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Second, Third and Fourth Pace Cars


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It was brought up on Facebook already regarding the this weekends race at PIRC about cars not catching the field behind the pace car. I saw repeated instances of cars leaving 30-45 second gaps behind the car in front of them while under full course yellow. Not only is this infuriating as a driver trying to gain ground but it is a safety issue for track workers and safety workers that are addressing an on track issue. From my observation this weekend it is the same handful of cars continuously leaving large gaps behind the field and pace car. I brought it up to Chelsea and she was on the PA repeatedly remind teams to catch up. To no avail though. So what is the solution? Here is what I propose. The first infraction an a official comes to the offending teams pit stall to warn them. Maybe add a black flag for the driver to discuss it further. If there is another infraction that team should be forced to come to pit lane anytime the pace car is deployed and sit for the duration of the full course yellow. Doing this will make the racing better and track safer. Thoughts?

Edited by Kentite
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4 minutes ago, Kentite said:

I don’t think it should require a petition. This doesn’t change anyone’s value nor does affect anyone’s build. It is a safety and competition issue that could be and SHOULD be addressed immediately.

 

I had the same outlook then.   But, I knew the only way that it would get the attention it deserved would be via petition.   Still didn't work. 

 

I believe it was this meeting if someone cares to watch it.     

 

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It happens every race, at least a couple times a race. 

Gingerman had an odd one where the lead car went full throttle as the pace car turned his lights off and try to get away.

I am all for a black flag "reminder" for teams to instruct new drivers on how it works.  They cover this in the novice school, right?  

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30 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Just allow the field to pass that person.  They will lose a lot of spots. 

 

It would be the simplest solution, but probably creates some judgment calls...

Passing under yellow is not the correct answer. Under any circumstance. 
 

I hate second pace cars as much as the next person. 
 

but passing under yellow? No. Just, no. 

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1 hour ago, Snake said:

 

I had the same outlook then.   But, I knew the only way that it would get the attention it deserved would be via petition.   Still didn't work. 

 

I believe it was this meeting if someone cares to watch it.     

 

It's at ~59:00. 

 

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16 minutes ago, shutupracing said:

Passing under yellow is not the correct answer. Under any circumstance. 
 

I hate second pace cars as much as the next person. 
 

but passing under yellow? No. Just, no. 

I agree.  However, if it is known that if the person is doing the 2nd pace car thing, treat it with the respect it deserves.  Meaning do it safely not near the incident.

 

Ideally, champcar would deal with this (has been brought up at drivers meetings for 8 years or so) and it would go away.  Sadly, I have never heard of any one getting black flagged for it.  Also, a black flag during an fcy probably isn't going to happen.

 

How do we solve this safely with the least impact to those racing?

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13 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I agree.  However, if it is known that if the person is doing the 2nd pace car thing, treat it with the respect it deserves.  Meaning do it safely not near the incident.

 

Ideally, champcar would deal with this (has been brought up at drivers meetings for 8 years or so) and it would go away.  Sadly, I have never heard of any one getting black flagged for it.  Also, a black flag during an fcy probably isn't going to happen.

 

How do we solve this safely with the least impact to those racing?

I get it. I really do. 
 

I just think allowing drivers to make their own decisions about who is/isn't creating a second pace car and then allowing them to pass UNDER YELLOW is asking for trouble and is a huge liability. 
 

not sure what the actual answer is.... Definitely appears to be something in the realm of just applying more pressure to race directors to deal harsher/more frequent black flag penalties for second pace cars. Which, frankly, appears to be how most people feel. It’s just unclear how to convince champcar to be more receptive to the idea. 

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The second pace car is one thing I have always asked about in drivers meetings to create more conversation on the matter, I deliberately word the question to say the same a different way, seems talking about another pace car sometimes confuses folks.

 

 

Saying that, devils advocate for the slow guy, last year, Sebring FCY, wet track, me impatiently trying to catch up to the pack but trapped behind a e36 whom seemed obtuse.... I pushed him with hand motions/engine noise, he sped up a little then spun in the wet... I suddenly felt terrible realizing he was maxed out @ 35 mph.  Who would have thought a e36 was unable to go faster.  

 

YES, a black flag could work under pace laps but think instructing flaggers to urge slower cars to bunch up might be better.

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Probably a different driver at every event that does this... you black flag that guy, maybe he doesn't reoffend, but a different new guy comes to the next event and he does it. And then at the next event it's a different new guy. The only solution is a proactive one within the team (I don't think black flagging cars at a race is going to solve things, after all, once a car has done this there will be a thread about it regardless of whether they got black flagged). Team captains must communicate to their drivers, especially the new guys, that you catch up under yellow AND have radio communication to remind them as soon as yellows come out to close the gap.

Edited by enginerd
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1 minute ago, enginerd said:

Probably a different driver at every event that does this... you black flag that guy, maybe he doesn't reoffend, but a different new guy comes to the next event and he does it. And then at the next event it's a different new guy. The only solution is a proactive one within the team... team captains must communicate to their drivers, especially the new guys, that you catch up under yellow AND have radio communication to remind them as soon as yellows come out to close the gap.

The only way to achieve that consistency is by making the teams responsible for their drivers. 

The series could start by putting it in the supps. 

 

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7 hours ago, Snorman said:

The only way to achieve that consistency is by making the teams responsible for their drivers. 

The series could start by putting it in the supps. 

 

 

Supps is a waste of time, won't solve a thing.    If they want to fix the issue they need to do something different than what they have been doing, it doesn't work.   

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There are a few every single race I have seen over the last 10+ years. We need to address this at every drivers meeting, not that everyone watches all 2,586 minutes of them though.

 

I would think to black flag any team that is a second pace car when the pace car is out. Simple as that, every time it happens. You do that a few times and it will stop happening as word will be out. We should write that into the rules also and then people will not have an excuse. Put it right next to the drive at 50% race speed as people take that as, "I usually drive at 60mph so I must go 30mph everywhere, even this 1 mile straight away."

 

Self policing can be a big help also. If you see a team next to you going slow and the 2nd pace car let them know. I have found teams on pit lane and let them know to radio their driver to go faster. That is usually when we are held up forever and the conversation might be a little frantic.

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12 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Just allow the field to pass that person.  They will lose a lot of spots. 

 

It would be the simplest solution, but probably creates some judgment calls...

THAT... Of course you'd need a specified space... say 25 feet? If you aren't w/in X feet of car you can be passed... 

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36 minutes ago, TiredBirds said:

THAT... Of course you'd need a specified space... say 25 feet? If you aren't w/in X feet of car you can be passed... 

Funny how extreme the rules have to get when all we need is the Race Director to start throwing black flags at the offenders.  The board already said its the race directors responsibility to enforce this via black flag.  They just need to do it.  

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2 hours ago, Snake said:

 

Supps is a waste of time, won't solve a thing.    If they want to fix the issue they need to do something different than what they have been doing, it doesn't work.   

It's a start. The race director can include it in the in-person or virtual driver's meetings. From there, it can get more aggressive. The BOD said in the meeting when they denied the petition that it should be the race director's call. So the race directors need to start doing something about it. 

Start slow and get more aggressive. You might have been in the car, but when I've approached teams in the pit and asked if they could have their driver speed up because we are stuck behind them, they are usually totally clueless. 

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