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Vieux 04/09/2002, 23h19
AlanO
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Ce message a été envoyé par Andrew Comrie-Picard à CARS et le message a été posté sur rally-ontario l'an dernier quand CARS considérait des limites d'âge au niveau national. Les limites proposées étaient différentes, mais ses raisons sont encore valables. Moi, je suis tout d'accord avec les arguments qu'il présente.

Je n'inclus pas tout le message, seulement les passages applicables.

Je le présente en anglais, je ne peux pas traduire tout ça. <img src=icon_smile_clown.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Arguments for age limits:


Manufacturer Argument: Manufacturers are discouraged by older cars being in competition, or by older cars enjoying greater successes than their own.

This is the most common argument made for production class age limits. But before effectively banning a dozen or more eligible, competing cars we must ask whether manufacturers really do care at all. I have seen no evidence that they do, nor that they should. Marketing at the front of the rally with new cars winning classes, production or otherwise, is quite “untainted” by older cars: any rally on TSN or Speedvision will confirm that the older cars rarely, if ever, appear. In the very rare case that they do (I
can only think of the Havas non-production RX7) it is a case of a driver attempting to gain a sponsor by showing his skill in an older car * an intelligent sponsor would hire the driver of such a car, and we should certainly promote that sort of driver progression. It must be better to have the sponsor recognize the talent than require the talent to buy the sponsor’s car first.


Elite Argument: The Elite rallyist will be better off with production classes that do not include older cars.

This is a relevant argument only if (a) if Argument 1 about the manufacturers (here as sponsors) holds water, making it more difficult to get sponsored when older cars are on the stages, or (b) older cars have some innate advantage over newer ones. I hope I have
shown that the manufacturers should not and likely do not care, eliminating (a). I also doubt that any older car has an unfair advantage over a newer one; in the unusual case of an older car prevailing over a new one, the driver is surely to credit, and should attract a sponsor for his efforts rather than repel them from the class for his success.


Grassroots Argument: The Grassroots rallyist will be better off with production classes that do not include older cars.

This could hardly be the case: Production class remains the point of introduction for many
modestly-funded novices. To require them to have a newer car is surely a prejudice rather than an advantage.



The arguments against age limits:


Prejudicial to grassroots competitors:

Production class is attractive to novices because the cars are inexpensive to buy, easy to find, (relatively) easy to prepare, inexpensive to replace parts on, not too powerful so as to be difficult to handle, in many cases are already in the driveway, and in some cases remain drivers. To use my own example, my Lada cost me $2100 prepared, parts are all over Ontario scrapyards, I have driven it to several events (before I could afford a tow vehicle and trailer), and in a pinch it has been a daily driver. We have learned
to drive it flat out and only now are ready to move on. Canadian rally needs this class of car.


Cars currently owned by novices will lose their resale value:

Even more pernicious is the fact that at the same time these cars lose their eligibility, they will lose the bulk of their resale value. The grassroots competitors who might be on the verge of moving up to a new or more competitive car will find it more difficult to sell an ineligible car to fund the next one. Surely this cannot be correct.


P Classes routed by the rule:

The small-displacement P classes would be profoundly effected by an age limit. As an example, even the non-SCCA 15 year limit will within a year eliminate six and leave only three of this year’s nine competitors in P2 - one of those out immediately, two more after Tall Pines, three more in the next year. Remaining will be Hendy (1993 323), Bourget (1995 Accent), and Comrie-Picard (1994 Lada). Eliminated will be Levesque (1985 Corolla GTS) (the dominant entry), Gaultier (1986 Corolla GTS), Cyr/Cyr (1987 Corolla GTS), Parenteau (1987 Corolla GTS), Gauvin (1986 MR2), and Canuel (1987 Tracer). P2 is small enough as it is. This can't be a good idea.

There's more. Steve Walkington (leading P3 in an 86 Scirroco) would be out after Tall Pines on a 15 year rule; Gene Tomoroy (1986 Subaru), surely the kind of guy we want to support, also out after Tall Pines. With 12 or 8 year limits cars start to drop away very
quickly. Shall we tell Robinson Kelly at Tall Pines *his second performance rally - that his just-completed 1991 P4 Isuzu Impulse has one year of eligibility before becoming an Open class car? Can this make sense? Eliminating these cars is going to get more
sponsors for whom, exactly?


Absurdity of date of manufacture as a rule:

As I understand it, the age limit would work on date of manufacture or registration. As the relevant test this is absurd * surely there is no reason why an identical 1988 model should have another year of eligibility over a substantially identical 1987 model. I have a second shell, a year newer, into which I could transplant all the running gear in order to gain another year of eligibility. Such a rule would be sufficiently irrational to be unseemly. Even if I did support an age limit, which I do not, any such age limit must be from the end of the model’s production, as it is done with the FIA homologation (note also
that last year the FIA extended the age limits for certain models to allow older but well-prepared cars to continue to compete).


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