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#1
Jim Drago

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I hate to say this.. but I am dreading my annual 10 day trip to the Runoffs this year. I am sure I will have a great time while there. I also know the scheduling of these events is far more difficult and involved than most of you can imagine, especially if you have not been involved in it before. I have sat in on many meetings and all the parameters that have to be met are staggering.  then coupled with none want combined run groups.. it is difficult if not impossible to run it in a much shorter time frame..  \

 

 

 

 

If I could snap my fingers.. 

1 test day, two qualifiers the next day and a race on the third..  but some how have me out of there in 3-4 days.  I see no reason for multiple qualifying sessions. if you cant get it done in two, maybe it is just not your year or you weren't prepared?

 

Maybe it is time to split the runoffs in half weeks with the least popular classes racing from Sat- Tuesday with a moving in and out day Wednesday( or half a day) then the most popular classes run from Thursday- Sunday..   perhaps alternate the groups year after year with the top 3-5 classes always running on the weekends? ;) 

 

what would you like to see? 

 


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#2
ChrisA

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Agree, some sort of split needs to occur. Either a mid-week split like Jim suggest or perhaps having it run on separate weekends (consecutive if possible), with Spec Miata showcasing one weekend and SRF3 the other. Cost & time-wise, the current format is just too expensive. For the non-self employed, if you have done several other races leading up to the Runoff's, then your remaining vacation leave is starting to run out. I've heard of a number of drivers (East Coasters) that have determined they just can't swing the event; with the time commitment necessary being the primary issue. 


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#3
38bfast

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I agree the 10+ day commitment is a major deterrent for the event. Even for the self employed. Then add a track that is in the middle of nowhere and nothing much to do in the off time. Obviously the Runoffs is a premier event. But for most extra time is not a commodity that most have a lot of. Same issue with the Super Tours. 


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#4
William Keeling

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average 4 cars per major to make the runoffs as a class -- then we would have half the classes (or better participation).  I think this would also drive class consolidation. 


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#5
trimless

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This will be my first trip to the run offs. Never been to VIR and can’t afford to be there for two weeks.
So I’ll get one test day and be there for a full week. Based on the schedule it looks like a lot of down time with very little track time.
Not likely to make another run off event unless there are changes to reduce the time commitment.
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#6
Michael Novak

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My time is the most important thing to me at this point of my life, and although I love racing the runoffs take too much of it. I have found through that without the runoffs as the goal of my racing year, it has made it easier to skip/ not bother with other races then throughout the year. 

 

I feel like there are more people in my boat then even 5 years ago. A slightly longer event than a HST event would work, but not 10 plus days...


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#7
Tom Sager

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I hate to say this.. but I am dreading my annual 10 day trip to the Runoffs this year. I am sure I will have a great time while there. I also know the scheduling of these events is far more difficult and involved than most of you can imagine, especially if you have not been involved in it before. I have sat in on many meetings and all the parameters that have to be met are staggering.  then coupled with none want combined run groups.. it is difficult if not impossible to run it in a much shorter time frame..  \

 

 

 

 

If I could snap my fingers.. 

1 test day, two qualifiers the next day and a race on the third..  but some how have me out of there in 3-4 days.  I see no reason for multiple qualifying sessions. if you cant get it done in two, maybe it is just not your year or you weren't prepared?

 

Maybe it is time to split the runoffs in half weeks with the least popular classes racing from Sat- Tuesday with a moving in and out day Wednesday( or half a day) then the most popular classes run from Thursday- Sunday..   perhaps alternate the groups year after year with the top 3-5 classes always running on the weekends? ;)

 

what would you like to see? 

 

That would be a significant improvement in the use of time for nearly everyone.  IIRC, there was 1 year at Road America where a split format was utilized?


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#8
Jim Drago

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That would be a significant improvement in the use of time for nearly everyone.  IIRC, there was 1 year at Road America where a split format was utilized?

talked about, but never utilized. 


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#9
Tom Sager

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I agree the 10+ day commitment is a major deterrent for the event. Even for the self employed. Then add a track that is in the middle of nowhere and nothing much to do in the off time. Obviously the Runoffs is a premier event. But for most extra time is not a commodity that most have a lot of. Same issue with the Super Tours. 

 

And time is absolutely money both in terms of the extra cost incurred for so many days away and the value of lost time from work which impacts most of us.  


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#10
FTodaro

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My time is the most important thing to me at this point of my life, and although I love racing the runoffs take too much of it. I have found through that without the runoffs as the goal of my racing year, it has made it easier to skip/ not bother with other races then throughout the year. 

 

I feel like there are more people in my boat then even 5 years ago. A slightly longer event than a HST event would work, but not 10 plus days...

Mike I am in that boat. Jim I hate to get into a negative discussion on this just before the event, but think about how much fun you had at Mid O this time because it was 5 days including travel both ways start to finish. With a little work they could get it to 4, door to door.

 

IMO SCCA is going to be forced to change at some point. I just can't do it. Honestly its to boring for 10 days getting one session a day to qualify, Then have a day off in the middle. I love to hang out with you guys, I love to race, but not that much, lol. 

 

Fewer qualifiers, Rent extra daily track time to get more done in one day, and fewer days. 


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#11
ChrisA

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I can think of only 2 (maybe 3) other races that require such a time commitment from the racers, 24-hrs of LeMan, Indy 500 and possibly the Daytona 24-hr. Pro races, more seat time and usually sponsors to cover most or all of your expenses.


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#12
Danny Steyn

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IMO this is one area where NASA has SCCA beat - the NASA National Champs over 4 days is a way better event than the SCCA Runoffs over 10 days


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#13
Ron Alan

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IMO this is one area where NASA has SCCA beat - the NASA National Champs over 4 days is a way better event than the SCCA Runoffs over 10 days

Oh man...just one...are we going to kick that door open :)

 

NASA combines run groups and doesnt have as many classes. If SCCA required a min amount of cars to run their own National race(20-25?)...time saved. Instead of just 2 groups combined for qual runs...maybe 3 or 4...whatever it takes to get 40+ cars on track! More time saved!

Splitting the Runoffs as Jim suggested would have to be an upside for volunteers? Only have to commit to 3 days?


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#14
Vinnie Baratta

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I can tell you this is the number one thing keeping me away from runoffs. Probably not alone in that. My biggest expense in racing is time out of the office, runoffs ends up being too expensive. Hopefully that changes before indy. When i look at the schedule and see that im at the track for 2 sessions... nope.

#15
P.McCammon

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I agree with Vinnie. Time away from work and family is the biggest deterrent for me attending runnoffs. I would have been OK with nasa killing a qual session to make it test on Friday, qual and race sat, championship race Sunday. Racing doesn't pay the bills.

#16
Richard Astacio

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I had signed up for the run-offs but since then cancelled my registration. 

We are extremely busy at work and to be away for 10 days was not wise at the moment.

Especially with only 15 min of track time per day...Mind you I visited VIR about 2-3 times this year prepping for the runoffs. 


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#17
William Keeling

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the split might not help those that run or support more than one class.  the fix is to eliminate/combine classes to a reasonable level (formula 1000 really). 

 

 

the only split that might work wings and things in one event and real cars in another.  but then you would have to screw the SFR3 folks and put them in the wings and things or nobody would care about that event.


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#18
Mitch Reading

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Great topic Jim... I've gone into the past 10+ racing seasons thinking "this year I really want to finally run the runoffs" and justifying the commitment for the event itself, time wise, is major deterrent. 

 

Are we comparing apples to oranges? .... '10 days at VIR' includes 2 or 3 days of testing, correct?  ... so its really 7 days for the 'main event' compared to 4 days for NASA nats 'main event?'  Was there an option to test in the days leading up to NASA nats?  .... cutting off the pre-event testing may be a decent idea in itself. 

 

Regardless, still wayyy too long unless you own a plane or are a racing degenerate.  

 

I think we all agree here its too long.  What are the main reasons why it has NOT been changed?   .... other than hurt feelings of those that "have always done it this way", what are the issues?  Do the heads of SCCA see the length of time as an issue, or think the event really can't handle more entries so leave it alone? 

 

While we're on the subject, WTF is up with four qualifying sessions anyway? 

 

Speaking from the under 40 demographic whom totally supports his own habit and has a family at home... make it 3 days of sanctioned racing (if you want to test an extra day, its four) and drivers like me are in.  I *believe* we (most drivers) can justify a long weekend when its the biggest event of the year... but taking off a full week is tough and reserved for serious vacations.  As much as I love busting stones with Meathead et al, a week off has me sitting on a boat in the Med with friends and family rather than being at the track.   

 

As a club, we want the Runoffs to be the true amateur super-bowl, right?  That is something the SCCA absolutely still holds, although eroding, over others ala NASA.  


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#19
Jim Drago

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Great topic Jim... I've gone into the past 10+ racing seasons thinking "this year I really want to finally run the runoffs" and justifying the commitment for the event itself, time wise, is major deterrent. 

 

Are we comparing apples to oranges? .... '10 days at VIR' includes 2 or 3 days of testing, correct?  ... so its really 7 days for the 'main event' compared to 4 days for NASA nats 'main event?'  Was there an option to test in the days leading up to NASA nats?  .... cutting off the pre-event testing may be a decent idea in itself. 

 

Regardless, still wayyy too long unless you own a plane or are a racing degenerate.  

 

I think we all agree here its too long.  What are the main reasons why it has NOT been changed?   .... other than hurt feelings of those that "have always done it this way", what are the issues?  Do the heads of SCCA see the length of time as an issue, or think the event really can't handle more entries so leave it alone? 

 

While we're on the subject, WTF is up with four qualifying sessions anyway? 

 

Speaking from the under 40 demographic whom totally supports his own habit and has a family at home... make it 3 days of sanctioned racing (if you want to test an extra day, its four) and drivers like me are in.  I *believe* we (most drivers) can justify a long weekend when its the biggest event of the year... but taking off a full week is tough and reserved for serious vacations.  As much as I love busting stones with Meathead et al, a week off has me sitting on a boat in the Med with friends and family rather than being at the track.   

 

As a club, we want the Runoffs to be the true amateur super-bowl, right?  That is something the SCCA absolutely still holds, although eroding, over others ala NASA.  

10 days for me is.. leaving Friday and hopefully getting home Sunday depending on tech.  That does include test days

 

NASA, I left Wednesday and was home just after midnight Sunday. So a very full five days. That was with a full 5 session test day

 

SCCA did cut qualifying sessions from four in the past down to three now.  They also put them about the same time of the day so all are closer to the same rather than morning and afternoon sessions. 

 

 

problems and reasons why it is so long...

Everyone wants there own run groups..

when we combine groups there are so many exceptions and reasons not to combine groups.  dot vs non dot tire,  so and so races in both those classes we cant combine them. 

that class is to close to this class and Joe races in both, we need to run them on separate days and 100 other valid reasons

 

 

Not sure how, but I would sure like to see it down to 4-5 days 


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#20
scott sanda

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Reducing classes is one approach, but it is politically very difficult in a lot of cases.

 

Going back to only inviting the top 3 or 4 is another. Based on "majors conference"?  based on division?

 

I think your real answer is to limit group size.   This is just a swag, but:  25 cars MAX per class.   Combined Qual sessions, with each class getting one stand alone qual.

 

Classes with way less than 25, if they are in similar types of cars (open wheel vs closed, etc) might get tripled up for qual, with a total MAX of 50.

 

Individual races, unless similar type groups have less than x (call it 15). Then the small classes MIGHT get grouped.

 

Then the trick is how to do the invites. 6 conferences, top 4 from each not counting last years champ who makes it 25?

 

We would need to change the way conferences are scored.  top 5 races in conference plus 2 out of conference?

 

If someone ends up in the top 4 in different conferences, they declare which one they are using, then in the other one the next driver in line gets the invite?

 

But, this eliminates the national office cash cow, so now you need to get into the question of "why are we paying for Pro"?.  Why is the payroll north of 3 mil?  Why do we pay Pres, director of club, etc. so much money?  In other words, real world, data driven cost controls.

 

It is all a part of the same pie.

 

Yes, there was one year at RA where they tried an alternating 4 day schedule.  It was a cluster frack in terms of paddocking. People leaving, people pulling in while paddock was full, etc.   test days became a disaster, because you either did them, then left your stuff and went home for 3 days, or did them then sat with thumb up for 4 days.

 

The driver survey feedback was strongly against doing it again.






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