Right then, now that i've had time to think and reflect, here are my thoughts and opinions presented to you for your reference, for you to do with whatever you please, ignore or not
The following are my opinions
, based upon past experience, and trying to offer up any advice that may be helpful. Please remember these are opinions
, and as such should not matter one way or another.
Firstly, congratulations to ERT for completing thier first event, thats a huge step to take, and well done for sticking with it till the end was reached.
Secondly, to the guy who said about drivers having thier names sorted before thier arrival in the server.. Take heed please.. For a good 10-20 minutes during the inital practice sessions on the server, three or more people asked about the name format. For the first few minutes, nothing was said in response, then ERT team members seemed to be discussing it amoung themselves, and slowly people started to change thier names. However, from my recolection, I dont remember anyone actually being told the correct format in which they should name themselves. I also cannot see anywhere in the discussion in the forums which specifies the correct format in which we should have named ourselves.
Thirdly, Speaking with your drivers, as I mentioned before, can be a right pain in the arse of any race director. Personally, my own style is to publish everything drivers need to know pre-race in a briefing, and then if questions which have been answered come up in the race session, the drivers are simply refered back to the documentation. - I understand it can get on nerves when people ask questions, when they talk during end-session... periods etc. There isnt really anything fair that can be done by race adminstration. - If you ignore drivers, then you are branded arrogant, if you constantly ask for quiet, then you are considered rude, if you do nothing and wait for silence, you are wasting time - its hard to win. You guys need to find your own balence there. If you are going to go as far as to punish drivers for excessive talking - use a strikes system.. Warn drivers up to say 3 times for talking, then start applying penalties. If you write this into your rules, you dont have to keep saying things in the server. Remember, for as much time you are giving up to organise these events, your drivers are choosing your event to attend, dont treat them badly, else, they may choose not to return. (It goes without saying that if drivers themselves are being offensive to administrators, or to other drivers for that matter, they should be delt with (kick before ban)).
Fourthly, make decisions before you enter the server. If there is more than one administrator, decide on what to name yourselves. Decide who has the overriding vote. Decide on the race length (advertise 20 minutes for example if you wish to, but make sure you are aware of how many laps that converts to). If drivers witness you discussing this on the server, they will jump in, breaking chat rules and disrupt your discussion, opening it to more and more ideas and opinions. At the stage where you and them are on the server, the discussion should be closed. You should have already had the discussion and decisions should be made.
Fifthly, if testing additional things or processes, be clear with yourself as to what you are doing. Then, when decided, communicate this directly and clearly to your drivers. - With reference to the safety car start you tried in the second test race, dbpFlip's suggestion to test out a safety car wasn't intended as a rolling start... he meant if you were using a safety car to control the field within the race...
. I cant honestly see the need for a safety car start with single seaters on a dry track (or a wet one for that matter), but thats your choice. As long as you are clear with your drivers.
Sixthly, be clear on your proceedures, what are you asking drivers to do at the end of a session - Else people will take the piss and start driving backwards around the track, as I seen one driver do, only just passed the start/finish line, and another driver saw another one later on. Communicate your intentions with drivers to. The biggest frustration is not knowing what is going on or why.
Seventhly, make sure you have your server config setup right... ask for help if you need it, there are pleanty of people out here willing to help. Confirm everything before you start a race or qualifcation session - For example tonight, your car's-on-track restrictions cost at least one driver the chance to qualify.
Im done I think - Not intended as a rant at all Guys. I dont think there are many actual problems, just needs tighting up a little, and that comes with experience.
I wont be able to make another test session within the next week, so best of luck with that.