We did pay cash at the race for the unit $250.00, then had to put our card down in case we did not turn it back in. They took the unit from the car at the finish line......I'm sure it was a mistake, I wanted the rest of you to know so you could check your cards.....I'll let you know when we fix it.
DO NOT give IRC a credit card number period. Pay cash and tell them to pick up the unit at the finish line when you cross. You are NOT required to provide a credit card. Why are you providing a credit card? For a box of electronic you can buy a radio shack for $100? Time for IRC to start shooting straight. My vote is find another company to provide services.
Sir, with all due respect, you don't know what you are talking about. Radio Shack for $100.00? That proves that you have no clue. For anyone of us to try to duplicate the innards of one black box would cost us $4K to $5K. For someone who really knows his/her stuff I'm sure would be much less. They pay around $2500+ for each box that comes from France. Are they working on something that would be a lot cheaper and more efficient? Probably.
Is there another company that can do as well or better? NO! Their partners in France do the Dakar race (have been for years) plus a number of big events around the world.
We always seem to cut our noses inspite our face (???). Let's work with what we have and make it better. They want to hear from all of us, so things can be improved.
For example, last year when some enterprising racers were complaining that the system was shutting down during the race, they installed the "back-up" system that will continue to operate even when the black box is unplugged. They were doing it in the SCORE races because at that time SCORE was not doing much about it. But BITD and others were relying on the box to tell them the story of each racer, so there weren't as many infractions. Now, it appears that the playing field will be even for everyone. I say Hurray!
Here's the other problem that I was made aware of last year. I was one of those who finished the race, we got tech'ed and then drove off to our hotel or pit and started celbrating never thinking that the unit was still on and IRC was still being charged for the Sat. minutes. I believe at the Baja 1000 to Cabo San Lucas, much to their dismay, when they got home, they found out that there were almost a hundred racers who had not turned in their boxes. But what made it worst was the fact that for the next five to ten days those boxes were still sending a Sat signal. I believe they got a bill for $35,000 in sat charges, which they absorbed! Now they have an arrangement with the Sat company that all units will go off the grid when SCORE calls the race. They've learned.
It should be the responsibility of the racer and/or the team to make sure the box is turned in immediately after the finish. If you don't do it, it may cost you an additional $250.00. We paid that after the San Felipe 250 because I failed to get it back to them. We've learned our lesson. This time Mikey got to the finish at the 500 and immediately turned the box in to them, even before they got there to help take it out.
And that's the way we are going to have to play this game.
Thought some of you should know.