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In case you've signed up late for the East Championships...


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If you are a last-minute sign-up for the Eastern Championships next week, you may have missed my instructional letter to the racers. Here it is again:




Greetings, and welcome to the 2014 NASA Eastern Championships. I’m glad to know you’ll be joining us.


I’m Scott Good, NASA’s National Director for GTS and I have the pleasure of welcoming you to this fantastic event. This will be the seventh NASA championship I’ve personally attended and, based on those that have come before, I can assure you this will be an excellent and memorable event.


However, it is also a competition so we have to set and follow a few guidelines.


I’ve written this (much too long) letter so there will be no question about how things will be run at this year’s event. If you’ve attended any of the previous GTS National Championships, much of what I’ll describe below will be familiar, but not everything. Sprinkled throughout the following pages are enough changes that I encourage you to grab your beverage of choice, sit back, and suffer through the whole thing at least once so you aren’t caught off-guard by something new.



GTS officials


As with 2011, 2012, and 2013, I will again have the role of GTS Series Director for the Eastern Championship racing weekend. Unlike those years, I will also be the GTS Race Director. That's both good and bad. It's good because that means there will be very close agreement between the Race Director and the Series Director. I think it's fair to say we will be of one mind on things.



It's bad because, depending on what happens on the track, I may at times be stretched a little thin. Thankfully, I am backed up in the tower by our Chief Race Director, Mark Siggelkow, and will have the assistance of John Mock with the Series Director duties.


Together, we are all responsible for helping to create a fair and even-handed event which allows the very best of us to bubble to the top based on skill and preparation, and not due to an unfair advantage or dangerous driving. However, to be clear, in areas of dispute (other than protests which may, by rule, go over my head), between the three of us, I am the one who will make the final call on issues related to GTS, whether on- or off track. So, if you have an issue with something, come find me.



A little homework before you get here


You are expected to know the rules and to follow them. Penalties for all GTS on-track sessions and races will be per the NASA CCR. And, while it would be a good idea to read the entire CCR before arriving, I highly recommend you at least read and understand the following NASA CCR sections:


17.5 Protests, Request for Action, and Appeals

20.0 Competition Format

21.0 Scoring and Race Results

25.0 On Course Conduct

Appendix A

Appendix B


If you read nothing else, please study Appendix B and, in particular, section 27.11 (page 97) Issuing Penalties as this is how penalties for on-track issues will be administered.




The rules have excellent examples of on-track incidents (section 26) that clearly explain who is at fault and, as Race Directors, we regularly use these to determine fault. What you'll find is that the driver who gets the blame is not always the driver you think it would be. Therefore, read it ahead of time so you can weigh the value of that low-percentage move you may decide to try. Also, note that possible penalties for infractions include: (1) no penalty; (2) repositioning; (3) disqualification; and (4) one-race suspension, almost all of which can ruin a championship run.


Also, as long as we're on the subject, read very carefully the definition of "damage" (section 27.4.2 on page 95). It's very likely that it does not include some things you would assume would fall under the definition of "damage." This matters because the word "damage" is used throughout the NASA rules based on this definition.


It's also important to understand that, as Race Director, I will take a very dim view on contact of any kind. This is a championship event, not a demolition derby. I expect you to drive within your limits and to avoid contact with other cars.


You should also review the 2014 GTS Rules. Two years ago we had to disqualify a championship winner because he was under-weight due to basing his minimum weight on an outdated set of GTS rules. Don’t let that happen to you.


Reading list


Eastern Championships rules: http://www.nasaproracing.com/nationals/Regs_East_Champs2014.pdf


NASA CCR: http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/ccr.pdf


GTS Rules: http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/gts_rules.pdf




General competition format overview


The 2014 GTS Eastern Championships will be decided based on the results of the Championship race to be held Sunday, August 31.


Race Grids


The starting grid for the Championship race will be based on the combined results of two qualifying races run on Friday, August 29, and Saturday, August 30.


That's pretty much business as usual. What's NOT business as usual is this next part:


For Friday's race, as usual, the grid will be set conventionally, which is to say based on your results in Friday morning's qualifying session. What's new is that Saturday's starting grid will be set BY YOUR RESULT IN FRIDAY'S RACE.


So, to be clear, none of the grids for any of these three races will be set by class. Grids will be set by qualifying times and/or race results, regardless of class. That means we'll have mixed classes on the grid for all three races. If you're a slower driver in a faster car, you can be pretty sure there will be some faster drivers in slower cars starting in front of you. If that's not okay with you, go faster.


In all seriousness, we have tried this both ways for GTS races (that is, with grids set by class by time and grids like this one that are based on time regardless of class) and although both make some people unhappy, this way makes fewer folks upset and ultimately causes a lot less damage.


Because of how this works, you need to do well on Friday to be gridded well on Saturday. That's because your finishing position on Friday IS your starting position on Saturday. If Friday's race is in the rain and you're not fast in the rain, you're going to start pretty far back on Saturday. Sorry. Go faster.


For the Championship race on Sunday, we will use the results of BOTH Friday and Saturday's races to determine the starting grid. Using the "Default Season Points System" outlined in section 22.1.1 of the CCR (page 73), we will assign points for each of your finishes on both Friday and Saturday, then total those points. The driver with the highest points total will be the pole-sitter for Sunday's race. Next-highest will start second, and so on.


Friday's Qualifying Grid


In an effort to give each driver the best possible chance at setting a good qualifying time on Friday, Friday's qualifying session will be gridded. That is to say, you will be assigned a starting position. The goal here is to put the fastest cars at the front, the slowest at the back, and to give everybody a shot at having some open track, at least early on. The qualifying grid will be based on each driver’s fastest lap from the Friday morning warm-up session. This, too, will be done without regard to class. Drivers who miss the warm-up session for whatever reason will be gridded at the back of the field in any a sequence determined by the Race Director.


If for some reason the warm-up and/or qualifying sessions are unable to be run, the grid for qualifying and/or the race will be set according to the Race Director’s instructions.


Disqualification from any session will move the offending driver to the rear of the field for the next gridded session or race. So, to be clear, this means that if you are disqualified for passing under yellow or for contact in Saturday's race, you will be allowed to start wherever you want in Sunday's warm-up session (which is not gridded) but you will have to start at the back of Sunday's field for the championship race. Fair warning.


Impound procedures


Each car is expected to have a NASA Championships-issued impound sticker in the upper corner of the driver’s side of the windshield. This sticker must have on it the vehicle’s horsepower, torque, minimum race weight (including driver), and an indication of whether that weight is based on DOT or racing tires. These Impound stickers will be issued at the event. I will be at the track most of the day Thursday to give these out. If I miss you, find me after the kick-off drivers' meeting.


Following all qualifying and race sessions, all cars must report directly to the designated Impound area and wait to be released. Once the vehicle has entered the hot pit for a qualifying or race session, neither crew members, friends, nor spectators may approach or touch the vehicle until it has been released from Impound. Failure to comply with this may result in penalties up to and including disqualification.


From Impound, some GTS cars will be required to be weighed and/or sent to the dyno. Failure to comply immediately, or failure to go directly to the scales or dyno as directed will result in an immediate disqualification for that session.


Although the NASA CCR makes provisions for a one-time 5 lb grace on vehicle weight, this does not apply to GTS cars at this event. Your car must be at or above the minimum weight shown on its Impound sticker for all qualifying and race sessions. Any vehicle discovered to be below the designated minimum weight will be immediately disqualified from that session's results and will not be sent to the dyno.


We highly recommend you check your car’s weight with the track’s scales before your first qualifying session.


MIXED TIRE TYPES: As you know, your minimum weight in GTS is determined in part based on the type of tires you use. DOT tires have one multiplier while non-DOT tires have another. Although you may change between DOT and non-DOT tires, you must declare which you are using BEFORE THE FIRST ON-TRACK SESSION of each day, which is to say, before the warm-up. And when I use the term "declare," I mean "you must tell me."


If you have declared non-DOTs because you use slicks, then it starts to rain and your only rain tires are DOTs, you must make the non-DOT minimum weight even though you are on DOT tires. So, make your choices and declare your tires accordingly. Better yet, match up your rains and slicks and don't hassle (either one of us) with it.


Assuming you make weight, you may subsequently be sent to the dyno. If so, the dyno results will be evaluated as follows:


1. The dyno operator will make at least three dyno pulls. Of these, we will use the results of the single pass which results in the highest multiplier (either horsepower or average of horsepower and torque, depending on the torque level) based on the GTS calculation formula.


2. The multiplier derived from the dyno results, rounded to the nearest tenth of a point, will be reduced by 4.0 and then multiplied by the appropriate class power-to-weight ratio. For instance, if your car dynos at 250.3 hp, we will use 250.3 - 4.0 = 246.3 hp for our calculations.


3. The resulting weight, rounded to the nearest pound, will be compared against the car’s actual weight, as measured from the driving session.


4. Any car not equal to or greater than the minimum weight as calculated above will be disqualified from the session and the car's minimum weight for the remainder of the event will be adjusted based on the highest figures from the compliance dyno pulls not including the four-horsepower grace.


Note that any GTS vehicle may be held in Impound for as long as deemed necessary by race officials, including overnight or longer. We reserve the right to impound and/or send out for detailed analysis any vehicle, or any individual vehicle system(s) including engine, engine management, fuel delivery, electronics, and/or any other parts deemed appropriate for further inspection by race officials.



Other measurement methodologies


For several years now, there has been great concern among some GTS racers that certain competitors were using nefarious means to alter their car's power while on track in comparison to how much power that same car would show when it was on the dyno. Whether that was and is actually happening or not, there's no question it is POSSIBLE. Therefore, it's important that we, as NASA, do as much as we can to detect and penalize such illegal actions.


As I hope you know, this year we have been working with the folks at AiM Sports to develop an in-car data monitoring system that can measure actual on-the-track performance. These units have been used at many of the GTS events around the country this season and we will have our full set of AiM units at the track, along with technical support from AiM. We will be using these devices as a part of our compliance testing procedures. In addition, NASA will have Traqmate devices at the track.


We reserve the right to require some or all drivers to carry either or both of these electronic monitoring systems in their vehicles for some, or all, on-track sessions. The data gathered WILL be used to augment the dyno and scales available at the event and to inform officials regarding potential rules violations, in accordance with the final paragraph of section 6 of the GTS rules, which reads:


Notwithstanding any of the above, NASA reserves the right to use alternate compliance checking tools including in-car, GPS-based, and other technologies it deems appropriate. All such technologies will be considered valid for use in GTS compliance checking if declared so by NASA.


Consider it so-declared.


Competitors may not touch or adjust these devices in any way, including turning them off after the session has ended. Refusal to allow such monitoring devices, or any efforts to tamper with them in any way, will result in immediate ejection from the event.


And, to be clear, if we find what we believe to be convincing evidence of a competitor altering his or her power, that competitor will be asked to leave.



Drivers’ meetings


Drivers’ meetings will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a time and place to be determined later. Although the current schedule does not yet show it, there will likely be an All-Drivers meeting Thursday night to kick off the event. We will likely have a quick GTS meeting after that. Keep your ears open for an announcement.



In-car video


I highly recommend you have an in-car video camera and use it for each and every on-track session that you participate in. As an experienced Race Director, I can tell you first-hand that video evidence carries a lot of weight in determining fault (or the lack of fault) when incidents happen on the track. Without video, you will not be able to effectively argue your point should you be penalized for passing under yellow or for being at fault in body contact. You also will not be able to prove infractions you’ve witnessed by your competitors, for which you believe they should be penalized.


A working video camera is cheap insurance at an event like this.



Required paperwork


I need THREE documents from you.


Current dyno sheet


Dated no earlier than August 28, 2013, the dyno sheet must have been made from your car as it will be presented for the championships. Any modifications or changes to the engine, transmission, or drivetrain (e.g., lighter flywheel, different gearing, etc.) since your dyno was taken requires a new dyno sheet. It must be from a DynoJet dyno as specified in the GTS rules.



GTS Declaration form


This form is a fairly comprehensive set of questions regarding the exact setup of your car with regard to performance adjustments.





2014 GTS Cover sheet


This form was created with the specific goal of making it easier for both you and me to get you set up with your tech sticker. On it, I've asked for the basic information we need about your car including horsepower, torque, tire type, and minimum weight.







Please bring all these to the track with you. If you plan to arrive at the last moment in a swirl of dust and panic, please send them to me ahead of time: [email protected].



Contact information


If you have questions regarding any of this information, please feel free to write or call. I can be reached at 614-530-5544 or via e-mail at [email protected].


I look forward to watching a fantastic week of GTS races in the rolling hills of Georgia.


See you at the track!

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