Short Track ProCup (STPC)
- Rules -
Note: If information elsewhere conflicts with information here in the rules, the rules take precedence.
1. Front Office
a. Officials. STPC will have the official positions listed below. Officials serving in the positions are listed on the STPC Front Office page.
Organization Administrator – The STPC Organization Administrator (STPC Admin) is the STPC decision maker and is responsible for the overall administration of STPC and selecting the remaining STPC Officers. The STPC Admin acts as the interface to other entities such as iRacing, sponsors, broadcasters and so on. The STPC Admin is responsible for STPC financial matters.
Series Administrator – Each series in STPC will have one Series Administrator (Series Admin). The Series Admin organizes and administers all aspects of a particular series and acts as a general liaison between the STPC front office and drivers from the series. The series admin or his/her designee manages the series roster and password using the forums user-group feature, establishes the series schedule at the STPC scoring webpage, launches the race for the series each week, loads the race results to the automated STPC scoring webpage, establishes special rules and conditions as appropriate to his/her series that are beyond the rules set forth here, assesses penalties, and assists in other general STPC front office activities.
During the race, the Series Admin will have authority to eject drivers who act in an inappropriate manner in violation of the rules (e.g., profanity, intentional wrecking and other extreme behavior). Additionally, the series admin can penalize drivers as he sees fit for actions during the race. A penalty levied by a Series Admin is limited to that series only. Note that, per Rule 7, a series Admin’s penalty may be appealed by the penalized driver.
Finally, a Series Admin may participate in reviews of drivers from other series who have been protested.
Chief Race Steward – The Chief Race Steward (Steward) is responsible for insuring the general rules of STPC are followed and that general behavior of participants remains appropriate. He, with the help of the Series Admin, will judge appeals (Rule 7) and certain protests (Rule 5b) lodged by drivers and, if necessary, levy penalties. His penalties (such as suspensions) may be limited to a single series or may span all of STPC.
Score Keeper – The Score Keeper will keep score of the various divisions from results submitted by the various Series Admins.
b. Eligibility. To be eligible for STPC divisions, a driver must be an iRacing.com subscriber and must register for STPC. Once registered, a driver is eligible for all STPC Series so long as the driver meets any additional requirements of the specific series (Click the Series Overview button on left hand column for an overview of qualifications for each series).
c. Series Sign-ups: STPC is an umbrella organization that sanctions a number of different series. Registered STPC drivers may sign up for any, up to all, of the series. To do so, a driver must contacting the respective Series Admin or use the sign up thread found on the sub-forum for the series on the STPC forums. (Series Admins are listed on the STPC Front Office page.) Each series has a maximum roster size and eligibility requirements set by the Series Admin. Drivers will be placed on the series roster on a first-come-first-serve basis up to the maximum roster size.
Registered STPC drivers may sign up for a series late (e.g., after the season has started) if there is room available on the series roster.
d. Racing a Limited-Schedule. If a driver knowingly plans to run fewer than two-thirds of scheduled races in a series then that driver should not sign up for the series roster. (This, of course, depends on the honor system.) Instead, to race a partial schedule, the driver should use the provisional grid spot system (Rule 2f) to request a provisional for each race in the partial season that the driver intends to race.
Note: Generally, there should be plenty of provisional grid spots available since most tracks have significantly more grid spots than the series roster size.
e. Missing Races. If a driver must miss a race in a series that (s)he is signed up for, that driver must contact the Series Admin as soon as possible, even if the missed race is one of the driver’s scoring-drop races (see Rule 4a below). A driver who misses multiple races without notifying the Series Admin may, at the Series Admin’s option, be removed from the series roster (but not from STPC overall) unless circumstances prevented the driver from notifying the series admin. This is done to insure that all available grid spots are available for provisional requests from cross-over drivers (Rule 2f) and to insure we are not carrying disinterested drivers on the roster.
a. Software: STPC uses iRacing.comTM servers and STPC drivers must subscribe to iRacing.comTM. All software needed to race in STPC is downloaded when a driver subscribes to the service.
b. Expectations: Drivers are expected to be prepared to drive at the scheduled track each week. This includes being able to drive a smooth high and low line at the track, being able to move cleanly and safely out of the way of faster traffic when being lapped, understanding pit entry/exit procedures, and knowing pit road speeds.
Recommendation: Please, Practice, practice, practice before the race. STPC usually schedules the same track as the official iRacing.comTM arrive and drive late model tour. When this happens, use the arrive and drive tour sprint races to familiarize yourself with the track under race conditions prior to the feature STPC race there.
Recommendation: Read Bob Stanley’s Racing Savvy. Then, read it again. And again…
Note: The Mini-Stock, Ultimate Nationwide and Late Model-East series are not skill matched. Pro Cup Series divisions are skill-matched based on iRating and it is the mission of STPC to provided competitive short track racing for all skill levels. Nevertheless, even in Pro Cup divisions, drivers of variable skill may still find themselves racing one another. We firmly believe that drivers with disparate skills can drive together on the same track if everyone does their part. Faster drivers, please respect the skill level of slower drivers. Recognize their braking points and don’t run them over on turn entry. Don’t crowd them in the corner. Slower drivers, recognize when it’s appropriate to race faster cars hard versus when it’s doing nobody any good to hold up faster traffic. The latter is usually the case, so, move out of the way and let them pass before frustrations mount. Try to indicate whether they should pass high or low.
c. Race Reviews: STPC races will reviewed on an as-needed basis. If you see an infraction that you feel is significant enough to have an effect on the race, or if a particular driver repeats the same infraction several times, please notify your Series Admin (this does NOT need to be a formal protest; the Series Admin may simply correct the offending driver and move on).
Note: It is impossible for race officials to review every car for the entire race. Do not expect that race officials will notice every infraction. If you see an infraction that you feel is significant enough to have an effect on the race or if a particular driver repeats the same infraction several times, please do your part and report it either informally or as a formal protest.
d. Rules Infractions: Rules infractions will be informally dealt with in a per-incident basis as judged by the Series Admin Infractions that result from repeatedly ignoring recommendations (as outlined herein) will be judged more severely by the Series Admin. Admins may levy penalties within their series. If a driver feels unfairly penalized by a Series Admin, that driver may protest the decision to the Chief Steward.
e. Overturning Results: As a result of post-race review, the Series Admin may elect to officially adjust the final standing. If a driver feels the Series Admin has ruled incorrectly, he may appeal the decision to the Chief Steward (See Rule 7).
f. Filling the Grid and Cross-over Racing. The Series Admin is responsible to manage the grid for each race using the following procedure.
(1) All drivers on the series roster automatically receive a grid spot.
(2) Remaining grid spots at a track are provisional spots. For example, if a series with 26 drivers is racing at USA Int’l Speedway (35 grid spots) then there are 9 provisional grid spots available.
(3) Known absences from the series roster are added as provisional spots. Note: per Rule 1d drivers are required to notify the series admins if they know they must miss a race.
(4) Starting one week prior to a race, STPC drivers who are not on a series roster may request a provisional grid spot for that race (i.e., cross-over race) from the series admin. The provisional grid spots will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis until the grid is filled. Provisional grid spot are requested in the STPC forums (click here). In the sub-forums for the race week, the driver must include his/her iRacing name and the series for which the request is being made. Series Admins review provisional request thread before the race and PM or e-mail passwords in order of request until there are no more provisional grid spots available.
This is done to insure full-time drivers in a series are guaranteed a grid spot.
Note: Grid spots are not related to starting position in any way. Every driver must qualify to establish his/her starting position regardless of whether (s)he is on the regular roster or has a provisional grid spot.
g. Respectful Behavior: STPC drivers are expected to treat their fellow competitors with respect. Disrespectful behavior during STPC races, events or on the STPC forums may be subject to penalization at the discretion of the event admin or STPC chief steward.
h. Profanity. Profanity and other off-color behavior is prohibited during STPC races, events and on the STPC forums. Profanity will be penalized and off-color behavior may be subject to penalization at the discretion of the event admin or STPC chief steward.
Note: While sim racers are generally a gravelly lot and a cuss word here or there won’t bother most of us, we can never be sure who else (children, wife, visitors, etc…) at the other end of an internet connection can see or hear the profanity we type or say. Therefore, we must keep all STPC events rated E.
Note: What constitutes profane language is very subjective and context dependent. It will be up to the admin and/or STPC chief steward to decide whether a particular infraction meets the threshold for penalization.
i. Series Specific Rules. The admin of each STPC series may, at his/her option, install series specific rules. Any such rules will be clearly noted in an announcement-post at the top of the sub forums for the series.
3. Race Rules
a. General Rules: The iRacing.com software governs and enforces the rules of the race and those rules will be used as is in STPC.
b. Black Flags: Penalties levied by the iRacing.com software are final. Series Admins will NOT clear black flags during the race.
c. Laps: Series Admins will NOT give laps back to a driver during the race.
d. Final Standings: The final standings determined by the iRacing.com software are official.
e. Don’t Stop on the Track
During the race session do not stop on the track. A driver should always pit properly before stopping, unless the driver’s vehicle is disabled or (s)he is blocked (by wrecked vehicles, for example). This is VERY important under green as a vehicle stopped on the track can bring out the yellow, even if parked safely out of the way.
If a driver intentionally stops on-track during a race session, without good reason, that driver will be penalized all points for the race.
f. Damaged and Off-Pace Cars
Cars that are damaged and could present a dangerous situation to other drivers should be parked. For example, if a driver’s car is dangerously off pace or difficult to steer, that driver should exit the race. The driver should not try to turn laps to gain positions unless (s)he can control your car and is certain that (s)he will not wreck other drivers. If a driver chooses to continue with a damaged car and then causes a wreck, that driver will be placed at the back of the finishing order and his/her points for the race set to zero. If someone off-pace wrecks, let the admin know so the proper penalty can be applied.
g. Close it up on Cautions
Please try to quickly, but safely, close it up on a caution. On many short tracks it can be difficult pitting without losing a lap and if the field is spread it’ll just make it even more difficult for the drivers at the back of the pack.
h. Pit Entries and Exits: During official STPC practice sessions, warmup sessions and after checkers all drivers must enter and exit pits properly.
Note: The iRacing.com software will issue a black flag during the race if pit procedures are not followed correctly. In addition, out of respect for other drivers on the track, the same pit procedures are to be followed during practice sessions, warmup sessions and following a race, even though the software will not issue a black flag at those times.
Note: When entering the pits during a caution, maintain caution-pace speed and do not pass the car pacing in front of you until you have crossed the pit entry line. Do not slow substantially as this will place the driver pacing behind you in jeopardy of receiving a black flag if he inadvertently passes you before you have entered the pits.
Warning: When the driver in front of you drops below the apron to enter the pits during a caution and you are not pitting, it is very easy to lose track of his/her position relative to your car as his/her car may drop from view. Be very careful not to pass before the driver crosses the pit entry line. If you do, you will receive a black flag. Use the F3 key to monitor your position relative to his/her car.
i. Retaliation: Retaliatory actions are not allowed.
Note: We all race for fun. We all make mistakes. Everyone gets caught up in other’s mistakes. It is extremely unlikely the other driver was intentionally trying to ruin your night. Accept it and move on. If necessary, file a protest with the Series Admin after the race (See Rule 5 below) and it will be escalated to the Chief Race Steward. Never use retaliatory chat or take aggressive retaliatory actions against a fellow driver during or after a race. Such behavior will not be tolerated in STPC.
j. Chat: Chat during green-flag racing and during qualifying is not allowed.
Exception: Drivers may use brief audio or text chat messages during a race to indicate on-track driving intentions such as pitting or allowing other drivers to pass, to warn of a wreck unfolding or other race related information.
Recommendation. To say “thanks”, for example if someone lets you pass, briefly key your audio chat button without actually saying anything. Your name will be silently displayed indicating your “thanks”. Do this out of respect for the many drivers who find endless vocal “thanks” messages distracting.
Note: Chat can be fun and it is how we get to know one another. Therefore, chat is allowed and encouraged during practice sessions, warmup sessions and during caution laps of a race. However, chat under caution should be minimized after the “one-to-go” notice is given.
k. Warping: Warping is not an excuse for an incident. If a driver is warping, the driver is expected to stay out of the preferred racing line or drop to the back of the pack until the connection clears up. If warping becomes excessive, the Series Admin may ask the driver to pit until his/her connection clears up. It is the responsibility of the warping driver to take appropriate action to avoid warp-related incidents.
Recommendation: Unfortunately, warping is part of online racing. If you feel you may be warping or others tell you that you are, press your F key to monitor your latency, quality and skew. If you are in the red, your connection is poor and you are likely warping. Be responsible and respectful of other drivers by getting out of the preferred racing line.
l. Disconnections During Race: Laps will not be given back for disconnections.
Recommendation: Unfortunately, disconnections are part of online racing. If you are disconnected, attempt to reconnect and safely re-enter the race as if you have pitted. Consider disconnections the electronic equivalent of having taken your car to the garage to repair a mechanical problem during the race.
m. Server Crashes: If the server crashes or if there is a mass-boot (more than 50% of drivers drop connection at once) then the following procedure will be used. If fewer than one-third of race laps have been completed, the race will be restarted from the beginning. If one-third or more laps have been completed the race will not be re-started. In this case, if a results file can be salvaged, the results indicated by the file will be used as the final race results. If no results file is available, the race is canceled and not used in standings scoring.
4. Championship Points Scoring
a. Scoring Procedure. Each Series Admin is responsible to establish the scoring system for the his/her series. The scoring system will be articulated by the series admin in the series sub-section of the STPC forums. All scoring is maintained in the scoring database.
Series admin may levy penalties within their series at their discretion. The Series Admin will post penalties to the Chief Stewards Corner sub-forums.
a. Protests of In-Race Actions. Drivers may protest other drivers for one of three reasons; (1) there has been a serious infraction of STPC rules in a race, (2) a specific driver behaves in an inappropriate or abusive manner in a race, or (3) a specific driver shows a repeated pattern of poor driving or poor driving judgment, race after race.
A protest of in-race actions is lodged with the Series Admin (contact info here) by sending him/her any supporting evidence. The Series Admin, will make a decision and if necessary impose penalties regarding the protest. The Series Admin may, at his/her option, engage the Chief Steward and other admins for opinions.
Penalties are at the discretion of the Series Admin and may include, but are not limited to, championship points deductions, re-alignment of finishing position, and suspensions from the series. Any penalties given by the Series Admin are limited to the series.
When evaluating a protest, the following elements will give the protest added weight and credibility:
Note: Unlike inappropriate behavior or rules infractions which can be protested immediately, individual, specific instances of poor driving or mistakes can NOT be protested. To be protested for poor driving, the protesting driver must show a repeated pattern of poor driving judgment on the part of the driver being protested.
The Series Admin will post his decisions to the Chief Stewards Corner sub-forums.
b. Protests of Extracurricular and Cross-Series Actions. Drivers may protest other drivers for behaving in an inappropriate or abusive manner on STPC related venues (such as the STPC forums and STPC teamspeak) or for a repeated pattern of poor driving or poor driving judgment in multiple STPC series. The protest of such actions (actions not related to a specific race or race series) shall be lodged with the STPC Chief Steward.
Penalties are at the discretion of the Chief Steward and may include, but are not limited to STPC-wide warnings, probations and short and long term suspensions.
Since we do not intend to become the arbiters of personal spats, we will judge the merits of a protest on criteria related to whether the protested action is detrimental to STPC as an organization.
Drivers can appeal a decision of the Series Admin to the Chief Steward one time. To do so, lodge the appeal with the Chief Steward (contact info here). Include any discussion and evidence supporting the appeal.
When an appeal is lodged, the Chief Steward will evaluate the evidence and decide to (a) overturn the Series Admin’s decision, (b) reduce the Series Admin’s decision, (c) support the Series Admin’s decision, or (d) levy a harsher penalty than the Series Admin did.
The Chief Steward will post his decisions to the Chief Stewards Corner sub-forums.
8. Drivers’ Court
Separate and distinct from the protest/appeal process noted above, for extreme cases STPC drivers have the power to wield their own justice through the Drivers’ Court.
(a) Protest-to-remove – A driver may file a protest-to-remove against another driver by privately contacting the Chief Steward (contact info here) and informing him of the desired action. The filing driver should include any applicable evidence.
(b) Cause for action – If three or more drivers, independently or together, file a protest-to-remove against a single driver within one week time span of each other, then the protest-to-remove will be lodged at the Drivers’ Court.
(c) The Court – The Drivers’ Court is this sub-forum of the STPC forums. Only registered STPC drivers have access to the Drivers’ Court.
(d) Protest Thread – When a protest-to-remove is lodged at the Drivers’ Court, the Chief Steward will open a new protest thread in the Drivers’ Court sub-forums regarding the protested driver. At the same time an e-mail will be sent to all STPC drivers notifying them of the protest-to-remove action.
(e) Discussion – The protest thread will be open for evidence, discussion and argument for two days.
(f) Vote – At the end of two days of discussion, the Chief Steward will add a poll to the protest thread with exactly two options:
a. Penalize the protested driver.
b. Do not penalize protested driver.
(g) Quorum – The poll will be open for two days. To be a valid result, a quorum of at least 15 drivers must have voted when the poll is closed. If fewer than 15 drivers vote, the protested driver is not penalized.
(h) Judgement – If a quorum is achieved and if two-thirds or more of voting drivers have voted to penalize the protested driver, that driver receives a strike and is penalized as follows.
(I) If it is the protested driver’s first strike the driver is suspended from all STPC sanctioned events for the remainder of the current season.
(ii) If it is the protested driver’s second strike, the driver is suspended from all STPC sanctioned events indefinitely. The driver can be reinstated at the option of the Chief Steward after one full year has passed from the date of suspension.
Note: The Drivers’ Court is intended to be used by drivers for major-actions against drivers who repeatedly fail to act with respect. It allows the STPC drivers a measure of control regarding who they race with. The Drivers’ Court is separate from and does not supersede any regular penalization system an admin of an STPC sanctioned series might have in place for that particular series and is separate from the regular penalty/protest/appeal process (Rules 5, 6 and 7).