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Is it time for an On Track Compliance Chief (TCC)

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#1
FTodaro

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Frank we are in trouble. We got our own tech it's time for our own Stewart. Penalties need to be assigned. Incident trends need to be tracked. And for the love of god the phrase "racing incident" needs to only used when there was no way possible a human being could have avoided the situation. Like a mechanical malfunction or hitting oil on the track.

The class size would double if we could get this shit under control.

 

 

 

Up for discussion: Is it time for our class to have their own steward to enforce what we feel is appropriate on track behavior to deter and punish when necessary poor judgment in driving?

 

I spoke to many drivers this weekend who are fed up with the excessive contact within this class and even more concerned that SCCA is not taking any roll in correcting on-track behavior.

I know that we have rules, a protest process and penalties in the rules that address bad behavior, the problem is those rules are not being enforced.

 

IMO SCCA does not like to deal with the on track problems and are relieved when we don’t protest. Clearly there have been examples of bad behavior on track that occurred in plain sight and the officials take no action.

 

Not trying to pick on any incident or person, but this past weekend’s incident at Gingerman is an example of some poor driving that went unpunished.

 

So what if we get our own person who enforces the rules in our class the way we expect that they should be enforced. The current system does not seem to be deterring the aggressive driving.

We have to be careful that we do not turn this into a NASA thing (sorry NASA guys) but there has to be a middle ground, SCCA is way over on the side on giving it the blind eye.

 

I  am tired of coming home with body damage.

 

As with any idea the devil is in the details. So what are your thoughts?


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Frank
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#2
38bfast

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Frank there is so much more we could do if we had our own SM track compliance official.

The SMAC could outline the expectations of the position and then the selected official would execute the plan.

Sean brought it up in our last meeting that a electronic database would be key to the success of such program and I would agree.

A up track and down track video at the starters stand would help immensely with evidence.

I play a game with one of our local officials. Every time I see him, I sneak up and bump into him. Then I walk away and say sorry "racing Incedent".

This isn't going to happen unless we get the majority of the racers to support this kind of effort.

To me this is and should be our number one issue that needs to be resolved. It eclipses and tech issues we have at this point.
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#3
38bfast

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One of the problems is people seem to be ok with a small tap. The problem is that as small tap as we have seen can turn into a big reck real fast.
Ralph Provitz
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#4
FTodaro

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Penalty has to fit the crime, if a small tap turns into a wrecked car then it has to be dealt with in that way.


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#5
luckymiata76

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OK, I've been tapped in the rear mid-corner at the Sprints and now at GingerMan. At the June Sprints, I was "tapped" in the rear bumper in the middle of the carousel, this slight increase in speed caused me to go off the track on the outside of the carousel-I saved it, but it scared the SHIT out of me. Found the driver(1/2 my age?), had a discussion, I'm over it.

 

Today at GingerMan I was "tapped" mid-corner again 3-4x during the race. Again, talked with driver. He said, I was "parking it" in the corners and driving too defensively, but I subscribe to the slow in-fast out driving style at this track. Granted, my car wasn't handling as I'd like and my turn-in speeds weren't the best. We talked, he wasn't happy with me and I wasn't happy with him.

 

Bottom line-there are places to "tap" the car in front of you, but mid-corner is not the place. If I didn't have 20+ years racing, I very well could have lost it on several occasions this year.

 

I won't even start in on how many times I've been RAMMED in the rear bumper on a start.

 

Jeff

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#6
Rob Burgoon

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How much power do you want to sink into a single power hungry volunteer?


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#7
38bfast

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How much power do you want to sink into a single power hungry volunteer?


How many cars do you want to total a season?
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#8
Ron Alan

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How much power do you want to sink into a single power hungry volunteer?

Would it change if they are paid? I understand your issue with the volunteer system and those more interested in getting too their 3rd free meal and cocktails...but paid or not the other extreme exists as well(power hungry as you say).


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#9
FTodaro

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Would it change if they are paid? I understand your issue with the volunteer system and those more interested in getting too their 3rd free meal and cocktails...but paid or not the other extreme exists as well(power hungry as you say).

Just an FYI they could be paid and i do not think we would need to foot the bill. SCCA national collects 90.00 per sm registered for a major 70 plus the compliance of 20. We pay a fair amount of money to this organization, and I understand the issues but I think we are missing the point that we should demand better.

 

BTW, this is not a region issue, Jeff's group put on a hell of an event.

 

I am sending a letter, as always if you want change you have to send a letter. I will post what i send.


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#10
John Davison

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If this were to even happen, it would have to be a paid employee by SCCA.  There is no way you can have a volunteer travel all around the country every weekend and you can't have different guys every weekend cause it wont be consistent. 

 

And Rob, those same "power hungry" volunteers are the same ones who will help you get out of a burning car without thinking twice, so show some respect.


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#11
EMatoy

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Here is one problem I encountered Saturday.

After the wreck I went to the steward and asked for a protest form. They had to go find one. They recorded the time I made the request. I still was not given the form- they were looking for it.

I was asked what car I was protesting - at this point I did not know. I was hit by 2 cars and had no idea yet who did what.

While they looked for the form I went to go look for video and talk to the drivers and try to figure it out. While trying to figure out who did what the stewards did start an investigation.

My question:
1. Why did they not already start their own investigation? Prior to my call for a protest form nothing was being done.
2. If one does not know who hit them who do you protest? You only have a limited time to file the paperwork. If there is a bad wreck- should the results automatically be on hold pending a required investigation?

#12
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Your point 2.

 

GCR-76

8.3 Protest Procedures

Point F. with respect to time.

 

 

In 16 years of SCCA racing I've had 4 issues.

 

About 02 at Gingerman, passed under yellow, on track gave position back, probation 3 months.

 

About 06 at Blackhawk, T4-5, totaled an ITA  RX7, all me.

 

At Blackhawk, got a$$ packed (frame stretch required) at green flag before hit start finish line, I understand when race starts, filed protest, RACING INCEDIENT.

 

Last year at Blackhawk T3 almost to inside apex, hit from right bumper corner and rubbed thru front door, counter steered looking out drivers window. Was starting paper work with Steward, other driver walked up, took full responsibility, hand shake, done deal no paper.

 

If any issues rear their ugly head in the future doing a protest, GCR 6.11.1. On Course Driver Conduct will be included.  


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#13
wreckerboy

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They didn't start the investigation because we are ultimately responsible for our own on track behavior. Unless it's really egregious and it happens right in front of them (see also: Dave Gran getting wrecked in the WGI ITA race last year, conincidentally, directly in view of the Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors) they aren't going to start the investigation.

With regards to your second point:

While you do have limited time to file a protest, all you really need to do is notify the stewards of your intent to do so within the allotted time period. That stops the clock. What I have found is that telling them of your intent, followed by "I need to go look at video to determine the specifics" has been greeted with "Fine, just get back to us ASAP."

For example, at my last race I got hit, and needed to do just that. I was convinced that I had gotten dumped by another competitor. I looked at video, wasn't certain that was actually the case, and found the Driver's Advisor who then looked at the video with me. We ultimately determined that a protest was not appropriate. But by notifying the stewards of my intent I had stopped the clock and had the time to determine facts and a course of action. I notified the stews that I was not going to file a protest.

As for those occasions where you cannot get to the stewards because you're in Medical, either do the above, or if practical have somebody else listed as your entrant, which then empowers them to act in your stead. My wife/entrant knows that if the merde hits the fan she's go to get to somebody in white and let them know that paper will be thrown before she meets me in medical.
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#14
EMatoy

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Your point 2.

GCR-76
8.3 Protest Procedures
Point F. with respect to time.

In this case the 30 minutes was not enough to find evidence. Per paragraph F the SOM would have to have been convinced to extend the time. Hence my idea to automatically force an investigation and put results on hold until complete. Every supp I have seen says contact resulting in a car losing control or leaving the racing surface will be investigated- I have not seen this happen automatically. This would force it to be looked into. It does not fix the go to answer of racing incident.

#15
Jim Drago

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How much power do you want to sink into a single power hungry volunteer?

Rob

Have you been really screwed by the steward(s)? Seems like you have a very biased opinion towards them? We have all had the normal scolding or run ins, your dislike seems much deeper rooted than that?   Just curious


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#16
Jim Drago

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And on our own steward .. Not sure it believe it is needed but I guess it couldnt hurt either?  The issue IMO is that the stewards are NOT doing there job.

 

If there is contact where there is more a tire donut etc.. I feel it is the responsiblity of the stewards to call the drivers in and assign blame and penalities. Otherwise this is going to continue and escalate ( as it has been).     


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#17
Joe (dad) Jordan

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Rob

Have you been really screwed by the steward(s)? Seems like you have a very biased opinion towards them? We have all had the normal scolding or run ins, your dislike seems much deeper rooted than that?   Just curious

 

Hey Jim,  there is a SM steward in Cal CLub.  His travel expenses are paid by spec miata entries and he had a close relationship with the main spec miata prep shop in socal and yes Rob has had a run in with him, I personally like the guy, but he can be viewed as a pawn for the prep shop if that prep shop doesn't like you.  Rob does not run any SCCA races any more in Soca because of this.  Suprise Suprise Rob can sometimes rub people the wrong way, although in person he  does not come across that way except he hates most of the teen mazda challenge drivers lol..... 


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#18
FTodaro

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I am posting this idea for Kyle, as he is going out of town, Hard to believe i would have to speak for Kyle lol, his idea is to have a committee of 3 or 4 SM drivers like a SMAC to review video and pass judgment, forward the ruling to the steward who impose penalty. I do not have the facts on this one but i have a suspicion that some of those who are sitting in judgment have not raced, not raced for awhile or not raced SM ( i may get flamed for that one) but

 

The suggestion here it that we be more involved in our destiny. Jim is right they are not enforcing the rules that way we want. We had that issue with tech, we solved it, we have this issue with aggressive driving, we can solve that Too.

 

I would like to see us start a committee like with did with head gate to put together a plan, Ralph, Sager you interested, and anyone else that wants to do something to better the class.


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#19
Walter Vetter

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A good start would be for the stewards to stop looking the other way on bumpdrafting (slam drafting per Saul). Don't condone ANY contact and penalize those who won't comply.
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#20
Danny Steyn

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Here is how I see this

 

  • Spec Miata  class where all the cars are really close in performance, and this necessitates running in very close quarters.
  • With the power and driving skills being so equal, it is difficult to pass, unless the driver ahead makes a mistake, so we are inclined take our chances when they happen, which means we are in a continuous state of readiness to pounce.
  • We actively asked the SCCA Majors stewards to turn a blind eye to bump-drafting with is totally against everything in the GCR, and this means that we run closer still (* see below)

So most of this, if not all of it, is of our own making as drivers. We want eq1ual cars and we want close racing. So rather than get someone else to police this for us, why don’t we choose a drivers representative from the field that is racing that weekend, to review contact after the event and make a ruling.

 

There are many drivers who drive with minimal contact, whose results and on-track and off-track actions make us respect them.

 

Of course few drivers would want this additional responsibility, but if we made it a onetime event deal for the season, we could all shoulder the burden

 

We could also compensate him for the stress of having to police this event. I am sure some of us would do it for nothing for the benefit of the class, whereas others would not want the burden unless there was compensation, but I am not sure what it would need to be.

 

So here is how it could work. So let’s say we are racing the June Sprints at Road America. There are several drivers who have driven there a lot, and who can put the interests of the class above their personal interest, and who have placed well with minimal contact (of course I am sure that if we investigate, we can all point to a couple of incidents in which they were involved but you get the point.

 

So let’s say that there are 50+ drivers entered for the June Sprints Road America event including myself, Todd Lamb, Jim Drago, Craig Berry, Voytek Burdzy and many more. We put a poll on Mazda Racers, listing all the “eligible” potential drivers’ reps and from the votes, we elect the Drivers Rep for the Weekend.

 

Let’s say the choice is Todd Lamb, and he accepts the appointment, then we, the drivers, charge him with reviewing any contact that happens during that weekend and he alone makes the decision. Once he has made the decision he hands his findings to the stewards for action.

 

In this example, of course this has the potential for one of us to get pissed off with Todd and his decision, but since each event is based on a poll, if Todd’s decision meets with universal dislike, then it is unlikely that he will be elected to be the driver’s rep for the another event. However, from what I know of the drivers that I would consider as potential driver’s reps, I believe that most of them would be fair and just without bias.  

 

Interested in feedback on this proposal

 

*POSTSCRIPT

Personally I believe bump-drafting has actually reduced some of the carnage as we now are inclined to transfer our momentum into the car ahead rather than go for the Hail-Mary dive bomb that so often happens if you have momentum and cannot bump


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