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Race numbers on your race cars and trucks

Curtis Guise

Administrator
I've heard many photo guys complain about this and I experience it also when trying to sort through video footage. If your fancy race number with cool fonts, fades, designs etc. looks cool from a few feet away but is hard to read 10-20 feet away, its definitely going to be hard for a photographer or videographer to ID your truck when trying to find a photo or video by race number. Simple single color bold fonts are the best to be seen from a distance. This should be a requirement by all promoters...
 

kyle_pc_75

Well-Known Member
Awesome post. It should be black on white or vice versa, a minimum size and standard font. It should be reflective and on the front, back and both sides of the vehicle in a spot that's not likely to get ripped off and left behind on the race course. Pretty sure it's in every org's rules, but rarely enforced.

If the timing loop goes down, the only backup for timing is the eyesight of the officials. If you don't get timed or have to be stopped because your number is unreadable, that's on the racer. Love the sharkfins, I rarely have to squint to get the number off a Trophylite.
 

mrlentle

Well-Known Member
Also mud is an issue at some races. Finke in Australia has the right idea requiring the shark fin on top with the number.

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I'm surprised the organisers don't do this over your way already. NZ it's part of the national organisation rules from what I remember (the shark fin used to be too - not sure if it still stands but had to be highest point of the cage from memory). Means if the tracking craps the bed there's still a way for the time keepers to keep on top of things too. Font size is also specified as a minimum. Certainly makes things easier. Wet situations I've been at events where we were told to clean our race numbers before being allowed to exit the pit.
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jeff

Moderator
NORRA has very specific requirements and you can't pass tech if your numbers aren't exactly how they require them. The numbers that worked in 2017 / 2018 weren't allowed in 2019. I can totally understand it from one perspective (timing or photog's) but at the same time they can almost ruin a bitchin' graphics scheme. The generic font Black / White number set is pretty ugly. The Shark Fin however is a great idea.

Aloha
 

Charlietuna

Well-Known Member
As somebody that occasionally works a checkpoint for D38 races, I can't "this" this post enough. We just deal with motorcycles and ATVs/UTVs, but damn...I think some people intentionally make their numbers hard to read.
 

JEFFRPM

Non Sugar Coated
For what the race promoters are charging for entry fees THEY should be handing out the numbers with your signup credentials IN the colors & sizes THEY want (hell make them reflective) with an instruction sheet telling you where they want them applied if you don't have them where they want you don't pass tech......problem solved.
 

jeff

Moderator
For what the race promoters are charging for entry fees THEY should be handing out the numbers with your signup credentials IN the colors & sizes THEY want (hell make them reflective) with an instruction sheet telling you where they want them applied if you don't have them where they want you don't pass tech......problem solved.
Funny you mention that...

So last year at NORRA we showed up with the same race numbers we had used in 2017/2018. At the end of Tech they failed both cars and said they had to be black and white and of a certain minimum size. No stylized font. Ok... Not a problem! I walked over to the PCI contingency trailer and purchased a whole bunch of race numbers at a pretty significant cost. Then walked back over to the Tech guy and asked if the numbers would work... he said NO! We had the colors wrong. NORRA would not allow a white number with a black background... it has to be a black number with a white background. Hmm... after some asking around I was able to get Juan Carlos to call a local Ensenada sticker maker and in about an hour we had all the race numbers we needed for both cars. While the stickers were being made two teammates went to Home Depot and bought a Handicap parking sign and they turned that around and used it as the "white" mounting plate for the rear of one of the cars. It was not a lot of fun. Had NORRA had a stack of white background stickers and a bunch of black numbers we would have kindly paid for them to get through tech. Imagine how happy I would have been if they offered them for free! o_O

Does anybody know of a source for a semi-rigid Shark Fin number plate?

Aloha
 

DTPMS

Well-Known Member
Rulebook=
: Best In The Desert Racing Association assumes no responsibility for scoring vehicles with unrecognizable numbers. It is the vehicle driver’s responsibility for keeping numbers recognizable. All vehicles in competition must have identification numbers in the following locations and sizes:  Minimum 10 inches high with 1-inch-wide stroke on each side of vehicle in line with the occupants.  Minimum 6 inches high with 1-inch-wide stroke on the rear of vehicle and is plainly visible from the rear.  Minimum 4 inches high located on the front of vehicle and is plainly visible from the front of the vehicle


Voss's forward facing numbers are white on white with a tiny black outline. Next to impossible to see sitting still, let alone racing by.











As you can tell, they are loosely enforced....
 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
Some samples of numbers I designed from scratch and had printed on White Reflective material back when we raced TT Spec. And I'm by no means a graphic artist. I've always wondered why more people don't make use of the fake headlight stickers as number plates.
 

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QurtysLyn

Well-Known Member
The Shark Fin is great.

Until they roll the car, and then it's completely useless. Trophylites are the worst for this.

Also, if I'm working a checkpoint and it's dark, the longer it takes me to find your number, the longer I have to be shining my spotlight at your vehicle.

Big numbers and White on Black or Black on White are the easiest to spot and read. White with an inch or so Black Outline will make it readable on just about anything, or Black with an inch of White outline.
 

dhjeepgeek

Well-Known Member
I see a lot of race vehicles with tiny numbers on the front. The side panels usually get covered by Dirt, dust or mud. Having worked many races I know how hard it is to see the numbers especially in the dark. The side numbers up high helps. keeps them out of the dirt better. Having my lights on as the cars pass me is the only way to see them anyway at night. I remember some lighted number plates a few years back. They were easier to see. But they were usually on the door, which gets covered by dirt/mud. I notice a lot of vehicles don't have much area to mount the numbers on the front. My buggy has a little space above the front window.
It seems to work.
 

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Ty Owings

Well-Known Member
Agreed. every car should have a small number on the driver or passenger side on the little space above the front window. Big enough to see from 300ft away which is how far they say spectators need to be away from the course. I'll throw a couple pictures of the good and bad.
 

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JEFFRPM

Non Sugar Coated
I'd get the illuminated ones that are used in the Lemans series races thier not that expensive
Especially if I was ever to be held up in a checkpoint while 3 guys are stumbling over each other looking for my number while 2 of my competitors are 00.4 seconds behind me coming in HOT
 

LAZY-H

Large Member
Does anybody know of a source for a semi-rigid Shark Fin number plate?
Not quite a shark fin but we use ABS plastic, it’s rigid, easy to shape, cut, bend etc.
and fairly cheap to replace in case of a rollover
(speaking from experience) 😁
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Charlietuna

Well-Known Member
Agreed. every car should have a small number on the driver or passenger side on the little space above the front window. Big enough to see from 300ft away which is how far they say spectators need to be away from the course. I'll throw a couple pictures of the good and bad.
One thing I've noticed on the UTVs that do it that way though is, some racers will put a pod light right next to/above/below the number. And then turn the light on....effectively erasing the number until it is right on top of the checkpoint. Then get mad because we stop them (or at least slow them down) to make sure we have the number right.
 

Ty Owings

Well-Known Member
One thing I've noticed on the UTVs that do it that way though is, some racers will put a pod light right next to/above/below the number. And then turn the light on....effectively erasing the number until it is right on top of the checkpoint. Then get mad because we stop them (or at least slow them down) to make sure we have the number right.
That is true. Similar how some of the Class 10 guys put the numbers there and then put the lightbar on it then it completely covers it. How about something lower? Either on the front skid plate like some of the 5U dudes do or on the wind visor area similar to the car I attached on this post.
 

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