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Pit Stop Timers


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East coast racers seem to have less self control ;) never seen that at 18 races held in MN, IA, TX, MI, or CO. Was the start of pit road speed limit well defined? 

Only time I've been worried about safety in the pits was seeing guys pouring fuel into a car with a hole in the bottom of the tank, but timed stops won't prevent that. 

 

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14 hours ago, okkustom said:

  And how many times have you worked pit in or pit out ?   If your team is seen by a marshal touching a timer you will be held at pit out .  Ever been a pit marshal ?  Also timing and scoring can tell if you pit time was short ..  Ever podiumed ?  Also your pit mates are watching ...

I've had a pit stop where we took fuel and hit the pit out at 4:30.  Pit out let us go and I was surprised because I knew we needed to wait.  About an hour, we magically dropped a lap.  When I went and asked what happened, I was told it was because we didn't take the full 5 minutes on a stop. 

Later that weekend, the same thing happened when I was the driver. I knew we were almost a minute left but the steward told me I could go.  I asked him how much time I had left.  He said 30 seconds. I said, "I'll wait". He looked at me like I had a 3rd eye.  

Ever since then, if I think we are close, I tell my drivers to not let them go until they confirm.

Makes me wonder though how many guys get out 15 seconds early and the difference is too close for timing and scoring to really tell so they don't get penalized.

 

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11 hours ago, tdh136 said:

We have had no issues with the timers.  It takes longer to change drivers than it does to fuel a car.  If not, you're probably not doing fueling as quickly as you should if you want to be at the pointy end of the race.  Trust me the teams at the pointy end are watching each other as are the marshals, not to catch them, but just  to make sure everyone is the same.  I have seen many examples of guys running neck and neck helping each other in the pits holding a fire extinguisher, doing a radio check, grabbing a tool for them. etc.  Yes it's racing, but its more than that.  If you don't see it that way maybe some ot the other series are a better fit.  Just my 2 cents. 

Not sure which other series you are referring to, but I'll tell you that has been my experience in every series I've been in. (LDRL, WRL, Chump, Lemons).  I like to pit next to my top competition so I can learn from them.  And on Saturday night, we often talk about what we're doing to be faster.  I've even given/sold them a set of brake pads at my cost because they used more than they were expecting.

I love that he is trying to have us all think about ways to improve things, but I agree this is a solution looking for a problem.  Is the current system perfect? no. could someone possibly cheat the timer system? yeah, but not by very much or timing and scoring would notice and penalize. (At least in the west they did)  

I think it is very important that everyone stop and get a timer regardless.  Gets them into a pit lane state of mind.  And as someone who has worked as pit marshal a lot, getting someone to cool their jets before they go through the pits is a good thing.

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14 hours ago, AV8Driver said:

Its not necessarily a problem with the system in place per say.  But what is really being watched here, pit-in/out or the fueling evolutions themselves?  Longer pit-roads will make teams want to get faster fuel in order to make 5 min.  Which kinda invalidates the safety aspects of the rule.

I think we've fueled and changed drivers in <2 minutes before. Once you get it down 5 minutes allows a pretty casual, safe pace.

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3 hours ago, Doc said:

I've worked at pit out several times and we generally know exactly who has taken fuel and who has not except when pit row is extremely busy, like when there is a FCY about 1:45-1;50 into a stint.

 

We also have radios and talk to each other...and we can see all of pit row at most tracks. Mostly we ask when the numbers on the timers don't make sense. We also generally know when you have been in the pits for a while fixing your cars so most of us will only grab your timer and wave you through. We also know most of the "efficient" teams (at least here in the SE) and know they will get to pit out with about 10-15 seconds remaining.

 

How this: If your car is fiberglass, aluminum, duct tape, or made from unobtanium why don't you pick up a magnet at your favorite hardware store and glue it to your car. Most of us prefer them placed on the roof near the A pillar as they are easier to see when the sun is low on the horizon.

 

@enginerd's comment on getting the driver into "pit row" mentality is right on the money as far as the stop at pit in goes. It helps I'm sure.

I put a "like" on a few of the responses here. Having worked as a pit marshal 5 times between chumpcar and WRL, I can assure you that everyone I've worked with is very conscious of the job we are doing, not only in keeping everyone safe, but also recognizing that our decisions and communication can affect the outcome of the race. There have been several times when i was involved in situations like that. I think all of the staff and fellow volunteers I've worked with are cognizant of your safety and your desires to do your best as a team. I see no problems in the way pit stops are timed or regulated. 

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3 hours ago, Doc said:

How this: If your car is fiberglass, aluminum, duct tape, or made from unobtanium why don't you pick up a magnet at your favorite hardware store and glue it to your car. Most of us prefer them placed on the roof near the A pillar as they are easier to see when the sun is low on the horizon.

When we take a timer to the roof it most always gets knocked off by the exiting/entering driver, to complicate things, our stock hood is non magnetic, a piece of metal riveted on  with the words "Timer Here" does the trick but the driver has to feverishly point it out to every new pit in/out marshal

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Just now, Team Infiniti said:

When we take a timer to the roof it most always gets knocked off by the exiting/entering driver, to complicate things, our stock hood is non magnetic, a piece of metal riveted on  with the words "Timer Here" does the trick but the driver has to feverishly point it out to every new pit in/out marshal

Hopefully they only have to point it out once...it's not like your car isn't instantly recognizable.

 

To be fair most of us wake up in a new world every day though. :P

 

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16 hours ago, enginerd said:

It seems relatively simple enough in theory on the enforcement end... add two loops (part of chumpcar's 'equipment', moved from race to race) at pit in and pit out (however much that costs). Very easy to then see if a pit stop was over or under 5 minutes.

 

 

The loops are a permanent part of the track that ChumpCar just plugs into and uses. I know this because when we run the outside tracks at Vegas they don't have them in the pit lane and you lose a lap anytime you come in to check the car over after an off or have an extra pit stop because your car has a minuscule fuel tank.

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16 hours ago, AV8Driver said:

Its not necessarily a problem with the system in place per say.  But what is really being watched here, pit-in/out or the fueling evolutions themselves?  Longer pit-roads will make teams want to get faster fuel in order to make 5 min.  Which kinda invalidates the safety aspects of the rule.

 

Having one pit road being 20 seconds longer than another does not make a pit stop more or less safe.  If your team isn't ready to go after 3 minutes of wheels stopped, you probably need to practice.  Our pit stops this past weekend at Rd Atlanta were wheels stopped 2:19 and 2:10 and we were one of the slower podium teams.  

 

I use to be a huge advocate for the 5 minute pit stop, I am no longer.  I don't think it increases safety in any measurable amount so it's really just a placebo.  Typically the teams that can do the pit stops the fastest are also the ones with the most to lose if anything goes wrong, so they are done with precision (and usually some yelling).  I'm in favor of untimed stops, just like the big boys do it.  

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5 minutes ago, skierman64 said:

 

Having one pit road being 20 seconds longer than another does not make a pit stop more or less safe.  If your team isn't ready to go after 3 minutes of wheels stopped, you probably need to practice.  Our pit stops this past weekend at Rd Atlanta were wheels stopped 2:19 and 2:10 and we were one of the slower podium teams.  

 

I use to be a huge advocate for the 5 minute pit stop, I am no longer.  I don't think it increases safety in any measurable amount so it's really just a placebo.  Typically the teams that can do the pit stops the fastest are also the ones with the most to lose if anything goes wrong, so they are done with precision (and usually some yelling).  I'm in favor of untimed stops, just like the big boys do it.  

 

After working pit road last weekend at Road Atlanta I have to agree with this. I didn't see anyone being unsafe despite having no time limit. In fact I think the Chump stops tend to be faster than what I witnessed with the other group. Dropping the time limits increases the reward for good preperation and teamwork. 

 

I am in favor of coming to a complete stop at pit-in as I described above. Most pit lane entrances aren't as blind as the pro pits at RA though...

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11 minutes ago, gr1vlet said:

 

After working pit road last weekend at Road Atlanta I have to agree with this. I didn't see anyone being unsafe despite having no time limit. In fact I think the Chump stops tend to be faster than what I witnessed with the other group. Dropping the time limits increases the reward for good preperation and teamwork. 

 

I am in favor of coming to a complete stop at pit-in as I described above. Most pit lane entrances aren't as blind as the pro pits at RA though...

Pretty good comments all around and its interesting to hear everyone's perspective.

 

As stated above, the 5 min stop rule really isn't mitigating things from a safety perspective. Well drilled teams are able to fuel with equipment that meets the specs set forth in the rule book fast enough to have "spare" time.  So the 5 min rule isn't really slowing anyone down...and I'm not sure that's even the intent behind the rule.

 

If it were to go away, that opens the door for stop and go pit stops unless some other control is put in place.

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I'm not sure why the 5 minute stop is in there, but if it helps a new team make sure their driver is buckled in safely before he heads out to the track I am all for it.

We have our fueling at 13-14 gallons done in 1:30 and our new driver in about the same time so it would only be an advantage for us...

 

00:17:34 - I've got to pit. - No, we're busy now.

00:17:39 - We're eating ice cream. - Ice cream!

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13 minutes ago, Doc said:

I'm not sure why the 5 minute stop is in there, but if it helps a new team make sure their driver is buckled in safely before he heads out to the track I am all for it.

We have our fueling at 13-14 gallons done in 1:30 and our new driver in about the same time so it would only be an advantage for us...

 

00:17:34 - I've got to pit. - No, we're busy now.

00:17:39 - We're eating ice cream. - Ice cream!

 

I'm lazy, and kind of like the 5 min stop. 

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3 minutes ago, red0 said:

 

For sure, what car were you with? I had the black and orange CIVIC with HONDA stickers on it. 

I was up there with @bendawson3. Got to spend some time with @gr1vlet and @skierman64 as well.

I wandered around the track with my GoPro. Shoot me your address in a message and I will run a disk or two off with your car in it.

Edited by Doc
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Just now, red0 said:

I'm lazy, and kind of like the 5 min stop. 

^^

 

1) I like that you win races on the track in ChumpCar, not in the pits. You can lose a race in the pits if eating ice cream or are filling with one of those 'California spec' fuel jugs, but you can't win the race the pits. The best you can do is take exactly as much time as the other solid teams, then settle things out on the track.

2) This is amateur racing, it's fun, it's relaxing, please don't make me have to rush through pit stops to keep up with the Joneses.

3) I'm lazy, and I like to inspect tires, and I like to check oil level at every stop. And we can do this without losing time

4) Biggest reason of all: With 5 minute stop, there is no incentive to speed through pit lane. Whether you do 20mph or 25 or 30, you still have 4ish minutes to do your business. If pit stops didn't have a minimum time I would have to turn it into a game of chicken with the radar guy, or maybe send an attractive female down to talk to the radar guy right when my car enters pit lane so I can go faster.

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I was a guest of Riley Motorsports at the Long Beach Gran Prix, this weekend. (There are definite perks to having Bill Riley on the ChumpCar board!) It was a bit of an eye-opener to watch them do a driver change during the race. The drivers for both cars practiced this in the paddock before the race started. Here's a video I shot of car 33 taking fuel and changing drivers in about 20 seconds. Action starts around 2:40. They went on to take a first and second place in GTD. With stops like this I'm not surprised.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, enginerd said:

If pit stops didn't have a minimum time I would have to turn it into a game of chicken with the radar guy, or maybe send an attractive female down to talk to the radar guy right when my car enters pit lane so I can go faster.

Don't expect @GrouchyOldSarge to argue with the latter option...

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6 minutes ago, Mikiel said:

I was a guest of Riley Motorsports at the Long Beach Gran Prix, this weekend. (There are definite perks to having Bill Riley on the ChumpCar board!) It was a bit of an eye-opener to watch them do a driver change during the race. The drivers for both cars practiced this in the paddock before the race started. Here's a video I shot of car 33 taking fuel and changing drivers in about 20 seconds. Action starts around 2:40. They went on to take a first and second place in GTD. With stops like this I'm not surprised.

 

 

You just can't WAIT to see more petitions at the next board meeting, can you...:wacko:

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4 minutes ago, Doc said:

You just can't WAIT to see more petitions at the next board meeting, can you...:wacko:

I can only imagine.

 

Petition #1: Allow crews to stand on the pit wall at will.

Petition #2: Allow pressurized fuel rigs

Petition #3: Since it only takes 15 seconds to fuel now, we should reduce the minimum pit stop time to 30 seconds.

Petition #4: Mandatory diets and exercise for the fatties on every team.

Petition #5: Race rubber!

 

And so on and so forth.

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Just now, Mikiel said:

I can only imagine.

 

Petition #1: Allow crews to stand on the pit wall at will.

Petition #2: Allow pressurized fuel rigs

Petition #3: Since it only takes 15 seconds to fuel now, we should reduce the minimum pit stop time to 30 seconds.

Petition #4: Mandatory diets and exercise for the fatties on every team.

Petition #5: Race rubber!

 

And so on and so forth.

We need to quash #4 RIGHT NOW. Please edit...

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