Marshalling

I'll start this thread to the confines of the Core Group first and once we concluded our findings we should make a public notice.

As we try to streamline the events and in particular the turn around time between races more efficient, I guess we need to publish some rules and regulations regarding the rolling starts. A good starting point and example would be the Rd2 (or final) of K2. There were numerous stalled karts and poorly performing karts in this particular heat and we allowed several formation laps to try to give everyone the chance to group together. 2 drivers (Hafizah and James) were having terrible problems with stalling or simply not performing karts. The karts on the track which were grouped also ran the risk of stalling due to teh slow pace formation and more importantly the duration of the slow pace formation. A quick decision was made to start the race despite James and Hafizah not being in the formation - the decision was based on the following:-

1) 6 of 8 (or 7 of 9) karts were already grouped and risked further problems if they continued at the formation pace. To achieve these 6 or 7 to get into formation had already cost us 4 to 5 laps.

2) James and Hafizah appeared to have 'dodgy' karts. Hafizah, despite her best efforts did not have the performance in her kart to catch the pack in formation therefore concluding that the race environment would be the same.

3) James had stalled on numerous occassions and was also struggling to re start each time.

CONCLUSION - start the race to avoid (a) more delays, (b) risk of others stalling.

However, after starting the race, there was much outcry and protests and the race was started again. Also, upon starting the race first time, some drivers were not in their formation positions and some were not even prepared for the start, which brings me to my next point.

As Jules right pointed out in a previous thread, it is the marshall's perogative to decide when the race will start. If drivers are not in their correct position, the marshall should be alert to this and penalise those drivers. In my opinion a re start is not necessary. As Jules said, in a sanctioned race it is the drivers responsibility to be ready to start at anytime and it is the marshall's decision when to drop the flag. It was very obvious in this particular heat that none of teh drivers where prepared for the flag to have been dropped.

Anyway, I would suggest we address the following points of discussion and resolve a conclusion which will be made available to teh public domain.

1. What to do when drivers have stalled or cannot catch the pack (say, after max. of 3 formation laps)? Start the race, continue more formation laps or any other suggestion?

2. Briefing - inform drivers that it is their responsibility to 'assume' the race may start anytime?

3. Monitoring - what is the penalty for (a) jump start (b) starting from wrong grid position and if we start a race when drivers are suffering stalled engines or other mechanical problems how is this situation handled?

Comments please....

edwynlow's picture

[i]However, after starting the race, there was much outcry and protests and the race was started again. Also, upon starting the race first time, some drivers were not in their formation positions and some were not even prepared for the start, which brings me to my next point.[/i]

eventually, these 2 drivers were from the back of the pack and overtook everyone else. this means the 2 drivers was in the front row instead in their original position. this happen just before turn 12 (ccw). eventhough i was ready for a start, (thanks to my sifu; reminding me to always assume the race is going to start upon reaching the start/finish line); the formation wasn't really there. the karts positioning were everywhere.

the flag was down when the 2 sudden changed front runners reaches the line and everyone was on the gas pedal; racing. i was protesting. i reckon judgejulez was also protesting because both of us were at the back of the pack and saw all that. but we just kept racing telling myself, they should be penalize for this.

again, i am repeating myself here, that the 2 drivers that initially overtook everyone were suppose to maintain at their position no matter what happens on the formation lap unless the kart in front of them stalled. then they are allowed to take that position. the 2 drivers are experience drivers that have been attending numerous of mykart events. the driver in front of me was everywhere during the formation lap. at times he was on my left.. at times he was on my right.. at times he was behind me. fazz.. if you checked the grid positioning for K2 Final, you will notice that i was the last person in the pack, and the driver in front of me, shouldn't be doing that.

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[i]1. What to do when drivers have stalled or cannot catch the pack (say, after max. of 3 formation laps)? Start the race, continue more formation laps or any other suggestion?[/i]

from those youtubing videos that i been watching about kart racing, when all the karts are formed, the marshal are all ready to flag them off. if there is any possible on unlucky kart that stalled in the middle of the formation lap (when the formation is complete), the marshal give a green flag too. but when the formation is still under process, and a kart stalled, they will still have time to quickly fire them up again and join the group.

i am not sure if this is going to work on mykart events because usually we have only like 10 karts in K1, 7 or 8 in K2 and more in K3. in the races that i watched in youtube are racing with 20 to 30 karts.

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[i]2. Briefing - inform drivers that it is their responsibility to 'assume' the race may start anytime?[/i]

for K3, i reckon the drivers need to be informed about this. but i don't think that K2 and K1 drivers need to be informed as all you know this. am i right? assuming the race is going to start when approaching the starting line?

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[i]3. Monitoring - what is the penalty for (a) jump start (b) starting from wrong grid position and if we start a race when drivers are suffering stalled engines or other mechanical problems how is this situation handled?[/i]

as soon as the green flag is waved and the race starts; if there are stalled engine or mechanical problem; i would said bad luck guys/gals. if it was me, it will also consider myself being having a bad luck. or why am i not maintaining a higher rev to be ready, so it won't stalled? because you see guys, in all races; if its green.. its GREEN. we don't see a restart in F1 if schumi stalled his car even though he is in P1.

about jump start, i reckon the person who is doing the lap chart, should be looking at any jump starters or even starting from a different position. (he ain't going to write down any numbers on the start anyway) so if he/she spotted a jump starter then probably putting a '**' sign next to the driver's name. and penalty will be given to them after the race. maybe drive-through penalty (i can make a board for that) or position penalty?

TheFazz's picture

i was discussing this with mark earlier. we need to bear in mind that (i) we are racing rental karts; (ii) we are racing for fun; and (iii) we need to run our events efficiently for the sake of managing cost efficiency and optimising our time for having fun.

in regards to the formation lap, the flag marshals need to be advised that they need to get the race underway within 2 formation laps max. drivers having problems with their karts will have to play catch up. this happens even in f1. the flag marshal will have to make the call to start the race.

to mitigate this, all drivers and marshals need to be ready to start the next heats as immediately as when the previous relevant group finishes their race. with 3 categories alternating, i believe it gives sufficient time for drivers to ensure that their karts are ok (basic checks). so marshals and category captains need to start the ball rolling as soon as the previous groups returns to the pits.

jump starts are even more difficult calls to make. the flag marshals need to take note of drivers jumping the start, and as edwyn suggests to mark against the names of the drivers on the lapchart. however, the fact is, all drivers are responsible to make sure that the grid is properly formed. drivers behind MUST attempt to catch up with the leaders if the pace is quick... i do notice that some take it very relaxed during the formation lap, often leaving quite a big gap to the rows ahead.

Tarmizi's picture

i wish i could help marshaling back in round2 . but my health did not let me do so.

Guys,

In the 2005 days when I did K2.....all races started at max 3 laps from leaving the grid. Anything more will spell trouble for the engines and also kick our time schedule off.

If I saw correctly - you guys assembled the K2 & K3 karts on the dummy grid hence I cannot understand why it takes so long to flag off. Even if they are not arranged.....the driver should remember which order they are positioned, who is in front and alongside......and it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to know this BEFORE EACH START. Kudos to all K1 pilots, as I see no issue on their formation discipline.

Before I go on, yes - this is on FUN KARTS and yes, this is for fun. I must also add, we are trying to simulate a REAL RACING experience hence whilst some pointers I made in past could sound harsh, be assured that there will be some....relaxed to suit the drivers inexperience.

So here's the bottom line.

Our starters....should be from experienced members ( esp for K2 and K1 )and members who know all the starting procedures and rules. Sorry,for newbies - please volunteer for some other work as the start is absolutely best left to someone who know what he or she is doing.....8 laps race is a sprint, with little time for chasing.

Just to re-inforce the point, in the last K1 race.....Brian E actually did not see the green and hence he never picked up speed while the rest of pack was gunning for it! Only our experience, mutual respect and caution saw all of us thru....honestly, i dun recall who was the starter...

Anyway, the starter should only be concerned by the pack formation.....nothing else. His call on letting go the pack is simply based on how proper the grid is lined up for a fair start.

He or she should not be swayed by non starters - that is in real racing. Here, and this is my My-Kart tailored start procedure....can choose to delay the start if HE/SHE wishes too but I would not do this for anything more than 3 laps.....remember, in real races, we can start as soon as we reach the line the very FIRST time.

Here, more often than not - there are 'advisors' telling him/her NOT to start....which I say can be deterimental to his judgement and flagging performance. Fine, you can listen ONCE since hey, its My-Kart racing amongst friends but then luck is need in racing too. So if your kart stalls..& cannot be restarted...too bad.

I have time and time adviced - about where to hold the flag just before the flag off and I did see that some starters observe that but this must be consistently done for ALL CLASSES.

Just to remind again, the flag shall be raised before the 1st pair reaches the actual start finish line....where the starter stands of course. Before that happens - the flag must be held BEHIND the starter.

In regards to the pace for the main pack during the formation - I can suggest 50-75% race speed is fine. Too slow, your engine will stall due to a fouled plug and perhaps this is why some of you all had engine issues or engine cutting out in the race.....due to a shorted plug during the slow formation lap.

Which brings me to a pace kart - there is NO NEED unless the K3 wants it. Nothing for K2 and K1.

Btw, even when someone in front of you has failed to join the formation on the out lap - you should close up to the next guy ahead of you especially just before start line.....and this way, there will be NO GAPS and the starter can see a perfect formation.

Jump starts? It happens when ppl PREDICT that the race starts on 2nd lap....well, again if the starter is not happy.....he should not flag off!

One more thing which I saw in my last weekend's K1 race, many a time on the outlap.....i notice there was NO ONE at the start line, no cones placed. The point is if we all can sit and wait at our karts 5 min before the start, thanks to Luen ( at least i remember his many reminder on 5 mins )...and surely ONE starter can also be ready and be in position.

Summary - the starter holds a very crucial role. Get experienced volunteers, brief ur drivers again. Training for starter should be done and I can help.

cheers.

Jules wrote:

Summary - the starter holds a very crucial role. Get experienced volunteers, brief ur drivers again. Training for starter should be done and I can help.

cheers.


Thanks again Jules. Hope you can be around in Rd 3 so that marshalls and starters can be briefed the proper way of doing this procedure.
edwynlow's picture

naza wrote:
Jules wrote:

Summary - the starter holds a very crucial role. Get experienced volunteers, brief ur drivers again. Training for starter should be done and I can help.

cheers.


Thanks again Jules. Hope you can be around in Rd 3 so that marshalls and starters can be briefed the proper way of doing this procedure.

Yes Jules. It would be good if you are here for Rd 3 or maybe brief some of us before Rd 3, so that we are all ready to be starter and also marshaling. And through your observation, from the few volunteers on the track at Rd 2, you can also point out each person's mistakes or what he/she is doing correctly.