RE: Insignificant events
>Besides, I have zero interest in FIA scoring, RGC's, 22
>minute services, or racing to fuel depots. Do YOU?
Its not that easy:
I am not a fan of FIA timing, those who use it say its no problem, but no one has ever been able to show me that the math does not make the event longer. I also don't like the way it "keeps" road position for each car -- no one has explained why the system was designed like it is, and I am not sure why it could not be changed, but a few west coast events have been using it for many years and they like it -- crazy west coast people
RCG's are a good thing when used effectively, RCG's before service at least equalize the amount of time each team has to service -- I have been burned moving up the field and getting shorted service time. RCG's are also a great tool to keep the rally bunched up -- which can be important to road open and close times.
Service time is debatable: It seems harsh to say if you break it you are done, but then again, if you break it you are done.
22 minutes is enough time to change tires, clean the winshield, add fluids, feed the crew.
The sport at a professional level would look much different if you were not allowed to change transmissions, struts, front clips... This is an issue broader than time: how many service crew should be allowed, what parts should you be able to change? Service times were shortened by FIA years ago so that the teams could not rebuild the entire car during service -- I guess if you only use time as the regulator they need to shorten service again.
So 22 minutes is currently driving cost at service. If rebuilding cars during service is not allowed, service time is not an issue, and costs go down (or maybe everyone runs titanium parts?): to finish first, first you must finish. The elder Higgins has proven a few times that being able to rebuild the car will keep you in the event, but it will not get you a victory. Where do you want to win, in the pits or on the road?
Fuel depots add some level of safety, don't know that it is needed but it is hard to argue with the logic (and its environmentally friendly too) -- especially when time constrained to 22 minutes. The racing part is an event timing issue, rules making, and service area layout issue -- careful planning eliminates the problem or concern (most events learn).
So aside from RCGs, no I don't really like those rules, but I don't think those rules are are the only issues, nor do I think that just because it is that way it needs to remain that way. Some battles are worth fighting, some issues get exemptions, some ways of thinking change.
No matter how you cut the issues, the system as a whole is not working to make the majority of the club happy. I see relatively easy and logical solutions, I have explained them, and questioned the current state of afairs. The information to help solve some of these issues has not been divulged to the members, the organizers, the PRB, or the Manufacturers, so that only leaves a small group of people who have a complete understanding of what can and cannot be accomplished. I am not comfortable with only a small group of people having all the knowledge and control. If it is a club, there should be no secrets among the membership. If it is a business, it needs competition.
Passively fighting the good fight from my keyboard,