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When are teams with a history of bad driving going to be addressed?

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3 hours ago, TiredBirds said:

why would you not use a spotter?  Seems kind of insane not to use one.  Especially with a mess of cars on the track. The accident posted (red car) could have easily been avoided If he had a spotter. It doesn't cost any money. 

@Originalsterm and @dogtired gave my biggest two reasons. And it wouldn’t be free, even if the other two reasons weren’t there.  Radios cost money, and we don’t have extras sitting around. 

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How about just learning to be aware of the conditions and cars around you and just don't hit anybody?

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50 minutes ago, Racer28173 said:

@Originalsterm and @dogtired gave my biggest two reasons. And it wouldn’t be free, even if the other two reasons weren’t there.  Radios cost money, and we don’t have extras sitting around. 

don't you already have a radio in the car? 

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10 minutes ago, Richard said:

How about just learning to be aware of the conditions and cars around you and just don't hit anybody?

Or maybe don't drive through someone only to suggest that we should have been looking in our mirrors?

 

🙄

 

 

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2 hours ago, dogtired said:

So, at a place like VIR, 4-5 crew just to act as spotters?

VIR full you might but  we just have one in the spring race, you can see most of the track. 

 

1 hour ago, Richard said:

 

 What's the point of having a single spotter or even two spotters? You would need spotters located around the entire track, not only at the corners.

 

 

we tend to get as high as we can and try and spot for the worst location. Being in a full containment seat w/ the Hans makes it hard to see what is going on all the time...even with mirrors. 

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2 minutes ago, TiredBirds said:

don't you already have a radio in the car? 

We have monitored track frequency, race monitors etc..... I don't see the need truthfully.

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16 minutes ago, Richard said:

How about just learning to be aware of the conditions and cars around you and just don't hit anybody?

No amount of "being aware" would have stopped that crash in the video. However a spotter saying "stalled car on the left...brake brake brake"  could have.  In the other series a guy blew up on the front straight as one of our drivers was just about to enter... If I had not said, oil on the track slow down he would have driven right thru it... would he have been ok? maybe.... maybe not. I got to him before the yellow came out. Just something we like to do. 

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1 minute ago, dogtired said:

We have monitored track frequency, race monitors etc..... I don't see the need truthfully.

no? what if you have a problem... you know temp spike, engine breaking, oil pressure..... up don't you want to radio back what is going on? They are CHEAP compared to what you have invested in the car. 

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1 minute ago, TiredBirds said:

no? what if you have a problem... you know temp spike, engine breaking, oil pressure..... up don't you want to radio back what is going on? They are CHEAP compared to what you have invested in the car. 

We have in car communication, I'm talking about spotting and listening to corner worker calls, flag calls.

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Just now, dogtired said:

We have in car communication, I'm talking about spotting and listening to corner worker calls, flag calls.

why do you need 3-4 guys standing around doing nothing? one could be up in the tower or on the bleachers helping you out..no worries. Drive like you like. A spotter can tell you whats up way before the "flagman" can. 

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Just now, TiredBirds said:

why do you need 3-4 guys standing around doing nothing? one could be up in the tower or on the bleachers helping you out..no worries. Drive like you like. A spotter can tell you whats up way before the "flagman" can. 

We run double 7s with three drivers.  We had 5 for the 24.  Not a lot of standing around.... 😆

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1 hour ago, Snorman said:

Doesn't it always? 

Yes it does, that’s the point. But it’s not something that can be taught for the most part...

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6 hours ago, TiredBirds said:

why would you not use a spotter?  Seems kind of insane not to use one.  Especially with a mess of cars on the track. The accident posted (red car) could have easily been avoided If he had a spotter. It doesn't cost any money. 

Or just being aware.  I’ve seen this before and sometimes you’re screwed, but this was totally avoidable if the driver was paying attention.

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I've wrote and deleted a few posts on this and I will likely regret this one.  None the less, I've thought a lot about contact in Champcar, the cause, the cause of our own contact, and how to prevent it in the future.

 

To address an issue I think its smart to fully understand it.  It seems there are many who'd rather not, and that is fine, but I took this approach and it seemed to help us.

 

Champcar is a melting pot of drivers, cars, and teams which creates a number of different scenarios.  To limit contact there are a number of things that can be done, from saying "Don't hit someone", banning certain teams, all the way to analyzing exactly why contact occurs and educating people, or some combination there-in.

 

For example of the variability, I was passed by Good-Guys-Racing at VIR.  They came up fast at night, I almost crapped myself and stayed right after T10 and just let him have his way with me.  A few laps later I am gaining on Good-Guys-Racing and it appears as though its the first time they've ever been at the track and they were way off line and their driving is all over the place.  In the span of a few minutes the approach to passing had to completely change, and if it didn't a podium car could have ended up on a trailer.

 

The lack of understanding and appreciation of this variability causes contact.

 

I've attached an image of a chart that defines how I've analyzed contact and how we can prevent it. 

 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zBZzAYcgfstO0xtxqddVmgsDB7_lxmaQ-fzgMX2mX1g/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

I came from SCCA and the main source of my contact and what I've seen from other teams using rental drivers with road race experience has been in the columns No Awareness >Maintain Line, and No Awareness > Learning Track.  What I failed to understand and what I believe others fail to understand is that drivers are fully entitled to run whatever line they want.  Its the goal of the series to get 100% green drivers on track, and there should be zero expectation that the car being passed will adjust their line or shall be influenced by a car trying to pass them. If you have that expectation you will cause contact.  In some cases it means a car will take the exact opposite line you'd expect, and in others, even being side-by-side may result in no acknowledgment from the driver being passed that you are even there.  

 

It took us three races to learn this.  We got pulled from a practice day and a black flag could have cost us a win.  It was clear if it happened again, that we wouldn't be welcome back to CC in the paddock, or from MikeC.  We've analyzed why, and corrected our behavior and although we still drive aggressively, changes have allowed us to run clean over the last four races and we expect that to continue.

 

It seems other teams have similar issues and more egregious.  Ie: performing a pit maneuver on a car on the back straight.  I think teams with experienced rental drivers need to beat their drivers over the head about the fact that drivers are entitled to use 100% of the track, regardless of it being the race line.

 

Outside of all of this, there has recently been 2 instances (WGI and Indy) where contact has been intentional by teams.  This I feel is something else entirely and should be dealt with by CC.  

 

The goal of this post is to present my analysis and understanding to help teams with issues, and perhaps frame the discussion for action to be taken.

 

IE: 

Intentional contact should be harsh and swift bans.

Consistent overdriving should be addressed

Failure to leave margin to new drivers should be addressed (the goal is to encourage new teams, right?)

 

*If the chart is helpful I can open it up for edits.  I just threw it together this morning as a visual representation of the understanding I have come to, so there might be some refinements needed.

Passing_Chart.PNG

Edited by LuckyKid
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On 8/15/2019 at 10:00 PM, mostmint said:

Agree with Bill on this.  It's Indy.  Spoken with several teams I have raced with at Nelson they spent their $ racing at Indy. 

 

If you have not done so already, I advise anyone who has a problem with the way ChampCar is run should bring it up with Mike Chisek not Bill.  Mike does pretty good responding to email info@champcar.org.  I think if enough of us chime in adjustments will be made. 

I boil it down a bit.  If you think the pass is risky....  either don't do it, or make sure the other driver is aware...  years of racing lemons helped to make me understand the variability of these drivers AND cars...

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To build on one of the problems some others have mentioned, I do think a worst-case situation is a fully experienced sprint racer (who has no endurance experience) renting a seat.  Sprint racers are used to a very high level of awareness from their fellow drivers.  Many sprint racers see less than 4 passes in a race.  When passing is that infrequent, it is extremely unusual for the car being passed to be surprised by the pass. In fact, when you watch YouTube of a typical SCCA sprint race, the car being passed often does substantial reactionary driving (aka blocking) in response to ththe car behind him.  

 

So you take a driver from that environment and put him in a race with large speed differentials and a healthy scoop of newbies. That driver assumes EVERY car he catches is aware of his presence (wrong) and assumes any driving off of the traditional line is either “letting him by” or “blocking”.  Of course in many cases, it is neither.  It is someone trying to find their way, and fully unaware that a pass is pending. 

 

The result often ends up being kind of like the situation where the squirrel is trying to “outsmart” the car coming down the road towards him.....

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:44 PM, chip said:

Or just being aware.  I’ve seen this before and sometimes you’re screwed, but this was totally avoidable if the driver was paying attention.

now way no how. He was following a car that darted right then BLAM.

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On 8/16/2019 at 6:56 PM, dogtired said:

We run double 7s with three drivers.  We had 5 for the 24.  Not a lot of standing around.... 😆

we usually have 3 or 4 tops. Somebody is always spotting... maybe not the entire track but somebody is up high on "look out" especially when you are racing in the other cheap series and there are 120+ cars on the track.

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1 hour ago, TiredBirds said:

now way no how. He was following a car that darted right then BLAM.

the car is visible when they come around the turn- it's just sitting there in the middle of the track

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I'd like to chime in and say that I do think Champcar in general has been improving since inception and there is less contact, which is positive. 

That's why the outliers and repeat offenders get more of a spotlight on them (such as the Connolly car(s)). I think that we do need to address these sorts of situations swiftly and effectively to prevent the series from regressing or getting/maintaining a bad rap.

I can't speak for sure on how that team in particular has been handled. When I emailed Chisek shortly after Indy about their contact with my car, and provided video, he said he would take action but I got no follow-up about it.

@E. Tyler Pedersen might have more insight.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:

I'd like to chime in and say that I do think Champcar in general has been improving since inception and there is less contact, which is positive. 

That's why the outliers and repeat offenders get more of a spotlight on them (such as the Connolly car(s)). I think that we do need to address these sorts of situations swiftly and effectively to prevent the series from regressing or getting/maintaining a bad rap.

I can't speak for sure on how that team in particular has been handled. When I emailed Chisek shortly after Indy about their contact with my car, and provided video, he said he would take action but I got no follow-up about it.

@E. Tyler Pedersen might have more insight.

 

 

 

You know.... it's been a busy summer. I would suggest you ping Chisek and ask if there was any follow-up. :)

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A lot of us on the Board took up the contact issues at VIR and Indy with Mike.  The team in question has been spoken to, and understands it has to improve.  There is a spotlight on any team with contacts in multiple races, and we are watching.  No sanctioning has taken place to date, just stern warnings.  I'm certain Mike will take action if this continues.  

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1 hour ago, Jer said:

A lot of us on the Board took up the contact issues at VIR and Indy with Mike.  The team in question has been spoken to, and understands it has to improve.  There is a spotlight on any team with contacts in multiple races, and we are watching.  No sanctioning has taken place to date, just stern warnings.  I'm certain Mike will take action if this continues.  

 

Thanks Jer!

Time will tell I guess.

Edited by Slugworks Paul

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