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GrandPrix Race Manager Instructional Videos:

Intro to GrandPrix Race Manager

Step 1 - Create a Race Data File
Step 2 - Software Settings
Step 3 - Report Settings
Step 4 - Hardware Settings - Timer, Solenoid and Light Tree setup and testing.
Step 4b - Hardware Settings (Custom Timer) - How to setup the software to interface with a non-supported commercial or DIY serial timer.
Step 5 - Define Competition Groups
Step 6 - Define Awards (optional)
Step 7 - Register Racers
Step 8 - Create Race Schedules
Step 9 - Run the Race
Step 9b - Starting a New Round and/or Grand Finals Round (optional)
Step 10 - Awards Ceremony (optional)

Serial Port Communications Troubleshooting:
USB Drivers - Microsoft Windows - Make sure that you have the appropriate drivers installed.
USB Drivers - Mac - Make sure that you have the appropriate drivers installed.
Communications Tests - Some tests to verify that the port is working correctly.

Miscellaneous:
Reports - How to generate and export reports.
Partial Heat Rerun - How to rerun a heat without rerunning all of the racers in that heat.
Timer Malfunction - How to deal with a timer communications failure during your race.
Add a Late Racer - How to add a racer to your schedule after racing has already begun.
Exclude Racers - How to allow a racer to run but not show up in the standings.
Exclude Grand Finals Winners - How to keep the Grand Finals winners from showing up in the standings for their original race groups.

Interfacing to Other Software:
Interface to RaceFX - How to interface GrandPrix Race Manager and RaceFX to automatically play sound effects during the race.
Interface to RaceReplay - How to interface GrandPrix Race Manager and RaceReplay to automatically record and do a video replay of each heat.
Interface to DerbyDMV - How GrandPrix Race Manager and DerbyDMV can use the same data file and images.

Below is a comparison of the features for the different versions of GrandPrix Race Manager.  Both the Lite and Pro versions will allow you to run and manage an efficient race.  The Pro version provides more features and flexibility to the users that require them.

Mouse over an underlined feature to see a description of that feature.

Note: This is not an all inclusive list of the differences between versions.

Feature Lite Pro
Number of Lanes Supported 1 to 8 1 to 8
Configure to race Cars, Semi Trucks, Rockets or Boats Yes Yes
Solenoid Start Support Yes Yes
Light Tree Support Yes Yes
Customize to Your Organization Yes Yes
Assign Your Own Car Numbers Yes Yes
Heat Scoring Cumulative, Average or Single Fastest Times - Auto or Manual
Worst times can be ignored

Cumulative Points - Auto or Manual
Cumulative, Average or Single Fastest Times - Auto or Manual
Worst times can be ignored

Cumulative Points - Auto or Manual
Race Schemes Supported Top finishers from a racing group can be advanced to a succeeding round, if desired. Unlimited number of rounds.

Top finishers overall or from each race group can be raced in a Grand Finals round, if desired.
Top finishers from a racing group can be advanced to a succeeding round, if desired. Unlimited number of rounds.

Top finishers overall or from each race group can be raced in a Grand Finals round, if desired.
Compute Standings Yes Yes
Generate Reports Yes Yes
Display Statistics Yes Yes
Large Screen Displays for Audience Viewing Yes Yes
Serial Timers Supported Fast Track
NewBold Timers
RaceMaster IV
SmartLine
The Champ
The Judge
Fast Track
NewBold Timers
RaceMaster IV
SmartLine
The Champ
The Judge
Other Serial Timers
Race Methods Supported • Perfect-N Series
• Lane Rotation (Normal, Phase Shifted, Modified & Clustered)
• Dynamic
• Perfect-N Series
• Lane Rotation (Normal, Phase Shifted, Modified & Clustered)
• Dynamic
• Manual/Ad-Hoc Scheduling
Other Scheduling Methods
Track Records Tracking No Yes
Top Times Tracking No Yes
Master Scheduling No Yes
Apply Tiebreaker Rules No Yes
Display Racer Photos No Yes
Rename the "Vehicle Name" Data Field No Yes
Allow Selected Racers to Race but Exclude from Standings No Yes
Exclude Grand Finals Winners from Group Standings No Yes
Extended Desktop Mode No Yes
Interface with RaceReplay software No Yes
Interface with RaceFX software No Yes
  Purchase a Lite License Purchase a Pro License

 

Suggested Race Format

The software is flexible, so you can run just one round of racing for each group, or advance the top racers of a group to a new round or even run a Grand Finals Round of your top racers from each race group.  Since there are several different ways that you can use our software to run a race, we are often asked for our recommendation. Below is a suggested format.

Disclaimer: Please note that no one solution will fit the needs of all organizations. You really need to decide what will work best for your organization, number of racers, time constraints, and so on.

Scoring Method - Times or Points. Many people have argued the virtues of each. Basically, if you are confident in the accuracy of your timing system (including your start gate and switch) and the consistency of the crew running the track for the duration of the race, then we'd say go with Times; otherwise, if you have any doubt, go with Points. A drawback with points, though, is a greater chance for ties. This is less of a problem if you can fit in a lot of racing.

Scheduling Method - Use the Perfect-N Type scheduler for scheduling (for points scoring, it is recommended that you run two or more runs per lane to reduce the chance of ties). The Perfect-N Type schedule generator will yield schedules that will meet these minimum criteria:

  1. Each racer will race the same number of times in each lane. The total number of heats is easy to determine with the formula below.
    Total # of Heats = (# of Racers) X (# of Runs per Lane)

    Note: You can budget about 90 seconds a heat, if your race crew is moderately organized. Very organized crews can do under 45 seconds a heat.
  2. No head-to-head match up count exceeds another by more than 1 (basically, competition between racers will be spread out as much as possible).

Preliminary Round - The purpose of the preliminary round is to:

  1. To give each racer an equal opportunity to race.
  2. To allow each racer to race against a fair number of opponents.
  3. To reduce the number of racers to a more manageable number to run in the Trophy Round.
    Note: With small groups of racers, it is possible to skip a preliminary round and proceeded directly to a trophy round. If you find that your number of racers for a race group is equal to the number of finalists listed in the table below, you can just run a trophy round. This will save a lot of time in running the race and will still give you an accurate trophy order for the race group.

Trophy Round - The purpose of the trophy round is to accurately determine the trophy order.

Using the table below:
  1. Find the number of trophies that you wish to award.
  2. Select how many lanes to use. This can be less than the total number of lanes that you have. You will need to change the number of lanes in the Software Settings screen if it is less.
  3. This will give you the number of finalists to advance to the Trophy Round and the number of runs per lane to set in the schedule generator to get the most accurate chart.

With these parameters, the Perfect-N Type scheduler will yield what are called Complimentary Perfect-N schedules. These schedules meet the minimum requirements above, but will also match each racer against every other racer. Everyone will actually meet each other twice, but from opposite lanes the second time around so lane differences will be equalized. These schedules provide the most accurate means of determining trophy order.

Trophies Lanes to Use Finalists Runs Per Lane
1 2 or 3 3 2
2 2, 4 or 5 5 4 (2 Lanes)
2 (4 or 5 Lanes)
3 or 4 4 2
3 3, 4, 6 or 7 7 2
5 or 6 6 2
4 7 or 8 8 2
8 9 2
5 6 11 2
8 8 15 2

Note: There are other possible combinations to create Complimentary Perfect-N schedules, but all involve a greater number of runs per lane resulting in a lot more heats. You can see other possible combinations on Stan Pope's website at http://stanpope.net/grdir.html. Just look for the CP chart symbols.

Perfect-N Type Scheduling

General

This chart generator interface uses a driver to produce racing charts which satisfy the Partial Perfect-N (PPN) criteria. Where numbers permit, the charts also satisfy the Perfect-N criteria or the Complimentary Perfect-N criteria.

PPN Charts are a concept expounded to Stan Pope by Cory Young, under the name "Enhanced Lane Rotation". They are "final standing" charts, which span the gaps in Perfect-N charts. They satisfy most of the Perfect-N criteria.

A PPN chart is one which satisfies these conditions:

  1. Each vehicle races the same number of times in each lane (which implies that the number of heats is a multiple of the number of vehicles)
  2. Equality of opposition is optimized, i.e., no head-to-head match up count exceeds another by more than 1.
Note: There are no known PPN (or better) charts for the following cases: 5 lanes: 20 and 22 vehicles; 6 lanes: 16, 17, 29, 30, 32, 33, and 34 vehicles. (Many of these cases fall near Perfect-N charts ... which seems to be a complicating factor.) Lower quality charts, labeled "Miscellaneous", are produced for these options. Whether the chart is used for awarding trophies or screening for a more accurate finals, more accurate results will be accomplished by running byes in a PPN chart constructed for a slightly larger number of vehicles.

Note: Accuracy of the PPN charts ranks below Perfect-N and above Stearns and Double Elimination.

Note: This chart generator produces Perfect-N and Complementary Perfect-N charts when the chart selection parameters allow. Otherwise, it generates Partial Perfect-N charts or, as a last resort "Miscellaneous" charts. The title above the generated chart tells the type.

Advantages/Disadvantages

PPN Charts have their advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of, so you should examine them before deciding on this type of scheduling for your race.

  • Advantages:
    1. Race in Each Track Lane - This is one of the criteria that PPN charts must meet. Each racer has the same advantage/disadvantage when it comes to the lane assignments, so "slow" or "fast" lanes will not determine the outcome of the race.
    2. Equal Number of Heats - This is one of the other criteria that PPN charts must meet. The race is made more fair by allowing the racers an equal chance to compete by racing an equal number of times.
    3. High Number of Opponents - PPN Charts do a good job of maximizing the number of opponents for each racer without yielding as many heats as some other scheduling methods like the Stearns Method do. These charts are suitable for use when scoring by points due to the high number of opponents.
    4. Heats Spread Out for Each Racer - Though it is possible for a racer to race in back to back heats, PPN charts generally spread out the heats for each racer. This will keep the racers more into the race and less likely to get into mischief.
  • Disadvantages:
    1. Heat Randomness - Though there are mathematical algorithms that determine when the racers will race, it can appear to be random to the lay person. This can be a bit confusing since racers can be unsure when they will be racing and in which lane. This confusion can slow down a race unless countermeasures are put in place (posting schedules, displaying On Deck racers) to make sure that the appropriate racers get to the start gate when they should.
    2. Some Charts Cannot be Generated - It is not possible to generate charts for all possible combinations of lanes, racers and number of runs per lane since the mathematical algorithms to create them have not yet been found. This problem increases with higher numbers of lanes and number of runs per lane.