Pre-Qualifying and Two Tiers. | ApexOnlineRacing.com

Pre-Qualifying and Two Tiers.


Stevie

Former Super Mod
Premium Member
Aug 26, 2014
14,077
8,619
So I'm making this because I've now had multiple people mention it, ask for it or tell me what I should be doing.

Priority Sign Ups
The league needs attendance. If people stop turning up, then the racing suffers, interest suffers, the broadcast suffers and eventually it will spiral because people get fed up of racing in what should be a 30 car grid let's say, yet barely 20 make the race. Ultimately the league stops if people stop turning up.

Because of this we have priority sign ups. This is because we only run one tier, and we should reward those who do turn up every week and commit to a full season. We had a lot of priority sign ups yet not everyone utilised them. Those who stick around, and are committed to the league are the only way big grids like this work. I've been around long enough now where I can say I've seen what happens if you don't do this kind of thing. A few seasons ago, because we maxed out the grid, but had like 10 reserves, on request/demand of some of the drivers, we upped the capacity to allow everyone a spot, so then we had no reserves. We had a full grid one, maybe two times that season. There were about 40 spots open and most races we barely hit 30 drivers in a session.

After the priority sign ups, the league is open to new drivers. Some have said it's unfair that new drivers have to wait or that there are limited spots. But I see it quite the opposite. If you are patient, and take the opportunities when they arise, you will eventually get yourself into a priority situation. I'm only going to name him because someone who did exactly that last season was @djawadkaroni. He spent a good third at least of the season as a reserve. Yet every week when a spot became available, he was there and he turned up and then when he got promoted to a main driver, he turned up every week. Season 7 comes along and he's bagged himself the first priority group.

On the other hand. There are some drivers who I think like being on the reserve list because they don't want to race every week. This will work right up until they get promoted. If you get offered a full spot and don't take it. Then you're removed from the league, it's quite simple.

New Sign Ups
New sign ups and new people to AOR are always welcomed. However with all due respect, far far too often do new members sign up to a league without considering that they're supposed to be there every week. There have been many in the past that sign up the day the thread is posted and then never come back on the forum. Or do one race and never come back. I've seen it before. I've had drivers completely new to AOR, turn up, have contact and then say the league is dirty and immediately leave, because they had one race? One race doesn't define a league.

Pre-Qualifying
This to me is the most unfair system. We welcome drivers of most abilities. It's why we have the classes because it allows people up and down the grid to fight for something more than 34th place. It is not focused entirely on the top 10. How do you address a pre-qualifying?

Do you completely scrap the priority grid and only the fastest 50 get in? That's going to completely screw over the Am class then. All the Ams who turn up and have raced with us for a long time get unceremoniously stuffed because they aren't fast enough?

Do you have people qualify for classes? Then what? Someone of Pro/Am speed has to wait because we have too many of those at the minute and gets by-passed for those of Pro speed? That to me is even more unfair.

Do you only have pre-qualifying for new people? Again, how on earth does the Am class grow if you basically put them at the back of the queue all the time?

Speed isn't everything
Being the fastest isn't important. Being fast is useless if you can only do it one lap and then you can't control the race over a long distance. Being fast doesn't matter if you only bother to turn up to the first two rounds.

Need I remind people that in Season 5, our eventual overall champion had such a large margin that he didn't bother to turn up for the last two rounds, and equally couldn't be bothered to tell me, so that was a space on the grid that went unfilled.

Judging people on speed to decide whether they should be on the grid is an unfair system as far as I'm concerned.

The system we have now is not ideal, but it's as fair as it gets. Rewarding those who commit to the league and the new ones joining, first come first serve. I posted on the forums I think the Saturday before the signs ups went out, I said what day and what time they would be going out. I mentioned it on the broadcast for the final round of the season. I can't tag new members about it because... they're new members? That's just how things go I'm afraid.

Just to make it perfectly clear, this is our reserve system:
If you're on the reserve list, there will still be opportunities to race if a main driver can't make a race. We do not accept drivers who wish to sign up as a reserve. If you're on the reserve list then when a space becomes available, you will be moved onto the main driver list.

If we have a similar amount of reserves as last season, each week a conversation is created where all drivers are invited. Each driver is assigned a number. When we're told a driver cannot race, then we roll on a random number generator, and whoever is picked gets offered the spot. You will have 12 hours to confirm your spot or you will lose it. This then gives everyone a fair shot at racing. This is assuming you have your skin sent and you are ready to race.

However, this is only in play until the day of the race. On Monday, if we get any drivers drop out, one of the coordinators post in the conversation and it's first come first serve.

If a main spot becomes available on the main list, the drivers get promoted in order of sign up

We have 30 reserves, i'm aware and yes that is a lot. But we're going into holiday season for starters, so I'm expecting a lot of absences. Secondly, and more importantly. We had a very similar amount of reserves at the start of last season and the amount of people who mentioned the idea of prequalifying back then was exactly 0. I'd also like to point out, that whilst we had that amount of reserves, come the end of the season, we still weren't hitting a full grid.

Two Tiers
This is another question that has been asked a lot. I'm not even considering splitting the sign ups into two tiers until we hit over at least 100 sign ups. My reasoning for this is like so:

Two tiers will kill the class system. There would be no classes so '34th place' might be something you have to fight for and from feedback alone, people really like the class system.

Broadcast. We simply do not have the means to stream two tiers, so one tier would be without broadcast. Whilst the broadcast shouldn't ever be the reason why you race, it's part of the appeal and I think just based off the feedback we've received as a team, people really seem to enjoy the GTE Broadcast as it is.

Attendance and grid size. Even if we hit 100 sign ups, the grid size would be reduced to maybe 40 car per tier. Otherwise we end up in the situation we had earlier, where we have a grid big enough to accommodate everyone in perhaps the first round if we're lucky. Other than that, there will always be absences and never a full grid. So then you have what I would say an unfair system of "you're too fast for tier 2, but that one is full so you know need to be a reserve"

The calendar matters a lot for attendance, which whilst is a shame to me, I understand. If we got a track like Canadian Tire Motorsport, or Indy again. Both of which provided entertaining races I might add from my POV, people just don't turn up. In Season 6, they get 37 and 36 car grids respectively. That's 13 and 14 down on max. Do that with a 40 car grid and you're at 26/27 cars. I guarantee you, just over half what we currently run at a full grid now.

There was an idea of not splitting the tiers in terms of speed, instead running a system where you basically have say a 'blue tier' and a 'red tier', drivers are not placed in terms of pace but in terms of sign ups. But the broadcast would alternate each week, however for me, this makes the commentators job considerably harder to do because there's no continuity, you suddenly have double the drivers to know and think about and half the time to know them. This also makes the grid less competitive, up and down the field.

Overall, I urge you to trust in the experience of the coordinators. Yes, it's not ideal and I know there are a lot of new drivers who are going to feel it's deeply unfair that they have to wait to drive. But remember this, there's a high chance you can race every single week but you've got to be sometimes lucky in the week building up but on race day itself, make sure yourself active on the forum. It's out there for all to see, watch the race thread with the 'watch' function so you get an alert when someone replies, if someone says they won't make it know that in the near future, someone is going to post in the reserve conversation that a spot is available. Be ready. It's as simple as that.

But all I say is this, I'm happy of the success of the league. Having 30 reserves and a full grid shouts one thing to me above all else. "We love this league, we want it to continue as it is." There are always things we're trying to improve, and we'll give them a go and if they don't work then we'll go back to what it was before. Class qualifying for example.

Scrapping priority and having a pre-qualifying system is a huge risk to me and not one I'm willing to take.

As for the new drivers, I'm considering running a hosted session in parallel to the league race, so those who don't make the grid can still race, however it would literally be just a hosted race, without points on offer, without classes and certainly without a broadcast but we'll see on that.
 

michO_e

Premium Member
Premium Member
Dec 5, 2018
57
34
in my honest opinion everything should stay like it is right now and so i feel like you guys are absolutely making the right decision here. this will keep the league somehow exclusive and thats what attracts people and also make people stay. if everyone can just sign up and race, the only thing you will get is people joining, do some races and leave or never show up without any notice again. that will still work until a certain point where people won't come and join to race anymore because the pool of interested drivers will get exhausted very quick and then the league just dies.

ofc new people will complain because of priority sign ups, but without them the league wouldn't be attractive like it is right now. and if people can't wait for some weeks until they are able to race regular they are probably wrong here anyways.
 
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Walter---79

Premium Member
Premium Member
Oct 28, 2017
361
331
I agree with everything you've said @Stevie. Don't change anything.
Giving priority to loyal drivers from previous seasons makes sense since it will maximize attendance levels in the upcoming seasons and will keep this league on a high/exclusive level.
The reserve system is very good, it also gives the newcomers with no experience in the GTE league a chance to see if this even would work out for them. If not and they leave then not much harm is done. (especially now with such a high reserve list)

Being a reserve driver myself I will try to take all opportunities given to me and try to reach 50% attendance and obtain a priority signup ticket for the next season. Unfortunately last season I just missed this because of my broken wheel mid season.
 
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Coombey97

Formula Karter
Mar 10, 2019
62
45
I don't see an issue with the priority sign ups at all. I joined halfway through last season in slot #11 or #12 and ended up being #3 by the end of the season. I also got the chance to do 4 out of the 5 races I was a reserve for so there are definitely chances for the reserves to still race.

At the end of the day, the people who turned up for more than 50% of last season are the ones who deserve the first chance to race again this season. The most important thing for the reserve drivers to remember is to take the opportunities to race when they are presented to them as especially with a 28+ car reserve list. Luckily I'm #1 on the reserve list so may not have to wait too long to be a full-time driver. Patience is the key guys!
 

Nagrom

Premium Member
Premium Member
Feb 26, 2018
512
446
Seems fine with me.
Just a question, is there anything done regarding drivers with a low attendance ?
Let's say a driver only attended 30% of the races. I think it should be fair that even new sign up should have the priority over him.
Is it already taken in account ? What do you think about it ?
 
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