Two things of note have happened since my last post. One, the Solo Nationals Appeals Committee upheld the decision by the Solo Nationals Protest Committee to reinstate the first 3 runs taken, wet or dry, in the weather-interrupted Heat 5 on the last day of Nationals. Two, Howard Duncan sent out an apology for letting the Steward’s appeal get in the way of awarding trophies to the people who deserved them. Well done and well said, Howard.
Zennish autocrossing survives!
Not only was it affirmed that the Steward did not have the power to invalidate legitimate runs, it was affirmed that the Steward’s action, which she claimed to be enforcing the intent of the rules, was, in fact, contrary to the intent of the rules.
Did she actually believe otherwise? I doubt it. All indications are this is a woman with significant experience in both driving and officiating autocross. Many of her even more experienced fellow competitors told her she was wrong. She threw out the dry runs anyway. Then they officially disagreed with her by filing multiple protests. She could have stopped it all then, but she did not.
So, the Protest Committee heard the protests and told her she was wrong by upholding four of them and reinstating the runs taken before the delay. By appealing their ruling, she revealed the final act in a misguided attempt to single-handedly change autocross… to make autocross more fair. I’m confident she thinks it was for the good of the sport. What she really did was to attempt an end run around the rules-making process, an attempt which, if successful, might also save some face. Sort of like going to the Supreme Court in hopes of making new law via creative interpretation. Ain’t the way it’s supposed to work, that’s the legislature’s job, but in the words of the comic Judy Tenuta, “It could happen!”
Not taking multiple no’s for an answer, she attempted to get her fairness improvement encoded in an appeals committee ruling. Hoping they would say, “well, it was within her power as Steward and things surely were more fair in the end…” Thank God they didn’t!
Instead, the Appeals Committee said, “…it has long been the tradition and understanding in Solo that the weather “is what it is”…”
They went on to say, “We believe the lack of a rule addressing fairness and changes in weather [especially as the Solo Events Board has declined to enact any such rule when suggested in the past] reflects an intent that changes in weather not be the basis for discarding runs or declaring results “unfair.”
Now go howl at the moon, autocross zen-doggies.