Nope, but they would have been! Once we got word about the Mint’s decision we decided to change direction like developing a 5.6 oz. tracker that ultramarathoner’s can use on cross country treks.Awesome! Have the bike units been completely tested and proven?
Very cool! im glad to hear that we are continuing to elevate the means of communication and technology in off road racing.Nope, but they would have been! Once we got word about the Mint’s decision we decided to change direction like developing a 5.6 oz. tracker that ultramarathoner’s can use on cross country treks.
We are testing at the Mint though in preparation for the Silver State race.
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So they can pick up the person that was run over??? Wtf dude? Just be real they are taking away the biggest safety advancement we have gotten in the last 10 years. Remember Vegas to Reno 2016 miracle no one was killed. Almost 100% avoidable with Racetrax alertsOn point! I totally agree!
I know that the PTP has totally changed the game of safety for us in 7200 when passing 6100 and class 10 cars etc ... but .. just like everything else, it only works if people are actually using it.
Let’s also not forget that Motorsports Safety Solutions has an increased staff and has eyes on 90% of the course. That coupled with heli’s on stand-by, there is an element that isnt being talked about when talking about overall safety and having to rely on a device that may or may not work.
Dave, I have no "dog in the hunt" but after reading this entire thread I gather that many if not most of the people concerned with the change in tracking devices is not the lack of a "push to pass" button, but the "stopped vehicle alert" This in my opinion is a huge safety issue that can be solved by using the RT tracker. I know it isn't always perfect, but when a racer is driving in blinding dust and there is a broken vehicle on the course it would be great for the driver to know about it. And lets face it, if a race car doesn't ever drive in blinding dust, he will lose every race entered.Well I can offer a few insights, a few facts and a few opinions that you all can take for what it is worth: (most of which will likely have me in an email chain or an office within a few hours but here goes)
First off, I am a big fan of the RT system. As the Rescue Director for Best in the Desert, I get the opportunity to work closely with them several times a year. The number of features they have put into a unit offer some great information about an incident before we ever commit resources to it such as inversion, g-out, medical alert, or mechanical alert. The tracking is generally fairly accurate and reliable on their side, even if not always on the end viewer side. However all that aside, what I appreciate most is their constant continued investment into their technology. They ask for feedback and make changes. I believe their new bike system once implemented will be exceptional and potentially prevent injuries and save lives in our sport once it is tested, and implemented. If it was my choice based on my experience with different race series, for one system at every event, it would be Racing Trax. Dave and his team are exceptional at what they do.
Make zero mistake in understanding how the Mint 400 operates. It is a event owned by Mad Media who hires BITD to handle the actually racing. Complaining to BITD about these decisions is not going to resolve anything. It isnt their decision. Right, wrong or indifferent, it is a Mad Media decision.
Ok so how was that decision made?
Let me offer some behind the scenes - This isnt Matt and Josh laying on a bed of 100 dollar bills trying to think of the next big thing they can do in order to upgrade their lifestyles.
No, this was a long thought out business decision based attempting to balance a need for tracking, overall safety of the event, the Mint 400 Production values and the cost of the device at the end of the day.
I will be completely honest and upfront, my opinion, along with others, was asked very early on in the decision process. Specifically I was asked on my opinion of the Push to Pass and if it was essential to the safety of racers. As a safety guy, many would think I would be an overwhelming yes it is essential. However that was not my response. The Push to Pass has shown improvement. It has worked in many situations. It has also not worked in occasions and in at least 2 serious cases, it has lessened the awareness of the racer in his situation. As racers, many are becoming reliant on many forms of technology. From GPS guidance, to warning systems, some racers seem to be losing their edge on the battle of them vs the desert. They often drive over their abilities with trust in technology driven devices. This in my opinion is far more dangerous than any electronic do-dad put on a vehicle.
We have a total of 4 races for the Mint 400. Essentially 4 separate events over 2 days. Bikes and Vehicles will never be on the course at the same time for this event. That hazard and fear removed a big concern on the Push to Pass. With the classes broken up the way they are, it will also eliminate many of the traffic concerns. The way the break down is currently, there is no more than 150 vehicles on the course at any time. That is a dramatic chance from last years peak of 400+ on the course essentially at one time last year.
The Mad Media team made the decision for the YB program based on all the parameters they compiled and are going with that system. Does that mean that is the way it is forever? absolutely not. Essentially, Mad Media is the new kids on the block. They have a right and quite frankly a duty to racers, the sport and themselves to explore all the options before them to make a educated decision that effects their events today and in the future.
I have had the opportunity to work closely now with the Martelli brothers and everyone else at Mad Media since they approached Casey several years ago. They do not jeopardize safety and their interest in every aspect of it is actually very refreshing in my opinion. They care more about the overall safety of their event than anyone I have ever had the chance to work with. The Mint 400 is a year long passion for many on their team. Meetings every month with key personnel, constant review after an event, that immediately is part of planning for the next event. It is a constant rotating calendar, and safety is always at the forefront.
I promise you this, we will be meeting within days of the conclusion this years Mint 400 and this is a subject that will be reviewed on what kind of impact it had.