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#1 Lights

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 18:29

Just wanted to ask something here that randomly popped up in my head today.

When did they start using sectors on circuits? I guess not before the timing went digital?
And kinda what I actually wanted to know most, why are there 3 sectors? Why not 2, or 4?
Does anyone know the history of this?

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#2 kayemod

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 19:20

I think it's just a 'bright idea' that F1/broadcasters/commentators have come up with, probably because it helps to disguise the fact that there isn't much else to get excited about when watching F1 these days, and also because the technology they have at their disposal allows them to do it. I don't recall the ever-present 'stints' and 'quali' being referred to ad-nauseum either, until the last year or two. Probably like many on TNF, I watch almost all the races full-length, often struggling to stay awake, and when it's all over, I ask myself, "Why do I bother?" Pleas forgive me for a cynical 'Old-fart' moment.

#3 fuzzi

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 19:28

Back in the 1950s Ferrari used to break up circuits (well Monza at least) so that they would have some idea of the respective performances of different car and driver combinations. Tony Rudd tells the story in either "It was Fun" or in "BRM 1" that one of the Ferrari team drivers, (memory says Taruffi) explained how they broke the track into three sections - timing from above the pits so they could see over the paddock to the Ascari curve. So the sequence ran from the exit of the Parabolica until they disappeared from view; from that point until they reappeared coming round Ascari; from Ascari until they reappeared round the Parabolica.

They may well have done it at other circuits.

#4 Lights

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 21:28

Back in the 1950s Ferrari used to break up circuits (well Monza at least) so that they would have some idea of the respective performances of different car and driver combinations. Tony Rudd tells the story in either "It was Fun" or in "BRM 1" that one of the Ferrari team drivers, (memory says Taruffi) explained how they broke the track into three sections - timing from above the pits so they could see over the paddock to the Ascari curve. So the sequence ran from the exit of the Parabolica until they disappeared from view; from that point until they reappeared coming round Ascari; from Ascari until they reappeared round the Parabolica.

They may well have done it at other circuits.

That's actually a very cunning idea for that time. From what I know, they only timed laps with a stopwatch at the start/finish straight. Never heard of anything like this, and perhaps it is what led to the now default 3 sector splits. It at least gives a clue as to why they're using 3 sectors. It was simply the whole lap with the first and third detracted to create the second. If I think of it now, I can also vaguely remember 2 stopwatches being used at the same time, perhaps for this purpose.

Thanks for the info. :up:

#5 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 22:11

I can also vaguely remember 2 stopwatches being used at the same time, perhaps for this purpose.

Before the use of the split-action chronograph of course you had to use two stopwatches if you wanted to time consecutive laps. High-tech at that time was a bar that you pressed which stopped one and started the other simultaneously.

There is a long tradition of timing cars through short sections of a track but that was as a development aid where you needed to know if Moss got through (say) Stowe corner faster than Brooks before you could decide whose car was set up better.
Intermediate timing points, like the txt-spk commentary that refers to Q1 and dividing the lap into "sectors", are a modern invention.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 03 May 2010 - 22:12.


#6 Lights

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:41

Before the use of the split-action chronograph of course you had to use two stopwatches if you wanted to time consecutive laps. High-tech at that time was a bar that you pressed which stopped one and started the other simultaneously.

Makes sense. :up:

There is a long tradition of timing cars through short sections of a track but that was as a development aid where you needed to know if Moss got through (say) Stowe corner faster than Brooks before you could decide whose car was set up better.
Intermediate timing points, like the txt-spk commentary that refers to Q1 and dividing the lap into "sectors", are a modern invention.

How modern though? From what I know, they already used intermediate timing points during qualifying like 20 years ago.

#7 David McKinney

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 06:37

Before the use of the split-action chronograph of course you had to use two stopwatches if you wanted to time consecutive laps. High-tech at that time was a bar that you pressed which stopped one and started the other simultaneously.

Not true. Hit the stop button when the car passes, write down its time, release the stop so the watch times the second lap, stop and write, click, subtract the first time from the second while the car's on its next lap, and so on...
I've done it thousands of times


#8 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:33

Not true. Hit the stop button when the car passes, write down its time, release the stop so the watch times the second lap, stop and write, click, subtract the first time from the second while the car's on its next lap, and so on...
I've done it thousands of times

That's fine with a chronograph (and it's how timekeepers worked of course) but not with a stopwatch which is either running or stopped.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 04 May 2010 - 07:34.


#9 Stephen W

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:28

In speed events we have had (a) first 64ft, (b) split times and © speed traps for decades; it is all done by simple timing beams.

I have to agree with earlier posters on this thread that its current use in EF WUN does smack of desperation.

:wave:

#10 David McKinney

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:55

That's fine with a chronograph (and it's how timekeepers worked of course) but not with a stopwatch which is either running or stopped.

Am I get my technical terms confused?
The sort of stopwatch I'm talking about gave what was called "split" timing, ie you could either hit the "stop" button, which would then zero when you hit it again, or the "split" button, in which case the sweep hand would catch up to where it would have been. Was that a chronograph?

Either way, we're talking mid '60s

Edited by David McKinney, 04 May 2010 - 08:56.


#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:58

Am I get my technical terms confused?
The sort of stopwatch I'm talking about gave what was called "split" timing, ie you could either hit the "stop" button, which would then zero when you hit it again, or the "split" button, in which case the sweep hand would catch up to where it would have been. Was that a chronograph?

Either way, we're talking mid '60s

Exactly so. The split-action device which, if that's what you want, keeps running whilst you stop its split second hand and write down what it says, after which it "rejoins" the main second hand is the chronograph, although known colloquially as a split-action stopwatch.
They were usually quite expensive (e.g. £34 in 1961) in that nobody made cheap ones, unlike simple stopwatches such as those from the "crisp factory in Cricklewood" hence the use of the twin-watch board which the likes of Les Leston sold.

#12 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 17:34

Exactly so. The split-action device which, if that's what you want, keeps running whilst you stop its split second hand and write down what it says, after which it "rejoins" the main second hand is the chronograph, although known colloquially as a split-action stopwatch.
They were usually quite expensive (e.g. £34 in 1961) in that nobody made cheap ones, unlike simple stopwatches such as those from the "crisp factory in Cricklewood" hence the use of the twin-watch board which the likes of Les Leston sold.

I seem to remember that Betty Hill was very good with a stop watch (or chronograph), apparently able to keep accurate times for several cars at once. Now of course there is Taylor split too, and even cheap watches that can store many lap times.

I've just had a quick Google and can't find anything about 'Taylor split', but I'm sure it exists. I have a very nice Heuer 10-second-sweep stopwatch, but it needs a service as it occasionally malfunctions. I admired the one Jac Nelleman had in 1970, and he brought one over to the UK for me, but it wasn't a gift! £8 I seem to remember...