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Thread: Requesting some Clarity regarding lapped cars

  1. Default Requesting some Clarity regarding lapped cars

    During tonight's race at Laguna, during the drivers briefing, it was stated that leaders were responsible for driving around lapped cars. However, I felt that tonight, lapped drivers seemed to be defending their positions, not allowing cars by, instead of slowing down just a bit.

    Are lapped cars allowed to defend their position against lead cars?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Arkansas, USA


    The meaning behind what Miguel and I were saying is this:

    Far too often, a car about to be lapped, or being approached by a much faster driver, will sometimes try to aid in letting the faster car go past by making a lane change, or will get on the brakes early with the car directly behind them. We wanted to stress the point that it's much better for everyone involved if the car being lapped just drives their line while the faster car is behind them, and once the faster car attempts to pass (and is no longer behind them), especially if on a straightaway they should just let off the gas slightly and let them by.

    But, as the rules here at CMS state, any pass being made, regardless of the classes involved, it's the responsibility of the driver making the pass attempt to do so without incident. This does not waive any fault of the driver being passed should an incident occur, but rather the passing car must choose where to pass, and do it without being unpredictable themselves.

    If lapped cars were defending their position, have a PM with that driver and discuss it. That's what the real drivers do. It could also start a great discussion between the drivers that would help should they be in the same situation again.

    With all of this comes experience, and every interaction between drivers on the track can be unique, so while CMS does it's best to lay down groundwork regarding passing and being passed, there has to be experience and cooperation for it to work smoothly.

    I'll close this by posting the CMS Rule regarding passing:


    1- The driver in front has the right to choose any line at any section of the track. The driver in front loses this right when an overtaking driver brings their front wheel to line up with the other driver's head. At this point drivers are in "side-by-side" position and both have to give each other at least 1 car’s width room.
    2- Defending is allowed and accepted as one reactionary move by the driver in front. They are not allowed to defend if there is any overlap* between cars. Note that following a racing line into a corner is not considered defending (unless cars are deemed side-by-side).
    3- Both the passing driver and the driver in front are responsible for fair racing during the pass. It is the passing driver's responsibility to choose asafe timing for the pass.
    4- Passing attempts when going into a turn is where most incidents happen. Preferred racing line thru most corners is usually very narrow and sometimes it will be impossible for two cars to negotiate tight corners side-by-side at full speed. For each corner, the right to the preferred racing line is decided at the turn-in point*. A driver attempting to pass at corner entry has to be in side-by-side position at the turn-in point to have a right to enter the corner side-by-side. If not, they must back off and give way to driver up front.
    5- Dive-bombing* should be avoided and is subject to a penalty. If the attempting driver was out of control and causes contact, or time loss to other driver, any applied penalty may be harsher than normal.
    6- Brake checking, unnecessary slowing thru a corner, punting, bump-passing, cutting-off or chopping are all deliberate actions whether there is contact or not, and subject to penalty.
    7- Blocking* is not allowed and subject to a penalty.
    8-Weaving to break a draft is considered blocking.

    And under the Flags section, there's this:

    3- Blue flags are to inform drivers they are about to be lapped and depending on their own racing they should allow the pass to be made within a 4-corner stretch of the lap. At certain circuits a sequence of corners may be counted as one for the purpose of this rule.
    4- A blue-flagged driver is not allowed to defend his track position against the lapping car and should stay on his/her line.
    5- Lapped drivers are allowed to unlap themselves as long as they can pull away after passing the driver that has a lap advantage.

    But at some tracks, 4-turns is not enough to let another car by, and both drivers need to work together.

    If there was an incident of flagrant blocking, that is protestable, but also may be hard to determine when the leading driver has the right to hold his line.
    Last edited by TimCollier; 06-12-2019 at 10:34 PM.
    Tim Collier

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Inside my shell (Alexandria, VA)


    What Tim said. I think there is also a bit of an element of frustration when a faster guy gets punted and ends up a lap down, and is being passed by somebody of similar pace. But, you gotta let that go. My general rule is if somebody gets with 0.5 of me in these cars, I brake normally and track out mostly normally and let them by. I slowed down a ton tonight letting anybody in the top 10 by, to the point where I wasn't even sure why I was bothering to continue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Inside my shell (Alexandria, VA)


    I will add though, the blue flag in iRacing is seriously mis-programmed. I had it stay up after Marius almost killed himself in the corkscrew after I passed him. I also had it stay up after letting some leaders by and gaining nearly 0.5 second on the car behind, again, before it disappeared on some cars in the 1X-19 position range.

    Fact is, lapped drivers need to be careful, and I think most are in this group. But, you can't expect a lapped driver to stop his/her car on the track immediately after a leading car appears in the separation screen.

  5. #5


    Don't forget to quote some of the other rules too

    "3- Blue flags are to inform drivers they are about to be lapped and depending on their own racing they should allow the pass to be made within a 4-corner stretch of the lap. At certain circuits a sequence of corners may be counted as one for the purpose of this rule."

    Several times I had to wait at least a half lap before the lapped car would either slow down, make a mistake, or I would be forced to attempt at pass and hope their spotter is active. Because many of the cars I would be lapping were either damaged or just slower, I tend to be a bit cautious when getting real close to the car ahead (sometimes for very good reason). Telling drivers to make the faster cars go around without mentioning the blue flag rule made, in several cases, slower or riskier passes.

    Some drivers were great, predictable when helping facilitate a pass. Some would facilitate a pass, just unexpectedly at turn in. Some ignored the flag for great spots for overtaking.

    Blue flag occurs when a car is within 1.5 seconds of you. If the faster car gets under 0.8, I'll start to help setup a good spot for their pass.
    JT Tami

    Champion Racing

    2011 NALMS LMP1 Champion - #97 Champion Racing Audi R10 TDI

  6. #6


    As someone who has done tons of multiclass racing as the slower class (often with the faster class having no more pace advantage than the pro drivers vs. silver drivers here), my policy is this:

    I run my line until the car behind makes some kind of move to commit to one side or the other. At that point, I do what is necessary to ensure that I am behind them by turn-in, so that I do not miss the apex. Sometimes that involves lifting, sometimes they clear me on their own. But I do not try to enter the corner side by side. Entering a corner side by side will ALMOST ALWAYS be worse for the driver being passed than simply following at apex.

    Don't try to race people you're not racing. You only shoot yourself in the foot.

  7. #7


    I think the meaning of “defend” needs some clarification. In racing, it means to make an intentional move to block, or to take a line that tends to disadvantage a pursuing car. I hope that’s not what was happening.

    However, what we have in these races, with three groups each competing for points separately, is essentially a multi-class race. We’re all using the same cars, but we are NOT all on the same pace. It doesn’t make sense for the silver cars to simply be moving obstacles that slow and allow passes as the fast cars reach them. That would get in the way of actually racing those in your own group. Giving up half a second as each car passes means several seconds a lap, since lapping cars come in bunches, as they race each other.

    My practice last night was to just race. I never defended, but I also waited for the lapping car to get up to me. I didn’t always wait for him to make a move. When he was behind close, if we were in a section of track without straights, I would often leave the inside of turns, and he would take it, and then I could turn right in behind him. I lost a tenth or so, but the pass was clean. I was pretty much as fast on exit and the straights as the lapping car, so it was only the corners where they would overtake. Giving up exit speed on straights is a serious handicap.

    Still, as someone just returning to iRacing, and new to these GT cars, last night's race was a bit disheartening. I was a few seconds off the pace, as expected, but rarely saw anyone in my own silver group to race with after the first few laps. Mostly it was just driving until the next faster car approached.

    I was tired yesterday, and have a cold, so concentration was an issue. The silly damage effects made my hood crumple from driving on rumble strips, and when I pitted for gas, I couldn’t figure out how to stop repairs. That put me another lap down. Then near the end, hitting an apex bump on turn 6 (I think...the one before Rahall straight) spun me and interfered with a faster car behind me. When that happened the second time, causing the 5th place car (I think) to T-bone me (so sorry), I towed it back and called it a night. At that point I was 4 laps down (after losing laps on the first spin and repair and losing a lap during the regular pit stop due to unnecessary repairs).

    TLR - multi-class racing in the same cars to accommodate different groups of drivers with different paces brings its own problems to both the fast and the slow cars. This is just the perspective of one of the slow drivers, for what it’s worth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Bayamon, Puerto Rico


    This is a topic that as long as I remember its been discuss with multiple correct opinions. I believe there will not be a rule that will solve this. At the end it all depends on each one of us. We are not talking about how to let pass a guy while going 55 in the highway! There are so many factors here that it will be impossible to attend each specific situation correctly.. Lets keep in mind that no matter what pace your driving is your 100% atm, the best you can manage in the circumstance and this applies to every driver whether your 1st or 55th position. with this said it takes most of your concentration to your driving. then you take the tracks! Some tracks are you mush easier to let pass and others dont help at all.. I take for example myself yesterday, after getting the slowdown for whatever reason it was almost impossible for me to serve with 40 cars behind me going for it, and im not talking that I was in a position I didn't want to loose a place, I just wanted te get out of the way and not ruin anyone's race. IT WAS CHAOTIC believe me!! Coming from someone that have raced real thing for 25yrs and sim race since 2006!! So dont be so hard on yourself and/or others! Be patient, take a deep breath and flash the lights for a couple of times just in case he has not notice you so hes aware and as soon as possible you guys make the move.. One of the toughest and more rewarding abilities into racing apart of throwing a fast lap is managing the traffic in order of how I loose the less time.

    Just my 2 cents!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Denton, Texas, United States


    Guys it's real simple, cars being lapped need to be aware of blue flags and while not sacrificing a safe race of their own or the racing line facilitate a pass such as lifting on the throttle when appropriate on a straight ... and the car making the pass is ultimately responsible for doing it safely Not dive bombing etc. However, the leaders do need to realize that sometimes when they come up on lapped cars those lapped cars might be in their own fierce battle in which case everyone has to work together to maintain the integrity of the race.

    in short, don't overthink it and NO lapped cars are not allowed to DEFEND their position against the leaders, the need to respect blue flags, but again remember those lapped cars are racing too. If they yield yield yield the might as well park. So it's a work together common sense thing just like you see in every real life racing series. no different here.

    david anderson | champion motorsports
    @info_cms | cms facebook | cms blogs

    my personal motorsports blog

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