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Rules and practices that even experienced racers may not know


wvumtnbkr
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I wanted to list a bunch of items here so there are less surprises on raceday.  This is just a list of items that I have seen firsthand.  All of these items created safety hazards.

 

White flag: Slow moving vehicle.  You CAN pass.  If the slow moving vehicle is a safety vehicle, wait for the point by unless specifically stated otherwise in the driver meeting.

 

If your car breaks / wrecks / whatever:  Stay in your car with your seatbelts TIGHT.  Do NOT work on the car.  Do NOT loosen your belts.  Stay where you are.  (Unless on fire.  Then, get the #%*# out of the car!)

 

Pit Lane Blend line: Do not cross the blend line on your way out of the pits!  Racers may be coming up on you at speed!  Also, when entering the pits, do so with a closed fist held high well before the pit lane.  This tells the drivers behind you are pitting.  Do NOT dive from even 1 or 2 lanes over for pit lane.

 

Daytona Banking: Stay on the low side unless passing.

 

FCY: Usually there is a Pace car.  This car is used to get the field under control and back to racing in an orderly manner.  Chumpcar has a pacecar.  They do NOT need you to do it for them.  Keep running at a decent clip (somewhere around 70% - unless near an incident) until the field is caught up.

 

Point Byes:  Give them.  Even try to indicate which side you would prefer to be passed on.  If somebody caught you, they are faster. Let them go (unless for a trophy position near the end of the race). 

 

Yellow Flag: Check your rearview mirror.  Is there a car RIGHT behind you?  DON'T crush the brake pedal.  Slow down cautiously for a yellow flag.

 

Black Flag:  DO NOT SLOW DOWN.  Do NOT hit your brakes.  Keep driving at your normal pace.  Next, try your best to verify if it is for you (if you think it might not be).  It probably is!  Go to the pits and see the official.

 

I am sure I will think of some others....  These are just off the top of my head.

 

Edited by wvumtnbkr
Added Yellow and Black flag stuff
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Good list of basics. I'll add that you should know the racing line, and stick to it unless conditions or circumstances dictate otherwise. When those situations arise you should signal the driver behind you when able. Consistency is important! Trying to pass someone who doesn't know how to behave is sketchy at best. Defensive lines are OK, but no blocking! 

 

Likewise when passing don't completely stuff the slower car or punt them off the track. If you're really that much faster it shouldn't require that. This is endurance racing. Have some patience.

 

 Contact happens sometimes. Those are racing incidents. Sometimes it's a matter of choice between drivers. Don't be the donkey-hole. If you do take your penalty, and STFU.

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1 hour ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I wanted to list a bunch of items here so there are less surprises on raceday.  This is just a list of items that I have seen firsthand.  All of these items created safety hazards.

 

White flag: Slow moving vehicle.  You CAN pass.  If the slow moving vehicle is a safety vehicle, wait for the point by unless specifically stated otherwise in the driver meeting.

 

If your car breaks / wrecks / whatever:  Stay in your car with your seatbelts TIGHT.  Do NOT work on the car.  Do NOT loosen your belts.  Stay where you are.  (Unless on fire.  Then, get the #%*# out of the car!)

 

Pit Lane Blend line: Do not cross the blend line on your way out of the pits!  Racers may be coming up on you at speed!  Also, when entering the pits, do so with a closed fist held high well before the pit lane.  This tells the drivers behind you are pitting.  Do NOT dive from even 1 or 2 lanes over for pit lane.

 

Daytona Banking: Stay on the low side unless passing.

 

FCY: Usually there is a Pace car.  This car is used to get the field under control and back to racing in an orderly manner.  Chumpcar has a pacecar.  They do NOT need you to do it for them.  Keep running at a decent clip (somewhere around 70% - unless near an incident) until the field is caught up.

 

Point Byes:  Give them.  Even try to indicate which side you would prefer to be passed on.  If somebody caught you, they are faster. Let them go (unless for a trophy position near the end of the race). 

 

Yellow Flag: Check your rearview mirror.  Is there a car RIGHT behind you?  DON'T crush the brake pedal.  Slow down cautiously for a yellow flag.

 

Black Flag:  DO NOT SLOW DOWN.  Do NOT hit your brakes.  Keep driving at your normal pace.  Next, try your best to verify if it is for you (if you think it might not be).  It probably is!  Go to the pits and see the official.

 

I am sure I will think of some others....  These are just off the top of my head.

 

Great thread!  It probably makes sense for you to just cut/paste/edit the original  post as comments come in so that it is all in one place.

 

For the yellow, it is worth saying that the hand signal to the car behind you is to wave your open hand back and forth wildly

On the point by, perhaps underscore that you are pointing where you want THEM to go, not where you are planning to go

You may need to explain what the blend line IS.  Probably worth spelling out FCY for them too

 

If your car breaks:

  • if it has lost power/drive, move off-line and exit the racing surface safely.  If you are dumping fluids, do that immediately.  If not, try to coast a little bit so you get fully in sight of a corner station.  Remember that a car that has no power always stops on its own eventually.  Don't hammer your breaks when you hear the loud noise - you need the momentum to get off of the track.  Don't stop on track if you can avoid it.  You are much more likely to be part of a REALLY ugly incident if you are on track.  Avoid stopping on dry grass that may ignite under your car.  If the grass is brown, try to get to a bare dirt spot or an access road that is paved
  • if you still have power/drive, you still need to figure out if you are dropping fluids.  If you are, GET OFF OF THE TRACK.  Drive back to the pits on the grass going 20 mph if you have to, but don't dump fluids on the track (on the line or off of the line)

 

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Good post, sad that it has to be said out loud.   Problem is that most that post here on this forum DO know what they are doing out there, the ones that don't aren't really on here I would hazard a guess.   So this may fall upon deaf ears so to speak.   I would and always have thought that if you are going to strap into a car that can end your life or someone else's that you really should know what you are doing out on the track.   It takes time and a lot of races under your belt to really be able to see the big picture and remain calm in situations that arise and have the mental abilities to handle those moments out there as professionally as expected.   I don't ever think that a amateur series will ever get to that level of racing with all of the comings and goings of new teams and drivers that try it out.  

 

I've been doing this for 7 years and still have a lot to learn, but I keep improving every time I'm on track.

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Point Byes:  Give them.  Even try to indicate which side you would prefer to be passed on.  If somebody caught you, they are faster. Let them go (unless for a trophy position near the end of the race). 

 

I'd like to add that if you're a slower car (been there... doing that), it's in your best interest to watch mirrors and point, wave, whatever it takes.  You're trying to save your car from 'racing incidents'.  The longer you are where you are not supposed to be thinking you're Sebastian Vettel, the more likely you are to find yourself part of yardsale.

 

Don't look at it like you're being passed, look at it as though you're trying to save your car.  Because in my opinion, that's what's actually going on.  the amount of times the average dude is passed, versus the amount of time it's for position is probably like 300:1

 

Be proactive, save your car.  :) My opinion, ain't no trophy or $200 bucks worth my 500 hours and $10-$20k to make another car. :)

 

 

Edited by Ham Sammich
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Getting passed.

 

I'll bet somebody with spread sheet skills could easily figure out how many times in 8 hours a middle of the pack car gets passed, and not for position.

 

Might help to remove the red mist from some drivers.  "it ain't for position Homie, you're gonna get passed about 500 times, be smooth and be ready.  Save your car and be safe".

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Great thread. Sticky worthy. Agree with keeping the first post updated as the single point of truth as the thread grows. 

 

Another thought would be to have official chumpcar video(s) covering these basics for the new drivers/teams. After all this is an amateur series and we want new teams to show up, get their feet wet, and have some fun.

 

Don't forget, this is supposed to be FUN! 

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22 hours ago, M.Brane said:

I'll add that you should know the racing line, and stick to it unless conditions or circumstances dictate otherwise. When those situations arise you should signal the driver behind you when able. Consistency is important!

I'm going to call BS on this one. This is amateur racing in a wide variety of cars. Not pro level in spec cars.

 

Should the new racer be required to know all the possible lines before going out on track? Possible lines; dry, wet, drying, RWD, FWD and Fwd where you cant put any power down so you square of every corner? (possibly more I’m not aware of).

 

Sorry but in my opinion there is no definitive “correct line” what works for one car may be different than another. (Daytona isnt typical, high banking isn’t normal in road course racing. These differences should be addressed in the drivers meeting)

 

The only responsibility a driver has is to be predictable (when talking about where to be on track while racing).

 

I personally feel that if a driver is a newb, doesnt know the line and is off pace, it is far better to drive right down the middle of the track being predictable. This way he is allowing people to pass on either side and not going from track edge to other edge trying to follow “the line” cutting off and frustrating those behind.

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I get the most worried when I see a car driving right down the middle of the track, I don't know if they're going to move right or left. If they're on the side of the track at least they can only go one direction and also can only be passed on one side.

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18 minutes ago, 3G said:

I'm going to call BS on this one. This is amateur racing in a wide variety of cars. Not pro level in spec cars.

 

Should the new racer be required to know all the possible lines before going out on track? Possible lines; dry, wet, drying, RWD, FWD and Fwd where you cant put any power down so you square of every corner? (possibly more I’m not aware of).

 

Sorry but in my opinion there is no definitive “correct line” what works for one car may be different than another. (Daytona isnt typical, high banking isn’t normal in road course racing. These differences should be addressed in the drivers meeting)

 

The only responsibility a driver has is to be predictable (when talking about where to be on track while racing).

 

I personally feel that if a driver is a newb, doesnt know the line and is off pace, it is far better to drive right down the middle of the track being predictable. This way he is allowing people to pass on either side and not going from track edge to other edge trying to follow “the line” cutting off and frustrating those behind.

 

 So you call BS, but then proceed to contradict yourself?

 

 All tracks a have a basic preferred line. If you haven't studied it prior to getting on track you are doing everyone a disservice including yourself. Being an amateur doesn't mean being wilfully ignorant.

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3 minutes ago, M.Brane said:

 So you call BS, but then proceed to contradict yourself?

 

 All tracks a have a basic preferred line. If you haven't studied it prior to getting on track you are doing everyone a disservice including yourself. Being an amateur doesn't mean being wilfully ignorant.

Please explain how I contradicted my self (Sorry, yes i should have deleted Consistency part from the quote, i was not disagreeing with that)   Are you saying that no matter what car, what conditions, there is only one line?  


 

If you know of a corner where the fast line is not the intuitive line, are going to publish a guide so everyone can learn and know the new "preferred line"? If not then you would be unpredictable to those following the stay on the preferred line party.  If the basic Preferred line is available to research before going to a race please show me an example.  How about the preferred line at Spokane raceway (new format) so I can use it to educate newbs.

20 minutes ago, mender said:

I get the most worried when I see a car driving right down the middle of the track, I don't know if they're going to move right or left. If they're on the side of the track at least they can only go one direction and also can only be passed on one side.

Its really frustrating to see a slow car trying to stay offline, in order to do this they need to cross the track multiple times per lap.  i wouldnt have a problem with them running along just one edge.  but I have heard on here people who say slow cars shold stay off line. I think this is bad advice

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46 minutes ago, 3G said:

Its really frustrating to see a slow car trying to stay offline, in order to do this they need to cross the track multiple times per lap.  i wouldnt have a problem with them running along just one edge.  but I have heard on here people who say slow cars shold stay off line. I think this is bad advice

I agree, newbs should have an idea of where the school line is and try to run on that rather than running down the middle or moving offline. Either one is not as predictable as the school line.

 

New format at Spokane? We ran there in 2014, has it changed since then?

Edited by mender
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36 minutes ago, mender said:

I agree, newbs should have an idea of where the school line is and try to run on that rather than running down the middle or moving offline. Either one is not as predictable as the school line.

 

New format at Spokane? We ran there in 2014, has it changed since then?

If you search for Spokane track map it brings up both, just trying to differentiate.

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I find the School / track day line to be meaningless when passing or being passed thru corners.  If I can run the school line for a whole lap(s) and not have to give racing room, then I get bored quickly. I came to race not do a track day.  When there is little traffic sometimes I will go way offline wide to practice passing someone without a car there.  This will tell me if there is enough traction, and an indication of how it will affect corner exit speed.  Then the next time I come up on a slower car I know if I can take the outside line in that corner.  This would be considered "unpredictable"   to some.  To me it just illustrates how I feel there is not one correct line in a race.  As a driver you should not expect someone else to just drive the line.  you need to be aware others might not drive the same line as you and give racing room.

 

Would it be acceptable to follow "the line" after someone is door to door with you when "the line" is to run out to track edge? 

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1 hour ago, mender said:

I agree, newbs should have an idea of where the school line is and try to run on that rather than running down the middle or moving offline. Either one is not as predictable as the school line.

If newbs had a clue where the school line (or any other)was we would not be having this chat :P

 

Best advice for anyone getting passed *Stay Put*

Edited by Team Infiniti
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On 4/7/2017 at 1:57 PM, wvumtnbkr said:

 

 

FCY: Usually there is a Pace car.  This car is used to get the field under control and back to racing in an orderly manner.  Chumpcar has a pacecar.  They do NOT need you to do it for them.  Keep running at a decent clip (somewhere around 70% - unless near an incident) until the field is caught up.

 

Point Byes:  Give them.  Even try to indicate which side you would prefer to be passed on.  If somebody caught you, they are faster. Let them go (unless for a trophy position near the end of the race). 

 

Yellow Flag: Check your rearview mirror.  Is there a car RIGHT behind you?  DON'T crush the brake pedal.  Slow down cautiously for a yellow flag.

 

 

 

This is pretty good stuff for sure.  

On yellows, FC and Local I learned quickly that my math and Everyone else's was different.  They said in the drivers meeting 70% of race speed.  To me that meant backed off quite a bit.  To everyone else it meant lift just a tiny bit so the you sound a little slower to the corner workers.  I get it now and carefully try to catch up to the car ahead.  

 

On point byes, good advice.  not only for newbs but for many others.  If the little black dot in the mirror turned into a car on your bumper,they are faster, point them bye and try to learn from following them.  

 

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3 hours ago, 3G said:

I find the School / track day line to be meaningless when passing or being passed thru corners.  If I can run the school line for a whole lap(s) and not have to give racing room, then I get bored quickly. I came to race not do a track day.  When there is little traffic sometimes I will go way offline wide to practice passing someone without a car there.  This will tell me if there is enough traction, and an indication of how it will affect corner exit speed.  Then the next time I come up on a slower car I know if I can take the outside line in that corner.  This would be considered "unpredictable"   to some.  To me it just illustrates how I feel there is not one correct line in a race.  As a driver you should not expect someone else to just drive the line.  you need to be aware others might not drive the same line as you and give racing room.

 

Would it be acceptable to follow "the line" after someone is door to door with you when "the line" is to run out to track edge? 

 

This is pretty much how I feel. I hate to get all Zen about it but what is "the line"? From a conversation standpoint I agree that there is a generally accepted best way around the track. Put 100 cars on track??? Yea. Get in where you fit in..... And feel comfortable about it...

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Well it appears y'all have left the most dangerous part of this racin gig for me to explain ,I do bring it up and most every drivers meeting , and it happens off the track . That is when you loose control and find yourself off the track and usually headed towards  something  bad you try to stop but you cannot and you can't steer when your wheels are locked up .  Humm now what, sometimes ya just crash , but maybe you have a chance to regain control by releasing the brakes and steering into the skid reapplying the brakes scrubbing off speed then letting off the brakes and stearing ,repeat as needed , regain control .  Sliding sideways is bad as your car can hook a rut or small drainage ditch and ROLL, try to get it going straight .  Do not even think about getting  back on track until you have regained control and then return at a SLIGHT ANGEL , you know blend in .  I have witnessed people coming back on track straight across , and gess what we are still racing on the track thats now being blocked by someone out of control and a real crash happens ..  

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