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Proposal for Mike A.

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Old 07-17-2003, 09:29 AM
  #41
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There is a parallel between this battle and the one waged between Tony George, of Indy Racing League (from my hometown) and CART. Both decided to become supreme ruler of an unmanageable bunch of racers. Tony's family own Indy. Penske and CART had all the good equipment. They hated each other, and did every disruptive thing to one another. This class of racing has suffered horribly as a result of the ego contest. I don't even remember what the beef was about. After about 20 years, it looks like Tony is winning. Nobody gives a ****! I was a BIG fan, and closely followed the circuit. Haven't been to one of those races since the squabble. I am beginning to feel the same way about Offshore/Inshore Fast Pond Racing. I think that both sides of this squabble are both right and wrong. Mike's organization is pretty good. He is abrasive, and should let a businessman like Ted Zoli think and speak for him. The old guard, who are old friends of mine, are trying to hold things together for the long pull. Maybe we could boot all the lawyers, and everything would be OK?
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by BROWNIE
Maybe we could boot all the lawyers, and everything would be OK?

Right on........problem is two of the main protagonists.....are lawyers.


Brownie...... You're from Indy?...... I thought you were born in Liverpool.

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Old 07-17-2003, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by T2x
C: Please explain....in terms even the "obsolete" can comprehend. T2x
In terms of the #6: Wasn't it more like the mid 80's (almost 20 years ago) when it was introduced? As a reference, no one even had PC's or cell phones in those days, and in the meantime GM is on it's third new big-block design (Mk 5/Mk 6/8100 Vortec). The #6 was dry-sumped after Weismann did it and re-skegged after Hering did it. If it hadn't been for those innovators, the 1980's #6 would be today's #6. In 2000, Mercury successfully lobbied/cajoled Offshore into mandating it for a number of classes (much to the hue and cry of many on this board, I might add), thereby artificially propping up an (dare I use the term) obsolete technology that might not have been the best. Now you see it still in used on 750 hp raceboats when a much smaller package would be more appropriate, but is not allowed. On a related note, how many 525/HP3 powered boats use Bravos if they don't have to, and where does one go for a sterndrive package with more than 576 horsepower and less than 899?

The point: It seems that the emphasis is on what causes the boys in Wisconsin the least amount of work. (Protect the species by regulation rather than innovation.) Combine this with their current position in the sanctioning body mess, and you could develop th eimpression that Mercury is in it for Mercury, not for the sport. Good business? Sure. Good for the sport? Make up your own mind. All I know is that I don't see anyone from GM, Ford or Daimler-Chrysler on the board of any sanctioning bodies, and I would expect that there's an excellent reason for that.

Don't get me wrong - Mercury has been a staunch supporter of the sport and no one questions the knowledge, skill and dedication of the employees (God bless 'em), but is the motivation at the top levels really pure? What would it have been like if OMC/Volvo had decided to get in, stay in and duke it out? You were around in the OMC vs. Merc days in Formula One - was the pace of technology and level of support any stronger then?

Competition improves the breed - no one will argue that. What does lack of competition do? Ask Chevrolet about their IRL engine program and draw the parallels.

This isn't all that tangential to the core of the matter.
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:21 PM
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Well said C-Spray...
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:00 PM
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You got it, C_Spray! Well said.
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by C_Spray
[Trivia question - Name a piece of equipment currently used in offshore racing that is older than a #6 drive.

See what I mean? [/B]

Ummm....

GM based Big Block (Chevrolet) pushrod driven internal combustion engine?

Just taking a stab at that..but I think it is older.

Not to be critical here, but a large part of the criticism that is being directed at Mercury here needs to be directed at the LLC. The APBA and the LLC have long stood behind their ability to homologenize hulls for parity, do you not think that they could have done that for engines IF another engine manufacturer came to the table?

You would think so - they claim to have done that now with the Vortec vs. (new) Mercury vs. (old) Mercury powerplants. If an alternative was available four years ago, could it not have been done then?

Yes, I know, they standardized F-1 and F-2 for parity and to keep the classes economical. That was not Mercury who did that, it was the APBA and the LLC. Mercury was the engine and drive package selected at the time, but then again, who else was interested? Volvo? Yanmar?

But wait, obviously there was not parity even then, because then you had CRE, when the sanctioning body made the statement that only they could certify powerplants for competition. Even given a universal platform, the LLC took EVERY racers option for rebuilding away (save one, their own), to try to ensure parity among equals.

Competition is a viscous cycle - everyone wants options, everyone wants parity, and everyone wants it to be economical. Until someone dominates the class. Then one of two things happens - the costs go through the roof, as everyone seeks to be the biggest and the best, or the sanctioning body legistates the options out of existance. That has already happened in the LLC's Offshore and only now is a single alternative (the Vortec) available.

The domination of Mercury (or anyone elses) products in a series which itself mandates acceptable parts (as the LLC does today) in not sole fault of the manufacturer.

The sanctioning body has responsibilty here to.

Last edited by Adivanman; 07-17-2003 at 03:32 PM.
 
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:02 PM
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I believe the reasoning for CRE was to keep the cost down, and try to prevent people from cheating. I watched an engine get dynoed after it was rebuilt by a "certified" shop that wasn't even close to legal... I think the CRE deal was to help stop that, not to say that Mercury couldn't build equal parts.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:32 PM
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That is just my point. In a time when the only engine option that racers had (besides carb vs. EFI) was who could rebuild or certify the HP500's - the sanctioning body mandated a single rebuilder, as you say, the keep the costs down and prevent cheating.

Has it done that? Debatable. There are pro's and con's to the cost argument, although I believe that a fresh and sealed CRE 500 will have more “value” (to many) than a fresh but unsealed engine from another source. Has it stopped cheating? Open for discussion.

Was it the only way to do this? No. The CRE program could have been expanded to other rebuilders with a myriad of checks and balances available for discussion. Many other forms of motorsports do this successfully and even given a limited choice of sanctioned engines or components, competition exists and even thrives. Instead of following the NASCAR model, the LLC chose to follow the ASA model. Mercury did not make these rules, the LLC did.

The question becomes, what will happen now? If the apparent anomosity between the LLC and Mercury continues or gets worse, could the GM Vortec become the single spec engine? It would not take much to make one brand much more appealing than the other. What happens if one dominates the other, in performance, in popularity, and in victories? Will it be penalized into equality? What if it is the "wrong" brand?

Last edited by Adivanman; 07-17-2003 at 04:37 PM.
 
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:45 PM
  #49
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Exclamation To Put This Another Way...

Mercury has been the driving force behind Offshore racing for a long time. You can not blame them for that. They created a market and they made the best of it. They were embraced by both the Racers and the Sanctioning Bodies.

Instead of looking backwards with spite and questioning the motivation of the single largest supporter of the sport, why don't you look ask the simple question - who else...wanted...to be in that position?

Until very recently - nobody.
 
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:54 PM
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The whole CRE thing would not have been necessary had Mercury agreed to certify and seal the engines when they built them as the LLC asked them to do. It would have been a great way to take care of the racers and show support for the series at little or no cost. They declined. Their choice. So it's not all that clear to me that Mercury was "interested" in the concept - they were interested in selling engines and drives. Lots and lots and lots of drives.

Mercury "Racing" is the one using the old style GM engines. GM (and Mercury Marine )have moved on...

If the GM engine does become the only spec engine, it's no different that when the HP500 was the only spec engine. No loss, no gain.
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