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Old 05-08-2004, 11:23 PM   #1
Mako
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Default Will there be protests over the Special Stage jump at Rim?

I'm sure anyone who attended ther 12:15 Special Stage on Saturday noticed that the inside line of the jump (in front of the bleachers) was the line that caused numerous cars to DNF, starting with the very first pair, the green Mitsu driven by the Irishmen.

During the stage at least three or four other cars were DNF'ed and others damaged, while the outside line was smooth.

(To be fair some of the biggest air was from a K5 Blazer and a pre-runner style truck on that line, both nosed hard on landing but kept going.)

The problem appeared to be a kicker lip on that line, while the outside was smooth.

Anyway I was talking to the owner of the 89 Porsche 911 who launched off the inside lip and ruined his undercarriage on landing (his description) and he was pissed, he said it wasn't the same lip as Friday night and that he heard all kinds of people were damaged on that line. He was talking about starting some kind of protest letter to the Rim organizers. Wonder if anything will happen with that...and their response?
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:30 AM   #2
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Now that you mention it, I didn't realize that all of the cars that nosed on the landing were in the same lane.

It definitely sounds like the jump may not have been symmetric. I thought about that every time the announcer mentioned that so-and-so construction company built the track. How much experience could they have building rally tracks? I suppose they could do other motorsport tracks, so it's not impossible, but if they were just some heavy machinery construction company, they wouldn't necessarily know exactly what they were doing.

It was definitely much more exciting at the 12:15 session than the 4:45 session after either all the drivers took the jump with caution or the jump was flattened. I felt pretty bad that so many cars were damaged on that jump though.

BTW, wouldn't the lane next to the spectator stands be the outside lane?
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Old 05-09-2004, 01:45 AM   #3
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The left lane, from the drivers POV, was the offending jump. It was also the OUTSIDE lane in the first corner. All of the jump related DNFs were in that lane. I bet Seamus Burke was pissed!

The design of the track was stupid anyway. They put in a jump to give the spectators something to "wow" at, but they put it so close to the 1st corner that anyone who really attacked the jump wouldn't have enough braking room to make the corner. By Stage 11 everyone was tiptoeing over the jump. So much for the "wow."
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Old 05-09-2004, 11:20 AM   #4
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I stopped in on my way back from Vegas to see the 4:45 spectator stage, and I have to say that it was pretty disappointing. We could not figure out why all the drivers were hitting the brakes before the jump....now I understand. The person I was with was asking me "why is this so slow? Is it always this slow?". The whole track was very low-speed; it looks to me like the lanes were 1/2 as wide as they needed to be. There was no room at all to get the car set for turns, so drivers just tiptoed through them.

The spectator stage at the Holiday Inn Palmdale in 2002 was far better. Lots of room. Hopefully the organizers will be able to improve on this new site for future years. I do still think the way they went about the schedule (having several spectator stages) is the right way to go, but it needs to be way more interesting, exciting.

Other comments: Hats off to Verdier; that guy is FAST. 5th overall in a PGT car...wow. Stage times were really incredible compared to N and Open cars. Also, it impressed me that Pastrana's stage times on day 2 were all faster than Ramana's, except one. The kid is learning fast.
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Old 05-09-2004, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Avery
The left lane, from the drivers POV, was the offending jump. It was also the OUTSIDE lane in the first corner. All of the jump related DNFs were in that lane. I bet Seamus Burke was pissed!

The design of the track was stupid anyway. They put in a jump to give the spectators something to "wow" at, but they put it so close to the 1st corner that anyone who really attacked the jump wouldn't have enough braking room to make the corner. By Stage 11 everyone was tiptoeing over the jump. So much for the "wow."
You're correct on how to describe the lane; thanks for clarifying it.

You're also totally correct about how close the jump was to the first turn. Many people took the jump fast and then careened desperately to make the corner. The banzai Blazer, who probably flew 120 feet off that jump, if you recall he did go completely off the course as he tried to brake and make it back into the lane.

I'll say this about the track, at least there was _racing_ to watch. Remember last year at that soccer field? The start was LAME...putt-putt up that driveway and out of there. Woohoo. This was much, much better.

It also seemed spectator attendance was down? I know they charged this year (though I understand that, I think the venue was good! and it required rental money) but overall the stands on Saturday morning were fairly sparse, IMHO.
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:26 PM   #6
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On the first runs, dust really seemed to be an issue for the cars in the left hand (outside) lane, if the car on the inside line hit the corner first.

The Super Specials at WRC events feature a cross-over so both drivers get to drive the same pieces of road (in a slightly different order).

The truth is that the drivers don't really see them as competitive stages (except perhaps bragging rights...) and you can only really lose an event on a super special (as Seamus Burke found out), and not win it by gaining a bunch of time.

So some of the stuffs (ignoring the track issues) were from people probably just pushing too hard.

For the 4:45 session they had indeed graded the top off the jump.

Glenn
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:56 PM   #7
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Rim is known as a car breaker event. But it seems as if this is largely because of the organizers rather than just a function of the terrain.

For instance, the field that held the SS stages was rather large, yet the room given to the cars was very small, and there was about 1 foot between the lanes. This seems like they were HOPING to cause cars to collide or high center. They had plenty of room to widen the race lanes, and even put more space between them.

Another example is the jump. Friday night, it was a simple fall away type jump, it didn't THROW your car into the air, it just fell away faster than gravity. They saw that and modified it Saturday morning.

Then they overwatered a couple of spots....

Even the well sponsored competitors have to show results or they'll loose the sponsorship, and many of the drivers out there spend pretty much every spare penny on their cars. Then they come to rim, where the rally seems to be designed to break their cars. I think the drivers deserve more respect and consideration.

Having said all that, I'm just a spectator and these are my observations and opions.
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Old 05-09-2004, 11:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mako


It also seemed spectator attendance was down? I know they charged this year (though I understand that, I think the venue was good! and it required rental money) but overall the stands on Saturday morning were fairly sparse, IMHO.
I couldn’t come back on Saturday but there were at most 300 people in the stands for the super-special on Friday and the vast, vast majority of them were crew and/or the vendors. In fact, I only saw and talked to one other “paying joe” fan the whole time I was there Friday.
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Old 05-09-2004, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by cabenth
Rim is known as a car breaker event. But it seems as if this is largely because of the organizers rather than just a function of the terrain.

For instance, the field that held the SS stages was rather large, yet the room given to the cars was very small, and there was about 1 foot between the lanes. This seems like they were HOPING to cause cars to collide or high center. They had plenty of room to widen the race lanes, and even put more space between them.

Another example is the jump. Friday night, it was a simple fall away type jump, it didn't THROW your car into the air, it just fell away faster than gravity. They saw that and modified it Saturday morning.

Then they overwatered a couple of spots....

Even the well sponsored competitors have to show results or they'll loose the sponsorship, and many of the drivers out there spend pretty much every spare penny on their cars. Then they come to rim, where the rally seems to be designed to break their cars. I think the drivers deserve more respect and consideration.

Having said all that, I'm just a spectator and these are my observations and opions.
1. 'car breaker' - A lot of the breaking is due to water bars on the roads. The water bars are going to remain, we either use the roads with them or don't have the roads to use. The committee can only repair the worst of them.

2. 'field that held the SS stages was rather large' - They went to the extent of the field that they could. There may have been better ways to do the inner loops and have a little more space between lanes. I'm sure they will consider it next year. (Would you like to volunteer to design & build next years course? ;-)

3. 'jump' (on SS) - The only change between Friday night and Sat morning was 36 rally cars ran over it in each lane and normal grooming. They did modify it before the second running on Sat. Did anyone get video of Burke's jump? My impression was he rotated in the air and came down on the right side first, which means he hit the jump wrong. I don't think it's possible to design a jump that's totally safe from damage if its hit wrong.

4. 'overwatered' - I heard that from a few people.

5. 'designed to break cars' - I've been on the committee for two years, and worked four years. I can assure you that that's NOT the attitude of anyone on the committee.

Bill Jonesi
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:40 AM   #10
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i had no problems with the jump, high-2nd/low-3rd was a-ok. everyone was just being wusses
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:42 AM   #11
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Is this normal?

89 cars entered the Rim of the World Pro Rally

40 cars DID NOT FINISH

Thats 45%

There were 5 that have N/A next to them, did those not start? That would make 35 of 84.


I got these numbers by counting, based on the info on the Rim of the World site.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by CoiloverKid
i had no problems with the jump, high-2nd/low-3rd was a-ok. everyone was just being wusses
Shhhhhhhhh


That Porsche nosed in each time it went airborne -- I don't know if it made a difference which side they were on. I would have thought a rear-engined car would have been less prone.

I watched all of the SS stages, and was in front of the jump for all of them. I don't agree with some of the above statements. There didn't seem to be that much difficulty (on the outside lane) for cars that didn't take the jump too fast. I think it comes down to driver judgement, and driver error.

Sure the Blazer had an issue, but they blew through that jump faster and farther than anyone else, so what do you expect?

The Jetta's jump was nearly as impressive. Verdier's was kinda hairy because the car was rotating along its longitudinal axis in the air more than any of the other cars (is his codriver a lot heavier or something? ), but he saved it nicely.
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:04 AM   #13
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>Is this normal?
89 cars entered the Rim of the World Pro Rally
40 cars DID NOT FINISH
Thats 45%
There were 5 that have N/A next to them, did those not start? That would make 35 of 84.<

There were not 89 cars entered, they are limited by the Forest Service to 80. There were 75.5 cars that completed their entry process, 72 started, 40 were there at the finish (55%). Some of the cars are not really entered in Rim ProRally they are only entered in Rim 1 (fri) and/or Rim 2 (sat) ClubRallies. A lot of cars drop out over little things that have almost nothing to do with the nature of the course. A finish percentage of over 75% would be unusual (First overall was lost due to a $.50 hose clamp.)
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jonesi
There were 75.5 cars that completed their entry process,
I got to ask

how does half a car finish the entry process? And which one was it?
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by cabenth
I got to ask

how does half a car finish the entry process? And which one was it?
One car entered for one day only?
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:16 AM   #16
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Dave Coleman Sat only.
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:15 AM   #17
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they need to bring back the jump about 20-30 feet to give more room for landing as well as bring hte speeds down across the jump. Other then that and the rather non intelligent water truck driver hosing down the camera guys more then the track it was a good event. I liked the super stage alot it was a great idea, granted not perfectly executed but fun none the less. I know alot of the people drivingt the SS didnt like it as much as the spectators did (i think the re shaping of hte jump 3 times didnt help any)

Hope next year the bring the jump back but dont put it so damn close to a large sweeping turn, as well as keeping the water pit full of water.
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:18 AM   #18
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oh and you could tell that some people just didnt know how to launch off a ramp like that (the brake tapping at base of the jump does nothing but shift the weight to the front while going up and over hence the noise dives people where doing.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:10 AM   #19
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Also for the record, issues like this aren't the subject of protests, but either items the competitors fill out on their CER (competitor evaluation report) and/or write the Performance Rally Board about.

Yeah, the crowds were disappointing --- it felt to me like there were less people than last year.

Glenn
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:04 PM   #20
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By all accounts that I've heard so far from other comitee members is that the crowd was at least as big as last year and most likely bigger, but that the HUGE venue made it seem low.

The Satuday night party was definately well attended, there is absolutely no way that we could have accomodated that many people at the Holiday Inn.

Mike
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:29 PM   #21
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We had a great time at Rim! Choice and luck of the draw put us in the outside lane on every one of the Super Special Stages. The jump was a matter of concern to all and most of us spent at least a few minutes watching the other teams taking the course to identify the hazards and slippy areas before jumping into our own cars.

Our primary goal during the Super Special was to stay ahead of the car next to us. The dust kicked up by the lead car makes navigating through the narrow route a real challenge.

We didn't make any spectacular jumps over the "Lancaster Leap", but the car stayed together (with much coaxing and excellent work from the service crew) through the entire event. The course was narrow and that made things a little difficult after the straights and into the turns. We definitely had to break early to get through the corners.

As Jonesi mentioned, the real car-breaking features at Rim are the water bars. This was our first year at the event and even though I'd heard all of the stories and warnings I wasn't prepared for how rough the roads were! We were proud to have finished and to have done well.

The event was superbly organized and executed. We will definitely do it again!

Abel Villesca
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:31 PM   #22
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Miraculously, #324 landed on all four wheels

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Old 05-10-2004, 03:10 PM   #23
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Great pic!

Also note how sparse the bleachers are....this is the 12:15 SS crowd...
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricochet


Miraculously, #324 landed on all four wheels

Ryan Douthit
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Are you kidding? That car was seriously b0rKed after nosing-in.




You can't see it in that pic, but the front strut bar was S-shaped from the impact...
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:42 PM   #25
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Everything is a calculated risk in rallying and some chose to charge that jump and others chose to take the more careful approach. Seamus went way to fast hit the most vulnerable part of an EVO the front good bye intercooler and radiator. The superspecial stage was a new thing and I think that they really ried and like most things they will improve. Thanks to everyone that came out.
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