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NickD
NickD UberDork
8/31/18 8:06 a.m.

While I don't feel its cheating, I think the easiest way to solve the problem is just to not release a course map. Because, while you can ban SCCA regions from doing it, you can't stop someone who has the resources from holding their own private secret test-and-tune 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
8/31/18 8:07 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

...and that's exactly why simulator time is so important to top level racers.

It's not an unfair advantage, it's an advantage available to anyone. What makes it seem unfair in some people's mind is if they didn't do it, then they're at a disadvantage. Preparation is key to racing, and that includes preparing the driver as much as possible. The course details are released, the surface is known, the climate is known.

Is there an autox simulator? Seems there could be. What if someone loaded the Nationals course into that simulator so everyone could "drive" it?

I think what makes it seem unfair to some people is not "that they didn't do it" and they have sour grapes about not being prepared, it's that it's an expensive form of testing that they can't afford - either to travel to where the course is being run or to rent a skidpad and do it themselves, including course setup etc. By autocross budget standards, even simulation isn't exactly cheap.

You could compare it to the limits on track testing and wind tunnel time in F1 - they were very expensive forms of preparation that gave the big-budget teams a bigger advantage and left the small-budget teams SOL.

I agree that the SCCA was dumb to release the course map ahead of time and shouldn't be surprised that this happened, but running a copy of the nationals course is against the spirit of the rules. The SCCA should make it a policy not to release the course ahead of time and the organizer of the clone event should be told that what he did was rather uncool.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/31/18 8:27 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:
Keith Tanner said:

...and that's exactly why simulator time is so important to top level racers.

It's not an unfair advantage, it's an advantage available to anyone. What makes it seem unfair in some people's mind is if they didn't do it, then they're at a disadvantage. Preparation is key to racing, and that includes preparing the driver as much as possible. The course details are released, the surface is known, the climate is known.

Is there an autox simulator? Seems there could be. What if someone loaded the Nationals course into that simulator so everyone could "drive" it?

I think what makes it seem unfair to some people is not "that they didn't do it" and they have sour grapes about not being prepared, it's that it's an expensive form of testing that they can't afford - either to travel to where the course is being run or to rent a skidpad and do it themselves, including course setup etc. By autocross budget standards, even simulation isn't exactly cheap.

You could compare it to the limits on track testing and wind tunnel time in F1 - they were very expensive forms of preparation that gave the big-budget teams a bigger advantage and left the small-budget teams SOL.

I agree that the SCCA was dumb to release the course map ahead of time and shouldn't be surprised that this happened, but running a copy of the nationals course is against the spirit of the rules. The SCCA should make it a policy not to release the course ahead of time and the organizer of the clone event should be told that what he did was rather uncool.

"Spirit of the rules"... Meh, they're taking it too seriously. I agree with your assessment that it is too expensive/hard to simulate--many regions don't even have a space large enough to simulate the courses accurately--but just don't release it if you don't want it happening. 

 

And I guarantee that there are people who've done this before.

wae
wae SuperDork
8/31/18 8:35 a.m.
mtn said:
GameboyRMH said:
Keith Tanner said:

...and that's exactly why simulator time is so important to top level racers.

It's not an unfair advantage, it's an advantage available to anyone. What makes it seem unfair in some people's mind is if they didn't do it, then they're at a disadvantage. Preparation is key to racing, and that includes preparing the driver as much as possible. The course details are released, the surface is known, the climate is known.

Is there an autox simulator? Seems there could be. What if someone loaded the Nationals course into that simulator so everyone could "drive" it?

I think what makes it seem unfair to some people is not "that they didn't do it" and they have sour grapes about not being prepared, it's that it's an expensive form of testing that they can't afford - either to travel to where the course is being run or to rent a skidpad and do it themselves, including course setup etc. By autocross budget standards, even simulation isn't exactly cheap.

You could compare it to the limits on track testing and wind tunnel time in F1 - they were very expensive forms of preparation that gave the big-budget teams a bigger advantage and left the small-budget teams SOL.

I agree that the SCCA was dumb to release the course map ahead of time and shouldn't be surprised that this happened, but running a copy of the nationals course is against the spirit of the rules. The SCCA should make it a policy not to release the course ahead of time and the organizer of the clone event should be told that what he did was rather uncool.

"Spirit of the rules"... Meh, they're taking it too seriously. I agree with your assessment that it is too expensive/hard to simulate--many regions don't even have a space large enough to simulate the courses accurately--but just don't release it if you don't want it happening. 

 

And I guarantee that there are people who've done this before.

I'm fairly certain that auto racing in general wouldn't even exist if teams were required to comply to "the spirit of the rules".  :)

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/31/18 8:43 a.m.
wae said:
mtn said:

"Spirit of the rules"... Meh, they're taking it too seriously. I agree with your assessment that it is too expensive/hard to simulate--many regions don't even have a space large enough to simulate the courses accurately--but just don't release it if you don't want it happening. 

 

And I guarantee that there are people who've done this before.

I'm fairly certain that auto racing in general wouldn't even exist if teams were required to comply to "the spirit of the rules".  :)

 

“Rules are for the obidience of fools and interpretations of smart men.” — Colin Chapman

jharry3
jharry3 Reader
8/31/18 8:50 a.m.

If they want the event to be a surprise course then it should be a surprise course.      Publication is when you see where the cones are placed. 

  When I was in engineering school we had "open book tests" and "closed book test".   

This sounds like SCCA is giving an "open book test".   

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
8/31/18 9:18 a.m.
DeadSkunk said:
 

Once upon a time the Canadian championships were done exactly this way. Vancouver seemed to win consistently. We eventually learned they used a concrete lot with great grip. We, in London set up a course one year and happened to notice that  the big turns at each end of the course could be positioned neatly on the drainage slopes in our lot . We had the two longest and fastest corners on banking ! Our competitors did really well that year.wink

London you say?? You may appreciate this. autocross on the streets of London Ont                         part 2

 

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
8/31/18 9:21 a.m.

Reminds me why I don't miss auto-x. There's always some that take what was fun and turn it into something overly serious. Like others said, different surface, different weather, meh.

drsmooth
drsmooth HalfDork
8/31/18 9:22 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

 

Is there an autox simulator? Seems there could be. What if someone loaded the Nationals course into that simulator so everyone could "drive" it?

The was a PC game in the early 2000's called Sports Car GT. You could mod the hell out of the game. Someone made a Auto X  course for it. It was easy enough to mod that i'm sure someone could have easily made that Auto X course. Don't know if any games are like that today.

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/31/18 9:22 a.m.

I haven't been since 2016, but I know that I personally watched a lot of video for my Thur-Fri runs on Tues-Weds. The only way you're going to get it so no one has an advanced look at the courses would be to blackout all of lincoln from video uploads. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
8/31/18 9:30 a.m.
drsmooth said:
Keith Tanner said:

 

Is there an autox simulator? Seems there could be. What if someone loaded the Nationals course into that simulator so everyone could "drive" it?

The was a PC game in the early 2000's called Sports Car GT. You could mod the hell out of the game. Someone made a Auto X  course for it. It was easy enough to mod that i'm sure someone could have easily made that Auto X course. Don't know if any games are like that today.

 

Live For Speed has an autocross mode.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/31/18 10:07 a.m.

It would seem that an autox simulator would be pretty simple if you assumed the lot was a single, flat surface. Close enough to work, anyhow. Then you just need a way to place cones on this plane. Some people will say it's no substitute for the real thing, but it's certainly not going to hurt and it would be great for people who don't have the patience for races longer than 90 seconds wink

It doesn't cost much to run practice runs on a course. Find a chunk of pavement, find something to use as cones. Voila. If you can't find pavement, do it on a gravel lot or a field if you just want to learn the lefts and rights. Make your own small course on the living room floor and run a Hot Wheels through it while scootching around on your hands and knees.

I think we all agree that if the SCCA wants to stop pre-running, they simply shouldn't release the course. If they do release the course, they can't really stop people from preparing on some level. Taking full advantage of the resources available to you is not just in the spirit of motorsport, it's actually pretty fundamental.

KevinLG
KevinLG New Reader
8/31/18 10:14 a.m.

Just to add, the region did call the SCCA National Office and clear the idea with them before putting on the event. 

NickD
NickD UberDork
8/31/18 10:33 a.m.
KevinLG said:

Just to add, the region did call the SCCA National Office and clear the idea with them before putting on the event

Interesting. The plot thickens. Got a source for this little tidbit? Because, no offense, I'm skeptical. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
8/31/18 3:44 p.m.

If the teacher tells you to study the section in chapter six on cone placement, and you ignore that portion of the textbook, who's fault is it?

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/31/18 4:04 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

If the teacher tells you to study the section in chapter six on cone placement, and you ignore that portion of the textbook, who's fault is it?

LOL

Reminds me of a course in college--whatever Biology 101 course that got me my science requirement. Horribly taught course for what it was, and the time commitment required to get a good grade was ridiculous if you were in a similarly tough program (I was in Math, with a 17 hour courseload). 
I had a C going into the final, with a D-average on the homework and quizzes (lab brought me up). The final was a timed open book exam. And by open book, they meant that you took it in your room/library/wherever you wanted at a specified time. Oh, and BTW, it was strongly hinted that you should be re-taking the quizzes online to prepare. I took each quiz about 20 times (there were about 20 quizes), copied and pasted every question and answer into a word document--I think it ended up being about 200 pages. Come test time, sure enough, all of the questions had been asked before. I had the TA followup with me about how I got a 100% on the final, and if I cheated. I told them I didn't cheat, I used what resources were available to me and did not do any hacking and did not have the final ahead of time. I just knew where they were going to get the questions. 

I've always wondered if they changed it since then. I can't remember if the final was enough to get me an A or not, but I'm sure glad I didn't spend more time than I needed studying for the final. 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist New Reader
8/31/18 4:43 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

yes Brilliant!

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/31/18 6:43 p.m.
Lof8 said:

...when autocross is taken too seriously :P

Is this the part where I talk up the superiority of Rallycross because the course isn't even the same between each run due to degradation, let alone the same site to site or event to event?

 

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/31/18 6:47 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

That sentiment has been widely shared. What's fun is that we had a practice event last weekend and NONE of the super serious guys who are going to nationals walked the course. We just hung out in the shade and said "we'll figure it out on the first run"

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
8/31/18 6:50 p.m.
NickD said:

While I don't feel its cheating, I think the easiest way to solve the problem is just to not release a course map. Because, while you can ban SCCA regions from doing it, you can't stop someone who has the resources from holding their own private secret test-and-tune 

You want stupid?

 

RallyCross National Championships release a course map before the event happens.

 

Due to the nature of the motorsport, you cannot design a course in advance.  You have to build something around the conditions that exist on the site THAT WEEKEND.  And you certainly can't doodle on a Google Maps aerial view of the site, since you have no idea what the immediate ground conditions are like.

 

The year that Nationals was done in Omaha were done this way.  Scroll your GRM-o-meter back to late 2014 and find the multipage thread we had about it here.  The fail was epic.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
8/31/18 7:00 p.m.

What might be interesting is to examine the other side of the question. We have pretty well covered why NOT to publish course design early, but what would be the reason for the scca TO publish early?

I mean, someone made a decision at some point. Was this an unforseen consequence? Or was this a known risk outweighted at the time by the potential reward?

freestyle
freestyle Reader
8/31/18 7:13 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

PlayStation's old Gran Turismo 6 let me build an autocross course to scale to match an old autocross course map. Also our local roadcourse, by tracing a GPS map.  It was clunky and not easy, but could help learn a course. I'm sure there are more slick versions out now.

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
8/31/18 7:34 p.m.

+1 on the actual dimensions versus a map. The surface is different the temps will be different I'm in the camp of this isn't a big deal.

Sadly.......yes many people in amateur motorsports take things way to seriously. Naturally it's more glaring when you get down things like a local autocross. 

It will be very interesting to see how those 5 people actually do.........I suspect it won't be the advantage some people think it is.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
9/5/18 10:48 a.m.

Seems that Mother Nature took care of the problem with her own storm.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/5/18 11:10 a.m.

Yes, the thread title was prophetic.

 

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