2017 RULES CHANGES EXPLAINED

This page will assist everyone in identifying and understanding the significant changes in the 2017 rules. You can read through the entire page (recommended) or simply click on the change you would like to know more about. In some cases a summary of the change is offered, in others a full explanation for the rule change is given so that drivers are better informed.

Section A.6 “Deadlines” has changed
Section C.4.n “Transponders” has changed
Section D.4 “Driver Safety Gear Inspection” is new
Section E.3.j “Catch pans” has changed
Section E.4. “Tire Changes” is new
APPENDIX B, Sections A and B were-organized and a new class was added for 2017
APPENDIX B, Section C “Power to Weight Modifiers” was added
APPENDIX C, Driver Probation has changed
Rules under consideration for 2018

Section A.6 “Deadlines”

As expenses rise and we offer higher-profile tracks, more amenities and a better race experience, fees will also increase. To help offset this we modified the Fast In program so that forward-thinking teams who are making WRL their first option are rewarded for registering early. Note that the discount increases significantly the earlier you register. Also note the change to the Cancellation Policy in Section A.7.

6 Deadlines: Unless otherwise stated, the following deadlines and discounts apply to all events-
a. Registering 12 weeks or more prior to the event - $350 discount. Limited number of spots available
b. Registering 6-12 weeks prior to the event - $150 discount
c. Registering 2-6 weeks prior to the event - no discount
7 Withdrawn entries are eligible for a credit toward a future race as noted below, unless otherwise specified.
a. Withdraw 31 days or more prior to event: full credit less $200 cancellation fee, at WRL discretion
b. Withdraw 15-30 days prior to event: partial credit equal to 50% of fee paid, at WRL discretion
c. Withdraw 14 days or less prior to event: No credit

Section C.4.n “Transponders” has changed

Starting in 2017, all teams will be responsible for providing their own “MyLaps” transponder (older AMB units work as well) that is compatible with the AMB/MyLaps timing decoder and Orbits software. MyLaps transponders are available from many race gear retailers, prices for a subscription-based unit start at about $150 for the first year and $115 starting the second year to renew.

WRL is not responsible for the failure of your equipment, and that includes your transponder. Laps not read by the timing system due to a faulty, failed or improperly mounted transponder are lost and will not be credited to the team even if you have data from telemetry systems, video etc. You may run a backup transponder on your car.

n. Transponders: Beginning in 2017, teams are responsible for providing their own MyLaps Transponder, and for providing an accurate transponder number to WRL at registration. Mount the transponder as low to the ground as possible, with an unobstructed view of the track below. Do not mount near heat sources. 
NOTE: WRL is not responsible for any fault, mis-application or failure of team-owned equipment including transponders. Laps missed due to transponder failure will not be credited under any circumstance.

Section D.4 “Driver Safety Gear Inspection” is new

WRL will inspect your gear the first time you race with us, to make sure you understand and meet the gear requirements and to tag your helmet. From that point forward you are considered to be responsible for caring for and properly wearing your gear. We will check you before you go on track, non-compliant drivers will be held on pit road until they can comply or a driver change is completed.

WRL can and will also perform spot checks in the pits and paddock and may, at our discretion, require that all drivers present their gear for re-check before a given race (see the race schedule).

4 Driver’s Safety Gear Inspection: All drivers new to WRL must present their required safety gear for inspection prior to their first race.
a. An ID tag will be affixed to the driver’s helmet (left side). This is your WRL Racing License and driver data, removing or obscuring it may result in a fine. Drivers without ID tag will not be allowed on track.
b. After the initial inspection, drivers will only be required to present their gear for re-inspection if it is damaged, a new helmet is purchased or at the direction of WRL.
c. Drivers must wear the required safety gear while in the car. Gear must be kept in serviceable condition - no holes, tears, cracks, oil/fuel stains, etc. Non-compliant drivers will not be allowed on track

Section E.3.j “Catch pans” has changed to "No Spill Rule"

Fuel spills are bad news for your safety as well as for the pavement. Make sure your jugs DO NOT LEAK. The catch pan or drip pan you use during fueling must meet certain minimums and must contain an absorbent material to prevent fuel from contacting the ground.

j. No Spill Rule: Fuel spills are not permitted on the pavement. A catch pan, drip pan or absorbent mat (ex. Pig Mat) must be used where fuel may spill onto the ground. Pans or mats must cover a minimum of 4 sq. ft. in area and have a minimum capacity of 3 gallons. All pans must contain an absorbent mat, bag or other material such as Oil-Dri covering the bottom of the pan. Liquids will be disposed of properly.

  • Any petroleum spill will be cleaned up immediately
  • Teams may be penalized or fined for fuel and oil spills on the asphalt
  • Section E.4. “Tire Changes” is new

    One thing we’ve noticed lately, and we’re sure that you have too, is that a number of the tire manufacturers are now re-stamping autocross-oriented tires with a 180 or 200 treadwear rating. The compounds did not change, this was more or less a marketing ploy to sell more tires. A lax treadwear rating system (UTQG) allows this, we as an organization are just along for the ride.

    How does that affect WRL? The modern performance tire market is one of the things that make our form of racing possible at an affordable level for most. At the inception of WRL, there were, and still are, multiple tire options that will run competitively in both the wet and dry, while lasting through 16 hours or more on many cars. These tires are typically capable of turning fast laps consistently until the tread is gone. That’s ideal for our series because they’re fast, predictable and last long enough to keep your weekend tire costs in-check.

    Enter the new re-stamped tires. Several of these can put down a lap that’s 2 seconds faster than the compounds we built the series around, but may only last 3-4 hours at race speed. In the grand scheme it creates an advantage that can overcome a couple of 4-tire pit stops during the race for a well-funded and equipped team. Keep in mind that we do want you to have the ability to choose the best possible tire for your car, but what we don’t want is for tire budgets to become the next “checkbook racing” edge for teams that can afford 6 sets of tires per weekend and $10k worth of jacks and high speed racing impact wrenches. That’s outside of our mission statement to bring you a pro-racing experience at an amateur racing budget.

    Solution: We (the rules committee) talked through a number of options to address this. We wanted something easily trackable and enforceable, while minimizing the impact on your/our racing experience. We covered everything from banning specific tires (anti-choice) to limiting and marking everyone’s tires at the beginning of the weekend (holy cow that could be 600- 1,200 tires!). Almost every option came with a cost we couldn’t live with for one reason or another – not the least of which was doing nothing which eventually forces teams to spend a boatload of cash on tires and tools to run near the top. With the input of several racers during the review period, we have decide to limit the number of type of tools you can use in the hot pit as well as the number of tires that can me "over the wall". note that the Chief Steward may waive these restrictions during the race should inclement weather strike, allowing teams to switch to a rain tire.

    4. Tire Changes: Tire changes in the hot pit are restricted as follows. The Chief Steward may waive these restrictions if weather conditions change during the race (rain):
    a. Only one tire tool or one impact wrench allowed in the hot pit
    b. Only manually-operated floor jacks may be used
    c. Only two wheels may be lifted off the pavement at a time
    d. A total of five 5 tires may be in the hot pit at any given time, including tires mounted on the car

    APPENDIX B, Sections A and B were-organized and a new class was added for 2017

    All of the information in Appendix B is still there but was re-organized. The big change here is the addition of a new class – Grand Touring, Open (GTO).

    As we grow, WRL is attracting interest from a broader base of enthusiast at all levels of motorsports and we want to keep our commitment to allow as many cars already built for road racing as practical (safe and cost effective). Miatas, Civics, E-series, SN95 Mustangs… no brainers. At the same time we get a lot of inquiries from cars that you may have seen at a race in 2016 – Elan NP01, Panoz, 235iR, cars built for GTS2/3, tube-frame chassis, etc. As well, there are a few M3’s that have to add a bit of ballast to get into GP1.

    At the same time, WRL recognizes the importance of our core – Production-based cars that are generally inexpensive to acquire and campaign and are reliable, with over-the-counter parts in every city and salvage yard as well as a decent aftermarket. We needed to mix the two without disturbing the successful, easy and affordable formula we started with GP1-GP4.

    Solution: These types cars were already running in GPX since 2014 as test cases for a new class and it would have been easy to move GP1 up to the 9-11 PWR range and adjust the rest of the groups, ending up with GP1-GP5. But in recognition of the production-car nature of the series and the freedom of choice it brings, and to prevent disturbing the existing classes that are already working quite well, we created an entirely new classification – Grand Touring. The Grand Touring Open (GTO) class has a “fast end” cutoff of 9:1 but no “slow end” cap. GTO cars can be tube frame or factory chassis, aero and suspension mods are open. This allows three benefits:

    1. Cars like the NP01 or Cayman can add just a little bit of ballast (if any) and run in GTO as-is without any other reconfigurations.
    2. Cars on the bubble, like an S197 GT or a GTS-class BMW M3 can choose to run either GTO or GP1 depending on whether they want to reconfigure the car or add mods
    3. Teams wanting to build something like a V6 swapped Miata or want to have free reign on suspension and aero mods have a class to race in.

    Basically it gives everyone a lot of flexibility without crashing the party in the GP classes and without impacting safety. It might sound a little complicated at first, but it’s not. It’s basically an open class, but it’s not the wild-west where you can show up with anything – cars still have to be at 9:1 or higher on the power-to-weight scale and you still must run UTQG 180 or higher tires, but other mods like aero, brakes and suspension are open.

    a. GENERAL PRODUCTION (GP): Any mass-produced car offered for sale in North America. GP-class cars are subject to the Basic Performance Modifications rules in Section B and C, below.
    • GP4-Cars with a PWR of 18.0 to 22.0 (cars above 22.0 allowed at steward’s discretion)
    • GP3-Cars with a PWR of 15.1 to 18.0
    • GP2- Cars with a PWR of 12.8 to 15.0
    • GP1- Cars with a PWR of 10.5 to 12.7
    b. GRAND TOURING, OPEN (GTO): Any race-prepared car, including mass-produced, tube-frame, purpose-built, factory homologated, etc. with a PWR of 1:9 or higher
    • GT-class cars are not subject to the Basic Performance Modifications in Section B below or to the Chassis and Drivetrain Modifications in Section C.1 below
    • GT-class cars are subject to the Engine Modifications in Section C.2 below.
    • GT-class cars are required to race with a fire suppression system

    APPENDIX B, Section C “Power to Weight Modifiers” was added

    WRL has deducted values from a car’s power to weight ratio since 2014. This allows cars that are built outside of the basic prep rules to still compete and puts them on a level playing field with the rest – i.e. you can modify a car right into the next highest class. But these values were not published, as they were under constant review as the series grew. Teams could find out where their car would class by contacting WRL, but that was not convenient, and in the long run, not the way we wanted to operate.

    Solution: There is no perfect answer until we go to whp-based classing. However, the rules committee feels confident that the values as they are now work very well in adjusting cars that are not compliant with the basic prep rules. We were cautious about releasing these too soon – if we were wrong it could have caused someone to build to a class they should not be in. But the modifiers are now part of the rules for your information with descriptions and values. Keep in mind that officials still retain leeway in assessing cars and can alter these values if it is deemed that the value assessed is insufficient. But if you know your weight, rated HP and modifications, you’ll know your class. If you don’t know your weight you will still be able to calculate what it needs to weigh to be in a given class.

    Note that this is not an exhaustive list but covers all of the common modifications. Anything not on the list will be assessed by the officials as-needed. And the Darwin Rule still applies. Also BE AWARE that we only accept the weight of the car as measured by OUR equipment at the track. We highly discourage building your car to the exact edge of the class limit per your scales. One pound off per OUR scales and you will be moved to another class. Leave room for variance between scales.

    Final note, warning, or caution if you prefer - we realize that there are certain combinations on certain cars that will effect a better than anticipated performance gain, and that some cars respond differently to a specific modification. We do concede that there is no perfect solution. We can, and will if necessary, adjust for that. Keep this in mind - we are working to finalize the plan for classing per wheel horsepower (dyno), it's the best possible solution but it could potentially change your class depending on a few factors including what you do to the car under these modifier values. Use these values as a way to understand your current classing position and a general guide for what you can do, but if you are modifying to get to the tip of the PWR range for a class you may end up in a different class under whp classing.

    APPENDIX C, Driver Probation has changed

    We’ve had a probation system in place for over a year but it was not detailed in the rules. We do take car to car contact seriously and needed to outline the conditions that could lead to your being probated, suspended or outright banned from the series. Here they are now in black and white.

    Driver Probation (this entire section is revised for 2017)
    1. A driver will be placed on probation for car-to-car contact when the corners workers, safety crew and/or officials determine at-fault, and any one of the following conditions is met:
    a. Causing contact that results in one or more vehicles stopping on, or off of the racing surface
    b. Causing contact that results in damage to any vehicle that require repairs to continue
    c. Causing contact that results in one or more cars to retire from the race
    2. Drivers involved in contact that disables their vehicle must report to the Black Flag station immediately upon returning to the pits or paddock unless under the care of medical staff.
    3. Probation period: One year from the date of the incident unless otherwise mandated by WRL
    4. Probation terms: Driver may continue to race while on probation but must meet the following:
    a. Probated driver will not cause car-to-car contact during the probation period
    b. Probated driver will meet any other condition(s) provided in writing by WRL
    c. Probated driver must request reinstatement by WRL at the end of the probation period
    5. Failure to meet the probation terms will result in a one-year suspension from racing in WRL
    6. Suspension/Ban: In addition to the above, a driver may be suspended or banned from racing with WRL for gross violation of the WRL rules (i.e. blatant cheating) intentionally causing contact especially where the officials feel there was intent to harm or damage, or for physically or verbally abusive behavior toward any official, safety worker, driver, guest or track employee

    Rules under consideration for 2018

    What's on the radar for 2018? We're happy to say that we are exploring the possibility of classing cars per wheel horsepower. The current system is quick and easy to put in place and it's far better than some of the other classing systems out there, and we know that it still has an element of "theory" in it. But it's produced some really close racing nonetheless! There are several considerations to be addressed if we are to switch to WHP (horsepower vs torque, where the class breaks will be, dyno specs, etc). It would have an impact on the "no-hassle" mindset we try to keep, since you'd have to get the car to a dyno. We are also looking into putting a multi-tier enforcement system in place that might include at-the-track dyno. The goal is to keep everything as even as possible within the classes, so that driver skill, preparation, and strategy make the difference (as opposed to checkbooks and skunkworks). That's what racing should be about. We could get there with a pure spec series but who the hell wants that? We all want to build and race the car(s) that we love and know, and can afford regardless of our budget. Stay tuned for updates, your input is always welcome (send gripes, praise, lotto picks and expertise to race@racewrl.com)

    Fire systems are on the table as a required item for 2018. Currently they are required if you have a fuel cell or are in the new GTO class. Everyone else is still compliant with a fire extinguisher on board. We consistently advise that the safety rules are as baseline - the MINIMUM requirement - and that you should always look to exceed the minimum in terms of safety.

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