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O'fest autoX and TSD rally

Discussion in 'Oktoberfest 2009' started by EuroWerkz1, Jul 8, 2009.

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    EuroWerkz1

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    I and many of the O'fest attendees would like to see some minor changes in some of the events to make them more fun friendly.

    The autocross is always a good event but it would be great to see many more novice and first time attendees enjoy the event, and we see so many walking away very frustrated. I would like to see the course marked with tape as to define the lane. Getting lost is very frustrating for the amateurs and running them off from this activity (usually forever) is not good business. I'm quite sure the AutoX course designers can mark the lanes yet still provide enough challenge to the autoX cross experts among the membership. (Scott. Alex.TC, Pete, to name a few)

    The TSD rally is going to be from base camp to Spartanburg this year, and a very cool idea. However it would be great to for-go the 2 to a car rule at least for the non-expert non-equipped classes so that couples could do the event together. Heck, I never thought more eyes was much of a TSD advantage regardless, so why not look at this event with a bit more of an open mind at least in the lower classes of competiton.

    Just a few cents worth,
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    CSBM5

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    SCCA events around here sometimes use chalk to mark the course. I have no issue with that other than making sure that novice course workers know that crossing that "chalk" line is NOT a DNF. As much as people have tried, it seems that novices still don't understand a DNF is only missing a gate or required cone, and I see them calling in a DNF on a car that never did so. [/rant off]
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    CRKrieger

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    I've heard that dragging a scrap hunk of drywall around the course (on edge) provides a nice mark lots cheaper than chalk.

    As for proper DNF calls, it shouldn't be too hard to find one experienced driver for each station ... or maybe not. :rolleyes:
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    conechaser

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    We use flour just like SCCA Nationals does. Lay a line down and the run a broom over it to widen it out. Easily obtained at most any grocery store and no lime dust to burn ones eyes. It's also biodegradable.

    Doug, I totally agree that the course design for O'fest autoX should be easy for Novices to follow. I was an instructor for the non-M day at last years event at Watkins Glen and I can vouch for the confusion on the faces of some of the overwhelmed drivers who this was their first ever autoX. An easy to follow course does not have to be boring nor have a single line thru it. It can also be designed to lead everyone thru it without DNF'ing but have hidden elements that the "fast guys" will pick up on. One element should lead/flow to the next without having to search for it. Another issue is that course designers also like to put gates every 20-30 feet but the with of the gates appear to be about the same dimention which confuses new drivers. Lines can make a difference, but they are not the silver bullet to solving the problem either... and a course designer can not depend on the lines to get people thru a difficult course. What happens when it rains? The lines are washed away and now you can have a sea of cones scenario.

    There is an EXCELLENT course design handbook done by Roger Johnson from the Houston region of SCCA that can be found on the bottom of this page: http://www.houscca.com/solo/courses.asp

    Having expirenced people as a corner captain should help out with cone penalty calls and DNF calls. Perhaps a handout to give to people (or put it in their registration packet!) on what constitutes a pylon penalty and what a course error is. (And how to correct it so you don't get a DNF) It could also give a brief description of how to work corners. (1. be safe, 2. watch the cones & not cars, 3. how to call in a penalty, etc...)

    Could the TSD rally have an additional "Tour" class that could allow more than 2 passengers but not be entered into the "competition" classes? Kind of a run for fun and get you to the end. Maybe don't allow any equipment of any kind other than the clock on the dash?

    By the way... everything we talked about about making the autoX easy to follow... should apply to the TDS rally as well. The goal is to make sure everyone gets to every checkpoint and definately to the end! If the route is trapped the traps need to be 100% looped and the logic behind them needs to be simple. The novice needs to read the checkpoint slip and understand how they made their mistake. It should be a slap on forhead D'oh! moment for missing something simple instead of a scratch the head and still not understand how/why they are max late/early. In other words... paint a green line down the middle of the road for people to follow. Don't play to the Zero Hero guys with the A boxes.
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    EuroWerkz1

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    Yes, add Jan to that list of Fast Friends.
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    steven s

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    This year we will have a trophy class for non-BMWs.
    We are also going to have a rookie class for those who never participated in an autocross.

    I'd like to see members allowed to take instructors rather than chalking the outlines of the course.
    The hosting chapter dedicates a lot of time hosting an event and it is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

    Thank you Peachtree Chapter!
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    conechaser

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    Last year, we instructors rode with novices as many times as they wanted one. I don't know if any novices were allowed to ride with expirienced drivers though. Instructors are important to have for novices... but so is having the course marked. An excellent course design is better yet. I don't remember if there was a Novice meeting or not last year. In my local region, before the main all drivers meeting we have a Novice meeting. This is where we go over the pylon and DNF rules and how to signal them, red flag situations, where and how to come to grid, and then walk the course showing them where it goes and what to look for. We also have given out a sheet illustrating the down and out rule for hit cones, DNF and how to correct, and how to work a corner.

    Absolutely! The local chapters deserve the kudos. Lots of work for a difficult event. (lots of newbies and lots of people who may do things differently "back home") They can look at last years event for what happens when you think that all the people know what the "local rules" are. (this is starting to sound like the discussion going on in the other O'fest AutoX thread)

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