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Interpretation of 3.3.E.3.a and 3.3.E.3.d (Bumpers in Mod)

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  • Interpretation of 3.3.E.3.a and 3.3.E.3.d (Bumpers in Mod)

    3.3.E.3 in whole (relevant parts bolded):

    3. All non‐essential components may be removed, replaced or relocated for
    the purpose of weight reduction or with the following requirements:
    a. The shape of the body must remain recognizable as that of the
    manufacturer’s make and model.
    b. The body must be made of a fire resistant material.
    c. Structural strength of the vehicle may not be reduced or compromised.
    d. Doors, hoods, trunk lids, sunroofs, hatchbacks, etc., need not function as
    originally designed; however, the driver door and passenger doors (if a
    passenger seat is present) must maintain sufficient functionality to allow
    safe ingress/egress. Grilles and trim pieces may be modified, removed,
    or replaced with replicas of alternate material. Bumpers not integral to
    the bodywork, and their associated mounting hardware, may be
    modified or removed. Bumpers integral to the bodywork may be
    modified or replaced with replicas of alternate material. Modified or
    replica bumpers must be of similar shape as standard components, and
    not confuse the identity of the vehicle.

    With that out of the way, and bearing in mind that with earlier, similar wording I posted a picture of a Group S RX-7 (a factory produced model) and was told that "that looks too much like a RS200" (does that mean we can ban late model WRXs because they look like Evos? ) I present to the world the quandary. In 2013-2014ish, I lost part of my rear bumper cover. To make things symmetrical and more neat looking, I sliced both ends of the bumper off, like so:

    Click image for larger version

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    (my tablet takes the BEST photos)

    This is no small reason why the car has not been to any National level events since then: I'm not sure it would pass a protest of either of these two rules.

    The interesting thing is that the bumper is considered to be not an integral part of the bodywork, so it may be "modified or removed" but at the same time, it no longer is technically of a "similar shape". On the one hand, it isn't a tube frame or hunk of 2x4 or some other monstrosity that the rule was intended to prevent from happening, but on the other hand, it's also a third missing.

    This issue comes to a head because I'm going to compete with this car again at the Ohio event in June, mechanical gods permitting.

    I COULD just remove the whole thing, as the rules allow, but then I'd lose the trailer hitch, which I rather need, and removing the hitch itself is difficult enough thanks to a bracket that snakes under the fuel tank that on-site R&R would not be feasible.

    I COULD pull the bumper from my '81 (the ex-Wright car), but I have deeply personal reasons why I don't want to raid parts from it, even for just a weekend. Termporary solutions have a tendency to become permanent.

    So, what say the rest of the rallycross world? Locally, nobody minds it.

  • #2
    I just thought of another "out"... I could remove the bumper on-site but leave the trailer hitch in place... which meets the letter of the rules but the opposite of the spirit.


    • #3
      If the hitch mounts to the bumper, and the bumper is removable, could the bumper be considered part of the hitch and therefore allowed?


      • #4
        I had always assumed the last sentence in part d probably should have been a run-on sentence from the previous and was only referring to the bumpers integral to the bodywork, but I can see an interpretation that would lead to your question.

        Safe answer: email your question to the RXB for a rules committee interpretation and answer

        Non-official fellow competitor answer: One approach you could take in the meantime, that is only a mildly tortured interpretation of the rules and probably still safe, would be to string a few pieces of duct tape or paper over the corners to recreate a similar shape of the original bumpers. Satisfies the letter of the rule with minimal effort
        Kent Hamilton
        RXB Chairman

        That guy from Alaska


        • #5
          I don’t run Mod and am not terribly familiar with these rules (and don’t like their subjective nature) - but I don’t see that as changing the general appearance of the car. I’d look at it from 500’ and say “Hmm, an RX-7 with the bumper hacked up”. Worst case, don’t let it keep you from bringing the car to any events. Run some black Gorilla tape from the bumper to the fenders boxing it in to mimic the old lines more or something.


          • #6
            Kent has it right. Tape it up to match original shape. I'm probably the reason bumpers are required. Me and the guy from Texas who cut his trunk off. They basically want the car to look presentable for pictures.


            • #7
              Part of the reason the bumper is missing is that dirt blast destroyed the bumper, and I really do not want to run mudflaps.

              I am not sure it matters, I had a pretty significant drivetrain failure the Monday after the event (hey, it got me home from the rallycross BEFORE exploding!) and it looks like I won't be able to get it put back together until a couple days before the event.


              • #8
                In my opinion you clearly meet the rules. You are allowed to modify the bumper and the car still clearly looks like a 1st gen RX-7. The last sentence that you highlighted applies to those vehicles with integral bumpers.
                MR 1986 Mazda RX-7
                SA 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS


                • #9
                  I’m curious - Why don’t you want to run mudflaps?


                  • #10
                    I think they make the car slower. They also stick out and can grab cones that you otherwise would have cleared.

                    Last edited by Pete; 05-26-2019, 08:45 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slowautoxr View Post
                      In my opinion you clearly meet the rules. You are allowed to modify the bumper and the car still clearly looks like a 1st gen RX-7. The last sentence that you highlighted applies to those vehicles with integral bumpers.
                      That is comforting but it isn't much comfort if I get protested for some reason. And given that I'll probably be earmarked for protest committee (if possible to wear two hats: I'm already the Tech Chair, which I know is not related to class eligibility, but it also leaves me free to do other things once the tech inspection period is over with) there would be a conflict of interest for sure.

                      Either way, I do not want to be the test case. I just want to have fun and throw some dirt and show the out of town folk what Ohio rallycrossers can do, as if that is not represented enough by how many National Champions hail from our regions. All that said, I'm going to grit my teeth and raid the bumper from the '81. I'd need to redrill it for a hitch reciever anyway since it will also need to tow a trailer.
                      Last edited by Pete; 05-26-2019, 08:59 PM.


                      • #12
                        ...I feel dirty.

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                        I'm going to swap the bumper right back on again after the National Challenge is over.

                        At least this shame is redoubling my efforts to find a shop that can boil out a fuel tank, which is really the only thing keeping the car off the road. I replaced essentially all of the brake and clutch hydraulics, the brake booster, the steering box, the engine and clutch, cleaned out the radiator, etc.


                        • #13

                          Almost ready... just 73 other things to get done before Friday.