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8 Hours of Charlotte - Post-Race Review


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Charlotte is a tough place for a motor race, and so it proved with high attrition, some scary incidents, and great action throughout the field. I hope everyone who participated enjoyed the event and the broadcast, and that we are able to bring racing to the CCES community in these strange times

 

Congratulations to the Dangers Out Mustang crew of @Hurljohn, @Huggy and @Wyatt for their second overall victory a row, OST (Kyle Herbst, Andrew Pallotta and Dennis Barrett) secured the win in the Jetta class with a strong and safe drive, and the Hugh Jass Winter Solstice team of @Didarabocchi, Chris Flamion, and @Gordo, mastering the tricky Pontiac and bringing home the class win at the back of the grid. These are the provisional results for the event pending any final stewards decision, and we will update when the results are final. Once those are final I will post the updated championship totals after the three events and see where we all stand.

 

Would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people who were involved in the organisation of this race. Many thanks to @dabneydfor a marathon stint as producer of the video stream, and to @David Haines, @Devon Peters, and @Doc for their work in the commentary booth. Thanks to @Hugh Jass for putting in a shift in Race Control, and for managing the field, protests, and cautions. Please send any feedback to myself via this forum or the Discord, and we will take all of these comments onboard.

 

We do not know when the next special event will be - the situation in the country is changing by the day and I know that CCES is tentatively looking at resuming racing activities. The next scheduled event is at Watkins Glen, and we should have more clarity on the future soon. If the event does not go ahead then we will of course look to run a special iRacing endurance event instead - keep your eyes on the forum for further details!

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Thanks again for hosting another fantastic event. Daring Greatly Racing had a great day. Not nearly as much carnage as we thought. We managed to finish 7th with 2 quick repairs left. Can those carry over to the next race?  Please?

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19 minutes ago, ktm300 said:

First iRacing endurance race.  Lots of fun.

 

Can someone help me understand the full course cautions?

 

They are cautions that cover the whole race track. 😜  Race control throws them based on crashes, maybe not the instant the crashes happen, but they are related to incidents. 

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1 hour ago, dabneyd said:

 

They are cautions that cover the whole race track. 😜  Race control throws them based on crashes, maybe not the instant the crashes happen, but they are related to incidents. 

Guess I should have elaborated a bit more.

 

In iRacing stuff is normally cleared up really fast.  I am not used to full course yellow flags.  We were getting full course yellows for multiple laps.  I was spotting and looked at the whole track and there was nothing going on for most of the time.  Just trying to understand the reasoning in this particular race.  It is my first iRacing Champ Car Race.

 

IMHO I think it would promote cleaner racing to skip the full course yellows.

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When racing in CCES, full course yellows are definitely a significant factor in the race. Very few tracks do hot pulls under local yellows and so you'll find the pace car out there every couple of hours or so (or Code 35 at VIR). Therefore we've found that managing unexpected full course cautions is an important skill with ChampCar race strategy. Unfortunately, iRacing does not model full mechanical frailty (especially that found in a ChampCar field), and the ability to fast tow after an incident means that car recovery is also not a factor. For these iRacing special events, we decided that we would have manually thrown full course cautions (managed by Race Control) to simulate the experience and challenge of a real ChampCar enduro.

 

If we left this to iRacing automatic control, we would have had a full course caution triggered every couple of laps for every spin and incident. Instead, we at Race Control decided to only throw a caution when we saw something that would trigger one in real life, such as a multi-car incident, a car blocking the track after a crash (after T1 at Charlotte was a particular example of this), or a mechanically disabled car still making it's way around the track. The reason that it would have seemed as though there was nothing going on when the caution was underway was that the incident in question was cleaned up artificially quickly. The reason that the caution extended for multiple laps is that we had to manage wave arounds for the field to ensure that no teams were unduly punished for the timing of the caution, to account for some teams pitting under caution, and to give time for the waved around cars to catch the back of the field again.

 

We don't run with cautions in the regular Wednesday night CCiS series as those races are only an hour in length, but for the special events we decided that it added another dimension of strategy and unpredictability to the race. Hope this helps explain our reasoning and decision making.

Edited by Rapido
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20 hours ago, ktm300 said:

Guess I should have elaborated a bit more.

 

In iRacing stuff is normally cleared up really fast.  I am not used to full course yellow flags.  We were getting full course yellows for multiple laps.  I was spotting and looked at the whole track and there was nothing going on for most of the time.  Just trying to understand the reasoning in this particular race.  It is my first iRacing Champ Car Race.

 

IMHO I think it would promote cleaner racing to skip the full course yellows.

This is much more realistic to what you will see in actual Endurance racing events of any type and definitely in Champcar.  Working out pit strategy and sometimes taking a risk on that strategy can put you well ahead of the field.  It can also put you pretty far back. 

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11 hours ago, Rapido said:

When racing in CCES, full course yellows are definitely a significant factor in the race. Very few tracks do hot pulls under local yellows and so you'll find the pace car out there every couple of hours or so (or Code 35 at VIR). Therefore we've found that managing unexpected full course cautions is an important skill with ChampCar race strategy. Unfortunately, iRacing does not model full mechanical frailty (especially that found in a ChampCar field), and the ability to fast tow after an incident means that car recovery is also not a factor. For these iRacing special events, we decided that we would have manually thrown full course cautions (managed by Race Control) to simulate the experience and challenge of a real ChampCar enduro.

 

If we left this to iRacing automatic control, we would have had a full course caution triggered every couple of laps for every spin and incident. Instead, we at Race Control decided to only throw a caution when we saw something that would trigger one in real life, such as a multi-car incident, a car blocking the track after a crash (after T1 at Charlotte was a particular example of this), or a mechanically disabled car still making it's way around the track. The reason that it would have seemed as though there was nothing going on when the caution was underway was that the incident in question was cleaned up artificially quickly. The reason that the caution extended for multiple laps is that we had to manage wave arounds for the field to ensure that no teams were unduly punished for the timing of the caution, to account for some teams pitting under caution, and to give time for the waved around cars to catch the back of the field again.

 

We don't run with cautions in the regular Wednesday night CCiS series as those races are only an hour in length, but for the special events we decided that it added another dimension of strategy and unpredictability to the race. Hope this helps explain our reasoning and decision making.

 

Thanks for the explanation - very helpful to know why these things are happening. 

 

Was this information available to the teams in advance of the race?  As a new participant in iRacing and with ChampCar iRacing, I keep thinking "Where's the drivers meeting" where things like this might be explained.  Being an observer, maybe I did not get the communications, or have just not read everything available in advance of the event.

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Love Racing here. 
 

Just like everyone else here has said, we love these special endurance racing events and they’ve been a lot of fun and a great team building exercise. I think we’ve become faster drivers with all this seat time. Also, thanks to everyone who made all the practice sessions. 
 

Short race recap:

Had a pretty good qualifying and was on the front row behind HJ in the Solstice. Our plan was just to stay behind, don’t lose the draft, try to put some pressure on, and run nice long clean stints. This worked for most of my stint. HJ had some contact with some passing mustangs which gave us an early lead and a bit of a gap but with so much battling traffic ahead they ended up right back with us. We both pitted during that first caution. Our team continued to run clean, fast laps and we were able to get a lap up until our 2nd to last stint where some bad luck with a couple cautions gave a lap back to our competition. HJ was really fast those last couple stints and pulled away but we were happy getting on the podium.  
 

Overall it was really fun racing and we are really hoping for more endurance races. Hoping for Watkins Glen! 

Edited by cowboys647
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21 hours ago, mostmint said:

 

Thanks for the explanation - very helpful to know why these things are happening. 

 

Was this information available to the teams in advance of the race?  As a new participant in iRacing and with ChampCar iRacing, I keep thinking "Where's the drivers meeting" where things like this might be explained.  Being an observer, maybe I did not get the communications, or have just not read everything available in advance of the event.

 

 @mostmint I think most if not all was covered in the post linked below.  We always welcome feedback, so give it a look as a "new to the sim driver" and see if there is anything we can add for next time.  

 

 

We are still gathering feedback from Charlotte and have started planning for WGI.  Once the series meets with the track tomorrow, we should have a better idea of the situation.

 

edit: added link

Edited by Hugh Jass
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On 5/3/2020 at 12:18 PM, Rapido said:

When racing in CCES, full course yellows are definitely a significant factor in the race. Very few tracks do hot pulls under local yellows and so you'll find the pace car out there every couple of hours or so (or Code 35 at VIR). Therefore we've found that managing unexpected full course cautions is an important skill with ChampCar race strategy. Unfortunately, iRacing does not model full mechanical frailty (especially that found in a ChampCar field), and the ability to fast tow after an incident means that car recovery is also not a factor. For these iRacing special events, we decided that we would have manually thrown full course cautions (managed by Race Control) to simulate the experience and challenge of a real ChampCar enduro.

 

If we left this to iRacing automatic control, we would have had a full course caution triggered every couple of laps for every spin and incident. Instead, we at Race Control decided to only throw a caution when we saw something that would trigger one in real life, such as a multi-car incident, a car blocking the track after a crash (after T1 at Charlotte was a particular example of this), or a mechanically disabled car still making it's way around the track. The reason that it would have seemed as though there was nothing going on when the caution was underway was that the incident in question was cleaned up artificially quickly. The reason that the caution extended for multiple laps is that we had to manage wave arounds for the field to ensure that no teams were unduly punished for the timing of the caution, to account for some teams pitting under caution, and to give time for the waved around cars to catch the back of the field again.

 

We don't run with cautions in the regular Wednesday night CCiS series as those races are only an hour in length, but for the special events we decided that it added another dimension of strategy and unpredictability to the race. Hope this helps explain our reasoning and decision making.

Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for.  Just didn't understand what was going on.  I really enjoyed the race.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Jass said:

 

 @mostmint I think most if not all was covered in the post linked below.  We always welcome feedback, so give it a look as a "new to the sim driver" and see if there is anything we can add for next time.  

 

We are still gathering feedback from Charlotte and have started planning for WGI.  Once the series meets with the track tomorrow, we should have a better idea of the situation.

Alex - thanks for the reply.  Your reply does not include a link so I presume you are referring to the event info "ChampCar iRacing Special Event: 8 Hours of Charlotte" or final event info "**Final Information** - 8 Hours of Charlotte

The event info thread says "manual control" for the yellow flags. 

 

The final event info thread gives a better explanation of what will happen with the caution flags as quoted below.  The "why" this was done I did not see. 

 

On 5/1/2020 at 3:36 PM, Rapido said:

The stewarding team will also have the ability to throw full course yellow flag cautions if they see a situation that warrants this. If this is the case, they will advise over the Racecontrol radio channel the reason and manage all wave-arounds through this whilst the field is brought under control.

 

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I had a blast again. Trying to wake up on the west coast to partake in these events is tough, especially when you spend all night on the beach watching bio-luminescent plankton lighting up the pipeline of waves crashing in. Can't wait for the next event and hopefully we'll have some better luck. I actually had a second driver show up this time, which was a huge plus. 

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36 minutes ago, dirtybird222 said:

I had a blast again. Trying to wake up on the west coast to partake in these events is tough, especially when you spend all night on the beach watching bio-luminescent plankton lighting up the pipeline of waves crashing in. Can't wait for the next event and hopefully we'll have some better luck. I actually had a second driver show up this time, which was a huge plus. 

huh?

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On 5/2/2020 at 6:39 PM, ktm300 said:

IMHO I think it would promote cleaner racing to skip the full course yellows.

 

I agree with @ktm300.

 

 @Rapido you are correct there are full course yellows with a safety car in CCES but unless you are at Watkins Glen they aren't suuuuuuper common, but happen enough. But if they happen enough isn't my issue with the yellow flags in iRacing though. Its that they are buggy....We have received incorrect black flags under FCY for both Daytona and Charlotte. At Daytona race control solve it but at Charlotte it was a 40 second penalty for pitting while the pit lane was closed that expired before we could get ahold of race control. We suck and were just trying to have a good time so it didn't really bother us that much but I know of other teams that lost multiple laps because of bugs with FCYs. 

 

Please don't take this as whining. We had a great time and will be back and i know Its gotta be really hard to be race control. I just think life might be easier with less FCYs but I have no experience from your side to know if thats true or not. 

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I kind of agree on the FCY as well. If you aren’t in the fastest overall class you end up with the pack being split in your class and laps lost/gained purely because the overall leader got in between. Not ideal and not really any good way to fix it if we have FCY. Our team is looking to switch to the fastest class car for the next race just so we can avoid that. Either way, still awesome racing and appreciate the hard work that goes into these. 

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I like the FCY for a few reasons:

 

1) Strategy: Makes it just like the real thing, you gotta have a plan for your plan to use your plan.  Its pretty much the only way WUDU has placed as high as it has in both races

 

2) Competition:  Without the yellows the field would get more spread out, the top 2-3 teams would be laps on laps ahead of the rest of the field.  The cautions act as a competition yellow and keep the field bunched up.  Most of us are hoping for wave around and sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't.

 

3) Feel:  Brings that race track feeling to my basement.  You get in a rhythm, something happens and the yellow hits.  Now you gotta focus on how to get back in it and manage that tight traffic for the next few laps.

 

Having raced in the fastest class in two races and the worst wheel drive class the last race, I still like the feel of the yellows.  We too also got the 40 sec penalties for entering a closed pit, but 40 seconds doesn't really hurt much when you are going to be at the back of the field anyways.

 

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

^item #2, my team had opposite experience in last 2 races.  Running mustang then Jetta, so not fastest class. FCY comes out shortly after getting passed by overall leader means in-class cars that were 5-10 ahead suddenly go to a full lap ahead.  We got one wave around, along with 3/4 of the field for no benefit.  Rest of the time we watched 1st - 3rd get a wave around as we ended up somehow just behind the new "leader".

 

I sort of get that with the fcy when pace car picks up leader and next car in class is up the road a ways. That is normal ChampCar stuff.  ChampCar will have any lapped traffic go by in case they pick up a car or 2 ahead of leader.

 

It sucks when there is a wave-by that occurs because overall Ieader decides to pit and the 2nd place overall car is between my team and next team up, we lose a lap on a car we may have been having a tight battle with.  That wave around thing doesn't happen in ChampCar when leader decides to pit under caution.

 

I say ok to keep the wave around for any car that somehow gets between pace car and overall leader.  If o/a leader decides to pit, no additional wave around - the next car in line that does not pit becomes the car that sets pace and controls the field for green flag.  This will reduce yellow flag time (not adding that extra lap or 2 waiting for the wave around pack to catch up, which also gives teams that decided to pit extra time to catch back up) and prevent some of the lap disparity from wave-arounds.

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Hey guys,

 

Our team ended up making a lap guide video here for the Solstice (after the race, I'm sorry!). I'm not the fastest driver but this might give you an idea of where you might be losing a bit of time. We are going to try to start making these a regular thing and get them out before the races if that helps anyone.

 

 

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