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your other left, you idiot
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Discussion Starter #1
My soapbox.

If you have been to any National event this year, you have seen Doug Robinson and crew checking for class legality at tech AND in impound after the event. These are NOT protests. These are to ensure that our cars are running under the rules that we are supposed to. I applaud Doug for doing this. It had been lacking in prior years. Under at least one ancient regime, we were teched even more often. When Buffum was steward, and Guy Light and Tim O'Neil were running Production, there was one event where we were weighed (the car that is) 3 times, even once on a transit.

When Doug finds your car illegal at Tech, he gives you 3 choices: run Open, change the part, or run the way you are and take your chances.

No one protested either of the GN cars this weekend. Yes, it escalated later, but that is to ensure that we are reading and using all the correct rules.

An entirely different kettle of (rotten?) fish is whether the penalty fits the crime (but that should be another thread).

So, should we tech for class legality (as opposed to safety) more, less, or the same as what we are? Most racing series do this.

Thoughts?

press on,

edited because this wouldn't take my quotation marks
 

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1) yes there should be more inspection (pre, during and post event)
2) the rules are meant to be interpreted, and should be interpreted, by the SCCA and it should take ownership of that and not defer to random parties all of which (aside from the FIA technical delegate himself) are doing just that
3) like in most countries, the stewards should summon the team if there are any issues, and determine what (if any) action should be taken if the people conducting the investigation suspect something may be amiss. For example, writing things in the logbook for next event, all the way to exclusion and race bans.

but all that being said, there is nothing wrong with Doug doing what he is doing. The problem is that for some reason, there seems to be some lack of stewardship, kind of like how the speedfactors are blindly applied with no 'reseed based on reality' like a it can be (based on the rules), but isn't. The issue that we have is a LEGITIMATE discussion point. If there are issues, they should be sanely discussed and remedied and not escalated to the point where people have to burn other people just to save face.
 

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SURF!!! I'll cover you myself!
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>2) the rules are meant to be interpreted, and should be
>interpreted, by the SCCA and it should take ownership of
>that and not defer to random parties all of which (aside
>from the FIA technical delegate himself) are doing just that

First step right here. Been in need since SnoDrift BS.

________________________________________________


So, the offending cars were teched before the rally, the teams were made aware of suspected illegal parts/prep, choose to run anyway, and then were penalized?

Peter
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Discussion Starter #4
The 3 PGT cars did fall under this.

The GN was strictly afterward.

>So, the offending cars were teched before the rally, the
>teams were made aware of suspected illegal parts/prep,
>choose to run anyway, and then were penalized?

press on,
 

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Regarding the rules and interpretation: this is a part of the problem. The rules as they are written are open to interpretation. They shouldn't be. The PRB needs to write a rule book that has no room for personal interpretation by the reader; say what you mean and mean what you say!

I thought that the tech inspectors this year were supposed to be checking for class legality... that was something that had been discussed, I thought, by the powers that be and implemented; the only tech inspector I've seen do this was John Elkin, and he was a competitor at the time! :)

Hey, here's a brilliant thought: the SCCA has made the offer to scrutineers to become SFI certified; there's only one tech inspector on the West coast that I know of who has taken the test and is SFI certified. Why not have all tech inspectors take this test? It would mean more consistency in tech inspection, right now there seems to be no method to the madness. Every tech inspector does it different, although the basics remain sort of the same.

We were teched hard at Wild West than we were at Cog. Cog was a ProRally, WW was an SCCA ClubRally (and international event, but I wanted to compare apples to apples). And I got teched harder than WW at Reno, which was a strictly Club-level only event.

KT
 

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I am not here anymore
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2,798 Posts
>I thought that the tech inspectors this year were supposed
>to be checking for class legality...

That's not in the rulebook.

Scrutineering is described in Article 6. I see nothing in Article 6 that says to check for class compliance.

Are the scrutineers being directed to check for class compliance by the SOM, by directive from Doug, by directive by someone local or just doing it on their own initiative?

Personally, I think there is less and less room for interpretation in the rules. However, that doesn't stop some folks from completely ignoring the rules and doing what they want.

alan
 

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Alan knows more about what's in the rule book than most people... so I'm going to trust him on this one.

:) I think I recall it being discussed ad nauseum, but I guess that's as far as it went.

And I agree that the rule book is less open to interpretation currently than it has been. Which is great. :)

I like the way CRS does it with their Stock and P-Stock classes: everyone in those classes gets together and descends en masse on each car and everyone gets to see what everyone else is running. Miss the meeting, get moved to Open or Group 2/5 or whatever. Seems reasonable.
 

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I am not here anymore
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>Alan knows more about what's in the rule book than most
>people... so I'm going to trust him on this one.

Yeah, but I look at so many rulebooks (SCCA, CARS, FIA) from so many years that I sometimes lose track of what is in what rulebook.

>:) I think I recall it being discussed ad nauseum, but I
>guess that's as far as it went.

Yeah, but as you observed, some scrutineers are doing it anyway. As I asked previously, I wonder why they do it.

I recall Doug checking for aftermarket boost controllers in PGT cars at Sno*Drift 2003, even though most of the competitors took the "boost is unrestricted" clause to mean that one could install a boost controller.

For the record, I think class rules should be policed by the competitors in that class. But I don't make the rules; I just fix their spelling errors.

>And I agree that the rule book is less open to
>interpretation currently than it has been. Which is great.
>:)

But not through anything that I have done. Maybe some of the things that I have pointed out will be made unambiguous in the 2005 book.

>I like the way CRS does it with their Stock and P-Stock
>classes: everyone in those classes gets together and
>descends en masse on each car and everyone gets to see what
>everyone else is running. Miss the meeting, get moved to
>Open or Group 2/5 or whatever. Seems reasonable.

Until the field gets too big. Otherwise, sounds good to me.

alan
 

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Big Jump 800
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Here's an even better idea; adopt the FIA rules!

If people would actually take the time to read the FIA's stuff they would find that it is clearer, better, and not REALLY that much different.

Of course, here in America, where innovation is the source of all the wealth of capitalism, we couldn't possible adopt someone else's rules especially something FRENCH!

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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Big Jump 800
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716 Posts
Alan has hit the key point... ignoring the rules, or worse yet, making them up on the fly, is a big problem.

The PRB can write a rule book, but it comes down to field operations and organizers interpreting things as they see fit.

The reality is that the PRB has little real power and almost no control over Performance Rally.

I think it sucks to have another appeal and it really sucks to screw with Pat and the season points and all that.

But I also want it clear how our techs interpret Group N rules... and if the purpose of Ralph's appeal is to add clarity to that question, then I support Ralph's action. We can't have wink-wink nudge-nudge Group N. We need clear interpretation of the Group N rules... these are clearer than any of the SCCA rally class rules, so interpretation should be straightforward to someone well versed in the Group N rules.

Let's settle this appeal and move on!... and if we followed FIA rules, this would be settled at the Parc Ferme at the end of the event.

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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What adopt a clearer, more concise, comprehensive and tested rule book? Shirley you jest?

Group N is relatively straightforward, in combination the articles and homologation papers don't leave room for interpretations if you take the time to comprehend it. Yes there is a lot of paperwork, but covers everything.

I'm a fan of FIA rules for both car classes and to run events too. They are comprehensive, make sense and will stop 95% of the current appeals we have flying around before they start.

I'm not saying make FIA classes mandatory (but promoting N3 and aligning P and PGT with N makes a whole load of sense to me) but we should be using the best and most through rule book around.

Ducking and covering...

Dave
 

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>I thought that the tech inspectors this year were supposed
>to be checking for class legality... that was something that
>had been discussed, I thought, by the powers that be and
>implemented; the only tech inspector I've seen do this was
>John Elkin, and he was a competitor at the time! :)
>

Checking each car for class rule violations would require several times the amount of time allocated for tech, and this would require either a LOT more qualified tech/scrutineers or another day at most events. If I were charged with ensuring cars met class rules prior to an event I would impound all cars after completing tech. I doubt many competitors would appreciate either of these.

The scrutineers list of what is required of them is published in the performance rally rules. It is predominantly safety related today with a few other checks slathered on - like sound checks. We will also check for some compliance with the rules based on recent event experience. For instance a t MFR we wanted to see each P and PGT entrants factory manual. That was because at STPR a protest was made very difficult for the chief scrutineer to validate or reject because the protested car didnt have a factory manual available. The scrutineer didnt want to deal with that nonsense again. When Doug shows up he usually does one specific rule related check, but the local chief scrutineer is still in charge of passing or failing vehicles (for safety and related issues).

>Hey, here's a brilliant thought: the SCCA has made the offer
>to scrutineers to become SFI certified; there's only one
>tech inspector on the West coast that I know of who has
>taken the test and is SFI certified. Why not have all tech
>inspectors take this test? It would mean more consistency
>in tech inspection, right now there seems to be no method to
>the madness. Every tech inspector does it different,
>although the basics remain sort of the same.

I am not familiar with the details of the certification you refer to but assume it is primarily knowledge of SFI standards. While that may be useful, only about 20% of those standards apply to performance rally and those are only part of the standards that can apply. Dont forget competitors can opt for FIA certs instead of SFI on most safety items, and helmets can come under Snell, SFI or British Standards.

Personally, I would vote to keep the system as it is today. If scrutineers are in error, they should be called to task, otherwise I believe some randomness in level of safety checks helps eventually cover all the bases without consuming a huge amounts of competitor or worker time. It probably also helps keep competitors paying attention to safety and compliance with rules.
 

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>I recall Doug checking for aftermarket boost controllers in
>PGT cars at Sno*Drift 2003, even though most of the
>competitors took the "boost is unrestricted" clause to mean
>that one could install a boost controller.

Not to jump in the middle of this conversation, but.... HUH??????

seriously, does not "boost is unrestricted" mean that you can do whatever you want? I don't mean to start a flame war, but I can think of a couple of cars off the top of my head that are/were PGT and had have/had boost controllers.

The 2004 SCCA rulebook, production category states "the boost is unrestricted on turbocharged or supercharged vehicles, and a manual boost controller and its associated hardware is authorized". Did something change that I don't know about?

______________________

Mike Moyer
Eclipse GSX #302 (being rebuilt)
CRS GT
SCCA PGT
______________________
 

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If I were
>charged with ensuring cars met class rules prior to an event
>I would impound all cars after completing tech. I doubt many
>competitors would appreciate either of these.
>
That's apparently what our friends in the north do. At least that's what happened at Baie. No problem if you know it ahead of time and get used to it. It's the way it should be IMHO.

BTW, my opinion is that the group N (or any) rules should be enforced. But I think the penalities should fit the infraction and not necessairly be as severe as exclusion. With the notation in the log book to see that it's corrected by the next event.
 

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Kristen,

I took and passed the SFI test. It has nothing to do with tech for class rules. It only tests for being familiar with the safety portions of the SCCA Perf Rally rules. It has nothing to do with generating any consistent tech procedures or viewpoints. It has nothing to so with consistent interpretations of problems found on cars. Hate to burst your bubble!

As for checking for class compliance at tech, with the current staffing it will be hit-or-miss at best. A thorough, quality inspection for just safety items takes about 10 minutes with 2 knowledgable people working fast. Adding class compliance onto this will add lots more time. If you really think about the tasks at tech, checking for safety HAS to be the firt item of order; class compliance has to be secondary. The concern over safety for any conscientious techie is real, and can cause some real stress as one deals with some of the occasional safety problems that show up.

DO you want to open the possibility of accidents and lawsuits and trials by shifting tech time from safety to class compliance? And if a case came up where a techie was held responsible in court for an injury or death, you could kiss all the techies in this sport goodbye. I often think about the legal risk I am exposing myself to in tech, and really don't need to have my fellow competitors telling me that I should take the safety aspects less seriously and spend more time on class compliance.

Until we have paid pro's at tech, it's gonna be pretty much as it is. I believe that Doug's position was created to help the class compliance issue, as we were supposed to be moving to a more pro sport. (Ha!) Compliance is going to have to be primarily competitor enforced, until more money is available. Scales, tools, inpsection lights, rules training courses, etc., will have to be avialable and paid for.


Regards,
Mark B.
 

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don't cut
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I don't see any way that volunteer tech inspectors will be able to adequately check for production class compliance. The inspectors would need to be experts on every part of every car ever made. This just isn't reasonable. For example: they would need to be familiar with every Subie or Mistu GrN VO for 7 or 8 model years. Or they would need to know the proper rotor diameter for a 96 Neon. Now one could argue that this information is to be supplied by the competitor, but it is still up to the inspector to verify the info and check for compliance. Ever count the number of parts on your car? Can't check them all. Plus, it now shifts liability for class compliance over to the inspector. "So and So won, but the bastard was cheating and Blind Bart the inspector didn't catch him." If I was a scrutineer, there is now way I'd sign up for that. The best way I see is to impound the cars at some point before and immediately after the rally and have the teams themselves (under inspector supervision) check each other's cars. If a dispute arises, the inspector can be brought in to mediate/rule.

On the flip side, the inspectors COULD very easily check for open class compliance. Got restricter, cat, and four wheels? Yup, good to go. G2, got 2wd and a 2.0l motor? Good to go. And group 5 is the easiest yet. Do a burnout. How many wheels spun? Two, good to go.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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>And group 5 is the easiest yet. Do a burnout.
>How many wheels spun? Two, good to go.
>
>Dennis Martin

The G5 Talon I drove at Cog would fail this test since it had an open diff! I could only light up one side with that thing, but it would melt a tire in a BIG hurry ...

;-)

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Thnaks, Dennis. You have done a good job of stating the reality of where we are now. With volunteers, and limited tech time, compliance checking is not reasonable. I would like to be all things to all people and make everybody happy by adding class compliance checks, but it's not realistic, IMHO.

Regards,
Mark B.
 
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