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Track & Trials Discussion Discuss the Reno SCCA Track Program, including Track Trials, Club Trials, and PDX events

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
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Exclamation Trials changes discussion

If you're a Trial's driver - CT or TT - please try to make the meeting Wednesday night as we will be discussing the changes to the program Dave has made. You can read about them in the TT/PDX Supps under the "Document" tab above. A thumbnail description is:

Trials will be run under the PDX/Club Trail set of SCCA rules, there won't be a separate rule set for Time Trials (TT), nor - actually - will there be a TT group at all. This means all cars and drivers will be held to the Club Trial safety and prep guidelines (no more mandatory driver suits and fire systems). It also means that now all Trial cars, both TT and CT, will be running together and for one set of trophies. Dave has set up the schedule to divide the Trials into a fast group and a slower group based on qualifying times during the first session of the day so not all Trial cars will be on track at the same time, and two-driver cars will be able to run.

So, please try to make the meeting, or if you can't, please let us know your thought and questions on this thread.

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Old 03-03-2017, 11:29 PM   #2
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Here's an example from last year of combining both TT and CT into one class, then splitting that class into two run groups based on qualifying times. The first one is Event 2 and the second one is Event 3. The green rows were TT cars, the rest CT; the black row is a presumed split for the two run groups for the rest of the day. So those above the black row would go out as TT1, those below it would go out as TT2, all drivers would be competing for the same class trophies, just one set for both drivers in TT1 and TT2. Note that the speed differential is much greater top to bottom in the fast half (TT1) than that in the slower half (TT2) at both events. If the link doesn't work it's in the Documents tab under Trials.

http://www.renoscca.org/documents/Tr.../CT%20TT_1.pdf

We will be voting on the new TT/CT supps at the April meeting - whether to accept them as written, modify or amend. So if you have any questions or suggestions please post them here and make it to the meeting next month.

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Old 03-05-2017, 09:27 PM   #3
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Don, I really like this idea. I think it will work really well in helping balancing rungroups and reducing traffic.

The only issue is that you have people in different rungroups competing directly against each other... what happens if there's rain, or a red flag/long yellow... or just plain old changing track conditions? I could foresee some people being upset that they were beat by someone in a more favorable session.

That said, I still think the merging of CT/TT is a great idea overall and will be good for the overall fun of everyone.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:12 AM   #4
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Default Changing Track Conditions

Scott,

We use the fastest lap from all runs all day to determine class results and the two Time Trial groups (TT 1 & TT 2) run adjacent to each other so I expect everyone will have an opportunity to run under very similar conditions. I also expect that two competitors running similsr times in the same class will be i the same TT group 90% of the time and we will reserve the right to place them in the same group if they request it.

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Old 03-11-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith View Post
Trials will be run under the PDX/Club Trail set of SCCA rules, there won't be a separate rule set for Time Trials (TT), nor - actually - will there be a TT group at all.
Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith View Post
Dave has set up the schedule to divide the Trials into a fast group and a slower group based on qualifying times during the first session of the day so not all Trial cars will be on track at the same time, and two-driver cars will be able to run.

AWESOME!
Finally.


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Note that the speed differential is much greater top to bottom in the fast half (TT1) than that in the slower half (TT2) at both events.

So if you have any questions or suggestions please post them here and make it to the meeting next month.
Yeah, not so awesome. The whole point of the consolidation exercise should be to take the opportunity to reduce the speed differentials. Otherwise we still have the faster lappers catching the less-fast lappers on lap 2.

Fastest cars+greatest speed/lap time differentials+wildly mixed skillsets (newbie CT+experienced TT)=less safe.

Please split the groups to minimize differential, otherwise you've not made anything better.

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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Maybe split the groups on a percentile basis of fastest speed (or average of top 3). Although that might result in different numbers in each group, the similar speeds don't catch each other as quickly or often.

I'll play with some numbers in a spreadsheet and see how the groups look and number of times the slowest car is potentially lapped by a fastest.

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Old 03-12-2017, 08:25 AM   #7
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I'll add one other thing to consider:

If you allow the wide differential as discussed above in TT1 and combine that with restrictive "CT" passing rules, the result will be far worse than previous. There will be no free laps without being impeded. The only reason I ever cared to be in "TT" vs "CT" was to gain at least some opportunity to pass less-fast traffic because TT had open passing.

While I don't care for PCA politics, they do run a true and fair time trial event based on these rules:

"To help prevent overtaking, cars with similar lap times run together. All drivers who will be time trialing submit a best estimate of their single lap time. Based on this "estimated time", drivers are assigned a spot in the starting grid sequence. This ordering of cars according to lap time allows several cars to be stagger-started onto the circuit at once. The effect is that there will be five or so cars on the track, but they are spread out around the track and will normally not even see each other."

"In may sometimes happen that, during the timed runs, a car catches another car. This can be because one of the drivers has seriously mis-estimated his or her normal lap time but is more frequently because the car ahead is having some sort of difficulty. The only fair thing to do is to give the following car another attempt at timed runs."

If the TT cars are going to be bunched up and pack-started again this year, in wheel-to-wheel race fashion (resulting in a hydrid race/TT session not a true TT), TT1 passing has to be all-track w/point-by, or courtesy point-by, especially on West. Last year I did 24 events with differing hosts and all offered that benefit (all-track passing) in the mid-high groups. There was never a problem, I heard not one complaint voiced, in fact it was the opposite. Expectations were set in drivers meeting and drivers were treated as responsible adults. Drivers were happy because of mutual cooperation passing opportunity anywhere on track.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:17 AM   #8
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Pete, I believe the intent is to move to open passing for both TT and CT prepared cars, at least, I HOPE that's the intent.

IMO, we've got a solid PDX program with many instructors to help bring drivers' experience levels up to the point where open-passing shouldn't be a huge issue as long as everyone in TT/CT is required to have run enough PDX events prior to entering a time trial to be comfortable with their mirrors and letting faster traffic through. I think open-passing with required point-by and required PDX experience would be plenty safe. There will probably still be instances of really fast drivers/cars getting held up, but I can't see it being worse than TT used to be, especially if the regrouping can be done to clear up the speed deltas.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:56 AM   #9
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Thought I'd chime in here now that the event under this structure has taken place, and input my $0.02...

Driving one of the faster cars on track, I can say for sure that the qualifying group was a bit of a headache... I was not able to turn even a single lap without traffic, just based on the volume of cars on track at one time. I was able to set a respectable time at least, having gotten a good point-by from an experienced driver on one of my flying laps that didn't hold me up too much. If not for that SPECIFIC encounter, I would have had not even a single clean lap. There was just not room on the track for the volume of cars.

I certainly have no intent to 'call anyone out' but I can also say that there were at least a few drivers who were not watching their mirrors appropriately and giving point-bys, as well as some drivers who seemingly found themselves frustrated by this and made aggressive passes without receiving a point...

Once the groups were sorted, at least in my experience, things went more smoothly. Speed differentials were still high at points even in the "faster" run group, but overall there were courteous drivers who were paying attention. I do know that some drivers still found themselves frustrated and I believe even left early due to that frustration.

Anyone else who drove in this event and has some constructive criticisms, we would love to hear from you so that we can continue to develop the format and make the events run as smoothly as possible.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:26 PM   #10
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It was my last event with Reno SCCA. Click "Show More" on the video to see comments.

https://youtu.be/RU-xyr_kg78

Just cant take the pain any longer. I wish my track pals the best. See you at Droids, Mooty's, HOD, Trackmasters, Lotus Club, Kou's, Private Laps, etc etc.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:36 PM   #11
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I believe we had some drivers - mostly Spec Miata guys - who missed the driver's meeting and didn't hear the passing rules. And I know one of them actually hit Scott Knauf's rear bumper going into turn 7. So, I would suggest that if you aren't at the driver's meeting, you aren't on track until you at least get a private meeting with Dave. For that first session we had guys who had just come from an actual race and still had that mind set, mixed in with daily drivers out having fun - not a good mix. And, yes, there was quite a bit of passing sans point-byes by frustrated, but fast, cars. That can be very intimidating to the uninitiated, but I can understand the frustration of the fast guys, too. There were, and seem to always be, drivers who just don't watch their mirrors, or just refuse to point by until the main straight.

I also agree that there were just too many cars on track for the first session, I doubt we'll have that car count again, but it might have been better to split the group by number - say half of TT out first, then the rest of TT out second, instead of the single 45 minute session with everyone invited.

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Old 05-02-2017, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
It was my last event with Reno SCCA. Click "Show More" on the video to see comments.

https://youtu.be/RU-xyr_kg78

Just cant take the pain any longer. I wish my track pals the best. See you at Droids, Mooty's, HOD, Trackmasters, Lotus Club, Kou's, Private Laps, etc etc.
Sorry you feel that way Pete, I know you had a frustrating day and that's a lot of money to spend on a day pounding your head against a wall, so to speak. We do have to make improvements, and we will work on that and take your suggestions to heart. I will definitely see that we discuss this at the meeting tomorrow.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:54 AM   #13
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As usual I won't be able to make it to the meeting as I'm out of town, but from a PDX perspective I think splitting out and capping Green worked well, as did the 'all PDX' session at the end of the day.

Regarding the TT qualifying session, maybe it's either time to split it into two for the next event, based on the lap times from the last event, or cap the number of laps/time people can spend out on track so it doesn't turn into a spitting image of 101 in Silicon Valley at 5pm?
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #14
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Final results posted yet?

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As usual I won't be able to make it to the meeting as I'm out of town, but from a PDX perspective I think splitting out and capping Green worked well, as did the 'all PDX' session at the end of the day.

Regarding the TT qualifying session, maybe it's either time to split it into two for the next event, based on the lap times from the last event, or cap the number of laps/time people can spend out on track so it doesn't turn into a spitting image of 101 in Silicon Valley at 5pm?
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:01 PM   #15
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Pete,

Saw your video and feel the frustration. Maybe get a gap to set a fast lap or wait until the last session. That's what I ended up doing as I didn't have to worry about traffic. I agree with you on the safety issue. Some dumb moves made out there. A driver(name withheld) crossed over the white line on pit exit right in front of me at corner entry. Good thing the car has incredible brakes!

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Sorry you feel that way Pete, I know you had a frustrating day and that's a lot of money to spend on a day pounding your head against a wall, so to speak. We do have to make improvements, and we will work on that and take your suggestions to heart. I will definitely see that we discuss this at the meeting tomorrow.
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:58 PM   #16
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Hey Pete, we all got frustrated that first session, it was a trial that we agreed at last night's meeting needs improving. We love seeing you out there and discussed some potential solutions that would be great to get your direct input on and hope to see you back out there testing them!

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Old 05-24-2017, 06:52 PM   #17
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Default June 11 PDX & Time Trial

After considerable discussion at the May region meeting the decision was to continue the current procedure of running groups of cars together on track for the timed sessions (Races). It was also agreed that combining the two TT groups into one large Practice/Qualifying session did not work and caused excessive congestion and made it impossible to get any clear track.

As a result, for the June 11 event the Time Trial field will be split into three (3)
20 minute sessions A, session B, and Session C. Cars will be placed in one of the three Practice sessions based on anticipated lap times and other factors such as 2 driver cars.

Following the three Practice/Qualifying sessions the Time Trial field will be split, based upon lap times and all cars placed in either TT 1 (Slower Cars) or TT 2 (Faster Cars). TT 1 and TT 2 will each have three races. Cars will be gridded based on lap time with fastest cars in the front.

The June 11 Schedule is posted in the "documents" section and can be accessed here: http://www.renoscca.org/documents/Tr...%20Program.pdf

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