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WMR "Last Chance Majors at Grattan" Aug 12-13


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#21
Tom Scheifler

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We had 5 cars that wanted to leave Indy and race grattan on Sunday only. But since it was a single sanction they wanted full entry fee. They weren't willing to acomodate a single day entry.


They need to rethink their fee structure.

For the 8/11 - 8/12 event:
$425 before 7/17
$500 from 7/18 - 8/4
$575 from 8/4 - 8/11

I have to wonder if their attempt to encourage early entries is doing more harm than good. How many people deciding late skipped the event because $150 extra was too much?

And the supps stated the $75 for registering after 8/4 was "necessary because it requires extra effort on our registrar's part to hand process the entry after online registration is closed."
Of course, it was their choice to close online registration a week before the event. They could have left it open till the night before the event. And what's really infuriating is their "extra effort to hand process" appeared to be nothing more than using motorsportsreg.com to click the same selections we click to register.
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#22
Tom Sager

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Great weekend at Grattan.

 

Mike checked out on Saturday early in the race. Working together Danny Bender and Julian Garfield, Advanced Autosports team mates,  caught Mike but needed a few more laps to really make it a battle.

 

Sunday saw Danny and Mike out front at the start, They bumped and broke the valve stem on Dannys right front tire. A quick tire swap and Danny was out , but a lap down. With a worn out spare tire he managed the fastest SM lap of the weekend. Julian and Mike swapped the lead but Mike prevailed for the sweep.

 

Dan Ibrahim made his Majors debut in another Advanced Miata, his first time to Grattan, and he managed a 3rd place finish in Sundays STL race, beating all the other SM/STL competitors

 

Danny Bender wins the Northern Conference SM championship, over teammate Voytek Burdzy. Thomas Bernacki and Paul Kwiecinski also won Northern Conference Championships in T4 and T3 respectively. This gives the Advanced Autosports team a total of 3 Majors Championships for 2017

 

Great achievements this year Dave.  I think Mr. Bender is going to be very tough in SM at Indy if he has a good qualifying result.  He's been very smooth and fast and consistent all year. 


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#23
FTodaro

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They need to rethink their fee structure.

For the 8/11 - 8/12 event:
$425 before 7/17
$500 from 7/18 - 8/4
$575 from 8/4 - 8/11

I have to wonder if their attempt to encourage early entries is doing more harm than good. How many people deciding late skipped the event because $150 extra was too much?

And the supps stated the $75 for registering after 8/4 was "necessary because it requires extra effort on our registrar's part to hand process the entry after online registration is closed."
Of course, it was their choice to close online registration a week before the event. They could have left it open till the night before the event. And what's really infuriating is their "extra effort to hand process" appeared to be nothing more than using motorsportsreg.com to click the same selections we click to register.

Having participated in running these events one of the best tools to encourage early registration is to grid the first session by entry date. I would agree that 150.00 is a bit steep for a late fee.


Frank
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Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

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#24
Steve Scheifler

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Having participated in running these events one of the best tools to encourage early registration is to grid the first session by entry date. I would agree that 150.00 is a bit steep for a late fee.


A bit steep? Frank, I think the word you were looking for was punitive, or excessive, harsh, severe, stiff, burdensome, outrageous, bullshit. IMO any amount is too much but there is no excuse for this level of nonsense in a "club" against its members. After many months of family and medical issues which took precedence over this trivial hobby we had a very narrow window of opportunity to make a race, my first of the season. We had been signed up for Topeka the week before, a track we have never driven and had no test day, and of course not even a single practice session. Saturday promised to be hit by monsoon-like weather so we canceled that at the last second and rolled the dice on Grattan. Between us the $300 penalty exceeded our hotel expense, it was multiples of our race fuel costs, it would have nearly paid our tow fuel costs, for the unthinkable crime of choosing at the last minute to attend their race. Shame on us!

For us it isn't financially decisive, but under normal circumstances I would have thrown them a big fat FU on principal alone.
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#25
Steve Scheifler

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Oh, and the grid by entry date is also unacceptable and just a disincentive to attend once a lot of others have signed up, or at a minimum an unwarranted irritant.  Do you really want to have scores of people register on the possibility that they will go only to then drop out at the last minute?  The national office should abolish all such rubbish and severely limit cancellation fees as well.


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#26
FTodaro

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Oh, and the grid by entry date is also unacceptable and just a disincentive to attend once a lot of others have signed up, or at a minimum an unwarranted irritant.  Do you really want to have scores of people register on the possibility that they will go only to then drop out at the last minute?  The national office should abolish all such rubbish and severely limit cancellation fees as well.

Steve I do not disagree with you on the point of the extent of a 150.00 cancellation fee, but volunteer to work on your regions race committee and see how much risk clubs have to take and how much effort is pored into these events so that you get to have a weekend of fun. Putting on a race is a major undertaking and i think most clubs are happy to break even, 

 

For OVR region to put on our Major, it takes over 200 volunteers, and an outlay of 60 to 70,000 + to make it happen. Most clubs appreciate early registration, and have to scramble with late registration changes.

 

So While agree a 150 late fee is a hit. other efforts to get commitments is just good business. So while there may be some inconvenience to you, in the big picture its a fair trade.


Frank
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#27
Steve Scheifler

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Bunk. It is NOT a business and what they do is not a fair trade. In the end I suspect it is counterproductive but that can't proved or disproved conclusively. Other regions and organizations that struggle manage with little or no such penalty, it was dropped here some years back. I do know it is expensive and I do know it takes a lot of people a lot of time and effort, I've been around awhile too.

They see all the expensive cars and rigs and probably think why not, they can afford it. And they're probably right, those guys will just write a bigger check and move on. But for the little guys it can be a deal breaker, if not for that event then how many they can run in a season, and that leads to less satisfaction with the club and the sport. There are a LOT of places to spend what little money they have for motorsports, the SCCA needs to get it's collective head out of the 70s and figure out how to better serve its members. It is extremely and increasing clear that they just don't get it.
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#28
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Why are all these SCCA isues a non factor for MidWestern Council? Drive up Sat. or Sun. pay the normal entry fee and Have Fun. MWC has as many entries to their races as SCCA non Majors/Super Tour races.


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#29
davew

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Couple quick things

 

Midwestern Council accepts only check or cash at the track. No credit cards processed. If you want to use a card, pre-register

 

Many races are now delayed billing. register online with a credit card, card will not be billed until after the weekend. Don't show up and you don't get charged.

 

I don't think any club/region is trying to make a profit. But they can not lose money for very long. Expenses keep going up, track rental, insurance, trophys, those great Saturday night dinners all cost more every year.

 

Some expenses must be prepaid. AT least deposits put down. Early payment makes this easier on the club.

 

FYI


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#30
Steve Scheifler

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Still waiting for anything even approaching justification for a penalty of $50 let alone $150. Again, some manage just fine so I don't buy the reasons I'm hearing. The supps for this race also stated someting about another $25 for "manual entry" or some such. WTF, I'll take that job at easily $300/hr for something an average 5th grader could do in 5 minutes.

IF people are slower to commit than years ago then there are reasons behind that, stiff penalties are not the solution.
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#31
FTodaro

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Bunk. It is NOT a business and what they do is not a fair trade. In the end I suspect it is counterproductive but that can't proved or disproved conclusively. Other regions and organizations that struggle manage with little or no such penalty, it was dropped here some years back. I do know it is expensive and I do know it takes a lot of people a lot of time and effort, I've been around awhile too.

They see all the expensive cars and rigs and probably think why not, they can afford it. And they're probably right, those guys will just write a bigger check and move on. But for the little guys it can be a deal breaker, if not for that event then how many they can run in a season, and that leads to less satisfaction with the club and the sport. There are a LOT of places to spend what little money they have for motorsports, the SCCA needs to get it's collective head out of the 70s and figure out how to better serve its members. It is extremely and increasing clear that they just don't get it.

Just to clarify, i was not attempting to justify a late fee, but i was defending efforts to get early registration and to grid by sign up date.


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#32
Steve Scheifler

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OK.

How about something positive rather than punitive? Maybe being included in a drawing for a free entry if registered before a given date? Our region has been doing a drawing like that but I don't think it required early registration, they just wanted more entrants. I have my doubts that will make someone decide to come to Gateway, but if coming anyway it might encourage early registration. (BTW, only to make my point that this isn't really about the money for me, I will mention that I won the free entry at our Majors a year ago and told them to gift it to the lady who had handled registration here for decades and was retiring from the role).
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#33
Tom Scheifler

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FYI, there was a free entry drawing for early registration at the Grattan major. Good way to promote early entries without making others pay penalties.
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#34
luckymiata76

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Still waiting for anything even approaching justification for a penalty of $50 let alone $150. Again, some manage just fine so I don't buy the reasons I'm hearing. The supps for this race also stated someting about another $25 for "manual entry" or some such. WTF, I'll take that job at easily $300/hr for something an average 5th grader could do in 5 minutes.

IF people are slower to commit than years ago then there are reasons behind that, stiff penalties are not the solution.

Steve,

 

About 3-4 years ago I made a proposal(with my Race Chair and RE hat on) to all the racing regions in GLDIV to impose a $75 late fee for Majors and a $50 late fee for regions if not registered one week before the race. With the advent and use of MSR in the mid-2000's, we found that racers were waiting until the very last minute to register. Late entry fee's all over the division were waived when the economy took a dump.  Racers figured this out and we found that more and more racers were registering the day before a race.

 

Remember, regions have to order food and trophies ahead of time and a weeks notice seems fair. Yes, we get "walk-ups" at our races, but that number is generally less than 10. But imagine if it were 50? Analogy-you must RSVP for a wedding because the wedding party needs to make plans food, tables, drinks etc. You wouldn't just show up at the wedding reception without RSVP-ing!

 

Finally, it does seem to me that the late fee at Grattan was a little excessive and as a racer you have a choice of not going. WMR is probably losing quite a few entries because there a good number of racers that decide 1-2 weeks ahead of time. Shoot the RE/Race chair of WMR an e-mail letting them know your thoughts.

 

Jeff Luckritz

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#35
Steve Scheifler

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Thanks Jeff. I question the wedding analogy given that food is a major factor in planning those, but I'm not denying there are issues related to projected head coulnt.

It sounds like most agree that $150 was excessive, and for those who don't surely they would balk at some point. Why not $300?

I don't have historical data to back it up but I can't help wondering whether the "Last chance majors" name isn't a clue to a willful decision on the part of someone to crank it up a bit despite being an event which was alll but guaranteed to draw sufficienr entries to cover expenses. And again I wonder at what point are last minute cancellations and no-shows just as bad as me showing up unexpected?
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