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I know that this topic has been discussed in some other threads recently (and currently), but I feel it needs some discourse of its own. I think that a class that specifys a certan formula and a list of cars that are not particulary powerful, but handel well is a great idea for a class that maybe could be manditory for beginers to enter. I was thinking along the lines of a N/A 1.8 class would fit this bill. Maybe a metro class or a 3 cylander class.

I am currently working with my brother to start racing. We are thinking of getting a cheap road car (old impreza 2WD... hay it is free) and entering it into rallyX events and autoX events just to get the feel of this sort of thing, but our ultimate goal is to start racing in actual rally events, and I think that I would be proud to have my first car be a metro or some other slow car to learn the ropes on. But I know that I have alot of motor head friends who are not going to start racing unless they can be competitave (stupid if you ask me), so they want to get some crazy WRX or somthing to start rallying. Well, I think that if there were a class for just the predescribed "slow" cars these friends of mine would be more willing to enter in this class because their cheap slow car would be competive. It would be kind of like the miata class in SCCA road racing (I don't know much about this class, but it seems like what I am getting at)

Well that is just my rant cuz I want to.

Otis
 

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Your pick off an old Imprezza works well becuase it's free and lot of parts availible - also 130 HP in a 2700lb car aint likely to get you in much trouble. Your friends will never race , even if the did they will likly not be competitive at first even in a WRX. The diferance with a Geo is that it is obviuos that as a new driver you are not competitive.
You will here this over and over - buy a good car it is cheaper than building one , get an extra job if yoyu have to but 4K should be more than enough to get a decent starter car.
Rally-x is a good place to start to get your feet wet , mistakes are costly in Rally so a measured approach is best.

Tom
 

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Not a crazy idea -
What your looking for is a feeder series. Same car, same engine, no mods, FWD, slow, etc. Make it focus on the driver and co-driver experience. I couldn't tell you if this was down the road or not.

1. Manufacturer - Dodge, Subaru, Mitsu?
In Europe, Pugeot has the 206 cup - small cars - cool series.
They're not interested in it for fun - they want to make money.

2. Sanctioning body or organization to setup the rules. Sell the idea to manufacturers. RallyAmerica has WAY to much on their plate right now.

3. Designated company that provides support, parts, help etc. for the series. This could be an offshoot of the manufacturer. Like the Subaru Rally Support truck.

I believe that this idea is one of the most important "down the road" ideas to keep this sport healthy and growing. Can we pull it off?

- Kris
http://www.rallynotes.com
 

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You're talking about Spec Class Rally and I think it's a WONDERFUL idea. I think though, it needs to be taken to it's ultimate conclusion to get a good feel for where it might lead...

Feeder series to what?

Stage Rally? What future does stage Rally have if we are going to govern it basically the same was the SCCA did (and failed)?

If there is to be a Spec Class than it needs to at least carry the same certification and foundation that the Stage Series does. Similar to Rally Cross here in Region 13 is formatted... with the same class structure as Stage Rally, tire rules, HP and displacement rules, etc.

Only in a Spec Series, it would all be managed by the specs manual and would really only need to be policed and enforced. Driver's cerifications and standards would remain consistent with the series as a whole as well and, in fact, be the foundation of that standard for the Stage Series.

In addition, I propose that the Spec Class Rally events be held in CLOSED venues. Super Special Stages or short, rural Fariplex Stages with central service areas (to monitor, police and manage service work and modifications), provide great exposure to the spectators and (perhpas more importatnly) their exposure to the Series Sponsors and finally, limit and control risk and liability while providing solid and safe experience to future stage drivers.

I LOVE the idea!!!

Forseeable problems and thoughts...

1 - Cost of the spec cars. Taking into example - Spec Miata - at an averge cost of around $8000 for a ready to drive car.

It's still cheap compared to fully competitive Stage Rally cars but arguable more expensive than $500 G2 or P cars.

It could be said that the sponsiring manufactuer would want models that more closely resemble or represent their current offerings. Maybe not, but that's something to consider

2 - Area, Regional or National Series? This question is important because even though you might be able to duplicate the series easily in lots of different regions, how many folks would (or won't) follow a spec series around the Country?

I guess that depends on the ultimate prize, which brings me to...

3 - As a Feeder series, what kind of support can we depend of for the "Next Step"? A Feeder series, by marque, might suggest that winners would be able to move on to a bigger series also supported wholly or in part by the same sponsor.

If so, than XXX Sponsor provides excellent motivation for a team to compete Nationall en route to a full ride in Stage Rally and then, perhaps, on to the BIG Show... WRC.

If not, then the only 'take' from the spec series is the marketing for the Promoter and where's the motivation to the Competitor? Perhaps in the aquisition of a Stage License? Perhaps Contingency Money?

Again, not only do I like the idea from a competitor's standpoint, but from my Marketing and Business perspective, I think it's a pretty good idea as well.

Maybe Rally America should consider being a straight "Stadium Rally" company and let NASA handle stage Rally in the US? ;)

Best,

Scott
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Great Question - Feeder series to what?
You're right Scott. We have some tough questions with possibly "tough-love" answers for some. Do we say: You have to compete in feeder before you can run PRO? What do we do with the hundreds of Club cars that will not be eligible to run in the spec series? Where do we put them? I think the answer is a blend. Make Pro - PRO again. Longer rallies for the top dogs. You can't become PRO until you've completed 5 feeder events / placed higher then 5th in championship / 1st - 3rd in 2 events (or something like that).

Events. Okay - so now you have the Happy Car Cup. Run events: PRO, CLUB, SPEC. Get the event sponsors to run SPEC only events. (closed stages - open pits - marketing genius + Happy lawyers) Run SPEC, CLUB rallysprints.

Okay - now you have the PRO guys getting media attention.
You have a spec series that makes sense, and is feeding the PRO series. All the NEW guys can see that the SPEC series is the way to go (instead of building your own - no support - etc.) Want to run the harder three day PRO rallies? You'll have to do well in a CLUB or SPEC event first. PERIOD - Not more money. Not which steward you know. RESULTS.

Stop forcing the open class. If my car gets 10 years old - with the SCCA I have no choice but to run OPEN. This is stupid. If you want to build a car - great! As a novice you will be in CLUB events. DROP the G2, G5, and OPEN from CLUB events. If you have a G5 CLUB car now - you probably have enough wins to go PRO. You won't continue to fill the SCCA's coffers, so no complaining about entry fees. The handful of people that this hurts - don't outweigh the clear message that we would send: "Start with P, G2 or PGT - get some wins then go PRO."

The AMA will not allow you to race a 1000cc superbike until you've placed in the top 10% of the 600cc class. I know you can afford a race prepped 1000cc GSX-R - but a $10,000 bike does not make you a $10,000 driver!

Nationwide PRO Series (no change really) Sell it like Coke.
Regional SPEC Series with a National Championship.
- Start with a spec only national championship, maybe move into spec only regional. Paid for by sponsors. So you only are really adding 1 rally in the first year.
Regional CLUB, SPEC events. Run one day of the PRO event.

So to recap:
PRO stays PRO. If you're in now - you're lucky. From now on PRO will mean that you have completed a CLUB or SPEC obligation. No matter how many rallycross / hillclimbs you did. NOT open to interpretation.

SPEC cars. Sorry kids - no Subaru AWD. That stuff is mucho'$$$. Open it up. Dodge Neon $15,000 turn-key, gas in the tank. PERIOD. [a href="http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID2/3093.html"]That's what they voted for.[/A] Do I think we have room for more then one SPEC series - SURE! Will it happen... ehh... PRIZE MONEY! Actually winning something! Including a ride in the PRO Manufactures cars, etc.

CLUB cars. No 300HP AWD Turbo cars to be found here... Close the "money / friends" issue. No amount of money will buy you a PRO license. I don't want to banter anyone directly - but I've seen my share of old open class PRO cars that only run because they have no shortage of cash and only want a "good time" never to actually WIN.

Discuss!
- Kris
http://www.rallynotes.com
 

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Beginner, you need a class in History

"Pro" has never been "Pro", neither in terms of driving or in terms of making any money, and certainly not in terms of the way the events are/were run and promoted (not a bad thing, so chill organiser dooooods out there!

A few guys have had a freeish ride and a lot of guys plunder their credit cards or their trust-funds.

Plenty of times there were normal garage built cars beating all but the top few turbo 4wd cars.

Oh, forget your idea about banning Gp5, and Open in club, if the various Organisations are smart they will make sure that there is a direct and consistant correspondance in machinery to allow the effortless change between whatever artifical distiction are created, as a driver chooses.
Banning never works.
There must be _encouragement_ to get people to do reasonable things.




John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
 

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RE: You need to see what it's like to BE a beginner again.

>"Pro" has never been "Pro", neither in terms of driving or
>in terms of making any money, and certainly not in terms of
>the way the events are/were run and promoted (not a bad
>thing, so chill organiser dooooods out there!

I thought about this all night. This proposed change. To show the lawyers that a novice can't get their hands on a Group B car. That we will make smart decisions about how our new drivers gain experience. That we could even make a smart decision about how drivers advance. You want to race the 1000cc bike - need to race people on the 600cc bike first. Put some competition back into it. Make PRO a professional series again.

>A few guys have had a freeish ride and a lot of guys plunder
>their credit cards or their trust-funds.
>
>Plenty of times there were normal garage built cars beating
>all but the top few turbo 4wd cars.

This is great - you are missing my point. I didn't say "Make PRO manufacturer teams only." I said - make some advancement provisions so that Mr. Novice can't hop in a 280HP car after 1 club rally. Make it so someone that is a "good driver" has to prove it by winning or at least finishing rallies in the lower classes. Not being good friends with committee members.

>Oh, forget your idea about banning Gp5, and Open in club, if
>the various Organisations are smart they will make sure that
>there is a direct and consistant correspondance in machinery
>to allow the effortless change between whatever artifical
>distiction are created, as a driver chooses.
>Banning never works.
>There must be _encouragement_ to get people to do reasonable
>things.

You're right - maybe a ban is too harsh. But I'm trying to change your way of thinking here. Step back from the way we've done it - and take a fresh look. Labels are all I'm changing.

Okay we have a 250HP Open class SCCA ClubRally car. The team has driven in 15 rallies with the car, and before that they drove a 110HP P car to dozens of rallies. Take the sticker that says "club" off the car and put one that says PRO. (I'm not saying charge them a bajillion dollars, or force them into anything - If they only want to run the cheaper 1 day rally, go for it.) So now I've just said to the lawyers -

"These guys are professionals. They know what they are doing and we feel safe that they will be responsible people. In order to get that PRO on the side of the car, they had to complete a set number of events, wins, etc."

But I digress...
It's just going to go to committee anyway.

We won't have spectators anymore, so I guess the confusion that arises when a 250HP AWD Impreza ClubRally car goes blasting by followed by a slow Ford Focus ProRally car - won't really matter.

No spectators means no money - so - the few that can afford it will just keep on running it the way it's always been. "Spoiled Children Crashing Automobiles"

I think just for grins I'll turn my Neon into a G5 monster - drop the SRT-4 motor in, etc. Then show up at my first rally. "Nothing in your rulebook states I can't do it."

I just hoped for a black and white. A clear delineation of what novice drivers can and can't do. The committee will make it a gray area.

- Kris
http://www.rallynotes.com
 

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RE: You need to see what it's like to BE a beginner again.

Kris:

I agree with you and I propose we don't change anything except our "assumed" Liability.

See this thread: http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID2/3101.html

And tell me if that doesn't make some sense to you.

Yes it's a long read.

Yes, I tend to write that way.

Yes, it's worth the read.

I'm all for keeping the classes as they are, but putting some "requirements" to our competitors.

As for the "technical" definitions of Pro versus Club... It boils down to that entry fee you want to pay. Really. Entry fees for Pros are much higher and in some cases, don't really provide you with anything more in terms of the event, than running club.

The REAL difference is OPEN Class. In the Anything Goes catagory, I would think that you should be a Pro or darn near Pro level driver to enter this class. I'm sure it could be argued for high HP G5s or even some GN cars but the "idea" of Open suggests "ultimate competence" and newbies in Open cars just don't make alot of sense.

BUT... the regs sometimes bump folks INTO open class. Mild Mods bump cars but SHOULD they? Huge mods or even good sized mods, sure. Should we look at this further and define things more effetively through class definition rather than restricting classes?

Just remember that the real objective here is limiting the perceived liability and if it's the Newbies that the Insurance Companies and Lawyers see as the greatest threat, regardless how we feel about that internally, we need to deal with it publically.

So view these points and questions skeptically from the perspective of Liability.

I'm glad to have your perspective Kris. Thanks.

Scott - I'm late for my writer's annonymous meeting - Kovalik
 

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RE: You need to see what it's like to BE a beginner again.

I for one think a spec class is a GREAT idea. As a rally hopeful, it'd be great to make it fair for everyone and rely purely on skill to win. A Ford Focus cup comes to mind right away....
 

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RE: You need to see what it's like to BE a beginner again.

>BUT... the regs sometimes bump folks INTO open class. Mild
>Mods bump cars but SHOULD they? Huge mods or even good
>sized mods, sure. Should we look at this further and define
>things more effetively through class definition rather than
>restricting classes?

There it is. Right there.
Alan thinks I want to stop him from running his 323GTX or the kids with the bigger brakes on a Legacy. No - not the point. Again, it's the potential for the class.

How about a Modified P class? - like an Autocross "street prepared". Mods to the brakes, engine, etc. are "open". Still limited to stock turbo / stock engine. No adding forced induction if stock is N/A, etc.

This conversation has gone in 4 directions on 6 threads - but I think it's been productive. I'm over here too - http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID2/3101.html

Thanks,
Kris

http://www.rallynotes.com
 
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