Pit Safety

jeff

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It's not being selfish or irresponsible. If my opinion pisses you off that's fine. Unless somebody actually goes out there and does something, anything, it's just another competition to see who can spew the most hot air. Being selfish is just talking about doing it and never getting it done. If I see you out setting up ribbons you paid for out of your own pocket you'll have earned my respect. If you are confident that ribbons are the solution and that they will save a life, go out and spend $9.99 for a few 1000' rolls of CAUTION - DO NOT CROSS tape. <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.galls.com/shop/viewProductDetail.jsp?item=HS143&catcode=8>http://www.galls.com/shop/viewProductDetail.jsp?item=HS143&catcode=8</A>

Like you said.... people need to be educated. Ribbons won't stop stupid people from doing stupid things. It is the responsibility of each team to make sure those with friends/family attending the races stay safe by educating them. My best guess is it's not the newbie spectators we have to worry about... it's the people that have been to a few races that cause the problems. Common sense is what people lack and no amount of ribbon or tape can change that. Do you ribbon the ENTIRE course? Or just the main pit area? And if you only ribbon the main pit.... will the problem just move to some other part of the course?

Like I said earlier... if the rollover on the main pits had killed 20 people this discussion would have gone a totally different route. Ideas are find and dandy, but until somebody actually does the work it's still just an idea. Ideas won't save lives, action on those ideas saves lives.

Has anyone complaining about the Barstow main pit ever worked on the Laughlin (SCORE) main pit? That's a hell of a lot more dangerous than Barstow. One snapped bolt and you could easily kill a hundred people. Not to burst any bubbles, but what we say to each other on the boards is meaningless if nobody actually goes out there and does something. If you don't like it, get out there and change it. Never rely on anyone else to do anything for you and you'll be fine. If you are happy just talking about the problem that's great. I still think talk is cheap. Having the solution and not acting on it is what I consider selfish.

Aloha
 

DG_BTI

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take it easy Jeff, ribbons were just a suggestion on this "text forum". That's all anyone can do on this board is talk. Maybe from all this "hot air" we can find a piece to the solution. You are right that unless somebody actually does something that it is just talk, but without talk how can we come up with ideas. The purpose of this thread is to address the issues and possible come up with some solutions. To dismiss this conversation as hot air is just ridicules, sorry. Your also right that Laughlin is crazy down pit road, but if we don't at least "talk" about it, then nothing will be "done" about it. Your not pissing me off, I just dont completely agree with your ideas, oh ya, what was your idea?
 

jeff

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My idea is that people should either put up or shut up. I've seen enough threads come and go to know that money talks and BS walks. Yes, talking about it helps - a little. The problem I have is the lack of follow through that is proven time and time again.

This same problem was around twenty years ago at the races... and people are still just talking about it.

Aloha
 

Jack

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Ya, if we don't talk about it, the problem will just go away.... On that note, if I go out and put up miles of ribbon, no one will abide by it, because I have no authority to do that, that is the race promoter or the BLM. So with that said, I guess I need to start another race series so I can do things my way. No wait, that answer doesn’t work ether we already have to many promoters. Dam I don't know what to do now.

I guess this gets back to a race group that will push promoters to go in a direction that the racers want to go.
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

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All these are fine suggestions, and I agree something needs to be done to make the main pit area safer. But, how will MDR staff a crew to monitor the speeds ect. through main? Their staff is manned by voulnteers. They are continually shorthanded. There have been times when I have received a call from Patricia while pitting or chasing to either work a check, crossing or whatever. I am sure if anyone voulnteers to help enforce speeds or what particular lines to use something will come of it.

Send concerns / suggestions to: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://MDRRACING@AOL.COM>MDRRACING@AOL.COM</A>

If your gunna go.........go Ghetto...
 

jeff

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I never said just sit by and do nothing. If everyone was capable of policing after themselves it wouldn't be a problem. If ALL the racers just mutually agreed to slow down in the pits one of the problems would be solved. It's not just a spectator or pit support problem, it's also a racer problem.

Pat's right though... and it brings me back a few posts. Nobody wants to pay for it... yet everyone wants to complain about it. If you need more volunteers you'll need to offer an incentive. If MDR offered a reduction in entry fees for a team that could get FIVE good volunteers to help with the race, would anyone go for it? Let's say five teams did... you've got an extra 25 volunteers right there. Is that enough to fix the problem?

Are we talking about JUST the main pit at Barstow or does this thread cover the safety over the entire length (and perimeter) of all desert courses?

Aloha
 

desertracer

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I think something should be done to make the main pit safer. We are willing to pay a few extra dollars in entry fee to make this happen. All the ideas that are coming out in the discussion are great as long as they get put into action. When Schlime flipped last race it made us really slow down going through main. At the race in feb. we almost go out of shape at the sweeper with the big rollers. After these instances we have elected to just roll throught the main pit area in Barstow. The race will not be won through that area so there is no sense going super fast. One complaint I have from this last race is at Rx 1 there were a group of guys standing literally on the course on the first lap. We gave a "nice" wave to give them a hint that they should not stand that close to the track. All it takes is one wrong bump at 60-80mph and people could be killed. The spectators need to have common sense as well, but it seems as though many lack in that department. Lets keep the ideas going.

MDR Class 1
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Greg

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Unless you have a designated "spectator area" that you pay to sit in, the promotor is NOT responsible for the spectators. A very easy soloution would be that everyone agree to set-up their pits/camps about 75 feet farther from the course. You will never police people from sitting track side, but this will put a big space between the cars entering and exiting the course. As for ribbons ans caution tape, well, we used to use about a roll every time we marked a course, within a day it will be runover and torn down. We marked the wall really well last year, that did alot of good. The single best thing you can do is be responsible for yourself and make sure the people that come with you are informed.

Greg
 

FABRICATOR

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It does get insane sometimes, and not just at MDR races. I saw RG go right through a parking area a few years back, he did slow to about 75 or so. He pulled it off but there were kids and other innocents all over the place minding their own business. Score has used concrete bumper things (chicanes?) to slow the cars. These cost money. Maybe the same thing can be done with some junk cars or roll-off bodies and park them in the way so the racers have to slow down. One thing is fairly consistent with other forms of racing. For the most part, the danger is on the driver not the spectator or course worker. The attitude of non-racers beware is not going to make it. Moving things back will only widen the course. There needs to be some positive traffic control, at least in some areas. Perhaps the terrain can be put to some use.

<font color=blue>"A Ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for"</font color=blue>
 

martininsocal

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Fabricator- the course width is determined by the BLM. For the most part it is usually 30-50' from the center line of the course. In this instance, the pits are usually about 50 feet from the course, so there shouldn't be a real problem unless a car gets really out of shape. Thats why I think just smoothing the start finish area will solve the major problem. The minor problem that occurs with folks with no common sense standing trackside eventually takes care of itself, unfortunately. We all pay 100 bucks for land use everytime we enter a race, lets have it put to good use. 100 cars is 10,000 bucks. Are there any heavy equipment operators who think 1/4 to 1/2 of that will cover smoothing S/F?

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

JCA

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I like the way FRT (Fud) marks his pits. He has boundary markers through the pit to keep all racers on track. The boundary markers are on wood stakes placed a distance apart all the way down pit row. On the same wood stakes he places cards that inform the racers that if you pass the stake outside the race boundaries there is a speed limit. He then places a white (flour/chalk) line a "safe distance" from the race course and no pit/camp vehicles are allowed to set up inside of that line. Vehicles can cross the line and cross the track but they can not set up the pit/camp across the line. Safer...yes - full proof...no. This is also covered (re-enforced) at the drivers meetings. The speed limit is self enforced. I have seen people use spectator videos to show the infraction. I have seen complaints lodged and when enough complaints are lodged a warning or action taken. I have seen one team owner pull another team owner to the side to discuss it and yes I have seen the immature throw what ever is handy (fire extinguisher, chair, rocks) at the vehicle approach

We preach and preach that you do not sit on the outside of a turn but yet the racers set up there pit on the outside of the curve in pit row at Barstow all the time???

One thread says there is not enough access for the spectators at US races and then others say there is too much spectator access at MDR???

When I race the San Felipe 250 I probably get booed more then cheered when I come through zoo road. I go through there way slow and cant wait to get a mile or two up the road where the spectators are not that much of a problem. At this years San Felipe 250 we all saw the video showing the McMillin buggy nerfing another 1 car all the way through that section. A lot of people commented on how awesome that was. I thought it was a classic example of abusive nerfing and a class in how not to pass. Where was the guy in-front suppose to go? Pull into the crowd and take a few people out? A couple more hundred yards and the crowd is not as big a factor.

Moving the pits back wont work without a boundary being set. The area would just be used as a new line.

I do not think a team can go out there and start putting up ribbons and signs for rules that do not exists. Everyone posting ideas helps me form what I believe to be a viable suggestion. I will then either write the promoter or call them. I do not see why the entry would have to go up all that much to improve the situation.I would be glad to pay a extra to make sure my family didn't get killed while sitting in my pit while I was racing.

On a side note. I suggested that the entry fee be raised a little to ensure that trash roll off bins are available at every race. To get people to do the right thing you have to make it easy.



J.C. Andrews
Andrews Racing
www.andrewsracing.com
 

WFODAN

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OK , so here's what I get so far ............ First , we need to raise the entry fee for me to race , so the drunks will have sticks to pull out of the ground to throw in their fires in the main . Give the BLM a list of stuff we want them to do that costs money ( no matter where the money came from , us ,land use fees ) so they can say that us racers are a bigger pain in the A$$ then we're worth , so we just can't race there anymore at all . Try and enforce a speed limit on a "race course" because stupid people stand too close to the track and might get hurt if I crash on the track I paid to race on . And lastly raise my entry fee again to put dumpsters there for the lazy people that throw their trash on the ground instead of walking 20 feet to a garbage bag in any pit along pit row . Why would they go to the end of the pits to throw away their stuff when they can't even put it in a bag right next to them ??

Listen ........... What I'm saying may sound negative , but it's the truth . The problem isn't caused by the race cars that crash or the racers themselves . It's the idiots that it seems are now our responsability to parent and take care of . I believe the main pit is the least of our ( the racers ) worries . Out in the middle of the track in some of the roughest spots people are so close as we pass that they can touch the truck as we go by . I see that as a problem ten times more important than the main . As for the main , if one of my pit guys got hit by a race car , under or out of control , would I blame the racer ?? HELL NO !!! Would I expect a promoter to make my pit guy safer ?? NOPE !!! If he is that close to the track and isn't paying attention to the race cars themselves ............ I think he has already shown how smart he is , and there is nothing I or anyone can say to him .

As for the McMillin car going threw Zoo road nerfing the car infront of him .......... Was it abusive nerfing ?? I don't think so . I think it was just a case of big motor pushing little motor . He wasn't slamming into him . He just kept constant pressure against the rear of the slower car until there was enough room to pass safely . I have been in both of those spots before . The pusher and the pushee . If you were watching you would've noticed the brake lights were not on in the front car , so I don't believe he had a problem with the free HP he was getting from his push .

If you feel the main is a problem , then make yourself the desert police and go pit to pit to educate the people standing there about the dangers of a race car vs spectator situation . I think an oral lecture will go alot farther than a stick in the ground .............. However if you are not willing to personally do that , then as it was posted earlier , this is just hot air ..........


Dan Vance
 

shrek

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Dan is right, we as racers need to police ourselfes and our neighbors. I for one had to litarally chase down some "non-racers" that were camping next to us and left their trash all over the campsite. Their excuse was that it was not "his", it was his friends. They had left about 2 big trashbags of trash and one destroyed tent behind. I cut him off before he hit outlet center and "discussed" it with the individuals and they felt it was in their best interest to go back and pick up the trash. It sucks, but we need to take care of our race area, and we cant expect anyone else to do it or inforce it for us.

And you (racers) may actually have to go clean up after someone that leaves a mess to help protect our rights to race there again.

Fortunately Art from the BLM saw the whole scene of me chasing this guy down and "discussing" it with him. So hopefully that left an impression with him that us as racers are trying to take care of and protect our land. Art thanked me several times and told me that if I had not made them go back and pick it up, he would be picking it up on Monday and Tuesday.

We need to take a stand and let people know it is not acceptable to abuse our land.

Matt

Value your right to say whatever you want...........because there are some that can't.
 

AllwaysRcn

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It would be nice to have a large dumpster to throw all of our trash in (from the weekend) when we leave so we don't have to try to find a spot for the trash on our trailers or in our trucks and chance having the trash scatter out on the way home or tear and leak stale beer all over everything.
Unfortunately some people won't go through the trouble and just leave it behind.
 

martininsocal

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Dan- You already pay ther BLM 100 bucks a race that is suppose to go to track rehab. How many races have you run? How much money have you already given them for track rehab? Think about it that way. As for the "it is their fault" attitude. It may be their fault, but when they sue and some lame a$$ jury awards them several million dollars and the promoter goes belly up, where you gonna race then? If you think someone else will step in, think about this, that new promoter will have to pay way more to the insurance carrier for event coverage, and who do you think will have to pay for that in the way of increased entry fees? You can't sove every problem with some of these fixes, but, you reduce the ability of them to occur. In the end, you still race, entry costs stay down, and fewer people get hurt.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

fishd00d

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You have a better chance in dying in a car accident on the way to the race on the freeway then you do at the race....maybe we should all stay home till the freeways are safe!

Go Big Or Go Home
 

martininsocal

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fish- I don't disagree with teh premise, but reality is this- Folks used to be able to go wherever they wanted to spectate at races, the BLM did not control spectator areas until...there was a death at a race. Since that time, race courses have been closed to spectating for many area that were traditionally used as campout spots to watch races. I even remember some races at Barstow where there was NO SPECTATOR ACCESS or use by the public on race day. It only took one incident. The threat of the possibility of a lawsuit is what drives their decissions to close access to spectators. As for dieing on the freeway, why do you think your insurance costs so much? Because people sue when they get injured or killed. Don't think that competitive events are safe in the dez, The new WEMO plan eliminates competitive events in all but the open areas, and the open areas are left to non-planned management, meaning they can be changed at anytime. The Federal Government can stop competitive events anytime it wants. Just look at the National Forests and the close out of competitive events there. Rallying? Not any more. The federal land use directions call for creating recreational opportunities, that does not include competition events. We should do what it takes to preserve our sport, not set it up to be killed by some senseless and preventable deaths.

Martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

daltonfixr

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Lets get back on track here. The reason I started this thread was that I witnessed RACERS, not only during the race but the day before and after the race, going WAY too fast for the surroundings. The spectators are another issue.
Here is an example:
A guy in a white extra cab, new body style F-150, all fiberglass body, what I would call a FULL RACE TRUCK, on Friday night and Saturday AFTER the race, doing multiple 90MPH pases down the main pit area. Now I don't know if this guy was a racer or a rich kid with a new toy but he wasn't wearing a helmet.
Also, during the race, a couple of the REAL FAST guys, in my opinion, were going way too fast through the main pit area based on the surroundings. My opinion is, you are not going to win the race by going that fast through the main pit area. You are more likely to wad the car up or kill someone or both.
This is just my opinion and just a couple of examples. We need to start with the guys who should know better and then we can switch to the idiot spectator.

Class 10 newbie
 

frankh

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Well I think that you are racing. I'm going to go as fast as I can. If MDR has a speed limit then I will go that speed. to say you will not win the race there is way off. just look at what Tom Kock lost 2nd overall by 1 sec. So if you slow down there then you will have to slow down at the three outer pits. if you start add all those little times up and pretty soon you are 1-2 min a lap off pace hoping the cars in front break so you can win. this is a race. move people back but don't limit the speed or mess with the track.


Frank
 

daltonfixr

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"move people back but don't limit the speed or mess with the track"
Like was said earlier, they already tried that and the racers just make a new line and take up the extra space. That is why there is 3 lines through the main pit area.
I don't think there is a solution that will satisfy everyone. I think if everyone (racers) would simply recognise that there is a safety problem in the main pit area that had to do with the fact that race cars are getting faster and faster, and the racers would keep that in mind while racing, maybe the problem would fix itself. I am just trying to be PRO-active before we are forced to be RE-active on this issue.











Class 10 newbie
 
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