Before you start urging the rules folks to make what was found at the Runoffs legal (compliant), I will warn you that this is what causes rules creep and expense to all involved in the class. Once this happens, someone will find another place to fudge the rules and suddenly all the fast guys will have it. Then, that too will get caught and because the front guys have already spent the $$, all must do it and so on. And in the end, you will have an E Production car. We started in production in 1972 and it was mostly as delivered. Now, there nothing on the car as delivered.
If you make blending the cut legal, the blend will start to drift further until porting is allowed. Of course, then the motor will need more fuel and a higher compression ratio. Get the drift?
Is that what all want? If so, I'll see you in impound since I am production category chief for the Runoffs. If you do not want this made legal, I suggest you write the CRB now clearly stating this. Request they clarify the rule but not make it legal. Each of you now has a chance to contribute to the future of SM.
Spot on, Jim. In this case, the appeal contained some very articulate arguments in an effort to demonstrate ambiguity, but they were rejected. The rule is clear. The argument boiled down to "everybody's doing it". The rule didn't "creep". What we have here is "Compliance Creep" and "Enforcement Creep". The fudging likely started years ago and gradually crept from "de-burring" to "just cleaning up" to whatever it was at the Runoffs. Since removal of material isn't objectively measurable, it's easy to see why it was consistently overlooked in tech in the past. It's hard to see what's not there. It's also easy to see why some builders eventually began to see grey when there was none. One of the reasons the protest procedure exists is to point out such overlooked areas.
There are many problems with ex post facto legalization, not least among them being the fact that it really is Rules Creep, placing the burden on those who were compliant to rework their heads to meet the standard formerly used to gain an unfair advantage over them. Remember - the good intentions of those who thought they were buying legal, pro-built motors is not the issue. After all, those with legal motors had equally good intentions. The issue is: who should bear the consequences - those who received the benefit, albeit unwittingly, or those who did not?
To turn these lemons into lemonade, we don't need more rules or exceptions to rules. We need more compliance with the rules we already have. Things got out of hand. The protests in Daytona and at the runoffs were a necessary step in the right direction. CAVEAT: The protest procedure can be used for evil as well as good. Now that the protest taboo has been broken, I sincerely hope that it will not become a weapon of retribution or score-settling. Of all the things that can damage the Spec Miata class, that's one of the worst. Let's all get the best FAIR advantage available to us, and then go do what we like the most - RACE.