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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was a very good discussion thread that ended about 2 weeks ago, that started out discussing limits on allowing new drivers to run AWD, and by majority concensus, drifted on to discussion of a proposal to require new drivers to have more 'schooling' and some sort of possible sign-off by instructors (for lack of better words at this point) prior to releasing the new drivers to the wild wooded trails.

I would like to see some form of this proposal sent to the PRB for consideration for the 2004 rules, and one person feels it should be done soon, so as to give the whole community time to ponder this. Extra time prior to implementation is also needed, as making this practical may require some organizational work.

If no one has yet taken this step, I would be happy to write something up and post here in the form of an initial formal proposal, take comments, revise, submit for a final "vote" of sorts. If I am not the best person for this, please say so (...as you folks are so shy, I have to encourage this... NOT! :7 ). I simply think this is a good idea (not a new one by any means) for which the general memebership has recognized the need.

Sincerely,
Mark Bowers
 

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Mark,
Those that I know who are concerned with the two sides of the same coin "recruitment/retention" and grassroots growth in general have essentially given up even thinking about what SCCA wants or thinks.

With the rule allowing PR director to make anyrule on the spot effectively bypassing anything the PRB might think on the one hand, and the obvious inability of the poor guys to make ruling on unsafe driving without agonizing for over 10 weeks, it is appearant that there is no point in addressing anything to them.

So we have decided the best course is simply to do things locally to the degree we can.
That's part of what the CCCP idea is: making a social club where people can meet and meet us and we can meet THEM and thereby establish some back and forth and maybe be able to offer some advice and guidance.

I for one think that each person comes with such varied background that typical heavy handed rules cannot really address. Only close contact can really fairly account for the differences enough to say this guy ought to or ought not to drive this car or that.

And it really isn't the drivetrain configuration, it's the brain we need to limit.



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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>And it really isn't the drivetrain configuration, it's the
>brain we need to limit.

After thinking about this for a while, it seems like there should be a "probation" period where a new driver can be observed by the local ClubRally stewards and then getting approved after demonstrating clear judgment.

During this probation period, which should be a number of Coef's so that it can not be done in one weekend (I would prefer 3-4 events), say 8 or 10, the driver should either not earn ClubRally points pending being cleared at the end. This will take some of the motivation to win at all costs in the first few events, while not punishing a driver using their head and driving sensably.
 

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RE: Has anyone Sent a

Was there a recent issue that brought this subject up???? I haven't heard of any "New" drivers being an issue recently. I have heard of a few veteran drivers, being a "Hot topic" these days in regard to there driving though. Maybe we should take there "turbo" away for a few events...
 

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If you'd like to write up something that would be great. I'm sure there are others out there much better at writing such things than I ;).

My ideas for a drivers school are paterned after the way Club racers get thier licences. Basically, you have a weekend filled with classroom and in car time for those new to the sport. What we want to do is to see if someone is competant at handleing a car at speed and make sure they aren't dangerous/erratic. How is this done in a large gravel parking lot? You have a course marked out with cones, and areas outside those cones designated as either "lake," "trees," "cliff," etc. I flagged at a few drivers schools at Summit Point, and the flaggers have a term... "OSB"
or, Other Sports Becon. We literaly have ppl out in the woods in club rally cars who don't know what an apex is! I know, I had to explain it to him... Instead of starting from scratch as for requirements and what to look for, I suggest we find someone who is in charge of track racing schools and see what their criteria is for judgeing who is competant and what not. The school could be set up with instruction saturday, and instruction/rallysprint w/observers at key points on sunday (or friday/saturday as most rallies seem to be run...) I can probably come up with a bunch of other ideas given some time... But I'm definitly willing to help you put together a proposal for the PRB.


Nick Polimeni
'71 Volvo 142E (getting restored! finally!)
Editor, Blue Mountain Region, SCCA
[email protected]
 

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RE: Has anyone Sent a

>Was there a recent issue that brought this subject up???? I
>haven't heard of any "New" drivers being an issue recently.

Hmm, Sawmill '00... and the fact that there are an awful lot of new drivers that smash cars for no apparant reason.

Nick
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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RE: Has anyone Sent a

>Was there a recent issue that brought this subject up???? I
>haven't heard of any "New" drivers being an issue recently.
>I have heard of a few veteran drivers, being a "Hot topic"
>these days in regard to there driving though. Maybe we
>should take there "turbo" away for a few events...

Don't forget 100 Acre Woods...
Taking away the turbo doesn't sound like a bad idea either.


Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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RE: Has anyone Sent a

Has anyone thought of red flagging newbie cars like they do in roadracing. In roadracing newbie cars aren't allowed to pass, etc. unitl they get signed off on by the rule makers. How this could be done in rally I don't have the experience to guess.

I am a newbie and much like Brian have set very conservative goals for my first few rallies (call it voluntary red flagging if you like). 1. Finish the rally (ie no DNF). 2. No timing penalties. 3. Not wreck the car. 4. Have fun.

I am concerned about adding things to the licencing process that would drive up costs such as mandatory schools, etc. On of the attractions I had to rally other than racing in the woods was the relative low cost of training compared to road racing.

Maybe the club licencing seminar (which is very minimal) should include an in-car test just like when you get your "normal" driving licence on a short special stage or rallyX type course to demonstrate essential skills to to die or kill others.

As another thought why not show new drives hours of the worst in rally car crashes like they did in high school Drives Ed?
 

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Road Racing Model

I think there is a lot of validity to the Road Racing Model. A school and a probationary period. Maybe even a big X on the back of the car.

The problem structurally is lack of schools. When I first got interested in rally, my first intentions were to go to the Sawmill School. This was not only to become acquainted with the sport, but to have some idea of what to do on the stages. There was no such thing as RallyCross at that time (not that I think that is particularly appropriate training). It was one of two I think that were available in the US at the time. Alas, since I am in the right seat, I have not had the opportunity to participate in that famed school.

Perhaps there needs to be a mandate that each SCCA Division put on at least one school a year. I know that most (if not all) road racing regions/divisions have a school early in the year.

However, the reality (at least in the SE-DIV) is that there are two regions in the whole division that do rallies. Mandating that they put on a school may be very burdensome to those regions. Perhaps if Topeka in its wisdom provided some incentive for same.

However, whatever is proposed needs to be comprehensive in nature. I certainly would be willing to work with others in drafting the proposal to the PRB.

Wilson
 

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RE: Road Racing Model

While the Road Racing model of observing new drivers sounds like a good idea, nobody has yet come up with a technique for doing this effectively. Road Racing, in addition to having a number of Stewards at each event, has an experienced crew of corner workers to observe the drivers. By contrast, ClubRally usually has but one Steward, and the racing takes place out of sight. The Stewards DO try to keep an eye on newbies, but it's tough to do.

We could downcheck a newbie for crashing, but then he could just go REALLLLY SLOOOOOW until his probationary period is over, and then start going 'way too fast.

I'm not personally convinced that limiting horsepower - or turbos - or 4wd - will help the problem. You can go fast enough in a light 2WD car to hurt yourself badly, and the 2WD car is often lightly constructed - and thus less protection - as well.

Another thing no one has brought up is how to pay for schools. It would require more closed roads and more organizers, for a minimal return. If you could find a set of great rally roads, would you be more likely to put on a rally or a school? We could attach them to rallies, much as Road Racing does, but then it becomes a staffing issue...getting two full events into a weekend. It's been done - the Detroit Region folks put on a school not all that long ago, but they had the advantage of roads on private property.

I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade...this is a good thread...but I need to play devil's advocate to be sure all angles are considered, since most of this stuff becomes my job.

Bruce
 

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RE: Road Racing Model

More shots in the dark.....

What about no points scoring for x events assuming no incidents/penalties. And attach minimum stage times to each event for probationary drivers (you must take at least this long on a stage) and have that time become more competitive over the course of the x events included in the probationary period. Would this not (if done well) essentially create a rally school at the event for these drivers.

Also if something like in car video was used the probationary driver/codriver could send it off to be reviewed and analysized. How the SCCA would pay for this I don't know. Maybe use volunteers so no indivual is overwhelmed with tapes.

Either or both of these would essentially create a rally school experience at those probatioanry events.

?How many new club rally drivers are there in any given year, currently and projected?
 

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RE: Road Racing Model

>What about no points scoring for x events assuming no
>incidents/penalties. And attach minimum stage times to each
>event for probationary drivers (you must take at least this
>long on a stage) and have that time become more competitive
>over the course of the x events included in the probationary
>period. Would this not (if done well) essentially create a
>rally school at the event for these drivers.
>

An interesting proposal. The only problem would be arriving at those stage times...and they could vary with weather and road conditions. It also doesn't eliminate the "Drive slow till they quit watching me" syndrome.

>Also if something like in car video was used the
>probationary driver/codriver could send it off to be
>reviewed and analysized. How the SCCA would pay for this I
>don't know. Maybe use volunteers so no indivual is
>overwhelmed with tapes.
>

It would fall to the ClubRally Stewards to do the analysis. Could be a lot of video viewing...

>?How many new club rally drivers are there in any given
>year, currently and projected?

In Central Division, I do 4-7 rookie classes a year. Since 1995, I have had one school with no students, one with one student, and all the rest have several...so probably 10-12 a year minimum. I don't see it slowing down much, although the economy is having an effect.

One other downside of schools is that if you have to attend a school first, it limits WHEN you can start rallying. If your car isn't ready for the local school, you have to either travel a fair amount or wait typically a WHOLE YEAR for the next school. This is the way it works in Road Racing, and it often puts off new drivers. Our present system has the advantage that you can start anytime, since every ClubRally has a class.

Just being the devil's advocate here...

Bruce
 

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RE: Road Racing Model

I don't think the road racing model is necessarily necessary for rally. With road racing you are racing head to head with other cars and the idea is to keep new drivers from taking out not-new drivers. In rally you are typically racing alone against the clock.

If you're a bad driver, you might smash up your car and DNF. But our tech inspectors are good, and our roll cages are wonderful and safe, so the person likely won't get hurt right? And if they only take themselves out, what's the problem?

Maybe its because I'm from Canada but I don't really believe in protecting people from themselves - you have to have a certain amount of accountability/responsibility for your own actions. Anyone who has ever watched rally on TV should be aware of the risks. Don't put hot coffee between your legs while you're driving, if you do, you deserve to get burnt because you're a dumbass.

Now if newbies were taking out spectators or workers then there would definately need to be some new guidelines...

Skye Poier
Seattle, WA

Vive le Prole-le-Ralliat!
Team Irrational Racing
www.irrationalracing.com
 

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Please: No Road Racing Model

Skye,

I agree entirely. I've never seen Newbie's (as a group) being a problem. The natural consequences of their actions are generally pretty minor and I don't think anyone could make a case that they hold up a rally either.


Bruce,

I agree with you also. I wouldn't want SCCA to create a training process that would prevent a Newbie from entering a ClubRally right away. Most folks starting out aren't stupid and they've got enough to deal with already.


Rich Smith

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RE: Please: No Road Racing Model

The problem is, do we risk a serious accident or death because we dont have system to identify and stop the person that IS a hazard to themselves and others? I'd rather see some level of "check off" on new drivers rather than what we have now, which is nothing at all.
 

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RE: Please: No Road Racing Model

Brian,

I don't think this is a Newbie issue. Your concerns are valid, but they apply to all Drivers and the Safety Stewards can deal with them quite effectively.

Rich Smith

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RE: Please: No Road Racing Model

The problem is a newbie problem in so much that the stewards will not have ever seen the newbie drive in anger before, until it is too late. I am against a tedious process that turns folks away, but to leave things as they are is asking for trouble.
 

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RE: Has anyone Sent a

Mark;
We have a built in LOW Speed venue which can be turned in to a drivers school easily. The PRB should require all novice drivers to compete in and be observed at Rally Crosses. They are issued a Noice Permit and have to go through a class room school. For the sake of arguement lets say a minium of 4 events to a maximun of what ever it takes for the driver to get the hang of it. Of course this will mean that all of you "experienced" drivers have to volinteer to be Instructors. To teach, coach and evaluate the noivces, sort of a pay back to the sport. What do you think? Kinda cool huh. OOOPS silly me , that would mean someone would have to develope a standard set of teaching guidelines. Who would we ever get to do that?
Viva Le Revolution
 

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RE: A real reason?

- Is this last stand for "old 'n slow" to be on the lime light?
- Or a sincere concern?
- What I've seen on TV it's old timers and factory drivers who keep crashing most!
- Last "SlowDrift" had only one who could drive - Dan Sprongel. Maybe you guys should sent all others to your "seminar"
- When LEGAL EVOs swim to our shore it's all over for old 'n slow, fat 'n rich. There'll be 10s of new, young, aggressive drivers who'll take over. And that's the way it should be! The world belong to young...
 

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RE: Road Racing Model

>I don't think the road racing model is necessarily necessary
>for rally. With road racing you are racing head to head
>with other cars and the idea is to keep new drivers from
>taking out not-new drivers. In rally you are typically
>racing alone against the clock.
>

But, you are still racing...at speed...with real cliffs, trees, and dirt/rock banks. No gravel traps or tire barriers like we have on our road courses.

>And if they only take themselves out, what's the
>problem?

Bad PR...I have heard some locals have wondering aloud whether we're racing or simply running a demolition derby in the woods.


>Now if newbies were taking out spectators or workers then
>there would definately need to be some new guidelines...

Ask my ex... When she was working several finish controls at Black River Stages this year, she had to take evasive action for several drivers who were hoping thier times would improve if they kept thier foot down after passing the flying finish. I don't know how "new" these drivers were, but at least half of the participants at this event have gotten involved after I did 4 or 5 years ago. (random tangent: am I the only one who can't stand the word "newbie"??? :+)

But, even to compete in a hillclimb requires more driver instruction that we currently do for rallying. They require a novice driver to take several runs up the hill with an instructer in the car. (not sure how they handle single seater formula cars, but I digress.) In hillclimbing there is no wheel to wheel competition either. It STILL seems rather silly to me that we limit instruction to how to fill out a time card and proper use of triangles and OK signs.

Like I said before, I had to explain to a currently licensed novice competitor what an apex was, and the differance between an early and late apex. While explaining this I had another "experianced" driver argue with me that taking a late apex will CAUSE you to run out of road when exiting a turn, not give you extra breathing room. While this was going on we were traveling in a van out to a stage to flat tow a third novice driver back who had rolled his rented turbo Audi, and this driver later said he wants to buy an Evo. A car with even more power than the Audi! I smell trouble a brewin'. Methinks it is time to do something.

The idea elswhere in this thread that RallyCrosses can be used as schools isn't all that "new" an idea. That is basically how my region has run the Sawmill rally school. We set up several small "stages" in the grave lots and access roads at the ski resort there, and observe the drivers, both with instructors in the car and out side observers. But as I said before, with the experianced driver argueing the effects of early and late apexes on a cars trajectory when exiting a turn, regions that go to put on a school need to have some way of ensureing thier "instructors" know what the heck they're talking about. Just because someone has been racing for many years doesn't mean they have any idea what they are doing.
I know how much ppl hate cetralized authority and having to answer to a higher power, but that is about the only way I see of policing the quality of instruction.

Nick Polimeni
[email protected]
"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero..."

p.s. If drivers are going to be put off, and possibly not enter rallying at all by being required to take some instruction, do we really want them on the stages with us? If a tree falls in the forest and it hits a mime, does anyone care?
 
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