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Straight At "T"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got tired of dealing with the humongous other thread, so here's a re-post. Adrian had a suggestion on the other thread, involving three stewards of great knowledge and wisdom to make decisions. Any other suggestions?

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Let me add that we absolutely HAVE to do SOMETHING with regard to new drivers being allowed to drive anything they want. Read into that what you like, but I can't go into any more detail.

Limiting speeds probably won't limit actual crashes among beginners, but it will definitely limit the severity of the crashes. If you were to limit speeds to the point where nobody could get hurt at all, then we'd all be driving pedal cars and there would be no point to it. The 34mm restrictor rule is going to take effect, not only to cap the power made by the top cars but to bring us in line with Canada and the rest of the world.

Using car classes to limit new drivers is a broad stroke but is an easy place to start. You can probably find a car in almost any class, with the possible exception of Production, that would be considered too much car for a brand new driver. A top G2 car as has been mentioned would be too much, a mild G5 car might be fine, a P or mild PGT car with different brakes might be fine in Open, and so on.

Not only are there many levels of car builds in all classes that are acceptable or not acceptable, there are many levels of driver experience that should be taken into consideration as well. Rally school is knowledge plus seat time. Motocross or road racing experience applies as well.

Also a factor is co-driver experience. A spot-on navigator will make it easier for a new driver to stay on the road by delivering accurate and timely information. A good co-driver delivering notes may be better than one interpreting a picture of what someone else thought certain important turns looked like, provided the driver can absorb the information. An experienced co-driver may also be able to adjust a driver's attitude and always has the ability to climb out of the car at a control and refuse to play any more. The idea of mandatory time with a properly accredited "training navvie" is interesting to me in many ways.

The conclusion I come to is that we need some sort of default, overly restrictive base rule for new drivers such as P & G2 only. So if you're a newbie and you have zero experience, a new co-driver and no training whatsoever, those are your choices because we have to assume the worst about you.

However we need to implement some rational way of allowing exceptions to that base rule based on the factors mentioned above. So if you have a G2 car bored out to 2.1 liters which bumps it into G5 but it's otherwise a G2 car, you're good. Got an NA AWD PGT car with no fancy engine buildup? Probably OK. Went for the training, found a super-navigator willing to work with you, and have some sort of previous competitive driving experience? Go for the PGT turbo car.

What should the procedure be as far as who decides which exceptions are allowable and which aren't?

The new driver licensing system will keep a log of your driving adventures in a database. Offs, speeding through service, whacky transit antics, OBS infractions and the like will all be carried along with your license so your driving "personality" can be reviewed. If you continually push the limits in any category, I envision you being invited not to play any more. So while we're at it, let's talk about how those type of judgements will be made as well.

Cheers,
-Doug
 

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5 right opens
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Well, I raced 10 years with ALMS, then spend 2 years as a test driver for Formula 1. After that, I spent 3 years driving in the BTCC only to get lost in the ETCC shuffle. So I went to NZ and ran the V8 Tourers for a couple seasons. After that, I raced CORR and spent 3 years chasing hte baha 1000.

So I thought I'd give Rally a shot.

Now...

PROVE IT. :D

Scott - I hope you get my point - Kovalik
 

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Just another Subaru
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>Well, I raced 10 years with ALMS, then spend 2 years as a
>test driver for Formula 1. After that, I spent 3 years
>driving in the BTCC only to get lost in the ETCC shuffle.
>So I went to NZ and ran the V8 Tourers for a couple seasons.
> After that, I raced CORR and spent 3 years chasing hte baha
>1000.
>
>So I thought I'd give Rally a shot.
>
>Now...
>
>PROVE IT. :D
>
>Scott - I hope you get my point - Kovalik

Lets see some offical results?

If no results lets see some finishes in a 2wd N/a car. Then you can go play with turbos.

I like Doug's Idea on keeping track of driving behavior.

Erik Schmidt
Open Class 413 impreza 2.5L N/a with 7 coefficants as a driver under my belt.
 

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Straight At "T"
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, you prove it...

-Doug "I see your point and raise you one" Havir :D
 

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Okay here's a suggestion for a rule for car exceptions(this is written assuming that the newbie has not already qualified for an exception due to some relevant experience):

If newbies want to compete in a class other than Group 2 or Production then:

1) At time of entry (no less than 48 hours before the start of the event) the driver and co-driver must submit a signed statement that they will be competing in a car with less than 200 horsepower at the flywheel.

2) At time of entry (no less than 48 hours before the start of the event) the driver and co-driver must submit an additional signed statement that includes a description of the engine and the components that control the fuel, air, and timing. Any modifications to above items must be listed in detail.

3) The competitors must be willing to provide whatever access to the car is determined necessary (by the organizers, stewards, or their designees) to make an assumption about whether the car's engine is likely to produce more than 200 horsepower. The car will not pass scrutineering until this willingness has been demonstrated.
 

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>What should the procedure be as far as who decides which
>exceptions are allowable and which aren't?


As Adrian mentioned, some type of steward system.

I would like to add:

The chosen stewards should be known to be fair and relatively unbiased without particular agendas.

There should be an some type of appeal system in the event the competitor believes they (or their car) have been unfairly or unreasonably disqualified.

Stewards should be subject to approval and review by competitors.

It should be up to the competitor to read and understand the rules. However, they should be assured in writing that if they buy/build a car according to a specific year rule book that their car will not suddenly be disqualified if they spend a year or two building it before entering it in a rally.

Excluding some extraordinary circumstances a newbie should have some assurance in writing that their investment in a car will be relatively safe for 5 years, (preferably more). (not including safety equipment rule changes).
 

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eating dust taking photos
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Here is an idea, spun off of the basic suggested idea.

Regions have stewards, experienced stewards in place already. If a driver wishes to have an exemption issued they must apply for it in a four step process.


1) Have the car re scrutineered without any part of the driving team present, and only scrutineers and the steward there. Most of the scrutineers I know can tell you with reasonable accuracy just how much car there really is there in addition to it being safe, gives the steward a good idea of just what the car is instead of what the driving team wants him or her to think.


2) Write a formal request outlining in detail the reason an exemption should be issued, citing any relevant dirt or sealed surface racing and performance driving experience (for example instructor at a driving school but maybe no prior race experience). Arrange for a time for the stewrad to evaluate the team in the car, this could be at a track day, a rally cross, a hill climb, or a specially closed course.


3) The regional steward submits the teams request along with the stewards assesment and recomendation for action to an additional independent council of atleast 3 people (there should be a process for challenging members on the council for competitors but this council also needs to be of experienced people, be them stewards, long time drivers, drives with risk management/liability knowledge, or even DCH himself).



4) Driving team gets provisional liscenses. After collecting 10 coeffecients an a review of their driving log book they can get a fully liscense= to seed 6 or 5, or re-start, but only once. Durring this provisional period event stewards will keep a driving team log book recording the teams performance and any incidents, things like hitting a really big rock in the line cause it got kicked up, or putting a car off to avoid an other team shouldn't count against a team all that much, things like blowing a turn, going off because they entered way too hot should however count against them. Teams that go this route recieve an additional 7 coefficient probationary period where an event steward and submit a request that a ream loose their liscense status to the national council if so warranted. At any point an event steward can reccomend the immediate suspension of a driving teams liscense if warranted as well.

Mechanical DNFs if notably present and due in large part to known or suspected laxidazical maintenance can also be grounds for suspension or foreiture of progress.




Teams that go group 2 or P under go the same process as step four but only require 6 coeffecients and get a class limited liscense until they complete 15-20 coeffectients.


Any time period greater then 16 months without attending or completing a rally resests the coefficent count.
 

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eating dust taking photos
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Eric, how much do you think having your dad in the right seat has helped you?


I for one think you have benefitted well from previous experience but even more so from having some one like your dad as your co-driver. I think its possible for a team to devellop from scratch on its own and be safe and successful but having someone every experienced in the car helps a lot too.
 

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straight at T
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>No, you prove it...
>
>-Doug "I see your point and raise you one" Havir :D

Exactly. This isn't a new concept. If you have experience in other forms of racing or in other countries, it should be possible to get an appropriate official of either the other sanctioning body or the other ASN to provide documnentary evidence of that experience.

If, however, you want to do something different and you don't have the experience to back it up, then we need a mechanism for judging whethter that is acceptable or not (hence the experienced stewards idea).

Adrian
 

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>4) Driving team gets provisional liscenses. After collecting
>10 coeffecients an a review of their driving log book they
>can get a fully liscense= to seed 6 or 5, or re-start, but
>only once. Durring this provisional period event stewards
>will keep a driving team log book recording the teams
>performance and any incidents, things like hitting a really
>big rock in the line cause it got kicked up, or putting a
>car off to avoid an other team shouldn't count against a
>team all that much, things like blowing a turn, going off
>because they entered way too hot should however count
>against them. Teams that go this route recieve an additional
>7 coefficient probationary period where an event steward and
>submit a request that a ream loose their liscense status to
>the national council if so warranted. At any point an event
>steward can reccomend the immediate suspension of a driving
>teams liscense if warranted as well.
>

Good ideas. I like the probation theory where you have to complete x amount of events with little or no big off's that are directly blamed on the driver's lack of caution. I think the system could be streamlined in some regards. I think new drivers that understand their ability to compete might be at jepordy if they drive recklessly or display gross negligence during an event. So maybe it would not be necessary to have an audition to display driving talent.
I am not saying this is a better approach but it could help to streamline and lift some complexity out of the review process. You could even substitue a mandatory "x" number of rally cross events before you step up to a club (is there such a thing now) or pro event.

Once again Kevin, good ideas and I think you are on the right track.

Bob Wall

Just my .02
 

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How would you handle a 2WD driver that for example, has a flat tire near the beginning (first 1/3) of a decent (8 mile or more) stage, knows it, continues to drive on it, eventually the tire disingrates and he continues to drive on the wheel which eventually disingrates and ruins the suspension and stops the car on the stage. I personally think this is a dangerous stupid procedure and should cause the same reprocussions as an off.
 

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Don's question would be answered by the stewards using their brains to decide what penalties might be imposed for the stated dumb behavior. (Newbies aren't the only ones who have tried this, it's happened to top teams as well!)

Realistically speaking, informed stewards are the ONLY way such a licensing restriction system can be implemented and managed. The goal is good, how we get there is the big question.

It's clear that licensing restrictions for newbies are gonna happen, so let's quit grousing about it and work things out. The path to gaining a license needs to be simiple, achievable in a reasonable timeframe, and the rules need to be enforced consistently.

One thing I'm not clear about is what constitutes a "newbie" Is that Seed 8, 7, 6, and/or an experienced codriver switching seats, or what?

cheers, Dave G


"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

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I have a question, I usually stay out of this stuff but maybe I'm just missing something here.

What is a new driver's motivation to actually get enough seeding points or whatever to get a license. If we continue to let them run rallies without a license in order to get points then what's the point of spending the money on the license if you can run without one?

This is something that I was curious about when I was first going for my license 2 years ago...if I can run my first two events on a waiver to get my license, what's to stop me from continually running on that waiver. For a team that has constant DNF's for whatever reason you could run a whole season w/out being able to acquire a license, but who cares if there is no penalty for running without a license.

Maybe it was just something I missed, but maybe teams that are running on the waiver should be limited in the amount of stage miles they can run per event until they get a license or something like that...so they'll actually be motivated to move up and get it.
 

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the way i understand it is currently you can run one weekend on the waiver. thats it. you DNF. too bad the waiver is used up. next time you must buy the license.
 

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I'll make this brief and to the point. Why should any experienced co-driver spend his/her own money to hop into a car with a new driver? I was willing to do it for Eric, because he and Larry are friends, but it was unnecessary. If there is no program to reimburse co-drivers for performing this "service", I predict the line of experienced people waiting to hop into a car with an unexperienced driver will be very short. Thank you for being willing to volunteer a group to which you do not belong.
 

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don't cut
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Two words: Mentor Program

We keep bringing this up, seemingly on deaf ears. We need a solid mentor program so that newbies have someone to go to ask dumb questions like "If the tire blows in the first half of a 8 mile stage, what should I do? Drive on it or change it?" The mentor would coach the new team on car choice, buildup, codriver, event management, and maybe even driving technique. The mentor would sign off the team as ready for their first event. Some team wants to start out in an evo? Well good luck finding a mentor to sign off on it. Furthermore, once they get to the event the mentor can say things like "hey it's raining out today. That means you should use those tires, and that road will be real slick on these particular stages....." After the event the new team can "download" the experience to the mentor for some evaluation.

Now, if you've had 10 years of track experience, went to rally school, and hired a pro shop to build the car, then the mentor is probbably gonna have an easy time with you. But you'll still probably learn something.

I see so many people showing up to rallies making the same mistakes over and over because they didn't know who or what to ask. It's silly. Thanks to Special Stage, many newbies are finally seeking out experienced help, and there is some defacto mentoring going on. I'd like to see it formalized so that no one falls through the cracks.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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A lot of help I've gotten is via informal mentoring here on SS.

I vote for Dennis as my mentor... I'm already practicing saying "Brakes are for pussies" :)
 

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eating dust taking photos
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When did I volunteer anyone?


I said I thought it helped him from watching him drive as a spectator.


I believe I also said I believe its possible for a driverand co-driver to devellop on their own and be perfectly safe.

I said nothing about experienced co-drivers being needed for new drivers. I probably should have PMed the question, but there was no volunteering done at all.

Thank you for over reacting to a simple quetion and totally mis understanding the intent.
 

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eating dust taking photos
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The driving audtion as you called it would be of little use to stewards when dealing with drivers with a lot of performance driving experience but it could still be of great use.


Hypothetical situation where it could be valuable:

A driver in Colorado has spent a long time slowly building an Open class car. He finally gets it built but wants/needs more experience and a liscensing exemption to be able to rally it. Knowing this he enters the local hill climb series to get more experience thats cheap and close to home, and most importantly available. By the end of the season he feels he is ready to rally. With out having seen these hill climbs and knowing the drivers only previous experience is the odd open/club track day, some autocrossing, and rallycrossing, a very safety concious steward might feel that thats not enough experience for a new driver in an open class car. The audition process allows the driver to show the steward that makes the decision his skills and attitude in the car, something thats as important if not more so then previous experience. It also gives a more thurough evaluation and a bigger obstacle for teams to overcome to test their resovle. Anyone that built a car thats not willing to take the time or amount of money needed for the audition process probably won't rally enough or take very good care of their car.






And as for dons question below. Simple answer that most already mentioned. Event stewards get to make the notations in the "newbie" logs and can recomend immediate suspension of any driver's provisional or probationary liscense.
 
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