He is on this board and may comment further but yes he struck a finish control worker's car which then bumped another car. The dust was too thick to see the finish control sign and the control area for stopping was not lengthy enough for ACP speed stopping. He set fastest time for that stage.
Dust caused us to leave the road once and was an issue all day.
Yep ACP had a little "moment" with a marshal car at the end of B5. I was doing the flying finish there and a friend of mine was at the marshal car (that was her car).
ACP came in 12 seconds behind the other car and the dust was still very thick. Heck, I even had problem seing his car! So he didn't saw me waving the finish. He slowed down (knowing that the finish was somewhere around there) but didn't start braking where I was since he didn't knew the stage was finished. Them he saw spectators on the left, Losier's EVO in the center (waiting for its time) and the marshal car on the right. He slided and hit the car with the front right. The marshal car then bumped into my car which was 2-3 feets in front.
Nobody was hurt in this incident, only plastic and metal!
He was able to repair and finish the rally...
The marshall car's was duck taped and was able to reach the HQ on its own power. )
Thanks for asking! We lost an ignition fuse on the second spectator stage and it took us ten minutes to track down the fault, which effectively put us out of contention. Shame. I'm finally getting used to the car and we put in a couple of good stages.
The control car incident is my lowest moment in rally. It is essentially as Pou described: we came in 10-12s behind the car in front of us in awful dust (as Pou said, he could hardly see us), knew the finish must be soon and actually lifted the throttle but the first thing I saw maybe 100m away was the control car on the right, another Evo dead centre, and spectators on the left. There was just nowhere to go. So I pitched it sideways away from the people and we ran out of room before the Saturn. After talking to the control person who was very good about it although understandably shaken up, we extracted the car with broken tie rod, bent strut or hub, and crumpled RF fender and door (thankfully lexan so no shattered glass) and strapped the hub in place front and rear to transit back with one-wheel steering. Got us home for some open and novice points anyway. Bad way to end a rally.
Have replayed the situation in my mind numerous times and don't know what else I could have done. That's the consensus that everyone else reached too, thankfully. Nasty set of circumstances.
Not that this incident has anything to do with my next comment, but it's a useful time to get on the soapbox: I strongly encourage all organizers to have absurdly long distances between the red board and the control. Take the distance you think is as long as anyone could need, then double it, then double it again. I don't care if it's another 800m down the road. The leading cars are very, very fast now and it takes time and distance to bring them to rest on a gravel surface. By the end of a stage the brakes are already boiling hot and often faded. In almost every event this season there has been at least one control where it was all I could do to stop in time - on a couple of occasions with brakes smoking so badly that people were calling "fire." In Alberta and at Baie I had to pendulum the car back and forth to scrub speed in time, in one case coming from flat out in fifth (somewhere between 190 and 200km/h) to rest in about the distance you could throw a frisbee. A football field isn't long enough. Two or three are necessary from that speed. Keep in mind that I also should shut off the anti-lag and the water sprayer and keep the engine spinning above idle to prevent the oil pressure from dropping too far - sometimes I don't have time to do any of this. Pat and I were, ironically, talking about this and we agree that the distances are way too short. Long long long distances please, even if the Lada drivers have to upshift to get to the control.
well, the reality of the situation, though, is not the short time control stopping space (it was tight, but not too tight). The problem was the dust. Even if it was 300m further, you still would 'have only lifted'... (i'm not arguing against you, I'm trying to point out another big issue here).
I lobbied several times, to the point of pissing off some people, that the dust was really bad. I think they just thought I was trying to get an edge (which I was), but I wasn't making it up. Worst than the worst I've ever seen at Wild West, for example. The one minute window is a JOKE (or 2 for those that were lucky enough to have them) when the conditions were like that. Take a look at this picture, (which was taken 1/2 way through a 25 km stage).
yes, that is the car's in front dust. See other pics of 'first car' and 'car with no one in front of him' to compare at http://www.alakazoo.com/Defi/ and also see ACP's dust factor.
Yeah yeah everyone says "well that is rally" and yes, I agree, that is rally, and yes, I have suffered through dust before but if you tell me that because xx car goes off the road and the guys behind him win every stage, then when they are in dust they are 2-3 secs/km behind everyone else, if "that is rally" then "rally is a joke". And when I myself have several (6-7+) times where we are actually in a turn when the dust goes thicker and you go the wrong way at a junction, is it still just a competition issue and not a safety issue ?
You'd think it is safety. The steward told me "we will go to 2 minutes if it is a safety issue" and I asked "who makes the call if it is a safety issue, I think it is" and the answer is "hehe not just fo rone or 2 guys catching cars". The incar will show the truth, but the stewards who refused to go to 2 min windows for the faster cars should be to blame for ACPs crash, not the organizers and the stopping distance.
The rally was great roads, but the dust almost made the results a complete joke. I loved the rally. But Andrew's crash is a direct result of the refusal to give on the dust issue. Top 10 cars with 2 minute windows like in US == rally finishing 10 minutes later.
Get with the program.
If ACP had a 2 min window and hit him anyways, well, then, ummm, I guess he would have hit somthing eventually
I agree that in this case the stopping distance was not the issue (as Pat said - tight but not too tight) and I was just using the moment to harp on one of my pet peeves. Even so, longer will always be safer.
The dust really was bad and from what I can tell did skew the results. I fully support two minute windows in any event where there is any question of a dust problem, and we knew about the problem as early as the Safari-like service area on Friday evening. It was so bad in our car that I was coughing while driving and at the end of B3 my co-driver was in coughing fits. Driving fast into blinding dust was never my idea of rally.
Update after Pat's update:
We did actually have a two-minute window on the last stage. We just gained 1:50 on the Losier Evo ahead of us (we had already convinced the two Golfs to let us start ahead of them). Really this was a reseeding issue combined with a dust issue - reseeded tenth thanks to our earlier problems, even a two-minute dust window was not enough to prevent being blinded at the end. Had we been running among the lead cars and had a two minute window I seriously doubt we would have missed the control board.
Getting within 30s of the car ahead meant awful visibility on this rally (at times even a full minute was bad). I doubt that anyone on this rally passed another car that was driving at speed - I think it would have been impossible. Catching cars is a normal part of rally (especially at the back where cars and drivers are less evenly matched), but when the dust is so bad that you can't get within sight of the car ahead it's all the more important to have safe reseeds and large dust margins.
When dust is even a possible issue and especially where the entry numbers are not very high I think the whole field should have 2-minute windows.
Not only would the 2 minute windows have been a BIG help, but some common sense and thought about the starting order and reseed order considering the length of those stages was needed. We know that Pat should not have been behind Vincent who is still developing his car when the start order was posted. And ACP should not have been behind Losier's Evo. The event or saftey steward should be able to make judgement calls regarding reseeds if a really fast driver has multiple 'slow' stage times due to mechanical gremlins or punctures therefore not being able to toss out a couple slow stage times.
Nichols had his off when the road disappeared in a curtain of thick dust. Luckily we were able to continue but it was downright scary.
just FYI, that pic is on the stage where Jon/Dave and Ian and I tied for overall time (B4) - meaning that the picture accurately decribes the conditions with exactly a one minute window. It was worse in the morning.
I agree that the dust was real bad and I asked by radio that the starts should be delayed to at least 2 minutes but got no answer to my request. I think after what happened, the organization will reconsider its position about it and be more vigilent next year..
I don't think that the lenght of the control zone was a problem since nobody (not even ACP the 2 first times he went through it) seemed to had trouble to break in time. Most of the competitors were even able to break at mid-lenght and then come to me slowly to make the least dust they could.
Last year, this same stage was a km longer and the "break zone" was in a curve (there was a T junction just after it). Pilots had trouble to break in time and I got a few good scares, 'til I got hit by one... After that, the organizers revised the stage and shortened it so we could put the control zone in a better place. This year, I tried to put the control zone much away than needed but I agree with ACP that, even if it wasn't the cause of the crash, it could have been even longer. With the use of walkie-talkies, we can make it safer. I'll be sure to bring the suggestion myself to the organization.
"My Wild West ProRally experience this past weekend"
1./ 2 minute windows for EVERYONE, even ClubRally (regional-only) entries.
2./ 3 minute windows for top four competitors starting each day
- however this was controversial, especially amongst the folks starting 5th through 8th on Sunday as these four positions were separated by just one minute!
3./ VERY long "shut down" sections between FF and STOP
- I'll check the notes tonight, but I recall an average of about a 1/4 mile in cases where the FF came at the end of a very fast bit.
Saturday Wild West
Stage Shut-down room (distance to STOP)
- SS2 0.53
- SS3 0.27
- SS4 0.17
- SS5 0.16
- SS6 0.26
- SS7 0.20
..etc (you get the idea)
4./ Smart overnight re-seed (no re-seed throughout the day, just re-group controls)
- An example of the smart re-seed: Lovell & Turvey were 13th o/a on Saturday night but started five positions higher (6th on the road) on Sunday morning. Everyone else was re-seeded according to their Saturday finishing order.
This is a good thread and this issue needs resolution. Unfortunately it has taken a serious incident to provoke it.
I agree that the dust was a serious safety concern. Even for us running down in 16th. It was a case of time loss management and running on the edge of being safe/unsafe. I would have welcomed 2 minute windows like they had in Baie.
>For additional contemplation:
>"My Wild West ProRally experience this past weekend"
>1./ 2 minute windows for EVERYONE, even ClubRally
>2./ 3 minute windows for top four competitors starting each
>- however this was controversial, especially amongst the
>folks starting 5th through 8th on Sunday as these four
>positions were separated by just one minute!
>3./ VERY long "shut down" sections between FF and STOP
>- I'll check the notes tonight, but I recall an average of
>about a 1/4 mile in cases where the FF came at the end of a
>very fast bit.
>4./ Smart overnight re-seed (no re-seed throughout the day,
>just re-group controls)
>- An example of the smart re-seed: Lovell & Turvey were 13th
>o/a on Saturday night but started at least four positions
>higher on Sunday morning (again, I'll check my Sunday start
>list when I get home for other examples).
>This is a good thread and this issue needs resolution.
>Unfortunately it has taken a serious incident to provoke it.
But once the organiser supplied dust mitigation efforts started, and there was no dust danger, then it was silly to maintain the 2 minute window. People standing in the rain were wonder why keep the gap.
But the main point is there should be some flexibility is addressing the need for or not in the area of dust windows and in run outs. There were several offs at the end of SS4 ? with fast curves and 90 after the 100m board.
How's the dust up in Merrit these days?