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Last Post 11 Aug 2014 01:58 PM by  Forcednduckshn
New Jersey Champ Tour PAX/RTP Index Results
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rtp.rick
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05 May 2014 06:08 PM

    Attached are PDFs of the PAX/RTP Index Results from the New Jersey Champ Tour.  As usual, the "Class Pos." column indicates Final Class Position.

    Seems like the Street Modified Category has certainly stepped up their game in 2014.

    H's & K's,
    Rick Ruth

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    AceInHole
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    05 May 2014 08:47 PM
    If "stepped up their game" is short for putting Tom O'Gorman and G.J. Dixon in the car, then sure, the game has been stepped.
    geezerracer
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    06 May 2014 07:49 AM

    Great comment. Notice how DSP jumped as well, where the big car adjustment was putting Sammy in it. IMO it exposes the big flaw in pax, there are a dozen or so drivers in the country that can put a big wheel at the top of the pax list and the rest of us poor slugs have live with the results.

     

    jwbrockman
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    06 May 2014 08:19 AM
    It sounds like you're describing the "big flaw" in using timing equipment, not the "big flaw" in PAX.
    z06fun
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    06 May 2014 10:23 AM
    The results are also going to be skewed because of the cold temps, even colder than DC. Having a co-driver and tires that worked in the cold was everything.
    jeffh
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    06 May 2014 12:07 PM

    How many others are questioning the index? I know Rick didn't sign up for it but match tours are using it to determine an overall winner. DAX seemed to be headed in the right direction of having something which was manageable throughout the year. 

    3% for STX is a pretty big margin to make up as 3.75 seconds just wasn't out there. As close to the difference of switching to R-Comps.

    OZMDD
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    06 May 2014 01:07 PM
    Sour grapes. Results were skewed in a totally different direction at MW, with only slight differences in the pax for prosolo. Fundamental rule of statistics is that they don't predict an outcome, only describe trends.
    The Nebulizer
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    06 May 2014 02:00 PM
    Posted By geezerracer on 06 May 2014 07:49 AM

    Great comment. Notice how DSP jumped as well, where the big car adjustment was putting Sammy in it. IMO it exposes the big flaw in pax, there are a dozen or so drivers in the country that can put a big wheel at the top of the pax list and the rest of us poor slugs have live with the results.

     

    Indexing is an insanely difficult task - much harder than most give it credit. It is not simply about pooling data and taking averages. The data is sporadic and fluctuates tremendously. The class make-up varies greatly as well and each class has its own unique characteristics. Until known alien drivers like O'Gorman or Strano running well prepped car across every class on every surface under ideal conditions for easy direct comparison, indexing is a best guess endeavor. It's not magic or a true statement about reality, it is a best attempt to add inter-class competition. PAX is a tool and has its limitations (and, DAX certainly does too - I am still plugging away at its shortcomings.).

    As for O'Gorman in SM with a PAX of .870, he appears to have just driven exceptionally well (I hear he is pretty good ). Even with an outrageously high index of .890 for SM, he still would be 12th (at .879 he'd still be 1st).

    It's tempting to look at PAX results for a single event and blame the index for something that appears off. But, the index could be a perfect reflection of reality and we would still see odd things here and there. It's the nature of the imprefect and highly variable data.

    Rick has taken on a very difficult job and handled the criticism admirably and unflinchingly. Thanks, Rick!

    jwbrockman
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    06 May 2014 02:37 PM
    Single driver/class anomalies are inevitable, but an entire well-attended category only placed one car in the top quarter of results (and just barely in the top quarter at that).
    OZMDD
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    06 May 2014 02:40 PM
    Unless the conditions were not favorable for that type/setup of class. HS/GS cars were dominant at the MW Pro, but HS doesn't even show up at SD until the 2nd page, IIRC.
    mlane350z
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    06 May 2014 03:57 PM
    Meh, I was a single driver and ran early in the day....it is what it is.
    ST///M
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    06 May 2014 07:09 PM
    I'm newer at this, and maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I think the early responses were based on the quote "SM really upped it's game". The reality is there was a reason for that and it had nothing to do with the structure of the class or preparation of the cars in it compared with a week, month, or year earlier. You put alien national champions in decent cars and this happens. It's impossible to appease everyone, I would hope the fastest and slowest drivers in every class are thrown out to determine PAX, as is the case in any true statistical analysis. Not sure that happens here or not? Again, just assuming. I think the National PAX is decent (likewise, I think the Pro Solo index could use a little help) and I appreciate someone going through the effort. Personally, I like faster street legal cars on good tires, it really can be done rather affordably. Much better at being told I'm a slower driver by someone with a 6-8 second slower raw time and a calculator than I am at, well, being 6-8 seconds slower. Just personal preference, what truly matters is what happens in class.
    jeffh
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    06 May 2014 07:52 PM
    Posted By OZMDD on 06 May 2014 01:07 PM
    Sour grapes. Results were skewed in a totally different direction at MW, with only slight differences in the pax for prosolo. Fundamental rule of statistics is that they don't predict an outcome, only describe trends.

    Sour grapes? Speaking up is more like it. Created a post on trying to fix the index 10 years ago when I cared about PAX. I haven't for the last 7 or so years until the SCCA started running tours with it. Similar non productive responses as yours were received.

    jeffh
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    06 May 2014 08:09 PM
    Posted By ST///M on 06 May 2014 07:09 PM
    I'm newer at this, and maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I think the early responses were based on the quote "SM really upped it's game". The reality is there was a reason for that and it had nothing to do with the structure of the class or preparation of the cars in it compared with a week, month, or year earlier. You put alien national champions in decent cars and this happens. It's impossible to appease everyone, I would hope the fastest and slowest drivers in every class are thrown out to determine PAX, as is the case in any true statistical analysis. Not sure that happens here or not? Again, just assuming. I think the National PAX is decent (likewise, I think the Pro Solo index could use a little help) and I appreciate someone going through the effort. Personally, I like faster street legal cars on good tires, it really can be done rather affordably. Much better at being told I'm a slower driver by someone with a 6-8 second slower raw time and a calculator than I am at, well, being 6-8 seconds slower. Just personal preference, what truly matters is what happens in class.

    It disappoints me to see people write it off as "alien" drivers when it's not close to the case. Any of the drivers in the car would have finished top in PAX using the current SM index. It's just one glaring example of the inaccuracy of using this index.

    Match Tour Rules - Rule #7

    People spend a lot of money to compete at national events, My thoughts of being a good data point to build off of might of been far fetched. At a match tour being 3%, even 2% off the pace is not close to being competitive for the day 2 shootout. 

    Index and bump classes are run at Pro's as well. The Pro Solo format uses an index much different from Match tours. A difference of 2.1% when comparing the 2 classes discussed (unless that was changed from the rule book)


    jeffh
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    06 May 2014 08:13 PM
    Posted By z06fun on 06 May 2014 10:23 AM
    The results are also going to be skewed because of the cold temps, even colder than DC. Having a co-driver and tires that worked in the cold was everything.

    Conditions were mostly ideal for Street Touring.

    jeffh
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    06 May 2014 08:28 PM
    Posted By The Nebulizer on 06 May 2014 02:00 PM

    It's tempting to look at PAX results for a single event and blame the index for something that appears off. But, the index could be a perfect reflection of reality and we would still see odd things here and there. It's the nature of the imprefect and highly variable data.

     

    What can be done to fix it for an event when it counts? What to do when cars which set the bar are made faster? What to do when the index was not necessarily accurate in the first place? Is the answer really to wait until next year or maybe the year after?

    marka
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    06 May 2014 08:43 PM

    Howdy,

    Posted By Jeff Hurst on 06 May 2014 12:07 PM

    How many others are questioning the index? I know Rick didn't sign up for it but match tours are using it to determine an overall winner. DAX seemed to be headed in the right direction of having something which was manageable throughout the year. 

    3% for STX is a pretty big margin to make up as 3.75 seconds just wasn't out there. As close to the difference of switching to R-Comps.

    Match tours are not using the PAX index to determine an overall champion.  Match tours now use the index only to determine the top 8 from each heat that advance to the shootout.  Once there, they run on their class winners dial in, similar to ProSolo.

    Its also not accidental that heats have classes in them that "go well together" index-wise.


    Its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it isn't just straight PAX indexing either.

    Mark

    (and I'm not meaning to detract from your point here... My CS RX-8 apparently would only speed up less than half a second on a 60 second course if I prepped it for STX.  That seems pretty unlikely to me.  That's assuming, of course, that you think an RX-8 is a competitive car in CS.  I'm very happy to be in a position this year where I don't care if the PAX (or DAX) index is "accurate").

    AceInHole
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    06 May 2014 08:44 PM
    Hurst figured it out: the top 5 raw times were all SM category cars, and 3 of the drivers in my car would've taken the top index (including me despite coning much faster runs). G.J. would also have been there if he wasn't dirty on all 3 day 1 runs, although despite carrying a cone he still would've been 4th overall with the SM index.

    The honest truth? The courses in NJ favored cars on R-comps that were well setup for "roadcourse" elements. The street tire cars just didn't seem to accelerate or brake through the turns and transitions as well, resulting in much lower speeds once you got to the corners that you'd otherwise want to hold a speed through in steady state. Add in a couple spots that having a decent amount of power really helped (hit my 73mph limiter in 2 spots on day 2) and it's easy to see why SM/SSM would do well.

    I think for Match Tours, if the heats are split by category the PAX factor should level out (as you'd be competing with other classes within the category, or hopefully close to it). If the course is well balanced then it's even less of an issue.
    sjfehr
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    06 May 2014 09:13 PM

    I get chastised every time I bring it up, but the only way to have an index that's worth a damn across widely disparate events is to have an index that accounts for surface and course dependencies. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be better than it is now to warrant the change.

    AceInHole
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    06 May 2014 09:40 PM
    Posted By sjfehr on 06 May 2014 09:13 PM

    I get chastised every time I bring it up, but the only way to have an index that's worth a damn across widely disparate events is to have an index that accounts for surface and course dependencies. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be better than it is now to warrant the change.

    A surface modifier you potentially could do with enough events at a given site, but for course dependencies I think there are so many variables that you'd just be introducing more error.  

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