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Circuit Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As this is a problem that is unique to the digital format I chose to put it on this forum - hope that's OK.

We have just started up a club. Quite a few of the members have been racing digitally on home tracks with friends and must have at least 20-30 competitive races (1,000 or so laps) under their belts.

There are two issues that are causing some dissent that is close to becoming toe-to-toe arguments and may cause one or two members to stop coming. I am keen to avoid this and want some advice from experienced digital racers on how they have successfully coped with these issues in the past.

Pit Lane Pushing:-
Occasionally our pit lane entry sensor is missed (it's probably too close to a bend and can't be changed) which means a car intending to bypass the pit ends up in the pit and simply hoofs it and pushes the car in front (who is trying to refuel) straight out of the pits. This understandably annoys the refueller.

We may have solved this as I now say that if you find yourself in the pits unintentionally you can request the marshal places you back on the main track but if you push somebody out of the pits you will get a 10 second penalty. Everybody behaved themselves in the pits last night.

Is 10 seconds enough? Should it be 2 laps instead? Is this a valid approach or are there other ways to tackle it?

Hairpin shoveling:-
Some drivers have discovered that if you drive on the tail of the car in front and gently nudge them, they come off on a hairpin allowing the follower to carry on with a clear track. Some of these drivers find it works on less tight turns as well. This means that a couple of drivers are now simply barging their way to the front and winning races by dealing out time delays (through deslots) to anybody they can catch. They aren't necessarily faster drivers - but as we run fuel; a car with a full tank is easily caught by a car with less fuel on board so they are able to find somebody to push off for at least half of their track time.

I have threatened 10 second stop-go penalties for offenders - but this is quite a difficult offence to spot if you are the only marshal and are busy reslotting a car on another part of the track. It doesn't seem to be a deterrent - in fact it makes them drive even more aggressively to try to make up what is effectively a lost lap.

Are there any effective strategies to stop over-aggressive drivers? Don't get me wrong - we all get the occasional nudge and do an accidental nudge from time to time but where some drivers will do it once per race and immediately apologise to their victim, others do it 6 to 8 times in a 30 lap race and never apologise as they don't recognise they have done wrong. It's red mist syndrome because off the track they are lovely people.

Here's a classic example - a few weeks ago one race saw two drivers on the final lap of a 30 lap race with the aggressive driver right on the tail of the leader. Two lane changers were passed without the follower changing lanes to make a pass - instead he waited for the final hairpin and simply pushed the leader off the track and went on for the win. As we had no rule to cope with this the result stood but it did leave a bitter taste for the unfortunate loser. Personally I avoid this by applying the brakes before a hairpin if I have one of these people on my tail - they end up pushing me around the hairpin and not off - but it costs me time and if there's another car in the other lane - they get an easy pass to gain a couple of places.

Some club members are blowing this issue right up. It's not as bad as they are making out but it is a problem and something I am keen to sort out so we can enjoy a type of racing that everybody wants to take part in.

So I am looking for carrots and sticks - something to reinforce acceptable behaviour and something to whack repeat offenders with but without making them leave the club.

All advice, especially that based on experience, is very, very welcome.
 

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Welcom to the joys of Digital Club Racing


Applying stop and go penalties, is basically impossible as you would need eyes everywhere

I would say, you need to state what racing etiquiet you expect then let the membership self police it

It will soon become apparent who the regular offenders are and if required take the win away from them afterwards

Or if the driver was me, I would brake test them before the corner as you will normally survive a straight line rear end shunt and then you are clear to enter and exit the corner easily
 

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Circuit Owner
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (ss67 @ 19 Jul 2012, 15:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Pit Lane problem is easily solved.

Double pit lane and pit lane speed limit enforced through SSDC.

Hi Simon,

Yes, a double pit lane is in the plan for the club track. Meanwhile we are stuck with my single lane short pit lane (still enough room for 5 cars to refuel) for a few months


I did wonder about pit lane speed limit of 30% (currently 50%) but that sometimes isn't enough for a car to move!!!! Sadly 50% is enough to push a car out. Maybe I should dial it down to 35% and if a car won't move then it obviously has too much magnet!!!

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Michael363672 @ 19 Jul 2012, 15:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Welcom to the joys of Digital Club Racing


Applying stop and go penalties, is basically impossible as you would need eyes everywhere

I would say, you need to state what racing etiquiet you expect then let the membership self police it

It will soon become apparent who the regular offenders are and if required take the win away from them afterwards

Or if the driver was me, I would brake test them before the corner as you will normally survive a straight line rear end shunt and then you are clear to enter and exit the corner easily

Hi Michael,

That's pretty much my tactic - slow them down before the hairpin then accelerate away from them. If they don't realise what's going on they often overcook the hairpin and deslot themselves


However, not everybody has sussed that. Maybe what I need to do is show everybody how to deal with a shunt monkey and that will limit the aggression.

I also wondered about a "joker" card. Everybody has one joker to play on any driver and if a driver gets 3 jokers in a race they get black flagged - but only if the marshal agrees (to stop tactical black flagging). The marshal could also have a joker to play.

Etiquette would be my first choice - I want to race and have fun - not be the Fun Police. Perhaps I should let them sort it out and if we lose a member or two so be it. I'm not the problem and I don't want to become the problem by imposing unnecessary rules.


It's funny - because I won the Grand Prix series at the club last night and I attribute it to moving out of the path of the aggressive drivers and by driving a great deal of the race on 3/4 throttle - which is just below the point where fuel consumption starts to go up exponentially. I was pitting twice in a race whilst others were pitting 3 or 4 times and as a tank takes about 40 seconds to fill I was gaining 4 or 5 laps for every extra pit stop they had to make. I didn't win all the races but I was always placed first or second. I did allow myself full throttle when I had a clear track and more than enough fuel to get to the end of the race - it's simply a case of keeping an eye on the tactical elements. But if I share all these secrets I may not win so many races.

OOPS
 

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Greg Gaub
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Another idea is to try no brakes. We did this for the second half of our Scalextric crash resistant GT series, and it make a big difference. We did it mainly because when we have track calls, we lose brakes, and if you're driving with the expectation of brakes in the next corner, right when a track call hits, you often come out. We treat all outs the same, and so were randomly penalized by track calls. Driving the whole race with no brakes eliminated all of those issues, PLUS it made us all a lot more careful. Our "braking" points tended to even out, and there were a lot less accidental shunts and brake checks. People didn't follow nearly as closely, and even when they did, a smooth coast through the next turn was rarely more than a throttle blip away. The vast majority of offs were self inflicted. The rest were lane change accidents or accidental nerfing (ok, maybe a couple intentional ;-). It's for the random race events that we use the poker chip method of tracking offs before a car is out of the heat.

Anyway, no brakes can help with or without magnets. Of course, going magless can also help a bit. ;-)

Don't feel bad about setting up racing etiquette rules. I say, have a sit down with the group before the next race, and talk with them about your plans, get their input, and agree on expected behavior. If someone doesn't like not being able to race like a jerk, then it's probably best that they leave sooner than later, anyway.

Here's our last race with examples of all of that.
http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/7fhNcEyzGjY?rel=0
 

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QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 19 Jul 2012, 16:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We did it mainly because when we have track calls, we lose brakes
Nice idea, but surely you still have the dynamic brakes?

Rich
 

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Hi mr modifier
Im glad you have your track up and running.
We pretty much had all these problems.
I always say just get even.
If some one drives you out of the pit then remember it and apply the same tacktic at some point.
Eventualy you will all have mutual respect for each other.
Itmay be a destruction derby for a while though.

Lee
 

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Greg Gaub
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QUOTE (RichG @ 19 Jul 2012, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Nice idea, but surely you still have the dynamic brakes?
Rich

You've forgotten that we're still using C7030 PB-Pro on most of our tracks, so the answer is no. When a track call happens, car control stops, and cars COAST to a stop.

With the APB, it appeared to initiate brakes when a track call happened, as the cars stopped much shorter than expected. Great for APB users, not helpful at all for PB-Pro users.

There are two things that the PB-Pro could use fixed, and I've mentioned it a few times in the past. Count laps at the end of a timed race, and apply brakes during a track call. But, no one is working on C7030 PB-Pro code any more. It would be nice if Hornby allowed more than one person to help with powerbase firmware. :\
 

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QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 19 Jul 2012, 22:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It would be nice if Hornby allowed more than one person to help with powerbase firmware. :\

C7030 firmware has nothing to do with Hornby, if you or anyone wants to have a go at that then contact Andy Sykes.

Andy Wallace does not have the exclusive rights to the C7042 firmware, he has merely been the one who has taken on the difficult and unpaid task of sorting some bugs and adding features. Anyone else who has the time and skills to work alone or with Andrew on the C7042 firmware should present their case to Hornby / Adrian Norman / Andrew.


Rich
 

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Ting Tong
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hi
i also had problems with pit in senser not catching all the cars. This was with a routed track and all cars running magless.

Like yourself it was to late or to difficult to move the senser so i opened out the rail using a dremmel to reveal more of the senser. It now works a treat and never misses.
 

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Interesting thread ! I have run many races, but with a smaller group of people I guess. If an accident happens between 2 cars, they will sorten It (If I havent seen It) out and determine if and which car gets a stop and go penalty. But running in the back is always stopngo for the offending car if other car deslots. Also, if an accident happens when changing lanes, the changing car gets the stopngo. No discussion about that. (This in your case will also apply for the pit lane runner)
I also made the speed difference for full and empty tanks smaller. An empty tank start at 85%. This way the speed difference is not so big, but enough for the tactical ingredients.

Do you use marshalls or auto track call ?
Marshalls could help determine stopngo or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everybody for your input so far.

Hi Minardi, we use marshals, we haven't explored track calls - manual or auto - mainly because there would probably be way too many pauses to the race.

However I am now wondering whether track call would be worth doing. Do people get over the frustration of frequent pauses? Does it teach them to drive within their limits? I guess an instant track call would preserve the scene of the crime!
 

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Usually we are 'forced' to use auto track call, simply because we don't haven enough people to marshall, and everyone can drive.
Yes, It is frustrating that the race pauses, but because It is, people get used to It and try to prevent track calls by driving better. This is how It always works out, race 1 you have plenty track calls, race 2 less, and race 3 you suddenly realised the race ended with not more than 1 or 2 track calls. And, when an auto track call occurs, It is the perfect time to decide who was guilty and If an stopngo should be applied.

I prefer marshalls too, but you need very clear rules and enough people

I am 100% sure auto track calls helps in getting better drivers.

You might know we are working on a new RMS for the C7042, stopngo is already included, but one feature to be included is 'damage', or see It as joker cards. Everytime an auto track call occurs, the car that initiated It, gets virtual damage, until damage is so much he has to pit and repair. Of course the awarding of damage can be overruled and applied manually. Let's say It is allowed to have 4x damage in a race, I am sure drivers will drive more carefull If they have already 75% damage, otherwise they have to pit and wait until car is repaired.

@Mr Flippant; The movie of your race could have been filmed at my track. Don't you just love the discussions after a track call
- part of the fun. Take note that auto track call races last usually 3 x the time It would take for a marshalled race.
 

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If the racers get tired of stopping for track calls MAYBE they will stop crashing so much


So your pit lane entrance takes them into the pits auto and if they push a button they don't go in the pits? I'm not following how they get a lane change signaled without the led being read due to drift
 

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With Scalextric SSD the lane changers do not flip back - they stay wherever they were positioned by the last car to pass over. If you drive over it without your lane changer button pressed the lane changer resets to straight ahead. BUT if the last car to pass entered the pits and the next car slides and misses the sensor on so not resetting the lane changer - it enters the pits.

I guess it works this way to save wear and tear on the flipper mechanism.
 

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QUOTE (Mr Modifier @ 20 Jul 2012, 18:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks everybody for your input so far.

Hi Minardi, we use marshals, we haven't explored track calls - manual or auto - mainly because there would probably be way too many pauses to the race.

However I am now wondering whether track call would be worth doing. Do people get over the frustration of frequent pauses? Does it teach them to drive within their limits? I guess an instant track call would preserve the scene of the crime!

Nope never get over the frustration. No I don't think it leads to better driving. Like with beginners the more you Marshall them the more they crash. The reward has to be there for better driving.
 

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QUOTE (Mr Modifier @ 20 Jul 2012, 15:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>With Scalextric SSD the lane changers do not flip back - they stay wherever they were positioned by the last car to pass over. If you drive over it without your lane changer button pressed the lane changer resets to straight ahead. BUT if the last car to pass entered the pits and the next car slides and misses the sensor on so not resetting the lane changer - it enters the pits.

I guess it works this way to save wear and tear on the flipper mechanism.

Gotcha I had tested cars nose to tail, no issues with front car only changing, but never tested without the rear car led.

So maybe the cars that go in the pits have the led too far back in the car and maybe should move it forward
 
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