BOSS (Big Open Single Seaters) is, as the name suggests, a formula free of technical regulations, and the current Irish version organised and promoted by BOSS Ireland is a class open to any type of proprietary single seater or open topped sports car. From little acorns in the early years of the millennium, the class has developed steadily into what we have today, as drivers have taken the opportunity to race something a bit more powerful purely for the fun of it. Originally the class was to have a capacity limit of 2 litres, the idea being to attract owners of the many Formula Atlantic cars still in the country to race again with compatible cars from other classes and disciplines in the sport.
Mondello Park saw the potential, and put on races for the few pioneers, thus showing prospective competitors that the organisers were serious. The arrival of some Formula 4000 cars from Australia added a new dimension to the class and caught the interest of many, as did the locally resident 2 litre Formula Ireland cars. No longer having sufficient numbers to sustain a class of their own, these cars provided a ready supply of more modern hardware, and the home grown 1 litre bike engined Formula 5’s which had been running with them also migrated to BOSS. Late 80’s and early 90’s Formula 3 cars have recently taken the challenge to the Ireland’s, as have some Opel Lotus cars, while the Formula Renault has still to prove itself in this company. Sports cars have been getting a look in too, as class regular Eamon Matheson in his Hayabusa Turbo powered T5 finds himself being joined by the mainly Northern based Radicals from time to time, while former SuperSports cars from Nemesis and Mallock are competitive in the 2 litre class and the Global Lights have proven to be a match for the Formula 5’s. A car that epitomises the open and varied nature of the class in general is Seamus Ryan’s well developed Hayabusa powered RAW Striker which is well capable of running mid-field.
While interest in the bigger cars appeared to be booming as different chassis / engine combinations began to emerge to take on the Formula 4000, organisers made the decision coming into the 2007 season to split the class at 2 litres, thereby giving most drivers a chance of success in the newly announced championship. A further split at 1 litre, initially on a trial basis, was made this time last year to give those drivers an arena of their own, but also with the idea that the abundance of small mainly bike engined constructors in the market place, e.g. OMS or Jedi might prove an attractive option. There is a huge pool of cars from a wide variety of classes out there eligible for BOSS, indeed the big challenge is finding a cost effective package to take on and beat the opposition and for those intrepid and creative types, one off specials are permitted subject to being of a standard of construction acceptable to the organisers. We hope you find your tour of our display informative and of interest to you, and should you have any questions please ask one of us, or after today make contact through our website bossireland.ie
WHAT DO I NEED & WHAT DOES IT COST?
Just like any other activity where “toys” are involved, you can spend as much time and money as you wish on motor sport. That said, the vast majority of competitors in motor sport race to a budget, and it is eye opening at times to see the ingenuity of those that can squeeze pennies so tight they make them cry!
Costs in any class will fall into 2 general categories, these being initial outlay and running costs. In BOSS there is not much difference in running costs between the 3 classes. Race entry fees are the same at E320 for 1 qualifying session and 2 races per event, with 7 events scheduled for 2009. Tyres will be between E600 and 1400 a set, being more expensive the bigger you need, and most drivers will make 2 sets do a full season. Don’t forget to allow for a set of wets, which can last 3 or 4 seasons if you’re lucky, and don’t abuse them! The bigger cars will use a little more fuel, with race fuel being more expensive that the pump stuff, and allow for consumption of 5 to 10 m.p.g. Maintenance costs, i.e. servicing the car will depend on the amount of running you do, and whether you sustain any damage. It is a good idea to draw up a schedule of maintenance for your car, logging its running time, and undertaking maintenance as recommended by the manufacturers of the various components. Most drivers will do 2 full services in the course of a seasons running, while the off season between October and March is a time when cars will be thoroughly checked for general wear and tear and rebuilds undertaken as necessary. The remaining consumable and travelling expenses for both car and team members will be pretty much the same for everyone, with savings to be made if you can make your transport habitable, and dine in! Driver running costs, e.g. annual medical, club membership, competition licence, class registration will likewise be similar for all doing the same events.
Outlay will vary between the classes within BOSS, ranging from as little as E5,000 to 50,000+ depending on your weapon of choice! There is no doubt though, especially in the times we are in, that there are bargains to be had for those prepared to do their homework, and dig them out. Sourcing and buying a racing car well requires lots of thought and research, and advice should be sought from those best placed to give it before big decisions are made. Most of the experienced people in motor sport are happy to share their knowledge with an eager rookie, but beware of starting such a conversation with someone trying to solve a problem 10 minutes before the start of their race! Transportation will depend on the car you buy, with bigger cars tending to need a small truck at least. A decent tool kit will need to be assembled, at least the basics of what a motor mechanic would need, along with any special tools or equipment needed to undertake any job on the car. Specialised equipment e.g. corner weight scales, essential when setting up suspension, can be expensive, but you may be able to buy with or share with drivers of similar cars. Last, but not least, the driver will need to be kitted out, so a visit to a race wear supplier will need needed.
Testing your new acquisition will be vital, so make contact with one of the circuits and find out when it’s available. You will meet other drivers there, and be able to discuss any issues you might have. Above all, remember the idea is to enjoy yourself!