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Corey

Event #4 at Gimli

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Wow!  I LOVE Gimli!  Smooth, open course design possibilities, grippy, and part of the bigger WSCC club event so you have a constant background of road racing just behind us.  I vote to move as many events out there as possible!  Food is complicated (I'll pack a lunch next time), and you're kind of trapped until there's a break in the action.  Still worth it!  

My 4th run: (52.3)

 

My 3rd fun run: (51.3)

 

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Damn, why did I have to get sick Friday night! That course looks like fun...and not just one sweeper and no more first gear pivots! 

 

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So is it smoother then many recalled? 

Looks like fun.  Did you double over the same section twice? We should post up course maps with these event threads :) 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, MRS Joe said:

So is it smoother then many recalled? 

Whiners gonna whine! ;)  There were some cracks that looked rough but they were barely noticeable in my car with minimal suspension travel. Everyone I spoke with said the same thing. It's dramatically smoother than St. Andrews and has more grip. 

Yes, we did the 2 fast Chicago boxes / slalom twice. 

Oh, and I forgot to say a HUGE thanks to Shawn! He cleaned the weeds, made an awesome course, set up early Saturday morning, and etc.  He's making autocross great again. 

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The surface far exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to go back.

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1 hour ago, justkickin said:

Damn, why did I have to get sick Friday night! That course looks like fun...and not just one sweeper and no more first gear pivots! 

The 2 pivots still required 1st for most. Maybe you could stay in 2nd if you have that torque thing that I've heard about. 

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If we are going to invest in asphalt repairs it might be better on that surface? Is there other access roads in to that part of the site?

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I keep trying to post in this thread but keep getting errors. It appears that when the forum software tried to embed the video it fails.

Here is my fourth and fastest run of the day (until I shaved another 2 tenths off on my 1 fun run of course):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DktREMrrMXk

Here is a link to my various course map files. This is the first time I have shared documents like this so please let me know if you can see them.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8B9UShCfDHAMDJ6RkJOSEY5Z1E?usp=sharing

 

If you look at the Excel file that I used to build the original map (yeah I know, not very fitting software), I actually had to strip 300' out of the design just because I ran out of time to clean that portion of the track.

Like St. Andrews there are certain things that we have to look out for. Some of the cracks are patched in the middle where the drag strip run-out area is and we got lucky for the most part that the course lined up with it. I think we could go up to 1600' next time if we can clean the track of more grass; this time we only went to 1300'.

Lunch I think is an easy work around, we can simply start racing at 1 so that we can join Road Race for their lunch break at 12-1. Problem solved. Or we can start racing at 11 so that we end the first run group around noon, but I figured with being even further out of the city, I didn't want to force people into waking up too early. Either works for me as I was on site by 7:15.

There actually is a different access road and we were planning to us it. Mat from road race was busting his ass trying to get it done for us but I told him to just leave it for this event. On Friday night at 9:30 he was heading back out to try to finish in the dark at the expense of getting his race car back together so he could race. So a huge thank-you to him. I will post up a map of the road but that road will give direct access to our site so we can come and go as we please. Part of the road is heavily potholed which is what Mat was fixing and by the time we get back there in August it should be finished and have had some traffic on it from the drift crew to pack it down. For those that don't want to use that access road can continue to use the main entrance and we just have to coordinate with race control.

Speaking of that, like Corey said, I enjoyed the racing atmosphere out at Gimli, although talking was difficult sometimes when cars are accelerating out the front straight...damn some of those cars are loud. I also enjoyed to formality of coordinating with race control to time crossings to and from the gate and the general race chatter over the radio. And a big thank-you to all the road racers and crew that shared the day with us and guiding me through the processes...I think it worked out well.

Regarding repairs, we should totally talk to road race and drift about this. As part of the rental agreement we have we pay toward venue development. I would like to see some of the development happen on the skid pad since that is the surface we use and drift uses. We can look at spending some (all?) of our venue refurbishment budget out at Gimli too and I suspect we should get a small committee of our own together to see what we should spend and where. I have been working on a plan for fixing some of St. Andrews and in fact have a proposal from St. Andrews regarding that, but I think now that we have had an event out at Gimli and it is not as horrible as some suggested it is, we should discuss options.

 

Shawn

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Damn, I was hoping to get out to Gimli this past weekend, since I haven't been to another event since the first one of the year. Though, I'm horrible at pivot turns...

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Excellent course design Shawn.   Thanks for all your efforts to make this event happen.  I also preferred the Gimli site over St. Andrews.

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12 hours ago, Corey said:

Whiners gonna whine! ;)  There were some cracks that looked rough but they were barely noticeable in my car with minimal suspension travel. Everyone I spoke with said the same thing. It's dramatically smoother than St. Andrews and has more grip.

:lol:

Saying something is smoother than St. Andrews is like saying someone is hotter than Miley Cyrus. It doesn't take very much to accomplish that. (My apologies to anyone who thinks Miley Cyrus is attractive :P)

Also, it's easy for someone with a dedicated race car to dismiss the condition of a surface and call everyone else whiners. If I had a dedicated race car, I wouldn't care as much about the surface either.

I get it, we have 2 options to race on and Gimli appears to be the better of the 2. But let's be honest, we are still behind what other cities are racing on and people who genuinely care about their vehicles will still hesitate when considering racing on the Gimli surface.

I feel bad for the current string of auto-cross directors, ever since the RRX days, it's been a significantly more difficult job trying to find good venues and boosting attendance.

Slightly off-topic, are we able to use the GMP road circuit for auto-cross on weekends where there is no road racing happening? Or is GMP being used on those weekends for other events (ie: drag racing)? Or is that just not an option at all due to timing issues/constraints?

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9 hours ago, nishanna said:

Also, it's easy for someone with a dedicated race car to dismiss the condition of a surface and call everyone else whiners. If I had a dedicated race car, I wouldn't care as much about the surface either.

Point taken with Miss Cyrus... LOL!

But you're missing my point. An inconsequential bump in a street car is terrifying in my new toy. So I care more than you do. Well, apparently not, but I should. 

The surface at Gimli is pretty darn good. I remembered it being rough from 10 years ago, but I think the drag racers fixed the worst spots. It's not as nice as the runway in Fort MacLeod nor Lincoln Airpark, but it's local and doesn't damage cars. 

I suspect there's nothing I can say to change your mind, so I'll just stop there. I vote to race on the smoother and wider of our two choices. 

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@nishanna 

With your Rolodex of contacts, don't happen to know anyone paving a large surface for a building/venue in the city that would forgo light standards in favour of renting it to us for a nominal fee?

Our city put a stadium site in a questionable location with no parking. If this was the US, we would have a massive lot to rent to race on. If the downs replaced the front lot, that would work, but they never will. No development currently coming up would work for us that I'm aware of.

Everything on the poo lot got smeared by the city, and that was the ideal venue (so much so the cops use it instead of rrx now) 

Running the road race track is hard to do for the exec. Other weekends other groups outside of the wscc have it rented during the summer. the late event is hard to orchestrate and run, especially so when the complaints come of being shorted a run or that some people are getting 4 reruns. There is no test time on the timing gear, it's just a go go go rush that takes a ton of people going out the day before. They build, test, and then prepaint a course so it can be rebuilt in the allotted 45 minute window before we go live on the event day. 

I like the road course autox courses, but the legwork to make them happen may not be in the cards any longer.  

I just want to be able to get to one event at this point.... :P

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11 hours ago, nishanna said:

:lol:

Saying something is smoother than St. Andrews is like saying someone is hotter than Miley Cyrus. It doesn't take very much to accomplish that. (My apologies to anyone who thinks Miley Cyrus is attractive :P)

Also, it's easy for someone with a dedicated race car to dismiss the condition of a surface and call everyone else whiners. If I had a dedicated race car, I wouldn't care as much about the surface either.

I get it, we have 2 options to race on and Gimli appears to be the better of the 2. But let's be honest, we are still behind what other cities are racing on and people who genuinely care about their vehicles will still hesitate when considering racing on the Gimli surface.

I feel bad for the current string of auto-cross directors, ever since the RRX days, it's been a significantly more difficult job trying to find good venues and boosting attendance.

Slightly off-topic, are we able to use the GMP road circuit for auto-cross on weekends where there is no road racing happening? Or is GMP being used on those weekends for other events (ie: drag racing)? Or is that just not an option at all due to timing issues/constraints?

I don't have a dedicated race car and was quite impressed by the surface. Some bumps looked a bit questionable when doing my course walk but I didn't notice anything when driving. Sure, we're behind some places in available facilities but unless there's a plan for a big piece of concrete to be laid down somewhere, we have to work with what we have.

Definitely pumped for the next Gimli event, I preferred this area to the road course myself. I'd rather not have the interruption of cones if I'm on the road course :)

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I'm relatively new but have been to both sites this year and Gimli certainly was no worse/on par with St Andrews surface wise and is a wide area to work with. Thanks to all that set up and organized the event I really enjoyed Saturday's event............maybe we should let everyone think Gimli isn't that great more fun runs at the end of the day. But in all seriousness great course and great day. 

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Corey said:

But you're missing my point. An inconsequential bump in a street car is terrifying in my new toy. So I care more than you do. Well, apparently not, but I should. 

The surface at Gimli is pretty darn good. I remembered it being rough from 10 years ago, but I think the drag racers fixed the worst spots. It's not as nice as the runway in Fort MacLeod nor Lincoln Airpark, but it's local and doesn't damage cars. 

I suspect there's nothing I can say to change your mind, so I'll just stop there. I vote to race on the smoother and wider of our two choices. 

What I meant was that extra wear & tear from a poor track surface on a dedicated race car is likely less concerning than to someone who is racing their street car.

Like I said, I get it, between the 2 available options, Gimli is the better surface and it's all we have. My argument is that it still isn't good enough to attract more of the general public, including myself, and to label us as whiners for that isn't really fair.

14 hours ago, MRS Joe said:

@nishanna 

With your Rolodex of contacts, don't happen to know anyone paving a large surface for a building/venue in the city that would forgo light standards in favour of renting it to us for a nominal fee?

Everything on the poo lot got smeared by the city, and that was the ideal venue (so much so the cops use it instead of rrx now)

My "rolodex" is the reason we had a shot at the poo lot. I did what I could to help back then and I would now if I came across an opportunity. Unfortunately, those chances rarely come along and it's too bad we lost that chance.

Edited by nishanna
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8 minutes ago, nishanna said:

What I meant was that extra wear & tear from a poor track surface on a dedicated race car is likely less concerning than to someone who is racing their street car.

Why would that be? 

- Parts availability for a car hand-built in Indiana by one guy vs. a mass-produced car with a dealership network? 

- Durability of a car that's built to a maximum weight (with lead ballast) for driving on a race track vs. one built for driving on public roads? 

I get your major point: You don't believe the risk is worth it based on your priorities. That's where we differ: I feel that risk is approximately the same or less when compared to driving any car on MB roads.

Gimli is not a 'poor' surface. It's a great surface if the course designers can avoid the few rough spots. Those rough spots are still nicer than parts of my drive to work. 

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You can't compare a drive to work on public roads to racing on a crappy (or not crappy) surface. You can actively dodge potholes and other junk on city streets, and you're not driving balls-out on city streets where a bumpy surface would cause the most damage. Apples and oranges as far as I'm concerned.

I think what Nish is getting at is that if you destroy a dedicated race car, you still have another car to drive you to work in the morning. Destroying your daily driven street car on a shi!tty surface while racing would be a much larger and costlier inconvenience.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Corey said:

Why would that be? 

- Parts availability for a car hand-built in Indiana by one guy vs. a mass-produced car with a dealership network? 

- Durability of a car that's built to a maximum weight (with lead ballast) for driving on a race track vs. one built for driving on public roads? 

I get your major point: You don't believe the risk is worth it based on your priorities. That's where we differ: I feel that risk is approximately the same or less when compared to driving any car on MB roads.

Gimli is not a 'poor' surface. It's a great surface if the course designers can avoid the few rough spots. Those rough spots are still nicer than parts of my drive to work. 

Just because a car is mass-produced, doesn't mean the parts are easy to come by and cheap. A set of struts for certain street vehicles could cost more than many dedicated race cars.

I agree some public roads are much worse than the Gimli surface. However, when you're driving to work are you at WOT or using maximum brake force and also turning? Hitting a bump on your way to work driving in a straight line at 50km/h is different than slamming on your brakes and aggressively turning over that same bump...repeatedly. Which I think is also what Kosta explained.

Gimli is a great surface when compared to St. Andrews. Take the comparison outside the borders of Manitoba and you won't be able to say that. I'll just leave it as I completely agree that Gimli looks like the best option we have right now, but that doesn't make it a satisfactory venue for everybody.

Depending on the race dates, I plan on making the trip out and seeing for myself.

Edited by nishanna
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I understand and feel for everyone who has concerns. 

I think we choose to autox vs road race or time attack as the risks are lower, the stress on daily driven or expensive toys is lower, and we refuse to do without any motorsports activity. 

 Even brainerd which is nice track has risks, and this one wasn't a crazy one in any way during solo laping  

 
Running the road race track even as autox speeds/configuration, has less room for error and greater risk during an off as we use every inch of the track width for elements, and once off who knows what divot, mound, etc lies in the grass   

I think we need to be grateful for what's available and each person needs to make there individual assessment of the risks vs rewards of competing no matter where we do it. Some will just choose to scrutinize more closely as the risks are higher. 

I totally understand the current concerns at rrx, and am surprised we raced as many years as we did there with so few incidents. Some of it was course design, and some sheer luck. 

Ill be out at gimli as soon as time allows and look forward very much to it!

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Nish and Kosta - I'm done.  I can't fathom someone 'destroying' any car over a 2" wide x 1/2" deep crack. 

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I started writing this 2 days ago but have not had time to finish until now:

I think the issue is that the complaints of Gimli suggested that it was worse than St. Andrews and generally I don't think so. The grip levels might have improved from prior years because they used a power sweeper to clear off most of the loose debris. It's also possible some of the patching at Gimli was done after the last time an event was held there in that spot. I had never previously attended an event there so I can't speak to it.

Is Gimli perfect? No. There are some bad spots that should be avoided but they don't seem too terribly bad. The extra real estate is really nice to have.

Personally, I hate the RRX lot. The last time I raced there I said I never wanted to go back (unless we had access to a different lot) and that had nothing to do with the big dip that threatened to take out the bottom of a few cars before we changed the course. I was thankful I was not in that first run group and feel bad for those that experienced it. There are far too many really bad spots that could kill a car like those square pits that were covered by plywood. I also think it is bumpier than St. Andrews. Back in the day when I first started in racing, RRX was much better but time has been cruel to it. Even if we hadn't lost that venue for weekend events, I would not be opting to use that lot in it's current condition. Which is too bad because I am very close to RRX...it would be so damn convenient.

St Andrews is bad in that we have a limited amount of space on an already narrow track because of having to avoid the problem areas. I like St Andrews fine enough and maybe it is a case of "the devil you know".

I would like to do more events at Gimli but the issue is the logistics of getting all the equipment there. I think if we wanted to do more events then we need to look at not taking the timing trailer but rather the small trailer and running the event under our tent. I think it would be a lot easier then to get the equipment up and back.

Regarding the road course this was entirely my call this year to not use the road course for the following reasons:

  1. We were at risk of losing St. Andrews at the end of 2017 and I needed to look at alternate locations that could be used other than what we have already tried
  2. Getting access to GMP to do course design is difficult as we have had to try to fit it in during an hour long lunch break which is near impossible even with a team of people doing it
  3. Course design guidelines can't be followed. We are supposed to have at 15' from an element to the edge of the track but the road course is 28' wide so even just putting cones in the middle violates that guideline. That means we push the boundaries quite a bit to provide some elements that are still fun to drive.
  4. Timing issues because of the distance of the start and finish from each other
  5. Setting up the course for the event after road race is chaotic and again requires a team of people

I really like driving the road course. It's fun and fast but I can also go out and do hot laps if I wanted to get some of that speed. We might have a solution for the timing errors in that we just purchased all new equipment with double the transmitting power and a nifty high gain omni directional antenna that we have to mount still.

Regarding other times, we can't use the track on any weekend that the drag race crew has the track rented, however we might be able to use the skid pad (that's what they call the area we used on Saturday) when the motorcycles are there, but we would have to check with them. Knowing that we had some success this past weekend, I would like to look at running the next event out of the small trailer to see if it could be done and that would set us up for next year. The remainder of this year the drift crew has booked the Saturdays of the road race weekends but we could still do something on a Sunday. 

 

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Just wanted to give some feedback and my opinion on Gimli's autocross. It was a great course and everybody I spoke to seemed to love it the larger course. In the past, I have found some of the St Andrews courses more conducive to smaller agile cars. Gimli gave us guys with wider/high horsepower cars a chance to use some of that horsepower while still allowing the smaller lower horsepower cars to be extremely competitive. I felt it was a very well rounded course for everyone and that appears to be the trend since Shawn (and whoever has worked with him) has been setting up the courses. I realize there is a lot more work involved bringing the trailer out to Gimli and setting up by several of you but I would love to see more events out there. Thanks guys for putting together another great event,

 

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8 hours ago, Corey said:

Nish and Kosta - I'm done.  I can't fathom someone 'destroying' any car over a 2" wide x 1/2" deep crack. 

Me too. To be clear, I didn't use that word and I think you're also taking it too literally. I also talk to Kosta on a regular basis and know that he likes to use the word "destroy" a lot :lol:

8 hours ago, codewhore said:

Regarding the road course this was entirely my call this year to not use the road course for the following reasons:

  1. We were at risk of losing St. Andrews at the end of 2017 and I needed to look at alternate locations that could be used other than what we have already tried
  2. Getting access to GMP to do course design is difficult as we have had to try to fit it in during an hour long lunch break which is near impossible even with a team of people doing it
  3. Course design guidelines can't be followed. We are supposed to have at 15' from an element to the edge of the track but the road course is 28' wide so even just putting cones in the middle violates that guideline. That means we push the boundaries quite a bit to provide some elements that are still fun to drive.
  4. Timing issues because of the distance of the start and finish from each other
  5. Setting up the course for the event after road race is chaotic and again requires a team of people

Thanks for the detailed response Shawn. I don't think anyone is suggesting going back to RRX, including myself. Like you said, as fun and convenient as RRX is, that surface has significantly degraded over time.

I'm disappointed AX on the road circuit is no longer an option, but I understand your reasons and they make total sense. I'll come out to the second Gimli event as I'm now very curious to try it out.

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Posted (edited)

I think I'll also come out to the 2nd Gimli event to see what all the fuss is about, and see if that end of the runway (which was crap 12+ years ago) is as good as you all say it is now.

And I'll destroy you all with my FTD in the process.

Edited by Brian_Earl_Spilner

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