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Last Post 21 Jul 2015 05:51 AM by  Clemens
Solo scoring question: Off course, or not?
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EJEvo
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12 Jul 2015 10:16 PM
    Today during our Solo event, we had a situation that caused some discussion in the timing tent and we still aren't completely sure which way it should go in the books. Our course today had a loop element in it to help extend the run length on our rather small parking lot site. We had a competitor mistakenly do the loop twice, rather than once, and exit on to the rest of the course after accidentally going through the same portion twice. Some of us believed that should be considered an off course, and others felt the run should just be considered a very poor way of completing the course, and the bad time was its own punishment.

    Does anyone know how that should be officially scored?
    rodhx
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    13 Jul 2015 07:19 AM
    That's a DNF. The course was to do the loop once. Doing it twice was off course.
    Clemens
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    13 Jul 2015 09:32 AM
    If in doubt, always consult the rule book:

    7.9.3 Course Deviation
    A “DNF” or a time penalty, if so specified in the supplementary regulations,
    shall be charged for any uncorrected deviation from the course for failing
    to directly follow the prescribed course route from the stage line through
    the timing start line or for unnecessarily delaying the event. A course deviation
    shall not be charged if any part of the car hits a marker defining the
    limits of the course. A DNF is charged only if part of the course is omitted.
    In returning to the course after an off-course excursion, it is acceptable to
    drive a part of the course a second time.

    In this case, it looks like the event officials have some discretion in how to score this incident. In general, you score a DNF when a competitor skips part of the course or takes a shortcut. When leaving the course, it is totally legitimate to re-enter the course "upstream" and run part of the course twice. In this case, the competitor did not take a shortcut, and there was no time advantage by taking the extra run through the loop. However, you have the option to score the run as a DNF due to the delay it caused.

    If you scored the run as a good run, I suggest you let it stand, but, if you run a similar course, with a loop that needs to be completed twice, again in the future, I would communicate upfront that running the loop too many times will result in a DNF. Then, it will be clear, and there will be no arguments.


    Clemens
    EJEvo
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    13 Jul 2015 11:45 PM
    Thanks for the responses. Clemens - your answer is about the same back-n-forth we had in discussing the situation. After reading the book I was still unsure as to how to interpret it. The competitor realized it was a moot point because either way it did not benefit him, but we thought it would be a good situation to better understand in case it happened in the future and the outcome was less clear.
    vreihen
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    Posts:180


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    20 Jul 2015 08:09 PM
    Let me put this out for thought with course designs that include loops in the latter section of a run. In the late 1990's, I was working the course at a neighboring region's event, and they included a big skidpad-type loop right before the finish. They also had multiple cars on course. A slow-moving Yugo went into the circle, with a screaming fast Honda rapidly closing up the gap. As the Yugo was coming out of the circle, the Honda was going in. Only time in 20 years that I have ever seen a vehicle-on-vehicle collision at a Solo event. I saw it coming from my corner station inside the circle, but neither driver saw the red flag that I was waiving.

    Long story short, if you ever need to design a course with a loop or skidpad in it, please put it near the start or else only run one car at a time on the course. The writer's cramp that you save may be your own.....
    Clemens
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    21 Jul 2015 05:51 AM
    Yes, if you have to do a loop, definitely ONLY put it at the beginning of the course and let the car finish the loop and move on into the next section before sending the next car. If somebody ends up running the loop too many times, the only result is that you have to wait an extra 10-15 seconds before you can send the next car if the loop is at the beginning of the course. If the loop is further into the course and you already sent the next car by the time the first exits the loop, running an extra lap becomes a MAJOR safety hazard, and you will become a helpless witness of whatever may happen when two cars are trying to navigate the same part of the course...
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