Topic: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Hey there all. I’m trying to familiarize myself with the etiquette and rules while on the track. Are there blue flags? Are you supposed to let faster cars pass by staying on your line and having them go off line?

Can anyone point me to a good thread regarding on track etiquette and what the flaggers and veteran lemon racers are looking for?

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Read this at the very end of the main rules page…


Blue w/ Yellow Stripe: You Suck

Blue and yellow means there’s faster traffic behind you, like you didn’t know that already. (This is just informational. You’re welcome to say “who the $*#& cares?” It ain’t your job to solve the other guy’s problem.)


Is this what it is? Haha

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

I'll let the others who have raced more explain the finer points, but if we used blue flags, the flaggers' arms would fall off with about 14 hours to go (in a 14.5-hour race). They're in the rules in the unlikely event they get used, but I've never seen Lemons use them in 60+ races.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

As a new comer I try to make room if I see a much faster car coming up.  I also will give point bys if I can.  Sometimes I am busy enough driving that a point by is the last thing I need to be doing.  Or they come up so fast I don't see them.  Just be consistent in your line and don't go inside outside all the time and it all works out.  Sometimes I would have liked to see the video after a three wide corner with no paint traded but it all works out.

5 (edited by Max 2021-11-17 01:28 PM)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Never seen a blue flag used at a Lemons race I've attended.  I don't know that they're really is a need. 

I found this thread on the subject which may be helpful - https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=36524

6 (edited by VKZ24 2021-11-17 08:08 AM)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

therood wrote:

I'll let the others who have raced more explain the finer points, but if we used blue flags, the flaggers' arms would fall off with about 14 hours to go (in a 14.5-hour race). They're in the rules in the unlikely event they get used, but I've never seen Lemons use them in 60+ races.

This.

If the flaggers used that flag they would never have time to use any of the really important ones.  This ain't NASCAR.  wink

Best advice is to hold your line and most importantly, be predictable.  The faster cars will find a safe way around you as long as they can reasonably anticipate your next move.  Nothing is worse than trying to pass someone who drives in the middle of the track.

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

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

It's a balancing act between the idea that it's always the job of the passing car to complete the pass safely, and the idea that you should let obviously faster cars by.

The absolute best advice you can get is just be predictable. That means do not change what you're doing corner to corner. But the worst thing you can do is defiantly drive the racing line with no regard for who's around you. I know the rules say the overtaking car has the responsibility to pass safely, but Lemons has too many cars on track for running the ideal racing line constantly. Leave a lane for cars to get around you no matter where you are and everyone will be happy. Check your mirrors coming into corners too, happens all the time that someone tries to stick a nose in  where you aren't expecting.

I'm not saying you have to immediately let by any car that is the slightest bit faster than you, you can make someone work for a pass. But please please don't be that guy that just drives the racing line the whole time chopping off the noses of cars that have lapped you several times that hour. I've come across enough cars that will drive right to the edge of the track on corner exit even when you're up next to them and actively passing them, forcing either a forceful amount of brakes, or going off track to avoid contact. That isn't the way to make friends in Lemons.

I started in a C class car, so I learned to race by living in my mirrors. Now I have a much faster car, but I still leave a lane anytime I'm running near someone that's faster or near my speed. It's just polite. If I find a car I'm evenly matched with I will defend my position, but I will always make sure there is a path for them to go around in the event that I slip up or they just find a faster way though a corner. I'm probably on the more polite end of the driving spectrum in that regard.

Point bys for blatantly faster cars is a nice gesture, but not required. I'll point by cars I know are in the top 10 just so they know where I would like them to pass me. Makes it safer for both of us and they can go by me knowing I'm not going to shut the door on them, and I know where they'll be. Plus usually if I let them by I can try to chase them for a lap and learn their traffic lines.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
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Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

TheEngineer wrote:

*SNIP*

The absolute best advice you can get is just be predictable. That means do not change what you're doing corner to corner. But the worst thing you can do is defiantly drive the racing line with no regard for who's around you. I know the rules say the overtaking car has the responsibility to pass safely, but Lemons has too many cars on track for running the ideal racing line constantly. Leave a lane for cars to get around you no matter where you are and everyone will be happy. Check your mirrors coming into corners too, happens all the time that someone tries to stick a nose in  where you aren't expecting.

/*SNIP*

Worth pointing out that the rules DO NOT say this:

Rule 6.1 wrote:

6.1    It’s Always Your Fault: Lemons is an all-fault environment. You are 100% responsible for what happens while you’re at the wheel. Think you’re the hittee, not the hitter? We don’t care. Think you’ve been wrongly accused? See the part where it says “we don’t care.” Your job is to stay out of trouble. If trouble finds you, take responsibility like a grown-up and figure out how to avoid it the next time. This ain’t the damn SCCA.

The reality, however, is that if you're in quicker car,  you should always expect the car you're overtaking doesn't see you and drive accordingly, leaving yourself an out or enough on the table to back out of a pass that starts going wrong.

And if you're in a slower car, that's where it matters to be predictable, be aware of who's around, and assume that any car passing you probably has some aggressive jackass in a Miata that you can't see (for example, because it's tiny) right on its bumper trying to follow a bigger car that is "punching a hole" (as I've heard a certain USER X-ARGS say).

You get used to "reading" traffic after a few races and anticipating trouble, but until you're at that telepathic level, it's always a good idea to assume you're the smartest person on track while also assuming that you're a complete moron. In other words: Everyone doing this is stupid and something stupid is likely to happen at all times. You'll be ready for it when it does, that way.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Not only should you assume that the person you are overtaking doesn't see you, you should also assume that the person overtaking you doesn't see you.  Safer that way.

There was a time when some folks suggested that slow(er) cars pick a side of the track and glue themselves to it.  Let me assure everyone that people were not, in fact, doing that.  They thought they were, but they were not.  It's actually very difficult to rimshot an entire racetrack and I've seen plenty of those folks in the middle of the track while vehemently denying that they left a hole on their chosen side.

I no longer have a dog in this hunt, etc., but my point here is that there is no safe method for guaranteeing that there won't be a car on one, the other, or both sides of you at any given point during a Lemons race.  Situational awareness and consistency is key.

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

As has been stated, Be polite.
As you gain experience you will realize who is in your class. That is who you can race.
Let the faster guys by when its safe enough to do so, Pass the slower guys without risking their life and yours.
We have termed Lemons "Lane Racing"......Leave a lane. Only take the line when you aren't in traffic. (About once a race!!)
Remember, If there is someone in your mirror and you didn't put them there, They are faster than you! let them by!
Manny

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

therood wrote:

Worth pointing out that the rules DO NOT say this:

Rule 6.1 wrote:

6.1    It’s Always Your Fault: Lemons is an all-fault environment. You are 100% responsible for what happens while you’re at the wheel. Think you’re the hittee, not the hitter? We don’t care. Think you’ve been wrongly accused? See the part where it says “we don’t care.” Your job is to stay out of trouble. If trouble finds you, take responsibility like a grown-up and figure out how to avoid it the next time. This ain’t the damn SCCA.

something something the fallibility of memory something. Thanks for the correction. I guess it's just been repeated enough times that I though it was in there.


I think the "assume the car you are overtaking doesn't see you" line boils down into it's your responsibility to make the pass safely though. There should never be assumptions that the other car will see you and make a hole, or hold the line you think you have.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
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: Passing and general on-track etiquette

All I can add is to be predictable.  Do not make sudden moves and don't try to drive your mirrors (i.e. see someone coming up, guess which side they will pass you on and move away from the guessed side).  Pointing which side you want someone to pass you is helpful but also understand that it's not always possible and doing so in a corner where it's not possible may result in you putting your car where you told the other guy to pass you.  There are times when I'm busy doing my thing and don't really wish to throw out the anchor to let a slightly faster impatient car go by and I will waggle an index finger like "give me a second and I'll let you by where it doesn't slow either of us down".  You will make mistakes.  Even the good guys make mistakes every lap.  The difference is the size of them.  Just try to leave room so your mistakes aren't bigger than they need to be.

Also, if you find yourself overwhelmed by what's going on out there, there is no shame in handing the car off to someone else while you decompress and figure out what you need to do differently.

The "stay to one side of the track" only works if you have an exceptionally slow car and someone who understands that the car is exceptionally slow/bad and doesn't overdrive the corners.  It's really rare to find an entire team of people who can do that and it's not fun to be the other guys when the car has been sticking to one side for hours and then you come across the one guy who doesn't understand the program and is a slow car wandering all over the track.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

TheEngineer wrote:

It's a balancing act between the idea that it's always the job of the passing car to complete the pass safely, and the idea that you should let obviously faster cars by.

The absolute best advice you can get is just be predictable. That means do not change what you're doing corner to corner. But the worst thing you can do is defiantly drive the racing line with no regard for who's around you. I know the rules say the overtaking car has the responsibility to pass safely, but Lemons has too many cars on track for running the ideal racing line constantly. Leave a lane for cars to get around you no matter where you are and everyone will be happy. Check your mirrors coming into corners too, happens all the time that someone tries to stick a nose in  where you aren't expecting.

I'm not saying you have to immediately let by any car that is the slightest bit faster than you, you can make someone work for a pass. But please please don't be that guy that just drives the racing line the whole time chopping off the noses of cars that have lapped you several times that hour. I've come across enough cars that will drive right to the edge of the track on corner exit even when you're up next to them and actively passing them, forcing either a forceful amount of brakes, or going off track to avoid contact. That isn't the way to make friends in Lemons.

I started in a C class car, so I learned to race by living in my mirrors. Now I have a much faster car, but I still leave a lane anytime I'm running near someone that's faster or near my speed. It's just polite. If I find a car I'm evenly matched with I will defend my position, but I will always make sure there is a path for them to go around in the event that I slip up or they just find a faster way though a corner. I'm probably on the more polite end of the driving spectrum in that regard.

Point bys for blatantly faster cars is a nice gesture, but not required. I'll point by cars I know are in the top 10 just so they know where I would like them to pass me. Makes it safer for both of us and they can go by me knowing I'm not going to shut the door on them, and I know where they'll be. Plus usually if I let them by I can try to chase them for a lap and learn their traffic lines.

+1. Unfortunately "it depends"... I think the fact that you're asking about it makes me feel that you'll be just fine. Don't trust anybody and be courteous to others. Understand that some drivers are very spatially aware and some get tunnel vision. Generally I've had pretty good experience, usually everyone figures out their place and everyone is there to have fun and it seems to work out. I've been chopped and pushed off into the dirt several times when my nose was already ahead of them, in all instances I got the impression that the driver had tunnel vision. Focus on your driving, do the best you can, but try to reserve 1 of your brain cells to being spatially aware and you'll do great.

Full Ass Racing
#455 Piñata Miata

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

be predictable

Noticing a theme here?

I saw your first post on the OkStupid forum.
You've been on a few tracks, so you have a sense of what it's like.

Different (amateur) clubs have different rules (ideas?) on overtaking.
Most of those interpretations begin with 'be predictable'.
(Pros get paid, so silly driving is expected.)

15

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

There are a couple of recent Randy Pobst videos floating around that highlight where I think most drivers end up. 

The two basic points:

If you're being passed - don't hit what you can see

If you're passing - if the car you're approaching can't obviously see you before they initiate their turn it's too late, try again next time


My philosophy is always to do whatever is safest and quickest so I can get back to the racing line.  If a car catches me I will point by and get out of the way when it makes sense to do so.  Our car is at the pointy-end of the cheaty-stick so I have more options than many when it comes to passing.  If someone is rigidly defending the line I can usually utilize a future straight or out-brake enough that the overtaken car doesn't have to alter their line much if any. 

For cars of almost equal speed... well then the battle commences. 

https://youtu.be/4MXwBsTOwyY - in this video I was duking it out with a 350Z.  He was a lap up on Sunday morning and it took me almost an hour to finally secure a pass without him passing me right back.  Hilariously at 12:53 you can see the red/white/blue Miata behind me block the 350Z from taking a good line at the top of the chicane which gave me space to stay in front on the following straights.  Ironically that Miata was the on the same team of the car which ultimately came in second place behind my car.  Them blocking the 350Z in that turn likely helped us win over their teammate's car.  Well, that and the 350Z got a black flag right at the end of the race.

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Not sure if you have the time/availability to do this but we were really glad we did the Friday practice day.   We learned the track and learned how to be on it with 25 cars instead of 85 on raceday.

2021 Gingerman-I:  IOE (Strickland Propane)
2021 Gingerman-II:  20 seconds of footage on the wrap-up!
95 Chevy S-10

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

OP's previous topic indicates some track experience, though a bit more detail above likely would have focused responses.

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Thank you everyone! So very helpful to get everyone’s insight and experience. I am pleased to hear that point bys are at least sometimes used. I’ll always try and do that then, that’s what I typically have done in the past at some HPDEs.

Another good tip I’ve learned over the years is that even if you have a higher horsepower car, you might not be as fast as some lower hp cars. They might be braking later and be faster in and out of the turns. What Ive always done is allow those faster lap time vehicles by in a shorter straightaway. This way I am not drag racing them, I am losing as little lap time as possible, keeping my line, and (as someone pointed out above) making friends on the track.

I found a car owner and will be joining his team. Exciting times. Hoping to get his car from class C to B on my first time out with you all at Sonoma in a couple of weeks!


I’ll say one more thing too, I am amazing by the number of responses and the level of insight and respect provided. I’m excited at the fact that this seems to be quite an amazing community of people. Much more inclusive and mature than some of the HPDE’s I’ve attended. It makes sense though, there’s much more skin in the game and time spent to build and prep these cars than some punk kid that had his sports car handed to him by his mommy.

Much respect,
Kyle

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

You'll love it! I too came from years of HPDE's/time attacks, and am still doing them, but it's a breath of fresh air coming from the HPDE/time attack community with big egos trying to win the track day. I still love doing them, but the Lemon's community is amazing. I feel like your competitors want you to finish as much as they do. Don't worry about winning... Focus on having fun, helping others, and finishing, and you'll have a blast!

Full Ass Racing
#455 Piñata Miata

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Sears Point can get pretty congested but there are a few points of note to watch out for.

https://thesingleseater.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/c7b9e-sonoma2bmap.jpg

Turn 4 gets crowded and it's often hard to see if someone had dive bombed you to the inside.  Leave room.  Corner is also slippery first thing in the morning.

Turn 7 and 9 on this map (9a in others) are very dive bomby.  Going into 9 is one of the fastest, if not fastest part of the track with 9 being a slow corner.  11 isn't as dive bomb-y but just gets congested.  In general, Sears Point requires people to work together a bit more than a lot of other tracks.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

Not sure if you have the time/availability to do this but we were really glad we did the Friday practice day.   We learned the track and learned how to be on it with 25 cars instead of 85 on raceday.

Out here on the Best Coast, 85 cars is a track day....

40+x Loser.....You'd think I would learn......
5x I.O.E  Winner   1 Heroic Fix Winner   1 Org Choice Winner
2x  I Got Screwed Winner    2x Class C Winner
(Still a Class B driver in a Class A car)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

KBaldasano wrote:

Hey there all. I’m trying to familiarize myself with the etiquette and rules while on the track. Are there blue flags? Are you supposed to let faster cars pass by staying on your line and having them go off line?

Can anyone point me to a good thread regarding on track etiquette and what the flaggers and veteran lemon racers are looking for?

This is about how it works:  If you drive a slower car, expect every car passing you to get their front bumper past yours, then dive towards you like you are no longer there.  If you drive a faster car, get your front bumper just ahead of the front bumper of the car you are passing, then cut over like they are no longer there.

2020 I.O.E. CT #36 The Rootes Of All Evil,1958 Sunbeam Rapier Convertible (YES 1958!!) & 2019 Judges Choice NJMP
2016 Thompson Speedway #36 Sabrina Duncan's Revenge, IOE Trophy, 5th Place 'C' Class 1977 Ford Pinto
2009 Stafford Motor Speedway #16 Team Teflon, 11th Place (overall) 1997 Saturn SL2

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

-SDR- wrote:
KBaldasano wrote:

[snip]

This is about how it works:  If you drive a slower car, expect every car passing you to get their front bumper past yours, then dive towards you like you are no longer there.  If you drive a faster car, get your front bumper just ahead of the front bumper of the car you are passing, then cut over like they are no longer there.

I'm confused now: I thought those rules were acceptable for the greater Boston area, and only for that area ;-)

Re: Passing and general on-track etiquette

Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:
-SDR- wrote:
KBaldasano wrote:

[snip]

This is about how it works:  If you drive a slower car, expect every car passing you to get their front bumper past yours, then dive towards you like you are no longer there.  If you drive a faster car, get your front bumper just ahead of the front bumper of the car you are passing, then cut over like they are no longer there.

I'm confused now: I thought those rules were acceptable for the greater Boston area, and only for that area ;-)

SDR races in the North East so, the Boston rules apply 8-)

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
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!), Saturn SL1  Dazzleshipm Class C winner
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - IOE,”Organizer's Choice" and "I got Screwed" award winner