Monday, June 26, 2017

How's that Competition Going?

Glad you asked how we're doing! First off, I'm not a big fan of math, unless I'm adding up my lottery winnings, but, since I'm not busy winning millions of dollars right now, let's review how the ol' FIAT is doing in competition, and I am gonna have to use some numbers. 
What's the name of that FIAT again?

Here at NMS-North, it's still June, but this coming weekend turns into July, so I'm planning on hitting the local Cars and Coffee on Saturday, and then Autocross on Sunday with the ODR folks. This year I'm competing with two clubs, so let's see how things are going after about a third of the season. One thing that makes it interesting by driving with various organizations is that they all seem to keep score with different points systems. When we started with the South Carolina Region SCCA, they had a simple points system for each class, where 1st place thru 8th place earned points, from 10 down to 1. Since moving to Virginia though I've learned that the two clubs here don't use that system at all.

On track at Carolina Motorsports Park in May 2017

First up, the Old Dominion Region of the Sports Car Club of America. This club focuses on the year long overall club championship, and doesn't really track drivers by class. For points, they use a points system based on 175 for first place in an event, 170 points for 2nd place, and down to 1 point for 65th place and lower! After driving in two out of their first three events, I've scored 124 and 109, and currently sit in 22nd place overall out of 75 drivers. Is 22nd any good? Well, like everything else in life, it depends on how you look at it!

For individual events I finished in 13th, and 18th. That's not too bad, but of course that leaves a lot of folks faster than me! Compared to my previous events with ODR, my 2017 average of 116.5 puts me ahead of 2015 and 2016, so I'm happy to be getting a bit better. Out of the drivers with only 2 events so far, I'm 8th best, so that's pretty good. Another way to compare drivers with 1, 2, or 3 events so far is to calculate their average per event...and guess what, I already did the math on that too! Yep, used all my fingers, toes, and a calculator! Based on average per event, I'm in 20th, so a couple places higher up the leaderboard.

What makes it even more interesting is that out of 8 events to be held this year, the championship standings will only count the best score in 6 events, so each driver can drop their 2 lowest scores! That's almost as good as "Do-Over", or an extension on the "Five Second Rule" when you drop your pizza on the floor!

Since I've missed one event, I'm certainly dropping that big fat ZERO for that event, but other than that I need to try and stay up near the top 10 each month to have a good year. On the other hand, some of the folks ahead of me have done three events, so by the time we start dropping events, they are going to lose big chunks of points, and we'll all be even on number of events, which should boost me at least a little higher than 22nd. If we did a "drop 2" events right now, I'd be tied for 19th, but there's a long way to go this year.

"I do so love beverages," so says Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Over at the local Tidewater Sports Car Club, their club championship is determined by PAX time, but the points system is different than ODR. In this method, the fastest driver on the day gets 100 points per event, and then everyone else divides their PAX time into the winner's time for their points. This gives each slower driver points that are a percentage of the winner's time, so typically we have people scoring in the 90s, 80s, 70s, and down to the 60s. With only driving in 3 of the 4 events so far this year, I'm in 19th place on total points, (with an average score of 94.78) out of 136 drivers.  This puts me on pace to improve over last year's 20th place (2016 average score of 92.10).  Hey, any improvement is a good thing! Bottom line, after finishing 29th in 2015 (average 90.36) and 20th in 2016, I'm shooting for top 15 this year. Depending on how you look at things, I think I've got a good shot at it if I drive my best. Using the "Go-ahead-and-drop-2-events-right-now-even-though-it-doesn't-mean-anything" rule, right now that would put me in 12th.

In three TSCC events, I've placed 7th,11th, and 21st, so I'm averaging 13th if my math is accurate. Hey, then I just have to maintain that pace all year and maybe I'd end up 13th! Or better. Or worse. That's where it's hard to predict the future, unless you're Biff from Back to the Future and have that Sports Almanac to help you out for the next 50 years!

With the TSCC, we also compete for class championships. After winning the GS class the past two years, this year my car is in HS. In the HS class, we've got a two way fight with my friend Chris with his VW Golf. Head to head wise, he's beaten me twice, but we've both won when the other car wasn't there. Right now it's pretty close, so I'm going to try and speed up a bit and see how things go. Having a tough battle makes it way more interesting than the last two years where there really wasn't anyone else driving in all the events in my class. Sure, I'll take a 1st place against no one else in the class, but hey, real competition is what life is all about too! News Flash: You don't always get a trophy, but you never win if you don't compete.

Here's the TSCC HS class unofficial points right now:

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