Lotus Elan

F.I.A. GTS rules interpretation

PostPost by: Vic » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:55 pm

I was looking through old posts and could only find bits and pieces of rule interpretations. I would like to start a thread specifically discussing FIA GTS rules interpretation. I'm in the process of building a 1965 RHD Elan S2 into a 26R clone/F.I.A. GTS vintage race car. Hopefully this thread will clarify radiators (aftermarket aluminum?), crankshafts (4-bolt required?), adjustable spring perches, body material (epoxy/s-glass or even carbon reinforced) etc.

To start the discussion, lets talk about wheels. The rule book says "the 6-inch alloy wheel which appears on the extension of Form No. 127" A picture of this can be seen at http://www.lotuselan.net/uploads/elanfiaammend03.pdf As you can see, the approved wheels are a solid disk 4-pin knock on, but the typical 26R replica wheel has nice Lotus emblem shaped holes in them. My question is how far from the pictured wheels can you deviate? Both Superlite and Image Wheels have 3-piece wheels that loosely look like 26R, but I'm thinking 3-piece is too much of a deviation. Also the question of bolt-on verses pin-drive knock-on comes up.

There may be regional variations to rules interpretation. Active racers may be unwilling to discuss what creative interpretations they have come up with, so wheels may be a safe topic to start with. Any discussion would be appreciated.

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elanfiaammend03.pdf
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi Vic
Where are you based?

The wheels in the pic are no longer available new and any seconhand ones are probably not worth using on a competition car after 50 years!!

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PostPost by: Vic » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi Dave,

I'm located in the U.S. (Denver area). I've seen photos of recent castings of the solid 26R wheels, I believe done by Jcraft in Japan. Not necessarily what I would want and would appear not to be required by the FIA rules.

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PostPost by: toomspj » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:52 pm

I'm using the regular 26R wheels from Tony Thompson. Applying for FIA papers during next couple of weeks so we'll see how it turns out - I'll let you know.

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PostPost by: Fredtech » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:50 pm

IMG_5289.JPG and
Hi Vic. Just thought to add a bit to your wheels thread. I'm in the process of building a GTS as well, so will be watching this with intrest.

Anyway....

Just thought to post a photo of what must be one of the most original Type-26R?s still in existence. As you can see, solid wheels.

This car was owned by Tojiro Ukiya who drove it at an event at Funabashi circuit, Japan, in 1965.

Tragically he died a month or so later, in a different car, at Suzuka. During testing, trying to avoiding two spectators who were walking on the course, Ukiya swerved but crashed into a lamppost. He was thrown from the car, suffering head injury and fracturing both legs and died in hospital 21 days later.

His family were said to be devastated and decided to keep the 26R in his room, at home, as a memorial. Apparently, no one has touched the car since then, other than move it to the Toyota Museum in Tokyo, where they have a small display in his memory.

The Museum Manager told my wife they have received several offers for the car, which remains the property of his family, all off which they have kindly declined.
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PostPost by: Vic » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:56 am

Great pictures, thanks for posting them. I hope this turns out to be a popular thread. I would like to hear what the FIA inspectors look for, what they are critical of, what they don't care about. The FIA rule books wants originality, but also encourages use of modern materials, like better aluminum in monocoque tubs. How far does this carry over to composite bodywork? Kevlar tunnel for driver safety? or carbon fiber (that's a stretch) outer bodywork? I could go on and on. A few years ago I repaired a Porsche 906 body and the restoration shop had me match the fibers used by Porsche and yellow tint my resin (polyester) to match the aged body. On my Elan's I would prefer to use modern fibers and resins, but at what point will the FIA object (as long as the shape is accurate).

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PostPost by: Old English White » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:58 am

Hi,
No matter of design, the FIA period form did mainly state on size(s).
Series 1 26R were essentially GT cat. entered. With standard looking body, the size of plain wheels was only an inch thicker from stock cars.
On 26R S2, bigger wheel arches made bigger wheels/tyres possible, specially at rear. That made the design of mag' wheel different because of the position of reinforcements at the back of branches, instead of being distributed on all the wheel surface as on 26R S1 serie.
So, going to developp an GTS car, forget about design, think about sizes and, if you can afford the reproduction, made under FIA authorisation, that's better to help you to get the correct track dimension. If not, the correct FIA appendice (should be K) generally tells than Minilite's design is the only one recommanded for historics when period wheel can't be found. You will have to cope with the availlability of correct size/offset no speaking about knock-on ...
Hope this stand correct and will help u,
Christian. :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:03 pm

Does the use of homologated designs actually matter these days?

I am reasonably sure that this:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150992705368&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:GB:1123

has not been homologated, yet the car won its class, allegedly.

Subsid question:
Do the current scrutineers know the difference between their arse and a hole in the ground? :twisted:
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PostPost by: Old English White » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Hi Pete,
Don't know about that one at the end of your link. But,
We have period evidences of similar swirl pots.
I am not convinced that a thread for a fan switch will help to win, anyway. :wink:
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PostPost by: toomspj » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Pete

That swirl pot was tested on my car at spa. Apart from the sight glass it is identical to those used in period. The radiator was also as per period but not the excessively thick one. My car wasn't racing to FIA spec (it was roadsports) so there was no issue.

However, I think people can get overly pedantic about all this. I enjoy racing a car that is to period specs and what is important to me is that the tyres, weight, dimensions, engine capacity and brakes are policed to give us some equality. Ideally carbs and cams and fuel would also be controlled. Obviously it should look right but I don't really care if I have the correct Lucas part number for a switch, or that my wiper motor is the round 2 speed Lucas one rather than the rectangular job or that the headlights are 5 1/4" rather than 5". All that is for people who want to potter around and enter concours events.

To me it's about finessing a snorting 5 litre Griffith or a lightweight E type with Colin Chapmans little Elan. I also enjoy providing my friends (and not so friends) with endless amusement as I spend my money jockeying for position all for the glory of a cheap trophy at best. And I do love the pictures you've taken of me at Oulton.

I do also have an Elan Sprint as a road car. You'll be horrified to know that I have fitted solid driveshafts, uprated springs, a roll cage (just at the rear) and that at the moment it has an early cam cover instead of the Big Valve one ( it corroded and I haven't got around to swapping it back yet). I also finally succumbed and fitted a full width radiator because it overheated if i ran at over an indicated 110 mph for any time. The tyres aren't original either but they are about 15 years old. the paint and dash have faded, the seats are looking a little tired - but I love it as I use it, flat out whenever I can.

The point is that people are using these cars in the spirit that was intended, which in my view is far better than collecting them just to look at. Who cares if they aren't perfectly original - who wants to replicate that unreliability anyway?

I've just finished my GTS car ready for this season - FIA inspection and HTP in the next few days (or weeks). I'll post some photos but I can say now that you won't find it to be 100% aesthetically accurate.

All the best to all racers out there as we prepare for the next season........

Paul
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:20 am

Thanks for clearing that up Paul.
What kicked off my little rant was what is happening in other places- for example the VSCC are getting their knickers in a twist about whether or not to allow "tool-room copies" (a ridiculous expression; I was a tool-maker and we did not make cars), or more correctly very expensive evocations for very rich people to race alongside existing "vintage" cars.To my mind VSCC racing has already descended into hot-rod racing with vastly developed specials which could never have existed back in the day.
There are also folks churning out completely new Lola T70s, Chevron B8s and B26s, GT 40s and goodness know what else. Is it only a matter of time before the 26/R production line gets going and we see 300bhp go-carts posing as Elans?
I had a chat with a scrutineer a few months ago; he had just passed a Mini-Cooper for a supposedly "original spec" race; I queried his decision on a certain tech mod and he said "oh, they all have that nowadays". Is it me? Actually I think it probably is! :(
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PostPost by: davidholroyd » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:42 pm

I agree with Paul, if you are racing to K rules we should have similar power, weight and brakes etc. . Minor mods like a different swirl pot etc do not matter at all. I had to spend qiute a bit of time making my Elan pass the K regs .. I had to alter my dash board as it had to be wood and to start with mine was swirly aluminum, I have subsequently seen them with ali dashes .. I also had to put the window lifter bits in. My car is not very ' original, ' my fire at Brands in 2008 took with it most of the origianl interior bits and I had to have a new shell.

My first Elan was a standard car bought for ? 8000 and it slowly became a very good competition car with Historic Rally papers, as the rallies got more competive my Elan slowly turned into a competition car with dry sump, flared arches, 26R chassis etc ... I never thought of it as worth any money and just did it for the fun of it. When I went into the ditch in Ypres it was a new chaassis and this was naturally 26R spec. Again as things happened the car got lighter and quicker.
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PostPost by: Vic » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:16 pm

That answered one of my questions about dash material. I guess my carbon fiber dash idea is out. Can an F.I.A. GTS car have newer aftermarket gauges?
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PostPost by: toomspj » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:34 am

Regardles of whether it would get FIA HTP, in my opinion a Carbon Fibre dash is just wrong! In fact really any c/fibre in view in an Elan isn't right - go buy an Exige if that's what you want. I dont understand why Aluminium is excluded, as it was used in period. For gauges, I think people expect them to look the part even if they are modern (I have a VDO fuel gauge and racetech oil/water).

It seems that some of the detail does depend somewhat on who inspects your car. I've just been inspected and seem to be generally ok, but my car does look the part. I learnt that adjustable spring platforms are ruled out again (they had apparently been allowed briefly). Having said that, most FIA Elans i see racing have adjustable spring platforms. The other area of interest is around dampers - aluminium, nitrogen and anything that doesn't look like it came from Tony Thompson is liable to be questioned.

Overall it does need to be as close to period spec as you can manage.

Paul

Fingers crossed, i'll get my papers shortly.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:51 am

What exactly do they define as "non adjustable spring platforms" ? I thought TTR only supplied a screw thread located platform ones for the front these days ?? if you put on a small tack weld that needs to be ground off to move it on its thread does that make it non adjustable?

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