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What's gonna happen in 2014?

Posted by Anders Green 
Morison
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 01:02PM
Matt,
The real problem is that we regularly hear people call for relaxed safety standards without actually bringing a proposal forward. Additionally, being a leader in cutting back on safety equipment means the sanctioning body would need to have reasonable data that supports doing so.

While new drivers in slower cars may have less risk in an incident, it also follows that they probably have more incidents.

There is an interesting discussion going on now about the allowance for using DOT helmets in rally cross events. My comment was that CARS should look at moving to bike helmets instead of any motorsports helmets because of the level of protection needed and the risks associated with the extra weight of the helmet. (As a information point, I'm reasonably sure O'Neills teaches with bicycle helmets on the skid-pad area)



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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 01:21PM
Keith,

Having served on numerous boards, and volunteer organizations,

Quote
Morison
The real problem is that we regularly hear people call for relaxed safety standards without actually bringing a proposal forward.

I completely understand... smiling smiley

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Morison
While new drivers in slower cars may have less risk in an incident, it also follows that they probably have more incidents.

Anecdotally?... I'll bet Leo has more "incidents" per rally then I have in my rally career, so that doesn’t hold much water...

I do think that perhaps a speed factor could be implemented. The jump from rally cross to stage is pretty big, and you go from pretty much nothing, to everything required.

If you (or others listening in) feel it would not fall on deaf ears, I’ll lead the charge…  Talk to Chris, and make up a proposal.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 01:32PM
Come on Keith, that's hogwash and you know it. Do you really want people to come forward and help out, bring a proposal, and try to change things? I can't even begin to count the number of emails I sent, phone calls I made, and contacts I tried to make with CARS to help with all the 'backed up work you have' only to be told, 'gee, we aren't really sure how we can use you'. Yeah right, a published scientist with degrees in biology and chemistry couldn't possibly help out a bunch of racers.

So here's my proposal. Under a 5 year test program, allow competitors (2wd drive national and regional, AWD regional only) to use non FIA seats (even metal ones), belts up to 10 years old if they pass visual inspection (yes, don't give me the we can't see all damage shit, I'm aware of that, it's an experiment), any Snell or DOT approved motorcycle helmet not more than 10 years old, and any cage that is sanctioned by a road racing or rallying organization in North America (to keep the truly scary circle track shit out). Yes, I'd still require head and neck, but I could be convinced to let that slide (I personally would not race without). Have them sign a waiver with a notary present (in the US this costs about $20 bucks, in Canada about $100) stating they are taking part in this program. Compile as many true statistics as you can about crashes over the last 10 years and state why you are trying this (cost/benefits to the competitor is out of whack, etc.) and that you are trying to collect actual comparison data. Put this all together so you can justify to your insurance/regulatory body why you are trying this. And then do it.

At the end of 5 years, you'll have real data and you'll know if you need to have people spend an arm and a leg on safety or not.

And I'm fully aware that there could be 'one loss of life', though I highly doubt it. If the competitor is willing to take that added additional risk, they should.

Anders, can you comment on whether you could make something like this fly with your insurer? They seem to far more reasonable.


Gosh, I can see why John sometimes gets his panties in a knot on here. It's quite invigorating.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 01:48PM
I don't think a proposal would fall on deaf ears, but I do think the bar you'd have to clear in terms of showing why the requirements should be relaxed would be too high.

About a decade ago, I think, the rally sprint rules allowed for a 4 pt cage (Basically just the main hoop and backstays. That was changed to a full cage, with door bars, because the events were held on 'real roads' with trees and other risks that the full cage was designed to protect against.

The question is one of 'while a slow car hitting a tree with the door won't bend a full cage, what happens in that same accident without a cage and door bars?'

Maybe the real problem is the clubs aren't bothering to host the stepping stone events.
Rally Sprints, as regulated by CARS are a great middle ground in many ways:
1) full cage. (yah, not cheap and makes it a dedicated car for the activity...)
2) Full Safety gear, but seats not regulated, HANS not required, Race Suit not required
3) 80km/h max average speed
4) License issued by the region: likely means no medical, no first aid

So, is the issue that the jump from rallycross to stage rally is so large or that no clubs are hosting the 'bridge' events that are available to be held.

There 'might' be an argument to be made for relaxing to RallySprint requirements for competitors who don't exceed 80km/h max average speed in an event... but that is SO event specific that it would be hard to apply. If someone breaks 80 average, are they banned from the rest of the event?

It would be worth talking to Chris about what could be brought forward. I could see a speed factor based allowance getting some traction, but we don't presently use speed factors in Canada. (Although I suspect we will - in conjunction with seeding - soon.)



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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 01:50PM
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NBS2005

Gosh, I can see why John sometimes gets his panties in a knot on here. It's quite invigorating.

Except usually they're not in "a knot". The tone is one of tired disgust... tired at the same sort of, or type of, elusive, 'we're talking to 'ex-spurts' but we can't say right now' type horseshit.

Think is in biology and/or chemistry somebody were to ONE time answer with "trust us we're talking to 'experts' but it's too hush hush to say "who is talking to who", or even how the questioneds were crafted---.(And lord knows that careful crafting of questions can nearly guarantee any answer you desire)
They'd be blown out of the field in a day.

Yet decades go and its the same vague shit---and entries continue to trickle away, and costs continue to rise, and "bwilliant ideers" that only cost another $150/car per event!" keep surfacing.

That isn't panties in a know stuff, its tiresome, boring , disappointing shit.


On happier notes, hows the 900 search going?



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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 02:19PM
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NBS2005
Come on Keith, that's hogwash and you know it. Do you really want people to come forward and help out, bring a proposal, and try to change things?
Yes I do, and so does the board.
What I don't want, and don't respond to, is for people to ask for change without being willing or able to help make that change happen. (How I ended up where I am is that I wanted to see changes within CARS and stepped up to help make them happen. It's been 8 years or so and there is still room for change.)
I won't pretend that change is easy, but it is possible with effort.

Quote
NBS2005
I can't even begin to count the number of emails I sent, phone calls I made, and contacts I tried to make with CARS to help with all the 'backed up work you have' only to be told, 'gee, we aren't really sure how we can use you'.
And I'm sure you'll remember the conversations we've had where my first question was 'what can you offer, what skills do you bring, and what would you like to do.'
But that's not really the point here.
Yes, we get offers of help regularly from well meaning people and we don't always take them up on the offer. Often, its because even the person offering the help doesn't know how they want to help, other times it is because there is little or no follow though from either side.
Recently, I spent more time chasing and directing someone who was helping me on a project than it would have taken for me to do it myslef, which is what ended up happening.

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NBS2005
So here's my proposal.
I thought you said you were a scientist.
Do you think such a test program would pass any form of scrutiny for meaningful results?

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NBS2005
And I'm fully aware that there could be 'one loss of life', though I highly doubt it.
And you're willing to accept that chance?



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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 02:49PM
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john vanlandingham
and "bwilliant ideers" that only cost another $150/car per event!" keep surfacing.

I gather you're talking about the time CARS went to the competitors to ask if $120/car per event was too much to spend on a tracking system before we investigated it any further. A survey that was done two years ago and made it clear that the threshold of acceptable cost was significantly lower than the true cost of running the system. A system that hasn't been implemented for a number or reasons, and one that won't be implemented without sponsorship support to make the cost to the competitor reasonable (or non-existent.)

I'd ask you to stop exaggerating the truth to pad your own agenda, but everyone knows that would go against your nature.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2014 01:14PM by Morison.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 03:00PM
Unless you are going to strap electronic test dummies in cars and crash them with different safety gear, then no, you are not going to have publishable data for a peer reviewed journal. And no one is going to do that because there is no money for it.

You will however be able to say that over a 5 year period, we did not see an increase in mortality or morbidity (if that happens) with a slightly relaxed safety program. You could then let the competitor decide.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 03:35PM
I think that you guys are over-hyping the difference between lab and field studies, both in terms of what they are and in terms of the weight that they carry. Most of all, there are many situations where the state of the field's knowledge makes it not ready for a lab study. To do a lab study, you need to know what replicable situation to simulate. If you don't know this yet, then you actually want (i.e., would prefer) a field study. And there are plenty of good journals in the traffic-safety field that will take a good field study. We (as in: those of us who work at the National Advanced Driving Simulator) install dash-cams and g-sensors in cars for exactly this purpose.

If enough is already known about where rally cars in North America hit things, how hard they hit, etc, then, OK, suggesting a lab study is fine. But I don't know if that's true and suspect, instead, that a field study is exactly what's needed.

The problem (as is it for my work, where we have the Institutional Review Board to deal with) is going to be the damned lawyers.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 04:11PM
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Mad Matt F

The rising cost of sport is really getting out of hand... Probably driven by our overly affluent lifestyles.

The quality difference in cars raced now versus when I started is staggering.

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Iowa999
One point to add to Matt's counter against Keith's slow-car/slow-corner example. It's a single event. An anecdote. And, as Grant can verify, the statistics for single events - especially outliers - have monsterous confidence intervals. Even when the mean level of danger for one group is twice as high as that for another (and Cohen's d for the difference is as high as 2), the odds that the single highest amount of danger faced is from the "safer" group is still almost 1:1 when the Ns are small, as they are for North American rally.

tl;dr - fuck anecdotes

Hell, screw a lot of studies as well. The more I try to care about statistics/studies, the more I realize that with most things in life, they need to be taken with a large grain of salt.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 06:39PM
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Morison

There 'might' be an argument to be made for relaxing to RallySprint requirements for competitors who don't exceed 80km/h max average speed in an event... but that is SO event specific that it would be hard to apply. If someone breaks 80 average, are they banned from the rest of the event?


hmmmm this thought has merit.

easy to do. have the competitor self regulate on a per stage basis (simple enough to do) while the organizer tracks actual times back at hq. if they screw more then once ie two stages in a row over 80k... yer done son unless over service you can meet the rules to run that fast... winking smiley

I'll review some stage times and give jt some thought.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 06:55PM
That's close to how many local quarter-mile tracks work. Trap 100+ without a helmet, get a warning. Do it again, go home.
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 07:03PM
I'm not saying the board will go for it, but at least it's an idea that maybe could/should be looked at.



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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 07, 2014 08:01PM
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Morison
I'm not saying the board will go for it, but at least it's an idea that maybe could/should be looked at.

je comprend ; )
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Re: What's gonna happen in 2014?
January 08, 2014 03:08PM
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Morison
Recently, I spent more time chasing and directing someone who was helping me on a project than it would have taken for me to do it myslef, which is what ended up happening.

While I can relate to this issue having experienced it many times myself in my engineering career, you've got to remember that there is a long term goal at stake... training the next generation to do your job when you're gone.



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