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#1
scott sanda

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Nevermind.  Some time between yesterday early afternoon and late yesterday, the criteria was changed to "top 50%".

 

So, effectively no change.

 

Scott

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

I do not run SM, but SM has the same kind of participation numbers as SRF.

 

With the new rules (and I like the idea of tightening up the requirements, just not with zero lead time like this), most of us are screwed by the new qualifying criteria, especially if you are in the Northern conference in 2020,.   Top 20 seems like a lot of people, but go look at the conference points for 2019.  A lot  of the top 20 are not in the Northern conference.

it will be worst this year since the RO's are at RA, and we will see a lot of additional out of conference people at both RA majors, and at the RA divisional.

I sent the following to the BOD.  I suggest that everyone here send in something similar.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I applaud your efforts to make runoffs qualifying a little tougher.

However, I have a very large issue with the timing.

You have announced a major shakeup just a month before the season starts, and I do not think you fully realize the effect it will have.

This should be announced now, but effective for the 2021 season.

I will give you my specifics, although I am sure this will apply to others as well.

I was planning on running both American Sedan and GT2 at the 2020 runoffs.  Since they are always in the same run group, I needed to plan out a season that let me get in 3 majors weekends for each car, with a bit of a cushion.

I am registered for the Winter nationals in AS, and was going to run one other Major in my home Northern Division to meet the criteria. I was going to run 3 Majors in GT2 in Northern,  leaving me one, or possibly 2 events "open" for either car.

Under your new rules, in AS, I stand a good chance of not being in the top 10 in the Southeast, with only 2 race weekends.  I'll risk this and work something out, maybe adding a 3rd SE race if possible, but a lot of people don't have the money and time to do this.

If I split and do 3 and 3 in Northern, I stand a good chance of not qualifying in either class.

Why? Because there is going to be inflated participation at both Road America Majors, just like happened at VIR, by out of Conference participants.

Also directly affecting me, and my team:  SRF.  My son and my team mate Michael are not going to qualify under the new rules, under any circumstances.

There are 90 people in the Northern conference results for SRF.  it will be worst this year.  Most of them only did one weekend, but most of them finished well enough to take points away from my team mates, and push them out of the top 20 in the Conference.  Even though they are both good enough to run mid pack at a well attended event.

Multiply this by all of the SM and SRF drivers in the Norther conference, and you get a huge displacement.

Please, make the new criteria effective in 2021, so everyone can adapt.  (yes, I know that for all the low participation classes this is a non issue)

Failing that, change the rules as follows:

1. 2 race weekends minimum in a conference in a single class to be counted in the top 10/20

2. All people who qualify for the runoffs in the same class in multiple conferences will only receive an invite from one, preferably their home conference. Everyone in the other conference will automatically bump up in the ranking.

3. Allow top 20/top 30 in the conference that the runoffs track is located in.

4. Allow the divisions in the "runoffs" conference to invite the top 10/20 divisional path qualifiers instead of the top 3/5.

2 , 3 and 4 will help compensate for the out of conference surge a runoffs track experiences.  Especially when there are 2 majors held at the same track.

Best regards,

Scott Sanda
 



#2
DrDomm

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While I can't characterize the new performance requirements as "strict", I think they are pointless for an amateur club, and do nothing to improve the "importance" of the Runoffs.  If the goal is to decrease participation at the Runoffs, then job well done.  


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#3
LarryKing

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Might weed-out the lappers.
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#4
Jim Drago

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To me none of this makes any sense..

First of all the participation we saw in 17 will be not be met, I would be VERY surprised to see 75% under the same rules as 17.  With what is proposed we will likely not have a B race in SM and SRF

 

What it amounts to is they are penalizing the two biggest classes and without those two classes srf and sm the club collapses and for what exactly? Some made up "the best of the best "? This is amateur club racing, lets not kid ourselves.  

 

 

IMO the answer is pretty simple..  Make the money the club needs it! 

Make people run more races to qualify.. Increase whatever last years minimums were, add one more event. Let them all come to the runoffs.. Now if you really want to have the best of the best, ENFORCE the rules or make them even stricter for the runoffs if you want the "best"    Anyone over 103% does not start? At that number no one gets lapped in SM( less problems) at Indy and if applied in 2017 all in first race make the field 1.58.3 pole for Chris all under 2.01.8 make the field   

 

If you want to have a B race field, have it..  


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#5
DrDomm

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Jim, your response appears to be referencing the 2021 Runoffs at Indy, but this is for the 2020 Runoffs at Road America.  This is a 4 mile course, where we really shouldn't have to worry about lapped cars in any class.  The last time I raced there was for the 50th Runoffs.  The photo of all the cars on the front straight highlighted what this event (and club) should be. 

 

I tried to participate in the 2012 Runoffs there, but I was 1 point short...so I just helped out and watched.  In 2012 I wasn't planning on going to the Runoffs initially, so by the end of the condensed Northeast schedule I only had 9 points, instead of the required 10.  I was left to beg SCCA to allow me to participate.  They denied that request.

 

I remember having this discussion prior to the 2017 Runoffs at Indy.  My recommendation then, was to tighten up the "115% rule".  I wouldn't go to 103%, but maybe 105-107%.  Something that limits the possibility of lapped cars under a full-green race.

 

I've participated in the 50th Runoffs at Road America, 2016 Runoffs at Mid-Ohio, 2017 Indy Runoffs, and this year at VIR.  They were awesome, but the 50th and Indy were really special.  The goal of the SCCA should be to do their best to replicate those events.

 

On a technical note, whenever the last time the "Top 50% Rule" was used...it was applicable to the PREVIOUS year's point total, allowing the driver to have a known target.  I didn't read that in the new requirement.  Hopefully they modify that.  The 2019 50% Total was 9 points in SM.  Does that really ensure "quality" anyway?  I counted close to 15 guys who competed this year at VIR that were below that number...including the Hard Charger winner.

 

This rule dictates what events I participate in.  I have limited time I can get off, and refuse to invest big $$$ in my personal-built/maintained/towed car, so I never expect to finish Top-20 in a HST race with 40-50 drivers.  While I prefer to go to the big events for the experience, and fight in the bottom half of the field with guys that have a similar philosophy/experience, I'll have to go to smaller events (i.e. NJMP-ugh) where I can finish top-10 out of 10-12 cars.  Woo Hoo!

 

I'm ignoring the Divisional Path because the Top-5 points scorers are also the guys that do well in the Majors/HST.


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#6
Jim Drago

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Jim, your response appears to be referencing the 2021 Runoffs at Indy, but this is for the 2020 Runoffs at Road America.  This is a 4 mile course, where we really shouldn't have to worry about lapped cars in any class.  The last time I raced there was for the 50th Runoffs.  The photo of all the cars on the front straight highlighted what this event (and club) should be. 

 

I tried to participate in the 2012 Runoffs there, but I was 1 point short...so I just helped out and watched.  In 2012 I wasn't planning on going to the Runoffs initially, so by the end of the condensed Northeast schedule I only had 9 points, instead of the required 10.  I was left to beg SCCA to allow me to participate.  They denied that request.

 

I remember having this discussion prior to the 2017 Runoffs at Indy.  My recommendation then, was to tighten up the "115% rule".  I wouldn't go to 103%, but maybe 105-107%.  Something that limits the possibility of lapped cars under a full-green race.

 

I've participated in the 50th Runoffs at Road America, 2016 Runoffs at Mid-Ohio, 2017 Indy Runoffs, and this year at VIR.  They were awesome, but the 50th and Indy were really special.  The goal of the SCCA should be to do their best to replicate those events.

 

On a technical note, whenever the last time the "Top 50% Rule" was used...it was applicable to the PREVIOUS year's point total, allowing the driver to have a known target.  I didn't read that in the new requirement.  Hopefully they modify that.  The 2019 50% Total was 9 points in SM.  Does that really ensure "quality" anyway?  I counted close to 15 guys who competed this year at VIR that were below that number...including the Hard Charger winner.

 

This rule dictates what events I participate in.  I have limited time I can get off, and refuse to invest big $$$ in my personal-built/maintained/towed car, so I never expect to finish Top-20 in a HST race with 40-50 drivers.  While I prefer to go to the big events for the experience, and fight in the bottom half of the field with guys that have a similar philosophy/experience, I'll have to go to smaller events (i.e. NJMP-ugh) where I can finish top-10 out of 10-12 cars.  Woo Hoo!

 

I'm ignoring the Divisional Path because the Top-5 points scorers are also the guys that do well in the Majors/HST.

You are correct Domm, I got my events mixed up.. :)

 

But the point is the same.. I fought this when I was on CRB and was blasted when basically allowed all that wanted to come the ability to do so.  One would think a front runner like myself would be against it, but I am not. The more the merrier.  I think the entire mindset of "the best" etc is exaggerated at best. It is no longer the mid 80's  or early 90s. I don't think those days are coming back either. This seems to do little but decline entry fees which the clubs needs and punish the two most popular and money makers, SM and SRF, I don't get it


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#7
FTodaro

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To Jim's point not everyone attending an SM race is realistically going to win it, and attend for different reasons, like enjoying the experience, racing with friends and participating in the clubs headline event.  A "business" like NASA may look at it differently than a "club" like SCCA.


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#8
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Jim and I fought this annually, when we were on the CRB.  I agree with him.  We should make it easier, not harder for everyone to attend, if they want to.  The best of the best will still be there, but the drivers with no hope of a podium can also enjoy the event.  


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#9
Danny Steyn

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Jim, your response appears to be referencing the 2021 Runoffs at Indy, but this is for the 2020 Runoffs at Road America.  This is a 4 mile course, where we really shouldn't have to worry about lapped cars in any class.  The last time I raced there was for the 50th Runoffs.  The photo of all the cars on the front straight highlighted what this event (and club) should be. 

 

DrDomm - you are incorrect sir. In multiple Spec Miata June Sprints and Runoffs we have lapped cars. On one occasion, while leading, the lapped car cost me a shot at the win.

Despite this, I agree with JD. Take the entry fees, let everyone race,  even those that do not make the 117% rule, but I would love to see those that do not make the 117% rule consider pulling over prior to being lapped to not mess up the race for the lead. Just my $0.02


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#10
Jim Drago

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Another side effect that probably has not been considered... I am now hearing from some SM drivers that feel they will be outside the top 20 at the bigger super tours are considering not to attend them as they will need to go to less attended races to get points. This is more entry fees the club will not be collecting :(  


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#11
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I agree - let anyone who wants to come, come as long as they've participated in the required number of events. Up the attendance one race weekend and if needed split the field for the feature to those who do not qualify within an acceptable margin. Build participation and not discouragement. Those who are fast and want to be there will be, and the rest will drive the excitement with increased participation.

 

I was a bit worried until I saw where I placed in the Southern Conference and Super Tour standings with the minimum (1 Majors and 2 Super Tour) races required last year.

 

I was planning on going to the June Sprints for practice this year, and with these requirements it will simply be that, as I'm unlikely to gain any points by doing so.


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#12
Steve Scheifler

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Another side effect that probably has not been considered... I am now hearing from some SM drivers that feel they will be outside the top 20 at the bigger super tours are considering not to attend them as they will need to go to less attended races to get points. This is more entry fees the club will not be collecting :(


Agreed, but it improves attendance at lesser races that struggle just to break even. They may or may not get it right in any given year, but surely the goal is to give the illusion of “the best of the best” while also trying to get 700+ entries, but also making it necessary to attend more events during the season to “qualify”. Having 1000 entries at one event won’t float the club if too many people show up at just a couple races during the season, probably at the Runoffs track, because they don’t need to do more. Of course none of these negative side effects will be true for the majority but I expect it’s all part of the calculus in trying to strike the right balance for maximum participation/revenue overall.
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#13
DrDomm

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DrDomm - you are incorrect sir. In multiple Spec Miata June Sprints and Runoffs we have lapped cars. On one occasion, while leading, the lapped car cost me a shot at the win.

Despite this, I agree with JD. Take the entry fees, let everyone race,  even those that do not make the 117% rule, but I would love to see those that do not make the 117% rule consider pulling over prior to being lapped to not mess up the race for the lead. Just my $0.02

 

Um, I can't remember your experience with traffic at the front of the pack, but I stand by my statement that we "really SHOULDN'T have to deal with lapped cars" at Road America.  There will always be exceptions, but look at the race results from 2013.

 

https://dk1xgl0d43mu....pdf?1433532652

 

The slowest race lap was 9.5 sec behind the fastest race lap.  If that happened on all 13 laps, and all were GREEN, the slowest car that year would have been 2:03.5 behind the leader...whose fastest lap was 2:44.2.  So, my point is just that this track is big enough that we shouldn't get into lapped traffic based solely on laptime differential.  Spins and mechanical issues can cause traffic issues with backmarkers or competitive drivers, so reality may prove different.

 

Either way, I think we agree that its silly to impose this rule now.


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#14
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Agreed, but it improves attendance at lesser races that struggle just to break even. They may or may not get it right in any given year, but surely the goal is to give the illusion of “the best of the best” while also trying to get 700+ entries, but also making it necessary to attend more events during the season to “qualify”. Having 1000 entries at one event won’t float the club if too many people show up at just a couple races during the season, probably at the Runoffs track, because they don’t need to do more. Of course none of these negative side effects will be true for the majority but I expect it’s all part of the calculus in trying to strike the right balance for maximum participation/revenue overall.

 

See my 2nd post.  But most of us have a limit.  It's not that I will go to more Majors.  I will have to pick a less popular one, and skip a popular one.  Good for that less popular track, I guess.  Not great for me...the paying club member.


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#15
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Um, I can't remember your experience with traffic at the front of the pack, but I stand by my statement that we "really SHOULDN'T have to deal with lapped cars" at Road America.  There will always be exceptions, but look at the race results from 2013.

 

https://dk1xgl0d43mu....pdf?1433532652

 

The slowest race lap was 9.5 sec behind the fastest race lap.  If that happened on all 13 laps, and all were GREEN, the slowest car that year would have been 2:03.5 behind the leader...whose fastest lap was 2:44.2.  So, my point is just that this track is big enough that we shouldn't get into lapped traffic based solely on laptime differential.  Spins and mechanical issues can cause traffic issues with backmarkers or competitive drivers, so reality may prove different.

 

Either way, I think we agree that its silly to impose this rule now.

 

Dr Domm - Yes you are looking at a result list showing the SLOWEST drivers BEST times, and that happens to be only 9.5 seconds behind the best time. It does not show what the SLOWEST drivers SLOWEST times are. or even what the FASTEST drivers SLOWEST times are. Hell, at many races, I have had race laps at least 30 seconds slower than my best time that would show up on a result sheet like this. It happens when we spin, run off and go agricultural, get bogged down in the gravel trap etc. 

 

And of course, if we spin in front of the entire field, it can slow down everyone behind, so you can have ALL the drivers behind suddenly having a slow lap time, and this is one of the ways the field gets strung out, and why we end up with lapped traffic even at tracks like Road America. If my recollection serves me well, I would say that we have dealt with lapped traffic quite often at Road America in the longer races. 


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#16
Steve Scheifler

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See my 2nd post. But most of us have a limit. It's not that I will go to more Majors. I will have to pick a less popular one, and skip a popular one. Good for that less popular track, I guess. Not great for me...the paying club member.


No argument on that. My point is that the club obviously can’t please everyone and in theory their objective is what’s best for the survival of the club as a whole which requires a balance between the Runoffs, large events and small. And furthermore that each decision has both hoped for and unintended consequences, many of which actually appear on both sides of the balance sheet for the club if not individual members.
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#17
Martinracing98

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I have raced cars and/or karts 17 of the last 20 years. Ironically Road America is the only track I have ever been lapped at. It was running slicks on a drying track. I read the drying track poorly. The leaders read it amazingly.



#18
DrDomm

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Dr Domm - Yes you are looking at a result list showing the SLOWEST drivers BEST times, and that happens to be only 9.5 seconds behind the best time. It does not show what the SLOWEST drivers SLOWEST times are. or even what the FASTEST drivers SLOWEST times are. Hell, at many races, I have had race laps at least 30 seconds slower than my best time that would show up on a result sheet like this. It happens when we spin, run off and go agricultural, get bogged down in the gravel trap etc. 

 

And of course, if we spin in front of the entire field, it can slow down everyone behind, so you can have ALL the drivers behind suddenly having a slow lap time, and this is one of the ways the field gets strung out, and why we end up with lapped traffic even at tracks like Road America. If my recollection serves me well, I would say that we have dealt with lapped traffic quite often at Road America in the longer races. 

 

True.  My analysis was flawed.


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#19
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So i think i'm part of the group in question here :).    I have never ran at the run-offs.  I have raced a few local Majors races, definitely mid pack at best, but not too slow nor dangerous.  (I did run the NASA championships at MidOhio once).

 

I made a decision at the end of this season to ramp up my effort a little so i could run at Indy (improve my commitment and yea, bucket list).   No expectations of winning, just want to be part of it, run on the track, and at least be competitive in the mid/back.   But looking at the criteria, not sure how i'd even qualify...I can attend 3 Majors, and assuming, finish them.   But i don't believe i will be in the top half just attending 3 (or 4), and i know i won't be in the top 5 in the NorthEast Div.  

 

If the point is to narrow it down playoffs style, i get it and accept it.  But it's also pay to play if i read it right.  I probably could be in the top 50% if i decided to travel to every Majors event i could to sum up points.  I'd still be the same lackluster performance i was, just more points because more races.

 

I naively thought it was as long as you successfully participated in a few Majors races, you could qualify and go run.  But now that i'm uncertain, i may not update my car, may not travel to the handful of Majors that i would have, and wont pay the entrance fees for the Runoffs.   

 

 

 

 

There's lap cars in F1, Nascar, etc.   we deserve respect in SCCA "club" racing too  :banana:


  • Armando Ramirez, DrDomm, JCOgle and 1 other like this

#20
JCOgle

JCOgle

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  • 24 posts
  • Location:Lanesborough, MA
  • Region:NER
  • Car Year:1994
  • Car Number:15

Ditto. I have an NB under construction, but may put the brakes on that.


1994 Miata #15

MoHud Region

Lanesborough, MA





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