GPRM Option to keep a car out of adjacent heats?

Debates and discussions on the various race scheduling methods that can be used and their fairness and accuracy in determining the winners.
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SilverEagle1979
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GPRM Option to keep a car out of adjacent heats?

Post by SilverEagle1979 »

Hello, First time finding this forum, I'm hopeful that I can find some tips and tricks before we do our next Cub Scout Pinewood Derby in a year.

We just had our annual PWD today, so these topics are fresh in my mind.

We are using Grand Prix Race Manager, I think it's version 20 something (it's on a different computer sorry). We used the Perfect N-Type schedule to run 32 cars for x2 for a total of 64 heats that were run.

What the volunteers all noticed is that several times during the race the schedule would have a car in a heat, and in the next heat. We have an older track with a "The Champ" timer, but the starting gate is still manual. So we have 1 adult running starting, 2 at the car table loading the heat boxes, 1 at the computer, and 2 scouts who pick up the cars from the end of the track and "run" them back to the car tables where they are placed on mats that have the car numbers.

The scouts of course did not look at the heats and so we had a couple of times where the flow of the race was a little interrupted. Fortunately, we have a really good MC the last two years, but that's not always the case, and I like to look into possible improvements, even with events that went very smoothly (as did our race today). So as with any "well oiled machine" the car that needed to run the next heat was picked up from the end of the track, taken back to the car table and placed in it's spot, and then an adult retrieved it to place it on the starting line.

Is there a setting we missed, or maybe we are using the wrong schedule type, that would keep any one car from being placed into two consecutive heats?
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gpraceman
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Re: GPRM Option to keep a car out of adjacent heats?

Post by gpraceman »

SilverEagle1979 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 10:16 pm We are using Grand Prix Race Manager, I think it's version 20 something (it's on a different computer sorry). We used the Perfect N-Type schedule to run 32 cars for x2 for a total of 64 heats that were run.

What the volunteers all noticed is that several times during the race the schedule would have a car in a heat, and in the next heat. We have an older track with a "The Champ" timer, but the starting gate is still manual. So we have 1 adult running starting, 2 at the car table loading the heat boxes, 1 at the computer, and 2 scouts who pick up the cars from the end of the track and "run" them back to the car tables where they are placed on mats that have the car numbers.

The scouts of course did not look at the heats and so we had a couple of times where the flow of the race was a little interrupted. Fortunately, we have a really good MC the last two years, but that's not always the case, and I like to look into possible improvements, even with events that went very smoothly (as did our race today). So as with any "well oiled machine" the car that needed to run the next heat was picked up from the end of the track, taken back to the car table and placed in it's spot, and then an adult retrieved it to place it on the starting line.

Is there a setting we missed, or maybe we are using the wrong schedule type, that would keep any one car from being placed into two consecutive heats?
How many race groups did you have?

If more than one, consider using the Master Scheduling feature. That will collate all of the group schedules together and rotate which group is currently racing. That won't eliminate having a racer in back to back heats, but it can greatly reduce it. Version 22 does have an improved algorithm to do that collation that can reduce those chances further.

When building a Perfect-N Type schedule, you can click on the Advanced button for that scheduler and set the Heat Ordering Options. I have these set like this:
Keep Heat Counts Even - Medium
Avoid Cars in Consecutive Heats - High
Avoid cars in the same lanes in consecutive heats - Low

These options may help, but may not, depending on the particular number of lanes, number of cars and number of runs per lane. The heats have to first meet the primary requirements for the scheduler and then it will look at these extra options and will try to incorporate those, if it can.
Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.
SilverEagle1979
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Re: GPRM Option to keep a car out of adjacent heats?

Post by SilverEagle1979 »

Thank you for the fast reply, we had grouped by Ranks and Siblings so we had 7 groups but ran everyone at the Pack level. I think I will take the data from this year, generate a new file and try some tests to see what I get in the schedules. Thank you for the settings ideas!
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