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Thread: (2009) Autocross Format Question

                  
   
  1. #31
    if there are a large number of cars like 80 session 1, and 80 session 2 how about something like 4 heats session 1 and 4 heats session 2

    Only having one heat(20 cars) on the paddock/course at a time. When heat 1 drives heat 3 and 4 work the course. When heat 2 drives heats 4 and 1 work the course. When heat 3 drives heats 1 and 2 work the course. When heat 4 drives heats 2 and 3 work the course.

    When heat 1 is running, have heat 2 cars lined up just off the entrance to the TSP along the road. When heat 2 is running, have heat 3 lined up just off the entrance and so on. Those roads are wide enough people will still be able to drive by the staged cars waiting for the next heat.

    Make it so after people run their 4th run they exit the course, park and get ready for their work assignments immediately.

    Basically in this example I'm referring to 20 cars running, 20 cars staging and 40 cars working the course for every heat.

    I think the time lost in staging the cars between heats, would be made up in the speed with which workers would be ready to populate and work the course.

    To make it work it would need to be covered thouroghly in the drivers meeting and get everyone aligned with what's going on.

    just a thought on how to deal with large volumes of vehicles I would only expect to increase with time...
    Last edited by vI6ious; 07-14-2009 at 02:07 PM.
    BMW ZHP

  2. #32
    Senior Member irish44j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodym3 View Post
    Actually the grid setup only worked for the first two heats, . . .er, morning sessions. The goals were to avoid the long creeping line on the road from the paddock to Start. When it is working right the competing cars are parked in a specific spot in numerical order and only leave that spot when no more than 4 of the preceeding cars are lined up for the Start. This enables the drivers to:
    1. Get out of their cars and watch their competitors.
    2. Turn off their engines until reporting to the start line.
    3. Keep drinks, chair, umbrella, whatever at their own grid spot.

    Unfortunately I failed to consider the need for a grid worker who understood the concept. So I worked the grid the first session and Joe Brannon took over for the second session. I think it went well. The first afternoon session became chaos. Some grid slots were taken by cars that were to run in the 4th session. Everyone was afraid of losing their turn in running and left their grid spot to get in line for Start. The long line of cars meant those completing their runs couldn't get to any place to park, much less their designated spot. Once the rain came and covered the marked grid spots with an inch of muddy water, we had no choice but to form lines of creeping cars, a la Bowie Stadium. Yeah, it is a work in progress.
    the other part that made it a bit more difficult than other auto-x events was the need to back into the spots, and if you didn't do it quick, someone was sitting behind you. At most events you "go around" and drive into the spots forward, and then exit out the other side. Can't really do this at Summit though, unless it was setup with grid spots nose-to-tail along the center of the wraparound road, so cars enter from the left and exit to the right for their run...

    That said, in the PM session 2nd heat, the only grid workers I saw were at the start area....
    Last edited by irish44j; 07-14-2009 at 07:35 PM.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
    also make it clear to people that if they run 1st heat and then leave without working 2nd heat, they cannot attend the next event. It was ridiculous that after us 3rd heat workers stood out there FOREVER in the heat and rain and lightning with timing gear issues, then alot of the 4th heat workers just took off and went home. Most stations during 4th heat only had 1 worker at each station!

    good thing us 4th-heaters were good drivers
    This is something managed well by SCCA. The person assigning worker positions has a roster of all the participants. If you don't check in to work then your times are deleted.

    Joe

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by jbrannon7 View Post
    This is something managed well by SCCA. The person assigning worker positions has a roster of all the participants. If you don't check in to work then your times are deleted.

    Joe
    The concept is good but will require some fine tuning. There is a fine balance there to maintain order yet keep things fun and loose. One of the things about the SCCA events and even AI to a degree is the overall seriousness of the event. Last time I checked my wallet, I paid to do this so it should be fun!!

  5. #35
    Senior Member irish44j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etherpool View Post
    The concept is good but will require some fine tuning. There is a fine balance there to maintain order yet keep things fun and loose. One of the things about the SCCA events and even AI to a degree is the overall seriousness of the event. Last time I checked my wallet, I paid to do this so it should be fun!!
    True, but no matter how "casual" an autocross is, you end up screwing everyone else if you leave without working. And everyone else paid for it too, and do their work assignements. I watched 7 or 8 cars at least that drove in the first afternoon heat load up and drive away before the 2nd afternoon heat even started. That's total b.s. nobody WANTS to work the course, but for an event to work well and be safe, everyone NEEDS to work the course.

    Making this a solid requirement doesn't take any of the "fun" or "looseness" out of the event. It's about the most basic tenet of autocross events. There are some things that need to be serious at an event (safety and coursework being the most important two). These don't take away from having a good time.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    This usually isn't a problem. Once in a while, some people will not show up to work their portion of the event. If we find that becomes an issue, the person/people is given a talking to. If it happens on more than 1 occasion, the person is not welcome at our events in the future.

    Usually, all that needs to be done is remind people at drivers meetings to work.
    NCC

  7. #37
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    My first autoX event was #3 in Sykesville. That was my first autoX event ever, but I still think there are number of things that could be improved.

    1. Get people to read the drivers' orientation online when they register and bring a signed paper stating they read/understand it. I don't see a need to waist 30min with it on the actual event.

    2. Lets try to run things on time. If the heat is to start at 12, start at 12 not 1. I came 11.30 because I expected we'll start driving at 12. They were just starting the second run of the first heat!

    3. As I was waiting there for close to 2 hours for the PM session to start, I could have helped with something. If someone would have asked me...

    4. Need more signs / people talking to newcomers, telling them what to do, keep everything moving. The course walk through took probably 30 min. I think 15 minutes are to be given if you walked it you walked it if you did not ... well too bad ... As someone else already said there seemed to be a lot of people just wondering around.

    If the organizers interact with the participants more it will be a better experience for everyone.
    Overall, I spent 4 hours there for 4 min of driving .... That's a bit too much.

    I signed up for next event already. I'll be in the AM so if you guys need help ...
    Last edited by ventsyv; 07-21-2009 at 05:57 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
    My first autoX event was #3 in Sykesville. That was my first autoX event ever, but I still think there are number of things that could be improved.

    1. Get people to read the drivers' orientation online when they register and bring a signed paper stating they read/understand it. I don't see a need to waist 30min with it on the actual event.
    People are still allowed to walk up the day of the autocross and register, so I'm not sure how that would work out. I know it's discouraged, but it's still allowed.

    2. Lets try to run things on time. If the heat is to start at 12, start at 12 not 1. I came 11.30 because I expected we'll start driving at 12. They were just starting the second run of the first heat!
    If you look at the schedule, cars are never scheduled to run at 12PM for the second session. It is not until 1:30PM when the first car is scheduled to run from the first of the afternoon heats.

    3. As I was waiting there for close to 2 hours for the PM session to start, I could have helped with something. If someone would have asked me...
    You can always ask the organizers what you can do. That's why I took initiative and I'm showing up before the AM session of the next event so that I can help out, even though I'm running the PM session.

    4. Need more signs / people talking to newcomers, telling them what to do, keep everything moving. The course walk through took probably 30 min. I think 15 minutes are to be given if you walked it you walked it if you did not ... well too bad ... As someone else already said there seemed to be a lot of people just wondering around.
    I don't think 15 minutes is enough time at a course like Summit Point. From the schedule, there is 45 minutes of time allotted for walking the course.

    If the organizers interact with the participants more it will be a better experience for everyone.
    Overall, I spent 4 hours there for 4 min of driving .... That's a bit too much.
    I think the minimum amount of time you need to set aside for autocross is about four hours. The schedule shows that it takes about 3.5 hours to get through a session. From what I've seen at the 3 autocross events that I've attended, it takes a great deal of time to get things to go smoothly when there are a lot of cars.

  9. #39
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    I think part of the problem with the Washington Circuit is the size of the facility. Our PA system doesn't reach those people in the paddock, and being at a lower level, people in the paddock can't see what's going on either. Having registration in the paddock would help, but I believe our system of one computer for registration AND timing/scoring prevents that from happening.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
    My first autoX event was #3 in Sykesville. That was my first autoX event ever, but I still think there are number of things that could be improved.

    1. Get people to read the drivers' orientation online when they register and bring a signed paper stating they read/understand it. I don't see a need to waist 30min with it on the actual event.

    2. Lets try to run things on time. If the heat is to start at 12, start at 12 not 1. I came 11.30 because I expected we'll start driving at 12. They were just starting the second run of the first heat!

    3. As I was waiting there for close to 2 hours for the PM session to start, I could have helped with something. If someone would have asked me...

    4. Need more signs / people talking to newcomers, telling them what to do, keep everything moving. The course walk through took probably 30 min. I think 15 minutes are to be given if you walked it you walked it if you did not ... well too bad ... As someone else already said there seemed to be a lot of people just wondering around.

    If the organizers interact with the participants more it will be a better experience for everyone.
    Overall, I spent 4 hours there for 4 min of driving .... That's a bit too much.

    I signed up for next event already. I'll be in the AM so if you guys need help ...
    4hrs. for 4 minutes is actually excellent time management for local ax activity, I've seen 6 to 8 hrs. on the blacktop for those same 4 min. behind the wheel, with no a/c! Bob.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedMS3 View Post
    People are still allowed to walk up the day of the autocross and register, so I'm not sure how that would work out. I know it's discouraged, but it's still allowed.
    Just require prior registration I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMS3 View Post
    If you look at the schedule, cars are never scheduled to run at 12PM for the second session. It is not until 1:30PM when the first car is scheduled to run from the first of the afternoon heats.
    Maybe not but that's still an hour delay .

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMS3 View Post
    I don't think 15 minutes is enough time at a course like Summit Point. From the schedule, there is 45 minutes of time allotted for walking the course.
    For Sykesville it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMS3 View Post
    I think the minimum amount of time you need to set aside for autocross is about four hours. The schedule shows that it takes about 3.5 hours to get through a session. From what I've seen at the 3 autocross events that I've attended, it takes a great deal of time to get things to go smoothly when there are a lot of cars.
    Maybe so. Still, I think there is place for improvement.

    By the way, is there a restriction on the number of drivers that can sign up for each even or does everyone who shows up gets to drive ?

  12. #42
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    Another thing that can be done is to accept payments online and require tag # with registration. That way the signing up can be removed, cars/drivers will be check against the registration list during inspection.
    Obviously if 2 people are driving the same car they need to register twice.

  13. #43
    Just throwing it out there, but would people come to an autox that gave you 4 runs, always ran like clockwork, kept you busy the whole time with no waiting around? Heck yeah you say?

    Would people do it if it cost $60 per event, how about $100 per event? What is the threshold for cost that deters people from coming? If the club could afford to pay people to work the events and didn't have to rely on charity, maybe some of the things in this thread could happen. Remember, it's not the action of the suggestions, it's the planning of the action of the suggestion that is the time/resource consuming part. The day of is easy compared to the many hours and days planning an event, much less adding new features and suggestions.

    So how much would people pay for the perfectly executed autox? How much would people pay not to have to work the course? How much would they pay so that the club could set a limit to entrants? And could the cost go up at the last minute if the event could not be filled? How about a cancellation fee for no-shows?

    /rant
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

  14. #44
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    I haven't driven in any event outside the ncc and don't plan to. The clubs event is fun and, except for my personal competitive nature, laid back. It needs to stay that way. When logistics become too detailed and demanding the event will become a different creature. If 4 hours for for minutes is a problem, maybe this isn't the right activity for someone. As far as money to participate, this is what it is. The club should pull in what it costs to put on the event. Some events will make money and others will lose money. When it doesn't stay balanced over the year, then it could be discussed.

    I'm James and I approve this message.

  15. #45
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    People that are getting offended need to step back and read the first post. I think we all agree that a lot of time and effort goes into planning these events and that time and effort is appreciated by everyone who participates. This is meant to be a discussion and I think that some really good ideas and valid points have been brought up.

    So for the organizers, just say thank you to the suggestions and let's get to work. Don't waste your time defending yourself when we all have agreed that your hard work is appreciated.

    Jason

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