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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alan,

Yes you are right. I am not a competitor. I am one of these who love the sport and helping that you and others can have a safe competition and nice time.
I am pretty surprise that you made such a discriminatory comments. This year I participated with my kids (8 years old) in all western Canadian rallies. I saw you guys first time and like very much your style of driving. Seeing you both at motel parking lot (3 km away from service area) simply shock me. I understand desire of win but also we all must remember being honest and respect others.

When I told my team about what I saw the first reaction was to use the 30 minutes but?It was me who convinced not to do it. Why? It? s simple. We need you coming to Canada. People are making mistakes and should have chanced to correct them. I am sure you learned lesson. In my opinion ?the case is close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RE: Illegal Servicing part 2 (continuation)

I am happy that you mentioned coming to Calgary. I am very involved in organizing this rally. This is the first time as an organizer. I worked very hard all season to make rally more popular in this part of North America. I feel that we should bring more people (like myself) to this sport. Organizing rally is not as easy as many rally drivers feels. It is sad to hear that we are not equal because we don?t have RALLY CAR. I always want to have one but my priorities to spend money went to my kids. I am so happy seeing them on rallies and believe me they loved already this sport.



See you in Calgary. Looking to have a beer with you after rally.

Jerry Maslanka

P.s.
My team is AAFCE Rally Team and the web site is www.aafce.ca
 

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RE: Illegal Servicing part 2 (continuation)

Not to belabor the point, but the reason that I pointed out that you are not a competitor is that I think the issue should have been kept between competitors (unless one of them chose to protest, then it would have become a public matter). That's all. Don't take it personally.

alan
 

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Actually, since the issue is now in the open, maybe I do want to belabor the point ;) I think I will take this as an opportunity to figure out what the CARS rule book says and what it means.

Exactly what constitutes illegal service in Canada? The CARS rulebook says (VII.A) that "service is defined as work carried out on the car by any person other than the competing crew or (in text that is apparently new for 2002) the use or receipt by the crew of any manufactured material (solid or liquid), spare parts, tools or equipment other than those carried in th competing car." It goes to say that you can be handed food, drink or info while waiting to get into service or in a regroup control.

That means that if your car is low on oil and another team gives you a quart while waiting for your check-in time (and you don't even use it), you are guilty of illegal service. If someone hands you a screwdriver from their car instead of your screwdriver, it is illegal service.

Under the rules, if the driver works on the car on their own, even if it is in a motel parking lot, it is not illegal service. If you think it is, please quote the section of the CARS rulebook that backs you up.

Getting back to what we did at Mountain Trials as far as pulling the c-clip out of my GTX on the transit back to service. We did not install the part in the car until we had the car in the service area. Now the part that would make Bill Clinton or Bill Gates proud. The definition of "receive" is "to have something given or sent to one" (Random House College Dictionary). When we popped open the hood of a car that happened to be located on our path and removed the c-clip, please tell me what definition of "receive" applied to the acquisition of that part? While I believe what I am describing here is a loophole in the rule, it is still how the rule is written.

In our discussions with my competitors, one of them said that the problem with us pulling parts off of my road car in the motel parking lot (away from sight from the other competitors) is that we could be doing something that would increase the performance of the car, like change to an illegal (say, restrictor-less) turbo. Well, aside from the fact that one cannot change a turbo on a GTX in a 30 minute service (ask the folks who have done our restrictor checks in tech), let alone in the slop time of a transit, one could just put the illegal part in the car, stop on a transit and install it and that would not be illegal service. It would still be illegal, just not illegal service.

Anyway, I don't think CARS intended to make competitors helping other competitors by supplying tools or consumables illegal service. I also don't think they intended to allow competitors to have parts cars stashed along the transit route. Maybe we could come up with some alternate wording to suggest to CARS for next year's book.

Opinions?

alan
 

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>Anyway, I don't think CARS intended to make competitors
>helping other competitors by supplying tools or consumables
>illegal service. I also don't think they intended to allow
>competitors to have parts cars stashed along the transit
>route. Maybe we could come up with some alternate wording
>to suggest to CARS for next year's book.

Agreed. I don't see a problem with borrowing tools or parts from another competitor, even though it is technically against the rules. The same rules would prevent you from pulling into a gas station and buying fuel or oil, which also shouldn't be illegal (and used not to be). We have to remember that we all do this for fun (don't we?), and that most competitors would rather win based on their driving rather than by having a competitor stranded because they weren't allowed to lend them a part or a tool. Having said that, I think that PLANNED assistance outside of service should be strictly punished. I think the rules need to make a distinction between planned and unplanned assistance. How many times have competitors borrowed a wheel from a spectator's car? How many times have they been penalized for it?

All IMO, of course.
Adrian
 

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We'll have to look at this. My interpretation of "receive" does entail "giving from another" - we may need to change the word because the very type of service that this is intended to prevent (Buffum wheels and fuel abandoned in the woods at Maine) may slip past the word.

Also we have to assess whether we should allow competitors to get stuff at a service station en route - that just seems normal and resourceful to me. Also - and this is against current FIA procedures but was normal in the past - the donation of the civilian car's wheel (McGeer Quebec 1999) or entire rear axle (Ari Vantenen RAC 1977) is a classic rally moment and should be allowed. Part of the fun of rally is in the innovation...

Were I the arbiter of this case, I would class it as resourcefulness rather than planned cunning and so would not call it a violation.

ACP
www.musketeerracing.com
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Mt. Trials was my first rally so then and know I still don't know many of the service rules. When my water pump went, I needed coolant which the Carrols lent me near the time control. If the rad up but ended up not finishing the last two stages to be on the safe side. If I had competed with the use of external fluid, what would have been the penalty? It never even crossed my mind until I read this post. But I'm sure it's better to finish the race no matter the penalty.

Cheers,
 

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I would agree with other posts here. Planned service outside of service areas or parts left by a crew(or others) for a team clearly violates the spirit of the sport.

I think that resourcefulness(spectator loaning some oil or coolant or giving a competitor a screwdriver) should be allowed.

Since I started rallying four years ago, I've witnessed many cases of team helping team, both on the stage and in the service area. As one competitor told me a few years ago(after giving me some spare bulbs for my driving lights), "I'd rather beat you on the stage than in service."

This is a great topic and perhaps the wording in the rulebook should be discussed further and possibly revised.

Cheers! John
 

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If we can come up with some suggested guidelines or alternate wording, I'll talk to Paul Westwick about it (does Paul read stuff here?) I feel a little weird that the only comments here about the issue so far are from three Americans and a Canadian novice, though.

I think we can agree that competitors providing bits to other competitors should be OK, right?

I guess the question is what should be allowed from other sources outside of the service area. Should fuel and other consumables from a service station be allowed? What about spares from a store? What about spares from a car not associated with a competitor? What about spares from a car associated with a competitor?

(As a side note, I am reaching the point that I want to avoid bringing my road car to rallies. My car's turbo, air flow meter, driver side mirror and, now, a shift linkage c-clip have all spent time in a rally car (usually, someone else's car) competing in an event.)

Anyway, at what point does it cross over to illegal service?

alan
 

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I think the acid test should be the univerality of availability. If the service station is available to everyone the we can all 'short load' our tanks knowing we can toss 5L of transit fuel in the tank if we need (want?) to.
What I loved about the sport when I started was the enthusiasm about helping other people out and the fact that the races ARE won on the stages.
To think that it would break rules for be to lend/borrow a plug wrench at a turn-around is absurd.
Now, the classic "excuse me sir, I hope you are enjoying watching the rally, but can I borrow your transmission?" brings up a different level entirely. Yes, there are classic moments and it is a great display of how much our cars are 'street' cars, but the chances of finding an EVO in the spectator lot of a rally are much lower than a talon/wrx. This puts the Mitsu driver at a disadvantage.

Personally I don't think there should have been a problem in this case ... if you had parked your street car at service and had a service crew to 'liberate' the part this would have been a non-issue.


Keith
 

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>If we can come up with some suggested guidelines or
>alternate wording, I'll talk to Paul Westwick about it (does
>Paul read stuff here?)

I do read stuff here - I've just been lurking while recovering from the weekend. I also didn't want to weigh in as the event organizer (hey, how come no-one ever told me what was happening at my own event!!!)

As has been written here already, it's over, all inquiry/protest deadlines have passed, so don't read this as suggesting that anything will be done about it for this event.

First of all, I don't think I would distinguish between taking something and receiving something. Remember the stories a few years ago about a certain high profile US team leaving a cache of spares out in the forest? No-one "assisted" them or gave them anything. The stuff just magically appeared out there. On that basis, I would say that taking the part from Alan's road car during the transit is receiving illegal outside assistance.

What could Ross & Alan have done to have made it legal? If they'd had radios, they could have told their service crew in advance to go to the hotel and grab the part off the road car. I don't know it this is the sort of part that Lordco would have had in stock, but they could have radioed their service crew to walk across the parking lot and buy it. (God I love having service in front of an auto parts store!)

Had I been the steward and had this been protested, I would probably have given them a slap on the wrist, on the basis that what they did didn't violate the principle of equal service time to every team, and that they could have accomplished exactly the same thing legally, and they will know how to do it legally next time. They're still a novice team, and I would give them more leeway in this situation than if a top national team tried the same thing.


>I guess the question is what should be allowed from other
>sources outside of the service area. Should fuel and other
>consumables from a service station be allowed? What about
>spares from a store? What about spares from a car not
>associated with a competitor? What about spares from a car
>associated with a competitor?

Part of the point of limited service with ATC in and ATC out is to remove any motivation for speeding on transits. If by driving the transit like a maniac, you could get 10 minutes extra service time, some teams would push that, to the detriment of the sport. Allowing teams to get fuel and parts from service stations along the transits (or from hotels, or random parked cars) opens up the same problem. Borrowing stuff from another team while waiting at a dead-end turn-around doesn't.

Therefore, I would be inclined to rule against receiving (or taking) parts from a car or shop outside the service area, but wouldn't worry about teams helping eachother out in a stage, or while waiting for a turn-around.

Borrowing stuff from another team is technically outside assistance too, but you could argue that it's available equally to everyone. Hell, I've even leant another team my spare tire at a dead-end. One of the things that I really love about rallying is how teams can be competitive and cooperative at the same time.

I would rule against that sort of cooperation if it became a craven end-run around the rules. For example, if a well financed team decided to enter an extra car in the rally, and loaded it up with spare tires and other stuff for their top car, only running that team to transport the stuff to the dead-ends. I would call that illegal outside assistance, but when joe novice runs out of duct tape and borrows some from another team? Come on! Part of what makes a good steward is recognizing when to apply common sense to such rules.


Paul
 

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Regarding radios(a little off topic, I know). Here in the US, I've been told that it is okay for us to have HAM radios(I'm a licensed HAM), but that we cannot/should not use the radio for competitive advantage.

In other words, I can tell the team that we're ok, coming back to service, hungry etc. But telling them to go to the store and buy a part or take it off a car in advance would put teams that do not have a radio at a disadvantage.

This is not a rulebook issue, but rather an ethical one. Enforcement of this issue is impractical and I'm sure teams do use their radios that way. We do not as I feel it's in appropriate.

Just my thoughts on the subject...could be another topic probably. It really is a gray area and everyone has different thoughts on the subject.

Cheers! John
 

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>Regarding radios(a little off topic, I know). Here in the
>US, I've been told that it is okay for us to have HAM
>radios(I'm a licensed HAM), but that we cannot/should not
>use the radio for competitive advantage.

Where there is no financial gain (that would be rallying, wouldn't it ;-)), I don't think there is a problem. You could always use something other than HAM anyway (CB, commercial band, marine VHF, cell phones, sat phones, FRS have all been used).

Adrian
 

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Adrian,
While I agree that you and I may not experience financial gain from use of radios, some teams might.

This hasn't been a specific area addressed in the rules up until now, but with the proliferation of ham radios in use by teams, it may become an issue.

I think it's probably more of an ethical issue than a competitive one for most of us anyway.

Cheers! John
 

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Let me clarify this slightly:

>... They're still a novice
>team, and I would give them more leeway in this situation
>than if a top national team tried the same thing.

I'm not saying that we should have one rule for novices and another rule for top national teams. In either case, the steward may determine that they broke the rule. However, it's quite normal for a steward to take into account the team's level of experience as well as the advantage (if any) that they gained by breaking the rule, in deciding what sort of penalty to apply.


Paul
 

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RE: Moral Dilemma & Outside Advice via Radio or Phone

...didn't Tom McGeer get mechanical "coaching" and advice from his service crew via sat phone (Globalstar sponsorship hath it's priviledges!)?

If I remember the story correctly, he was heading in on the final transit when something in the driveline broke. The service crew then directed him to remove a bolt from one part of the car and relocate it to the broken piece. The car continued on to finish the event (and win it I thnk).

No outside parts were accpeted, just guidance on how to fix the car.

Cheers,

Bill
 
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