Welcome to Round 4 of the RDHGP S4 Welcome back to the 2009 RDHGP S4, and our last event this year before the mid season break. Most was a vastly different track to the Glen, and I think that, from the feedback, an overall successful event. There has obviously been some extensive discussion of track cutting rules and regulations, so I will refer back to a line from the previous briefing: It is still just a game. We should never lose sight of that, no matter how seriously we take it. To paraphrase another driver, at season end, you get an imaginary pat on your virtual back, and that’s it, and to think it is anything more than that carries the faint whiff of the ridiculous. RDHGP is the Gentleman Racer League, and I don’t expect, and won’t allow, people to stoop below that level of sportsmanship and conduct. Unfortunately, I now have to enforce that in rulings rather than leaving it to the individual drivers’ consciences. I, perhaps naively, made my ruling on the kerbs so people would be able to avoid contact without losing to much time and/or having to make ill-advised or hazardous manouevers at high speed to stay within the track confines, rather than for premeditated overtakes. I was desperately disappointed by the non-adherence to the spirit of RDHGP, no matter how forgiving and gracious the victim was, and as a result will now be closing that loophole. Also, I have to remind people that – as I have already indicated in many posts and a fair few of these briefings – the only status that counts for your attendance is in GPCOS. As a result, we have 3 more no-show infractions levied after this race. We are staying in Europe for Round 4, moving West to our only default track of the season, Zolder. Circuit Notes Zolder, also called Circuit Terlaemen, is situated in the North East Belgium, in the Limburg province. Built in 1963, Zolder has hosted the Belgian Grand Prix on 10 separate occasions in the 1970s & 80s, along with the Belgian Motorcycle Grand Prix, rounds of the FIA GT Championship, the FIA WTCC and the GT Belcar Championship, notably the 24 Hours of Zolder. Like so many other tracks, it is also has a dark side to its history. It is probably best remembered as the place where Gilles Villeneuve lost his life during qualification for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. This event, even though not track related, spelled out the beginning of the end for it as a Formula 1 venue, only hosting the Belgian Grand Prix once more before the event reverted to Spa-Francorchamps permanently. The RDHGP’s historic vehicles hail from a time when Zolder was the premier circuit in Belgium, and I am anticipating some excellent racing here. Zolder has everything that I look for in a TC or GTC track: both fast and slow corners, a mix of corners that go both ways, fast straights, heavy braking zones, gradient changes. After T1L, the next two corners at Zolder T2R & T3R can be very tricky, as they are not particularly well defined with regard to recognisable markers for optimal line, braking points, turn-in points and power-on points. They are important for good lap times, but too much aggression through here can cost more time than a slightly more cautious approach. Once through there, T4R is a very fast corner, opening onto the back straight. T4R is guarded on the outside by a gravel trap that will cost you a lot of time to safely negotiate if you drop a wheel in there. A good line through here throws you onto the fast back straight, up to the Kleine Chicane. As you go under the bridge, you enter the braking zone for T5aL & T5bR. It is actually more of a “double kink” than a true chicane, and this leads on to the downhill curve which approaches the Terlamenbocht complex. The complex starts with a very tight, dipping chicane T6aR & T6bL made all the more difficult by the fast, and yet curved braking zone preceding it. Once through there, T7R is a simple left hander made more difficult by the heavy acceleration you will be under. T8R is another seemingly simple corner, but this has neutral or possibly even opposite camber, making it easy to be thrown left off the outside. Over the crest into the short squirt down to the downhill braking zone for T9R, the tightest corner on the circuit. We then start our climb back up to the hill through T10aL & T10bR, the Jochen Rindtbocht. Like the Kleine Chicane, this is more of a double kink than a true chicane, but at the end of the straight following Rindt, we have the final corners on the lap, the Jacky Ickxbocht, a true double 90 chicane. T11aL is uphill into T11bR, which opens onto the S/F straight. The Race Director has (unsurprisingly) some notes for drivers. Please see the track map above for location of Race Direction note:- · All Corners Without Exception – The kerbs are no longer deemed as track, therefore 2 wheels must be within the white lines, on the tarmac, At All Times. Again, there are NO exceptions to this rule at any point on the circuit. Any exception to this rule is deemed illegal, any advantage gained by this method must be ceded immediately. · T4R – the gravel trap on the outside of this corner is such a hazard that people often try and go in much tighter. This has the effect of people falling off the inside kerb, losing traction on one side of the car, and spinning across the racing line (ending up in the gravel anyway). If you are following someone who is getting close to the inside of T4R, be ready for evasion if they go too tight. · T5aL & T5bR – Kleine Chicane. As this is a fast chicane, and able to be straightened easily, all cars must have 2 wheels between the white lines throughout this section. The kerbs are NOT deemed as track, therefore “2 wheels on the tarmac at all times”. · T6aR & T6bL – Terlamenbocht complex chicane. This chicane has large concrete areas on it’s extremities. These are deemed kerbs, therefore NOT track (see point 1). All cars must have 2 wheels between the white lines (ie on tarmac) throughout this section. · T10aL & T10bR – Jochen Rindtbocht. As this is a fast chicane, and able to be straightened easily, all cars must have 2 wheels between the white lines throughout this section. The kerbs are NOT deemed as track, therefore “2 wheels on the tarmac at all times”. · T11aL & T11bR – Jacky Ickxbocht. All cars must have 2 wheels between the white lines (ie on tarmac) throughout this section. Incidents, Investigations and Penalties After round 3 there are currently no outstanding Incidents or Investigations, but there are a few Penalties being levied. 2 no-show penalty infractions are being served (2 races remaining on these infractions):- Simon Bacon Stuart Neal 3 new no-show penalty infractions are being issues:- Arkadiusz Kotarski Lee Madden Matt Crouch These infractions will be carried for 4 events, after which time they will be rescinded. A further infraction will result in expulsion from the League. Please remember, the League staff will only review incidents if they are reported to them. No report = no review. Please try and remember the incident reporting guidelines: review, cool off, review again. Only after following the above process, and if you are convinced you still need to report it, should you let the League staff know. Please give as much information as possible during the report (time of incident, drivers involved etc.) Any accusations or complaints aired in the Chat during or after a race will mean a penalty levied on the person complaining or making the accusations, even if a subsequent official complaint gets found in their favour. I simply will NOT tolerate any post race finger pointing. Liveries You have chosen your car and livery already, and you must only drive your chosen car at any time during an RDHGP event. Every driver has a unique livery in this season of RDHGP. Scoring System I have extended the points distribution method down to P20 (75% distance completion required) so people can fight for some points no matter where they are on the track, and hopefully have a season long battle with people around them in the League. The Distribution is as follows (double for the 200km event): P1 - 25 pts P2 - 22 P3 - 20 P4 - 18 P5 - 16 P6 - 15 P7 - 14 P8 - 13 P9 - 12 P10 - 11 P11 - 10 P12 - 9 P13 - 8 P14 - 7 P15 - 6 P16 - 5 P17 - 4 P18 - 3 P19 - 2 P20 - 1 1 point for fastest race lap (not double on 200km event) 1 point for qualifying on Pole (not double on 200km event) Final Word Even though I will no doubt be chatting to most of you in here before and after the race, and some of you in other events, for those of you I miss, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, thanks for your attendance so far, I hope you are enjoying it, and I look forward to seeing you all back at Mugello on 14th January 2010 for Round 5.