NASA CCR 3/4 Car Width Rule

Questions and answers about CMC and NASA rules

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NASA CCR 3/4 Car Width Rule

Postby Glenn » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:43 pm

Anyone here have an opinion on the NASA's 3/4 car width rule?
Thoughts on replacing it w/ CMC's own 1 car width rule?
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Smike
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Postby Smike » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:08 pm

110% all for 1 full car width.

Ask my front fender.

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Postby rrahjes » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:14 pm

I'm all for it!

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Postby BADVENM » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:47 pm

How much of an impact will this make? Whats the reasoning behind it? Whats wrong with the 3/4 rule as it stands?
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Postby Supercharged111 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:42 am

I like the 1 car rule, I understand the intent of the 3/4 car rule but I generally leave a full car width. Just ask Dave or Al. What are the downsides to a 1 car width rule? Is it easier to police the 3/4 car rule?
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Postby Al Fernandez » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:17 pm

The 3/4 car rule puts the responsibility on the overtaking car since that car has to be willing (and able) to put the car off track in order to avoid a collision. There is no question as to whether or not enough room was given. If there is contact and both cars are on the pavement, it is generally the overtaking car's fault. The conversation between RD and driver goes something like this:
Racer - the guy totally just drifted out and ran right into me like I wasnt even there! He's a menace and needs to be suspended!
RD - Thats awful. I know you did everything to avoid the contact. I mean, you had your outside tires in the dirt and everything...right?
Racer - I wasnt in the dirt, thats a high speed exit and I need to line up the next corner. I drive on an entirely different plane than that guy!
RD - Ok, got it

Jokes aside, with a one car width rule, you will forever be arguing about whether or not enough racing room was given, and without that you cannot establish fault. Remember the rules are written for a world where everyone does not have video.
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Postby Smike » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:21 am

Al Fernandez wrote:The 3/4 car rule puts the responsibility on the overtaking car since that car has to be willing (and able) to put the car off track in order to avoid a collision. There is no question as to whether or not enough room was given. If there is contact and both cars are on the pavement, it is generally the overtaking car's fault. The conversation between RD and driver goes something like this:
Racer - the guy totally just drifted out and ran right into me like I wasnt even there! He's a menace and needs to be suspended!
RD - Thats awful. I know you did everything to avoid the contact. I mean, you had your outside tires in the dirt and everything...right?
Racer - I wasnt in the dirt, thats a high speed exit and I need to line up the next corner. I drive on an entirely different plane than that guy!
RD - Ok, got it

Jokes aside, with a one car width rule, you will forever be arguing about whether or not enough racing room was given, and without that you cannot establish fault. Remember the rules are written for a world where everyone does not have video.


How about this scenario.

Track is 40F, grass is slush/rain/wet. 270* circle turn. Outside car cuts into 2nd apex with 2nd car on inside. 2nd car cannot go anywhere or get into brakes enough to get away from blind driver. If inside car puts his tires in the grass, guaranteed loss of control. And will collect 3 cars as it crosses track to outside in a spin. You still want the inside car to drop a wheel?

And you also encourage pushing a car into harm? GTS and some other series use 1 car or 1 car + 6 inches. They don't seem to have any issues with assessing incidents.

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Postby Al Fernandez » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:12 pm

270 degree turn? Awesome, what track has that?

I know we agree that we all want to not have contact, never mind big pileups. The thing with your scenario is that the overtaking driver should always have the ability to pinch it tighter or slow down. If attempting to avoid contact will result in a melee then they have the responsibility of not initiating that pass in the first place. No amount of "racing room" definition is going to save us from people going side by side so on edge that they cannot alter direction or speed.
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Postby Smike » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 am

Al Fernandez wrote:270 degree turn? Awesome, what track has that?

I know we agree that we all want to not have contact, never mind big pileups. The thing with your scenario is that the overtaking driver should always have the ability to pinch it tighter or slow down. If attempting to avoid contact will result in a melee then they have the responsibility of not initiating that pass in the first place. No amount of "racing room" definition is going to save us from people going side by side so on edge that they cannot alter direction or speed.


Ha - you get my point of the turn.

Tighter would have been grass. I did slam on my brakes. We went from full side to side contact to my front fender to his door. Pass was initiation was clean and left wide open - other driver did not indicate or event protect the line. Apex'd late when they should have stayed to the outside (if they actually saw me - I know he did not).

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Postby D. Francis » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:17 am

Smike wrote:Apex'd late when they should have stayed to the outside (if they actually saw me - I know he did not).
That's part of the struggle. Sounds like you had the rights granted by the rule to be there, but in claiming that right, were contacted.

By rule the other driver already has an obligation to see you there. Was this a new person or someone already known for not having sufficient awareness?

Since he may not always see you there, what should the penalty be for the offending driver?
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Postby cozog » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:28 am

Not trying to beat up on Mike, but lets add all the facts.

It was in the Carousel at Mid-Ohio, Oct 2014. 170 deg. right hander, off camber, low speed 2nd/3rd gear turn with elevation change (downhill) entering the corner. If anyone has ever driven at MidO on a cold damp track, you will understand how treacherous the Carousel is in those conditions. It's challenging in good conditions to get it right and in damp/cold conditions, tip-toeing around it is the norm. Entering the turn includes, braking, turning right, slightly off camber and downhill slope, all at the same time. Brake late, carry too much speed or understeer and you end up in the tires pretty easily. It's a tricky one. Passing there is considered low percentage of success. See links for corner info. Notice the left hander leading on to the pit straight immediately after Carousel? Exit wide out of Carousel, even just a couple feet, and you are super slow for the left hander and lose a truckload of speed down the straight.

http://s586.photobucket.com/user/1967z2 ... 2.jpg.html
http://s72.photobucket.com/user/nocab72 ... s.jpg.html

The first car took the correct (in my mind) line for the conditions, drifting out an extra 1/2 car width with late mid corner turn in to the end of the candies. While a bit slower through the corner, this allows the car to rotate and get straightened out, while avoiding the gripless inside line, and have better speed coming out. To the trailing car, this looks like an opening for a moment, but there is almost never enough time/space to get the front bumper past the first car's door, unless the first car concedes the turn or has made a mistake and is super slow. The first car did turn in late mid corner and the trailing car had already committed to the pass and had no where to go or time to slow down and contact occurred. The result was a crumpled door and rear 1/4 panel for the first car and a crumpled front left corner for the trailing car.

I know all of this because I was a few car lengths in front of them and watched it unfold in my mirror.

The incident in question happened in a warm up session, not a race. The trailing driver (Mike) was given a 1 race suspension for contact. Probably because it was just warm ups, not racing. If it happened in a race, it might have been a racing incident with no penalties, but I can not say for certain.

IMHO, it was a poor decision on Mike's part to attempt that pass, in those conditions, during a warm up session. There was no position to be gained or points to be won. He could have waited a few more seconds and passed down the straight going into T1. It doesn't matter if the first driver saw Mike or not. It's the responsibility of the overtaking car to avoid the contact. That's drilled in to us every weekend, especially during practice/warm up sessions.

3/4 car width or 1-car car width would not have made any difference in this incident or the the penalty applied. It was practice/warm up, not a race.

In a race, it would be VERY difficult for the first car to give 1-car width in Carousel. To do it in that corner would require the first car to go even wider mid corner, requiring them to be slower and be screwed up for the next left hander going on to pit straight. This would essentially hand the corner to the second driver on a silver platter. The second car would have WAY more exit speed and better line. If they didn't complete the pass before exiting, they most certainly would down the next straight.

A 1-car width rule sounds good in theory, but I can see where dive bombing someone into a tight, narrow corner forces the other driver to drive way out past the correct line, giving the over taking car the corner too easily. The first car ends up in the marbles, has to slow to maintain control and the overtaking car is 10 lengths ahead.

I say keep it 3/4 width unless there is some obvious reason for changing it.
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Postby Smike » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:57 am

Sure is a lot of theory and not a lot of facts here. And I could care less about the suspension - this is about the contact situation.

You were far back - not in my car with my view point.

And as an instructor and group leader - that is the slow line around. A HPDE line. And I was past the door of the other car (aka super slow). The result was his door to my front 1/4.

You can have whatever strategy you want. Mine is to get the best qualify and race position possible. Qualify grid is set by practice. So I sure as shit down want to be behind slow traffic for 10 mins as my motor heat soaks, tires get hot, and I waste gas.

cozog wrote:Not trying to beat up on Mike, but lets add all the facts.

It was in the Carousel at Mid-Ohio, Oct 2014. 170 deg. right hander, off camber, low speed 2nd/3rd gear turn with elevation change (downhill) entering the corner. If anyone has ever driven at MidO on a cold damp track, you will understand how treacherous the Carousel is in those conditions. It's challenging in good conditions to get it right and in damp/cold conditions, tip-toeing around it is the norm. Entering the turn includes, braking, turning right, slightly off camber and downhill slope, all at the same time. Brake late, carry too much speed or understeer and you end up in the tires pretty easily. It's a tricky one. Passing there is considered low percentage of success. See links for corner info. Notice the left hander leading on to the pit straight immediately after Carousel? Exit wide out of Carousel, even just a couple feet, and you are super slow for the left hander and lose a truckload of speed down the straight.

http://s586.photobucket.com/user/1967z2 ... 2.jpg.html
http://s72.photobucket.com/user/nocab72 ... s.jpg.html

The first car took the correct (in my mind) line for the conditions, drifting out an extra 1/2 car width with late mid corner turn in to the end of the candies. While a bit slower through the corner, this allows the car to rotate and get straightened out, while avoiding the gripless inside line, and have better speed coming out. To the trailing car, this looks like an opening for a moment, but there is almost never enough time/space to get the front bumper past the first car's door, unless the first car concedes the turn or has made a mistake and is super slow. The first car did turn in late mid corner and the trailing car had already committed to the pass and had no where to go or time to slow down and contact occurred. The result was a crumpled door and rear 1/4 panel for the first car and a crumpled front left corner for the trailing car.

I know all of this because I was a few car lengths in front of them and watched it unfold in my mirror.

The incident in question happened in a warm up session, not a race. The trailing driver (Mike) was given a 1 race suspension for contact. Probably because it was just warm ups, not racing. If it happened in a race, it might have been a racing incident with no penalties, but I can not say for certain.

IMHO, it was a poor decision on Mike's part to attempt that pass, in those conditions, during a warm up session. There was no position to be gained or points to be won. He could have waited a few more seconds and passed down the straight going into T1. It doesn't matter if the first driver saw Mike or not. It's the responsibility of the overtaking car to avoid the contact. That's drilled in to us every weekend, especially during practice/warm up sessions.

3/4 car width or 1-car car width would not have made any difference in this incident or the the penalty applied. It was practice/warm up, not a race.

In a race, it would be VERY difficult for the first car to give 1-car width in Carousel. To do it in that corner would require the first car to go even wider mid corner, requiring them to be slower and be screwed up for the next left hander going on to pit straight. This would essentially hand the corner to the second driver on a silver platter. The second car would have WAY more exit speed and better line. If they didn't complete the pass before exiting, they most certainly would down the next straight.

A 1-car width rule sounds good in theory, but I can see where dive bombing someone into a tight, narrow corner forces the other driver to drive way out past the correct line, giving the over taking car the corner too easily. The first car ends up in the marbles, has to slow to maintain control and the overtaking car is 10 lengths ahead.

I say keep it 3/4 width unless there is some obvious reason for changing it.

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Postby Den34 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:51 am

Regarding the 3/4 race rule. I don't think this will make much of a difference regarding body contact. What makes a difference in body contact is a STRONG race director. In the MW GL we have a very strong race director. It was no accident that his nickname is the "Hammer". He is very black and white and follows the CCR to the letter. If you feel you are being wronged he will explain how he is interpreting the CCR and which Appendix A figure he
is referring. I had my share of "run ins" with him and felt that I was wronged until I studied the Appendix A figures 1-12. After that I clearly understood the rules of engagement. So I suggest to everyone to study and know backwards and forwards the Appendix A scenarios and if you have issue, bring your video and the CCR and plead your case.

In the case that is being discussed on this forum I think our race director would have summed it up in Apendix A Figure 4 of the NASA CCR

Figure 4
Car B is attempting to pass Car A going into a left-hand corner. There is contact between the two cars at point
3. Car B does have its front wheel next to the driver of Car A and therefore does have a right to be there.
However, Car A leaves Car B less than one car width but more than ¾ of one car width. The driver of Car B
should not have attempted to make that pass if he/she was not willing to drive into the dirt to avoid collision.

The driver of Car B is at fault, however he/she should report the incident to the Race Director. The Race
Director should talk to the driver of Car A for not watching his/her mirrors, as well as the driver of Car B for
being at fault in the incident.

And you said

"If inside car puts his tires in the grass, guaranteed loss of control."

So if you were unwilling to drive in the dirt to avoid a collision you should have never attempted the pass.
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Postby Glenn » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:41 pm

With regards to the 3/4 car width rule........

As the CCR is written, the overtaking car with rights to position must place the car 1/4 car width (1/4CW) in the dirt prior to contact before any fault is assigned to the lead car. **** Why can't we as a series (or a region via a Texas supplemental addition) change this to be that the overtaking car should be willing to leave the racing surface with at least 1/4CW, but the lead car that caused the deviation can be held accountable via a post race penalty? This way contact is avoided and the driver leaving the surface is more willing to do so knowing that the car that caused the issue can have a protest filed against them post race. The offending driver can then be placed behind the driver who left the racing surface to avoid an incident as long as there is sufficient evidence to support said protest.

****Correction, the CCR states as long as no position change happens, there is no fault assigned. Deemed side-to-side and therefore a racing incident.
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Postby jim » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Sure is a lot of theory and not a lot of facts here. And I could care less about the suspension - this is about the contact situation.

You were far back - not in my car with my view point.

Some more of the facts, being directly behind the incident in one of the 'much slower' cars, 2nd car carrying too much speed, wheels in full lock up in turn, almost 't' bones first car. Had 1st car not been there, 2nd car surely would have hit pit wall collecting '3 much slower' cars on the re-bound. Thanks to the 1st car for sacrificing his door for the rest of us. So, to end the second guessing and bickering, post the video ( you still have it ?) set the record right and let it enhance our driving skills.


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