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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First:

The lack of popularity over here may come down to one phrase --

"Whatinthehell is a Skoda?"

With two of the top teams (Peugeot and Citroen) not selling in North America, one lesser team likewise (Skoda), and the other manufacturers giving us watered down versions of the homologation specials, people on this side of the pond are somewhat mystified. A god friend of mine, a dealer at the local Ford SVT dealership and a car guy to the core, wasn't even aware that Ford had an uber-Focus (the RS) in the pipe. he thought that the SVT Focus was the best they would do.

So the average armchair Joe isn't aware of the lengths manufacturers go to win the Championship.

Second is the lack of local talent. Pat may be helping somewhat, but Speed needs to get his name out there. Didn't rallying popularity go up when Mr. Buffum was over there? Haven't they been saying the same about F1?

Comments?

Jeremy (owned an '87 Skoda 130 Rapide in 1993) Oreskovich



"Racing is life...
All else is just waiting."
-Steve McQueen

"Our Car is F***ed"
-Team Skoda co-driver Tina Turner
 

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>The lack of popularity over here may come down to one phrase
>"Whatinthehell is a Skoda?"

And as an ex-girlfriend of mine points out whenever she has the chance, it's pronounced "SH-koda" :) She gets annoyed when dumb Americans like me pronounce it phoneticaly, as we are wont to do with foriegn words.


>Second is the lack of local talent. Pat may be helping
>somewhat, but Speed needs to get his name out there. Didn't
>rallying popularity go up when Mr. Buffum was over there?
>Haven't they been saying the same about F1?


Truely great local talent would be a big help, but Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart know where the money is... By his own admission Mr. Stewart has said the things he drives are joke. I'll dig up the autoweek article if you don't beleive me. :+ They both came up the midget and sprint car ranks, (USAC, so they ran WITHOUT wings) and if those boys don't know how to go fast on dirt, no one does. Those things are every bit as difficult to control as 300 HP WRX's, if not more, since they have a higer power to wieght ratio and only two wheels driving them... Unfortuneately the show that is NASCAR swallows any and all US talent. Though I'd dare say there are some in the club rally ranks Who have the potential, but lack the the backing, or need, to make it to the top.

I think it basically comes down to that to package rally for the American market, you'd need to make a credible RallySprint Series. Or, have super specials attached to our existing rallies... Or, figure out how to organise rallies a little closer to population centers.

But, Untill the big three, (or two and a half, depending on how you look at DaimlerChrysler) offer us a mass produced AWD CAR, they don't have a hope of winning the domestic championship.

Nick Polimeni
'71 Volvo 142E (daily driver/RallyCross)
www.bmr-scca.org
"Give me ambiguity, or give me something else!"
 

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Wait! Don't they all have AWD cars? Ford has Jaguar (and Euro Focus, or Foci, if they wanted), GM has some money into Subaru, & lesse, doesn't Daimler Chrysler have some AWD's, like 4Matics, & AWD Caravans?
Don't you think Rally's impediment to popularity is the fact spectators can't watch a whole event from a seat in an arena? And you need more camera's to televise it than roundy-round racing? Oh, and it's harder for many US fans to follow if they don't see all the competitors crowding the same turn at the same time?
Face it - US sponsors already have ways to quantify the value of money spent on NASCAR, and other current race series, and so don't feel a need to jump into another series they perceive as low profile, yet.



>>>
>But, Untill the big three, (or two and a half, depending on
>how you look at DaimlerChrysler) offer us a mass produced
>AWD CAR, they don't have a hope of winning the domestic
>championship.
>
>Nick Polimeni
>'71 Volvo 142E (daily driver/RallyCross)
>www.bmr-scca.org
>"Give me ambiguity, or give me something else!"
 

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Actually IMO, rallying is more "popular" (or rally "awareness")here than ever.
That's not to say that it is healthy with respect to the participants, but that between SpeedTV, small items like NASCAR drivers participating in the world invitational and huge items like electronic games featuring WRC, the general public and young people are becoming more aware of it.
 

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>Wait! Don't they all have AWD cars? Ford has Jaguar (and
>Euro Focus, or Foci, if they wanted), GM has some money into
>Subaru, & lesse, doesn't Daimler Chrysler have some AWD's,
>like 4Matics, & AWD Caravans?

I meant something thats available on this continant in car form... Ford also owns Volvo, who now have a healthy line of awd cars. But...that doens't do the parent company any advertising good as far as I can see. They would need to have an AWD Focus here, Chrysler would need an awd Neon or something... I don't particularly like or pay attention to GM so someone else will have to fill in the blank for what they could transform into a production awd car. My point was simply that if domestic manufacturers were to be interested in a credible/successful domestic series, (assuming that we could create one...) they would want to win it with their own cars. Unless they have an equal to the awd monsters, I don't see that happening unless you outlaw the use of said cars.

>Don't you think Rally's impediment to popularity is the fact
>spectators can't watch a whole event from a seat in an
>arena?

I said that didn't I? "To package rally for the american market...RallySprint...SuperSpecial..." and so on.

Nick
 

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The reality is a manufacturer does not need a awd monster street car to be competive in rallying. They can convert one to 4wd. Even in the WRC, Subaru and Mitsubishi are the only companies that make a street car that resembles the race car. You can't buy an F1 car. It is more important for brand recognition and media coverage than winning races (though it does help). Hyundai for example, got more media return from the production car than the open cars. Also there are other ways for manufacturers to get return than just the races. The number of spectators at a rally are miniscule compared to the numbers of people that see the cars on trailers going to and from the rallies or that see it on tv or magazines car shows etc.
This is an interesting article http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=41613&a=a&bt=subaru
the real problem with American car manufacturers is that they don't want to or don't know how to build a real sporting automobile. Look at the Corvette or Viper, the two cars that claim to be American sports cars, even though the car magazines seem to like them, they are huge, overweight, over styled, and overcompensated with big motors and big tires
 

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Ok guys lets compare; I can buy a ticket see every inch of the course , I can understand the concept with no explination , all the cars that go past are in the same class , I can pronounce the drivers name and they are racing wheel to wheel so I can tell who is leading in Nascar.
VS. hike out in the woods wait for an hour or two then the cars come by in one minute intervals and I won't know who is leading for half an hour.
The problem with us is we are Racers not Race fans and race fans think completely differant. All is not lost , the X-games generation seems to dig Rally. Who knows maybe if we set-up an indoor Rally series like the old Mikey Thompson off-road stadium series it would generate enough interest to get a WRC round in the USA.

Tom Grossman

PS my three favorite motorsports 125cc GP Road Racing , Motorcycle Trials and Rally - not for the average American
 

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> Look at the Corvette or Viper, the two
>cars that claim to be American sports cars, even though the
>car magazines seem to like them, they are huge, overweight,
>over styled, and overcompensated with big motors and big
>tires

Yeah. What could be more American than that?}>


Seriously, I just took a long look around autonews.com. I read a lot of articles. The dealers want SUV's. But they also want sport compacts. This is a growing market, and the popularity of rally is an outgrowth of this area. But it takes a long time to bring a new product to market, and rally is only starting to appear on the profitability radar.
Obviously GM wants to leverage their stake in Subaru. Ford will be basing several products on the 2004 Focus platform (like maybe a new Volvo V30 hatchback). DCX has demand for its SRT-4 Neon. Ford and GM are developing new RWD platforms. While it's nice to see that Chrysler, Mitsu, and Hyundai and going in on a new engine plant, I'd rather hear about a new transmission plant.:9
So youz guys can whine and moan all you want about the terrible state of rallying in this country, but the manufacturers (not just Subie, Mitsu, and Hunday) have some really cool stuff in the pipe.
I just want some rules stability please.
 
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