Further guidance from John Nesbitt, regarding what you should know about the Impound, Inspection and Teardown processes. Print this out, read it, then keep it someplace handy...you may need it someday.
(John shows up as a registered user at SM.com, but his "login" etc. info never got to him...any Admins around who could "re-send" it to him ? He's user # 19472, registered 6/04/09. He'll join the conversation at that point !)
Impound, Inspection & Teardown - John Nesbitt June 2009
(Part 2 of what seems to be turning into a serial titled 'You and the GCR'.)
Congratulations, you are a podium finisher! Now what? GCR section 5.9.3 covers most of what you need to know.
Normally, the top 3 finishers in each class are required to report to impound. Check the supps; they may specify a different number of cars. It is the competitor's responsibility to report to impound. If you are not sure whether you are in the top 3 (or whatever), report anyway. The Chief Steward may also decide to impound cars after any session. If you are directed to impound, go there. Failure to report may result in a penalty.
Each impounded car will be inspected to ensure conformity to its class rules. Here is the relevant portion of 5.9.3.B: "Each impounded car shall be given an inspection that shall, at minimum, include verification of conformity to the minimum weight and two additional items as appropriate for the class, as determined by the Chief Technical Inspector and Chief Steward."
If your car is found underweight on first weighing, it will be immediately re-weighed twice (once in each direction). Section 5.9.4 sets out the standards and procedures for the official scales. If the car is confirmed to be underweight, this will be noted in the logbook, and the car weighed before receiving a tech sticker at its next event. Also, you are subject to penalty.
Section 5.9.3.B continues: "The Chief Steward may also order the removal of a wheel or intake choke(s) or restrictors during impound. These inspections are not subject to the fees outlined in section 5.12.2.C.5. Additional inspections may be conducted through the protest procedures outlined in section 8.3.3."
So, the tech team can measure track or ride height etc. but, if they want to measure your camshafts, for example, they must follow the procedures in 8.3.3 (Protests Against Cars) and 5.12.2.C.5 (Powers of the Chief Steward).
These teardowns (i.e. teardowns not as a result of a mechanical protest by another competitor) fall into a category called 'Chief Steward-directed teardowns'. By 'Chief Steward', we mean the Chief Steward, as well as any officials (Assistant Chief Stewards, Chief of Tech, or members of a compliance team from Topeka or Enterprises) to whom he has delegated authority. These teardowns have previously fallen into a grey area, but are defined in the 2009 GCR (see section 5.12.2.C.5).
In a nutshell, the Chief Steward may order a teardown of a car without having received a protest against the car. The concept is very similar to a mechanical protest, with the Chief Steward essentially protesting the car. If the car is found compliant, the race organizers (i.e. the Region) must stand the cost of disassembly, inspection, and reassembly. The race organizers must approve the teardown bond before disassembly can begin. Two spec classes, FE (9.1.1.A.5.19) and SRF (9.1.9.C.20), have specific teardown rules which are consistent with the general rule.
If the Chief Steward orders a teardown of your car you must permit it, keeping in mind your rights in the event that your car is found compliant. Insist that a proper bond first be established, and approved in writing by the race organizers. Refusal to permit a teardown will attract an automatic penalty of disqualification, a 6-month suspension, and a $250 fine.
These rules apply to all Chief Steward-directed teardowns at an event, whether post-race, after a qualifying session, or at any other time. Remember that they apply to national and regional races only. The Runoffs have different teardown rules, as do SCCA Pro races.
Loose Member '09 & '10 Great Lakes Regional Points Champion
Region: Cincinnati Great Lakes
Car #: 60
Year : 1990 Posts: 1487
John: What is a "proper bond" amount? Rick
-------------------- Fortune Cookie Racing SM 60 Directions for use: Race, Rumple, Repair ... Repeat!
Region: mid south
Car #: 2
Year : 1999 Posts: 4275
John(s) Great posts and one on my mind at the moment... First and foremost, if the compliance team is at your event and you are asked to pull off more than what John listed in his post, it is well within your right to ask for a tear down bond. For things that are minor, I wouldn't ask, but it is within your right. I have been torn down twice this year, the first at Sebring where the did compression,intake and exhaust manifold, throttle body and at the Sprints where the head,intake and exhaust manifolds came off. I didn't ask for a tear down bond at the Sebring race, but I did at the Sprints, had the top three all been pulled down, I really wouldn't have minded, but I was the only one that pulled a head. So I DID ask for a tear down bond. It wasn't crazy, it was 584 based on the 7.3 hours in the table above. The point being, this money is in the budget already. All the bond money NOT used last year is what paid for most of the tools we have this year.Know the GCR and ask for a bond if you feel that the amount of work is over what you feel you can do in an hour or two. It is your right, you pay $10 a race for it. Jim
Think of it as "paying for the labor and gaskets for Jim to have his head freshened". If you're legal, it's a "Miata engine contingency award".
20-ish years ago, I knew a GT5 guy who used to start "illegal engine" rumors about his own engine, 'cuz he was cheap and didn't want to have to pay for gasket sets for his frequent "refreshes". Really.
Region: mid south
Car #: 2
Year : 1999 Posts: 4275
quote:Originally posted by John the Impaler: Think of it as "paying for the labor and gaskets for Jim to have his head freshened". If you're legal, it's a "Miata engine contingency award".
I like that and had they got me the race before it would have worked like a charm But that head has whatever laps I turned at Road America on it that weekend only So it was a brake clean refresh and reinstall for me :)actually went back together today.
Car #: 77
Year : 1990 Posts: 74
Newbie question: Is the owner of the challenged car responsible to find someone with the competence to teardown and rebuild, or do the race officials (or their designees) do the work for the applicable rate? Thanks.
quote:Originally posted by Reggie: Newbie question: Is the owner of the challenged car responsible to find someone with the competence to teardown and rebuild, or do the race officials (or their designees) do the work for the applicable rate? Thanks.
That's a two-part question.
On the question of who does the work, the answer is that it's negotiable. Typically the party being torn down will do the disassembly, but this is not compulsory. Speaking for myself as a driver, I would prefer to have any wrenching on my car done by my team. The critical element is that the work be done under the control and supervision of the Tech folks, so as to maintain the chain of custody over any possible evidence.
On the question of 'work(ing) for the applicable rate', this really is not how it works. The teardown bond is some fixed amount which is established up in front, and paid out according to whether the components in question are compliant or not. It may be more or less than the actual expenditure, though in a perfect world it would be spot-on. Once the bond is established, work proceeds independently of it.
Region: Central Florida
Car #: 3
Year : 1992 Posts: 1304
You have raised an interesting issue. The bond money is budgeted out of the compliance fee money by SCCA Topeka, but 5.12.2.C.5 requires the race organizer be financially responsible for the bond. So why is the compliance money being used for the bonds when it is the race organizer i.e. region who is required to pay the bond per the GCR? This is the same issue our friend recently faced.
Interesting point, but maybe just shaving the language a little too thin. A Nat'l "Compliance" person is given the status of "Asst. Chief Steward" when present at a race (5.12.4). In the Asst. Chief Steward role, he represents the Region...the "race organizer".
What 5.12.2.C.5 says is "...the race organizers shall stand the expense...".
I think you'd have a hard time making a case that a Compliance team member, or the Compliance Program itself, isn't a representative of the race organizer.