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Pit stops: Does your club do them?

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  • Pit stops: Does your club do them?

    Our T-Jet club has decided to make the move to slip-on rear tires this season.

    This brings up a few new challenges when it comes to regulating pit stops for tire cleaning.

    We have started to draft a few new rules to anticipate any problems we would encounter.

    A few of the rules we really want to stick to are:

    Racers will clean their own tires, no pit crews.

    If a racer causes a deslot to a competitor, he gets a stop and go penalty.

    Any other ideas/problems/concerns any of your racing clubs have come across?

  • #2
    At HOCOC races normally drivers clean their own tires and the cleaning must be done under green flag conditions. No cleaning between heats or during track calls, except that if a driver has started to clean his tires and there is a track call he may finish cleaning, but must wait until racing resumes to put the car back on the track. If a driver fouls another car when he does a pit stop he is penalized a lap, the victim gets no penalty. We do have one track where the cars can't be reached from the driver's stations, in that case a crewman will clean your tires.

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    • #3
      We do have one track where the cars can't be reached from the driver's stations, in that case a crewman will clean your tires.
      There may a a few tracks where we will need to employ this idea.

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      • #4
        My club races Fray style: 10 laps (about a minute) in each lane, then rotate lanes. We have something like 40 seconds between heats, just enough time to clean the tires and clean the pickups. Usually this means that we don't have to clean tires during the heats.

        When we do have races that are longer, we clean tires under green and on the main straight (typically in front of the driver stand). Touching another's car during a pit stop results in your taking last place in that heat. That's also the rule at the Fray.

        At the KSR 24hr race, the end of the straight is where a volunteer sits. He cleans the tires of any car that wants the tires cleaned. The heats at the KSR24 are an hour or so, so tires get cleaned quite often during a heat. Because the tire cleaner is a volunteer, no penalty for thumbing is assessed.

        Bob

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        • #5
          Why not just put down tape in each lane and your tires stay clean.

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          • #6
            Our club races a few T-Jet classes with slip-on tires. We run 3 minute heats with marshals. For the most part, people clean their tires between heats with no need to clean them during a heat, although you can do so if you want.

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            • #7
              It does sound to me as if this could be a case of making problems where they could be avoided, just let people clean their tires whenever they wish.

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              • #8
                If you can only clean tires under green flag conditions then tire strategy becomes a factor. You have to balance the slower lap times that you get when the tires go off against the time lost while cleaning tires. Some of the tracks that I have raced on were perfectly clean, so tire cleaning was not an issue, in other cases the track was unusually dusty and the tires had to be cleaned several times during each heat.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RichD View Post
                  If you can only clean tires under green flag conditions then tire strategy becomes a factor. You have to balance the slower lap times that you get when the tires go off against the time lost while cleaning tires. Some of the tracks that I have raced on were perfectly clean, so tire cleaning was not an issue, in other cases the track was unusually dusty and the tires had to be cleaned several times during each heat.
                  We have guys that clean tires now, and they're good at it.

                  The point here is we are switching to slip-ons and there will be MORE guys cleaning that don't usually do it.

                  As for the tracks staying clean, there are many factors, but the big one is the weather. When it's cold enough to have the furnace on, there are usually problems with tracks getting dusty. Especially Max Trax, and TKO. If it's raining outside, there is usually no problems with dust.

                  We have some very aggressive drivers that will clean sometimes twice in a three minute heat, especially if they're getting off on the cork.

                  Thanks for all the ideas.

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                  • #10
                    "Why not just put down tape in each lane and your tires stay clean."
                    You mean double sided tape of course. Yes, this works but I'm not aware of any organization that allows this during a race. Water mixed with Aloe drops also works but probably bad for the rail.

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                    • #11
                      I worked in a clean room for a year, so I know a lot about dust. People generate a lot of dust, that is why you have to suit up when you work in a clean room. Some locations are more dusty than others. If you have a deep pile carpet walking around on that will stir up dust. My basement is not very dusty. A day or two before a big race the floor gets vacuumed. Just before the race I wipe the track down with a special treated dusting cloth, then run a car around that has sponge tires with a little traction compound on them. I also run an air purifier.
                      A T-Jet SS car with slip-on silicone tires might get through 12 minutes of racing without a tire cleaning, but it would be more likely that at least one cleaning would be needed.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichD View Post
                        A T-Jet SS car with slip-on silicone tires might get through 12 minutes of racing without a tire cleaning, but it would be more likely that at least one cleaning would be needed.
                        We run three minute heats, and we allow drivers to clean during lane changes.

                        I can't imagine trying to go twelve minutes without a clean.

                        And NONE of the track owners, or the committee members would go for the tape thingy.

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                        • #13
                          For us cleaning tires is part of our race strategy, just like tire strategy is with 1:1 racing. If I stay out while everyone else pits for new tires I can get the lead, the question is will they catch me before the race is over?
                          I feel that the track should be reasonably clean, you should not have to clean tires 3-4 times during a three minute heat. A common problem happens when a track has not been used for a while, perhaps because several tracks are being used or because of a lunch break. In that case the people in the first heat are likely to have a greater dust problem. Since running the cars and cleaning the tires will eventually condition the track the people in later heats will need to clean their tires less often, so the people in the first heat will be at a disadvantage. Under that circumstance the fair thing to do is to allow the people in the first heat to run their cars and clean the tires for a few minutes before the actual racing begins.
                          We have never tried double sided tape. I would expect that if the track was rather dusty that it would soon become ineffective.

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                          • #14
                            Rich, your post was spot on. I am finding my bigger track will get dust on it the longer it is not in use. When getting back on the track, I vacuum first, then I run a "Swiffer" style pad over it attached to a broom stick so I can get to all areas of the track to attract dust. Seems to get me to a good start. Also, this is why I try to have a few guys over every month (or two) to run all their different cars with different tire styles. It seems to lay down the rubber groove just like a real track. This also cuts down on the tire cleaning. Either way the more the track is run on, the less the racers need to constantly clean their tires. Gar
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Smalltime,


                              In years past, we would incorporate pit stops for fun. We only did it when we ran 100 lap races. When someone cam off the rule was that everyone stopped, so in theory the guys still in their respective lanes got an extra 5-15 feet before they actually came to a stop. Then we would put the offed car back on the track. The guy who came off could not start until all other cars were moving. If we caught that guy jumping the start he was given a 30sec time out.


                              Now, here is what we did with the pit stops. It was a mandatory to stop for 20sec on the main straight in front of their respective driving station. It was the drivers choice to clean tires, oil the chassis, or clean pickup shoes. It could also be their choice to do nothing and just sit for 20sec. Whether racing with 2-4 guys the timed stop always even out. Once we did this for awhile, everyone got used to the format and it was fun.


                              .

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