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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Well I have raced a lot in the past 4 years and 3 of the past 4 weeks. Usually the ride home is a happy fun ride. Sometimes I feel I could have done better and sometimes I am a bit disappointed. Today was the first time in 40 weekends I was mostly just mad for the whole ride home and I can't conjure a smile thinking about the weekend's racing.

So the gist of it is I went to Roebling and Needed a Start in E and to touch the track in F to qualify for the Runoffs. I registered to Run E Produciton on Saturday and F in Sunday and I did it at motorsportreg and also made sure they had it right when I checked in Saturday morning. It was in the Same car, a 1.6 Miata. Its legal for both. The same thing (and car even) as Mark Weber has done for ages. Paid the entry and had the tech sticker showing both classes. Went out Saturday and raced E and did fine with a 3rd out of 8. So a storm came up Saturday evening and they postponed the last 2 races until Sunday morning and eliminated the Sunday qualifying. So at the Saturday evening social I asked a couple of Stewards what would happen. I fIgured I might have to start last but I made a case that the car was legal as raced in E for F and that the Supps did not make an exclusion on people who changed classes. The Supps said the grid would be based on the fastest race lap or qualifying lap. And the GCR mentions car/driver combination. Not class. But I said I hoped they would add a hardship qualifying or something . But I was fine with starting at the back. I figured Its a 40 minute race and I was up for the challenge of it.

So I had no idea what would happen so I went and asked for a grid sheet Sunday morning and they said there were not any available and basically they would grid me when I got there. So I went to grid for my race and they gridded me 7th. So I figured cool. Not going to complain about that as I thought maybe they saw it my way.

So then I raced my ass off in the heat for 40 mintues and came in 2nd in class in FP. Best I could do and I was happy with that. So at the end of the race at impound there was grumbling from one guy in FP about me starting 7th. Even though we had just raced for 40 minutes and I finished way ahead of him. Thats when we found they had me racing as EP. So I showed them my Tech Sticker. It had FP. I showed them my car with the FP class letters on it. So in a nutshell they said Timing and Scoring made a mistake and I could take an EP third or offered me dead last in FP. I had mentioned to them I had to have an FP session for the Runoffs and 3rd in EP was worth nothing to me at that point. The concuring thought of the officials was I should not have gone to where the grid workers placed me and I should have told them I wanted to start last. So by starting where the grid marshalls told me to go I had disqualied myself from finishing ahead of anyone. So I was nice about it and politely argued my case. One Stewert (Rick Mitchell) was nice to me. He checked my car markings FP. Found that my Tech Sticker had FP. They met for a while and then they came back It was pretty much if I wanted the FP result I needed for the Runoffs I had to take last place and go away. Or risk getting nothing. I felt really bullied by the others I dealt with except for Rick.
I should add I registered as EP on Saturday and FP on Sunday on June 20th. This was not a last second curve ball I threw them.

Also this is the Email the sent us Saturday evening:

The prolonged lightning storm on Saturday afternoon has postponed the
Saturday Group 6 and 7 races to Sunday morning. The Sunday qualifying sessions
have been cancelled. We will begin Sunday with a short 5 minute hardship
practice for closed wheel cars, and then a 5 minute session for open wheel cars.
The grids for the Sunday races will be based on the car's best time in the
Saturday qualifying or best race lap.

The first 2 races on Sunday will be the Group 6 and 7 races. We will them
move on to the 7 Sunday 23 lap/40 minute races.

Bob Horansky, Chief Steward

So the same guy who made the descision I had to be last in FP or take 3rd in EP said: The grids for the Sunday races will be based on the car's best time in the Saturday qualifying or best race lap.

His words not mine. So when they said grid position 7 it made some sense to me.

I though of protesting but I asked for the official results a few times and even an hour and half later they still did not have any. To get out of Roebling you have to drive over the track. The races were 40 minutes. So if you get done with an SOM action you may have to wait another 35 minutes on top of that just to leave the track. I have a business with a lot of work on Mondays and an 8 hour tow home. I called up a good friend of mine who is a Stewert and he said to let it go as I might just make a new Enemy that would look for a chance later to get me back. He said its one thing to protest another racer but when you make the officials look bad you can burn a lot of bridges. Maybe that would not be true. I like to think so.

So maybe I am missing something or a lot of things. How do you get a chance to review the grid and make a case it is wrong? It's a protestable item but they would not let me see it. It was certainly not physcially posted on the board like they do at other places. So how do you protest the grid sheet or even check to see if they have you classed correctly? Is it officially Online now? is that how we are supposed to know? Am I required to know my correct grid position before I get there and correct the grid workers if they tell me to go to a certain position or risk forfeiting my race ? If they have you in the wrong class and you are registered and marked in another why can't they just fix the class in the results? I can see if my car is marked wrong but it was not.

Like I said if they had said start last I would have started last. I was planning on it in my head on the drive to the track. I was ready for that. I was like let's race for 40 minutes and I think I can do it. I have gone from 34th to 1st overall in 4 laps. I can do it So Lets go. But I also think I have a valid point. That the rules and Supps do not address you changing classes with the same driver and the same car. I think the rules are clear if you change the car or driver you have eliminated your qualifying times. And arguably if you change class before the race after qualfying maybe that throws out your times. But the grid was NOT set by qualifying. It was set by the fastest qualfying or time in a Race for the weekend. I was in the same car in the same group. I can see that running the car without the ballast or some other thing that makes it faster and then changing classes gives you an advanatge in your new class (In my case I did nothing to the car and was well over my FP weight in EP) But is that actually in the rules that you can't do that? Again we are griding on Sunday not based on a qualifying session on Sunday but for the fastest time for the Weekend before the Sunday race. Same driver/car combination. The Email they sent to revise the Supps said the Cars Fastest Time.

Am I missing a rule here? I am not saying it should be like that. Only maybe that it was not envisioned when they wrote the rules. I have looked and I don't see it but maybe people here can point out my error. I am just asking.

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Rob Garrison

FP Mazda Miata
IT7 RX7
2nd Gen STL EP RX7


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:16 pm 
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We have had this a few times at our races. You as a driver entering the second class know you have no time in FP and thus must start at the back. You did get screwed by the weather and not get to qualify for F on Sunday. By getting a grid position as an EP car you must look at the same scenario but with a fully prepped EP car, not a 1.6 Miata just to get points. To allow you to qualify for FP with an EP car would be cheating every other FP driver.

Since you had not turned a wheel or made a transponder hit under the FP entry all timing has on record for you is EP and you show as DNS in FP. They gridded you by the only information they had in the computer. You stayed in that position and thus started the race as an EP car. You knew it was wrong and they gave you the only option available to them. You had to start at the back with no time. Playing the same car/driver combo card is BS and you know it. No car has ever been allowed to take a qualifying time set in one class to grid for another class.

Relax, you got your starts and are qualified for the runoffs. Rick is a great guy.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:59 pm 
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Ditto on Rick Mitchell. Best steward I've dealt with on contentious issues.

Rob, nice to meet you. Sorry for the SNAFU.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:05 am 
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Rob - Having just gone through that same issue at a recent regional race at Lime Rock I can see how that happened to you. I showed up on the grid in a car driven by Johannes Kraus with a different car number after I had stopped in at timing and scoring to tell them what I was doing. I just needed a start and the proverbial turning of a wheel. The grid people insisted on putting me in Johannes' qualifying spot. I kept shaking my head and lining up in last place. They kept insisting. Finally a grid worker came over to talk to me and said "Johannes?" and I said "No". Then they understood and left me alone, and I did my two laps.

However, I left the track after the first day of racing which had no official results, and the Saturday grid did not list me as a DNS, so the people at Topeka have no way of knowing that I was actually there. As a result, at the moment I have not completed my requirements for the Runoffs. Hopefully Topeka is working on it, but I have not heard back yet. When you show up at the grid in the same car with the same number I can definitely see how they would mess that up. In your case you got your start and you don't need the points to qualify, so chalk it up to a lesson learned.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:27 am 
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Location: Topeka, Kansas
Rob I feel your pain buddy but Steve is right. Knowing you had no qualifying time in FP meant you needed to start last, period. Peter Morton was right to protest this so don't be mad at him. Mark Weber does do this all the time however he does change the weight in the car etc so you have to look at it as two completely different cars. Take this new knowledge and learn from it, that's all. We've all been there. Racing is all about learning, usually the hard way! Let's get ready for the runoffs!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:41 am 
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Must agree with the others here. often a little more communication with the grid folks prior to the race will sort that out. If "I changed classes and have to start last. please put me at the back" doesn't work, then "get the steward over here quickly or this will hold up the start" should do the trick to motivate appropriate synapses to start firing.

My big problem with the grid sheets I've seen in our area is they only have a car # and a position. there is no name, class, time, etc. on the sheets so for those times where there are three cars in the same run group with the same numbers, grid has no easy way of sorting that out. I would much prefer the 'cliffs notes' grid sheet to ALSO include a full qually results sheet so the grid workers can figure out which car #46 belongs in 3rd and which belongs in 3rd to last.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:35 am 
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Steve I understand what you are saying I should have known. It seems like it would be that way. It majes sense if you Change class you have to requalify in the new class. But exactly what rule is it I should have known? So is there something in the GCR that says changing classes throws out your qualifying and race times for Grid Purposes? Or is it just General Practice that everyone knows but that no reading of the actual rules will help you learn ? I sincerely asked people to point it out. Not argueing I am right. It would actually make me happy so see it so I know I am wrong and then I stop feeling cheated. It will be my fault and mine alone and that will be nice. I will no longer be mad and It will be a dumb boner totally on me and I will man up and move on. I do not look to blame anyone for my mistakes. Its just I can't find it. I would like to see the actual rule. Can somebody point it out to me please. Like I said it will make me feel way better about it and I can laugh about me being wrong and then I will be cool with it. I am very capible of doing that and I will feel better right away about it.

Still don't understand a couple of things. So they do not have to post the Grid or let you see it? Its a protestable item yet how would I get to protest it ? If I had qualified 7th in FP and they gridded me in the 3rd spot ahead of the other FP cars could they have penalized me for that? I just want to know for future reference. Posting the Grid would have avoided this. I asked for it nd they did not have one to show me. Like I said I was ready to start last. I had no idea they had not changed me to my registered class and had no way of knowing.



Well I guess its lessons learned. THe big lesson to me is that the Majors are not necessarily for having fun. They are for qualifying for the Runoffs. Which is why I stopped caring a couple of years ago and went back to trying to have fun. I did whatever races I wanted to go to. Majors and regionals at tracks and at dates I wanted to go to. But for some reason I forgot until I did it again this year. Not sure how many times I need to learn the same lesson to figure it out. I hope two is enough. When thoughts of RA pop into my head next year I think I will remind myself of that . Its more like work then fun. I think I will plan on spectating at the Runoffs next year like I have forever. That's actually fun.

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Rob Garrison

FP Mazda Miata
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2nd Gen STL EP RX7


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:15 am 
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GCR 6.4.1 A "A car may not compete in more than one race class in the same race" - This was put in because people were doing 3 laps as an EP car, pulling into the pits, changing the class designation, and doing 3 more laps, etc. This certainly does NOT apply to this situation.

Here is the fun part. Peters Protest should have been tossed out, because Rob was in his correct grid position per the GCR, UNLESS the supps had something different in them. No one is questioning the legality of the car for F, so that was not the issue.

Read 6.4.2 establish the race grid

6.4.2 B "The chief timer certifies official qualifying times to determine race grid positions. Cars are positioned on the race grid in the order of their official qualifying times WITHOUT REGARD TO ENGINE DISPLACEMENT OR CLASS, with the fastest cars at the head of the grid. Any other method of determining starting positions must be described in the Supps"

Now, should he have been put in the grid at all is a whole different issue, since he did not have a time as an FP car. This was a T&S mistake. He should have been last. BUT, legally he was where he belonged.

Should he have put himself in the last grid position and then explained why? Probably, but it technically wasn't required.

Should Grid have allowed him to start last on request? Absolutely. However, different people are different, so what one regions grid people might do in that case is different than what another might due.

Using 20/20 hindsight, the minute Rob knew that there was not going to be a qual, he should have gone and talked to the Chief Steward, and the Chief, had he been doing his job, would have instructed T&S to place him last on the grid.

Where I John, I would have Protested. But the stewards should have actually read the GCR, and not allowed it. Conversely, Rob should have actually read the GCR, and at the very least pointed to 6.4.2 B during the appeal and said "show me where the class I was running in for qualifying matters for setting the grid....."

It is something that needs to be fixed, because there is nothing that I can find in the GCR that explicitly states, or even hints that it is illegal to Qualify as one class, then run as another, provided the car is legal in both cases. 9.1.12 A might apply "all cars shall race in there respective classes" But it says race, not qualify. If it had "qualify and race" there, then the issue would be closed since he didn't qualify as an F. But he did race as an F, and he was grided per the GCR.

I sense a letter to the CRB in the near future.

Also, Rob could appeal to the COA, and would probably win, then there would be an errors and omissions to correct the issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:57 am 
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I didn’t protest Rob to be mean. Actually, had I not done anything he would have only been scored as an EP car ( I knew he needed a start in FP).

Rob you are a good guy and I know you wouldn’t do anything sketchy on purpose.

When the SOM initially said you could only have the 3rd in EP or a DNS, did I not ask if they could at least give you the start and finish for FP?

Scott S.
Your statement is incorrect. Yes, cars are place on grid in order, but technically Rob’s FP car had not turned a lap and thus had no time. (This is no different than if he was running two separate cars.) Additionally, a car can not complete in two classes in one race as stated above. Thus, the FP had no qualifying time. Rob was in his correct position as a EP car and was scored as an EP car. Had I said nothing Rob would have finnished 3rd in EP, I would still have been in 2nd and Rob would not have a gotten a FP start that he needed.

There are multiple places where this all went wrong. I was just the one who pointed it out.

Peter Morton


Last edited by Peter Morton on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:31 am 
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I wonder whatever happened to the idea, confirmed by a CoA ruling of a couple of years ago, that a competitor should not be penalized for an officials mistake.

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