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Dummy grids


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#1 Graham Clayton

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:28

I have done a search for this topic, and found nothing, so I thought that I would start a discussion about dummy grids.
Do any major international tracks have dummy grids? Are they used to line up the cars in grid formation, or just as a staging area between the pits and the actual starting grid.

On a related topic, I have seen footage of European rallycross where the actual grid is located on a small straight off the actual circuit.

As soon as the cars for one race start, the field for the next race line up so that they can be started as soon as the cars in the first race leave the track. Have any closed circuits used a similar system?

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:50

Been in use in Western Australia, and presumably Australia, for years, which is why we can have 21 races in a one-day meeting at Barbagallo. I've watched the cars at Barbagallo being marshalled into starting grid order on the dummy grid, and as soon as the last car from the previous race comes in, and the all clear is given, the next lot of cars is rolled onto the circuit, and in the meantime, the next lot again has already been called and is ready to marshall onto the dummy grid. Works a treat.

Edited by Terry Walker, 23 July 2009 - 11:50.


#3 Duc-Man

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 13:08

I've seen something along those lines for support races of the DTM in Hockenheim before. But they usually calculate their timetable pretty generous anyway. They lined up the cars for the next race at the exit of the paddock behind the pits in, I think, some kind of rough order and not with the actual grid position.

Edited by Duc-Man, 23 July 2009 - 13:10.


#4 Rob G

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 17:53

Virginia International Raceway has a sort of dummy grid located inside of the final right-hander, just before the pitlane. They often use it for historic meets but skip it for the Grand-Am Rolex Series. I don't know what they do for the various bike series. It's even got a canopy. They usually park the cars diagonally and in grid order.

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 18:04

Virginia International Raceway has a sort of dummy grid located inside of the final right-hander, just before the pitlane. They often use it for historic meets but skip it for the Grand-Am Rolex Series. I don't know what they do for the various bike series. It's even got a canopy. They usually park the cars diagonally and in grid order.

That is what we would call an assembly area or collecting area in the UK. Nowadays the dummy grid is the cars on the grid (attended by mechanics, photographers and hangers on), in their correct starting places, before they go off on their green flag / warming up lap before coming back to the grid awaiting the start lights when the last car is back in position.
I seem to recall races in the '60s where the grid would line up at the back of the grid track markings ( ie. the last grid row becomes the front row), then fire the engines up and move forwards to the grid proper for the flag start.


#6 Twin Window

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 20:44

Adam Cooper sent me this link just a few days ago which is a short segment of footage from my very first GP; the 1972 British at Brands Hatch.

The thing which struck me most was the topic of this thread; namely the dummy grid, as assembled on Clearways!

#7 john winfield

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 21:47

Adam Cooper sent me this link just a few days ago which is a short segment of footage from my very first GP; the 1972 British at Brands Hatch.

The thing which struck me most was the topic of this thread; namely the dummy grid, as assembled on Clearways!


That's a great clip, Twinnie. It was one of my first GPs too, I watched from Clearways and I'd totally forgotten about the dummy grid. I associate them more with Silverstone, spread around Woodcote.
OT. Watching the 1972 footage, I'd forgotten how far back Jackie Stewart fell, caught behind Beltoise and Revson - he did well to catch Fittipaldi and Ickx who were both going like the clappers. Barry, shame the Connew didn't make the start.

#8 Twin Window

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 21:54

I'd forgotten how far back Jackie Stewart fell, caught behind Beltoise and Revson...

Me too! I was quite amazed seeing the footage as my memory recalled that it was a three-way scrap between Ickx, Fittipaldi & JYS the entire race - but, as you say, Jackie had a job on his hands to get to the 'sharp end' :D

#9 Bill Becketts

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 21:56

I've always thought that dummy grids were brought in to allow the cars to move foreward a short distance from where they formed up, so leaving all their spillages of oil and water behind them before blasting off from a "Clean" grid.

Non starters were also left on the dummy grid as well.

Am I the only one who remembers things this way?

#10 RStock

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 22:11

As soon as the cars for one race start, the field for the next race line up so that they can be started as soon as the cars in the first race leave the track. Have any closed circuits used a similar system?



This is standard operating proceedure at most American short tracks .

#11 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:12

I've always thought that dummy grids were brought in to allow the cars to move foreward a short distance from where they formed up, so leaving all their spillages of oil and water behind them before blasting off from a "Clean" grid.

Non starters were also left on the dummy grid as well.

Am I the only one who remembers things this way?


As I stated in my post above, I recall this in the 60s, however I had forgotten about that '72 GP dummy grid at Clearways and I was sitting right there in the stand! I also thought it was done this way to allow some cars to be push started if necessary, then move forward to the grid proper.


#12 Terry Walker

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 15:38

To help visualise how it's done here in Western Australia, these F Vees are lined up in starting grid order on the ramp, ready to go onto the circuit as soon as the race currently underway is over.

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#13 fester82

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 19:16

On the subject of Dummy Grids, I was watching some old videos on Youtube and recall my first race I attended as a lad at the '67 International Race at Silverstone all used them. I was wondering when F1 stopped using them and use the current warmup lap direct to the start positions. I believe it had to be sometime in the 70's, but don't know when. Anyone have a clue?

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 21:18

Terry's picture is what we nowadays call an "assembly area" though in NZ, as in Australia, we called them the dummy grid

Somewhere along the line "dummy grid" was changed to represent a line-up on the track itself, just short of the grid proper

#15 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 22:52

Eastern Creek's Dummy Grid

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#16 David McKinney

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:32

I would have thought to qualify as a dummy grid the cars have to be in grid order. I'd call this an assembly area

But I doubt there's an official definition of either :)

#17 Leo D

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:15

Usually it has been my experience here down under, that for practice and qualifying you are called up to the Marshalling Area or Dummy Grid, usually the same area and lined up in no particular order.... usually first come, first seved so to speak.

Once qualifying has been completed and the grid order confirmed you are usually lined up on the Dummy Grid in the order that you will start the race, before being released onto the circuit ....

So "Technically", the Marshalling Area/ Dummy Grid "might" be known by different names through the course of a meeting ? .......

Hope this makes sense.....



#18 Lotus23

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 23:21

It's been a number of years, but I clearly recall a dummy grid being consistently used at the annual SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta. The cars would be fired up and ready to roll onto the track for the pace lap as soon as the preceding race was over.

Its use was essential to squeezing in >600 entries spread over 21 or 22 races in 3 days. Worked very well.


#19 Terry Walker

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 13:51

There has been an interesting development here in WA to get even more races in the day - mainly I think because (a) there are a large numbers of cars and categories and (b) it leaves no gaps between races.

There are TWO dummy grids.

When the flag drops for race 1, the cars for race 2 are gridded up in pit lane, while those for race 3 are already on the former dummy grid. As soon as the last car from race 1 is in, the cars from the race 2 pit lane do the warmup and formation lap, while those for race 3 move down into pit lane. And so on.

It's called, locally, "hot gridding".

Last meeting we got 24 races of 8 laps in a one=day meeting, with a 30 minute break for flaggies, timekeepers etc etc to have lunch; during this time a freestyle bike did loops and whatnot in midair, and a big-foot truck drove over a row of cars squashing them flat, keeping the crowd entertained; and then the races were on again. Good day, big crowd, and a bouncy castle for the kids, as well as a Monaro Club parade around the circuit in among it all, every model Monaro.

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#20 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 17:01

... and a big-foot truck drove over a row of cars squashing them flat, keeping the crowd entertained;


... until they had to figure out an alternative way to get home! :lol:

#21 ChrisJson

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 14:21

Looking at videos from the old races makes me believe that the ´76 Japanese GP
was the last race with a true dummy grid.
All the early ´77 races use the one formation lap start which we are accustomed to nowadays.
The odd one is the Swedish GP which due to the move of the start line from it´s
original pit lane straight placing has a half formation lap but I don´t consider that as a
dummy grid.

Christer

Edited by ChrisJson, 24 April 2010 - 19:56.


#22 Graham Clayton

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:03

A photo of the cars moving from the dummy grid to the starting grid for the 1965 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, following the official at the left running down the track with a flag.

Posted Image

Source: http://home.clara.ne...tone/silv65.htm

#23 chr1s

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 21:56

Looking at videos from the old races makes me believe that the ´76 Japanese GP
was the last race with a true dummy grid.
All the early ´77 races use the one formation lap start which we are accustomed to nowadays.
The odd one is the Swedish GP which due to the move of the start line from it´s
original pit lane straight placing has a half formation lap but I don´t consider that as a
dummy grid.

Christer

Far from being the odd one out, I always thought that the warm up lap as we know it now, was a direct result of the Anderstorp circuit anomaly?

#24 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:18

Every Australian track has a dummy grid as far as I know. At some tracks the hero classes get to form up in pit lane proper straight from the garages. AIR has a big one , on occasions two races have been gridded there. Mallala is a bit squeezy and you have to back into the slots. The old Winton one was tiny and hatefull, PI is now quite big and goes around the corner. It was decidedly small and the access road was often blocked with open wheelers. Sandown was ok, depending on the cars in the paddock, though an uphill and sharp right turn to access the pitlane proper to the track.
The Adelaide GP has all the support classes gridded in Wakefield St, the best part of a kilometre from the grid.
These days all clases get a warm up lap, some tracks like Mallala get a slightly shortened one, about 2k of the 2.4 km circuit. But enough to get some heat into brakes tyres and transmission. There was a lot of discent at AIR when they tried to get you to start without a warm up lap, which has been VERY dangerous yet alone very hard on drive lines starting on cold tyres, brakes and transmissions.
All speedways that I have been too have the next race or races gridded up in the vicinity of the pit gate.
In the 70s Tailem Bend rallycross had the next heat gridded up outside the paddock gate ready for off.
The hero clases all take way too long to get moving, less yap and more event!! They sit on the grid for half an hour, then have to do yet another warm up lap before they start. Sometimes at the beck and call of TV, the poor paying patrons get too look at an empty track for far too long.

#25 275 GTB-4

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:48

A photo of the cars moving from the dummy grid to the starting grid for the 1965 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, following the official at the left running down the track with a flag.

Posted Image

Source: http://home.clara.ne...tone/silv65.htm


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