Placerville, CA…After releasing our rules package for the 2023 season, we had open conversations with many drivers and owners regarding ideas, opinions, and concerns. We appreciate the open dialog with all teams and thought this is what we would have had at the competition meeting held in December. However, only 3 teams were in attendance. Many of you may not be aware, but aluminum blocks were run in the state of California last season at a variety of tracks. We felt the need to put some guidelines in place, which is why it was added to our 2023 rules.
In our research, we found that aluminum blocks are a viable option for teams that were unable to secure a steel block. If you compare what teams are spending to purchase a steel block and add what they spend to lighten them, it is comparable to the price point of a standard aluminum block. We also learned; some engine builders have steel blocks while others have been unable to secure even a date of availability to offer them. We thought by allowing teams the option to build an aluminum block engine, it would allow more opportunities. As most of you are aware, we already allow open headed 360 engines in the state of California.
If a team were to build an open headed 360 aluminum block engine, it would not meet ASCS rules, purely based on the heads selection alone. Our thought was, if the open headed 360 engine didn’t already meet the ASCS rules, then why do we need to make the block specific to one manufacturer. Since our rules package release, and the discussions with teams and owners, the consensus was to stick with the Brodix block as a base, even if you were to choose an open headed engine.
We had many discussions before, after and during the promoter’s workshop, and many of the promoters are not fans of bolt-on weight specific to the aluminum blocks. The main concern is safety. For several years, the weight rule was 1475 for an ASCS engine and 1525 for an open headed engine. With regards to the above-mentioned concerns of bolt on weight, we thought by adjusting the weight to 1500 was a “meet in the middle” solution. We feel teams utilizing the aluminum block option will need to bolt weight on regardless to meet the minimum weight rule. The next concern we had was the possible performance advantage.
We felt based on the events ran in 2022 at the various tracks and the 10 teams that competed at Trophy Cup with a 1500 pounds weight rule, we didn’t perceive a performance advantage. Since the rules package release, and after many conversations, teams feel the ASCS weight rule of 60 pounds from motor plate forward should be our starting point. With that being said, we will amend our rule book to add the 60 pounds from the motor plate forward and our overall weight rule will remain at 1525 lbs.
Thank you to the teams that reached out to have open conversations and to voice their concerns and opinions, we appreciate and value all the input. We look forward to a safe and healthy 2023 season.
Russell Motorsports Inc.