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Author Topic: Outside observer view of CCS  (Read 4871 times)

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Solo

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Outside observer view of CCS
« on: May 02, 2010, 02:54:18 pm »
Quick report since I only did the one (Saturday) race day:

After almost a three year hiatus and the first time racing in the U.S. I could not have asked for better weather.  Cool track layout and decent run-off as well!

Appreciate the assistance of the folks I met and the CCS crew that tolerated my questions.  Definitely enjoyed the day. 
As for my background I raced at the club level in Japan at tracks like Tsukuba, Motegi, Sugo, Suzuka etc for a few years, so doing a CCS event I sometimes felt more like a curious observer than an actual participant.  Some background and takeaways below:


Background: I was gridded 14th and 17th for GTO and F40 AM respectively and finished 6th and 5th.  Both races consisted of weaving through traffic and that's about it. Finished the day with a best lap of 134.5

I was leery about the 1st corner considering stories I heard so in the GTO race decided discretion was the better part of valor and slightly limited forward progress at the start to see what would happen.  Sure enough a "torpedo" with no guidance came right by me and crashed through the crowd.  Stupid but funny and sad what folks told me would happen actually happened.  Dumb actions in turn one seems almost universally accepted here.  I'll post the video later.

I didn't hold to the same start limitation in the F40 class.  I figured the old guys that have to work on Monday would be smooth and wasn't disappointed!  8)

As for how the organization ran, from my perspective it was ok.  I can't compare it to Japan because CCS is so much more flexible in rules and classes for their customers I have to assume that's a major cause of some delays in the morning. 
(In Japan there are 6 classes and you sign up three weeks before or don't play.  Tough rule but smooth processing of paperwork and tech)

As for officiating, only thing I saw was a rider that couldn't find his spot on the grid so he parked in front of me.  The grid official standing 40' away looked on.  Start went on anyway.  Not a big deal but interesting nonetheless.  I'll post that as well.

My only real issue is the no qualifying / grid determined by registration policy.

I asked a CCS official (I do have her name for reference if asked) about the policy to gain an understanding of the CCS organizational mindset and to sum it up I was politely told:
1: "That's the way its always been"
2: "Practice is for warm-up"
3: "Its only club racing"

Hmmmm....... I submit:

1. With time keeping and scoring technology it doesn't have to be this way any longer. Why not change the morning practice to qualifying?  Then riders of similar time can get to business side-by-side from the start of the race. Safer for the riders and more fun for the spectators.
2. Practice is not warm-up.  Practice is qualifying.  What else are we doing out there?  Maybe testing is being confused with practice? 
3. As for the "only club racing" mindset, is club racing and professionalism counter to one another?

Anyway- felt great to be back on the track and very impressed with the quality of riding, the effort on the part of CCS, the friendliness of the paddock and the opportunity to flog a race bike around a circuit.  However, to be honest, I don't know if I can adjust to the different approach here. Still contemplating that issue.

Feedback appreciated. 

Craig
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CCS AM #532

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 05:00:48 pm »
There simply is not time to take practice times and put them on a grid. The grid is mostly made up with pre-entries before the weekend gets going. Then, the post entries are just added in order they come in.
Gridding by time would mean club racers spending MORE money and risking more to get in that "good lap" to grid toward the front. (need a good set of tires, race fuel perhaps, etc. to do your "qualifying lap"). For what.. if you want that kind of thing, do the wera National series, or get an AMA licence. For me anyway, I wan't those few morning warm up laps to shake down the bike and try a few suspension tweeks, as well as get the "rust" off of my riding..
Wera grids by points i think.. so.. you would have actually been gridded further back with them if you had no points in the class you chose to run. It is not a perfect system, but there is more to setting a grid by times than you might think.

there are some things that didn't go as planned, ok, as a whole things usually go pretty smooth. I will say the starting grid procedures have been a bit of a mess lately. Riders that dont' know thier grid postion should be YANKED off the grid NOW.. especially with the summer time upon us, engine temps rise rapidly and we don't need some idiot (1st term that comes to mind) messing things up for everyone else. This is something i intend to bring up myself..

Bonehead riders? you will have them from time to time.. They USUALLY weed themselves out of racing pretty quick, either running out of money fixing thier shit all the time or get hurt.
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jon211

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 06:07:24 pm »
Practice times are recorded and posted so whats the issue with posting griding position at the same time?  What more than that actually goes into it?  I know we use that limited track time to set up suspension and other testing but at least this would keep a grid that varies 5 sec a lap in order.
 
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Solo

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 07:27:31 pm »
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There simply is not time to take practice times and put them on a grid.

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Practice times are recorded and posted so whats the issue with posting griding position at the same time?

It seems there is time for those that are pre-registered.  Maybe assigning grid by time for pre-registered riders is the way to go.
Post-register riders are then behind the pre-register grid.
The ups: More motivation to pre-register
The downs: The fast post-register guys are in the back and there is still a mis-match (albeit less) in the overall grid. 

I asked if Club racing is counter to professionalism.  You wrote:

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Gridding by time would mean club racers spending MORE money and risking more to get in that "good lap" to grid toward the front. (need a good set of tires, race fuel perhaps, etc. to do your "qualifying lap").


and

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For me anyway, I wan't those few morning warm up laps to shake down the bike and try a few suspension tweeks, as well as get the "rust" off of my riding..


No slight intended but I think you've answered my question.  Training (physically and mentally) before race day and preparing your bike to perform at the highest level you can reasonably afford and allowed by the rules is from your perspective too much to ask for club racing.
I can understand that.  Just can't quite accept it.

You asked:

Quote
For what..


To know you did your best. 
And to know you were not artificially limited by the day you sent your fax. 

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if you want that kind of thing, do the wera National series, or get an AMA licence.

Aw yes, this implies if I had the talent and time I could pursue this the right way.  Since I have neither, those options are out and I should accept things the way they are :biggrin:

Hmmm.  Is there no middle road?  Only the choice of do a national series or accept the current standard?   

It would be interesting to pick a couple of series in 2011 as a test case and try it.

Concur with the other comments.


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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 08:04:39 pm »
Practice times are recorded and posted so whats the issue with posting griding position at the same time?  What more than that actually goes into it?  I know we use that limited track time to set up suspension and other testing but at least this would keep a grid that varies 5 sec a lap in order.
 

What if the rider has multiple bikes that fall in the same practice groups? (ie a thunderbike and a 125gp. Both run the same practice group). How would staff know which bike they used?


We get this topic EVERY YEAR.

Dunno about other tracks but going by Blackhawk, we dont have time to do qualifying period. We can only run between 8am and MUST be done by 6PM. 11 races on Sat (4 endurance and the racing school also runs) and usually 15 on sunday. Now include things like red flags, having to repair the air fences after a bike slams into them, trying to get a racebike that wont roll into the trailer, track cleanup from bikes dropping fluids and so many other things which will cut into the schedule. Any race that cannot be completed by 6PM probably would be rescheduled for another weekend. Then that weekend will be all screwed up also with a tighter schedule.

As for the guy not knowing his grid position, he should had been told to pull it off to the side. I have yet to know any racer who doesnt have duct tape in his/her toolbox that they can use as a "post it note" on the gas tank/triples.

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skiandclimb

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 08:15:42 pm »
FWIW, Most of the "bad riders" who get their paperwork in early, do not bolster their chances, really, by gridding front row. The faster, late registrants simply have better starts, and find their way to the front (typically) by means of sheer talent...and usually prior to T1.

Not to hack on you for coming up racing stellar tracks in Japan or anything, but the answer of "it is what it is" (paraphrasing, of course) is just that. CCS has always gridded by entry. I'm sure if I, or any other CCS racer, were to go to Japan and race club circuits, we would likely have similar responses, quesitons, wonderment etc etc.

Having worked throughout the years with a couple Asian folks, I understand that their culture is COMPLETELY different in almost every respect. I get things like "drive" "determination" "performing at your highest level" etc.  And I understand that many (most) Asians cultures stress the "nothing but the absolute best" mentality.  I completely, and whole-heartedly respect this attitude, but I think when one has this mindset, they are missing out on one very key aspect.......FUN.

CCS racing is a blast.  The races are a blast, the officials are usually fun and easy going. The racers are caring and giving to a fault. We drink beer after practice.  We cuss.  We BS one another on a regular basis.  Perhaps there is a lack of asian styled proffesionalism, but it's fun.  And not to sound cliche, but it is what we have done since CCS' inception.

I think you should look into running a few of CCS' sister outfit's races- the ASRA series.  Qualifying laps and all.  Plus, you still get all of the home-style bullshit and bench racing in the paddock!  I think ASRA would probably make you feel more at home in terms of timed gridding and the like.

I hope you don't think I am pooping on your parade here, bro! If I were to switch to a different organization, I would probably look cock-eyed at their procedures as well.

Anywho, FWIW, welcome to CCS racing.  We are glad to have you, and hope you stick around!  Also, CCS is open to any and ALL rules changes at the end of each season.  You might not like their response, but they WILL discusss the issue.

HTH,

Ski

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Solo

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 08:34:52 pm »
Ski,
I think you are correct.  17 years in Japan may have had an affect on me! :err:

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I hope you don't think I am pooping on your parade here, bro!


Not at all.  Another perspective is a great thing.  Thanks!

Quote
What if the rider has multiple bikes that fall in the same practice groups? (ie a thunderbike and a 125gp. Both run the same practice group). How would staff know which bike they used?

Hmmmmm................. ...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 08:37:21 pm by Solo »
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CCS AM #532

DougG60

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 09:27:21 pm »
FWIW, Most of the "bad riders" who get their paperwork in early, do not bolster their chances, really, by gridding front row. The faster, late registrants simply have better starts, and find their way to the front (typically) by means of sheer talent...and usually prior to T1.

i can agree with you there but this weekend at njmp was not the case. there were several races with 50-60 riders with 2 waves. so it turned into 7 laps of mayham with those faster guys 20 rows back doing bansi maneuvers to get maybe to 10th place.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 10:37:30 pm by DougG60 »
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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 10:01:34 pm »
Hey Craig
 Did you ride Don's F4? Rich seem to have this problem after coming back from Japan too. The  tracks that we think are great here in the States are nothing compared to what you guys gotto race on over there. Hope to hit a SRTT event and maybe meet some more of you guys soon now that Don is back.
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Solo

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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 10:39:04 pm »
Quote
so it turned into 7 laps of mayham with those faster guys 20 rows back doing bansi maneuvers to get maybe to 10th place.

I hope I'm not in the video but I'll admit going from 17th to 5th in 7 laps compelled me to lose some politeness.
The harder part was looking at laptimes afterwards and seeing my time was all but equal to the guy that won.  He's the guy I wanted to race.

Maybe there is no way to remove the affect of random grid positioning on racing results.  Still doesn't mean its very pallatable.

 
Quote
The  tracks that we think are great here in the States are nothing compared to what you guys gotto race on over there.

Actually, I have to admit I thought that when my first track visit was Summit Point.  I could not believe how fast these guys went with the surface they are given.  After talking with a couple of guys they convinced me the surface had grip.  Once I went for it I really liked the place.  The track has a very fun flow to it. I like the track.

The whole airfence requirement though is a shock.  Terrible that its so necessary but I'm thankful its there!

Oh, and then I went to VIR and NJMP and lo and behold, great tracks!  NJMP is as good as Sugo.  VIR has a better flow than Motegi and Summit is at least as safe as Ebisu. (Nothing beats Suzuka but I have more U.S. tracks to check)

And there are other things America has over Japan- The friendliness of the riders, the access to the paddock before race day, the larger number of quality riders and I also noticed the women are more endowed. But this is a family-friendly website so don't want to offend :biggrin:
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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 11:10:19 pm »
I hope I'm not in the video but I'll admit going from 17th to 5th in 7 laps compelled me to lose some politeness.
The harder part was looking at laptimes afterwards and seeing my time was all but equal to the guy that won.  He's the guy I wanted to race.
well in f40 that would be me. was 2nd into t1 and in lead and checking out after the chicane. if you are going to summit try to find me 101 duc 848. no video from that one i ran hw ss and the red flagged un ss. both were mayham
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Re: Outside observer view of CCS
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 08:21:58 am »
this weekend at NJMP a few of us got screwed.
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