piping. That would do the change, since it's after the "spooler."

    I'm not going to worry about it. I don't plan on attending another "national event" (that there is a long story) and most of the people take off before awards, and there's no impound in the local events.
     
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  5. May 11, 2017 #5
    zhent

    zhent Ecoboost Member

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    Then there's the Steeda Throttle spacer...

    I'm kind of a nerd on some of this. We had a Corvette this past weekend show up and run in CAM-C, and the whole time I kept looking at it and thinking it was misclassed. Then when I looked last night I realized that it should be in CAM-S not CAM-C. As it was the only one in class, I'm not going to make an issue of it, but the moment someone insists that I should be in CAM-C, I have to insist that he's not.

    I've re-read the classing rules a lot, because they don't handle turbo cars well. It's all about boost levels, which is fine, but then all programming, including the COBB OTS tunes are going to affect boost levels. The most boost I ever saw on the stock gauge under the stock tune was 18psi. With the COBB stage 1 it goes up to 22psi. I'm guessing the Stage 2 you're running pushes it a little higher because of the intercooler and charge pipe swap. (which are both after the compressor BTW.)

    It also seems like each club I look up in Axware is running the ecoboost mustangs in different classes. There seems to be no consensus, even based on modification levels. The "stock" cars are easy, but the moment any changes are made it's a nightmare. I honestly don't think that the SCCA handles stock turbo cars well AT ALL, but if you want to go out and have fun dodging cones, they're the ruling body...

    I'm not planning on any national level events either, though the SPOKES novice coordinator was trying to talk me into it this past weekend. Somehow I can see the politics of it from here.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2017 at 9:18 PM #6
    zhent

    zhent Ecoboost Member

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    Ecoboost Mustang Autocross Classing in 2017



    It’s widely held that the ecoboost mustang is an ideal platform for autocross. All I know is that it’s cheap fun in my car.



    When participating in autocross, there’s one organization that sets the rules in the US, the SCCA. Among all of the rules for how to set up and run an event are rules for how to classify cars, and what classes cars should compete in. Here’s a brief breakdown of the rules and how I currently interpret them. I am by no means an expert, and individual clubs can always interpret these things as they see fit.



    Street Category - DS

    If you’ve just brought your new ecoboost mustang home from the dealer, with no modifications (including the Ford Performance Intake/tune) this is where you will compete. You can add in “comfort and convenience items” like shift knobs, boost gauges, or similar kinds of things, as well as remove your jack and spare tire. You can add a roll bar and racing harness, but honestly if you’re daily driving an ecoboost you probably won’t. You can swap wheels so long as you’re within +/-1 inch in diameter and the offset isn’t more than 5mm from stock. Tires need to be stock You can run a catback exhaust, but no CAI, and lowering springs are NOT allowed and suspension adjustment can only be up to the limit of stock hardware.



    Street Touring Category - STP

    Here’s where most lightly modified ecoboost Mustangs will end up for autocross classing purposes, though there are still limitations. Any changes allowed in Street are also allowed here, PLUS; You can add in a strut bar and lower suspension braces. You can use any wheel up to 11” wide. Brakes can be upgraded. Tire changes are allowed up to a 315 width. Lowering springs and coilovers are allowed, including camber plates and other camber adjustment means. CAI is allowed, but no changes to the system after the intake meets the turbo. Downpipes can be changed provided they maintain a catalytic converter. The next bit is directly from the rule book. “The engine management system parameters and operation of internal combustion engines may be modified only via the methods listed below. These allowances also apply to forced induction cars, except that no changes to standard boost levels, intercoolers, or boost controls are permitted. Boost changes indirectly resulting from allowed modifications are permissible but directly altering or modifying the boost or turbo controls, either mechanically or electronically, is strictly prohibited.“



    Street Prepared Category - ESP

    All modifications for street class are allowed, but you can go further. A/C systems, radio and speakers can be removed. Body panels can be modified for tire clearance. Strut bars and lower suspension braces are allowed. Seat and seatbelt replacement with racing seats and harnesses is allowed. Spoilers and splitters can be added, but no side skirts or side splitters. Any DOT approved tire and any wheel can be used, changing spacing, size and offset. Brake upgrades are permitted. Lowering springs and coilover suspension is allowed, including the use of camber plates and camber bolts or other modifications for suspension adjustment. The battery can be relocated to the trunk. Intercoolers are unrestricted, but can’t have any external sprayers or icing systems to lower intake temps. Turbochargers can’t be changed or modified. No changes can be made to wastegates or blow-off valves. Exhaust systems are unregulated except that they must meet local noise requirements. Air intake modifications are allowed.



    Street Modified Category - SM

    All Street, Street Touring, and Street Prepared modifications are allowed. Cars must include all road-going components (lights, mirrors, wipers, etc). Body panels may be modified or replaced, including the addition of wings/spoilers, splitters, side skirts, and other body kits. Engine components, including turbos, intercoolers, wastegates, etc. are unrestricted. There are minimum weight requirements, but I have yet to see an S550 get light enough to come into conflict with those.


    Classic American Muscle - CAM-C

    The CAM classes were added to encourage muscle car participation in autocross and to allow those cars to compete against each other with modifications that the SCCA hasn’t foreseen. The CAM-C class is for cars and trucks from 1990 on, so we end up in competition with Camaros, GTOs and other V-8 “contemporary Muscle Cars”. Modifications are pretty unlimited though so it’s a decent catch all.



    Prepared and beyond.

    If you get to the point where stripping out your interior and removing anything not strictly required to keep the car together looks like a good way to go, or you make your car into a dedicated track car, you may want to look into the rules at this level. For 99.9% of us this won’t be something we want to do with a new S550 Mustang, Ecoboost or not. Check out all of the rules here: Sports Car Club of America





    For the most part I kept commentary out of the above descriptions. This is the letter of the SCCA rule book, but you will find that most local clubs work a little differently and are frequently more lenient than the national organization as a whole. Most local level Autocross clubs will look the other way if your under hood modifications go beyond the STP level provided you haven’t put in a turbo bigger than your head or stripped out your interior, especially if you declare that you have no intention to attend any of the national level events. A lot of guys enjoy driving in the CAM-C class because you get to put to shame the Camaros and Challengers, but really it’s up to you.



    I’m kind of a “law and order” guy. Aside from minor disagreements with things like “speed limits” I try to be a law abiding citizen in whatever I do, including things like this. So when the season began and I went through the rules with an eye on the changes I wanted to make to the car I placed it into SM based on my reading everything on how to get a little more power from these cars as well as the rules as defined. Others in the club readily pointed out that I could easily get away with STP and that no-one locally would really care. Having not participated in years, and with recent club history showing no participation by any Ecoboost Mustangs, I defaulted on the safe side and went to the most permissive class possible. Today, I would have chosen STP instead, and if the rules don’t change dramatically for us in 2018 I will probably re-class at the beginning of next season.



    After writing out all of this, I hope it’s helpful to anyone wanting to give autocross a try, and I welcome any feedback or criticism. Only through discussion can we learn the positions and thoughts of others.
     

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