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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question:

Borrowed from Topic #1593 (Oregon Trail Red Cross Incident):

".... (I) am curious about the investigation of the errant PGT Surbaru #81 who found his way onto SS9 some 20 seconds in front of Lauchlin. Ukrainian driver, Maciukevicius and his co-driver missed the stay right at SS8 instruction #13, passing over banner tape. Although the next mile of SS8 has three instructions (complete with numbered arrows at roadside), this team traveled more than 2 miles of stage locked road, through at least two hairpins, on un-rallied roadway, without any arrows or rally paraphenalia present. No one else missed the turn, or at least figured out the error in short order. Upon eventually arriving at the junction with the SS9 route, he then proceeded to blast through double banner tape to enter onto SS9."

Is this still under investigation or have punitive actions already been taken against the conduct of these ProRally competitors?

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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They were kicked out of the Rally in short order, wonder if they would be allowed back the rest of the year or period. The other big wonerment is that they were also using notes while taking down the banner guard.

David
 

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RE: Car #81, Oregon TrailKicked out? Harsh doooodz.

>They were kicked out of the Rally in short order, wonder if
>they would be allowed back the rest of the year or period.
>The other big wonerment is that they were also using notes
>while taking down the banner guard.

Were they excluded?
It does make one wonder about the 3 or 4 cars at Maine blithely tooling down the wrong road for what was it 3-4 miles while "using" Notes was it last year?
Did they get kicked out in short order?
Did anybody speculate if they should be allowed back for the rest of the year, if ever?

Too bad like the horrible deaths of the two guys in PA, and the really frightening deaths of the most experience driver/co driver, in the best prepared car this same weekend, that any serious discussion of HOW and WHY these blunders occured doesn't even begin to get addressed.
Anybody talk to these guys to see HOW they went wrong? Language??
Those names look Lithuanian to me, was it a English reading skills problem? That is not a crack at these guys, it was a serious question so keep your shirts on children.
What was the excuses of the errant crew_s_ at Maine?

Causes need to be examined separate from blame, and moralising and puffing up your chests defending honor.
Bugger honor, this is life and limb so if the deaths of our Comrades from Ireland and the UK are to mean anything to those left alive, US, then the DETAILS need to be examined, recontructed, in minute detail, exactly as fatal air crashes are examined. In public.
This is not macabre or ghoulish perversion.
Only by knowing exactly where decisions were made that led to these sad outcomes including these poor bastards going lost, will we be able to make procedures to counter the possibilities of the same error occuring again.
So how _did_ these guys get so lost, has anybody debriefed them?
>
>David






John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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Not to excuse Car 81, but I ran 3 stages, and I personally can't remember a single arrow. Having driven quite a bit in the NW, I know they were there. With notes, you aren't looking for them.

How many of us have gotten lost in the notes and taken a while to get back on track?

That said, I can't believe that after a mile or 2 you wouldn't get real concerned that you were lost. Lack of tire tracks would probably be the first GIANT clue.

I probably would have waited at the 2nd set of banner tape (and had the car out of the way) to see the next car come by. Its obviously a dangerous situation. A right turn instead of a left...

They were so far off course they could not go back and get back in the rally. Exclusion was the only option because they couldn't possibly have gotten back to the start of stage 8 and gotten back on course. There wasn't time.
 

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RE: Car #81, Oregon TrailKicked out? Harsh doooodz.

>>They were kicked out of the Rally in short order, wonder if
>>they would be allowed back the rest of the year or period.
>>The other big wonerment is that they were also using notes
>>while taking down the banner guard.
>
>Were they excluded?
>It does make one wonder about the 3 or 4 cars at Maine
>blithely tooling down the wrong road for what was it 3-4
>miles while "using" Notes was it last year?
>Did they get kicked out in short order?
>Did anybody speculate if they should be allowed back for the
>rest of the year, if ever?

The two cars that ended up going the wrong direction at Maine were excluded. In that situation they missed a left, continued down the main road (no banner tape) and made a left at the next available (less than half a mile down the road, again no banner tape) which put them back on the stage going in the wrong direction. Fortunately Mark Utecht had DNF'd in a location that allowed him to prevent a possible disaster. This is a situation where, if you were slightly off (in either notes or route book), you could easily make this mistake.

I think we covered that incident pretty extensively at the time.

Adrian
 

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>Not to excuse Car 81, but I ran 3 stages, and I personally
>can't remember a single arrow. Having driven quite a bit in
>the NW, I know they were there. With notes, you aren't
>looking for them.

Does anyone know if car 81 was using notes or the route book? We were using notes and I (the co-driver) only remember seeing a couple arrows. Like what was said above, with notes, you aren't looking for arrows. Not sure whether Ross (the driver) saw the arrows. Maybe, since he was looking at the road much more than I was, but I don't know.

>How many of us have gotten lost in the notes and taken a
>while to get back on track?

That NEVER happens to me. Uh, Ross, isn't reading this, is he?

I can see getting lost in the notes and missing a turn, getting onto the wrong road and staying lost, while the driver drives the road. Obviously, I didn't see the road, but based on Mike's description, I would guess that it is the second road between SS8/SS9 on the stage map on rally-america.com. Comparing that road to the part of SS8 that they didn't reach, I can see someone getting lost and then thinking they were back on in the notes (there were a number of hairpins in SS8 as well as the road that I think they took) then getting lost in the notes again.

Looking at the stage map at the second stage-locked road, I can see making the wrong turn. Immediately following the right turn at a junction that one was supposed to take, there is another right turn at a junction. The only part that I don't understand is driving through the banner tape. I don't remember the junction, so I don't remember how well it was taped.

Trying to look at it from their point of view, let's say they completely missed the banner tape on the missed turn that took them off course and so they thought they were on stage. The driver is in driver mode and pissed at the co-driver because he is lost in the notes. The roads are similar enough that occasionally the co-driver is getting back on the notes. What do you do when you are lost in the notes? Drive the road. You don't stop to figure out where you are. So, after a couple of miles of thinking they were on stage, they come to banner tape blocking the road. Now what? At this point they figure out that they made a wrong turn somewhere (which could be more confusing if the co-driver was getting lost in the notes before the missed turn). What do they do? Do they even know where the wrong turn could be? Turn around and drive back and maybe meet another car that made the same mistake as they did. Is it really a good idea to have a car driving against the direction of rally traffic, looking for the hot stage? I can see arguments for a few options.

I don't know these guys, but I have competed against them before. They are not newbies and they can be fast. I don't know what happened in their car or why it happened. It definitely created a potential for something really bad to happen. However, I don't understand the rush to judgment.

alan
 

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I was in Car 00, using a route book. We went back through the stage again and specifically looked at the intersection where Car 81 must have gone wrong. We concluded that they must have been using notes...with the route book, the tulip was clear and with the arrow just before the mileage, it would have been difficult to make the wrong turn, even if the banner had been down (which we have reason to believe it was.) I don't have much experience with notes, but the difference between the right road and the wrong road was a VERY small angle, and there was not much time to look at it.

Having said that, I won't comment on what Car 81 did afterwards...that's a different issue altogether.

Hindsight tells us that road should have been marshaled, but since no "civilians" could get on the road - it was stage on both ends - it might have seemed unnecessary. Admittedly, what Car 81 did was...um...unexpected.

Bruce
 

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>They were kicked out of the Rally in short order, wonder if
>they would be allowed back the rest of the year or period.
>The other big wonerment is that they were also using notes
>while taking down the banner guard.
>
>David

Seems like they were not 20 year friends of the series manager or they would of been able to continue and saying that they made a mistake or maybe they are not always smiling as that seems to help when rules come into play.who knows that the caution tape was not down when the car 81 came along
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Car #81 at Maine?

>I don't know these guys, but I have competed against them
>before. They are not newbies and they can be fast. I don't
>know what happened in their car or why it happened. It
>definitely created a potential for something really bad to
>happen. However, I don't understand the rush to judgment.


Alan,

The ProRally driver & codriver for Car #81 are shown on the 7/25 published start for Maine. Seed 3.

Rich Smith
 

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>Hindsight tells us that road should have been marshaled, but
>since no "civilians" could get on the road - it was stage on
>both ends - it might have seemed unnecessary.

This was the same argument used at Maine last year...

>Admittedly,
>what Car 81 did was...um...unexpected.

Perhaps we (with organizer-type hat on here) need to look at the places where this sort of incident is possible and place saw-horse barriers or equivalent on these roads - something a little more permanent than banner tape. With a reasonable sight-line and braking area, of course...

I'm sure there can't be that many places where this can happen on any given rally.

Adrian
 

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RE: Car #81 at Maine?

>>I don't know these guys, but I have competed against them
>>before. They are not newbies and they can be fast. I don't
>>know what happened in their car or why it happened. It
>>definitely created a potential for something really bad to
>>happen. However, I don't understand the rush to judgment.
>
>Alan,
>
>The ProRally driver & codriver for Car #81 are shown on the
>7/25 published start for Maine. Seed 3.
>
>Rich Smith

Yep, saw that. They run in PGT and all of my ProRallys (and supporting ClubRallys) so far have been in PGT, so I know their car and their stage times. Slower than Roland at Ojibwe (but they were having mechanical issues), way faster than him at Sno*Drift. Way slower than Ross. The language barrier has stopped me from getting to know them better than asking for their stage times.

alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No Actions Yet

Observation:

It appears that being denied a time card after SS9 was not a punitive action taken against Car #81 for Safetly Issues. (Although it did solve the immediate safety problem.) The following is taken from Topic #1593:

"Car 81 did NOT visit all the controls in their proper sequence, thus DNF (they missed the finish of ss8 and the start of ss9). If you don't complete ALL of EACH stage, how can expect to have a time and be deemed a finisher. This has been true for ages - it is not a new rule."

So....not issuing a new time card to Car #81 was NOT punitive for Safety Violations. It was just a normal DNF procedure.

I hope the REVIEW OF SAFETY ISSUES concerning Car #81 gets done before Maine. Sounds like some more action is needed. It isn't right that these guys screw up a rally, endanger other competitors, point the finger at the organizers, and then are simply allowed to go on to the next event.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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RE: No Actions Yet

>I hope the REVIEW OF SAFETY ISSUES concerning Car #81 gets
>done before Maine. Sounds like some more action is needed.
>It isn't right that these guys screw up a rally, endanger
>other competitors, point the finger at the organizers, and
>then are simply allowed to go on to the next event.
>
>Rich Smith
>

And hopefully, if National is contemplating some action prior to Maine, they will inform those guys prior to leaving home. They are facing a one-way 1200 mile tow for the rally.

Not taking their position, just would hope that if I was in that situation that reasonable consideration was shown.

Kent Gardam
 
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Banner taped means that the road was blocked by a ribbon of plastic tape, correct?

I'm reading this might have been removed. Or would it be more likely that it could have broken?

Something more tangible could be nice to seperate live stages. Perhaps the venerable traffic cones?

I hate suggesting things that add overhead, but I'd be tempted to say if you have a connecting road between two consecutive stages (i.e. both could be live simultaneously) extra work would be needed to prevent the freak occurance.

It's obviously possible for people to get lost. Would cones blocking the full width of the road work? Cones, and then a box with or something with a map that says "You are at Intersection X, please return via transit blah blah blah".


In some manner, it goes against what I think of as an essential element of "rally". On the other hand, it's scary to think that people could get lost and be out wandering around on a live stage.

Does the mindset to keep moving, even when you may be lost, come from the fear of being time barred or otherwise excluded? Can their be an incentive to stop and figure out where you are?
 

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Banner Tape and non-stage roads

A good practice that I try to follow when bannering roads is to not only banner the intersection, but bannering a hundred or so feet down the non-stage road. That way, if car #1 blasts through the banner tape and takes it down, car # 2 will have a second set, a ways down the road (after the corner), that is very visible. It's the same thing you would do on open intersection (open meaning people could get down that road). Two sets of banner tape. Yea, it's a pain to set up and clean up, but it sure is a nice reassurance.

Steve Baumbach
 

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RE: No Actions Yet

>I hope the REVIEW OF SAFETY ISSUES concerning Car #81 gets
>done before Maine. Sounds like some more action is needed.
>It isn't right that these guys screw up a rally, endanger
>other competitors, point the finger at the organizers, and
>then are simply allowed to go on to the next event.
>
>Rich Smith
>
>Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
>
>

Thanks Rich. This has been my exact point of contention.

As far as others comments about additional banner, cones, folding
barricades, in leiu of available road marshals. This SS8 corner could have used some additional down road "catch" barricade. As other organizers know the advance setup of tape usually goes on over the last few days prior to the event, along with staking and numbered arrows, side road sweep checks, straw bale distribution, some stage road grooming to toss major rocks out of harms way, etc. The last item is the distribution of personnel along the stage and the final tieing up of the banner tape by the stage captain prior to the advance cars inspection of the stage route. Unfortunately no advance car noted a need for the additional banner when passing that instruction. It would have been nice to have more precautions. But ultimately, I feel that it is up to the driver to control his actions and know when to consider the need to halt. Contrary to others comments that by looking at a map that the two roads looked similar, the three instructions over the next mile were very distinctive and would have been so, even in course notes (120degree medium left; tight CREST into twisting right-left-right, marked RUF; followed by major DIP in roadway on a straight).

I can work to continue to improve precautions, but #81 has exceeded the normal bounds of reasonable expectation.

Good luck to all (including organizers) at Maine.
 

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Perhaps they thought they were re-entering SS8.

They had two alternatives, turn around and head back to their point of exit (but then if they thought they were on a hot stage route that would be a no-no) or just come to a complete stop.

Personally I wouldn't expect hot stages to overlap like that and my assumption would probably be that I was re-entering the same stage at an earlier or later point in the route.

Of course, I'm a driver.
 

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To my understanding, the stages did not overlap. The gentlemen in question had to drive about 2 or so miles down an unmarked (meaning no arrows and no other tracks) road, cross through two lines of banner tape at the SS9 end (I think I read elsewhere that possibly the lines of tape at the SS8 end were already down) to get onto SS9.

But then, I wasn't out on the stages. I was in service working to collect time cards, direct traffic, etc.

:) KT
 

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RE: Banner Tape and non-stage roads

I believe the last Fastrack (August cover date) indicated that double bannering is required at all intersections.
 
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