H750F vs 750F

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H750F vs 750F

Postby LyndonH750F » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:48 am

Martin -
There must be a dozen people with partially rebuilt 750 cars held hostage in garages all around the country. They need to be rescued.


You are absolutely right and this is one of the main challenges facing both formulas. We're very keen to push this avenue, and we've had some success over recent years - most recently I've come across a car in Poland which I'm trying to find a buyer for. The question is how do we achieve it - and it would require promotion through magazines, websites and other media. Or perhaps a string of rogue 'wanted' adverts on eBay in the auction listings - which can not be bid on; and using other forums such as UpHill racers more effectively to our benefit. This is where I think both formula should be working together more, through joint promotion and efforts on finding old cars/part built cars. I've always felt we get considerable benefit from attending Race Retro, Silverstone Classic etc. The benefit isn't always immediate or obvious, but it gives drivers and outsiders confidence that the formula is being invested in.

I'd also like to share my view on the falling grids. Firstly, like many of you I've seen many other series come and go in 750MC, and it's clear it's the drivers who are going to have to put in the time & energy to make it work. As an outsider, if I were to have a bigger budget to go racing the 750 Formula would initially be of great interest to me, however I have to honestly say the constant chasing of technology, increased use of sensors, carbon bodies, fancy gearboxes would completely put me off. If I were to enquire about joining, at that stage I'd be walking off to find something where I don't need a degree to operate my car (I'm not saying this is the case, rather how it maybe perceived). I'd be asking the question of whether all these advances have actually benefitted the formula or increased laptime. Personally I believe if you go back to the basic recipe of being a cost effective wings & slicks formula with a reliable contorl engine and control tyre, remove all the fancy tech, fancy gearboxes and carbon bodies - then you will absolutely thrive once again. Short term you may get the odd disgruntled driver, but changes can be phased in. Long-term I place my bet that your grids will increase substantially.

Wishing you all the best.
Lyndon
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Re: 2021 Intentions

Postby pbove » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:51 am

Hi Lyndon,

I'm not sure I agree on two counts, firstly your assertion that 750F is more costly than H750F and secondly that the "technology" that you talk about is seen as a turn off. As someone that fitted a data logger early on (mid 90s) and now has fitted the Quaife I'm probably biased, but let me explain.

Data logging isn't expensive these days and isn't critical either, however, it has saved me money. I an see what the temps and pressures are doing and it saved me an engine rebuild when I thought I had an issue only to find that the oil pressure had been fine throughout the session. Having an onboard lap timer is helpful and having a delta time is also helpful, but neither is essential. I do enjoy picking through the data after the race though and it adds to the fun.

I bought the Quaife when I realised that the days of the Reliant gearbox were numbered. It's no longer easy to get spares and Ron is no longer producing gearsets. Also, the design of the Reliant boxes makes them a bit fragile and high maintenance and A series boxes don't seem to be much better. I looked at a Ford box, but it was too expensive by the time I'd costed in an alloy case, short tailshaft and sc/cr gearset. They do come up from time to time at around £1500 on UHR but not very often. The Quaife was £2,800 including VAT when I bought it from Spedeworth and was slighly more compact. I sought everyone's agreement before buying it and no-one expressed an issue with it. We now have maybe 4 or 5 in use. It doesn't reduce lap time, but it is more "fit and forget" than the Reliant was.

As for Carbon bodywork, it really isn't essential. The only carbon on my car was fitted by Robin Gearing when he had access to the technology at work. Most of the other people using it have made their own components at home in proper 750F style and, from what I hear, it isn't really much more complex than GRP - you don't need an autoclave or anything more complex than a bag and a vacuum pump (so I'm told).

We are a development formula and we have minimum weight limits to avoid the necessity of using exotic materials.

I do agree that working together would be a good thing and that our formulae are targeted at different people, so there shouldn't be too much competition until we find chassis that could do either..... however, mostly, the cars that could be adapted to a Fiat have been. We ave not taken the decision to widen the entry criteria to allow a broader range of cars - which has proven to be a fruitful way forward for H750F, because it would make the competition side of the formula a bit tricky to manage.
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Re: 2021 Intentions

Postby dopdog » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:31 pm

My impression of the Formula and decission to move to it was that it would not be more expensive than the H750F in fact the cost will be less. The slick tyres are half the price of the historic ones and I am certain that the fiat engine will be stronger and more reliable than the raliant 850.

You do not need logging fancy dash boards or special pants. This is all down to the driver but the formula does give you the scope for development within its regulations. I for one have many ideas to impliment on my new car and as like Mclaren will have phased upgrades throughtout the season.


PS I actually do have special pants for racing :lol:
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Re: 2021 Intentions

Postby Martin Kemp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:36 pm

I think joint promotion is a good idea and I am very impressed with the success in marketing the Historic Formula.
If the impression is that the Formula is expensive and complex, then the reality is quite different.

Andrew had a very competitive outing at Silverstone leading at one point and getting fastest lap in both races.
The major components in his car are:
a scrap yard engine of about 40,000 miles fitted 2 years ago without even getting the time to remove the sump. £150
a scrapyard Grande Punto gearbox fitted with a Ron Welsh 5th gear. £100
Standard Mk2 Punto driveshafts
Standard FIAT Seicento clutch
Seicento brake discs thinned down
Ford electronic ignition with Megajolt control . It can be run with fixed 28 deg advance and no Megajolt
Secondhand wet tyres fitted to standard Seicento alloy wheels - he got fastest lap at Cadwell in the wet.
The construction methods and technology are just the same as for an Historic car but the engine is much much better and so reliable.

Sure there are more bits to the car and it could be quicker if we spent more money blueprinting the engine but this is not an expensive car. We couldn't race it if it was.

I converted the Merlin from the Historic formula and it cost me £75 for the engine £200 for the control camshaft and £50 for the rear discs but I saved £800 on the tyres. The handling isn't properly sorted yet but it is competitive on the straights at least.

A lot of people in the formula develop their cars and spent lots of time and money on them because they enjoy it, but it is not necessary if your focus is more on just racing for fun. The most important component is still the driver.

We have a data logger but most of the information can be obtained from a camera that shows the instruments.

Martin
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Re: 2021 Intentions

Postby LyndonH750F » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:10 pm

All interesting. For me both responses highlight the most important issue - perception. The biggest issue we've had in H750F internally and externally is the perception of 'what other people are doing.' Everyone says they 'race for fun and don't race to win' I've found this entirely untrue - and believe all of the drivers race to win and few race 'just for fun.' This in turn creates a perception issue - is everyone's car fair and equal? Can I win? The perception exists internally and externally. Fixing this perception with control tyres and control cams has fixed much of this.

Internally:
- am I slow because I don't have the fancy gearbox or a data logger?
- are they able to set up their car better as they have a carbon body, so they have more options to move weight around the car?
etc etc.

Externally:
- how much is it going to cost to have a carbon body'? how much is it going to cost me to repair it after an accident?
- what's advances are going to come next year, and can I afford to keep up with them?

Both Pete/Martin speak as 'home mechanics/engineers' but lots of people have the desire to race without the desire to get their hands dirty or don't have the skill to understand some of the tech etc - so it can be more off-puttiing for those people (in my view).

H750F tyres
Interestingly, in H750F I've done 3 seasons on 1 set of tyres - as have most of the grid. This works out to £250 per season (£750 per set and we don't need wets either). Again, perception is the tyres cost us a lot, but in reality it's not true.

H750F regs
It's also interesting that Pete mentions broadening the entry criteria for the grid. This also isn't actually correct. H750F has the same regulations in relation to eligible types of car as it did in 1994 when named the 750 Trophy. The Cooper 500s, A7s and pre-74 formula cars were all included back then as well - Martin you will recall. As were 'other cars of similar performance under 1300cc.'

Since the days when we really struggled to get grids (1 year was 9 cars in Pembrey), the only regulations which have changed are to introduce control tyres and control 850 cams; nothing else has actually changed. Most people said we had made the wrong decision to use Dunlop tyres (several drivers said they would leave) but in reality with only 2 changes the average grid has increased from 14 cars per race to 20 cars per race. We lost 1 drivers which was Martin - who originated with 750F.

The above for me really represents the biggest issue we sometimes face, which is without all of the information people have a perception of what it's like and make their decision on that. My perception of the 750F is fancy gearboxes, lots of digitial technology and carbon bodies. Some perceive H750F to have v.expensive tyres and unreliable engines. I've had the same engine I've had to 5 years and it's not cost me anything other than a standard winter rebuild.

Lyndon
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Re: 2021 Intentions

Postby pbove » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:46 pm

In my (albeit limited experience) drivers set their own challenges..... for some it's to finish the race in a car of their own design, for others it's to avoid being lapped. All the drivers take it seriously, all are looking for a competitive day out, it is just that their competitive horizon is different - which is why Class B works so well. And while Lyndon's view of perception might be true for some people, for others tech is an attraction. To this end, I've had people asking why we're still using carbs rather than EFI.

Digital technology is bread and butter to most people these days and contrary to being a turn off we have had people building their own - go figure. To some people innovation is very important - they enjoy fiddling, to others it's a turn off, we try to find the middle ground that gives enough scope for playing without introducing an artificial handicap for those that don't.
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