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Author Topic: Opinions on running by class  (Read 9032 times)
whiteryder
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« on: April 26, 2016, 11:35:05 AM »



If you have comments or suggestions on our new format of running by class,
please submit them to this thread for consideration by the Competition Committee
and the club board.  Thanks for your input!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 09:44:29 AM by whiteryder » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 12:36:08 PM »

Personally, I prefer being able to pick the heat I run in. But I see the point of running similar classes together, especially if the weather is changing throughout the day.
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jamescarriv
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 01:27:01 PM »

I ran first at both events. Running by class appears to lack randomness.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 02:03:01 PM »

I like running by class, just so I can see how I compare to the others in similar classes. For myself, I have now run in last and first heats and think that rotating classes through the heats over the entire season would be fair. Not everyone likes running first, most often heard reason is how slick the course can be from being cold, dusted with debris and lack of rubber. Not sure if those are factors after a couple of runs, but that seems to be what some say, myself included.
Anyway, I'm starting to stray from the topic. Keep the format the way it is just rotate us through the heats.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 02:18:04 PM »

I like running in heats and I'm sure Ricardo loves it because not I cannot park right behind him and mess with him!
I'm not so sure how the randomness happens but in talking with Joe it seems that he lets the computer pick the randomness and adjusts from there. In my opinion the randomness of the heats need to be kept track of each event, if you do this then the board can plan the heats out for the future event and its not so random any more it more or less rotates from race to race instead of someone like James running in heat one two weeks in a row. It takes some extra work but I think you board members can make it happen!

Gunny
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 02:37:41 PM »

This has been discussed at length in the past. It's the only way to take weather conditions out of the equation. Once the club went to a points system based on an index, I think it's the only fair way to run. I've run with clubs that would allow you to run outside of the heat assigned to your class, but if it gave you an advantage, your times were tossed.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 05:35:21 PM »

To be clear:
The computer decided nothing on the last event.  I go through and group the main categories (street, street touring, etc) into different heats and then balance from there.  Street was by far the largest category last event so HS and CS got shuffled out like STS got shuffled out of heat 3. 

Its not perfect and I'm trying to improve my system and it will not always be fair.  Planning the heats out in advance doesn't work well with when walk-ups are able to skew the heat size.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 12:01:52 PM »

To be clear:
The computer decided nothing on the last event.  I go through and group the main categories (street, street touring, etc) into different heats and then balance from there.  Street was by far the largest category last event so HS and CS got shuffled out like STS got shuffled out of heat 3. 

Its not perfect and I'm trying to improve my system and it will not always be fair.  Planning the heats out in advance doesn't work well with when walk-ups are able to skew the heat size.

Joe is spot on about this.

The "magic" is to arrange the classes so that there is close to an equal number of drivers in each heat. That will be somewhat random as the the classes represented and the number of drivers in each will vary from event to event. As Joe said, walk ups make it next to impossible to do before the event.  Once the heats are formed, the order in which you run those heats can be completely random. You could even have someone draw the order out of a hat before the drivers meeting. That would be unbiased and when you run should equal itself out over the course of the season.

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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 01:13:28 PM »

I do want to say thanks to Joe for his hard work and diligence around scoring and timing....as well as trying to implement this new methodology.  We have had a handful of hiccups in the software around registration and he has also been very engaged in that arena.  Between Mindy, Joe and myself we have been able to make the ends meet with registration. The new set up does make registration much easier.  Last year at times we would have 20 or 30 folks asking for special arrangements.  Now we just check folks in and wait till the drivers meeting.  Much less drama and attitude at registration these days.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 01:15:28 PM by MikeDe » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2016, 02:51:19 PM »

To be clear:
The computer decided nothing on the last event.  I go through and group the main categories (street, street touring, etc) into different heats and then balance from there.  Street was by far the largest category last event so HS and CS got shuffled out like STS got shuffled out of heat 3. 

Its not perfect and I'm trying to improve my system and it will not always be fair.  Planning the heats out in advance doesn't work well with when walk-ups are able to skew the heat size.

My apologies if I sound like I'm complaining. By all means I am not, you guys do a FANTASTIC job running events and getting everyone sorted out in the heats as well as getting results out fast. We are are appreciative of that, Lord knows I couldn't do it.
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bernard
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 06:13:04 AM »

I like running by class and it worked well for us at the first event. At the last event we ran the last heat and there were only a few cars and so we were basically hot lapping with two drivers. We gave up our last two runs because there was no opportunity to cool the car. There should always be a minimum of five minutes between runs per the rules. Consideration needs to be given to heat size relative to the number of two driver cars.   
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 09:32:57 AM »

I like running by class and it worked well for us at the first event. At the last event we ran the last heat and there were only a few cars and so we were basically hot lapping with two drivers. We gave up our last two runs because there was no opportunity to cool the car. There should always be a minimum of five minutes between runs per the rules. Consideration needs to be given to heat size relative to the number of two driver cars.   

Agreed, Just because we can run through the heat faster doesn't mean we need too. We will make that point clear next time. If heat 1 took 1.5 hours with 25 drivers, then heat 4 should be able to take 1.5 hours with 12 drivers. No need to burn up cars or tires because you are in a smaller heat.

-Paul
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 10:37:15 AM »

My apologies if I sound like I'm complaining. By all means I am not, you guys do a FANTASTIC job running events and getting everyone sorted out in the heats as well as getting results out fast. We are are appreciative of that, Lord knows I couldn't do it.

No worries.

I like running by class and it worked well for us at the first event. At the last event we ran the last heat and there were only a few cars and so we were basically hot lapping with two drivers. We gave up our last two runs because there was no opportunity to cool the car. There should always be a minimum of five minutes between runs per the rules. Consideration needs to be given to heat size relative to the number of two driver cars.   

Agreed, Just because we can run through the heat faster doesn't mean we need too. We will make that point clear next time. If heat 1 took 1.5 hours with 25 drivers, then heat 4 should be able to take 1.5 hours with 12 drivers. No need to burn up cars or tires because you are in a smaller heat.

-Paul

^All of this.
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2016, 10:14:04 PM »

I like running by class and it worked well for us at the first event. At the last event we ran the last heat and there were only a few cars and so we were basically hot lapping with two drivers. We gave up our last two runs because there was no opportunity to cool the car. There should always be a minimum of five minutes between runs per the rules. Consideration needs to be given to heat size relative to the number of two driver cars.   

You should never have to give up runs to avoid running in less than 5 minutes. As you say, the rules require 5 minutes between runs. Because we don't have 3-4 grid workers with stopwatches like at national events, it is up to the member to let the grid worker know if you need to be skipped to get to 5 minutes. Grid will need to radio it in so it does not appear you are just randomly running out of order. 5 minutes is measured from the time you arrive in your grid spot until you leave the grid spot.

Paul, you ok with that advice?

David
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2016, 12:32:52 PM »

I am not a fan of running by class for regional events like ours.  First off, I think it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  How many classes do we have where there is serious competition between comparable skilled drivers?  2?  3?  They can already run together by pick-a-heat preference; for everyone else, it's either irrelevant.

Mostly, though, it creates a lot of issues.  One is competitive: there is more competition between classes for overall pax points than within classes, and it would make more sense to run all the top drivers together so they run in the same conditions... but we can't just run a "pro" class because we'd have some heats stacked with all our qualified workers and others scratching for novices with enough experience to operate a radio.

Another is what Bernard brought up regarding codrivers.  I don't like codriving in a single heat with anyone; it's hectic and often difficult to deal with tire heat.  Especially when we end up with small run-groups and long distances between finish, grid, & start, there's nearly zero time between one driver getting out and the next heading to the line.  20 cars with 30 second spacing is just 10 minutes; if you spend 2 minutes staging for start and another 2 minutes returning to grid after the finish, you get your required 5 minutes, but it sure doesn't feel like it!   (The only time it helps is when it's super cold out, but then it gives an unfair advantage to people with codrivers.)

And what happens when 3 or more people want to codrive the same car in the same class?

Basically, I think it creates more problems than it's worth, especially when competitors already have the ability to voluntarily run the same heat together.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 12:36:06 PM by sjfehr » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2016, 06:03:57 PM »

20 cars with 30 second spacing is just 10 minutes; if you spend 2 minutes staging for start and another 2 minutes returning to grid after the finish, you get your required 5 minutes, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

If you work grid at SCCA national events, you are taught that the 5 minutes is measured from the time a a car stops in its grid spot until the time it leaves its grid spot.  The actual rule is not that specific.

David
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2016, 06:41:15 PM »

Just to clarify, I brought "running by class" to the Board as one of the last things I did as 1st Vice President last year. Autocross is a competition that takes place on one or two days. The finishing order in each class is the important part of any particular event.  Year end points and other considerations are secondary to the class finishes for the day. All National events run by class.  It makes for fair competition within each class.

If you reread David's post note that the 5 minutes start when you return to grid. How much time it takes to return to grid is not included. You do not have to be on the start line within the 5 minutes. You have 5 minutes minimum SITTING in grid. This does not mean that you can sit somewhere for a half hour before returning to grid, but if you need extra time we'll try to help. I see that David has added some additional info on this.

We are a local club and we can adjust some rules to suit ourselves, but technically running 3 drivers in the same car is illegal.

Gene Cooley

 
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2016, 03:48:38 PM »

20 cars with 30 second spacing is just 10 minutes; if you spend 2 minutes staging for start and another 2 minutes returning to grid after the finish, you get your required 5 minutes, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

If you work grid at SCCA national events, you are taught that the 5 minutes is measured from the time a a car stops in its grid spot until the time it leaves its grid spot.  The actual rule is not that specific.

David
That may just be a matter of convenience for the purposes of national event parity since it would be tough for grid to track drivers consistently from any other point.  The official SCCA rulebook doesn't specify the clock starts in grid, they just say that a minimum of (5) minutes must elapse before a driver may take a re-run.  Interestingly, this time appears to only relate to re-runs, not spacing during regular runs in a heat...  I guess national rules assume large heats?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 03:51:47 PM by sjfehr » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2016, 06:31:28 PM »

I'm use to it now!
However I did like gridding up next to Ricardo, Paul, Joe, Jeff, James, Marc, ect in a single heat. Pretty much all different classes.
Made it fun because raw time is where its at! and we all know pax is pretty much random (best guess, thats why it changes every year) especially when it gets down to the local level.

Gunny
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 06:33:44 PM by gunny » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2016, 01:52:33 PM »

Why are we talking about this again?? Everything is good!

Joe and everyone else have done a good job getting this going.
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2016, 02:31:04 PM »

I agree with James.
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2016, 05:35:29 PM »

As long as points are earned based on the index, running by class is the only fair way. The idea was to eliminate weather advantages. I ran in DC/MD way back in the 70's and 80's with TAA and they ran by class back.
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