Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby bigman » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:32 pm

GREAT Live Stream :text-bravo:
I watched a lot of it all thorough the night. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
You could really tell when the drivers got there grove on. :auto-driving: :auto-driving: :auto-driving:
Those cars were flying around the track all night long. :banana-dance:
BIG THANKS to all responsible for putting on another great race. :auto-checkeredflag: :auto-checkeredflag: :auto-checkeredflag:

bigman :flags-waveusa: BIG Fan :mrgreen:
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby Rleog » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:46 pm

I'll add my compliments to the guys at Cloverleaf for organizing such an epic, successful event. Congratulations to Slot Car Corner on their dominating win and kudos to all competitors for contributing your talents. There was close racing for position throughout the heats.

A special nod should go to the organizers for supporting various charities through the raffle of slot car prizes. As far as giving back to the hobby, Cloverleaf, Slot Car Corner US and Canada, and others involved in this event truly excell.

Great job guys. :text-bravo:
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby waaytoomuchintothis » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:08 pm

Every year I watch for this. I can't believe its been 7 years. Its a fantastic track, great guys all around the track, and some very strenuous hosting that makes this very special.

Its also from one of the two states where old time home slot car racing on homemade tracks (in basements, so you had to step over furnace oil pipes and whatnot), had some of its most faithful pioneers- Michigan and Ohio. Indiana, Illinois, Southern Ontario, Canada, California of course, and Western Virginia all had plenty of action (reported in the slot car magazines), but it was Parma (Cleveland), Ohio, and the Motor City area that were in every issue. Those of us from those days may be old, but we don't forget.
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:36 pm

Here are the final results for the race:

Image

(The numbers use the metric system: commas for the decimal point and spaces for the thousands separator)
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:24 pm

Here are the complete results for the race, heat by heat (Excel file): Results

Lap times under the driver name are the median lap times for the entire heat. Heats 16 to 20 were run in the darkness.
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby Budslots » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:33 pm

Christian:

Will you have the excel sheet that gave lap by lap results for each heat this year?

Thanks!

It was another great race with great friends! It seemed to go by very quickly this year. A years work of planning and building gone in two days of racing. As I write this I'm already plotting and planning for what to do next year! We've had our debriefing talks and plans are being made.

Mike thank you for opening up your home to us for the 5th time to us and 7th time overall. Your hard work into the event shows every year. We have no issues and we all get in and out with plenty to eat. Thanks to the Cloverleaf team as well as I know many of you have your family chip in and help with the food. Bravo!!!!

This race was pretty clean of major car melt downs. Well for us anyway :). We had fun as always and see you all again next year!!!
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:39 pm

The results spreadsheet is available in my last post of this thread (just before you asked for it! :D ).

You can also find the complete photo album of the event (133 pictures) right here:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskX8qpqN

For a subset of this album (best pictures), you can also go the Slot Car Corner Canada Facebook page.

Some examples:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:14 pm

In addition to the official results spreadsheet, here's a link to download the entire race, lap by lap, for every team, every driver, every car.

Complete Race Data

Have fun!
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:38 pm

Someone asked me in private why I like to use the median instead of the average for lap times. Here's my answer.

The mean (average) doesn't mean anything by itself. It is «contaminated» by offs, by repairs to the car, by tire cleaning, by traffic, etc.

The median is a perfect indication of the speed of the car/driver combination. Of course, like you said, two drivers with the same median could yield different results. By looking at the number of laps, this difference means everything. Many offs with the same median will result in less laps in a given heat.

The fastest lap doesn't mean a lot either. It just means that the driver probably took risks to achieve a fast lap. And it can be contaminated by a «rider» situation.

The median is the only statistic that is almost impossible to «contaminate» and that's why this is the one we use. A good driver will see its median go down during a heat, as he's able to get into a groove. You can't follow this trend with any other statistic.
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby mikeinclover » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:57 am

I totally agree Christian, that is all we use also. I always look at my best lap and my median, I want them to be as close to the same as I can that tells me how consistent I was. Like you said a fast lap really means nothing if it way off from the median time.
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby gascarnut » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:39 am

Fantastic details, thanks to Christian for the effort!

Great photos too, what a way to remember the event.

Thanks again to Mike for allowing us to take over his home and for feeding us all so well.

Thanks to the Changing Gearz team for allowing me to join in - it was great meeting you all in person, and great racing with you.

To all the other racers - it's the people in slot racing that makes it the great hobby it is, good to meet all of you and race with you, good to see "old" friends again.

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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby SuperSlab » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:27 pm

cgingras wrote:In addition to the official results spreadsheet, here's a link to download the entire race, lap by lap, for every team, every driver, every car.

Complete Race Data

Have fun!

Aahh Christian, a man after my own heart! This is the kind of data that I would love to have as a participant. I think most of us are rather competitive when it comes to events like these so it is great to be able to compare ourselves to the best and try and learn. After all: we all want to do better next time, don't we? I would really love to participate in this event some time in the future.
cgingras wrote:Someone asked me in private why I like to use the median instead of the average for lap times. Here's my answer.

The mean (average) doesn't mean anything by itself. It is «contaminated» by offs, by repairs to the car, by tire cleaning, by traffic, etc.

WARNING: Boring statistical-type stuff!!!

Good discussion. My response would of course be.... I would like to see, and use, both! I agree with the value of median lap times. But I also think there is great value in having the average/mean.

In terms of the "contaminants" that you mentioned:

* OFFS: I would slightly disagree with you here. Offs are largely within the control of the driver. One of the key weaknesses in looking at median only is that it masks the serious drawback of a driver driving beyond his capabilities: he will end up with a lot of very fast laps BUT he will end up with a lot of very slow laps (when he deslots). As a grossly exaggerated example: a driver that drives slightly more slowly and NEVER deslots could end up (for example) with a median lap time of (say) 7.3 seconds and doing 395 laps in a heat. A driver that drives totally insanely could end up with a median of 7.2 seconds BUT.... because he deslotted on 40% (or even conceivably >49%!) of the laps he drove, he could end up with a total of only (say) 275 laps. Hey, I told you I would be exaggerating! On top of that, even if you were to monitor the median on an ongoing basis, if he were to deslot every 2.5 laps or so, THE MEDIAN WOULD NOT NECESSARILY HIGHLIGHT THIS PROBLEM ON AN ONGOING BASIS! If he were to do two fast laps to start and then alternate one fast (7.15 second) lap with one slow (12 second) lap, the "lunatic driver" could conceivably consistently have a better median lap time than the "tortoise" driver and be falling back dramatically all the time.

In essence: (50% + 1 fantastic laps) + (50% - 1 pathetic laps) = fantastic median + terrible race result

* Repairs: This is more difficult. Understood that an extended break kills average while really not affecting median. So in practice, median has a more immediate advantage DURING THE HEAT as it is relatively easy for the driver to ask one of his team mates for his median time. ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, this would be immediate feedback on how you well you are driving. For after the even analysis it is relatively easy to identify breaks due to maintenance from the lap time charts and compensate accordingly.

* Cleaning tyres: Hhmm, in my opinion average would be a better measure here. Cleaning tyres is a race decision: a trade off between fewer stops but slower laps versus more stops and faster laps. I would suggest that average time is a BETTER measure of how good your strategy is. Median lap times hides the effect of stops. If you use median as a criterion, you would stop for cleaning your tyres far more often as you get the benefit of faster lap times (and better median time) without any visible penalty for the lost time. In the extreme you could end up losing a lot of time for cleaning and hence number of laps in a heat without the median times showing any problem.

Note that tyre cleaning strategy is a bit of a mystery for me as we normally race on urethanes so this is not a consideration. The only semblance of experience that I have had with this is on the Tacoma 24 hour races where we raced 1/24 cars on foam tyres. Cleaning was the exception there as well.

* Traffic: shees, in going over each of these considerations it seems I am a bit of a naysayer! I am going to disagree with this as well! Traffic is part and parcel of racing. Like it or not (and I must admit to absolutely NOT liking it!), how well you get through traffic is critical to your results, especially if you are one of the faster teams. If you are bad at passing (either getting held up for significant numbers of laps [but less than 50% of the laps!] or crashing into your opponent or overtaking in a bad spot and being nerfed), as this represents fewer than half the race laps, this will normally be masked in the median time but exposed in average.

And just to mention that, particularly in an endurance event, I am a HUGE believer in allowing faster guys to go by through slowing down marginally in a safe area while being passed. This all but eliminates the risk FOR BOTH TEAMS and costs nothing.

cgingras wrote:The mean (average) doesn't mean anything by itself.
.
.
The fastest lap doesn't mean a lot either. It just means that the driver probably took risks to achieve a fast lap. And it can be contaminated by a «rider» situation.

Riders are an anomaly and I do not see an easy way of accounting for those.

Otherwise, for analysis purposes, to me the ratio between best lap time and average is probably THE best indicator of overall consistency. Understood that this gets skewed by things outside of your control such as breakdowns/maintenance, but if you have complete data like you have provided those are very easy to identify and adjust for. The way that you have reported out on the data makes it possible for those so inclined to do all the analysis they want.

BIG TRUTH: at the end of the day: average lap time is going to determine the winner of the race: period.

So while I would almost say that fast laps are not important, the bottom line is that they are important. Some thoughts here:
* The fastest lap times FOR A GIVEN CAR IN A GIVEN LANE is largely dependent on driver ability. And the reality of life is that some drivers are faster than others.
* I believe the principal objective for every driver should be to get a decently fast best lap and then to get an average lap time as close as possible to that fastest time. In other words do every la, lap after lap, close to your best time whithout deslotting. Easy, isn't it?
* Like some drivers are faster than others, I beleive some drivers (oftentimes other drivers!) are better suited to consistently reel off lap after lap closer to their theoretical best than others. These I think are the good endurance drivers.
* It is possible for a slightly slower but one more capable of consistently lapping closer to his best time to do better than a faster driver that does not have the ability to maintain that consistent high speed.

In any case: I strongly believe that each driver has to establish what the best lap time is that he can repeat virtually lap after lap and stay with that. And what constitutes good performance in terms of consistency? While I have not done any significant analysis, I did calculate this ratio for myself in a few heats for the 2014 Tacoma BRM 24 hour race. For me it seems I normally do an average heat lap time of between 102.5% and just under 107% of my best lap. For example: for say 104%, on a 7.5 second best lap this would give an average lap time of 7.8 seconds. In doing a snap check of Christian's data it seems that there were similar results in the 2017 Michigan race.

And BTW: I feel that, if you are driving in a heat and you have established what your best consistent lap time is with that car in that lane and you find some others go faster: good luck to them!

So the holy grail is to do CONSISTENT, FAST laps. How do you do that? Have not quite figured that out yet...



And after all that I would again mention the old engineering aphorism: "Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling in mud with a pig: after an hour you realise the pig is actually enjoying it!"
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby cgingras » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:04 pm

Very nice to read Alwyn. I knew you would fall for it!

You're right when you're saying that the same median for two drivers can hide two completely different results in the end. This is why the median always has to be presented with the total number of laps in a given heat. Then, you get a much clearer picture of the reality.

The median is important in an endurance race because this is the metric you want to see going down as you race. And this was also the one we informed the driver of constantly during a heat. If the median was going up, it meant you were losing some speed and you had to change something to get back into the groove you found earlier in the heat. If the median was going down, it meant you were getting better and better as the heat progressed. If the median was stable and all your lap times were close to that median (and to the best lap), it probably meant that you found the sweet spot of driving performance for the car and the track at this point and time.

This is how we approached this.

It's true that average lap time is the ultimate metric AT THE END of the race. But when you're driving, you want to know how YOU drive, and in order to do that, you can't take into account the repairs and other stuff that you can't do anything about. Median during the heat and number of laps at the end of the heat. Everything could be told from those two numbers.
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby SuperSlab » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm

cgingras wrote:Very nice to read Alwyn. I knew you would fall for it!

You certainly know your customers: you knew there was a pig out there ready to start wrestling in the mud!

As for what you guys do: there is absolutely no arguing with success, and success your team has in spades! I think it speaks volumes to the professionalism and preparation required to win something like this. Knowing how you are doing while racing must be a fantastic advantage, not to mention motivator. Stuff like this also tends to remind me of the Hawthorne studies/effect: sometimes exactly what or how you do something is not as important as the fact that you are doing it. While one might debate the pros and cons of different measures used to give feedback on performance, the advantage of providing this very useful information in real time to a driver far outweighs theoretical differences between two measures.

While on the topic: my sincere congratulations and respects to all the teams and participants. I am not sure anybody who has not participated in a race like this fully comprehends how grueling it is. Well done each and every one of you!

And of course: Kudos to the Slot Car Corner team for their continued fantastic performance. I salute you!

Alwyn
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Re: Michigan 7th annual 24 hour race

Postby Aloha » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:04 pm

Very interesting exchange of information between median and medium. It is the details that provide you the winning margins and you use the data almost as a coaching tool as the event goes on. That is very astute racing.
Christian, the photos were great and tells many stories. We're there more pictures of the cars themselves? Would love to see more of how you do the wiring layout and details of motor, gear and guide choices. Thank you for sharing
Aloha
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Ps I am excited to hear where the donations are going as it is a great idea. Sorry if I missed it
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