TOPEKA, Kan. (April 26, 2005) – Generally, the reference “ice in the veins” is reserved for those special few who thrive under pressure. -30-
But as temperatures plummeted into the 30s and inches of snow whipped around, driven by 35 mph winds, each and every person who attended the SCCA Central Division Club Racing National event at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Mich., over the weekend probably thought they saw some freezing water in their own bloodlines.
The extreme weather conditions forced event officials to shorten the weekend’s scheduled races to a 30-minute segment, which was then cut to 15 minutes. Races were then run under full course caution behind the pace car for the duration, allowing the event to become official and giving those brave souls who ventured on to the 1.88-mile course a start, finish and any associated points.
“Considering the conditions, the Stewards of the Meet did an admirable job in finding a solution that benefited everyone involved,” Director of Club Racing Terry Ozment said. “They should be commended for making the best of an extremely tough situation by serving a lot of individual interests while maintaining a degree of safety.”
Bob Burns, the event’s Chief Steward, said the outcome was determined after a couple of alternatives were considered.
“The genesis of the final resolution rests with Mark Hardymon and John Fergus, S2000 drivers, who approached me with the idea of running half the distance behind the pace car,” Burns said. “The race chairman, the track manager, the executive steward and I were trying to figure out how to postpone the event to another date when Mark and John came up to the tower. The trick was figuring out how to use the GCR to accomplish their idea.”
Event officials used four different rules from the 2005 SCCA Club Racing General Competition Rules (rules 6.9.1, 8.4.1, 8.5.2 and 16.1.1) to execute their plan.
SCCA Club Racer Dayle Frame, of DeWitt, Mich., attended the event and echoed the sentiments of several other Club Racers who said the situation could not have been handled better.
“This was the best possible solution to an ugly situation and I commend Bob for his service,” Frame said. “All of the workers deserve a huge round of applause as the conditions were brutal.”
Full definition of GCR rules used:
6.9.1 – Powers of the SOM
F – Alter the schedule.
8.4 - Finishers
8.4.1 – In order to be considered a finisher, a car shall complete half the distance covered by the overall winner of the race. If the race length is an uneven number of laps, divide the overall winner’s laps by two and round down to the nearest whole integer. A car has five (5) minutes after the checkered flag is displayed to complete his or her lap.
8.5 – Shortened races
8.5.2 – A race that is stopped at fifty (50) percent or more of its scheduled time or distance, and not restarted, shall be scored as a complete race as of the end of the last completely scored lap (even if that lap is less than fifty (50) percent of the scheduled distance).
16.1 - Duration of Races
16.1.1 - To be counted for National points, a race shall be scheduled for a number of laps equaling at least forty-five (45) miles. The SOM may reschedule all or any of the races to thirty (30) minutes if conditions so require.
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