So, to clarify. Things to make clear before next race:
- 8 minute replay is mandatory or not (if so, extra time for newbies?)
- What determines victory: fastest higher number of laps (not counting incomplete lap) or distance completed in total (counting incomplete lap)
Any of these 2 would have changed last race's result, so we should figure this out before next weekend
I'd say, definitely: 8 minutes is mandatory, and lap number + car position at 8:00.00 is the result.
In terms of Chulk's questions, that is "Yes" and "Distance". My favourite option would be Yes/Laps, as opposed to No/Laps like we did in this round. Due to practical concerns, however, it might be better to settle for Yes/Distance. Rationale below...
I don't know the rules of Le Mans though.
To be classified in the race results, a car is required to cross the finish line after 24 hours. This has led to dramatic scenes where damaged cars waited in the pits or on the edge of the track close to the finish line for hours, then restarted their engines and crawled across the line to be listed amongst the finishers.
Adapted to our purposes, Le Mans rules mean (1) pipsqueaks must complete a lap at or after 8:00.00; and (2) results are computed at completion of that final lap in the usual way (number of laps, then total time). Ideally, I would stick to this rule set, as it is the least ambiguous one and the one closest to a real endurance race. Also, I believe it is the only sane way to have results measured by laps with mandatory 8min driving, as it is silly to complete the final lap at 7:30 and then drive half a minute just to stay within the rules. Such rules, however, introduce one extra problem: individual races can take anywhere from 8:00.00 to nine minutes or even more, depending on how long it takes to complete the final lap. In the real Le Mans one extra lap after 24h driving makes little difference; in our case, however, it does matter a lot (just think how nasty it would be to cross the finish line at 7:59 and not being sure whether it is over or not...). If we adopted these rules, I guess we would have to, at a minimum, extend the deadline to 13 minutes.
Given the difficulties with Le Mans rules, BJ's suggestion ("8 minutes is mandatory, and lap number + car position at 8:00.00 is the result") looks like an attractive alternative. There are possible ambiguities in figuring out who was ahead (different racing lines and shortcuts among the pipsqueaks, dual-way tracks, etc.), though such risks look small enough to be tolerable due to the nature of the races.
P.S.: Back on Sunday, CTG mentioned a rather interesting compromise solution: setting four checkpoints and basing results on completed quarter-laps. That would combine some of the advantages of both lap-based and distance-based approaches, at the cost of extra complexity.