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How consistently were the rules and regulations enforced? At STPR I noticed many cars without VRPs and missing the new cage padding. At Maine the same thing occured and I voiced my opinion to the powers to be. Also at Maine, it was stated no trailers at Oquosoc yet there were some tractor trailers, etc there. Why do some get away without complying with the (new) rules for several events? Where's the consistency?
 

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Maybe they were allowed to run the event but by the next event they entered, had to have all the additions completed?

Philip J. Boer
grinner323(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
 

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At STPR, I was told I couldnt run the event unless I moved one of my fire bottles from in front of the drivers seat, to the rear of the car..

I was like.. ok? I did it obviously, and I understand why... (so it doesnt come loose and stick under my pedal) Even though I have seen factory cars with the same setup.. It didnt help make my event any less stressfull though.

But no where in the rulebook does it say in front of the drivers seat is an unacceptable location. It was secured properly and everything.

At Sno-Drift I was told I had to change from bolt-in harness ends to clip-in's. The inspector explained why, and it made sense but the rulebook doesnt say anything about it. I had proper holes in my seat mounts (attached to roll cage) and bolted down with proper high-grade fasteners.
 

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Hi Matt,

Sorry to diver the topic, but can you expound on the bolt-in vs. clip-in belt end situation? As a techie, I am confused about this and am concerned that I am missing something. Did it has something to do about angles of the belts through the seat openings perhaps?

FYI, I tend to try to do the 'fix by next event' logbook entry as much as I can; I try to only make folks fix things at the event if it a clear safety issue. I have been there too many times and know the stress!

Unfortunately, there is always a judgement factor involved and you can't take that away from techies, or you make them pretty useless.

Thanks,
Mark B.
 

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Hi Don,

Nothing new. I remember installing a fuel pump in the trunk of my Opel in '82, and carefully putting a well sealed compartment around it. Then I watched Woodner's and Buffum's cars sail through STPR tech with exposed fuel pumps and filters in the back seat area with no shields whatsoever. Boy, did I feel unfarily treated...

I think it has gotten better over time; STPR was pretty tight on the tow chain-up-front-thing in 2003, but maybe things lapsed this year.

I have no good soluition for this; sorry!

Mark B.
 

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>At STPR, I was told I couldnt run the event unless I moved
>one of my fire bottles from in front of the drivers seat, to
>the rear of the car..
>
>I was like.. ok? I did it obviously, and I understand why...
>(so it doesnt come loose and stick under my pedal) Even
>though I have seen factory cars with the same setup.. It
>didnt help make my event any less stressfull though.
>
>But no where in the rulebook does it say in front of the
>drivers seat is an unacceptable location. It was secured
>properly and everything.
>
>At Sno-Drift I was told I had to change from bolt-in harness
>ends to clip-in's. The inspector explained why, and it made
>sense but the rulebook doesnt say anything about it. I had
>proper holes in my seat mounts (attached to roll cage) and
>bolted down with proper high-grade fasteners.

Some of scrutineering is judgement. Not everything needed for a safe car is detailed in the rulebooks which is why it is suggested you work with a local scrutineer when building a car to get the key things right. I probably drove Don Taylor nuts with my emails andphone calls. Eventually he asked me to join his team at prorally tech - not sure if that was a defensive move or he wanted to use what he taught me. Anyway Don Taylor's team in the Northeast tries to not be arbitrary or inconsistent but the fact is more than one way to build a safe car exists so fair minded individuals can still disagree. We also try to not disqualify a car for a minor lapse. The SFI padding comes to mind because it isstill widely ignored. I know we called a number of cars at STPR on this and some still showed up at MFR with the same padding. Since it is a relatively minor thing in the big scheme of things and easy enough for an owner to overlook given all the things going on when campaigning a rally car we have been cutting slack in that area. Dont expect as much grace if those people show up at STPR2005 with the same stuff installed.

If we had you move the fire bottle we felt it was unsafe. If we didnt have a "factory car" last year move theirs we felt it was not unsafe. I cant tell you exactly why the difference existed but I can tell you I have seen a wide range of quality in USCG "approved" mountings and attachments. Some I was able to remove the extinguisher by simply pulling on the bottle itself, others were locked in like Fort Knox. I have seen brackets mounted with a pair of #8 sheet metal screws to 20 ga floorpan and others thru-bolted with backing plates. Someone must have felt yours presented a risk to you in that location.

I would like to hear why the inspector wanted you to change to eye-bolts and clip-ends. There are some good reasons why this is the proper choice but it is by no means a blanket requirement.
 

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Tech, Ahhh, tech.

We have had similar experiences, but none as bad as having to move anything, or anything like that.

This year's OFPR tech was an amazing experience for us. The guy that tech'd our car was extremely laid back, went through the list, and was very particular, but relaxed and very nice. It was the smoothest tech we have ever experienced.

My driver and I have discussed this and it seems to us that tech is very inconsistant as stated above. At one event, the person teching your car says that they absolutely love something ( "this is the way it should be done" ) and at the next event, it is a topic of a 10 min. safety discussion. ( "I don't know about this... It fits in the rules, but it's not safe" )

I understand that tech is to keep us all safe, and I COMPLETELY appreciate that, but the consistancy is not there. I am not trying to complain, I am just trying to add to the discussion. It seems to us that the people writing the rules change their mind completely from year to year, and that there are amazing grey areas in the book.

These cars are built "within reason" of the rule book, and no one wants to fail tech to have to spend time scrambling to fix something. What I am wondering is how these rules are written? Are they written by a bunch of suits in a board room surrounded by lawyers? Are any competator or competator liasons (sp?)involved in the drafting process?

Someone with more knowledge than I have, please help.

Thank you.
 

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The problem: no National tech crew (same tech at every event) no true guidelines for tech inspectors to follow (I think Doug has been working to improve this, but every time you turn around, some tech inspector comes up with a new cause). Just remember this, you have the right to demand that a car that meets the rules be passed, and regardless your opinion of them, you have DC & DR to back you up.
 

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Howdy
>
>My driver and I have discussed this and it seems to us that
>tech is very inconsistant as stated above. At one event,
>the person teching your car says that they absolutely love
>something ( "this is the way it should be done" ) and at the
>next event, it is a topic of a 10 min. safety discussion. (
>"I don't know about this... It fits in the rules, but it's
>not safe" )

Again, this is nothing new; been that way forever. If the item meets the rules, it is not a question of passing or not; it passes. If the techie has an issue involviong something like this, that can be discussed, but you should be in the clear.

The questions come up in areas of interpretation. Seat mounting is a favorite; it's pretty unclear. I was about to fail a car with a REALLY flimsy seat mount at an event, but the head techie said to let it go! If it is an area of interpretation on degree, then the tech inspector is in the right to be able to stop a car that does not meet safety standards in his/her jusdgement. Part of the tech function IS the exercise of judgement in safety areas. This iwll vary from person to person, and it will always be that way.

>
>These cars are built "within reason" of the rule book, and
>no one wants to fail tech to have to spend time scrambling
>to fix something. What I am wondering is how these rules
>are written? Are they written by a bunch of suits in a
>board room surrounded by lawyers? Are any competator or
>competator liasons (sp?)involved in the drafting process?
>
It's all written by competition boards, the PRB in our case, who are I think all competitors or ex-competitors in some fashion or another. It appears that Risk Management and the BoD are having input these days on things like restrictors, but the actual rules writing is done by the PRB. Writing unambiguous rules is hard fro some areas, and in a few areas, it should be left open to some degree of freedom, since no group can think of everything, like how to mount seats in every model of car since Mathusela. But with open area in the rules, you are going ot get interpretation issues. It boils down to the techie being able to apply some judgement.

As a competitor, you learn to know what events are strict and which are not, and you also learn from areas of question on your car to make things better in that area to avoid future questions. Even in well regimented racing bodies like Indy or NASCAR, there are issues raised from time to time.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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> What I am wondering is how these rules
>are written? Are they written by a bunch of suits in a
>board room surrounded by lawyers? Are any competator or
>competator liasons (sp?)involved in the drafting process?
>
>Someone with more knowledge than I have, please help.
>
>Thank you.
Ted,
The rules are written by the PRB with input from all of us. Provided we give it in the proper format. A posting on SS is not imput to the PRB regarding a rule change.

Also, Ted, not trying to flame you, but did you not read the posts here on SS about the PRB revising the rules for next year?
Richard
 
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