Riders During Competition
Riders During Competition
What, say you?
Our Region, the Arctic Alaska Region, has chosen not to allow buddies 'n riders during our competition runs (those timed during the competition day). That said, we do have designated members who ride along with those new to the sport to get them more comfortable with the sport and around the course.
It has proven out that there often is a show-off factor when riders were allowed. There is a weight difference that oft provides a different ride of the car and faster times are delivered on those runs too!
So, there is a new group of enthusiasts who attend other local clubs' events who do allow riders, after all "who is going to take videos" and "it's fun" and "it get folks involved" and they see no reason why our Region, who sanctions autocross competitions, should not allow the same free-range-style events. Yet, we do...
We almost always allow for dollar-runs at the end an event which gives those interested a chance to take their girlfriend, wife, parents, buddies for a ride post competition. We only allow drivers who competed during the day to drive in the dollar-runs and in vehicles that were teched; this often leads to drivers exchanging vehicles during these runs too. We often take times so they can compare their speeds; not all take passengers yet just want more time on the course!
What does your Region do? What is your take? Looking for feedback here...
The Gulf Coast and Wiregras Regions allowed riders at any time as well.
I like the idea especially for drivers just getting into Solo Events and may be looking for some tips or a better line. It' at times hard to see the entire course from the sidelines, so having the ability to have a rider can prove to be benificial.
Obviously, all proper forms, paperwork, etc. need to be completed but I'm all for it. I used to love having riders come along on a few passes!
Salina Region allows any riders any time (compliant with rulebook, of course: signed waiver, age 12 or height at least 57" etc.). Might be someone wanting to know what it feels like, might be someon wanting to help a novice. We've found an experienced driver riding with a novice is really not getrting any pre-run advantage if he hasn't done his own runs yet -- his novice isn't showing him much and he's concentrating on the novice and not on how to do his own runs faster. If some noob is having course-following issues and is stacking up DNFs, we'll usually offer to put soimeone in his car with him or a ride with an experienced person. Noteworthy too is SCCA requires a weekend membersahip if the rider is a non-member, but does NOT charge the region the $5 cost for his weekend membership -- they want that noob to go out there and get hooked! ☺ For myself, I'll take a rider any time except my last run.
BRR ( blue ridge region) generally allows riders so long as they are at least 13-14 ( i can never remember which), have signed all waivers, ect. we really haven't had much of a limitation on ride alongs since here there doesnt seem to be much of an advantage, rather there is a disadvantage in our experience. ( We've had up to 4 riders in one car. Yes, they all had seatbelts on. ) Only thing we ask is that they keep all body parts inside the confines of the car ( nothing hanging out of the window), and they aren't allowed to opperate any devices while they're riding. all recording devices have to be mounted firmly, nothing hand held. Oddly, considering the "rider effect" that your region is seeing, It's a little surprising that people haven't added permenant ballast to their cars to gain the extra weight strategically located where it does the most good.
In Oklahoma Region we follow the National Rules in regards to riders, eg. signed waiver, wrist band/national hard-card, 12+ years old, etc. this setup has proven to be reasonable for us for over 20+ years and we've had very, very few incidents. Now admittedly our temps down here during competition season tend to be much higher than what you guys in AK have and therefore tires get up to temp and stay at temp for the whole day and can make a difference in hiding the "show-off factor" you speak of. We also have a comprehensive driver's briefing prior to the start of each event where we discuss riders and the responsibility for screw-ups. However, the nature of the regional Solo program allows regions to have great flexibility in how the rules are applied as long as they're in line with national standards in regards to riders (broadly applied, no riders under 12, and if riders are not allowed it is broad spectrum applied with the exception of region/division certified instructors).
We have noticed that riders, about 40% of the time, tend to become paying participants/members (although at a lower ratio). Although, if your region's experience with riders leads to a higher rate of incidents than keep doing what you're currently doing to keep all of our insurance and sanctioning rates down.