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Exactly!

Then, when they wenture to the WRC level, they're run over by a bunch of poor amateurs who learned how to drive first and not to buy quick success in a super car... A fancy, often bought, "Factory Driver" title ain't worth a second.

Very embarrassing when only real (on the paper, anyway) factory drivers are field fillers and back markers

Maybe soon, when we finally get legal Mitsu EVOs, Sube STIs, Dodge turbos and hot Focuses, a regular rallyists will get wheels to compete equally against gray market smugglers and it'll be the TALENT that comes to top - not big money
 

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> Maybe soon, when we finally get legal Mitsu EVOs, Sube
>STIs, Dodge turbos and hot Focuses, a regular rallyists will
>get wheels to compete equally against gray market smugglers
>and it'll be the TALENT that comes to top - not big money

We do have legal Evo's and Subies,etc... And ya know what, my "gray market" was still cheaper. In fact I was able to buy, import, convert to LHD, and put the rally bits on my Evo IV for slightly more than the sticker on a new Evo 8. Oh yeah, it will also blow the doors off a GrN WRX for $10k less. Many of us "smuggled" grey market cars in because we are "regular rallyists" and didn't have "big money" to dump into our domestic piles of crap.

I really wish people would stop equating grey market cars with big wallets. Of the top 4 cars at 100AW (all evos), 3 were owned by average guys with average jobs and incomes. A lot of these cars are trickling down into the hands of mere mortals. Although it's undeniable that money helps, money alone won't get you to the top. What it really takes is COMMITTMENT. Don't believe me, ask Lauchlin O'Sullivan. Owning one of these cars isn't out of your reach if you are willing to work hard and sacrifice.

If you think you have the "TALENT", make the COMMITTEMENT, and see what happens.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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I agree that it is best to learn to drive first....but if you are building a new car (not that a Talon is new) and have a limited budget, you try to get the most performance for the buck...I think everyone would agree on that.

You can buy a Talon/Eclipse for $1000, and since rally equipment (Computers, Intercom, Seats, Belts, Suspension, Cage, Tires) is relatively the same for whatever car you build, it doesn't appear to make sense to build a Group 2 or Group 5 car when you can build an Open Car. I think the bigger concern is a new person building a car worth 50K rather than someone building a Talon/Eclipse for $7500.

I'm sure that many Open cars will be beat by a Group 2, because talent is just as important as the equipment...and I hope thats true. Its just that money is money, it only goes so far, and you try to make it last as long as possible! Of course, we are racing....so there is no money left.

I guess there are pros and cons to building any type of car.

- Andy
 

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I think the point is that AWD and power prevent a driver from suffering the consequences of poor driving or planning. Screwed up that corner? Don't worry, just hit the gas and all will be forgiven. A driver that starts in a 2WD underpowered car has the opportunity to learn about keeping their momentum in corners and that should translate to better driving skills.

I see it every day. My daily driver is a torque monster that delivers oodles of power at 2,000 RPM. I now have some very bad habits that will be hard to break.
 

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There is a whole nother factor here that hasn't been mentioned. There is one skill that is only learned the hard way. And that is how to crash. I have seen it way to many times. A new driver comes out with a high HP car and no skill sets, and while trying to run with the more experienced drivers, finds himself getting up close and personal with the local forest products. I have also watched as these brand new busted-up machines are loaded on trailers, never to be seen again because he spent every extra dollar just to build the car and cannot afford the repair.

Point 1: Big HP = Big CRASH
Point 2:Learn to drive first, before you start looking for the firewall with the right foot. We want you bakc to run again.....

Bill Westrick
Available Co-Driver At Large
& Timing Equipment Geek
 

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I'll chime in on this one; I've always been an advocate of learning to race in an underpowered wonder , you'll never even know that you're scrubing off a ton of speed because the car will power through it. Look at the present crop of WRC drivers Bios and you'll see that they started in things like Cortinas and Volvos. All the Formula one drivers are Karters - read momentum is everything. Even in motorcycle road racing the current Moto GP champ , Valentino Rossi spent a lot of time riding in my beloved 125 class not to mention being champ.
So anybody no of anybody that started in big horsepower and made it to the top?
Tom Grossmann
 

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> I'll chime in on this one; I've always been an advocate of
>learning to race in an underpowered wonder , you'll never
>even know that you're scrubing off a ton of speed because
>the car will power through it. Look at the present crop of
>WRC drivers Bios and you'll see that they started in things
>like Cortinas and Volvos. All the Formula one drivers are
>Karters - read momentum is everything. Even in motorcycle
>road racing the current Moto GP champ , Valentino Rossi
>spent a lot of time riding in my beloved 125 class not to
>mention being champ.
> So anybody no of anybody that started in big horsepower
>and made it to the top?
> Tom Grossmann

I think John Buffum pretty much always had a fast car built to the specs of the days... He's obviously an exception.

Pat Richard started in a 4wd (no turbo). Don't know if you consider a 2.5rs Impreza to be big horsepower.

What do both of these have in common? Sufficient budget to allow their obvious natural skill to develop.

Buffum wrecked his share of cars...

Edit:

I think Mark Nelson has only had a 4wd. He won Ramada Express (Laughlin) event last December.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: all Seed 8s are in turbo AWD cars

observation:
"too much car for a beginner is one that is equal to or faster than the one you drive,"
rz;-) }> :) :+ ;) :p :D }>
 

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RE: all Seed 8s are in turbo AWD cars

>observation:
>"too much car for a beginner is one that is equal to or
>faster than the one you drive,"
>rz;-) }> :) :+ ;) :p :D }>

I agree with that Mostly. But the accident at Sawmill a couple of years ago was clearly caused by a beginner with too much car.
 

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>Edit:
>
>I think Mark Nelson has only had a 4wd. He won Ramada
>Express (Laughlin) event last December.

Yep, I've only ever rallied a 4wd car. In my situation I had some racing experience (since I was 8) before rallying so it was a much different transititon than it would be for a typical newcomer with no racing experience, to build the speed. YMMV :)

-mark
 

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I think that the way the SCCA uses the seeding system influences the car choice. In the northeast most drivers would like to compete in the Maine Forest or STPR. Club rally drivers need not apply. To enter these events requires a Pro License which requires a Seed 5 ranking. This requires a top 50% finish in a club rally. Look at all the Evos etc in the northeast! Last year at Ski Sawmill 41 cars finished. The cars in the top 20 (50%) were 12 Open Class, 2 G2, 1 G5, 4 PGT, and 1 P. In other words if you weren't in Open, you pretty well had to win your class. The drivers in the non-open class cars that finished in the top 50 percent are good experienced drivers and new drivers would have to have well prepared and well driven cars to approach the times that these people will turn in. You get no credit from SCCA for a well driven class performance.

I agree with all the comments about learning on the more underpowered cars, but you'd better be a good learner with a good car if you want to move up the seed ladder.
 

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>In the northeast most drivers
>would like to compete in the Maine Forest or STPR. Club
>rally drivers need not apply. To enter these events
>requires a Pro License which requires a Seed 5 ranking.

Any club rally driver in the north-east can enter regional portions of:

Tall Pines,
Defi,
Perce Neige,
Quebec,
Baie &
Charlevoix:

all excellent rallies within striking distance of the north-east - and pretty cheap to run (in a relative sense). I'm not sure what your SCCA seed has to be to run the full national, but I'm seeded 7 in SCCA, 5B in CARS and I can run them (in a lowly P car...:eek: ) - probably a licensing issue.

As soon as I can keep up with P3 ass-kickers C. Hammer & S. Walkington, (together with a selection of P4 Talons) I'll think about a better car.:)

Robin
 

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new rallyists

Asking new rallyists to know about racing in Canada, buying well-developed beginner cars and even owning a rulebook before starting out is a nice thought but it doesn't happen too often. Finding out about the sport at all isn't easy.
When I went to get a rulebook, I was told the region had to buy them in lots of 10 and wouldn't get me one. I had to get my license to get one and by that time I'd bought a car which was said by the seller, "Is legal, got logbook."
All in all, I lucked out, finished most of the events I entered and got a seed 3, but I've been in SCCA 20+ years and knew most of the people and general club proceedures. Pity the newbie, his path usually rests on the shoulders of whatever "expert" he finds first.
rz
 

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I'd have to disagree with the assertion that 'rookies' should not drive turbo AWD cars.

Some of us with experience in other forms of racing realize the benefit of the whole discretion/valor deal and can work toward the limit of the car a step at a time, rather than just going out there and seeing if it is possible to hang onto the car while doing stupid things with the throttle.

I didn't see the need to buy a car that was non-turbo and 2WD just so I could 'work my way up' in the opinions of those in the game longer than myself.

I bought a GTX because I had one as a streetcar and have a pretty decent knowledge of their common faults and fixes. Not to mention that I have a complete, running spares car if need be.

I've finished every event that I've started and with very little to no drama whatsoever. Again, discretion being the better part of valor OR old age and treachery overcoming youth and exuberance....you decide.

I set the realistic goal of making it to seed 5 this year and with some reasonable success on the debut of the 'new' (rebuilt) car at DooWops, accomplished my goal. I'm going to revise it to aim a bit higher (seed 4) for the rest of the year.

For me, restraint comes quite easily. It's the simple fact that I can't afford to 'stuff it' and then see how much money needs to be thrown at the car to repair it for the next event. Ultimately economics determines how long I am willing to stand on the throttle, not bravado.

I've really enjoyed the game up to this point, but I'm concerned that there are decisions being made by persons (as perceived by me) who are not qualified, on a technical basis, to make those decisions.

Right now I'm left wondering where the 'checks' are in the system of checks and balances.

It is unfortunate that accidents happen as a result of lack of good judgment and inexperience. However, useful experience generally results of escaping the penalties of bad judgment in the first place.

So, give the 'rookies' (myself included) a chance to display either their good judgment and willingness to progress at a reasonable rate and try to correct those who obviously are heading toward disaster before it happens.

I'd suggest this for the veterans: I'll bring a car that is safe for myself, my co-driver, and the marshalls and spectators. I'll also bring a willingness to learn.

You bring a willingness to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and understanding where needed, and constructively tell me what I might do better.

Thanks

Matt Manspeaker
Seattle, WA USA
89 323GTX - OPEN
97 Escort Cosworth - WIDE OPEN
 

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RE: new rallyists

We need a better program for introducing beginners to the sport for several reasons. Most importantly, beginners shouldn't be in high powered cars for safety's sake (What percentage of performance rally's insurance claims go to seed 5 or lower crews in AWD/turbo cars?). If we ever want to have any drivers coming out of N/A who will be able to compete with the top WRC guys, we need to put more emphasis on driver skill and less on the car and how big its driver's balls are. Finally, we (the SCCA) need to help get and keep new guys involved.

Will MacDonald
1968 Volvo 144
 

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>I'd have to disagree with the assertion that 'rookies'
>should not drive turbo AWD cars.
>
>Some of us with experience in other forms of racing realize
>the benefit of the whole discretion/valor deal and can work
>toward the limit of the car a step at a time, rather than
>just going out there and seeing if it is possible to hang
>onto the car while doing stupid things with the throttle.

Most drivers can't tell how they're driving. You have to take some of your focus from WHAT you're doing in order to tell HOW you're doing it, which can be a very difficult thing to do. I know there've been several instances where I thought I was driving pretty well only to find some crappy driving recorded on the incar camera.

>I didn't see the need to buy a car that was non-turbo and
>2WD just so I could 'work my way up' in the opinions of
>those in the game longer than myself.

Who says you have to work your way up?

>I bought a GTX because I had one as a streetcar and have a
>pretty decent knowledge of their common faults and fixes.
>Not to mention that I have a complete, running spares car if
>need be.

How much would it cost to buy and race something like an Omni, Golf or Volvo rather than the GTX?

>I've finished every event that I've started and with very
>little to no drama whatsoever. Again, discretion being the
>better part of valor OR old age and treachery overcoming
>youth and exuberance....you decide.

Younger people are definitely more prone to getting themselves into bad situtations.

>I set the realistic goal of making it to seed 5 this year
>and with some reasonable success on the debut of the 'new'
>(rebuilt) car at DooWops, accomplished my goal. I'm going
>to revise it to aim a bit higher (seed 4) for the rest of
>the year.
>
>For me, restraint comes quite easily. It's the simple fact
>that I can't afford to 'stuff it' and then see how much
>money needs to be thrown at the car to repair it for the
>next event. Ultimately economics determines how long I am
>willing to stand on the throttle, not bravado.

Restraint has to be learned. Driving a fast car is not the best way to learn restraint, especially when that driver thinks his fast car makes him competitive.

>I've really enjoyed the game up to this point, but I'm
>concerned that there are decisions being made by persons (as
>perceived by me) who are not qualified, on a technical
>basis, to make those decisions.
>
>Right now I'm left wondering where the 'checks' are in the
>system of checks and balances.

Could you be more specific on what you're talking about here? Newbies, experienced drivers, the rules..?

>It is unfortunate that accidents happen as a result of lack
>of good judgment and inexperience. However, useful
>experience generally results of escaping the penalties of
>bad judgment in the first place.

It's a lot easier to get useful experience in a slow car. For example, the amount of speed you carry into a given corner is very critical for setting good stage times...If you come in too slow, you go slow through corner, and also loose a bit of speed down the next straight...come in a bit too fast and you have to scrub off speed and throw away your momentum down the straight.

I think a slow stage time is a lot easier to deal with than being wrapped around a tree!

>So, give the 'rookies' (myself included) a chance to display
>either their good judgment and willingness to progress at a
>reasonable rate and try to correct those who obviously are
>heading toward disaster before it happens.

Starting out with a slow car is the only way to display good judgement and willingness to progress at a reasonable rate. Anyone who tries to be fast when he first starts out is being unrealistic, and endangers everyone's ability to have a good time at reasonable expense by increasing insurance costs.

>I'd suggest this for the veterans: I'll bring a car that is
>safe for myself, my co-driver, and the marshalls and
>spectators. I'll also bring a willingness to learn.
>
>You bring a willingness to fill in the gaps in my knowledge
>and understanding where needed, and constructively tell me
>what I might do better.

Everyone needs to have this attitude.

>Thanks
>
>Matt Manspeaker
>Seattle, WA USA
>89 323GTX - OPEN
>97 Escort Cosworth - WIDE OPEN

Will MacDonald
1968 Volvo 144
 

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RE: new rallyists

Spoken with the wisdom of one much older. In fact, normally one would have to be your car's age to have made this observation. :) See you in August.
Richard Miller
 
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