#9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Brain
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#9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby Brain » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:11 pm

King Richard takes the season!

(Yes - there's still one more race) :lol:
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Brain
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby Brain » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:11 pm

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See23
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby See23 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:43 am

:shock: :o :) :D

Another creative course design!
Yes "creative" is a compliment.
Ask me why it wasn't perfect and, surprise!, I have an opinion. :shock:
Kicked out of the club for speaking out. Fair?
:roll:

Brain
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby Brain » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:38 am

I'll take "creative" as a compliment. Considering the layout of the lot, the lamp posts, and the curbs that's about the hardest thing to achieve.

I'll continue to strive for perfection though. But would that be a perfect Civic course? Or a perfect BMW course? Or a perfect Dwarf car course? Hmmm...maybe perfect already happened and you were in the wrong car :lol:

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See23
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby See23 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:28 am

The wrong car that still won? :o

Since you didn't ask me, I'll tell you ;) :

I understand your intention to slow cars for safety reasons but I noticed on this last course that there were a total of 5 of, what I would call, pinch points that made some of the elements almost un-enjoyable. The five came from 3 or 4 repeated sections that were passed 5 times in various directions.
It's a common design you use which can be best described as an outside wall that bends inwards to pinch off any kind of wide line or drift to the outside. Particularly on this last course, in the near left hand corner, the inward jutting wall and corner cone made it near impossible to get any kind rotation before the two orange cones in a very tight 180 degree turn. If the idea is to prevent a high speed "drift" or over rotation, you know as well as I that a spinning car will almost always go to the inside of the corner so I am missing the point of pinching off corners to slow a car. I see it more as visual distraction that forces the driver to shorten their field of view and focus on these "Kenny" cones rather then looking ahead to plan for the next element. I believe it can have an adverse effect and cause a fast, less experienced driver to lock up which would then send them off through the cones to the outside hazards.
If slowing the car is the intention then I would suggest you bring the pivot cone closer in, if needed, and create a wall further out to the outside that acts as a visual deterrent rather then an obstruction and leaves room for rotation.
Kicked out of the club for speaking out. Fair?
:roll:

Brain
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby Brain » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:27 pm

See23 wrote:The wrong car that still won? :o


Point being that different cars/drivers have a different idea of the "perfect" course. Some people like point and shoot type courses with high speeds and heavy braking - some people like flowing loopy courses with generally overall lower speeds and gentle braking - some people like to pick lines - some people like to thread the needle - then there's everybody in between.....

See23 wrote:Since you didn't ask me, I'll tell you ;) :


I thought you might :roll: :lol:

See23 wrote:If slowing the car is the intention then I would suggest you bring the pivot cone closer in, if needed, and create a wall further out to the outside that acts as a visual deterrent rather then an obstruction and leaves room for rotation.


If every corner flows nicely with the wall way on the outside then the speeds through the corners would be substantially faster. Faster corners lead to faster straights. There are certain areas between the curbs (particularly the side by the horse race track) where the course has to be straight. Somewhere it has to slow down. It's not all about Miatas - I have to pinch the corners enough to slow down the fast cars too. Kym's Vette, Bremner's Subaru, Bjorn's Dwarf etc are still going pretty damn quick before they hit the brakes even when they have to slow right down at a pinch point.

Were the pinch points too tight yesterday? Yes. Did we use a huge portion of the real estate? Yes. Going deeper into the corners makes the lot bigger, but it also means more slowing down (closer to curbs and longer straights between the corners). Personally I didn't like the course, but that's not unusual. I get frustrated by the layout of the lot so I try different things. Sometimes it works - sometimes not. Simple fact is there are 4 corners and two lanes between the curbs - it's pretty hard to think outside the box. Unless we start doing 25 second courses then the elements have to work in both directions as well.....that causes it's own problems.

Oh and which way a car spins on an autocross track isn't nearly as simple as it is on a real race track. Practical theories don't necessarily apply when the elements are so aggressive and so close together. Basically I try to anticipate two or three elements before a turn how different cars might be reacting and what the end results might be. If the car is being tossed side to side prior to corner entry the result can be very different than entering in a steady state where the car is balanced and under control.

But good news - next weeks course will be different :mrgreen:

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See23
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby See23 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:26 pm

Brain wrote:If every corner flows nicely with the wall way on the outside then the speeds through the corners would be substantially faster. Faster corners lead to faster straights. There are certain areas between the curbs (particularly the side by the horse race track) where the course has to be straight. Somewhere it has to slow down. It's not all about Miatas - I have to pinch the corners enough to slow down the fast cars too. Kym's Vette, Bremner's Subaru, Bjorn's Dwarf etc are still going pretty damn quick before they hit the brakes even when they have to slow right down at a pinch point.


"substantially faster". I would question that and would not doubt your ability to mitigate it in other ways.
There are other opportunities to reduce straight away speeds as you often demonstrate with slaloms, bus stops and cross over at either end of the lot. A fast corner requiring smooth flow is not necessarily the dangerous corner as a complicated pinched off corner can also create the need for aggressive braking and steering input. The braking power and handling should be relative to the power and overall performance of the car which ultimately comes down to the carcass behind the wheel. Kym and Bjorn are experienced and capable drivers who reach higher speeds relative to their cars and skill level. Building elements with trick corners and cones with good intention my be reaching the point sacrificing the fun factor and course flow and design. Yes there are new drivers, but this is motorsoport and it has its inherent risks dangers which we all accept. If we need to do anything it would be to stress and teach the need for competent, controlled and safe driving rather then catering to the lowest common denominator.
The over aggressive will learn the limits, hopefully not the hard way, and timid will be at home on the couch.
Someone's misshap this year had nothing to do with speed as a result of course design.
I don't believe finding other methods will make your courses less safe.

Brain wrote:Oh and which way a car spins on an autocross track isn't nearly as simple as it is on a real race track. Practical theories don't necessarily apply when the elements are so aggressive and so close together. Basically I try to anticipate two or three elements before a turn how different cars might be reacting and what the end results might be. If the car is being tossed side to side prior to corner entry the result can be very different than entering in a steady state where the car is balanced and under control.


That may be true but I'm not sure how creating the need for aggressive steering input mid corner makes that less likely. A smooth flowing corner makes the rare spin more "track" like and predictable.
You can learn to make a pinched corner work but it may take multiple runs, if at all, but in the mean time they are a pain in the meat hole. IMO.

Brain wrote:But good news - next weeks course will be different :mrgreen :


As expected and I'm sure it will be a creative masterpiece.

I know he knows this but for those who don't; Brian likes input and has a thick skin so don't worry if you have something to say because he also knows we appreciate all that he does to make the course as fun and safe as possible.
So I make him cry once and awhile. Big deal. :(
Kicked out of the club for speaking out. Fair?
:roll:

Brain
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby Brain » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:35 pm

We could debate the technicalities all day long, but course design really comes down to simple choices.....

A - Build the exact same course every single time with elements we know work. Boring and at least 50% of the people would grow to hate it.

B - Try to make the course different every single time. In a parking lot that is completely limited by 4 corners and 2 lanes between the curbs. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but either way at least 50% of the people hate it.

C - Give up and find a new hobby.

D - Let somebody else design the course and complain about it :o


Another couple random observations....

It is my job to cater to the lowest common denominator. If some clown in a 1000 hp car crashes through the gate and hits a bus load of nuns we all lose. I can't stop every mishap, but I can try to minimize the potential.

Power, braking and driver skill do not go hand in hand - especially with new drivers.

"but this is motorsport and it has its inherent risks dangers which we all accept". You would actually be surprised how many people are oblivious to the risks. Some people never consider that something bad might happen or they blindly believe that they will just get ICBC to fix it.

The most random observation.....

It's always assumed that the "safety" side of course design is for novices. I've probably seen 15 major incidents over the years at various races. Number of novices = 1. Number of good,experienced drivers = 11. Number of drivers that I highly respect and rate in the top 5% of drivers = 3.


Yes - I do like feedback on courses. I can't read minds. If you don't tell me what you're thinking how will I know you're wrong? :lol:

I did feel a little tear building in my eyes......then I remembered we are going to Pitt Meadows this weekend. I'll just extract my revenge there :evil:

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See23
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby See23 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:19 pm

As I said; I'm sure there are other ways to slow the cars without those annoying "pinch points".
If it limits the number of courses then so be it. I'd rather do 5 different layouts repeatedly without PPs through the season than 15 experiments with them. It would save you a lot of work and you'd be able to hand a layout to anyone when you can't be there.

I have no problem being wrong except when I'm right. :shock:
Kicked out of the club for speaking out. Fair?
:roll:

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mcsinc
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Re: #9 - Sunday Aug 21, 2016

Postby mcsinc » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:57 am

Brain wrote:It is my job to cater to the lowest common denominator. If some clown in a 1000 hp car crashes through the gate and hits a bus load of nuns we all lose


Brain wrote:I've probably seen 15 major incidents over the years at various races. Number of novices = 1. Number of good,experienced drivers = 11. Number of drivers that I highly respect and rate in the top 5% of drivers = 3.


Aren't these statements contradictory?

I agree with See23 about the pinch points, ONLY because I'm not as intuitive of a driver as some, meaning I often don't see the "fast line". Or perhaps I'm just too derpy to try different lines and am thinking "oh I must need to go faster here etc. when in fact the opposite it true. :? Although I don't like the pinch points, the bottom line is that we all drive the same course and have to deal with the same elements.

From what I recall over the years, the most positive feedback from people who post on the forum has always been from courses that are "flowy". This may be a biased observation, however, since I think most people aren't going to post "constructive criticism" in fear of having to choose option "D" above.

In years past, there have always been other racers trying their hand at course design. Maybe we should encourage this, as it may introduce new elements that have never been thought of or tried. The course can always be tweaked for the safety factor.
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