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Bill Strong

Handling EC cars in our series - Part 2

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Since I killed the part 1 thread that Jerry started by trying to do good, I will start the part 2.

Please continue -

 

Jerry's original post - you may still vote

As a racer, I was alarmed by the number of superfast EC cars at WGI.  I personally don't mind some EC cars, as an organization, we can use the revenue and it helps fill fields when races are under-subscribed.  But at WGI a lot of cars that met the ruleset were left out because of 13 EC class cars.  I don't like it, and I really don't like them getting a lot of airplay on our broadcasts.  They also clutter up the race results and make it hard to determine who is really racing.  I've made my opinions known to the rest of the Board, but I'd like to get a feel for how members feel.  Thanks for your feedback, just trying to make this series as good as possible.  

 

I don't want to ban EC cars, just de-emphasize them.  

 

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how about, registration opens for EC same time as rest, but it's tentative for one week.  if non EC cars fill up the field then EC cars are refunded or get moved to waiting list below and non-EC cars.

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I've started and stopped typing a response several times in the original thread.  My team has an EC car  that we run in the Northeast races, mainly WGI and Pittsburgh.  When we started in ChampCar in 2014, we just used what we had and what we knew, which were Volvo's.  We had a 1994 940 turbo and a second parts car already, so that's what we went with.  It started out at 450 points, then add 100 points for the turbo.  We were already taking points for a slow turbo brick sedan from Sweden.  We did run the first race in class, and took like 27 laps each day.  We figured, the car wasn't going to get any better and we so far behind already, that we would just build the platform the best we could and go to EC.  We were 1st in EC at Pittsburgh in 2015, but haven't been pushing the limit of speed or lap times at any race.  

I do not like the minus 100 lap suggestion.  This only discourages other EC teams from coming.  I know were not "in the race", but our car is still out there racing and we are still proud of our finishes, regardless of how others feel about EC cars.  Like was mentioned, the West Coast already has a hard time filling fields.

 

I do not like placing a delayed entry on EC cars.  We are local to WGI (less than 90 minutes) and if we told we had to wait and possibly go on a wait list, that's just stupid.  We pay the same entry fee as everyone else and just want to race.

 

I do not like limiting the EC field to X% of the so called "premier" field.

 

 

If a change is inevitable, what I do propose is to just have all EC cars claim all the laps their build would have in class and just go with that.  If our Volvo takes 42 laps, so be it I guess.  It's better than taking 100 laps and still being grouped in with a Porsche Cayman.

Edited by CoachMK21
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Can Race Hero or Race Monitor can run two events simultaneously?  If so, setup two separate events to run at the same time.  The ChampCar race and an EC race.  The EC cars get their own running order and T&S.  Race control would only use the ChampCar T&S for picking up the leader during FCY and the live broadcast would only use the ChampCar T&S.

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1 minute ago, Round3Racing said:

Can Race Hero or Race Monitor can run two events simultaneously?  If so, setup two separate events to run at the same time.  The ChampCar race and an EC race.  The EC cars get their own running order and T&S.  Race control would only use the ChampCar T&S for picking up the leader during FCY and the live broadcast would only use the ChampCar T&S.

 

This is kind of what I meant previously.  This seems like the most simple setup.  I thought you could sort the racemonitor by class?  Or racehero maybe you can?  If so, the other idea would be to delete all the sub-classes (ABCD) and you could easily sort the overall vs the EC (flame suit on for that suggestion!)

 

After reading most of the posts, I will go back to my original thoughts, that ~10% of entries as EC is pretty reasonable.  And besides the Cayman, the rest of the EC cars were generally no faster than the front runners.

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So basically EC teams enter races so they can whomp on teams that comply with the rules so they can beat their chests about how they "won" a race where they essentially cheated?  I do not believe this, but if some teams do this, then too bad IMHO.  Teams that just want to get into a race with other teams despite knowing they aren't really in the race should be fine with starting minus 100 laps.  After all, they aren't in the race anyway.  Out west, how many EC teams are running so they can beat their chest about their win? 

 

I frankly don't see this as a big deal.  Our series is built around one ruleset where the whole field of teams that follow the rules have a chance.   If teams want to bring cars that are way outside the ruleset to an event to beat up on everyone else, well frankly, I'm not excited to have them in the field anyway.  Keep in mind the races with the most EC cars (WGI, Daytona, Road Atlanta and Indianapolis) all sell out.  If a few EC cars walk away because they want to "win" and now they can't, well that just allows more qualified teams into the event. 

 

And please remember I consider the business side of this way more (I believe) than the rest of the Board, save Mike.  I understand the dollars and cents and carefully consider the consequences of actions taken on our financials.  

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30 minutes ago, Round3Racing said:

Can Race Hero or Race Monitor can run two events simultaneously?  If so, setup two separate events to run at the same time.  The ChampCar race and an EC race.  The EC cars get their own running order and T&S.  Race control would only use the ChampCar T&S for picking up the leader during FCY and the live broadcast would only use the ChampCar T&S.

 

Would need two sets of expensive T&S gear.  Costly from the org's perspective.

 

 

On the east cost, the org doesn't need the EC cars to be successful - fields are full and profitable with cars that fit the rules.

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I think you guys are all waaayyy over thinking it.

Adding laps (100/500/1000..xxx amount) is just a simple place holder within Racehero /scoring to group the EC cars together and keep them separated throughout the race. Their relative position within their grouping will still be reflected accurately, and if they really wanna see how they stacked up vs the entire field, just add 1000 laps (or whatever factor used) to their total. Its not Rocket surgery.  I'm not sure how this would deter EC cars? They already know they aren't competing for overall wins, and are grouped with the other EC cars. Adding an arbitrary laps easily accomplishes that within Race Hero, and allows EC cars to quickly see how they are doing in class, just scroll to the bottom.  Seems simple to me? 

 

The reason I suggest -1000, again it's just to ensure the EC group stays at the bottom of the list.  On longer races especially 24hr races, some cars could start to overcome the 100 lap penalty and start to mingle in with the ABCD cars adding further confusion.  1000laps keeps EC cars separated in worst case scenarios on 24hr races.  Again it means nothing, it's just a simple method of grouping all EC cars below the rest of the run groups.  

Edited by Shane G.
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EC cars help pay the bills, period.  Being inclusive vs. exclusive is how the series has been become popular and successful.   As @Jamie pointed out in the other thread the west coast cannot afford to push anyone else away.   The series has been begging the cars that converted to LD rules to come back and race EC.    Excluding them ends that.   Minus 100 laps probably ends that as well.  Just put yourself in their shoes, you wouldn't like it and wouldn't think it's fair.  Thus, you looking elsewhere to race.    

 

 If we wanna force everyone to take their full points, that's a discussion to have.    (What do we do with cars over their fuel limit, force them to displace or not run?)  

 

If we wanna limit EC cars at certain races that's a discussion to have.

 

If we wanna ban EC cars at certain races that's a discussion to have.    (Keep in mind, Indy is not the norm and we can't go changing series rules for a single race just because you wanna race it)  The only other race I could see banning EC cars is the National Championship.   But in general, I don't think its a good idea. 

 

There's a ton of options but I personally don't see a problem with the EC cars and don't really think anything is wrong.    We know we aren't racing them, maybe others need to figure that out too.

Edited by Snake
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Nothing really changes with  -1000laps, class winners still get their respective trophy, business as usual, if there are enough EC cars they too have been given hardware for "winning"

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9 minutes ago, Snake said:

EC cars help pay the bills, period.  Being inclusive vs. exclusive is how the series has been become popular and successful.   As @Jamie pointed out in the other thread the west coast cannot afford to push anyone else away.   The series has been begging the cars that converted to LD rules to come back and race EC.    Excluding them ends that.   Minus 100 laps probably ends that as well.  Just put yourself in their shoes, you wouldn't like it and wouldn't think it's fair.  Thus, you looking elsewhere to race.    

Why would starting minus 100 chase them out?  Please explain.  Are they trying to "win" as their main motivation for entering a race?  No one is talking about excluding EC cars in any case.  The poll was to try to get a finger on the pulse on membership.  

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I support the start with 100 extra laps.  EC cars go into the race already knowing that they are not eligible for the overall win, so if they are scored back in the pack they can race each other for the EC class win.  No need for two different events for timing and scoring, true leader is scored as such, pace car picks up the correct leader.  I would also support EC cars just taking laps and being put into A, B,C, and D class even if they are starting with 100 laps.  

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When even the broadcast team can't keep EC straight vs ABCD, you know there's a problem.  The classing and scoring is incredibly counterintuitive to the uninitiated.  I spent 20 minutes last night trying to explain to my dad why I took home the big trophy at Watkins Glen instead of the Cayman, even thought the Cayman "won".  He thought EC was just the next engine size up from D. 

 

EC should be called what it is, an Exhibition Class, and timed and scored separately from the cars running to the 500pt rules.  It was only when I started calling the Cayman "Exhibition" that the difference clicked, and it made sense to him why I got the big trophy and the Cayman didn't.

 

Also, +1 for the 100 lap policy

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Just now, Jer said:

Why would starting minus 100 chase them out?  Please explain.  Are they trying to "win" as their main motivation for entering a race?  No one is talking about excluding EC cars in any case.  The poll was to try to get a finger on the pulse on membership.  

 

Why do you think the EC cars choose EC vs. starting the laps down?   Most of the cars are on the VPI list and could take laps vs. going straight to EC.   Now the Cayman is the outlier there but in most cases they could.    They know they can't win but still choose to run EC because it seems more fair to them even though they aren't playing by the rules. 

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Just now, Snake said:

 

Why do you think the EC cars choose EC vs. starting the laps down?   Most of the cars are on the VPI list and could take laps vs. going straight to EC.   Now the Cayman is the outlier there but in most cases they could.    They know they can't win but still choose to run EC because it seems more fair to them even though they aren't playing by the rules. 

I assumed most EC cars are built to the owner's desires, and don't fit into our ruleset but still want to go racing despite knowing they can't win.  What you are basically saying, if I read your post correctly, is they DO want to "win", can't do so with in the rules, so this is an easy out to bragging rights and fame with sponsors.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  If we cater to those teams who don't want to or can't follow the rules, what does that say to the 90% of teams who do?  

Edited by Jer
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11 minutes ago, Snake said:

 

Why do you think the EC cars choose EC vs. starting the laps down?   Most of the cars are on the VPI list and could take laps vs. going straight to EC.   Now the Cayman is the outlier there but in most cases they could.    They know they can't win but still choose to run EC because it seems more fair to them even though they aren't playing by the rules. 

 

As someone else already mentioned a bunch....the -100 is just a placeholder in the standings.  If they want to see how the car does against the entire field, add 100 laps from your current position from where you currently sit and that will tell you.  It's pretty much the same thing they get now, but they are just pushed to the bottom of T&S.  If an EC car doesn't like that, take your actual score and laps and run it that way outside of EC.

 

If EC is never going to be eligible for an overall, why are we worried about whats fair?  They are already in the unofficial unlimited class...which isn't fair to everyone else who built a car within the ruleset.

Edited by Jab31169
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Maybe it is the "negative laps" that sounds bad.  So, let's start all EC cars with 0 laps.  All A,B,C,D cars start with 100 laps.  They get 100 lap bonus for playing by the rules.

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10 minutes ago, Jer said:

I assumed most EC cars are built to the owner's desires, and don't fit into our ruleset but still want to go racing despite knowing they can't win.  What you are basically saying, if I read your post correctly, is they DO want to "win", can't do so with in the rules, so this is an easy out to bragging rights and fame with sponsors.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  If we cater to those teams who don't want to or can't follow the rules, what does that say to the 90% of teams who do?  

 

It's a mental perception thing.   Yes, I'm saying they want to start off on a level playing field even though they aren't playing on one.   They want to see how they stack up while they are stacking the deck.   I'm not saying it's right, i'm saying that's what they've chosen.   It's clear they've chose that by running EC vs. taking laps.    I think if you take that choice away they will go elsewhere.   Can certain races afford that, absolutely.  Can all?  No.  Can most? I don't know.    

 

I find it interesting that it's never been an issue before and after one race where a camera gets put in an EC car there is a revolt. lol   @Bill Strong can't keep the anything straight so that's nothing new.  

 

This doesn't effect me at all as I don't run an EC car and don't plan to.   But, IF fields get smaller the cost of racing goes up for everyone.    Losing 5 cars doesn't sound like a lot at a race but it's probably $7k.   Who running a business wants to lose $7k, I don't.  

Edited by Snake
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It's interesting that the most popular response to the poll is to simply give them their laps and class them.  We could establish a policy for oversized fuel cells to mandate buying blocks to get legal in terms of capacity, and inspect such cars post race to ensure compliance.  Voila, that issue is solved.  

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5 minutes ago, Jer said:

It's interesting that the most popular response to the poll is to simply give them their laps and class them.  We could establish a policy for oversized fuel cells to mandate buying blocks to get legal in terms of capacity, and inspect such cars post race to ensure compliance.  Voila, that issue is solved.  

 

You sure about that?

 

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6 minutes ago, Snake said:

 

It's a mental perception thing.   Yes, I'm saying they want to start off on a level playing field even though they aren't playing on one.   They want to see how they stack up while they are stacking the deck.   I'm not saying it's right, i'm saying that's what they've chosen.   It's clear they've chose that by running EC vs. taking laps.    I think if you take that choice away they will go elsewhere.   Can certain races afford that, absolutely.  Can all?  No.  Can most? I don't know.    

 

I find it interesting that it's never been an issue before and after one race where a camera gets put in an EC car there is a revolt. lol   @Bill Strong can't keep the anything straight so that's nothing new.  

For me it was the broadcast, actually.  They couldn't seem to keep track of which cars were exhibition and which were in the race which really impacted me.   Surprisingly, I got a number of private message from qualified teams upset because the standings don't reflect how they actually did.  They mentioned trying to take results to potential sponsors, explaining they won or placed when on paper it looked like they didn't do that well.  No sponsorship.  Other mentioned friends and family looking at them like liars when seeing the standings.  That's not good for members.  

 

Just now, Jab31169 said:

 

You sure about that?

 

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I got it wrong.  Thanks.  The second most popular option was to classify those cars.  

Edited by Jer
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Jer I do see the flip side, the EC cars really do like being first, this will cause bad feelings, not sure there is a cure for the ABCD cars without someone feeling demonized.

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Just now, Jer said:

Yep, I got it wrong.  Thanks.  

 

I mean, there's still time...it might swing that way....maybe.  I'll call up the Russians and see what we can get done on this vote.

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3 minutes ago, Jab31169 said:

 

I mean, there's still time...it might swing that way....maybe.  I'll call up the Russians and see what we can get done on this vote.

 

but the emails...

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