In an open letter to the short track industry made available on Monday, the Approved Body (ABC) Committee rejected the implementation of the new Gen-6 bodies for the 2018 season.
As has been the case for the past several years, the Cup Series style bodies will not be approved by a majority of the regional Super Late Model tours until the ABC Committee decides the time is right from a competition and financial standpoint. They will not approve the body until ABC Committee members are able to sit on a wind tunnel test to ensure that both the new bodies and current bodies produce relative equal amounts of downforce.
There was a degree of expectation that the committee might decide to approve the body since the Pro All Stars Series approved it for use in PASS North, PASS South and PASS National competition for the 2018 season. But this will not happen in the Southern Super Series, CRA Super Series, CARS Tour, ARCA Midwest Tour and Southwest Tour until late 2018 at the earliest.
Currently, the ABC Committee is comprised of RJ Scott, Glenn Luckett and Greg Wood of the CRA Super Series, Gregg McKarns and Mike Lemke from the ARCA Midwest Tour, Southern Super Series promoter Tim Bryant, CARS Tour managers Jack McNelly and Chris Ragle, Southwest Tour promoter Larry Collins and veteran technical inspector Ricky Brooks.
Here is the latest statement from the ABC Committee concerning the Gen-6 bodies:
An Open Letter from the ABC Body Committee:
January 29, 2018
We, the ABC Committee, have not approved this body package and do not intend to allow this body in competition until November of 2018 at the earliest, pending approval. There seems to be some misinformation out there and we know some teams are ready for a new look, which we agree with. That being said, we have been discussing price and competitive data with FiveStar since 2015 and recently received aero numbers and pricing for the first time during late August of 2017.
Here is where we stand as of today:
A comparative wind tunnel test between the current ABC body and proposed body has been requested. Currently the only aero data available to the ABC Committee, is from a closed door wind tunnel test conducted without any committee members present. We are simply asking for a more transparent test to satisfy all parties involved, as to the parity of the proposed body versus the current ABC design. Since our mid-December 2017 request for additional testing, FiveStar has had zero communication with the ABC Committee.
The goal of this test is to determine how to acquire the closest aerodynamic parity possible, thus NOT forcing our teams to ‘have to’ switch bodies. This is important on multiple fronts, but with no single part from the current approved ABC body being able to be utilized on the proposed body, a complete changeover and adaptation of one’s Late Model would be necessary.
A key point has been to lock the price of the proposed body.
In all likely hood, an approval of this body will create a single provider for this design, thus pricing is and remains an important topic. Additionally, we have proposed a ‘no lightweight’ option, which has been met with quite a bit of push back from the manufacturer. An effort has been made regarding how additional body manufacturers would be able to participate in this program, producing identical components to the proposed Fivestar design.
Timing of the release of proposed body is also of importance in this decision. Regardless of approval or not, FiveStar executives were uncertain of their exact release date of the proposed body when they spoke with our group at PRI in December of 2017. They indicated that they were to go to the wind tunnel in January of 2018 to work on nose designs for all three manufacturers. The ABC Committee believes that a partial release in which not all manufacturers are available and/or a release near the beginning of or once the season has begun does not serve the industry in the best manner. Thus the proposed on-track date of November of 2018, pending approval.
Approval by other groups appears to be on the table. In the end that is their right. The ABC Committee would like to remind you that these groups have not been involved with this project or been working toward a price lock and the competitive aspects of this proposed body as we have. It is our intention to continue down the approval process from a financial and on-track competitive stance that will continue to move the industry of asphalt short track Late Model racing forward for years to come. We invite all groups to join us in this effort.
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