New SEDIV Time Trial Novice Hillclimb Program

The Southeast Division Time Trial Committee has been working on a new program which will allow holders of Novice licenses to run hillclimbs while receiving instruction and mentoring. The basis for this decision was founded on data from SEDIV Hillclimbs as well as Pennsylvania Hillclimb Series which have both proven, incidents that have occurred in the past were with experienced hillclimbers pushing hard to win their class or set a record. The Novice drivers tend to be more cautious. PHA has done a fine job of educating novice drivers and has experienced good results from that effort.

 

The SEDIV Time Trial Committee voted to approve this new program last month for use at select hillclimbs. We will consider a Novice driver to be someone who has not run that hillclimb site before. If you are an experienced hillclimber but have never run that site, we will ask you to attend a class covering the mountain, taking a drive up the mountain with other students and an instructor and be mentored by a past hillclimber for the weekend.

The following document has been prepared to outline this program. If a driver runs a hillclimb on a TT Novice License, after the event, he or she will still hold a Novice TT License. This program is not designed to take the place of 3 flat track Time Trials requirements or a Time Trial School to obtain a Full Time Trial License. We look forward to bringing new drivers in to the sport of hillclimbing and growing relationships in our Division through sharing experiences and mentoring. We plan to pioneer this program at the Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb in Robbinsville, NC on June 23-24. More details will be given in the Supplemental Regulations for that specific event.

SEDIV NOVICE HILL CLIMB PROGRAM

PURPOSE

To provide a safe and effective program for novices in the Southeast Division (SEDiv) Time Trials Hill Climbs.

DEFINITIONS

HILL CLIMB NOVICE: 

  1. A driver who holds a Time Trials or Road Race Novice permit.
  2. A licensed (TT, Competition, FIA, other licenses recognized by SCCA) driver who has not competed on the particular Hill before.

PROCEDURES

  1. TT novices are required to obtain a SCCA TT novice permit in advance of the event.
  2. A Novice Meeting will be held before the General Driver’s meeting on Saturday morning.  (see text below)
  3. Novices will be taken up the hill and shown the lines thru the turns, any particular tricky areas, any hazards, and given the chance to ask questions.  It might be best to hold this Hill Walk on Friday evening.
  4. First run up the Hill is a brisk touring run with drivers following a pace car.  This may be two groups depending on the number of Novices and the number of 2-driver cars.
  5. Stewards and Corner Workers will be giving the Novices a short leash as they observe their performance on the hill.  Put a large “X” on their cars to aid in recognition.
  6. Assign a veteran mentor to each Novice to assist them with the learning curve.

Novice Meeting:

  • Introduce Chief Steward and Safety Stewards
  • Discuss Flags and Procedures.  Did anyone actually read the Supps?
  • Chalk Talk using a diagram of the hill.  Make them aware that there is absolutely no margin for error.  Spin, late brake, or go off and you are more than likely to experience a tree, ditch, or rock up close and personal.  It takes the best drivers 2-3 years to really learn a hill.
  • Being ready when you come to the line (check belts, check tire pressures, torque wheel nuts, arm restraints, helmet fastened, etc.)
  • Starting procedures – This is a rolling start not a drag race start.  Start quick but under control.
  • Explain the finish procedures.  Slow down to a safe speed then to walking speed.  There are other cars queued up along the road side waiting to travel back down the hill.
  • First Run – Tires, pavement, and driver are cold, so make it a familiarization run at 70%.  Just find your way to the top.  Learn the course, learn the braking points, learn the drive lines.  Don’t cheat in on the apexes.  Stay on the road surface.
  • Second Run – Practice what you learned in the first run but at 80%. 
  • Third and beyond Runs – Remember that you are racing against yourself.  Improve your own times over the weekend.  Don’t worry about Class results.  Remember that a simple mistake can cost you car damage and your weekend.  The best racers may only be at 90% on a difficult hill.
  • At the top of the hill, talk to other drivers and learn what they know.  In the paddock, talk to the many veterans/mentors who are always willing to help you.

NOVICE INCIDENTS:

  • Two or more wheels off course

Result:  Mandatory discussion with the Chief Driving Instructor. SAT rating possible. Corner worker reports could adversely affect this rating.

  • Spin without contact

Result:  Mandatory discussion with the Chief Driving Instructor. A SAT rating with cautionary notation in the TT Novice Permit.  Corner worker feedback may result in an UNSAT rating

  • Off course crash as a novice

Result:  Mandatory discussion with the Chief Driving Instructor AND Chief Steward about cause and effect. For example; Overdriving, wrong line, too fast for skill level, car failure, etc.  The driver can offer mitigating circumstances, but generally, crashing as a novice is frowned upon. UNSAT entry in the Novice Permit,

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct.  (Uncontrolled temper, disrespect towards drivers, workers and/or officials, conduct deemed inappropriate by the Stewards/Instructors)

Result:  UNSAT entry in the Novice Permit with appropriate notation of the issue and possible disqualification for the weekend.  Final decision is with the Chief Steward.

SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS TOPICS (may be modified to suit the event)

NOVICE REGULATIONS: A novice is defined as any driver currently competing under a TT Novice Permit or SCCA Novice Competition License OR any driver that has not competed at that site.  ALL novices are required to meet the following expectations in order to obtain a SATisfactory rating:

  1. Novices must present themselves and their car at registration on Friday evening.
  2. Novices must attend the Novice Driver’s Meeting and Sunday Driver’s Meeting.
  3. All novice cars MUST display an X on both sides of the vehicle adjacent to the numbers.  The color of the stripes must be of a contrasting color from the body paint.
  4. Complete the weekend without “Incidents” as defined below.

Failure to meet these expectations may result in an UNSATisfactory rating or disqualification from the event.