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Snow-dust

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Postby diskvalve » December 18th, 2011, 2:56 am

Having the helmet lights mounted both on the back of the helmets and to the front of sleds (possibly blue on the sleds) would be a step in the right direction that the teams could easily add without much cost..... mike
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Postby PDRacing » December 18th, 2011, 3:22 am

Jordon,

I'm not saying eliminate flagmen, lights would merely be an addition, and as I said, I realize the cost aspect doesn't really make it feasible at this time.

As far as Flagmen, even state of the art F1 has flagmen as well as lights, like you said electronics can fail.

As you mentioned perhaps even adding a couple of extra flagmen.

These are just possible ideas to add to safety.

Mike is right, the simple-lest thing at this time is brighter lights, possibly flashing on Sled and a Helmet light.
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Postby EPT Race Director » December 18th, 2011, 3:28 am

[quote=brouse]Gentlemen most bad accidents happen in about 1.5seconds. Experienced corner workers and main flagman can have red flags up in 3seconds.If you can come up with a system that can shut down a race in 1 second i am all ears.[/quote]

I think no system could beat that, because there is a long chain of events before calling a red flag. You first have to detect a problem, analize the situation, take a decision and call for a red (or press a button for an alarm. This is too long and way out of 1 second. It is impossible as an official to ''prevent'' an accident into one second, because the drivers reaction time is also around one second. (time to see the problem, juge, and apply the movement). It's impossible as officials to beat the driver's recation time. Even the best and most experienced officials can't prevent an accident due to an accident into one second. What we can do is prevent that no more drivers are going to be involved (like Curtis' accident).

For that reason, it's impossible to react faster than the driver's instinct.

The only thing we can do is informing the other drivers that an accident happened and be carefull. I think corner flagmans are able to do this job with the yellow flag. The thing is that drivers have to be carefull under YELLOW conditions. If the conditions are dangerous, a red will be shown. But it's impossible to call a red before the rest of the drivers get into the ''hot zone'' if the crash takes place between the first places. A sound alarm could be a good solution, but I think it's impossible to call it before one second of reaction. I also think that one second is not enough for a driver and a sled to react and to slow down in a safe way. So the buzzer stays as a ''warning'' device and cannot ''avoid'' a crash.

I know that a second in this fast type of racing is huge, but I think only reinforcing the signal methods we have (flags) could help a lot for now. I believe that if drivers were more attentive to the yellow flags, it could help a lot too. Yellow is also a ''warning'' methods. Now if drivers are not careful to them, we can't do anything.

On this forum, we have many solutions as ''warning methods'':
Flags
Alarm sound
Lights
Kill switch

We have to all keep in mind that a system like that works only if all drivers are attentionned to it. Should we reinforce the YELLOW flag conditions?

Let's say: a waving yellow flag is a major warning and a pointed yellow in the direction you have to go is a minor warning.
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Postby PDRacing » December 18th, 2011, 4:23 am

[quote=brouse]Gentlemen most bad accidents happen in about 1.5seconds. Experienced corner workers and main flagman can have red flags up in 3seconds.If you can come up with a system that can shut down a race in 1 second i am all ears.[/quote]

Where did you find that stat?


Off the top of my head I had 2 bad experiences where, there was no Red Flag cause no one saw it. We had a race in Burk's Falls, the sled lay upside down in the middle of turn 3 right in the race line,for a good 3 laps, a little more than 3 secs, we all screamed by it waiting for a red flag, I brushed it once as did others.

Then in Eganville, Gary Myer spun out in front of me and flipped in the race line in turn 2, and all I thought was they better get flag out, I was coming out of turn 4 by the time a flag was out, mean time Mat Schultz smoked Gary's sled and luckily no one hurt, but both sleds wrecked.

I am not blaming flagmen, mistakes happen, but I am just saying if we ever get to the point we can afford 2 systems, that it would provide a back up system.

All true safety systems, have redundancy engineered into them!
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Postby EPT Race Director » December 18th, 2011, 4:44 am

[quote=PDRacing]Off the top of my head I had 2 bad experiences where, there was no Red Flag cause no one saw it. We had a race in Burk's Falls, the sled lay upside down in the middle of turn 3 right in the race line,for a good 3 laps, a little more than 3 secs, we all screamed by it waiting for a red flag, I brushed it once as did others.

Then in Eganville, Gary Myer spun out in front of me and flipped in the race line in turn 2, and all I thought was they better get flag out, I was coming out of turn 4 by the time a flag was out, mean time Mat Schultz smoked Gary's sled and luckily no one hurt, but both sleds wrecked.

I am not blaming flagmen, mistakes happen, but I am just saying if we ever get to the point we can afford 2 systems, that it would provide a back up system.

All true safety systems, have redundancy engineered into them![/quote]

You have a good point Richard! We should have a ''backup'' system. What if we charge a ''security fee'' like we do for the ambulance? And then, we could afford a better system. With this money, we could employ regular flagmen that are more active and alarmed to situations. The past experiences you are telling us are not acceptables. I think having more ''security'' people in field could help to react faster and have a better reaction. Thats why we have to ''reinforce'' our system, but there is a price on it. Thats why I suggest creating a security fee. (Could be charged to drivers and promoter) I know that money is an hot topic but for SECURITY, we should act now.
I know it's hard for an official to see everywhere at the same time, and there are grey zones on the track. We are humans too! It's also hard to have experimented volunteers on track. Thats why I wish to have extra experimented ''security people'' on track. An then, more people could call for a particular situation so officials could take a faster and better decision.

Jordan
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Postby Fontaine Racing » December 18th, 2011, 4:59 am

you guys are missing an important point here! the topic is visibility!
(AKA.not being able to see) that meens not only down sleds ,But flags and flagmen!!!
how many times have you seen drivers miss flag signals with good visibility?
I spent some time flagging ,been times you would almost have to jump in front of someone to get there attention.
Bruce I am sure you remember a certain PRO stock final a few years ago when the flags didnt seam to play any role.
too bad drivers themselves dont come on here to voice there opinions. I am not a driver, but I do spend a lot of time with one, and talk to lots of others.
this is a scary situation!
debate is fine but its time to get serious.
any more thought on what color the helmet light should be!
want to put one to use but think we should be uniformed with the color.
thanks
almost forgot to ask. have you ever had radios go low, or loose radio contact with a corner worker, (aka. flagman) I have.
point here is,
she aint a perfect world out there! human error and mechanical faiure, are allways going to be a factor.
but we are fools if we dont try to improve on our present situation.
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Postby proracer » December 18th, 2011, 6:14 am

It is pretty simple to start with:

- I said it before, so i'll say it again, Driver ''SUIT'' as to be gright flo ORANGE and ''HELMET'' to. That's more chance to be seen by us if somebody fall off.

- Flagman in center back strech. (experience paid guys that can take quick decision on their own)

- 2 flagmans per corner. (experience paid guys that can take quick decision on their own)

- And finally slow us down by limiting the height rules for the studs, from .375 to maybe .187. (that would slow us down automaticly cause you would be sliding, not has much grip, less speed everywhere and more show for spectators. NOT just slowing us down by less carbide runner (that would become boring race cause it's to easy, slow down to have front end bite back and no spectacle to see, easy anybody can do that, but with sliding(less speed automatic)it take some ability and fan would love to see that. And you have to go quite low for studs, so will have to slow down no matter what.

- Painted fluo bright color inside corner or bail and something like that for the outside.

- a quick on/off blue light on the back of sled that become red if you fall off.(eassy to do with led light)

- * An AGAIN DRIVER SHOW MORE BRIGHT FLUO ORANGE ON SUIT AND HELMET. *

Remember racing is a risk that you have to cope with it and try to be best at it.

Well taht's it for now.

Bye
JV#96:)
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Postby PDRacing » December 18th, 2011, 6:59 am

Doug,

Couldn't agree with you more, it's hard to see the flags in the dust.

Just another thought then, trying to keep it simple,

You can get Flags with Super Bright Red Led's built into them. This combines lights and flag all in one. Makes the Flag more visible to the drivers.
Not that expensive.


These guys are expensive but check out the LED safety lighting systems for motorsports.

www.mcgeochled.com/motorsport/index.htm

I before I get beat up :E I realize we can't afford this technology at this time, but here is a quote from these guys, they were having similar problems in F1 with visibility issues.

"The electronic flags work alongside traditional cloth flags
but have much better visibility, particularly in rain and spray conditions. In 2009, McGeoch were requested
to continue flag development with an additional sign which clearly shows when safety car conditions exist."
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Postby Xtreme22 » December 19th, 2011, 7:23 am

Agree with what alot of people say here, and still like my idea of blue light on front of sled always running, so when looped around it can be seen also and drivers know there is a sled looped around by the color of the light, But i am basis on my idea haha.. (lights on helmet is a great idea to good thinking outside the box everyone!)

A great place to start is having a "crew" of corner workers that travel with you to each event, let them all have radios (2 way) red and yellow flags and let them make the call. They see it first before anyone else. WE did that for years and always seemed to work good and fast.

Also if any circuit or people are interested we have 16 radios all with 4 channels on them for sale. Along with head units for starter and staging, ear pieces for everyone else, and chargers. If any circuit is interested or team, please contact me but not a private message email me at

risllc@hotmail.com

Overall snow dust is a bad deal, but i really dont know a great way to get rid of it, I think it is dealing with mother nature and what can be done to protect the racers when snow dust is bad.
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Snow-dust

Postby EXTREME113 » December 20th, 2011, 4:58 am

A few years ago I hit a 1000 Yamaha that was sitting in the middle of turn 3-4 for a lap...I was in 3rd and the first two guys missed it, but I had no choice but to hit it because I had no warning and couldn't see it until it was too late.. No red flag and a corner worker too busy watching the race and not doing his job. My sled was a write-off and I was very lucky to walk away.. 440 rev vs. 1000 Yamaha, it was like hitting a car..

1) We need paid corner workers that are the same for all races with proper Flo org. suits.

2) We do NOT need our sleds to be limited with studs or carbides. Thats just asking for more crashes and sleds spinning around.. How can sliding around the corners be more safe??? You can't avoid anything if you are in a full slide.Or even worse someone gets a bad start because they spin off the line and slides into the first turn like a bulldozer,taking people out from behind... These sleds are not the problem the snow dust is.

3) Lights on the front of sleds as well as helmets.. Drivers should already have Flo Org on helmet, arms, chest and back.. ANYONE who doesn't should stay parked for the weekend.. It doesn't matter who it is.. This rule of min Org. has been ignored for certain top level racers and that is not right.

4) This is just my feeling, but if the tech guys checked everybodys helmets when they came off the track, they would see that radios are already being used.. How can you have a rule and not check to make sure its being followed? I believe certain races last year were won with radio use. I am not going to out anyone here but I know it was happening.

5)All tracks should have lines like a hockey rink in the corners. Whether it's paint after each plow session or prefroze into the track.
I have been asking for this at each race for the past 4 years..When paint is put on the track to mark ruts it really helps out.(Thank you EPT)

I like the idea of the airport type lights lining the corners. As a driver I am going to ride as hard as the track and sled will let me..
If it is really bad snow dust then I back off a little. But that is just me, some drivers don't think like this.

I am all for making it safer for us on the track, but lets not take away handling from our sleds.

Thanks,

Curtis Weatherdon #113
2011 EPT Semi-Pro Champ Champion
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