This poll has an inmportant aspect that is not asked:
If a separate manufacturers/prep shop class is created, will this effect entry by us hobby types in the current National series?? If so, then I vote NO. If this is a whole separate class with no effects on hobby/privateer access to the current National events, then OK.
This would be very difficult to do, and it's unrealistic.
In my opinion, the solution is to ban factory teams entirely, and require manufacturers that want to participate(market their car$) in SCCA "Pro"Rally to do so through a meaningful contigancy program and on-event parts support.
This is the clear path to long term solid growth in north american rally talent.
I would rather see 15-20 private teams going head to head instead of 4 factory cars trade DNFs throughout the season.
Can we think in more than black OR white, this OR that?
We've never met and I wonder how it is that this generates the exact same response from you as it did from me?
Could it be because it's so obvious that the question of what the malaise is is not a this OR that thing?
To me it seems that discussing the one OR the other of two options offered here, and this latest brilliant idea or that brilliant idea which arrive from "above" is ultimately futile without first backing way up and attempting to figure out and agree on just what the "Big Idea is which we are trying to reach.
It is clear that there are at least two very strongly opposed ideas of what ALL U.S. rally is supposed to be ESSENTIALLY about.
What is -->The ESSENCE, the elementary constituent of what a rally is supposed to be?
Is rally supposed to be an extended "infomercial", with all of (somewhat) normal, non-millionaire, guys and gals relegated BY ADMINISTRATIVE FIAT to be the background filler, or even more cynically, the source of entries to allow organisers to put on a show which only "showcases" the antics of a few 3-4 cars?
Or is a rally a sporting competition to detirmine the best _driver_ on any given day at any given venue?
In simpler terms: who is the constituency which the event is ultimately intending to primarily serve?
This has not been detirmined as yet, even though the feeling of many many longer term rallyistas is that it is nakedly obvious that the intent of Kurt Spitzner and his apologists and mentors is to bureaucratize and usurp control of the running of the events and to systematically squeeze out all non "Really Really Expensive Shiney New Cars" by any and all means possible, ignoring the fact that in excluding cars, he is excluding PEOPLE, MEMBERS.
So folks, can we try and discuss in basic terms what we, as present, and past, and maybe next month participants in this sport want to to be in it's essence.
Sporting competition among people?
Saturday morning Smurf Cartoon interspersed with inane Smurf commercials blended into one barely distinguishable seamless program of HYPE?
A free ticket for an increasingly large contingent of paid SCCA office types to arrive after all the hard work is done and stir up trouble and run up bills?
A series of individual events organised by members for members thriving on their own joined under a loose roof of the National Championship Series, with larger emphasis placed on individual rounds results rather than the emphasis on series long year end "towing Championship"?
An organisation where the membership decides and the administrators have a minimalist function of licencing and sanctioning, and writing rules only after membership demand?
geeze, it's sorta like trying to figure out what economic system we want, and what the whole point of working is, iddnit?
Please, let's see what the Big Idea is supposed to be, and then see if we are on track to that destination.
Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
if the total annual NA Rally budget of say muburu or sittsubishi were put into contingency programs for privateers running thier cars i would buy one. Do the math. annual budget=X, number of events=Y, payout through finish in class=Z.
adds up to: X divided by(Z times Y)=Car sales to Ralliest, I think. The exposure would be fanastic for a manufacturers.
>For those who cannot or are unwilling to spend the money to
>run with the big dogs, there already is a class.... it is
>called CLUB RALLY and that is its function.
I was under the impression that "pro" (as compared to "amateur" which, regardless of some people's use as a derogatory term for the unworth, comes from "to love" or doing it for the love of it) - "pro" being short for "Professional" meaning you're getting paid to do it. Not spending your savings/credit/trust fund to essentially buy a trophy (or win a "towing competition" as some have described it) or as a showcase for a couple of factory teams (who does that benefit?)
To me a "professional" series refers to the level of competition in the series, that is, that it should be the highest level. If you do not have any depth of feild than there is no respectable competition and the results are meaningless. There have been many cases of "Club" entrants beating stage times of so-called "pro" cars but since the results are not listed on the same page (dont want to hurt anyone's feelings?) that fact often goes unnoticed.
The vehicles themselves are simply a tool. The question being raised here is WHY it is being mandated that the tool is more expensive to the point of being unobtanium for the 95% of us that aren't rich. In fact it will make the "pro" series even more of a joke because it will reduce the competition even more.
If that's what being a "big dog" is, I want no part of it - and I know a lot of people feel the ssame way - and the series sure won't produce any talent that can compete on the international scene.
So, what would happen, if as a privateer, I managed to talk a big manufacturer into sponsoring my team - they provide cars, budget, and tech support. Would I then be "banned" and unable to compete in ProRally? Because that's basically what you are saying, except the fact that I instigated the manufacturer getting involved.
If a manufacturer wanted to be involved in pro-Rally, it would have to do so through a prize or contigency program. That way more teams can benifit from the large budgets these companies use to market their cars(exploit our club). The idea is that the teams that earn it, get it(the bucks).
If you have not followed(much less invested in a car and ran SCCA events) SCCA pro-Rally closely in the last few years you would not be aware of the reasons this is even an issue. Some VERY QUESTIONABLE things have been going on, and our club has been highjacked.
Rules are being selectively enforced, rules are being changed to help SSSSertain teamsSSSS and other very uncool s**t has happened.
But don't try to set up a special interest "Manufacture's Council", or get SCCA to subsidize the level of competition you want with membership money, or twist the rules to your own advantage, or set up stupid age limits, or drive the costs of competition for other privateers, or...or...or...
I have been followign along these forums and what's been going on in SCCA closely (as closely as I can), and understand where you are coming from...I just wanted to be clear on what a "manufacturer" team meant.