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.