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Author Topic: Better, or worse ?
John the Impaler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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July was not particularly pretty in NEDiv, with two big un-examined messes at Watkins Glen races (top of the Esses, then bottom of the Esses).

It's not going to heal itself. Drivers and officials both need to step up and address it. NEDiv Exec Steward Earl Hurlbut has already communicated to the steward community new expectations regarding SM races...starts, investigating all contact, etc., but now it's YOUR TURN. Earl has spoken to several of us...and conducted some meetings with drivers inthe class, as recently as last weekend at the Beeve...I know Soupy was there...probably some others (I wasn't) -

Would using the "Pro" start rules (allowable if addressed in the supps for each race) for SM help clean up some of the starts, avoid the messes in the first few corners, and "undisadvantage" those who don't have radios and can't see the green when it comes out ("undisadvantage" - a bastard word...but you know what I mean) ? The "Pro" start rules are "no passing, and no pulling out of the 2x2 line until you cross Start/Finish when the green comes out".

Would an "impound all" after each session allow for a better debrief w/ officials of any contact or other on-track transgressions ?

Much like SM nationals in each division had a dedicated SM Steward 2 years ago, should the Division have SM Stewards assigned to each race, consistantly addressing problems and providing an "institutional memory" that is divisionwide ?

You guys are in the seat...what other steps can be taken ?

Dennis Valet
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Personally I think that all (double file initial) starts should be no passing until you are past the start/finish line, however, having said that...

Honestly I think it's sad that SM would need to go to "pro start rules" to keep the starts clean. Would they be the only class in SCCA club racing that would do such a thing? What does this say about SM as a class? "You guys can't control yourselves, so you've been given special rules to stop the mayhem"

On the same note, a SM specific steward raises the same concerns. If you need to have an "Institutional memory" to dole out punishments and keep track of the jackasses, that means there are WAY too many jackasses.


I think impound all after every session should be the first step in fixing the issues that people are having with unnecessary contact and poor judgment. If the stewards and fellow competitors would force the two drivers who made contact (whether or not it results in an accident) to talk to each other after the race, it might put more of a scarlet letter on driver's who drive irresponsibly.

At the Watkins Glen national this year, two Formula Ford driver's made contact with each other coming onto the nascar short course. There was a camera running in the chasing car. Instead of holding grudges against each other for the contact, both driver's sat down together and looked at the video, understood what the other was thinking, and walked away less angry than they would have had they simply brooded and called the other guy an idiot.

Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Here's the rub with the pro start idea as I see it ... say P3 misses a shift (like I did last Sunday). Does that mean that Positions 5,7,9,11,13,15,17,ect have to watch Positions 4,6,8,10,12 ect go zooming by because P3 held them up?
Rick

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Dennis Valet
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quote:
Originally posted by Qik Nip:
Here's the rub with the pro start idea as I see it ... say P3 misses a shift (like I did last Sunday). Does that mean that Positions 5,7,9,11,13,15,17,ect have to watch Positions 4,6,8,10,12 ect go zooming by because P3 held them up?
Rick

I think the idea is that since they have to stay in line, it's safer - instead of people darting out to the side and making it 3/4 wide on the front straight. (Limerock restricted regional race anyone?)

Dan Cooper Verified Driver
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I think what Rick is trying to say is if the odd qual'd cars (p1,3,5...) have to wait for the p3 car to find a gear, the even line of cars will drive away. Leaving, in a sense, 2 races going on.

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Dennis Valet
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan Cooper:
I think what Rick is trying to say is if the odd qual'd cars (p1,3,5...) have to wait for the p3 car to find a gear, the even line of cars will drive away. Leaving, in a sense, 2 races going on.

I understand, but the point of the pro start is safety first. It's not a "hey this will lead to better, more fair starts," it's a "hey this will lead to safer starts."

Bill Boom Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Wouldn't the "no passing" rule preclude anyone in the even line of cars from passing the car in the odd line that missed the shift?

Granted, there's still the problem of any cars already in front of the missed-shift car pulling away, but that's a bit better scenario than all the cars in the even column pulling away.

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Nice idea but I can't believe this would work with large fields of amateurs. If everyone had the presence and control to execute this we probably wouldn't have the problems we're having now.

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Muda Motorsports
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Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan Cooper:
I think what Rick is trying to say is if the odd qual'd cars (p1,3,5...) have to wait for the p3 car to find a gear, the even line of cars will drive away. Leaving, in a sense, 2 races going on.

Dan:
That is exactly the point. I can't believe that the odd number position qualifiers would be very happy to to be relegated to the last half of the field - especially P5 who might be siting P 20 something at turn one!
Rick

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two comments;
first, surprising to see the "impound all" poll running dead even 50/50 ... this is the best way for the "dedicated steward" to properly do his job and communicate/coordinate with the 'problem' drivers. I would suggest this is a must at least at the Regional level.
second, re the "pro start format"; since no one has said it, what stops a teammate gridded say P3 from puposely lifting at the green and stacking up the entire odd row?
A tactical "missed shift"?

[scratchchin]

George Munson Verified Driver
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Just my outside thoughts,

I thought it would be nice to have something that blanks out radio communication right before the start. It appears to me a lot of the issues stem from drivers in the back hearing, "Green, Green, Green" and not really focusing on the cars ahead. And "Yes" I own radios.

Wreckerboy Verified Driver
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At MARRS VII this weekend we (SSM) had a taste of the "Impound All" for the first time in my experience. I like the idea. I also liked that a lot of cars/drivers got called back to impound for additional discussions. (However, my aged eyes wish that the sign was a little bigger and easier to read.)

We also had an uncharacteristic amount of carnage for our group as well. Reports of beating and banging were commonplace. I saw a lot of damaged cars and I'm reasonably confident that a lot of it could have been avoided.

I do know that after being asked about "nose to tail contact" during Saturday's race (because somebody in front of me forgot he had five forward speeds) and it made me more cautious about such things the rest of the weekend. I would hope that it affected others as well. It made me realise that a fair amount of scrutiny was being paid to our on track behavior. It was good to see Mr. Impaler and others working the paddock and asking questions about damn near everything.

I talked to a few drivers who were not happy about the conversations being held, and that's just too damned bad. It's simple - the stewards are here to do a job. Drive cleanly and you'll minimize your contact with them. If you were called or cited unjustly, prove it. In my case (the nose to tail contact), the steward listened, understood, and nothing more was needed. Hower, as I said, I walked away knowing that they were watching.

I'm okay with that.

(Mr. Impaler, you need to run the decal we discussed on the SM at WGI.)

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Rob Myles
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disquek Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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For those voting no on the impound all question, I'd be interested in your reasoning.

-Kyle

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Makes it pretty tough to get ready if you're running a second class, which is usually only a race or two away.

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Muda Motorsports
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Mike888 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Wreckerboy:
At MARRS VII this weekend we (SSM) had a taste of the "Impound All" for the first time in my experience. I like the idea. I also liked that a lot of cars/drivers got called back to impound for additional discussions. (However, my aged eyes wish that the sign was a little bigger and easier to read.)

We also had an uncharacteristic amount of carnage for our group as well. Reports of beating and banging were commonplace. I saw a lot of damaged cars and I'm reasonably confident that a lot of it could have been avoided.

I do know that after being asked about "nose to tail contact" during Saturday's race (because somebody in front of me forgot he had five forward speeds) and it made me more cautious about such things the rest of the weekend. I would hope that it affected others as well. It made me realise that a fair amount of scrutiny was being paid to our on track behavior. It was good to see Mr. Impaler and others working the paddock and asking questions about damn near everything.

I talked to a few drivers who were not happy about the conversations being held, and that's just too damned bad. It's simple - the stewards are here to do a job. Drive cleanly and you'll minimize your contact with them. If you were called or cited unjustly, prove it. In my case (the nose to tail contact), the steward listened, understood, and nothing more was needed. Hower, as I said, I walked away knowing that they were watching.

I'm okay with that.

(Mr. Impaler, you need to run the decal we discussed on the SM at WGI.)


Mike888 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Wreckerboy:
At MARRS VII this weekend we (SSM) had a taste of the "Impound All" for the first time in my experience. I like the idea. I also liked that a lot of cars/drivers got called back to impound for additional discussions. (However, my aged eyes wish that the sign was a little bigger and easier to read.)

We also had an uncharacteristic amount of carnage for our group as well. Reports of beating and banging were commonplace. I saw a lot of damaged cars and I'm reasonably confident that a lot of it could have been avoided.

I do know that after being asked about "nose to tail contact" during Saturday's race (because somebody in front of me forgot he had five forward speeds) and it made me more cautious about such things the rest of the weekend. I would hope that it affected others as well. It made me realise that a fair amount of scrutiny was being paid to our on track behavior. It was good to see Mr. Impaler and others working the paddock and asking questions about damn near everything.

I talked to a few drivers who were not happy about the conversations being held, and that's just too damned bad. It's simple - the stewards are here to do a job. Drive cleanly and you'll minimize your contact with them. If you were called or cited unjustly, prove it. In my case (the nose to tail contact), the steward listened, understood, and nothing more was needed. Hower, as I said, I walked away knowing that they were watching.

I'm okay with that.

(Mr. Impaler, you need to run the decal we discussed on the SM at WGI.)

While I will admit that I was guilty of not shifting to 5th and running on the rev limiter down the straight with you on my bumper which caused you to tap me multiple times lightly, the truth be told, had I remembered to hit 5th you would have tapped me only once like a ton of bricks. Either way, you should have had your hand slapped!!!!!!!! Good thing I like you or I would filed paper on you!! [rolling on floor laughin] All in good fun and competition!!!!! Great weekend!

Tom Sager Made Donation to Website
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Have done a bunch of pro starts and never liked them. A lot chain reaction bumper car ping pong stuff went on before the start finish line as some cars got a slightly better jump than others. The larger the field, the worse it was.

Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by disquek:
For those voting no on the impound all question, I'd be interested in your reasoning.

-Kyle

Kyle:
I voted no. One of the regions in which I run does an impound all for every class. By and large, it amounts to an extra half hour of socializing while standing around in a hot race suit.

I will admit however, that it seemed to have a salutory effect on one particularly agressive driver. It turns out he'd hit seven drivers in the impound that season. (He punted me to get to P3). At thier urging, I filed a rough driving protest and they each wrote up statements regarding their experiences with him. Those were inadmissible since they didn't have to do with my incident, but the fact that they did so seemed to have the right affect. He never returned.
Rick

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Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Qik Nip:
quote:
Originally posted by disquek:
For those voting no on the impound all question, I'd be interested in your reasoning.

-Kyle

Kyle:
I voted no. One of the regions in which I run does an impound all for every class. By and large, it amounts to an extra half hour of socializing while standing around in a hot race suit.

I will admit however, that it seemed to have a salutory effect on one particularly agressive driver. It turns out he'd hit seven drivers in the impound that season. (He punted me to get to P3). At thier urging, I filed a rough driving protest and they each wrote up statements regarding their experiences with him. Those were inadmissible since they didn't have to do with my incident, but the fact that they did so seemed to have the right affect. He never returned.
Rick

In other words, a steward abrogated his/her well-defined authority in the GCR to discipline a driver for a PATTERN of poor driving and focused on a single event. Negligent bastard.

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

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Well said Kent.
{after I looked up the definition of abrogated}, I completely agree with you. [Big Grin]

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LTD Racing
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Back in the old days of Enduro Karting (115 mph laydown karts with bumprafting all the way down the Summit Point straight) we would have a driver's meeting BEFORE the race with us all standing eye to eye and the Steward reminding us that they did not want to call for the 'Ambalance' to come out.
It sort of kept us in check I believe.

I see the current issue as the availability of fast cars in the hands of people that do not have enough experience to drive in close quarters. Added to that a lot of drivers (new and old) feel overly safe and do not understand the physics and dynamics of vehicle moving at the speeds (however meager) we attain.

A lot of these people do not work on their cars. They arrive and drive and have no mechanical empathy for the machine they are controlling. If they did their own work they may drive a bit more conservatively.

Overlapping a front bumper inside a rear bumper in the Esses, Bus Stop, Carousel turn 11 makes no sense. A crash in these areas can be lethal (as in death).

THINK. Plan ahead to time a clean pass for goodness sakes.

Fighting at every opportunity does not move you forward. Work together with someone to clear the group and thn plan a pass.

I promised my self (during the race)to confront a few drivers after the Pro IT. Unfortunately with the rain and confusion of the non meeting there were some people not there. Probably for the best as I was steaming about the lack of consideration and the chopping going on.

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Phil
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I think a driver's meeting before or after the session would be better than an impound all. I'd much rather be cooled off when discussing the race.

We have dedicated stewards this year; it seems to have helped, but I have neither the data, nor a "big picture" view to justify my feeling.

Has anybody thought about raising the speed of the lead car coming to the start to a level that requires 3rd gear? Instead of 45, why not take the green at 60?

At Summit Point there would be plenty of room to gradually speed up after the pace car leaves the track. This would eliminate a 2/3 shift problem and 3/4 should be an easier shift. It would also put the cars outside of the high torque zone so that jumping would not be such an advantage.

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Glenn Davis

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Let me ask this differently.

Do you all care enough about the issue of contact in NEDIV to give your support to an impound-all where all contact events are discussed? The outcome from which is either a hand shake or further investigation (likely an RFA).

If you don't feel contact is an issue that warrants this kind of action, fair enough.

I would think that with recent injuries, totaled cars, torn up cars, etc that you would care enough about each other and the sport to give a few minutes after the session.

Try it ... you might actually find that you enjoy spending time with your fellow SM racers.

The stewards are not trying to screw you guys over here. They're trying to help you work with each other to reduce the contact issue. This way allows you guys the opportunity to settle your issues without formal action. It also allows repeat offenders to become obvious to the group.

-Kyle

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quote:
Originally posted by disquek:
Let me ask this differently.

Do you all care enough about the issue of contact in NEDIV to give your support to an impound-all where all contact events are discussed? The outcome from which is either a hand shake or further investigation (likely an RFA).

If you don't feel contact is an issue that warrants this kind of action, fair enough.

I would think that with recent injuries, totaled cars, torn up cars, etc that you would care enough about each other and the sport to give a few minutes after the session.

Try it ... you might actually find that you enjoy spending time with your fellow SM racers.

The stewards are not trying to screw you guys over here. They're trying to help you work with each other to reduce the contact issue. This way allows you guys the opportunity to settle your issues without formal action. It also allows repeat offenders to become obvious to the group.

-Kyle

+1

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For clarification, the OP should have noted that "impound all" only involves drivers of cars involved in a contact, not ALL of the racers.

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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Colangelo:
For clarification, the OP should have noted that "impound all" only involves drivers of cars involved in a contact, not ALL of the racers.

Uhmmmm...it would not be an "Impound All" then...?

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Now that's a different matter. I believe that a pre race drivers meeting in which the Stewards make it clear to all drivers what they expect and what the penalties will be combined with "impound all with contact" will do the trick. Unfortunately, in my brief history, I've never seen it with follow through.

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Muda Motorsports
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quote:
Originally posted by edzeb:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Colangelo:
For clarification, the OP should have noted that "impound all" only involves drivers of cars involved in a contact, not ALL of the racers.

Uhmmmm...it would not be an "Impound All" then...?
Hmmm....maybe he DID mean ALL racers? If that's the case, I can see the objection to it.

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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Colangelo:
For clarification, the OP should have noted that "impound all" only involves drivers of cars involved in a contact, not ALL of the racers.

No, what he meant and what was done was "Impound All" as in "if you were on track in this little group of happy warriors you need to park here for a little while until we decide who needs to be chatted with and who doesn't." The stews then went done their list and talked to individuals on an as needed basis. As I noted above, I had a conversation with John about bump drafting which was an effective way of saying "we're watching you very closely."

They also weighed all of the cars on the way into impound.

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Rob Myles
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quote:
Originally posted by disquek:
Do you all care enough about the issue of contact in NEDIV to give your support to an impound-all where all contact events are discussed?

If you don't feel contact is an issue that warrants this kind of action, fair enough.

Trouble is that many of us see different degrees of contact as needing to be addressed. I don't consider light bump drafting (I wasn't at the WG National, but I heard the bumping got out of hand) or minor fender rubbing an issue. What I do consider a problem is big/stupid hits resulting in major carnage that can clearly be avoided. I'm from the camp that does most of my own damage repair and it hurts my racing budget when I've got to replace half the body panels on my car and get the frame pulled straight, so I'm all for policing the major contact situations.

Most of us in the NER all know each other, or at least know who everyone is and I don't think confrontation/communication after foul play is an issue. We're pretty good at talking to each other after a race and word gets around quick about all major incidents. However I would support post-race meetings open to the entire group after major incidents or damage (cars getting knocked off course, slammed out of the way in a corner and/or dangerous driving reported by both drivers and corner workers).

This route would obviously create a "grey area" should it be implemented, so I'm not sure what to suggest. I suppose this is an all or nothing situation, but peer pressure/ridicule should be allowed to play its course much of the time. File paper if necessary. Hopefully the Stewards will accept the protest rather than try to talk the driver out of submitting it so that they don't have to do the investigating or paperwork.

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-Cy
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We routinely have all cars impounded after each race. Sometimes we all even have to pop our hoods and they pretend to look at something. We almost always have to scale even though I often have to tell them what I'm supposed to weigh. When they know there is contact, they talk to the drivers. There's almost always some kind of little drivers meeting. We've used it to vote for split starts when in mixed groups. When ITA is next up (rarely but it happens) I've talked to the chief and they let us off.

It seems to work pretty well.

--------------------
Keith Novak
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I wanted this pole to run it's coarse before I chimed in. I also have another pole I want to run when this one is played out.

I want everyone though to know we are working on these problems.

But I think I need to clearify the impound all mentality. Picture you are running 14th place and you see some small contact 3 or4 cars ahead that results in someone in a slight off and losing a couple spots. Race is over and you don't need to go to impound so you're headed to you trailer to pack for home.
Driver A & B talk it over and everything is worked out. Driver B doesn't know what happened. Just a racing thing. No paper flies. problem is the guys in back see it as driver A doing a low percentage stupid move. Driver A thinks I got away with it so I'll do it again and again and again 'cus it must be ok. Until he hurts someone or two or three.

At "impound all" the same two talk it over with the same result. But now the others who saw it have the opportunity to step up and say wait a minute that was not a cool move and try to calmly make driver A understand that's not exceptable, we're all watching, including the stewards.
I know it's in inconvenience to some but what is the price we are willing to pay to save someones life?

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Charlie Campbell
Race Engineering
carbotech brakes

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In the regional race at the last Glen event, there was a vicious wreck involving Miata's sending someone to the hospital...I was just behind the mess, as soon as I saw tire smoke in the bottom of the S's I was on the binders as I know there is trouble ahead because everyone is on the gas there, but guess what as I slowed for the mess there were some that went by full bore...old brain said danger, the young brain said I'll take my chances,...guess what... lucky nobody got killed....we need to think and quit reacting and there will be less messes...just my 2 cents.

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BE SAFE GO FAST HAVE FUN
Love "the commander" Mike Cefalo

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As Charlie said, it has to be an impound all. If you make it voluntary, no one will show up. Heck, it's hard to even get you guys to talk about caring on a freeking forum.

Not for nothing .... This is why I left SM and I'm still glad I left. YOU GUYS JUST DON'T CARE!!!

This crap sent BK to the hospital fer chrissakes!!

At what point are you going to care enough to give up 15 minutes of your precious time?!?! Are you that important that 15 minutes of a day that's 90% spent waiting around is too much? Come on ....

Cy, nothing personal, but there is no one in SM with the talent to manage the difference between "minor fender rubbing" and "the big one". Sorry. It's just too easy to hook wheels, or nudge at the wrong time in the wrong place. Plus, FWIW - I don't want you touching my car ... ever ... for any reason ... and most people feel the same way (and it's in the GCR).

-Kyle

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One problem I see with this scenario is the people involved and/or caused the asshattery many times will not be around at the end to go to impound.

This same weekend I had contact with a driver that was intimately involved in the "big one" being discussed in a 2nd race. He took a very aggressive 3 wide(I was inside then he went further inside), late pass at the apex of a corner. I gave him as much room as I could without taking out (or hitting them I might add) the racer to my left. He and I touched, albeit very lightly...almost inconsequential in my eyes except he leaned on me (which says to me "he couldn't get it done so he shouldn't have done it"...but that's just me). No harm no foul really and we ended up in impound together. I mentioned the incident to him in impound after introducing myself. It was more of a bench racing discussion than a "please explain your move" type thing (I was not pissed at all). But what struck me was that he didn't think/believe we touched until he actually saw the bruises on his car. I admit I am a little anal, but don't you remember/notice these things while racing? That's when the mental notebook penciled in the name. Either he is unaware or unconcerned...bad mojo on track. The issues involving the same driver the same weekend only came to light after the fact.

So, after my roundabout rambling Kyle says:

"there is no one in SM with the talent to manage the difference between "minor fender rubbing" and "the big one""

I'd have to agree with that.

--------------------
Tom Kearney
SSM #85
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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Hi TJ,

Wrecked cars are always brought to impound.

Since the stewards (and the drivers) would all be aware of the impound-all all-the-time deal, there would be little excuse for not being there if they had a wreck that resulted in them not finishing.

And since unresolved contacts would result in an RFA, those involved would be further compelled to be there since not showing up for your hearing rarely works in your favor.

-Kyle

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- wrecked cars at WGI have been dropped over by false grid many times (although they also show up by impound)
- a trip to medical can take longer than impound
- a trip down the hill to the Hospital can take much longer

--------------------
Tom Kearney
SSM #85
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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All true TJ.

I think the cars are supposed to go to impound (so tech can check them out and note in the logbook), but sometimes end up over by false grid by mistake.

-Kyle

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WGI does NOT allow cars to be dropped by Tech anymore, so the drivers of Charlie Tow do their best to stop by Tech so Tech knows the car will be in the 'boneyard' near grid. The driver (if not transported off track) will be dropped off near Tech, where the Safety Stewards are (except during the National Race, where we use the medical building).
--Ed...

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impound all is a great solution...
you have a quick meeting...have everyone look at the driver to right and left...shake hands...
-if you know your fellow racer and they are not just a number ...possible less of a chance that someone would make that crazy move...?...maybe?
--- pro start sounds like it could be up for interpretation at almost every event...we dont have instant replay...
--- sm steward...i suppose would be ok...do we have enough volunteers?
---
see you guys at the fun one hopefully...

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TeamFigMented

2009 NARRC and NYSRRC SSM Champion
2009 SSM NESCCA Enduro Series Champion

   

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