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A note on Club Racing etiquette

Discussion in 'RaceRoom Racing Experience' started by Lars Hansen, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen
    RDs Ion-Engine....0-60 in six days. Staff Premium

    I'm sure everybody already knows this, but some recent developments made me realize that perhaps it's time for a refresher.
    Nobody should take any of the following personally, nor does it excuse any sort of attacks or recriminations.
    This is simply posted so there are no misunderstandings, and everybody knows where we stand as a club.

    Club races are first and foremost to be FRIENDLY, FUN and NON-COMPETITIVE.

    The friendly part I think we got pretty well covered. :)

    Now, non-competitive is a little fuzzy, to be honest.
    We are after all driving race-cars (even if they are pretend), and we all want to be the first to be over the line.
    But there are rules for club-racing here, the two biggest of which are:
    1) If you caused an accident, you're expected to give the position back.
    2) It is always the responsibility of the faster car to overtake safely.
    The first one is pretty self-explanatory.
    The second one has several implications, especially since the Club grids tend to have people of diverse skill-levels.
    • Don't do close drafting unless you're sure of the braking-points of the guy in front.
    • Don't assume the other guy will take the same line as you.
    • Don't assume he has even seen you.
    This goes double at the start of the race. There will almost inevitably be some first-corner mayhem, so anticipate it and try to keep your distance.
    And if you do get mixed up in an incident, just re-join safely and get back to the racing.

    When it comes to backmarkers being lapped, the second rule still rules supreme.
    If possible, it's good back-marker etiquette to get out of the way, but don't try to do so unless you can do it SAFELY.
    Learn the track, and learn where you can pull to the side without risking either your car or his. It's no use trying to get out of the way in a chicane, you'll simply spin and take both of you out.
    And whatever you do, don't spend so much time looking in your mirrors that your driving becomes unpredictable. Concentrate on keeping your line until such time as you deem it safe to pull to the side.
    This goes both ways; if you're approaching a soon-to-be-lapped car, and the track-position doesn't lend itself to a safe over-take, don't attempt to force your way past.
    Wait until you can do so safely.
    And again, if at all possible use TeamSpeak to communicate your intentions.

    I know we can't completely avoid accidents, we are after all driving right to the edge.
    But hopefully we can eliminate most of the moronic ones. :)

    Then there's the most important thing, the fun-factor.
    Whether you're fast, slow or somewhere in between, I assume we are all doing this because we think it's fun.
    And the focus of Club races is fun, not competition.
    What this means (among other things) is that we don't talk about lap-times in the Club threads.
    Now, I don't want accusations or apologies, and I'm most certainly guilty of having done exactly the same in the past.
    But just so everybody is clear, from here on out all statements re. lap-times will be quietly modded-out by either myself or Kenny.

    If you're one of the fast guys, please don't misunderstand this. There is no problem with you being fast.
    But it does become a problem when new racers see the lap-times and think "Bugger me, I'll never be able to match that pace. I won't even bother signing up."
    The more people we get to sign up, the better the chances of everybody having someone at their level to race against.

    And if you're one of the guys with a little less talent, let me give you a piece of advice.
    Sign up anyway. :D
    There will always be a few alien-speed guys around, but the Club races usually have a spread of 5-6 seconds from first to last, so the odds are pretty good that there will be someone at your level as well.
    And it honestly doesn't matter if you can't race for first place.
    One of the most memorable races I've ever had in RD was a 4-way fight in the GSC Minis that lasted almost 15 minutes.
    And we were fighting for the glory of 10th place. :)
    RDs Paul Jeffrey has the best signature: "Winning's great...Racing's better"

    Hopefully the above wasn't too much of a sermon.
    Enjoy the racing, guys.
    I certainly plan to.

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  2. xnorb


    Racecraft needs time to build up.
    * Just because you're faster doesn't mean you're able to overtake, and forcing your way through might cost you both the race, so only overtake when you're faster and there's an oportunity to overtake.
    * Letting leading cars pass is also another thing - leaving the raceline isn't always the best approach.

    Best way to learn that all? Join club races ;)

    Although i do not really agree on the no-laptimes-rule.
    One part of the fun in simracing is to improve, learn some tricks and get faster.
    This is only possible with laptimes, replays, setups of faster guys.

    This rule basically removes the oportunity to learn how to improve and slower drivers are led to the slaughterhouse.

    On several occasions have i beaten my PBs in race because spectating others helped me to learn where to brake and how to brake.
    Setup sharing is another thing that helps a bunch.

    And i see it that posting laptimes will also work in favor of participation.
    I mainly join GSCE races (if my timetable allows me) and there are many damn fast drivers. If i would see in advance that there are guys around my pace, i'd be more tempted of joining than if i just assume that i will face only aliens.

    But ya - RD made up the rule, so it doesn't matter what i say about it :D
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan

    Caramidaru Andrei Bogdan
    Mr. C Premium

    I agree with the above but comply with the rules. When I had a set goal I was practicing harder and there for I was faster, safer knew the track and car better witch results in allot more fun. I know that some don't have time to do tons of practice and having a replay, sector times and setup cuts the practice time in half. The fastest alien's I know don't practice for hours on end, 30-40min of track time a day, but it's smart practice, 2-3laps then back in the pits and review of what he can improve.
    I can not stress enough how being able to focus improved me, anyway deviating from subject...
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  4. Phil Davies

    Phil Davies

    Great sermon :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Amen :D.
  5. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    But as you said, you improve by spectating others and learning how they drive, where they turn-in, when they brake, etc. You don't get any of that from someone who posted a lap time in the forum. What's more likely to happen is someone sees that fast lap time and decides they have no chance of keeping up with anyone and thus decide not to join, which means they can't observe other drivers and learn how to improve, and they'll never learn how much fun can be had battling for champion of the mid-packers.

    By not discussing lap times it will keep people from getting disheartened and opting not to join. If they do join up they will find out that indeed there are some guys they can't keep up with but they'll likely find others to race with and have a fun time doing it, thus removing the notion from their head that if they can't keep up with the fastest guys they won't have any fun.

    So I would say that the rule does not remove the opportunity to learn, but in fact removes a barrier from being able to learn. Nobody learns anything useful from seeing a lap time posted in a forum, they learn from being on track with others but they won't be able to do that if they're discouraged from joining in the first place. I'm running my own AC club and just had this happen last week, a guy PM'd me saying he wasn't going to race because he was several seconds off the fast times some guys were posting (I don't ban lap time discussion but I'm considering it). I convinced him that there is usually a 4-5 second spread across the field so he should be able to find someone to race with, he decided to show up and had a really fun time. If the lap times hadn't been discussed in the first place the thought of skipping the race wouldn't have occurred to him.

    Not trying to argue with you or anything, just trying to further explain the reasoning behind the rule. It seems counterintuitive but once you understand it it's actually quite logical. Sure, it's fun to discuss lap times, but if it makes even one or two people decide not to join then it's not worth it (IMO). I think we'd all agree we'd enjoy having more people on track more than discussing lap times. :)
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  6. Brian Greenwood

    Brian Greenwood
    "Brian the Snail" Premium

    Sorry a bit off topic but were is the club ?
  7. Kenny Paton

    Kenny Paton
    Staff Premium

    Let's not all get to hung up on the laptimes, the rule is clear for club racing, in the context of a setup then saying what a setup gained should suffice, in the setups thread. Lars also talked about the racecraft and etiquette of passing, now you would think that as I've been passed so often it would be no problem for me, but I still get a nervous twitch when I see a car close in my mirror. Partly down to R3E's problem of having a very large blindspot, no flags and my desire not to impede race leaders.
    I have no problem with someone saying to me on TS "going right or left" etc. but as Lars says it is ultimately up to the driver overtaking to do it in a safe manner.
    We don't have many problems in the club as I've said before, and don't mind repeating, you guys/gals race in a respectful manner.
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  8. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium


    I believe in a lot of real-world series the driver being overtaken is expected to hold their normal line while the overtaking driver passes them. This way the overtaking driver can predict where the backmarker is going to be and thus pull off a clean pass at their convenience. I think they use a similar rule on the Nords during tourist days.
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  9. Excellent post Lars. But the above part is my most important part. Well that and being ultra clean, fair and not overly too competitive. Nice one.:thumbsup:
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  10. I agree.:thumbsup:
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  11. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen
    RDs Ion-Engine....0-60 in six days. Staff Premium

    True, but again those are pro-drivers, we most certainly are not. :D
    The issue here is that if you're being lapped in a club race, there's a pretty good chance that you're taking at least some of the corners in a less than optimal manner.
    So unless the guy in front has been observing you for a time, the line itself will be unpredictable by nature.
    You are obviously allowed to stick to your line, and let the other guy work for it.
    That's perfectly valid, and if you're involved in a battle of your own I'd expect nothing less.
    On the other hand, if the other guy has been gaining 2 seconds a lap it might make sense to find a straight and do a quick lift to let him through.
    But I totally agree, being predictable is more important than being 'nice'.

    A final note on the whole lap-time thing.
    xnorb and Caramidaru (and djpretface) do raise a valid point that I'd like to respond to.
    The argument is that having a lap-time posted gives you a target, something to aim for.
    And that's quite true, lap-times are a way to see where you need to improve.
    However, it pre-supposes that you're actually ABLE to catch them in the first place.
    Off the top of my head, I can give you the names of 8-10 RD drivers that I will never be able to catch, no matter how hard I practice.
    It's one thing to learn techniques and racing-lines, but there is also skill and talent involved, and let's face it we're not all created equal.
    It only gets worse when you're just starting out. When I started out in Race07, I was 2 seconds slower than the slowest regular.
    Now that was a cold, hard reality-check. :D
    And had I known that, I never would've raced in the first place.
    The problem with posting lap-times is that it makes all the 'slower' guys opt out beforehand.
    Do that enough times, and you end up with races that are only populated with the elite.
    And that's definitely not what club-racing is about.
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  12. The lap times they do in the game during qualifying and practice are enough to aim for, even if they are not achievable to some of us. Publishing lap times in the club racing threads is merely bragging in my opinion and as you say, it puts some new guys off.
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  13. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    Right, it's likely the slower guys aren't sticking to the typical race line. I think the point of that rule is just for the (about to be) lapped driver to hold their line (whichever line that may be) and let the lapping car work their way around, be predictable.

    So if you see a lead lap car approaching in your mirror just stick to what you're doing and don't suddenly move to the side because the lapping car might be moving to that same side to get around you which will result in a crash. Ideally the lapping car will do the overtake on a fairly straight bit so they won't have to try to predict what line the lapped car will take in a turn. The bottom line is just to be predictable and not make any sudden moves. Obviously there are enough variables that no two situations will be the same but it could be good to encourage the (about to be) lapped drivers to try to be as predictable as possible.
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  14. Kenny Paton

    Kenny Paton
    Staff Premium

    Being predictable didn't get me where I am today:D
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  15. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    Fighting your way towards the back of the grid requires a completely different set of skills than fighting your way toward the front of the grid. :D I use a mixture of both skill sets, that's whay I'm always in the middle of the pack. :roflmao:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
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  16. xnorb


    There have been several club races in which i was doing nothing but hotlapping as the field was gone in lap 2 already. I see your point when there are people of all different paces in there and only aliens post their times, but there is absolutely nothing to be learned or any fun to have if you are so slow that you have nobody to race against.

    I'd say: All post your laptimes so you can see who you will race against and encourage slower people to join the other slow guys.

    Ideally we had several splits per race, then we'd also mix similar paced guys and not some aliens with backmarkers.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen
    RDs Ion-Engine....0-60 in six days. Staff Premium

    It happens. Still happens to me from time to time.
    I'm at best a mid-pack racer, and occasionally I find myself in a hole, unable to catch the guys in front, and too fast for the guys behind.
    But I disagree with the statement that you won't learn anything when you're off the pace.
    People can (and do) use the practice-period to pick up tips and/or set-ups from the more experienced guys, and joining the race means you have a replay afterwards that you can analyze should you wish to.
    And if nothing else, you gain some experience in how MP races work, not to mention that you get to know your co-drivers a bit.
    Which may not sound like much, but it's a start. And let's face it, nobody becomes an alien after 1-2 races.
    I'm certainly no alien, and I've been at this for a while. :D

    In an ideal world, maybe.
    But human nature being what it is, the slower you are, the less likely you are to post a lap-time.
    So if we start making lap-times mandatory, we'll get even fewer sign-ups.
    The only way to level the playing-field is to abstain from the practice altogether.
    Besides, after a few races you get a fairly good idea of the pace of the rest of the guys.
    I've reached the point where I can pretty much predict my position based on who has signed up for the race.
    And when it comes to R3E, a lot of the guys are using the Leaderboard Challenge for practice.
    So it's not as if their pace is in anyway secret in the first place.

    Ideally, yes.
    But we have nowhere near the numbers to start doing splits.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Kenny Paton

    Kenny Paton
    Staff Premium

    I know that I'm unlikely to be a winner, but during a race I feel that if I can improve my times, get a better start and maybe get some racing laps with someone then I can enjoy myself. I find it difficult to focus if just hotlapping on my own and get no pleasure from it but it doesn't seem to be the same during a race I don't know why that should be but that's the way I feel most races. The main point is, as Lars says, club racing is for fun and as long as long as we feel we are getting enjoyment from it then that's what's important, and makes it fun
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  19. Lets face it, us mid pack and back marker racers probably enjoy ourselves more than the fast boys. We have fun, we have banter and we have close racing with guys of similar non skills.:D Those aliens fast guys who practice hour after hour and who post super fast lap times and then go on to decimate the field, well let them. They feel good doing it. Hell some even like to start at the back just so they can show how good they are by carving their way to the front and win. Good aren't they? :whistling::rolleyes:
    I'm happy having fun just racing with you mid pack and back marker guys and if I do ever win a club race here I promise I will share all the prize fund with you guys. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  20. I can only speak for myself, but I don't do a lot of practice, I couldn't concentrate that well with nothing at stake, I just go round enough to dial the car in and if it's a new track then a semblance of a racing line and i'm done, normally do this on the day of the race. There will always be times when your on your own for a lot of the race, that's just how it is sometimes. The more people we can get on the grid the better the battles will be. I've noticed since I joined RaceDepartment, just over a month ago, that there is a nice spread of lap times, which means there is a good chance that you will be racing someone on track. These are not leagues they are fun events not to be taken too seriously and plenty of banter to lighten the mood. Had a thought today about maybe having a superpole qualifying where you can only do one lap, everyone can watch your lap and give banter as you go round, instead of everyone just going around. Not sure if that is workable though.
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