The following letter was sent to SCCA/Mazda in response to the recent "state of SM" letter sent out:
In light of all the contact that has taken place over the last 12 months, the SMAC has discussed internally as well as seeking outside opinions, and recommends the following actions for reducing the amount of contact.
- Designate a Contact Steward for the SM class at Majors events, as a starting point. Use the Majors events to train regional stewards on how to appropriately review and penalize contact.
- Require mandatory impound for contact. This will allow stewards to collect videos immediately and not have to track videos down later. Also as part of impound for contact, drivers should be required to fill out a contact form similar to a witness statement. Contact Steward collects forms and discusses contact with both drivers and determines appropriate penalties. Contact Steward also serves as an educator, explaining what drivers could have done differently on track to avoid the contact regardless of fault.
- Use electronic driver logs - Having electronic driver logs (tied to the SCCA barcodes) would provide a nationwide database on a driver’s contact history and current license status. When a driver is involved in an incident if the details are entered in the electronic driver log, then any steward anywhere in the country could see a very detailed history on the amount of incidents any given driver is involved in. As an example, a driver says it wasn’t his/her fault the electronic driver log might show contact in 7 out of the last 8 races indicating that there may be some poor judgment requiring some additional driver training.
- Porsche Club requires all new drivers to attend an orientation meeting at their first race, which discusses track etiquette and gets very detailed about the rules of passing, blocking, etc. This is a dire need for SCCA as well.
- Appropriate Penalties – We need to eliminate the term “racing incident”. Contact by definition means at least 2 drivers were involved. There is fault to be assigned to one or both drivers. If it’s not a clearly defined fault, give both drivers 2 points on their driver log. If one driver is substantially at fault, perhaps that driver gets 4 points. If the fault is intentional or overly aggressive, perhaps 6 points. Once a driver gets to 10 points in a season, they get probation or even suspension depending on the severity of the collective incidents. As part of this, to fund a Contact Steward, the more points a driver has, the higher their entry fee (driver logs automatically tied into the registration process).
- Encourage front and rear facing cameras in all cars. Difficult to make it mandatory but it is in the competitor’s best interest when dealing with on track conduct.