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Thread: Auto X and Endurance Track release

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  1. #1

    Auto X and Endurance Track release

    With the way the tracks are released early as of now it seems to really give heavily funded/well grounded teams a major advantage of driver training on a track that will be identical at competition. Many teams do not have access to facilities that allow for a full scale enduro/autocross. After watching a video of a team test a full day at a private Bosch event for the enduro course it really seems to give an unfair advantage to a select set of teams. Especially given the driver levels which make the driver arguably the largest variable of a reliable car. So why not actually in the spirit of real autocross racing not release track maps until the start of competition to flatten the playing field?

  2. #2
    I doubt these teams are paying Bosch daily rates to use the facilities. Why not reach out to local suppliers with test track access to see if they're willing to sponsor? Or companies with large parking lots, schools, etc. Or get a license to Assetto Corsa and simulate the track.
    Adam
    Any views or opinions expressed by me may in no way reflect those of Kettering University, it's students and administrators, or our sponsors.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    I doubt these teams are paying Bosch daily rates to use the facilities. Why not reach out to local suppliers with test track access to see if they're willing to sponsor? Or companies with large parking lots, schools, etc. Or get a license to Assetto Corsa and simulate the track.
    You are correct they are not paying Bosch it is a sponsored event for a select few teams (many top 10 teams). You will find as I have already that insurance is king when it comes to testing. That's a whole rabbits hole in itself of politics with the school not to mention cost. School parking lots etc do not offer near a large enough area to do even 1/4 of the MIS back stretch. Simulation on a video game does not offer the realism nor does it allow for real setup of the car/execution needed at competition.

    A driver that knows the track could easily knock off multiple seconds. You can have the fastest car but honestly I'd rather know the track. Play your favorite game/simulator pick a track you dont know and tell me which would make a larger difference in the first two laps, a faster car or better memorization of braking points and turn ins?

    What is the pros of offering the track early to teams? (In the mindset of benefiting all teams)

  4. #4
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    Access to testing area doesn't necessarily have much to do with being "heavily funded". As it has already been noted, the example you gave wasn't paying Bosch for access, they got it for free. Not everyone has access to something as good as the Bosch testing ground but I think most teams could find something adequate within an hour of them and get permission to test there (big campus parking lot, regional airstrip, local kart track, etc). If you really can't set up the course and test it, publishing the map at least still gives you the opportunity to simulate the course in rFactor or Asseto Corsa, or in your own lap sim program.

    So taking the funding out of the equation, what it comes down to is you're saying teams that are well organized, experienced, prepared for comp early, and ready to test have a big advantage? That's **always** going to be the case, and why shouldn't it be?

    If you didn't publish the course maps, it will still give just as big of an advantage to talented drivers because being able to improvise and figure out a new course in just 1 lap is an extremely difficult skill.
    Last edited by JT A.; 05-18-2018 at 10:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JT A. View Post
    Access to testing area doesn't necessarily have much to do with being "heavily funded". As it has already been noted, the example you gave wasn't paying Bosch for access, they got it for free. Not everyone has access to something as good as the Bosch testing ground but I think most teams could find something adequate within an hour of them and get permission to test there (big campus parking lot, regional airstrip, local kart track, etc). If you really can't set up the course and test it, publishing the map at least still gives you the opportunity to simulate the course in rFactor or Asseto Corsa, or in your own lap sim program.

    So taking the funding out of the equation, what it comes down to is you're saying teams that are well organized, experienced, prepared for comp early, and ready to test have a big advantage? That's **always** going to be the case, and why shouldn't it be?

    If you didn't publish the course maps, it will still give just as big of an advantage to talented drivers because being able to improvise and figure out a new course in just 1 lap is an extremely difficult skill.
    Almost every team disagrees with you about finding a testing facility. It is definitely a major problem for the majority of teams. In a perfect world everyone would test on the identical track and that would reduce the talent gap. The preparation from an identical course is an unfair bias and I have never heard of an auto x give away the track location ahead of time. Many racing series are actively reducing the number of resources needed to be competitive why not do the same here in SAE?

    Again simulation is a huge leap away from physical testing.

    I can be prepared for a test without practicing on an identical test in school cant I?
    Last edited by Hoyt H; 05-18-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt H View Post
    Almost every team disagrees with you about finding a testing facility. It is definitely a major problem for the majority of teams. In a perfect world everyone would test on the identical track and that would reduce the talent gap. The preparation from an identical course is an unfair bias and I have never heard of an auto x give away the track location ahead of time. Many racing series are actively reducing the number of resources needed to be competitive why not do the same here in SAE?

    Again simulation is a huge leap away from physical testing.

    I can be prepared for a test without practicing on an identical test in school cant I?


    Sorry man I completely disagree with you. Yes teams all have trouble finding parking lots to test in but that's all location and rarely funding related . Besides that Bosch sponsored test day (which are you positive they setup the exact track ahead of time? If so impressive) most can't find a place big enough to build an entire comp sized track. Be resourceful and pick out the tricky sections of the track and set them up in your local parking lot. This isn't an instance where teams with more funding get some.massive advantage. Also many SCCA/PCA regions release their tracks ahead of time. We've done just fine in the past with simulation. These teams aren't winning just because they had a full scale test track.
    Noah
    Student

  7. #7
    This thread is being hijacked in a wrong direction. Well funded teams have an option to pay for a facility. Regardless funding is a minute point.

    A team that test at an identical track will place better probably significantly better than one that didn't. In no series does simulation replace practice. Neither does a similar track replace testing at the actual track of interest. You dont see Nascar teams practicing at Daytona in preparation for Talladega even though the tracks are similar.

    What is the pros to publishing it early? You're lap sims etc can all be ran the two days before dynamic events none the less.

    Clarify TLDR Poor/Rich, Organized/Disbanded, simulation/no simulation. Doesnt matter a team that test on an identical track will perform significantly better testing on the track of interest in it's full.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt H View Post
    You dont see Nascar teams practicing at Daytona in preparation for Talladega even though the tracks are similar.
    I don't have time to respond to your other misguided opinions yet, but I can tell you for a fact that this is just straight up not true.
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports
    2010-2014

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
    Opinions Are My Own

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by theTTshark View Post
    I don't have time to respond to your other misguided opinions yet, but I can tell you for a fact that this is just straight up not true.
    Lol sorry to waste your time. Bless me with your words of wisdom oh holy one.

    Oh wait we should be probably be a little more professional...

    Let's just keep on the topic, you can disagree without trying to throw an insult.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Hoyt H; 05-19-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt H View Post

    What is the pros to publishing it early?
    We started pre-publishing the tracks for the Lincoln Comp pretty much right out of the gate. I think the benefits far outweigh what you are seeing as a negative with the funding advantage point. (Which you can add me to the list that doesn't agree).

    The biggest positive I had in mind when pushing to release courses early was just creating a reasonably well-defined grading rubric for what this competition is asking of your design from a dynamics standpoint. It really isn't to anyone's benefit to have teams start their design process with a misunderstanding of what their car is expected to do. I see this as an easy barrier to remove for young teams and people new to the comp.

    Following to the next logical step, the courses serve as detail data for design inputs. You can pull all the track dimensions; radii, straight length, slalom spacing, etc from the course maps. Then you have a real nice guide for the majority of your design decisions. As a competitor, I recall detailed track data was some hard info to come by. Maybe that info is a more freely available with the expanded access to data logging systems, I dunno.

    Now, for the actual comp, I’m gonna say, having the pre-published tracks helps all teams that actually look at the info available.

    I’ll parrot what others have said, and agree that the most organized/prepared teams will always be able to do more with this information. Funding, doesn’t have much to do with it in this case. Who even has huge open parking lots open for rent anyway? If you want test track access, visit a local SCCA AutoX, even if you must take your daily driver. I know a lot of regions let the FSAE cars run for free. You’ll get all the highspeed time you want.

    FOR FREE!

    Back to the FSAE comps. Look at the flip side to your argument. How much do you think the pre-published courses help less competitive teams? Let’s say it’s a team that, for any number of reasons, doesn’t have a well-tested car. Instead of learning their car and a new course at the same time, now they have ability to focus more on managing the car……….and by extension getting the most they can out of the car at that point in time. I think this really aligns with the ‘spirit of the competition’, in the sense we are trying to evaluate designs to the max of their dynamic capabilities.

    Personally, from the dynamics evaluation standpoint, I have zero interest in efforts to ‘flatten the playing field’. For course designs, I’m shooting for the exact opposite.


    Edit: Forgot my final point. Safety. A field of cars that has a X% better idea of where they are supposed to be driving, makes the events A LOT safer. Though you still would never believe how lost some people get......aka full course direction reversals -> insert jackie chan 'WHY?' meme here
    Last edited by raitinger; 05-23-2018 at 03:47 PM.

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