Get ready for possibly the longest post ever. But something to think about.
I get PM'd and emailed on this a lot, so here we are.
"Consistency or Error factor", Explained:
The simple fact is that people think the only reason "some other guy" won is that he had a faster motor. If only I had that motor, I'd have seriously kicked BUTT. Blah...blah...blah... Or worse yet that the faster guys are Cheating!!! You tend to hear more of the “he’s a cheater” thing on the club level, as some people have trouble accepting that certain other people they know may be faster.
This same thing has happened to me, and likely a few of you as well. On a club level, I’m no slouch, and do my fair share of winning. On the sly others in the club were convinced I had to be cheating to go as fast as I was. We had a motor rule, and that should have evened things out. But it didn’t. So a few of them started cheating, running faster motors than were allowed, and still they weren’t going any faster or winning. At that point, now that they were cheating, and STILL not winning, they were CONVINCED that I had to be cheating. “We’re cheating and we still can’t keep up”... That’s when I broke out the “Stormer Consistency Factor” formula’s and that ended that. They were driving good, but not at the level they needed to be. And no amount of your ego ever wants to admit to those kinds of things. But you can’t deny the cold hard facts of lap times and consistency.
I started using this formula in 2003 after I realized Brian Kinwald STOMPED my “mod” time with his “stock” car at an event we were at. The only reason I was chapped at the time was that I was thinking, "YOU KNOW, IF I HAD HIS MOTOR, I'd BE KILLING EVERYBODY", then mod came and I didn't go much faster with the mod, and still was not as fast as Brian’s stock time... fact is, I had a bad weekend, BUT, it led me to the following.
Racing is a puzzle. In order to win you need to complete your puzzle better than the rest, you need to correctly assemble the following parts, and they all need to work together, perfectly, for a top result. You need Driver, car setup, tires, motor, battery, etc. All working in perfect harmony. And it's not an even split. Luckily for all of us, Driving is likely 90% of it.
This works almost all of the time, and I’ve come to call it “The Consistency Factor” or "Error". It’s pretty simple. Look at the heat or printout of the race you want to review. Take the average of your top 20 laps, and subtract your single fastest lap from it (which is your cars absolute maximum potential
with you driving it). You get what I call the “consistency factor”. Or “error factor”. It doesn't have to be the top 20, it could even be the average of the total laps divided by the single fastest lap. The number is higher but relative to what you would be comparing.
I’ve been talking about it enough that locally when we race, people know their “consistency”. “...Hey Jerry, what was your consistency on that last race?...”. “... I think it was .252”... “...NICE!, I ended up with a .588...” and so it goes. Now that you’re confused, let’s look at some practical examples and explanations.
There are some minor things you can see that will effect it, but RARELY does it change things more than one or two places, especially on a club level. ALMOST ALWAYS, the most consistent guy wins. This means that not only is he fast, but he can hit nearly that same lap time, OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.
Best example of this formula being RIGHT ON THE MONEY was from one of the last Snowbirds in 1/12th stock. Firshing had the same fastest lap as the guy in 9th. Firshing was SOOOOOOoooo much more consistent.
1/12th stock A-main Snowbirds:
The cream rose to the top in almost perfect order. Shown top to bottom first through tenth. First column average lap times, second is fastest lap time, third is the error.
11.080, 10.7, .380, Firshing
11.090, 10.6, .490, Smyka
11.097, 10.6, .497, Ciccarello
11.100, 10.6, .500, Anderson
11.230, 10.7, .530, Cuffs
11.319, 10.6, .719, Langlois
11.420, 10.7, .720, Trandell
11.440, 10.6, .840, Lia
11.460, 10.7, .760, Ellis
11.510, 10.8, .710, Schreffler
What does that race tell us? Whining about a faster motor was not going to help, it's pretty obvious everybody was the same speed with the fastest laps all .1 apart except for 10th place, and that's reasonable. Who won? Firshing, Hands down more consistent with a .380. Firsching through Cuffs all ran 44's. and all had the same fastest lap times. It's just that Firsching was able to run .2 seconds per lap faster ALL THE TIME. I'd guess Schreffler missed the roll out, car was slower than the rest, but had the consistency necessary to put him up 3-4 spots. Plus when you're that far back, you tend to pull over and be courteous, 7th-10th were 2 laps back.
Here’s an example of a race in Regina Sk, Canada, 1/12th stock A-main, 2007. And the finishing order, 1 to 7
First column average lap times, second is fastest lap time, third is the error.
1) 10.898, 10.500, .398 Randy,
2) 11.070, 10.440, .635 Mitch,
3) 11.460, 11.017, .443 Bob,
4) 11.690, 10.881, .809 Warren,
5) 11.926, 10.988, .938 Mike A,
6) 11.952, 11.244, .708 Mike B,
7) 12.148, 11.237, .911 Tom,
So, what does that tell us about this particular main? Firstly Randy won, and was hands down the most consistent to top it all off. Not only was he fast, but he backed up, lap after lap. Top 5 were all in the 10's for fastest laps, except for Bob, but Bob got himself a 3rd and never dipped a 10 by laying down some VERY consistent laps. To the nay sayers, short of Bob’s run and Mike B’s run, the finish is almost top to bottom the best to worst in consistency. Who had the fastest lap? Mitch did. He was not as consistent as Randy. Warren and Mike both had faster laps than Bob. Bob beat them with a more consistent run. Mitch's .6 factor was likely due to traffic, and not his ability. These are AVERAGES compared against just one number. Fast for 40 laps, slow for 4 seconds to avoid slower traffic, your consistency number goes down. get marshaled, the number goes down.
Degelman Race, Minot Nd, 2007.
These are sorted by laps and race time, then single fastest lap, and then (error)
1/12th stock, 1st of aaa
Mitch 39/484.22, 11.9 (.515)
Randy 38/484.48, 12.3 (.449)
Zair, 37/487.74, 12.7 (.482)
Bill, 36/485.81, 12.8 (.690)
Tyler, 36/490.94, 12.6 (1.037)
skottrick, 36/492.72, 12.8 (.886)
1/12th stock, 2nd of aaa
Mitch, 39/489.38, 12.0 (.540)
Randy, 38/480.81, 12.1 (.552)
Zair, 36/480.31, 12.7 (.640)
Schmidt, 35/481.97, 12.9 (.870)
scottrik, 35/483.48, 13.0 (.810)
Mcandrew, 35/483.9, 13.1 (.725)
Bill n, 35/488.12, 12.90 (1.04)
LLoyde, 35/488.97, 13.1 (.870)
If Bill had the fastest lap time of 12.0 but drove it with his consistency in this race, he still would only have had a 37/490.4, 2 laps off the pace (fast motor, doesn't equal fast time). In order for Bill to beat or tie Mitch, his fastest lap time would have to have been 11.49 or lower. That also assumes that speeding up the car did not make it harder to drive or less consistent.
1/12th stock, 3rd of aaa
Randy, 38/484.66, 12.1 (.654)
Bill, 37/483.29, 12.7 (.360)
zair, 37/483.81, 12.5 (.561)
tyler, 36/480.87, 12.3 (1.050)
mcandrew, 36/484.83, 12.5 (.967)
LLoyde, 36/490.28, 13.2 (.410)
Stephen, 33/486.89, 12.6 (2.15)
Bill, excellent run here. Had Bill cut his consistency down to a .1 he'd have been all over Randy the whole race. Stephen had setup trouble, I've seen LLoyde run better, I'm betting he was struggling with setup, compounded by trying to be a host to the race.
Touring mod, 1st aaa,
Jari, 26/303.9, 11.5 (.188)
Bohlman, 26/304.4, 10.9 (.807)
Randon, 24/307.65, 12.3 (.518)
Bob stormer 24/310.67, 12.3 (5 cell)(.640)
Bohlman was faster, why didn't he win? Faster car (by a LONG ways, .6 per lap), faster motor, single fast lap, does not equal a win without a VERY consistent run (which Jari had).
Touring mod, 2nd aaa,
Bohlman, 27/309.19, 11.2 (.251)
jari, 26/304.39, 11.3 (.407)
Bob Stormer 25/313.68, 12.0 (5cell) (.540)
Shrode, 23/305.93, 12.0 (1.30)
Randon, 21/306.45, 12.4 (2.19)
Ah, fastest car won... why is that? Fastest car on the track, AND driven to it’s potential. That’s how races are won.
Touring mod, 3rd aaa,
bohlman 26/308.8, 11.3 (.576)
Randon, 24/311.68, 12.3 (.686)
Shrode, 24/319.94, 11.9 (1.43)
Kevin, 23/304.5, 12.4 (.839)
Stormer dump, 'DOH
Jari broke, 21/248.29, 11.5 (.323)
Had Jari not broke, I predict a 26/304.37 Based on laps and consistency. Interestingly, look at Jari's time in the 2nd round.
*side note, ALL of the mod drivers drove the least consistent on the occasion when their car turned it's fastest single lap... Jari, Bohlman, Bob, Randon, Shrode.
Mod finish . (just error numbers)
1) Bohlman, .251, .576, .807
2) Jari, .188, .323, .407
3) Randon, .518, .686, 2.19
4) Bob, .540, .640, DNF
Shrode, 1.30, 1.40, DNF
Bottom line, Jari broke in the tie-breaker, not as consistent when you can't finish, Bohlman won. Randon beat Bob when it counted, and "the Shrode" suffered with his car setup, it happens, it's racing. Also, there's something else interesting going on here. Bob’s stuff was all 5-cell, could Bob have been competitive enough if he ran 6-cell? Don't know. The Consistency says no, not with the mod car. Bob was the most consistent stock racer in touring, so it's not unreasonable. If I had to stab a guess I'd say with the stock car in mod with a mod motor yes. With the mod car no, it was to tight, and wouldn't rotate through a corner fast enough. It's a good club race car though, were traction is typically lower. Only need 2 laps, to a mid 26 lap run from stock. That's reasonable. Very interesting. My gut says 3-4 seconds back from 2nd place on 6-cells.
Touring stock, 1st aaa,
RVH, 24/313.61, 12.7, (.367)
Bob Stormer, 23/300.64, 12.9 (.171)
Bill n, 23/310.18, 13.0 (.486)
Randon, 23/312.91, 13.2 (.404)
Shrode, 22/303.36, 13.2 (.589)
tyler, 22/306.42, 13.3 (.628)
zair jr, 22/311.89, 13.1 (1.07)
So, how did Bob manage to put 10 seconds on Bill with nearly identical fast lap time? Must be a better stock motor... If it was equal driving, Bill would have only been 2.3 seconds behind. (that's a little sarcasm for our friend Bill.) Sorry to pick on ya old buddy.
Touring stock, 2nd aaa,
Bob Stormer, 24/310.52, 12.7 (.238)
RVH, 24/312.23, 12.5 (.509)
tyler, 23/301.85, 13.0 (.123)
Randon, 23/302.41, 12.9 (.248)
Zair, 23/303.67, 12.8 (.403)
Shrode, 23/307.23, 13.1 (.257)
Zair jr. 22/302.95, 13.0 (.770)
Bill, n, 22/307.14, 13.2 (.760)
In the above race Tyler got it together, BIG TIME. Did Tyler have the fastest car, nope. But he drove it to it's potential. Fastest lap was a 13.0 and the accuracy number was .123 that means The average of all his laps, in that race, were only .123 slower than his best. That's a helluva run. All 23 laps were likely 13.1 and 13.2, nothing else. The finish shows him down a lap, but if you look at the times, he drove a car that was up to .5 per lap slower, to within say 3-4 seconds of the lead. THAT wins races. In that group when Tyler drove his car to a .6-.7 consistency factor he ended up 6th. When HE DROVE THE SAME CAR BETTER (.123 factor), he ended up 3rd.
MOTORS DON'T WIN RACES, FAST RACERS WIN RACES, AND TURN FAST LAPS.
Touring stock, 3rd aaa,
Zair, 23/302.73, 12.8 (.362)
Bob S, 23/303.07, 12.8 (.376)
Tyler, 23/308.48, 12.8 (.612)
randon, 23/309.54, 12.9 (.558)
rvh, 22/286.42, 12.7 (.319)
bill n, 22/301.5, 13.0 (.704)
zair jr, 22/303.97, 13.0 (.816)
Had Tyler shown the same consistency in this last main as he did in the second one, I believe he'd have won this main. His car got better and better as the mains went on, 13.3, 13.0, 12.8, for fast laps, Excellent job Tyler.
Observations, I think Touring stock shows more consistency because the cars are easier to drive at that speed.
And because this was about being "out motored" in stock and brushless would even things up, I might note that Bill didn't get out motor'd he was out driven. Sorry man. Just look at the numbers. Had you had the consistency the leaders had, you WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE LEADERS.
I will also add that somebody that is approaching 1 second between their fastest lap and the average laps is likely NOT milking the last few 1/10ths out of their cars potential. If you can't drive it absolutely consistently, you're likely not driving it absolutely as fast as it could be either. I'd say it's a safe bet that in that last main of touring stock that Zair sr, could have driven Jr's car to a 12.8. I'm not saying either one is better as a rule, I'm saying Sr. was better on that day. Based on the numbers, I bet he could have won that heat with either car.
In the third heat, had Bill been as consistent as Zair was, he'd have been 1 second behind Bob with the same 13.0 car. And when it's that close who's to say I wouldn't have folded like a $2 lawn chair, which would have put Bill in 2nd, instead of 6th.
A car with a potential only .2 seconds slower is only 4.6 seconds off over the course of the race. 4.6 seconds is still in it to win it.
In all the above scenarios, Bill was not beaten by a faster motor.. The simple fact is that Bill did not drive your car to it's potential. Not a very popular statement for people to hear. It happens.
I started this formula in 2003 to prove to myself that I don't always win because other people are cheating. It's possible that I really stink up the track now and then. I've been a little more humble ever since. People that are more consistent turn faster laps as a matter of course, isn't always the motor doing it. There are no equal drivers, that's a myth.
It's fair to say that the best drivers won in almost all instances. Fastest car, driving it the cleanest, is a DEADLY combo to have.
Here’s some stuff from Cleveland 2007. I won’t put comments on it until the end, but you can see how the “Consistency Factor” helps explain a few things. You can look at the results now, and almost see what happened. I Will say that this is the first race ever, EVER, (and after about 25 years) where I didn’t monkey with the stock motor and pull my hair out. I just kept working on the car, and my lap times got lower each round. Car was still to tight when the final qualifiers were done, but I was tickled pink to qualify 11th in Masters. My consistency number ended up .357 which is very good. The thing that kept me out of the main WAS NOT THE MOTOR. I had enough, and what everybody else had. What I lacked was a car that would rotate through the corners quick enough to get that last little bit out of the setup. That’s racing, and why it’s fun to look at stuff like this. Good job to Paul as well, I’d have folded like a $2 lawn chair with somebody all over me for that long. didn’t seem to phase him at all.
Cleveland 2007, Masters Stock 1/12th Amain
Eli Ezrow #1 45 8:03.426 10.341, error .401
Frank Calandra Jr #2 45 8:06.171 10.368, error .435
Skip Starkey #3 45 8:10.123 10.473, error .418
Kelly Bean #4 44 8:02.590 10.413, error .554
Jim Piersol #8 44 8:05.369 10.560, error .471
Chuck Lonergan #6 44 8:06.532 10.598, error .459
Phil Zimmerman Sr #10 43 8:02.322 10.752, error .464
Perry Caswell #7 43 8:03.187 10.802, error .434
David Lee #5 43 8:05.514 10.805, error .486
Mark Sweeney #9 41 8:11.346 10.862, error 1.1
Cleveland 2007, Masters Stock 1/12th Bmain
John Peck #3 44 8:02.745 10.484, error .487
David Morrow #2 44 8:08.397 10.777, error .322
Bob Stormer #1 44 8:08.676 10.742, error .357
Jody Haddow #4 43 8:04.272 10.833, error .429
Matt Levy #9 43 8:05.028 10.754, error .525
Craig Roberts #7 43 8:10.537 10.947, error .460
Ron Ferguson #6 40 8:06.177 10.886, error1.2
Clayton White #10 21 4:14.939 11.091, error
Fred Kellner #8 0 0.000
Lee Harpe #5 0 0.000
Cleveland 2007, Stock 1/12th Amain
Mark Smyka #3 46 8:11.022 10.050, error .624
Jeff Cuffs #6 45 8:03.617 10.278, error .469
Andrew Ellis #1 45 8:06.647 10.343, error .471
James Brink #10 45 8:07.468 10.408, error .424
JIm Hermann #4 45 8:08.042 10.358, error .487
Terry Rott #9 45 8:09.927 10.592, error .295
Michael Skeen #8 44 8:02.149 10.485, error .472
Sean Cochran #5 44 8:03.500 10.235, error .753
Wayne Gerber Jr #2 44 8:05.085 10.386, error .638
Brian Rice #7 10 1:54.633 10.412, error .
Cleveland 2007, Stock 1/12th Bmain
Rick Monahan #6 45 8:03.456 10.401, error .342
Andy Power #7 45 8:07.468 10.438, error .394
Randy Grosse #2 45 8:08.669 10.458, error .401
Jason Schreffler #4 45 8:10.532 10.585, error .315
Joe Trandell #10 44 8:04.957 10.635, error .386
Tom Firsching #9 44 8:06.781 10.624, error .439
Jeff Brown #3 44 8:08.269 10.676, error .421
Larry Fairtrace #1 44 8:09.376 10.434, error .688
Pete Dagnolo #5 44 8:10.633 10.446, error .676
Brian Wynn #8 41 8:07.661 10.480, error 1.41
Cleveland 2007, 1/12th stock mains Most accurate.
stock Terry Rott 45/8:09.927 10.592, error .295
stock Jason Schreffler 45/8:10.532 10.585, error .315
masters David Morrow 44/8:08.397 10.777, error .322
stock Rick Monahan 45/8:03.456 10.401, error .342
masters Bob Stormer 44/8:08.676 10.742, error .357
stock Joe Trandell 44/8:04.957 10.635, error .386
stock Andy Power 45/8:07.468 10.438, error .394
stock Randy Grosse 45/8:08.669 10.458, error .401
masters Eli Ezrow 45/8:03.426 10.341, error .401
masters Skip Starkey 45/8:10.123 10.473, error .418
Eli and Smyka had the whole package, it's not even up for debate. And I have other theories on overgearing and lap times following voltage curves and approximately what lap should be your fastest if your car is set up right. But will save that for another absurdly long thread.
1-12 MOD A Main
Chris Tosolini #5 52 8:09.539 9.138, error .276
Paul Lemieux #6 51 8:01.081 9.110, error .322
Josh Cyrul #4 51 8:01.165 9.108, error .326
Walter Henderson #8 50 8:00.706 9.120, error .494
Aaron Buran #10 50 8:02.275 9.255, error .390
Chris Mockerman #9 49 8:02.553 9.251, error .597
Jilles Groskamp #3 45 8:00.233 9.016, error .
Mike Blackstock #1 39 6:19.342 9.183, error .
Jeff Dayger #7 36 8:08.682 9.279, error .
Mike Dumas #2 17 2:42.174 9.259, error .
1-12 MOD B Main
Terry Rott #3 50 8:01.514 9.388, error .242
David Chester #1 50 8:03.703 9.136, error .538
Paul Ciccarello #2 50 8:04.058 9.328, error .353
Greg Anthony #7 49 8:00.493 9.349, error .456
Steve Radecky #6 49 8:04.627 9.243, error .647
Mitch Witteman #4 49 8:06.279 9.404, error .520
Jari Taskila #5 49 8:07.890 9.372, error .584
Vicky Carrubba #9 48 8:04.465 9.423, error .670
Mark Calandra #8 46 8:03.160 9.455, error .
Mike Murray #10 31 5:17.066 9.442, error .
One of the coolest things for me on these pages is Terry Rott. Rott ran a better consistency in mod than in stock.
And there were 5 guys with faster lap times, but Rott brought home the "B" win with excellent driving. Then, Tosso’ laying down a .276 consistency in the heat of the A-main to win. That’s pressure, and a killer run. In the Mod A-main, 4 guys were able to turn a faster lap than Tosso’ He just out drove everybody, super consistent.
Also, Rott ended up 6th in the stock 1/12th main, with THEE slowest car in the main, and by a fair distance he was slower over a 1/10th. He drove the wheels off it, fair and square. He was missing some minor piece of the puzzle with the car. But earned it.
I’ve also decided that in certain runs, where your rollout in stock is perhaps to hard, your consistency is probably going to drop a bit. Because the more you are overgeared the more the car is going to slow at the end of the run. Same with under gaering. When voltage is really driving the car, the speed will tend to follow the voltage curve. Excellent first few laps, and then taper off pretty hard as the peak and the “edge” comes off the pack.
To guess, I’d say Smyka’s car was probably a shade overgeared, hence the killer lap time. And you can’t dominate a run with average consistency. So my guess on the setup was that the car carried HUGE corner speed, rotated through the corners VERY quickly, he was overgeared, but drove it excellently.
Run some numbers of your own with the people you race against. Your either going to like or hate what you see. But it will be interesting.
If you read this far. Good for you. Now get on the track and stop hanging around internet forums griping that you don't have a good enough motor...
Good racing to all.