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      05-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #33
The HACK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
It seems that you have a bit more sensible solo/group assignment policies on that side of the world.

Is there any reason why CCA National does not provide such guidelines to all regions (or if they exist, why they're not publicly posted), similar to NASA's CCR? We've taken this thread way off topic but hey, at least it's on a track-related topic that affects all of us.
CCA publishes a basic, minimum standards guideline that all chapter follows. How the chapters wish to "interpret" the rules and amount of leeway given to each chapter depends heavily on politics and past record. For example, the passing rules. The rulebook clearly states:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW CCA Operations Manual
Passing. PASSING AREAS AND RULES SHALL BE CLEARLY DEFINED (in writing, if possible) to event staff on-track and classroom instructors, students and corner workers AND THEY SHALL BE AGGRESSIVELY ENFORCED.

Advanced Student groups and Instructor groups may have additional passing areas as safety allows at the discretion of the Chapter. Instructors in any run group must comply with all passing rules applicable to the run group without exception.

Passing is ONLY allowed upon clearly defined hand signal by the driver of the car being overtaken—pointing to the direction that the passing car should take.

A passing car must receive a signal from EACH car being overtaken.

EACH car allowed to pass requires an individual signal.

Note that a passing signal is an invitation to pass, but NOT a requirement. The pass must only be initi-ated if it can be completed safely within the designated areas.
Now, how each chapter chooses to interpret said rule is up to the chapter. In the Pacific region we've taken it to mean as, for C & D group, we'll only allow passing on the straights. For B group we will allow passing into the turns but not past the apex. For the A+ group, we take it to mean the passing zone is expanded to "from start/finish to start/finish" as long as it's deemed safe (we'll close off certain turns for passing, like turn 9 at Laguna Seca or turn 10 at Sears, for example, where passing is strictly SUICIDE). Some of the more conservative chapters may still choose to assign passing to the straights only, even for the advance group.

As for the "solo" rules with regards to A+, the national guideline only stipulates that an in-car instructor MUST be available at any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW CCA Operations Manual
Instructor/Student Assignment. The focus of driving school events is driver’s education. In-car instruction is required for all students. Even students who have been signed off should be encouraged to continue in-car instruction to advance their learning.
Interpretation of the rules is, again, up to debate, but if you read it as "if an in-car instructor is available at any time then we meet the minimum requirement," well, that means all we need, especially for the A+ drivers who's proved themselves more than capable, is a check-ride in the morning with an in-car instructor to make sure they're good to go solo for the rest of the day (this satisfies the in-car instruction is required portion). Again, a more "conservative" interpretation would mean that an in-car instructor MUST be present, we just took the rules and "liberalized" it (after all, we do live in the most liberal state in the country).

This, of course, wasn't like so a few years back. Our region has been hit particularly hard by increased competition from the likes of NASA, SpeedVentures, Hooked on Driving, NCRC...etc, where for a far cheaper price participants can go and just "lap" for the whole day. So we found loopholes in the rules that allow us to bring that "open lapping" environment, but still within the rules put forth, to the best of the best participants. We offer this to guys that are leaving our events to do the NASA HPDE 4s or SpeedVenture lapping days, but still offer them an intensive classroom curriculum so they're not just doing laps, but they're doing laps while learning valuable skills to make them go faster.

But since the events are still sanctioned by the National office, they have full right to enforce the rules as they see fit. If National tells us our passing rules or our A+ program does not adhere to the rules put forth, a chapter may lose its affiliation and be dissolved. We're certainly lucky in a way that, the two biggest chapters out this way just happens to be the #2 and #4 chapters in the nation in terms of membership, so if National were to dissolve of our Chapters, they would immediately lose about 1/4th of the membership. So far, we have not had to push our luck yet.

From an organizer's perspective though, it is a FINE LINE we have to walk. I need my events to be as trouble and incident free as possible, and on the other hand I have to admit as many participants as possible to make ends meet. So far we've found a decent compromise in the region and I hope to continue the success of the program...But it's not an easy task, I can tell you that.
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