No Fault Damage

January 22, 2012 by
Filed under: Content 

iracing con #2

Perhaps my biggest gripe with iRacing is the ‘No Fault’ Incident Points system.  I refer to it as ‘Lazy Math’.  Seventy-Five percent of racing incidents are either single car or two car events and fault would be fairly easy to establish. Obviously at times there are others collected in the original melee, but should they be penalized equally, iRacing thinks so?  There are also caution incidents, pretty simple to tag the guilty party there and not blame the guy who’s rear ended by the smoking gun running fifty mph faster than everyone else.  The water gets a bit murky with restarts incidents, but still very doable as typically there are primary, secondary and the remainder of the innocent victims for which to account.

The existing system does little to ensure clean racing while having many negative unintended consequences.  After sixteen years of racing online since Hawaii was birthed, I’ve found the majority of official series races on iRacing to have more cautions than the avg. league and about the same as any general pick-up race. Not statistics by which one is inspired.

My superspeedway time is very limited on iRacing, I avoid those tracks like the plague so I’m not entirely sure how/if points are assigned while bump drafting.  I suppose Dega’ wrecks might be an incident category by themselves come to think of it.

iRacing has decided,” Hey man, we’re not placing blame on anyone!”  “Collide with a car or the wall and you’re getting points regardless of who initiates the contact”. Get caught in someone else’s mess, too bad sucka’! What is this the 60’s hands-off love and peace mentality??:-)

For as long as checkered flags have existed, so has  the broad spectrum of racing smarts. There have always been the neanderthals and hot shoes that stink up the joint. This places an undue burden on every other driver and many race scared or tense because that little incident factor is bouncing around in the back of their brain. To boot, there is no real accountability. It’s socialism on the racetrack come to think of it, we all pay the price…lol! Guys log off after a race and you may not see them again for another week or longer.  Of the thousands that race I’ve only known one guy who’s dropped in license class due to this system.  Supposedly the safety rating is in place to weed out the gung-ho Snake Oiler breed.  I don’t see it working.

Let’s take a gander at a few real sim-world scenarios:

A driver on the starting grid at Michigan, we’ll call him Tommy Grubber, spins out before crossing the s/f line on the warm-up lap from the inside line. He collides headfirst with the wall and bounces off pounding your rear quarter panel causing 4 mins of repair to your rear hub and 4x contact points. The invisible flagman hasn’t even waved his non-existing green flag yet….beautiful, you’ve been Grubberized.

With ten to go at Charlotte running fourth, the green flies. With fresh tires the scent of the checkered flag is wafting in your nostrils as the three cars in front of you have twenty additional laps on their Goodyears, are bunched up racing and obviously slower than you.  Another driver, we’ll call him Chris Frost, pitted with you, the only other car in contention, a full 2 secs ahead of the next car behind him.  Frosty gets overly ambitious and dive bombs you low in turn one. You go high to let him by but the maroon washes up the track and slams into the side of your car, 4x contact +  2x into the wall.  After running ninety clean laps your previously dent free 3500 lb Impala launches 35 ft leap into the air and over the inside wall (More on iRacing physics later) and your day is done finishing nine laps down and in eighteenth place..ouch.  You wipe your tears on a cloth that is definiately not black and white!

Halfway thru a race at Kentucky Matt Kinston pushes it three wide into turn 1, spins your Silverado and dumps you into the oustside wall, again 4x and 2x …a popular combination I’ve found and stoically refer to as ‘ol 42.

At Martinsville I’m feeling frisky on the lead with fifteen to go.  As adrenalin courses through me’ veins I mash the accelerator with a little too much enthusiasm.  The truck, now lower on gas and lighter in the hind-quarters starts to break loose. I counter steer, modulate the throttle and with blind faith hope for the best.  Jesus didn’t take the wheel, he must have been preoccupied at that moment in time and <Bang> into the inside wall I go…2x.

In each of the above scenarios it would be very to fairly simple to assess blame. Not doing so is a major disservice to the community.

When I hear drivers say I’m just going to run around the back and wait for the accidents to occur and hope for a top ten, maybe a top five, it is disheartening. This is not what competitive racing is about. But they must not only account for the simpletons that infiltrate these races but compensate for the system that penalizes the totally innocent and clean drivers as well. Fairness is tossed out the window-net, sometimes even before the first green flies. This system has not made the races any cleaner than in any environment I’ve ever raced. In fact it frequently penalizes for reasons beyond your control.

It’s no simple task obtaining a 2000 iRating over several weeks or months, but much easier to drop 150 safety points in a single day due to the poor judgement and errors of others  This is what frustrates so many drivers and lowers moral, ergo attendance and ultimately causes one to waver on their subscription renewal.  If the intent is to promote clean driving, which I believe it is, this system fails miserably.   A new fault system needs to be developed, implemented and refined. It’s all math baby, physics and predictability within assigned parameters, in which the bulk of the decisions are easy to determine.  Justice must be served and while your at it iRacing, bring on the admins.

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4 Comments on No Fault Damage

  1. James on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 2:33 pm
  2. Hello, this nails it on the head, I find that working to drive clean around others that don’t care is harder than winning. So if I get hit for no good reason I now just send the guy into the wall. And why not, I have most likely already collected 4 or 6 INCs from what he did to me, what is a few more to pay him back.
    I was told that when I got my B and A Licence the drivers would get better, but no, they just get mad and yell, not any better.


  3. James Krostasia on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 3:07 pm
  4. I’m an avid iRacer and I don’t understand peoples obsession with safety rating. Its not hard to keep your SR up at a reasonable level, and as long as its high enough so that you don’t get your licence downgraded, then who cares!

    In a race, if someone hits you and it isn’t your fault, regardless of who is to blame you are going to loose places and potential iRating, so why does it matter if you loose 0.3 SR aswell?

    And lets face it, if your SR is low enough to get your licence downgraded, then its clearly not ‘Everybody elses’ fault.

  5. James on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 7:56 pm
  6. Krostasia, Maybe not so hard at level C, but as a driver with a A Lic I can get less than 2 INCs in the race. That means if 1 stupid drivers crashes and takes me with him I have been pushed to 4 INCs on the spot, the level of a C Lic, and my license is going down. If that happens very many times I will be a B or even a C license.
    Weeks like this one (12) where I don’t own the track or car for the A or B races I end up in the Truck (C) and there are a lot of below average drivers running trucks. Then the track for week 12 is not easy, so they create more crashes than normal.
    I just hope I can start next season with my A license in hand

  7. Jon Denton on Wed, 25th Jan 2012 4:38 am
  8. But surely if it gets near the end of the season and you’re in danger of dropping a licence level you can spend an hour knocking out a couple of TT’s and have it back up in no time. It’s not hard to avoid relegation in that respect. The real issue here is the annoyance of it. But short of having a real life admin watching every race, I cannot see a way around this.

    Oh, apart from if we lived in a world where everyone on track had the right level of respect for one another and their SR, and acknowledged that motor racing is a non-contact sport. What are the chances of that?


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