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First Club League Event Qualifying Issues


Will F.
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Well that was quite an exciting night! Thanks to everybody who participated! Several great things happened. No major pileup disaster in Turn 1 on Lap 1, clean, epic battle for the lead, hard chargers moving through the field, excellent race craft, and some all around great racing!

That's not to say that there was some not so great. The main reason for this post is to explain how I messed up the knockout qualifying and solicit some input on what y'all would like to see changed to fix the issues I had. 

The plan was to take the results from iRacing, output to csv, combine into one file, sort by fast lap, then I'd have easily been able to email the Top 60 from the entry spreadsheets I already had made. However, there were a few curve balls thrown at me. We posted in the welcome letter that an incident point would invalidate your qualifying lap. this is standard in iRacing. I had no idea there would only end up being 23 people to actually get a clean lap in. I know COTA is tough for incident points, because it counts track limits pretty tight in most places, but I had no foresight that it would actually be this low of a percentage of the group. The only other thing I had to base off of was the average lap column of which only 59 people had noted. Then was the challenge of iRacing putting first and last name in one cell together so I was working off of first name which caused several minute delay getting the email out. Additionally, it would greatly help me if your name in iRacing matched exactly your name in your NASA profile. There were a few that I had to guess on, costing us a few more minutes. 

To all the racers tonight, please accept my sincere apology for butchering this. I understand all the prizes and awesome broadcast mean nothing to those that feel like they got the short end of the stick. I also understand how much time, effort, and money some of y'all put into your sim driving and that could feel wasted with a night like tonight. 

With all that, I am proposing 2 solutions and would love any and all additional feedback or additional options to consider. 

1) We extend the night to still accommodate ~180 people (3 knockout groups of up to 60). But give us more time in between the knockout qual and the main race session to be able to sort the multiple session results. An hour break between session end and next session start would be ideal and would extend the night by ~40 minutes. 

2) We do knockout qualifying a different night before the main race night. This would give us plenty of time to sort and publish the knockout qualifying results and send the email invite to top 60 without a rush at all. 

In either option, remember we have 2 race drops in the season points championship. 

Thanks to everybody that ran. I hope everybody still had a great time with all the great racing action that took place. I look forward to hearing from many of you and hope to see you back for the next one at Laguna Seca on 4/21! 

Cheers! 

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I'd vote for keeping sessions on the same night, but with a larger window between to allow the sorting logistic to take place.

Also, is it possible that exporting to CSV for spreadsheet meant those 23 racers were the only ones who had zero incidents in the WHOLE qualifying session?  I'd hate to think that only 23 out of ? (a lot) actually managed a clean lap in a 45 minute qualify session.  That just seems unlikely.  Quick way to test the theory.  I had just 1X in Qualify Group A.  Curious if I was shown as not having posted a clean lap based on how the file populated fields in your spreadsheet.

Edited by John D Allen
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3 minutes ago, John D Allen said:

I'd vote for keeping sessions on the same night, but with a larger window between to allow the sorting logistic to take place.

Also, is it possible that exporting to CSV for spreadsheet meant those 23 racers were the only ones who had zero incidents in the WHOLE qualifying session in totality?  I'd hate to think that only 23 out of ? (a lot) actually managed a clean lap in a 45 minute qualify session.  That just seems unlikely.  Quick way to test the theory.  I had just 1X in Qualify Group A.  Curious if I was shown as not having posted a clean lap based on how the file populated fields in your spreadsheet.

To be clear, it only invalidates that one lap not the entire session. So that means only 23 drivers made a clean lap without an incident point. And yes you're shown as having 1 point in qual, but your fast lap noted would have been a lap without an incident point. 

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OK, wow.  I know COTA is a bit unique on the track limits and all, but dang.  I'm sure as a group we are capable of better LOL.  Maybe implement a more stringent penalty for incident counts during the races?  *Angling for strategic advantage by the guy who lost a tight battle for the win to somebody with 19 more incidents than me*  (Don't read this, Austin LOL)

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4 minutes ago, John D Allen said:

OK, wow.  I know COTA is a bit unique on the track limits and all, but dang.  I'm sure as a group we are capable of better LOL.  Maybe implement a more stringent penalty for incident counts during the races?  *Angling for strategic advantage by the guy who lost a tight battle for the win to somebody with 19 more incidents than me*  (Don't read this, Austin LOL)

Cota is by far the hardest track I've driven on iRacing with regards to track limit incident points... 

It was a ton of fun watching you and Austin have such an epic CLEAN battle for the lead! Great run! 

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I like keeping it on the same night, but the logistics should get quicker next time as you now know exactly what to expect. Agree there should have been more Ppl than that in 45min to hit a 0 incident lap, but even if there was a mistake in the data it was a first try! We have until August and you drop 2 races! Much respect for the NASA team that jumped in to try to make something fun for their members! 
 

I think a drivers meeting where we all get wrist bands would help any unknowing that an off track = no lap. Joke aside, in addition to the google doc that was sent maybe a live driver meeting and short Q&A during the 10min practice in open qualifying would help. Have 3 race hosts perform the driver meeting during that 10min. 
 

I like the points .1 champ point per incident and 25 for black flag was good. 
 

Overall Great stuff! Even those that are disappointed still makes me slightly happy that NASA provided a decent distraction for what is going on across the world, even if the distraction is negative, it’s better than nothing imo!  You’ll all have it sorted for next Tuesday and next club race.
 

 

 

Edited by Alex Schwartzenberger
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One problem I had in qualifying is that ***ANY*** contact counts as an incident point. On one of my quicker laps, someone tapped me from behind on the back straight and boom - that lap didn't count. That wasn't the only lap where someone hit me either. It's probably too difficult to report incidents and have some kind of ruling. Perhaps one solution is to have more groups with fewer drivers to ensure things are cleaner?

I'm pretty certain I had at least one clean lap. If the HUD shows a lap time with no asterisk, isn't that clean? Is the information recorded anywhere? I'd like to look.

Also, for coalescing data, does iRacing give you our Customer IDs in the CSV output? If so, you could require that at signup to make sure you don't have to try to match anything up by hand.

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Hi Will,

First off thank you and the rest of the team for putting this together. I'm sure the kinks will get ironed out.

As an FYI, I just went back to the results of one of the qualifying sessions and exported the CSV file per your notes above. The file that is exported is the lap times and data from the 5 min 'fun' race that occurred after qualifying. The qualifying times were not on the CSV file. 

For the 3 qualifying session, maybe check into opening practice sessions instead of quali/race sessions? This should still allow folks to set lap times and allow you to export these lap times w/o the hassle of having a meaningless race thrown in there to complicate things.

Thanks,

Charles F.

Edited by cford23838
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I believe the major issue is that there were many more than 23 people that got a clean lap in. In Group A alone (results included below), there were 27 people with clean laps. iRacing only posts a lap time for qualifying if it's a completely clean lap (zero incident points, even no 0x incidents).  The fact that 27 people just in A had clean laps leads me to believe something was wrong with the way the data was exported. Going by average lap certainly excluded some people that had the pace to make the race (e.g. if you had a spin on one lap, followed it with a hot lap around 2:34.xx, you could be left with an average in the 2:50s). 

Perhaps going back and taking a closer look at the data or the methods available for exporting it would be most useful. I'm not really familiar with the data provided by iRacing so I can't offer any tips on this. A mock race could be organized to reattempt this before the next club race. Having a bit more time between sessions would also be helpful to all the organizers and take a bit of the pressure off.

.NASA-Club_GroupAQual.thumb.PNG.4695b2d84f245eed136631b9beb8ed17.PNG

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Great work Will and gang!

Does iracing give a way to distinguish between out of bounds from contact incidents? If not, maybe consider not even using incident counts because it invalidates the lap any way. And something to make things even more complex, other leagues have B races for us AYO's (all you others) who don't make the main show (not broadcast). Us 30 odd Larry's could have had a fun race! Just a thought!

Thanks again,

Aaron S

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7 hours ago, Will F. said:

To be clear, it only invalidates that one lap not the entire session. So that means only 23 drivers made a clean lap without an incident point. And yes you're shown as having 1 point in qual, but your fast lap noted would have been a lap without an incident point. 

I think I see the issue. On the iRacing results page, the Race shows up first. There, John only has 1 incident point. If you scroll down, the results of the qualifying are shown there (the second set of results). When I export those results as a CSV, I see 27 lap times posted, as shown in the screenshot of the in-race results in my post above.

My guess is the qualifying "race" results were used rather than the qualifying results. 

Capture.JPG

Edited by nateolson
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First- That was ton of fun guys!  I really enjoyed it and have no complaints as far as the racing went.  Good, hard, and mostly clean by everyone!  This is only the first event, so it's only going to get better from here.  I like the idea of a qualifying session the day before, but I'm fine with either option.

One area of improvement is the timing/position board.  I watched the replay of the stream this morning and noticed it was all over the place.  It seems like once lapped traffic was in the middle of the field, it was showing them on the board instead of the cars that actually held the positions.  For reference, I was between P10 and P17 all race, but myself and the cars I was racing against all disappeared from the board for most of the race.  We only showed back up once we crossed the finish line for the final time.   

I can't help with the exporting of iracing, but I could make an excel spreadsheet that would help tie emails and racer names together with formulas.  You'd paste the data and it would automatically pull the emails from another sheet.  In theory it would help cut time on the time needed before qualy and the race.  Let me know. 

We could use discord instead of the in-race driver chat.  I know other leagues use this for drivers meetings and so racers can communicate on track.  

It would also be cool to submit driver bios to the announcers- hometown, current region, actual race car information/class and stuff like that.  

Last, it's CAR-TEE, not CAR-TREE. 🤣

Looking forward to the next club race!  

 

 

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8 hours ago, Peter O. said:

One problem I had in qualifying is that ***ANY*** contact counts as an incident point. On one of my quicker laps, someone tapped me from behind on the back straight and boom - that lap didn't count. That wasn't the only lap where someone hit me either. It's probably too difficult to report incidents and have some kind of ruling. Perhaps one solution is to have more groups with fewer drivers to ensure things are cleaner?

I'm pretty certain I had at least one clean lap. If the HUD shows a lap time with no asterisk, isn't that clean? Is the information recorded anywhere? I'd like to look.

Also, for coalescing data, does iRacing give you our Customer IDs in the CSV output? If so, you could require that at signup to make sure you don't have to try to match anything up by hand.

That was me Peter, really sorry again, I forgot for a second that the 0X would count against you, was just trying to give you a push!

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19 minutes ago, ACartee1 said:

First- That was ton of fun guys!  I really enjoyed it and have no complaints as far as the racing went.  Good, hard, and mostly clean by everyone!  This is only the first event, so it's only going to get better from here.  I like the idea of a qualifying session the day before, but I'm fine with either option.

One area of improvement is the timing/position board.  I watched the replay of the stream this morning and noticed it was all over the place.  It seems like once lapped traffic was in the middle of the field, it was showing them on the board instead of the cars that actually held the positions.  For reference, I was between P10 and P17 all race, but myself and the cars I was racing against all disappeared from the board for most of the race.  We only showed back up once we crossed the finish line for the final time.   

I can't help with the exporting of iracing, but I could make an excel spreadsheet that would help tie emails and racer names together with formulas.  You'd paste the data and it would automatically pull the emails from another sheet.  In theory it would help cut time on the time needed before qualy and the race.  Let me know. 

We could use discord instead of the in-race driver chat.  I know other leagues use this for drivers meetings and so racers can communicate on track.  

It would also be cool to submit driver bios to the announcers- hometown, current region, actual race car information/class and stuff like that.  

Last, it's CAR-TEE, not CAR-TREE. 🤣

Looking forward to the next club race!  

 

 

The lapped cars are displayed in blue and the cars that are ahead by a lap are displayed in red, that and their actual position # is you you can tell when you are looking at the relative screen 

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1 hour ago, nateolson said:

I believe the major issue is that there were many more than 23 people that got a clean lap in. In Group A alone (results included below), there were 27 people with clean laps. iRacing only posts a lap time for qualifying if it's a completely clean lap (zero incident points, even no 0x incidents).  The fact that 27 people just in A had clean laps leads me to believe something was wrong with the way the data was exported. Going by average lap certainly excluded some people that had the pace to make the race (e.g. if you had a spin on one lap, followed it with a hot lap around 2:34.xx, you could be left with an average in the 2:50s). 

Perhaps going back and taking a closer look at the data or the methods available for exporting it would be most useful. I'm not really familiar with the data provided by iRacing so I can't offer any tips on this. A mock race could be organized to reattempt this before the next club race. Having a bit more time between sessions would also be helpful to all the organizers and take a bit of the pressure off.

.NASA-Club_GroupAQual.thumb.PNG.4695b2d84f245eed136631b9beb8ed17.PNG

It is also my understanding that iRacing ony shows a time when it is clean in Q session, but maybe it is different in an open session? People thought they had clean laps when the time popped up but not the case?

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2 hours ago, nateolson said:

I think I see the issue. On the iRacing results page, the Race shows up first. There, John only has 1 incident point. If you scroll down, the results of the qualifying are shown there (the second set of results). When I export those results as a CSV, I see 27 lap times posted, as shown in the screenshot of the in-race results in my post above.

My guess is the qualifying "race" results were used rather than the qualifying results. 

Capture.JPG

This was my guess as well, that they looked at the wrong thing.

 

When you view the hosted session results, the qualifying results are on there below the “race” results. It’s not really rocket science. And, after all...this is NASA ;)

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I may only speak for myself here, but “sorry, our bad” doesn’t make up for the investment we put in only to be left out through no fault of our own. 
 

And the whole time you had people telling us it was OUR fault for “not doing a clean lap” (even in the first post of this thread,wtf?!?!)  like we’re idiots or something. 

Edited by mmmbrap
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2 hours ago, kfennell said:

That was me Peter, really sorry again, I forgot for a second that the 0X would count against you, was just trying to give you a push!

No worries! In real life or during the race I would have loved some bump drafting down that straight!!!

The contact that really sucked was when someone moved left and hit me as I was passing them. We were side-by-side on the front straight just after S/F. It killed the lap 100 feet after it started, lol.

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11 minutes ago, Peter O. said:

No worries! In real life or during the race I would have loved some bump drafting down that straight!!!

The contact that really sucked was when someone moved left and hit me as I was passing them. We were side-by-side on the front straight just after S/F. It killed the lap 100 feet after it started, lol.

In our quali group it was pretty respectful at all times, though we did have a couple people make some questionable decisions pulling out of the pits into traffic :) Including myself one time when I tried to get in behind a fast driver to try to watch his line, but overshot turn one and ended up getting in his way

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The discovery of which CSV button may have actually been used per session explains A LOT.

The folks who got the invite but couldn't enter the session in time to post a qualifying time is a problem, but they at least made the race and might get to use it as a drop week later on.

The more pressing issue will be that some folks were left out of the main race who should have been there and some made the main race who didn't belong.  So several drivers will have already used up 1 of 2 drop weeks and did not even make the grid.

While nobody with a decent result in the 1st race wants their score devalued (myself included), might we consider adding a 3rd drop week to the rules?  Seems a fair solution for those who are rightfully feeling snubbed by the growing pains in round 1.  Thoughts?

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4 hours ago, kfennell said:

The lapped cars are displayed in blue and the cars that are ahead by a lap are displayed in red, that and their actual position # is you you can tell when you are looking at the relative screen 

I'm really speaking about it from the view of the spectator.  They won't want to see P1, 2 , 3, and then say a lapped car listed as P4 on the stream's leaderboard

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49 minutes ago, John D Allen said:

The discovery of which CSV button may have actually been used per session explains A LOT.

The folks who got the invite but couldn't enter the session in time to post a qualifying time is a problem, but they at least made the race and might get to use it as a drop week later on.

The more pressing issue will be that some folks were left out of the main race who should have been there and some made the main race who didn't belong.  So several drivers will have already used up 1 of 2 drop weeks and did not even make the grid.

While nobody with a decent result in the 1st race wants their score devalued (myself included), might we consider adding a 3rd drop week to the rules?  Seems a fair solution for those who are rightfully feeling snubbed by the growing pains in round 1.  Thoughts?

I'd agree this would be a good option. The other potential solution could be another race held with a full 30 minute qualifier for the 60 racers that should have been there. We all put in a lot of time and I think a proper race is deserved by all. (This race wouldn't necessarily take the place of last night's race, but could just be another race added to the championship).

On a side note, adding a 10 minute practice to the main event would also be useful to give everyone time to get entered and connected before the qualifying time starts ticking down.

Edited by nateolson
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@mmmbrap

1.  Championship points assigned based on qualifying:   Saying qualifying position automatically translates to a race result is a stretch.  Plus you will eventually create a scenario where people might be tied in points at the end of the season based on scores which were gifted in attempt to right a wrong.  That only gets messier later.

2. The choice of a free entry into the Pro race, $50 Hawk Bucks or $50 Toyo Bucks:   If you place Club racers into the Pro event without them paying the entry and they affect the race of drivers who paid the money we've again created a larger problem.  Those paying to run the Pro league get the benefit of the Club league being the test dummy for them.  That seems fair.  And they won't need to endure the multiple session circus and all the struggles that come with, as they are currently at only 38 registered for next Tuesday.

Finally, on NASA needing to "feel the pain they are inflicting".  You're on your own there.  This has been put together out of generosity, offering a chance to have fun and earn money doing it.  For free.  Were there mistakes?  Of course, this is new territory.  But I remain firmly in the camp of not biting the hand that feeds me.  There are simple solutions available to correct simple mistakes without re-writing the rule book.

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13 hours ago, John D Allen said:

OK, wow.  I know COTA is a bit unique on the track limits and all, but dang.  I'm sure as a group we are capable of better LOL.  Maybe implement a more stringent penalty for incident counts during the races?  *Angling for strategic advantage by the guy who lost a tight battle for the win to somebody with 19 more incidents than me*  (Don't read this, Austin LOL)

Haha TBF about 12-14 of those were lap 1 (4x in T1) and then 4x post race going off track a couple of times and drifting. I used a few on the chase down and dog fight, but was doing my best not to abuse track limits since you were doing same 

Tough situation for Will and team trying to merge 3 sessions into 1 race. I'm not familiar with how to run leagues, so can't imagine coming in with blank slate figuring it out. Really sucks for many and I would definitely agree with something like a 3rd drop to help nullify race 1 without punishing those that finished well.

As for qual / race procedure I prefer all night of. I'd also like to see enough race sessions for everyone to get a race even if it's not broadcast. It's only fair for putting in the time. I'm not sure if this can be automated better by using an actual league in iRacing vs hosted sessions.

Edited by cabowabo
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14 minutes ago, John D Allen said:

@mmmbrap

1.  Championship points assigned based on qualifying:   Saying qualifying position automatically translates to a race result is a stretch.  Plus you will eventually create a scenario where people might be tied in points at the end of the season based on scores which were gifted in attempt to right a wrong.  That only gets messier later.

2. The choice of a free entry into the Pro race, $50 Hawk Bucks or $50 Toyo Bucks:   If you place Club racers into the Pro event without them paying the entry and they affect the race of drivers who paid the money we've again created a larger problem.  Those paying to run the Pro league get the benefit of the Club league being the test dummy for them.  That seems fair.  And they won't need to endure the multiple session circus and all the struggles that come with, as they are currently at only 38 registered for next Tuesday.

Finally, on NASA needing to "feel the pain they are inflicting".  You're on your own there.  This has been put together out of generosity, offering a chance to have fun and earn money doing it.  For free.  Were there mistakes?  Of course, this is new territory.  But I remain firmly in the camp of not biting the hand that feeds me.  There are simple solutions available to correct simple mistakes without re-writing the rule book.

 

John, I appreciate your insights. First - none of these are perfect solutions. The problem we find ourselves in is that the mistake that was made is irreversible. We can't go back in time and re-run the race with the right people, and I think you'd agree it would be unfair to those who ran last night to ask them to run the race again with the people who actually earned a spot. I'm trying to find middle ground. 

I don't know that I necessarily agree about pro race entries being 'devalued' , per se, but your point is well taken. There's also the option of toyo/hawk bucks. Lastly, the circus is largely of their own doing. No one forced them to expand the entries. We don't allow unlimited entries at NASA events. I honestly think it should have remained first come, first served, as real-life events are, but also understand that's a bit heavy-handed. 

I came right out and said I might only be speaking for myself here, but the reality is that people's time is not without value, and that time was wasted as a result of this incredible blunder. If they want to restore confidence in the series, they need to extend an olive branch to the people they screwed. Also, I've found that mistakes without consequences lead to future mistakes. That's my opinion, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it :)

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