I wanted to open a discussion regarding our foray into REWARDS weight - I've had a chance to sit down and apply my best Ross Brawn to the rules voted on at Infineon, and I believe we have some serious loopholes at this point. For the record, while I don't think that introducing REWARDS weight now is a good idea, I'd certainly support other forms of driver/car equalization, if the majority of the teams are for that general idea.
Just for the record, here's what I believe we agreed on:
1st place driver adds 100lbs plus the difference between their actual weight at the end of the round 3 Infineon race and their minimum weight on paper.
2nd place driver adds 75lbs plus the difference between their actual weight at the end of the round 3 Infineon race and their minimum weight on paper.
3rd place driver adds 50lbs plus the difference between their actual weight at the end of the round 3 Infineon race and their minimum weight on paper.
To apply the results of the Infineon race, I believe (just guessing here) that would put us something like:
1. Hartanto 2700 + 200 + 100 = 3000lbs minimum.
2. Chittum 2600 + 50 + 75 = 2725 minimum.
3. Rich Woo (Sorry, I don't know the weight of his ITR, or how much heavier it is than it should be by the rules)
So, here are a few things to think about regarding these changes -
1. It's the middle of the season - it'd be nice to actually run the REWARDS system for the entire season and give a chance for people to do well, get weighted up, get pushed down, then recover again. It seems a little arbitrary to suddenly start this now, rather than wait until next year as it will artificially bias the results toward those that have cars that are well suited to our next few tracks.
2. Teammates - Does a teammate have to add all the additional weight? On one hand, that would seem unfair for Tom to have to add the 200lbs additional weight that Andrie's car had. Conversely, It also means that any team that had extra weight could easily get out of it just by declaring a teammate...which also seems crazy - my team would have to declare a teammate to remain competitive.
3. The additional difference weight also comes into question when someone drives a different car as well. It is a car-specific thing, for example, I was about 50lbs over weight at Infineon - if I drove a different car at Fontana, do I need to keep the difference weight I had at Infineon? That would mean that if I rent a more optimal car for the rest of the season instead of driving my own, I could gain a 50lb advantage that way.
4. Further development - can a competitor with REWARDS weight work on their engine, change power, and re-declare their maximum power to change the ratio?
Anyhow, some items worthy of discussion, I think. As I mentioned, I think REWARDS would be a good idea to implement at the beginning of next
year. A few alternative things I'd suggest for car/driver equality for this
year would include:
Inverting some or all of the grid - Works for BTCC and SWC, lots of fun with faster people charging through the field. Would look great for some of the slower teams to show their sponsors with pictures of them at the front of the grid. Would also look great on FinalDrive TV!
Mentoring and data availability - We discussed this briefly, but certainly making the MaxQ available for the newer teams to see, or having the faster drivers available for coaching would be worth discussing too.
Other concessions for some cars - I'm not aware of the technical details and current hp/wt ratios of the MINIs or other cars further back, but if they're already close to their target hp/wt ratios, a discussion about further concessions to make them faster or more consistent might be worthwhile.
Anyhow, eager to hear everyone's thoughts.
BTM Motorwerks | SE30 | USTCC