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Author Topic: El Mirage – To Be or Not To Be  (Read 18180 times)
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fastesthonda_jim
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 12:25:12 AM »

I guess I'm just not getting through.  I'm of the opinion that ONE more Back Door and we may never race again.  I'm not talking about "only" going out at 50 or 60mph, I'm talking about the front of a car/bike going out 5".
We Currently have about a one mile shut down area.  At the end of that is a line perpendicular to the race course, that is the "mini" Back Door and, I believe, carries a mini Back Door penalty of no points or no record or something (I forget).  About 1/4 mile beyond that (I may have some of these distances wrong) is a funnel of cones leading down to a point.  That is the "Threats of cancelling the meet" Back Door.  THAT is the door that was violated four times.
Now I don't care about license suspensions.  Personally I asked for this discussion in the spirit of taking what ever was offered, but IMO discussion of license suspension is a complete waste of time.  Even if the penalty was cutting off someone's right foot, there's a good chance we would still have cars go out the Back.
And don't forget, we are a volunteer organization.  So adding jobs, responsibility and not racing time to a volunteer's weekend, seems a bit counterproductive.
And as to rookie licenses, and all, well, I'll just say that I know of at least one rookie whose first pass ever at Bonneville was 240+ in a roadster.
Okay.  Back to all y'all.
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Bonneville Records: G/GS, F/GS (Boy)  G/FS (Girl)
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 01:45:51 AM »

   
     The problem is not the course, it is the drivers, they go well past the lights before pulling there chute. the shutdown area is over a mile long, that should be more than enough room to stop. The chute should be pulled in the lights, so it will come out as soon as possible.
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mtiberio
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2017, 09:47:09 AM »

First offense, driver and car banned for year.
2nd, driver and car banned for life.

Increase the length of shutdown area even more.

Increase density of cones at finish. Not the two big balloon festooned markers, but the lines that go right and left from them. A solid line of cones would help seeing the finish coming up in dust conditions.

Hire some lawyers and turn this on BLM. Make them police the area outside cones.
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TheBaron
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2017, 10:06:06 AM »

I think Jim's point is 110% valid and that some are missing it.....

Sanctions can't do a dang thing about Chute failures, cockpits full of dust. disoriented rookie drivers in fast heavy vehicles,etc.....

THE BLM ONLY CARES THAT A VEHICLE GOES OFF THE END OF THE COURSE !!!! PERIOD!!!!

Cause is for us to figure out and deal with IF WE STILL HAVE A PLACE TO RACE and this is the nut we have to crack...

Arresting Barrier is to only way I see to cover all possible causes .....

Isn't this what the Navy's Aircraft Carriers have decided on?

Smitty
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fastesthonda_jim
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 11:25:29 AM »

Thanks for the support Baron.
And arresting barriers might make things difficult for bikers (but, of course, pucker bushes would too).  The problem I can see is unless they were huge, the drivers would have a choice whether to hit them or to drive around them.  Not to mention it's one more thing to set up, manage, and take down (more volunteers).
A few posts ago the point was made that drag racers don't have any trouble popping the chute(s) at the right time.  Two non LSR reasons for that:
1.  A pro knows that popping the chute(s) 100 feet before the lights dumps maybe 15-20 lbs. out of the car.  Given that many Pro races are decided by less than an inch, it seems like an effective tactic to get that .002 of a second needed to win.
2.  Their race "parks" are finite in length, and if they don't stop, they die, or get severely trashed, about 1/4 mile later.  (I'm guessing death is more effective than license suspension in this case.)
Our problem is our thought (yes, OUR thought - if you are a driver, this includes YOU), "Well, if it all goes to Hell, at least I have a lot of room to stop."  So we tend to be cavalier about our braking.  And more volunteers to inspect braking systems, is not IMO a workable, or anything near, a 100% solution.
Again, I say, if we don't come up with a 100% solution, and come up with it pretty darn quick, someone else will come up with it for us.  
Going the other way, with the starting line at what is now the "point" of the Back Door cones, simply seems like the most "cost effective" (time, money, volunteers) way to accomplish it.
How about we run one test meet to 1. see how things go, and 2. show Good Faith to the BLM?  Do it sort of like a Test and Tune, you  know, no points, just time slips.  Maybe two weeks before the first Official weekend.
Over,
Knapp
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2006 SCTA High Points Champeen
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Bonneville "2" Club 2003
El Mirage Dirty "2"'s 2006
Bonneville Records: G/GS, F/GS (Boy)  G/FS (Girl)
El Mirage Records: F/BFS, F/FS, F/GS, I/FS, I/GS, K/BGS
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2017, 03:41:57 PM »

At cook's meet they use a dual chute and net set up at the highway end for emergencies. When the car hits the net it deploys chutes at both ends of the net. Put that at the first end of course. http://104.34.60.41/lsp/images/bonneville/2011/2011shootout/misc/images/110924W121.jpg
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 03:46:32 PM by DiveEZ » Logged

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NathanStewart
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2017, 05:05:01 PM »

The area past the "back door" is the the "safety containment zone".  It's an added buffer beyond the end of the track that was really intended to keep clueless spectators from driving onto the course.  You'll notice that the cone density on the SCZ is much higher than the regular course boundaries on the side.  A second side effect of having the SCZ is that it gives cars/bikes that go off the end of the course a smidgen of extra room to get stopped. 

The standard shut down area is a mile plus a few hundred extra feet.  It's been extended at least once if not twice.  Before it was extended, multiple cars went 300 mph and got stopped without going out the back door.  There's no reason to extend the stand shut down area but I think it would make complete sense to make for a longer SCZ. 

Anyone ever been on a road course before?  Ever seen the 5-4-3-2-1 count down before a sharp turn?  I suggested doing the same thing (I think we know where to find big orange markers with numbers on them) in the shut down area years ago when I first got into the rookie program but was shot down because it was something that a car/bike could run into.  Well, I suggest this solution again.  It won't be nearly as bad to hit a mile marker than it would for someone to hit a spectator going out the back under power.  Oddly enough, I sent an email to my club president suggesting this same thing and apparently it was brought up at the board meeting last week - coincidence? 

So, you would have a finish line followed by a 5-4-3-2-1 shut down area with a much longer SCZ.  If someone manages to go off the end of the course but stay within the SCZ, same penalties that we already have.  If someone goes out of the SCZ, that driver/rider is banned FOR LIFE.  We don't need some clueless idiot running at our events if they can't keep from driving off the end of the course under power.  Go away, stay away.

Now here's a piece of history for you all.... the SCTA has run the other way before and in fairly "modern" history - not the 40's or 50's but in the 80's.  I think the story was that the end of the track we usually race on was too wet so they ran the other way from the other end of the lakebed.  I even have photos (even though it was prior to my existence)!
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fastesthonda_jim
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2017, 05:19:35 PM »

Thanks, Nathan,
It's good to know that the way we do it now is "backwards."
And failing a switcheroo I LIKE the idea of shut down numbers.  Yes they can be hit, but they are cheaper than a 6 year old.
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2006 SCTA High Points Champeen
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Bonneville Records: G/GS, F/GS (Boy)  G/FS (Girl)
El Mirage Records: F/BFS, F/FS, F/GS, I/FS, I/GS, K/BGS
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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2017, 09:54:20 PM »

Gentlemen, ladies, and speed junkies of all sorts,
As I understand it, four racers went out the back door this past meet and the BLM came within a hair of closing down the meet.
We need to hold onto this thing.  This “thing” called Elmo.  
In the past, times were simpler.  There were fewer non-racers to “interact” with, speeds, on average, were not so high, and there was no BLM.
I’ll bet if you’ve been to a drivers’ meeting lately, you’ve gotten the sense that our days at Elmo may be numbered.  Staying open is getting harder and more procedure-bound at every event.
The BLM asks simply, “No one out the Back Door.”  (They ask other things, but No Back Door is Item Number One).  I kind of have to agree with them.  I frankly think our days at Elmo are going to end the INSTANT one of our entrants hits and severely injures (or worse) some errant 6-year-old on a mini quad.
What to do?  We've tried fines, cones, lights, balloons, and nothing works 100%.
Well, to me the answer is simple.  It may not be easy, but it is simple, and I'm completely serious about this.


What a good idea! I would like to hear some opposing ideas.
I've been saying, better course markings for us AMATEUR drivers. Penaltys are ok, but are imposed after the infraction.
We need to race in the other direction, i.e., East to West.
The advantages are numerous – here are some:
1.   Right off the bat, such positioning would project a much stronger race ”presence” for that entire end of the lake for the tourists who wander over our way wondering, “Hey, what’s going on here?”  50 or so trailers and motor homes spread across the lake, plus all the starting line hoopla, would be far more “informative” than the “magnet” of a lonely line of cones, and some 25MPH signs (“Hey, I wonder what those are for?  Let’s go see.”).  Might even boost revenue at the sales trailer, not to mention heightening spectator interest and creating more racers.  A good thing since “some” of us seem to be getting older.
2.   It’s closer to town (okay, that’s not too big a deal, but still).
3.   No sun in your eyes on those early morning passes.
4.   Fewer patrols needed.  (Not nearly as many of those, “No one’s looking.  I’ll just cut across here.”)
5.   And most importantly - no “Back Door” happenings.  Ever.
“Well,” you might say, “If someone goes out the Back Door, they’ll end up crashing into the pucker bushes.”  (Or possibly add their vehicle to the inventory at Callaway’s Fine Used Cars.)   True, life may get pretty tough for them pretty quick.  But their problem will be theirs alone and won’t involve any innocent bystanders.  Might even get them (us) to take shutting down (brakes, parachutes, etc.) more seriously.
They might end up bruised and battered.  But, we’d still get to race.  (And no one has ever said what we do is safe.)
The BLM might even consent to us closing off the entire West end of the lake since East to West orientation would make our “needs” finite.
And, yes, the lake surface isn’t as good starting from the East end.  But it’s way better than no surface at all.
I know there’s more to this discussion.  I simply want to start a conversation.  
Frankly, I think our biggest hurdle may be our self-imposed inertia of “We’ve always done it this way.”  
In that vein, let me remind you.  Our notion of, “Oh, we can’t (or we won’t) do that,” doesn’t hold a candle to the Power of the BLM and their ability to utter the simple statement, “No more.  Not here.  Not ever.  Period!”
Keep the shiny side up.
Jim Knapp

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« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2017, 11:56:50 PM »

Cars being where they should not is something we deal with on a daily basis in the highway department.  We would lay out a line of portable concrete barrier if no errant vehicles are allowed in a location.  This works most of the time.  Cones, flagging, barrels, striping, etc are all "porous" to some degree.  It looks like a single future incident may cause course closure.  There is no alternative except to race in the other direction or to make a hard physical barrier.

























 
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2017, 11:06:11 AM »

Reverse the track== end of EL M supercharging and build a permanent  "Safety Containment Zone that sides boundries are marked by safety barriers.

Most of the "Safety Containment Zone could be off the lake bed with concrete barriers along each side there could be 2 nets one with chutes followed with a system like the sand bag suggestion but with tires filled with concrete attached to a 3/8" chain start with small ones and progressively work up to larger ones.  These would be made to detachable from the main chain.  Would be individually detachable from the main chain.  This way every thing  could be moved by towing  behind a pick up.  Dig up the pucker bushes and could even put pea gravel like runaway truck safety areas in the mountains in front of the barriers to help slow between them. 

Get in the pea gravel driver and car owner suspension for a year EL M
Hit barriers driver, owner and car for 5years at El M and 2 years a B'ville.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2017, 01:01:36 PM »

And you're going to personally write a check for how much of this?  
I believe I recall one time asking about burying the batteries that power the timing lights so errant cars would run over, rather than "through", them.  I was informed that the BLM does not want the lake bed disturbed any more than we do already.
Plus to me ANY solution that involves action AFTER the offense, is like giving you a ticket after you have killed the kid.  I'm looking for ways (cheap ways) to prevent the problem in the first place and still have a worthwhile racing experience.
Just sayin'
Back to all y'all
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 01:04:03 PM by fastesthonda_jim » Logged

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Bonneville "2" Club 2003
El Mirage Dirty "2"'s 2006
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El Mirage Records: F/BFS, F/FS, F/GS, I/FS, I/GS, K/BGS
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2017, 01:47:09 PM »

JIM i will pay my part---hell-O-- I will even build the drags--- the side barriers could be netting -- one would not have to have the pea gravel but I think we should dig out the bushes---this could all nearly be done off what is considered lake bed!! 

 Dead Horse PS the SCTA need to get involved politically!!
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2017, 02:01:24 PM »

I'd bet you could not dig up the bushes.  On clean-up days, you're not allowed to pick up square nails or colored glass – they're considered artifacts.  I understand some people cheat.

We'd hate to go against the BLM's wishes as we've seen, over the decades, what great stewards of the public lands they are -- like at Bonneville.
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 06:51:50 PM »

I realize going out the back door is a serious matter and the BLM is threatening to shut us down. Interesting how bureaucrats think. On a good day, the BLM probably has 75-100 recreational users at El Mo generating between $1,125-$1,500 a day in revenue. On an SCTA race weekend, they are seeing at least that amount and probably more just from spectators and entrants paying the $15 who do not have annual passes, PLUS SCTA fees whatever they amount to. 

Why can't the BLM give us the West side of the lakebed for three miles. The recreational users still have plenty of lakebed to enjoy. Yes I realize it would require a few more cones and extra patrol people, but I feel it would eliminate the back door problem. I would be willing to bet the BLM likes our revenue as much as we like to use the lakebed  as long as it can be done safely.
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