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Author Topic: Should qualifing be taught in Drivers School ?
Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Brian G found pole on Sunday at LS but he said it wasn't easy besides the norm.
People racing, passing or trying to in to 10 or 11.

Maybe a quick drivers meeting?
J~

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Yes.

I took the Driving Concepts/NASA comp school back in 2008 when I was still living in SoCal. They covered qualifying with an empahasis on strategy and courtesy to other drivers.

Sadly, it seems so hard to get a clean lap during my qual sessions. Should be something that's mentioned during driver's meetings but seldom is.

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On Saturday afternoon, Kyle F. and I lined up together and asked the grid ladies to hold us until about a minute after everybody else was gone. We then had clean track for nearly the entire session. It was sweet.... [Big Grin]

--------------------
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I don't think qualifying should be taught at drivers' school, for a variety of reasons (principally, most at that stage are back-markers, and the limited school time can be better used).

I agree that courtesy in qualifying (and reminding folks that qualifying is all about one lap; "racing" during qualifying just screws everyone up) would be a good use of a drivers meeting.

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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SCCA school, no.

private school, probably.

Would be a good discussion to surface at a driver's meeting for sure.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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TORacing
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I believe it's a great idea in any driver education for racing to at least go over the basics...information is always a good thing. I see people racing each other all the time in qual. Why would it not be a good idea to provide insights to rookies coming up on proper behavior in something they're going to be participating in?
I had a rookie on his out lap ruin my 1st flyer this weekend...very frustrating. When I spoke w/ him after wards, he was simply unaware.

My feelings are to bring up everywhere...schools, driver educations and driver's meetings,

My 2 cents...

Tommy O

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We struggle with information overload at our SCCA driver school. There are many things I want to say, but hold back because there are priorities, like making sure they don't turn down on you when you're on a flyer or the don't squeeze you off the exit becuase it's their line [Smile] Most certainly would agree if there were just enough time.

But certainly a handout that could be included in student packets if it could be written up in concise language.

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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The drivers meeting talk would have been nice this weekend. I spent several laps trying to get around a slower ITA car to give myself clear track for a good flier (my mistake). Every time I thought they were going super wide to finally let me through, they'd slam the door on me from 3 car widths away and I'd poke along through the following turns.

Moral of the story...two wrongs don't make a fast lap. [nope]

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The front runners in my region like to get to grid 20 minutes early and then race each other for the first few laps of a qual session. Dunno why. If I'm in that group, I back off on a straight, throw away that lap and focus on the next few laps with a clear track. Same goes for if I'm mixed up with slower cars. You'll probably catch the slower car in a few laps so make those 2-3 laps count. Once your lap times begin to lengthen (due to hot tires), there's not point in staying out. However sometimes my fast qualifier comes after a short trip to the pits (to check pressures), allowing the tires to cool a bit.

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I think that no matter how much you teach it, people will still want to race you in qualifying...its just one of those things that just makes me mad [Mad]

well, at least thats my 2 cents.

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Dennis Valet
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They taught qualifying at the NE Division schools I went to. Basically explained what you should try to do during the session, and then had a mock qualifying session, encouraging people to try and run clean laps away from others.

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Yes ! 1st Time racers should be educated that when there quailfing there will be cars out there that seem to have 3 times the engines they have. They wont understand the word experience. They should be taught wave by the over taking car.(Dont race them) They also need to understand after quaifying, move over there are people trying to get to pit in to ck tire temps and pressures!!! YES teach them all you can its a club.

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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This seems like a great "forum" to talk about it now.

Usually the guys who think they're fast try to get to pre-grid early so that they can get a few good laps when the tires are at their best, and to get a clean lap (flyer) before catching slower cars. You should generally line up in pre-grid where you think you'll run in the race. Fast guys in front and so on...

We often go out with our buddies so that we can draft each other a bit on the straights. Although it may look like racing, it is a very complex process similar to lead and follow. Passes are often planned and shared radio frequencies are used to make sure the passes happen on a straight and not during a flyer.

Competing teams often play games with each other and try to steal a draft from the other competitors, so you will see some groups of cars slowing down to let other groups pass, then speed up again. A draft from two cars can yield really good laps!! It is really bad form to screw someone elses flyer, but some folks may do it. Be careful as the favor will likely be returned!!!

There that's a good start, and how things work in my little corner of the world. Please expand or fill in what I might have missed...

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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jmchin Verified Driver
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So what is the protocol if your in the process of setting down your fastest lap and 2-3 corners from start finish and someone even faster is coming up on you. Finish off the lap then point them by or point them by first?

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It may depend on your experience level and time elapsed in the qualifying session.

Racers with a lot of experience can actually time their very fastest lap on the 3rd lap, and less experienced racers may need the whole session to get up to speed.

I guess my answer would be, give respect to those that deserve it and let them by if they are on a flyer near the beginning of the session and get your flyer later. They WILL appreciate that and maybe give you some tips or fix your car sometime in the future when you really need it. Most of the fast guys I know are full of advice and ready to give it anytime (you'd be surprised how few people ask them for tips). As mentioned above, this is a club -- Making friends is a big advantage.

While this may sound complex, it's actually very easy to do if you are near folks that are about as fast as you are. Just don't race, as it always yields slower laps and messes with other folks flyers!!!! and let much faster folks by.


-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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A friend asked me this weekend if we deliberately start at the back and hang back and try to catch up with the slower cars. My answer was no, that was just me not getting to grid early. His response was correct... That was not his problem, but mine [Smile]

-b

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There are three points that I think are worth mentioning on the subject of qualifying:

1 - CO-OPERATE! Racing is the time to be very selfish, but on the club level, qualifying is the time to be considerate of those around you. Make an effort to understand if others are on a flyer and if you are not, then make every effort to not interfere.

2 - Only your fastest lap counts, so ALL other laps are throw away! Don't bother "racing" someone when you know a lap won't be your best lap. The Magnatrometer helps a lot in this regard. Even if you come across a slower car mid lap, if you are not on a flyer, find a way to make the pass without interfering with the other car's lap.

3 - When you pass someone in the last turn leading on the straight with the Start/Finish line, you have ruined FOUR laps. The lap that you and the other driver are completing and the laps that both of you are about to start. You've compromised the speed down the front straight which is the WORST possible thing you can do.

I am very much of the opinion that good karma in qualifying is rewarded over time. Lack of consideration in qualifying sessions gets you a bad reputation in your region.

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Great points Dean.

It may seem obvious to some, but sometimes we need to start at the begining. The way to not interfere with someone on a flyer is to lift or brake on a straight and let folks by. It generally doesn't help to lift or let someone by in most any corner. Doing so will most likely result in many places lost for both competitors.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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No weaving on out-lap!!! It doesn't warm-up tires very well, and the track is green. Bad idea.

Ought to be a rule against it.

Viet-Tam Luu
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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
No weaving on out-lap!!! It doesn't warm-up tires very well, and the track is green. Bad idea.
Ought to be a rule against it.

In SF Region, there is: http://www.sfrscca.org/images/2010/RoadRacing/2010suppregsrev310.pdf

quote:
31. TIRE SCRUBBING: Tire scrubbing is prohibited on track except when following the Pace/Safety car.

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Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
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As Cy mentioned the faster people show up to grid even before the previous group is released. In our region we really don't have 'teams' like some of the other regions seem to have, but there are individuals that work together well which could appear to be racing.

At the beginning we have to weave to hold up all the mid and back markers that think qualifying is a race. It actually has nothing to do with warming up our tires. [thumbsup] The mid and back markers tend to be the people that think the first lap of qualifying being released from grid can be their fastest lap. [banghead] If you can get them out on the track, but you haven't gone that far around, that gives you more relatively clean laps before you catch the back markers. Once I start catching the back markers I usually come into the pits unless I am working on something specific.

It would be great if qualifying was taught better in schools because when I first started qualifying I really did race the cars around me, and then both of us would never get a fast lap. It took me the better part of a year to start figuring it out. Any lap where you have to pass or be passed is a throw away lap. Even now I think there is a lot for me to still learn about qualifying. Much like mentioned above the ability to let a faster car by in a good spot and then trying to learn from them is extremely valuable information. They caught you for a reason. You watching your mirrors blocking someone who might be 2 tenths of a second faster is not going to help you pick up a better line.

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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
No weaving on out-lap!!! It doesn't warm-up tires very well, and the track is green. Bad idea.

Ought to be a rule against it.

[thumbsup]

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quote:
Originally posted by Adroitracer:
At the beginning we have to weave to hold up all the mid and back markers that think qualifying is a race. It actually has nothing to do with warming up our tires.

It would seem that driving faster than the supposedly slower cars would be a safer, and more effective way, to keep in front of them, than artificially holding them (and everyone else) up by weaving, braking, etc.

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quote:
except when following the Pace/Safety car.
Even then it's not necessary.

quote:
we have to weave to hold up all the mid and back markers
I have a 4" x 4" in my shed just waiting to be fitted behind my front bumper for such occasions. [Big Grin]

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.[/qb][/QUOTE]It would seem that driving faster than the supposedly slower cars would be a safer, and more effective way, to keep in front of them, than artificially holding them (and everyone else) up by weaving, braking, etc. [/QB][/QUOTE]

In a big group, driving faster on the out lap, just brings you around to all the guys at the back end of the group, as they come out on the track. Weaving wouldn't be necessary if everyone stayed in position, spreading out gradually, until they came around for the first hot lap. That is the ideal.

Viet-Tam Luu
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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
[QB]
quote:
except when following the Pace/Safety car.
Even then it's not necessary.
Necessary? No. But almost everybody does it. I'll believe it doesn't do much to warm up the tires, but can it maintain tire temps during a FCY? And it's good for scrubbing off crap stuck to your tires. All the F1 guys do it; what do they know that we don't?

I'm sure there's a lengthy tire-scrubbing thread on this forum somewhere...

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Viet-Tam Luu (a.k.a. "Tam")
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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
In a big group, driving faster on the out lap, just brings you around to all the guys at the back end of the group, as they come out on the track. Weaving wouldn't be necessary if everyone stayed in position, spreading out gradually, until they came around for the first hot lap. That is the ideal.

I would think that such a tactic, however well meant, would merely cause frustration and possible crashes. If there are so many cars that having the equivalent of a pace lap on qualifying sessions makes sense, then perhaps a far safer, and more efficient, way to accomplish that would be to get the supplementals to say that when there are large run groups, at the discretion of the stewards, the out lap on a qualifying session will be run under FCY.

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... and the number one reason club racers scrub tires. . .

quote:
All the F1 guys do it

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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
In a big group, driving faster on the out lap, just brings you around to all the guys at the back end of the group, as they come out on the track. Weaving wouldn't be necessary if everyone stayed in position, spreading out gradually, until they came around for the first hot lap. That is the ideal.

+1

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I took the Driving Concepts/BMW CCA racing school too and we discussed qualifying. It's an instrumental part of racing and while driver school might be overwhelming, I'm surprised that it's not at least briefly discussed.

In STU quali on Saturday we had made some setup changes and I was on a ripping lap when an E46 BMW caught up to me around T10. Going into T11 he was still a fair bit back but he decided to dive bomb in the dirt off line and hug the apex of T11 which leads onto the front straight. Two laps for both of us totally wasted! This is the kind of bone head maneuver that we want to eliminate with some coaching/discussion about qualifying.

Here's what I want drivers to be taught: If you are the car in front and you are on a true flier - a lap without (sizeable) mistakes so far - I don't expect you to move over for a faster car. You have every right to qualify too. But, if you are not on a true flier, then get out of the way, preferably indicating to the driver behind you're going to make room for them so there is no confusion and they can pass by unimpeded.

If you are the faster car and approaching a slower car and can't get by in a place where it doesn't ruin your lap, then call off that hot lap. Ruining both of your laps is totally pointless, especially if the slower car is on one of their personal bests. Assuming we follow the rule above and they didn't move over for you, they are on such a lap.

Finally, and this is what caught Tommy and I out on Saturday; if you are on your out lap mid-session, your primary objective should be to stay WAY out of the way of oncoming faster cars. Drive your mirrors, pretty please.

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Cliffy Chains
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Heres my 2 cents on qualifying:

If you are one of the faster cars, it's your responsibility to get around any of the slower cars, or set yourself up to get a clean lap one way or another.

If you qualify in a group like I usually do, then you are playing follow the leader basically, so where one goes the rest will follow, making it difficult for some slower cars to get there best lap, my advice drop in play the game with the rest of us, follow the car in front, you'll probably go faster anyway.

If you are one of the slower cars and just refuse to follow anyone because you know they are not doing it right anyway, then you will probably not be happy no matter what happens in qualifying or for that matter the race.

We all continue to learn to get faster, even the top guys still look at data and ask for advice now and then, if they didn't they wouldn't continue to do well year after year.

While this thread is about qualifying being taught in a school, the real question I think should be taking a green flag start, while remaining in your position, ( not jumping the start).

Pick a fast guy, maybe just a little fatster than you, find him in qualifying, try to follow as long as you can, run his lines, adapt your line where you need to, when you get done, you'll probably out qualify him, and have never passed him at all !!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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In the MARRS we are fortunate to have large fields, 40+ for SSM. As you can imagine, that created some problems in qualifying but these were solved by our driver's rep. Our supps stipulate that our first lap of qualifying is done under double yellow. Our rep then sets the qual grid by the average fast lap from your last 3 races. When we take the track under double yellow the pole holds the field at approx 40 mph for approx 2/3 of the way around before accelerating to full speed. This allows everyone to get out of the pits and form up in a moving single file line. Since the grid is set by average fastest lap, when the field takes the green flag the line just stretches out and we usually get 3-4 good laps before traffic starts to come into play.

This works very well and I would think it could be used by other regions. We started with a gentleman's agreement not to pass on the first lap and with that showing success were able to convince the stewards to allow the double yellow.

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Qualifying is simple and can be taught right here. All you have to do is go faster and faster until you throw your car over the fence; than back it off just a little. Oh! It also helps to have a couple cars on standby. If you want a real fast lap you have to find another driver that has already thrown their car over the fence. Two morons are faster than one!!!

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Frank Todaro
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On my first race weekend,in April, on the second day I found myself up toward the front on the qualifying session I ran about 2 or 3 good strong laps and then just pointed the faster cars past me. It was just common sense I thought.

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Racing during qualifying is a BIG problem in CFR. And the number of people that seem to think they'll get pole on the out lap (Hey genius, you started out going 20mph on pit lane when you crossed the transponder wire!) is astounding.

The tires are cold, the brakes are cold, and how do you really know your significant other/child/friend really put a torque wrench on those wheels? Or set the air pressure for that matter.

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But going out fast on the out lap will heat things up a lot faster than doing tire scrubbies. And it won't get you run over.

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Charlie Campbell
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It'll also get you a trip into the wall, or worse yet, into somebody else's car, if somethings not right when you get to the first corner.

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Motor City Hamilton
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What speed should you go on the out lap? White flags displayed, track not officially green, what's the propper speed? 50%? 80%? Go, go, go?

I have been passed on the out lap many times. I usually just get in line and try to warm the brakes up and scrub the crap off of my tires. And, try to find a gap to known slower drivers who beat me to the grid or stay right on known faster drivers in front of me.

soupy
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Keith,what makes you think the track isn't green?
100% is not advised

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Charlie Campbell
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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What experienced drivers do might be a lot different than what inexperienced drivers do. The track is hot and it is time to go. White flags are to show you which turn stations are manned. The more experienced qualifiers will try to get their flyer on about lap 3, so it is important to get the tires warmed up, and the only way to do that is get going ASAP (similar to first lap of a race) being cautious that they might not have good grip yet. The less experienced qualifiers may not get their fast lap until they get into a pattern and that may not be until nearer the end of the session.

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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I've been racing almost 20 years, and my dad did it for more than 20 years before I did.

You are still better off taking the first lap to make sure the car is ready for what you are about to do to it.

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Motor City Hamilton
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Then this definately needs to be taught at drivers school, because no race that I have entered in 6 years of racing has more than a few cars gone green on the first lap. Most just putter around.

Or I guess I could have just read 6.1.1.E of the GCR to know that a white flag on the out lap does not mean look out for slow moving race cars or support vehicles.

Thanks for the help. It's "out of my way jackass" on the out lap from now on for me.

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An actual driver's meeting (like NASA holds) goes a long way toward awareness. Or as I like to call them - the "Don't be stupid, ya morons" meeting.

NASA, God bless them, actually announces their 'no weaving' policy at meetings. Good stuff.

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Keith, absent of yellow, red or black flags the course is green.

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Charlie Campbell
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Motor City Hamilton
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Honestly don't know how that got by me in six years of SCCA. I fully expect someone to post "read the GCR." Well, I have a number of times, but ya don't always comprehend every word or detail.

I guess it would have been more clear to me if 7/8 of the field wasn't puttering around on lap one at every event. I realy thought we weren't green until we passed the green at start finish. That changes my whole strategy. I'd been hanging back from slower cars to try to get a lap 3 run, but now I can blow by them on lap one, when they're asleep, and be on with it.

Motor City Hamilton
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I would like to bring this post back up for discussion. I believe that there is alot of confusion about qualifying and the first lap. I think most people don't think the track is green until they come around to start finish for the first time and see a green flag. On this thread you guys have shown the letter of the law in the GCR that the track is green at pit out and the white flags at each station are displayed only to see where the active stations are.

My last race weekend, I hit pit out and went 80% and passed ten cars who were weaving. I played it safe and left lots of room. Got to the 11th car and he pulled over to block me like we were approaching a construction zone on the highway. I went around him, then he drove on my bumper and made gestures like he was pissed. So, I let him go back buy and pulled in to the line of weaving cars. I'm telling you that 90% of the Spec Miata field was scrubbing tires on lap one.

So what's the rule and what's the right thing to do. By the letter of the rule, I should have kept going with caution to avoid the weavers. But by letter of sportsmanship, should I have just stayed in line and take my late to the grid spot? Do people look at this as line jumping? Or, screw it, the track is green and I'm right. Seriously, I could have passed the entire 21 car Spec Miata field on the out lap.

Motor City Hamilton
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GCR section 6.1.1.E "a standing white flag will be displayed during the first lap of each race groupís first session of the day to indicate the location of the flagging stations."

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Sportsmanship has nothing to do with it. Some guys go, on the out lap, some scuff, some hang back. If the guy you passed was pissed, that's his problem, not yours. Just make sure you don't block somebody's good lap, after you blew past them on the out lap.
I usually run at about 80% on my out lap, bringing everything up to temps, and then go hard, on lap two. If I pass people, or am passed, so be it.
wheel

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I say do whatever you want and F everyone else. If the lead cars want to dick around on the out-lap then by all means pass them and get on with the task at hand. If they grid early and you pass them after a few corners, too bad for the dawdlers. Weaving back and forth at 50% speed doesn't heat up tires. Going out and blasting off a 90% lap does so without too much of a risk of spinning on the warming tires.

Getting to grid early usually puts you with the faster cars in the class and this group usually doesn't hold each other up much during qualifying. It's when you get a slower driver into that mix that people get pissed because they have to throw away the lap when the slow driver is caught and passed.

If you get caught quickly in qualifying, let the faster car by easily with a pointby. If the car behind catches you slowly (you're running similar lap times but you're obviously slower), point it by in a braking zone and brake a little bit early to allow the car to get by safely with as little speed lost for both cars.

If you know you're slow, don't grid up front. You'll just create animosity and piss off the half of the field that's way faster than you are.

The only time I'd say lay back and let the front runners do their weaving thing is at a very short track like Lime Rock where a quick out-lap will put you into the back of the field still coming out of the pits on the second lap.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Tucker:
Qualifying is simple and can be taught right here. All you have to do is go faster and faster until you throw your car over the fence; than back it off just a little. Oh! It also helps to have a couple cars on standby. If you want a real fast lap you have to find another driver that has already thrown their car over the fence. Two morons are faster than one!!!

Jam's got some wisdom above ...
seems like some of these flyin out lapper doods just want to throw their cars over the fence way early.
racerfink nails it.
You can play the game, stress out, pre grid 1st with your draft partners 2nd & 3rd, go out together on the out lap, fan out to block the track, weave around slowly until Turn 6 letting the entire grid get out on track, then go like heck for 1 lap until you run up on half the field going 50 mph, clueless to your closing speeds. Fast lap gone.
Or, you can chill out, be last on grid, let everyone go, drive 75% on the out lap, 90% on lap 2 and the flyer on lap 3 & 4...
Then pit, take temps and think about your time.
If not satisfactory, go back out and drive around at 80% looking for a fast guy to draft for a end of session flyer.
Then chill out in the paddock watching all the fence jumpers coming in on the hook.

 
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