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axman

Round Robin... I Just Don't Get It

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Why why why...

 

Years ago when I raced Slotcars we always ran heats. When I came back to Slotcars about 10 years ago in Queensland it was Round Robyn.

I just cant see why.. the most basic version of Round Robin has drivers feed in from one end of the track and then all step one lane to the left ( or right ) until they emerge out the other side.

 

That means you have to endure the same drivers either side of you virtually for the whole race. ( like mr big blocking out half the straight to the right and crasher to the left.. all the way thru the race while your opposition has a clean run with good racers either side of him. I have heard there is a "European Round Robin" but I am un- familiar with the sequence.

 

For me the other negative factor is not being able to put together a complete race. With Round Robin depending on what lane you start on sometimes you only get to drive on one lane and then have to wait to half an hour to do the rest of the lanes.

 

I certainly can understand Round Robin as a good Formula for Enduro's, 10 teams on an 8 lane track it works well and the time break is great.. but for a sprint race on a club night??

 

The American formula for heats seems so much better. Using a typical system on an eight lane track you have a different driver beside you each time so you have the same advantage/disadvantage as the rest of the drivers. Best of all you get to drive the whole track in one session so you have a chance to get in the groove.

 

any comments appreciated.

Edited by axman

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Hi Kim,

 

You make some good points - I guess both of us are from the same vintage and hence why I can relate.

 

In fact I use to enjoy the knock-out heat system where after qualifying the TQ goes directly into the final. Then the rest of the racers race heats made up from the slowest (depending on the number of lanes) qualifiers. At the end of the heat, the fastest two/three/four etc. are joined by the next (faster) qualifiers.....and so on, until the fastest from the heats join the TQ for the eventual final. Of course the biggest problem with this was that the slowest guys only raced one heat. The best was when you qualified badly and then raced all the heats through to the final - lots of racing, but rather unfair to all the slow guys who endEd up marshalling all night.

 

At my track Ecurie Elite.au (as you know), I use the Johnson System. With this system you have the option of letting drivers sit out after they have finished driving on either or both of the two gutter lanes. (But yes, as you say, it makes for a mid-race break). However - together with using 'previous' performance within the class - to decide the starting lane and position in the racing lineup, give drivers a chance to have a different driver next to them at least twice (or more, if you have odd numbers). It also allow for drivers of equal skill and performance (in that class) to race together for at least one heat. I guess this is the best of all options.

 

My 2c.

 

Jan

 


'The older I get the faster I was.'

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I agree.

I've only been in one such race recently, and didn't like running next to the same racers for the whole race.

While I didn't have any real problems with them, there are some racers who I really enjoy rubbing door handles with, and didn't get the chance to do that.


Steve K.

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Round robin is the fastest way to run heats for large meets, but agree it does have the disadvantage of running next to the same racers across all lanes.

Being next to new racers that keep coming off makes for a long, patience testing race.

 

The best solution to this our group has found is using Race Co-Ordinator option "Groups".

 

Using Groups lets you split the consistently quick guys from the slower/less experienced guys. Can base the "driver rating" on Quali, or previous race results.

All racers still run on every lane in whatever heat format you want, in 2 separate groups within the same race. ie Group1 has the first heat, then Group 2 the next heat, then Group 1, etc etc

 

A racer from Group 2 can still win the entire race.

We've found the heats are very close within each group, making for great spectating & less frustration between slow/fast racers.

 

Definitely worth trying

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Just finished a Club champ race at my place tonight. 7 guys on a 3 lane routed track with an older version of RC.

Simply set up the first heat set, then randomise the next set etc until the classes are run and done. Almost everybody gets a split race on the night and the driver mix shuffles each time too.

Of course, the quicker guys fall out almost as much as the rest given the challenges in the track..

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Round robin is economic on heats, whereas knockout or sets of heats depends upon you having exact numbers as multiple of lanes - else you take extra time to have more heats due to empty lanes

So unless you run some kind of seeding system or qualifying, you may have the same "mr big" or nerfer issue.

And if you do run qualifying, you could till have a dodgy driver issue anyway AND you will have burned more time qualifying

 

If having the same guys beside is an issue you can run European lane rotation or a custom one

 

But to me, the biggest advantages of round robin are that it is a social format and gives slower drivers opportunity to run alongside better ones and see how their cars and driving compare

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Thanks guys, couple of good point there.

 

SlotsNZ Comment:

"But to me, the biggest advantages of round robin are that it is a social format and gives slower drivers opportunity to run alongside better ones and see how their cars and driving compare"

 

I agree, it is good the slower guys can get experiance racing with the faster guys...

 

I know Gary's system feeds the guys in from the middle lane's so at least on a 4 lane track you only get the same driver next to you for half the time.. not sure if the same formula applies on a 6 or 8 lane track..

 

So... can a round robin race be setup so drivers feef in from opposite ends of the drivers panel.. that would at least address the problem and give you different drivers beside you each bracket.

Edited by axman

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If your running RC you can change the lane setup by adding more zero's to the mix, eg 1,0,0,0,3,0,0,4,0,0,2,0. remove zero's if empty lane crops up and change lane numbers to suite, type in amount of time for change over and automatic start, no confusion, you watch the screen, if you name comes up you know you have to move.


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

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Kim, I agree that "move up" heat style racing is the best format but it takes too long for club racing plus you have to add qualifying to seed the drivers correctly. FYI, the Americans use the Australian heat system (they even call it the Australian system), the same as is used at the 1/24th Nats here since about 1992. So there is one group here sticking with the old ways.

 

My system for Round Robin works well on an 8 lane track but on four lanes, not so well, and it makes no difference where you feed in. I can probably add a bit more randomness to the rotation. I'll put it on the todo list.

 

Gazza, we don't use RC.

Edited by Garry J

Cheers,

 

Garry J

 

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Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

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You've got me thinking now Gary... I think that lane rotation goes right back to the 70's. My business partner at Flashtrax Huntingdale who was a math genius and a very clever electro-mechanical guy called Keith Groom devised a 64 pole rotation switch system that had this lane rotation. I remember Brian, who was a seriously good slotcar racer and brilliant developer working for weeks on a system that only had the same driver each side of you once in a race.

 

Pretty funny though.. the 64 pole switch went to electro mechanical lap counters - one for each contestant with their name on it.

Problem was the switch had to be rotated 1 click every lane change. I can't tell you how many times we would forget to rotate the switch in the lane change, then realise, look around at who was watching and quickly click it to the correct position :ph34r:

You can imagine the mess of trying to re-start with who knows who's laps being counted with it in the wrong position.

 

When I opened Flashrtax Toowoomba in 1987 I was fortunate to team up with Ron Ward who developed the Commodore 64 Slotcar system for me used at all the Flashtrax centres and tracks I built for may years. I cant remember but I think Ron used the rotation system Brian had worked out so many years beforehand.

Edited by axman

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Hi Kim. We use Trackmate which offers a european style rotation. Mixes it up a bit. Like all racing is a bit of a lotto who you are next to but your not next to them next bracket. The rotation is 1,3,4,2. 1 being the inside lane. You start on 1 when you come in for your rotation. But as you say if your in the first heat on 2 you go have a rest until your back on 1. We always place drivers at random for each class so that shuffles the racers throughout the night.

 

My new 3 lane night use 1,3,2 rotation. Best you can do with small club tracks. But you will be next to someone different...

 

Nothing is perfect though....

 

Pete

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Thanks Richo.. I'll look into it and try the options. I'm playing with Trackmate 5.4 and 6.7 for Tony at Red Racer and cant get some of the features to work.

Weirdest thing is lap counting/timing. Must be a software issue - it will time the car on green... but wont count the lap?

Therefore its registering the car has gone over the sensor...??

The second thing is how unfriendly it is to sell track time. Is there a short cut? To sell time click on the tab then it takes about 5 more mouse clicks to get it working and there is no display per lane for how much times left ? Cant find a hot key or shortcut.. any clues?

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The latest version of Trakmate is 8:40 (free down load) ,BUT it does not appear to be much different in time sell mode.My list of short cut keys does not have any time sell short cuts.I do know that when selling time in demo mode it will not count any laps,but does show lap times.

I do not have any experience with the time sell feature other than a short play to see what it offered.


Phil

 

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Kim, I felt the same way when I got back into racing 4 years ago. took me long time to adjust, but its second nature now. the business about getting stuck with a certain person who may annoy you, can also go the other way. you may just as easily end up with a nice person who is predictable, and you can just race and not worry about any stupid antics. I suppose it all comes down to the old adage.......'when in Rome........'


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2 times Australian National Champion

1991-Flexicar 1999- Group 12 Sedan

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