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SCCA Road Racing is in Trouble!

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#81
tburas56

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To Quote Mike Novac

 

1. Time --- 3 day weekends race weekends with travel some times on both ends has pushed us to race elsewhere. 2. Tires --- The life has become so short that many weekends are 2 full sets plus. 3. Track Time --- This one is huge as  I feel I spend most of the time walking around not racing. I enjoy the social aspect of the weekend but we have found that with Champcar for example we have the same social interaction AND we got to race a bunch.  4. Too many classes--I think this is what leads to lack of track time ( I have no idea how to fix it but it is part of all of the problems). 


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#82
connelly38

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"we should do practice, qualify, race saturday, race, race, race sunday. set grid by finish place. the fun part is racing, the marketable payable premium value added is racing ... so we should spend our time racing, not fudging around."

 

Yes please. This.

 

(and hopefully the SM8s will put us at more $$$ parity with RRs... hopefully...)


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#83
OrangeCrush86

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If you do 4 races a weekend, what does the Division points series look like? I wouldn't mind doing multiple races, but it's a little more work than you might think. Seems like everything in CenDiv is designed for two races per weekend (one per day).


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#84
FTodaro

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If you do 4 races a weekend, what does the Division points series look like? I wouldn't mind doing multiple races, but it's a little more work than you might think. Seems like everything in CenDiv is designed for two races per weekend (one per day).

Making the second qualifier a qualifying race kills two birds with one stone, we in the GL regional have done it for years. its better than just driving around for 20 mins trying to get a hot lap.

 

We could make an instant change by taking the majors from 3 days to two. One qualifier Saturday race, Sunday qualifying race and Sunday race. At mid Ohio they offer a twilight test tune for 190 you get 3 sessions. So you can come in Friday night get three practice sessions then run Saturday and Sunday. SM should be group one or two, Your back on the road before lunch on Sunday. This is how our regional are run and we love it. Cost has been under 400 for the two days. We don't have a tire wear problem at this track but completely understand the tire issue. I would not want to have to buy two sets of tires per weekend. That plus the travel if you out of town? you can only do so many of those weekends per year. 


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#85
Jim Creighton

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Agree about too wordy. That was done 15 years ago when most people weren't in a hurry all the time. Maybe I can make it into video game.


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#86
gerglmuff2

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Agree about too wordy. That was done 15 years ago when most people weren't in a hurry all the time. Maybe I can make it into video game.

 

file under "making fun of new people to the sport  ...." 

there is no logic to "i want to help folks get more involved, so im going to do this thing to help out that won't actually help, because i refuse to slightly change my format to actually market to the folks im trying to market to."

im telling you, if you want to get more folks involved, the textbook example, is grid-life. i know, it pains me too. but thats the reality. 


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#87
Steve Scheifler

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file under "making fun of new people to the sport ...."

there is no logic to "i want to help folks get more involved, so im going to do this thing to help out that won't actually help, because i refuse to slightly change my format to actually market to the folks im trying to market to."

im telling you, if you want to get more folks involved, the textbook example, is grid-life. i know, it pains me too. but thats the reality.


No. Gridlife exists and has it’s following but SCCA does not need to be another Gridlife and shouldn’t get sucked into trying. Different people, different psychology. Heck, they are tiny by comparison and may not scale very well to the point of supporting what the SCCA has become. The SCCA as an organization may need to scale down but true wheel-to-wheel sprint racing should still be a major component. Make it better, sell it better, then sink or swim on its merits.
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#88
gerglmuff2

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No. Gridlife exists and has it’s following but SCCA does not need to be another Gridlife and shouldn’t get sucked into trying. Different people, different psychology. Heck, they are tiny by comparison and may not scale very well to the point of supporting what the SCCA has become. The SCCA as an organization may need to scale down but true wheel-to-wheel sprint racing should still be a major component. Make it better, sell it better, then sink or swim on its merits.

 

no one is saying SCCA should run events like gridlife. 

I'm saying we need to learn to market like gridlife. 

 

merit doesn't matter if it doesn't make for a good youtube video. 


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#89
Nathan Pring

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No. Gridlife exists and has it’s following but SCCA does not need to be another Gridlife and shouldn’t get sucked into trying. Different people, different psychology. Heck, they are tiny by comparison and may not scale very well to the point of supporting what the SCCA has become. The SCCA as an organization may need to scale down but true wheel-to-wheel sprint racing should still be a major component. Make it better, sell it better, then sink or swim on its merits.

 

 

Just from an info layout perspective, it took me a few minutes to figure out what Gridlife was about and what categories, etc they run under.  I'm two races into SCCA and I still can't tell you what is going on.... I only just learnt from this thread that there was even a difference between Super Tour and Majors and I'm still not sure what the run-offs are all about or how I would even qualify.  Yes Gridlife has a lot less categories and information to get out there, but they have done exceedingly well at getting information out there to prospective drivers and spectators.


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#90
Lee Thomas

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I love pretty much everything about our sport and don't see how or why we need to mimic events like GRIDLIFE/drifting/etc.  We are different so let's embrace that.  We won't get the attendance of these events but that's ok if we do what we do *really well*.  Chess is still a big deal even in a world of video games.  People either get it and want to master it or not.  Enough get it to keep it thriving.  This in no way means we shouldn't change, adapt and desire growth. Like them, let's be authentic to who we are in the process of change.

 

How do we define a successful event?  How dow we define a successful season?  Just finding consensus on these fundamental definitions is difficult but my limited experience here shows the diversity of opinion isn't too far off (outliers be damned).  Although important, let's not confuse the number of event days, classes, region/national, etc. as core to the long term success of our sport.  We will always experiment with these ideas and come to love and fall out of love with them as time and our experience with them matures.  This is a good thing.

 

IMO, long term success comes from a focus on first-principals and transparency.  Our brand must convey these principals and clearly differentiate what makes road racing/spec miata awesome.  Not comparatively awesome; meaning not how we compare to whatever the kids are doing to melt tires these days, just how we define what we think is awesome. 

 

 - Skill mastery.  People want to learn and grow in all aspects of our life.  Make sure our sport provides mentoring, coaching and a clear ladder-like system so mastery leads to something more.  

 - Being part of something bigger than ourselves.  My experience/happiness improved when I became part of a team.  Maybe teaming becomes core to what we do. It becomes part of the structure of spec miata events.  You join our sport, you become part of a team.  Sometimes these teams have business relationships, sometimes it's just a name and a shared paddock spot.

 - Autonomy.  People like to have agency over their lives and spec miata is no different.  Maybe SCCA and NASA aren't the best homes for us anymore. Maybe we partner with the other big classes and have our own events where there is time and elbow room to experiment without having to fit into every other class's way of doing things.  Maybe our needs have evolved to a point where there is enough of what makes us different to justify such a move.  I'm not suggesting a Coup d’état but how we do things is not like the Law of Gravity.  We can do whatever we want if we have the desire and testicular fortitude to manifest it.

 

Clearly, I'm not trying to be overly prescriptive in the how we do things but more big picture on the foundations of who we are and what makes us who we are.  


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#91
Chris Lefferdink

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Just from an info layout perspective, it took me a few minutes to figure out what Gridlife was about and what categories, etc they run under.  I'm two races into SCCA and I still can't tell you what is going on.... I only just learnt from this thread that there was even a difference between Super Tour and Majors and I'm still not sure what the run-offs are all about or how I would even qualify.  Yes Gridlife has a lot less categories and information to get out there, but they have done exceedingly well at getting information out there to prospective drivers and spectators.

+1.  I had the same experience when I started and I was coming from CCS/ASRA, which was similar to SCCA.  To this day, it's still difficult to find a comprehensive and clear schedule of SCCA events...  


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#92
tjohn67

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So I have been reading this thread for a few days now and as an old fart have decided to weigh in.  I am from the old days, started in the mid 70's and still at it.  Also, I was very active in Showroom Stock when it was new and eventually had 2 factory backed cars.

 

The reality is, then and now, if you are chasing a National Championship it is going to be expensive.  We complained about entry fees back then too.  We didn't travel as much because the route to the Runoffs was in your division.  But to get one of the top 4-5 spots you had to make lots of events.  Shorter tows but more of them.  Going to the Runoffs was also a full week.

 

All that said, what, IMHO, we are missing now is a defined route.  We had Drivers School/Regional events, we brought new drivers along.  I remember finally getting a "National License", it was a big deal.  You could go to all the really big races.  Today, at least in the Midwest, there is no defined route.  However, we must get the younger drivers interested and they need, just like we did, an inexpensive option to get started.  SM is the logical place today.  We just need to encourage the kids to find a good SM and give them a route.  How to get them interested is really the subject and there have been many good ideas here.  

 

The Super Tour has no interest to me, too expensive and much too far to tow to run in the middle of the pack.  Jim likes the format because he is chasing another National Championship and it is his business.  For him it makes perfect sense and more power to him.  It would be great to run with those guys.   

 

I have chosen to run the Heritage Cup.  It fits how I want to race these days, I like the people and the competitors.  The tows are long but I have figured out how to spot my rig and leave it close to the next events. 


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#93
tburas56

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The reality is, then and now, if you are chasing a National Championship it is going to be expensive.  We complained about entry fees back then too.  We didn't travel as much because the route to the Runoffs was in your division.  But to get one of the top 4-5 spots you had to make lots of events.  Shorter tows but more of them.  Going to the Runoffs was also a full week.

 

 

Reality today is ridiculous, a well know racer drove 8 hours one way to a majors event, signed up and paid $695.00 for his class. He borrowed a SM car from a racer that weekend, turned one qualifying lap and left to go back home.  if you want to qualify for the National Championship all you have pay money and turn one lap in that class.

Come one, come all.


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#94
Mitch Reading

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Hire Mike Collins away from MSReg/Hagerty; give him three years and REAL authority.  He loves SCCA more than anyone I know and at the same time isn't afraid to piss people off/upset the status quo. 

 

... and for the love of all that is holy put SM back on a hard tire like the RA1. 


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#95
John Nesbitt

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Hire Mike Collins away from MSReg/Hagerty; give him three years and REAL authority.  He loves SCCA more than anyone I know and at the same time isn't afraid to piss people off/upset the status quo. 

 

...  

 

 

+1


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#96
Tom Sager

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Just from an info layout perspective, it took me a few minutes to figure out what Gridlife was about and what categories, etc they run under.  I'm two races into SCCA and I still can't tell you what is going on.... I only just learnt from this thread that there was even a difference between Super Tour and Majors and I'm still not sure what the run-offs are all about or how I would even qualify.  Yes Gridlife has a lot less categories and information to get out there, but they have done exceedingly well at getting information out there to prospective drivers and spectators.

 

Gridlife has its place I suppose but I don't see it as a direct competitor to SCCA club racing.  It's basically a big party weekend in which some rich kids show off their toys in a time trial competition that isn't all that competitive.  They probably get more of their revenue from "fans" than they do from the car entry fees.  Drink, smoke, maybe have sex and look at some cars going around the track.  It's Kentucky Derby infield-esque.  Marketing-wise, however, SCCA may need to evolve to appeal and be more visible to the younger set. 

 

SCCA offers true competition.  Not for the faint of heart, put yourself to the test. 


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#97
Steve Scheifler

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no one is saying SCCA should run events like gridlife.

I'm saying we need to learn to market like gridlife.

merit doesn't matter if it doesn't make for a good youtube video.


Part of my point is that if you market like them you will attract the same short attention span types, not people who will do and learn what’s necessary to stick with what we do. Different demographic, different marketing. There have already been multiple attempts to appeal to a younger cooler crowd. Hopefully they work but they make me cringe. Tom and others are making excellent related points above.
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#98
gerglmuff2

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Part of my point is that if you market like them you will attract the same short attention span types, not people who will do and learn what’s necessary to stick with what we do. Different demographic, different marketing. There have already been multiple attempts to appeal to a younger cooler crowd. Hopefully they work but they make me cringe. Tom and others are making excellent related points above.

 

there are folks 50 thousand plus into multi-year builds, doing there own wind-tunnel work, competing in gridlife. 

your ageism is showing. the folks competing at the top of gridlife are no joke. 

 

i agree time attackers are a different breed, but to call them short attention spanned is 100% flat out wrong. 


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#99
OrangeCrush86

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I've said this before and I'll say it again. Some of the unnecessary fragmentation of the SCCA is so incredibly simple people underestimate it's impact.

 

For example, why is every single Region in charge of it's own website platform and URL??? Every region looks different to a new person, no one realizes the connection between region and national.

 

Why does my region of Land O'Lakes have a website URL of www.scca-racing.com and national is www.scca.com? Incredibly confusing just because of a stupid URL.

 

The digital presence needs to be unified. All SCCA levels need to be on one platform. Land O'Lakes URL should be http://landolakes.scca.com and have the same look and feel as every other region.

 

I have tried to contact the SCCA national office to advise them on their digital presence as I have a background in that. I have never received a response. I'm so fearful of the new website that is "coming soon" for the last year now.

 

Until this happens, good luck attracting the smart phone generation.


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#100
Steve Scheifler

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there are folks 50 thousand plus into multi-year builds, doing there own wind-tunnel work, competing in gridlife.

your ageism is showing. the folks competing at the top of gridlife are no joke.

i agree time attackers are a different breed, but to call them short attention spanned is 100% flat out wrong.


And there are so many of those that they have a whopping 5 track (something) events and you qualify for the champions by running three. There will always be some deep pockets who take things to extremes, why not, but still not my point. It’s a different culture and as Tom mentioned more about hype and watching than doing. I’m not saying there is nothing to learn from other sports but the point is that they ARE different, more show and a lot less sport.
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