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#21
Caveman-kwebb99

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Like Mike or not he has served our country when most cower and has served our community and our club giving countless hours for the benefit of others!
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#22
Tom Sager

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So has Michael Cobb, the new President, re-located to Topeka or will he stay in Texas?  Has he announced any significant organizational changes or initiatives? 


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#23
David L

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Mike is a bully and there are plenty of people laughing watching his world burn, that's life.

 

Karma is a bitch


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#24
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And I think most here think your a total douche bag,me amongst that group... But I can certainly tell you if you were going to jail or on deaths door I would not be throwing some kind of party! Certainly would be glad for you never to post here again though but I guess it's a free country one that your buddy Mike defended for you freedom!
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#25
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Mike Collins is a loud mouth aragant a-hole. But he is also a gentile giant who did a lot of work for the benefit of this country, this class and racing as a whole. And I call him a friend. Everything that I have heard or read has been that Mike was not involved in the crime. Indirectly he may have benefitted, but not directly involved. If he was involved, you know the feds would have pursued him as opposed to his wife. I can only hope that things go well for the family in this hard period of time.

 

Back on the real topic of conversation. The new SCCA president. I had a brief conversation with him at the Sprints. He seemed to be a genuine guy who wants to do well for the club. He spent 2 days at Road America as a corner worker. His first road racing experience. All the comments I heard were positive about his additude and abilities. I hope for the best.


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#26
luvin_the_rings

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I'm excited to see some changes. 

 

1. I'd like to see more super schools during the season.  New members are the life line of any club. 

 

2. There are some great stories buried in the pits at regional events.  Maybe some small rewards for publicizing the smaller events through social media or local advertising.  The local races (at least here on the west coast) rarely make it into the local papers.  For a small town like Buttonwillow, CA.  The large sum of people going to that track boosts the economy of the town a ton.  

 

3. I'd like to see more general recognition of the SCCA brand.  So many people still have no idea what it is.  

 

Can't wait to be a part of this new generation. 

 

Zoom Zoom!

 

-Z


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#27
Danny Steyn

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I too have great hopes that Michael Cobb with bring a fresh approach to the SCCA. Gold's Gym has always been one of the trendsetters in the competitive gym world. And a president that reaches out to his customer base will always do better than someone who stands aloof - I really appreciated Jeff Danhert's approach and I was sorry to see him go. 

 

There are many aspects of the club that I love, but there are also so many issues that need addressing right away to improve the customer experience. We need the current customers to have a more enjoyable experience. We need to attract new customers, by showing that this is a fun way to spend your time and money, and we have to do a better job at reaching out to car enthusiasts in general

 

Having your customer stand endlessly in multiple lines at every event is just nuts. Moving the club into the 21st century utilizing current technology has to be a high priority. Introduce electronic logbooks, scannable hard cards, scannable annual tech stickers on cars, national registry of habitual contact offenders, and so much more. 

 

Make no mistake this is a complex job, with so many vested interests from political players, to multiple classes, to sponsors and more. Cobb will have a full days work ahead of him for a long time to come.


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#28
dstevens

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It will be interesting to see if the outsider approach will work.  As a business, even an NPO, the club has some operational and structural issues that don't fit in the contemporary market.  WADR I think it's largely seen as a stuffy old white guys club.  And this is coming from a stuffy (getting) old white guy.  It faces the same issues as motorsport in general.  Declining participation at the regional level and rising costs as well as a mode of entertainment/sport that is dated and unappealing to new audiences.   This particular implementation of a member driven model is cumbersome, slow to react to market changes  and easily gamed by those that may be pushing an agenda.  It's 2017, not 1977 and methods and approaches that served the club well in previous generations/decades aren't working in the current environment. 

 

Nationally it's morphed into a semi-pro series which has pushed many of the grassroots racers out of the picture.  There is a demand for low cost, low barrier to entry racing.  The SCCA culture and operational structure does not lend itself to the changing market.  There is a hubris in the culture (both with the sanction and many of the racers) toward low cost racing like LeMons or ChumpCar.  Sure there's a lot of kitsch and silliness in those series but that doesn't mean there isn't a demand for racing low cost cars.   Without a cheap, easy means to go racing the field of regional racers will dwindle even more.  The impact right now isn't at the national level, it's getting a long term plan to sustain the regions.  Without strong regional support the long term viability of club sports car racing is perilous.  


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#29
Danny Steyn

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I agree with much of what you say Mr Stevens, but my view isn't quite as perilous as yours. Nevertheless, if it is to be fixed, it will have to be done from someone from the outside, someone who can work within the current operational / structural / political framework. I see no way that it will change from within. Once again, why I was so hopeful that Danhert would fix things


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#30
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Danny you have fixed the 1.6 and now the 1.8... why are you not applying for the job to save the rest of the universe? Even I would vote for you although then you would know was going to be teched from week to week and would therefore be stopping the clock on a weekly basis...
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#31
Tom Sager

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It will be interesting to see if the outsider approach will work.  As a business, even an NPO, the club has some operational and structural issues that don't fit in the contemporary market.  WADR I think it's largely seen as a stuffy old white guys club.  And this is coming from a stuffy (getting) old white guy.  It faces the same issues as motorsport in general.  Declining participation at the regional level and rising costs as well as a mode of entertainment/sport that is dated and unappealing to new audiences.   This particular implementation of a member driven model is cumbersome, slow to react to market changes  and easily gamed by those that may be pushing an agenda.  It's 2017, not 1977 and methods and approaches that served the club well in previous generations/decades aren't working in the current environment. 

 

Nationally it's morphed into a semi-pro series which has pushed many of the grassroots racers out of the picture.  There is a demand for low cost, low barrier to entry racing.  The SCCA culture and operational structure does not lend itself to the changing market.  There is a hubris in the culture (both with the sanction and many of the racers) toward low cost racing like LeMons or ChumpCar.  Sure there's a lot of kitsch and silliness in those series but that doesn't mean there isn't a demand for racing low cost cars.   Without a cheap, easy means to go racing the field of regional racers will dwindle even more.  The impact right now isn't at the national level, it's getting a long term plan to sustain the regions.  Without strong regional support the long term viability of club sports car racing is perilous.  

Thank you for a very constructive post in this thread.  I share the concerns about waning participation. Cost for sure and you mentioned it a couple times is a factor.  Like so many things in our society, the level of effort and complexity and cost to participate and compete in SCCA racing has ratcheted up over the decades.  There used to be a number of classes where one could get a car and participate and compete well for not all that much $.  Showroom Stock, FV, FF, some of the production and some sedan classes among them.  Competition and other factors caused a lot of prep creep over the years and the cost to be competitive grew.  The number of classes grew.  The size of tow rigs and trailers grew.  Spare parts and tools grew.  The number of events grew.  Entry fee costs grew.  Participation in test days grew.  It's gotten very very big in many ways. Some of that "bigness" is pretty cool, but it's more cost and effort than ever to compete IMO.  In our class there are some folks running at or near the front on more modest budgets (not many though) but how many classes with decent sized fields can say that?

 

IMO we need more classes where you can participate and compete for less $ and less prep effort and it's gotta be something that appeals more to younger potential racers.  FV is still likely pretty cheap but how many 25 year olds want to drive an ugly 1-seater powered by a 50 year old beetle engine on motorcycle sized tires?  Why do we need Touring and ST classes?  In hindsight couldn't that have been 1 category?  How many production class cars are being built annually?  Why did we have to create FE?  Couldn't SCCA have built and distributed it's own spec sealed formula car and placed it in the FF class using the same rules?   The classes that have done best over the years in terms of participation have been those that offered close competition and more predictable costs.  Add to that where the choice of car was clear.  Showroom stock did best when there was 1 or 2 clear choices of which was the best car to race.  The cost of building the wrong (not competitive) car for any class is pretty high.  Why is B-Spec not really popular?  I'd say because when you can't figure out which car is best and equalization changes every year and when the prep level by a few goes bonkers you ruin it for everyone. 

 

Create a class or two or three (or fix existing classes) with easy to follow rules that substantially limit cost, get manufacturer's involved who will support it with $, parts and know-how.  Make it easy to choose what to race.  SCCA can still have some big bucks playground classes but we need more that are within reach of more people. 


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#32
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I am experienced in large organization, not for profit BOD operations. I can say with great confidence that if the BOD is not healthy and does not have (and/or set) a clear strategic vision, and does not have total discipline in keeping their hands off the operations of SCCA then the new President will not survive. My sense was that in recent years, the trouble started at the top with unhealthy govenernace. Part of this has to do with fundamentally screwed up (built in conflicts) SCCA by laws.

With that said I am cautiously encouraged. The SCCA BOD has publically handled this transition in a mature way. They hired a professional search firm who not only helped them identify candidates, but also worked with the BOD to work through "good governance" workshops. If the BOD listened and took the advice to heart, setting aside regional agendas, then we have a shot at success. (what I mean by that is a whole separate post)

They clearly had choices to hire a marketing expert, an operations expert or a "not for profit" organizational expert. They took the risky but courageous path of choosing a marketing expert. No pain, no gain. We can expect he will bring a "new client focus" discipline to an organization that, by character and intent is built around the people who already participate (the already committed). To be successful he will need to develop a new missional message that is clear in focus and sufficiently compelling to drive change in the organization so that we can become a growth organization and not a maintenance organization.

In my opinion, his biggest tasks are to get with the BOD and determine two simple questions (1) what exactly are we about - and (2) and what are we NOT about. And then viscously cut out any programs that don't fit into #1. This will annoy many people. However SCCA has very limited resources and spending any of them on anything but the central focus is wasted focus. E.g. In my opinion SCCA needs to decide if it's a pro racing club or a amateur racing club. Make the decision and jump.

Problems? Many. His biggest one will be getting used to working with a volunteer BOD. This will be unlike anything in his (publically documented) experience and he will need to spend a huge amount of time learning to navigate the by-laws and nuances. It's not a bad thing neccassarily, just what he has to do. He will need to find the balance between making sure the BOD knows they control strategy and some cleanly defined tasks such as rules, while ensuring the BOD knows he (totally) controls the operation of SCCA. If he does not handle this well and immediately, he's dead in the water. By the way, this is the area where (even from a distance) it's was clear that Lisa was battling. Next he will need to build his staff around him. Expect to see potentially significant shifts. And of course he will need to build national support for his programs. While obviously it's good for him to go around and listen to people, my advice (not that he is asking for it....) would be to not spend too much time (or any time) trying to reconcile the competing interests and ideas from the regions. He needs to come to the table with support structures from national that leads, not follow the regions (e.g. Digital tech, etc). a camel by committee will waste everyone's time.

Ok I'm done now. Never intended to get into a missive. It just sort of happened.

CNJ
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#33
Peter Olivola

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One thing you left out of your unicorn approach that has been repeated often enough that it must be ignored not to see it is moving a regional only class to Runoffs eligible status.  As you noted, showroom stock was once an affordable class.  Then it went national.  SM followed those footsteps to the same outcome.

 

Thank you for a very constructive post in this thread.  I share the concerns about waning participation. Cost for sure and you mentioned it a couple times is a factor.  Like so many things in our society, the level of effort and complexity and cost to participate and compete in SCCA racing has ratcheted up over the decades.  There used to be a number of classes where one could get a car and participate and compete well for not all that much $.  Showroom Stock, FV, FF, some of the production and some sedan classes among them.  Competition and other factors caused a lot of prep creep over the years and the cost to be competitive grew.  The number of classes grew.  The size of tow rigs and trailers grew.  Spare parts and tools grew.  The number of events grew.  Entry fee costs grew.  Participation in test days grew.  It's gotten very very big in many ways. Some of that "bigness" is pretty cool, but it's more cost and effort than ever to compete IMO.  In our class there are some folks running at or near the front on more modest budgets (not many though) but how many classes with decent sized fields can say that?

 

IMO we need more classes where you can participate and compete for less $ and less prep effort and it's gotta be something that appeals more to younger potential racers.  FV is still likely pretty cheap but how many 25 year olds want to drive an ugly 1-seater powered by a 50 year old beetle engine on motorcycle sized tires?  Why do we need Touring and ST classes?  In hindsight couldn't that have been 1 category?  How many production class cars are being built annually?  Why did we have to create FE?  Couldn't SCCA have built and distributed it's own spec sealed formula car and placed it in the FF class using the same rules?   The classes that have done best over the years in terms of participation have been those that offered close competition and more predictable costs.  Add to that where the choice of car was clear.  Showroom stock did best when there was 1 or 2 clear choices of which was the best car to race.  The cost of building the wrong (not competitive) car for any class is pretty high.  Why is B-Spec not really popular?  I'd say because when you can't figure out which car is best and equalization changes every year and when the prep level by a few goes bonkers you ruin it for everyone. 

 

Create a class or two or three (or fix existing classes) with easy to follow rules that substantially limit cost, get manufacturer's involved who will support it with $, parts and know-how.  Make it easy to choose what to race.  SCCA can still have some big bucks playground classes but we need more that are within reach of more people. 


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#34
Walter Vetter

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If only there was an entry level, low cost spec series where all car were identical. :-P

I hope the new president sticks around a while. Revolving door leadership is never good for any organization.
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#35
dstevens

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If only there was an entry level, low cost spec series where all car were identical. :-P
 

SM quit being that after it went national.  It's neither low cost nor entry level now.  Through the current prism of club sports car racing $10-15k car and approaching a $1k to run a weekend is low cost but out in normalville that's expensive.  I don't expect it to be as cheap as a hornet stock or even hobby stock (largely due to track rental costs) but the car costs can be similar.   It doesn't have to be hi-tech to be hi-fun.   As much as the marketing says SCCA is inclusive, when it comes to racing it's more exclusive.  There is no effective nationwide DE program to lure people in and help them develop to go wheel to wheel.  When you do get the opportunity for wheel to wheel the windows to join are constrained.  Guys like Danny and Drago aren't going to be able to race forever and unless something changes I'm not seeing too many prospects for people to replace them (and others) once they decide to hang up the helmet.



#36
chris haldeman

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I feel they should have hired CNJ
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#37
Cnj

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I feel they should have hired CNJ


:)
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#38
Tom Sager

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Spec Elio.

 

These guys will be looking for exposure and publicity.  1300 pounds, 55HP. $7500.  Cool. Race them.

 

https://www.eliomoto...atures/#details


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#39
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SM quit being that after it went national.  It's neither low cost nor entry level now.  Through the current prism of club sports car racing $10-15k car and approaching a $1k to run a weekend is low cost but out in normalville that's expensive.  I don't expect it to be as cheap as a hornet stock or even hobby stock (largely due to track rental costs) but the car costs can be similar.   It doesn't have to be hi-tech to be hi-fun.   As much as the marketing says SCCA is inclusive, when it comes to racing it's more exclusive.  There is no effective nationwide DE program to lure people in and help them develop to go wheel to wheel.  When you do get the opportunity for wheel to wheel the windows to join are constrained.  Guys like Danny and Drago aren't going to be able to race forever and unless something changes I'm not seeing too many prospects for people to replace them (and others) once they decide to hang up the helmet.

Good point, i got into the SCCA via NASA i went through the NASA comp school and raced it first and would still be there until they started to treat us like crap.

 

Years ago, Caveman and I were racing together and decided to try SCCA once we did we left NASA. Starting out we had no clue what SCCA was about.


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#40
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  • Region:North East
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:51

There's a lot of discussion about cost so I'm left wondering why SCCA SM runs virtually the most expensive tire option available. Switch to Toyo RR's and your cost per weekend drops by a few hundreds bucks right away. The market theory decisions will take time to prove out but this one is low hanging fruit.


  • Alberto likes this
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




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