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Is it just me or does random tech seem not so random?

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#1
MPR22

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Is it just me or does it seem that the tech officials seem to have a builder dujour that they "randomly" tech at the big events.  I have seen Dragos cars targeted, I have seen X-Factor cars targeted and I assume Rossini has been targeted in the past.

 

It doesn't seem very random when they pull 3 random cars from the same builder at one event. 

 

 

At this point I am not sure who would race NASA as their tech process has been shown to be uber flawed.  Even if they don't follow their own rules they have a couple of lines in the CCR that basically say all decisions are final and there are no trials, no appeals just a firing squad.  

 

SCCA has a much more structured protocol of infractions, appeals and more appeals. At a minimum you at least get your day in court.  I applaud the SCCA for trying hard to keep up with all the latest cheats and to keep things clean but If what was suggested over on another page is true and NASA's liaison to the SMAC is directing the SCCA's testing does that taint the SCCA with NASA's stink?   

 

And as a friend of mine once said, "I do zero weekends with NASA because they SUCK!"

 

truth be told, I was executed without trial or appeal, so they SUCK!.  

 

All tech should have written guide lines that the officials can follow.  Random Inspections should be truly random.  Allow you the right to defend yourself/car in some sort of appeals process.   

 

 

  


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#2
MPR22

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ps, I am bored and wont' race again until the new car is built... and Dewhurst hasn't started any fires in so long someone has to do it.  Maybe I could quite racing and just be a SM car owner like my friend DD.  


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#3
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and Charbs quit posting so long ago there are probably dozens of people that don't even know who he is anymore. 


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#4
Jim Drago

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Is it just me or does it seem that the tech officials seem to have a builder dujour that they "randomly" tech at the big events.  I have seen Dragos cars targeted, I have seen X-Factor cars targeted and I assume Rossini has been targeted in the past.

 

It doesn't seem very random when they pull 3 random cars from the same builder at one event. 

 

 

At this point I am not sure who would race NASA as their tech process has been shown to be uber flawed.  Even if they don't follow their own rules they have a couple of lines in the CCR that basically say all decisions are final and there are no trials, no appeals just a firing squad.  

 

SCCA has a much more structured protocol of infractions, appeals and more appeals. At a minimum you at least get your day in court.  I applaud the SCCA for trying hard to keep up with all the latest cheats and to keep things clean but If what was suggested over on another page is true and NASA's liaison to the SMAC is directing the SCCA's testing does that taint the SCCA with NASA's stink?   

 

And as a friend of mine once said, "I do zero weekends with NASA because they SUCK!"

 

truth be told, I was executed without trial or appeal, so they SUCK!.  

 

All tech should have written guide lines that the officials can follow.  Random Inspections should be truly random.  Allow you the right to defend yourself/car in some sort of appeals process.   

In the interest of transparency.. I think it is common knowledge I was not too happy after Atlanta when they pulled me, Preston and Danny in for Tear down at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday with both Pardus and I having 8-10 hr drives ahead.   What further bothered me was in last 12 months or so less Runoffs and the one west coast supertour .. they pulled only four other heads all year at Sprints.. Again me, Danny, Preston ( Random) and Brown(Random)  I publicly stated that if I had another weekend with 2-3 cars and I was one of them... Less the Runoffs, I was taking a DQ and not pulling my personal engine apart?  I suggested then that they needed to spread the love to multiple cars and multiple engine builders.

 

I will say it again.. IMO, No one builder should get the bulk of the heads at any one event less the runoffs ( it is what it is there).  I had three at 18' Sprints, Two at Atlanta this year. Then the Sprints this year, Chris had two heads and I had another with Bruni and they skipped me and Brown, while it may seem odd , I get it. they had seen us already multiple times.  Watkins I thought was good.. They did winner who happened to be a builder that had not been teched yet to my knowledge, Brunis from Road America and Ciufo.   

 

I may be in the minority.. But I think tech should be 'somewhat" random..  If they have seen multiples of mine, Chris etc and passing..  they should perhaps move to other builders that are doing well. They did that this weekend, it worked well as Elivan won and passed.  They have a few other cars from a few other builders on the podium that have to my knowledge never been checked. They would be one of my list of "randoms"   From there forward.. Not sure I would continue checking Danny if/when he wins if he has already passed in this year.  "I" would record what engines are in what cars in first open hood qualifying session. Pick a random in top 20 from whichever builder(s) you want to see.  That keeps the top 20 on their toes, not just the guys who are used to being on the podium and passing.  This is solely my opinion. When you no longer have any you haven't seen, go 100% truly random.

 

But if the question is do you think they wanted to see Chris car after NASA Champs, I would say yes, thats accurate :)   


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#5
chris haldeman

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To point out to those who might not know I took the same car with the same engine to Sonoma runoffs 2 weeks after Cota champs and it was completely torn down again and found 100% compliant.
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#6
Ron Alan

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To point out to those who might not know I took the same car with the same engine to Sonoma runoffs 2 weeks after Cota champs and it was completely torn down again and found 100% compliant.

100% accurate!! Everything that was checked in Chris's motor was good in Texas...guess a good thing the SCCA team found nothing either? :)

 

Michael...can a decision made by Rick Harris and the SM compliance team be appealed?

 

Encourage all to read section 17.5(page 59/60) of the NASA CCR. Then section 23.1

 

https://nasa-assets..../282/2019.1.pdf


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#7
Ron Alan

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For the most part...top guys purchase motors from the top builders. Top guys get teched...ergo same motor builders get teched.

 

Not aware of SCCA procedure but I can tell you with 100% certainty that cars at NASA champs I attended were pulled by finish position and random finish positions that had been pre-determined based on each session. 


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#8
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Michael makes me feel obligated to remind you all. You asked for a Compliance Chief. You have a Compliance Chief and now you want to give directions to the Compliance Chief. Hey if you want to finish in the top five and not be torn down week after week help find a sealing solution which is failsafe. 

 

Do any of you suppose car owners have any say in how these SRF rules are followed? Anyone know of a car owner beating the Enterprise seal system? One little wrinkle to solve would be who would seal an engine after tear down/checking/reassemble? Maybe seal engine at first race after first check/reassemble and if checked again after sealed and found to be illegal the driver/owner loose all finishes/points and contingency's/cash payback to sponsor through the SCCA. One could say these consequences are serious, cheating should be handle with serious consequences.  

 

S. Seals
SCCA Enterprises’ seals on engine are required for all races. Any competitor who runs an event without all
proper engine seals in the required locations shall have his engine removed and shipped to Enterprises for
testing and sealing after that event. The competitor will be responsible for all cost incurred by this procedure regardless of the findings, and subject to penalty by the SOM if engine is found to be not as specified.
SCCA Enterprises’ seals are required on all SPEC RACER FORD engines.
Any counterfeit engine seal found by an authorized representative of SCCA, Inc., or SCCA Enterprises,
Inc., shall immediately render that engine illegal for further use, without need of dyno testing or inspection.
SCCA Enterprises, Inc., will not be under any obligation to bring an illegally sealed engine back to legal condition. Penalties shall include all of the following: T.1., T.2., T.3., and T.4.
T. Penalties (Specific to Spec Racer Fords)
If a competitor refuses to give his components, engine and/or transaxle units for testing per a request of the
Chief Steward (GCR 5.12.2.C.), the following penalties will automatically be imposed:
a. Vehicle logbook will be impounded.
b. Disqualification from a competition or the event.
c. Suspension of SCCA competition privileges for thirty (30) days.
d. The car and drivetrain are suspended from competition until the unit(s) specified by the Chief Steward
are replaced.
In a case where a competitor does comply with the Chief Steward’s request to have an engine and/or
transaxle tested and the impounded unit(s) are found legal, the SCCA will stand all the costs incurred
for the testing, including shipping. Should the impounded unit(s) be found illegal, the following penal-
9.1.8. Spec Racer Ford (SRF) Specifications
GCR - 598
ties will be imposed:
1. Disqualification from a competition or the event.
2. A fine of $250.00
3. Competition privileges will be suspended immediately, and the suspension will continue for a
minimum of thirty (30) days after the date when all fines and costs are paid in full and the license
is received by the Chairman SOM or the SCCA Topeka Office.
4. For a second illegal Drivetrain Violation, the competitor will be permanently disqualified from
further Spec Racer Ford competition. Drivetrain Violation components will be identified within the
class Specifications. Drivetrain Violations will be permanently tracked.


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#9
Jim Drago

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100% accurate!! Everything that was checked in Chris's motor was good in Texas...guess a good thing the SCCA team found nothing either? :)
 
Michael...can a decision made by Rick Harris and the SM compliance team be appealed?
 
Encourage all to read section 17.5(page 59/60) of the NASA CCR. Then section 23.1
 
https://nasa-assets..../282/2019.1.pdf

I encourage all doing the NASA Tech inspections to read this, its in that section, looks like 17.3 was rewritten a bit, wonder why?  :) As far as 23.1.. If NASA wants to not allow me to participate for posting factual accounts on here or other Social media. I am fine with that. This years NASA SM attendance was greatly effected by the way the 2018 Champs finished, right or wrong. I suspect Mid Ohio's Attendance will be off because of it as well. We will see.  

17.3 Disassembly
Tech Inspectors should not disassemble any part themselves, for liability reasons. Tech inspectors may
disassemble parts if needed, for practical reasons. Competitors should have the crew and tools to disassemble
requested items. If the competitor isn’t prepared to comply, the vehicle or part assemblies may be taken to a
shop for compliance checks. If the inspection is being performed as part of the normal impound inspection
process the competitor will bear the cost of disassembly and re-assembly.
17.4 Confidentiality
A competitor has a right to protect information about legal modifications and vehicle setup from other competitors.
If a competitor feels that inspection by the Tech Inspector (e.g. if the Inspector is another competitor) will result in
loss of information to another driver or team, he/she may lodge such an objection with the Tech Inspector. Once
an objection has been lodged, the Tech Inspector will remain in impound while the competitor locates the Race
Director. The Race Director will then make the determination of legality. The Tech Inspector may watch the
vehicle or assign someone to watch it, but shall not conduct any inspections, other than those agreed upon
between himself/herself and the driver.


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#10
Ron Alan

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Thanks Jim. What reasonable person would think you posting that is a negative towards NASA...it is accurate. As is my post with regard to appeals(In response to the claim NASA doesn't allow appeals). 


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#11
chris haldeman

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ron... I’ll answer your question about if a decision made by Rick Harris and team at the scca can be appealed. The answer is no it can not. And while that may seem harsh there is one striking difference between a Rick Harris and team decision vs the displayed Nasa way........ and this is a very important difference to me. When scca inspects your parts you are standing there! If a part is thought to be out of compliance you are told to your face exactly what and why they feel that way. At this point you can plead your case ect. Even more important to me is that once a part is inspected and handed back to you compliant it is never touched again. We all know this is not how Nasa handles things. Also would like to point out the Nasa appeals process is a complete waste of time. First appeal is to the same person who determined you were not compliant to begin with. Second and final appeal is to a complete idiot who doesn’t follow thru,refused to allow me to present my case in person and decided to pick and choose how the rule book was read. Least fair part of the whole deal is all of the “must” do’s are on the competitor and all maybe’s are on Nasa. Clearly not in the racers best interest
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#12
chris haldeman

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Incredibly ironic part is I personally was presented with the opportunity to purchase Nasa just over a week ago.
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#13
Ron Alan

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Thanks Chris.

 

Standing in the SCCA tech shed trying to help a competitor understand what Jon Bauer was DQ'ing him for(unfortunately I also was confused)..was a very frustrating experience. I kept asking for specifics but only getting "it doesnt feel right". Someone with your knowledge might have a fighting chance but we were clueless. The head walked out with SCCA and the matter was done. Jon gave me the courtesy of some phone calls after the fact just so I could better understand. At one point I asked had they ever been wrong...or what do they do if they think they made a mistake...the answer was nothing! Maybe learn from it but no decisions are changed...and it took me awhile but now I accept this...and yes when you're on the wrong side it is harsh.

 

Nothing is perfect and that's a fact! 

 

NASA Texas region? And?  :scratchchin:


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Ron

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#14
chris haldeman

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I am sorry you West coast guys were so caught off guard!!
If you remember I was there and I tried to help Haag with his issues. Sadly I couldn’t as the answers were very clear in my machinist mind. Nasa Texas is operated by will Faules who is likely one of the best region owners ever!!!! Nasa national could learn a lot from him!!!
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#15
MPR22

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Ron,

Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe the SCCA is perfect. I suspect if Rick Harris did what the NASA tech inspectors did at COTA the SCCA would at least listen to the argument regarding chain of custody. In any equitable legal system if there is no chain of custody process or if the chain of custody process of broken then the finding of facts as they relate to that part, test, or component, is suspect and should be invalidated.

NASA has individuals that own and run their business how they see fit. As Chris pointed out above, the power of the appeals process lies with a few individuals who apparently aren’t interested in getting it right just in getting it over so they can go about cashing their checks. The racers only true option is to vote with his/her pocketbook, which individually is of little consequence the organization. However, if eyes are opened to the reality of what they are and stand for and is discussed openly maybe others will start voting as well.

As you too will find out, if you speak unkind words against NASAs leadership, organization or methods you will find yourself excommunicated.


JIm,

My random comment is about anyone that finished outside the top 5. If you finish up front expect an invasive inspection. I agree with David, the SCCA needs to come up with a sealing system for those of you lucky enough to be torn down in the season to relieve you of that burden until the runoffs or until you break the seals.
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#16
Danny Steyn

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My random comment is about anyone that finished outside the top 5. If you finish up front expect an invasive inspection. I agree with David, the SCCA needs to come up with a sealing system for those of you lucky enough to be torn down in the season to relieve you of that burden until the runoffs or until you break the seals.

 

I would love to see a sealing system once you have been inspected and passed. In the 2017 season I took my engine home in a box 5 times in 7 months, and apart from the costs associated with shipping the car and rebuilding the engine each time, it was a really unpleasant experience for all involved. I agree that there should be rigorous tech for the front finishers, PLUS random tests to keep all on a level playing field


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#17
Jim Drago

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On the heads Dq'ed in West Coast.  Ron because you didn't know or were unclear does not make it compliant( not saying that was your belief)and unfortunately some things are not a measurement , especially if done well. It is more looks like a duck, quacks like a duck.. Sometimes even hard to explain.  What John probably wanted to say, but really couldn't was. "This was area was worked hard, then they attempted to intentionally hide their work, but I can still see/feel it was done" They try not to get into that type of discussion. ( BTW, I have no idea what was /was not done to the head out there. This is just speaking in generalities, not specifics).  For some background. I have seen a few heads that I believe were attempts to fix pre 14 heads, some done somewhat well, some not so much.  I have personally sent a warped head to SCCA Where we cheated each port in different manners.  One so well done it was thought to have been stock. I showed John exactly what we did, how we did it and what to look for and there were no tool marks and appeared untouched, but the STR was worked as much or more than pre 2014 heads. The biggest factor in determining it had been done is feel. So don't discount that. I also think Chris has sent an example or two in as well. 

 

A few things..  Comparing SCCA and NASA tech and compliance chief system and appeals etc..

I prefer the SCCA and would say that NASA has the same system or atleast did at the 18 nasa Champs in SM.

 

While we had an appeal process at the Champs, I think it was a complete waste of time and wish there wasn't one as we were done as soon as they decided to write us up. Then appeal to the same guy that made the decision in the first place? That seems silly at best.  While no one will say it publicly, I am sure there were discussions behind closed doors of "if we allow this through, we will be laughed at etc." NASA ( Tech) was already tired of being looked as inferior and some even considered it a joke. NASA, to their credit, drew a line in the sand and said not today boys. They tore everything down with what I think were good intentions.  But once the axle deal came up and it was public, it was never changing, regardless of our appeals. They were in a tough spot as the did not want to hear they let us go and all the BS that comes with it.  But if the appeal process worked or was in the SCCA, we win every single time. There were so many rules/procedures broken etc in the process, some even rewritten now I see.  IMO, NASA was in a no win situation at that point and they were going to get heat regardless of which way they decided.  So  it was "the ends justify the means"  and the appeals were a formality.  We were done from the minute they wrote this up.

 

SCCA is not without its flaws.. But had this been an SCCA event and a CCC deal, Todd would have been  written up with an RFA and dq'ed. I could have done nothing about it. Take our stuff and go home.  We would HAVE NEVER been able to have seen competitors parts, They would have NEVER gone back in a competitors trunk and remove parts at all, let alone while the competitor was not there and NEVER go back and recheck parts hey deemed compliant. In SCCA process, one guy and team goes home upset. The real winner wins the race, the race is a smashing success and 99.5% leave happy, Toyo is happy and likely excited to sponsor it again.  Obviously none of that happened and it all went bad.

   

BTW, I am not so certain that the axle cage decision would not be appealable in the SCCA. I believe it would be. If so and we appealed, it would be in front of two totally different boards and we win the first time very easily with all the procedures and rules that weren't followed to the rule. Did that change what we did to the axles, of course not.  But the rules are there for a reason for the competitor and tech staff to follow. If broken, you have to use them in your favor.  


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#18
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

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Michael makes me feel obligated to remind you all. You asked for a Compliance Chief. You have a Compliance Chief and now you want to give directions to the Compliance Chief. Hey if you want to finish in the top five and not be torn down week after week help find a sealing solution which is failsafe. 

 

Do any of you suppose car owners have any say in how these SRF rules are followed? Anyone know of a car owner beating the Enterprise seal system? One little wrinkle to solve would be who would seal an engine after tear down/checking/reassemble? Maybe seal engine at first race after first check/reassemble and if checked again after sealed and found to be illegal the driver/owner loose all finishes/points and contingency's/cash payback to sponsor through the SCCA. One could say these consequences are serious, cheating should be handle with serious consequences.  

 

S. Seals
SCCA Enterprises’ seals on engine are required for all races. Any competitor who runs an event without all
proper engine seals in the required locations shall have his engine removed and shipped to Enterprises for
testing and sealing after that event. The competitor will be responsible for all cost incurred by this procedure regardless of the findings, and subject to penalty by the SOM if engine is found to be not as specified.
SCCA Enterprises’ seals are required on all SPEC RACER FORD engines.
Any counterfeit engine seal found by an authorized representative of SCCA, Inc., or SCCA Enterprises,
Inc., shall immediately render that engine illegal for further use, without need of dyno testing or inspection.
SCCA Enterprises, Inc., will not be under any obligation to bring an illegally sealed engine back to legal condition. Penalties shall include all of the following: T.1., T.2., T.3., and T.4.
T. Penalties (Specific to Spec Racer Fords)
If a competitor refuses to give his components, engine and/or transaxle units for testing per a request of the
Chief Steward (GCR 5.12.2.C.), the following penalties will automatically be imposed:
a. Vehicle logbook will be impounded.
b. Disqualification from a competition or the event.
c. Suspension of SCCA competition privileges for thirty (30) days.
d. The car and drivetrain are suspended from competition until the unit(s) specified by the Chief Steward
are replaced.
In a case where a competitor does comply with the Chief Steward’s request to have an engine and/or
transaxle tested and the impounded unit(s) are found legal, the SCCA will stand all the costs incurred
for the testing, including shipping. Should the impounded unit(s) be found illegal, the following penal-
9.1.8. Spec Racer Ford (SRF) Specifications
GCR - 598
ties will be imposed:
1. Disqualification from a competition or the event.
2. A fine of $250.00
3. Competition privileges will be suspended immediately, and the suspension will continue for a
minimum of thirty (30) days after the date when all fines and costs are paid in full and the license
is received by the Chairman SOM or the SCCA Topeka Office.
4. For a second illegal Drivetrain Violation, the competitor will be permanently disqualified from
further Spec Racer Ford competition. Drivetrain Violation components will be identified within the
class Specifications. Drivetrain Violations will be permanently tracked.

good points..  BUt IMO sealing doesn't work. Sealing keeps honest people honest.   I have heard and so have many stories of SRF seals being compromised, Mx5 cup seals being compromised as well.  It is my belief if someone made it, most likely someone else can unmake it, reproduce it or figure it out with enough time and money.  Will they? Who knows.

 

As far as our cars in Sm. I have taken advantage of it once, where we pulled and sealed the head for the next day. far from ideal . We could also have the tech inspector there when we assemble they engine and have him seal and be good until the runoffs. That is available to all. But expensive and time consuming.  jesse Prather has done that as he is in topeka, but for those of us not in topeka, the expense is not worth it. 


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Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#19
MPR22

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Incredibly ironic part is I personally was presented with the opportunity to purchase Nasa just over a week ago.

And what was the supposed value they placed on the opportunity? Inquiring minds want to know.  Maybe I want to buy it, just saying. 


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#20
Jamz14

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You guys machined (if you can call it machining) your half shafts! Had the audacity to call it necessary maintenance. Why do I have no problem maintaining a half shaft without opening up the cage?

You guys creatively took advantage of an opening in the rules for the str that was caught on the west coast. Which btw I thought was brilliant on your parts. People admit they can modify heads without it being detected.

Michael mentions 3 engine builders being targeted, not one. Those 3 builders are the biggest and majority of engines on the podium.

Give me a break. You guys want to be thought of as magicians when it comes to engines but are upset when the slight of hand is scrutinized?

None of us are innocent of trying to take advantage of the rules and the system. Imo, nothing wrong with that. But you should expect that the system will fight back.

Sometimes the lion will eat the poacher.
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