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On the topic of tech inspection:

- Why is a car completely gone through at EVERY rally?

Every rally I have my cage, seat mountings, fire extinguisher date's, etc. checked?

If NOTHING was written in the logbook from the previous event, why is everything checked at every event?

Just a question.

Road racers that I know get an annual tech at the beginning of the year and throughout the year they only take there logbook to registration. Unless SOMETHING is written in the logbook like "contact", out of date this or that, or fix this, the car isn't checked.

This would require the logbooks to be used correctly in my opinion.

I've thrown away one car after the crash and had some heavy impacts and NEVER had anything written in my logbook at an SCCA event....EVER.

After putting my car into a swamp in Canada, they wrote a detailed description of the damage in the book. In Canada you have to fill out your Event Comments form before you get your logbook back (they take them at registration).

Brian
 

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I like this idea.

Why not just tech the 3 top cars in every class at the finish or just likely top cars and a few random cars. This is what we do in sailing. Instant DSQ if you did not have your lifejackets, LifeRafts, Man Overboard Lights etc.

It is the teams responsibility to meet the rules, from a liability standpoint I am not sure SCCA should OK someones balljoints at the start of an event, they are ineffect endorsing the car.

Derek
 

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I've often wondered this myself. Possible reasons:

1) If you crash your race car, everyone sees it, and knows to annotate the log book. Not always so in rally.

2) A rally car is never "finished". It is seldom the same 2 events in a row. This has certainly been true of all "my" cars.

3) Parts wear out. There is no place for bad ball joints or broken welds on a stage.

3) Tech would still have to check restrictors, etc.

4) Some tech inspectors are very protective of their little "empires".

I believe some form of tech is necessary at every event. It shouldn't be necessary to "reissue" the log book each time.
 

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Loose nut behind the wheel
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>4) Some tech inspectors are very protective of their little
>"empires".

Unfortunately, while this is true only occasionally, it is true and quite annoying when it happens. I know at one event in particular, I leave something that is easy to fix but a bit of a challenge to see for the inspectors to "find" so they can feel they have done their job. Without that, they have been known to keep looking until the "find" something that they felt didn't meet the "intent" of the rule. I will say that this event was MUCH better the last time we ran it.

Mark Utecht
 

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>Why not just tech the 3 top cars in every class at the
>finish or just likely top cars and a few random cars. This
>is what we do in sailing. Instant DSQ if you did not have
>your lifejackets, LifeRafts, Man Overboard Lights etc.

I may have a somewhat limited viewpoint from the passenger seat ....
But, it seems quite obvious to me that "this ain't sailing" ...

Meaning that ALL rally cars can have components which wear out or are
damaged at EVERY event (often without the driver knowing it ! ).

In my first rally car, WE checked or replaced all the major "wear"
components after EVERY event. I know that you can not count on
every competitor to do this. If you hang out at tech a bit, you
will definately see that some people DO show up with trashed ball
joints, broken seat mounts, shorting starter cables, leaking fuel
tanks, no lifejackets or liferafts .... and on, and on, and on ...

"Full" tech is a NECESSITY at every event... 'nuff said

;-)
 

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In the Northwest I have observed that:

Local cars get a thorough Annual Inspection. Then an abbreviated safety inspection at each event (lights, horn, belts, helmets, etc.). Wheel bearings are part of the safety check. However, Scrutineers can and will check and comment on anything they notice and deem important.

Unfamiliar cars will get looked at in greater detail. Owners of newly built or reshelled cars are asked to find a Scrutineer and get an Annual before showing up at tech, just to save time at the event.

I'm not a Scrutineer so feel free correct anything I've not properly described.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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Just to give you Guys the UK perspective on it.
At every event the cars get scrutineared by a competent inspecter (Well allegedly competent) all that is checked is the safety gear, fire extinguisher pull cords, cut off switch, structure of the car roll cage etc, relevant log books with details of roll cage details and cars details and crews helmets and suits.
The car gets a log book at the begining of its life, issued by the govening body after a more thorough inspection.
Things like suspension components are not checked as they expect the crews to look after there cars!
Higher up the ladder though in the BRC all the above is done and more besides such as turbo inspecting that sort of thing. All to comply with FIA type regs. ;)
 

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I like the idea of parallel processing whenever possible, and it sounds like this is a step in the right direction.

It's great if the crew can be getting the car through tech while we're getting through registration and I'm getting my route book and stage notes so I can start reviewing the book and highlighting the cautions.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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Perhaps its a slightly different topic...but I do find it interesting that our "Log books" are nothing of the sort. I keep a seperate "log book" for my car that inspectors never see. It includes results, damage, repair, setups, changes since last race/test/practice, seat of the pants impressions of car handling/issues at events, part numbers for regularly replaced items, change charts for suspension valving/spring rates, etc. I can't keep track of when to replace what without it.

Our log books with pages of "OK" are not the intended use of the institution...in my opinion. Not that your settings and adjustments should necessarily be listed, but certainly your damages and repairs.
 

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Joe,

In the Northwest the whole TECH process goes very quickly. Complaints are almost non-existant. The process seems very good to me. No surprises.

(See other my other comments below.)

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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Yup...

That's how it's done in the Northwest.

The process is efficient enough that "Tech" is usually the first social event of the Rally. There's always plenty of time.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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>I may have a somewhat limited viewpoint from the passenger
>seat ....
>But, it seems quite obvious to me that "this ain't sailing"
>...

True the loads are a lot lower on my rally car than on the sail boats I race. For example the typical cage is desinged for no more than 10g's in a 3000Lbs car that is 24,000 LBS of load. We run 67,000 LBS of compression on the mast, 28,000 LBS on the main sheet and so on.


>Meaning that ALL rally cars can have components which wear
>out or are
>damaged at EVERY event (often without the driver knowing it)

Again, Saltwater is one of the most corosive enviroments around. Tire falling off vs 2000lbs 100 foot mast falling down on your head; both bad. These are besides the point, the point is why can these things not be teams responsibilities with the SCCA having the right to inspect at any time and issue a DSQ?
 

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>Sounds like a #4 to me.

Spotless cars make it past #4 much quicker than dirty cars. If you didn't have time to clean the car, you didn't have time to check it over for safety issues...

The amount of time spent in tech is usually in direct proportion to the amount of dirt found under the hood.
 

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with those kinds of loads you must be talking about a 70+ft boat. i am sure that your boat manager is checking everything before each race. owners seem to get really upset when someone gets killed from a turning block or rig lets go.

i have had the misfortune of crewing on a boat that dropped it's rig. fortunaly no one was hurt but the indicator (rusting at the base of the shrouds) would have been easily idetified by a qualified inspector.

in inshore racing help is at most 20 min away and sailors are dependent on that if something breaks.

there is not a single ocean or costal race that does not have a full inspection before and usually after the race. just like in rallying the crew is trying to win the rules keep them safe. in both cases pushing the rules is the norm and with this attitude spot checks are not sufficent.



-naim
 

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>>Sounds like a #4 to me.
>
>Spotless cars make it past #4 much quicker than dirty cars.
>If you didn't have time to clean the car, you didn't have
>time to check it over for safety issues...

Sorry, but you have made a huge and inappropriate assumption here.

>The amount of time spent in tech is usually in direct
>proportion to the amount of dirt found under the hood.

Trevor,

I have been victim of this many times. I spend my time where it needs to be spent. I do not waste my time making sure the engine compartment is sterile. These are the same people that when they see a woman in a short skirt and a tank top assume she is a pro. Both are unfair and inappropriate.

I have been called to task many times for the appearance of the engine compartment. I take pride in 4 years of active rallying with no mechanical DNFs. For a scrutineer to assume that I missed something important just because I didn't take a tooth brush to the valve cover sucks. If I have time, I will hit the engine with the pressure washer but it shouldn't make a damn bit of difference at tech.

Mark Utecht
 

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>>>Sounds like a #4 to me.
>>
>>Spotless cars make it past #4 much quicker than dirty cars.
>>If you didn't have time to clean the car, you didn't have
>>time to check it over for safety issues...
>
>Sorry, but you have made a huge and inappropriate assumption
>here.

Sorry, I will clarify a tiny bit. I definately believe that many tech inspectors have this attitude. I bring my car in showroom condition, and most of the time I go through tech in seconds. When I first started, a little dirt under the hood could cost me 15 more minutes at tech. And a note in my logbook. The car was entirely presentable except under the hood I didn't take the time to get the hoses shiny.

>>The amount of time spent in tech is usually in direct
>>proportion to the amount of dirt found under the hood.
>
>Trevor,
>
>I have been victim of this many times. I spend my time
>where it needs to be spent. I do not waste my time making
>sure the engine compartment is sterile. These are the same
>people that when they see a woman in a short skirt and a
>tank top assume she is a pro. Both are unfair and
>inappropriate.
>
>I have been called to task many times for the appearance of
>the engine compartment. I take pride in 4 years of active
>rallying with no mechanical DNFs. For a scrutineer to
>assume that I missed something important just because I
>didn't take a tooth brush to the valve cover sucks. If I
>have time, I will hit the engine with the pressure washer
>but it shouldn't make a damn bit of difference at tech.
>
>Mark Utecht

I guess in the NW I had dirty under the hood put in the logbook enough so that I made sure they could white glove it if they wanted to.

I agree that you know how to prepare a car, and maintain it. I'm sure there are many tech inspectors that take that into account, but there are a few that are just trying to show that they have power. I go out of my way to not give the 2nd group anything to have a power trip over.
 

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>Sorry, I will clarify a tiny bit. I definately believe that
>many tech inspectors have this attitude. I bring my car in
>showroom condition, and most of the time I go through tech
>in seconds. When I first started, a little dirt under the
>hood could cost me 15 more minutes at tech. And a note in my
>logbook. The car was entirely presentable except under the
>hood I didn't take the time to get the hoses shiny.

Thanks, I understand what you were saying better now.

>I agree that you know how to prepare a car, and maintain it.
>I'm sure there are many tech inspectors that take that into
>account, but there are a few that are just trying to show
>that they have power. I go out of my way to not give the 2nd
>group anything to have a power trip over.

Very keen insight that many new competitors may want to heed. However, it still pisses me off that this happens.

Sorry for the rant and sorry it was directed at you Trevor. In my initial read, it seemed to me that you supported this corelation of clean car equals safe car. I now understand that you do this as a hassle avoidance technique. I guess the mad rush to reprep a car in nine days is getting to me! Then again, that's a whole new rant waiting to be sparked.

Mark
 

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>with those kinds of loads you must be talking about a 70+ft
>boat.

74 feet. I was the paid boat manager for many years
>
>there is not a single ocean or costal race that does not
>have a full inspection before and usually after the race

3 major offsore races I have done with no inspection:

Long Beach to Cabo San Lucis 800 miles
Del Rey to Porto Vallarta 1100 miles (done 2 times)
Swiftwure 130 miles (inspected once the first time I won it, not the other 7 times I have done it even when winning it again)

The idea of getting DSQ'ed after winning on the water was more than plenty motivation to comply with the rules.

I think cars should be logbooked and inspected after major rework ie any time an incident report was filled, but I am not sure I see the point of inspecting every car at the start of every event.

Anyway it is a tradition in autos and there is likely not a lot of reason to change it.

I have never had a major problem at tech, most of the time it is less than 5 min to pass.
 
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