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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody read the editorial over there on the other side?

Comments?

Seems timely with these "request for input" from PRB.

And this is no April fool's day thing.





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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John, you've mentioned this several times now ... do you have a link for those of us who lack your taste for mystery?

Doh! You meant a real editorial. It's been so long since anything appeared there, I didn't even think to look!

Thanks.

Discussion part . . .

The one thing that Derek does not mention is that the PRB and the SCCA is supposed to work as he desires . . . a representative democracy, subject to suitable technical input and recommendations from experts. In club racing this works much better than it does in rally because the constituency for racing is MUCH larger relative to the (evil) forces of PRO racing and the manufacturer input to PRO is not driving the bus of club.

If the rally rules evolved like the club racing rules, not all problems would disappear, but the system would be more to the liking of Derek and others who agree that WE should control our sport.

Ken Hawley
Silenus Motorsports
Kalamazoo, MI
http://www.silenus.com/khawley/Silenus577_48x48.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ken look just to the left of this box thing for this Main menu thing and then follow it down from features to forums to multimedia to editorials and click there.

I'm not very good at this clicky clack stuff but it worked a couple of days ago.
Give it a try and get back here and Discuss!

Ve haff vayz of makink you discuss!

Hey let's try this:
Competitors Should Control the Car Classes
Author: Derek Bottles


I would like to see a fundamental shift in the organization of rallying in the United States-- I think the car classes, Open, P, PGT, Gp5, and Gp2 should be controlled by the people competing in these classes.

Today the SCCA, and to a small extent the FIA (GpN), maintain all the rules for what types of car can compete and on what terms. The SCCA and FIA also make the rules for safety, types of competition, rally operations, protest and so on. I would like to see these roles divided. The central body (SCCA or FIA) would still set the safety requirements, and so forth, but the car classes would be run by the people who own cars in the class, and thus have the major stake in the class.

Moving to this system would provide the U.S. rally community with several benefits. We would see more investment into rally cars, the classes would be more stable, and each class would promote their class to get new members. Competition between classes for entrants will naturally select the classes with appeal, allow for new classes to come into being, and kill off the ones that are not viable. Organizers could score only classes with 5-8 or more entries; the classes could work with organizers to help make the event fit their needs. Class competitors could work out a schedule that works for the class, rather than attending events that do not work well for that class. More people may start rallying. But above all else, the people who make the investment into a class will have control of that class and thus their money.

Rally teams would be willing to spend more on their cars, as they would be involved in the rule making that effects the car. They would have the ability to protect their investment and to predict the future value of the car. Strong classes tend to promote strong resale values. If I knew that I would not have my car outlawed in two years, I would be more willing to spend more on it, especially the non key things like appearance. No one likes to go out and build a nice looking carbon wing for $500, only to have it banned months later unless it is a homologated part.

Tied into the above, the classes would be more stable. If the people writing the checks make the rules, they will not change the rules in ways that require more checks. The class will phase expensive changes over time, it will protect the participants' investment. The class government will also be more broad-based, it will provide a continuity that is not available from administrators who do not have personal investments into the class themselves.

Even now it is in the interest of each competitor to promote their class, but this system would give the competitors the tools to do something about it. It would be much easier for a competitor in Production to suggest to the class that modifications to the power steering pump should be allowed to prevent fade at high RPM's, or that the rear seat rule is past its time to be removed. These small changes by the class may make the class more attractive to other competitors. Production class people would be out there trying to get others into the class, and hearing prospective drivers' complaints about the class. The class could then act in its best interest, unlike a central body that is trying to act in all the classes' interests, along with several other interests that have nothing to do with car classes.

If a class was unable to compete with the other classes, it would die. If Gp4 (a fictional class) cannot make a good case for running in Gp4, then they need to change or move to another class. For example, if Gp4 was simply so expensive that only one or two cars are competitive, the other Gp4 owners could decide whether they want to play the game, limit cost or move to a cheaper class. The well-funded cars are motivated to lower cost so they will still have someone to race, so it is likely everything could be worked out.

Right now, if 15 owners of the Spec RX-7 class decided to stop racing on tarmac and have a go at rally, they would need to find a home in Gp5. However, these car would not be competitive in Gp5, but 15 cars is plenty for their own class, with their own rules. Same goes for a group of SUV owners-- if they can get the numbers needed to have a class, then by all means come and play. I expect events would require a minimum number of entries before they would score an event, likely between five and eight cars starting.

On the other hand, some classes may vote to skip events. Gp5 might decide that high-horsepower 2wd cars are no fun at Sno*Drift and vote to skip it, or make it a non-championship event for the class. Production may vote to skip a rough high-speed event as it may be hard on their cars and the cars do not have the power to be fun at that event anyways.

At the end of the day, our current system does not make economic sense; the people who have the largest investment in the class have very little say. It is likely that Gp5 or Gp2 are the second most expensive classes. Is there a Gp5 or Gp2 class member on the PRB, or any 2wd representative?

We need the sport of rally to make as much since as possible to the people footing the bill or they will not come and play. The number one goal of American ralliests should be to encourage participation, and the way to do that is by empowering the participants in some key ways. I think giving participants power over the bulk of their investment will bring many more participants to the game at all levels of the sport, and help retain them for many years.




John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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Its a very well put editorial. I don't agree with everything, but the overall basis is good.

I think though, that while the idea of competitors having more say in a class is appealing I think actual application of this would be more difficult than first glance. There is definately an East/West divide in American Rallying, at least from a geographic standpoint. There are 2 times more competitors in the East then there are in the west. We tend to stick together with the competitors that we compete against the most.

I think it would be difficult to get say 20 different teams to come to some kind of similar class definition. In the end, you would have what we already have; many teams that like the rules, some that hate them, and some others that are gently referring rules changes to the PRB and are having some success. It would add a layer of competitor Politics that I think would take a lot of fun out of the sport. Its not an altogether bad thing to have someone "to blame" when you don't like something and not having that person be a competitor.

I certainly encourage any discussion on how to make the sport better, and the editorial is a positive step in that direction.
 
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