Topic: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

How do you decide on driver line up? We will have 6 drivers all different sizes, is it easiest just to line everybody up based on size? Do you put together a list for when drivers can sleep/rest/free time?

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

24 hour race is different than 2x8-10 hour days.

On a 2 day event, as team principal, I usually run my drivers in order 1-2-3-4 on day one then 3-4-1-2 on day 2.  That way, each driver gets a flag (green or checkers) and each runs in the morning and afternoon. 

With a 24 hour race and 6 drivers, every driver gets 2x2 hour stints.  The actual order is determined by discussing with the team - dusk and dawn stints are harder since the sun is low in the sky, night driving is harder than daytime and maybe one of your drivers doesn't want to do that.  Make sure your drivers get enough food, water, and sleep.  Maybe one of your drivers needs a little extra recovery time after their stint or maybe a little less.  I've short stinted drivers to make sure everyone gets time in the car before going to long stints.

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

Another approach if the team is low on experience...start with the driver most likely to bring the car back with something left in it and go from there.  That way each driver has a reasonable chance of driving.

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

Honestly, if you have that much discrepancy in driver size, you might invest in making custom seats for the smaller guys like in WEC. Each guy just puts in his own booster when he gets in. As far as 24h planning, you need to keep in mind that you need at least two guys in fire suits for fueling, I generally would try to keep 3 guys suited up at any given time. This is also good to have a backup driver ready. I would give everybody like a 6 hour break, staggered by your stint time. So if it's a 2 hour stint, each guy is on break for 3 stints, then he comes back and relieves whoever has been suited up the longest. As for order, you have to work that out with your team.

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

In a 24hr race, ability to sleep, get in the car rested and hydrated takes a premium.  First figure out who can go to sleep anytime, anywhere, be a night owl and comfortable driving at night.  Those are your 9pm-6am drivers.  Especially so if they are self starters that don't need to wake someone up to wipe their windshield, etc at 3am when everyone else is sleeping.  Fill in the rest of the schedule from there.  For a lot of people including me, the dawn stint is particularly inspirational.  It's my favorite.  Make your drivers look for landmarks during the day that they can use at night to orient themselves at night when they can't see as much.  Pavement markers, rocks, shrub, tall trees in the distance that might be backlit are all useful.  My first lap of a track I had never been to was at night and that was a long, miserable 2 hours.

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

cheseroo wrote:

In a 24hr race, ability to sleep, get in the car rested and hydrated takes a premium.  First figure out who can go to sleep anytime, anywhere, be a night owl and comfortable driving at night.  Those are your 9pm-6am drivers.  Especially so if they are self starters that don't need to wake someone up to wipe their windshield, etc at 3am when everyone else is sleeping.  Fill in the rest of the schedule from there.  For a lot of people including me, the dawn stint is particularly inspirational.  It's my favorite.  Make your drivers look for landmarks during the day that they can use at night to orient themselves at night when they can't see as much.  Pavement markers, rocks, shrub, tall trees in the distance that might be backlit are all useful.  My first lap of a track I had never been to was at night and that was a long, miserable 2 hours.

What he said.  Make sure the overnight drivers can get a few uninterrupted hours before their stints.  Try to make sure that your morning driver can get a full nights sleep.  I think it all has to do with who's comfortable driving when, and not driver sizes.

bs

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

We leave driving order up to fate. I have numbered ping-pong balls in my drivers bag, that we draw out of a helmet. On 2 day events, the order is reversed.

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

Double E wrote:

Another approach if the team is low on experience...start with the driver most likely to bring the car back with something left in it and go from there.  That way each driver has a reasonable chance of driving.

THIS!

Whoever knows the car the best, should always go out first. This driver could potentially make or break the rest of the weekend for everyone else.

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

If it is a two day race, you might want to put your most experienced drivers at the last shift of the day.  It gets pretty racey, especially for the last hour before the end of the race checker.

If it is your first race, you might want to consider shorter shift times so all your drivers get a shift before something blows up.

If it is a 24 in a row race, make sure you know where all your drivers are at in the middle of the night.  You might have a driver come in and your next driver is asleep or missing.

10

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

I would also prioritizing who has good night vision and who doesn't.  This is an odd one because a lot people tend to not realize if they have good night vision or not, everyone kind of thinks they have average night vision.  But there are some people who will be able to see fine at night and be comfortable racing and others who won't be able to see anything and it will be a horrible experience.

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

Also, ask your team if they want to do night racing. Some people love it and some just can't handle it, and it's better to find out which way your drivers lean before 2AM on the night of the race.

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

rb92673 wrote:

If it is a two day race, you might want to put your most experienced drivers at the last shift of the day.  It gets pretty racey, especially for the last hour before the end of the race checker.

If it is your first race, you might want to consider shorter shift times so all your drivers get a shift before something blows up.

If it is a 24 in a row race, make sure you know where all your drivers are at in the middle of the night.  You might have a driver come in and your next driver is asleep or missing.

How true. Back at Reno, when we blew up the Audi after 11 freakin laps, we're just chilling in the RV enjoying the atmosphere of a real 24, at around 1 am, we hear a  race car pull up to the next pit. Then a door slamming, and some helmet-muffled cursing.

Then a knock on our door. "OK! Who wants to drive this thing?"

1 driver got 11 laps in the Audi. Another one got about an hour in somebody else's car. That was it. I don't think the guy expected to return to an empty pit smile

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

We do driver lineup based on who got the least-to-most seat time at the last race. So if the car blowed-up before you got to drive it last time, then you get in first this time.

I have bad night vision. My first night stint was two hours of terror on a track configuration that I'd never done before that weekend. We were running the stock 20-year-old headlights that came with the car and there was no track lighting. So get good lights. We now have LED floods to see the corners and HID narrow-beam spots that are so bright that I'm surprised when the car in front of me doesn't catch fire after a few seconds. Night racing is fun now.

We have a schedule and run 2-hour stints. You get 2 hours suited-up standby in the hot pit, then two hours driving, then four hours off to eat/sleep/have-sex-with-supermodels/whatever. Then repeat, because we only ever bring four people.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

14 (edited by TeamLemon-aid 2017-06-24 07:46 AM)

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

You need to tell us if you're going there to "win" or just complete the race.  (I know... To finish first you must first finish.. blah blah)

To win you'll usually need a fairly flawless race, and no driver stints that are giving up time because "they've never driven this track" or "have never driven at night".

To Finish, everyone needs to be driving 8/10ths.  Always.  You also need one guy on the radio to the driver, always.  You also have to kneo where everyone is at all times. You also need to make sure that if a team member is going to wander around, they have a radio on them so they know what is going on.  Otherwise, team members need to be at your paddock at all times. 

I remind guys we've all paid a decent amount of money, so lets act like we are here to "race".

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Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

TeamLemon-aid wrote:

You need to tell us if you're going there to "win" or just complete the race.  (I know... To finish first you must first finish.. blah blah)

To win you'll usually need a fairly flawless race, and no driver stints that are giving up time because "they've never driven this track" or "have never driven at night".

To Finish, everyone needs to be driving 8/10ths.  Always.  You also need one guy on the radio to the driver, always.  You also have to kneo where everyone is at all times. You also need to make sure that if a team member is going to wander around, they have a radio on them so they know what is going on.  Otherwise, team members need to be at your paddock at all times. 

I remind guys we've all paid a decent amount of money, so lets act like we are here to "race".


Good stuff there too.  Last thing I want to have is disorganization from the start but that's me...  You might not care.
Set expectations but base them on what you want to accomplish.  For example:
"Just have fun and don't care if you finish" is a concept everyone needs to understand.  "Here to compete and race" is different but likewise everyone needs to be on the same page.

Also....you will break something so decide on what you'll do:
When we break, we fix, no matter what or how long it takes.
When we break, if it's easy we fix. if we have to go get parts, nah.
If it breaks, we're done, I don't care what it is, just start drinking.
When we break, if it's tough to fix we don't care, we'll beg, borrow, steal parts and find help to fix it.  (That means upon arrival you already have someone scout the paddock for teams with a similar setup for who has parts and knowledge.)

Who is the captain or co-captain and when he's sleeping or cannot be found, what is the decision making process?
THEN you can start organizing at some level (or not) with your team all on one page.

If you do not know already, ask each person what kinds of things are likely to upset them...not that you can really hold them to it but at least you asked.
Get your money from them up front and be clear under what circumstances (if any) a refund is possible.
If you have to go get parts from somewhere, have a plan for where you will go, who will go and who will pay.

Think also about the future.  Do you want the same folks to drive next time?  Do you plan to change your goals for next time ...but maybe this first time just relax and have fun?  Will those same people be OK with a change in the goal next time? 

If you behave like a jerk as a captain, do you care if the drivers don't want (may not want) to race with you ever again? 

If you have the tendency to be a jerk, you probably already know it and should say something prior to the weekend so the team understands that it's possible and you at least gave them info that is now not a surprise to them.  The benefit is that they'll probably overlook the jerk behavior and still try to get through the weekend by your side as opposed to packing up and leaving mid-race because you were a jerk.

Are you ready to have your vehicle broken, set on fire, totaled or otherwise destroyed by one of your drivers?  Be ready and if not, re-think entering a vehicle you care a great deal for. 
Ask each team member what they think is fair for accidents that damage the car (made unrace-able) for which they are at fault according to video.  Ask them the same for cosmetic damage if you care...  Share with them your own thoughts of what fair is and come to an agreement for the team and tell the team. 

What about incidents that are not their fault but render the car unrace-able.  Is the driver still responsible? How do you want to handle that?  It's a tough conversation to have and (believe me) even tougher if you never have the conversation and something has already occurred.

You'll be surprised at the amount of good drivers out there.  Some are fantastic, some are still cutting teeth but safe.  A few are terrible and need to find another hobby.  Some are a collection and all on the same team.  Work to know who is who and remember it on the track as best you can.

Re: How to develop a race strategy for a 24 hour race

You mean our strategy ISN'T about how much beer we drink and how much bacon we eat?

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