What Do You Think
1. #21912 (Frank Todaro) Contact Impound for Regional Racing
Thank you for your letter. Please see the response to letter #21994.
2. #21994 (Tyler Brown) Add an Impound Requirement for On Track Contact
The Club Racing Board has received quite a few letters over the past years expressing concern over the many incidents of car-to-car contact at our Club Racing events. The topic is also a common item on the many racing forums. The Club Racing Board is seeking comments on requiring mandatory impounding of any cars involved in a car-to-car contact. Should the driver and car be required to report to impound immediately after the session is over? If so, Stewards will investigate the contact and, if necessary, take action against the offending party. This would also be an opportunity for the parties involved in the contact to discuss it in a neutral environment.
I promised Eric Prill I would send a letter with some ideas about the contact impound, derived from a group conversation some of us have had off line about this topic. Sadly, life has taken over and have not had the moment to put in down.
I have not heard to many people say that they would oppose a contact impound, however what they are concerned with, is a heavy handed approach that is overly focused on penalties and punishment. While this idea is easy to generalize the devil is in the details to make it worthwhile.
The first question is "what is reportable contact". You go into a corner and touch no big deal, you cause a spine (or 4 off) that is contact. It’s hard to quantify what amount of damage should be considered contact so i think the easier way to label it is any contact that results in a change of or loss of track position. So if i put you off that requires impound. If we rub no change of position. No need to report.
Purpose and Penalty at impound.
My idea of the contact impound especially at the Regional level is to use it and an educational tool. Many incidents that occur at that level, are due to a lack of understanding of the rules, driver etiquette, and poor judgment. The contact impound would allow the incident to be reviewed and discussed by both sides. Hopefully with both drivers walking away in agreement as to what happened and why. The steward should only get involved there if the drivers cannot agree.
Unless the contact was extraordinary, serious carnage or total lack of judgment, I do not think there should be penalty and points. We should lean in favor of education not punishment.
However, there are circumstances where it rises to the level that punishment should be given. The first consideration is that before any punishment is give both drivers must be given an opportunity to present video. I can't tell how many times i have had an incident and when i want back to review the video i saw things that i did not see at the time.
The punishment must fit the crime, however the more carnage the bigger the punishment should be.
After all in the end we are trying to discourage needless unnecessary contact that ends up costing racers too much money and in the end could result in the loss of driver participation.
We are also trying to pick up on the problem driver, repeat offender. When that pattern shows up then they should pull out the stops on punishment. IMO its the clubs responsibility to remove problem drivers.
Last weekend at the Mid Ohio Major, late in the race i was trying to pass Jordan Smart, in the process we touched he went off. We were in the contingency, so I made sure i gave him the spot back. By the time we went to impound, i had taken responsibility for the contact and we were good. Thankfully there was no damage to either car. No real need to do anything at that point but for me to eat crow.