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Last Post 24 Apr 2013 05:46 PM by  boileralum
Drag/cross: What did you like, what can we do better?
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mtownneon
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15 Apr 2013 09:25 PM
    Tell us what you think here......
    Bobzilla
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    16 Apr 2013 09:42 AM
    Better brackets. Something that the competitors can see as it is happening. There was a lot of confusion outside the bus because no one knew who won, who lost, who was moving on to the next round etc. The weather, I think, played a huge part in this because we didn't have the people needed to be able to do it all at once which slows things down. I think just streamlining the process would help tremendously.

    The other thing: Not having it in the middle of a blizzard..... or at least what felt like a blizzard! I know that was nothing we could control, just sucked that it was sooooo cold. I know a lot of people likely looked at the weather, stepped outside and said "screw this!"

    Lastly.... grudge matches. That wasn't going to happen this time around just because of the lack of participants, the cold and the fact that everyone was tired.... but I think in the future having a way to set that up ala Aussie would be a good thing.

    Overall, I thought it was a fun event, something that we NEED to do again.
    nutty944
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    16 Apr 2013 10:22 PM
    Unique numbers. only 1 car XX, no mater the class. Ideally, line up grid in numerical order so the grid workers can find cars easier and keep things rolling with less frantic searching. Co drivers should run 1XX.
    Like Bob said, order some heat from the weather department, too!

    Overall, I had a great time, and would be there again next time!
    boileralum
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    17 Apr 2013 12:28 AM
    1) As mentioned, there has to be communication to the competitors what is going on. Brackets should be posted and you need to have an announcer with a clue as to what is going on on the microphone as the event progresses. There were definitely some mistakes made - I hit a cone against the red Audi, and when I informed Chris of that when he was trying to get me to go to the line, it ended up being the car I would have been against running a bye, and the Audi, who beat me due to me coning out, never got to run again.
    2) Brackets work best when they are split up into powers of 2 - 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. When you have 40 competitors, you should have split it into brackets of 16 and 24 - this minimizes the number of bye runs
    3) All bye runs should be done in the first rounds - someone in the second session was running a bye in the semi-final round, which wasn't right. The group of 24 should have been populated into a 32 space bracket, with the top 8 seeds getting byes in the first round
    4)The bracket should have been seeded for all competitors and then split into the aforementioned 16/24 split, not based on top qualifiers against the bottom qualifiers - it shouldn't be easier for the 21st fastest car to not have to run against anyone faster until the finale and the #2 seed to have to face #1 in the first round.
    5)I am not sure what was going on with the timing calculations taking so long. I thought that Axeware allowed you to add a column for the run for PAX time, which would have automatically calculated that for you - add the 2 times and click the winner in the bracket software, which brings me to
    6)There is bracket software available for free that allows you to populate the name/ description and then to run the bracket, you just click on the winner and it will auto-populate (but you still need a large bracket hanging on the outside of the trailer that is kept up to date with a sharpie)

    Overall it was still a fun idea, I think if the weather had been more agreeable it would have had a better turnout. I was kicking my own butt all day for deciding to wear only a t-shirt and a fleece when I even considered grabbing my outer jacket (that had a pair of gloves and 2 wool hats in the pockets) on the way out the door and decided not too. I'll never make that mistake again, lol.

    Also, if we decide to do another one, I will try to track down the christmas tree that I helped build for the KY Region Mirrorkhana event that we put together in 2007.
    xtream_v
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    17 Apr 2013 03:49 AM
    I had a blast...only thing I could really ask for was maybe slightly better communication and to streamline it more.

    Also this is the first year I plan to make more than one or two events even to spectate but would it be possible at all to make the grid more like at the drag strip? Maybe atleast for qualifying since only times are taken and it really doesn't matter who we are lined up against.

    For example we all just line up 2 at a time, and run the next two cars right after the first set crosses the finish line, then we can switch lanes after we would get back in line.
    SccaDaub
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    19 Apr 2013 12:49 PM
    Does the club have enough sets of wire ( or total length of wire) for the laser timing heads?

    I suspect that a few lengths of laser head wire were damaged in the last few years and not replaced. Plus there always seems to be at least 1 wireset with a loose/flakey connection.

    If we have a electronics-savy member in the region who could help out to build a few 50ft wiresets for the JACircuits laser heads (being reimbursed for materials by the club), that would be great.

    Boileralum? If you're skilled enough to fab up a starting Xmas tree....maybe start with a few laserhead wire sets?
    mtownneon
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    19 Apr 2013 07:33 PM
    Boileralum, would you be willing to step up and chair the next one? You've been down this path before and seem to have the 411 what it takes to make this type of event tick. Buy you a beer and talk about it at least?

    Everyone, thanks for all the input, it's all good, keep it coming.

    We knew there'd be "issues" and we tried to plan for them. One of those things was coming up with what we thought was a slick system to work the ladders but it didn't and it slowed us a bunch. Communication will be improved next time, this time we were short on help and the quagmeyer we created for ourselves in the bus made things worse. I didn't help by pressuring everyone in the bus to hurry up because I was concerned about folks outside freezing their tails off.
    The Outsider
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    20 Apr 2013 04:58 PM
    1) Longer courses. Many people asked why we were only such a small portion of the available space.
    2) As a few people have already mentioned, we need a way to communicate to the drivers where they stand and what is going on. I made my four initial runs and had no idea what was going on beyond that. Partly because I was unfamiliar with the format.
    There will always be hiccups when trying a event we have no experience with. I like the idea and I'm looking forward to trying again with some lessons learned.
    mtownneon
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    21 Apr 2013 12:59 PM

    Keep 'em coming guys and gals, all your suggestions are good ones. Thanks for being understanding that this was our first shot at this in a long time and "we're new and don't know what to do" LOL.

    We realized that we failed big time on communication. We created a huge mess for ourselves in the bus by out-thinking ourselves while simultaniously not having a good enough grip on how one of these events run. That's entirely my fault. But from this we will learns and improve. The courses were the length they were to try to help the event move more quickly, and to keep times tight across the field. Keeping the field's times tight worked, jury is out on if it helped the event run faster. BTW, each course was close to a quarter mile long and each course was withing 100' of each other. Remember the intention was to run eliminations on raw time and heads up so longer courses would have made the fast faster, and the slow slower. Raleigh ran both courses several times in my Mustang and the times between the courses was .5 sec. I'm told that's good for a Pro Solo course so we felt we did well there.

    Boileralum: would you consider being the Chair for the Dragcross events? Your experience would be a huge help and we need it. A christmas tree would be awesome. If the events this year are a success in the eyes of the BoD, I already have them on board to invest in a complete system from someone like Port-A-Tree. The intention is to run 3 of these a year if we can make it work. Can I at least buy you a beer and we can talk about it?

    dbrier
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    21 Apr 2013 07:22 PM
    As Dave already said, some better planning on T&S in advance would have made things much smoother. The bracket tree was set up for only one run per driver, we needed to do two in order to make it fair. The left lane was the faster of the two and we didn't want to give a big advantage to whoever ended up in the left lane.
    Another thing that bogged us down was that some people left after the first part of the event. Some told us, some didn't. It made finding cars for the brackets tough. That was a weather thing and won't likely be an issue again.
    It was a learning experience for us; that may be the most chaotic I've seen the inside of the bus.

    My suggestions:
    - Ditch the special classes and just run normal classes. It caused confusion at registration, many people didn't have magnets for those classes made (especially with numbers).
    - For the first part, the class winners should have been chosen by their best right and left time combined. I believe we only used your best time of 4 for class winners and for seeding the elimination bracket.
    - We used a modifier for the eliminator round. Is that something we plan to keep doing? I was under the impression that we were only going to use raw. That was probably the biggest delay in the bus. We couldn't say who the winner was right away. The times had to be added together for right and left, then multiplied by the special class modifier in order to see who won.
    - We should talk to our software guy and see if there is a pro-solo option so times could feed directly into the database or brackets. We did entirely too much hand calculating at T&S. It was bad for us and even worse for the racers.
    - For this event, we definitely need an announcer an the PA set up.
    - It might be a good idea to pull out the old way we did Aussie pursuits. Big hand drawn brackets that were done quickly.

    Thanks to everyone who showed up and stuck it out! 
    boileralum
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    24 Apr 2013 05:46 PM
    Posted By mtownneon on 21 Apr 2013 12:59 PM

    Boileralum: would you consider being the Chair for the Dragcross events? Your experience would be a huge help and we need it. A christmas tree would be awesome. If the events this year are a success in the eyes of the BoD, I already have them on board to invest in a complete system from someone like Port-A-Tree. The intention is to run 3 of these a year if we can make it work. Can I at least buy you a beer and we can talk about it?

    Dave,

    I would certainly be interested in assisting, though as busy as my life is working 11-8 and having limited time with my wife and 2 year old daughter, I don't know if I could step up to be the event chair.  I am working on gathering the information used for the 2007 KY Region event, including trying to get a copy of the email chain since my inbox has been purged since then.

     Do you have tentative dates for other events yet?  Feel free to shoot me an email at boileralum at g ma il (dot) com.

     

    Rich




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