Ratings, Formulas, heat seeding and finals – how do we do that?

1/12th Circuit

Ratings, Formulas, heat seeding and finals – how do we do that?

 

 LMP12 Nationals have a system that sets out to put drivers of similar capability in the same qualifying heats and drivers from the same formula into finals.  From this system we reflect drivers improving or (in my case!) declining performance against the rest of the entries, and find the Championship winners.

Although ratings and Formulas are interlinked, how they are used during a season is very different.

A driver’s rating (called a handicap in the Rules) is an individual score that varies after each race meeting. It is designed to reflect how the driver has performed in qualifying when compared to other drivers. The method is designed to be independent of the other drivers and can be used to track the performance of the driver over time.

This rating is used to order drivers in qualifying, aiming to fill any heat with drivers of similar abilities and thus enable them to perform to their best. Of course, that does not always happen which is what makes racing enjoyable – someone’s off day is someone else’s chance to move up a final!

At the end of a season of LMP12 racing, every driver having competed in at least 3 events during the last two years will have a valid rating, reflecting their ability. The number of drivers who have a valid rating determines the split levels between Formulas. The split is as near to 30%/40%/30% for F1/F2/F3 as possible with a “round figure” split.

There are usually some drivers whose rating is within 1% (+/- 0.50%) of the split level, above or below. They have the option of choosing whether to race in the higher Formula, or the lower. Once the season starts, these formulas are fixed and stay unchanged for the season.  There will be an announcement from the Section to ask you to choose your Formula if you are eligible to do so, and you have until two weeks before the first National to tell us what you want to do.

Those drivers who have not raced in a national over the past 2 years, or have not raced in 3 meetings, will not have a full valid rating and therefore no Formula. They are normally put in the F3 group until such time as they have gained a valid formula. They then have the option of continuing in the F3 series or changing and racing in that formula championship until the end of the season. There are exceptions, but rarely.

So, formulas are fixed but ratings vary throughout the season. It is thus likely that drivers will be in a heat with drivers with a different formula.  It would not be unusual for someone at the top of the F3 Championship to be racing in a heat with drivers from the bottom of the F2 Championship, for example.

At every national, your rating, or handicap, determines which heat you will be in during qualifying with the aim of getting drivers of similar ability racing together. At the end of qualifying drivers are split into formula groups, ordered as usual by FTQ. So, your final race at each National will be only against others from your Formula.  Each Formula is a separate Championship with a trophy for the winner at the end of the season. Points are awarded 150 for the winner of the F1 A final, 100 for the F2 winner and 50 for the F3 winner. If a driver moves formula, they carry forward any points gained previously.

One thing I am always asked is, “I did well last national, I was in (x) final but my handicap has gone down”. Remember, your final position has no direct bearing on your handicap, it’s your qualifying result. Also, once you’ve done 4 meetings, you drop the oldest one. This may well have been a good score and thus your average drops. Conversely if you drop your worst score, your handicap will go up.

I hope that explains it all for you.  If you have any questions please post them to www.brca.org/contact and someone from the Committee will pick it up and answer it.  If you are reading this from our FB page then please post there.

Peter Winton                                                     Stewart Craig
Chairman                                                             Qualifying Officer

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