Multiple track racing

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Stan Pope
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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:22 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Anyone with some programming skill might be interested in working up a computer simulation.
It's been a month and no takers ... guess I'm on my own! Oh, well, not the first time I've plowed fresh ground! :)


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by kevinrevin » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:28 pm

I suppose this method would work with 5 two-lane tracks also.

I really like the idea of the boys racing lots of times in the allotted time period.



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:54 pm

kevinrevin wrote:I suppose this method would work with 5 two-lane tracks also.
How would you dispose of 1st and 2nd place racers on track 3 heat?
kevinrevin wrote:I really like the idea of the boys racing lots of times in the allotted time period.
Me too! :)


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by AlabamaDan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:17 am

gpraceman wrote:I understand there are some advantages to using multiple tracks with a large number of racers, but I still would prefer a single track race. IMO, it is less complicated, easier logistics, less people required to run, and less confusing for all involved.
I agree, we've just done one track and one software, but it could make for a really fun event if you had some mega PWD with multiple tracks and such going.

Ever been to a wrestling tournament? Multiple matches going on all at the same time, lots of people "doing" not "waiting". Wouldn't it be awesome to have 300 cubscout families all at a PWD. Imagine the energy!

Maybe you could have the main track doing the traditional PWD, but side tracks doing other things like adults and siblings, outlaw divisions, truckers, etc.?



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:46 pm

Well we did it.

Actually a hybrid version.

7 tracks.
1 Derby magic 5 lane 40' with timer and software
4 similar tracks based on plans similar to the one in the Cub Leader how to handbook (Scouts Canada version) 3 lane 28'? all with 10 years + experience
1 4 lane 30'?wooden home one made with a permanent curved section
1 (borrowed from a group in a different district) 6 lane 40' Best Track with timer

We raced the cubs on the 4 similar tracks using the Bubble format, after 1 1/4 hours we took the winners for the next 20 races and impounded them. While the cubs were doing their thing, the Beavers were racing their Beaver Buggies on the Derby Magic track (just for fun). Even the kids that had issues and went to the pits for repairs had at least 12 races+, and the well prepared kars had around 25 races or more. Because the graphite had to be almost done for, we allowed the top 20 to relube only, and marshalled their cars until the Timed heats ran. Various Technical errors with the track and software, caused some delays (new track, new software, new operators), But we got them sorted and ran the Kub Kars, Scout Trucks, and Open class Cars.

We had kids bring lego cars and ran on the sets of wheels we supplied (Mini brick Derby from Derby Magic). They ran , they broke, they fixed and they ran again....all day.

For the first time with a new format, and unfamiliar tracks, and groups from 5 different town/cities, we all had a blast. The kids got to race their hearts out, we got some real good group interaction going for our District.



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:50 pm

goldrush wrote:Well we did it.
...
1 1/4 hours we took the winners for the next 20 races and impounded them.
And "winners for the next 20 races" selected from which tracks? All tracks? or just the top track?
Would this be "impounded" as finalists?
How did you run off the finalists?
Since you selected the finalists based on how they ran "graphite deprived", why did you change the finals to "graphite refreshed?" I don't understand the logic. (My intuition suggests that best car preparation shows when they run "graphite deprived." If oil were proscribed, forced lubrication with graphite just before the finals might well "flush them out of the running" for trophies.)

BTW, I convinced our Derby Chair to do a small scale (one age group equivalent) trial of this in a few months ... so I'm trying to learn from your experience. I'm expecting that 80 to 100 Cubs will participate to simulate one age group. It won't be our "official derby" but will draw on most of the same boys who participated in our February district derby.

We'll do some validation steps over and above the pure method to measure the accuracy of the method. One pair of validation steps involves recording timed runs by every racer on lane 1 of each track type both before starting the racing and before starting the finals. That will add some time to this event that will not be experienced in the real derby, but I think it is worth it.)


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:19 pm

Our numbers were down from what we hoped we could get. We had 36 of 154 potential Beavers, 48 of 152 potential Cubs, 19 of 78 potential Scouts and 3 of 22 potential Ventures, so we had 106 youth out of 406 registered in the District :idk:

We took the top 20 Kubkars from the track where all the fastest cars moved to. Impounded them and reweighed, then gave them all the chance to relube. All the other cars and trucks were impounded directly at registration.

The top Kub Kars were run on the Derby Magic track, as well as the Scout Trucks, Open (Venturers, and Leaders) and Sponsor Cars and Trucks.
I am not sure how many heats they ran for each class, as I was floating putting out fires. I do know they had some painful issues with the timer and software, having to reset continually. :pray:

This is our first District wide rally ever (to my knowledge). We wanted everyone to have fun and the bubble sort gave the kids the chance to run and run and run some more. :bigups:
We got such good feedback about the "organized chaos". 8)
I never heard any kid say they were bored until we were doing the timed trials.
And I agreed. :shhh:
After the constant action and flow of kids and cars in the morning, it seemed to move too slow.
If people don't have something to do or watch, they get bored easily.

Some of the groups came in way under weight and I can almost guarantee they did nothing more than try to shove the nails in straight. The groups that did take advantage of the workshops we held, worked better. We did not go hard nose, but they did have to pass a width and height gauge, and weight requirements. We added somewhere between 8-10 pounds of weights I had pre-cast, to get most cars to max weight.

I know it seems like we are in the stone ages compared to how the derbies are run South of the 49th, but all the kids had a great day, and they are what matters.

We are using this as a stepping stone for the future. Hopefully we will get more consistent building practices among the groups, with the workshops, and ultimately get better participation. We had 6 of 11 groups participate, but most are smaller groups. We already have the date picked for next year, so groups can hopefully plan their programs towards it.


Stan, send me an email in a few days, when my head is clearer, and I am caught up on my work load. I am interested in the work and care you put into the science of racing.

Gerry



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by kevinrevin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:45 pm

Stan,

For my two lane example, I envisioned winners moving to the right and non-winners moving to the left. (Both move right if a tie) At the end tracks, a boy stays if there is no track next. (Left end non-winners would stay, Right end winners would stay)

I see using a pill draw for lane assignment at each track.

After about 90 minutes, racing would be stopped.

Then race those remaining in the track adjacent to the far right, moving the winners into the group already at the far right track, being the "Finals Qualifiers". These cars would then be given the opportunity to re-lube, then go through tech inspection and be impounded.

While the inspection process is occurring, the boys from the far left (non-winners) track would then continue to race, eliminating the winners to determine the "Safest Driver" of the day.

Then the "Finals Qualifiers" group would conduct timed trials (two or three passes in each lane) to determine the top N finishers for the overall speed awards.

I see this method being a way to: (in order of importance) 1. Maximize races per scout; 2. Determine the top N fastest cars; and 3. Determine or Recognize the "Safest Driver" (or drivers), all within 2-1/2 hours. :D

I am limited by the overabundance of two lane tracks in our district (5 or 6 packs have these, all good or very good quality) and lack of three or more lane tracks. If I can get this method into a workable plan, I think I can convince the committee to get away from the double-elimination brackets :wall: that have been used for the last ?? years.



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:29 pm

The2-lane model seems to work okay. Method fo selecting finalists seems fair and acceptably accurate, though some cases could be constucted in which a deserving would be excluded from the finals. The goal of finalist selection should be to assure that the (number of trophies) fastest racers are included, not that the finalists all be the fastest of the bunch, and I think your plan accomplishes that.

I am curious how you conduct the tech inspection ... is it a "one chance to pass/fail? Allowing correction and reinspection at that point allows folks to "game the system."

I am also curious why you would relube since finalists accomplished that based on their "lubricant depletion" state.


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by kevinrevin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:40 am

Re-lube time of about fifteen minutes gives those boys a break, preferably with Dad helping with the graphite, while the "Safest Driver" is determined. Some of the dads are real "Art Arfons types", and have been asking each year to relube prior to the finals. We aren't allowed to bring graphite inside the location where our race is held, so after the outside visit to the graphite station, we would want to re-tech the cars.

The cars would be re-weighed & looked over prior to the championship rounds. There should be no issues, unless a car gained some weight from somewhere. :?

It all seems so simple to me, but I'm probably missing several details. But I think the boys will have a good time, and that is what matters most to me. :D



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:08 pm

kevinrevin wrote:Re-lube time ...
I see ... inspection again because the cars were out of the impound for relube. They had all passed a prior inspection. (I had hoped that they had been inspected before the melee began, but when you mentioned inspecting the cars before the finals, all kinds of bells and sirens went off!)

I would consider handling the relube the same way I would handle any repair during racing ... to be done by the owner/driver with optional guidance and advice from the owner/driver's parent/mentor.

It is an open question in my mind whether relube is appropriate at that point. The cars made it to finals based on their ability to run in what most would call a "lube depleted" state. The cars that ran well until the lube was "used up" aren't in the finals. Relube seems to change the formula by running something other than "what got them there."

One of the aspects that I hope to quantify is whether or not an hour of "heavy duty racing" causes any lasting damage to the racers. Consequently, I may ask them to race both ways! And give two sets of trophies, of course.


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:41 pm

Stan Pope wrote:It is an open question in my mind whether relube is appropriate at that point. [...] Relube seems to change the formula by running something other than "what got them there."
:thinking: Perhaps it depends upon whether one considers "lube depletion" a defect in need of repair? (The suggestion to handle it as if it were a repair could imply that.) Might one also think of it as a "pit stop" after a qualifying event - one that was earned from having done well?

Is it possible for the lengths of the queues to become unbalance, hence some cars see more racing than others? (For example, the Gold Track starts off empty, so its queue is initially shorter.) If so, then some cars might be more "lube depleted" than others, such that a pit stop might provide needed equity.

Could there arise a situation whereby it becomes rather obvious after an hour of repetitive racing on the Gold Track that one or two "lube depleted" cars are virtually unbeatable? If so, to avoid the concerns of inevitability in the final round, "changing the formula" might be a welcomed option for hopeful competitors and observers alike. If it is "to be done by the owner/driver..." as Stan suggests, then whatever magic lubing ability Dad performed before the race will have to be replicated by Son in order to recreate that advantage in the finals.
Stan Pope wrote:One of the aspects that I hope to quantify is whether or not an hour of "heavy duty racing" causes any lasting damage to the racers.
By racers, do you mean cars or kids?

With every spin down the track, there is an increasing risk of significant damage to the cars. Compared to a conventional racing arrangement, almost surely there will be more cars taken out of the running due to wear-and-tear, rough handling by the boys, and accidents.



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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:24 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:It is an open question in my mind whether relube is appropriate at that point. [...] Relube seems to change the formula by running something other than "what got them there."
:thinking: Perhaps it depends upon whether one considers "lube depletion" a defect in need of repair? (The suggestion to handle it as if it were a repair could imply that.) Might one also think of it as a "pit stop" after a qualifying event - one that was earned from having done well?

Is it possible for the lengths of the queues to become unbalance, hence some cars see more racing than others? (For example, the Gold Track starts off empty, so its queue is initially shorter.) If so, then some cars might be more "lube depleted" than others, such that a pit stop might provide needed equity.

Could there arise a situation whereby it becomes rather obvious after an hour of repetitive racing on the Gold Track that one or two "lube depleted" cars are virtually unbeatable? If so, to avoid the concerns of inevitability in the final round, "changing the formula" might be a welcomed option for hopeful competitors and observers alike. If it is "to be done by the owner/driver..." as Stan suggests, then whatever magic lubing ability Dad performed before the race will have to be replicated by Son in order to recreate that advantage in the finals.
Lotsa possibilities in here ...
Say it's a "graphite only" lube requirement and someone slips oil past the inspectors ... oil is usually much longer lasting than graphite. Required relube would flush them out, literally, as well as reestablish some equilibrium to the competition.
FatSebastian wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:One of the aspects that I hope to quantify is whether or not an hour of "heavy duty racing" causes any lasting damage to the racers.
By racers, do you mean cars or kids?

With every spin down the track, there is an increasing risk of significant damage to the cars. Compared to a conventional racing arrangement, almost surely there will be more cars taken out of the running due to wear-and-tear, rough handling by the boys, and accidents.
I meant to the cars! :) Many believe that running on depleted lube wears on the wheel bores. I believe that the better the axle polish before lube, the less such wear. But there may still be some.


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Tue May 31, 2011 1:57 am

I've continued working on the 3-lane version of 15th Burlington Bubble Sort method. It isn't ready for use yet, and I want some input as to what might be missing from the description. Alll inputs will be appreciated.

See web page at Bubble Sort Racing Method.


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Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:09 am

Over the past few days, I've reworked parts of the web page and retitled the method: "15th Burlington (Bubble Sort) Racing Method". The Commissioner for 15th Burlington has looked it over and generally agrees with the description. I asked him to have his "expert" also review it for issues.

All in all, I see the method as substantially reducing the percentage of time that the competitors wait for their turn to "get on the track and race." For instance, A PPN chart for 100 racers on 4 lanes has each racer waiting 96% of the time and racing 4% of the time (racing in 4 of the 100 heats). The same racers on a 10 track "15th Burlington" setup has racers waiting 70% of the time and racing 30% of the time.

The method is applicable to district and council racing, where the number of entrants in a class is large and the population of potential tracks is large. For small group (e.g. pack) racing, a one-track PPN chart still gives good activity percentages. For instance a 25 car group racing a PPN Chart on a 4 lane track gives 16% of the time racing, 4 heats out of 25. (The ratio stays the same if additional rounds are added, but increases or decreases as the number of lanes used increases or decreases.)


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