Had a couple thoughts that I hope get discussed and head up the chain for next year. Feel free to comment or add your own ideas.
#1: Minimum pace. I believe there should be a minimum pace rule for ECC (and WCC for that matter). In a regional event, we always deal with pokeys and there are usually several in each race. No big deal, comes with the territory and, although frustrating, it’s expected. At champs, it’s a problem. The reason is the scale of the event. This is a big event for experienced racers competing against the best in the country. In that range, there will be leaders and end of pack runners. That group (based on extremely rough numbers) looked to be within 10% or so of each other. Then there were the outliers in each class that were 15-30% slower that really had an effect on the race. I had run-ins and i heard it all weekend from others. Their lack of experience or ability was obvious and affected many races for position. That is simply not fair to the competitors who are running pace.
My suggestion is that during each race session, there is a special flag displayed to a driver if he is not within XX% of the race pace as determined by ???. The driver should have a lap or two to pick up the pace and if he doesn’t then he gets the black flag. He may then return to the track for one attempt but if he falls out of range he gets the black again and is retired for the session. NASCAR does this as a safety measure and i think it’s warranted. Slow drivers would know signing up that they may not get to race the whole race and may think twice about signing up. Yes i get that numbers matter but so does race quality to the other 100 drivers. This could obviously be a race group-specific rule if needed.
#2: Competitor inspections: Under no circumstances should a fellow competitor be allowed to inspect another competitors car at any time for any reason without that competitor’s permission. It is the drivers job to drive, the officials’ job to inspect. Rumor has it that Larry Fraser struck again and inspected Maganioli (sic) during’ impound and turned him in for a body work violation. That may not sound like much but under that scenario, i could send 10 drivers to inspect his or any car and find all kinds of shit, not to mention the possibility of planted violations.
My suggestion is that if a competitor inspects another competitor after a race during impound and voices a complaint, that complaint, whatever it is, immediately becomes legal. In other words, if I, as a non-official, say “Scott, you have a turbocharger on there!” and tell an official, whether in passing or an official protest, that turbocharger becomes legal. If an official had found it, obviously it would be illegal.