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MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/4/17 9:16 a.m.

In reply to SVreX:

I agree, organizing and limiting the pro runs in some way would fix most of the problems. There would still be an advantage to having your favored pro run your car after they have had 20-30 runs in other cars to learn the course. That still leaves the first hour of run time fairly empty. Maybe for the first hour you could just have the pros line up in grid and every car in line gets a random pro driver. Pro takes a run, gets out and gets into the first empty car in line, takes another run, etc.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
3/4/17 9:22 a.m.

My car got 3 runs in plus one where i was at the start line when paul was on course and a car wiped out the finish line. I was so delirious from being in my car in the heat at the start line by the time the finish line was fixed and tested I didn't know which way was up and ended up bailing after it was obvious to me i was a safety concern to course workers in my overheated state.

I tried hard to get anyone else to drive for me at that point. Danny had a huge line, and the only reason a pro took my car out(I totally forget his name and feel bad for it) was that he came up to me and upon hearing "ls swap" his eyes lit up when I offered as he also runs a z car.

I enjoyed 2015 immensely. Not so much 2016. I just want to get back to it being enjoyable, and the limited runs per car much like a real autocross was just that. Enjoyable and fair. I don't want to point fingers or place blame(the comment about those who are D's don't actually realize they are is true), but i know when i go run with the local group we get 3 runs in one time slot and 3 in another and it works nice. You can't just go hotlapping getting to know the course/car better in an effort to make a clean run. If you cone 6 runs, oh well you coned 6 runs. You don't get 11 more to try and get one clean run on 17.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 9:23 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

Didn't really mean it as a math problem. Meant it as an example.

How would you do the math on unlimited runs?

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
3/4/17 9:28 a.m.
SVreX wrote: In reply to alfadriver: Didn't really mean it as a math problem. Meant it as an example. How would you do the math on unlimited runs?

You need to use an X as the variable

tb
tb HalfDork
3/4/17 9:39 a.m.
patgizz wrote: ...the comment about those who are D's don't actually realize they are is true...

And I am not totally oblivious to the irony! I know that I can be a dick sometimes and I do not always control myself well and/or care to be nice...

I am sorry if I personally screwed up anyone's day or was less than pleasant. I promise not to take too many runs in the future.

Thank you, everyone, for putting in the thought and effort to try to improve and maintain our fun weekend.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
3/4/17 9:41 a.m.

For the challenge setting 20 second launches might be a bit ambitious. I really think the best solution is to make enough grid for every car, everyone has an assigned spot. grid worker works through the grid in order. If your car is in it's spot and ready to go it gets released to the stage lane (stage lane should only have a few cars in it at any given time). If not you have to wait for the next rotation. The beauty of this is in the morning if there are 5 cars in grid they are basically hot lapping, when the masses come in in the afternoon the price they pay for waiting is longer times between laps. As I stated, this what we do at ls fest. The result is the few cars that are gridded and ready early get a few extra rune in and closer together before the rest of the cars show up. This is where we see the serious guys. These same guys will still be there at the end fo the day when the majority have left the grid, these guys end up with twice as many runs as the majority of the people who show up late and leave early. these are the guys in the hunt.

I've been to 12 challenges myself, my first year (2002) the runs were unlimited, it was pouring rain and it was all just one staging lane, there were a small group including myself that got in a lot of runs because we just kept getting back in line.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 9:51 a.m.
SVreX wrote: In reply to alfadriver: Didn't really mean it as a math problem. Meant it as an example. How would you do the math on unlimited runs?

The goal is to keep the grid filled and running, right?

The math is you grid it so that team driven cars are always priority last. And then run cars as often as you can. When time expires, time expires. Done. Unlimited doesn't mean that a car will get 100 runs, it means they get as many runs as time allows.

Some cars will manage just one run before breaking, some will be able to keep running all day long- to the point that tires will wear out well before the end of the day.

Does it really matter how many runs a car gets w/o a pro?? It matters to keep things running and interesting.

For me, the racecraft clearly tells me to wait until the end of the day for real, timed runs. But if I was not actually limited, I'd not hesitate what so ever to run at the beginning of the day to tune my car the best that I could. Which means more cars in the first hour of the event. Win-win.

Limiting the car's total runs means that you potentially limit cars to how they were brought, and problems can't be fixed. Given the number of cars that barely get any seat time before the event, that's a shame. It would be far better for the owners to find and fix the problems before the pros do.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 9:54 a.m.

In reply to evildky:

I've been to 3 challenges, and watched many more- 20 seconds looks to be pretty typical if cars are in line and ready to run.

Which is the goal of this idea. Find a reason to have cars lined up and ready to run.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 10:07 a.m.

Eric:

I understand you have more experience than most of us.

I think the point of this thread is to say that unlimited runs at the Challenge clearly didn't work. Spin_out has offered a reasonable suggestion to try to address it.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
3/4/17 12:28 p.m.

There's plan in place to help with a lot of this. I thought it had been made public, but maybe that's just because I keep seeing it around the office. At any rate, a lot of the suggestions addressed here are actually part of that plan.

A lot of it comes down to lack of manpower. When we lack manpower, we rely on people to follow protocol, and what we saw in 2016 was a lot of people not following protocol (like parking in the grid and abandoning their cars for hours, hot lapping without returning to grid spaces, etc) and that screwed things up a bit.

For '17 we're implementing some systems to help with all this, and the first one will be additional grid manpower to keep people organized a bit. We'll also have ticketing systems in place for pro drivers, and "fast-pass" systems in place for teams that haven't made a minimum number of runs or who are struggling with hardship issues.

The main ideas are to keep the staging areas moving and to prevent hot-lapping and pro-driver camping.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 12:57 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Eric: I understand you have more experience than most of us. I think the point of this thread is to say that unlimited runs at the Challenge clearly didn't work. Spin_out has offered a reasonable suggestion to try to address it.

All I'm adding is an addendum to that- it's not completely unreasonable to have a car finish all of it's pro-runs, and can fit into the whole scheme of running timed runs from the team. There will be gaps in the full blown grid happening all day long- so having a grid of cars/drivers who just go out and run is reasonable.

Yes, there will be the risk of a failure- but given the effort that people put into building these cars, I think it's a reasonable risk to allow some of the builders to get out and drive their car in front of their friends and fellow builders.

But one of his points was to fill the grids in the first hour- so let the teams drive their cars.... I find it far more boring to work when nothing is happening vs. when cars are going by.

That's just my input. And I realize that it can be dismissed, since I haven't been there since 2004. And that I would be one of the beneficiaries of unlimited runs by the team.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/4/17 1:01 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak:

JG- one thing I would suggest to observe- how much time does it take to change vehicles for the pro driver? Which is the actual time cost of preventing hot-laps. The time it would take for a pro to take 4-5 consecutive runs would be probably 5-10 min. And then change cars.

Compare that with the time it takes to run-change cars, run- change cars, etc. I bet that there's a good time cost in constantly changing cars.

If there were no pro-drivers, then there isn't a time penalty preventing hot-lapping.

I know many don't like hot lapping. But having done it for many years, and given the nature of what the challenge is trying to represent- I would suggest it's not a big deal.

It would be pretty easy to set up a grid for that.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
3/4/17 1:15 p.m.

As a backmarker, I volunteer to have my car take all its runs in the first hour

I wasn't there last year, but I seem to recall at the 5 or so events I've competed at, there was a limit to the number of runs you could take (5 maybe?), and I thought there was at least one year where the number of pro runs for a car was even lower. That would mean the a team member would need to at least take their own car out at least once. That seemed like a good idea to me. Once practically everyone has their 5 runs in, maybe the course could be opened up.

If we run it staging lane style, I think it really only needs one side for cars under 5 runs, and one for cars that have hit 5 runs. If there is anyone in the sub 5 run line, the other cars simply don't go.

Oh, and a shout out to Danny, I think he's the been the one to draw the short stick and drive whatever slow junk I bring almost every time we made it to the event.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 1:48 p.m.

We might need a clearer definition of what hot lapping is prohibited.

In 2015, I believe Texas A&M and I were 2 of the last cars on the track. We struggled all day with the car, and it wasn't until the last 15 minutes of the event we got it running. We had 3 runs left. Our driver (not one of the pro drivers) came in after the 3rd run and gave us the thumbs up (first run he'd had with the car running well). I signaled him to lap. He hot lapped 3 laps in a row, and we had the lead briefly on the last run. A&M was doing the same thing at the same time, and came in right behind us with a run that squashed ours by a full second.

They took first, I took second.

You may call that hot lapping. I call it great fun, and COMPLETELY in the spirit of the event.

If that was prohibited, I'd be sad.

Note: neither of us ran more than the limit of 5 laps.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/4/17 2:26 p.m.

I think hotlapping with the pro when the pro had already run your car more than 5 times was the problem. As Eric pointed out it takes about the same time to run another lap as it does to get a pro out of a car and into another. Limit the runs per pro and hotlapping is no longer an issue.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
3/4/17 2:47 p.m.

I do like the idea of limiting the pro's to 3 hot laps and then onto the next car. This would free up the pros and speed things up. The pro's are used to a 3 run format, might encourage more teams to drive their own cars, if only for a couple of runs.

Lof8
Lof8 HalfDork
3/4/17 4:43 p.m.

I'll just throw in some of my own thoughts here. I enjoy driving and autocrossing, slightly more than the actual build process. I drive my own car at the Challenges. Is it fair that I'm trying to match the pros who get 50-60 laps/looks at the track while I'm limited to just 5 runs?

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
3/4/17 5:49 p.m.
Lof8 wrote: I'll just throw in some of my own thoughts here. I enjoy driving and autocrossing, slightly more than the actual build process. I drive my own car at the Challenges. Is it fair that I'm trying to match the pros who get 50-60 laps/looks at the track while I'm limited to just 5 runs?

I gave in this year knowing i had a highly competitive car without my inexperienced behind in the seat dodging cones. I believe had i let pro hot lap my car he could have knocked a second plus off, but i was confident I could make it up on the dragstrip. Hindsight being 20/20 I'd have told him to do 4 back to back runs instead of 2, but i would have done a bunch of things differently. This year I'm doing those things.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/4/17 6:05 p.m.
Lof8 wrote: I'll just throw in some of my own thoughts here. I enjoy driving and autocrossing, slightly more than the actual build process. I drive my own car at the Challenges. Is it fair that I'm trying to match the pros who get 50-60 laps/looks at the track while I'm limited to just 5 runs?

I'd say, yes.

You have the same opportunity everyone else does to ask one of them to drive your car.

Lof8
Lof8 HalfDork
3/4/17 6:35 p.m.
SVreX wrote:
Lof8 wrote: I'll just throw in some of my own thoughts here. I enjoy driving and autocrossing, slightly more than the actual build process. I drive my own car at the Challenges. Is it fair that I'm trying to match the pros who get 50-60 laps/looks at the track while I'm limited to just 5 runs?

I'd say, yes.

You have the same opportunity everyone else does to ask one of them to drive your car.

I agree not many competitors are in my same boat. Just thought I'd share my point of view. Driving is more fun than watching others drive. Regardless of what the ruling is on number of runs, I'll be taking them all myself ;)

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
3/4/17 8:00 p.m.

In reply to Lof8:

I'm in the same boat as you. I enjoy driving the car vs letting someone else drive. We've never had a car that we've autocrossed and sorted prior to the event so I am always anxious to drive.

I tend to agree that it's a bit unfair with the limited run years since the pros have all the course experience. It keeps people from experiencing driving what they've built and puts the ones that want to drive at a disadvantage.

In the past I've done 2-3 runs then had Alan run do the remainder. He usually ends up beating me by a hair .1 or less on his last run after he's familiar with the car. I do get that a lot of people see huge time drops using the pro's.

I don't have the answer. Just stating my personal view that people should get to drive their own cars at least once on course.

stan_d
stan_d SuperDork
3/5/17 1:35 a.m.

My car sat in grid waiting for Alan. I stayed with it. Sat so long tires lost pressure in front. (Slow leaks,old) then the water pump pully ate the fan . I was only able to get one run. Mad dash to fix. Just not enough time. If the first run had been shortly after gridding might have been different. I sat at least 2.5 hrs

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/5/17 7:38 a.m.

Dance card.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
3/5/17 7:44 a.m.
evildky wrote: I do like the idea of limiting the pro's to 3 hot laps and then onto the next car. This would free up the pros and speed things up. The pro's are used to a 3 run format, might encourage more teams to drive their own cars, if only for a couple of runs.

I like this idea (if I am understanding it correctly).

You are suggesting we do the OPPOSITE- instead of prohibiting hot laps, pro drivers ONLY do hot laps?

I really like that.

The only people who would complain are the people who bring their car unprepared, and use the pros to try to sort their car. Answer= prep your car before the event.

I have never used a GRM supplied pro for more than 3 laps.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/5/17 8:25 a.m.

Personally I don't like it. Can hot lap-yes, must hot lap-no. Pros give good advice on adjustments, tires need to be bled down, some cars need to cool, etc. I still say limited runs per pro, unlimited runs otherwise, manage the grid well.

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