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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the feedback I've gotten personally and publically, it seems that the biggest objections to my graduated License concept are (in no particular order):

Offensive - "how could you think that I need to be cerified"

Defining a standard - "Where do you draw the line for experience versus schooling

Time - "It's to late to implement this kind of structure for 2005"

Expensive - "Rally schools are Thousands of Dollars, aren't they"

Difficult to manage - "How are we maintain and enforce that standard"

I'm sure there may be a few others but these are the questions I've been getting.

The questions regarding offending some of our capable and committed current Rally folk and in defining that standard are is some way, one in the same. So I address them similarly...

Offensive - "how could you think that I need to be cerified"

Defining a standard - "Where do you draw the line for experience versus schooling


I don't think anyone would object to setting and maintaining a standard of professionalism in motorsports. I don't think they would oppose a standard in performance either. In fact, I would think that would give us MORE credibility in the motorsports arena to have these benchmarks and for individual teams to have met or exceeded them.

I think also that if we look at it from the stand point of it perhaps ensuring future Rally in the US, we would ALL lend a hand to see it happen.

Keep in mind, we are not talking about setting a new benchmark that is unreachable nor out of the rhelm of CURRENT competence levels. Rather, call it the LOWEST common denominator for all competitors (sort to speak).

Those not meeting that status will continue to Rally if they've been but are now simply IN the program with whatever coefficients they have currently and within the class they run currently. In most cases, immediately satisfied and certified and given License.

The other cases, they have more Cos to complete and are placed with a Provisional until Satisfied. School would NOT be mandatory BUT might bump them "over the top" in their Cos and certainly can't hurt.

Newbies, and in that I mean the first timer to the driver with say... 9 Cos or less, School is mandatory. Schools are also coeffieints.

And from here forward, EVERYONE coming into Rally runs the program as described from day one.

Time - "It's to late to implement this kind of structure for 2005"

As I just mentioned, MOST of it is already in place and can be run seamlessly with the events schedule as is.

BUT... we can simply ADD some of these Schools immediately after the first of the year. Even if we are running Rally Events, the Schools can happen AFTER the first event...

We simply "waiver" their ("their" being current Rally folks, not first absolute timers) first event pending their Schooling and get the certification done post-actively.

These schools would be over a Friday - Sunday weekend, hopefully cost less than $500, count for say... 4 - 6 Coefficients or whatever and replicated in most regions throughout the year.

That way drivers can start (or complete) anytime during the season.

Expensive - "Rally schools are Thousands of Dollars, aren't they"

As I mentioned, I can see how one of these courses could be run over a weekend and cost $500 or less. Numbers crunching is not completely finished yet but I think it's close. I'd like to see it cost LESS even.

No matter what though, it'll be cheaper than the multi-thousand dollar price tags that most folks are used to.

NOT to take business from the existing schools... the RA Licensing program actually PROMOTES the schools in each area and highly recommends that Teams take advantage of the "RA Discount/Credit" earned by taking the Cert course toward the ADVANCED Course provided by XXX Rally School.

Ahhh? Nice, Free Advertising for the Schools? Eh? ;)

The trick here is that I still think it adds yet another layer of risk management to be able to say that each team was "specifically trained in the class of vehicle they are racing", so.... these cert courses would require teams to bring and train in class of vehicle (if not the vehicle itself) they plan to Rally.

That lowers costs of running the school as well as show a perspective insurer that we are SO conscious of safety and risk that we are only allowing "Specialized drivers in their class" to compete.

Of course, the advanced courses would utilize the Schools regular contingent.

Now, these folks are trained and certified not just in Rally but in the CLASS of Rally they are competing. If they want to compete in a different class and already possess and Provisional License, they only need to certify in the new car class at another school (or even at the same school for that matter) and carry TWO class (Provisional or unrestricted) Licenses.

These certifications and class endorsements, of course, would be reflected in the Driver's Logbook along with Safety and Tech Steward notes.

Difficult to manage - "How are we maintain and enforce that standard"

I think I've pretty well defined the lines by now, so setting the standards is done... It's the management that needs implemented then.

Easy enough... whether within or 3rd party, the "students" send their completed certification into "the place" to get noted, approved and the Endorsements issued. The Endorsements go into the Logbooks along with the Provisional Lisence provided by RA. When the driver gets to his 18 Coefficients, he sends in his completed application with a copy of his Logbook and the signed approval of a local/Regional Steward and the Cert Center issues the Unrestricted Endorsement certificate (and an "Unrestricted" sicker?) to include in the Driver's Logbook and License and RA issues a new, Unrestricted License.

The Logbook signifies which classes the Driver is Endorsed for and whether the endorsement is Provisional or Unrestricted (in the case of multiple class Licenses).

All these certs, endorsements and copies of Logbooks, etc. are maintained in a "clearing house" data center for easy access to RA, the Insurers and/or attorneys if the need should ever arrise.

EASY AS CAKE :)

These ideas were exerpted from my master proposal but I thought I'd post them here for feedback.

So... tell me what you think?

Scott - but be nice about it - Kovalik
 

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Okay, Okay - I like it.

You must be / or know a pilot.
This sounds very familiar to me, having done some flying when I was younger.

Start by going to ground school. A provisional FAA license. Fly 1000 hours. Do your solo. Get certified on a Cesna 182. You can now fly that class of airplane unrestricted as long as the requirements are met. You won't be hopping into a C135 Transport anytime soon. You have to get trained and certified for heavier (faster) aircraft first. Lots of flight time. Lots of training.

Okay - the question - Let's see if we can solve this little problem: Mr. Novice shows up to school in his brand new 280HP Subaru C135 cargo jet. How many hours of school should he be mandated to take for that class of car?

Lets set the bar, nail it down, and say:
Novice P Class. Provisions for unrestricted license - 2 Days of a rally school. 6 class hours. 10 in car hours. Complete 2 rallies.

Novice PGT Class. Complete P class requirements. Plus one day rally school. 2 class hours. 8 in car hours. Complete 1 additional rally.

etc, etc,

So if you wanted to start with a G5 car. You COULD - but you would have to complete something like 4 days of school with that car. 10 class hours. 26 in car hours. After completing 3 rallies, you would have an unrestricted G5 class license. Or go to a 3 day intensive private school and receive your G5 class license there.

The only other wrinkle I can find is - where / when / how - to put on a school. We have a hard enough time finding dirt to race on. Would you run it concurrent with a club rally? I think you could also get one of the existing rally schools in the area to help you organize it - as they will be looking at new rally drivers and new markets.

Great for the sport!
Thanks Scott,

I appreciate your comments to me in the other threads.
Sometimes I come on strong with great ideas - and get discouraged. You turned this around for me.


- Kris
http://www.rallynotes.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
>
>You must be / or know a pilot.
>This sounds very familiar to me, having done some flying
>when I was younger.


No, unfortunately I'm not a pilot but I sure would LIKE to be. :)

Nore do I know any personally. I looked at this strictly from a Liability standpoint and as a direct reaction to the past/present/pending lawsuits that the SCCA has pointed at for the cause of our division's increase in costs.

In crunching the numbers and dealing with the issues, I came up with this concept as... to me... and obvious solution.

I had no idea it had anything to to with Pilot School.

>Okay - the question - Let's see if we can solve this little
>problem: Mr. Novice shows up to school in his brand new
>280HP Subaru C135 cargo jet. How many hours of school should
>he be mandated to take for that class of car?


I hear what you are saying... graduate the classes so you have to Qualify in a P car, then G2, G5 and then PGT in order to run Open. The problem I see with this is the costs associated. In terms of the cars the Driver would have to supply and race and/or the schools would have to supply and test with.

BYOC... Bring Your Own Car limits costs, liability and class managment time/resources.

Anyway... Like pilots, you need to arrange your requirements in terms Rally folk understand... Coefficients. I hear your points though.

The Rally School should be a constant. Same foundations and expectations regardless of what class you intend to drive.

The difference will be in the Driving Techniques shared and tested. Everything else is pretty much standardized.

From Safety to Route Books, Preparing to race to winning routines, from hasty starts to getting pulled by Sweep. It should all be in there no matter what class of car you are seeking endorsement for and no matter how many times you've been back.

Not only for you, but mainly for the program to have consistency and be easy to duplicate. Sure it's redundant, but that also means "security" to the Insurer.

The School in your class is 2.5 days, worth 5 Coefficients.

Each time you attend the School in a different class, it's worth 5 Cos.

Completing the course earns you a Certificate which then allows your Provisional License and Logbook. Fill up your 18 Cos and your Logbook and apply for your Unrestricted Class Endorsement (License).

Here's a catch... you don't earn your unrestricted Endorsement until you have 18 Cos IN THAT CLASS. In other words, if you take 2 courses in G2 and PGT and walk away with 10 Cos, you only have 5 in each class going toward the Endorsement. Conversely, taking the PGT course twice WILL earn you 10.

And advanced course is worth X number of Coeffients applicable to any Provisional License in progress or your unrestricted License if previously Endorsed.

Your Provisional Period is 18 Coefficients PER CLASS, regardless of how long it takes you to SUCCESSFULLLY complet them.


>The only other wrinkle I can find is - where / when / how -
>to put on a school. We have a hard enough time finding dirt
>to race on. Would you run it concurrent with a club rally? I
>think you could also get one of the existing rally schools
>in the area to help you organize it - as they will be
>looking at new rally drivers and new markets.


We are working on that now. Cookie Cutter Rally School. Bascially, the Oregon Region 13 of the SCCA has been identified as a great model for the formation of a set standard of Rally Cross rules and regs. As Region 13 as well as the NORPAC Rally Cross Director, I am working with members of our group on a model that can be easily duplicated for little cost, minimal liability, maximum marketing appeal and maximum profitability.

The model we are developing will also fit a Rally School with some minor maodifications. I say "minor" with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. :)

Minor being co-op marketing with the local or area School to promote their program at ours and to work with them and our studends to bolster attendance at their advanced Schools. Minor being organizing the Schools around their ability to attend (which has actually been surprisingly easy so far). Minor being schedule the events Prior to Club/Pro Rally events in order to get competitors up to speed and competing.

We use primarily Fairgrounds for our events. At least here, we have great relationships and little effort securing the land for this kind of abuse... I mean USE. ;)

The problem is that we need to schedule it pretty early in the year to guarentee our spot. That could be tricky for some locations but not as bad as it sounds.

The bottom line for me is that if I'm told that I can either park my PGT car I just spend thousands on, in order to drive a VW Rabbit {that I don't own and would have to buy or rent for the interim) or whatever for 18 Cos

OR

Spend a weekend driving MY car, in a safe environment, in a fun program, getting critiqued on my ability and helped on my technique from some of the hottest drivers in Rally, all while earning points toward my Rally License and career... regardless of if I am a current or new driver.

Not a tough choice :)

That's my thought anyway... for what it's worth.

Scott - Hopefully, it's worth a lot - Kovalik
 

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BYOC... Bring Your Own Car limits costs, liability and class managment time/resources.

Yes I agree - small misunderstandment: I meant that you would BE IN your new G2 car, but have to complete the requirements for both P and G2 in order to rally unrestricted in G2.

I think with a turnkey inexpensive school concept + class licence structure + a rules change to allow a P modified class = we could get rally back on track.

I'm once again excited to go pick up my Lancia Stratos ;) in December.
- Kris
http://www.rallynotes.com
 

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All of the ideas are good, but in the end it has to be a plan certified and endorsed by the Insurance carrier. They are the entity that has to be satisfied. Or rallying in the US will soon only be seen on Speedvision.
 

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Scott - I think your ideas are logical, more fair than most others I've seen (relating to specifically to having different rules for the 'newbies' than you have for all the others, and most importantly, achievable in the short term.

My only objection is that if we REQUIRE a first-timer to finish a school before he/she can run -- we have to do whatever it takes to make a school available before the first official rally.

and that shouldn't be impossible.

thanks for giving this some thought and taking the time to articulate a reasonable plan.

Mama-san
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To Trevor...

My complete proposal, which is only exerpted here, outlines the backing of an Insurer in order for this to REALLY take hold. There are some other Incentives for the Insurer as well to help them along with us.

To Mama-San...

I think I posted it but I may not have... We can "waiver" a car through pending the UNavailability of a local School in their area for their first run, similar to what we do now. Only THIS TIME, it's a really, truly, honestly ONE TIME ONLY deal. Of course, the coeffient of that waivered Rally WOULD count (if completed).

I mean hey, if letting a newbie run is one of the central focuses (focai?) of the Liability Hunters, then we HAVE to hold to that line, yeah?

This would also count for the folks that ran an event or two previous to this Lcensing system being implemented. Obviously, we don't want to exclude everyone.

However, we have to come to the terms with the idea that we WILL NEED TO exclude drivers not taking the appropriate steps sometime. We have to come to terms with the reality that do to Legal Liability, we can NO LONGER allow anyone with a heartbeat to race a Rally car on a Stage Rally.

That is what Rally Cross is for ;) LOL!!!

As for time to do so... Consider this... It is argued that Sno*Drift (while being an awsome event) is less of a draw than Oregon Trail - the FIRST TRUE FORREST RALLY of the Season!!!

That gives us at least March and early April to get a school together here and have some fun. Waiver the folks at Sno*Drift and get them all packaged by the next "east of the rockies" event.

Seems absolutely feesable to me. :)

If done right, we can certify and satisfy our competitors while running Rally almost indistinguishably from the way it's been run in the past.

No new cars. No new Classes. Very few new restrictions. No major rules changes except maybe some clarifications to the classes and what you can and can't run under your Class Endorsements, etc.

Smooooth like buttah!

Scott - Yeah, I've put some thought into this... OUCH! - Kovalik
 

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Wouldn't this plan put the liability issue firmly on the shoulders of the schools or instructors?

Who would sign up for that? Taking all the blame?

Josh

Is there really an issue attaining insurance? Have the premiums really been raised? Are we being constructive in the postings here or are we just giving our insurers something to worry about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
>Wouldn't this plan put the liability issue firmly on the
>shoulders of the schools or instructors?
>
>Who would sign up for that? Taking all the blame?
>
>Josh
>
>Is there really an issue attaining insurance? Have the
>premiums really been raised? Are we being constructive in
>the postings here or are we just giving our insurers
>something to worry about?


As opposed to what? Sticking drivers into cars with NO ONE being accountable?

That's where the liability STARTS.

Look at it this way...

You study a Driver's Instructional Booklet before you get your Driver's Permit. They you and your parents drive around for a year. Then you take your Written Driver's test and if passed, a Driving test with a Grader/Evaluator that gives you a Pass/Fail. If you pass, you get your Driver's Lisencs.

Now, a year later, you drive in front of a Bus and are put in a wheel chair the rest of your life.

Who's Responsible?

Certinaly not the Driver's Booklet you read in High School.

Certainly not your parents that Instructed you.

Certainly not the written test at the DMV.

Certainly not the Evaluator that ensured you met the minimum standard.

Why?

Because not only has the DMV set a STANDARD that everyone must meet but one that is evenly applied across the boards. Also because the Insurance Companies have gotten behind the standard.

Because in the world of Insurance, you HAVE to have a base line. Otherwise you can't adjust your pricing. It's really that simple.

So no, the Schools aren't taking the liability because they are meeting/exceeding OUR base line. One that is recognized and agreed upon by our Insurer and legally set in our laws/rules. The drivers are continuing in a Provisional Lisence program (read as Instructional Permit) that is heavily persuasive to SLOW DOWN, DRIVE SAFE and FINISH each and every race.

Any school that is in business now would have the same concerns and yet is still given credit by the SCCA toward a driver's Coefficients anyway.

So who would sign up to give a school?

Virtually anyone that has a school now. Considering that we are going to send 5000+ Rally enthusiasts to these Schools in the next forseeable future and beyond... Who WOULDN'T?

In fact, I think the hardest part is going to be choosing which schools to back and promote as there will almost certainly be a swell in available schools when this plan is implemented.

Look folks... this is Politics at it's best. Not "cheesey baby kissing" but real Policy Choices that can and will effect not only we competitors but stimulate our World of Rally in so many ways.

-Increased Safety means Lower costs.
-Lower costs means more compeitors.
-More Competitors means more Advertisers and Promoters.
-More Promoters means more spectators and more venues.
-More Promoters and Venues mean more exciting events AT Rally Events... Rally Crosses for "the public" during a race weekend for instance. Parties at an open, centralized Service Park. Cars Shows, Product Exhibitions, Competitions, Etc. Reaching out to the "youth" portion of our demographic.
-More venues includes more revenues for the city or area supporting the events.
-More venues and expsoure creates more local interest and more Jobs...
Hotels, resturants, travel, revenues to the road services for our usage, etc.
-We create Schools for our competitors. The Schools create product and promotor relationships that generate capital.
-Manufacturers begin to get interested again and with many having pulled or on the verge of pulling from WRC, IS it possible for them to want to come and play with us?

This may sound lofty but any Rally Organizer knows, from his own experience, that the fastest way to sell the usage of local roads is to convince the city council that it brings CASH and exposure to their community.

Think back to the BEST times you had at a CART Race at PIR...

Was it the Race itself or the Pagentry surrounding it?

We're never going to get "out of the woods and onto the TV" if we're content in hiding our events, limiting our numbers, closing the doors of opportunity, etc.

But it STARTS with Limiting our Liability in a way that is POSITIVE AND STIMULATING for our Sport. And I think an Insurer can and will get behind this if presented correctly.

Scott - I approve of this message - Kovalik
 

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one more time.....

In my previous post I was just pointing out the fact that someone will ALWAYS be liable regardless. I wish everyone would or could just take responiability fo their own actions. This unfortunately will not likely happen soon in law suit happy america.

I have said it before and will say it again.... I can go pick up a $4000 motocross bike and pay my AMA dues/ track fee. I will be racing with 40 other lunatics into the same corner, the next time there is a race. No bike inspection, no skills test, no helmet check. Why? Because the AMA has a good enough legal team to fend off any lawsuits and enough members to amortize the cost.

People get hurt (carted off heli etc.) on nearly a daily basis and the AMA rates are still just $39 FOR A YEAR!!! They have not changed in the past 7 year to my recollection.

I think the problem with the SCCA insurance stemmed from the fact that the person that was the risk manager for their insurance company and the club was one and the same. Seems like one heck of a conflict of interest to me.

I copied a post below from an older thread.






>>Doug,
>>Glad you joined in. I have an honest question, have there
>>been that many incidents this year or last year involving
>>newbies in open, G5, and PGT cars that merrit this
>>assumption that all newbies are maniacs? I can't think of
>>many off the top of my head (admidtedly I've been working
>>too much and not following rally as closely as I should),
>>and I can't think that the # that exist is higher in
>>statistical proportion than the experienced drivers in
>>faster cars. Please enlighten me...
>>
>>Greg,
>
>I don't have those statistics. Anybody else? It would be
>interesting to see an empirical study of what the real
>factors in most crashes were.
>
>Cheers,
>-Doug


I think the biggest factor to be looked at here is the fact that the sanctioning body (RA) does not have the data, yet it is going to start changing rules without it...... why? I would guess because everything I have read here for about the past year is negative, in regards to safety. The roads are too fast, the cars are too fast, the drivers.... Blah blah blah.

This is a dangerous sport people will get hurt. Tony Chaves mentioned something along the lines of..... If there is risk someone will insure it.... it is there business!

My wooden nickel?s worth }>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RE: one more time.....

I hear ya.

There is a big issue with people taking responsibility for their own actions. Sure, negligence is negligence but it shouldn't outshadow common sense and self control.

Spectating is a perfect example of this.

We corral spectators to keep them safe. Inevitably, some idiot will say "you're not the boss of me" and do some stupid thing despite our repeated warnings and sneak off somewhere he's not supposed to be and... of course... get hurt.

Then he's the first one complaining that we didn't do enough to protect him. The problem is, the Lawyers know how to draw this out SOOOO far it'll cost us more to defend than to settle. They know this and that's Extorsion. That's also the reason why Liability Insurance is so important.

That being said, I think the biggest reason why there's a difference in Motorcycle insurance versus Rally Insruance is the containment of the risk.

In other words, the MOST than can happen is a Rider is seriously hurt or maybe killed and takes perhaps one or two others with him.

Speeds are limited in Motocross. Never will you see a spectator wonder out of the woods onto a course. Rarely will a bike go crashing through a hundred spectators and even if it did, it's nowhere near the size of a car, doesn't carry the kinetic energy nor the weight and a car doesn't have to climb a wall in a stadium to get to the spectators in the first place.

It's easy to CAP expenses at an indoor or outdoor Motocross event but unless you confine Rally to a Stadium, direct comparrisons can NEVER be made.

As you repeated, yes, where's there is risk there is someone willing to insure it. The problem here isn't IF, it's HOW MUCH.

Ask yourself if you would Rally if your entry fees were $5000 per event. What about $2500? Even $1000...

In a perfect world....

Scott - Forget it, there's no way we'll every get close to a Perfect World - Kovalik
 

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RE: one more time.....

Scott,

I agree not a perfect world.

My point is no one knows what the insurance companys are looking for but there shure is a lot of speculation on how to fix the unknown problem. I do not think this is helping our position when said insurance companys start doing some research.

Not a chance I would pay that much. I would sell my partially finished rally car and buy a motocross bike again if costs even come close to those numbers.

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RE: one more time.....

Agreed but I also don't think the Insurance Companies are "looking" for a reason ro exhplanation. They've already seen it.

The Insurance Companies and the SCCA specifically sighted "Negligence and Liability Suits" as the primary cause of the increased costs and the decision to cancel Stage Rally.

Too little, too late did the SCCA try and look at ways to limit the Liability. They put alot of credence into a Suit they WON when the Waiver of Liability held up and from that time forward they may have thought they were invincible.

In today's world, you get sued and win... doesn't matter, you STILL take steps to correct or fortify your position. The SCCA did not.

Recent legal actions are a good indicator of the reason for the Insurance Company's action. It's up to us to decide how we deal with it.

Again, I don't really think it's a matter of "New Drivers" being more risky than older Drivers but one thing they all have in common and one area that was attacked legally, was the inability for the SCCA to point to a set standard of competance. The fact they couldn't answer questions ora ccusations like "should that driver been in a race car, on a course in the first place?" or "the driver was incompetant".

I do think these types of questions were asked because they knew it was an area the SCCA was not managing for Rally when the manage it for every other class of racing they control.

If we HAD a similar standard to Road Racing, I don't think it would have even come up. For new OR old drivers.

Yes, I'm sure there are more issues but I think they can nearly all be argued back down to a measure of competence. Competence on the part of the Organizers to have done everything possible to ensure a safe race and competence in the drivers to drive a safe race.

Beyond that, it's a racing incident and in Rally... that's inevitable.

Loosing a lawsuit because we didn't prepare ahead of time, doesn't have to be.

Scott - former underwriter to Insurance, so I do think a bit like they do - Kovalik
 

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RE: one more time.....

I am not trying to be difficult, I want what is best for the sport. Scott obviously you do too.

You started your last responce with "I think" Well respectfully I say, Unless you are going to sell us insurance it does not matter what you think, or I think, or anyone else thinks for that matter.

We need to find out what the risk management for the insurance companys think, and be sure we do whatever we can to bring us inline with their insurable "vision"

I am not saying the licencing idea is bad. I am saying find the problem is first then fix it, don't just go out and buy a new car because you have a broken plug wire.

Can anyone point me to where I can read about the suits toward the SCCA? I believe I saw links to them posted here before, although I could not locate them searching here, or with the google.

Thanks to everyone fighting to keep rally alive!

Josh
 
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