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RE: mud wrestling in the wrc

this is like mud wrestling....

errr, its a very long strech to call active suspension active dampers.
active dampers are simply a method to control rebound, pure and simple, and
have been used on high-end cars for years.  true active suspension doesn't
require springs (which are *re*active), but uses (generally hydraulic,
sometines pneumatic) pistons instead.  enough said?

wrt the economics of the 'wrc' car vs the group 'a' car.  as i have said the
'wrc' came about simply because manufacturers approached the fia seeking to
*not* have to homologate a car to the group 'a' rules, in order to compete
in the wrc.  and so the fia drafted the rules allowing a manufacturer with a
homologated 2wd, non-turbo machine to add a turbo and awd hardware in order
to go racing.  remember that the move was basically economically driven in
the 1st place.  since the regulations have been in place, another 4
manufacturers (none with an applicable turbo awd car) have entered wrc cars
(peugeot, seat, skoda, and now hyundai).  remember that ford/toyota had let
the homologation on the escort lapse simply because they could use the wrc
rules to develop the focus (again wihtout an awd, turbo base car).  is this
"economics" so hard to understand?

wrt suspension allowances in wrc.  lets keep this simple.  the homologated
car does not require a full transmission tunnel, and can have a 2wd setup.
the regulations allow the placement of a tunnel,  and the full rear
axle/suspension assembly.  the ford engineer i talked to was quite clear
that that gave many advantages.  as of today, there is 1 group 'a' car left
in the field, the others are all 'wrc', and of the 6 or so top line 'wrc'
teams, only 1 of which i am aware use other than struts.  enough said?

you dispute that group 'b' is slower than 'wrc'!  i simply can't believe
that you would dispute this, as it is such common knowledge.  here in new
zealand, we have had the world championship rally since the early '80s, a
couple of years excepted.  during that time a number of stages have been
retained and give a fair indication of the progress of cars over the years.
the nz rally press pack gives you the stage times for each of the last 10 or
so years.  a perusal of these results will show you that the group 'a' cars
by 1990 and 1991 were beating the old group 'b' times over common stages.
needless to say that the '90-'91 group 'a' cars are now so old-tech now as
to be laughable.  happy to provide actual stage times if you need further

given that the cars are unquestionably faster (documented), and the engines
are around 200hp *less*, and you state that there has been little or no
progress in tyres, suspensions and transmissions over the last 15 years, i'm
puzzled as to where you think that the speed has come from?  why is progress
through technology so difficult for you to understand?  for example, last
year in formula 1, it was commonly supposed that the tyre (note the
*english* spelling) war between goodyear and bridgestone made around 4sec a
lap difference over the course of a single year of tyre development.  need i
remind you that pirelli and michelin have been hammer and tongs in the wrc
now for more years than i care to remember?  you are now trying to get us to
swallow that 15 years of tyre development (specifically for rallying need i
say) has produced only "some small improvement".  rotflmho.

'95 rs2
'90 ur-q
'88 mb 2.3-16

-----Original Message-----
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 09:30:30 EDT
From: QSHIPQ@aol.com
Subject: Re: NZ rally report (no real content) II

In a message dated 8/4/99 10:51:00 PM Central Daylight Time,
Dave.Eaton@clear.net.nz writes:

>  also, if you continue to think that there is no difference between 'wrc'
>  'a' in terms of suspension regulations (pickup points and so on), perhaps
>  you should just read the regulations, they make it pretty clear.  or
>  even check out the front strut towers of the ford focus, versus the road
>  car?  the fact is that with a wrc car, the designers have considerably
>  freedom for e.g. rear tunnel design, suspension design, and suspension
>  pickup points, heck even wheelbase and track.  so the ford engineer told

Dave, get specific if you are making the suspension claim, "and so on" has
depth or understanding.  Bottom Line:  "Night and day" is a statement you
haven't supported, I claim you can't.  Stick to just the suspension, if you
read my original post, that is the only issue I questioned.  Pickup points
doesn't make "night and day".

>  also, i did not say that "active suspension can't be competitive".
>  my post.  in my post i talked about ford's experience with active
>  not suspension.  the ford engineer told me that ford did not have active
>  suspension on the car, that they were playing with it (along with
>  and hadn't as yet found an advantage.  do you think they were lying?

Davey, please do tell us the difference between an active damper and an
active suspension.  Is there any?  I argue an active damper, makes for an
active suspension.  Please do take this opportunity to correct my thinking
here.  How else would one make an active suspension?

>  if you sit back and look at it, what are the differences that make the
>  500hp+ group 'b' machines (audi, lancia, peugeot, with their double
>  wishbones) so much slower over a special stage than today's top cars
>  make do with only 300hp?  with all due respect to the current crop of
>  drivers, i do not consider any of them a match for alen, rohrl or
>  so you cannot say that drivers are where it's at.  there are 3 things
>  have made the major difference: tyres, suspensions and transmissions.
>  simple really.

More claims, that I challenge.  Please provide support for the groupe b
slower over stages than the wrc cars.  That is documentation i haven't seen,
and should be easy for you to support.  Drivers are an equal or greater
effect on the win, than the car, plenty of documentation of that.  I believe
if you look to the rallye circuit, you can find some small improvement in
tyres (er, given your nip below, that would be 'tires' wouldn't it?:),
in the snow.  As far as the rest, ck Michelin rally tires out, are you sure
you want to make that statement?  As far as transmissions, not sure I'm with
you there either.  I believe you to mean differentials.  The suspension
claim, you haven't made that clear in 3 posts now.  Given that, time to