My experience today...
[Backstory - read if you want]
In June I was in an accident where my ankle was cut severing 2 tendons, they had to be re-attached with surgery leaving me with crutches and a cast for 2 months. My recovery has been slow but steady, today was the first day I've worn shoes since the accident since my foot has been swollen (and still is to a lesser extent)
I've spent 2 days this week by my mechanic until late into the night (get some pressure from the wife for this) trying to get my car ready for this event, last night we finally seemed to get the wiring issues sorted out, so I was looking forward to a triumphant return to motorsport...
[end of Backstory]
On to today:
I got to do 2 practice runs, both in the 58sec mark, i then lined up for my 3rd run. I sat in my car for about 10 minutes (I know it was 10 minutes since i listened to the whole of "Freebird") then I got to the front of the line... the marshal signalled to us the practice runs were finished... now it would have been nice if they just walked up the line of cars and told us that we would not get to run... I looked across to the other driver on the line, he looked puzzled and annoyed.
"Oh well I'll better my time in qualifying" I thought to myself...
Briefing for qualifying delivered by Rawle (ah think)
-3 qualifying runs
-best run will class you
-Competitors have the option to bump themselves up one class after their first run
-For the shootout if you are called and do not show up you get a DQ
-Competitors are allowed to break the class time by 1 second but no more
1st run - DNF I went around the roundabout the wrong way
2nd run - Sit on the starting line waiting for about 15 minutes for them to clean up parts of some guy gearbox... no biggee... Then I'm off, track seems slippery, I hit some gravel and go into a skid... it takes everything I have to keep the car from spinning, skid-countersteer, skid-counterster, skid-countersteer, skid-countersteer... must have been entertaining to watch... but not fast by any measure.... 63 secs
3rd run - Amir and I end up lining up side by side "Doh beat mih" he yells accross to me "I'll try" I yell back. Amir gets the jump on me at the start, he leaves me on the straight, but I notice he's slow around the roundabout and I figure out a better line. I look at my timeslip, I ACTUALLY WON!
My car (84) put down a 55.904
Amir (600) put down a 56.462
Since it was mentioned that there is a 1 second leeway I assume that based on my best time of the day 55.904 that I will be put into the 56-58 sec class, exactly where I want to be... SWEET!
The shootout starts, my car is the very FIRST CAR CALLED, I don't want a DQ so I jump in my car and rush to the start.
I'm up against a oldschool swift, I make easy work of him, I get the slip:
Car 84 (me) - 56.642
Car 240 - 60.687 WINNER
I ask the guy who handed me the slip what is going on, I knew that run was clean, he says I won but the have some issue with the timing equipment...
Then I notice a big nasty word on my slip "BREAKOUT"
i go to the tent to inquire as to what is going on....
"What is this about?" I ask
"You more than a second under class time, this class is 58-60 secs" they reply
"How allyuh could put me in that class, I just run a 55.9????" I ask
"Yuh have dat slip?" they ask
I run to my car to get m slip... "here" I give them the slip... I look at their records and notice that the don't seem to have that time anywhere
"But you running 58s whole day" They reply
"But that was in PRACTICE" I point out
"we use an average... we can't make an exception for you" they reply
"We don't have time for this" another marshal adds
I visualise a soldier yelling "UDFR"
I stand there looking pissed off and ask again and again but the replies are much the same... my day of racing is over
My issues are this:
1. In which type of racing are you classed based on your AVERAGE TIME???
2. What is the point of qualifying if you are factoring in my PRACTICE times?
Seriously, I can't take this kinda stupidness, I would not have minded if I was put in a higher class and get a proper cutarse, or I do crap and DNF but to lose like this was retarded.
I was told that I should have come to the tent after my first run and requested a bump in to to 56-58 bracket... my first run was a DNF... how I supposed to guess where to put my car?
Is it my job to class my car or the officials?
We don't need qualifying then, is better we just come and tell allyuh what class we want to be in.
You guys put me in the 58-60 bracket, then you put Amir, (who I beat) in the 54-56 bracket... where allyuh learn to do maths?
To make matters worse the classes are called as "GT-3, GT-4" etc.... now that might sound cool like different editions of Gran Tourismo and all but both the competitors and the spectators have no idea what those numbers mean in terms of time bracket, the mic was used repeatedly by some freshwater yankee to harass Jameer Ali but no effort was made to actually educate us on what the classes meant...
If allyuh had too many cars and didn't need my $150 allyuh coulda just say so... I woulda just chill out home and mark some exam papers...
End of rant...