Series announces starting rules revision

Starting rules changed for 2009 season The 2009 American Boat Racing Association season will have only a few rule changes but the new starting rules will be a major focus for the drivers, teams and fans. The starting rules have changed. ...

Starting rules changed for 2009 season

The 2009 American Boat Racing Association season will have only a few rule changes but the new starting rules will be a major focus for the drivers, teams and fans.

The starting rules have changed. Now qualifying and elimination heats will have a major impact on how the boats start in the new assigned lanes platform.

"There has been much discussion on how this sport should conduct its start," said ABRA Race Chairman Sam Cole. "The flying, timed start has always been a major part of our sport and we knew we needed to keep that intact. But the changes in technology and how the boats perform at lower speeds has made all of us look at the milling portion of our start procedure."

Now, teams will have assigned lanes, selected through qualifying and elimination heat finishes.

"The new starting rules will put a premium on qualifying and elimination heats," said Cole. "This will be a bonus for the fans.

"And over the past few years, we've had way too many instances where referees have had to make judgment calls on teams that have been very difficult thus very controversial," added Cole. "The sport has changed and I think these rules are extremely fair for everyone plus it puts a premium on performance."

The following method shall be used to determine the order in which starting lanes are chosen for all heats:

(a) Heat 1A & 1B -- Final qualifying order shall determine first choice of lane i.e. the top qualifier shall have first choice for lane assignment in his drawn heat. The second place qualifier shall have the second choice of lane assignment in his drawn heat, etc.

(b) Heat 2A & 2B -- Lane choice shall be determined by the reverse of the final position of the previous heat. i.e., first place in Heat 1A shall choose last, second place chooses second to last, etc. The last place finisher in the heat shall have first choice of lane for the heat in which he has drawn. Should two identical positions of the previous heat draw the same heat in the section then the first choice of lane (or the tie breaker) shall be determined by the final qualifying order.

(c) Heat 3A & 3B -- Final heat and Provisional Heat -- Choosing order for the provisional and final heats shall be determined by cumulative points from the qualification heats.

a. Final qualifying order shall be used to break any ties on points to determine lane choice for the Provisional and Final Heats.

(d) Drivers shall choose lanes for the first heat at the driver's meeting

(e) The qualifying speed of the hull that is raced in Section 1 shall be used to determine lane choice.

a. New lane choice shall be made if the qualifying speed of the hull raced in Section 1 results in a new final qualifying order.

(The start clock will continue to be used as it has been in the past--10 min to the 5 min, 5 min to the 5 min -- the clock starts, 5 min, 1 min, and zero START.)

"When we are able to acquire more affordable, real-time technology that will allow us to monitor speed I would like for us to reassess the situation," said Cole. " We would like nothing more than to avoid the situations that have come about in the past couple of years. For now, this is the best alternative."

The only other rule change involves fuel flow in Rule 13/E. In 2008, the maximum fuel consumption was 4.3 GPM (Gallons per minute). This year, the GPM will be limited to 4.1.

There was discussion to change Rule 13/H -- N2 Speed Restriction but that was not done. N2 is the RPM (revolutions per minute) of the output shaft of the turbine. This will continue to be limited to 110% of rated RPM. (100 percent refers to the factory rated speed which it 15,330 RPM.)

The 2009 season opens on July 3, 4 and 5 in Madison, Ind. for the running of the Indiana Governor's Cup.

-credit: ---ABRA---

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