Topic: What do you think about the lighting rules?

My team just got back from Pitt Manuever and the event had me thinking a lot about Lemons lighting rules. I love all of the goofy headlights turned into googly eyes and brake lights turned into skulls, and I know this is racing $500 cars, but I'm wondering what peoples thoughts are.

There were a few cars running around with the taillights completely gone and just the 3rd brake light. My team had to do it mid race last year when someone rear ended us and ripped our rear bumper and taillights off, but I'm honestly not a fan. When you're following someone into a corner it's pretty important to know if they're on the brakes and I don't think a third brake light does the job. Personally, I think you should need to have two. I don't think it would be terribly hard for teams to bolt on an wire a trailer light in a pinch.

Next question I have for everyone is headlights. Pitt was very wet Sunday, and it really made me wish everyone had headlights on in the rain so you could see them coming up behind you. I know it would suck to remove some of the cool things people have done to their cars, and it doesn't rain every race, but I feel like it's a legitimate safety issue. pretty sure There were a few accidents from people not seeing a car behind them and turning in etc.

What does everyone else think?

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

There are definitely some brake lights that could be improved, it just seems like a hard thing to police. I would be pretty unhappy if I were told Friday afternoon that I need to scramble to find more/brighter lights and wire them in to pass tech. To avoid that I just got the brightest LED brake light "globes" when I was prepping my car and encourage everyone do to the same and not skimp.

On headlights; My car is street legal so headlights are free and a nice way to make us visible to the crew in the stands, but I would vote strongly for tail/rain lights at the very least before mandating some kind of frontal light rule. After driving only wet stints at the last Sonoma race, I was really wishing cars had rain lights or at least tail lights when the visibility was getting low from all the standing water being thrown up.

3 (edited by chaase 2019-04-21 07:35 AM)

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

I think some people had very little in the way of brake lights. When I wired the Javelin brake lights, I had it light every bulb in the back. If you couldn't see them, you are blind.  I think Lemons made a mistake by requiring fire suppression systems instead of things like defosters and good lighting. I am debating adding front bulbs to javelin

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S(sold) - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
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Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

We got some trailer LED brake lights and bolted them to the rear parcel shelf.  I've seen a team spend 30+ minutes off track while trying to cobble up some functional brake lights after being rear ended.

As for headlights in the rain, most cars don't run with any kind of head lights, so requiring them to be on in the rain would be problematic for a lot of teams.

bs

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Also there’s always the overarching Lemons rule, go slower or don’t go out if you aren’t comfortable. The less untrained drivers on the track in poor visibility, the happier the insurance is.

Only you know your individual comfort level. Descretion is the better part of valor.

Also most races don’t happen in rain. So to mandate stuff that only applies to a minority of events when it’s just as easy to sit the wet out and let the nickle fever tryhards turn laps on their own like weirdos.

You start mandating every corner case and you end up with a phonebook sized rule book.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata, 2019 World Tour Of Texas 64 Newport

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

The trouble that you run into here is how to enforce what is "enough". How bright/visible/good do the lights need to be? How do you judge that? Lemons organizers tend to try very hard to keep rules simple, clear, and easy to judge/enforce; so you're unlikely to see a big rule change here. That said, I do think that a good rain light is worth the effort. I put an FIA rain light on my car at the urging of one of my drivers and I feel much more comfortable now that I have it. I think it cost $170? Not bad all things considered.

I do think they should make two taillights a requirement at the start of the race so if you take the wrong tap you don't have to fuck around getting a new one on there. Putting two taillights on a production car isn't hard. They all had them at one point.

As for headlights, it's not your job to let someone pass you. If there's one thing that I have learned in all my time in Lemons, it's that if you look another driver dead in the eyes that they have no idea that you're there and are probably going to turn into you. Headlights won't make a big difference. The only time headlights make a difference is when it makes a car instantly recognizable in the rearview like tatas or lemonaid and you know to just get right the fuck out of the way.

Owner of the Knights Templar Neon
A&D of middling proportions

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

$170 for a light? Come on. That’s just paying for the FIA sticker at that point.

As to brake lights, I mean I live in a state that only mandates ONE working brake light. So I mean, it could be worse, some racing has NO brake lights.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata, 2019 World Tour Of Texas 64 Newport

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Seems this is becoming a more common complaint as people come out of wet races. The response is usually how do you write a rule that isn't a nightmare to enforce? If you say "must retain all OEM brake lights" what do you do if you get rear ended? If you try to specify a number of lights, what do you say to the team that has that number of single LED units? If you try to specify a brightness, how do you measure?

The closest answer I've come up with is that there are DOT regulations for brake light area, meaning the square inches of area that must illuminate. You can Specify in the rules some portion of that DOT regulation which would force the use of real trailer lights if you remove the OEM stuff. But again, enforcement. No judge wants to grab the measuring tape and verify that you aren't 1square inch shy of the rules.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
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Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

I've said in the past that I'm often surprised at just how many teams like to go with the bare minimum to pass tech. 

Back when we started at CMP in 2008, there was one team that had two single LEDs for brake lights.  When I say single, I mean a single DIODE, not an single LED array.  The rules state you must have "one working brake light", it doesn't say it has to be large, or visible in direct sunlight, so technically it passes.

On our current car we are retaining the stock tail/brake lights.  For extra visibility, I added an high-mount LED unit on the top of the hatch.  I used a 7" off-road LED light bar converted to function as brake light via red Lamin-X film on the lens.  Its REALLY bright, and can't be missed or easily damaged in that location.

LEDs are cheap, durable, and plentiful.  If you decide to ditch the OE units, just go to HF and buy some LED trailer lights.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Rear running lights in the rain are a big plus. I about ran in to someone at Barber a coulpe of years ago because I couldn't see him in the spray until his brake lights lit up. For the night race next weekend I'm putting some flashing LED light strips on the back of the car so we don't surprise anyone running up behind us.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

rmcdaniels wrote:

For the night race next weekend I'm putting some flashing LED light strips on the back of the car so we don't surprise anyone running up behind us.

FYI Rodger, I was told you could not do that (flashing) otherwise I would have done it 10 years ago.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Luckily they are programmable, so I can make them stop flashing when they complain about it.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Yea flashing lights at night on the back of your car. That’s a great way of getting the people’s curse re-instated.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata, 2019 World Tour Of Texas 64 Newport

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

At the MSR 24hr race we were told we could not run our pulsating, color changing LED antenna if it displayed yellow or red in case of confusion with safety vehicles. I assume it will be the same for flashing red lights anywhere else.

Apocalyptic Racing - Occupy Pit Lane racing
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Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

rmcdaniels wrote:

For the night race... some flashing LED light strips on the back of the car...

3.J.10 No Flashing Lights or Sirens. No working sirens, flashing lights, or similar emergency vehicle stuff allowed. Anything that could make your car be confused for an actual emergency vehicle will get you black-flagged.

I suppose one could argue that not all flashing light strips look like an emergency vehicle's flashing lights, but I'm guessing any flashing light at night could be perceived as sufficiently confusing to trigger this rule's application.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

16 (edited by RedBoss 2019-04-22 07:06 PM)

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

I think in the last 13 of my races it has rained every weekend but one? Because New England.  For Pitt I started tapping the brakes twice before breaking hard so that those behind could see me in the water cloud the pack was spraying into the air.  Clear windshield or not, visibility was crap and a lot of us have dark cars.

Running lights are not hard to install and they don't have to be oem to be effective. Their adequacy should also not be hard to judge, I think that is needless worry.  Just because other series don't require or do require lights is irrelevant IMHO.

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

VKZ24 wrote:

I've said in the past that I'm often surprised at just how many teams like to go with the bare minimum to pass tech.

Hell, I'm occasionally surprised at the shit that actually passes tech. The (I think?) Judge's Choice winner at NOLA had backstays attached so low on the main hoop you couldn't see them from outside the car. I can only hope the judges looked at the team, made a (correct) guess that they wouldn't be on track very long, and told them to fix their shit for real next time.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Appreciate everyone's feedback and glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Interestingly, it seems they only just changed the rules regarding lighting this year and my idea of requiring lights front lights would be quite a reversal. According the to 18-19 rule change strike through, the rules used to read  "Headlights, taillights, and sidemarker lights must be removed or taped over." That section has been completely removed but explains a lot why so many people don't have them currently, although I dont think that rule was hardly ever enforced in the last few years anyway.

Guildenstern you and others make a good point; this is Lemons, we don't need a 500 page rulebook, we're racing $500 cars after all. However I I would dispute "most races don't happen in the rain," I think the last several years it has rained 50% or more of the races in the NE region and we're already 1/1 this year. I also get you don't want to require safety gear for every corner scenario but you could use the same logic that a lot of safety stuff, like fire suppression, wouldn't be necessary because that's a rare scenario.

I don't think having a DOT light requirement would be necessary and that's not what I'm proposing, but I would like to see the judges be a little more strict on teams that show up with a 3 LED strip on the center of their trunk that you can't see for crap in sunlight. Heck I think that yellow Charger at Pitt just had the factory 3rd brake light AND the lens was smoked. That should not have been allowed, I would have sent em to autozone or harbor freight to get some trailer lights.

As far as headlights, I could see adding something as simple as;

"All cars must have 2 functional forward facing lights that can be turned on in the event of rain. If at least 1 of your lights is not functional in the rain you may be black flagged.  Factory headlights, OR factory corner lights or fog lights are all fine, some LED truck lights bolted to your bumper are fine too."

Sure it's kind of vague and up to the judges but so are most of the rules, but a set of generic LED fog-lights like this would do and its $15 off Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-Driving- … amp;sr=8-9

I'd similarly be for updating the brake light rule to say that you need to have 2 functioning brake lights to pass tech, blag flagged if at least 1 isn't working during the race. That way if you get tapped, you don't immediately have to stop racing, and generally everyone benefits from having an easier time not rear ending you.

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

That rule that was removed really had nothing to do with lighting. It was about putting tape over the lights so that if you were hit you didn't drop pieces of it all over the track. Mostly because there used to be a lot more cars out there with sealed beam lights that would actually drop glass, not plastic. but I guess that risk has been re-evaluated and deemed not as big a deal anymore.


The rules already say basically what you've proposed. The wording is "At all times, each car must have at least one working brake light that is easily seen from the rear." So you can make the call if you want to start with 1 and have to scramble if your one gets knocked out, or start with multiple.


FWIW, it's the "easily seen" part that most here are arguing, and is so subjective. The last time this came up one of the judges said that if you have a real issue with someone's brake lights during an event, go talk to the judges about it and they'll re-evaluate their ruling on that car.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
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2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

tythetoyotaguy wrote:

As far as headlights, I could see adding something as simple as;

"All cars must have 2 functional forward and two rearward facing lights that can be turned on in the event of rain. If at least 1 of your lights is not functional in the rain you may be black flagged.  Factory headlights, OR factory corner lights or fog lights are all fine, some LED truck lights bolted to your bumper are fine too."

I agree, but I'd add the bolded above.  As has been said, approaching cars at high speed in the rain that have no rear lighting is scary.  At Road Atlanta this year I backed off way earlier than usual on the back straight just to be sure I didn't plow into someone at the end of the back straight.  With all the spray, most cars couldn't be seen until they hit their brakes.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

mharrell wrote:
rmcdaniels wrote:

For the night race... some flashing LED light strips on the back of the car...

3.J.10 No Flashing Lights or Sirens. No working sirens, flashing lights, or similar emergency vehicle stuff allowed. Anything that could make your car be confused for an actual emergency vehicle will get you black-flagged.

I suppose one could argue that not all flashing light strips look like an emergency vehicle's flashing lights, but I'm guessing any flashing light at night could be perceived as sufficiently confusing to trigger this rule's application.

That's an interesting thought. Maybe I'll set them to flash dim purple or something and see how that goes. I was also thinking about just sticking them to the back of the cage tubing. I've found that when racing a really slow car, it helps to make it it as visible as possible so people can plan for it. I'd prefer not to have anyone hit the Stag. To quote Archer, it would be like killing a unicorn.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

Here's the final result. Nobody ran into us or flagged us, so I guess it was good:

http://www.carolinahondas.com/members/roger-albums-pj-picture6826-litup.jpg

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: What do you think about the lighting rules?

We put a headlight on so others could see us coming from behind.  it worked really well for the TaTas car in Atlanta, so i figured 1 driving light up front would help.

Self preservation is a good thing

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