Peterborough R2 Lap Counting Issues
The first problem we had was with the 3.5cc races. Colin Croxford requested a swap to the first group and told me it had been agreed for him to swap with Martin Hillstead. It hadn’t been swapped on the computer but nobody actually went to do this. Consequently, their respective transponders appeared on the screen but couldn’t be assigned to them because, as far as the computer was concerned, they were in the other 3.5cc heat. Any drivers score counted in this way also disappears from the screen and the records at the end of the race. The lap counters left the caravan to look for help but Keith Burgess was racing, Mick Szebeko and Ian Folkson were pitting and Andy Coburn was on the other side of the lake. To add to the problem, Martin Hillstead’s transponder was only counting intermittently and, because the computer had assigned him pit number 16 during the race, we had to count his missed laps on the Peterborough Manual Counter and then add this to the score on the screen before it disappeared.
Next the 7.5cc race. Heat One, Group One. Due to Robert Daniel’s and Andrew Aykroyd’s crash the transponder lines were broken. We paused the race as we have always done. As usual the screen does not retain the laps or timings when paused so we have no way of recording these. When we restarted the race, instead of starting from the paused point, the lap counters suddenly became aware that the program had restarted the race from the beginning so had no choice but to stop the race. Mick Szebeko and Keith Burgess both tried to retrieve the original information but this proved impossible so we had to re run the race after the second group. In the afternoon, the computer then ran the groups in the changed order which unfortunately we didn’t pick up until after the race started.
Then we have the 15cc race with Mark Wraight’s transponder not working consistently in both heats and Mike Holliday’s not working in the second heat. With 11 boats all coming round at the start of a race this is always difficult to manage but this was made far worse because the lap counters were hardly able to see the boats passing due to people walking in front of the caravan and standing at the corner of the pits. Perhaps we can assign a duty to all those people who want to pick up rubbish to stand by the corner of the caravan and stop people getting in our way.
It has been said in the past that we will not count boats whose transponder is not working but we have always felt that this can be a bit harsh at club/national level especially if people have new transponders and are not sure if they are going to work.
In addition to all this we were not able to print the results of the races, that was why we had to hand write the results to put in the window. This was because when we went to print the first set of results of the 3.5cc class the computer asked for permission to ‘change a programme’. We remembered that when we did this last year the computer subsequently stopped working during a race. We didn’t want to risk this again so decided it was best to hand write the results. Not easy when we had no break during the whole day.