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Snorman

How do teams decide driving stint order?

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Snorman    247

This is a question for teams that are mostly comprised of regular team members, that aren't renting out seats on a regular basis. 

Do you tend to try and get your fastest drivers in the car at any particular time...early in the race? Later in the race when traffic is lighter? 

 

Have had the discussion and IMO, it's all random. Put your best driver, who you think can manage traffic and make good progress, and they could get caught under yellow for half of their stint, or have a racing incident with a car to car, or a mechanical. To me, it almost seems like a draw straws kind of thing. Others think we should put those who can manage traffic more easily in the car early, and save the later stints for those who are more conservative. I'm not sure in the end it makes any difference. 

 

Just curious what other teams are doing.

S. 

Edited by Snorman

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TBone    557

We don't have a system. We usually decide the night before based on whatever seems important that week. We'll often use a different order each day.

 

Does one driver tend to take longer to get in the car and get situated, or to get out? He goes first or last.

 

Did someone get shorted at the last race because the car broke? They go first.

 

Who had the longest drive home after the race? He doesn't go last.

 

Was there an unusually large amount of work done on the car by one or two drivers? They go first.

 

It's been a while since I took the checker/green. Let me go last/first.

 

Etc.

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enginerd    2,684

At our last race weekend, we were going out for dinner and beer on Friday night... I said "Here's the deal, if you want to drive first stint tomorrow, you have to be the designated driver tonight", Andrew called dibs immediately, so the rest of us got drunk and he got to drive first (it's best that your 8am driver not be hung-over)

In general, early stints are preferred, so for our team, if you drive 1 or 2 on Saturday, expect to be 3 or 4 on Sunday.

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wvumtnbkr    2,368

Depends on the number of cars, the track, etc...

 

It is usually easier to go out front early and stay there than it is to come from behind.  If we have our stuff together and get a good starting position, we will put in our fastest driver. 

 

Fuel mileage plays into it to.  If we are not sure how far the car will go on fuel, we will short stint the first driver in order to get a feel for the GPH used.  We usually do this with one of our less competitive drivers.

 

Fastest driver gets the longest stint possible....

 

It is a very dynamic situation.....

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red0    3,897
 

At our last race weekend, we were going out for dinner and beer on Friday night... I said "Here's the deal, if you want to drive first stint tomorrow, you have to be the designated driver tonight", Andrew called dibs immediately, so the rest of us got drunk and he got to drive first (it's best that your 8am driver not be hung-over)

In general, early stints are preferred, so for our team, if you drive 1 or 2 on Saturday, expect to be 3 or 4 on Sunday.

 

True story. 

I drove a bus around South Haven Michigan with 11 people drinking and partying it up in order to secure the lead off spot. 

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I think this is part of your racecraft with your team.  Figure out the length of the race, plan out your strategy and try to get your fastest guy in there the longest.  The good goal is to have everyone 1 to 2 seconds from each other on lap times so no matter the strategy, the car will be putting down consistent lap times.  Also you want someone who is very patient and is good in traffic to start out if there are a lot of cars. 

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red0    3,897
 

I think this is part of your racecraft with your team.  Figure out the length of the race, plan out your strategy and try to get your fastest guy in there the longest.  The good goal is to have everyone 1 to 2 seconds from each other on lap times so no matter the strategy, the car will be putting down consistent lap times.  Also you want someone who is very patient and is good in traffic to start out if there are a lot of cars. 

 

That is lame. 

 

I think @Mopar 4 Life has a rule to do with he who pukes first drives first or something. 

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That is lame. 

 

I think @Mopar 4 Life has a rule to do with he who pukes first drives first or something. 

 

We used to do it by who drank the most the night before.  I was always the one going first in the car at that point and wanted to share the wealth ;) 

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JBgotM    1,050

I have thoughts similar to those above, but one more aspect hasn't been mentioned.

 

I have had several races where there was rain the night before and the race will start on a wet track. The discussion many times goes towards starting with the guy who has the lowest chances of causing an incident/damage in the wet. Some guys like the wet, some hate it.

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takjak2    474

Our process seems to be much more scientific than a lot of the above. Especially for the longer races, and especially now with 2 cars, I agonize over the driver order weeks in advance. I think the start of the race is the most important. I want a fast, safe driver, who is going to be good at working through traffic out there until the field has started to spread out. I'm much more likely to put a novice in 3rd, so they can watch a pit stop and let the race develop before they get in. It also gives me a basis of laptimes to coach the later drivers towards. Part of it is based on who I want out of the car at certain times. For example: I know I'm comfortable turning laps at night, which means I won't be in for the two stints prior to that. Or if we expect to do a tire change, I'd rather have my father be the diver getting in during that stop. One, so I can have our more athletically inclined slinging jacks and two, so that he is going out on the fresh set rather than flat spots.

 

At the end of the race our final few stints are more flexible, once everyone has gotten a turn through the car and the race order has mostly been settled, we can see who's fresh and wants to get back in the car first, or who is going to make the run to the checked; whether it be limping on a hub or making a dash to the finish.

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mcoppola    1,114

     

At our last race weekend, we were going out for dinner and beer on Friday night... I said "Here's the deal, if you want to drive first stint tomorrow, you have to be the designated driver tonight", Andrew called dibs immediately, so the rest of us got drunk and he got to drive first (it's best that your 8am driver not be hung-over)

 

Awesome strategy! I wonder if that's how the pro's do it? :P

 

 

I think this is part of your racecraft with your team.  Figure out the length of the race, plan out your strategy and try to get your fastest guy in there the longest.  The good goal is to have everyone 1 to 2 seconds from each other on lap times so no matter the strategy, the car will be putting down consistent lap times.  Also you want someone who is very patient and is good in traffic to start out if there are a lot of cars. 

Good plan. We were lucky enough to befriend @nigelstu Ben Schaut, and convince him to drive our car.

Ben started both races we've run so far because of his patience, skill, experience, and ability in wet and crowded track conditions.

It would be nice to save him for the end, but he has gotten us off to great starts to our races, and brought the car back unscathed under tough conditions. We were then able to have our lesser experienced drivers run in less crowded conditions.

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curtwill    554

2 man team...we flip a coin just before the drivers meeting...and reverse the order for day 2 (and 3 if needed)

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JBgotM    1,050
 

 

Awesome strategy! I wonder if that's how the pro's do it? :P

 

 Several years ago, I was sharing a car at a SCCA National Tour auto-x event. I am decent; he is a multi-time national champ. We all went out to dinner and had a good time. I went back to the hotel and went to bed. He went to the strip club, and got only a couple hours sleep. He then proceeded to hand me my ass on the course first thing in the morning.

 

Some people have a gift.

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 Several years ago, I was sharing a car at a SCCA National Tour auto-x event. I am decent; he is a multi-time national champ. We all went out to dinner and had a good time. I went back to the hotel and went to bed. He went to the strip club, and got only a couple hours sleep. He then proceeded to hand me my ass on the course first thing in the morning.

 

Some people have a gift.

 

Who was it? I've been to Nationals two times.  It is always a great time!

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Mikiel    1,239

We also decide the night before, over beers, which may not be the best plan now that I think of it. We have a driver who hates going first, and another who hates going last. Sometimes we put the most analytical driver in right after a major repair so he can give us feedback about anything I may have assembled incorrectly. Sometimes the most cautious driver goes in when the track is wet. We have a driver who doesn't see as well as she'd like to in the dark, and we try to schedule her for daylight stints. We have a guy who gets hot and thirsty easily, so we try to put him in when it's not the hottest part of the day. Lots of variables.

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hotchkis23    359

When we first started out we had the same individual start most races.  He happens to be the eldest driver that has the most mechanical knowledge out of the rest of our drivers.  We figured that with him in the car if anything didn't feel right he would be the best to diagnose it.  He also tends to be the most patient of us so that seemed to be a plus in traffic.  The rest of us would just try and make it as even as possible with who drives 2,3, and 4, keeping track if anyone got shorted time and giving them the opportunity to make it up at the next race.

 

After a couple of years of driving, we now just decide if the two short guys or the two tall guys are going to start due to having to move the seat and adjust the belts.  That only take 10-15 seconds now, but starting out it took us closer to 30-45 seconds.  Our times have all gotten to be relatively consistent on the tracks we race so its more about who wants to drive the car when the brakes are fading and the tires aren't as grippy, personally I love that part.

 

If it is a 12+6hr format, one person usually volunteers not to drive on Sunday and gets extra time on Saturday.  That person is also the fuel man on Sunday most times since they aren't driving.

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FlorahDorah    172
 

We also decide the night before, over beers, which may not be the best plan now that I think of it. We have a driver who hates going first, and another who hates going last. Sometimes we put the most analytical driver in right after a major repair so he can give us feedback about anything I may have assembled incorrectly. Sometimes the most cautious driver goes in when the track is wet. We have a driver who doesn't see as well as she'd like to in the dark, and we try to schedule her for daylight stints. We have a guy who gets hot and thirsty easily, so we try to put him in when it's not the hottest part of the day. Lots of variables.

 

And we have this team captain who wants to make sure everyone gets to drive before he gets in so we have to insist that he drive every once in awhile. 

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skierman64    1,794

I'm the team captain/car owner.  I almost always go first for a few reasons, 1.  I'm fast in traffic and starting  2.  I know the car and can analyze any issues that might occur  3.  I will take care of the car and not over drive or hand off a crap car to the follow on drivers.  4.  I want to get my driving done and then get out and manage the race without being concerned about driving later in the race.  Exception to me going first is If there's night time or rain forecast, I will try to put myself in for those stints, because I am fast in those situations. 

 

Chris is my other consistent team member, we usually put him in last, because I can get him make up stints later in the weekend or at another race.  He's also a good finisher if we need to press to catch someone or just maintain position he adjusts his pace easily. 

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red0    3,897
 

I'm the team captain/car owner.  I almost always go first for a few reasons, 1.  I'm fast in traffic and starting  2.  I know the car and can analyze any issues that might occur  3.  I will take care of the car and not over drive or hand off a crap car to the follow on drivers.  4.  I want to get my driving done and then get out and manage the race without being concerned about driving later in the race.  Exception to me going first is If there's night time or rain forecast, I will try to put myself in for those stints, because I am fast in those situations. 

 

Chris is my other consistent team member, we usually put him in last, because I can get him make up stints later in the weekend or at another race.  He's also a good finisher if we need to press to catch someone or just maintain position he adjusts his pace easily. 

 

For whatever reason, it seems like I always race against you and nobody else on your team. 

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Ham Sammich    4,942

We decide based on who put in the most work before the race.  That guy starts.  If we feel the workload was evenly shared whoever started last (the last time) now starts.

 

When the car explodes at the 90 minute mark, the person driving is not only teased for the remainder of the weekend but is responsible for setting up the grill, throwing on the steaks and buying the beer.

 

usa-whitehouse-beer.jpg

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pintodave    3,116

On a more serious note, we've tried about every possible combination... They all have merit for various reasons mentioned but I am leaning towards "the fast guy who is good in traffic" as being the best strategy to start the race. 

 

Now that I am a sole proprietor of one of the "team" cars, I do have that feeling of obligation to let paid drivers go first in case something happens so they get their seat time which puts me in a pickle. I might go first this year @ Daytona, we'll see, if for nothing else to feel out the aero mod's and provide feedback to everyone else.

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Ron_e    3,187

If anything major has been done to the car then I am in first as I am usually the only one that can hear it or feel it and thus diagnose it.

 

All four driver/owners on the team are pretty equal for speed, traffic management, wet/dry track care.  After each race I download the team laps and whoever has the least amount of laps at the last race gets to pick the stint they want at the next race after I put out the schedule, second least amount of laps picks next, etc.  The person picking first usually takes the first stint as that has the highest probability of getting their full stint in.  Every stint is scheduled with the same length while minimizing pit stops.  During the race stints may be shuffled up or down a bit due to extended yellow or a break down.

 

Three drivers on the team have the seat in the same position, only the fourth driver has a different position so in a 7-8 hour race we may suggest that he goes first or last so we only move the seat once.

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Mopar 4 Life    1,663

To truly know what practices used to determine who drives when. We need results to go with it. 

 

This will truly determine what way is best. Thus increasing the overall competition level of the series.

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skierman64    1,794
 

To truly know what practices used to determine who drives when. We need results to go with it. 

 

This will truly determine what way is best. Thus increasing the overall competition level of the series.

 

It's in my signature. 

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