Class 5 Unlimited Baja Bugs. Why or Why Not

JLongo

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“I'm curious where the perceived 300lbs is coming from?
Not sure if you've had your car down to a bare chassis, but mine has been. It was built with a lot of .120 1.75" tubing. I don't know exactly how much it weighed chassis wise, but I could (by myself) flip it on it's side and upside down in the garage with zero jacks or tools. Using thinner wall thicknesses and smaller diameter tubing can get your chassis down in weight [by a percentage] but I can promise you that's there's not 300 lbs worth of steel to be shaved.
1.5" .095 tubing is 1.45 lbs /ft. You'd need to have 200' less of tubing to loose that much weight. I know you did not specify chassis, but that car has S5, big shocks, big arms, 40 gallon cell, etc.”

I’m not a chassis builder but I can tell you Cades Lothringer is lighter than my JFW car both in race trim, bottom line Kent knows how to build minimum weight race cars.I weighed them both and weight is horse power my lothringer 2-1600 in early 2000’s was a minimum weight car and that was hard to do. My SS 12 car he built was a 1750 LB rocket( Zac & Erik can confirm ) In a limited motor class a light weight car is an advantage and at this point 5U is a limited motor class in my opinion.

I’ll let the cat out of the bag and I’m not saying it was called cheating but the coalition (Ben) took Cade Garcia’s winning points away for the 3rd coalition race because he has a oversized oil pan. The same oil pan/motor I ran the year before to a 3rd place in coalition points.My oil pan was never mentioned at the coalition meeting and I was allowed to race the next year with it if I choose. Not sure how oil pans equals HP but that is the decision that was made. I’m only saying it because I feel bad for him and know how hard he has worked to get to where he is.

In class 10 the reason you see a ton of Alumicrafts winning is because that is 90% of the field. I’ve driven them and they are great cars. I did see the ES motorsports car win V2R this year and 2nd at Silverstate and 4th at the 500.That’s just this year, there are other options for race cars if you want it. 10 cars have evolved into big dollar (150 to 200K) cars that weigh around 3300 LBs with outboard hubs and big shocks. That pushed it out of my budget.

I’m glad you included Penhall , Gregs car is bad ass from a guy that has been building beam cars for a long time. You left out Lothringer who has been building cars for 30 plus years. Like I said there are options out there. I agree 5U has that friendly feel and that’s why I bought in. I’ve been lucky to race a bunch of classes and 5U has always been my favorite. I know you recently sold your car as I did chit happens and doesn’t mean we don’t still love the class. 5U has evolved as well when we raced a big 3 liter type 4 and a MD5 trans it came out every race especially for the 500 & 1000. We were pushing it to the limit and couldn’t risk a problem. The S5 allowed you to run 3 races on the trans before a prep. Made total sense to me one less thing to prep every race and it was usually in pretty good shape. I saw it as a cost saver and really fun to drive as a bonus.
I really don’t think you can stop the evolution of the class its just human nature to try and build a better mouse trap.
 

swiftracing5

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Straight from the C5C website, 2021 rules as voted by the class. If you remember, we changed the rules from 2020 to 2021. Your motor was legal last year. I didn’t confirm the oil plan until pictures were posted and I had multiple inquiries from other teams to look into it over the summer.

Bullet point #2 from the rules- all rebuilds must use stock parts. Custom oil pan is not a stock part. If it’s not a “performance gain” then why is it being used on the fastest motor in the class? Second part- Modifications required to use oil pan as confirmed by the builder.

Rules aren’t rules until you enforce them. I’m sorry I had to be the guy, but I had to stick up for the rules we voted, not the interests of any one team even though you guys see it that way. You can call me if you want to discuss. I hope we can drink a beer as friends in Baja sometime in the future, I really do. 9492859470
 

steve0we

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What’s gonna make this class grow? Its simple. Start inviting your class 10 buddies to come hang out with us. Same car, same cost, way better time in the desert!

I dont have much say in the class as I and the team wrench and team monkey, but Zac took way more BS than Cade has for not following the rules over the years and Zac was legit the entire time.

Both Zac and Cade are amazing people with lots of talent. Neither would knowingly do something illegal in the class but rules are rules and Cade was outside the lines and got called out. He will change it and continue to be a young front runner in the class if he wants to be here.

I support Bens decision 100%
 

Bro_Gill

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You need to clean up your rules. The way it is written, it refers to changing parts in a rebuild. According to the engine builder, that motor has never been rebuilt.
 

Baja Belk

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Admittedly, I am not over-involved in the behind-the-scenes of the Coalition. I'm not an expert in the nuances of the rules. I'm not even a good mechanic and most of my limited knowledge in this sport is what pedal to push and how to turn a steering wheel. But I have been racing in Class 5 for 18 years now (Lord I feel old saying that). I have lived through several cycles. When I first started at age 17 it was us vs. George Seeley, Michelle Bruckman, AJ Martin, Jim Varshay, etc. We never had more than 10-12 entries at a race but we usually always had more than 6 or 7. It was pretty good competition. Then a lot of those guys moved on or dropped out or whatever. It was pretty quiet for a few years. Then the big rule change came along and in 2015 at the MORE McKenzies 400 I think there was almost 20 entries. Spitz, Swift, Willard, Reish - those names were all new to me back then and now they are all great friends of mine.

It's clear that the Class is currently in a down-cycle, but honestly, I'm not sure how much engine rules or lack thereof has anything to do with it. Between COVID throwing a big wrench in the race calendar for a year plus, family commitments, car upgrades, new cars being built, chasing non-coalition points championships, etc, it kind of just seems like everyone has a legitimate reason for not showing up lately. Granted, I was as frustrated as anyone that the Clash this September was a giant let down. What did we have, 5 entries? After all of Cody's hard-work to conjure up sponsor money and hype? That was disappointing.

I think the problem is multi-fold. You have a few guys who are committed to various orgs points championships and don't have time for coalition races (Bean with SNORE, Schweers with BITD, etc). A few guys only race Mexico (Paquette, McNeil, Hernquist, Kellogg). A few guys were here for a bit and then left for other, sexier classes (Blade, Grabowski, now Cade). I honestly think that as much as I hate to admit it, I think this class will always be a bit of a "legacy" class - it's never going to disappear completely, but it also is not fast enough or marketable enough to grow into UTV or Spec or even Class 10, where you're going to have 20-30 entries every race. It's affordable enough to allow for some budget, grassroots teams, but not quite affordable for someone to step in off the street and be consistently competitive. It is frustrating from one point of view, knowing that there are 30+ cars out there that get raced every year, and wondering why we can't get all those cars to consistently show up at the same race (how glorious that would be!). Realistically though, I've come to accept that most of those cars have been around for awhile now, and the owners all have their own agendas, time restraints, commitments, and race preferences, and getting 30 salty desert guys to agree on anything just ain't gonna happen.

I agree with the spirit of the coalition engine rules - trying to avoid an arms race of class-wrecking super-motors. I also know that even with limited enforcement, that super-motor just hasn't materialized yet, and maybe never will. Rules are rules and I believe strongly in policing whatever rules are firmly and openly established. As for what those rules should be in the future - honestly, I don't know and I'm not sure I care. I think the only sure way to really grow this class is with the universal motivator - $$$$. Sponsors are what drive growth, and if you got a few brand-name sponsors to kick down some serious cash or even contingency money for Class 5 specifically, then I think you would start to see some high entry counts. The other thing I see lacking is brand-recognition. Nobody talks about Class 5 anymore. We have the largest running thread on RDC but nobody even gives the class a mention outside of our own internal thread. When LJ and I won the Mint 400 in 2018 they parked me off to the side and ushered up the first 10 finishing UTV's to the stage, all of whom we had beat. Go look on Fishgistics to see what is trending and it's TT, UTV, Class 10, Spec Truck, and Class 11. Every single time I mention to a friend or parent at school that I race they immediately say "Oh, like one of those UTV's??", and I want to puke. If you really want to grow this class, you need some marketing and some sponsors. Period. Motor rules are good and important, but I truly don't think that is a factor that drives people away. I'm curious to see what Dave Cole has cooking for KOH. That is a high-profile race that might have some positive exposure potential.

I love Class 5. It's the most fun I've ever had behind the wheel of a car. Even if it's not a household name, the "Baja Bug" is still iconic, and these are the fastest Baja Bugs around. The fans in Mexico love these cars. Everything is cyclical, and I have high hopes that the best is yet to come for this class.
 

10 shot

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Why not? VW built them in the 1980s and put them in the Gurgels, which were VW based military vehicles for Brazil. Die hards know.
The front end will barely last a race before everything has to be replaced as is nevermind putting a 4wd to it. Not a beam guy but from what I'm told nothing lasts
 

W.R.S

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So I just read the whole post in the last hour and I have to say I am a fan of class 5 after racing a handful of races last year. A little back story I originally was building a car back in 2015 and it was about 85% done all it needed was wired and plumbed and I sold it because all these 5u guys were building or converting to sequential trans axels and I built my brand new car with a 4spd h pattern and felt I was already behind the curve. Fast forward years later I get the chance to buy the car we turned into Herbie and I was very excited at how fast beam cars actually were unfortunately for me the car only had a 4spd h pattern I did put a 5 spd but didn’t splurge for the sequential because the cost didn’t make sense for the other upgrades I had to make to the car to try and be competitive. There are a lot of 5u cars out there but I believe a lot of them need upgrades to have bigger steering for the 35” tires and sequential trans axels and big front arms and so on to be a competitive car there are deals occasionally for 5u cars but far and few in my opinion. I would like to think that one day I would buy Herbie back or find my way back into a class 5 car because the guys racing are rad and were very welcoming to the class. I truly hope the car count comes back because that’s the reason I built my first car was the idea of racing 25 plus cars at a race.
 
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I am a big class 5 fan and have watched the class for the last ten years. I read this whole thread and while I am only a potential new guy to the class I have to say I wish it was still air cooled.

When you allowed a substantial HP increase to “make it cheaper/reliable” it quickly became too expensive again, everything has to be bigger/stronger.

Just like W.R.S. I have shelved my build plans as the costs and level of build to be more than a class filler has escalated significantly. For me it’s not a lack of funding, but do I really want to spend that on whatever a class 5 is these days? The only reason I’m even still considering it is because I think 5 is the coolest class.

A sealed engine or any rule that makes me use certain vendors for anything is a deal breaker for me, that is not in the spirit of racing.
 

Big Whitey

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So I just read the whole post in the last hour and I have to say I am a fan of class 5 after racing a handful of races last year. A little back story I originally was building a car back in 2015 and it was about 85% done all it needed was wired and plumbed and I sold it because all these 5u guys were building or converting to sequential trans axels and I built my brand new car with a 4spd h pattern and felt I was already behind the curve. Fast forward years later I get the chance to buy the car we turned into Herbie and I was very excited at how fast beam cars actually were unfortunately for me the car only had a 4spd h pattern I did put a 5 spd but didn’t splurge for the sequential because the cost didn’t make sense for the other upgrades I had to make to the car to try and be competitive. There are a lot of 5u cars out there but I believe a lot of them need upgrades to have bigger steering for the 35” tires and sequential trans axels and big front arms and so on to be a competitive car there are deals occasionally for 5u cars but far and few in my opinion. I would like to think that one day I would buy Herbie back or find my way back into a class 5 car because the guys racing are rad and were very welcoming to the class. I truly hope the car count comes back because that’s the reason I built my first car was the idea of racing 25 plus cars at a race.
When I had my Penhall car built I contemplated putting in a 5 H pattern. Out in the open desert I’m not sold the sequential is a huge advantage. Easier, maybe. Quicker shifting yes but for a long race I personally think a 5H is fine. In the end I went 5s And am happy.
 

Zac Reish

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With the current rules and cars The sequential trans is a good investment. Once you start competing in the top 5-10 the h patterns will get destroyed. If it doesn’t fail it’s going to be expensive and need a lot of parts after every race.

I had an h pattern and the rebuild costs were getting out of control and that was 4 years ago. The cars are faster, heavier now and rebuilds cost more.
 

W.R.S

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With the current rules and cars The sequential trans is a good investment. Once you start competing in the top 5-10 the h patterns will get destroyed. If it doesn’t fail it’s going to be expensive and need a lot of parts after every race.

I had an h pattern and the rebuild costs were getting out of control and that was 4 years ago. The cars are faster, heavier now and rebuilds cost more.
I agree the sequential is the investment needed we broke our 4spd and the 5spd and the new owners broke it again before putting a s5 in the car just those three rebuilds was the difference in upgrading to a sequential but to me to do it was just gonna snow ball because I felt if I was gonna do all that I should put a 2.5 in the car and upgrade the wiring and then it’s a 20k upgrade all at once. I really hope you guys figure out how to get the car count back because as my son gets a little older I think class 5 will be a great class for him to ride with me and learn to drive when the time is right. Maybe there needs to be more hype about class 5 or more of digital presence. The c5c Instagram only post something like once a month and when I got my 5 car I looked all over to find stuff about the guys racing or who had 5u cars and it was hard to do. In todays world when you want to learn something you go to YouTube maybe the heavy hitters of the class can do some videos walking around there cars talking about them showing the true speeds and how much fun class 5 really is. Getting content out to potentially new racers I think would help build the car count along with the promoters like MORE that really stand behind the class. Look at 11 it is growing at a fast rate with new guys wanting to get into the class but it is promoted well that a working man can build and maintain the race car. And in my opinion it’s probably more work to prep one of those over a well sorted 5 car
 

turbodon

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I don't think there are many teams willing to make an investment or modifications to their car to have it fit "coalition specific" rules.
My .02, mirror the org's rules. They're essentially all the same AFAIK.

Being able to run with the Coalition Club is a side benefit to the real target for most I feel.

Sat through a couple of the coalition meetings at Jake's. Was vocal at the first, kept my mouth shut and just listened at the second.
Almost all of the "proposals" made by an individual or team were to protect [their] car in the form it was already in.

For example, the guys on Gasoline: "No we don't want anyone to have E85"
Guys with H-patterns: "we should look into having H-patterns only"
Guys with stock engines: "engines should be stock, no modifications"
Guys with Ecotecs: "only Ecotecs should be allowed"
Guys with tagged engines: my engine is tagged so everyone's engine should be tagged.

Everyone wants the rule that ensure their car is the most competitive and the next guy doesn't have one up on them.

I think Cade is supposedly retiring from Class5, but if he wasn't and they were going to chase [another] championship next season, do you think they'd downgrade their oil pan to meet the club coalition rules? I don't want to speak for them, but I honestly doubt it because it's silly.

Go down the line and the specific rules can start impacting a significant amount of existing cars. Try a couple season's of mirrored org rules and see if counts can be drummed up.

The combined events the SNORE/MORE did helped for sure.. Rage / Ridgecrest.

*** By the way to the people discouraged about Sequentials, Bean beats people every race with a heavy a$$ steel cab Crumco that has a 5spd h-pattern, Non-DI engine, 930CV, regular microstub.... just throwing that out there.
 

Slippery P

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Well, Here’s mine:

5 spec

2.4 or 2.5 Ecotec tagged
Mimic class 10
Pump 91 and below, no e85 or leaded race fuel
35” tire max
5 speed max transaxle
Midboard hubs max, no outboard/floater

What about computers?
Leave the ECU rule as it stands.
 

Zac Reish

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I kind of agree with Don. I don't see just following the orgs rules really changing anything at this point. If it engages new builds regardless of budget than its one more team adding to the mix. and that's a good thing.
 
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