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MRLS 3 day schedules


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#1
Sphinx

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Is there a reason why the region has these races spread over three leisurely days (compared to 2 days at THill?  I responded to their recent survey asking about preferences and I'd separately emailed one of the local officials.  What I don't understand is the "why?"  

 

But 6 hrs between sessions on Friday, a single session on Saturday, and the ridiculously high entry fee have me considering whether that's the best use of my time and money.  For the same cost, (and for a backmarker like me) I can buy 3 track days and get way more useful seat time.

 

I figure there's a good reason, but it isn't obvious to me.  I can't imagine that it is the noise schedule, because surely there's a better way to manage that.



#2
Ron Alan

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Hmmm...looks like you are going to have to decide which organization has the most issues and make a decision!

All kidding aside 3 day has always been the norm in SFR SCCA up until several years ago. At the request of membership they did start doing a few 2 day events every year. But this also meant less track time for all as they couldn't get 7 groups on track...6 is easier. Regardless, the fees didn't go down for a 2 day...and won't! Laguna and Sonoma are not cheap tracks for SCCA to rent. And don't forget, there are a lot of volunteers to feed :)
Also, if there ends up being a fog delay, more than likely you will still get all your track time in! A lot of make up built into that schedule!
Very few drivers in our region frequent this site...point being your complaints/questions may go unnoticed...I would ask around this weekend!
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Ron

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#3
Alberto

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Is there a reason why the region has these races spread over three leisurely days (compared to 2 days at THill?  I responded to their recent survey asking about preferences and I'd separately emailed one of the local officials.  What I don't understand is the "why?"  

 

But 6 hrs between sessions on Friday, a single session on Saturday, and the ridiculously high entry fee have me considering whether that's the best use of my time and money.  For the same cost, (and for a backmarker like me) I can buy 3 track days and get way more useful seat time.

 

I figure there's a good reason, but it isn't obvious to me.  I can't imagine that it is the noise schedule, because surely there's a better way to manage that.

 

I've been wondering that myself.  It seems frickin idiotic but I'm sure someone can justify it.  I often wind up not racing at Laguna with them b/c of this.

 

Who did you email?  I was planning on doing the same as I'm tired of the extra burden of cost and time from this.

 

If you are participating, let's double team the officials while there.  :)


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#4
Sphinx

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@Ron - Honestly, as I mentioned to you, after experimenting with NASA last year, I believe that SCCA has a better product - so, my perspective is that I would like my club to improve and hence want to give my input and better understand the history.

 

Well, we manage to get 7 groups into a race at ThunderHill with no problem and roughly the same amount of track time.  So, what's the difference?

 

Also, not sure what the trade-off is for providing pro-racing support.  The track isn't paying for those volunteers, right?  At Road Atlanta, for example, SCCA provided the support for Petit Le Mans and could run its races rent free.  Seemed reasonable to me.

 

It isn't a family or work friendly schedule.  And if we want to bring younger folks out, perhaps the schedule should reflect their work schedule and not the schedule more fit for retirees or the independently wealthy.

 

 

Hmmm...looks like you are going to have to decide which organization has the most issues and make a decision!

All kidding aside 3 day has always been the norm in SFR SCCA up until several years ago. At the request of membership they did start doing a few 2 day events every year. But this also meant less track time for all as they couldn't get 7 groups on track...6 is easier. Regardless, the fees didn't go down for a 2 day...and won't! Laguna and Sonoma are not cheap tracks for SCCA to rent. And don't forget, there are a lot of volunteers to feed :)
Also, if there ends up being a fog delay, more than likely you will still get all your track time in! A lot of make up built into that schedule!
Very few drivers in our region frequent this site...point being your complaints/questions may go unnoticed...I would ask around this weekend!

 

 

@Alberto - RJ Gordy is who I contacted.  He got back to me quickly. I think I found his email address on the region's website.

 

I've been wondering that myself.  It seems frickin idiotic but I'm sure someone can justify it.  I often wind up not racing at Laguna with them b/c of this.

 

Who did you email?  I was planning on doing the same as I'm tired of the extra burden of cost and time from this.

 

If you are participating, let's double team the officials while there.  :)


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#5
Ron Alan

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Haha...I was going to tell you to reach out to Alberto as he has complained in the past!! :) He has found you...good luck. But ironically you might be complaining at a good time...with 90 entries(and the double dippers are counted twice in this number!) this weekend in total may be an SCCA record for lowest Turnout in 20 years in SFR :(

 

There are 6 groups this weekend as there was opening weekend at TH. I would overlay the schedules and see what extra time you are getting on track or if they are leaving more time in between races/qual sessions? THEN you will have something to complain about with teeth(or not!)

 

My comment about feeding volunteers was tongue in check...BUT as we know, it often takes 5 volunteers to do the job of 1 employee! 

 

SCCA is always looking for board members...maybe this is were you will have the most influence?

 

With regard to your better product comment...my opinion is different product! And as they say different strokes for different folks. I'm an equal opportunity supporter of both orgs! I know what to expect from both and dont stress over the imperfections! But again as I mentioned...complaining here will only get you eye rolls...very few SFR guys are on here!


Ron

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#6
Alberto

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Thanks for the input Ron.  I was thinking of overlaying the schedules to try and reverse engineer the logic since I have so much time with the days between run groups this weekend. ;) 

 

I would indeed like to get more involved in the club.  I need to free up some time and energy to learn how to do so.


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#7
Johnny D

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Is the SCCA low turnout because of the Willow Springs Majors this weekend down the road ?

 

J~


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#8
Sphinx

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Is the SCCA low turnout because of the Willow Springs Majors this weekend down the road ?

J~



That's considered down the road?! And if you are right, then it would behoove the regions to coordinate.

#9
Alberto

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^Yep, What he said

 

There is a Majors race down at Willow Springs.  There are some people from SFR that are in that race but not a ton.  I think there are 186 people registered overall for that one.  Here's the list if you're curious: https://www.motorspo...B6258BF5422349C

 

Laguna has 90 entries for this weekend's race.  Only 28 in SM.  https://www.motorspo...2CB2643E326337F

 

 

By comparison, NASA's schedule for this weekend is making me envious.  Practice, Quali and Race on both Sat and Sun @ $400 for the weekend.  For contrast, Group 7 is on track ONCE on Saturday at Laguna!  WTF...

https://nasanorcal.c...hScheduleV2.pdf


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#10
Sphinx

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^Yep, What he said

 

There is a Majors race down at Willow Springs.  There are some people from SFR that are in that race but not a ton.  I think there are 186 people registered overall for that one.  Here's the list if you're curious: https://www.motorspo...B6258BF5422349C

 

Laguna has 90 entries for this weekend's race.  Only 28 in SM.  https://www.motorspo...2CB2643E326337F

 

 

By comparison, NASA's schedule for this weekend is making me envious.  Practice, Quali and Race on both Sat and Sun @ $400 for the weekend.  For contrast, Group 7 is on track ONCE on Saturday at Laguna!  WTF...

https://nasanorcal.c...hScheduleV2.pdf

 

The economics are not at all clear to me.  Not to suggest anything inappropriate, but SCCA is not for profit, NASA is for profit.  The tracks rent by the day and SCCA owns its own track.  So, the tables for MRLS should be heavily tilted in SCCA's favor.  But it ends up with big fees.  I can do a track day with virtually any club and end up with roughly the same the same cost across all three tracks.  For example, NCRC at MRLS is around $200 for the day, Speed SF was $200/day at Thill last weekend.

 

@Ron - I'm sure you're right that the region doesn't monitor this.  I just figured that there are enough good SM souls that could educate me before I put my foot in my mouth talking to a regional official when I ask questions.



#11
Ron Alan

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I'm no expert and basing my opinion here on what I've seen and heard over 8 years. 

 

Thunderhill, though owned by SCCA, operates as a separate entity from SFR SCCA. SFR rents Thunderhill just like any other track provider(my understanding)...which obviously does cost them less than LS or Sonoma based on the entry fees. 

 

Brian G may see this and give you some quick information about SFR and its budget...profits and losses(He is a former board member). In fact if you search this site you may find a post of his from the past that addressed this very subject I believe. I vaguely remember at some point in time he posted on the number of entries required for the club to break even at Sonoma...it was like 280?

 

Remember there are a lot of costs associated with running a "club" that are far beyond 2 guys who run a track day provider service!

 

As an example of how cheap or expensive something can be. I was part of a small group that rented TH for a midday in the winter. I believe the total was $2500 and there were 5 cars. Zero personnel out on the track...endless laps until you fell asleep! At one point we had a mechanical in a car and he was stuck. The other cars came in and I went over to the maintenance shop(TH tow guy was there)and I asked if he could go get the car...$600 was his response! "But you can go get him on your own"...needless to say I can now say I've towed a car off the race track!


Ron

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#12
Sphinx

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Agree with everything you said.  But there's something fundamentally f'ed up if SCCA cannot draw enough people to break even, whether that's due to the marketing, the costs involved, market competition, venue, etc.  And that should get fixed.  But we had 2 people entered into wings and things at Thill - makes no sense.

 

And you're right about the ownership of THill - there's a podcast on Ross Bentley's show with David Vodden talking about how it is managed.  It is a separate LLC that manages the track - seems well run.

 

 

 

Brian G may see this and give you some quick information about SFR and its budget...profits and losses(He is a former board member). In fact if you search this site you may find a post of his from the past that addressed this very subject I believe. I vaguely remember at some point in time he posted on the number of entries required for the club to break even at Sonoma...it was like 280?

 

 



#13
Ron Alan

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By comparison, NASA's schedule for this weekend is making me envious.  Practice, Quali and Race on both Sat and Sun @ $400 for the weekend.  For contrast, Group 7 is on track ONCE on Saturday at Laguna!  WTF...

https://nasanorcal.c...hScheduleV2.pdf

Alberto...thanks for the plug! NASA packs the schedule with no down time...always feed on feed off. 

 

We actually had 3 races this weekend which will continue for the season. Practice, qual, race on Sat./ Practice, Race, Race  on Sunday!


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Ron

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#14
Johnny D

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Alberto...thanks for the plug! NASA packs the schedule with no down time...always feed on feed off. 
 
We actually had 3 races this weekend which will continue for the season. Practice, qual, race on Sat./ Practice, Race, Race  on Sunday!


LMAO, dang!! That’s just like NASA. Scca got a 3 day weekend with people standing around waiting to go out and NASA’s got a 2 day weekend with 3 races. Great value, Nice job!!

J~
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