Topic: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Hi all,
We have now completed two races at the summer season at Marshall Field Raceway.  I am soliciting thoughts of how things are going for you.  I am especially looking for improvements on the format that we are running for the summer.  So if you have any ideas on how to "improve" what is going on for this summer, let's get a chat going.  I am not looking to scrap the format just work on improving it.  With a turnout of 18 racers, it seems to be well liked.  Kinda like a mini enduro as it is run at Marshall Field. 

One thing I think is needed is to set the fuel management so that it takes the same amount of fuel away no matter the lap time.  If you noticed, the faster racers had more fuel taken away than the slower racers.  This, I thought, penalized run time for the faster racers and awarded the slower racers with more run time.  We all pay the same and should have the same amount of run time. 

Your turn!

Racin' Randy

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Randy, KUDOs for bringing this to an open format!

1st - I like the team racing concept. I agree with you about the equal run time. If you keep the fuel management as is, the bulk of the teams score or lap totals are based on the slower of the two racers. In this scenerio there is no advantage to slower racers having a faster teamate. The longer the race, the further behind they fall because the slower racer is running more. I understand the idea of giving the slower racers more run time, but that should be in practice not under race conditions. Racers become better drivers by practicing, not by being forced to drive over their heads!

2nd - My feeling is the races are too short for the use of the fuel managment system. The heats are only 6 or 7 minutes long, and you're wasting half a minute or better just to change drivers. In my opinion the fuel managment system is a tool for enduro races. A mini-enduro is an oxymoron. In addition, the driver's stations are too crowded to complete driver changes effectively in the short amount of time alotted. Due to the short 6 or 7 minit heats everyone is trying to pit around the same time, or at least in close proximity. My vote is to scrap the fuel managment! Save it for ENDUROs!

3rd - I want to stay on Art's team (if he'll take me as a teammate)! We have a bond, and I think we make a good team!  -----------------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

So how are you going to even up the driving time with fuel management using either the same amount of fuel per lap or an amount based on speed per lap?  Neither will work.  What works is time.  If you take off the same amount per lap and racer A drives faster than racer B, then racer B still gets more time because racer A uses still uses less time to burn the same gas.  It's RELATIVE!

What will work is to have a timed swap point. 

I offer a reasonable solution:

[b]Each team runs one set of 12 minute heats.[\b]
For a 9 team race like last night that would be a total run-time of 108 minutes or slightly less than two hours.  Add 12 minutes for each extra team.

[b]Set a fuel change of 30 seconds at the 5:45 mark.[\b]
This way each driver gets the exact same amount of time - exactly 5:45.  And the races won't take any longer than they do now.

"Big Smooth"

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Oh, and no, you can't stay on Art's team.  You weren't supposed to be on his team in the first place.  Un-seeded racers are supposed to fall into the middle where they can't influence the top teams by offering an unfair swing in the balance of power.  That's the reason we have seed races every so often - to shift the balance of power as needed.  Drivers and cars improve, new ones show up.

"Big Smooth"

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

But I'm a BAD seed!...................  ------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Good Points all so far.

Depending on who comes to the race will determine who is on your team using the seeding system.  We had 5 racers that hadn't seed last night so I took upon myself to seed them instead of having them race in the middle or run as a single.  I think I thought running them as a single would be best but it dawned on me that wouldn't fit in with the style of racing (teams) we were doing at that race.  So if new racers show up on team race nights, we will just seed them.  I think it went fairly and Bill and Art now have a good bond.  Now just imagine that bonding process expanding to 6 other racers, you would then have so many more bonding relationships.  Actually, that is one of the benefits, I think, of having a team race.  At least it works great in the enduros.

I like what Monte says about running 12 minute heats but I think we could expand it to 15 minute heats with the 9 teams or longer with fewer teams as we should get done by 9:30pm with 15 minute heats and then the fuel could be like we do at the enduro with approximately 5 minute run times before changing out the drivers at the fuel pit stop.  Now, I too, saw how the slower drivers were taking all the time racing and thought this isn't going to work.  My intention wasn't to give them more time, necessarily.  Actually, I didn't think it through to that.  But after about 3 heats I saw the problem.

I can make the fuel management work on lap amounts.  Basically, it will take out the same amount of fuel per lap no matter what the time it takes to make a lap.  So at least this way all the drivers will get the same amount of laps per tank of gas.  I understand that the slower drivers still will get more run time, but not near as much as doing it the way we did it.  Other than that there really isn't a way with the fuel to manage the race. 

If we went to a time thing with the lap counting/fuel program, I don't think there is a way to control the race based on time unless we were to just have each team member race by themselves for the round and have no fuel.  This would put us back to 3.5 minute heats with 2 rounds.  I am not sure it would feel as "teamy" as having the fuel and changing out the drivers at the pit stops.  Wouldn't really know until we did it.  It would solve the crowding problems of drivers coming in and out during the race.  I know with Hugh and I we solved this problem ourselves by managing a procedure of taking on and off the controllers.  No big deal for us.  I think there were too many people standing in the area that weren't racers because we have done this with all the enduros we have had and no one seemed to think it was a problem.

My general thinking is to try all the possibilities to see how it plays out.  Then after the season we will have some data and experience to know.

My 3 cents

Racin' Randy

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Besides when Bill is turning under 8 seconds, I think he would qualify for a top seed spot and Hugh is turning 10.5 second laps he wouldn't.

I have to check the program to see if can do what Monte suggests.  That would be great if it does.  I know I too would like more race time and not have a slower driver take it all.  Poor Byron, his driver was taking the whole 420 second run time in his heat.  Probably why he came in last.  This has to be changed.

Racin' Randy

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

If you use lap count you will end up with the same effect as Monte said. The only fair tool is to use timed segments. I still vote you forget the fuel managment system. Save that for endurance races with long (i.e. 30 min. minimum) heat races. That's where fuel managment fits in! Short races don't have pit stops for fuel!!!! Have the teams change drivers between each heat. Set the pause between heats to 30 seconds. The team members will have to work together and efficiently to get ready for the next heat. Same difference as your "fuel managment" pit stops, but less confusing and hectic.......................

As far as the seeding goes, I don't really care, it's a team race. However I did notice that there were quite a few racers that ran much quicker than the times I heard of for the first race. The thing here is that generally racers improve their cars from race to race. So basing your "seeding" on the times from a previous race or early practice laps may not prove to be accurate for any given team race. With that said, for example where wouild I be seeded for the next race? And based on what?  -----------------------Bill

9 (edited by reek455 June 17, 2009 6:59 pm)

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I'm not sure where to begin.  You all make some valid points, some of which I agree with and some I do not.  This whole team approach was billed as a way to let slower/less experienced racers have a taste of success.  Has this objective been accomplished? Not really.  The teams with the two most evenly matched racers were mostly the ones that had success- the teams from the middle of the pack.  This is just as I predicted.  The fuel management configuration made it nearly impossible for the faster racers to make up lost time by reducing the amount of time they actually had to race.  At one point I was told by Randy that the faster racers would have to try even harder to be fast to compensate for their teamates.  While this may have happened they were penalized for doing so- not fair!

It has been suggested to change the fuel consumption to a fixed rate, but I have to agree with Monte that the faster racer will use less time to burn the same amount of fuel.  This changes nothing but the variable and the end result is the same- the faster racer gets short changed time wise.  His solution is to run fixed time which is fair to all racers on that basis.  My feeling is that just turns the whole thing into a series of short heat races that have racers lap totals arbitrarily lumped together to form quasi teams which brings me to my next point.

Myself and others are very unclear as to who we will be racing with for the next race.  The rules offer no help "Then on the 3rd race, we look again at the seedings and replace the teams according to their seedings from the 1st race."  Huh?  Won't the seedings from the first race still be the same? How do you replace the teams with different ones using the same seeding? 

What was the point of the seeding race if new racers are placed randomly on teams?  Once again, the rules offer no explanation.  Monte asserts that new racers should be placed in the middle to prevent an unfair swing in the balance of power.  Doesn't placing them randomly affect the balance of power?  In fact, all pairings and/or different pairings will affect the outcome and the balance of power.  I believe he is transfering the statement "If there is an odd racer (raise your hand if you are NOT an ODD racer), he will end up in the middle of the standings and they will race by themselves for the whole race" to mean that is where unseeded racers are placed.  I take the statement to mean that if there is an odd number of racers then the odd racer out races alone.  I do not see any rules governing unseeded racers.  My personal opinion is that they should race alone like the "odd" racer.  The results could be used a sort of seeding for the next race.

I know I raised alot of questions and I don't pretend to have all the answers, but one possible solution is one that is not going to be palatable to many of you and that is to just go out and race heads up and have a blast doing so. What is so wrong with that?


Race cars are neither beautiful nor ugly. They become beautiful when they win.

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I heard an idea from George that sounded pretty fair to me. Race two rounds each night as you have always done. The first round would be individual races. The second round would be team races, with racers paired up by their first round finishes. George, I like it! Give us more details!!!!

I also like what Monte mentioned about two teams on the track at a time, with team members running together at the same time. After the first round teams could decide which lanes team members would run. Each team member would run two lanes, they could pick and run their best lanes.   --------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I was thinking, if we establish teams, and keep the same team members, wouldn't that give the teams the chance to improve by developing their cars together and plan team strategies? I would enjoy having an established team versus a constantly changing team............I'm old. I don't like change much!  -------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I like George's idea better.  But how do you score the evening?  Do racers get points for each event?

"Big Smooth"

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Good question........My real question is; even with the team concept and the team scoring, in the end is it going to really change the overall finish positions on an individual racer basis????

If you're going to do a team series, then why not make it a team series?

Even for the Auburn Enduros we attend, I would much rather be on the same team each time. I don't think it really means anything when the teams change at each race. I would like to know if our team is improving or not. Its the same as when you are racing a series and the specifics of the track are always changing (i.e. layout, applied voltage, heat race length/time etc.). How do you know if changes you make to your car actually improve it's performance? You cannot compare data (i.e. laps times, number of laps during heats, etc.) when your baseline keeps changing! For that matter, how do you know if your driving is improving? In my opinion some things need to remain constant (i.e. TRACKS & TEAMS)..........  --------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Good points all.  We need to get the other members joining in.  I'll send an email out to all about this.  I like some of the ideas and can see doing them. 

Some clarification thoughts on the comments and greater understanding of why things are as they are:

True, the only fair method is to do timed races but I agree with Rico that then it is like just running short heat races and I think that really kills the team approach to a great degree.  In the enduros we run approximately 5 minutes before refueling on 30 minute heats, so the driver changes are about the same.  Slower drivers race longer though and faster racers race shorter.  Never heard a complaint from any that have attended the enduros.  So to lessen the time a slower driver races, having the fuel management work on a lap basis will help this problem.  Won't solve it, but will help.

The seeding is just like what the 1/24 Paser group does.  At those races you qualify and then get put into classes, Busch and Nextel.  So our system does the same thing but over 3 races.  In other words, 1st race is the qualifying for the 2nd and 3rd race.  To determine who will be on what team is based on who shows up.  Not everyone always shows up to each race.  But if they did, and we had the exact same people show up at the next race, then we would have the same team players.  But that is unlikely to have the exact same people show up each race.  The advantage of this is that you get to work and get to know better another racer.  And I see that as a good thing.  If the same teams were always paired together then 2 problems come up.  1)What happens if one of the team members doesn't show up for the next race and 2) I like the idea of giving the slower racers help and ideas on how to be better racers and then having them learn from different perspectives of different faster racers.  Many heads are better than one kinda approach.  The down side is you have to change teams every race and if you really like someone better than another you won't get your way.   So if we want to maximize the "get to know" factor in the racing experience, then mixing the teams each team race is the best way to accomplish this.

As far as having the goal of having slower racers get a greater chance to win.  Yeah it seems to be working quite well.  Just look at the scores.  Now not everyone can win of course, and maybe guys like Art or others won't, but, they will score higher than if they raced by themselves, which is a good thing for them and guys that are the fast racers might score lower than normal like Byron.  So Byron has to be less selfish about winning and more selfless about helping others be better racers which will benefit the club overall because better racers make for a more competitive experience for all.  I rather see guys/gals like Hugh, Art, Victoria and others get better and enjoy being more competitive than just accepting the role of being near the bottom.  Not everyone will get better, but some will and even if one does then that helps all. 

Other thing is that with the team racing, the last place team still got 11 race points.  If we went to a straight race then guys/gals like Art and Victoria would have gotten 2 or 3 points.  That has to be demoralizing for them.  Think of it from their perspectives.  So obviously, Art and Victoria benefited from the team race approach and Byron didn't get penalized too badly but knows he helped out his team member in the process.

New racers were quickly seeded based on their skill levels that are known and how they handled the practice sessions on the day of the race.  There is a getting used to the cars and track for new racers trial but under careful observation this was done as best as possible.  Maybe open it up to a group vote would be better than just having me do it.  Takes the heat off of me but open it up to everyone's opinions and have fun trying to get a consensus and not pissing off someone who doesn't like the decision.  Maybe a committee of 3 make the decision then?   But really, I don't see it as such a big deal as I or whoever will be as fair as anyone.  Plus, if we had 5 racers racing by themselves, we would have had more teams and less racing time per rounds.   Not good with 18 racers. 

The odd racer situation is one that bears some questions.  It seems we either have that person race on a team with 2 others, not race, or race by themselves.  Any other choices I am missing?  I probably favor have them race by themselves.  And if that has to happen, then which racer gets to do it?  The best racer?  The Slowest racer? or someone in the middle?

As I opened this discussion up, I am not looking to scrap the format.  So let's not go there, but look for ways to improve on something new to slot car racing.  Things that are in the format are:  fuel management, seeding, team racing with a mix of individual racing and longer run times per heat.  Probably a few more that I can't think of.  Some are internal like helping out slower racers, having slower racers have a chance at scoring higher, being more selfless for the benefit of the club and other racers, getting to know other racers better, duplicate an enduro feel, etc.

I am already seeing some great ideas on this and the next race and future races will incorporate some of your ideas.  This is the summer of learning and growing and when it is all over and done, I am confident we will have some great data on expanding the slot car racing experience and just might have a concluding formula that offers a fun new approach to slot car racing that draws in a bigger and new crowd of racers.  And that ain't half bad.

Racin' Randy

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Since I got pulled into this I'd better explain what I meant.

The current format seeds on the first race and creates teams for the second and third race based on the rankings of the first race. After that, it's rinse and repeat. What I see as a minor problem with that is that we cannot be sure that the exact same racers from the first race will show at the second and third, thus creating somewhat of a discrepancy as the circumstances between races can vary (wildly). By making snapshots of the conditions each race night this will be mitigated. For instance, my car ran way better the first race than the second race.

This will also solve the problem of Randy having to seed new drivers based on their performance during a couple of minutes of practice. I agree with Monte that unseeded racers should be put exactly in the middle of the pack, although if John Gill and John Bostic show up as new racers one night we probably don't stand a chance if they get to team up. ;-)

I agree with Monte that we do the timed segments rather than fuel management. It will give the faster team member a good chance to make up for the slower team member while each will run the exact same time for their $2. I noticed that Byron's team member practically did not use any fuel at all in their first heat forcing them to violate the "short change" rule Randy had mentioned before the start of the race. Had they followed that rule Byron probably never would have run that night.

I liked the team format and I think both Jim and I got a good relationship going but if we are supposed to cross-pollinate  and make new friends in the club we should re-team every race. Bill, I second Monte in denying you a life-time match up with Art. ;-)

Perhaps we can do the following. Each night we start off with two short heats (2~2.5 minutes) as individual qualifying laps. Some software has qualifying rounds already available. We then seed based on the best result of the two heats and run a longer (say five times the qualifying heat (10~12.5 minutes)) team race with a fixed driver swap point halfway through the race. We would award 'pole' points to fast qualifiers (to prevent sand bagging) and regular race points for the team race. A driver's score for the night is the sum of 'pole' points and race points and the seasonal score will be best 8 out of 11 races.

Here's my suggestion for 'Pole' points. Once we tally the qualifying scores and determine seeding for the night the racer (odd number of contestants) or racers (even number of contestants) are awarded 0 points. From there each better racer scores positive one point going up with number one (pole position) scoring one bonus point. Each worse racer scores negative one point going down with the last racer (the tail gater) scoring one additional 'bad' point. This way, the teams all start the team race with a net zero balance but it will prevent sand bagging as the 'pole' points can help or hurt you.

I guess it's more than $0.02 but everybody is entitled to *MY* opinion. ;-)


"Get the shotgun, Martha. The herd needs a thinnin'." - Bucky Katt

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Here's a point example:

Racer      Qualifying         Pole points
===       =======        =======
A            1                      9
B            2                      7
C            3                      6
D            4                      5
E            5                       4
F            6                      3
G           7                      2
H           8                      1
I            9                       0
J            10                     0
K           11                     -1
L            12                     -2
M           13                     -3
N           14                     -4
O           15                     -5
P           16                     -6
Q           17                    -7
R           18                    -9

Team      Result       Points
====     ====       ====
A&R        3rd           17
B&Q        1st            20
C&P        2nd           18
D&O       4th            16
E&N        5th            15
F&M       7th             13
G&L       6th             14
H&K       8th             12
I&J        9th             11

Racer      Season points
====     =========
A             9 + 17 = 26
B             7 + 20 = 27
C             6 + 18 = 24
D             5 + 16 = 21
E             4 + 15 = 19
F             3 + 13 = 16
G             2 + 14 = 16
H             1 + 12 = 13
I              0 + 11 = 11
J              0 + 11 = 11
K             -1 + 12 = 11
L             -2 + 14 = 12
M             -3 + 13 = 10
N             -4 + 15 = 11
O             -5 + 16 = 11
P             -6 + 18 = 12
Q            -7 + 20 = 13
R            -9 + 17 = 8

Perhaps Monte can format these numbers into nicer tables. I don't know how to do that in this forum post editor.


"Get the shotgun, Martha. The herd needs a thinnin'." - Bucky Katt

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I understand the idea there George but I don't think the negative points really have much value vs. just counting the points like normal.

The problem comes in trying to alter a points system mid-stream.  Never a successful idea.  In the example above, 4 different racers scored more than 20 points which would put a lot lower value on the first two results.  We can adjust the system but it has to max out at 20 points to match up with the first two events.

We could move to a 10 points per race system with every racer getting at least 1 point.  That would max out at 20 total for the two races and keep it a little closer since you will never be more than 9 points behind the leader.  No skip at the top so 10, 9, 8, etc.

"Big Smooth"

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Sorry for dragging you in George, but I thought you had some good ideas!

Here's one that still bugs me. An "ENDURO" is a LONG race......I mean a REALLY LONG race, not just a bunch of 5 minute heats linked together. If you are doing it any other way you are doing it wrong!

In no way does this current format resemble an enduro! You ARE running short heat races, and trying to work in pit stops where they don't fit! It's like a game, not a race. You're current format is just 8 heat races separated by lane changes and worthless pit stops.

I agree with helping the newer and slower racers become better and faster. As far as learning from the other racers, let me think about that one. Oh yeah,  the OTHER racers have always been there for them to learn from, for what the past two years? Not sure how having one person on your TEAM for one race is going to change that? And for the record I have noticed everyone has learned a lot, including me!

As far as input from a bunch of different racers, I've seen this in action, it will confuse them more than help. Everybody has their own ideas, not all of them good, and everybody uses what works for them! Some of the things I do work for me, but another racer may not like the way I do it. Art is right on base when it comes to modifications. You do ONE modification and then test to see how it works. You don't complete a whole buch of modifications at once or you'll get lost in the process of figuring out what works and what doesn't.

The scoring, let's look at that one. Let's see if I race by myself and come in last I get one point. If I race on a team and come in last I get 11 points. But the people that were faster than I was still get MORE points. So to win I still don't have enough points..........Kind of like inflation. I used to make $1 an hour, but a tank of gas was $3. Now I make $20 an hour, but a tank of gas is $60. I may feel ever so slightly better, but I am no better off.


Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Monte, we could use this scoring system above and either figure out what the scores would have been for the first two races but that is hard to do since not everybody was there OR we could take this system and for the remainder of the season treat the points as laps and score points as normal. So racer B with 27 points won the night and scored 20 season points, racer A with 26 points came in second and scored 18 points for the season. We'd have a lot of ties but it doesn't devalue the points of the first two races.

Bill, I didn't use the word "enduro", nor did I say we would use the fuel option. I followed Monte's lead in having a longer timed race with a driver change in the middle. I disagree with you that it is all relative and prone to inflation. As you can see there are a lot of drivers between 10~13 which makes for tight racing. Those racers probably never had a shot at the top, but now there are a lot closer together than in an individual race. Call it inflation but it makes certain subgroups more competitive amongst each other.

Racer      Season points         Normalized points (Monte)           Individual race (Bill)                 Normalized points gained/lost by team effort
====     =========         =================          =============                 =============================
A             9 + 17 = 26           18                                              20                                          -2
B             7 + 20 = 27           20                                              18                                          2
C             6 + 18 = 24           17                                              17                                          0
D             5 + 16 = 21           16                                              16                                          0
E             4 + 15 = 19            15                                              15                                         0
F             3 + 13 = 16            14                                               14                                         0
G             2 + 14 = 16           14                                               13                                         1
H             1 + 12 = 13           12                                               12                                         0
I              0 + 11 = 11            8                                                11                                         -3
J              0 + 11 = 11            8                                                 10                                         -2
K             -1 + 12 = 11           8                                                   9                                        -1
L             -2 + 14 = 12           10                                                 8                                         2
M             -3 + 13 = 10          3                                                   7                                         -4
N             -4 + 15 = 11           8                                                 6                                          2
O             -5 + 16 = 11           8                                                 5                                          3
P             -6 + 18 = 12           10                                               4                                          6
Q            -7 + 20 = 13            12                                              3                                          9
R            -9 + 17 = 8              2                                                2                                          0


"Get the shotgun, Martha. The herd needs a thinnin'." - Bucky Katt

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I think putting the unseeded racers in the middle would not be the most fair thing.  We all know how good almost all the racers that come out are so they should be given some allowance being new to the track and cars, but I have not seen a long period of time go by where they have slow lap times.  They usually pick it up very good.  And if one is breaking the 8 second mark in practice, that surely is a good indication they are a pretty good racer.  Putting them in the middle would tilt the fairness of the race, of course it does depend on who it is.  Slower racers in the middle would also cause unfairness as they would get killed in the standings.

Our software has a qualifying capability but I am concerned with the time factor.  If all don't mind sticking around to 10pm or maybe 10:30pm then I can see this working out.

I also agree a timed raced would solve the problem of fairness for each racer.  How would we handle the in between times?  If it was at 30 seconds then new teams coming in would be hard pressed and racers having to switch their cars to new lanes would definitely be hard pressed to make it in the time allocated.  90 seconds would put it too long.  Maybe 60?  If I understand this right, then we race say 3.5 minutes per heat, change drivers, and then do this twice to finish up a team heat?

George, the formula for awarding points is interesting.  I don't think sand bagging will be an issue because you have to race 8 races to qualify for winning the summer season.  There are 5 individual races and 6 team races.  Sandbaggers will not have enough wins to win anything.

I disagree with Bill.  Technically an Enduro is a type of race that lasts all day or at least a long period of time.  So literally he is right cause our races are not all day. This is Enduro like.  So if the word don't fit because of literal translations, then call it something else but it has Enduro qualities in it and that is what one of our goals is.  If you change drivers at 5 minutes in a 15 minute heat or 5 minutes in a 30 minute heat, the only difference is you do it a few more times.  But in our enduros we never race for more than 5 minutes per driver as I can remember. 

I agree with Bill that we have all learned a lot.  Heck, I know I have too.  But I think a closer working relationship helps to bring in some racers who typically sit on the side lines.  At least some feedback I have received from these racers indicate that.

Again Bill you make a good point on the point addition.  But remember you might get 11 points as a low on a team race and then on a individual race with 18 people you get 2.  What I think will happen and time will tell, is that overall the point spread will be closer and give a chance for slower racers to move up when they wouldn't otherwise.  For example:  say 18 racers come out for 10 races.  You always come in last.  That is 10 x 2 = 20 points total.  Remember the faster racers will average say 17 points x 10 = 170 points.  But adding in half team races now you have this:  5 races x 2 points = 10 points and 5 races x 11 points equals 55 points.  Thus one then would have 65 points instead of 20 points.  They may still come in last and in this case they would but I doubt they would always come in last in a team race anyway.  So people who are more middle of the road will have a higher amount of points per season and top racers will have a lower amount thus bringing the totals closer.  And remember it allows the slower racers to move up in the standings.  Sure it might make the faster racers go lower in the standings.  But team players always have that situation when compared to individual players.  It the team concept.

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Ahhh a good lively debate.  Here's where I need some help if you desire.

I have been putting together some of the ideas in a working format for future races.  Here's what I got so far:

1.  Race with fuel but change it to be lap amounts.  This means at "X" amount of laps pit stop time.  Everyone will race the same amount of laps, just some do it faster than others.  Keeping it reasonable will help keep the slower racers from manipulating the race.  For example changing at 15 or 20 laps is better than changing at 30 laps.  (Not the most fair but better than what we did)

2.  Increase team heat times to 12 or 15 minutes.  We could go up to 15 minutes with 9 teams and still make it out at 9:30pm or so.

3.  Do only time segments per racer using a team approach so both members of the team race say 3.5 minutes and then the clock stops and we switch drivers.  I know the program has a team function.  Not sure how it works.  Plus, not sure how we would handle car changes and drivers coming in.   I think, and I double check it, but the program sets the time between heats but not between team members.  So I will investigate how the team function works.

4.  Qualify at each race and set the drivers onto teams for the night.  This would increase the time for the night at the track at a sacrifice of actual race time.  Plus, it opens up to a sandbagging situation that has no negative consequences for the sandbaggers.  Whereas, having a whole race for seeding does have a negative consequence.  They lose the points in the point totals for the season.

I am not sure that changing the point totals allocations would have much benefit at this point.  With my little understanding of it, it seems to just another way to do the same thing.

So that is what I can think of at this time.  Please add other well thought out scenarios to the mix.  As I mentioned earlier in one of long winded responses, I think it would be great to try these out so we can experience things differently and have some good information at the end of the summer. 

Keep em coming guys.  Great job on input.

Racin' Randy

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Here's my two cents:

Of course I would think the program was fine...

If you want to make it an equal time then you can just have each driver on each team run two lanes per heat. The team members choose. I've done this before and it is fun to watch the strategy play out with driver match-ups.

The fuel management is a cool aspect, and fun to use. If you mandate driver changes at segments and not fuel stops, then everyone is racing the same time (two segments each) and you still have the fuel management.

On driver pairings and teams here's an option (maybe not now, but in the future):

Every race everyone races in a quick individual qualifier. Seeding is based on results of that race that night.

Teams are selected first with last, second with second to last etc. for the main event.

The lead driver uses his car exclusively since that is the car that qualified for the team race. (This will even things up even more.)

Points are scored for drivers based on individual finishes in their team.

A separate constructors championship is awarded to the lead drivers. At the end of the series you have a constructor and individual champion.

I've always wanted to run an enduro series this way, we just have never done it.

Anyways, keep up the good work!!!

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Hey George, I wasn't disagreeing with you or your proposal. My comments regarding enduros were not directed at you either.

Randy, What I see so far is a series, that in the end is rewarding individual performance, based on a percentage of team acquired data. Is that about it, or am I missing something?  ---------------------Bill

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

I agree with Andre's approach with a team driving two lanes at the same time - then the fuel management isn't so much an issue of fairness.  Also with the fuel management, as Bill states, a little longer heat does seem in order.

I also agree that drivers need to use their own car since that's how they got to their seed in the first place.  Otherwise we're pretty much back to IROC.

The way to have "qualifying" without sandbagging is as described above - you just need to assign points to each segment - team and individual.  No one will sandbag with points at stake.

I would prefer a two-race format with a short sprint for qualifying - perhaps it's one heat each of two minutes and we draw for lanes or just go for random assignment with the computer - followed by a longer team race.

If there were 20 racers, the sprint portion would only take about 15 minutes to run.  We could spend more time than that bitching about the team alignment.  tongue

Then you could run 10-minute heats with fuel set for about the half-way point.  Both drivers would be on the track similar to the Timba Enduro so each driver would only drive two lanes.

Score points for each segment.

"Big Smooth"

Re: Opinions and thoughts about the Summer Season so Far

Randy, my comment about sand bagging is applicable if we change the format to a qualifier and a team race during one night. Everybody that shows up gets seeded only for the team race that night, not for any other night. With the current format sand bagging is not (much of) an issue as you correctly point out that by sandbagging in the seeding races you'll loose too much ground that cannot be made up in the team races. Although, with seeding races on nights 1, 4, 7, and 10 and team races on nights 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11 I could sandbag races 1, 4, and 7 since I can drop the worst three out of eleven, and gain top rankings in races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9, I'd only be looking at races 10 and 11 to perform my usual self.

Theoretically, with 18 racers showing up every night I'd be dropping three 2-point races and gaining six 20-point races. Assuming I'm in the middle of the pack I'd pick up 10 points for race 10 and 11 points for race 11. So my seasonal total would be 141 points over 8 races or averaging 17.625 per race which under an individual race format would mean better than 3rd place every single (counting) night. Most likely a podium spot. Theoretically.

So to recap my position:
shorter seeding/qualifying races first part of the night with an adjustable length so we can go home at a decent hour.
'pole' points.
longer team races second part of the night with an adjustable length so we can go home at a decent hour.
a driver exchange smack dab in the middle of the team race.
I think 30 seconds should be long enough, most teams were able to complete the exchange in the refueling time (10 seconds) or just slightly more, I think 60 seconds will be too long.
add up scores per my example.
award normalized points as show to alleviate Monte's concerns. Next season skip the normalization.

I'm easy and will go with the flow, since I race "For the fun of it!"

Bill, apology accepted ;-)

Andre, I agree we should indeed use the faster car exclusively during the team races. Off-week tuning may improve performance which could be another argument for having seeding/qualifying races every race night.


"Get the shotgun, Martha. The herd needs a thinnin'." - Bucky Katt