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Last Post 12 Apr 2006 04:53 PM by  mattg
Heat selection
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bschnard
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11 Apr 2006 12:52 PM
Seth,

Part or even most of the problem was due to a noob Waivers chief (me) not making sure that there were a minimum of 4 heats opened to start with. So you can quit yelling at the others. This will not happen in the future. We will always have selections for at least 4 heats available and then if for some reason we do not fill the heats sufficiently for 4 we will have to adjust down to three.

As I have told several other people, I will be much better organized in the future.

I am sorry for the mixups and hope you will be back for more events.

Bill Schnardthorst
2006 Waivers Chief

Bryan S
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11 Apr 2006 01:04 PM
Seth53 wrote:
mattg wrote:

Early Worker??

So I should get there at 6 AM which means I need to get up at 3:30 AM. I don't know about you but that is way too early for a regional event.

Obviously that won't work for you Seth. But don't get all bent out of shape and suggest that the solo commitee made a monumental screw up and should have had a crystal ball to predict 160+ entries. They knew it would be a large turnout, but expected, based on previous experience that the current system would work. It did, maybe not well enough, but given everything else going on in preparation for a new season the heat structure fell into a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" catagory. With the solo chair tied up dealing with a strike at his company the committee has had its hands full figuring out how to reorganize and maintain continuity. This included recruiting a new chief of Timing and Scoring. Sunday I know many people who did multiple jobs for multiple heats so that registration and T&S were fully staffed. You were not the only one inconvienieced by the big turnout. It was a headache for registration, timing and scoring, the equipment chief.

mattg
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11 Apr 2006 01:23 PM

As a question: Would driver 'A' be able to exchange heat ticket 3 for heat ticket 4 once the heat opens up at the gate?

Based on historical attendance, 4 heats could have been offered at the gate initaily. However, without divine all knowing insight into the future, 5 heats would have been a crapshoot. Yet, had they offered 5 heats, and only filled 4 the people would have been screwed into running, most likely, heat 1. ***fill in the chants of "not fair" from people who get moved into heat 1 from another heat here***

Unfortunatly we do not have online registration, so our volunteers are left using judgement based on time of year, other events that weekend, prior local event turnouts, weather, etc... Overall, I think they did/do a great job.

cliff notes: They are dam ed if they do, they are dam ed if they don't Yet, our volunteers do a great job.

Edit: if anyone knows someone who can predict the turnout accurately within +-3% each event, and have all the heats perfectly set up let me know. I would like that person to learn how to pick stocks.[8-)]

carlakacarlos
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11 Apr 2006 01:28 PM
Like Dave said, everything in this sport is a compromise.

Sounds like you want your cake, and want to eat it too, but that just isn't going to happen.

If the idea of a 14 hour day to participate in an autocross doesn't sound like fun to you, might I ask why you are doing it?
96SM2
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11 Apr 2006 01:33 PM
Seth53 wrote:

Some us like to try and be competetive.

Seth,

I understand your frustration from the point of view of a competitor as well as an organizer as I have been on both sides of this issue. Running 1st heat is not the death nell to being competitive you think. Matt Grainger used to run 1st heat intentionally to improve his driving. He liked the challenge of trying to score Index points in a heat that is notorious for not being the best as far as course conditions, quite successfully imo. I have done the same thing myself on many occasions and it has helped my driving. Being competitive and running 1st heat are not mutually exclusive, it is just tougher to do.

Andy

Bryan S
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11 Apr 2006 02:00 PM

carlakacarlos wrote:
If the idea of a 14 hour day to participate in an autocross doesn't sound like fun to you, might I ask why you are doing it?

Not a good response. I don't think we should ever tell a competitor to find a new hoby if they don't like the way we do things. Seth is a valued member. I'm impressed by his desire to travel the distance he does to compete with us. We want and need competitors like Seth. His frustration is real and worthy of discussion. With luck some solution may be developed. Then we can look for some other problem to fix. [:)] There will be no shortage. My only beef is thay he not slam the organizers too much.

Seth53
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11 Apr 2006 03:47 PM
The reason I "slammed" the organizers was to get the attention this thread deserved. In the past I have brought up topics to see them fall through the cracks. If anybody felt like I was aiming this thread at them, I wasn't. I was saying organizers in general. Thank you all for the dialogue this has started and hopefully it can be helpful in the future.
Seth53
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11 Apr 2006 03:54 PM
96SM2 wrote:
Seth53 wrote:

Some us like to try and be competetive.

Seth,

I understand your frustration from the point of view of a competitor as well as an organizer as I have been on both sides of this issue. Running 1st heat is not the death nell to being competitive you think. Matt Grainger used to run 1st heat intentionally to improve his driving. He liked the challenge of trying to score Index points in a heat that is notorious for not being the best as far as course conditions, quite successfully imo. I have done the same thing myself on many occasions and it has helped my driving. Being competitive and running 1st heat are not mutually exclusive, it is just tougher to do.

Andy



If my car was prepared for my class I would love to take up that challenge. I was barely able to break into the top 20 last year in borrowed cars. My car still has alot of work to be done to it. I need to run a heat that has a constant instead of a variable. Heat 1 you never know what is on the pavement. Heat 3 mostly everything if not everything is cleared off the course so it is more of a constant to help me tune my car correctly. If I try and set up and tune my car on different pavement conditions it will keep throwing me all over the place on set-ups. That is another big reason this year for me wanting to run heat three.
96SM2
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11 Apr 2006 04:48 PM

Seth,

I know we have veered from your original reason for this post. I'm just trying to say: Based on my experience at GIR/Riverport/Family/Topeka etc., the only constant is that course conditions vary, irregardless of heat/run you drive. You talk about chasing setup, the setup for 3rd heat in April will probably be different from 3rd heat in July at GIR. The amount of change is possibly as much as between 1st and 3rd heat on the same day. To this day, I'll try to change my approach to a course element than change setup unless the car is doing the same thing everywhere. I think one of the biggest things I learn when running early is the importance of line, seeing the course and being smooth. I can improve a whole section of the course by a line change early in the section. A lot of times when I drove Misty last year with Phil and Steph, we'd discuss how to change where the car was rather than setup changes to improve performance. The later in the day you run, the less chance you have to learn this option. Don't underestimate the importance of this knowledge and it can be learned in any heat, anywhere.

Andy

DammitBeavis
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11 Apr 2006 05:35 PM
Seth,

We're in the same boat with the long drive. If there's a day that we need to leave early, I'll contact someone in advance and setup an early work assignment. I've even been granted an early assignment without giving any advance notice. With Steph and I both running and working, we just plan to spend the whole day there anyway. I really feel that the SCCA is an extended family of sorts. Everyone understands that sh-t happens, and will accomidate you as long as you're not abusing their generosity. If I have something that I MUST be home early for, we normally just skip that event.

It's simply more difficult for those of us that live further away.
47CP
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11 Apr 2006 06:24 PM

Good point Andy on the heat thing...I didn't even get to that red herring...

FWIW, when it is warm out at Gateway, a late heat is a death call on slicks. Somewhere around 2pm the lot absorbs enough heat or something to turn into a greasy mess.

But, at big events you have no control over your heat or work assignment and they vary widely. You'd better be prepared to drive in all conditions.

Also, one final point for Seth: you first point out that you want to be competitive, but then later say your car is not prepared to the class limits. Seems a bit contradictory. :) It's kind of like the guys in CP who complain that minimum weights are too low when they have 11 miles of 1.75" .120 wall tubing in thier roll cage.

DaveW

DNPWWO
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11 Apr 2006 07:55 PM

Seth,

I usually get to every event earlier than most (not just solo) to get set up and ready for the day. As Sun. started I arrived just behind the trailer and helped unload and find the waivers. After finding waivers and event envelope and signing myself in as early worker I went to the gate and was very busy until relieved at 8:30A but did not leave until 8:45A as I had to make sure the waivers were properly recorded. Anyway, I was the only one on gate at first and took the 3 heat openings as I have always been told to give three away and after they are gone expand.

Bill arrived and really we had no time to think about anything but to get everybody in the gate, in fact 2 more people came up and we had 4 at gate.

As you can see I solo about 3-4 times a year as I do a lot in the Region besides Solo, I intend to do more Solo this year and I realy hope to see you out there with us again. I'm sure the Solo Board and workers will have this worked out by next event and you will still probably see me at the gate. I promise to do better next time.

I had one person could not believe heat three was filled by 7:50A and had to run 4. So we all are not going to be extremely happy, but once you hit the wheel it all comes together and the fun begins its just standing around that hurts.

But as Bryan, Andy, Bill, Kim and everyone in Solo have said they will find a way and do not be afraid to discuss it, that's the only way we, as in Solo, or the Region itself will make itself better.

Thanks for your continued support and input.

Seth53
Basic Member
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11 Apr 2006 10:20 PM
Just like everybody else that has a competetive drive in them I try to do the best with what I have and right now my car isn't prepared to class specs so I have to use every advantage I can to be as competetive as I can. Andy's point about driving first heat is very interesting and I will probably try that this year, but I also have a sponsor this year that I need to impress so they will help me later in the year if I decide to go to nationals.
rennen
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12 Apr 2006 09:13 AM
mattg wrote:

Unfortunatly we do not have online registration,

As I gazed at the 14 mile long line at registration, I wondered why the hell we don't have online registration. It seems to me that it would be a great way to anticipate attendance, speed up registration, and allow for earlier starts. My main complaint of the Stl Region is that there were always fewer runs compared to any other region I could drive to. And we never seemed to start as early as others. Is there a good reason for not using online registration? Not that I care, since I won't be doing anymore STL Regional events. But I am curious. -Matt
47CP
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12 Apr 2006 09:40 AM

[quote]Is there a good reason for not using online registration? Not that I care, since I won't be doing anymore STL Regional events. But I am curious.

When I analyzed it in the past, it was determined that the things needed for OL registration to actually work (Running by class, Pre set heat assignments, run orders, etc) outweighed the time savings AND would cost some of the flexibility of a "local" event.

For example, under the current system, if you need to leave early, you can run 1st, work 3rd and be done relatively early in the day. Under a prereg system, you will lose this flexibility.

Also, because of SCCA insurance regs, each person would still have to visit registration to verify their driver's license and membership card (that is not an SCCA reg). Obviously this is a shorter visit than now, but still a visit.

I'm just relating what I learned and the Solo Board decided a few years ago when we looked at this issue. In NOT saying it can't be done, or that things haven't changed since, etc.

DaveW

Seth53
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12 Apr 2006 09:42 AM
I just registered for a KY region event in two weeks on MyAutoEvents and didn't have to pay until I get there. They have registration at the event for walk-ups also but it closes early.
mattg
Basic Member
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12 Apr 2006 10:55 AM

The first event registration is always a PITA. The information is purged from the system. Also, all the new people who are not in the system must be added.

Main reasons registration is slow:

1. new people being added to the system, adding SCCA numbers, etc.

2. People not ready when they get to the window.....You just waited 30 minutes in line but you don't have your drivers license, heat ticket,payment, car number etc. ready to go.....the newbs are far from the only people guilty of this. For 3 years there are people who do this each time, at every event. When asked for what we need its the deer in headlight look.[:@]

3. People with Changes to their cars/Class etc.

Once the car numbers and classes are ironed out, and people are in the system registration should go quickly......if people have what registration needs handed to them (SCCA card, drivers lic., payment, heat ticket).

If given all the information, with no changes, a person (paying cash or that has a check filled out) can be registered in about a minute. CC's take slightly longer.

Seth53
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12 Apr 2006 11:03 AM
I remember last year at the Index Challenge when we had to per-register I went to the registration window and was getting ready to tell Chad my car number and everything and he already had it off of MyAutoEvents. If I remember correctly he said he downloaded it or something close to that. How hard would it be to do this for every event. Just have one computer set up for people that pre-registered just to check in and pay in they need to. Everybody else could use the other three. Just brain storming here.
47CP
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12 Apr 2006 11:28 AM

How do you select your heat if you pre register?

How do the organizers get the proper number of cars per heat without knowing who will be in what heat?

If you allow online registration, online heat selection but don't require online payment, how do you guarantee that people won't register and then not show up. This happens to about 10% of the people at divisionals where we don't require payment up front.

If you allow online registration, online heat select and REQUIRE online payment, how do you accommodate the person who decides to come to the event Sunday morning? Turn them away?

If you just allow online registration, and then handle payment and heat selection in a registration line, where is the time savings? Even without OL reg. most people have their info in the computer, the payment and heat selection takes the time.

If you don't allow online heat selection, and determine it arbitrarily, how do you accommodate those with special requests? (e.g. Run Ht1, work 3, leave early)

These are just a few questions that pop into my head. I'm not against OL registration in any way and in fact would prefer it, but just saying "put the events on MAE like the index challenge and that fixes the problem" is like suggesting that the government just print 3 trillion dollars to pay off the debt without considering the other factors.

BTW, the above questions I ask aren't rhetoric. If you have solutions, throw them out and we'll see if we can solve something. :)

DaveW

96SM2
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12 Apr 2006 11:32 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I type slow, Dave types faster( he drives a CP car, things come at him faster I guess [:)] )

Please send that to the Solo Committee: http://www.stlsolo.org/Default.aspx?tabid=25 on the right side there is a space for comments. Looking at questions if you go with pre-registration, do you allow entrants to still choose their run/work heat? How is this effected if it goes from 3-4-5 heats? Do you still create the situation that started this thread? Do you go to a rotation for classes/heat run event to event? Do we run by class? Do you allow walk-ups? How do you handle special circumstances,i.e entrant needs to change work assignment due unforeseen situation? How does this speed up the day? If you go to pre-registration are entry fees going to have to go up? Some of these questions I know the answers to as iirc the info Dave talks about was presented at a SAC meeting I either chaired or attended some time ago. If I was still on the committee I would like suggestions that try to look at these and other questions to help in the evaluation process.

Since I wasn't there, what time was the line gone at registration? If it was before registration closed, why stand in line if you have a heat ticket? Thanks

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