Formula "e" Open-Wheel Series
Introducing the Formula “e” Series. Just like the new "Big Car" FIA Formula E Series, this one is just smaller electric cars, a few different rules, and one big trophy for the winner of the series to hang onto until a new winner is crowned. The inaugural series will be a minimum of five (5) events with at least two (2) events on oval courses.
The inaugural Formula "e" series will employ stock Tyco 440-X2 narrow chassis platforms without traction magnets. Traction mags will be replaced with two (2) brass weights in the each empty traction magnet cavity. Exact-fit brass weights are out there that fit the 440-X2 traction magnet cavity perfectly. If you can't find those, a 1/4" solid brass rod can be cut to fit—they work great. I have a bunch of 1/4 brass rod and will be happy to make a batch of weights available for those who might need them. The other part required for the "Tyco Jet" platform is a Wizzard WTS13 independent front-end. Shoe tension and profile modifications are permitted but all parts must be factory stock or exact OEM replacement parts. "Stock" means stock, no modifications other than what is permitted here. Shoe tension and profile modifications are permitted but all parts must be factory stock or exact OEM replacement parts.
Any currently commercially available silicon slip-on tire allowed. Mounted front tire circumference cannot be less than .330, front and rear tire stagger is permitted.
Bodies, of course, will be any Indy/CART/F1 production hard body but must be complete with front and rear wings and all original OEM plastic--no exceptions. Body lowering is not permitted. Body mounts may be sanded to allow minimal body float.
"Stock" means stock, no modifications other than what is permitted above. Other than the above specific changes and the required changes in downforce restrictions, all SJSCC rules for the U-Build Lambo class apply.
Just prior to each driver qualifying, their car will be quickly visually inspected and two measurements will be taken: 1) Car must pass through standard 1-5/16 tech block; 2) The car's downforce will be measured on a host-chosen standard VRP MDM. The specific maximum downforce limit is TBD but will be announced and posted ASAP.
Individual qualifying, 6-lap average seeds event. Minimum 600-lap main event with 50-lap heats. Lap scoring with all racers completing all 50-lap heats (three times through rotation). Ties in heats will be settled by median lap time, then fastest lap. Final result ties also settled by median lap times and fastest lap. Points structure will be 4,3,2,1. A minimum of one (1) pit stop required per heat for fuel. Six lane tracks only require two full rotations.Track voltage: TBD
Individual qualifying, 3-lap average. Minimum 300-lap feature event of 25-lap heats (three times through rotation). Minimum of one (1) pit stop required per heat for fuel. Six lane tracks only require two full rotations. Track voltage: 12v
RC and Slottrak support a very sophisticated set of race management features related to pit stops. A staple of the Formula "e" Series is mandatory pit stops based on fuel consumption. Yes, Slottrak supports another feature that forces drivers to pit due to tire wear, which is something we may employ in the future based on how things go with fuel stops, but for now it's just fuel consumption.
The fuel consumption rules are still being developed but the idea is to base fuel consumption on your qualifying time. This means that if you sandbag qualifying and do significantly lower times in racing, you will consume fuel at a higher rate than other drivers. The goal is to configure the software to consume fuel at a 1 to 1 ratio of your qualifying lap time. If you increase this rate during the race you will use more fuel and potentially use more fuel than drivers who are running laps closer to their qualifying lap average. These details are still being worked out and will be published here when testing and evaluation is completed.
Participating event organizers may choose to run other races on the same day but all Formula "e" Series events must be carefully tracked, points recorded, and detailed results submitted to the series coordinator within 48-hours of event completion.
I tested the 600-Lap oval format in demo mode with Race Coordinator. If I recall correctly, it took about 3.5 hours to complete with 12 drivers and ~2.5-second laps. This did not include pit stops, yellow flags, track calls, or qualifying. So it is possible that a host could run at least one other race on the same day, maybe two. We’ll have to see how the first event goes.
Individual lane power control or multiple light sensors are not required to support pit stops. Currently only SlotTrak and Race Coordinator (RC) support "pit stop" race formats (Trackmate does not support this feature). SlotTrak and RC are donationware and available online. Both are very well supported and downloadable code is kept extremely current. SlotTrak supports most track configurations using Trackmate's SLC3 USB card and individual power control modules. RC does not support individual power control through the Trackmate SLC3 USB card, a Arduino "Uno" or "Mega" card is required. However, RC can utilize the Trackmate 4/6-Relay card often used for individual lane power control with SlotTrak or Trackmate timing systems.
SlotTrak has an edge over RC in the pit stop area right now due to being able to repeatedly cycle power when the car is low on fuel, which adds a little "realness" to the situation. For single-relay tracks a car does not lose power when out of fuel but laps are not counted when fuel runs out. As always, the latest versions of each software is highly recommended but may not be necessary.
All Formula "e" Series events must be carefully tracked, points recorded, and detailed results submitted to the series coordinator within 48-hours of event completion. Results must be complete, which must include qualifying, all heat results, and final points tally for each driver. Race Directors must resolve any raceday ties or protests prior to submission.
No entree for the inaugural series. Driver donations to help defray the cost of “end of series” awards are welcome at the first event of each series. Event Hosting: To make it easier on hosts and hostesses, providing anything other than the typical drinks and snacks is optional. Drivers are strongly encouraged to bring snacks and/or drinks also. This will help keep costs down to a minimum and hosting a bit easier on track operators. Unless otherwise specified in event announcements, participants should plan on bringing their own lunch for Formula "e" events. Of course, participants are free to "donate" to track operators to help defray costs and track operators are encouraged to have a donation "bowl" (or wheelbarrow) accessible at each event.
Per event awards are optional and up to the hosting track operator. There will be a Facebook page or web site out there that provides all the information on the series including; past and present winners, current series standings, schedule, etc. Hosting track owners are required to post current or previous series standings. At the final race of the series, the winner of the series will awarded a big trophy listing the names of any previous winners and ready for the current winner nameplate. The series winner may keep this trophy in their position until the final race of the next series. The top five drivers will receive the customary pit box plaque indicating their series placing. All other series finishers will receive a dated Formula "e" Series pit box plaque.
Okay, so there you have it, a framework for a new racing series. The tentative date for the first race in the inaugural series is Dec 29, 2019 at Stewart Raceway on the oval layout. I’m hoping other track operators will participate in hosting an event or two but I’m willing to host all of them, if necessary, to complete the inaugural series.