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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Well no sooner has the dust settled on the 2010/2011 season and I am already thinking of things that if implemented could really help 2011/12 be the absolute best season ever. I cannot stress enough that these are constructive criticisms and if the thread degenerates into a bun fight then I will lock it. I am choosing to put it here rather than in an email to Deane as I think others will no doubt have their own ideas and can also put them here.

Driver Station Positioning

This kind of arose on Sunday although personally I think there was an issue with this at the HO GP as well. I think the driver stations need to be placed on the circuit somewhere that will maximise the drivers eyeline of the circuit. At Gaydon, there was a tricky wiggle bend at the top end of the circuit before the cars hit the long back straight. The trouble was that with the barriers and distance, it was impossible to see it and subsequently there were more accidents there than there would have been if the drivers could see it and really attack it. The solution was to creep through that section somewhat which kind of made the wiggle a bit redundant.

On Sunday the problem was that the hardest corner on the track, the hairpin, was the furthest away from the driver stations. I'm over 6' tall so I was just about able to see the curves at the far end but a large number of the drivers didn't have that advantage. If the driver stations were on the start/finish straight and the start/finish was moved to where the driver stations were, I can't help thinking that the view would have been much improved and therefore there would have been less crashes and less guesswork on when to brake and accelerate.

From my personal experience of Yelling, Marlborough, Kesgrave, Gaydon and Worthing, I think Marlborough and Kesgrave had the best line of sight for the drivers and therefore the best positioning of the driver stations.

Marshalling

Only five meetings attended and already this is a bugbear of mine! I find it incredibly frustrating when I am on the grid ready to race and we can't get under way because we don't have enough marshals. The Marlborough and Worthing meetings were the most affected by this. With Sunday's meeting especially where the huge field of drivers and the time needed at the end to do the presentations, these silly delays were pretty unwelcome in my opinion and were also completely unnecessary.

[rant]If you want to go slot racing and have your car put back on track when you crash, then expect to put other peoples cars on track when they are racing and crashing. It really isn't rocket science.[/rant over]

I do understand that people need time to work on their cars and to chat with friends though so would not like to marshal every single race. I will also say that some people are great at marshalling and do probably more than their fair share. Paul W infront of race control on Sunday for example in the morning.

I do have a new suggestion to help combat it though. If Deane can provide the host club with the race sheet, it will then be the host club's responsibility to organise a marshalling rota for the meeting which will be either distributed to each driver or displayed prominently in the pits. The host club will then be tasked with making sure that people are adhering to the marshalling rota and taking their turns putting cars back on track. I don't want to go too draconian with this but perhaps lap penalties could be issued for not marshalling.

Obviously I only race at EAHORC and WHO but I haven't seen this problem at WHO at all. People marshal all night long except for when they race and some corners are oversubscribed with marshals!

And also this is not to try and rush through the race program too much. I know that the current 9 - 10 heats per hour rate is what most people like and what works but I don't think we were even achieving that on Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, those are my two improvements for next season. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts, suggestions and rebuttals if they don't like my ideas.

Cheers

Gareth
 

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I completely agree, except about Kesgrave, where the sun light coming through the window, necesitated the pulling of the curtains, which made the room dark enough to affect visibility from the driver stations to the track. had the sunlight been on the drivers backs then the track would have been highlighted by it coming through the window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (montoya1 @ 21 Jun 2011, 17:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>With regard to marshalling, there will now be penalties for those who wander off between heats (this was happening again on Sunday) assuming a busy race controller spots it.

While I think this is definitely a step in the right direction, as you say the race controller is busy and can't be expected to spot all of it which is why I think the host club should take more of a lead role in maintaining adequate marshalling for the races.

I also think it would be fairest to have a rota simply because it would mean everyone can take a break and everyone can catch up with people and chat as well.
 

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Andy Player
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Gareth - regarding track set-up, I think once you've done a couple of set-ups (
) you'll understand the constraints the guys work in and the compromises that need to be made. Especially at new venues (or new rooms in old venues).

Most of the thought and discussion on Saturday was about the position of the drivers and of race control. With the size and shape of the room and necessity of getting marshalls and drivers in and out easily and quickly, it was probably the best arrangement. The guys who then tested the track (of various heights, even a 5-year-old) were happy. Drivers have blind corners in 1:1 racing - it all adds to the challenge.

Similarly at Gaydon, the drivers had to be where they were as the race was also a demo for the public - having the exciting stuff under their noses (and not ours) was, I think, the right decision. And as I understand it, the Kesgrave track was set up in the evening - so there was no data on sun issues.

Any set-up issues we need to put down to experience, learn from them and work them into those constraints and compromises for future set-up sessions.

Now for the marshalling. With a healthy increase in numbers, it is important to keep things moving - work out ways of keeping marshalls in place, have the next lot of drivers waiting to race and give ample time for preparing cars. As we've seen at WHO, it's possible to speed things up and keep things very chilled.

I'm thinking if we all have pit boxes (or Martin's baskets) as per the rules next year, it is easy to finish our heat, take our stuff to a marshall point for the next two and then return to our pit area. On the whole, I thought it worked well on Sunday - although we do remember the occasions when marshalls mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully they were all found safe and well in the pit area
 

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QUOTE (woodcote @ 21 Jun 2011, 19:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Most of the thought and discussion on Saturday was about the position of the drivers and of race control. With the size and shape of the room and necessity of getting marshalls and drivers in and out easily and quickly, it was probably the best arrangement.

Sorry I couldn't agree with you less, the driver stations were in the wrong position, if they had been where the best sighting of the track was possible, the marshalls would have been trapped in the room that they were quite happy to escape from, it was more for the convenience of race control than the drivers.

But then being as I won't be around next or any other season, who gives diddly squat what I think any way, I, like the marshalls am quite happy to escape!
 

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The problem with marshalling is there isn't enough people in one heat to marshal the whole track as in Rc car racing you do your race and after you marshal it's simple but there is normaly 8 people in one race but the tracks are so big you need at lest 8 people and another thing is in the after noon half the filed have gone home so there is just less people to help out what would be good is to get more people interested in racing in mod and pro mod and the after noon heats

But I would like to say thanks to all of you that are involved in seting up and running the meets it is A lot of hard work
And for all making my slot car racing so much fun there is to many clubs out there that do not welcome new racers as I was a complet novice and only made it to 3 events but wow what events they were top marks
 

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Jon, there were plenty of bodies to marshal, with slot car racing, there has to be an overlap of new and old marshals to effectively do the job, they just left the room at the wrong time!
 

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I only managed to attend a couple of meetings this season, Kesgrave and Gaydon but I would like to just add my thanks to all the people who put in the hard work to organise and help set these things up so people like me can just show up and enjoy themselves!
 

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Would it be possible for sheets to be put up on the wall so every one noes what heat they are in at the start of the day and also a print out put up after every race so all racers can see there fastest lap and average lap times plus were they finished in the race like we have at Rc racing ? I think it would be a very good thing to have plus we wouldn't have to keep bothering race control it might even speed things up
 

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In regards to the sunlight problem at Kesgrave, it was the first time we used the hall so I didn't know that would happen, next year the drivers will have their backs to the windows.

As for driver stations and marshalling, I don't think I've been to a slot race where either of these have been perfect, when you build the track you have to make compromises, I bet you could build a 4x8 oval and people would still moan about visibility and marshalling.

As for people not being available to marshall, maybe there should be a trophy for best marshall, with people getting a point for every race they marshall.
 

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QUOTE Would it be possible for sheets to be put up on the wall so every one noes what heat they are in at the start of the day and also a print out put up after every race so all racers can see there fastest lap and average lap times plus were they finished in the race like we have at Rc racing ? I think it would be a very good thing to have plus we wouldn't have to keep bothering race control it might even speed things up

I think Montoya1 was considering a white board for this exact situation
( I couldnt resist )
 

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In reverse order

Marshalling, a dedicated rota like Gaydon is the ultimate but is yet more work for the organiser so I think the marshall two heats after you race is about right. The problem is we, and I include me in this take the p on occasion and it takes time to work out who is missing. One thing that works well and is common in the other scales is lane coloured marshalls posts, eg if you were on red you go to red1 for the next pair of heats and red2 for the next pair. Now its unusual we need 8 marshalls so one of the posts could be start line duties.

Track Building, now i'm pretty sure nobody builds a poor track or puts something in a silly place on purpose but it does happen so as Andy says the best way to ensure nothing happens you don't like is to be there when the track gets built, someone has to do it after all. My pet hate is insufficient room around the drivers stations, both behind and to the side and being on top of the track. Many of us slot racers are built for comfort not speed and it would be really cool to see what is usually the fastest part of the track so the the two tracks I had a hand in, Marlborough and Kesgrave reflected this. However I think it's cool all the tracks are so different, we've actually had less turkeys this year than previously and the extenders and lifters can only help.
 

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QUOTE It may take a while, but the plan with the HONK track was always to have ample monitors around the room.

I already have a 46", 25", and several small monitors to use, is it easy to daisy chain them ?
 

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Perhaps not easy, but do-able.

Andy W will know for sure, but you probably have to do some boosting. Worth it if it avoids whiteboards, and it will look cool.
 

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QUOTE Would it be possible for sheets to be put up on the wall so every one noes what heat they are in at the start of the day and also a print out put up after every race so all racers can see there fastest lap and average lap times plus were they finished in the race like we have at Rc racing ? I think it would be a very good thing to have plus we wouldn't have to keep bothering race control it might even speed things up

I think Montoya1 was considering a white board for this exact situation
( I couldnt resist )

After a few gremlins last month, July should see the first full run of WHOs scoreboard system which should go some way to showing race information so people know what's going on and overcoming these very issues. I won't be there, so no pressure on Andy and Robin to set it up and get it running
 

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also wene we are in one room for racing and one room for the pits it would be tops to have a monitor in the pits so peaple in there no what is going on
 
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