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Nelson Ledges video


Bill Strong
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Fiero takes out the ZX2 40 minutes in. Mind you, that there was a yellow flag, 2x safety trucks, and tow trucks and an upside down e30 around the bend from this accident...


/>http://youtu.be/bUNKH2Tixa4

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I'm trying to understand the "anatomy" of the Fiero's spin. The driver was carrying more speed into the turn than the Escort on the outside. It also looked like he/she was trail braking on the way in, but the brake lights flashed off and on again right right before the start of the spin. Is that what upset the car or was it just a case of too much speed for the available grip? What caused the Fiero to suddenly rotate back to the left and into the Escort?

Just trying to learn from others' mistakes...

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Oh, I can help with this...since I used to drive a few MR2's. What you saw was he classic example of "mid engined snap spin". The Fiero went in hot, had to hit the brakes to avoid a car in front which unweighted the rear tires, and that led to the initial oversteer. Every good mid engined driver knows that from that point you stay somewhat on the throttle and try to save it, or continue into a spin. It seems the Fiero chose to LIFT to avoid a spin...wrong thing to do. With the mid engined vehicle, once the rear tires caught then the car swings back at twice the speed.

Lesson...if you start getting the rear end out with a mid-engined car, never, ever, ever just "lift".

Tracy Ramsey

#66 Bavarian Mustache Werks

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this happens with mid-engine cars. Some call it "snap oversteer". In reality, he was going way too fast, lost grip, then momentum took over.

He should have got off the brakes, turned and floored it.

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I'm trying to understand the "anatomy" of the Fiero's spin. The driver was carrying more speed into the turn than the Escort on the outside. It also looked like he/she was trail braking on the way in, but the brake lights flashed off and on again right right before the start of the spin. Is that what upset the car or was it just a case of too much speed for the available grip? What caused the Fiero to suddenly rotate back to the left and into the Escort?

Just trying to learn from others' mistakes...

Primarily a mid-engine's curse. He was carrying too much speed, and the back wheels lost traction first, throwing the car into major oversteer. He corrected with opposite lock, turning the steering wheel to the left. (On a right hand turn.) So far, so good. But the slide scrubbed off enough speed the rear wheels regained traction. With the steering wheel still turned to the left. Driver didn't respond fast enough to the rear regaining traction. Car turned left. Damn!

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Bill -- I'll have to say that your characterization (above) is a bit unfair. As shown in the video, all 5 of the cars in that shot passed the starter's stand and two flag station -- none of which had any flags out. I reviewed that footage 5 times to be sure. So, if there was a situation on track, it was not in that immediate area. And, the audio of the video clearly presents the case that your own team driver was "WOT" chasing down Mealtime Racing's Honda. So, as you say, if there was a situation, why was your team racing into the corner? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

John.

I was not blaming the drivers.

I saw the E30 fly through the air, either land on its' nose or the rear bumper, and bounce even higher in the air landing on its' roof.

I will never forget that. Kinda up there with watching NASCAR drivers drive off the banking and into the parking lot in the old days of NASCAR...

I am also not blaming Chump.

Maybe the race stewards could have had more flags waving. did I fail to mention the car on its' side on the inside of the track on turn 9. i think i did.

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Guest David Hawkins

Bill -- I'll have to say that your characterization (above) is a bit unfair. As shown in the video, all 5 of the cars in that shot passed the starter's stand and two flag station -- none of which had any flags out. I reviewed that footage 5 times to be sure. So, if there was a situation on track, it was not in that immediate area. And, the audio of the video clearly presents the case that your own team driver was "WOT" chasing down Mealtime Racing's Honda. So, as you say, if there was a situation, why was your team racing into the corner? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

As far as the incident goes, typical over-driving of a mid- and/or rear-engine car... when the rear end breaks loose, it's all over. Brake in a straight line and settle the car down, then squeeze the power on. I can fault the driver for over-driving his car (or not being familiar with it's handling characteristics), but we've all seen the same loss of car control at just about every race... including the pros at any pro-road race. Racing incident: due to inexperience or brain-fade or both.

I think Bill's point was that there were more than enough examples of what was going to happen if you drive beyond your talent level - yet it continued to happen. Did you also notice that I got out of the Fiero's way and backed off when I saw was unfolding in front of me? I may have been WOT, but I know my limits and I was well within them.

You're worrying me a little with your quickness to write off the multitude of donkey-hattedness driving as simply 'racing incidents'. I guess that anything that happens on the track could be characterized as such, but this weekend went way beyond.

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Guest lumpychumpy

I agree with the Chief. There was plenty of a-hole drivers out there (still the minority of drivers, but even three is plenty) - but this is not a good example of that. Just a bad driver. Of which there were also plenty.

And I also agree - just because there's an incident on the track elsewhere, doesn't mean you need to slow down on other areas of the track. Probably a good idea to be ready to slow down when you return to the incident, but by all means, keep racing on the other areas, if you don't see flags. I thought this was pretty well understood.

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Heck, at 8:59 in the video link I posted, I did the same thing. Cook it in, back end gets light on heavy braking, and it slides out. I happened to catch it, but I know the feeling. It happens. MR cars can be stellar performers, but they do have the tendency to bite you occasionally.

The key here is that it looks like the Fiero driver happened to be going too fast, especially so considering how early in the race this seems to have been.

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edited

I may have still been in shock over the violence of the E30 wreck I witnessed Saturday. I am in the white MR2 that is 4 cars ahead of the Camera MR2. As we had seen the wreck that had happened just a lap or two earlier, I expected a full course yellow at any moment, and still think there should have been one. Just think of what would have happened if the Fiero had tried doing that pass further along near where the E30 had flipped, or after the carrusel a few laps later where another car had flipped onto its' side just opposite of where the first E30 flipped.

I got an email from the driver of the flipped E30. He said they got the car working again and racing. The driver was okay, which I am really glad to hear.

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Guest Packard Goose

Bill,

Agree that any time a driver does something stupid, someone could get hurt. As you said, "Around the bend" which means that the MR2 driver was not under yellow where he made his mistake. Sure he saw it the past lap (unless there was a driver change that early in the race) but even though you should be prepared to slow up again at the section of the course, a driver does not know that the incident was cleared and that yellow will still be out until he can see that station. So from that perspective the Fiero wasn't doing anything wrong other than overdriving the car.

I was Steward at that time and it's not customary for us (or even other orgs) to go FC yellow for an incident where the car ends up off track and the driver is ok. In fact I try to avoid FC yellow and let guys race unless there is reason not to. The driver of the E30 had signaled workers that he was ok (ambulance rolled anyway as a precaution). In my opinion and in that of the SCCA Steward and the SCCA Race Control director, well over 60 years of combined racing experience in the room, we took the necessary precautions for that incident.

On the Fiero, I agree, too hot in a car that they probably did not have a complete handle on, on a course that has some peculiarities that one needs to figure out. Three of the four drivers on that team are very young and lack experience, they are led by "dad" who did a good job coaching them over the weekend overall. As I recall that particular incident was called in as a "spin and continue" by the Fiero. If it were called in as hard contact as a result of a spin, I would have brought them in if for no other reason than to have someone inspect the car.

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Guest David Hawkins

Well we know exactly what to expect from you...

To drive within my limits?

To bring up issues that I think affect the future viability of ChumpCar?

To tell it how I see it without sugar coating it?

We have a PM system for a reason - got an issue with me that's different from what's being discussed? Use it. I did - you've got one from me right now. Several of my posts on this forum directed at John would have been done via PM, but he has his disabled - so I assume that means he wants us to make our comments in public.

Joey, your point about 'the yellow might have been cleared up' would be valid if there hadn't been 3 safety vehicles at Oak Tree and a car still on its roof.

I come on here and throw darts because I like the overall theme of ChumpCar and I want to see it remain a viable series. Things are going on that will either drive people away or, in the case of races like Nelson, put K&K in a position to re-think their desire to insure the events. No one wins in either of those cases. Most of my posts are critical because I don't have time to sit here and make casual banter - I'm busy running a business and keeping 2 cars healthy for the next race (or repairing thousands of dollars worth of carnage from the last one).

I've made my points about the NL race and I'll have to take it on faith that changes will actually be put in place to fix the problems (and there ARE problems). The Lemons penalty system came about through some hard lessons over the years, and Chump isn't going to be any different - it's just a shame that we seem to be reinventing the wheel rather than learning from the mistakes of others in what seems to be an aggressive policy to do everything possible to not be like those others in any way save the basic format.

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A more aggressive penalty system could be put into place without going to the extreme of LeMons. There should be a happy medium in there some place. First contact-warning. 2nd contact-sit for 15 minutes. 3rd contact-3 hours. Just a thought.

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A more aggressive penalty system could be put into place without going to the extreme of LeMons. There should be a happy medium in there some place. First contact-warning. 2nd contact-sit for 15 minutes. 3rd contact-3 hours. Just a thought.

I was thinking along the lines of:

1st contact: Warning in the form of a big black line around your wristband. Team isn't allowed having any black-marked drivers on-track for 3 hours (since Chump can track driver stint lengths, I assume they could tell the pit-out guy when a team is allowed having black-marked drivers again)

2nd contact: If by a black-marked driver, he's done. Snip the wristband. If by another team member, give the offender and another driver on the team a black mark. Restart the 3 hour timer for when they can have black-marked drivers out again.

Pretty rapidly, an overly aggressive team would run out of drivers. I like this because if a team has a single bad rent-a-rider, it keeps that driver off the track without completely wrecking the team's race as a whole. If a team has lots of bad drivers though, they'd hit the trailer (or at least have a long timeout) pretty quick. It's also a mild team penalty because a competitive team would have their strategy wrecked by an early pit and forced driver change.

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I was thinking along the lines of:

1st contact: Warning in the form of a big black line around your wristband. Team isn't allowed having any black-marked drivers on-track for 3 hours (since Chump can track driver stint lengths, I assume they could tell the pit-out guy when a team is allowed having black-marked drivers again)

2nd contact: If by a black-marked driver, he's done. Snip the wristband. If by another team member, give the offender and another driver on the team a black mark. Restart the 3 hour timer for when they can have black-marked drivers out again.

Pretty rapidly, an overly aggressive team would run out of drivers. I like this because if a team has a single bad rent-a-rider, it keeps that driver off the track without completely wrecking the team's race as a whole. If a team has lots of bad drivers though, they'd hit the trailer (or at least have a long timeout) pretty quick. It's also a mild team penalty because a competitive team would have their strategy wrecked by an early pit and forced driver change.

I actually quite like this idea. John? Oh, John? :lol:

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I like the "black mark" idea BUT, I personally think it should be applied to the car. Like Lemons or not, a big freaking chicken (or whatever) welded to the roof lets EVERYONE know whats up with that car. A big orange dot next to their car number would do the same thing.

Teams need to step up and police themselves and take responsibility for their teams actions. If they have a bad driver... deal with it as a team or the team is on the trailer. Rental driver? The TEAM needs to be very clear that if you drive like an idiot and get us stickered, YOU are done.

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Guest David Hawkins

I think it's a good idea, but I also think that tracking individual wristbands is going to be more time consuming than Chump has the manpower to implement. I like the idea of a tiered penalty system levied on teams. Make the teams police their own crappy drivers and leave wrist-band snapping by Chump to the worst offenders. With the Lemons '3 strikes and you're done for the day' in a double 7 rule, we pull any driver who comes in on a black flag. He doesn't get back in the car until everyone else has had a turn.

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