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Rotaries outlawed from Daytona 24
Submitted by SuperUser on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 5:25pm

This year, the Grand-Am sanctioning body, outlawed all Rotary Engine Powered
Race cars at the Daytona Rolex 24 Hour Race. Section 3-1.6 Rotary engines are not allowed (Rolex Series only). We take this as another one of
those misguided and ignorant decisions, by rules makers and sanctioning
bodies that do not and care not to understand the Rotary power plant. The
Rotary engine has been a mainstay of endurance sports car racing around the
world, for 3 decades. Endurance racing is one of the last great places where
the inherent values of the Rotary Engine can still shine through, at a world
class level of competition, although it's been severely regulated/restricted
of late.

We wanted to ask all Rotary enthusiast what they thought of Grand-Am's
decision to ban Rotary Power, at this, one of the most famous, 24-hour
races. Please send us your thoughts and comments, and we will compile them
and send them to Grand-Am. Let's get Rotary Power back on the endurance
circuit! We want to show Grand-Am and all Road Racing sanctioning bodies,
that Rotary enthusiast play a major part in supporting sports car racing and
we want to see Rotaries back in the game! Click the link below to leave your feedback.

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subject:
Rotary power...
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I am really sad to hear this news. Mazda has invested a lot of money, time on the rotary engine to be disrespected like this. They did kill the competition in the eighties but have not done it since. With the introduction of the new rotary engine called "Renesis" Mazda will not get a chance to show its potential. I was really looking forward on going to see the RX 8 race or any prototype with the engine. Grand Am should reconsider their desicion and make the rotary legal. I am a Honda fan and owner but I am also a fan of technology and import power. Let Mazda race the rotary! Thanks.
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subject:
Rotary owner
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
It's really very simple why the rotary powered cars have been removed from the competition, Obviously, the committee members know that piston cars don't compete with the rotaries! Therefore, The rotary powered racers won't be permitted.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
But, how can it get any better if it isn't allowed to race, and no R&D dollars fo into improving it further?

That is the true point to an orginization like Grand-Am... to promote the research and development of automobiles via racing. When they outlaw things, no more development goes into them, and thus, automobiles loose valuable features that could make them safer, more efficient, more powerful, lighter, etc.
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subject:
Advertising
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Mazda should buy a bunch of ad space around the track, saying something like "the rotary was so powerful, it would have dominated the competition, if they hadn't outlawed it"

The should also put some ads up on the speed channel like that. Ive seen the ones that say "never thrown a rod, dropped a piston, etc" the "outlawed because it is too good" commercial would be killer.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I think that the sanctioning board that did this is a bunch of chickens that are scared of what they know is superior. They should be forced to make an announcement at the beginning of this race stating "were sorry, we banned the Mazda Rotary Engine from this race because it is a far superior design than the typical piston engine, and we are afraid it would perform far better than it's Piston counterparts." I think Mazda should use this to there advantage in advertising. They should run commercials for the rx-8 and 4th gen rx-7 talking about being banned from Lemans after winning, and being banned from Daytona 24 due to the superior reliability, and power that the rotary engine has to offer.
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subject:
innovation
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I belive that auto racing is more of a research than anything else because most of the innovations for cars comes from racing. And if a manufactures it's trying to go racing with a brad-new engine(like when they first thought 8 cylinders Would be better than 6) that hasn't been around the US for almos a decade "WHAT THE HELL" give-em chance to show it's stuff. I'm from Puerto Rico and I love rotaries like most puertoricans that are into racing. I own a First Gen and my brother a Third Gen and we love smoking V8's with ease like we do, thats why personally I THINK THEY'RE SCARE!!!!!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I am a rotary enthusiast and would love to see the rotary engine in all races including the Grand Am. Don't be afraid of the little rotary against your V8's. :)
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subject:
I wonder...
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
If I could post a picture of my middle finger I would. Simply read any of the other posts on this thread and 'nuff said.

FWIW,
J-Ro
(Will never watch the 24hrs. again)
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subject:
Mr.
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Is it completely necessary to make rules excluding innovation so that the establishment sponsors don't look ignorant and anti-progressive? Of course it is. Follow the money---to greed---to arrogance and power. The more rotaries show their ability to whip up on the piston engines, the more the piston establishment is going to rebel. Racing should be a true place for laissez-faire market forces to be free to work. If left to compete fairly and the rotaries are inferior, they will die, if superior they shoudl righfully displace the pistons. Of course the greedy and arrogant who control the piston establishment will not allow that to happen. Because the piston teams are the best funded, they really make the rules. C'mon stewards, grow some gonads and tell the piston establishment to make a better product or lose....don't give in to their blackmail. Act like heros, not cowards.

J. Feltman
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subject:
rotary power
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I think Grand American Sports Car series is going down hill anyway. They are becoming the Nascar of Sports cars. Of course they banned the rotary. All the series wants is one or two manufactures making spec chasis and engines to keep cost down and to make the rules simple. Allowing a variety of vehicles in the series with make more work for them. The GT class is going to be all Porshes with a couple of Ferraris mixed in. They are shooting themselves in the foot by being closed minded. How can you ban an engine that carried the most amount of wins in IMSA history! Usually the rotary is the underdog in all races other then lengthy endurance races. They are banning an engine that is reliable in a race that requires reliability.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Historically, racing has served to test new technologies, further the state of the art, and stretch engineering and reliability.
Ulitmately, racing has served to make automobiles more than just a commodity, but a passion, and part of our culture.
Out-lawing any technology violates the spirit of the sport. In the situation of the Rotary Piston engine, this design should be understood both for it's advantages, and it's limitations.
It seems to me, that racing officials, developers, and engineers can rule sensibly and equitably to allow the Rotary engine run in Grand AM.
To simply out-law this technology really does miss the point of why we race.
Here is a good chance to re-examine our basic assumptions. Why hold race events at all?
Thanks for your consideration.
Jim
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subject:
When someone wins race after race, he's just overall better
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Look back in the mirror a bit: oval pistons.
Honda invested huge money in developping this technology, solved packs of issues, achieved good reliability for an overly complex piece of engine, paid millions in patents.
For what? 2 races...
Because oval pistons were so much above the pack in Superbike, 220hp out of 750cc sounded insane (cheating?) in the 90's when other barely reached 160hp, and still very smooth and useable, that the ones using traditional circular pistons got it forbidden.
Today round pistons give the same output, thanks to development, but they won't allow oval back: who knows, Honda still has the patents, andmight develop it further and kick everybody's asses again...

Look closer back: F1-season 2002, Schumacher & Ferrari can't seem to get beaten by any other team. "Put weights on the damn car!", "allow only 3 gears to Michael!", "Limit his engine to 1 piston!" were the kind of comments Ferrari had to live with along the whole season. Everybody was for regulations that even out the level in the category.
For what? So-called cost-saving experience-enhancing measures to keep the big-money sponsor believe that people are looking, and teams surviving. The sport will become so even and uniform, that it will become meaningless. Spectators and teams wil go look elsewhere.
However check the news: teams have been hard at work and *all* come up with a new car for 2003. Look at the times in the inter-season tests. Ferrari is in the middle of the crowd in times. Schumacher has been out in the gravel more often in january 2003 than S2/2002. All-time tracks-records are being broken by McLaren and others.

Car racing is about passion, innovation and hard-work of the technicians, engineers, drivers and managers in the team.
Present a problem to an engineer, and he'll want to solve it. Present 2 problems, he'll want to solve both. And eventually he will, possibly with breakthrough innovations, that will give his team an edge over other teams, who in their turn will wonder: "they're so much faster, how do we get there too?"
What make a team win is its ability at one point in time to have the best answer to a given problem in all fields: car, team, driver.
F1 is about going fast, let's make them engine powerful, and lasting 200mi.
Endurance racing is about reliability. A rotary engine can be a more appropriate answer to that problem than a reciprocating. But it also has its limitations, and without the other elements (car, gearbox, tyres) in their best conditions a rotary won't win on its own.

Maybe an even better answer to endurance racing will be a fuel-cell powered car. After all, it has even fewer moving parts than a rotary, and could even make environmentally friendly races, producing only water. You only have to take care of not getting short-circuits.

Grand'Am, will you outlaw fuel-cells then, because they can't break a piston and valve, not even a rotor?
All manufacturers are developing them though, it's only up to you to decide if you prefer to stay stuck in 20th century engineering, or wan't to be part of the future of automotive engineering.

Wether pistons, rotors, fuels cells or whatever transportation device is the best answer to a 24h endurance race, let the teams sportively race, the best one will come out on top in the end and win!
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subject:
No rotary?
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I know many rotary enthusiests, many of which would enjoy seeing the wankel participate in grand am races, if the rotary does not participate in the grand am then there will be many angry rotorheads, and lost Daytona 24 race spectators, so please give the rotary a chance!
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subject:
2nd gen rocket!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Banning the rotary is a sign of weakness! Why not ban the rotary from drag racing too?!?!?! It's not like you thick skulled, single minded, V8 muscle heads who have bigger schlongs per liter your motor has HATE THE ROTARY SOO GOD DAMN MUCH! Is it the more power per liter that you get out of a rotary that scares you? Is it the simplicity? Is it the lightweight? Is it the high RPM redline? Is it reliability? You must have a damn good reason to ban such a great motor!

This makes me think twice about buying a new V8 powered vehicle. It just supports crap like this!

OHH! I know! It's the fact that a rotary cheats! Because it gets 3 flywheel rotations per 1 revolution of a rotor!!!!!! Pretty scary from a 1.3L eh?

KEEP UP THE GREAT RULE MAKING!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Automobile racing is entertaining.

Why? The great competition, not only between drivers and marques, but between competing technologies. Piston and Rotary engines are both internal combustion engines, so why outright ban one? The only result of this is that the competition is not as great, the race is not as entertaining, and the rules-makers look extremely ignorant. As enthusiasts, we should support all forms of development, piston or rotary-- the end result is that we have a greater variety of cars to choose from, with ever-increasing performance envelopes.

The Rolex 24 hours at Daytona should allow rotaries for the above reasons. Increased competition is ALWAYS good.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
One word: Ignorance!
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subject:
RACIST I SAY
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I feel that this is borderline RACIST. So much for fair play eh. I would like to hear their arugments for not allowing the rotary in. For now I'm labelling them RACIST and I'd be glad to tell them that to their face. I didn't always own a rotary either but I didn't discredit them or disallow them either. This goes right along with the darn Red Neck billy bob attitude that some people have... hello the civil war is over you lost, so stop being RACIST.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I guess I saw my last Grand-am race last year then. I feel that the only way to combat this closed mindedness. Is to not support the races. I will do so by not watching nor attending any future events including the Rolex.

You just lost a fan.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I regret to see that some individuals took this opportunity to provide feedback to Grand-Am and instead presented ill-formed arguments or personal insults. The bottom line is that professional auto racing is a business that is designed to make money. It does sometimes demonstrate who is the better driver, or who makes the better car. It also stimlulates new technology. Nevertheless, it is ultimately a business whose revenue is based almost entirely on advertising and sponsorship.

I appeal on this basis for the Grand Am decision makers to resist the temptation of a few current big dollar sponsors and allow everyone the opportunity to participate. Ultimately, if the racing is interesting and successful, sponsors will gladly pay for the opportunity to present their wares to your viewers. I believe that this type of short term thinking may preserve a couple of current sponsors at the expense of long term quality and success of this type of racing. In the long term, you may end up losing viewers and even lose sponsorship entirely.

Instead, I propose to allow everyone reasonable to come and compete. A greater effort on your part to allow everyone to participate AND your setting of standards so that all cars are equally competitive will ultimately provide the best and most interesting racing - which will generate the most advertising and sponsorship revenue.

A secondary consideration is that when you prevent certain companies from demonstrating their products (this is a form of advertising for them) in your racing format - they may very well set up an alternate format. It is unlikely that these companies will simply pack up and go home! If the new events are more interesting and successful (see previous argument above), your format may "go by the wayside" and your sanctioning body itself may ultimately lose relevance. This can be oberserved today with regards to the sanctioning bodies in saiboat racing over the past couple of decades.

In summary, please act to preseve yourselves and maximize your revenue potential by being as open and accomodating as possible to all potential racing participants.

Thanks for your consideration in this matter.

Greg Duncan

PS: Thank you MAZDA for not giving up on the rotary - now finally back in the US and more potent and relevant than ever! I look forward to a future RX-7 with an even more potent version of the powerplant.
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subject:
Daytona 24
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Seems to me people tend to outlaw or shun things they are afraid of. Perhaps drivers of cars with cylinders are afraid of being passed by a well tuned rotary.

Just sign me the proud owner of a '93 RX-7.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I have followed the fortunes of Jim Downing,Roger Mandeville,Dennis Spencer,Dick Greer and others that have used Rotary power in IMSA and Grand AM competition for many years.The ONLY reason that I have had ANY interest in these forms of motorsport is because they have allowed the use of Rotary engines in competition.
Living in New Zealand, limits the ability to actually attend events but the internet and pay TV have provided me with the ability to follow these teams and support them from a distance.
I had planned to visit the USA in 2005 to see the 24hrs of Daytona and Daytona 500,but will not attend either event if there are no Rotaries competing.This was a trip that I've been saving money for and planning for over a year now and to say that I'm pissed off is an understatement.
This is a short-sighted decision by the rulemakers that will turn a number of supporters away from the sport and from attending events and purchasing merchandise.
I feel sorry for Team Spencer and for Jim Downing who has supported the various competitions in his RX3,RX7 and 3 and 4 rotor Kudzus since 1974 and Mazda's have competed in these events since 1973!
Grand AM need to ask themselves what they are GAINING by banning Rotaries and if they come up with nothing then maybe they will have the foresight to reconsider this poorly thought-out ruling
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subject:
fight back
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
why not make an only Rotary endurence race that towers over the others with a 48hr race
nopistons aloud

this would make me happy
if some ppl could git to gether & make it hapen
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I do not agree with the decision to ban all rotary powered vehicles from the event. This is not very sport like and consider it to be very biased. This this because they are afraid of what the outcome might be if a rotory car wins the event more than once or what?
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I do not agree with the decision to ban all rotary powered vehicles from the event. This is not very sport like and consider it to be very biased. Is this because they are afraid of what the outcome might be if a rotory car wins the event more than once or what?
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
start a petition and my name's on it! why do sactioning bodies always do dumb things like this?!
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