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View Full Version : October 16th event thoughts



John V
09-24-2004, 07:47 AM
Okay guys,

I think we did a good job at the last event with regard to making sure everything was getting done. Kevin / Raf feel free to comment. We were ahead of schedule for all of the day, by my periodic watch checks.

I did notice a couple things that we need to work on, however.

#1: We need people who are designated to work tech as well as having tech open at a specific time. I know I was trying to do a lot of things and tech got pushed to the back of my mind - until someone mentioned that there were cars lining up and nobody was working tech. :oops: It seems to make sense that tech should be open during the previous heat's second half, and we need to remind the announcer to announce on the PA when tech is open. Second part of this is making sure someone is responsible for tech for each heat. I know Bogdan, Pete, and some other guys were working tech first heat but when second heat rolled around we had nobody ready to do it.

#2: We need to make sure the starter is checking that everyone has a tech sticker. A lot of people who come to our autocrosses are going to be first timers, and so a lot of them might not even know that they HAVE to go through tech. I don't think we dropped the ball here but let's just make sure the starter knows what they're doing.

I know I learned a lot at the last autocross. I think I'm starting to understand what is safe and what is not with regard to course layout. I got to do a little work with the computer while Pete was driving, so I know the basics of that. And doing the driver's meeting was fun even if I needed help from some of you to remember what we needed covered :)

John V

NoSoup4U
09-24-2004, 08:10 AM
I'll help with Tech second session. Just remind pete to actually CALL ME this time to wake me up in the morning so I can help with setup as well ... :roll: :lol: ...

I think he is developing Alzheimer's ... :-P

I thought you guys did a great job ... just a couple of things I thought that might help:

a) have for each session 3-5 people standing there that can ride along waiting at the start gate. This way, at driver's meeting, tell the novice driver's the people standing to the left are willing to ride and help out. That way, people are not scrambling around. Also, I would like this feature to have someone point out my mistakes ... where I can grab different people at the line as well.

b) Make sure the workers PAY ATTENTION ... many times, they are watching the car go by and not the cones. E.g., car will clip the cone but cone still stays upright ... For instance, the first box last time, people kept hitting that inside cone and moving it maybe 2-3 inches; but, many times, the people there did not notice or watch it.

c) when people go out to worker stations, tell them to check the cone positioning in their areas.

d) need to do a better job with numbers on cars ... some of the cars only had numbers on one side, or like 3 inches tall, etc.

e) tell people to keep arms in window if passenger and try to avoid the whole let's hold a camera while I'm in the passenger seat and get bumpy footage of the driver :lol:

woodym3
09-24-2004, 08:19 AM
#2: We need to make sure the starter is checking that everyone has a tech sticker. John V[/quote]

In addition to the tech sticker, the starter should check to see that helmet(s) are on and strapped, and seat belts are on. If there is a passenger, warn them not to let their arm get above the bottom of the window. I actually show them where to hold on.
Woody

John V
09-24-2004, 08:21 AM
James, I agree 100% with your thoughts. We were lax with numbering because I was really only concerned with registration being able to see them (left side only). Generally there are only two cars on course at one time, so "Plus one on the silver bmw" usually works ok :)

I'll make sure at the next driver's meeting to make a point about checking cones and paying attention.

Also, shouldn't you remember to get up on your own and not rely on Pete? He got to the event before I did last time!! ;)

Jed
09-24-2004, 08:26 AM
Another thing. When a cone is struck, we need to make sure that it is checked to see if it is still in the box and not just radioed in.

One of the early autox events this year, MANY people were "coning," because newer people just radioed them in, when in fact they may have been in the box.

For tech, I can help with first or third heat. (along with normal setup duties).

Wow, the season is almost over!

AlfaEric
09-24-2004, 09:14 AM
The event went smooth and stayed ahead of schedule which is great but we had a lot of people helping and I think if we organize ourselves we won't have to rely on having soo many people turning out to help (I don't expect that many every event).

I think the numbers are an issue. It does make timing a little more difficult if they can't just click +1 associated with a car #. It definately makes working the course more difficult when you have to continue watching a car out of your area just to try to catch the number. I'm sure this contributes to the missed cones/calls.

We should consider always having an experienced person working start if we are going to have them giving instructions to passengers, verifying #'s, seat belts, helmet straps, etc... They should have their own shoe polish to # cars that make it to the line without #'s. This could be assisted by the designated instructors who would be standing at start or helping with grid.

I tried to point people to tech (from registration) but from where I was I couldn't see it and I hadn't been to it yet so I couldn't describe it either. It would be nice to have some sort of marker that I can describe to people rather than "it's down there somewhere...".

It would be nice to have more than one person working registration (at least up until 1st heat starts). A long line ALWAYS forms then and it's difficult to answer all the questions, take money/give change, direct people to tech and still get people moved through fast enough to walk the course.

Consider labeling the radios with numbers on the back so when you do radio checks we don't spend 5 minutes trying to figure out what station is what number when doing radio checks. It also will allow stations who see cones tapped (but knocked down) to communicate easier with each other to get them to check them.

---Eric

John V
09-24-2004, 09:50 AM
Consider labeling the radios with numbers on the back so when you do radio checks we don't spend 5 minutes trying to figure out what station is what number when doing radio checks. It also will allow stations who see cones tapped (but knocked down) to communicate easier with each other to get them to check them.

---Eric

That is a GREAT idea. I will make up labels and bring them to the next event.

Hey, do you guys think we need to buy some car skates so we can more easily move the van / CRV / neon next time? I bet we could charge the NCC autocross budget for it though I haven't specifically talked to Kev about it.

Kev??

Pete
09-24-2004, 09:56 AM
I did assign people to tech in the first and second heat and make announcements. I guess the was some confusion to it. I will make a mental note of it for the October event.

I aggree that the numbers where a bit small as it was hard to read some of them when they where in grid.

For the guy who buys cars like he changes clothes, I'll try to remember to call you in the morning, although I can't seem to recall his name? :lol:

Overall I think the event went smoothly. We have some wrinkles to iron out but on the whole it was well done for our first.

Perhaps we can have a checklist of things to discuss for driver's meeting so that we don't miss anything? For that matter, checklists for main duties would be helpful.

Provide your input?

Pete

Jed
09-24-2004, 10:06 AM
Yeah, I think we need to get some dollies to move cars that are in the way-Harbor Frieght has them for a reasonable price.

I'll also help out with registration in the morning-I know what a big pain that can be to be first heat and having to worry about registering, doing a walk through, and getting your car in line. It can be way stressful, especially if you need to change wheels.

This way we can have 2 or more lines and get everyone through quicker.

AlfaEric
09-24-2004, 10:17 AM
That is a GREAT idea. I will make up labels and bring them to the next event.

Hey, do you guys think we need to buy some car skates so we can more easily move the van / CRV / neon next time? I bet we could charge the NCC autocross budget for it though I haven't specifically talked to Kev about it.

Kev??
I'll throw the label maker in my autox box and bring it to the last event (and the first couple next season) until we are sure we have everything labeled.

Car dollies? I was going to pick some up last weekend but I had some issues so I was unable to. :sad:

Jed, thanks for volunteering. One line is sufficient since we only have one computer. We can just take a list for waitlist people and people needing car/class changes and have them come back a little later (spacing them out). We should also give people who are running in the first heat priority for registration since the line can get long and it would give them more time to walk and tech their cars. I've moved them to the front of the line in the past and no one has complained about it yet.

---Eric

Pinecone
09-24-2004, 12:43 PM
A couple of things.

First, everyone seems to do a GREAT job with these events. I have to apologize that my schedule recently has not allowed me to participate more than I have.

1) WRT tech, sounds good, but have tech check numbers, size, legible, and both sides. This is the time to catch it, not at the start line.

2) Print up extra course maps, and draw areas of responsibility for each course station, mark the station and label the name of the station. Leave one at each station and one master at the tent. This also helps for newbies who have no idea where the course goes.

3) Great idea for ride along people, then anybody who wants to take someone can just grab someone. Also some instructors to talk to newbies between runs, and maybe get some input from the workers. One lady I saw in the second half of the first heat had her seat so low, she had to pull herself up and forward to see where the course went.

4) Assign numbers in alternating fashion within a heat, ie 1 - 16, 2 - 17, 3 - 18, etc. Th efirst heat had many more cars in the second half than the first half. Doesn't always matter, but sometimes it does, and then it REALLY matters.

And a final thought, for now :), I wonder if there is any way to divide up work such that the newbies get someone experienced with them at least part of the time. Someone that can show they and work with them so they do a good job. That way they could be taught all jobs, including tech. Not sure how that would work, and those who are working more than their 1/2 heat are already doing a lot.

AlfaEric
09-24-2004, 01:00 PM
4) Assign numbers in alternating fashion within a heat, ie 1 - 16, 2 - 17, 3 - 18, etc. Th efirst heat had many more cars in the second half than the first half. Doesn't always matter, but sometimes it does, and then it REALLY matters.

And a final thought, for now :), I wonder if there is any way to divide up work such that the newbies get someone experienced with them at least part of the time. Someone that can show they and work with them so they do a good job. That way they could be taught all jobs, including tech. Not sure how that would work, and those who are working more than their 1/2 heat are already doing a lot.
The heat should have been split fairly evenly since we make the split based on the # of cars in the heat (not the car #). This allows us to account for no-shows who still have their number in the system.

We usually ask at the drivers meeting who is new so that they can be placed with an experienced person. We should make a quick check-list of items we need to cover at the drivers meeting so we are positive we never forget anything.

---Eric

John V
09-24-2004, 01:14 PM
Okay, I'm taking notes here assuming I'll do the driver's meeting announcement at the next event.

* Ensure that there is an experienced person at each station
* Make sure the stations are easily identifiable and that each has a numbered radio.
* Inform people about the cone rules and checking ALL cones that may have been jostled.
* Make sure people know to keep their hands in their car
* Make sure the starter is an experienced person. I think we've been pretty good about this.

Plus the usual stuff we say.

I agree that tech should retain the responsibility for ensuring that everyone's car is safe, that they're properly identified with clear numbers, etc. The starter still has the responsibility to ensure that the riders/driver all have seat belts on, helmets buckled, and a tech sticker.

John

AlfaEric
09-24-2004, 02:52 PM
Okay, I'm taking notes here assuming I'll do the driver's meeting announcement at the next event.

* Ensure that there is an experienced person at each station
* Make sure the stations are easily identifiable and that each has a numbered radio.
* Inform people about the cone rules and checking ALL cones that may have been jostled.
* Make sure people know to keep their hands in their car
* Make sure the starter is an experienced person. I think we've been pretty good about this.

Plus the usual stuff we say.

I agree that tech should retain the responsibility for ensuring that everyone's car is safe, that they're properly identified with clear numbers, etc. The starter still has the responsibility to ensure that the riders/driver all have seat belts on, helmets buckled, and a tech sticker.

John
Also let new drivers know where they can find an instructor during the meeting. I had a lot asking me where they could find one at the last event.

Make sure they have the flags ready (not rolled up). I see that a lot.

We need to get better at announcing times when registration/waitlist/tech/walk throughs are opening and closing (maybe 5 minute warnings).

---Eric

Pinecone
09-25-2004, 01:38 AM
4) Assign numbers in alternating fashion within a heat, ie 1 - 16, 2 - 17, 3 - 18, etc. Th efirst heat had many more cars in the second half than the first half. Doesn't always matter, but sometimes it does, and then it REALLY matters.

And a final thought, for now :), I wonder if there is any way to divide up work such that the newbies get someone experienced with them at least part of the time. Someone that can show they and work with them so they do a good job. That way they could be taught all jobs, including tech. Not sure how that would work, and those who are working more than their 1/2 heat are already doing a lot.
The heat should have been split fairly evenly since we make the split based on the # of cars in the heat (not the car #). This allows us to account for no-shows who still have their number in the system.

We usually ask at the drivers meeting who is new so that they can be placed with an experienced person. We should make a quick check-list of items we need to cover at the drivers meeting so we are positive we never forget anything.

---Eric

Normally it is, but last time nobody had checked in advance and when they did the split it was somewhat uneven. Lots of missing cars in the first half.

I am not sure if it was no shows, or just openings.

Pete
09-25-2004, 09:35 AM
Combination of no shows and the fact that I can't count that early in the mornining. :sad:

Pete

Pinecone
09-26-2004, 05:06 AM
Combination of no shows and the fact that I can't count that early in the mornining. :sad:

Pete

I know how THAT goes. :)

Doby
09-26-2004, 09:14 AM
I'll be at the next autox and will run around like and mad man and do what ever I can... one thing though, I really don't like using computers on the weekend. :(

I'll take one tech session and help set things up. Depending on things work, I can stop at HF and pick up the dollies so we can move the cars. IIRC they are like $80/pair.

hoyabmw
09-26-2004, 08:36 PM
I'm just getting a chance to look at this...

Dollies--do it. We'll take care of the cost and throw them in with the other supplies.

Tech--Chuck usually volunteers to do that all day (unless he's running at the time, which he always does in the first half of the heat) He wasn't there on the 12th, so we weren't quite prepared for that part (my fault) It's generally deliniated by the 4 tall cones on the far side of the paddock lot, so reasonably easy to direct people to. We do need to make sure to get numbers on that are as legible as possible, but that's often quite difficult on convertibles. That's why SCCA has the rule about number sizes.

Instructors--as long as there are people available to do it, then we should.

Splits in the heats are usually adjusted by number of registered cars, we just goofed on the first heat last time. It worked out alright though.

You guys definitely did a great job taking the lead for most of the event.