Sounds like a great plan, lets do it and test before.Wow, some great new routes!
The bike sweep guys we met were great. Red Sprinter type 4wd van, white Dodge, Silver Dodge.... great dudes.
- BofLA room situation 2nd nite when bikes arrived was a mess for a few hours, at least for our 5 entries, but got worked out in the end.
- When bikes are in GN and cars in BofLA and pretty much everyone of any authority from NORRA in BofLA there needs to be 1 PERSON in GN with the right answer to things. There were multiple people giving 4 different answers about Day 3 start time. I made a stink about it that we need to go off the published word in the roadbook, and that wasn't a popular decision with "officials", but that's how it ended up.
- Bike GPS route every year has issues. We always fix it before heading south and we (Jen) always has riders outside of our group looking for help with their GPS (and she does help most of them). This year the format was different, we didn't think we needed to fix it. But when the riders actually got on course it wasn't a line it was only a bunch of waypoint flags. It wasn't correct. I am friends with the guy who created Rally Navigator so I called him from San Felipe for help. He worked on it and sent us back fixed files that worked great for the remaining 4 days. Regardless, I would be happy to meet with you the week prior, give you a Garmin Montana (seems to be the common unit guys are using), have the route loaded, and go test it to be sure it actually works.
Day 3 was a big challenge for Weatherman Air Relay, they had to go refuel to San Felipe and then head to GN to refuel again on the day, long day and yes a lot of teams had communications issues with him when they were refueling and off the air, I believe that for next year we won't have this issue since it will be back to peninsula run format and the relay plane goes from BOLA to GN to refuel and then lands in Loreto.I was skeptical of the loop almost pulled out because of it. After the first day it was all worth it and I was super happy we were there. A lot of fun new routes, the NORRA team put in a lot of work to make this great. The bad communication on day 3 was unacceptable.
We could not raise the Weatherman, my co-driver (my son) went on a 3 mile jog to the last place we saw people, he was able to get a ride from a spectator who drove him to a Mag 7 pit. At the Mag 7 pit he was able to use a radio to talk to another Mag 7 pit (not the Weatherman), about the same time I heard a plane and was able to speak to them. I didn't feel reassured that the person I was talking to understood or what they would do with what I relayed to him. When my son got back he told me that he wasn't sure anything would be relayed to our Chase team or to the Weatherman he said I think we are on our own. With the spectators help we were able to get the car in radio range of my chase crew and get the help we needed. The only message my crew received was from one of the last racers on the course who stopped then went out his way to find my chase team. I spoke to a few other racers and they had the same issue on day 3. I would also like to see time given back to a racers who stop to help. Some might say this is not a race but it is. Even if your racing yourself you want to do the best you can and stopping to help will cost you.
Push to Pass is a great tool but you are right about the guys up front, they are messing with the units overnight, tampering with RF antenna so it does not work during race stages, and that way their Stella does not get the pass request and no data means no penalty, even if you sent 3 alerts as I said and your Stella registers it if we don't have data on the other car we can't penalize them, we can only credit you time lost behind the slow guy but that is not fair; if a team disconnects the RF antenna to prevent other teams from sending them a Pass Request we must find a way to give them a consequence, also doing this is very dangerous since no RF means no hazards if a car is stuck in the course in front of you.From the perspective of a NORRA first timer. I thought that the event was very well planned and organized. We had a great time, the courses were fun, and varied, from flat out smooth to tight technical and rough with everything in between. I met a lot of great people, and look forward to next year.
Some things prospective entries should know is, while it may be "The happiest race on earth", it is a race, and it is very competitive, especially towards the front.
The "push to pass" on the Stella works great, and most of the drivers will abide by it, and allow you to go by, but... not the fast guys up front. They will give you the green to avoid a penalty, but they won't slow to allow you by. So expect to pass the old fashioned way- but you cant bump, and sirens are useless. Filling out an incident sheet does no good either, in talking with the other drivers, its commonplace, and its understood. NORRA doesn't seem to mind. So, to me, understanding the rules is important, written or unwritten. Don't count on the Stella to pass. As far as I can see, nobody gets penalized for not allowing passing. I expected some penalty for a car not allowing me by after 3 greens, but, I guess "if you ain't cheatin, you ain't racin" applies here. So don't expect them to get penalized.
Other than that, I have nothing but praise for the NORRA team. The food setups each day were great, and the loop made logistics easier- I liked it. Thanks for a great experience overall!
Thanks Eliseo. I appreciate your candor. I wasnt't aware that we needed to follow up on the protest the following day, which is my fault. I think that the only solution is to penalize the offending drivers with at least a 30 min penalty for not allowing a pass and it will stop. The distance could be further shortened from 300' as well in my opinion. I agree, nerfing with vintage cars would suck, but I'm afraid that it could come to that if these guys won't get out of the way., and they know who they are.Push to Pass is a great tool but you are right about the guys up front, they are messing with the units overnight, tampering with RF antenna so it does not work during race stages, and that way their Stella does not get the pass request and no data means no penalty, even if you sent 3 alerts as I said and your Stella registers it if we don't have data on the other car we can't penalize them, we can only credit you time lost behind the slow guy but that is not fair; if a team disconnects the RF antenna to prevent other teams from sending them a Pass Request we must find a way to give them a consequence, also doing this is very dangerous since no RF means no hazards if a car is stuck in the course in front of you.
We as NORRA have to be 100% committed to complying with rules, when someone files an inquiry or incident sheet they need to follow up the next day to find the response to it, we received around 18 inquiries during the entire rally and only 2 teams followed up the next day to get the response, also I was very clear at Drivers Meeting that we can only work on race day inquiries due to data on Stella, we had teams that requested time credits after finishing the race on day 5 because they had a close finishing time to other teams but wanted us to check credits for day 3 and we can't do that, only race day inquires are admitted and responses will be ready the next day at the finish line.
That is the part that I hate about being the race director but I give you credit on the push to pass deal, we need to find a solution to this problem but I wouldn't like to allow nerfing like other promoters, we got vintage cars and that would suck.
We tried that already, the problem is some teams disconnect the RF antenna just after the start and the requests never get recorded on their units, at the end of the day they reconnect the antenna before the finish line. Stella crew told me that there is no way their units could be having RF issues that often.Maybe there is a way for the stella folks to send a "test" pass alert to the cars at the start line and observe if the alert is received or not before they take the green flag.
I agree but in terms of fairness how do you know who is really cheating the unit and who really had RF antenna problems?My gripe is when you fight through the dust close enough to nerf, and he gives you the green light 3X, but never lets you by...I gave up after I blew a bunch of turns in the dust chasing him, I expected him to get a big penalty and have to start way back the next day...but unfortunately that didn't happen.
I think the no nerf rule is good. There has to be a way to penalize non compliance. If there is a Stella problem, it should only be for one day-as it could be replaced, so no excuse there. After multiple complaints against a driver, it should be clear what's going on. Slap big penalties and It'll stop. Adding back time is nice, but it seems like that would be hard to calculate, because you never know how much faster you would have been if you could have gotten around the guy.
So if we follow your principles who gets a penalty, how big of a penalty and how do you make it fair to everyone.It's either a race or it isn't. If it's a race, the promoter of the race has a responsibility to the racers to enforce the rules as they have been presented to the racers to be followed. If there is a racer blocking the course and holding faster cars and drivers up, the sport has traditionally had a remedy for that...If it is a race. if it is not a race, then the promoter can dictate what should happen. I hate to say it, but this kind of sounds like a broken record.