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Last Post 18 Apr 2014 01:22 AM by  F125AXer
Match Tour Review
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Catch-22
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15 Apr 2014 12:54 PM

    Well, what did everyone think?

    For those that competed or just came out and watched their first national event,  a match tour is a unique format but in general that is what a national looks like.  The course is big and fast and the competition is brutal.  The two events coming up this summer will bring even more brutal competition as this one had 209 entries and I suspect the summer events will both be close to 300. 

    Congrats to the Cincy folks that did well and/or won their class.  I coned away a win, which not only cost me free tires but gave free tires to my strongest competition (dammit).  Thus is how life at that level works, but I had a great time running in a deep class on Saturday and in the elimination rounds on Sunday.  I ended up with 12 total runs for the event, some folks got more than that.

    Big thanks to Natalie and Gordon, who basically worked a 12 hour shift with me on Friday setting up and tearing down the T&T course and setting up the big course and grid.  Gordon especially went over and above all weekend, continuing to work long days and multiple positions even after his car was broken and he couldn't run.  Shake his hand and thank him when you see him, or maybe pitch in some cash for his sunblock fund.   Bryan Schafer also stayed on the above and beyond level throughout the weekend, constantly making sure security was happy as well as working both fence setup and teardown.  I now have a theory that Bryan drives better when he is working the event so hard that he doesn't have time to think about driving.  I'm not joking.  He was on fire Sunday. 

    Finally, to all of the people that didn't even run the event but volunteered to put up fence, take down fence, or come out and work a corner during the shootout... THANKS!  Seriously, we need that kind of commitment in order to do these events, as this is one of the most logistically challenging sites in the country and our region doesn't have a whole lot of manpower.  Evan, Dennis, The FSAE guys, Brian, and anyone else I'm forgetting that stayed late on Sunday taking down the fence... You guys are awesome!  I really was pretty exhausted by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, and it was great that you guys were there so some of us that had been busting butt since Friday morning could go home.

    For any region members that ran the event but left early Sunday, we really need you to rethink that the next time around.  The site is fabulous but it really is an "All hands on deck" situation.  We are all going to have to throw a little extra effort in if we want to keep running out there and we need to not dump all of the effort on a small group and burn them out.  Please don't just do your work assignment and go home. 

     

    trippinbillies40
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    15 Apr 2014 03:48 PM

    You forgot to thank that Scott Giles guy too   Sounds like he did a bunch of work as well organizing and rallying the troops.

     

    I think everything was great on the region's end.  The match tour format needs some more tweaking, but that has nothing to do with the volunteers that put on the event. 

    Grayson
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    15 Apr 2014 05:27 PM
    First off...as someone that has been autocrossing for many years and should probably be "in the know"...I have to admit that I'm not "in the know". Perhaps it was through inquiring, or perhaps it was through being asked, but Gordon was involved on Friday and mentioned that he was staying to help roll fence Sunday. Nobody ever approached me to get involved in such a manner, and I never read where we could volunteer for certain tasks. Basically, you've got someone that probably has enough experience and knowledge to serve as an effective Solo chair, but they're not even being leveraged for events like this. Perhaps I'm just dense, but I would recommend at the very least putting up a notification on this forum that certain tasks are available so that people can volunteer. I did see that Chrissy needed volunteers to work the challenge brackets, but I figured I would be racing in them (talk about being dense :-D ).

    I love the format. You're never dead after day one, and having been dead after day one (Peru hurricane with no rain tires), I really like this fact. I think the qualifying rounds could be executed with less between-round downtime if the auditor would simply watch over the shoulders of timing, computer, and control to ensure that times are straight and penalties are accurate upon call. I know during my heat the auditor didn't find any errors, and frankly on day two everyone in the trailer is basically on auto-pilot. All issues with unregistered cars and illegible numbers are all sorted on day one, so there's really nothing that can throw the crew for a loop other than a missed scan or electrical hiccup. If things get crazy then the auditor can simply do a proper audit between rounds.

    One thing I didn't like was the Pro Shootout dial-in setup. Some people had great drives on Saturday, such as Eric Campbell and Tom O'Gorman, and they were rewarded with a tough dial-in and a first-round defeat. If I was 0.2s faster Saturday and had weaseled my way into the Pro I probably would have easily destroyed my first-round competitor. Being a first-heat driver the course was WAY faster on Sunday since the course wasn't rubbered-in when I ran, so my class-winning dial-in would have been easy for me to beat. On my practice run Sunday I beat my class-winning time by a whole second. I challenge Campbell to chop a second off of his 59 on Saturday in order to advance against me on Sunday. The truth is that even at my best all weekend I feel Campbell was more impressive Saturday, and he shouldn't have ever had a disadvantage to me Sunday if we had met in the bracket. Just go on PAX.
    Catch-22
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    15 Apr 2014 06:29 PM
    One of the communication issues is that this forum kind of sucks and hardly anyone uses it. Going forward it would be nice if we could remedy that.

    Otherwise I'm not sure where communication lapses occurred. We had a whole bunch of folks out there Sunday afternoon that didn't even run the event, so they got the information somewhere. Here, facebook, word of mouth, email bombs?

    Anyway, point taken. We possibly need a chief of recruitment email bombs to start sending them out a month before the next event. There is plenty of work to go around, and we need to spread it as much as we can.
    mlane350z
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    16 Apr 2014 06:01 AM
    As mentioned on another forum....wasn't crazy on the format. Loved the site. Even for an autocrosser used to standing around, if you make the Pro Challenge it is a hell of a wait before you run again.
    JWhitling
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    16 Apr 2014 08:46 AM
    Personally, I think this format is just an accountant's wet dream. I am not an accountant so I was less than thrilled.

    The whole idea of pulling one of these events together vs pulling together a real race like a National Tour seems like the same or even more effort. I'm from Cincy so I will I guess, run any event on the Wilmington PAD because the site is so great .. HOWEVER give me a National Tour any day over a match tour.

    Why have such a limited number of National Tours? If the event had been a National Tour would the attendance been higher? I think so. Would the work have been more? I don't think so. Would Sunday morning have made sense for everyone? I think so.

     

    I very much appreciate everyone's efforts in putting on this event .. I'm sure it was quite frantic in the timing trailer, but to what end?

    Grayson
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    16 Apr 2014 10:08 AM
    Otherwise I'm not sure where communication lapses occurred.

    There is a chance that since I'm a Western Ohio Region member I am missing something.

    If the event had been a National Tour would the attendance been higher?

    It's tough to discuss whether this particular event should have been a Match Tour or a National Tour. Since we've got a National Tour coming up on the Wilmington Pad, I'd say it's unlikely that this event could have also been a National Tour. In this case I'd say we're blessed to have three National Solo formats, for that allows us to hose three National events on the pad without controversial format repetition.

    I'm sure it was quite frantic in the timing trailer, but to what end?

    It wasn't, and that's likely a problem. Like I mentioned above I think we should have increased the pressure on the timing crew by auditing on the fly. I KNOW that every time the auditor was handed sheets during my work shift on day two that everything was perfect.

    Audits on day one do not delay the event since the heat two auditor can audit while heat three runs (for example). Auditing on the fly would only be necessary day two.
    Catch-22
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    16 Apr 2014 11:02 AM
    There is little to no chance this event could have been anything but a Match Tour. You aren't likely to get two champ tours in a season regardless of how great the site might be and the big event trailer was in California this weekend anyway.

    Everyone who's car didn't break got the option to take a minimum of 6 runs and folks that went deep into challenges got 12 to 14 runs. The format needs some tweaking to make it easier to understand and eliminate some Sunday downtime but other than that there isn't much not to like about it.

    Grayson, I think the WOR thing explains it. I'm told Cincy region members got emails. You might want to do a dual membership or at least ask to be added to the Cincy email list. I'm not sure who manages that but it is likely Shari.
    trippinbillies40
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    16 Apr 2014 02:34 PM
    Pretty sure Todd runs that nowadays.
    Jim Z
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    16 Apr 2014 02:43 PM
    Posted By Grayson on 15 Apr 2014 05:27 PM
    Perhaps I'm just dense, but I would recommend at the very least putting up a notification on this forum that certain tasks are available so that people can volunteer. I did see that Chrissy needed volunteers to work the challenge brackets, but I figured I would be racing in them (talk about being dense :-D ).


    If you look further down the topic list on this forum, you will see that Bryan posted on the 11th, specifically asking for help with removing the orange fencing, including bringing your own wire cutters.  I brought mine.  Last timed run was 5PM;  we had the fencing completely removed and bundled by 7PM.

    F125AXer
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    16 Apr 2014 05:35 PM
    As the guy making the next-to-last timed run Sunday, I'll have to say a great big "Thank You" to all of the Cincy Region members, and everyone else who worked hard to make the Match Tour a success.

    Regarding the format, I was scratching my head prior to attending, even after having read the rules. As has been said, a huge draw is the concept of not being "dead" for Sunday, even if Saturday was a disaster (and for me, it pretty much was, with a damaged ride, and questionable possibility of fixing it).

    As has also been said, the real difficulty with the format has to be centered around the Pro qualifiers from Saturday. Those who are part of that top group from each heat were stuck watching, and waiting, and working, through four heats of knockout rounds for the rest of us. Makes for a long day, before ever turning a wheel. Then, those who came out of the early heats do appear to have a significant advantage, via way more grip than was available Saturday morning. Perhaps the ladder for the Pro challenge should keep the heats separated for the first couple of rounds, at least until the top eight prepare to run.

    I really am sold on the format, though. I don't think I have ever gotten as many runs anywhere other than at a non-scored T-n-T.
    And I've been playing this game for 30+ years. Four Saturday. Including the practice lap and a re-run due to a disabled car in the long finish slalom, I really lost track on Sunday, but think it was ten. Geez, fatigue was a major factor for the last couple..... Maybe I should go back to driving something with a suspension? Nah. Not yet.

    One question:
    My son inquired as to whether the photographer who was there has a place to view the photos from the event?

    Alan Sheidler
    97HS
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    16 Apr 2014 06:22 PM
    http://www.jlofoto.net/
    nothing yet, but soon.
    tacti
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    16 Apr 2014 08:32 PM
    Not the pro photographer, but I uploaded pictures I took on my site.

    Http://media.tacti.info.

    Enjoy!
    Grayson
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    17 Apr 2014 09:58 AM
    If you look further down the topic list on this forum, you will see that Bryan posted on the 11th, specifically asking for help with removing the orange fencing, including bringing your own wire cutters.

    You successfully proved that I am dense Jim. :-)

    I really like the idea of making at least the first round of the shootout (and maybe the second) heat-specific. It's really easy to envision a scenario where it rains in heat four Saturday, and if someone from heat one matches up with someone from heat four, the heat four entrant will DESTROY the entrant from heat one by beating their dial-in by 10 seconds. However, if the heat four entrant has to match up with another heat four entrant, then one doesn't have an egregious advantage over the other, and their dial-in gets refreshed to something realistic. I'd keep the bracket heat-specific for two runs of the 32-car bracket, thereby allowing heat mixing in the final 8.

    Either way, even untweaked, I'd rather attend a Match Tour than a National Tour. ProSolo is still the best by far though. With a National Tour you can be dead in the water or way in the lead after day one, which turns day two into a fun event. Plus, you only get six runs. The good news is that they're all fun. We're just comparing lots of fun with gobs of fun.
    lightisfast
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    17 Apr 2014 11:46 PM

    I have to say the modified format certainly made things more interested.  Unfortunately it took forever as mentioned.  One thing they should consider is for at least day 2 is just setup the grid like a regional event.  It would go a lot smoother if the two drivers were separate and had even spacing.  There is no class competition on day 2 so no reason to grid like a national event.  The audit delay was about 10 minutes, and its still worth doing, but they might as well just start from the unaudited times immediately and if someone shouldn't gone who cares, and add the correct person in before the end.  If you did that, you could keep the same format and cut down that part of the day by a couple of hours.

    For the shootouts, they should just grid two at the same time.  Perhaps the pro can be separate, since it was the biggest, but the ladies and super could just alternate through the groups.  Its any interesting concept, but still needs some work.

    In the end its my least favorite format just because you run the same course both days.  I don't hear anyone else complaining about that so I guess I am in the minority.

     

    But, going back to the event.  I think it went really well, and the course was a ton of fun.  If we are blessed with all 3 events next year I highly recommend more of the locals show up.  We had a good turn out, but even if you aren't competitive I think the Match tour format should be fun.  The majority of the good drivers out there are nice people and will give you pointers and if you don't make the shootout it should be interesting to watch.

    F125AXer
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    18 Apr 2014 01:22 AM
    Lost and Found Dept.:

    A blue folding chair wandered away from my trailer....
    Brand "Coleman" I believe...

    Was at a friend's trailer 12 feet from mine, was put at another, about the same distance, and that person took it up to the HQ trailer?
    I guess I should put a RF ID chip on everything I own...

    Anyway, might the Cinci Club have my chair?
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