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

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#21
38bfast

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Yes Frank I would be willing to help out. I started the same conversation with the SMAC last meeting and there was positive support. 

 

I think it would be a up hill battle that we would never reach the summit to if we wanted the current Stewart's to work to the level we need. We have been bitching for years and have IMHO gone backwards. 


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#22
Michael Novak

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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

I like the idea---I might shoot for two drivers reps per event but I think it has merit.


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#23
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How is it dealt with in the Global MX-5 series?,From watching live this weekend it seems they have the same problem we do.


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#24
ChrisA

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I think the SCCA holding racers feet to the fire for contact or overly aggressive driving would be more effective than relying on protest. It puts everyone on notice of the quality of driving and respect for each other we want to see. It is also less likely to create bad blood in the paddock, than would an increase of protests filed by drivers, in order to bring the mayhem under control. If the camaraderie with folks when not on the track disappears, due to numerous protest (especially without proper action) and folks stop enjoying the events. Then they stop showing up at all.

 

What would the TCC official need to do the job well and what would be expected of them, would need to be outlined. They would need to be trained for the position in some manner, so that there is reasonable consistency across divisions & regions. These things will need to be discussed.

 

We do need to do something to reduce the contact out there. It is needlessly wasted money & time conducting repairs, of which many of us are short of one or both. The safety factor alone should be a compelling enough reason to try to make our class more "professional" in our conduct. No one wants to see anyone get hurt out there, least not ourselves. We have the best class out there, except for this blemish which tarnishes our reputation. Let’s make Spec Miata the Standard others aspire to, not avoid.


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#25
Rob Burgoon

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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.

 

 

The ones standing at a corner station that pull you out of the burning car AREN'T the power hungry ones.  If they were, they wouldn't have volunteered for a position that doesn't have any power to speak of, other than saving someone.  Those guys (and gals) are fine.


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#26
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World Challenge requires ALL cars to run "REplay" cameras. the chips are owned by world challenge. You are required to turn in your chip withing a few minutes of the end of EVERY session. Any incedents are reviewed by the Stewards. In this case, Dorsey Schroeder and Brian Till. They are the judge, jury, excecusioneer and St Peter. Decision made, case dismissed, who is next.

 

Finding any SCCA official who can be unbiased enough, who also has the recent driving experience at a semi competitive level in an SM is going to be impossible.


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#27
Rob Burgoon

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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..... 

 

You left out that the official asking SM drivers directly for money.  Not the volunteer beer fund,  not an entry surcharge for SM, straight up "give me money if you want me to continue to do what I'm doing"

 

You also left out that I LOVE racing the other half of the teen mazda challenge drivers.  Generally speaking, if the teen passes me under an obvious caution to win, I don't like them.  If the teen is a crybaby complaining to officials that I scared him off the track with a pass in a chicane, I don't like them.  If they bring a very suspicious car, I don't like them.  If they carry themselves like an adult (and MANY do) then I love racing with them and the class is much better with them.

 

Cal club lost my business because that steward told tech to refuse to tech me.  There's no going back after being turned away trackside.

 

This same official was hassling me for years because he didn't like the fact that my car was two different shades of maroon, demanding that I paint the car one color. Not sure there's anything in the GCR about matching paint.

 

Ya'll need to be careful about how much power you sink into one volunteer.


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#28
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*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

I will speak for Walter...what happened to a slight breath or lift? :)

 

As for driver reps...2 minimum...and maybe a 3rd alternate in case the first 2 pound each other :(

 

Part of the problem I see is how the rules are interpreter. Overlap(even a foot) by some means they will allow themselves to be hit before giving up...right or wrong. Some just aren't as good at spacial awareness and what a car width is...and some are just not as cautious as they should be and assume way to much from other drivers.

 

My belief is more responsibility needs to be put on the driver with the best vision...this means the car behind carries more of the burden though not necessarily all. Only reason I say this is I have seen some very persusive types argue their way out of what should have been a penalty settling for "racing incident"


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#29
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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.

How does the buy in from the SCCA stewards happen that Todd's (or whoever at whatever race) decision/penalty recommendation is final and shall be followed?

 

What was put in place at Summit a few ago that stopped the crash fests? Collins or other from Summit.


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#30
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Danny i could get behind such a plan, I think we have to have 3 or 5 member panel so we have no ties. I think we need to set down some rules  we all agree on, so that the enforcement is no surprise. Its understood that when total loss of car is involved there is going to be at least some probation involved.

 

We need the class to get behind it, so when you see a big wreck and you have video you need to take it up to the committee to give them the right information.

 

I like the idea of tapping the drivers who are there as we will never get people to travel to events they are not racing.

 

SCCA should like this as it takes the pressure off of them.

 

As Drago pointed out to me, one car crashes are even in play if that driver is unsafe.

 

This has to be objective, People are people and have a tendency to look favorably on people they like or are close to and unfavorable to people they do not know. That is why the vote on the committee should be closed. the decision of course is public and the reason why but how they voted should not be, that way they can exercise free judgment without fear of offending their friends.


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#31
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I vote for the NASA thing. Contact forms required (not a protest) and the RD will speak to you, and possibly assign penalty regardless of contact form.

 

NASA in my region has been wonderfully receptive. I was involved in an accident 2 weeks ago and they wanted to suspend the driver that collected me. After I discussed the situation with the RD, he withdrew the suspension for the other driver and allowed him to race and finish his weekend. I recognized my contribution to being collected even though this was a racing incident. I had a choice to make and I made it. It was a total crap shoot on whether that choice turned out to be the right choice. And maybe it was the right choice. Maybe to would have been much worse with the other choice.

 

IMO , that is an organization and region taking responsibility for their drivers and not putting the burden on the competitors to make decisions they should be making about the type of driving being done in their region. Having the drivers shoulder the entire burden will build bad blood. We should be placed in a unbiased review process and competitors should have little to do with the final assessment if for no other reason than to keep the appearance of an impartial review process. Driver input yes, driver decision no. Selecting a driver to be a cop for the weekend, especially one that is also driving is not going to go well.

 

I don't drive SCCA though, I will watch with interest what you guys decide to do.


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#32
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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.

100% disagree  bumpdrafting is not the problem unless you are doing it wrong.  If you want to create more low percentage moves start policing bumpdrafting.    

 

Side to side contact - when our tires touch, tend to cause the most problems and carnage.  


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#33
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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.

 

I had a similar thought.  For each event, randomly select a peer review panel made up of drivers.  If a selected driver does not want to participate, you move on to the next driver on the list.  Honestly, I think a peer review of driver conduct is a perfect way for all of us to put our money where our mouth is, and start racing people the way you want to be raced.   


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#34
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How does the buy in from the SCCA stewards happen that Todd's (or whoever at whatever race) decision/penalty recommendation is final and shall be followed?

 

What was put in place at Summit a few ago that stopped the crash fests? Collins or other from Summit.

Not sure if this would work at all. SCCA is pretty uptight about rules and procedures and they may not allow this as they are not stewards? Unless we can somehow get it approved?  I like the idea of Sm racers making the call though


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#35
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100% disagree  bumpdrafting is not the problem unless you are doing it wrong.  If you want to create more low percentage moves start policing bumpdrafting.    

 

Side to side contact - when our tires touch, tend to cause the most problems and carnage.  

 

Bump drafting.. 

When I watch many SM videos ( even of front runners) most of the time I see "bump"drafting it is done wrong.  I an't tell you how many of my friuend/customers ask me to look at their videos and atleast 2-3 times a race I say why didnt you go around? Far too much unnecessary bump drafting in general.. I also see atleast 50% of the time what amounts to be a collision draft.. which is bad for all, even the front car.  Less than 50% of the bump drafting I see if done"right".  If you are truly bumping and bouncing off the car you are bump drafting with, you are doing it wrong.  It should be pushing, but not bumping.  Closing speed shouldn't be more than a few mph, I see some closing in and pounding the cars at 7-10 MPH plus! GO AROUND!!!


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#36
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Not sure if this would work at all. SCCA is pretty uptight about rules and procedures and they may not allow this as they are not stewards? Unless we can somehow get it approved?  I like the idea of Sm racers making the call though

Jim with the amount of money this class pays into the till....

 

If we come up with a plan that the class can get behind, well thought out, and we get Tom Sager to put together one of his petitions, we do the letters, i do not see they have much choice.

 

At the end of the day we want, SAFETY first, Fairness in implementing the rules next and calling out unacceptable conduct. That said it will not be easy, but if we take a logical approach that does not cost them time or money or manpower, it will be hard to argue against.

 

The concept is good, but hammering out the details is the hard part.

 

Looking for volunteers to help with that, so far its Ralph and I????


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#37
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If serious, you guys should contact 

Jim Rogaski

 

He is the head of stewards comittee and a very reaonable guy. Been the cheif at the Runoffs a time or two

Jim


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#38
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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.

Yes interested.  I'm making a late entry to Mid-Ohio this weekend.  If you're there maybe we can get a group together and talk. 


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#39
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I often see comments that the stewards don't want to get involved and write patpe. But see it from the Stewards perspective. Most of the time they are struggling to keep up with the day's duties, and then add to that the aggravating paperwork, the man drama, the video review etc, on top of their thankless jobs, you can see why they want to avoid it. And in true marketing form, ask yoursleves, "WHATS IN IT FOR THEM?" to get involved and start an action, writing paper etc. 

 

That's why I think it we should take the responsibility on ourselves - WE HAVE THE MOTIVATION, THE DESIRE, AND IT BENEFITS US! We want a less destructive class, and so for us there is LOTS TO BE GAINED.

 

Whether it is a single Drivers Rep or a group of Drivers Reps, I don't think it makes much difference. Yes, to start off there will be inconsistencies, this is to be expected. But we will review them publicly, here on the forum and after the Monday morning quarterbacks have had their say, as a group we will know if the drivers actions were worth the reprimand, and if the reprimand/sanction by the Drivers Rep/s was appropriate. By discussing it openly we will be educating all on the standard that we are shooting for.

 

Also, even if we are UNABLE to get the SCCA to act on our advice, I dont see that as being a major issue. In reality what each of us wants from our racing careers, is to earn the respect of our fellow drivers.

 

So even if the SCCA does not act, and will not enforce a sanction, my guess is that if the same driver is reviewed on several occasions by his peers (Drivers Reps) and found to be wanting in terms of his on track conduct, it won't be long before he heads to different place. None of us want to race in a place we are not perceived as welcome. I think the court of public opinion, if carefully monitored and applied by respected drivers, can ultimately be more conducive to correcting on track behaviour than the application of sanctions from stewards that the driver has never met before.

 

Comments?


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#40
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  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:38
I see how this may work but I feel we still need one person to coordinate From race to race.
Ralph Provitz
V2 Motorsports




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