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RE: PH Blog: keep it simple, stupid

RE: PH Blog: keep it simple, stupid

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Discussion

Dan Trent

1,815 posts

94 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
quotequote all
Alex Gurr said:
I have done a season now (with the exception of the final race) without any contact whatsoever
Being at the head of the field probably helps with this, eh? clap Well done on that - I was going through the pics Caterham supplied and found one of you on top of the podium getting soaked in fizz and was pleased to see it all went well! Nice work - and a fastest lap too.

Alex Gurr said:
The accidents when they do happen are often as a result of inexperience or a genuine mistake...when they happen we expect each other to get out and shake hands and admit that whilst unfortunate it was a genuine mistake. For those who havent been involved in it you cant understand the camaraderie that is built up throughout the year and the trust that goes with it!
Amen to all that too; exactly as it played out after my shunt.

And 'lunatics', for the avoidance of any doubt, is meant as a term of endearment in this context!

Stoat

2 posts

94 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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Hi Dan,

Interesting blog, bit cheeky when it was your good self that removed some of the aforementioned wings off Mr. Humes car!!! On another note, it was appreciated by the rest of us that you didn't get in the way, as you promised, with the rest of us fighting for championship points in the second race. Thanks. Glad you got your sigs sorted out and good luck with the BritCar 24.

Dan Trent

1,815 posts

94 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
quotequote all
Oh, and CaptainMuppet, happy to be proven wrong on the 'you can't fix carbon like that' assertion! biggrin

crofty1984

12,392 posts

130 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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Can't believe you replaced that wing!
It was a "feature"!

HustleRussell

13,777 posts

86 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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Alex Gurr said:
As one of the lunatics racing in the Academy at the weekend all I can say is that for almost all of us our cars are our pride and joys (I saved hard to buy mine over many years and built it with blood, sweat and tears), but we choose to accept the risk that comes with racing because it gives you a bigger buzz than anyone who hasnt tried it could understand.

I have done a season now (with the exception of the final race) without any contact whatsoever and trust all of those around me not to behave stupidly. The accidents when they do happen are often as a result of inexperience or a genuine mistake...when they happen we expect each other to get out and shake hands and admit that whilst unfortunate it was a genuine mistake. For those who havent been involved in it you cant understand the camaraderie that is built up throughout the year and the trust that goes with it!
Good post, I share your attitude. Contact doesn't have to be inevitable, everyone is trying to avoid it. Personally I am wracked with guilt if I cause damage to a competitor's car, and in my experience so are most other drivers.
My accident damage repair budget for the last 2.5 seasons has been less than £400.
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love84

9 posts

152 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
quotequote all
Alex Gurr said:
As one of the lunatics racing in the Academy at the weekend all I can say is that for almost all of us our cars are our pride and joys (I saved hard to buy mine over many years and built it with blood, sweat and tears), but we choose to accept the risk that comes with racing because it gives you a bigger buzz than anyone who hasnt tried it could understand.

I have done a season now (with the exception of the final race) without any contact whatsoever and trust all of those around me not to behave stupidly. The accidents when they do happen are often as a result of inexperience or a genuine mistake...when they happen we expect each other to get out and shake hands and admit that whilst unfortunate it was a genuine mistake. For those who havent been involved in it you cant understand the camaraderie that is built up throughout the year and the trust that goes with it!
Completely agree Alex...except I'm hoping we can do a test day without seeing any contact between Caterhams!

Captain Muppet

8,529 posts

191 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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crofty1984 said:
Can't believe you replaced that wing!
It was a "feature"!
It was a "feature" last year's MOT tester didn't want to see again.
He seemed so nice about the other "features" I didn't want to push my luck.

Plus the resin I'd used to make it wasn't all that stable in UV, even if it wasn't lightly crashed it'd still need replacing.

Z3MCJez

459 posts

98 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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pw32 said:
Contact isn't tolerated in Caterham racing. I believe there was at least one exclusion and also points for another driver. That has been the case throughout the year as well. Most people are on tight budgets and it is possible to win on a budget. The academy guys had a tough weekend in terms of contact and judging overtaking but that is their second ever race meeting and judging the slipstreaming effect!
The exclusion was in Roadsports. There were points issued in Supersports. However, I'm not sure that I agree that contact isn't tolerated. I have been spun out of the lead (It actually didn't affect my eventual result as there was enough time left to get back to the front group), lost a wing at Brands in a battle for 3rd, and had a wing part-destroyed this weekend (and patched up overnight with tape and fibreglass). None of those were penalised, and indeed the minor contact is a function of identical cars trying to get around side-by-side.

However, I wonder if the dial has moved too far towards contact this year. There seem to have been more cars coming back on trailers this year than in the past. Which is amazing given the penalties that were issued at Silverstone (1st and 2nd races) where contact most certainly wasn't tolerated.

Incidentally, contact on a track day is, in almost all cases, completely inexcusable.

Jez

woof

8,437 posts

203 months

Wednesday 5th September 2012
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pw32 said:
"Wide open in terror...."

Yeah, I can relate to where your coming from. Check out BTCC star and Bookatrack Driver Paul O'Neill's race 2 in R300's. You'll note lack of contact although it gets very very close!

http://youtu.be/5cgSLdLGO8c
Being a season racer and a former Caterham racer who came up through the ranks at what was probably the highest level of racers that Caterham has ever seen ( Barry Horne, John Gladman, Gerry Taylor, etc etc ) I can saw that most contact happens between inexperienced drivers, who get in wrong or drive beyond their limits. The top guys on the grid seldom had contact. Certainly in my season in the superlights and the occasional return to grid, I didn't have any contact at all. Just comes down to the skill of the driver.

Unfortunately it's easy to have a very big off, with what is effectively an open wheeled race car.

Anyway - love Caterham - best bang for your buck you can have smile

Irrotational

1,539 posts

114 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
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To continue the thread within a thread - I was on a knockhill hot hatch day recently, only because the Westie-chaps had secured their own session so there was little chance of silly driving.

It was an interesting day but very busy. The session after us managed to be so bad that the head-honcho came on the tannoy, called every single one of them idiots and promised to ban them all if they drove anywhere near as stupidly again.

6 sessions with 10 minutes per session (less warm up lap, less time lost to oil spills, less time lost to recovering cars) meant there was probably 30-40 minutes of "real" driving the whole day.

Anyway - back on topic - glad to see Alex is continuing his winning ways!

Roadru77er

461 posts

121 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
boxsey said:
That's better stitching than some surgeons do! biggrin
Should've used black cable ties though!

I've seen a similar repair used o the sidewall of a stock car tyre

DonkeyApple

28,544 posts

95 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
fatboy18 said:
Have to say this is my biggest fear of track days, your words 'Lunatics'.
I personally do not believe it should be a contact sport and anyone who does come into contact with another car should be heavily penalised. If they want to do a bit of rubbing or push hard through a corner causing damage to another car then they should be thrown off the track and told to go and do Banger racing or get a job on Top Gear smashing up caravans.

Many racers and teams are on a really tight budget and to see their pride and joy smashed up because the mist has come down from one or two drivers is unacceptable in my eyes. I know we have seen F1 drivers throw a hissy fit now and again as do other drivers at various levels of the sport, but it really needs to be stamped out in my book.

Hill climbs are the better option if you value your car, if you go off and stuff it its your fault, not anyone else's.
Funny, I've just read this article and my first thought was that the standard of driving must be terrible.

Bet there would be fewer incidents if there was no team of mechanics to fix it for you after.

I have to say that I really do find the 'contact sport' attitude a bit sad. It seemed to start in the mid late 60s as money began to pour into club sport and certain people found that they could beat faster but poorer competitors by costing them off the track. Then the touring car guys really took it to a new level to cost out troublesome privateers.

I recall Hoy being very proud to claim this was his tactic for getting rid of faster but poorly funded drivers.

You can see it creeping into the historics as well now.

st happens but clearly sometimes st is made to happen. biggrin

TheDeadPrussian

692 posts

143 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
As an ex-Caterham Academy participant I have to say in my opinion this article really does portray the entire Caterham race series in a less than favourable light – which is pretty rich given that Caterham were facilitating Dan in his quest to get signatures on his driver upgrade card in order to race in the Britcar 24hr (or that would be my interpretation, reading between the lines).

Having been involved briefly in Caterham racing, but having many friends who are still actively racing in Caterhams, I can assure you no one sets out to damage either their own car or any other. As Alex has said, many have worked long and hard in order to be able to afford to participate and the cars are their pride and joy; mine certainly was! Some of course do have more money than others and so can more readily afford repairs, but in my experience people with more money tend not to want to spend it on repairs, but on things like driver tuition and testing. They choose to learn how to drive better to gain an advantage, rather than behave like they are in a demolition derby and price their competitors out of the racing.

Contact is a fact of life in racing – all racing, but to suggest that some Caterham racers are so blasé as to just punt their opposition out of the way is stretching the point too far. Most contact happens when people make mistakes, usually through inexperience, when they exercise poor judgement or often through just pure bad luck.

Racing is not cheap and you have to weigh up whether what you sacrifice in order to go racing (both time and money) is worth the thrill that the racing provides.

Although I now race in the Fun Cup, I would have no hesitation in sharing a grid with Caterham racers again, they are, without exception in my experience, a thoroughly decent bunch, who like all other racers just want to test themselves against others and enjoy the camaraderie of the paddock.

fatboy18

Original Poster:

14,868 posts

137 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
DonkeyApple said:
fatboy18 said:
Have to say this is my biggest fear of track days, your words 'Lunatics'.
I personally do not believe it should be a contact sport and anyone who does come into contact with another car should be heavily penalised. If they want to do a bit of rubbing or push hard through a corner causing damage to another car then they should be thrown off the track and told to go and do Banger racing or get a job on Top Gear smashing up caravans.

Many racers and teams are on a really tight budget and to see their pride and joy smashed up because the mist has come down from one or two drivers is unacceptable in my eyes. I know we have seen F1 drivers throw a hissy fit now and again as do other drivers at various levels of the sport, but it really needs to be stamped out in my book.

Hill climbs are the better option if you value your car, if you go off and stuff it its your fault, not anyone else's.
Funny, I've just read this article and my first thought was that the standard of driving must be terrible.

Bet there would be fewer incidents if there was no team of mechanics to fix it for you after.

I have to say that I really do find the 'contact sport' attitude a bit sad. It seemed to start in the mid late 60s as money began to pour into club sport and certain people found that they could beat faster but poorer competitors by costing them off the track. Then the touring car guys really took it to a new level to cost out troublesome privateers.

I recall Hoy being very proud to claim this was his tactic for getting rid of faster but poorly funded drivers.

You can see it creeping into the historics as well now.

st happens but clearly sometimes st is made to happen. biggrin
Exactly right wink

Even the wonderful Mr Hamilton in F1 has made some bad judgements (allegedly) I remember a particular incident at Monaco, there was no way he was going to get round the bend on the inside but went for it anyway, I guess the frustration took over. Brit car or (banger racing as I see it) really is a demolition derby, you see it all the time with cars riding each others bodywork, it may be fun for the crowds to watch but it annoys the hell out of me. All drivers need to be more accountable for their actions.

As for Caterham racing being put in a bad light, No not at all, its most levels of track racing, Just look at most F1 starts!

DonkeyApple

28,544 posts

95 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
fatboy18 said:
DonkeyApple said:
fatboy18 said:
Have to say this is my biggest fear of track days, your words 'Lunatics'.
I personally do not believe it should be a contact sport and anyone who does come into contact with another car should be heavily penalised. If they want to do a bit of rubbing or push hard through a corner causing damage to another car then they should be thrown off the track and told to go and do Banger racing or get a job on Top Gear smashing up caravans.

Many racers and teams are on a really tight budget and to see their pride and joy smashed up because the mist has come down from one or two drivers is unacceptable in my eyes. I know we have seen F1 drivers throw a hissy fit now and again as do other drivers at various levels of the sport, but it really needs to be stamped out in my book.

Hill climbs are the better option if you value your car, if you go off and stuff it its your fault, not anyone else's.
Funny, I've just read this article and my first thought was that the standard of driving must be terrible.

Bet there would be fewer incidents if there was no team of mechanics to fix it for you after.

I have to say that I really do find the 'contact sport' attitude a bit sad. It seemed to start in the mid late 60s as money began to pour into club sport and certain people found that they could beat faster but poorer competitors by costing them off the track. Then the touring car guys really took it to a new level to cost out troublesome privateers.

I recall Hoy being very proud to claim this was his tactic for getting rid of faster but poorly funded drivers.

You can see it creeping into the historics as well now.

st happens but clearly sometimes st is made to happen. biggrin
Exactly right wink

Even the wonderful Mr Hamilton in F1 has made some bad judgements (allegedly) I remember a particular incident at Monaco, there was no way he was going to get round the bend on the inside but went for it anyway, I guess the frustration took over. Brit car or (banger racing as I see it) really is a demolition derby, you see it all the time with cars riding each others bodywork, it may be fun for the crowds to watch but it annoys the hell out of me. All drivers need to be more accountable for their actions.

As for Caterham racing being put in a bad light, No not at all, its most levels of track racing, Just look at most F1 starts!
Never quite sure why some series levy cash fines when this plays even further into the hands of the better funded. I would have thought being given lumps of lead to ferry around the next race would be a better reward?

2loud

53 posts

79 months

Thursday 6th September 2012
quotequote all
boxsey said:
Captain Muppet said:
BarbaricAvatar said:
Captain Muppet said:
Dan Trent said:
But such is the beauty of a car that can be fixed with hammers, creatively applied trolley jacks, Gaffa tape and zip ties and be back out and racing the next day. Try that on carbon fibre and see how far you get.
I got this far:


The repair lasted 4 years before I put a new wing on it biggrin
That's genius!
Thanks! It made me very happy. I now have that wing hanging on the wall in my garage, still with the cable ties in it.
That's better stitching than some surgeons do! biggrin
That, my friend, is a good job. My right knee looks worse than that, and the surgery was done in 1981 !!