Break out times

Re: Break out times

Postby Number_5 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:06 pm

Another thought is that the slower cars in the up hill straights have to go faster in the corners to break out. A slower car may well be at a higher risk of crashing because of this.
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Re: Break out times

Postby sciroccohp » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:21 pm

What about a grace period for classes? if your car is S1or even u1, I don't see a situation that after 2 or 3 times at a hill you wouldn't break out. Those are the cars that should be required to have a cage after a few events. a STI is perfectly capable of launching itself in the woods. wasn't there a 3000GT that had a pretty bad accident that the driver was on crutches? how fast was he going? Was he in danger of breaking out therefor sandbagging?
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Re: Break out times

Postby Number_5 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:37 pm

When you drive as fast as you dare you are on the edge of crashing. If you can get up to speed at the beginning of the straight and carry that speed to the corner you don't have to drive as fast as you dare to beat the slower cars. It looks like the best thing would be to have a breakout time for every class. I belive you need a cage if you are driving as fast as you dare. You may not be able to breakout if you are driving as fast as you dare. I suspect the computer would be able to tell us if we have a winner.
I.E.
Ascutney 3:20 - U1 S1 & P1
Ascutney 3:30 - U3 S3 & P3
Just a thought.
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Re: Break out times

Postby walterclark » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:59 pm

sciroccohp wrote:I don't understand what you mean by out of sync, out of sync with what? the tree was just as unmoving 20 years ago and it hurt just as much to hit it. Just because a car is faster shouldn't mean it doesn't need a cage if anything the breakout times should be higher because cars accelarate so much faster now and are so much lighter.


Actually cars are generally heavier than their counterparts from 10 and 20 years ago. They are generally better designed for occupant survivability in the event of a crash, and they handle better - in theory reducing the probability of one. In real life however everyone (that means daily drivers as well as those coming out to hilllcimb) seems to be comfortable taking more chances and (at least subconsciously) relying on the built-in safety measures to protect them when they "run out of talent".

I think tires have improved a lot in the last few years and that along with driver experience is why older cars that still hillclimb continue to show improved times (assuming they are still running U and thus cannot have improved their performance in other ways or have been running without any changes for years).

I think there is merit in thinking about adjusting the breakout times, but we need to bring to the surface all the issues and benefits of making any changes before we do so. I dont have a problem with leaving the times alone either. I think the breakout rule should be there to encourage regular hillclimbers to improve the safety of their car as well as to try to keep the potential for rookie carnage down. Unfortunately, I am not sure if it (the breakout rule and the dynamic it creates) helped or hurt the situation that led up to the 3000GT final run at Philo.

How do people behave now when faced with a breakout time they can easily beat? What would change (if the time were lower) about their behavior and is that more or less safe? Do we need to account for the fewer designed-in crash safety margins of cars from 10 or 20 years ago if we were to accept higher average speeds?
Last edited by walterclark on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Break out times

Postby DaveVT02S » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:13 pm

(Well, glad I previewed my post - Walter was typing the same thoughts as I about one minute faster, so some of this is repetitious)

2 cents dept, but keep in mind that cars are continuing to be designed and manufactured (and regulated) to withstand heavier impacts than even earlier generations of the same car - the well known ____-star crash test ratings - and even these ratings are being upgraded through the years/decades. At least when speaking of cars with unmodified structures, more of the "new" cars that show up to events are in reality much safer than - just to mention a time period being thrown about here - twenty years ago. If the unplannable happened, and I'm speaking strictly unmodified body structure, I'd rather hit that tree w/ a current-gen MINI, GTI, or Subaru than a 1980's, well, anything. Of course, once modifications are made to the structure (edit: including previous grash damage) some degree of certainty that the 3000GT held up much better than the same impact involving a seventies Camaro or Subaru at the same speeds.

The fine line, which you've already identified, is getting new people into events versus the safety of said "rookie". I wonder how many other sanctioning organizations would sacrifice that safety for increased numbers.

Maybe it's time to re-think the simple breakout time as a cage/no cage line; keep it, but add something maybe more along the lines of X number of powertrain modifications requires a cage. And/or using a major sanctioning organization's classifications as the "line in the sand", say anything above SCCA or NASA class "X" - or even using Consumer Reports or IIHS ratings - without having to use these for car classifications.

Another thought, along the lines of the break-out-time rule, may be to add a clause that running within XX% of the break-out time XX number of times - which should identify a car "on the edge" - requires a cage.
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Re: Break out times

Postby britracer89 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Or....U cars without mods and non-race dot rubber (unless can prove the car came factory with other) equals no cage required.
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Re: Break out times

Postby Rabbit Farmer » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:01 pm

britracer89 wrote:Or....U cars without mods and non-race dot rubber (unless can prove the car came factory with other) equals no cage required.


That comes back to a stock car like my wife's 2009 WRX that I (believe) could beat my best time from any year in any car with it on the first weekend.
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Re: Break out times

Postby DaveVT02S » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:57 am

^^^ That's why I was thinking a "multi-faceted" approach...
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Re: Break out times

Postby sachilles » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:58 am

I don't think you'll ever have a completely safe way to have an un-caged car on the hill, no matter what you do with the break out. The car that crashed at Philo did so at turn ONE. Had he not crashed, he still could have made it up the hill without triggering the break out.
It doesn't really matter if you show up with a showroom stock Yugo, or a Ferrari Enzo. You can still go fast enough in any one section or corner, to cause yourself to get into trouble.
The key to improved safety in a un-caged car is the nut behind the wheel. Until we have a way to control minds, there is always a potential for problems.

"Sandbagging"

The intent of the break out, was to have someone in a fast un-caged car, a chance to go up the hill in slightly slower more controlled manner. The thought was that folks would go 80% up the whole hill. The reality is that it doesn't happen. People will either go 50% at the start and 100% for the rest of the hill, or 100% from the start, and reduce to 50% near the top. Depending on how fast they really are, an extreme slow down near the end is a potential safety risk.
There has been a suggestion for mid hill break out times in addition to what we have now. I'm not sure if that cures the sandbagging or not.
I think there needs to be a little more communication to the un-caged folks that they should not attempt the large variances in effort between the sections, and instead do a consistent 80% effort up the hill.

I think the big enemy is the one "free" run that is in the break out time system. The impression I got from most without a cage, is that it is there one attempt at a banzai fast run. It's almost a right of passage to prove you can beat the break out time on that run. Even if your time isn't posted, you know you beat it, by virtue of the NT listing. What happens on that bonzai run is folks find themselves going much faster in certain spots they had not done so before, and therefore put themselves at a much greater risk. It's a huge temptation. Honestly, I think this behavior is the single biggest risk for someone without a cage. Steve and Don's 10 second rule proposal addresses that somewhat. I like what it is trying to do, though I think 10 seconds is on the generous side. What ever we can do to eliminate that one bonzai run is likely to be the key to making it as safe as possible for an un-caged car.
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Re: Break out times

Postby Number_5 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:51 pm

Very well said.
I second that. Maybe 5 seconds instead of 10.
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