sounds good to me.
Is it time for the rally organizers in this country to contact USAC.
possibly the scca is no longer of any use to the rank and file rally guy any more.
Time to throw the tea into the drink?
If I had to guess, I would think any USAC series would be MORE like what the average joe does NOT like about SCCA Rally currently. Higher dollar, higher stakes. But, if that was the case, maybe it would provide the platform for the manufacturer teams in the states that they have been trying to make SCCA Pro Rally into. Then SCCA Rally could go back to more club-style rallying that some of us are looking for. Less fanfare, more fun. This is a completely un-informed opinion, but from reading the release, I would say the folks that put on F1 and the Indy 500 are going to be even less accomidating to a hobby-ralliest. Not that is all bad. There is room for that level of rallying in the US as well. If it could co-exist with club oriented rally without tainting it, What could be better ?
Aren't the USAC folks also the people who provide plenty of local racing excitement, albeit generally of the round variety? I'm thinking Sprints, Silver Crown, Midgets, etc. Contrast this with the big events for which they're also known.
>If I had to guess, I would think any USAC series would be
>MORE like what the average joe does NOT like about SCCA
The organizers of Cherokee and Laughlin are not changing. It has already been stated they will support the current SCCA class structure. As I read it USAC would provide the route for FIA sanctioning (in much the same way the SCCA did for Wild West and previously Cherokee I guess) and be involved in the insurance of the event some how.
The rallies are still put on by the current organizers, because of that I assume the changes will be pretty much invisible to the competitors with the exception of no points towards any championships other than CNAR.
>The rallies are still put on by the current organizers,
>because of that I assume the changes will be pretty much
>invisible to the competitors with the exception of no points
>towards any championships other than CNAR.
Your comments about "organizers" putting on the Rallies is a very key point. This is where the true organizational power resides. Not with SCCA or USAC (or anywhere else.) Personnally, I want to see them excersise more power and not allow sanctioning bodies to run so rough-shod over them and their competitors.
But, let us not forget the Western States Rally Championship. This series, open to all, might very well be scene as the most credible and important Championship in the United States.
Additionally, if our friends in Western Canada become part of the series it could be the most important in North America.
I, for one, have no intention of attending either of the USAC events. Why would I spend ANY of my money on events that don't count toward anything that I care about?
USAC will make money selling insurance to John and Ray.
I dont' believe that there is enough rally in the U.S. to support two competing series... the winner will be the one with the most good roads. At this time the SCCA has a 4 to 1 advantage over USAC (not to mention ClubRally!!).
>Why would I spend ANY of my money on events
>that don't count toward anything that I care about?
Um, because it's fun? Because it's a great rally? Because it's got awesome roads, great infrastructure (even for the non-rally family members), and incredible vistas at service? To earn a part of the $25,000 prize fund? To be on a one-hour (as opposed to 30 minutes) TV broadcast even if you're not in the top six?
I can see your argument if you're a pro guy, however, merely chasing a championship. Fortunately this event is after the pro championship has been decided so you can play and have fun without worrying about standings or the next event, (except for maybe Sno*Drift).
>USAC will make money selling insurance to John and Ray.
And SCCA won't, true.... but if we offered competitive rates and value....
>I dont' believe that there is enough rally in the U.S. to
>support two competing series... the winner will be the one
>with the most good roads. At this time the SCCA has a 4 to
>1 advantage over USAC (not to mention ClubRally!!).
I've been advocating that Laughlin join the SCCA fold for over five years, obviously without success. J.B., you've seen my letter to the PRB.
I have to assume that the organizers are making their decisions based on good business principles. As another organizer once told me, if your hot dog vendor is overcharging and under-delivering, then you need to change hot dog vendors. From what I've heard and read our club is at least partially to blame for driving away the organizers of our events.
The big question to answer in any decision by organizers to affiliate with USAC is "Can I put the rally on without my local SCCA Region's support?"
I think the answer will vary from event to event. Some organizing committees depend on the SCCA region for financial backing and worker support much more than others. When NARA broke away from SCCA in the 70's, some former SCCA Rallies that joined NARA lost a lot of their support while others didn't miss a beat. Also some events continued to have full fields with two competing series, while others struggled.
Another certified old fart!
PRIMO Stage Crews
For a Good Time, Call PRIMO!
There are really not that many rallyists that put together a whole season of events at the club or pro level, especially on the east coast -- lots of competitors, not a lot of championship competitors. I think the same could be said about the whole country when you look down through the classes. (My opinion: you need more than 3 cars in a class competing regularly to have a meaningful championship).
If you look down through the classes you could selectively win (buy) a class championship at a regional or national level just by spending the money on the right car and right events.
For most competitors a good event in "close" proximity to you will be appealing. Think of all the 1-2 event east coast Pro competitors. I expect that Cherokee will have no problem filling its field. And although Laughlin has had its ups and downs it continues to attract reasonable fields.
The real question is what stops the current events from jumping ship to another sanctioning body? Paul's point is valid: worker base & finacial backing. Wanting to be part of the "current bigger series" is valid. Taking the path of least resistance is valid. However from an organizer standpoint the sactioning body does not add a lot of value, the series you are part of can add a lot of value. Currently if you want a big show the SCCA series is the only game.
Think of RIM -- the event will be just as big in 2003 as 2002 and at a club level. RIM could be a complete stand alone event and it would attract a good field, good publicity, and could market a good TV show.
IF the USAC/FIA series (CNAR) was able to attract the manufacturers, how many events would want to follow the big show? Unless the manufacturers have a multiyear contract with the SCCA they have not been given a lot of reasons to stay, after all they are experts at FIA rules and regulations, the SCCA is a headache for them.
In addition it would make more finacial sense from a budget/promotion standpoint to run a CNAR series -- publicity across three countries for the price of one.
In the current situation, a second series is a very viable alternative, it has the same obstacles as the SCCA, but without a current infrastucture (or maybe without a top heavy infrastructure as AutoWeek would suggest). One big name series sponsor is all it would take to allow a small staff of series organizers and promoters to put together as good or better package than the SCCA is offering. Plus with the ugliness the SCCA series has fostered, a fresh start would be welcome.
So Cherokee may not interest you, or anyone else fighting for a championship, but for the other 90% of the competitors it is a chance to rally some of the best technical roads in the country.
>Personnally, I want to see them excersise more power and not
>allow sanctioning bodies to run so rough-shod over them and
Main Entry: ex·tort
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Latin extortus, past participle of extorquEre to wrench out, extort, from ex- + torquEre to twist
: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power : WRING; also : to gain especially by ingenuity or compelling argument
- ex·tort·er noun
- ex·tor·tive /-'stor-tiv/ adjective
This is a nice thought, and I wish it were so, but when the SCCA withholds sanctioning until a week before a major national event while the organizers try to hammer out media rights with them, I see it as though the SCCA holds the ace in the hole. It's extortion to it's extreme...making hundreds if not thousands of people subject to travelling to an event, the expenses, the missed work, etc., not knowing whether the event will be held because the SCCA holds out sanctioning until the organizers scream "UNCLE!" knowing they have no other options.
I agree with a lot of your stuff... I think it will be darn hard to prepare one car for SOME FIA events and SOME SCCA events... I don't see FIA welcoming PGT (for example)... there's enough problems with Canada and SCCA rule differences and those two are TRYING to cooperate.
I'll prep my car for one rule book and that will be the one with the most events I plan to drive in.
Besides, I have zero interest in FIA scoring, RGC's, 22 minute services, or racing to fuel depots. Do YOU?
>Besides, I have zero interest in FIA scoring, RGC's, 22
>minute services, or racing to fuel depots. Do YOU?
Its not that easy:
I am not a fan of FIA timing, those who use it say its no problem, but no one has ever been able to show me that the math does not make the event longer. I also don't like the way it "keeps" road position for each car -- no one has explained why the system was designed like it is, and I am not sure why it could not be changed, but a few west coast events have been using it for many years and they like it -- crazy west coast people
RCG's are a good thing when used effectively, RCG's before service at least equalize the amount of time each team has to service -- I have been burned moving up the field and getting shorted service time. RCG's are also a great tool to keep the rally bunched up -- which can be important to road open and close times.
Service time is debatable: It seems harsh to say if you break it you are done, but then again, if you break it you are done.
22 minutes is enough time to change tires, clean the winshield, add fluids, feed the crew.
The sport at a professional level would look much different if you were not allowed to change transmissions, struts, front clips... This is an issue broader than time: how many service crew should be allowed, what parts should you be able to change? Service times were shortened by FIA years ago so that the teams could not rebuild the entire car during service -- I guess if you only use time as the regulator they need to shorten service again.
So 22 minutes is currently driving cost at service. If rebuilding cars during service is not allowed, service time is not an issue, and costs go down (or maybe everyone runs titanium parts?): to finish first, first you must finish. The elder Higgins has proven a few times that being able to rebuild the car will keep you in the event, but it will not get you a victory. Where do you want to win, in the pits or on the road?
Fuel depots add some level of safety, don't know that it is needed but it is hard to argue with the logic (and its environmentally friendly too) -- especially when time constrained to 22 minutes. The racing part is an event timing issue, rules making, and service area layout issue -- careful planning eliminates the problem or concern (most events learn).
So aside from RCGs, no I don't really like those rules, but I don't think those rules are are the only issues, nor do I think that just because it is that way it needs to remain that way. Some battles are worth fighting, some issues get exemptions, some ways of thinking change.
No matter how you cut the issues, the system as a whole is not working to make the majority of the club happy. I see relatively easy and logical solutions, I have explained them, and questioned the current state of afairs. The information to help solve some of these issues has not been divulged to the members, the organizers, the PRB, or the Manufacturers, so that only leaves a small group of people who have a complete understanding of what can and cannot be accomplished. I am not comfortable with only a small group of people having all the knowledge and control. If it is a club, there should be no secrets among the membership. If it is a business, it needs competition.
Passively fighting the good fight from my keyboard,
>What were the Organizers trying to get? Why would the
>Organizers want the media rights? Is there something to be
>gained by "owning" the media rights to an event?
That's just one of many things that caused the late sanctioning for Rim as I understand it. For some reason (and media rights seems to stick in my mind), the SCCA dragged its feet until the week before Rim before it granted sanctioning, making lots of people pretty uncomfortable about whether it was going to come through at all. I can't speak for what the organizers were trying to gain, if anything...what I know of them is that they're in this for the players and the players only. I don't know what the disagreements were entirely, but if I know the particular people involved, it was them who were getting the shaft.
And yes, there is something to be gained with media rights...silly man...it means the organizers, if they so desire, or designatees of their choice, can produce whatever type of media they see fit without the involvement of the M A N U F A C T U R E R S guiding who gets airtime and who doesn't. The SCCA is a SANCTIONING BODY, nothing more...and they've turned it into this big two-headed PR monster that does little or nothing to get ACTUAL AIRTIME for the sport, let alone the club guy, who buy the way, makes up the biggest chunk of the rally community, ie, cardholding members who are medics, hams, organizers, other workers, crew, not to mention the club-level co-drivers and drivers themselves.
The SCCA is in it for the money, plain and simple, and being a red-blooded capitalist, I'm all for that. But the competitor - the every-day, joe-blow guy on the street (or gravel road in this case) - is the customer, and shouldn't it be the customers who have the say in what is best for the sport? Don't major stores chains make it easier and more pleasant for the customer rather than the vendors who supply the stores? That's the way most successful companies work. Being fairly new to this sport (albeit well read on the matter), I've heard many stories about "...how it used to be...", and much has changed in the favor of the monopolies we call "the manufacturers". Hail the the little guy a la AV Sport and TAD who want nothing more than to beat Goliath, and do. It tells the SCCA that money doesn't always buy wins, nor does it buy good public attention.
I'm in favor of things like the WSRC, because it gives clubbers the opportunity to participate on a national level without going through all the hubbub of the national events.
Hail to John Dillon and all the others who have undertaken this effort. Press on.
OK. There are 10 (or 9 or 8 or 7) National Pro Events on next year's calendar. There are 50+/- Club Rallies.
Why aren't we hearing from ANY organizers here? I don't hear Club Rally organizers complaining. And I don't hear contestants complaining about Club Rallies. Hmmmmmm....good concept. Give the consumer what he wants.
SCCA does have a problem in keeping the peace between themselves, the sponsors and the organizers at the Pro level. But it appears (relatively, at least) that the Club level is alive, well, and growing....thanks, in part to grassroots management (Divisional Stewards, and non-corporate manager).
IMHO, the Club Rally series needs a non-automotive sponsor. Someone with no vested interest in who runs over whom in the service area, but can help make the Divisional Championships meaningful and the CRNC newsworthy. Then organizers will actually WANT to conduct Club Rallies....and SCCA has a problem....how to provide the stage (sic) for it's manufacturer sponsors.
It is my belief that 80% of the competitors today enter for the seat time. If I'm right, then what sanction they're running under is pretty irrelevant. Who cares? There's a road in front of me. It's closed. 3-2-1-GO! The other 20% run the show (the Pareto Rule..80/20..20% of a group control 80% of the resources). But the contestant and the organizer really have COMPLETE CONTROL. And in Club Rally I believe I'm hearing the contestant and the organizer are in synch (except for maybe all that cash the organizers are pocketing!). So what's the problem? Want to run the most miles for the least money?...Plan your year around the best Club Rallies you can get to. Add the USAC, CARC, NARA, NARRA events within range. Want to run for a National Chamionship?....put the PRO events on your calendar and avoid the USAC, CARC, NARA, NARRA, etc. events.