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#21
Danica Davison

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90+ entries the last 4 years for the "ChampCar" (formerly "ChumpCar") 14 hour endurance race held there the first weekend in February.  Went for my 4th year this past weekend.

 

With Majors getting more and more less fun .. chump car is getting more and more and more fun.  I have a really good setup with my team of SM drivers where we just split the cost on our car and it makes it SO affordable. And we battle it out for 14 hours straight, every race in the southeast with stacked teams with Buras, Novak, Pardus, Hille, and the list goes on.  Seriously so much fun. I am on a team of four and it costs us about $500 each for an event and we get 3.5-4 hours of track time. You just cant beat that.  We were supposed to go to Road Atlanta and had already paid and everything, but our engine let go after about 4-5 events in Sebring on New Years. We will be at Daytona in April and VIR for the 24 hour race this year! 

 
 


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#22
Jim Creighton

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OK, just asking a question. At our scheduling meeting this past weekend, the NCR people said they would not longer hold the 13 hour race at VIR because of lack of attendance. Why? Isn't one 13 hour race as good as another when your running for no real reason.  The 13 hour went from a waiting list to enter down to 35 cars.

 

If we could get Atlanta Motor Speedway, would anyone want to run a 12 hour race?  Track was very easy on tires last time we used it. Good facility.



#23
SaulSpeedwell

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With Majors getting more and more less fun .. chump car is getting more and more and more fun.  I have a really good setup with my team of SM drivers where we just split the cost on our car and it makes it SO affordable. And we battle it out for 14 hours straight, every race in the southeast with stacked teams with Buras, Novak, Pardus, Hille, and the list goes on.  Seriously so much fun. I am on a team of four and it costs us about $500 each for an event and we get 3.5-4 hours of track time. You just cant beat that.  We were supposed to go to Road Atlanta and had already paid and everything, but our engine let go after about 4-5 events in Sebring on New Years. We will be at Daytona in April and VIR for the 24 hour race this year! 

 
 

 

I'll always be a loyal fan and supporter of SCCA, and I fondly remember the 8 years I ran SM as a second job ... but I have had a TON of low-stress cost-effective fun running Champ/Chump since 2011.  We won Road Atlanta 3 years in a row, and were running P1 this year until our second car broke at 11.5 hours.  We also won the VIR 24 last year, after 4 tries.  Of course it isn't as competitive as SM, and it isn't sprint racing with 5-wide divebombs into Turn 1.  After years of being a one-man gang, it is fun being on a team where 10 of us can share the joy (and misery) as well as the workload and costs.  The Southeast races are well-attended, well-run, and COMPETITIVE.  The PIRC and Watkins Glen races were just as good.  The "Central/Great Lakes" races have not been as good.  Mid Ohio and Gingerman were zonkers, IMO.


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#24
Danica Davison

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OK, just asking a question. At our scheduling meeting this past weekend, the NCR people said they would not longer hold the 13 hour race at VIR because of lack of attendance. Why? Isn't one 13 hour race as good as another when your running for no real reason.  The 13 hour went from a waiting list to enter down to 35 cars.
 
If we could get Atlanta Motor Speedway, would anyone want to run a 12 hour race?  Track was very easy on tires last time we used it. Good facility.

 

12 hours with SM cars? I still don't think you will get a lot of cars. You would have to rebuild most of the car at the end of one of them and the engines are too expensive as well. I am okay with blowing up my $1,000 chump motor ... but tiring out my much more expensive SM motor is not something I would want to do.


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#25
Jim Creighton

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OK, message delivered on enduros for SCCA cars.  So what can the regions do to make your experience on a SCCA weekend better other than less stress from tech/registration?

 

Did we get on the right path for the July race at Roebling where we emphasized things for the family such as free ice cream/water/dinner plus things for the kids to do? What else can we do at that race to make it more fun for all. Remember, it is a combined Majors/SARRC and all Runoffs classes get Majors and the new SEDiv Championship series points and all who ask for them get SARRC points. We are looking into having big wheel races, a supervised wading pool and legos for the kids plus the book exchange plus a t shirt exchange. And also dinner for all plus live entertainment and little something extra from Toni & I for our 50th year of bliss together as of July 6th.

 

What would you like? And no, I can't cage the gnats for the weekend. Consider them extra protein. It took me several weeks after the race to stop waiving in front of my mouth every time I talked to someone.



#26
Danica Davison

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OK, message delivered on enduros for SCCA cars.  So what can the regions do to make your experience on a SCCA weekend better other than less stress from tech/registration?
 
Did we get on the right path for the July race at Roebling where we emphasized things for the family such as free ice cream/water/dinner plus things for the kids to do? What else can we do at that race to make it more fun for all. Remember, it is a combined Majors/SARRC and all Runoffs classes get Majors and the new SEDiv Championship series points and all who ask for them get SARRC points. We are looking into having big wheel races, a supervised wading pool and legos for the kids plus the book exchange plus a t shirt exchange. And also dinner for all plus live entertainment and little something extra from Toni & I for our 50th year of bliss together as of July 6th.
 
What would you like? And no, I can't cage the gnats for the weekend. Consider them extra protein. It took me several weeks after the race to stop waiving in front of my mouth every time I talked to someone.

 

I am sure all that stuff was great, but for me personally, I don't have kids and I don't read books for fun lol. Promoting a friendly atmosphere is always a great idea. In my opinion, NASA does a really good job at doing stuff like this. If you haven't been to one in a while (or ever), go to a NASA FL or NASA SE event ... the racing is not as good, but they really do know how to put on a light and fun weekend.

 

Unfortunately, myself and the Autotechnik gang wont be going to Roebling again on the current SM7 tire. We will see how the new SM8 or whatever they want to call it will hold up. But until then, no Roebling for us.


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#27
Danny Steyn

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Jim, once again, thanks for reaching out, but I suspect that there will be few suggestions on what to do better. But we drivers are always quick to point out what we don't like (myself included). So why not focus on reducing those things (and I know the Atlanta Region leads the way in several of the things I will list below) and I hope that others add to it

  • None of us like standing in lines - make the registration and tech process as simple and expeditious as possible (as I said, you guys are one of the best, but there is always room for improvement
  • Most of us look at the track time per dollar spent (as well as the track time per weekend) - Maximize that (easier said than done) 
  • Unless there is anything specific or new to say, reduce the drivers meetings to a minimum or do away with them (other than for newbies)
  • For those classes that are likely to have extensive tech (like SM) make sure that we are Group 1 so that we can tear down stuff, get it inspected, and still get out of there at a reasonable time
  • Encourage spectator drive arounds - great way to get new blood into the sport - VIR does this well
  • Encourage double dipping in multiple classes with significant discounts for the extra classes (some tracks / regions / sanctioning bodies do, others don't and the numbers reflect it)
  • etc. 

Most of us look at racing as an addiction we need to feed, but we have so many choices, that the corner dealer that comes up with the most affordable, enjoyable fix is going to grab most of the customers. Hope some of this helps.


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#28
Danica Davison

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None of us like standing in lines - make the registration and tech process as simple and expeditious as possible (as I said, you guys are one of the best, but there is always room for improvement: We have discussed this one before. Regions unfortunately do not get to make this kind of change (at least not much of one). They have to follow procedures and rules set by national office. Only national office can change this. But, I think with that one homeboi who got moved into a systems/tech role at SCCA HQ, I think that they might be trying to do something about this.

 

Most of us look at the track time per dollar spent (as well as the track time per weekend) - Maximize that (easier said than done) - Bingo! #1 Answer

 

Unless there is anything specific or new to say, reduce the drivers meetings to a minimum or do away with them (other than for newbies) - Move the meeting to the end of the day when we are already drunk. It will be more fun.

 

For those classes that are likely to have extensive tech (like SM) make sure that we are Group 1 so that we can tear down stuff, get it inspected, and still get out of there at a reasonable time - Trueeeee and I agree. This does however piss off other classes that this is always the case (See roadraceautox.com), but they bitch a lot on there, so whatever.  :D

 

Encourage spectator drive arounds - great way to get new blood into the sport - VIR does this well - Also good idea. But during lunch so the track time is not taken away from paying racers.

 

Encourage double dipping in multiple classes with significant discounts for the extra classes (some tracks / regions / sanctioning bodies do, others don't and the numbers reflect it) - The fact that there aren't discounts in majors for double dippers is SO DUMB! They would have so many more SM guys running STL for practice besides just a couple. 


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#29
Jim Creighton

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Thanks for good clear answers. I will deliver.

 

Are we at a point where the regional/SARRC guys might want a different tire even if it means changing when you run Majors? We can make this happen if enough think it is an answer to lowering costs and increasing entries.  Back to Toyo?



#30
Danica Davison

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Thanks for good clear answers. I will deliver.
 
Are we at a point where the regional/SARRC guys might want a different tire even if it means changing when you run Majors? We can make this happen if enough think it is an answer to lowering costs and increasing entries.  Back to Toyo?

 

I think that would be too much of a pain in the ass. Most of us run heat cycled tires during regionals. It would suck to have to keep track and buy difference sets. Plus, regional guys buy takeoffs from the majors guys all the time. Tire needs to stay the same across Regional/Majors ... but the SM7 needs to change, which they are already working on and will find out at the end of this year.


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#31
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I can't speak to why the Atlanta Major is in such trouble, but I think scheduling can really hurt a "Major".  Watkins Glen is a good example.  It was poorly attended last year, and will likely be poorly attended this year. 

 

Why?  Because the June Sprints is the week before.  These are both Hoosier Super Tour events at awesome tracks.  It would help them both to be a little spaced out.  (I'm sure there is some scheduling reason with the track, the regions, and national office that make it impossible  :rolleyes: )


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#32
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I can't speak to why the Atlanta Major is in such trouble, but I think scheduling can really hurt a "Major".  Watkins Glen is a good example.  It was poorly attended last year, and will likely be poorly attended this year. 

 

Why?  Because the June Sprints is the week before.  These are both Hoosier Super Tour events at awesome tracks.  It would help them both to be a little spaced out.  (I'm sure there is some scheduling reason with the track, the regions, and national office that make it impossible  :rolleyes: )

I really want to go back to Watkins, didn't go last year for that reason.  Likely wont be going again this year again for the same reason.. You would think they would at least try something different. perhaps that is the only date they can get.   


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#33
scott sanda

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In terms of scheduling for tracks like road america and the Glenn, you get what they give you.  Sprints has been the same weekend for a long, long time, and RA has it all booked around.  I cannot speak for the Glenn but I'm sure it is the same.

 

The same issue exists between Mido and RA, for the same reason. 

 

If the Regions had any control, all the "major" (as opposed to majors....) events would have 3 weeks between them.



#34
SaulSpeedwell

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Scheduling has always been a problem.  One of the best and most fun things I can remember doing was the Indy region SM drivers and the NEOhio SM drivers set up a challenge to each other, and to their region officials (back in Regional-only days):  If we could bring >=30 SMs to IRP, they would give us "Goldilocks" Group 3 all to ourselves.  And, in turn, if we could bring >=30 SMs to Nelson Ledges, they would give us Group 3 all to ourselves.  Both regions met their commitments, in terms of SM entrants making the trip to a track they might not otherwise go to, and the region officials met their commitment by shuffling the schedule.  For two relatively "unloved" tracks, the workers and hometown SM drivers rolled out the red carpet for their out of town guests.  Lots of special effort put into BBQs and being good hosts, and I think we even did some corny things like donate Gatorade and snacks for the worker refreshments with our various car numbers on it, the idea being the poor soul baking in a flagstand in Turn 4 might be rooting for #11 since his Gatorade and granola bar came out of the #11 "Thank You" bag.  Why not give the corner workers a reason to like SM a little more than they like GT1 or SRF, huh?

 

It sounds Pollyanna and corny, perhaps, but it was a super cool deal all the way around, and may be something we could tap into even in 2018 and the more cutthroat "Nationals" setting?  Just a thought ...

 

For those that know Steve Welk, I think this was the IRP race where he was on pole (or at least first two rows?) but missed the call to grid and tried to return to his spot during the pace lap, thus committing 30+ Pass-Under-Yellows.  I remember watching him hopping up and down like Yosemite Sam while Andy Welden (sp?) explained why he was put back to last place after the race.  It was like a Ken Zalner "I was 7th!!!", but different.  Not sure where these comedies of error stack up with the Drago Warm-up Lap Spin ... discuss amongst yourselves! :)


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#35
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Knowing Steve, but, but, but, had to be much funnier than during a qualifying lap Karting his steering wheel came off when going WOT through a sweeping turn, think both hands holding the steering wheel up over his head. Going to be laughter next time I see Steve. Great young man. He's involved in coaching and spotting these days along with a real job.


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#36
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I really want to go back to Watkins, didn't go last year for that reason.  Likely wont be going again this year again for the same reason.. You would think they would at least try something different. perhaps that is the only date they can get.   

 

There's a Regional at the Glen 2 weeks later.  Go figure.


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#37
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There's a Regional at the Glen 2 weeks later.  Go figure.


Wonder why they don’t switch the dates? The proximity to sprints likely would not effect the regional

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#38
DrDomm

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Wonder why they don’t switch the dates? The proximity to sprints likely would not effect the regional

 

I don't know.  It's a bummer to me, because I'd love coming back to Road America...never done the June Sprints, and it seems too far for a 2-day Major in July.


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#39
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some years the june sprints is only one race for our class!  its funny jim doesnt complain that its a big waste of money, not to mention the 500$+ 2 session test day is the biggest rip off going...  

 

I think you go race where you want to go race and what fits your schedule.  therfore Im going to ATL majors.  it will end up being an enjoyable weekend IMo


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#40
Jim Creighton

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Thanks Kyle. The Region is doing what they can to make it better. They just spent a fair sum to modify the single scale they had to make it into a drive on scale so that the driver can stay in the car. Also, we hope, this will help with having to not push the car over that drain hump that always stops the cars. Doesn't sound like much but it was always a pain for all.

 

With the private test day, I figure we will not get into track to set up until after 5PM. Maybe we can figure out a way to handle any annuals you may need out in the holding area. That way, everyone can get through express tech and not have to come to the tech building to get decal. As long as I can see the car, I don't mind crawling around in trailers. Make sure you keep your logbooks where you can get to them and if it's your first race for 2018, we'll need to check gear and give you decal for helmet. Again, we can do this so you can go thru express tech.

 

I know these are little things but anything will help.


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