Sweet event! Good job!

Southwest Montana SCCA discussions for the 2013 season.
Jeff Thill
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Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Jeff Thill » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:01 pm

Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your event. The track was a thinking track with some tricks if you didnt pay attention. Great job Dave. I know how difficult it is to run an event so great job James. And I'm sure there were many many people behind the scenes that helped. Everything ran smooth and the weather was great. And thanks for posting the results so quick! Once again, thanks for a great event.

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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby DaveMk1 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:48 am

Thanks for speaking up Jeff - it's appreciated.

I also want to thank everyone for coming and for all the help in making the event run so smoothly. From set up on Friday evening to tear down on Sunday afternoon there were always plenty of hands to help as needed and that really makes an event go well.

I also want to thank all the drivers for having an open mind when it came to the course design. I know that the courses we ran this weekend were not the 'norm' for a Helena event and I saw more than a few shaking heads and long faces before the driving began but then got a lot of compliments from those very same drivers once they'd done a few laps and they saw how the course rewarded precision and thoughtful driving. So thanks for the feedback and the great driving. I saw some very quick driving and VERY few drivers off in the dirt. Very cool. As an aside - I really enjoyed watching drivers adapt and develop threshold braking skills into the box near the end of Sunday's course............once they got it nailed there was some very fast passing through that box. Very cool.

Timing - nice work timing folks. Very smooth operation that allowed us to get nearly 70 people 8 runs and get done at a reasonable hour. When timing works well it doesn't get noticed........ and when it doesn't, it very much does..............so I wanted to make sure to say we drivers noticed how well it worked and how good a job you all did. Thank you.

Camaraderie - what a great time I had with the group after hours. The food was OK.........the service so-so and the friends were top shelf. I will remember the carousel ride for a long time - so many silly and embarrassed grins. I special note about Jonathan Mudge's dad Lawrence...........Lawrence joined a group a grown adults behaving like adolescents and after a few moments of obviously wondering what the hell he'd gotten into let his hair down and became one of the silly kids. He also dove right in and drove like a veteran and not at all like it was his very first event. Nice work Sir!

Lastly - a huge thanks to my XP classmate Terry Root. Yesterday afternoon we had no grid-master for some reason and Terry took over the running of grid while also driving in that same run group. The image of Terry getting out of his car, helmet still on, directing grid until he had to get back in his car to drive again made a huge impression on me. Then..........as if that wasn't enough........he went out and worked the course in the late afternoon heat and he worked the busiest cone on the course - the exit of the box - and he hustled while doing it. For our local Bozeman events we give out a "Spirit award" that is given to someone who really steps up in some way. If that was being given out yesterday my vote would have gone to Terry. The drinks are on me Terry - thanks so much - you kick ass.

Time to get back to work for me and recover - thank you all for a good weekend.


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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby mdlfCRXs » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:11 am

Thank you Jeff, and well put Dave. I want to give a GREAT BIG THANK YOU (yes I yelled that) to all those that helped with the event. I want to especially thank club members that helped with the pre-event preparations and planning: shopping for supplies, hauling equipment to the site, making sure the timing equipment, laptop, timing lights, printer, generator, and radios were all ready to go, course design, paperwork, insurance, and site preparedness. It really did make my job as EC so much easier. Thank you to taking on the special duties at the site, like registration, setup, course worker assignments, safety. And I didn't even have to beg! That is way cool! Thank you very much.

I also want to thank all those that helped with extra efforts too, I may miss a few, but Terry stepped in for extra grid work, Dean Johnson also covered a station on the course when we were short handed, and Kip helped us get the trailer moved. Also thank you for just enjoying the day and letting things flow. I did not hear of any major complaints and everyone was respectful when addressing problems or concerns. Very nice considering the hot weather we had on Saturday. I too heard many positive comments about the course, it was challenging, as it should be, but also a little different style which makes for a good championship series. I think I only had one really satisfying run all weekend, but that is as it should be.

Thanks to Don C. for taking care of the awards and double checking my scoring so no one was overlooked. The umbrellas will be a useful award and a chance to display the results of your racing efforts. I was glad to see some new faces show up to race, they were all smiling after their runs. Thank you to those that rode along or gave rides to the newcomers.

We can now sit back and enjoy the results of three good championship events;... but not for long, we now have Top Gun to prepare for. And remember some famous quotes from the movie:

It takes a lot more than just fancy flying.

You might hear, Jesus, this guy's good!

or you will be saying to yourself: “I think I’ll go embarrass myself with Goose.”

and of course: “I feel the need. The need for speed.”
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby WyMCoupe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:40 am

I really liked the course Dave! It was smooth and lots of fun. There was a huge debate on Sunday which way around the slalom was quicker. I think it depended on the car and the driver. People who rely more on momentum seemed to favor starting on the right because it was smoother but people in cars with more power and better brakes seemed to prefer starting on the left because it was shorter distance and allowed them to get there braking done in a straight line. Interesting and really thought provoking.

DaveMk1 wrote:I will remember the carousel ride for a long time - so many silly and embarrassed grins.


X2. And I really like the idea of if we win Top Gun again, our group photo should be at the carousel.

DaveMk1 wrote:Timing - nice work timing folks. Very smooth operation that allowed us to get nearly 70 people 8 runs and get done at a reasonable hour. When timing works well it doesn't get noticed........ and when it doesn't, it very much does..............so I wanted to make sure to say we drivers noticed how well it worked and how good a job you all did. Thank you.


A side note on timing, we need to remind the course workers not to run through the timing lights if there are cars out on course and if an important cone is hit and drug away and the course worker doesn't have any spare cones to replace it, hold the start, let the cars out on course come through and they will all get re-runs. Judy hit and drug two cones into the grid area right next to the finish and a course worker scrambling trying to replace them ran through the timing lights twice and by the time I realized what was going on, the starter sent another car out on course. It wasn't really too big of a deal but it could have been handled a lot better with clear communication between course workers and the timing trailer. It was my first time running timing and it could have been handled much better on my end as well but I was scrambling trying to keep up with everything and trying not to screw up!
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby DaveMk1 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:50 am

WyMCoupe wrote:.........................

A side note on timing, we need to remind the course workers not to run through the timing lights if there are cars out on course and if an important cone is hit and drug away and the course worker doesn't have any spare cones to replace it, hold the start, let the cars out on course come through and they will all get re-runs. Judy hit and drug two cones into the grid area right next to the finish and a course worker scrambling trying to replace them ran through the timing lights twice and by the time I realized what was going on, the starter sent another car out on course. It wasn't really too big of a deal but it could have been handled a lot better with clear communication between course workers and the timing trailer. It was my first time running timing and it could have been handled much better on my end as well but I was scrambling trying to keep up with everything and trying not to screw up!


That makes good sense. I wonder if we were to use a temporary bright paint or make a heavy chalk line running on the ground between the start and finish lights. Maybe if we did something like this the runner would see the line and not cross it and would instead go around.

Might could maybe work?

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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby mdlfCRXs » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:46 pm

A lot of course workers were new to the whole cone-chasing thing and it probably didn't even occur to them. We will have to add: No running through the timing lights" to our course worker briefing. Most of the time safety, other racers, and myself were looking around the course, but we were looking elsewhere when that happened. I also saw a couple of close calls, one very close (Alex was in the cockpit making a low, high speed pass through the near finish "box" and workers were still in his sights placing cones when he went through! That was scary, for me. I was also thinking about all of the paperwork that would be involved, and how an incident could have placed Alex back in pork chop contention. Fortunately it went well. At least tripping the timing light was one of our biggest problems.
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Alex » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:24 pm

mdlfCRXs wrote:A lot of course workers were new to the whole cone-chasing thing and it probably didn't even occur to them. We will have to add: No running through the timing lights" to our course worker briefing. Most of the time safety, other racers, and myself were looking around the course, but we were looking elsewhere when that happened. I also saw a couple of close calls, one very close (Alex was in the cockpit making a low, high speed pass through the near finish "box" and workers were still in his sights placing cones when he went through! That was scary, for me. I was also thinking about all of the paperwork that would be involved, and how an incident could have placed Alex back in pork chop contention. Fortunately it went well. At least tripping the timing light was one of our biggest problems.


Yeah, that was a little startling to me too!

Regarding accidental finish trips, there is a button in the timing software to re-set the most recent finish trigger, turning back on whatever timer was running at the time, so if the guy running timing is on top of things this can occasionally save things. I actually just discovered that button on Saturday, and was trying to tell everyone that was running timing about it, but I may have not had a chance to mention it to Lindsey. Sorry about that. Still, it's a minor thing, and overall I thought things ran pretty smoothly.

I also really liked the course. I really enjoy a course that combines fast bits with slower bits, such that you actually have to USE the brakes. Stringing together the corners out on the road course was tons of fun as well.
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby kjohnson » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:49 pm

I was super glad to be back racing. I didn't feel like I had too much rust to shake off after my long absence, just had to scrub the paint off the tires. Sadly I'll be busy all this next month and I guess my next autocross won't be until September. The course was really fun and challenging and everything went really well from what I could see, good job to everybody who was involved. I ended up a little sunburned, but it was totally worth it.
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Jeff Thill » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:27 pm

We can now sit back and enjoy the results of three good championship events;... but not for long, we now have Top Gun to prepare for. And remember some famous quotes from the movie:

It takes a lot more than just fancy flying.

You might hear, Jesus, this guy's good!

or you will be saying to yourself: “I think I’ll go embarrass myself with Goose.”

and of course: “I feel the need. The need for speed.”[/quote]


"The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies room"
LOL. Love that one.

And you are right Dave, Terry Root is a machine! Many dont know, but he is diabetic. It never slows him down. He loves working the course and always runs like crazy when getting cones! I often think im getting a heart attack just from watching him run! I was watching him on saturday at the very same place and he did the very same running.

I have to say, I hate courses with narrow gates. As discussed with Dave, it favors the cars with the widest tires and most power. A true drivers course is what we got this weekend and I for one loved it. If you thought a corner was tight then frankly my dude (or dudette), you drove it wrong. LOL. Dave, your course building skills compared to three years ago have grown immensly as well as your driving skills. Kudos!

See you all in two weeks ;)

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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby WyMCoupe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:27 pm

Alex wrote:Regarding accidental finish trips, there is a button in the timing software to re-set the most recent finish trigger, turning back on whatever timer was running at the time, so if the guy running timing is on top of things this can occasionally save things. I actually just discovered that button on Saturday, and was trying to tell everyone that was running timing about it, but I may have not had a chance to mention it to Lindsey. Sorry about that. Still, it's a minor thing, and overall I thought things ran pretty smoothly.


I heard it mentioned briefly, but didn't know exactly what it did. Next time I run timing, I'll be sure to remember it! It would have possibly saved one out of the 4 re-runs required.
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Mel Kuipers » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:39 pm

we had a great time also, and echo the comments above...Judi could not find her mojo sunday, but for the first two runs sat she have me by .5 seconds, and her smile was pure joy....of course I didn't roll over---when she beats me at an event she will know it was fair and square...I will highlight the wonderful pitch in work of all our team members, and also GF Terry and Billings Dean...it really is a rich experience to compete with serious competitors, who off run work so well together...cudos to all...and special congrats to Alex who dodged yet another pork chop bullet....the smart money is still on him for the trifecta....
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby MyT13B » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:14 pm

Thanks everyone for an awesome series!!!

#3 was a total blast for me! I thoroughly enjoyed everything I did for myself and everyone else, no complaints here and thanks for the awesome trophy, Instant shade!
now where is the brake peddle?

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Mel Kuipers
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Mel Kuipers » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:21 pm

what?...there is a brake pedal?
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Alex » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:59 pm

Mel Kuipers wrote:what?...there is a brake pedal?


Yeah, it's the one in the middle.

I don't recommend using it though... it only slows you down :mrgreen:
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby Pinky » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:39 pm

I, too had a great time, and really enjoyed the course.

Special thanks to Mel & Judi for making sure I got home in one piece...by trusting me with the Miata from Helena to Livingston, and then carrying me and my car all the way back to Gardiner. Thank you doesn't seem like enough; I guess sometimes there just aren't words when your heart is really warmed.

Looking forward to Top Gun, now!
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Re: Sweet event! Good job!

Postby s2kautoxr » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:36 pm

Pinky wrote:I, too had a great time, and really enjoyed the course.

Special thanks to Mel & Judi for making sure I got home in one piece...by trusting me with the Miata from Helena to Livingston, and then carrying me and my car all the way back to Gardiner. Thank you doesn't seem like enough; I guess sometimes there just aren't words when your heart is really warmed.

Looking forward to Top Gun, now!


Good on ya Mel and Judi.
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