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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
RZ's recent post has me thinking we could start with the obstensibly easier task of creating a Universal Speed Factor Action Group.

Have a working group determine how Speed Factors will be calculated, calculate them, and provide the data universally to all sanctioning bodies.

I envision a neutral website type database where scoring people would be responsible for inputting data in a pre-ordained format.

The DB would do the ranking and math, then spit it back out on request to subscription members and competitors.


I know there are issues with SFs in general, but we continue to use them for various things, so we might as well look at sharing data, then fixing them across the board.

The availability of the data would also streamline some licensing issues for those groups that with graduated licensing requirements.
 

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your other left, you idiot
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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

Not sure this needs to be done.

Top guys in each series are relatively close in speed, so factors should transfer across groups.

When we did Cherokee, NASA accepted and used RA speed factors for those without a NASA factor.

Desert Storm used the higher of your RA or CRS factor.

Of course, Canada uses seed instead of SF, so that is a hurdle for a Canadian with no prior US experience (and a US only competitor in CN).

press on,
 
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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

>
>RZ's recent post has me thinking we could start with the
>obstensibly easier task of creating a Universal Speed Factor
>Action Group.
>
>Have a working group determine how Speed Factors will be
>calculated, calculate them, and provide the data universally
>to all sanctioning bodies.
>
>I envision a neutral website type database where scoring
>people would be responsible for inputting data in a
>pre-ordained format.
>
>The DB would do the ranking and math, then spit it back out on
>request to subscription members and competitors.
>
>
>I know there are issues with SFs in general, but we continue
>to use them for various things, so we might as well look at
>sharing data, then fixing them across the board.

>
>The availability of the data would also streamline some
>licensing issues for those groups that with graduated
>licensing requirements.
>
>

I am not a big fan of speed factors.

As an organizer of a number of events, I know from experience
that we can never determine the start list solely on the basis
of speed factors.

Speed factors are a good tool for the initial ranking only if nothing
else if otherwise known about the relative performance of drivers.

Speed factors were introduced into American rallying by McArthur
who brought them from Australia. The whole of European rallying
has done just fine without speed factors.

I would suggest keeping speed factors only as one of the tools
for ranking frivers and go away from the all encompassing importance
of speed factors.

Statistically, speed factors have any validity only if you have data
from a large number of stages run multiple times by an identical field
of competitors. You rarely have that kind of data but anything less
than that will make the speed factor values less and less valid.
Codifying and publishing the exact methods of calculation and the
assumptions used would alleviate some of the problems mentioned below.

Just imagine a field consisting of 25 competitors with 10 finishers,
all top drivers DNFed on second stage and a relatively slow driver
who wins gets the speed factor of 1.00 for the event and all the
other speed factors are derived from the same data. (This is an
actual case I am referring to.) Oh yes, you can make adjustments.

The next question is the assumptions that go into the speed factor
calculations and will significantly influence the speed factor
values. They include:
1. The minimum number of stages you consider
2. Treatment of outliers (extreme values)
3. Weight assigned to short stages versus long stages
4. Adjustments for changing field and the absence of the fastest
competitor.

Ivan Orisek
 

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www.christianedstrom.com
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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

1. I think this problem would be minimized if speedfactors were determined by the median finisher's time. The problem is, median finishers tend to go to even fewer events than top finishers, so this reduces the data available.

2. Nothing, nothing, can substitute for independent, strong-minded stewards who know the relative speeds of the competitors at a specific event.

- Christian


Bjorn Christian Edstrom
www.christianedstrom.com
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

Ivan's right.
Speed factors would be more accurate if all the top competitors entered the same rallies.
rz
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

I would just as soon not debate why speed factors are messed up or what is wrong with them. I didn't mean to imply that they are perfect by suggesting we share data, and in fact, I tried to make it clear I understand there are significant problems.

If there is no value to sharing data, then we should say that, laugh at the idea, and move on to other things.

If there is value in sharing the data, then all these points become more germane and worth pursuing.


I also saw the idea as an apolitical starting point for working together and homogenization things for the benefit of competitors, but am realising my error in thinking that.
 

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don't cut
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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

The problem isn't obtaining data. Except for some of the smaller club events, all of the major sanctioning bodies use relatively complex computerized scoring systems that can very easily track and isolate driver data. This data can be pulled, analyzed, whatever by anybody using excell. Making it publicly available to anybody and anytime might be a fun novelty for a few, but I'd wager the majority of people don't really care.

There have been some issues with speed factor calculation that could probably be debated. Al Kintigh was working with statistics prof on this, but lately I think he's been bogged down with other RA stuff, and it's sitting. He proposed averaging SF over multiple events, to avoid someone going to "specialist" rallies, like SnoDrift or RIM, and ripping off an atypical SF which they coast on for the rest of the year. He second idea was to base scores off of the median stage time, not the fast time. This would negate the effect of someone like Stig or Diggins coming over and blowing us all away, or having them leave and all of us instantly jump up 5%.

Overall I think SF system has worked well, much better than seeding. It's tough on egos, but it eliminates some of the cronyism that was going on previously. I doesn't do a great job with new drivers, or transfers, but neither did seeding. And remember, according to the rules the stewards still have the power to make running order adjustments as they see fit. Bottome line: if you don't like your SF, drive faster.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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RE: SFAG - Speed Factor Action Group

>Bottome line: if you don't like your SF, drive faster.

Or buy a faster car.


This is an interesting concept from a guy lining up for Rim in a G2 car with a .96!

:p
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Dennis Martin pool

So, we need a pool to pick where Dennis will actually start in the order.

Dennis - you ever run 2 wheel before? I think I am glad that I am not riding with you this time.

>>Bottome line: if you don't like your SF, drive faster.
>
>Or buy a faster car.
>
>
>This is an interesting concept from a guy lining up for Rim in
>a G2 car with a .96!

press on,
 

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don't cut
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RE: Dennis Martin pool

>So, we need a pool to pick where Dennis will actually start
>in the order.
>
>Dennis - you ever run 2 wheel before? I think I am glad that
>I am not riding with you this time.
>
>press on,
>

Doesn't matter Jimmy, I'm gonna win it on the first stage!


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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I am not here anymore
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2,798 Posts
RE: Dennis Martin pool

>Doesn't matter Jimmy, I'm gonna win it on the first stage!

Oh, cool. It sounds like Doug and I will move up at least one spot through attrition :p

alan
 

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RE: Dennis Martin pool

you guys are deluded about SF

that is why, as Ivan has correctly pointed out, SF was originally supposed to be a GUIDE and TOOL to ASSIST experienced stewards, not used as "the start list" - as it is now. The fact is (you probably dont know this) stewards rarely, if ever, are willing to go against it.

the quality of the field matters too

we now have a ridiculous number of people with inflated SFs

all it takes is for one or two of the faster cars to slow down (because they are leading and dont care) or have a small problem (but keep running), or just DNF or DNS, and then bam, everyone else gets a higher SF, which they happen to keep for all eternity.

Then too many people got 2 minute windows, etc. and now apparently no one gets 2 minute windows and 2wd cars start first on ice(snodrift).

Yeah it works great.

"just drive faster or get a faster car" is a joke. Just ask so and so not to show up at a rally and bam you can be SF'd even faster than they were !
 

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don't cut
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RE: Dennis Martin pool

>that is why, as Ivan has correctly pointed out, SF was
>originally supposed to be a GUIDE and TOOL to ASSIST
>experienced stewards, not used as "the start list" - as it is
>now. The fact is (you probably dont know this) stewards
>rarely, if ever, are willing to go against it.

Well, that's the stewards problem, isn't it? Instead chucking the entire system why don't we just ask the stewards to excercise the privilage granted to them in the rule book?


>
>all it takes is for one or two of the faster cars to slow down
>(because they are leading and dont care) or have a small
>problem (but keep running), or just DNF or DNS, and then bam,
>everyone else gets a higher SF, which they happen to keep for
>all eternity.
>

Which is why we should incorporate Al's ideas about median basis and event averaging. This isn't rocket science, or voodoo magic (which seeding was).

Honestly I don't understand certain people's attitudes towards SF. Since the moment SF was introduced I have never once caught a car on stage (nor been caught), whereas before that I was catching two to three cars a rally. I realize that way down the order where there are lots of new drivers there are some issues where low numbers of stage miles has made SF's indeterminate, but quite frankly the same problem existed with seeding as well.

And Pat, you of all people? Had SF been around when you started you would have moved quickly to front where you belonged, and not had to slog through the entire field for years until you reached some magic number of coefficients the proclaimed you "fast". Did you enjoy catching and passing all those cars? Sometimes the good ol days weren't so good.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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RE: Dennis Martin pool

I caught and ate dust way more in the 2004 "SF era" than when we had seeds and I was a seed 1.

What more do you want me to say.
 

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don't cut
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RE: Dennis Martin pool

>I caught and ate dust way more in the 2004 "SF era" than when
>we had seeds and I was a seed 1.
>
>What more do you want me to say.
>

I think we all ate some dust this year. Only one guy gets to be first on the road, and he has to sweep, so life isn't always good up there either. I didn't realize you were consistantly putting 2 minutes on the guys ahead of you on all those five and ten mile stages. It must have been very frustrating.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845

Ps. My apologies Matt for helping turn this into another "merits of SF" debate. Feel free to smack me at the next event.
 

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RE: Dennis Martin pool

yeah ok I'm just making it up... SF rules and everyone who has their inflated factor can feel great about it, I'm making up all the catching cars stories... for what and why ? I wonder how many seed 0s there are out there, if that matters anymore. I can assure you I would NOT catch the late mr. Lovell, Higgins, Seamus, Frank Sprongl, Paul C etc. if their cars are ok (all seed 0 guys).

there were cars caught with "high SF" with one and two minute windows several times last year. caught and unable to pass or else caught. and it never happened really to me running open class in 2001. were you there (at the rallies I was at) ?

what possible motivation do I have, knowing that I am already at the high end of SF, to "exaggerate" another point to the issue which everyone who has "come of age" with SF seems to ignore, that if you have a crappy field or one or two cars going quick, that everyone's SF gets PERMANENTLY inflated (mine included).

regardless of SF or seed you still eat dust, thats not the point. The point is, you guys go on and on about praising SF versus seeds. I along with many grew up and SUFFERED through seeds, it didn't kill us. But the SF and start order is probably the most frustrating thing for me at the US events. So fustrating that at one rally last year I was an inch away from quitting altogether. I dont think people understand that. maybe some of you think thats good. knowing some of you, now that you know this, you will push for it even harder.

the whole point is, if you want a universal 'start ordering assistant' (which is what it should be, not 'determination system'), then standardizing on the fact that it should be used as a tool, as opposed to a 'list' would be the first step (and teach your stewards accordingly). you have other things to worry about first though. having been cross border and done enough years in 'one country and not the other' your seed/SF gets totally messed up. it not the most important thing though.
 

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RE: Dennis Martin pool

I thought speed factors where OK 2 years ago but now I see a lot of people who have not done events or at least the right events with slow factors relitive to the people who did a lot of events last year.

I think it worked better when Lovell, Higgins etc put in consitent times at the front so the ranking had more meening. I hope Ben has a chance to look at the factors in OR and move a few people around.

At the end of the day SF's are good referance but the peopel still need to rationalize them a little.

DKB
 

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RE: Dennis Martin pool

>I hope Ben has a chance to look at the factors in OR and move
>a few people around.

For better or worse, I won't be involved with that. It will be the event stewards who review the start order.

Ben
 

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don't cut
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RE: Dennis Martin pool

>regardless of SF or seed you still eat dust, thats not the
>point. The point is, you guys go on and on about praising SF
>versus seeds. I along with many grew up and SUFFERED through
>seeds, it didn't kill us.

Dude, you sound like my Dad! "When I was young, I had to put up with XXX, so now you do to. It's good for ya, builds character, blah....blah...." Seriously Pat, in your own words you "SUFFERED through seeds". Can't we try and come up with a better system that might alleviate some of those problems for the next generation. If it isn't SF, fine, but it sure as heck isn't seeds (at least how it was being done). For the record, I grew up and suffered through seeds as well.

>the whole point is, if you want a universal 'start ordering
>assistant' (which is what it should be, not 'determination
>system'), then standardizing on the fact that it should be
>used as a tool, as opposed to a 'list' would be the first step
>(and teach your stewards accordingly).

I agree there. In fact, that's what I thought it was. If it isn't, it should be, and I'll back you up if wanna go to RA.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 
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