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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Why am I asking this?

Had an interesting email exchance with someone about speed ratings today. He did a straight average of his position on each stage to determine where he should start in the order. I questioned his methodology saying:

You have to do more analysis than that. It can't just be straight position. You have to determine which stages are out of the ordinary (more than one standard deviation) and throw them out.

Now, he was perplexed by my statement pointing out that he knows when he's slow because of mechanical problems and when he's just slow. So I again tried to explain:

Yes, you know that, but how does an organization that is computing this for hundreds of competitors know what stages you had problems on and what stages you did not?

The theory is that your speed should be somewhat consistent given the conditions. Times that are grossly out of the norm need to be thrown out.

Ah ha! He see's the light and takes it a step further:

You know, that raises an interesting point: The confidence interval given the small sample size may be so huge that it makes a speed rating system irrelevant. In other words, if driver A has a mean speed of 85 + or - 15 and driver B has a mean of 83 + or - 10, you cannot legitimately rate either one above the other.


So I'm just curious...am I the only one that thinks this is a complex statistical model?
 

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RE: Why am I asking this?

>go back to the rulebook system.
>
>national finishes, only. period.

Except then there's no way to move from Club to Pro.

BW
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RE: Why am I asking this?

But Bruce, how do you compare Club to Pro with a speed rating system anyway? Different events, different competitors...

I am not sure what Pat means by "national" only, but it does raise an interesting point. One concern many have about speed ratings is that it rewards people for going as fast as possible up until the point where they crash and punishes those who make sure they finish the rally. Perhaps one option is to not count any stages if the competitor DNFs because of a crash/accident.
 

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RE: Why am I asking this?

. One concern many have about
>speed ratings is that it rewards people for going as fast as
>possible up until the point where they crash and punishes
>those who make sure they finish the rally

No necessarily. As I understand it, each driver will have speed rating and a seed. Seed gets you into the rally, and is earned by finishing only. Speed rating only gets you a better road position, and is earned by going fast only. Thus people who go slow and finish consistantly will be rewarded with seed advancement.

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RE: Why am I asking this?

True, seed gets you into a rally. But in many events, road position means a lot and from the sounds of it, that will be based on speed factor only.

Not having seen any documentation on the proposed methodology for speed ratings and start orders, I can only guess. My data point? The STPR start list that was originally posted last year. Seed had nothing to do with your road position. (Note - this start list was later replaced by one that more closely followed the rules as stated in the rule book...)
 

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RE: Why am I asking this?

So more consistent drivers get to drive on chewed roads, slow down for triangles and have increased exposure to various "Force Majeure".

The way I see it the issue is not about passing, it's about who should get the higher quality driving experience and the chance to drive on better roads. Why give reckless speed demons the better roads?

If you go fast AND don't crash, you deserve to be rewarded by starting up front.

Edit: Sorry, dear, I'll stay out of your thread. :D
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

This is only partially a farse....

For every stage you DNF, you get assigned the bogey time / speed. If you're unsafely fast (going off a lot) then you will be penalized with a crappier road position. Might piss Rhys off...

Asside from that drop the worst and the best. Make the math simple. You DNF at SS1, you're going to make damn sure you are more carefull, or better prepared equipment next time out.

Then again, why do I care. When I drive I'm back-o-the-pack anyway.
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

My view is highly H-Class tainted but...

I'd like to see Seed awarded based on performance relative to the car in rallies completed; as Daphne points out, Seed gets you into rallies. Seeding points should not be awarded in rallies not completed, since Seeding should not be about strictly balls-to-the-wall speed, but should be about rallycraft - i.e. skill in getting your particular choice of car over all the stages in the quickest manner. Seed should buy you rally entry and bragging points to your sponsors, but not necessarily road position.

I'd like to see Speed Rating based on average speeds on stages completed, and allow Speed Rating to determine start order. Nobody particular wants faster cars catching/passing them on the stages, nor do they want to be put in a position where they're likely to have to pass somebody on the stages. Speed Rating should buy you a sensible start position but not a guaranteed rally entry just because you can afford an AWDTurboMonster.

Just my $0.02
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

well.. hmmmmmmm....
my car just WONT go fast... no matter
how much i mash the big pedal...
but i seem to be successful at finishing
even with the 20 triangles and obstacles in my path....

ahh but... i HATE the fact that as a seed 5 P car...
i start directly in front of a seed 6 Open class car...
erm... last thing i want to have to do is
drive in my mirrors...

yet, flipside of that is i've not been passed (yet)
but probably would on a longer faster stage...
and gaining seed has allowed me to run in a better
(even if slightly) road position - at least i'm up
with most of my competitors now....

ahhh well...
although i dont love everything about it,
i'd have to say national seeding seems to work best....
still waiting for someone to come up with a "better" solution...
Jamie
www.subiegalracing.com
www.subiegal.com
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

We need a speed system and a seed system and Jamie gives some really good reasons, I can give you the same reason on the opposite side. I have a 3 Seed but my car honestly can not pull revs in second up many hills. I achieved the high seed (for my car etc.) by being consistent and doing well on a couple races where hp was not very important. However there are a whole lot of seed 4 and 5 guys with MUCH faster cars that on a one minute interval are going to be in my dust on even a moderate stage. I need to be put back some in the start order for Club rallies.

The speed rating system is only a tool to HELP the officials determine the SAFEST start order. The plan is for there to be a system that is mathamatically based with consistent rules (that I would imagine would be adjusted occasionally to fine tune it) that gives relative ratings of all drivers. Using this list a starter can then quickly produce a start list that is close to reasonable. It is then their responsibility as well as the Stewards to double check the list and fine tune it further as conditions warrent.

In reality there is absolutly no reason for everyone to get their undies in a bunch over this or any other system that is going to be used. In fact I think there is really no reason to even tell everyone what the system is except to possibly help quiet the conspiricy theory crowd.

The speed rating system is just a tool to help organizers, that is all.


Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

If the speed rating system is used for one of the following:

a) to help place competitors who feel that their seed-based starting position doesn't reflect their capabilities or is unsafe (and they request a change),

b) to address safety concerns in the starting order, as determined by the steward or the organizer,

then it can be based on a pure stage-time analysis, as it should only be used in very limited cases.

If it is to be used to determine the majority of the staring order, independent of seed, then it needs to be a much more sophisticated system.

The real question we should be asking is: What is the problem with the current system that requires a change? The current system seems to work well, and the steward has the ability to deal with obvious safety concerns, so why change? Or is it just change for the sake of change, which does seem to be the case for a number of rules changes?

Why fix it if it isn't broken?

Adrian
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

Based on the previous rules, I am a Seed 5 national driver because I tend to finish. I am dreadfully slow due to a strong sense of self preservation however and last year I got reclassified to Seed 7. I don't mind being seed slow. I do object to my finishing record not being recognized. (I know, drive faster and it won't be a problem.)
Richard Miller
PS: I am also very easy to pass.
 

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RE: Why am I asking this?

>But Bruce, how do you compare Club to Pro with a speed
>rating system anyway? Different events, different
>competitors...

My understanding is that the speed rating system compares your stage times to others in your class in a particular rally...so it could be used for ClubRally as easily as Pro. That said, the engineer in me remains unconvinced, as I haven't seen the algorithm.

The only problem with the seeding system is that it typically requires a LOT of events to move up, and there's been an influx of fast new drivers lately who make the system look like it's not working. OTOH, the main BENEFIT of the seeding system is that it uses a larger statistical universe.

>
>I am not sure what Pat means by "national" only, but it does
>raise an interesting point. One concern many have about
>speed ratings is that it rewards people for going as fast as
>possible up until the point where they crash and punishes
>those who make sure they finish the rally. Perhaps one
>option is to not count any stages if the competitor DNFs
>because of a crash/accident.

This seems reasonable, but if the purpose is to determine road position SAFELY, these go-fast-till-you-crash jokers remain in unsafe spots on the road unless you somehow recognize their speed when they're ON the road. There ain't no perfect system...the steward's wisdom is the last resort.

Bruce
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

How do Canadian competitors get started?

I haven't run an SCCA rally in 3 years but have become a National Seed 2 in Canada.

So what is done as far as speed factor goes?

Brian
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

Adrian said,
The real question we should be asking is: What is the problem with the current system that requires a change? The current system seems to work well, and the steward has the ability to deal with obvious safety concerns, so why change? Or is it just change for the sake of change, which does seem to be the case for a number of rules changes?

Why fix it if it isn't broken?


Actually it is broken and the speed rating system is an attempt to help fix it. There is often problems at rallies where fast people are put behind slower people and it causes at least heated tempers (if not worse). There are also many times where a competitor comes screaming that they should be placed further up regardless of their seed but tracking all the evidence to support this is just not feasable or reasonable. The speed rating system is an attempt to do this as a tool for organizers to use.

I still can not figgure out why everyone is so hopped up on this.


Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

It was broken. In the past there was a question of consistency and impartialaty (sp) The key is to have a system and administrator that treats all competitors exactly the same. I don't see how this is possible no matter which method is used. I prefer the old system myself, a driver should be rewarded with road position based on finishes and speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

Bradney - the speed rating, as proposed in the rules for comment document, specified that pure speed rating would be used to determine start order for all entrants through seed 4 or 5 (I don't remember.) The idea of the speed rating start order is to make it safe; meaning there is no passing.

How many seed 4 or above drivers have been passed when they are not having some sort of mechanical issue?

How many seed 5 - 8 drivers have been passed when they are not having some sort of a mechanical issue?

I co-drive for a seed 3 driver who will most likely loose road position based on this speed rating system. I asked my driver last night how many times he has been passed when he wasn't having a problem. His answer? ZERO. How many times has he passed another competitor who was not having problems? ONCE, and that was on a very long stage and it was a production car he passed. (Should have been twice, but that person didn't let him pass...) That's in 2 1/2 years of competition.

My hunch is that most of the passing takes place at the back of the pack - that is, with the competitors who are not covered under the speed rating system. (And it doesn't make sense to use a speed rating for them given the limited data points you would have for many of them.)

Other times it might happen is when someone upgrades, like going from a production class car to a brand new Evo. But a speed rating system that just looks at stage times isn't going to take care of this, either.

So I do believe Adrian's comment is valid. What exactly are we trying to fix?
 

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RE: Why am I asking this? - How About...

Daphine is correct. The biggest problem is in the middle to back of the pack, i.e. seeds 4-7. The problem is compounded by the starting order within a seed of Open, Grp N, PGT, GRP1/5, then production. (Seeds 0-3 are generally running open or grp N cars, so you don't have a seed 1 driving a production car.)

Within a seed there are slow open/pgt drivers placed in front of fast grp 2 and production drivers. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM! There are also a few persons that because of their long history and past successes retain their seed, but are no longer driving as fast as their seed peers.

The speed factor will help solve these problems or when the organizer does not want to make an adjustment.

Case in point, at Rim my driver was a seed 7 in a production class car. Being production we were right behind two drivers in Group 2 cars that are KNOWN to be slow. We chased them the first night and bacause of the dust we had to slow down. The situation was was never resolved because of technical problems no re-seed was done during the service break. It was very fruststrating! We started in position 72 and finshed 25th overall. That should tell you something about the current system.

My driver is now a seed 5 and that will help. However, I was looking at some of the other seed 5 drivers in PGT/Grp2 cars for Gorman and noticed we consistantly had faster stage times. Thus using the start order, we still may be catching some slower cars just because we are production class.

As usual the SCCA doesn't want to address and fix the real problem.

As for the topic of this discussion, the Australians use a speed factor, so I think starting with this system is a good begining.
http://www.rally.com.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=arccompetitors.seedings&cfid=819963&cftoken=64267759

It reconizes that equipment problems could unfairly penalize a driver so it accounts for that in the system. As for the fast and crash driver, an adjustment can be made to place them in the right location. Even the Aussie system allows for the organizer to make adjustment as needed to the start order.

Finally, the speed factor is a tool to achive a good starting order, but it not the final word.

Paul Nelson
Navie
 
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