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Racing Forums => Auto X => Topic started by: ericdc on October 21, 2017, 08:48:25 pm

Title: Pittrace VDA
Post by: ericdc on October 21, 2017, 08:48:25 pm
Does anyone know if the VDA is being repaved this year or next? Any details?
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: scca-racerx on October 23, 2017, 11:01:24 am
All of the following is unofficial and basically made up, according to me.

When they were done with the repave of the north track, pittrace was thinking about repaving the VDA.  I am guessing it depends on how much the new control tower is going to cost them.  I imagine it isn't a priority for them.

I know I would like some guardrails removed.   :P  Maybe some snow fence put up instead.  Sure is a heck of a lot cheaper to replace and much softer to hit.

I am just hoping the Stoudt's don't run out of money.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: AaronH on October 23, 2017, 12:01:09 pm
There is no set date for VDA repaving. It has been discussed and is a part of the future upgrades, but nothing has been scheduled as of now. If that changes I will let you know.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: ericdc on October 23, 2017, 10:11:32 pm
Quote from: scca-racerx on October 23, 2017, 11:01:24 am
I know I would like some guardrails removed.


That is basically why I am asking. After at least 3 cars have been destroyed in the last year, I am avoiding the VDA until it is repaved and not super slippery or the car killer guardrails are removed.

I'd rather trailer to mid state events to lower the risk until that happens.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: GTI_Speed on October 23, 2017, 11:32:22 pm
I would just like to say we've had over 9000 autocross runs on the VDA over the past two years and are operating at over a 99.96% safety rating which is much safer than your morning commute. Our courses are designed well within the safety guidelines provided by the SCCA and we will be taking further steps in 2018 to make things even safer. Autocross is a form of motorsport and things can and will happen at any time, all we can do is try to mitigate as best as possible.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Josh R. on October 24, 2017, 09:31:37 am
I'm not aware of any cars being "destroyed."

I've been going to autox's on the VDA for over 10 years now, and cars have ALWAYS hit whatever was over there. It used to be concrete barriers. Before the barriers, it was nothing and cars would go over the bank. At North Park, cars hit the bank/steps by the pool. At Misery Bay, cars slap off the walls in the speedway. At the Greensburg airport this year somebody slid 100 yds off the runway at 80 mph and just missed the woods. Point is, not many (any?) sites around here are free of obstacles. Drive within your ability or risk hitting something. I'd venture to guess PittRace would rather you trailer to Mid-State than rip out guardrails and replace them with something. It's the SCR that has skin in the game. And it sounds like the SCR Solo board has a plan to keep people out of the guardrails next year.

Problem is, as I've seen before, when this SCR Solo board (inevitably) gets burned out and quits and new blood takes over and some newer autox'ers start designing courses the mistakes of the past will be forgotten and guess what...repeated. Somebody will put a fast slalom along the guardrail and somebody will hit it.

Simply put, I don't think it's PittRace's responsibility.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: scca-racerx on October 24, 2017, 10:25:01 am
Before this gets out of hand - nobody is accusing anybody for being unsafe.  I know the board and safety people try to make every course as safe as possible.  I thought the course on 10/1 was fantastic.  While we didn't have contact at the 10/15 event, I thought pointing cars toward paddock at speed and then released into the concrete bollards of the gas pumps were questionable.

Like Josh said, every autox area has hazards (I autocrossed around a mulch pile once).  You try to design them out with a better course.  There are people who will not ever come to steel cities because of low traction.

Once you are off the pavement at mid-state, you are now doing rally cross with runway lights to worry about.  That could make your day very unhappy.  As a guy who hit a timer in a brand new 50k car that wasn't mine - it is a gut wrenching experience.

Pick your venues carefully.  Always be nice to people who have car trailers as you might have to ask to borrow that for a tow home.  Try not to hit anything harder than a cone.

Eric, I would never ask to co-drive that Porsche due to the panic attack I would have piloting something that costs as much as a house.  I would tough out the panic attack and drive it anyway.   ;D  Almost killed myself in a vette a couple of times.  A Porsche will due just as well.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: spud_majic on October 24, 2017, 11:37:46 am
"if you can't afford to write it off don't put yourself in a position where it is possible". I almost guarantee every car that has made contact with a solid object had traction control turned off and running a setup that can induce oversteer easily. Not saying don't do that but be prepared for the result that can occur.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: ericdc on October 24, 2017, 03:21:28 pm
I know my own limitations and that I need maybe a bit more safety margin that others. I have had spins on my first run in my last 3 events. None were the least bit scary or risky as the combination of grip and clearance from barriers had me stopped well within reason. I had a spin at SCR earlier this year in the fast slalom that put me close enough to the right guardrail that it truly scared me.

As much as I know I would love doing track days and/or hillclimbs, it is outside my comfort zone due to the risks associated. This simple fact is why I stick with autocross.

Since I started autox in 2003 I have had 2 close calls, both on the VDA. The aforementioned spin this year and one in Justin Rothermel's super fast STI when I spun right.up.to the Mazda sign. I think that may have been the last time Justin let someone drive his car.  :o

I completely recognize the risk exists everywhere but when spongebob hit the dirt by the pool at NHSCC, the car still drove home. When Randy slid his Corvette into the grass at Cumberland, the car still drove home. Even hitting a runway light isn't going to ruin a car like collision with a guardrail. Those cars definitely didn't drive home.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: RandyP on October 24, 2017, 07:14:19 pm
I've never had a problem at the VDA due to guardrails or slippyness.  My corvette was almost destroyed on the VDA this year due to an exhaust valve dropping during a slalom!  New engine arrives this week.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Mark Aubele on October 24, 2017, 07:16:17 pm
Quote from: RandyP on October 24, 2017, 07:14:19 pm
I've never had a problem at the VDA due to guardrails or slippyness.  My corvette was almost destroyed on the VDA this year due to an exhaust valve dropping during a slalom!  New engine arrives this week.


What did you do with the old one?  Sorry for the off topic question.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: RandyP on October 24, 2017, 07:20:06 pm
Quote from: Mark Aubele on October 24, 2017, 07:16:17 pm
Quote from: RandyP on October 24, 2017, 07:14:19 pm
I've never had a problem at the VDA due to guardrails or slippyness.  My corvette was almost destroyed on the VDA this year due to an exhaust valve dropping during a slalom!  New engine arrives this week.


What did you do with the old one?  Sorry for the off topic question.


Broken block.  Not much left to salvage.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Mark Aubele on October 24, 2017, 08:56:13 pm
Had to ask.   :'(
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: MrDirt on October 25, 2017, 09:50:51 pm
Quote from: ericdc on October 24, 2017, 03:21:28 pm
I completely recognize the risk exists everywhere but when spongebob hit the dirt by the pool at NHSCC, the car still drove home. When Randy slid his Corvette into the grass at Cumberland, the car still drove home. Even hitting a runway light isn't going to ruin a car like collision with a guardrail. Those cars definitely didn't drive home.


To be fair, of the three cars at SCR events you're talking about:
-One was trailered to/from the event regardless
-One did drive home
-One didn't

Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: marka on October 25, 2017, 10:27:31 pm
Howdy,

I should probably just not post, but fuck it...

I've seen a car go into a fence at Nationals in Lincoln.  Where there's roughly nine billion acres of really grippy concrete.  Saying that the biggest site in the area is somehow unsafe because the asphalt is slightly less grippy than other surfaces and because there are guardrails at the edges is frankly ridiculous.

Josh said:
Quote
It's the SCR that has skin in the game. And it sounds like the SCR Solo board has a plan to keep people out of the guardrails next year.

Problem is, as I've seen before, when this SCR Solo board (inevitably) gets burned out and quits and new blood takes over and some newer autox'ers start designing courses the mistakes of the past will be forgotten and guess what...repeated. Somebody will put a fast slalom along the guardrail and somebody will hit it.

Simply put, I don't think it's PittRace's responsibility.


I can't put it much better than that.

I've personally approved at least one course there that had a friend put another friend's car into a concrete barrier.  The problem wasn't the barrier or the amount of grip.  The problem was the course and I was wrong.  There were other courses I was wrong on too, its just that (IIRC) it wasn't demonstrated quite so forcefully.

And that doesn't make contact / body damage acceptable.  Autox, by design, is supposed to have a very low level of risk.  That's not "no risk" (nothing is), but make no mistake...  Contact / body damage as a result of a normal mistake by a driver is not and should not be acceptable in autocross.  I have every expectation that all of the solo board understands that and will take appropriate steps, just like other solo boards have done in the past.

Mark
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: GTI_Speed on October 26, 2017, 01:07:14 pm
Who is this Mark guy talking about actual autocross and not about selling his autocross things?
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: marka on October 26, 2017, 02:20:09 pm
Howdy,

Quote from: GTI_Speed on October 26, 2017, 01:07:14 pm
Who is this Mark guy talking about actual autocross and not about selling his autocross things?


Good point.

Eric should buy my Civic.  Then he can smash it into a barrier all he wants and not be out Porsche money.  :-)

Mark
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: a.moore on October 28, 2017, 11:25:49 am
Pile hockey jerseys against the guard rail - problem solved!
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Jakebonz on October 28, 2017, 07:46:46 pm
Quote from: a.moore on October 28, 2017, 11:25:49 am
Pile hockey jerseys against the guard rail - problem solved!


Do you have any idea how bad hockey equipment smells?
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: HRERACING on October 30, 2017, 09:01:39 am
If anyone would like to take my position as safety steward, I would gladly give it to them. Problem is that nobody wants to take the risk of calling a course "safe"  I really wish we wouldn't be discussing this on here, rather this should be taken up amongst those interested in person and we should include Pittrace in that discussion. Every course I have approved fit way within the safety parameters of the rulebook/ I try to visualize every possible scenario that could happen and normally do fine, but I still learn something at every event. I don't like the guardrails either or the polished pavement, but that's the hand we are dealt. If someone doesn't like something they see, speak up. I have changed several courses due to suggestions and will continue to listen and analyze the best I can. If someone decides they don't like the course, they can always not run it, we don't force anyone to drive it.   rant over..
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Masher Manufacturing on November 23, 2017, 06:55:40 pm
Having,  Autoxed since 1989 , Crashed a car at my 4th or so auto x event, Road raced a Formula Ford in the mid 90's:

Road racing by it's very nature carries a strongly implied:  " Don't drive harder than you can handle because falling off the road could carry severe consequences." 

Auto X carries a stated / implied: " We limit speeds to keep you safe , we design courses to keep you safe , we keep cars far apart from each other to keep you safe, If you fall off the road there isn't anything for you to hit "

As a result, autoxers push the car far harder than a road racer and seemingly fall of the road more.  Unless we hold autoxes at Bonneville, area 51 or some long lost WW2 airport the size of Luxembourg there will always be something to run into given enough effort. 

What may get lost in all of this ( but was eluded to in another post ) the club is run by an ever changing group of volunteers not professional track designers.  With the course changing at every event a good faith effort is make to minimize risks but it is up to the driver to be responsible for their own safety.   Course designs also have many experienced eyes looking at them so I'd hazard to guess that obvious flaws will be brought to the attention of the designer.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: spud_majic on November 24, 2017, 12:48:31 am
I would like to point out this coming thursday is our annual board meeting. if you have had problems with course design or any other aspect of the organization we ask you to come voice your opinion and provide advice to us(and some help for events isnt bad either). also i know we are always in need of extra safety stewards so anyone willing to take on part of that responsibility are greatly encouraged to do so.
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: Masher Manufacturing on November 24, 2017, 06:43:53 pm
Adding to your post:

These events are put on by a _car club_ not a company and as a result rely on like minded individuals to keep the program going.  When I was heavily involved in the 90's I did what I could to help things along.   

Thanks to all recently and currently involved that keep things going even though I haven't been to an event in years.  It would be very easy to Steel Cities auto x events to vanish due to lack of volunteers making it much more difficult to restart in the future, don't take what we have ( faults and all ) for granted. 


Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: lprmesia on November 27, 2017, 07:24:23 pm
Could be much worse. At least we're not dealing with this...

https://giphy.com/gifs/l1JoicbJD0rTzZCSI/fullscreen (https://giphy.com/gifs/l1JoicbJD0rTzZCSI/fullscreen)
Title: Re: Pittrace VDA
Post by: z28jeff on November 28, 2017, 08:07:49 am
Quote from: lprmesia on November 27, 2017, 07:24:23 pm
Could be much worse. At least we're not dealing with this...

https://giphy.com/gifs/l1JoicbJD0rTzZCSI/fullscreen (https://giphy.com/gifs/l1JoicbJD0rTzZCSI/fullscreen)

I lol'd at the guy in grid throwing his arms up after the car stops.  ;D