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Event #3 Jun 10, 2018 Feedback


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Weebly Report Event #3 Jun 10, 2018

Hey everyone,

Hope we all had a good time at our third event. We’re looking for some feedback as to how the course layout suited you and your car.

 I’ve added some ratings for cone penalties and DNF’s in this report so that we can establish a ratio based on number of entrants and runs.  The low, medium, and high ratings are arbitrary (best guess) at this point.  Any experienced members willing to offer comment on how to adjust the ratings would be appreciated.

Course Facts

·         The course was laid out over 2045’

·         Turns - 39

·         Total official runs – 156

·         Fastest run time (raw) – 66.5 seconds

·         Median run time (raw) – 73.5 seconds

·         10 DNF’s (10/156 = 6.4% - low)

·         88 cone penalties (88/156 = 56% - high)

 

DNF Legend (DNF’s/runs)

0-10% = low

11-20% = medium

21-30% - high

>30% = excessive

 

Cone Penalties Legend (cones/runs)

0-25% = low

26-50% = medium

51-75% - high

>75% = excessive

 

Course Feedback

Here are some of the things you can consider for comment:

·         How would you rate the overall experience on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best?

·         Which parts did you like?

·         Which parts did you not like?

·         Any suggestions for improvement?

Does anyone have in-car video that they’d be willing to upload to this topic and share?

Thanks, and we’re hoping to see you all at the next event, Jun 24th- double-header at Gimli!

Brian

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For the 2.4 runs I had ... fun but a little slalom rich. Not much in change up. The change in pacing on the "expensive" slalom series early in the north section was challenging.  Initially I thought the termination on the far side of the track was going to be an issue and although it may have added the need to space competitors more no safety issues came up that I am aware of.

From what I remember, section 5 brought about the highest cone count and DNFs but I could not tell exactly what part of section 5 brought that about. I do know visually going into the south pivot looked a little strange to me but the trick was to look ahead (as always) to look for the directional layover cones in the very back or simply know in your mind which direction it was suppose to follow.

Nice little challenge in the change up just south of the start line caught more than one or a dozen drivers off guard. The only real cross track change and I guess that's why.

Not intentional to just give criticisms, (more like just observations). I am not able to provide any real solutions.

The only change in the rating system I could suggest is to track the ratio of DNFs between the classes. A lot of work I know just interesting to compare between layouts.

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I didn't like the "hairpin" start.

Aside from that, I liked the course but could just not get the hang of it. Not sure why, but I just wasn't "feeling" it.  That's my problem, though, as Curtis and others obviously "felt" it :D

 

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Weebly, the DNF target should be lower. >20% seems like an excessive amount. Maybe 0-5%, 6-10%, 11-20%, >20%? Cone targets seem high as well.

The start was fine and a mix of that style with some faster ones keeps things fair.

The 5-4-3-2-1 slalom padded the total cone count.

The course flowed well but there wasn't a lot of line selection or change in speed. That helps smaller, lighter cars. *cough, thanks*

Most of the dnf's I saw were caused by not looking far enough ahead in the South end.

A pinch before the finish line is not ideal.

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My two cents, and no, not because I drive a Vette. 

The start was brutal. You were well passed the timing lights before you could get on the gas. Put the lights after the hairpin/90 degree turn and now I don't mind the start. 

The course had no line selection. I know this is tough to get at St Andrew's, but we have done it.

There were no real speed changes or acceleration/braking areas, lots of coasting areas for speed maintenance though. This was definitely a momentum course which tends to favor smaller cars. Not necessarily a bad thing, our design team seems to do well balancing the different course types over a year which is fine. 

The tightness of the course is indicated in the cone count. It should not be that high. I don't think my car had one clean run out of 8, that never happens. Some other cars only had 1 clean run, that also should never happen. 

I really did not like that finish. That pinch at the end was awful and scary as hell in my car. No way I could do it with speed and not be that guy that killed the timing gear. The only cars going through there easily were small low hp cars or AWD cars. 

Not sure if this will work, but here is a link to my fastest scratch time, a 66.260 on my OneDrive. If this doesn't work, I can get it to YouTube and relink. Unfortunately Chris stopped hitting the record button on his faster runs. 

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AiQQ7vcHahKvgdA1GCD6y4f9i_pQQw 

 

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Well I am 100% to blame for the poor course. The funny thing is that I took a course from last year that most people loved and tweaked it...and in doing so wrecked it. Being a little rusty on courses this year I think I forgot what's tight and what isn't. Plenty of times people have commented that I must be a masochist as the courses I design sometimes really hurt me in my land yacht race car. 

@justkickin I am curious about the start comments. Was the issue that you want to be accelerating through the start lights and not that the sharp turn was too sharp? If so, that's interesting. Agreed that you couldn't put power down until after the turn.

The pinch at the end was worse than expected and it is one of the toughest aspects of building a finish...designing a finish that keeps speeds in check without making it a risk for spinning or hitting timing gear and making courses different enough that it's not always the same thing.

And if it's any consolation, my times were way off the mark this event. I looked at my videos and they are just brutal. Terrible line, 12" off of most cones, not looking ahead, blah, blah, blah. I was so unhappy with how I drove. 

I do appreciate the feedback and I like to know what people like and don't like...I'm sure once I cry myself to sleep tonight I'll be fine. 8-)

I hope to do better with Gimli in a couple weeks.

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@Shawn, certainly not blaming anyone, nor is that my intent. No need to cry yourself to sleep because of the course...your driving...well yeah it earned it..lol.

You interpreted correctly. While not a fan of how tight the start was, I can live with it. The fact that you were well passed the lights before you could start accelerating is kind of like having to hit the brakes before the finish lights (i.e., think the days of the short stop boxes...or was that another car club..lol). It just isn't racing IMHO. 

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@Shawn I'm not looking to blame anyone either. I know how hard course design can be. I've moistened a pillow or two in the past as well. :/  I wish I had asked for and received more direct to the point feedback. Questions were asked, I answered.

 

@justkickin I started accelerating as soon as the starter told me I could go. I'm pretty sure that was before the start light. lol

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 11:07 AM, Jim Eh. said:

For the 2.4 runs I had ... fun but a little slalom rich. Not much in change up. The change in pacing on the "expensive" slalom series early in the north section was challenging.  Initially I thought the termination on the far side of the track was going to be an issue and although it may have added the need to space competitors more no safety issues came up that I am aware of.

From what I remember, section 5 brought about the highest cone count and DNFs but I could not tell exactly what part of section 5 brought that about. I do know visually going into the south pivot looked a little strange to me but the trick was to look ahead (as always) to look for the directional layover cones in the very back or simply know in your mind which direction it was suppose to follow.

Nice little challenge in the change up just south of the start line caught more than one or a dozen drivers off guard. The only real cross track change and I guess that's why.

Not intentional to just give criticisms, (more like just observations). I am not able to provide any real solutions.

The only change in the rating system I could suggest is to track the ratio of DNFs between the classes. A lot of work I know just interesting to compare between layouts.

Good comments Jim! … much appreciated.

I'm green at course design (basically just pull the cone wagon for the person doing the layout) but I feel it is a very important element of the sport and extremely difficult to please all people and car types.

The "expansive" 5-4-3-2-1 wall slalom on the north side was designed to "tighten-up" going in and "open-up" on the return.  If I remember correctly the spacing (going north) was 75', 70', 70', 60'.  Shawn, please correct if I'm wrong.

Jim, also a good comment on the finish being on the east side of the course.  I believe this is only the second time we've used this design in the last couple of years.  Seems to work and doesn't present a safety issue, so you may see it again in the future.  I was watching the release of cars at the start and it didn't seem to add a delay to the event.  Basically, cars were released at the start as soon the  car on track entered the south hairpin.  However, having said that, it did cause us to issue our one and only red flag when cones were taken out at the finish.  More on that later.

Regarding your comments on Section 5 (south end) are valid.  I worked Section 5 briefly during one session and did witness one car get a DNF for  going in the opposite direction around the hairpin.  Shawn and I looked at the offset going into the hairpin during course layout and although that the last pointer cone was positioned in the center of the course, it was hoped that people would look ahead and see the three laydown cones.  Also, the course walk would reinforce that this is a typical course design with the north and south hairpin entries being on the same side.  In this event, that would be the east side.

Jim, your last comment about DNF's versus class ratings is noted.  I had already assessed the number of novices that racked up DNF's and compared it to the rest of the entries and yes, of course, novices had the most DNF's.  I will consider including that information in my next report.  Thanks.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:11 PM, Curtis said:

Weebly, the DNF target should be lower. >20% seems like an excessive amount. Maybe 0-5%, 6-10%, 11-20%, >20%? Cone targets seem high as well.

The start was fine and a mix of that style with some faster ones keeps things fair.

The 5-4-3-2-1 slalom padded the total cone count.

The course flowed well but there wasn't a lot of line selection or change in speed. That helps smaller, lighter cars. *cough, thanks*

Most of the dnf's I saw were caused by not looking far enough ahead in the South end.

A pinch before the finish line is not ideal.

Thanks for your input Curtis.  The DNF and cone targets I chose were based on events from last year.  You would be surprised (or maybe not) to see a huge discrepancy in these % ratings based on the various course designs.  I'm trying to establish a "norm" and I will adjust these ratings in future reports.

Comment about the start are very important and something that the course designers are monitoring closely.  This all came about from comments last year that "drag strip" starts favour high HP cars and AWD cars and isn't fair to the majority of the vehicles in the field.  Also, it adds to clutch and drivetrain wear issues.  You wouldn't believe how many times we run the start during course layout and adjust and readjust the positioning of the first pointer cone and the timing lights.  During my stint as Station 3 marshal, I saw the pointer cone hit twice and the timing light box cone hit once.

Regarding the 5-4-3-2-1 slalom cones padding the cone count, please see my reply to Jim.

And lastly, the "pinch before the end".  Yeah, that's our bad.  There was  considerable attention given to this element during course layout, but it's one of those things where you're trying to provide a safe finish entry speed, but not introduce a steering input that could result in a spin. 

Safety is number one priority (fun is a close #2) when designing a course.  That's why we're asking for feedback.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:42 PM, justkickin said:

My two cents, and no, not because I drive a Vette. 

The start was brutal. You were well passed the timing lights before you could get on the gas. Put the lights after the hairpin/90 degree turn and now I don't mind the start. 

The course had no line selection. I know this is tough to get at St Andrew's, but we have done it.

There were no real speed changes or acceleration/braking areas, lots of coasting areas for speed maintenance though. This was definitely a momentum course which tends to favor smaller cars. Not necessarily a bad thing, our design team seems to do well balancing the different course types over a year which is fine. 

The tightness of the course is indicated in the cone count. It should not be that high. I don't think my car had one clean run out of 8, that never happens. Some other cars only had 1 clean run, that also should never happen. 

I really did not like that finish. That pinch at the end was awful and scary as hell in my car. No way I could do it with speed and not be that guy that killed the timing gear. The only cars going through there easily were small low hp cars or AWD cars. 

Not sure if this will work, but here is a link to my fastest scratch time, a 66.260 on my OneDrive. If this doesn't work, I can get it to YouTube and relink. Unfortunately Chris stopped hitting the record button on his faster runs. 

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AiQQ7vcHahKvgdA1GCD6y4f9i_pQQw 

 

Tim,

Good to see feedback from "people in the know".

First let me qualify my feedback report by saying that I am a novice on course design and have a lot to learn. However, I will be using this forum topic as a tool to better understand what works and what doesn't.  Although my role is not course design, I am out there with the course designer and am very aware of the difficulty of setting a course that both flows smoothly and at the same time offers challenges.

Your comment about line selection caught me flat-footed and wasn't even something that I considered as an important element of course design.  I'll defer to the experts on that one.  If this were analogous to road racing, I'm assuming you would like to see some flexibility in turn-in, apex, and exit points.  But you're right - how do you that on a 75' wide track?

Regarding your comment on the finish - please see my reply to Curtis.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 4:27 PM, bluesi92 said:

I didn't like the "hairpin" start.

Aside from that, I liked the course but could just not get the hang of it. Not sure why, but I just wasn't "feeling" it.  That's my problem, though, as Curtis and others obviously "felt" it :D

 

Thanks for the feedback Nick!

I'm assuming that you didn't like the start because it was too tight?  What the heck is the wheelbase on a S2000 anyway?  Just kidding.

Yeah, the start is a tricky thing to balance so that you don't get the hard launch, drag-strip style start versus the overly tight 90° turn before the start timing lights.  And that's why we're asking for feedback.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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7 hours ago, justkickin said:

@Shawn, certainly not blaming anyone, nor is that my intent. No need to cry yourself to sleep because of the course...your driving...well yeah it earned it..lol.

You interpreted correctly. While not a fan of how tight the start was, I can live with it. The fact that you were well passed the lights before you could start accelerating is kind of like having to hit the brakes before the finish lights (i.e., think the days of the short stop boxes...or was that another car club..lol). It just isn't racing IMHO. 

LOL. Yup.

6 hours ago, Curtis said:

@Shawn I'm not looking to blame anyone either. I know how hard course design can be. I've moistened a pillow or two in the past as well. :/  I wish I had asked for and received more direct to the point feedback. Questions were asked, I answered.

 

@justkickin I started accelerating as soon as the starter told me I could go. I'm pretty sure that was before the start light. lol

I don't even want to know with what they were moistened.

Sorry guys, maybe my "blaming" comment sounded more serious than I intended...I was just trying to point out that it was my design as I suspect a number of people may have assumed it was Helix's design. No actual tears were shed over this. And I do like the feedback.

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@Weebly Yes, line selection allows different entry  and exit options and it can and has been done at St Andrews.

As for the pinch at the finish, in the Roger Johnson course it was mentioned that if you want to slow cars down, think two elements ahead of where you want them slowed. Don't try to slow them where you want them slow. This course violated that. You wanted to slow them at the finish, so a pinch was put at the finish to slow them down.

Instead, slow them down coming from the pivot and straighten out the finish. For instance (and hindsight is 20:20 I know),  come out of the south pivot, keep us closer to the west side, don't bring us to the center, then bring us east and straight to the finish. You slow us down on the west to east part and not right at the timing lights. Make sense? 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 9:31 PM, justkickin said:

@Weebly Yes, line selection allows different entry  and exit options and it can and has been done at St Andrews.

As for the pinch at the finish, in the Roger Johnson course it was mentioned that if you want to slow cars down, think two elements ahead of where you want them slowed. Don't try to slow them where you want them slow. This course violated that. You wanted to slow them at the finish, so a pinch was put at the finish to slow them down.

Instead, slow them down coming from the pivot and straighten out the finish. For instance (and hindsight is 20:20 I know),  come out of the south pivot, keep us closer to the west side, don't bring us to the center, then bring us east and straight to the finish. You slow us down on the west to east part and not right at the timing lights. Make sense? 

 

Tim,

Your comments are well received and that's exactly the kind of feedback we're looking for so that we can make improvements in the future.  It's ironic about your reference to Roger Johnson's Course Design, because this is just the kind of thing Shawn is trying to drill into my pea-brain.

In previous course layouts I've asked Shawn or Helix if the finish is too fast, but they're quick too point out that you don't want a last element maneuver to slow the car and inevitably upset the car balance at the most critical time when needing to keep the car under control.  Not sure how this nasty pinch slipped by us on the course test drive.

It's possible that we might add Event #3 course design to our library for possible re-use in the future.  That's assuming we can tweak the start and eliminate the pinch at the finish and adjust the previous elements as you suggested.  Thanks again for your help!

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:11 PM, Curtis said:

Weebly, the DNF target should be lower. >20% seems like an excessive amount. Maybe 0-5%, 6-10%, 11-20%, >20%? Cone targets seem high as well.

The start was fine and a mix of that style with some faster ones keeps things fair.

The 5-4-3-2-1 slalom padded the total cone count.

The course flowed well but there wasn't a lot of line selection or change in speed. That helps smaller, lighter cars. *cough, thanks*

Most of the dnf's I saw were caused by not looking far enough ahead in the South end.

A pinch before the finish line is not ideal.

Curtis,

It appears that your experience trumps theory every time.  I did a little deeper digging into the results of the last 21 events (2017 - till present) and came up with an average count of 8.5% for DNF's. Highest DNF score was last year's May 27th event at Gimli.  Lowest DNF score was 1.6 % at St. Andrews Aug 26th event.

Cone counts averaged out to 50.6%.  Highest cone score was a whopping 80.2% at Aug 20th event at Gimli.  Lowest cone score was 25.7% at St. Andrews May 12, 2018 event.

I guess it makes sense that the highest DNF and cone counts were at Gimli skidpad … lack of being familiar with the course?.

Speaking of Gimli, which is coming up this weekend, I wonder what kind of course design Shawn will come up with?  I have this sinking feeling that I will be contributing heavily to both the cone counts and DNF's.

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On 6/17/2018 at 6:47 PM, Weebly said:

Curtis,

It appears that your experience trumps theory every time.  I did a little deeper digging into the results of the last 21 events (2017 - till present) and came up with an average count of 8.5% for DNF's. Highest DNF score was last year's May 27th event at Gimli.  Lowest DNF score was 1.6 % at St. Andrews Aug 26th event.

Cone counts averaged out to 50.6%.  Highest cone score was a whopping 80.2% at Aug 20th event at Gimli.  Lowest cone score was 25.7% at St. Andrews May 12, 2018 event.

I guess it makes sense that the highest DNF and cone counts were at Gimli skidpad … lack of being familiar with the course?.

Speaking of Gimli, which is coming up this weekend, I wonder what kind of course design Shawn will come up with?  I have this sinking feeling that I will be contributing heavily to both the cone counts and DNF's.

A wise man once told me that as a course designer your goal should be zero dnf's.

That same man taught me that if you can close your eyes and drive the course in your head between runs, you'll drive better and faster.

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17 hours ago, Curtis said:

A wise man once told me that as a course designer your goal should be zero dnf's.

That same man taught me that if you can close your eyes and drive the course in your head between runs, you'll drive better and faster.

That and you should never deliberately create an element where you think "that cone is going to get destroyed".

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22 hours ago, Curtis said:

A wise man once told me that as a course designer your goal should be zero dnf's.

That same man taught me that if you can close your eyes and drive the course in your head between runs, you'll drive better and faster.

Hmm, I like your deep insight, but zero DNF's will never happen as long as I'm out there. But, kidding aside, you're right - a course should never be designed to be "tricky" just to make it interesting for those who are more experienced.  To me, I look at it simplistically … if a significant number of the entrants are novices, then the course should be designed to accommodate them as well. .  No tricky elements required.

Your second comment about driving the course with your eyes closed is exactly what I do.  Only difference is I didn't realize you're supposed to do this between runs - and not during the run!!!

By the way, was this "wise man" you mentioned, the same guy who said "wax on … wax off" ?

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