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The ideal club meeting - What does it look like?

3485 Views 44 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Michael363672
What does the ultimate race meeting look like.

Ground rules

• This is a digital discussion, analogue racers contributions are welcomed but must be constructive and "analogue is better" is not constructive.
• The race meeting has at least 6 folk , one of which is a rookie adult - Children can come in only as honerary adults.
• The doors open at 18:30 hrs for play/chat/ad hoc testing. Official festivities finish at 22:30 and kick out is 23:00
• The track is up for the duration and packing away bits is not a time limiter.

My Straw man of the ideal race requirements-

1. Drivers should spend most of the time driving not marshalling.
2. Some time should be allowed for Chat, vital repairs, Confort breaks and tea (very English me).
3. More than one class to be raced in an evening , if your car class A breaks you have only lost half of the evening at most because you can race in class B.

This leads to some basic requirements/organisation

• Auto yellow flag is a requirement towards meeting (1) and is set at Race stop in current positions. All drivers may re-slot/check and re-align car (but not move) prior to the re-start.
• No marshals are available as none are required under yellow flag.
• The obligatary cards for re-slotting are as follows:-
• Utter rookies 1 card, They should be lapping well inside their abilities in formal racing and just getting into the scheme of things. They need to satisfy the marshals they are sufficiently capable of meeting reasonable standards before given Mid standard i.e with 3 cards they can reasonably expect to make the end of the race. 3 de slots in a lap is definitely back to Rookie without a VERY GOOD EXCUSE.
• Mid level, 3 cards but are not eligible for the elite championship.
• Top level 1 card (they should not be making mistakes). I have seen analogue racers come close to this anyway. Any mid level driver is welcome to upgrade to Elite, but can only count results toward the standard they are driving at the time. This will encourage mids to become elite. The one slot looks (to me) possible if the cars are of high quality (i.e.on my track with magnets are not prone to de slotting for no good reason). With less able cars this may have to be increased.

The meeting
• Class qualification periods 10 mins for each class. 5 min between periods. Two periods each (Class A Class B, ClassA, Class B,Time now 20:30.
• Racing proper Heats 3 (Class A, ClassB, ClassA) 10 min duration (or equivalent laps) 5 min between heats.
• Race interval 30 min.
• Racing proper Heats 3 (ClassB, ClassA, ClassB) 10 min duration (or equivalent laps) 5 min between heats.
• As its all computer regardless of whose system results for evening will be avialble in last 30 min of evening.

Result with two cars you get 40 min driving in qualify mode. 1 hr in racing mode. That is just under 2 hrs. This is a bit on the low side but probably acceptable. Should qualification be dropped 1 1 15 min session a bit longer for each and extend racing? Is ½ hour break too long for chatting/tweaking? More shorter heats?
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I think to some extent you missed the point (no offence meant). With digital there is no issue with how many folk turn up. As you can run 20 cars at a time and there is no ideal track then the schedule can be done. 3 min heats are really too short (my opinion only), to allow a re-fuel whicy will take upto 20 seconds from entering the pit lane (speed limited) re-fueling and going out. That would be a lot of the 3 minutes. Plus because everybody is raceing in eacj heat chat time needs sceduling. There are no/very few folk not raceiong at any time. Already my lot (only 3 of us) as poor beginners with 5 sec lap times, run 50 lap heats which is just over 4 min min allowing 1 full re-fuel and perhaps a splash and dash to finish. Digital is in its infancy and this post is about gererating new ideas and ways for Digital to grow which are not possible with analouge.
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Not running yet, but both Oxygen and Scorpious can run 18 to 20 cars. Not an issue for me yet as 6 cars is currently the limitof useable drivers.
Having read this it does seem that the approach for digital does need to be fundametally diffrent, rookies do need to be taught that there job as the rookie is to keep clear and just get rond the track without de-slotting. Personally with the right cars de-slotting is fundametaly a driver issue, not a technology issue. Good drivers in digital will have to learn to slow down and stay on. Rapid de-slotting as at an analouge club is not the way to encourage driver. Like in real racing De-slotting (comming of the track in real reaceing) should come at a very high price. personaly after practices 3 drivers and 2 pace cars 6 cars on a 9m track is perfectly acceptable and 6 card would be the same. It does make for traffic jams at the start, require patience to "solve the puzzle" but tha is the point. It does need longer reacers to allow time to get through the field but that is acceptable.

Slot Raceing Al does have a point, somewher along the line digital will have to have a rule set(s) to cover inter group raceing.
Interestingly nobody has mentioned the use of anti-collision systems, variable power on rookies, Multi class raceing. This Thread was here to generate some out of the box thinking on digital not (no offence ment) analouge with more problems.
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Slotraceing Al- I read the FRC REGULATIONS and it is a good start. It does raise the issue that the stewards need to be trained and be keen to enforce the rules. I do like the "reasons for rules" as it sets out the underlying Ethos of the group.
The driver walk round is a good idea but It is probably only good in purpose built tracks. In the church hall, I would still not want drivers walking round as the track is on the floor and drivers not on a well defined rostrum. I sit them down so they cannot obscure the vision of others. Interesting on how you deal with first corner canage! Why is it thay you decided to re slot not re-strat with penalties for the offening drivers, and none for those offended against? The rules as written appear to be a bit harsh aginst those knoked off for no fault of their own. Again no criotisim this is about understanding the art of the possible.
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QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 2 Oct 2011, 16:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If we don't have an extra, or if we are at another track where active marshaling is not possible due to crashes that require long grabber tools to reach, we use the Auto Track Call feature in SSDC to trigger a track call after two seconds.

This is interesting as we keep track calls to 0.5 sec delay. This is because on a 6 car 4 second lap a crashed car will obstruct an innocent driver almost as much as the guilty party. It may be your track is bigger and so 2 sec is acceptable. Your rational would be very interesting.

More recently the issue is that of "non catastrophic spin offs". With our card it is possible to slew very heavily ,near 90 deg, stop but not de-slot. It takes 1 to 2 sec of pawer to get the car back. Should this be treated as a de-slot if it obstructs another driver or as a drive through?

This leads to another related question. If your 2 sec rule works for you Mr F. How many seconds appart (typical speeds) would a useable LC be. On my tracks their are currently only 1 XLC and 3 CLC's so a de-slot can be un-avoidable to other drivers as their may not be an LC available in time for a clear follower to avoid 2 sec away.

While not initally being the target of this discussion does the ideal race meeting place some requirements on the track to allow the ideal race.

The interesting issue is that nobody has said races longer than 10 min would be better. Real races are 20 min or more and in a very old hobby, model powerboats , heats of 15 min was not unreasonable, why do you think that is (it being digital so getting everybody on every track is not an issue controlling race length).

Nobody has really noted tea break length yet for digital where everybody is raceing all the time surely this is an issue? It is for us, however this may be geriatrics having to sit on the floor. Already its take your own Kneeling mat to survive the eveing ;-).
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QUOTE Is there any way you can make your track bigger or longer? 4 seconds for a lap - blink and you'll miss it.

No. Maybe 5 sec is closeer but we can already get sub 5 sec. At home I only have small rooms. Even in our church hall we only get about 6 sec. Typically doubleing a track size does not double the track time.

QUOTE No, the laps are usually between 6 and 10 seconds, depending on the track and the cars. The 2 seconds is so that people try to avoid crashing. Crash and burn is too much of a penalty, we feel, but we also want there to be sufficient deterrent so that drivers try to be more careful. In fact, sometimes we'll do a 2 second delay AND a stop and go penalty. The problem we've had with a short delay like .5s is that cars that coast well and on certain tracks, a driver could actually release the trigger for longer than that in the normal course of driving. Sometimes we use manual track call via the brake buttons, because none of us use the brake button to actually brake. Those cases are rare, though, and usually only when we don't have SSDC running for some reason.

Clearly a track size function. 0.5 sec on our track is an age.

QUOTE Most of the tracks have multiple XLC and a couple CLC, easily one lane changer every 10 feet or less. Usually, though, it's about where a lane change is useful for racing purposes, not for getting around a crash purposes. If someone gets stuck behind a crashed car, well... sucks to be them. Most of us drive through a crashed car. Rubbin' is Racin' and all that. We don't try to barrel through a car at full speed, but we also don't wait when we think we can push it out of the way. Races are won or lost by decisions like that.

Seems about every 10 ft is about standard. I have 8 to 10m tracks with 3 CL's, maybee another XLC (2 total) would be better.

QUOTE (ggonsalves @ 3 Oct 2011, 13:21)
Also, even though we have a stop and go penalty for people who drive into and de-slot the car ahead in the same lane (another thing I haven't seen mentioned yet here), drivers often times dispute this, arguing that the car ahead slowed unexpectedly or something similar. Perhaps Mr. Flppant's idea of penalising all de-slotters may be the way to go for this.

I am comming round to this idea, explained it looks like a least worst option ;-).

Yet more questions since the answers are so helpful. So far we have always used auto power on at start. The reasoning is warped, without it carnage results. However ours is a small track. What are the opinions on this. Auto start with say 1 car spacing, auto start with 2 car spacing (between cars on the same rail). Good old fre for all and re-start if too much carnage.

We sometimes volunteer to be at the back even if we get pole just so we can avoid the carnage. So far this has proved a good strategy. With pace cars in the mix its a necessity.

This is why I started the thread, to get good ideas! I like the idea of allowing gentle push pasts, hurt pride but not mush else.
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Bit of feed back. Last night was just 2 of us, but now we have 4 Porsche 962/956 with scaley motors. So its 2 drivers, 2 fixed pace. Heats were 100 laps at about 4.6 sec average (pacers at 5.6 and 6 sec) so race about 8 min plus some marshalling time (yellow flag in operation). Fuel burn in operation each full load giving 20 laps +ish. This was best racing ever! Interestingly after a heat you needed a break! The concentration needed to "Thread the needle" through that traffic on a small track is intensce and ,dare i say it an adrealine rush! The slot.t low power cars were perfect, only comming off due to screw ups. Cars that behave seem to be crtical to the ideal race meeting. Cant wait to get 5 cars on at once! We actually packed up earlier than usual as the raceing was so intence we had done enough for one day!

Having rambled the comments are:-

Heats of about 10 min includeing some marshaing time are about optimum for a typical race. Maybe less generally applicable is about 3 to 4 re-fuels per race, not really in line with real simulation but adds to the work load in interesting ways. Drivers need min 5 min between heats just to get back together again. While we are not good drivers, more cars will up the workload so the exhaustion level may well not drop with experience.

Still failing miserably to get it together but having two classes at the same time, like Le Mans looks a good solution. Even on an APB 3 cars Group C and 3 cars slower (GT) would add flavor and interest both visual and tectically. Would fail miserably for F1 of course. Need to get trialing raceing on low power, is it interesting in traffic? In a 100 lap race for LMP what would the ideal GT lap target be, based on our pace cars abouy 80 laps?

While definitely not in the hate CLC camp 3 CLC and 1 XLC is not optimum. In time I thing this will be an issue and will change to 2 CLC and 2 XLC on an 8 to 10m track. I think it may be possible to have too many XLC's.

Again as part of the ultimate race, is it possible to liven the flippers to minimise dead spotting liks Scorpious.
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The interestig thing about all of this is that the "ideal race" does not exist! It was with supprise (not hostility) to find that injector man would have 2 heats of 4 cars and marhalled, than 8 car heats on yellow flag. That would be unthinkable to us as we would miss "Threadding the needle" through 8 cars. So the next issue, how many cars on a rail. This is more of a straw poll as thers is no right answer, just of interest on where (if anywhere the concensus lies). We like 3 cars per rail. I,e even on our small track 6 cars on 2 lanes. full scaley. Only whish SSDC could run 2 pace cars on the same rail keeing a timed diffrence between them. On a longer than 8m (about 26 ft for our US friends) track could you have more than 3 per rail?

At the end of this thread I thought I would do a Mr F and produce a definative guide. However there is a glorious range of opinion on what an ideal race is. There have been lots of good ideas and rational for the various approaches and that is geatly benerficial as it lets everbody select they way they want to race with the help of others experience.

If/when digital starts to have a national series the competitors will face a vast array of race types from fully marshalled, sparcely populted tracks not too far from todays analouge racing, to complex traffic heavy events where staying on is premium, as a too many de-slots will cause a retirement, and the winner may just be the one who can drive consistently within their safe limits.
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Merkit the Grof - Obviously its the fastest man! Just not the fastest man that cannot avoid crashing every other lap.

From all the posts it seems that the common denomenatorsis 1 LC about every about 10 ft. After that its all different.

Some like Traffic, 2 cars is per lane on large tracks and some 3 cars per lane even on small tracks.
Marshaling vs yellow flag self marshalling, again no agreement (Glorious diversity). Some want marshals even if it reduces the traffic potential.
Not everybody sees fuel stops as the way to go.

I think unless there are any major contributions this thread has proably run its course. Thanks for the discussion it was enlightening. Maybe its like will rise again when Oxygen releases and Scorpious gets the abilty to put a real safety car on the track.

Untill then enjoy digital your way and have FUN. THANKS
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Then there are major contributions to come so welcome and continue!
Ah! A man who like traffic! thanks for the info, Two questions come to mind. How mant re-fuels do you roughly set in the 80 lap race. What level of power drop fo a full tank. We use 10% but on our small track where we rarely use even full power on scaley motors this has little effect. we stilll need to experiment further.
You must have noe heluva motor to get round the track and race on 50% speed. To help us understand,what sort of power do you set for pit lane limiter? It looks like I need much lower than 90% power for full tank speed.
All interesting. As we only have a very short pit lane w use 25% is power. Cars are slow out of the pits and you have to be carefiul comming out of the pits not to cause a crash as the Start and finnish is the pit exit sensor. You pit lane speed looks much faster, good job the mechanics are plastic! ;-).
This topic is mine and was meant to be blue sky. Been thinking (dangerous that).

With the rise of the new systems (Scorpious for one) data becomes available like spit times (times between LC's), fuel burn etc. Will the true digital racer be allowed a "pit team"? He/it (it could be a personal computor plugged into the master data stream) would supplying split times, time vs fuel burn for the track. Supply fuel burn strategy, more strategic information on when to change lanes for best driving line at current fuel load and traffic status and current key oposition information i.e. where the championship leader is placed relatively.

This would mean that tracks would need to provide this data somewhere. Should there be a "pit area" away from the track as this may be easyer to supply data to a common point. Would pit teams be allowed to monitor other teams data stream? How many men in a pit team would be allowed.

This could be more like a re-enactment than a simple race but it could be fun all the same. Anybody done this? I for one would welcome a second pair of eyes. ;-).

Digital has lots of potential that may yet not have been dreamed of. Already Scorpious requires the driver you to set pit speed like the real thing, as opposed to SSDC that imposes it (thankfully ). Where can it end and when do we want it to end?
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