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Open Passing?????

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  • Open Passing?????

    At Barber, we combine Road Racers and Time Trialers in the 3 TT groups and have dedicated passing zones with a point by. Sadly, there are a number of RR and TT drivers who ignore those passing zones and race pass in the corners.

    What to do? There are some options.

    #1 - Keep the passing zones as they are. At the Mandatory TT Drivers meeting, we could hand out a specific armband to show that you have attended the mandatory meeting. Pit/Grid will only let you on track for the TT sessions if you have the specific arm band.

    #2 - same as #1 but we eliminate the point by.

    #3 - Have 1 Tin Top and the Formula cars do open passing. Keep one Tin Top group with restricted passing.

    #4 - Go to open passing similar to a Test N Tune day for all TT sessions. This will be a change for the TT drivers who will have to adapt to it. The RR drivers will have to show some caution and awareness of the "novices" on track. At many HPDEs, the Advanced drivers have open passing.

    I really want the comments from the TT drivers and the RR drivers whether you participated in the TT sessions or not.
    Yes, Move along
    No, keep talking
    Who cares?
    Did someone say we have Roast Beef?

    The poll is expired.

    Craig Farr
    Stohr WF1 P2

  • #2
    I like option 3. It is true that many groups allow open passing for advanced drivers but we would need to impose the same restrictions. We can't just call every TT driver an advanced driver when they're not.
    Casey Stallings

    It's all fun and games until someone loses an everything.


    • #3
      Have 1st year tt drivers do point by's in a 1st year group, and everybody else open passing.


      • #4
        I'm not digging getting passed in the corners. Even though I'm slow I still set up for the corners. I don't need someone diving in on me. Seems to me the risk of car to car contact would be much higher.

        If the driver's meeting is mandatory, and the driver doesn't show up, he shouldn't be allowed on the track.

        If open passing is adopted, we should identify those of us that are not used to it. Maybe a yellow stripe on the back of the car?
        #72 SA rallyx Impreza 2.5 RS
        #74 "CSP" time trial Miata


        • #5
          Originally posted by slowautoxr View Post
          If open passing is adopted, we should identify those of us that are not used to it. Maybe a yellow stripe on the back of the car?
          Good idea. Of course it will rely on folks attending the drivers meeting or reading the supps to know what the yellow stripes mean...
          Rod H
          Bringing a knife to a gun fight.


          • #6
            How about restricting passing in the first session, then, after everyone's gridded by results, allow open passing the rest of Saturday? Then, Sunday, when most of the RR drivers will be gone, go back to restricted passing so the TTers can concentrate on their best laps.

            Also, there should be some kind of penalty for somebody who doesn't make it to grid in time to be gridded properly. This may be an unnoticed source of heartburn about having racers in the group, since fast racers are now behind slower TTers, creating unnecessary turbulence in the flow of traffic.
            Chuck Schultz
            Another black(ish) Miata
            2007 Jetta GLI Fahrenheit



            • #7
              I think option #3 would have to be implemented if we want to do open passing. It's just not safe to make every group open passing because 1) novice TT drivers who have very minimal track time have enough "stuff" to deal with out in course as it is, and adding in not only looking for drivers to point by on straights, but also for predicting what another driver is going to do in a corner is just not a good idea and in my opinion is asking too much of a novice TT driver (and in some cases, even asking too much of a seasoned TT driver) and 2) some drivers just don't want to be in an open passing group. That's why they do TT instead of RR anyway. I have done a couple of events that had open passing, and I had no problem with the way it worked. In my opinion, the speed differential isn't a great factor. It's not the speed of the car that will put the driver's in jeopardy, but the decisions of the driver's is the key factor.

              I see two general ways that open passing will play out based on my (limited) experience.

              For TT ONLY weekends or sessions, even if we authorized open passing, the majority of drivers still wouldn't pass in a corner. Personally, if I catch another driver just before corner entry, there is no benefit to me trying to pass in the corner bc that lap has already been compromised. The risk of trying to pass in the corner is too great for us to make contact compared to trying to pass and keep up my lap time. My lap is already shot, there's no need to pass the driver in the corner and risk making contact. The only time I would pass someone in a corner would be if they give me a point by shortly before corner entry. That way, I know they see me and are expecting me to pass them and will give me room.

              For RR/TT weekends or sessions, the RRs are going to pass and "race" just as if it's a normal RR session. As Chuck B. put it, RRs are engrained to see an opening and take it (regardless if it actually gets them anywhere or not). RRs will be passing in corners because they can, and don't care if it is hurting their timed lap bc they aren't out there for "time"anyway. The issue with running open passing at Barber is that there is only one open wheel group and you thus force everyone in an open wheel car to open passing. For the closed cockpit cars, there are only two run groups. I don't see it being feasible to run one as open passing and one as restricted passing. If you tried to do that, you would basically end up with one group being the RRs and one group being the TT racers. On the flip side, I don't agree with forcing BOTH groups to be open passing bc as we saw this year, we had a number of new TTers come out to barber with it being their first event ever, or having only a couple events this year and had not been to barber before. I think it would be very intimidating to force people into an open passing group. In fact, I think if that was the case, a number of TTers would not have even shown up if they knew it was their first time at barber and they HAD to run open passing.

              Doing an open passing group would be fun at TT only venues. I don't know if I would elect to be in them or not. It would probably depend on the track really. But trying to do it at Barber on a RR weekend would be really tough. But if I was forced to be in an open passing group, I wouldn't go.
              Last edited by e30Racer; 09-21-2014, 01:38 PM.
              Mark K
              1989 BMW 325i
              1990 BMW 325i
              2013 BMW 135i


              • #8
                I would go with number 4. Open passing for the whole track. I do not like the differences TT breeds in regards to traffic compared to road racing. Go ahead and teach people one methodology. Passing is up to the overtaking driver to make a clean safe pass. This will also prepare people for the step to Road Racing if they should decide to go that way.

                I am definitely in favor or requiring attendance and then having the arm band for attending the driver's meeting. Too many people are getting lazy about coming to this important meeting.

                I think we should step up and test this at TGPR next month. There are several places where passes could safely be made in the infield.

                I don't see the road racers fighting for a corner as much as you guys think they will. There is no benefit. They aren't racing for finishing position, so making the last ditch passing effort is not as important. Road racers race for position not time. That is what will dictate the way RRs participate with the TT folks.

                I wouldn't do the first days of a Novice TT school as open passing, but you need to get folks used to it quickly. The more time you spend with cars around you passing, etc, the better you will be suited for track work.
                Brett W
                Fusion Works

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                • #9
                  Michael Tablas brought up a good point on the TVR version of this discussion..

                  "I can see allowing open passing in "designated" passing zones. I think allowing open passes in the turns would be detrimental to the TT program. Many TT drivers still use cars they drive daily and don't want to increase the risk of car to car contact. Most car incidents tend to happen in turns. I don't think most TT cars are prepped well enough( ie no cage) to risk car to car contact. I know there are drivers who have no desire to compete in a format that allows open passes."

                  This has been my issue as well. I enjoy driving my "TT car" on the road. It's tagged & insured and everything. I accept the risks of being on track, but it will be a bad day if I get hit by someone passing in a turn during a TT with our current ruleset. On the other hand, if I sign up for an open passing event then that's recognition of the greater chance of contact. If the same contact happened in that situation it clearly wouldn't be a great day for me but at least I showed up knowing it was a possibility.

                  When mixing groups like we are doing at Barber or doing something else that is unique to an event I think the armband/mandatory meeting piece of option #1 should be considered regardless of what is decided on the passing rules.

                  For the other options I think I'd vote for #3 and see how it goes. The biggest downside is it forces all the formula cars into open passing. With my current vehicle & level of experience I would most likely register for the tintop restricted passing group.
                  Rod H
                  Bringing a knife to a gun fight.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fusion Works View Post
                    I think we should step up and test this at TGPR next month. There are several places where passes could safely be made in the infield.
                    I would have no issue with point-bys on the short "straights" in the TGPR infield but in many instances the car getting passed will need to seriously get off the gas. It kinda sucks to get caught by a much faster driver in 2 knowing they will have to stay behind you until the back straight. I'd much rather let'em by between 2 & 3 or 3 & 4.
                    Rod H
                    Bringing a knife to a gun fight.


                    • #11
                      I think this is worth some discussion from other regions as well... might be a good topic for our TT Committee as it is a points event. Am I correct in saying that any change in passing rules needs to be in supps? IF someone objected to it seriously, I think they need to know before they arrive and throw them a curve like this.
                      I agree with Michael... as it is running for time and drivers have to back off in side straights in order to allow someone to pass, it does affect their times and creates an advantage for the more aggressive driver who "plays in traffic" instead of the driver with the best lap time in class.... which "Time" is in the name.
                      I don't speak for anyone up my way... Craig, put up on TT forum in CCR and let's see what their inputs are. For myself, I don't think I want to have open passing with the car I have (open wheeled with less than average protection) LOL


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ted E. Bayer View Post
                        Am I correct in saying that any change in passing rules needs to be in supps? IF someone objected to it seriously, I think they need to know before they arrive and throw them a curve like this.
                        Although I understand your point of view, I have to view it a bit differently.

                        Since the TTR allows passing to be either open or controlled, any specific passing rules for each TT event have to be defined in the supps. If there are none defined, my presumption is that there are no passing restrictions other than what is in the GCR regarding on track conduct, etc. Although we have been doing passing in a certain way in SEDIV for a few years now, drivers should not take it for granted that a specific event might not be different. Each track has different passing zones and sometimes these change for an event.

                        One of the basic issues is that a significant number of drivers do not read the supps. Sad fact but true nonetheless. You would not believe all the questions I personally answered for Barber that were addressed in the Supps.

                        Washington DC Region has been doing open passing in TT at Summit Point for the past 3 years. They have not had any issues.

                        We (myself and all the instructors that I know) preach about watching corner stations and your mirrors. It is also one of the things that gets forgotten about in the heat of the driving moment. When you are in a race car, trying to juggle all the things (situational awareness, watching gauges, driving the line, braking at the right spot, watching for flags, watching your mirrors, etc) frequently means that something gets dropped. I have run up against many RR who do not watch their mirrors and continually chop down on people attempting to pass them. Talk to them in the paddock and you learn that they are just overwhelmed and forget to look behind them even when they know there are faster cars on track.

                        At the moment, I am not advocating a particular approach. I put this discussion point out there to gather input. One thing has been consistent in the answers - we do need a means of ensuring that the mandatory TT drivers meeting is attended by all.
                        Craig Farr
                        Stohr WF1 P2


                        • #13
                          The armband or similar to show you attended the driver's meeting is a different topic, but I do feel there needs to be a way to confirm that a driver attended it. Be it an armband, sticker, or secret password whatever.

                          As far as passing goes, most of the HPDEs and such that have advanced groups (which if you have a license to compete in a TT you qualify for this) allow passing anywhere on the track, but with a point by. I feel this is reasonable, as it gets TTers looking to move up more comfortable with passing in different places. I know there are RRers that aren't accustomed to it, but tough titty. You must play by the rules set forth.

                          If you pass without a point by, you get a black flag and whoever is working pit in has a word with you to remind you and sends you back out. Recurring offenders get put in time out for the rest of the session/day depending on severity or whatever.

                          Same goes if you hold people up and don't point them by. You get a black flag, speak with pit in, and go back out and play nice.

                          I don't think an open passing anywhere any time like RRers do should be allowed with the TT cars, do to different safety requirements in the cars and varied skill level. And there's also the point that many TT cars are driven to and from the track, where every RR car has a trailer to get home if they wad their car up.

                          In summary, keep the point bys, but allow it anywhere. If someone makes a dangerous pass, trust your corner workers to report it, flag the troublemaker down and let remind him/her to play nicely. If they can't do that, then they don't need to be there. Plain and simple.
                          Nick Stone


                          • #14
                            This is why I would like to pass in the corners .....

                            Last edited by DelanieC; 09-23-2014, 09:03 AM. Reason: added sarcastic smiley
                            Delanie Calhoun
                            '90 Spec Miata
                            '13 Ford Focus ST


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DelanieC View Post
                              This is why I would like to pass in the corners .....

                              That was such a private joke, the rest of us can't see at whom you are laughing. However I believe that would be a certain red Corvette holding up a whole field of Miatas.
                              Brett W
                              Fusion Works

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