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TurboShortBus

Sebring Time Trial entry list for June 25-26, 2011

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TurboShortBus
I agree we're getting somewhere. I'm personally not a big fan of the "hang out" impound feature either, we don't achieve anything and we only sweat/sunburn. Saturday was a "drive by" impound which seemed to work. Ian looked, wrote some things down, thumb up, then back to pit. AFTER that i'd be happy to walk to wherever we find a cool spot to talk trash at like at Homestead all year and Sebring last year.
Unfortunately, that's the nature of the impound beast, and everybody needs to get in the habit of having some sort of impound inspection after every session. I attended a few Spec Miata group impounds, and it seemed like everybody was just standing around and hanging out. Per my brother, SM impound is basically "weighing cars and waiting for a protest," and he doesn't seem to mind. In TT impound, we might only look at tire widths and compounds for everybody, we might only weigh a few cars, or we might decide to jack up a car or two and count suspension modifications. Cars that are to be weighed cannot be allowed to wander back to their pits before hitting the scales. But, either way, it also doubles as our required download meeting, and it seems to be a lot quicker overall than waiting for everybody to stumble into a meeting room 10 minutes after a session has ended, waiting for the times to show up, and then allowing the instructors to leave early because an HPDE-1 session is coming up in a few minutes. Eventually, a no-show at impound after a session will result in a DQ of that session's times. That's how the big boys do it, and I don't see why we can't do the same.

 

I did the drive by on that second session because the pit gal wouldn't grid me, I literally sat there for 3-4 minutes looking at my spot and she wouldn't move. She looked at my car# and acknowledged I was # 5 or whatever then went to grid the miata's. I was going to pull in front and back in, but then we started going out and I realized I may have been late but I know I left 10 mins early. I then passed the obvious cars and got into spot before the start/finish line even. I was going on the "we all know each other and nobody would complain, since this is for fun." Depending on Sched i'll discipline myself more on this.
The policy of gridding cars at the back that don't show up with at least 5 minutes before the session caught me off-guard as well, and I was put at the back, but that's how the ladies run the racer grid, so I didn't mind. I have put them fully in charge of the grid, and I hope that they can continue to help us out (they were doing this as a favor to the group on Sunday).

 

One thing I would like to also add since we're in "redesign" mode, would be 5 sessions per day, where we'd actually get 4 opportunities per day TIMED. So your usual Sat morning 3/4/TT, then last session Sunday 3/4/TT. MW/GL does this as did TX region. That would give the drivers flex to determine what sessions they need to be ready for, run their hot laps, and come in. Granted these were only 15 mins but that's all we really need. Would also help to discipline people to get there on time.

 

My biggest gripe, is the cost per timed lap. This time especially we were grossly overcharged for the VASTLY small amount of actual TIMED laps we get compared to other regions. Either charge us less, or give us the same TIMED time as a DE gets for fun laps as suggested above, if we're getting charged the same. It's much more expensive at this level to run that one super hot lap then it is to run 2 days at 7/10th's. I see little difference between the current Racer time and TT time, they both have very specific goals and need to be priced accordingly.

I have no pricing information, but I grabbed a schedule when I was JAFO at Road Atlanta with NASA-SE on June 17-19. On Saturday (I don't have Sunday's schedule), TT had a 20-minute practice in the morning, then 4 15-minute timed sessions throughout the day, for a total of 60 timed minutes and 80 total minutes on track. With our typical schedule format (prior to accommodating the ITC cars, as the last 2 events have been anomalies), we get a 25-minute practice on Saturday morning and 3 25-minute timed sessions throughout the day, for a total of 75 timed minutes and 100 total minutes on track. So, we're coming out ahead on both timed and total minutes, but I can't provide any dollar-per-minute information for the SE region. Note that, while 15-minute sessions might be acceptable at shorter tracks, it means that you might only get 1 or 2 clean, flying laps at a bigger track like Sebring that takes most cars over 2:30 to get around at speed. And, with a shorter session, a driver who has a snafu that might require clean-up means that the session is effectively over, while a longer session might still allow some time for everybody else to blow out a fast lap before time runs out.

 

As far as conforming to the "nasa ladder" I see where your going with it. Put DE4 with TT so they can get used to open passing, put TT into grid/start situations so they can move to racing. I think if we can polish the sched we'd be set, I look forward to seeing us grow.
I would like to thank all of the drivers that have helped us grow and become more organized over the past few seasons, and I thank you for your continued support over the next few events while we iron out all of the kinks. I am confident that we can have this group operating very efficiently by the end of this season, but we are still dependent on all drivers to play by the rules.

 

Mark

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Balroks

If it was predetermined before the event if you're going to have marked cones or grid gal's that would help things I think. Also having Doug be johnny on the spot with 1st call, 2nd call, last call starting out on the track would also help for those that are scrambling to get tires swapped or what not. Having the sessions spread out also helps. We all know for a fact that the morning sessions are where to get it done and the afternoon's are for sh*t, unless it really cools off. But you never know...

 

As far as the 25 mins, MAYBE a few of us would run the full session, because they can. But most of us can't because it's just throwing money out the door. I'd vote for the 4x20mins timed per day, with a 15 min warmup then. Would also bring on the strategy a bit and challenge people to get that "sticker" lap in as late as possible like the other TT clubs do. Try it out, see how it goes.

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TurboShortBus
If it was predetermined before the event if you're going to have marked cones or grid gal's that would help things I think. Also having Doug be johnny on the spot with 1st call, 2nd call, last call starting out on the track would also help for those that are scrambling to get tires swapped or what not. Having the sessions spread out also helps. We all know for a fact that the morning sessions are where to get it done and the afternoon's are for sh*t, unless it really cools off. But you never know...
At all 2011 events (up until Sebring), cars have been gridded by one ugly official (me). So, gridding isn't new to the group, although the additional grid personnel on Sunday was a welcome surprise. Locations or other changes are typically mentioned in the morning and/or download meetings, so those who don't attend, wander off early, or daydream won't get the information. Doug can only go by the schedule, and I have been told that a separate line item for TT cars to report to grid (as the racers get) will not be added to the schedule, so it's up to us to write a 15-minute note on our printed schedules, set an alarm, or get an iPhone app that will help us get to the grid more than 5 minutes before the session starts. As a comparison, NASA-SE's schedule only lists the TT session time, and not a TT grid time. I would love to have a line item in the schedule for TT grid, but I have been told that it will not happen. Of course, if more people request it...

 

As for where the grid is, well, that varies with each track. At Homestead, the light poles along the pit wall are numbered, so we don't necessarily need numbered cones or painted areas on the ground (although I would like to keep the grid officials in the same area, instead of gridding group X over here and group Y over there). But, at Sebring and PBIR, we'll have to use the racers' grid area.

 

As far as the 25 mins, MAYBE a few of us would run the full session, because they can. But most of us can't because it's just throwing money out the door. I'd vote for the 4x20mins timed per day, with a 15 min warmup then. Would also bring on the strategy a bit and challenge people to get that "sticker" lap in as late as possible like the other TT clubs do. Try it out, see how it goes.
I'm one of the "maybe a few" who likes to burn up tires, gas, and money by driving every lap of every session; I'm there for seat time. Besides, for some reason, my quickest laps don't typically happen until the end of the session. But, I do seem to recall a bunch of cars still turning laps at the end of each session, so I would guess that the 25-minute drivers aren't as "few" as you might suggest.

 

Note that the schedules are set by the Registrar.

 

Mark

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King Tut

I plan to get my monies worth as well, so whatever results in the most laps works for me.

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TurboShortBus
I totally agree.

 

H4 isn't so populated that running them with H3 so TT can have a more open track should be a problem. If you are in H4 and want to open pass in the turns, run in TT as you are now anyway, and don't worry about competing.

 

H3 should move to a system where point bys are allowed in the turns after the first two sessions of the day, or, by agreement at the group meeting. For me, the combined H3/H4 with point bys in the turns was AWESOME, and just the next step of training I need to get moving to TT and racing. I don't think point bys are needed on the straights, but it wasn't a big deal. Session 4 on Saturday had us 3 wide coming out of Turn 17 onto the front straight.

 

I expressed this to Luis and Barbara. Hopefully something will happen.

 

Anyways, great fun this weekend despite the rain.

Matt,

 

If you don't mind, could you put these comments and suggestions into an email to NASA Florida? Please copy me on the email if you proceed with it (TTDirectorNASAFL at GMAIL dot COM). I think the idea of combined HPDE-3/4 sessions with separate TT sessions might be gaining some traction, but if it comes from my mouth, it just sounds like I'm being greedy and self-serving (which isn't entirely incorrect lol).

 

Mark

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obzezzed350

What about have HPDE4 cars put a yellow "4" sticker on their rear window indicating that they can be passed in the corners like the SE does?

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ozal92

Same thing as putting an X in the back of your car, no?

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TurboShortBus
Same thing as putting an X in the back of your car, no?

Not really, as an X means that you're an instructor (down here, anyway).

 

Mark

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TrackRat
Same thing as putting an X in the back of your car, no?

Not really, as an X means that you're an instructor (down here, anyway).

 

Mark

 

The 'X' is a little confusing club to club. Here it's an instructor, in other it's a novice...

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ozal92

I thought X meant expert. Whether instructor or not. The X in the rear meant tyou are ok with people making the pass on you in the corners.

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obzezzed350
I thought X meant expert. Whether instructor or not. The X in the rear meant tyou are ok with people making the pass on you in the corners.

 

It varies from club to club as Shawn said...in NASA it means the driver is an instructor, whom should be an "expert".

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TurboShortBus

To all,

 

I deleted an earlier post because I don't want to see this thread take a turn for the worse. It is my recommendation that the driver in question shall simply sit back and listen for a change.

 

TT cars are going to continue being gridded by times based on previous sessions. If there is no time for your car, then you have no time, and you will be gridded at the back of the group. It is done this way in other regions, and it will be done by our region. Drivers should not expect personal exceptions, as they simply cannot all be accommodated. Additionally, using the same 1 or 2 officials for grid staff and expecting them to have 2 different grid procedures for racers and TT will quickly lead to confusion.

 

As our group has grown over the past few seasons, we need to "tighten up" and perform in a manner that is more consistent with the procedures used at the national level. This will require the attention and cooperation of all competitors, and I greatly appreciate the vast majority of you who are mindful of these procedures and are willing and eager to play by them.

 

If you have any suggestions or would like to further discuss this particular incident, then I request that you email me at TTDirectorNASAFL at GMAIL dot COM.

 

See you soon,

Mark

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Balroks

I think we're all cool with that at this point, makes for a more exciting start for sure . Again I'll say it'll be "helpful" but not required, of papa McKay would grace us with warnings on these first few events so we can adapt. If we write it on a napkin i'm sure he'll still do it. Just don't get him started about farming......

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32EVOIX
To all,

 

I deleted an earlier post because I don't want to see this thread take a turn for the worse. It is my recommendation that the driver in question shall simply sit back and listen for a change.

 

TT cars are going to continue being gridded by times based on previous sessions. If there is no time for your car, then you have no time, and you will be gridded at the back of the group. It is done this way in other regions, and it will be done by our region. Drivers should not expect personal exceptions, as they simply cannot all be accommodated. Additionally, using the same 1 or 2 officials for grid staff and expecting them to have 2 different grid procedures for racers and TT will quickly lead to confusion.

 

As our group has grown over the past few seasons, we need to "tighten up" and perform in a manner that is more consistent with the procedures used at the national level. This will require the attention and cooperation of all competitors, and I greatly appreciate the vast majority of you who are mindful of these procedures and are willing and eager to play by them.

 

If you have any suggestions or would like to further discuss this particular incident, then I request that you email me at TTDirectorNASAFL at GMAIL dot COM.

 

See you soon,

Mark

 

 

WOW!

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