1 2 3
spin_out
spin_out HalfDork
3/3/17 7:25 a.m.

I was thinking that unless we have unlimited autocross runs at The Challenge, people tend to sit back and wait to make runs. Historically I believe the fastest runs have mostly been made in the afternoon. Last year we had fully unlimited runs, and I hear that did not work out well for some teams.

So I'm suggesting Unlimited (team member driven) runs for the first hour to get people out on the course. Plus normal (limited) Pro driver runs too. All run times for the day count.

There have been a few Challenges where hardly anyone ran for the first hour or so. This would fix that, but not intrude in on the rest of the day.

Mark

evildky
evildky SuperDork
3/3/17 9:47 a.m.

I like this idea.

I pitched the idea a few years back to have multiple staging lanes like for the drags and could be done at the drags as well. Lane 1 for first runs only, lane 2 for cars with 1-5 runs and lane 3 for those with more than 5 runs. Grid feeds cars in order of lane priority, only cars from lane 1 until lane one is empty, then you start feeding from lane 2, once lane 2 is empty start feeding from lane 3. If after you started feeding form lane 2 you have someone wiht no runs pull into lane 1, you stop feeding form 2 and send them ahead, same goes from if feeding from lane three and then someone with 4 runs pulls into lane 2. the issue is you would need 2 people working grid, one feeding them into the correct lanes, one feeding the start line, and putting stickers on windshields. The beauty of this system is when all the cars are lined up with only 30 minutes till shutdown and the guy that's been wrenching on his car all morning gets to the front of the line to get a run in. The downside is the extra work and making sure people don't jump lanes.

Another idea, just mark out however many grid spots, and go through them in order, if there are only 4 cars in grid they will be basically hot lapping, if there are 50 it's gonna take a while and if you aren't at your car and ready when grid comes around to you, you miss that run, this is how we do LS Fest, and we log about 900 timed runs in a day.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
3/3/17 10:34 a.m.

Anything is better than one team breaking the dont be a dick rule over and over, wiping out the starting line(automatic DQ locally), doing other questionable things, keeping cars on grid that were trying to get more than 3 runs in while they hotlapped their way to 17 to the count that i heard, and eventually getting a podium finish for their highly questionable actions.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/3/17 10:43 a.m.

I don't think the reason people hold back at the Challenge is because of unlimited runs.

I think top finishers hold back to let the drivers become aquainted with the course in other people's cars, and let the course get heated up, cleaned and layered with a layer of tire compound.

I think the lower level competitors hold back because their cars are not ready.

As one of the people who lost in that deal last year, I am not a fan of unlimited runs.

But, I could see your idea working with a few careful restrictions. If my runs in the first hour didn't count toward my 5 (or whatever number), I'd be out there. Unfortunately, if 50 competitors think like me, there wouldn't be enough time for everyone to have a single run in an hour. Then, it would be an unfair advantage to those who had the opportunity.

Every rule change creates 3 unintended consequences.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/3/17 11:20 a.m.

The unlimited runs meant pro drivers were busier. That lead to having to wait if you wanted a specific pro driver. I'd say unlimited runs, grid priority to those who haven't run, and a maximum number of runs in a car per pro driver. Each team gets 3 specifically colored dots per pro. Use a certain pro for a run-that colored dot goes on your windshield. Only use one pro-3 runs total, use every pro-more runs total, use all the pros and drive yourself-hope the car lasts to the drags. Your call

-Amateur drivers get to drive their own car without hurting their chances
-High level amateurs get to learn the track like the pros do and improve their chances
-The favored pros aren't monopolized
-Competitors are encouraged to give their car to multiple pros instead of holding out for the known challenge hotshoe.

Robbie
Robbie UltraDork
3/3/17 12:12 p.m.

I like this idea too. Maybe just have the first hour show times but not count them.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/3/17 4:44 p.m.

In reply to Robbie:

So, if your best time is in the first hour it doesn't count?? That won't go over well.

How bout if I post FTD in the first hour, but break my car and can't make any more passes? DNF? That's not fair.

I like the idea, but also think it could fundamentally undermine what autocross is. Part of autox is reading the course in a limited time. That's why course "walking" on a bicycle is usually prohibited- it gives an unfair advantage because you see the course "at speed".

The bigger problem at the Challenge is that it will be used as practice time for teams that have failed to prepare their car properly. That's the opposite of what the staff has been trying to encourage.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/3/17 4:57 p.m.

If they are gonna do it, I suggest:

  • Up to 5 additional runs in the first hour, but not unlimited.

  • Initial hour scores count if you want them to.

  • Teams still have same number of allowed runs after the initial hour.

  • No pro drivers in the initial hour.

  • No cars on grid without a driver in the seat.

  • Hit the timing equipment, automatic DQ. At ANY time.

RevRico
RevRico SuperDork
3/3/17 5:10 p.m.

I've actually been a little confused about how the autocross works with the pro drivers and such. The pros are also only for autox correct, not drags?

Do I run my 5 or however many runs, then hand the keys over? Just hand the keys over to whatever pro is available and let them do all the runs? Some mix of myself and them? I assume(hope and pray) the pro driver runs count towards my run times. From the sounds of it, there are several Pro drivers, do we use the same one or bounce between them or?

I suck. Like bad. Even in my own autox car I run 3 seconds behind everyone else that drives it, so I know it's driver error. I have an autocross the week before the challenge that my challenge car will be attending in its final trim, so I'll at least have a better idea of what it's capable of, but as it sits currently, I know even with a pro driver it will be in the bottom third of the pack and I'm fine with that. The car is big, heavy, and slow; and will be getting bigger and heavier and therefore slower for the challenge.

I know things will be explained in greater detail once we're all there, but trying to grasp some of these concepts ahead of time is a little tricky since I was wrenching on the car during the live stream of the challenge last year.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/3/17 5:26 p.m.

Pros=Autocross only. The autocross is open a certain amount of time. There are pro-drivers around (usually in matching bright colored shirts). You can ask any of the pros to drive your car. The number of runs total (with or without a pro driver) per car has been limited in the past, but not this last year (2016). This past year some teams took a bunch of runs, some used pros for a bunch of runs, some were upset about being unable to get the number of runs they wanted with/without a pro for various reasons. The course is usually fairly empty for the first hour or so and busy at the end for a variety of reasons.

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
3/4/17 5:29 a.m.

There have been 17 challenges. We have attended 12. The better events had limited runs and/or allowed more run at the end of the event. Either a restriction needs to be applied to all, or someone needs to shut down the team that abused the "don't be a jerk" request (as Pat noted).

Another issue that arose in 2016. A team had a fit about wanting a particular driver, and that driver did not want to drive that teams car. A little curtesy would have been appropriate. Cudos to the drivers for biting his tongue and driving the car.

Multiple lanes would help (as noted by Dave). But there needs to be a hot lap lane. It helps the teams and the drivers.

Another item from the past - groups were called up by car number with a run count restriction. The later session always seamed to get the better numbers as the drivers got more lapse in or the line improved (as Paul noted). Should the early session get 4 Pro runs and later get a 3 Pro run limit. Then hold an "over 5 run" session after the early runs are completed.

tb
tb HalfDork
3/4/17 7:45 a.m.

Good discussion; last year was imperfect but it is nice to talk things out.

Unlimited runs definitely got out of hand towards the end of the day. As the day wore on things started heating up and both pro drivers and course workers were getting exhausted. I tried to explain that to teams who were hot lapping only to be ignored. One person even continually lied to my face. Also, I think that under scca rules hot lapping isn't even allowed.

I also noticed that some things got confusing in the heat of the moment. After I made plans with a pro to take my car out for a couple of runs it still hadn't happened over an hour later... We are friends so I jokingly asked why I was being dissed so hard! He was just too busy with other teams always after him for 'one more run' and then someone else quickly pulling him in another direction or monopolizing his time. I felt bad for him; I know he is too nice to say 'no' to anyone even if it meant getting overbooked into exhaustion...

I think my car went out for 7 runs total and I felt like that was too many. It was split between 3 drivers and spread out through the day but there was no way I felt like any more than that would be appropriate.

The 'don't be a dick' rule worked well for most teams, but most dicks have no clue that they are part of the problem...

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 7:50 a.m.

The only thing the "Don't be a dick" rule got me was too few runs.

I'd have done better if I chose to be a dick too.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman HalfDork
3/4/17 7:52 a.m.

I'd say an unlimited run total but a limited number of pro driver runs but I think it would be difficult to police. Then again that would still reward the people with good drivers on their teams.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 7:53 a.m.

Pro drivers should have a "dance card".

You might have to be over 50 to understand that reference, but it would be super simple, and would work really well.

Plus, if they were turned in after the event, they would serve as documentation to what really happened, and how to improve if necessary.

tb
tb HalfDork
3/4/17 8:01 a.m.
SVreX wrote: Pro drivers should have a "dance card".

Only 37, but I get it! It is a good idea and I personally know a couple of Pro drivers that would agree.

It could be a very helpful change, but it still will not totally fix the underlying issue... Dick's are almost completely incapable of self policing and will always rationalize their poor behavior.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 8:12 a.m.
Andy Neuman wrote: I'd say an unlimited run total but a limited number of pro driver runs but I think it would be difficult to police. Then again that would still reward the people with good drivers on their teams.

The math simply doesn't work on unlimited.

IIRC, my first Challenge had 76 competitors. It has been as low as 35 or so, but usually hovers around 50.

If we started a car every minute, it would take 4 hrs for 50 cars to run 5 laps. More if we waste the first hour, course worker changes, etc.

There are usually 4 hrs set aside.

Math's not hard- if 1 car took 17 runs, another got cheated.

The first hour might be different.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/4/17 8:32 a.m.

Last year is not how it has been every year. Many years the course shut down early. Most years their were fun runs towards the end. Last year was an anomaly that in my opinion was caused by the combination of unlimited runs and unlimited access to Alan. People were hogging Alan and other people were waiting. The easy fix is either limiting overall runs, or limiting runs by pro. The challenge has policed overall runs before, and I believe is capable of policing runs by pros. I still call for limited runs per pro, and unlimited runs by everyone else.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 8:37 a.m.

In reply to MrJoshua:

I agree with you.

However "unlimited runs" was not unlimited for everyone. I was asked to leave the grid, though I did not complete 5 runs.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 8:59 a.m.
SVreX wrote: I like the idea, but also think it could fundamentally undermine what autocross is. Part of autox is reading the course in a limited time. That's why course "walking" on a bicycle is usually prohibited- it gives an unfair advantage because you see the course "at speed".

If this was an even that was really about the drivers AND the cars, you would have a point.

But this event is about the cars. When I read about the event, I'd rather know which is the FASTEST car, not the fastest driver. So the "racecraft" of autocrossing is not part of the GRM challenge- even if it ends up being a major factor. The event is about the cars.

The fact that the pro drivers each take probably more than 20 runs pretty much eliminates that racecraft completely- they spend more of their effort figuring out the car over the track.

If the pro drivers get over 20 runs, why should a non pro-driver not get the same?

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 9:01 a.m.

"Grid" at the Challenge does not function like a normal autocross grid. It's not a matrix of cars ready to run that you can click, click, click fire through and get them to the starting line.

It's (largely) a waiting line for the pros to become available.

Grid should be grid. There should be a separate waiting area for cars waiting for pros. The "dance card" would properly prioritize the pros, and the grid should have a priority lane for pros.

If THAT was in place, unlimited runs would probably work.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 9:07 a.m.
SVreX wrote: The math simply doesn't work on unlimited. IIRC, my first Challenge had 76 competitors. It has been as low as 35 or so, but usually hovers around 50. If we started a car every minute, it would take 4 hrs for 50 cars to run 5 laps. More if we waste the first hour, course worker changes, etc. There are usually 4 hrs set aside. Math's not hard- if 1 car took 17 runs, another got cheated. The first hour might be different.

As a former organizer of events, you math needs some help.

Unless the course is set up so badly that it can only be run one at a time. With a 10 second break between the finish of the first car and the start of the next- as I thought the slowest car was about 50 seconds last year.

When I watched the event, and there were cars in line waiting to run, I saw a car start ever 20 seconds or so- which meant for a few seconds, there were 3 cars on the course at once. To me, when I set up a course, this was my goal- to safely run cars ever 15-20 seconds.

(we also saved time by not having a break for corner worker changes- just have people exchange with a short break in running- but that's another story)

It was normal for my club to run ~400 official runs in 3 hours (depending on the turn out, we would do 4 or 5 runs). And then follow that up with fun runs. Starting at 11am, we would be struggling to find anyone from our club who wanted any more runs at 3pm.

So in my math, if a car was always ready to run, 50 cars x 5 runs = 250 runs, and run at 3/min, that's just under 83 min, or 1:23 min.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 9:08 a.m.
alfadriver wrote: If the pro drivers get over 20 runs, why should a non pro-driver not get the same?

You answered your own question. Because it's not about the driver, it's about the car.

No pro has ever gotten 20 runs in the same car.

And the math and logistics would be impossible. 20 runs per car for 50 cars would be 1000 runs. Whose gonna work grid? Whose gonna scorekeep? How would the software accommodate 20 entries per car?

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 9:10 a.m.
SVreX wrote: "Grid" at the Challenge does not function like a normal autocross grid. It's not a matrix of cars ready to run that you can click, click, click fire through and get them to the starting line. It's (largely) a waiting line for the pros to become available. Grid should be grid. There should be a separate waiting area for cars waiting for pros. The "dance card" would properly prioritize the pros, and the grid should have a priority lane for pros. If THAT was in place, unlimited runs would probably work.

Reading this thread- the core reason the grid isn't always ready is the number of pros that are available at one time. Not that cars are not ready. Fill the gap with the owners of the cars.

It would be really easy to have a very simple grid- one for the pros, one for the non pros. Just favor the pro line in terms of grid priority. That way you can have a car on the course every 20 seconds.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 9:14 a.m.
SVreX wrote:
alfadriver wrote: If the pro drivers get over 20 runs, why should a non pro-driver not get the same?

You answered your own question. Because it's not about the driver, it's about the car.

No pro has ever gotten 20 runs in the same car.

And the math and logistics would be impossible. 20 runs per car for 50 cars would be 1000 runs. Whose gonna work grid? Whose gonna scorekeep? How would the software accommodate 20 entries per car?

You missed my point. You first tried to point out that the autocross racecraft should be part of this event, and it should not.

So using that reason to limit the runs to 5 per car isn't valid.

I'm not suggesting that owners get 20 runs in their own car. I'm suggesting that there shouldn't be a limit, if they are in the run line ready to go, and they are not hindering anything else. Which, to me, is the core of this suggestion.

edit- also, if you think that the racecraft is 4 runs in the same car, you need to autocross more- it's about learning the details of the track. Once past about 5, you know the track really well, regardless of the car. So the pros just bring their ability to drive around the car's abilities than their skill of learning the track.

Heck, add a third line- one line for the pros, one line for cars/drivers that have no runs, and one line for cars with their own drivers. Favor the first time cars, then the pros, and then the re-runs. With the goal of a start every 20 seconds.

1 2 3
IVzrZrWNvarPa1g8bSHgPYdypnDFhoDx