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Perhaps in the wake of events at LSPR it is time to revisit the penalty assessed for arriving late at a control. Minute for minute is very harsh and was in my opinion a major contributing factor to Milner's "haste" in getting to the control. Had LSPR used the 0.20 minute penalty that some other events use we might not have had all this controversy.
 

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>Perhaps in the wake of events at LSPR it is time to revisit
>the penalty assessed for arriving late at a control. Minute
>for minute is very harsh and was in my opinion a major
>contributing factor to Milner's "haste" in getting to the
>control. Had LSPR used the 0.20 minute penalty that some
>other events use we might not have had all this controversy.

No, the penalty applied is not at fault in any way. If Milner drove like a jerk to avoid a penalty, that's entirely his problem.
 

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>No, the penalty applied is not at fault in any way. If
>Milner drove like a jerk to avoid a penalty, that's entirely
>his problem.

While the situation at hand warranted the exclusion of the team, and I don't fault anyone on the organizing committee, the fact remains that a 1 for 1 minute penalty does, in fact, cause speeding on transits.

Here's why:

Scenario 1) 10 seconds/minute penalty: If I am running 5 minutes late out of a service, and have will have a 50 second penalty assigned upon checking into the next ATC, this will affect my chances of winning an event. However, the penalty would still leave me in contention for points, thus ensuring I want to stay in the event.

Scenario 2) 1 minute/minute penalty: If I am running 5 minutes late out of a service, and will be assigned a 5 minute penalty upon checking into the next ATC, I have effectively been excluded from any chance of finishing the event in the points. Thus, there is no incentive for me to continue. However, should I arrive on time, or one minute late, I might still have a chance. Thus, I should speed. Even if I'm excluded for speeding on a transit, there is no additional penalty that can be applied -- I'm already out of the points.

Just for example, if there had been NO penalty for arriving late, would Milner have been speeding?

I don't write this to condone speeding on transits. Milner was rightfully assessed a penalty for his speeding, and the organizers were well within their rights.

But let's not pretend that different rules don't induce people to act differently. That's just silly.

- Christian



Bjorn Christian Edstrom
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Timefactors.com Rally Team
Gingras Rally Sport (SCCA)
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>While the situation at hand warranted the exclusion of the
>team, and I don't fault anyone on the organizing committee,
>the fact remains that a 1 for 1 minute penalty does, in
>fact, cause speeding on transits.

No, pressing the long skinny pedal next to the brake pedal too hard causes speeding on transits.

I'm not a mechanic, but experimentation repeatedly produces the above results.


>
>Here's why:
>
>Scenario 1) 10 seconds/minute penalty: If I am running 5
>minutes late out of a service, and have will have a 50
>second penalty assigned upon checking into the next ATC,
>this will affect my chances of winning an event. However,
>the penalty would still leave me in contention for points,
>thus ensuring I want to stay in the event.
>
>Scenario 2) 1 minute/minute penalty: If I am running 5
>minutes late out of a service, and will be assigned a 5
>minute penalty upon checking into the next ATC, I have
>effectively been excluded from any chance of finishing the
>event in the points. Thus, there is no incentive for me to
>continue. However, should I arrive on time, or one minute
>late, I might still have a chance. Thus, I should speed.
>Even if I'm excluded for speeding on a transit, there is no
>additional penalty that can be applied -- I'm already out of
>the points.
>

So service quicker, or drop out of the rally (or speed and get kicked out). If it was easy, everybody would win.


>Just for example, if there had been NO penalty for arriving
>late, would Milner have been speeding?

Who cares? There was, and always should be a penalty for arriving to a control early or late.


>But let's not pretend that different rules don't induce
>people to act differently. That's just silly.
>

They do? Speeding is against the rules. That didn't induce him to act differently.

It's all relative. No matter what the penalty, somebody will speed to try and avoid it. Who wouldn't push that accelerator pedal just a little harder to avoid a 12 second penalty if they thought no one would know?

I guess it all depends on where you think we should adjust the equation. You favor decreasing the benefits of speeding. I favor increasing the penalty for speeding.

I say this because it seems that some people will speed on a transit for the hell of it. They just don't care or aren't paying attention.

Increasing the penalty addresses both problems.
 

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>While the situation at hand warranted the exclusion of the team, and I don't fault anyone on the organizing committee, the fact remains that a 1 for 1 minute penalty does, in fact, cause speeding on transits.
...
>Just for example, if there had been NO penalty for arriving late, would Milner have been speeding?
...
>But let's not pretend that different rules don't induce people to act differently. That's just silly.


So the bottom line is: Different people would speed,
some might not. Do I read that correctly.

And changing the penalty accomplishes...???
Making the race closer? less induction to speed? (ha! I doubt
that with every fiber of my being) Removes the "penalty"
feeling?

0.2 is a good summer penalty that can involve plenty
of strategy in it as well as keeping some minor feeling.
But do we need the identical penalty across all events
all year long?

As I am sure you are aware, though perhaps many SCCA folks aren't,
it is even worse under FIA timing even with extra transit
time. The worst thing is tight transits to start with, giving even more incentive to speed.

Ed
 

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The US needs to adopt the Canadian timing/road section system. It utilizes the best aspects of both the SCCA and FIA systems in one.

The biggest problem is the events that time road section to the gnat's ass and you can't do anything like change a tire without getting a penalty.

Ben
 

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>And changing the penalty accomplishes...???
>... less induction to speed? (ha! I
>doubt
>that with every fiber of my being)

So, in the two extreme cases:

1. Any lateness causes exclusion (MPL is 0 seconds)
2. Lateness is punished by 1 sec/minute (or not at all) and no MPL.

You think that speeding on transits would be equivalent?

Ok. I suppose that could be, but it seems contrary to everything I know about rational decision-making and economics. It would be the lone anecdote in the world where people's decision making isn't affected by the cost/benefit. (And in a strategy sport, no less.)

Also, you claim that FIA timing makes this worse. For others edification, I assume that the aspect you're talking about is that road section timing is based on SS Start, not SS Finish.

It is true that this will incent drivers to speed if they have had a major problem on SS, to avoid penalty. I agree with you.

However, you forget that the FIA has a 10sec/minute penalty, not minute per minute. If they had a minute per minute penalty, they would add yet an additional incentive to speed.

The latter is what organizers in the US do when they have minute for minute penalties. They add an incentive to speed.

You may think the appropriate way to deal with this is to apply more severe penalties for speeding -- I don't necessarily disagree, but I think it is disingenuous of people to suggest that the rules don't influence team/driver/co-driver behavior.

Best,
- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
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Timefactors.com Rally Team
Gingras Rally Sport (SCCA)
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I have the impression that the transit times on LSPR were tight compared to the rallies in Minnesota. While keeping the lines at the control short probably has its advantages, when transiting muddy roads Friday night I felt pressed for time. I would really have liked an extra few minutes for weather, traffic, or other delays.

I would like to see a little more transit time padding just so that there's no temptation to drive at unreasonable speeds on roads shared with spectators and other traffic. But I may be missing some obvious logistic advantage to tight transits.
 

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I would rather attempt to have the temptation to speed reduced than impose draconian penalties for 5MPH above the speed limit.

I see two problems, and both can be at least partially resolved with changes to the rally.

1) Tight transits - If a transit does not give you time to change a wheel (say 4 minutes) and still stay comfortably under the speed limit there is a problem. A number of Pro-Rallies I've taken part in this year have had that problem. You may get to start 3 stages an hour, but any problem causes you to have to speed to make your ATC in time (and I will call anyone who says they never speed when pushed for time on a transit a liar)

2) Service time built into transits ? Last weekend at LSPR there were both ?free service? (no ATC In or Out of service) where service is included in your transit time and Timed service (with an ATC or MTC In and Out). If you have a timed service the temptation to push for another minute or two in service because we can make it up on the transit is gone.

Having the timed service did cause the Lovell at Wild West fiasco (trying to get out of a timed service with no penalties) but real enforcement of speeds (with a radar gun), the knowledge that the book will be thrown at offenders and service areas that are set up with thought (ATC in and out at separate ends of the service area so there is no advantage with position with in the service area as there was at WW).

This is 100% down to the organizers and how they feel their event needs to be timed. I'm not bashing organizers, because as some one will undoubtedly point out I have not been involved in organizing and therefore do not know what I?m talking about. All I know is that there have been transits this year where we would not have had time to change a wheel without taking penalties, and that I have an issue with.

Also for the record I agree with Ben, use the Canadian system, it does have the best parts of the SCCA and FIA systems. But even then transits have to allow for errors and problems and that comes down to the organizers.

Dave Kean
 

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I drove my first rally ever at LSPR (with a first timer codriver, too), and we had no problems with the transit times from stage to stage. We obeyed the speed limits, and we would typically arrive at an ATC with 3-4 minutes to spare. We never had less than 2 minutes to spare when arriving at an ATC.

I am one of those for the 12 seconds penalty for one minute lateness, I do think that it reduces one's tendency to speed, for all the reasons Christian pointed out.
 

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There are five aspects to the Canadian system that help dissuade teams from speeding on transits:

1) No matter how long you take on the stage, you always have at least enough time to drive the transit well below the speed limit and get no penalty. No reason to speed on your way to the next stage or service.

2) Service in is always ATC, so speeding to service in order to get extra service time doesn't work.

3) Service out is always ATC, so if you take extra time in service, you get your road penalty on the way out of service, and still have enough time to drive the transit well below the speed limit.

4) There are time penalties for speeding on transits, and they escalate rapidly with how far over the limit you are.

5) Transit penalties are priced at 10 seconds per minute late and 1 minute per minute early.

Of course it is ultimately the team's responsibility to drive the transits safely and legally, even if that would result in a road penalty, but it is equally important for the rule makers to design a system that doesn't send mixed messages.

A system that tells a team that they'll get one penalty for driving at the speed limit and arriving late, and a different penalty for speeding and arriving on time, but only if they get caught, encourages the team at least to push the boundaries of what is considered legal and safe driving.

No system is perfect - you could still have a flat or other problems during a transit.
 

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When we had to change a flat at Maine (last year), the fact that we knew it was only going to cost us 12sec per minute late meant that we didn't feel a lot of pressure to try and make up the minutes we lost changing the tire. We did the transit at just a little over the speed limit and took a 3 minute late penalty (36 sec). Had we been looking at a minute for minute penalty, we probably would have gone faster since we could probably have got the penalty down to 2 min insead of 3.

Reducing the per-minute penalty does reduce the necessity of driving fast on a transit to make up for a delay.

Of course, making sure that the transits have reasonable time allowances is also necessary. We found that a couple of the transits at LSPR felt a little on the short side (Barraga to Herman II was one of them) but there was nothing unreasonable.

Adrian
 

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keeping time

I'm not a TSD'r but I think there are those who are good at it and want to keep that facet in the sport but with the popularity rising, there are hundreds of spectators clogging the roads and we can't blow by them or they'll see us and speed up too. Having a road full of Imprezas move over to let us go by on the speed limit or below has happened more than once this year and I think the organizers would prefer that to having them race us on the road.
Just a thought to keep in mind when planning transit time.
rz
 

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RE: keeping time

He cheated and got caught.

So he got kicked out of class.

Did you expect a different result?

I like the rules.

Course, I don't get road points!
 

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More than one rally has been won or lost on the twelve second penality gives me a minute dust window. I say minute for minute and the organizers take care to give us a decent amount of time to transit.

Roger
 

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>You think that speeding on transits would be equivalent?

No ,No. But I'm confident you've been around, having seen
you overseas. So you know, as I do, that as the co-driver
you have QUITE a bit of control over the speeding issue.
Correct?
Drivers are hard presesd to know whether or not they are going
to be late. (Unless a major problem has occured!)
How often do you encourage them to "get there on time" ?
Be honest. How do the rules affect you and your teams now?

--> So how can I blame this on the penalty itself? <--

It is my guess that ANY penalty will cause extra speed
and reduction of the penalty may only have a SLIGHT effect.
This is human nature. Competitive mind psychology.

I do not claim SS start timing will make people speed MORE, I base
this upon my own observations of transit timings and cars farther back in the start order. If we need to ask anonymously in a poll to get data for a study, lets do it. The web is perfect for something like this. But just talking to people at events will convince you
they already speed at some US events. (Ojibwe to name one)

IF we (scca) moved to this, I think we'd have more trouble than we do now. Based on the fact that many scca events start with extremely tight transit allowances. Yes I am aware that FIA uses 10sec/Min. I only ask 'what that gains the SCCA in making that or 0.2 an overall series standard?'

Perhaps it will lessen peoples need to speed, perhaps not. You yourself admitted it will affect folks differently and already does.

I do _see_ a need for a standard. If we want to be able to play
with the rest of the world I'd even say we SHOULD move to 10sec/Min.
(or better yet 0.2 or 12sec as we still use 100ths/min here)
But I see it in context of the openendedness of our current
lame penalty system and its unfair enforcement so far.

(sorry bored at work, can't rally lately and love playing Devils'
advocate)

Ed
 

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>More than one rally has been won or lost on the twelve
>second penality gives me a minute dust window. I say minute
>for minute and the organizers take care to give us a decent
>amount of time to transit.

This is a point that hasn't been brought up here yet - you can check in a minute LATE and buy a dust minute with only a 12-second penalty.

Those arguing against draconian penalties for speeding on transits should have to listen to the choruses of outraged citizens and law enforcement folks...after you've all gone home.

BW
 

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Oh, Ed, isn't it sad that it's so hard for reasonable people to disagree about facts. :(

You say, "Moving to SS Start Timing may cause more speeding/problems in the US." I totally agree, and we both agree the fundamental reason is too-short transits. I think we also both agree that simply increasing transit times is the way to solve this.

I think it's clear that moving to SS Start timing with the same transit times as we have now is a recipe for terrible amounts of speeding.

The only place I see we differ is that 10 secs vs. 1 minute penalties will have _some_ effect on speeding. You say, "That's not clear," I say, "At the margin, there will be an effect."

And I think we both agree that 10 seconds should be introduced; for FIA compliance, and (only I think), because of the added incentive to drive sanely on transits.

But, you are absolutely right, that given the current atmospere with respect to rules enforcement in the SCCA, none of these solutions will make much of a difference. The best thing we can hope for is that organizers will pad some additional time in their transits.

Cheers,
- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
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Timefactors.com Rally Team
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>...you
>can check in a minute LATE and buy a dust minute with only a
>12-second penalty.

True, but most of us will expect to lose less than 12 seconds to dust per stage...especially at a rally such as LSPR where dust usually isn't an issue.

>
>Those arguing against draconian penalties for speeding on
>transits should have to listen to the choruses of outraged
>citizens and law enforcement folks...after you've all gone
>home.

By that argument, I would think you would want the 12 second rule. It makes us speed less (at least it does for me). I will take more chances of driving fast to stay on time if it will cost me a minute. I don't know if organizer types who don't rally can put it in perspective. To make up a minute on stage is a FEAT! If it means I can drive 65 instead of 50 to make up that minute on the transit, I will be inclined to speed.

Conversely, if it is only 12 seconds, I won't take the chance of there being an O control on that section. I will slow down. It ain't worth it for 12 seconds. I think you will find this in most teams.

Enforcement is also an issue. You gave me a "talkin' to" at Rim this year for leaving service revving my engine (though not endangering anyone). Why did I do this? It was close and I had to be out of the MTC out on time. Who was I trying to pass? Lauchlin. I made it out on time (barely). He didn't. Apparently you don't have to leave a closed ended service on your minute at Rim as he did not get penalized for it. I was playing by our rules, not theirs.

At LSPR, I landed on the same minute as the two cars in front of me. I entered the control with them. By the time the control worker was done with their cards and we were able to hand him ours, it was the next minute. I was informed that I should have given him the cards anyway and we received a minute of penalty. (Thanks Bruce B. for teaching us the hard way...won't make that mistake again. If you want 3 cards on your lap to get confused, that is what you will get.) Still it was hard to swallow a full minute of road points over such a debacle.

I am not trying to excuse anyone's actions (including my own). I just honestly believe that a 12 second penalty will lead to the race being won or lost on the stages and in service...where it should be.

Lurch
 

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I don't know if organizer types who
>don't rally can put it in perspective. To make up a minute
>on stage is a FEAT! If it means I can drive 65 instead of
>50 to make up that minute on the transit, I will be inclined
>to speed.

OTOH, organizer types who have been TSD rallying for close to 30 years understand it perfectly. And they also understand that speeding to get that elusive "zero" is a way of life...if you can get there on time, you'll do it, no matter how large or small the penalty.

The argument is that a team will say, "We don't have to be there on time, it's only a 12-second penalty." Knowing how hard it can be to make up even 12 seconds on your competition, I don't find this conversation believable.

Even more relaxed transits won't help in all cases...if we give you an extra ten minutes, you'll spend it in service bolting on the last thing that fell off if you have to.

Unfortunately, rally drivers WILL speed on transits, for a variety of reasons, and the only way to stop it is to catch them and slap their wrists firmly. Those of you old enough to remember Sunriser understand what heavy enforcement and draconian penalties can do to reduce transit speeds.

Bruce
 
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