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Author Topic: Body damage, food for thought
TR6
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I'll throw this out for what it's worth. What do you guys think of PCA's 13/13 rules for contact and racing incidents? If there is contact that results in damage, the stewards determine who is at fault (driver/witness interviews, video, etc) and the person who caused the incident is placed on 13 months probation. If that person is found to be at fault for contact again while on probation, he/she is banned for 13 months. Is Spec Miata ready for something that strict? How about a modified version? It sure makes drivers think twice when they are about to make an aggressive move that may bend someone else's car...

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Greg H.
2002 red Miata #500
Denton, Texas

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
quote:
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Originally posted by Capt. John:
As an SCCA Steward in the SEDIV, I would like to throw in a few comments. I see quite a few cars from the SM group with a significant amount of body damage. I saw a Miata this past weekend with very visible damage on every panel of the car. This didn't all happen this weekend. It says to me that the driver or drivers of this car, apparently have metal to metal contact with other competitors, on a fairly regular basis. As a Steward and driver I frown on this type of on track behavior. ....

Capt. John
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John, what did you do with this driver?

This assumes that the driver of the 'every panel bent' car is the 'problem child'. It is possible that the car is driven cleanly and has the bad luck to get run into frequently, perhaps by someone else attempting a dive-bomb pass, or losing control under braking, or shoved out of the way (trust me, it happens).

Capt. John
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Kent,
I pointed out the car to the Chief Steward and he spoke with the driver at the end of the day. The driver was told to spend some time fixing up the obvious damage before his next event. This was not a witch hunt by any manner of means. Obvious recurring body damage speaks volumes about a drivers conduct on track, and needs to be addressed. Annual Tech means that the cars are seen or a less than regular basis these days,and damage is often not noted for quite some time. The same Stewards show up at events on a regular rotating basis here in the Fl. and Central Fl. Regions, covering four different tracks, and do notice things from one event to another. Damaged,unrepaired,and unacceptable cars that continually show up on a regular basis will be so noted and dealt with according to the GCR. It costs enough to race as it is without having to spend more $$ doing body work on a regular basis as if it was an oil change or brake pad replacement. Race close, race clean,and enjoy.

Capt.John

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Capt. John:
As an SCCA Steward in the SEDIV, I would like to throw in a few comments. I see quite a few cars from the SM group with a significant amount of body damage. I saw a Miata this past weekend with very visible damage on every panel of the car. This didn't all happen this weekend. It says to me that the driver or drivers of this car, apparently have metal to metal contact with other competitors, on a fairly regular basis. As a Steward and driver I frown on this type of on track behavior. ....

Capt. John
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John, what did you do with this driver?

This assumes that the driver of the 'every panel bent' car is the 'problem child'. It is possible that the car is driven cleanly and has the bad luck to get run into frequently, perhaps by someone else attempting a dive-bomb pass, or losing control under braking, or shoved out of the way (trust me, it happens).
In my observation...a clean driver will have a bad moment or have someone spin in front of him or...maybe a couple of times a year. When you see someone start with a new car and end up with every panel bent, I don't think it's coincidence. I am not saying the driver is at fault in all the incidents but I do believe there may be a lack of awareness while racing--tunnel vision, red mist, etc.

Antonio--Flame suit on
[flamed]

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
In my observation...a clean driver will have a bad moment or have someone spin in front of him or...maybe a couple of times a year. When you see someone start with a new car and end up with every panel bent, I don't think it's coincidence. I am not saying the driver is at fault in all the incidents but I do believe there may be a lack of awareness while racing--tunnel vision, red mist, etc.

Antonio--Flame suit on
[flamed]

The trouble is when the new driver races in SCCA SM, NASA SM, SCCA ITA, NASA PTE, and NASA enduros. The car gets trashed 5x as fast when you do 5x the racing.

Don't assume that just because the car has gotten uglier faster than other cars that the driver is reckless.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Rob...there is a huge difference between wear and tear and every body panel wrinkled and dented. The car in question involved a driver who drove into the side of the race leader on the final corner of the final lap....and then won the race as the other car spun out of the top 10.

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Paul McLester

tony senese Verified Driver
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I hate to say that I have become quite adept at minor, and major body repairs. All regions, and sanctioning bodies are not the same, but the larger and more competitive the group, the more often I have had to exercise my hammmer's and dolly's

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Tony Senese
SM#99
2008 NASA-NE SM Champion
NASA-NE SM Director
2008 PRO-IT SM 3rd place
http://www.nosenseyet.com/coppermine

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Gatoratty:
Rob...there is a huge difference between wear and tear and every body panel wrinkled and dented. The car in question involved a driver who drove into the side of the race leader on the final corner of the final lap....and then won the race as the other car spun out of the top 10.

Exactly. The other drivers and staff should focus on correcting conduct, not just how the car looks. That's taking the easy way out.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm the last person to suggest a punitive means of stewardship as the first option. I think the stewards can have a lot of impact simply by interviewing the driver and asking about the damages to the car. By doing so, they might find out who the other guilty parties are....

You can't meet out punishments by this kind of information gathering, but you can figure out who to watch in the next race, no?

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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(warning, rant ahead)

Antonio, et al, I started this season having spent the winter repairing and painting the right quarter panel, right rocker panel, both front fenders, and replacing the passenger door. The car looked great.

First race of the year at Daytona another driver tries to beat me to the apex of the first horseshoe, and pushes in the quarter panel that I just repaired. That other guy wasn't beside me, he tried to dive-bomb.

In my third race of the year this happened:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uynImd7lZ6c
Please tell what I did wrong, or could have done differently to avoid contact. End result - passenger door caved in, rocker panel dented. I protested the other driver and it was ruled a racing incident, no penalties.

I've pounded out the bent panels as best as I can, I've purchased another door, but I'm not going to put it on or do any proper repair until after my season is over because I know when you run mid-pack you're in the kill-zone, it WILL happen again, and replacing body parts once a year is enough for me.

I will again spend my off season repairing my car, but I challenge anyone to come forward and say I didn't race them cleanly and in control this year.

-Denny

EBudman Verified Driver
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Denny,

When you hear that tire squeal at M-O.... drive straight into the gravel, 'cause you know what's coming next!!! [fight]

Eric (not in the Miata this year 'cause it's still bent...)

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Good advise Eric, I said to myself "here it comes".

You still doin the LeMons this weekend?

Jeff Lyon Verified Driver
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So the general consensus is; there is too much body contact and it is usually ruled a racing incident and the offender gets off clean.

So what could be some ways to reduce the number of incidents? Put all parties on probation? Require sheetmetal to be repaired between races? Should everyone start running rear facing cameras? Wide Angle GoPro's are about $180. That is a lot cheaper than repairing a quarter panel. It sounds like a lot of the carnage is due to over optomistic pass attempts.

Just trying to come up with some ideas here.

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Jeff
NorCal/SFR
OneStopRaceShop

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Been reading all this and I just had to comment. I have only been racing SM,SSM and ITA for 2 seasons. New to road racing but a x motocrosser many many years ago. Now at 49, I am amazed at how important a position is to some guys. I can understand the young buck that wants, or thinks he has a shot at stepping up to the big leagues(not that the SCCA isn't) and a paid ride some day, being very aggressive. What I can't understand is everyone else that is just doing this because we love to race and the people we meet at the track, and driving so aggressively that they are willing to wreck themselves and/or someone else for that position or to get on the podium. There is no paycheck for the rest of us. If the podium means that much, hell, build one at home, and race in control at the track. (I will admit,this is coming from a guy that will never see the podium), but, Too many egos in this sport!! All this talk about parity between the 1.6 and 1.8, sealed motors, blah blah blah....My suggestion, first concentrate on clean, safe racing. Make in car cameras manditory. Someone will always have a view of what really happened and the repeat offenders will easily get caught on camera time and time again. Then leave it to the powers to be how they handle it. IMHO [twocents]

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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+1 for required cameras and officials to act on what they see on film.

On a side note, I think it's silly for amateur racers to bother trying to keep a RACE CAR looking nice. Clean engine bay? Dust free car? Honestly?

I personally would prefer we went to dirt track appearance rules, but I am probably completely alone on that.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

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quote:
Originally posted by Mike888:
I will admit,this is coming from a guy that will never see the podium

That's just not true.

At Lime Rock the podium is just behind the bathrooms. Anyone can walk over and check it out. [Big Grin]

Sometimes there's a few guys who see nothing but red. You get to know who they are real quick if you run with the same group. I try to give them room and most of the time they off themselves (and a few others) before the end of the race. Also a few guys who too often make commitments to corners that they just can't keep. Luck helps there. Someday their skills may rise to the level of their gonads. But at some point, in order to move up, you have to choose moves with a higher level of risk. The hard part is knowing how high that level is.

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Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

TR6
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I'm new to Spec Miata so take this with a grain of salt, but it appears from what I've gleaned here that as long as all the stewards are doing to address the problem is requiring drivers to repair their bent sheet metal, there is no real incentive to stop the contact. And from what some here have said, even imposing a monetary fine doesn't seem to influence some drivers to stop doing it. But if a driver were faced with probation leading to possibly being benched for some period if they do it again, then you would probably get their attention. And drivers would probably be more careful on the track and not make as many high-risk moves that they already know have a probability in ending in bent sheet metal.

--------------------
Greg H.
2002 red Miata #500
Denton, Texas

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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
In my third race of the year this happened:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uynImd7lZ6c
Please tell what I did wrong, or could have done differently to avoid contact. End result - passenger door caved in, rocker panel dented. I protested the other driver and it was ruled a racing incident, no penalties.

Denny,

No way that was an incident judging from your video and the sound. Did the stewards view your video with sound? What about the other driver's video?

Sometimes you have to drive defensively if you know the other driver is prone to this kind of maneuver. Sometimes you have to assert your rights knowing damage is possible so you have something to protest. Best to pick your battles wisely. Not fair, but pragmatic.

-Juan

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www.ArtOfRoadRacing.com Race Craft Clinic - Thunderhill - 30 Jan 2011

Jeff Lyon Verified Driver
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Greg,

in reference to your sig, the money doesn't really start flowing until you start racing. Building the car is the cheap part! [Razz]

--------------------
Jeff
NorCal/SFR
OneStopRaceShop

Kim Ouye Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Hey Juan that locked brake squeal sound reminds me of T10 at TH a few yeas back...defensive driving saved me some sledge hammer work...

--------------------
Kim

91 BRG SMT RIP
06 MX-5 Cup

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy sh*t...what a ride!'" - Unknown

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Juan, The officials did watch my video, with sound, several times. The other driver did not provide video. I never met the other driver before this incident, or raced against him. He was from out of state driving a rental SM.

As far as defensive driving goes, I suppose I could have driven straight off the end of the track (as Eric B. suggested) because if I hadn't so generously stopped the other car by turning, I'm pretty sure that's where he would have ended up. (If he didn't clout someone else)

-Denny

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quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
Good advise Eric, I said to myself "here it comes".

You still doin the LeMons this weekend?

Yep, I'm loading the car up in the morning & leaving for Nelson on Friday.... One of the few races you can show up WITH body damage & have a chance that your car will look better when you're done!! [rolling on floor laughin] [Razz]

Eric

 
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