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jrgordonsenior

What Can NASA Do With Out-Of-Control Racers?....

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jrgordonsenior

It appears to me that it's time for NASA to get serious about the lousy driving at the past few events. Yelling at the drivers on Sunday morning seemed to have an impact, so maybe thay should start the yelling on Saturday mornings too? If there aren't repercussions for bonehead driving and the associated carnage, why would anyone be surprised that the driving hasn't improved? I realize there are a lot of cars on the track and agree that the staggered starts are beneficial. Regardless, without real consequences yelling won't change the aggressive behavior.

 

Sunday's messy start at CS in the B group was not the fault of any drivers, it was the confusing flags at the start and the subsequent absense of any flags until the apex of T9. There the flagger came out of their barrier waving a double yellow at the apex. A Porsche came crashing thru too fast and too late and took out the 2 front running BMW's who had slowed. Most definitely driver error, though the absence of any flags at the previous stations had him thinking the track was hot. Still it was a bonehead move by a good friend and he knows it.

 

I've only ran with twice this year NASA at WSIR then BW in June. I witnessed the recent CS event and BW in late April which went off safely and convinced me to join and race. I've just completed building a 996 GTS3 car that I would love to run at BW in October or Miller next month. Unfortunately after investing $50k to buy/build it, I'm not sure I want to risk it to some out-of-control yahoo who thinks he's the next Schumacher.

 

The GTS series has great potential for more Porsche racers as witnessed by the crossover from the POC/PCA this year. Many of us have been promoting the series to our P-car friends. It just has to be reasonably safe (oxymoron) and that requires some dicipline....

 

JR Gordon

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echtm3

Actually, from the video link below, you can see flags easily, so I don't know why there was such carnage?

 

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What I want to know, is why did no one DQ the white Porsche who passed everyone on the start (which was green / yellow), and then why did turn 7 not have their double-yellow's out like turn 8 (hairpin)?

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jrgordonsenior
Actually, from the video link below, you can see flags easily, so I don't know why there was such carnage?

 

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What I want to know, is why did no one DQ the white Porsche who passed everyone on the start (which was green / yellow), and then why did turn 7 not have their double-yellow's out like turn 8 (hairpin)?

 

John I can't see any flags after the starter until that double yellow in T9. You can't see the station at T3, but Scott told me there wasn't a flag there which is why he took off racing. The corner worker in T9 was actually out of the enclosure but standing back towards the rear waving the double yellow. I don't think that improved their visibility. Perhaps just moving forward inside the enclosure would have been more useful.

 

That white Porsche you mentioned also whacked a white BMW in T5/6 then jumped to his right cutting off the black Porsche who went on to hit Scott in T9.

 

It pains me to see such awful driving from Porsche racers....

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echtm3

For the start, you have to look carefully, and if you know what you are looking for it's there, but clearly most drivers knew it was there, because that's why they all stayed in-line.

 

I don't think there was a flag in T3 or anything up until the hairpin, but like Rob and Ryan said on Sunday's drivers meeting, you'd have to be pretty optimistic to have seen that corvette broken at the bottom of T2 and not know there wasn't going to be a dbl-yellow.

 

No comment on the bad porsche drivers

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JoshC

Personally, I think the yelling gets old. I'd rather see 2 things:

 

1. A community radio frequency (listen only) that we can all tune into for course warnings called from the tower.

2. Enforcement of the points system for rule violations (contact, passing under yellow, etc). Too many violations and you lose your comp license.

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echtm3
Personally, I think the yelling gets old. I'd rather see 2 things:

 

1. A community radio frequency (listen only) that we can all tune into for course warnings called from the tower.

2. Enforcement of the points system for rule violations (contact, passing under yellow, etc). Too many violations and you lose your comp license.

 

I agree, we are all adults and a good talking to is just not what it takes, removal of our fun is what it takes.

 

#1 - Who's gonna pay for that? And I don't think it would do any good, since they don't see the flags now!

 

#2 - The rules can't be enforced unless someone tells the race director (Rob) about what happened. I asked three times on Saturday if the white porsche was going to be DQ'd for passing under yellow, and he hadn't heard about any of it, also racers didn't turn in incident reports about what had happened.

 

Then on Sunday, when Rob DQ'd some people in Qualifying for checking temps in the grid, they complained, said it wasn't clear and were reinstated, un-real!

 

I know of two CCA racers that will probably never race GTS again just because of the carnage that took place in the last two events (BW and CSW).

 

My biggest gripe in GTS Socal is the HP-to-talent ratio in the group - 'nough said.

 

J

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JoshC

I don't see the radio thing as being expensive. NASA would need 1 radio and a volunteer to operate it. Drivers would be on their own. Don't want to buy a radio? Fine; but you'd better not miss a flag or you risk being put on probation.

 

If people aren't turning in incident reports, increase the penalty for not doing so until folks start turning them in.

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echtm3
I don't see the radio thing as being expensive. NASA would need 1 radio and a volunteer to operate it. Drivers would be on their own. Don't want to buy a radio? Fine; but you'd better not miss a flag or you risk being put on probation.

 

If people aren't turning in incident reports, increase the penalty for not doing so until folks start turning them in.

 

Well, everyone thinks they see the flags... I guess.

 

Having more rules isn't the answer, sadly! The people getting hit are as much to blame as those doing the hitting. If the ones who get hit would just turn in a report, then the Race Director would have ample evidence to DQ the drivers who are causing all these issues.

 

Besides, having more penalty's puts way more work on the RD, who already has plenty on their plate to make sure everyone has a good time.

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JoshC

I guess I'm not doing a good job getting my point across... the point of the radio is to help those that are missing flags.

 

These are just ideas. I don't really care how it gets done... I just want to see the fields grow and have more people to race with.

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Neon2dmaX

Even though I'm not in the GTS group, I will weigh in on this one. The radio idea has its charms, but many of us do not use radios (at least many of us outside GTS). In addition, if a driver is talking on his radio, he might not hear the radio signal or voice warning. Nevertheless, I think there is some merit to some type of in car communication. Just a thought, but why not have a small receiver that activates one of two lights mounted on the dash in clear view of the driver: one being a flashing yellow which is activated for full course yellow, and the other being a flashing red. The lights would not be used as a replacement for the flags, but rather as a supplement. The cost for such a system should be minimal, even for us low budget guys.

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obzezzed350

I like the light inside the cabin idea...

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echtm3
I guess I'm not doing a good job getting my point across... the point of the radio is to help those that are missing flags.

 

These are just ideas. I don't really care how it gets done... I just want to see the fields grow and have more people to race with.

 

I'm sorry if you think I was blowing off your radio idea, I wasn't trying to. It was very late on the west coast and I was kinda tired.

 

Couple of issues I see with radios:

1. Cost for driver / team. if they can afford this one, why not have their own?

2. Who runs the NASA one ? Control is already swamped (at least on west coast) in control, and when a big incident happens, they are not really concern with talking with anyone, but rather dispatching crews to make sure it gets taken care of ASAP. So unless we put an extra person up there, it's not going to go out.

3. so if we had this setup, and a driver does miss the flag / incident, who's fault is it then?

 

What I don't understand, I've run with CCA and Honda Challenge, and this #@$# doesn't seem to happen, why? My feeling is you have people with lots of HP in the BACK OF THE GRID that try to make there way up to the front on all the straights and it doesn't work. Also, they try to win the race in the first lap, which as we know, rarely works.

 

Anyway, I love this discussion, I wish Rob or some other GTS race director would join in.

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echtm3
Even though I'm not in the GTS group, I will weigh in on this one. The radio idea has its charms, but many of us do not use radios (at least many of us outside GTS). In addition, if a driver is talking on his radio, he might not hear the radio signal or voice warning. Nevertheless, I think there is some merit to some type of in car communication. Just a thought, but why not have a small receiver that activates one of two lights mounted on the dash in clear view of the driver: one being a flashing yellow which is activated for full course yellow, and the other being a flashing red. The lights would not be used as a replacement for the flags, but rather as a supplement. The cost for such a system should be minimal, even for us low budget guys.

 

The light idea is good, but who's gonna set that up? I mean all this stuff requires infrastructure, hell some days its difficult just to get the timing beacon going. I keep seeing this from the NASA staff side, and all this stuff takes more staff and time, which in our region we are running pretty lean already.

 

Here's what I don't understand. I have been teaching the HPDE 1-2 groups for around 5+ years, and learning the flags is basic 101 driving skills. If you miss a command flag in my group, you get a good talking to, and if you continue to miss them, then maybe you shouldn't be on the track. Why are these 'racers' missing basic driving tenants?

 

I have met several 'racers' that take a race school, and consider themselves ready for the track, without any experience at all. Why is this acceptable?

 

I'm not sure we have a good solution to this, but we need to at least people do the basics: watch the flags, KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN, fill out incident reports, and don't try to win the race in the first few laps.

 

HTH

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ryan0

Give out the NASA race control frequencies.

 

Any racer with a radio can program them in to their radios to scan.

 

It was the best 'mod' I did when racing SCCA.

 

You hear the yellows before you can even see a flag station, you hear how much longer you can expect to sit on grid, you hear how many laps left, you hear your number called when you're getting black flagged, you hear who is the lead car.. it is all SUPER helpful.

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JoshC
Give out the NASA race control frequencies.

 

Any racer with a radio can program them in to their radios to scan.

 

It was the best 'mod' I did when racing SCCA.

 

You hear the yellows before you can even see a flag station, you hear how much longer you can expect to sit on grid, you hear how many laps left, you hear your number called when you're getting black flagged, you hear who is the lead car.. it is all SUPER helpful.

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I have a radio but rarely do I have a spotter. This levels the playing field, makes the track safer, and it's free to NASA.

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echtm3
Give out the NASA race control frequencies.

 

Any racer with a radio can program them in to their radios to scan.

 

It was the best 'mod' I did when racing SCCA.

 

You hear the yellows before you can even see a flag station, you hear how much longer you can expect to sit on grid, you hear how many laps left, you hear your number called when you're getting black flagged, you hear who is the lead car.. it is all SUPER helpful.

 

Good idea, I'll talk to control about that at the next event, and if they give the OK, we should bring it up at the race meetings.

 

Thanks for the idea! Glad we came up with an idea that seems to work.

 

J

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ryan0

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I have a radio but rarely do I have a spotter. This levels the playing field, makes the track safer, and it's free to NASA.

 

ditto.. i have run most of my races without a spotter.. but always having race control and flag stations in my ear, sometimes /I/ was at an advantage.

 

plus, i even think it actually helps keep you focused.

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pocracr

Hello Gents:

 

Sorry I am late to the discussion, just plain busy. A couple of things. I was also in the race we are discussing. I did see the green and the yellow and interpreted them respectfully. I had never seen that combination at start/finish before, yet it certainly was not rocket science. For the record, as GTS Director, the driver of the white Porsche did get a talking to by myself personally, and should have been DQ'd, I am not aware of my role in this situation and will follow up with the powers that be. The driver of the Black S3 Porsche also got a talking to. As did the whole GTS group in the drivers meeting on Saturday and again on Sunday if you were'nt there then maybe I should take role call. We also had an inpromptu trailer meeting among some of the BMW GTS drivers and Porsche drivers on a solution to what appears to be a growing problem. One interesting comment made in that meeting was for me to be careful not to turn the GTS into a form of another club I won't mention here, yet something, IMO needs to be done. Therefore: Having had discussions with the National GTS Director the following will not be tolerated and are within my authority as Regional GTS Director.

 

Any contact deemed to be avoidable by myself and the race director during warm-up or qualifying will result in a 13/13 penalty and will not be tolerated.

 

Contact made during a race situation will be assesed again by myself and the race director, if fault can be determined, penalties will range from disqualification to a 13/13

 

Yellow Flags: I have been informed that as Director it is within my authority to Disqualify any car/driver that has clearly passed under a yellow caution situation and will proceed accordingly.

 

These decisions will be made using in car camera footage, driver interviews and input from corner workers and race directors.

 

I will put all of this in writing since I am sure that not all GTS racers frequent this forum and will have it for our October event. Since I am also racing, I will recuse myself from authority in the event I am involved and allow the race director to determine the outcome. It is in the best interest of us all to er on the side of safety and caution.

 

Regards

 

Sergio Nardi

SoCal GTS Director

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jrgordonsenior
I'm not sure we have a good solution to this, but we need to at least people do the basics: watch the flags, KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN, fill out incident reports, and don't try to win the race in the first few laps.

 

HTH

 

Agreed with one addition. There needs to be consequences and they need to be visible and immediate. Sending drivers home for bonehead moves speaks much louder than yelling at the group that you're embarassed by their driving. It calmly tells them you're serious....

 

John I saw the starter's yellow and green flags which is conflicting. I understand NASA's intent was to start the clock and stay on schedule, but track safety has to take precedence always. The starter should have been vigorously waving double yellow flags with the green behind them if necessary. My earlier point was that there wasn't any other flags at the subsequent 3 stations the racer's passed before seeing the double yellow at T9. Racers know the track's green if the next station isn't waving a yellow and I believe this contributed to the incidents in T5/6 and T9. This is not intended as an excuse for poor driving choices....

 

As for first lap incidents, I think the pole sitter needs to pick up the pace from the beginning of the straight to stratch out the filed. This would alleviate the crowding at the first turn after the start.

 

Just my $02. Fire away....

 

JR Gordon

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jrgordonsenior

Sergio you posted while I was typing. Good to see you taking control. The not-so-subtle reference to POC is unncecessary. They're no more accident prone than any other club including NASA. It's the implementation of rules and consequences that will calm down any race group....

 

PS: What are the consequences of the modified 13/13 rule? Is it discretionary?

Edited by Guest

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ryan0

Any contact deemed to be avoidable by myself and the race director during warm-up or qualifying will result in a 13/13 penalty and will not be tolerated.

 

Contact made during a race situation will be assesed again by myself and the race director, if fault can be determined, penalties will range from disqualification to a 13/13

 

Yellow Flags: I have been informed that as Director it is within my authority to Disqualify any car/driver that has clearly passed under a yellow caution situation and will proceed accordingly.

 

 

excellent.

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Neon2dmaX
Give out the NASA race control frequencies.

 

Any racer with a radio can program them in to their radios to scan.

 

It was the best 'mod' I did when racing SCCA.

 

You hear the yellows before you can even see a flag station, you hear how much longer you can expect to sit on grid, you hear how many laps left, you hear your number called when you're getting black flagged, you hear who is the lead car.. it is all SUPER helpful. (Emphasis added in bold.)

 

For all those who do not have a radio, an externally activated light would also allow the driver to become aware of a yellow before actually seeing the flag station. However, light would not have all the other advantages of a radio. I think either or both would offer a safety advantage. However, it appears the radio option is already in place.

 

I have run most of my races without a spotter.. but always having race control and flag stations in my ear, sometimes /I/ was at an advantage.

 

plus, i even think it actually helps keep you focused.

 

Anolther good point, don't need a spotter for either option to function.

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pocracr

John: was not referring to POC and was not my intent. There are other clubs using a very stern 13/13 policy, with much greater concequences than POC. Sorry if thats how it appeared. I just choose not to bash other clubs. I only made that comment to point out that I was dealing with different ideas in that meeting. They ranged from 13/13 to Penalty Points to DQ from event and even the GTS. Certainly I prefer driver input, and something everyone is comfortable with. For now we will go by the Modified 13/13 already in existence.

 

The modified 13/13 will apply to GTS, NASA has their own way of dealing with out of control drivers. If a driver does wind up with a 13/13 the proper officials of the event would be notified. I have seen NASA take control of situations and it's not pretty. I gaurantee you it ends here. I have had a lengthy conversation with National, there are plenty of tools in the tool chest. The radio frequency is a good one tho. I don't like talking on the radio, but certainly listen. Something worth looking into.

 

Sergio

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echtm3
I'm not sure we have a good solution to this, but we need to at least people do the basics: watch the flags, KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN, fill out incident reports, and don't try to win the race in the first few laps.

 

HTH

 

John I saw the starter's yellow and green flags which is conflicting. I understand NASA's intent was to start the clock and stay on schedule, but track safety has to take precedence always. The starter should have been vigorously waving double yellow flags with the green behind them if necessary. My earlier point was that there wasn't any other flags at the subsequent 3 stations the racer's passed before seeing the double yellow at T9. Racers know the track's green if the next station isn't waving a yellow and I believe this contributed to the incidents in T5/6 and T9. This is not intended as an excuse for poor driving choices....

 

As for first lap incidents, I think the pole sitter needs to pick up the pace from the beginning of the straight to stratch out the filed. This would alleviate the crowding at the first turn after the start.

 

JR Gordon

 

Ready ... Aim... (Just kidding) - Actually I think this thread is very educational.

 

First, Flags confusing? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? How is a green with a yellow confusion? They are two different flags that don't overlap in the slightest! I was in the grandstands on the radio with car 475, and saw the yellow before the green was thrown, and said "You're green but don't pass until you go by the incident", and ALL BUT ONE DRIVER did that! You can see clearly in the video that SRLANG (Scott Lang) knew the situation, dropped in behind the others and waited until he passed (listen to the throttle).

 

The reason there were no flags until t9, is that control had no idea how bad the incident in T2 was until those cars reached T9. But, as many drivers in Sunday's meeting said, how could you go by that corvette in T2 and not know there was going to be a dbl-yellow? It should be obvious, and if you watch the behavior of the lead cars (Micky, Vic, Scott) they are all ready and see the dbl-yellow in T9, when Vali comes flying over the hairpin

 

Again, this all comes down to basic driving awareness, not even talent. When you see a flag, you need to figure out what they (control) are refering to, and not just blindly go to the next corner. This doesn't just make you safer, but also faster, since the ones on the start who saw the flag and then the incident could be on the gas sooner before the flagger in t3, although all is moot since the incident was so bad.

 

As far as your last sentence, I think the pole sitter saw the flags, realized what was going on and didn't want to be 100% until he/she knew what the problem was. As far as crowding on turn 3, welcome to CSW .

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echtm3

Contact made during a race situation will be assesed again by myself and the race director, if fault can be determined, penalties will range from disqualification to a 13/13

 

Sergio, thanks for getting on this one!

 

The problem from Saturday, according to Rob (Race director) is that there were very few incident reports turned in, so he had no info to go on.

 

I think as GTS leader, since you know most of the drivers, when there is carnage, it would be great if you could work with Rob to find everyone involved and help them understand the process of what to do when all this ensues. I know for a fact that many drivers didn't even turn a report in, even after I told them they should.

 

HTH

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