Future Post Race Impound and Pre Race Tech Inspections (Ideas)

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I know there are items within ChampCar we can do better or be more consistent on and I have a couple of ideas, but I want to see what the member feedback is on what you all are looking for in the future.  I would like to get some ideas to bring back to discuss with the Board on how we can improve going forward, so here are my ideas:

1) Post Race Impound:

* Option 1:  Tech looks at all of the cars in post race impound to make sure that all the cars have everything claimed that is on their tech sheet or log book.  They can add laps or DQ a car with authority from the Even Director on their findings.  Members can still file written protests as well.

* Option 2:  Tech does not look over cars at impound and it is reliance on the members to file protest in a paper form which then tech will go and look at the car to see what is claimed or not claimed.

* Option 3: Other - you tell me what you'd like to see for a consistent procedure

Also within this one, if a team if found with unclaimed parts do they get DQ'd automatically and sent to EC for that race and asked to fix items for the next race to be in the ChampCar class racing or do we just add laps to their finish with the claimed part point total.

2) Pre Race Inspection

* Option 1:  We continue what we are doing with tech looking at the safety of the cars and giving points to items on cars wheather they are in the rule book or not.

* Option 2:  Tech only checks the safety of the cars to make sure everything is ready to race (seat belts, window nets, roll cages, fire suppression systems, battery boxes, etc).  It is up to the team captain to make sure everything is claimed on their tech sheet.  Items not claimed can be protested at impound where Tech and the Event Director would make the ruling

Also in the spring I had an idea on the rule interpretations and having tech fill out a paper to submit with all of their findings on cars for the weekend.  The CEO would then sign off on this then it would be published to the membership.  If not the CEO, then I suggested the TAC.  It's a checks and balance system that I thought could work, so there is another option too.

I want to get good feedback and criticism to how we are doing things now and what we can improve on and here are just some ideas that I had that I wanted to share with the membership on the forum.

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My thoughts:
1. Option 1 - what we are doing now - I think this should always be a team effort. We shouldn't rely solely on competitors or tech. I think if a team is found with un-declared parts, they should not be in the standings and moved to EC. If it's a 2 day race and they are able to make the car legal by removing parts or whatever, allow them reasonable options to do so and get a brief inspection to verify that before the second day/race. It should also be noted in the logbook before the next race weekend and should be re-teched at that time as well.

Continuing to be lenient and forgiving on this has been bad for the series and the limp wristed response encourages more attempts at not declaring parts.

2. Option 1 - I think this is what we are doing now? Don't limit the pre-race inspection only to safety. A brief glance over everything before the race starts is a good idea to catch large anomalies.

One additional thing i'd like to add - I think any parts subject to 'special pre-approval' from tech should be declared and listed on the tech sheet (at whatever point value was agreed upon, even if it's zero..), and either a printed email thread or a form signed by tech should be included. It would help to make things more transparent and look less like 'backdoor deals'.

Taking this logic further, we could also NOT allow email threads and ONLY the signed (yet to exist) form from tech. This could be a form filled out by the competitor and then signed off by tech at the first event they attend with the part installed. The Champcar event director/CEO/BoD/TAC/whoever we think will get a copy of all these signed forms so there is a clear paper trail on what deviations/interpretations have been allowed. We could do with this information as we think is appropriate, whether condensing and listing in the 'tech interpretations' document or somewhere else. If you don't have this form signed and available in impound, no heresay or previous conversations will be considered and the competitor will be moved to EC.

This may seem slightly cumbersome but at this point we need a process in place to get a firm handle on these sort of deals because they seem to be out of control.

Edited by Slugworks Paul

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I would love to see a summary of special allowances, rules clarifications done via email, new interpretations, etc. shared in a single thread online.  It would be great to know what is available to ALL teams, not just those working it out with Champcar officials.  I'm not proposing giving away the secret sauce, maybe a generic description in certain cases would suffice.  But the 2.5 point hubs thing should have been shared with everyone since it can be a great source of pain and  for some teams.  Knowing that hubs are a safety item and were discounted points should have been info given to everyone.

It isn't fair to rely solely on tech to know everything about every car.  I think it's still up to the competitors to know what they are looking for and if it is worth challenging, then an automatic move to EC for the weekend if they are not in compliance.  As far as the form or process, having a piece of paper you drag around with you everywhere doesn't make sense in 2019.  An electronic log of all protests, which could also be posted online with the eventual findings, would be the way to go.  Then the series would know who was challenged, by whom, for what, and whether or not it was found in compliance and why.

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I believe keeping option 1 for both questions is our best course of action.  Both Tech and other teams should be able to protest a car that they believe to be out of compliance with the rules, and Tech should have the ability to tell someone proactively that they need to make a correction before another team has to call them out on the issue.

When it comes to the question of how to handle cheating, or misinterpreting, or otherwise falling outside of compliance with the rule book I believe strongly that a DQ is in order.  If we are just making someone claim more points the smart play would be to not claim 3 or 4 things and show up with a 400 point car, get called out on one or two and finish with 480 points and two unnoticed items.  Aside from the NFL and professional cycling I can't think of a sporting organization that does not DQ a competitor for cheating.  The penalty is not high enough otherwise to discourage the behavior.  If you show up with the intent to deceive the organization and your competition and you are not punished to a level that prevents the behavior moving forward there are teams that will continue the behavior.

I would like to see how folks feel about creating a searchable resource of Tech decisions.  What I mean by this is an email to Tech would be given a reference number, the decision by Tech for or against the interpretation be attached, and that question/answer be uploaded to a location where ALL teams can see the question asked and response given.  Yes, that would mean that a team that figures something out to exploit a rule to their benefit is sharing a bit of their secret sauce, but what we are seeing with wildly different interpretations of the rules would be greatly reduced if we could see what Tech had to say about questions being posed.  The only unknowns that should be popping up in the tech line or in protest after an event are things that people didn't even think to ask prior to seeing it.

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I like option 1.

As for DQ or move to EC. I’m fine with either, but lean more towards DQ.  If moved to EC, then they shouldn’t be able to win that either, that’s why I favor DQ. In the end they cheated...

As for backdoor deals, these need to be eliminated period as they are never communicated to all members.  But besides that fact, these ‘special’ deals need to be discussed by the BOD prior to allowing any team special consideration or implementing a new rule for a competitor.

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I like the idea of CC being able to tech cars before and after. I thought the bumper air dam rule was all the front and was corrected and had to take points on that in tech. I would much rather have it corrected prior to a race then after in a protest.

Post race

Why not both CC and members look over cars. The real issues is we need everyone to look as we have so many different cars. I do not know Porsches so I can not tell what is legit or not. We need many perspectives to keep it all good. My thought is if it is an illegal part who cares who finds it, it is still illegal.

On the DQ or sent to EC, isn't that the same thing really. My thought is if it blatantly cheaty then for sure DQ. What if something is just not known or overlooked. Like if I did not take the points on the plastic above the bumper line thinking that was part of the air dam points? I think there is the person that can be technically illegal and not know it so no intention of cheating versus a person knowingly skirting the rule book.

Pre race. I want CC to look at my car and go over safety items first. I want and need to be safe. Then look over paperwork and see things. It is much better to find things out prior to a race than after. I believe most of us are not out to cheat so an oversight is just that. It is much better to find that ahead of time.

On the hidden rules I want to know. I would have liked to have free springs as I take penalty laps for them and start out behind most of you. It would have made a difference for me at PIRC and Barber. I did not know about the loophole rule. If those are out there we should all know and then can get the fairness or as a collective we can close that loophole to also be fair.

Just my 2 cents

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none of it matters unless the series is willing to actually enforce it's own rules which currently it is not.    Options 1 and 2 did not work last weekend.

There should be ZERO special deals or 1 make/model rules.   That is complete bull cookies.   The same rules for EVERYONE.   1 rule set.

The series should be closing any loopholes that pop up instead of opening pandoras box everytime and giving everything away for free.   It seems management would rather allow bull cookies interpretations vs. upsetting someone and telling them to take points.

Edited by Snake
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1.  You can't JUST give points/laps to unclaimed parts, otherwise over 500pt teams have no incentive to claim them.

2.  Tech's approval via text or email, should be rock solid in impound.  After the race that ruling can change.

3.  If tech will formally be scrutinizing cars, I would expect a pre-race inspection option and I would want that to hold up in impound.

4.  We need to be careful of CCES leadership intentionally targeting specific cars/teams.  There is a preponderance of evidence that this has occurred in the past and, frankly, it sucks.

5.  I am aware of rampant rules violations in the mid and lower pack.  If these teams are going to be scrutinized in the future, this might be a worm hole.

6. I personally feel that the TAC should be given more power and that Tech should be under them in the org chart, and both of those under the board or a chairman.

7. CCES needs to report on impound.  At Road America I learned that the Wing and Splitter widths should be limited to OEM bodywork, not bodywork as the rule is written.  I am cutting mine to comply.  That means that teams that bought bigger wings when we had to roll fenders out like I did, will either get tossed in impound OR will have an advantage over our team since they have not be warned yet.  I think tech handled this properly, but this ruling should be public.

8.  There are two types of unclaimed parts: blatant to get an advantage, and unintentional or an interpretation issue.  I know this CAN be subjective, but I think there is a difference in how this should be treated.  IE:  A team at 480pts forgets to claim a sqft of metal vs. a 500 pt team running swaybars.

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4 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

1.  You can't JUST give points/laps to unclaimed parts, otherwise over 500pt teams have no incentive to claim them. AGREED

2.  Tech's approval via text or email, should be rock solid in impound.  After the race that ruling can change. AGREED

3.  If tech will formally be scrutinizing cars, I would expect a pre-race inspection option and I would want that to hold up in impound. AGREED

4.  We need to be careful of CCES leadership intentionally targeting specific cars/teams.  There is a preponderance of evidence that this has occurred in the past and, frankly, it sucks. ☹️

5.  I am aware of rampant rules violations in the mid and lower pack.  If these teams are going to be scrutinized in the future, this might be a worm hole. As a true mid-pack, sub-500 pt team, I wasn't aware of that. And to be honest, that sucks to have a good battle with someone who turns out to not be following the rules.

6. I personally feel that the TAC should be given more power and that Tech should be under them in the org chart, and both of those under the board or a chairman. AGREED

7. CCES needs to report on impound.  At Road America I learned that the Wing and Splitter widths should be limited to OEM bodywork, not bodywork as the rule is written.  I am cutting mine to comply.  That means that teams that bought bigger wings when we had to roll fenders out like I did, will either get tossed in impound OR will have an advantage over our team since they have not be warned yet.  I think tech handled this properly, but this ruling should be public. AGREED

8.  There are two types of unclaimed parts: blatant to get an advantage, and unintentional or an interpretation issue.  I know this CAN be subjective, but I think there is a difference in how this should be treated.  IE:  A team at 480pts forgets to claim a sqft of metal vs. a 500 pt team running swaybars. AGREED

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1 hour ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Also within this one, if a team if found with unclaimed parts do they get DQ'd automatically and sent to EC for that race and asked to fix items for the next race to be in the ChampCar class racing or do we just add laps to their finish with the claimed part point total.

Hey, once again, I'm just a silly citrus that likes to hang out with Champ when they come close to my neck of the woods.

My thinking is that you claim your parts and take your laps at tech, or if found later you are DQ'd and or pushed into EC (Also raced).

Giving teams laps based on the unclaimed parts only entices teams to not claim parts, and hope no one notices.

If you cant be honest and claim what you have, then the "punishment" should be worse than having claimed them in the first place.

It should also earn a team an enhanced "look" at tech the next race.

Now my car will never qualify to race other than EC as my engine swap adds a few (1400) too many points.

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2 hours ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Also within this one, if a team if found with unclaimed parts do they get DQ'd automatically and sent to EC for that race and asked to fix items for the next race to be in the ChampCar class racing or do we just add laps to their finish with the claimed part point total.

This is covered in 1.3.8 of the BCCR.    The "may" in that rule should be changed to "will"

Edited by Snake

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Dq.  Not sent to ec.  Sending to ec is most likely going to get them a trophy anyway.

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2 hours ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Also in the spring I had an idea on the rule interpretations and having tech fill out a paper to submit with all of their findings on cars for the weekend.  The CEO would then sign off on this then it would be published to the membership.  If not the CEO, then I suggested the TAC.  It's a checks and balance system that I thought could work, so there is another option too.

I think I remember seeing on the SVRA site that they had  a link to protests (called Tech zone) etc, basically it was a red sea scroll listing protests or otherwise checks done at impound post race. It was short and simply stated was was challenged and then the official finding.  eg, car weight, car team, owner etc, actual weight, required weight (min in their case) and then judgement, over or under and the resulting penalty if applicable. could have been under min weight, car dq's from finishing position etc.  That gets it out there for all to see like some have asked.  It's a simple documentation process, the info should be compiled if there was an actual process so the added step would seem to be ownership of that page and keeping it updated.  I like the idea honestly....It shows they were challenged and were either cleared or were guilty and penalized, you see both outcomes and it is public. There was a separate page for each race if I remember correctly.

Edited by 67Mustang

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Rules are great, but if the organization that created the rules doesn't understand them what good are they?

Here it is

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27 minutes ago, scottyk said:

Rules are great, but if the organization that created the rules doesn't understand them what good are they?

Hey now, they apply (some of) the rules. But only when they are used to preserve the victory of a high budget team with obvious non-declared parts.

Then they advertise that the 'protest was withdrawn'.

Facepalm. You really can't even make this stuff up.

Edited by Slugworks Paul

In addition to the $50 there needs to be a bond for anything invasive to pay for engine/car reassembly/gaskets. Obviously goes back to the protester if parts are found illegal. See SCCA rules for some tips: 8.3.3. Actions Against Cars "The protestor may request that the car be disassembled, inspected, or any other test made, provided he posts a tear down bond (also referred to as “bond”) with the SOM sufficient to cover the total expenses of disassembly, inspection, reassembly, and other costs associated with the protest. A Protest may be reduced in scope but not added to at the time the bond is set. Unless the protestor wholly or partially withdraws his Protest, the stipulated inspections will be completed after the bond is set and received." Share this post Link to post Share on other sites I don't know that I'd advocate for teardowns but I do think we need to clarify how far they go. I've now heard stories that both: 1. Included removal of valve cover 2. Told the protestor 'we don't get into the engine' and valve cover wasn't asked to be removed. Share this post Link to post Share on other sites This thread is leaning back towards hearsay.... • 1 • 1 Share this post Link to post Share on other sites Trying to recenter this... Tyler i think option 1, tech going back over car makes a ton of sense. Even as loose as nascar is (for the longest time no wins were ever removed), the penalty for not passing tech has been worst than not showing up to the race. I could see a limit, protested parts must equal 2 items or 10 points (whichever is lower) so we aren't protesting square inches of material. Or a list of protestable items (most things). Broken record, but if we aren't going to allow competitors access under\over\close to the cars, you need to post pictures of the cars online along with all of the info they presented to tech to get the little yellow logbook. Nothing in the logbook\tech sheet\swap sheet\etc is that much of a trade secret. If you think so, that is the cost of winning. Nascar used to broadcast post race teardown to the other teams, and we could see the car disassembled piece by piece. We still managed to keep lots of IP secret, you guys will be able tp as well. How many of you guys were sharing pics taken illegally "close" or "under" the 601\602 cars to discuss their legality? My point exactly. That access to the cars is needed to get this right, if we can't be there for safety reasons send one person with a camera... Trying to not fully derail this.... There are other elements wrapped up into this weekend, about where the series should grow to or stay, who it should cater to... For another thread, another time, but maybe being on the losing side of the preferential treatment will open some eyes to what it feels like to be a loser in the swap calc weight, fuel capacity, vpi "corrections" downward, etc. 5 years ago we all raced cheap shitty cars 5-10 sec a lap slower....what happened? • 2 • 1 Share this post Link to post Share on other sites 2) Pre Race Inspection Prior to the event (or when teams register) add a online form that allows teams to upload the tech information and add a Q&A, Tech can add notes to conversations or text messages/phone calls about legal and illegal parts. When it comes to the races for the physical check, tech will have some idea about the car prior to rolling up and documentation during impound. I am assuming that most of the tech infractions are not malicious, and as the cars become newer and more complicated, there will probably be more research and communication needed in general. I still think that Option #1 impound is needed for the checks and balances. Most of my racing experience has been in spec series. During the prime of that series everything was tech'd and their was a claimer rule. New lazy tech guy took over and started a random selection on what was being tech'd, people started to cheat, they started to add complicated rules and the series eventually imploded. Unfortunately I don't think the claimer rule would work in champcar, although it would be interesting to be able to buy a Porsche Boxster for$500 😋

Edited by trigun7469

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28 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

This thread is leaning back towards hearsay....

Most certainly happened.  red0 can talk about valve cover removal and snorman can talk about the ruling that it can't be done.

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1 hour ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Dq.  Not sent to ec.  Sending to ec is most likely going to get them a trophy anyway.

I agree. It would suck to be racing in EC and have enough of a gap over your next nearest competitor so you start taking it easy, thinking hey we are going to finish in whatever place and get a trophy and BAM, during impound a new car shows up in EC knocking you out of contention. DQ is a pretty harsh penalty, but moving to EC has the potential to affect other competitors unfairly.

Also, Epstein didn't kill himself.

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1 hour ago, Slugworks Paul said:

Most certainly happened.  red0 can talk about valve cover removal and snorman can talk about the ruling that it can't be done.

Hearsay definition...

The report of another person's words by a witness, which is usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.

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Personally if there are un-claimed parts at impound, an automatic DQ is a little harsh.  There is always room for interpretation and if tech misses it pre-race, then it gets discovered post-race and you're DQ'd, that is not entirely fair.

There does need to be some recognition of where the team ended up.  If the car in question is many laps ahead of the next placed car, you need to look at if it would have mattered, so adding laps solves the issue.  In post-race discovery, if you add the appropriate points and subsequent laps, you are no different than if you had claimed them at the start.  Again a DQ at this point is pretty mean.

Also, If I have a 400 point car then another 20 points worth of parts is discovered in impound, big deal, I'm still under 500.  A DQ is pretty harsh.

Perhaps as a compromise, post-race discoveries of un-claimed parts are worth twice the points or twice the laps as they would have garnished in pre-race.

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