In an earlier blog - 2014 weight rules – an unbearable burden for drivers? I raised several issues relating to the weight rules which govern circuit racing at Dover Raceway for 2014-2016. Based on what was stated, I was spoken to and I have read several comments from highly placed individuals in JRDC’s hierarchy. I am always willing to accommodate a balanced and fair discourse so I went in search of the other side of the story.
I sat and spoke with Technical Regulations Committee member, Chressmore ‘Bolt’ White. Our conversation revealed invaluable insights, it clarified perceptions I knew existed and it silenced a few rumors which somehow became facts. When he spoke, I listened and in his usual abrupt and to the point manner, he divulged a lot of what we call the ‘politics’ of the sport and he also spoke to the forces resisting change. The TRC’s task is daunting and I must admit that when I was leaving Autosource (Bolt’s outfit) I had a deeper appreciation for what the TRC is trying to achieve.
I will share his response to 4 questions I asked.
Gleanerblogs – Why were new weight rules applied for 2014-2016
Chressmore – It was in response to a call made by a competitor in 2012 and we decided to look at it. We thought about it before but his was the loudest voice. When we looked at the weight for the various classes we realised that we had the lowest weights in the region. They were unattainable!
Gleanerblogs – What did you hope to achieve with the new weight rules.
Chressmore – The main reasons for the new weight rules were – 1) To bring us closer to the (weight) standard held by the regional and international bodies and 2) To level the playing field inorder to increase the level of competition seen on race-day.
Gleanerblogs – What role is played by JRDC members in the making of the rules.
Chressmore – We (TRC) came up with a draft and when we had the draft we called for a general meeting. We had 2 meetings with the club members to hear their concerns.
Gleanerblogs – Which classes will be affected by the new weight rules.
Chressmore – All classes will be affected – whether in a positive or negative way. But, to interject, nobody has to carry weight if they do not want to!
Chressmore’s final response above reiterated what was sent in a comment from my highly placed JRDC source – no racer for 2014 will have to add weight to race. Knowledgeable motorsports fans are fully aware that a handicap of one form or another is an essential ingredient of racing. It guarantees parity between competitors and ensures that fans will witness electric, fierce and explosive competition during the race. The TRC has essentially used among other things, weight to achieve this – this is not unique to our series.
So, based on the weight that your race car is at and the class you competed in 2013, you will have to decide where you are going to compete (class). In some instances competitors will not be required to add weight, but in others (based on the choice you make) a weight addition will be necessary. What is clear to me though is the fact that a comprehensive understanding of the rules will go a long way in ensuring that you are competitive. During our discourse Chressmore also confirmed that competitors contact him on a daily basis for assistance with the calculation of their ‘new weight’ – a task which he does willingly.
Carnival of Speed
Where are we today? Drivers and their teams are in the final stages of preparations for the Carnival of Speed scheduled for this weekend (Sunday-Monday) at Dover Raceway. I attended the drivers meeting last evening (Tuesday). Their were a few awkward/tense moments but that comes with the territory. There are a few issues to be resolved based on the questions which were raised during the meeting, but it is evident that despite their concerns, the drivers are onboard and ready to deliver the spectacle that fans expect.
Having read/learnt of the new regulations, competitors have already done their own re-engineering to guarantee that they will be able to grab the chequered flag. So, do not be surprised if your favourite driver is now competing in a different class. Doug Gore will not be present at the first 2 rounds of the 2014 season, but if the new rules achieve what the TRC is aiming for, when the sun sets on Easter Monday, fans will be breathless, speechless and in a drunken stupor, induced by the frantic, exhilarating wheel to wheel racing they witnessed.
Dover Raceway Easter Monday!
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer