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Old 01-13-2008
jeffrey Pietz's Avatar
jeffrey Pietz jeffrey Pietz is offline
Podium Regular / Advanced Member (50+ Posts)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: cleveland
Posts: 73
Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I never raced under the old system so I am not sure which system is better. I spend most of my time in the middle of the sportsman pack and I usually find some one to race if I don't screw up. I did notice a reluctance on the part of the guys winning sportsman races to move up but most eventually did. I do not blame them. If I ever start getting regular wins or podiums in sportsman I suspect I will need a firm nudge (like with a very large hammer) to move me up. One way to even out the groups is to move the fast sportsman guys up to even out the grids on a weekend by weekend basis. Run qualifiers with sportsman and champ groups but if the champs are too few then pull the needed number of sportsman up to fill out the champ grid. But use some judgement looking at time sheets etc. Eg. Don't pull the fastest sportsman driver up by himself just to fill out one grid spot in champ. Make sure that guy has some company in his race with roughly close lap times.
Eg. 5 guys in champ at RA running 2:34s 16 cars in sports fastest is 2:36 but there are 4 guys in the 2:36s. Then pull all four of those guys up. But if there are 10 champs with slowest at 2:34 and 14 in sports but the pole sitter is all by himself at 2:33 with number two at 2:36 then move the sports pole sitter up alone. He'll have more company in champ. But if there are four guys in sports at 2:37 at the front move them together or not at all. If the numbers in champ are 5 vs 15 sports move all four but if its 9 champ and 12 sports leave the four guys at the front of sports alone. Problems with this are predictable especially if conditions are different between the practice groups. It is also a problem if you cannot plan your weekend knowing what group you are in or worse if you are running a double and all these groupings are changed at the end of the day. There is enough sitting around at the track waiting. I don't think this would do any thing but make that worse.

So Skippy is left having to predict who will be how fast before each weekend. That is hard. If it weren't we would not need to run the races. I guess they should continue to reserve the right to move folks around on an ad hoc basis if there is a marked imbalance in group sizes. But if that happens let's get the moves made early in or before the weekend so people can plan their weekends. I guess the sportsman guys running doubles (are there many of those?) would either have to be moved up in all their races or none. And of course if people get moved around cars have to be reassigned.

I never really bought the idea of "you will learn more running with the fast guys" argument that was held out in the old system. The best way I will ever learn from Revere is from watching videos of him or getting tips from him in the hospitality area. I think the overriding principle should be to try to keep drivers in closely matched groups. Where the lines get drawn between groups should be determined by what the instructors know about the times/abilities of the drivers and the numbers of entrants. This should ultimately overide what the drivers believe about their place in the running order. Unfortunately, not every one is going to be happy with where they get put and this could make for some unhappy customers.

I have seen large sportsman numbers get divided into regular and seat time sportsman with the later usually running a bit slower than the former. But because all were self declared sportsman no one noticed or complained about how the groups were divided. Why should the line between sportsman and champ carry any more weight? I guess what I am suggesting is that the drivers get no say as to the group they run in. Let them state a preference but let it be clear that there are no guarantees as to where you will be put on a given weekend. The quicker sportsman racers may be pole in sportsman in July and near the back of champ in August but back to sportsman in Sept depending on the numbers and quality of the entrants on the different weekends. Of course, this will not be a problem for me where I sit but the faster sportsman guys might feel differently.

My question for those of you who have raced in both eras is whether I might expect to learn more if I was running with a few champ drivers. My guess is that I would not. They would just go off and disappear befor I learned all that much. I do like knowing the guys in the cars around me. I had lots of fun in some intense dices with guys trusted not to be stupid. Then again there were other guys I watched very carefully.
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