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helix

Event #10

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Corey    73

Very visually challenging course!  We ended up changing a couple sections at 9:30 AM to assist with the visuals.  I'd like to see less single cones with pointers that constrict the racing line to a tightly-defined path.  Someone on a podcast described a good course as one where if you went wide on a corner/corner exit, you didn't hit anything.  But, the next corner was now harder.  

All in all, another fun day at the track!  Too bloody hot though.  

Here's my 4th and best run: 

 

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helix    1

Could you expand on what you mean by tightly-defined path? Would the use of more chutes & gates help?

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Corey    73

All my opinion, of course... ;)

Tightly defined path: Cones on the outside of corners, and stuff to 'squeeze' through. 

An example is a slalom with the cones offset the easy way. It now becomes a wiggle that greatly rewards the narrow cars (like mine), punishes the wide cars, and leads to lots of spins/dramatic moments as the inputs needed are quick back and forth from the driver. 

Chutes are fine as long as they're as wide, or better yet, wider than the minimum gate spacing. Cone spacing needs to be dense enough that you can see it's not a sea of cones from 50-100' away. 

The chute at 0.09 and 0.29 in the above video was neat as you made an S turn through it. If it was just two cones with pointers it would have been visually different, harder to see, and a little boring. Your original design in that area was neat but too confusing at speed with two possible choices. We changed it to reduce DNFs. 

I like the basic line of most courses, just add some visual variety so it's not the same shape (single cone with a pointer) over and over with erratic spacing and offsets. I find myself doubting if the next two cones are the tight ones or if it's four cones from now. If it's the cone after/before the wall/chute/triangle/whatever, it's easier to remember. 

You'll never make everyone happy with course design. If everyone is complaining equally, but about different things, then you've done a good job! 

Thanks so much for your effort! 

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Magner    69

I didn't participate this weekend, but I will share, Roger Johnson will be featured on Grassroots motorsports LIVE tomorrow night:

Quote

Tomorrow at 9 p.m. on Grassroots Motorsports LIVE! Presented by CRC Industries: Learn how to create the best autocross courses. Roger Johnson will be our guest. He is the most prolific course designer in Tire Rack SCCA Inc. Solo Nationals history, and literally wrote the book on top-notch autocross course design.

https://www.facebook.com/grassrootsmotorsports/

 

If you are interested it what goes into creating a top notch autocross this is will likely be a must watch.

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helix    1

Brian, thank you for the great and detailed feedback you wrote, it is always nice to hear feedback from people with different preference, vehicle and experience level. My personal critic to myself for this particular course is that the visual isn't what I and everyone would desire. My original course design is even more visual challenging as you can see in the video, big thanks to those help fixed the problem on Sunday morning! Cone calls are definitely on the high side and the number of DNFs is crazy!

As I am still leaning on utilizing the entire track and since speed was a big concern in the past, the only way to slow people down is to add extra elements (40 turns instead of the happy 35).

P.S. I would like to know if there is anyone that don't mind coming out to help with course setup and lend their vehicle as the test-drive vehicle for the next couple events (except Gimli), my front tires are down to wire now and I don't have plan to get another pair of RE71 since I am selling the car this summer.

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rjames    3

I will be available the Friday evening before the next event and work just down the road, more then willing to help setup and offer my vehicle as a test mule. 

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Shawn    36
16 hours ago, helix said:

Brian, thank you for the great and detailed feedback you wrote, it is always nice to hear feedback from people with different preference, vehicle and experience level. My personal critic to myself for this particular course is that the visual isn't what I and everyone would desire. My original course design is even more visual challenging as you can see in the video, big thanks to those help fixed the problem on Sunday morning! Cone calls are definitely on the high side and the number of DNFs is crazy!

As I am still leaning on utilizing the entire track and since speed was a big concern in the past, the only way to slow people down is to add extra elements (40 turns instead of the happy 35).

P.S. I would like to know if there is anyone that don't mind coming out to help with course setup and lend their vehicle as the test-drive vehicle for the next couple events (except Gimli), my front tires are down to wire now and I don't have plan to get another pair of RE71 since I am selling the car this summer.

Slowing people down does not require more elements although that is one way to do it. You just have to adjust the element spacing/position to control speeds. Also, don't confuse adding cones with adding elements. Some of the changes we made to the design on Saturday was removing cones that didn't affect the line.

The number of DNFs were pretty high and that was after we made changes to help with reading the course.

I apologize that you have not had the benefit of "apprenticing" for a couple of years like many of us have which makes it difficult to know the tricks of the trade. However, I also know that you want to do this alone for the most part but there are plenty of people that want to help, not only with hauling cones, but also with course design.

One suggestion that I would have at this point is to go back to basics. Instead of focusing on trying to make courses visually different than things we have seen in the past or trying a lot of new element designs, try just using simple designs/elements so the courses are really easy to read and have a nice flow. Don't try to control the line a car will drive by using extra cones, let the drivers find the line. Don't feel you have to use the whole track especially if the speeds are lower. You can compress the elements together...you don't have to go to the 1300' mark in the North section every time. Personally, I also try to have "themes" on my courses as much as possible. For example, I might have a section where I use double pointer slaloms (two cones with pointers in the same direction) and I will try to have a series of them so that they don't appear to be random. With slaloms I try to stick with the 3 basic types: evenly spaced, increasing or decreasing. I try to avoid randomly spaced slaloms. If you are going for an offset slaloms, again make it consistent and don't make the offset too harsh either way. Too open of a slalom promotes spins and too harsh of an offset is just painful.

You know that I am always willing to come out and lend some advice and a helping hand.

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Jim Eh.    150

I dont know about anyone else but i would like to thank you for your contributions. I like all of your courses. They are different, challenging and provoke a lot of comments - sometimes good & some not so. And like Corey said the rating of any setup will always be a personal.preference by each driver.

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helix    1
On 8/2/2017 at 10:05 PM, rjames said:

I will be available the Friday evening before the next event and work just down the road, more then willing to help setup and offer my vehicle as a test mule. 

Hello Ryan, I won't be setting up the course Friday evening as it will be looked after by instructors that teach on Saturday.

I do however will get there on Saturday around 3:30pm to setup and tweak Sunday's course, no problem at all if you can't make it.

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