Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For starters, I think any Rally vehicle can be "too fast" when something goes wrong on a road that is too fast. My old Rallytruck was probably the slowest thing ever to enter a rally (160 crank HP when GM built it, 200,000+ miles, 4000+ lbs.), and even that turd was doing 93 MPH while testing my ball joints on the busted up tarmac mining roads with big posts whizzing past the doors at 100AW . Thus it seems to me that increasing training and lowering the HP of the top cars, as discussed in other threads, may help reduce serious accidents, but unless we address the speed of the roads, we will continue to have a bad crash occasionally.

Here's the new idea for a compromise:
We decide on a maiximum acceptable length of straight stage road (one that sounds good to the insurance company also). We detect it by measuring the distance separating each turn in the rally. I hope This could be done objectively with the Jemba system, but we could also do it objectively with just eyeballs. Any stage found in violation is divided into two (or more) stages with a finish before each straight, a transit thru the straight, then the start a the "new" stage after the straight.

Granted this would shorten some stages, and I realize this is not ideal, but I'd rather see something like this done than deal with ultra high entry fees, elimination of the fastest classes, or eventual extinction of the sport in the US.

Thoughts?

Jim Cox
#558
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,738 Posts
RE: Objective method to determine and fix "too fast"

Jim, I think this was discussed on a different thread. One of my comments was to do as you suggest.


Can't see me in your mirrors?
I must be in front of you!
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
>Here's the new idea for a compromise:
>We decide on a maiximum acceptable length of straight stage
>road (one that sounds good to the insurance company also).
>We detect it by measuring the distance separating each turn
>in the rally. I hope This could be done objectively with
>the Jemba system, but we could also do it objectively with
>just eyeballs. Any stage found in violation is divided into
>two (or more) stages with a finish before each straight, a
>transit thru the straight, then the start a the "new" stage
>after the straight.
>
>Thoughts?
>
>Jim Cox
>#558

One word: Workers. As in we don't have enough to man the extra controls.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>
>>Here's the new idea for a compromise:
>>We decide on a maiximum acceptable length of straight stage
>>road (one that sounds good to the insurance company also).
>>We detect it by measuring the distance separating each turn
>>in the rally. I hope This could be done objectively with
>>the Jemba system, but we could also do it objectively with
>>just eyeballs. Any stage found in violation is divided into
>>two (or more) stages with a finish before each straight, a
>>transit thru the straight, then the start a the "new" stage
>>after the straight.
>>
>>Thoughts?

>
>One word: Workers. As in we don't have enough to man the
>extra controls.

It might be easier to use chicanes, since a chicane only takes one worker (to assess penalties/re-set the chicane).

Adrian
 

·
Left seat and not British!
Joined
·
785 Posts
Uh-oh....Dennis is thinking like an organizer now....he might actually be hearing what I say from time to time! A portense of things to come!

But he's dead on....the fact that a 1/2 mile straightaway hooks together two great 5 mile stages is just too tempting to not make it one stage. Tha manpower issues double to break up that road....you now need an entire ATC, FTC, First Reponder, Sweep (well maybe not), etc. If forced, the more likely scenario is to only use half of the available stage road. And these are talented people you need...not college kids marshaling (well now THAT's a whole 'nuther discussion!)

Let's think resources here:

Money - usually limited
Volunteers (capable) - always limited
Roads - depends on where you are....but usually not terribly limited.

So paying attention to our resource "budgeting", I think we end up building our courses around volunteer availability....or cheating on an occasional straightaway. At 100AW we set fairly rigid limit of .35 miles, BTW....over that we split it. There is at least one occasion where that got stretched to about .55 mile because we simply could not man another set of ATC's and FTC's and we would lose 7 or 9 miles of stage.

While Contestants have been asking organizers to "think from their point of view" for years, contestants need to see the challengs through the organizers glasses, too.

How about making it a requirement that in order to maintain a level of license, the licens holder must avail himself to a committee and learn a little about the "inside" of this game?


Kim DeMotte
Official Old Fart, etc.
 

·
Left seat and not British!
Joined
·
785 Posts
Oh, yeah...chicanes. We keep trying, but no one seems to have much respect for them.....how about using your car, Adrian? Any body else want to volunteer there's for the other pylon? We've truied hay bales (punted by the fourth or fifth car)...sawed off telephone poles (somehow adjusted location by the first couple of cars)....not sure what's for this year....stay tuned!

Kim DeMotte
Official Old Fart, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
The first step - as with any reform project - is to admit we have a problem. As long as organizers AND competitors agree that long periods of top-gear redline AIN'T RALLY, we can come up with compromises to fix what appears broke...and typically it's an occasional stage, not a whole rally.

I think there's a lot to be said for the stage average speed approach that's used in much of the world and USED TO be in the SCCA rulebook.
Any car that exceeds some predetermined average speed gets scored at that average speed for the stage AND if some percentage of the field beats the average, the stage can't be run in the future unless changes are made. The devil, of course, is in the details.

Bruce
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
>Oh, yeah...chicanes. We keep trying, but no one seems to
>have much respect for them.....how about using your car,
>Adrian? Any body else want to volunteer there's for the
>other pylon? We've truied hay bales (punted by the fourth
>or fifth car)...sawed off telephone poles (somehow adjusted
>location by the first couple of cars)....not sure what's for
>this year....stay tuned!
>
>Kim DeMotte
>Official Old Fart, etc.
At Camp Maxey we are going to use the dead Bradley fighting vehicles that are normally used for grenade practice. We just tow them into location and let them sit. We don't even have to clean the rally car paint off of them when they are returned to their normal duty. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
I've always thought that the big round 1000# bales (or whatever they weigh) that form the chicanes at Sno*Drift were very useful. They were still in place by the time I got to them and hitting them WILL cause damage. They are big enough that you can't see the road beyond them. Very intimidating and they were placed such that they DID slow the cars down...at least they slowed me down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Like Kim said....... Exactly....

I am not sure we need another level of data tracking, to make sure competitors complete their required "work day", but since I started playing on both sides of the fence, I do look at all issues and proposals for impact on competitor and organizer. And there are some things that make you say "Huh?????, Hmmmmmm, Ohhhhhhh".

Bill Westrick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Is it a straight-away or a series of linked 5s & 6es that is more dangerous?


Although there are several very good examples of offs after a log straight-away (STPR had a gottcha where the treeline went straight but the road left -- watched Moody roll his 323 and continue, Tad Ohtake, stuffed it two football fields off into a small stream...)

I think COG just last year had a significantly tighter turn after a very fast section that got the front runners even with notes.

Although I see no benefit to long straights as a part of rally, I am not sure that they cannot be delt with through chicanes -- I have wanted to use highway water barrels...

Basic road character is more of a concern to me, STPR has always been fast, Maine forest has become very fast, LSPR has the potential to be exceedingly fast but conditions vary enough to slow it down. Sno*Drift on studs or in the dry would probably be faster than all of them (lucky we have ice).

Yes its very tough to secure roads or add new roads in the same area, but at some point(that point has past) we have to swallow hard and agree the combination of our roads and our cars are too fast. We need to work from both ends, slow the cars down and find slower roads. The cars will continue to get faster and faster, the road character will not change. Although we can continually slow the cars down, we need to ensure the race platform -- the roads are also correct for the sport.

We currently have several events that are too fast. Pat R has proven some of the roads to be too fast for a comparitively "slow" car.

This is a very difficult challenge for an established event like STPR, but yet is a necessity. We don't have options and there are solutions, though they may be costly and time consuming we no longer have a choice. Slowing the roads down has to be part of the mandate of our sport.

I guess we could all move to Europe were there is seemeing excess of slow roads.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
>I think there's a lot to be said for the stage average speed
>approach that's used in much of the world and USED TO be in
>the SCCA rulebook.
>
>Bruce

I am glad that somebody else actually remembered this point. I have been looking high and low for my old rule books. There used to be a maximum average speed for a stage. I believe it was 70mph. Bruce, does that sound about right?

Bill Westrick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
Ya'll crack me up.

Years ago I mentioned the word "chicane" and people jumped all over me like white on rice. Now, 5 deaths later, people are talking about giant balls of hay that would sink a ship.

Gather close and listen up.....

1. Find out EXACTLY what is pissing off the insurance companies (and make that information available to everyone).

2. Find out EXACTLY what the insurance companies DO NOT care about (and make that information available).

3. Figure out some mechanism by which if a driver crashes his car X number of times per X number of events he is seeded farther back, or has to take a hiatus, or is banned. If he is seeded farther back he IS NOT allowed to pass anything other than a stuck stopped car (i.e. broken down etc). Do this regarless of his seeding (FIA - 8)

4. Show everyone the crash scene photos. Especially show it to the testosterone driven young bucks who think it can't happen to them or their co-drivers. If they can't quite handle the blood and guts (they don't belong in the sport IMHO) but, then AT LEAST show them the photos of the smashed cars with their fancy FIA cages that everyone seems to think will save their asses no matter what they do.

5. No one can legislate or dictate common sense, but you have to try to educate and hope they absorb the FACT that rally (while being a fun sport) is an ***extremely dangerous*** sport compared to racing on a closed course with corner workers, guard rails, etc. There are lots of trees, rocks, drop-offs, deep water, on-coming civilian traffic, etc that can kill you.

Jens Larsen
Flying Kiwi Racing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Well Jens motorcycle road racing at Willow Springs suffered this same insurance dilema and they solved it as you suggest. The repeated crashers would be sent home. In fact if you ran it of course one to many times even if you kept it upright you would be persona non grata. This was at the club level of course. A funny thing happened , the 95% never missed the other 5% and entry fees stayed low.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
For a chicane use 4 of the big round hay bales--preferably older ones that are rain-soaked and aren't wrapped in plastic. They are heavier and ususally cheaper. Moisture can increase the weight from about 1200 pounds to over 1500. Try moving that with your SubEvo.


Uh, Kim. ...remember Karkaghne Drive? ...somebody needed their butt kicked up between their shoulders for that one.

Yes, I'm willing to do more than just complain...I'm only two and a half hours away from you. (I can't believe I just said that...)


Gravelgeezer
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>Oh, yeah...chicanes. We keep trying, but no one seems to
>have much respect for them.....how about using your car,
>Adrian? Any body else want to volunteer there's for the
>other pylon? We've truied hay bales (punted by the fourth
>or fifth car)...sawed off telephone poles (somehow adjusted
>location by the first couple of cars)....not sure what's for
>this year....stay tuned!

Kim;

I've run numerous events with chicanes. Usually they were 3-4 lines of cones (say a dozen cones total) with a marshal. The marshal was there to set the cones back up and to assess the 15 sec per cone penalty.

People very quickly come to respect the chicanes, since you can't blow one without accumulating at least a minute in (unprotestable) penalties (and it probably only costs 15-20 sec max to negotiate them). As long as you can afford one marshal at the chicane there is no need to make them dangerous (yes, anything that can do damage to the car is dangerous).

BTW. I posted the CARS maximum stage speed rules somewhere too.

Adrian
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
Jens, you mean something like this?
[http://www.jvab.f4.ca/fuckedfocus.jpg]


Problem is racers and rallyists are all optimists 9or they would never build cars and enter events) so they rationalise
"Ain't gonna happen to me, it'll be that OTHER hoser...."


John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,812 Posts
>
>Jens, you mean something like this?

No. Neither graphic enough nor close enough.

>Problem is racers and rallyists are all optimists 9or they
>would never build cars and enter events) so they rationalise
>"Ain't gonna happen to me, it'll be that OTHER hoser...."

True, but...

When people aren't taught of the serious dangers, they are even more likely to take the "It won't happen to me" attitude.

One personal example:
At a rally I was in there was a very deep pond near the end of a straight. People were told there was going to be a diver on scene with extra air tanks. I took the ##### approach. I braked VERY early, and motored around the pond at less than 1/2 the speed I could have gone around it. I wasn't about to risk having a tie rod break (so I couldn't turn), or have brake failure, or anything else. I chose the wuss approach that cost me LOTS of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
>I am glad that somebody else actually remembered this point.
> I have been looking high and low for my old rule books.
>There used to be a maximum average speed for a stage. I
>believe it was 70mph. Bruce, does that sound about right?

Yes, I believe 70 mph is correct. For anyone who has a collection of old rulebooks, it was last seen in perhaps the 1990-91 timeframe...before Mr. Buffum became the Series Chief Steward.

That is not to say 70 mph is the number we should use...something else might be appropriate.

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Average speed just don't cover it IMO. Take a 16mile stage that's half supersonic and half cowtrail. How is that safe?

It has to be based on length of straights/6s with road width and condition factored in somehow. (Some long straights are slow due to the fact that you're on a rough 2-track, while some roads with 6s are 70ft. wide highways (ie Delaware...we're running it thrice next week.)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top