I totally agree with Grant. In race car preparation, CHEATING is modifying the
car/engine/drivetrain in a way which is not allowed either specifically by the
rules or is not allowed with a blanket statement such as, "any modifications not
specifically allowed is prohibited." "BENDING THE RULES on the other hand is as
Grant said, is looking for advantage by interpretation of the rules where they
either weren't clearly written or because of the vagaries of the English
language. In addition, I would add a third class, LOOKING FOR LOOPHOLES. In
this case, competitors try and look for either inadvertent omissions,
contradictions or things that the framers of the rules should have considered
didn't. I would also refer to this class as "race lawyering."
The first of these has been dealt with by Peter Eagins wonder article in the
August issue of Road and Track In which he says: "It seems to me that in any
amateur sporting contest, there are ultimately only two good reasons for playing
the game: One is to demonstrate your skill and/or courage (if you have any), and
the other is to show that you can behave honorably under pressure. When you
cheat, the honor is gone and your skill and courage remain unproved. So what's
I think that the second two are firmly ingrained in the history and "lore" of
motorsports competition. I also think that there are a number of racers who
pursuit of these two areas i.e. BENDING THE RULES and LOOKING FOR LOOPHOLES is
just as much fun as the actual on-track competition. And, of course, politics
also has something to do with this (a lot of politicking can go into the
interpretation of the rules and their enforcement by a given sanctioning body),
and we all know (especially with what has been going on in Washington, DC) that
man is a political animal.
I can handle the "rules benders", I can tolerate the "loophole finders", but I
can't abide cheating, and in SOVREN, we are doing our damnedest to get our cars
Dick Buckingham, Jr.
Race Chairman - SOVREN
Grant Reynolds wrote:
> S800Racer@aol.com wrote:
> > In a message dated 1/18/01 8:30:56 AM, John.Desantis@inficon.com writes:
> > << If you really believe this, read Mark Donohue's book "The Unfair
> > Advantage". Here is a man who rose to the top of our sport with the
> > philosophy of making himself and his cars "BETTER" than the next guy. He
> > mentions going toe to toe with SCCA on rules several times as well, so he
> > must not have been "within the rules" at all times. Or may be he just bent
> > the rules.
> > >>
> > Donahue and Penske pushed the rules to the limit, but the book is makes
> > it clear how offended they were wheneve anyone suggested that they were
> > "cheating". They generally felt that they won by working harder than the
> > next guy beginning with reading the rulebook and carrying through to
> > polishing the car before the race.
> "Bending the rules", properly understood, should mean carefully parsing
> the language in which the rule is written and producing an
> interpretation of it which, though plausible, may not be what the rules
> writer really had in mind. The English language is unusually susceptible
> to this, because it has so many synonyms and imprecise constructions
> resulting from its origin as a melange of Anglo-Saxon, French and Latin.
> Rules bending isn't cheating, but it has to be done carefully and with a
> modicum of good faith.
> There never was a 1275 Bugeye; that's not bending the rules(at least
> SCCA). But when first tried, was ducting brake cooling air through the
> headlight buckets, when the rules allowed the headlights to be
> Grant Reynolds