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SCCA Road Racing is in Trouble!

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#21
Nathan Pring

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Tires is a big (though not the only reason) I run NASA. I imagine fields in both clubs could benefit a lot if they had one tire across both. Especially if they tire wore like the RR or better


Would seem to make sense. If we can get a spec shock from Penske you would think we could get a spec tire across the board, scales of economy and all that.

Side note, doesnt SM NASA use RA1s and shave them? Seems crazy when the RR is available.

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#22
Jim Drago

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What has personally lost my interest to a large degree is "super tour" so we made the super tour and diminished the majors, SCCA just seems to hose up anything they have going good to try find a bigger forum.  
 
I could care less about who even won a super tour points championship!!!!

Super tours and Racing.. call it regionals, majors whatever.. no distinction..

Super tour Championship is not the goal, racing the best drivers in large fields is what drives me to these events..
I have won that Championship twice, nice to win, but never looked upon it 1/10 what I do Runoffs wins. I don't really care if I win it ever again, Similar to a Sprints win maybe. .. Now I only compete in it to make sure Danny doesn't win it :) And he is leading :(
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#23
infamousjim

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Side note, doesnt SM NASA use RA1s and shave them? Seems crazy when the RR is available.


Top guys used to do that when it was RA1 only (before my time). Now tires are RR's with RA1 as the rain tire option (full tread, obviously).

Jim 

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#24
FTodaro

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Just a recap of some points made  with a few new ones

 

3 days for a major is to long.

We can get by with one qualifier session By doing this you save a day of track rental and lower the cost win win

 

No registration or tech

Follow Nasa in issuing tech sticker and all registration on-line. No need for the NASA 7am meeting and no need for the long SCCA tech and registration lines. They will resist this but if you want to know then they have to listen. If you have your gear and car checked and noted in your log book all should be good.

 

Used the great lakes regional outline.

One qualifier

Saturday race

Sunday qualifying  race (grid set by time or finish on Saturday) sets grid for Sunday race

Sunday race

 

you get three races we love it.

 

Post race tech Keep up tech but try to use more non invasive measures and more random inceptions, Keep the threat real but you do not have to tear down 10 cars a weekend. I know we want tech to keep it honest but its a negative for small teams and is a factor on attendance. As Jim said in posts before if your going to do invasive tech SM should be first or second run group. Make a decision on Saturday and the racer a chance to pull prior to the race and mark it or give a heads up so they can plan on it.

 

The bottom line Time, Cost, track time.


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#25
Bench Racer

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SCCA track time has dwindled since I started racing in year 2000. Talking to those involved in setting up track time in the Milwaukee area is like talking to an Oak tree. They have all the answers as to why track time sessions change and track time dwindles while at the same time Midwestern Council continues on pleasing their customers with less stress. Less stress because the officials are not all full of themselves. Oh, surprise, maybe the SCCA could learn something, Council as they know who pays the bills. A good friend of mine chairs a race a year for Council and I'm here to tell you, if someone has an improvement idea, he LISTENS. 

 

I'm not going to check, but I'll guess there were more officials at the Farm this past weekend than racers. I looked anyway. Entries 121, Volunteers  Sat. 122, Volunteers Sun. 131.  I spectated Sat. and in T1 there were a total of 6 workers/flaggers. Gee, does a for profit group like NASA have that many volunteers and flaggers?

 

Dumb De Dum Dumb , now enters a lurking SCCA official.


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#26
Ron Alan

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You are from Ca aren't you?  :)

 

And who pays the bills when it loses money?  where does this money come from?    As entries decrease, the price to play has to go up to cover the costs.

I agree they could and should trim  A LOT of the fat from the program and do what they can to keep prices in check... but at some point.. less entries is for sure more money

My point which wasn't stated very well was find ways to keep the current customer base...at a minimum!  Incentives to keep them coming back and to lure in new and old customers. Raising prices to cover decreased entries isnt a solution...basically a recipe for the beginning of the end.

 

Many great idea's here...and obviously some are already being implemented in certain regions. And many of those ideas have been in full force for years in other organizations :duck:


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#27
Martinracing98

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I think my ideal is practice, qualify, and race on Saturday. Then race, race, race on Sunday. Practice on Saturday allows me a shake down run on Saturday morning when for the work that I have done since the last race. Ideally I should not have to do a practice day to confirm the installed clutch works as expected, or to bed the new brakes, etc. Each race starting position is determined from best result(not time) from all previous sessions. Especially at new tracks to mid pack guy he has better chance of moving up through the weekend without doing a practice day.

 

Three sessions each group probably only works if groups are reduced to 4 or 5 groups resulting in 12 or 15 sessions. This means only if a class is 20% of the participants can they get their own run group. And then only if the remaining classes can be safely grouped. So more often SM and SRF3 will not get the single class groups they get now.

 

Overtime probably have to reduce number of classes. It is less important if we limit to 4 or 5 groups, but still will lead to racing that is better understood by prospective new racers.

 

Keep the super tour races as they are now, but have all non super tour races be the same. Regional versus Major goes away. Participation in X number of super tour gets you in the Runoffs. Performance in non super tour races, not just participation gets you in the runoffs.

 

Any race with over 100 participants(or some other number) results in 1 person from each run group getting their next race free. This way the door prize is only given above the break even point for the race and supports further involvement.

 

I also agree the pre race tech process just burdens the system. The only purpose I see for it is the confirmation that logbook does not have a crash that requires new tech. Between logbook and transponders we should be able to handle this and only have the burden of tech be for cars that do not have valid tech.



#28
Jim Creighton

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One very interesting point in this entire thread, there are no comments from Southeast Divisions SCCA racers. Why? Because the Southeast Division SCCA incorporated many years ago and decided to work together to have race programs geared for our drivers.

 

We have been able to contain costs, keep our schedule reasonable and have fun competitive weekends. I'm at VIR now with 266 drivers and the biggest group is not cars here testing for the Runoffs, it's the regional only big IT/SSM cars. The region also has the V8 Stock Car Series and the Annual Production Car party here. More fun!

 

Yes, racing in the rest of the country other than the east coast needs a lot of help. Start by putting together some regional race series and incorporating them into every SCCA event including the Majors. Invite the Time Trials & run for fun guys. That's a good starting place. I've heard the National office folks suggest the "public school" run for no real winners suggestion, but my competitive nature makes me make gross sounds about that kind of driving a car around events. (notice I avoided calling it racing cause it ain't).  And I've heard what Jeff Luckritz who started all this wants to do and it wont happen here in SEDiv. We have real racing. Jeff Is a motivational speaker for SCCA. I've agreed with somethings he's said in the past but he's drinking the Track Night in America approach kool aide and I don't like it's taste.

 

Good luck middle of the country racers. I hope some plan saves SCCA regional racing from completely dying. Majors sure didn't.


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#29
Ron Alan

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Enlighten me Jim...what exactly does incorporating allow the southeast division? Is it more like a privately held NASA region which can create its own recipe that flourishes? What control if any does SCCA National have over you?


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#30
OrangeCrush86

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I have heard many veterans complain about the creation of the Majors. They generally want all races to be regionals, this means there is no "this race is more important than that race". I have to agree that from my point of view I do not understand why the Majors was made when we already have a solid Divisional Championship points system.

 

Can someone explain to me where the Majors idea came from and the arguments for it at the time? The Majors can't have been created in a vacuum.


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#31
Mark

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All the time trials do is add more run groups and decrease the amount of track time for racers. The reduced track time / $ is a major reason I have stopped racing. I am sure I am not alone. I believe that the TT are great for the SCCA/club short term as it is more $ but they are not good long term health of club racing as few of these TT drivers will ever move to racing w2w and the TT peeps will continually seek the least costly event. SCCA racers are motivated by competition, TT not so much. SCCA should be a racers club and not just another trackday org. There are plenty of those around, at least in So Cal. I'd rather that the 'time trial' calendar slots be used for more SCCA licensing schools that occur more often than once a year and result in more available 'racers' as customers/participants. I know that the 'once a year' SCCA school was a huge barrier to entry for me way back when. This situation has since been addressed by the 'cracker jack box' approach to granting SCCA licenses over the last few years. Not sure that is a good thing...


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#32
granracing

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Too many classes - absolutely agree on this.  I race in ITA and look at the various classes other than SM and entries are so spread out and diluted. 

 

"The cost of SCCA Membership is a constant complaint by young racers."

As I have my membership letter sitting next to me...$215.  Ouch.  And for what?  Assuming there's value in this, SCCA needs to better market it.  One big item SCCA excels in but doesn't do a good enough job making people aware is the insurance coverage we get.

 

Racing Contact and the overall protest process needs to be overhauled and brought to modern times where not everything needs to occur at the track especially with video being so inexpensive.  I know several people firsthand who left SCCA because they were tired of getting hit and really no consequence for the offending driver.  When I got punted hard into the wall at the Glen and another driver also got punted by the same driver a few laps later, the result was a three race probation.  WTF is that going to do? 


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#33
OrangeCrush86

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One big item SCCA excels in but doesn't do a good enough job making people aware is the insurance coverage we get.

 

Exactly this. The SCCA membership gets us supplemental insurance coverage, that should be the obvious reason to pay for it. Same for the single day membership required at small events like RallyCross, almost no one realizes its for the insurance coverage because it's labeled as a membership fee.


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#34
Pat Mcg

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Its all about cost IMO.   The cost alone is not the driving factor... meaning the entry fees.  Its the fact that if you want to compete at the Majors Level or higher...   its basically a "PRO" level of effort on cost.   It is nothing for a lot of competitors to sticker up every session..  engine feels off...  put a new one in.   Paint peeling... get a new car...  Mad money out there competing..  MAD MONEY!!   A new driver trying to get involved sees that level of cost to compete..  yes..  its a big dose of reality..  Racing is expensive..  even when its at amateur level...

 

Majors really have no meaning... like Jim and others have said... it's HST or all other..  Majors are really not worth spending the money at.. IMO..  better value to just run a regional.  or champcar, SVRA, Gridlife, etc.. 

 

Get the tire cost under control....     Seems that everyone does just fine with 200 tread wear tires in all the endurance racing events.. Not saying that is the path.. but.. Not buying 2 sets of stickers for a weekend to compete ... that would be pleasant..  2-5K to compete in a HST weekend.. similar cost at Majors..  I don't think I have spent more than 1K on a regional or SVRA etc..  still   the amount of young folks that can drop 1K for a weekend... limited.  You can only donate so much plasma... 

 

And please...   Remove any class that cant bring more than 5 entries to any event..   Watching 2 cars run around against each other for 30 min on very limited and valuable track time... not good...    

 

Perhaps consider an event with 4 classes only..   A 2 day super event (SAT - SUN only) with SRF/ SM/ T3,4,and maybe open wheel..     Only 4 classes..  and wala..  you would likely make the same amount of money as trying to accommodate everyone..   Maybe do a  "Championship Race" on Sunday afternoon from the weekend..   Just some ideas..  A weekend with just 4 classes...  40 plus cars each..  test session included..  Lots of track time.  A Championship on Sunday afternoon..  yea.. I would be in on that..  call it whatever you want.


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#35
luckymiata76

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As of noon on May 10th at noon EDT, here's where we are:

1. Super Tours and Everything Else-7 votes

2. Streamline Tech-3 votes

3. Streamline Registration-2 votes

4. Reduce Tire Cost-4 votes

5. Reduce Number of Classes-6 votes

6. Reduce Number of Sessions-4 votes

7. Increase Value-4 votes

8. Eliminate 3-day weekends-4 votes

9. Several other suggestions-1 vote each

 

Keep them coming. 

 

Thanks for your help. 

 

Jeff



#36
Peter Olivola

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I would like to provide everyone an opportunity to wrestle with the event daily schedule in a meaningful way.  If you will contact me via email I will provide a daily schedule template in Excel format and explanation of how it works.  This includes establishing run groups from current class structures.  You can add any regional classes not already identified.  Keep in mind the need to provide adequate intersession times for incident clean up as well as the pace lap time for the track.  There may also be time limits you need to honor.  The template has two tabs, one for the schedule and the other to set up race groups.  It can handle three day events.  If you only want a two day schedule just fill out the Saturday and Sunday sections.

 

polivola@gmail.com

 



#37
Tom Sager

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As of noon on May 10th at noon EDT, here's where we are:

1. Super Tours and Everything Else-7 votes

2. Streamline Tech-3 votes

3. Streamline Registration-2 votes

4. Reduce Tire Cost-4 votes

5. Reduce Number of Classes-6 votes

6. Reduce Number of Sessions-4 votes

7. Increase Value-4 votes

8. Eliminate 3-day weekends-4 votes

9. Several other suggestions-1 vote each

 

Keep them coming. 

 

Thanks for your help. 

 

Jeff

 

I think that if this were put into survey form you'd have a lot more than 4 votes for reducing tire expense.

 

Also regarding the Super Tour series, the existence of that is likely adding entries to some events and decreasing entries to others.  Is that good overall? 

 

I still think that Runoffs qualification should be earned through your own conference results and that we need to strengthen entries in the areas that are local to racers.  The number of drivers that go out of conference is pretty small especially when looking at classes other than SM and SRF3.  We need stronger conference series IMO.  Looking at the Northern Conference schedule (Cendiv and Great Lakes) there are a combined 18 race weekends when you add Majors and Regionals.  That's probably too many events.  We're diluting turnouts with so many events.  Most don't go to Runoffs if it's a great distance.  The conference championships need to be made more important. 


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#38
OrangeCrush86

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I'm kind of surprised by everyone's position on the Majors, but I agree the focus should be the divisions. I don't see any way members could get National to reverse course on that...


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#39
Jim Drago

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Original we had Regionals and nationals.. The Nationals were supposed to be better competition etc. Soon we had way too many nationals and the national was nothing special either.. Then the Majors started because we had too many Nationals. It was supposed to be something better, more competition etc. "this aint easy street " was one of the slogans. In a few short years, we have managed to dilute them as well. Other than the extra expense and better contingency, the competition is not as good as advertised. Certainly no more competitive because of the title of "majors".

 

We need to move towards two areas... super tours ( or whatever you want to call them)and don't dilute them.. and everything else should just be 'racing", call it whatever you like


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#40
Alberto

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Maybe call it the Grand Tour? 

errr, no wait... 

;)


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