Posted on 26 July 2012.
THAT’S NOT HOW OTHER TRACKS DO IT!
Although the comment was said in frustration and meant to be an insult towards the track and the officials, I took it has a complement. This individual is not the first one who thought because the rules of a different track were contrary, that we were wrong and we should have a rule book that mimics brand ‘X’ track. (Mostly because a different rule would benefit ‘their’ driver at that particular time) First off, let’s make it clear, we are not Delaware, Flamborough, Merritville, Ohsweken, Wonderland, Nascar or WoO and knowing their rules and race procedures does not mean you know our rules. Tillsonburg IS different. Here’s why.
Tillsonburg is one of the few Ontario tracks working with VERY young drivers and developing them as they grow to not only be good racers but hopefully good citizens. Kicking them off the track does not increase their ‘seat time’. For kids it is important to have other racers to test their racing ideas against. ‘Beating’ the competition for ultimate bragging rights is not the sole goal and all teams have been helping and encouraging other teams for driving well and helping them with tips as needed. Parents that do not buy into this system usually leave ‘not happy’ and are missing the point. Have fun while learning to race.
The other almost unheard of situation that occurs in Tillsonburg, (and this is a good thing) is that crashes rarely take a kart out of commission, meaning for example, if 3 karts xample, if 3 karts are involved in a crash, likely all 3 karts restart. At almost any other track a driver involved in a crash, is likely out of commission. The cars are broken and leave. In Tillsonburg, we have to make ‘restart’ calls more often with younger drivers, tighter racing and karts that just keep running. (think Energizer Bunny) . Because calls need to be consistent we needed a ‘system’ to determine who and when drivers were sent to the back for a restart. The choices were either send EVERYONE involved in the caution to the rear OR try to select the cause of the caution and only put the ’causer’ to the rear for the restart. The second method takes more officials and requires some judgment to be used. The driver causing the wreck restarts at the rear and the others get their position back. Several years ago, when put to a vote of the teams, the later system was selected and we have been sending the cause of the caution to the rear ever since. Sometimes there is more than one ’causer’ so multiple drivers may go to the back. Other times a single driver may get the blame and multiple drivers get their spots back. Like I said earlier, at other tracks virtually anyone involved in a crash goes off the track because they are ‘broken’ so there is no call for the officials to make. Regardless, if they choose to do it differently they can. As long as the call is applied consistently, both rules do work. Depending on the rule applied, a given driver may benefit or not from a caution. Last night the leader of the senior main got taken out by a lapper. Using Tillsonburg rules, the lapper got sent to the rear and the leader got his(her) spot back. Who didn’t like the Tillsonburg rule? Well 2nd, and 3rd of course. As long as the rule is applied the same each time it is fair for everyone.
WHO MOVED THE CHEESE?
If you have not read this book it is worth the read. It is a motivational book that uses mice instead of people and compares different behaviors of mice when their circumstances change. This week we had several �mice� that dealt with some very different track conditions very differently.
To anyone watching the racing this week, it appeared the drivers were more aggressive, even rough and several thought we should have been waiving the black flag all over the place and throwing drivers off the track for various things.
The reality is the majority of drivers found that the fast way around the track was very tight to the inner berm. Traditionally faster drivers find that going inside another kart is the best way to get past but last night that did not work much. The cheese had moved somewhere ed moved somewhere else and if the driver did not go looking for where it went, they were not going to do much passing (or get any cheese). The mouse that refused to go looking elsewhere the longest was # 48 Andrew Marshall. He was determined that he could pass on the inside and despite his best attempts of cutting the track and sliding down the end of the track over the berm and into his competition, he mostly just wrecked and caused wrecks. Repeatedly he got sent to the rear and after several times I was starting to wonder if the light was ever going to come on or were we going to have to black flag him so we could get the race finished. It took about 20 laps and a lot of rubbed competition but he finally went looking for the cheese on the outside and made some progress.
“One of the hardest things to do is watch someone doing something wrong when you know how to do it right”. That is what most ‘spectators’ feel like but unless you were on the track you have no idea what is going on. I got my chance later in the night and found the track very tricky to drive with traction being very different as one tried to get a handle on it. There was no ve without contacting other drivers. Often � slide outs� are one kart affair but with 9 karts in a pack, if there wasn�t contact before, there surely will be after. Interestingly in the Expert division the kart with the fastest lap time in the main had the smallest motor. Hmmm.
The other thing I have said before and I will say it again, the faster the kart is you are trying to pass, the harder it is to pass without ‘rubbing’ so if your driver finds they are getting ‘rubbed’ more than they used to, it is not because your competition doesn�t like your driver, it is likely because your driver is getting faster and harder to pass.
Before this newsletter gets any longer lets get to the racing.
Beginner highlights. # 14 Paige Smith/Woodstock took 2nd overall. What else can I say but she must have been giving her Dad driving tips because as a rookie with the smallest motor he set the fastest lap time in the Expert main. Now if his elbow didn’t knock off his carburetor after leading 25 laps???
Junior highlights. # 55s Scott Hall/Wilsonville drove smart while # 48 Andrew Marshall/Dorchester drove like his throttle was stuck and had no brakes but they both were tied for the night in 2nd place behind # 52 Jacob Sheridan/ Mt Brydges . # 93 Amber Meyer/Tillsonburg was only a point away from making 2nd place a 3way tie. The biggest change I see in this group is the pack no longer lets a kart ‘bully’ its way through. Just another step in the evolution of drivers. The group gets faster and, winning takes more effort both on and off the track.
Senior highlights. Kate Courtnage summed it up best, I traded paint with every other driver . Some of the best action was at the back with Perrott, Summers and Giles battling to the end. It was Bea, Kate and Alex at the front though. All three took a win over the night.
Expert highlights. Track was hard to drive and made great racing. I had more fun than should be legal and finished in the middle of the group. The two teenagers, (you know who you are) FINALLY beat me. I will be back in two weeks with more wax on my hood and we will see who is faster. LOL
This race is followed by our two week summer break.
Next race is Aug 14 2012