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Poll Gridding at the Nationals


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Again, GTS Challenge will our own run group at the Championships. So we can decide on how we want to grid and start the race.

 

All starts will be a rolling start, there will be no standing starts.

 

But we do have some options.

 

Gridding options:

 

By times seperated by class: All GTS5 cars would be gridded by time followed by GTS4 gridded by time followed by GTS3......and so on

 

or

 

Grid by time regardless of class: All GTS cars would be gridded according to fastest lap, no matter what GTS class they are in.

 

 

Start options:

 

1 group behind a pace car (no split starts)

 

or

 

Split Start (Would require gridding by times seperated by class), and the group would be split at GTS3. GTS5,4 in the first group and GTS3,2,1 in the second or GTS5,4,3 in a group and GTS2,1 in the other.

 

Remember, Sundays race isn't gridded by times, the grid is configured by points, so we will be gridded by class. But a split start is an option.

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By overall time.

 

Split start might get confusing if someone needs to start from the back.

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Gridding should be by overall qualifying time for the qualifying races. Not in favor of starting by classes. There are lower class cars that are faster than some higher class cars and that means they would have slower cars starting in front of them. When you start by time it seems to eliminate most of that problem. Just my opinion.

 

 

Sundays Championship start was not gridded by class the last two years. It was gridded by overall finishing position points earned in the two qualifying races.

 

 

-Scott

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Brad Waite

I vote for gridding by time overall within GTS. Ithink that is the safest way to start and will make for the best racing. Gridding by GTS class would create pockets of faster, then slower, then faster cars that could cause incidents during the start. JMHO. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to provide input on this Mark.

 

Brad

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Sundays Championship start was not gridded by class the last two years. It was gridded by overall finishing position points earned in the two qualifying races.

-Scott

I syand corrected. We awarded points as one group in the qualifying races. Only the overall finisher received first place points, not the winner of each class.

 

Thanks for straightening me out!

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I'm in favor of gridding in a single group by qualifying race results for the reasons raised by others above. Gridding by points vs. times has resulted in the occasional faster-classed car starting at the back, but it rewards qualifying race finishes (so in a sense, we're gridding by overall race times vs. best single lap times).

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cstreit911

I'm going to run against the grain and say I'd prefer to grid by classes. But this would also mean that points on Fri/Sat would also have to be assigned by class.

 

Last year there were too many out-of-class battles on the start of the races. I was held up quite a bit but some out-of class cars battling it out for their position. Out-of-class racing is not only fustrating but irrelevant to the event.

 

While it's admirable to be faster than cars above your class, it's not the point of the week.

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Following that process, I wonder how long it would have taken John H. to take the GTS4 lead in the championship race if he would have started 5th. in class versus starting at the back of the entire field. That wouldn't have been much of a penalty for getting dq'd in one of the qualifying races.

 

Damien

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cstreit911

...truth, but that's one car out of 60.

 

...and would it have have been different if the front two GTS-4 guys didn't have to battle through a GTS3 pack that qualified ahead? Probably not in this case, but had things been different, the guy that was in front, ahem, might have been quite fustrated to have to work cars outside of his/her class for the first 5-6 laps to get going.

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...truth, but that's one car out of 60.

 

...and would it have have been different if the front two GTS-4 guys didn't have to battle through a GTS3 pack that qualified ahead? Probably not in this case, but had things been different, the guy that was in front, ahem, might have been quite fustrated to have to work cars outside of his/her class for the first 5-6 laps to get going.

 

Chris,

 

I have to disagree with you about your analogy. I do recall that in fridays qualifying race I was ahead of you and waved you by on the backstretch. I could of held you off if I had tried, but decided to let you go as you were a 4 car. For whatever reason that weekend the front running GTS3 cars were consistently faster than the majority of GTS4 and GTS5 cars. Check the lap times. You started 5th and finished 5th in the championship race. That put Sean and myself the only GTS3 cars in front of you on the start. I don't know what the others were doing, but I never saw you guys close to me in my mirrors. I think Paul Fusco's GTS5/4(depending on the race) car held you up more than any of the GTS3 guys in front of you.

 

The winning GTS3 and overall winner Randy Mueller started in 7th, so he was behind you at the start and made it to the front. I don't think just because someone has a 4 or a 5 on their car they should get to start ahead of someone in a lower class car if they didn't earn it. I'm sure things will be a lot different this year, as there will be a bunch of really fast GTS4 and GTS5 cars coming to Nationals. Just my opinion, others mileage may differ.......

 

Cheers, Scott B.

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Scott I agree with you... looking back at Putnam this year both Sean and you were faster than me putting you two ahead of me on the grid. In my opinion this was for the better to get through traffic. That said, there will be plenty of traffic to race through at the Nationals so I believe it is best if drivers were gridded by lap time vs. class. As for the final the gridding should also be set from overall points not by class.

 

Ryan.

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cstreit911

Scott, I understand your point and was not speaking of your car or actions. I recall a few cases where I was held up by an out-of-class car early on but without remembering the specifics I made a point not to mention a car, a class, driver or day to save a debate. My apologies if my analogy wasn't perfect, however it doesn't affect my opinion on this issue.

 

My point is this: The Nationals awards are for a particular class. Where you were in the overall field is not relevant to the points, or anything else in GTS. Moreover to me it is actually less about a lower-classed car holding up guys from the next class up in fact which is what folks are focusing on in most cases with this debate (it goes on in the regions every week). It is more about the unfair advantage it gives the guys who qualify in the front of a class and are then safely gapped by the stragglers in the class above.

 

For example. One driver in GTS1 outqualifies the entire GTS-2 field because they all had mechanicals, were slower, agreed to run 50 heat cycle tires, whatever. This gives an unfair advantage to this one driver in GTS-1 because his competitors now have to pass 10 "out of class cars" to get to him when the battle that group should be having is with each other, NOT the GTS-2 cars. It gives some cars an unfair advantage simply based on random chance.

 

The answer to this question posed by Mark would not have affected my results at Nats 2007 at all so I have no vested interest in this other than the affect on competition for everyone and it's affect on the Regions. John Haas would have passed me for the lead earlier and since I never caught up to the top guys in 3 it wouldn't have changed much for me. However this question comes up in the Regions a lot. Would your answer change if you were running mixed AI/AIX/GTS fields where the guy in your class and in front of you had 7 or 8 AI/X guys or Miatas between you?

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Chris,

 

We will have to agree to disagree. Your example is a bit of a stretch, though its not the GTS-1 cars fault. I just beleive that unless each class gets it's own race, when you have multi-class racing, cars should start by time/finishing order not class. Come on I know you cheer for the P2 Porsche's to beat the P1 Audi's in ALMS.... Anyway look forward to seeing you and the family at Nationals.

 

 

Cheers, Scott

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Here is the flip side of that thought. So if we grid by class, then what's the point of the qual. races? Someone could DNF both days and still start up near the front? Hell, if Scott DNFd both qual. races and had to start from the back of GTS3, he'd prolly win. That just aint right. Then again, he could start from the back of the whole GTS field and still somehow manage to pull ahead.

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cstreit911

Scott,

 

Certainly untill we get enough cars for class racing, inter-class competition will always be an issue whether it's lappers or on the start. FWIW up untill recently I was of the same opinion as the majority but the esteemable Mr. Royce convinced me otherwise... Either way I don't think it will have a huge impact, but nonetheless, I cast my vote out onto the sea.

 

See you guys at the Bier Garden... Look forward to sharing videos on the side of the trailers!

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We've done this both ways. I agree that it is a bit of an unfair advantage for the leaders in the class to have a buffer between themselves and the others in their class. I've started the last several races with several GTS3 cars behind me providing blocking (thanks guys), but would be pissed about it if I was the next (in-class) guy in line.

 

Having said that, last year (I think it was) we had a race where we were gridded completely by class. As has been discussed here, the fastest several GTS2 cars were stuck behind half a dozen or more slower GTS3 cars. While that seemed like it would be fair because we all started together, the reality was we were being held up by the slower cars, making it a good bit more hectic and dangerous at the start than it needed to be.

 

If you decide to start us by class, PLEASE make GTS2 the front of the back pack. The speed differential between us and the fastest GTS3 cars makes that an easy choice, and getting some space between us and the slowest GTS3 cars will mean we can have sorted ourselves out before we start working our way through the GTS3 back-markers.

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I know you guys don't know me but I have experience with this in other organizations. How about looking at both finish order and Lap time in the qualifing races. Meaning say the top GTS - 5 car runs a 1:30 which is the fastest lap of everybody breaks in the first qualifing race and finishes last. Instead of putting him in the back of the field you put him behind the slowest GTS -5 car. The results is he may only be 8 cars back instead of 60. Lets not forget we are a 13/13 group so there is no need to put a guy that runs 1:30 behind guys that are running 1:38 when national championships are on the line. This may minimize the negative effects of putting faster cars in the back of the grid while still rewarding the quicker of the lower classed cars for driving their asses off.

 

It ain't going to be perfect either way, and somebody will always whine.

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Brad Waite

Since it will always be imperfect at best and the grid order will never make everyone happy, I say we choose the method that gives the driver the most control over the outcome. Specifically, go out and earn your grid position by posting the fastest lap time you can, and that's where you start. Anything else is full of compromise, excuses and rationalizations. JMHO

 

Brad

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I won't be running this year but I will voice my opinion anyway. The starting position is set by your finishes in the two qualifying races. That gives everyone plenty of time to get sorted out during the race and will reward drivers who run fast but also consistent laps. I might change my mind if we were doing the typical one lap qualifying as I am not so sure the sorting happens as much as it does over a race distance. However, I think it evens things out and barring an unfortunate incident in the qualifying races, should start the field out on Sunday in a safe order. I believe that if you break or are DQ'd, you should not be advantaged by grouping by class, you should be penalized and averaged toward the back of the pack.

 

While I understand some car(s) may be a little back from where they should be (due to reasons perhaps beyond their control), it clearly would affect a smaller number the cars than by placing them out of position should you start by class. What I could see happening if the GTS4 cars all start in front of the GTS3 cars (for example) is maybe one GTS3 car getting through the GTS4 back-markers and leaving the second GTS3 car behind when they are nose to tail all weekend and would have remained that way had the slower GTS4 cars not been placed in front of them. I think the risk of that happening is much, much higher gridding by class rather than gridding by the average finish over the two qualifying races.

 

Plus there is the safety factor on the start.

 

So there's my 2 cents. I plan to be around most of the weekend if anybody needs any help, a parts store runner or pit/tire pressure reader/radio person, look me up.

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cstreit911
What I could see happening if the GTS4 cars all start in front of the GTS3 cars (for example) is maybe one GTS3 car getting through the GTS4 back-markers and leaving the second GTS3 car behind when they are nose to tail all weekend and would have remained that way had the slower GTS4 cars not been placed in front of them.

 

Good point there John. I guess from a "close class competition" standpoint I'd still like to see the cars gridded by class. However the safety aspect that you bring up is valid and certainly has merit. I was thinking of the counterpoint that we end up negotiating slower cars later in a race anyway, but the first few corners are always the most dangerous and having better speed grouping is certainly safer.

 

(Then again to counter my counter-point I know a guy last year who started last and still ended up way in the front without incident. )

 

Are you still staying at the track? Wouldn't be the same without you in the Bier Garden!

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The only thing I would be concerned with is putting a a clearly faster car at the back of the grid VS behind the slowest car in that class. Like lets say Stickley gets mechanicals during the Qualifing races and doesn't finish one of them. So instead of starting 60th he starts behind the slowest GTS - 5 car.

 

That doesn't reward the car to much and minimizes his impact on the other classes.

 

Like you said you can still get though everybody and not have any issues.

That would be a hell of a way to win a Nats!!!!!!

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The only thing I would be concerned with is putting a a clearly faster car at the back of the grid VS behind the slowest car in that class. Like lets say Stickley gets mechanicals during the Qualifing races and doesn't finish one of them. So instead of starting 60th he starts behind the slowest GTS - 5 car.

 

That doesn't reward the car to much and minimizes his impact on the other classes.

 

Like you said you can still get though everybody and not have any issues.

That would be a hell of a way to win a Nats!!!!!!

 

Mike,

 

Last year the fastest car(CS) started at the back of the field for saturdays qualifying race. He managed to finish 7th, overall in just a 20 minutes race. Which in turn put him second on the grid for the championship race. He was well ahead until a mechanical problem. In the championship race on Sun. John Haas (GTS4) started at the back of the field and finished first in GTS4 and won the National Championship.

 

The same thing happened in '06 when Hal Prewitt(GTS5) started at the back and won the race overall. We have not had any real problems the last two years and there is really no need to try and re-invent the procedure. I know T&S worked hard at coming up with a program to keep track of all the Qualifying races finishing positions and produce a championship grid based on the points system.

 

Everything has worked well the last two years and no one lucked into a championship, because where someone else started on the grid. Look forward to meeting you and seeing the M3 i've heard so much about on bf.c.

 

 

Cheers, Scott B.

'96 BMW M3 GTS3 #88

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