Racer Licensing

SMS81

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Caught a live feed yesterday where BITD said they are going to move to a driver licensing process due to growing racing incidents. I personally believe this is a step in the right direction but at the same time think BITD is signing its own death warrant. Will it make things safer? Will BITD sink because now it’s the only org you will actually have to obtain some sort of credential to race? My guess is there are a few racers that will appreciate the change and a whole lot that go elsewhere. Will licensing make things safer? IMO, maybe. As long as people chase dust blind we will have incidents, veteran licensed drivers or not. Any better alternatives? I think the longer splits at SS worked pretty good. And my last question or gripe? Who are these guys, TT through class 11, that nerf excessively? Who does it? Is it hype that idiot newbies to the sport think that’s the only way to pass or what? Maybe the rules should state: if you are stupid enough to not know how to pass someone you are liable for all damages on another racers car. Been racing for over 25years, never have had to destroy someone’s car to get around them. Thoughts?
 
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NIKAL

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I saw the same video with the BITD guys on the Shock Therapy live feed. Licensing Isn't going to fix anything. It’s the “experience” or “pro racer” that was crashing out in the dust.

Ditch the GPS units and the racers driving blind won’t be so brave anymore. Let them race by markers and a simple map. Maybe build into the trackers a light or buzzer that goes off when your approaching a triple arrow.

This will do more to keep these guys from thinking they can drive blind and smashing into another racer in the dust. In all examples discussed they were lucky the broke, crashed or slow vehicle that was crashed into still had the passengers in the vehicles, what if a driver was climbing out or already out trying to flag other racers down when it was hit. It would have been death.

So no license is going yo fix that. It only going to make these guys who think they can see through the dust more brave and have bigger ego because they have a racing license next to their wallet condom.
 

jon coleman

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anyone who mashes loud pedal in the dust should be banned.period.licensing should be looked into in the faster classes, split up the class of cars more& split up drivers more too, experience level wise, rookie stripe the car with a special color light, , you dont see a newbie lining up in top fuel, it should be the same in off road, i went through the scca protocol & was licensed no problem, i asked my scca driving instructor , 'do some people/ students not make it?, he said oh yeah, some try& try but just never pass, they Should Not be in a race car ever
 

J Prich

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If true, it would be interesting to hear what criteria BITD would use. Identifying what exactly licensing would entail and defining what the express purpose would be is pretty important IMO. And really I personally don't think the value of the licensing is in the licensing itself...it would actually be in the "delicensing" if you will. As noted here and in past conversations about this topic, I don't think much of the kinds of incidents we often see in desert racing are related to a lack of knowledge. More often than not it's poor judgement. People mostly KNOW what they should be doing, it's the decisions made in the moment that are where the right/wrong spectrum occurs. So I don't imagine a licensing process being effective in "teaching" people (except brand new folks perhaps).

What is more important about licensing is the message it sends about what you need to be allowed to race, and the process by which you are evaluated to be able to keep racing. IF after licensing you are found to have violated the expectations (again, that would need to be clearly defined IMO), then there would be some kind of punishment that would presumably suspend or terminate your license. THAT is where the real behavior change would happen I think. Knowing that violating the established rules could result in you being prevented from future races would be a bigger motivator to avoid making the wrong call in haste, I would think. It would be interesting to see maybe both monetary AND suspension type penalties created. A lot to work through to implement something like that but could potentially be impactful if done well.
 
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Entrussed Racing

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A formal license process or just a quick video that explains some things would be good for new racers (and not so new). BITD has always taken new racer orientation seriously.

My opinion- Experienced successful desert racers do not drive blindly in the dust. There are some very calculated risks taken to make passes, but when the risks are too high the consistently successful racers are patient.

I have for years wanted to get across that when caught or bumped you should slow down first and then get over as quick as possible. What I see happen quite often is that someone who intends to get over speeds up to find a spot to pull over. Unfortunately this indicates to the passing driver who is very vulnerable at that moment that the car being passed is trying to get away. The passing driver is going to be more comfortable knowing immediately that the bumped car plans to let you by, because they immediately slowed.
 

B.HAGLE

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A formal license process or just a quick video that explains some things would be good for new racers (and not so new). BITD has always taken new racer orientation seriously.

My opinion- Experienced successful desert racers do not drive blindly in the dust. There are some very calculated risks taken to make passes, but when the risks are too high the consistently successful racers are patient.

I have for years wanted to get across that when caught or bumped you should slow down first and then get over as quick as possible. What I see happen quite often is that someone who intends to get over speeds up to find a spot to pull over. Unfortunately this indicates to the passing driver who is very vulnerable at that moment that the car being passed is trying to get away. The passing driver is going to be more comfortable knowing immediately that the bumped car plans to let you by, because they immediately slowed.
Yeah I've done the slowing down part and been repeatedly a$$ packed until I took a 45 degree exit off the course, hahaah.

But you are right that is the safe thing to do.

I wont name names but there are some real gems in C10 who think destroying someones rear bumper is the best way to get around them...
 

SMS81

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Yeah I've done the slowing down part and been repeatedly a$$ packed until I took a 45 degree exit off the course, hahaah.

But you are right that is the safe thing to do.

I wont name names but there are some real gems in C10 who think destroying someones rear bumper is the best way to get around them...
Why not name them? Change will never occur without consequence to actions.
 

9rocky

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What about some type of proximity system? If a car catches another and the system could track relation of the vehicles and the pursuing vehicle is within say 50 feet for a determined duration and does not move over, then penalties could be applied? I know this is far fetched, but seems that with todays technology something could be done to stop the abusive nerfing, jack rabbiting, etc.
 

J Prich

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Yeah I've done the slowing down part and been repeatedly a$$ packed until I took a 45 degree exit off the course, hahaah.

But you are right that is the safe thing to do.

I wont name names but there are some real gems in C10 who think destroying someones rear bumper is the best way to get around them...
Agreed regarding passing protocol. In the last few events I've been involved with, there wasn't much talk about slower racers jackrabbing, but numerous cases of faster cars literally going straight to smash for passes. No horn/bump/pass. In some cases there may have been a horn even, but there were multiple examples of passing racers not really giving the vehicle in front a chance to move before hitting them.

And of those cases, even racers who reported them will often decline to want to out the other racer. In the moment they are upset about the impact that had on their own race, but at the same time more than one ultimately said they don't want to seem like jerks or ruin the other racers race, even though they thought the nerf was excessive. IMO the single biggest thing EVERY racer should do regarding this is have both front and rear facing cameras. Its not an exact The Science™™ but when both vehicles have footage it goes a long way to helping clear up the he siad/he said stuff. The only way an org can really enforce this is A) they have to be made aware of the fac that it happened and B) they need something to validate that it happened, the way that the nerfed racer says it happened.
 

J Prich

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Agreed regarding passing protocol. In the last few events I've been involved with, there wasn't much talk about slower racers jackrabbing, but numerous cases of faster cars literally going straight to smash for passes. No horn/bump/pass. In some cases there may have been a horn even, but there were multiple examples of passing racers not really giving the vehicle in front a chance to move before hitting them.

And of those cases, even racers who reported them will often decline to want to out the other racer. In the moment they are upset about the impact that had on their own race, but at the same time more than one ultimately said they don't want to seem like jerks or ruin the other racers race, even though they thought the nerf was excessive. IMO the single biggest thing EVERY racer should do regarding this is have both front and rear facing cameras. Its not an exact The Science™™ but when both vehicles have footage it goes a long way to helping clear up the he siad/he said stuff. The only way an org can really enforce this is A) they have to be made aware of the fac that it happened and B) they need something to validate that it happened, the way that the nerfed racer says it happened.
PS - THIS is another part of the reason why I think in a perfect world it would make sense to have separate series for similarly built/capable vehicles. Mixing bigger/smaller and faster/slower classes is partly what creates a situation for this stuff to happen. Obviously you can still have this kind fo stuff between a UTV and a UTV, etc but typically when we see this stuff its two vehicles from different classes mixing it up.
 

SMS81

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Really nOt cool to naMe anyOne
Perfect example of why things don’t change and we are talking about licensing. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. BTW, It was way more uncool for some asshat to destroy the rear of your car.
 
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B.HAGLE

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Perfect example of why things don’t change and we are talking about licensing. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. BTW, It was way more uncool for some asshat to destroy the rear of your car.

Sometimes you gotta read between the lines....

Not a huge deal. I'll do everything short of run someone over to pass someone mid race.

I will say that in my first few races we got nerfed a lot and it was gnarly. Lately we've been able to run away and have pretty clean races.
 

Sheepdog

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In my experience in other motorsports disciplines, licensing serves a couple of important functions:

1. It ensures that the only people allowed onto the course, have demonstrated the ability to follow racing rules, racing etiquette, and racing skills.

2. If a racer then fails to comply with racing rules, racing etiquette, and/or demonstrates a lack of racing skills, their racing license can be pulled.

It also gives the leverage necessary to conduct random and/or post-incident drug and alcohol screenings- either they submit to testing, or their license is pulled.

All of these things make racing safer.
 

10 shot

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Pretty sure this all has to do with the guy that rented the brenthal truck and destroyed the class leader unlimited utv. I had a buddy pass that accident and he said the utv was totaled and again why there is concern about light cars and heavy trucks. Renting a trophy light is not so bad but renting out a 6100 is probably a bad idea and now look what is happening. It takes one single accident to change everything. This right here supports the class 1 utv thing as a very bad idea.
 

NIKAL

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Pretty sure this all has to do with the guy that rented the brenthal truck and destroyed the class leader unlimited utv. I had a buddy pass that accident and he said the utv was totaled and again why there is concern about light cars and heavy trucks. Renting a trophy light is not so bad but renting out a 6100 is probably a bad idea and now look what is happening. It takes one single accident to change everything. This right here supports the class 1 utv thing as a very bad idea.
From what was talked about that was one of several bad wrecks. I think it was said the new guy in the 6100 slowed and stopped as the dust was bad, and that’s when Blurton slammed into the back and went under the truck. The Shock Therapy guys plowed into a broke down UTV at 60+ mph in blind dust. It pretty much destroyed both vehicles. Another car rolled into a blind turn and Brandon Sims again in dust came around the corner and slid sideways into the rolled car. Sims said after they got his car turned back over, he continued leaving the first rolled car in the course, which was later hit again and caused more wrecks as it was in a blind corner.

The theme seems to be driving by GPS and not to your visual abilities.
 

10 shot

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From what was talked about that was one of several bad wrecks. I think it was said the new guy in the 6100 slowed and stopped as the dust was bad, and that’s when Blurton slammed into the back and went under the truck. The Shock Therapy guys plowed into a broke down UTV at 60+ mph in blind dust. It pretty much destroyed both vehicles. Another car rolled into a blind turn and Brandon Sims again in dust came around the corner and slid sideways into the rolled car. Sims said after they got his car turned back over, he continued leaving the first rolled car in the course, which was later hit again and caused more wrecks as it was in a blind corner.

The theme seems to be driving by GPS and not to your visual abilities.
Wow shock therapy is having a run of crashes a cow and now this one.
From what I hear there was absolutely no wind and it is super dry right now. The trees kinda hold the dust in and the roads are fast. Out of all the races that race is stressful as you cant see anything. One year I hit a cattle guard and snapped it off but little did I know I was dragging 50 ft of barbed wire fence behind me with the posts connected for probably 20 miles and was wondering wtf this car is slow right now.....🤣
 

dan200

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I am hoping @Dave Cole 4454 will chime in here and pass on some wisdom.

Ultra 4 began using USAC in the not so distant past and racers needed to get a USAC license. The USAC guys were the ones teching cars at KOH earlier this year also if I recall correctly.

I am not sure of any of the specifics why this change was made and what benefits it came with but I do know that when Dave makes a move like that there are probably good reasons why.
 
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