The Opposite Lock Fourza Trans-Am Series Information and Sign-Up Post

Our Forza 4 GT car season is in the books so we're starting a few new series with vintage Trans-Am cars! New night and new time (Saturdays at 4:15pm EST starting the 27th) so hopefully we can as many people as possible racing!

Like our GT series and the Le Mans race, these series will be coordinated by yours truly so any and all questions should be sent my way. The two seasons, one with A550 Trans-Am muscle and pony cars, and one with B450 Two-Five Challenge cars, will run concurrently on alternating Saturdays (B450 starts 12/27 followed by the A550 series a week later). I'll be posting about them pretty regularly and tagging all relevant posts with 'Fourza' so it'll be easier to both find and be given information. Now, on to the details...

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A550 CAR RULES AND SPECIFICATIONS

- Please read the following rules carefully to ensure the car you bring is legal, otherwise the lobby settings might not let you use it.

- Must be an American, front-engine/rear-wheel drive, V8-powered muscle or pony car built between 1965 and 1973.

- The list of eligible cars is as follows:

AMC - 1971 Javelin-AMX

Buick - 1970 GSX

Chevrolet - 1969 Camaro Z/28, 1966 Nova SS, 1969 Camaro SS, 1970 Chevelle SS, 1970 Nova SS, 1970 Camaro Z/28, 1967 Chevelle SS

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Dodge - 1969 Charger, 1970 Challenger, 1969 Charger Daytona, 1970 Coronet Super Bee

Ford - 1965 Mustang, 1970 Boss 429, 1971 Mustang Mach 1, XB Falcon

Mercury - 1970 Cougar Eliminator

Oldsmobile - 1969 442

Plymouth - 1968 Barracuda Formula-S, 1971 GTX, 1971 Cuda

Pontiac - 1965 GTO, 1973 Firebird Trans-Am, 1968 Firebird, 1969 GTO Judge, 1969 Firebird Trans-Am

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Shelby - 1968 GT500KR, 1969 GT500

- Cannot be any of the following cars: Pacer, Gremlin, Impala, Corvette (not muscle/pony cars), Corvair (not V8, not front-engined), Dart Hemi Superstock, Coronet W023, Fairlane Thunderbolt (too far above PI limit using mandatory upgrades), El Camino (not a car, sorry Kampf).

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- These car will be built to a starting PI of 550 using the mandatory upgrades listed below, this way the racing will be as close as possible and no one can download crazy overpowered A600 storefront tunes. Group J ran a series like this back in the day and it seemed to work pretty well so figure we best not mess with something that isn't broken.

- In order to mitigate the extremely varied lap times we had in our GT series we will have balance-of-performance adjustments this time around. The process for assigning BoP adjustments is as follows: I post a middle-of-the-pack time in one of my pre-race threads in the week leading up to the race, you guys build your car to A550 specifications (using the mandatory upgrades below) and do a few laps. If you're faster than that target time, remove some upgrades (beginning with tire width and compound which will neuter the faster drivers' cars in the corners without putting them down on power in the straights), and if you're slower, add some until you meet (but not exceed) that time. Simple enough, right?

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- While storefront tunes aren't allowed, custom tunes are encouraged. If you don't tune cars yourself we have several racers in our GT series who do (TheVancen and Cherry_man1 being a few) and I bet if you ask nicely they'll help you out.

- Custom liveries not required but we do ask that you put some kind of number plate on (a black digit inside a white circle, as seen above, will do perfectly). It would be awesome, however, to get the entire field in full vintage liveries. Just saying.

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Mandatory Upgrades*:

- To ensure parity among the cars, all the following upgrades are initially required (see below where the majority of the eligible cars lapped within about a second of each other at Mugello, and keep in mind those times are in a different order than the car list above so don't get clever trying to figure out which one's the fastest right out of the box). Like I said above, build your car to these specs first, then from there start dialing in your car to match the lap times.

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- Only the stock motor can be used and can only be tuned using upgrades in the 'Engine and Power' section, no engine swaps or aspiration conversions.

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- All platform and handling and tire upgrades excluding front and rear anti-roll bars are required; this means fully upgraded race brakes, springs/dampers, chassis reinforcement/roll cage, and weight reduction, as well as max tire width and racing slicks on all four corners. This way no one can just throw massive HP numbers at their car and murder everyone else on the straights like people do in online lobbies and it'll leave some engine upgrades left for the BoP adjustments.

- While not required, race anti-roll bars are highly suggested for tuning reasons. You can actually take quite a bit of time off your lap with minimal effort and the bars are a big factor in that.

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- Figure most people will be using custom rims so they're required too. Must be 15" and no DUBS or anything to game the PI system, your rim selection can only increase PI.

- Six-speed race gearbox mandatory. Clutch, driveline, and differential upgrades are not required, though the diff is suggested for those of you who actually know how to tune.

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- Front Forza race bumper required. Rear wing optional but again encouraged for tuning reasons.

- Any remaining PI points can be added using engine/trans/aero upgrades of your choice. Apart from engine swaps and aspiration conversions everything's fair game so get creative with your setup.

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- If you want to use the Charger Daytona, Coronet Super Bee, or 1970 Cuda: all three are over A550 with all required upgrades so if you want to use them do the following: no engine modifications, all platform and handling upgrades, racing gearbox, racing slicks/rims, then add tire width until you reach 550. They're only like 5 or 6 PI over so the second- or third-largest tire widths should get you there.

* The mandatory upgrades are final and non-negotiable because they (theoretically, at least) make the racing is as close as possible. Thanks for understanding.

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B450 CAR RULES AND SPECIFICATIONS

To keep this page from being a complete clusterfuck the B450 information page can be found here. That series has almost the exact same rules as the A550 one, just a few differences here and there.

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RACE INFO

Time:

- Sunday at 9pm didn't seem like a very good time for a lot of people due to school or work or whatever so this year we're starting our races at around 4:15pm EST on Saturdays (maybe a bit later, depends on if we have lobby issues and when people get home from work). As you'll see, we'll be visiting many of the same tracks that we raced at in our GT series but due to the lower performance of the Trans-Am cars races will last a few less laps. Race lengths should still be around 45-50 minutes, with shorter tracks like Laguna Seca and Infineon taking a bit less than that.

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- Depending on feedback, I was hoping to have a longer endurance race at either Le Mans or Sunset Peninsula (a stand-in for the 24 Hours of Daytona) and maybe the Nurburgring for the season finale. We can discuss these options closer to the aforementioned races.

Assists and Damage:

- We won't disallow any assists in the race options but be advised learning to drive without them can actually make you faster. It takes like two hours to learn to drive without traction control and a day to get completely used to no ABS, both of which can take a bunch of time off your lap.

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- Damage and fuel and tire wear will be set to cosmetic only. Please don't take this as an invitation to play bumper cars with your fellow racers, contact is to be avoided at all costs.

Grid Ordering:

- Starting order will be randomized to add another variable to the competition. Want to win? Fight your way to the front, it's that simple.

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Scoring:

- These will be points-based championship series. Scoring is as follows: 16pts for 1st, 15pts for 2nd, 14pts for 3rd, 13pts for 4th, and so on, with 16th receiving 1pt. In the event we don't have 16 racers we will score to the lowest position (e.g., 12 people so last place gets 5pts). DNF's will be counted as your final finishing position so if you get disconnected or have to leave suddenly you'll still get some points just for showing up.

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- I'll keep track of your points totals on a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet so you don't have to do anything beyond showing up on Saturdays. Whoever finishes with the most points at the end of the season will be awarded the prestigious Microsoft Paint-sponsored Oppo Trans-Am Series Trophy, one of the A550 cars and one for the B450 series:

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Race Schedule:

- There will be twelve rounds in each series, with points races for each individual series taking place every two weeks. That means there'll be a race every weekend all the way into June when we organize another 24 Laps of Le Mans (damn right we're doing that again). The schedule for both series is as follows:

12/27: Sebring - 12 laps (B450)

1/3: Sebring - 18 laps (A550)

1/10: Laguna Seca - 18 laps (B450)

1/17: Laguna Seca - 20 laps (A550)

1/24: TBD - ? laps (B450, no idea if you guys wanna do Le Mans in these cars)

1/31: Le Mans - 10+ laps (?) (A550)

2/7: Infineon - 16 laps (B450)

2/14: Infineon - 20 laps (A550)

2/21: Road Atlanta - 18 laps (B450)

2/28: Road Atlanta - 20 laps (A550)

3/7: Mugello - 14 laps (B450)

3/14: Mugello - 20 laps (A550)

3/21: Sunset Peninsula Raceway (reverse) - 16 laps (B450)

3/28: Sunset Peninsula Raceway (reverse) - 20+ laps (?) (A550)

4/4: Suzuka- 14 laps (B450)

4/11: Suzuka- 18 laps (A550)

4/18: Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 18 laps (B450)

4/25: Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 20 laps (A550)

5/2: Circuit de Catalunya - 14 laps (B450)

5/9: Circuit de Catalunya - 20 laps (A550)

5/16: Road America - 12 laps (B450)

5/23: Road America - 18 laps (A550)

5/30: Nordschleife - 3 laps (B450)

6/6: Nordschleife - 5+ laps (?) (A550)


FINAL THOUGHTS

I'll be the first to admit our GT series races were not very close (and thus a bit boring) at times and truth be told I feel pretty bad for the few people showed up for one race and got scared away because they just weren't fast enough to compete with the front-runners. Sorry if all these rules seem complicated or I'm being a control freak but but all these rules and regulations are there for a reason: to create as competitive and fun of a racing series for everyone regardless of skill level.

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If you're thinking about racing with us but are concerned about how fast (or slow) you may be, please try out the first few events to get a handle on the series as a whole. Like I said this series is designed to bring down the standard deviation among participants and using lower-class cars like these actually nerfs the skill disparity pretty well; for example, me and TheVancen were nearly four seconds apart per lap on Road America in GT cars but there was only about a second difference using our Trans-Am cars. We'll bring you up to speed as quickly as we can with those balance-of-performance adjustments if need be.

Everyone who participates in these series is going to have to be OK with the fact that contact will happen no matter how hard we all try to avoid it. Having the cars be as fair as they are means you'll constantly be in traffic and battling for position and a bit of rubbing will be inevitable, as will more serious incidents. There will be races where you'll get knocked off track or spun out by no fault of your own and you'll end up finishing in the back of the pack that week; anyone who's raced online will know that's just a part of the game and these series will be no exception.

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Finally, in the event that there is contact causing one or more vehicles to leave the track, the aggressor should, if able to, pull off to the side and wait for the other driver/drivers to rejoin the race before getting back on track themselves. The idea is basically that if you cause a wreck you shouldn't benefit from it. I mean, we can't exactly enforce this and there's no reason for you to do any of that apart from common decency but still...

Alright, that's it for the important bits. Few things for you to do now: let us know below if you're interested so we can get an idea of how many people want to join, bookmark this page and the Two-Five post, go build some cars, and get some laps in. These are going to be two competitive series and you're going to need all the practice you can get. Like I said, the first couple races should sort out any teething issues we have in regards to overall speed and competitiveness so if you want to race just do it man, between our GT series and the Le Mans race last June we've had so much great racing with fellow Opponauts and these series should be even better.

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VERY IMPORTANT: if you're interested in this series but not in our Fourza car club, please be sure to mention that when you reply below with your gamertag and we'll add you. We send out lobby invites on race day via the car club screen so if you aren't in it or on our friends list you may not get an invite. On a related note, Fourza's online system sometimes eats invites so if you're in the club and don't receive an invite just reply to any of my posts and I'll get you into the lobby. I check notifications every minute or so leading up to green flag.

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