Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The front page of the Wall Street Journal today had a nice article about the Irwindale Drift competition. They talked about how it's the new rage amongst car enthusiests, and that 10,000 people showed up to watch. The hero of the article was some 15 year old punk who smacked up his car and barely finished, but still snagged a sponsorship worth $45k from Rotura.

I have nothing against drifting, in fact I think it's pretty cool, but I have to admit I'm kinda jealous. My car has been seen by more than 10,000 people, and I excel at smacking it up, but I don't have people beating down my door to sponsor me. So my question is: Is rally being passed over by sponsors/enthusiests who are going to drifting instead? After all, both use similar cars and similar skill sets. Both have incredible visuals and a similar format (one at a time racing). Could it be that drifting is wrapped up in a neat little spectator package that can be displayed in major metro areas, vs. trecking across hundreds of miles of Northern Minnesota farmland?

I can see it now, "I do rally, it's kinda like drift racing, only we do it in the woods."

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
You've answered your own question, Dennis. Drifting happens in a nice neat venue...you can charge for tickets...you can make a ton selling beer...you get the idea. Drifting may even be playing on the increasing popularity of rally...as you said, from certain angles it looks very similar.

You could also race at your local dirt bullring. Your car is a lot cheaper...there's a lot of sideways driving...you can race every weekend and maybe win a few bucks. But you don't, do you? Wonder why that is... :)

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
>You could also race at your local dirt bullring. Your car
>is a lot cheaper...there's a lot of sideways driving...you
>can race every weekend and maybe win a few bucks. But you
>don't, do you? Wonder why that is... :)

Perhaps it's truly a genetic defect that a tiny minority of us actually think the loneliness of the forest, the courses' unpredictability, the trek through the soggy woods, the brief glimpses of action, the cold coffee & stale sandwiches actually increase the appeal of rally.
;-)
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
>You could also race at your local dirt bullring. Your car
>is a lot cheaper...there's a lot of sideways driving...you
>can race every weekend and maybe win a few bucks. But you
>don't, do you? Wonder why that is... :)
>
>Bruce

Don't get me started as to why I don't track race. Let's just say I have a form of adult ADD.... Anywayz, we all know that rally is a great sport, that's why we do it. What I'm more concerned with is in the SCCA/Spitzner New World Order, how come these guys are getting more promotion/sponsorship than we are, and what can we do about it. This should concern us as they are sucking up potential sponsorship money and the fan support that drives it. For some people thats just fine, as they just wanna play in the woods and the less people there the better. But some of us are desperately trying to get someone to pay for this crap, and I when I see people getting big bucks for doing something that I'm already doing, only suckier (is that a word?), I get ticked/enthused/jealous/etc.. In other words, if someone is willing to sponsor a drift car, they should be theoretically willing to sponsor a rally car because of the similarities in type of driving, racing, and demographics. How do we make those people decide that rally is the better place to put their bucks without selling out the sport (lotsa superspecials, etc..)? Or more appropriately, why are they deciding that drift is the better place? Does this rest solely on the SCCA and their promotion efforts, or is there something the average race can do? Should we show up at a couple drift events and kick ass?

Drift is proof positive that people will support rally TYPE racing, so how do we get them to support ACTUAL rally racing? Lotsa open ended questions here. Sorry, I'm just fishing a bit.... Any thoughts or ideas out there???

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
The problem with rally is that it takes so much time, resources, and money to put on an event that the organizers don't have anything left to promote the event. To properly promote an event would take about as much money (and effort) as it costs to put on the event itself. It would take a lot of advertising revenue to get the word out about the event so to get people to be willing to travel to go see it. (At the Corona Rally Mexico there was billboards advertising the rally, a huge opening ceremony with entertainment right in the middle of a city, among other things) There would have to be more to offer than just seeing a rally. For example there should be an import car show coinciding with the opening ceremony of the rally. Wild West would have been a great venue for that and it would have attracted tons of people. As it stood, the opening ceremony took place in a remote suburban parking lot too far off the main road for anyone to realize something was happening and no signs pointing to it.

(At risk of offending some of the rally women...)
SEX! Sex sells, it's a known fact. Motorsports is male dominated, it's a known fact. Sex attracts males, it's a known fact. We need more sex! :p There should more hot models at rallies. I shot at a AMLS/SWC race at Sears Point this year and there was an import car show and bikini contest, you should see how many people it attracted! More than the race itself for sure! Additionally I was donated some models to photograph and the frenzie around the girls was amazing!

As mentioned, it seems all the resources get used up and there is nothing left to pay for these kinds of things, at an event like drifting it can be assumed that you will make your money back by charging admission

Drifting appeals to the import tuning crowd because the cars are built around aftermarket parts that people can buy right off the shelf and the events are convenient (unlike rally), and cheap to go see (unlike rally) and are close to a major metropolitan area (unlike rally).

Me with the girls}>
http://www.morgansegal.com/speedweb/images/speed13.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
As far as I can tell, drifting is more show that go... It's more about tire smoke, and bashing cars than any actual competition. It attracts sponsors because its a spectale, similar to how NASCAR and pro skate boarding works. They all take a lot of skill to do, but the competitive aspect takes a back seat to the show. Isn't drifting a judged competition, and not a timed event like rallying? Club level rallying is not, and probably can't be glitzy enough to attract anything approaching full sponsorships.


Nick Polimeni
[email protected]
www.odysseyhouseonline.com
 

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
> I shot at a AMLS/SWC race at Sears Point
>this year and there was an import car show and bikini
>contest, you should see how many people it attracted! More
>than the race itself for sure! Additionally I was donated
>some models to photograph and the frenzie around the girls
>was amazing!

Yeh, I saw those pics at Maine. By the way, why aren't those posted anywhere yet?!

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Rally interest has always had an ebb-and-flow about it.
The current spike is due to TV exposure (WRC on SpeedTV)
and selling similar cars (i.e. WRX, Evo). Now that the
average import tuner has read about it, maybe seen it on
TV, their attention turns to something else. Fielding
a rally car takes time and money, so few actually take
that step regardless of how cool it looks. What percentage
of rally school students are in the sport three years
later? 5%? This isn't the first time this has happended
to rallying in the US. I you love rallying, you'll stick
around.

I hate drifting; it's "figure skating" to rallying's
"hockey". If a rally fan moves on to drifting, they
weren't serious anyway. Rallying is stronger without the
fair weather fans. I rally for me, not for the attention
of 10,000 20-somethings with short attention spans.

My $0.02,
Patrick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Rallying is stronger without the
>fair weather fans. I rally for me, not for the attention
>of 10,000 20-somethings with short attention spans.
>


That works for you, but there are people that want to rally (or organize an event) with the help of some sponsorship money and that needs the 20-somethings short attention spans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
>I hate drifting; it's "figure skating" to rallying's
>"hockey". If a rally fan moves on to drifting, they
>weren't serious anyway. Rallying is stronger without the
>fair weather fans. I rally for me, not for the attention
>of 10,000 20-somethings with short attention spans.
>
Why do you suppose it has an "ebb and flow"? Could it be because in order to mount a championship season you have to spend 3 years' budget to be competitive? You see that all the time. Guys make a go of it for 2 years and take 3 or 4 off. We have seen very good talents like Peter Cunningham and Steve Nowicki move on to road racing and our friend Rhys move on to drifting. Why? Hey, man. I wanna have fun in a car. Bottom line. Would I rather rally? Of course! Can I afford to? No way. Nobody can really "afford" a full championship schedule unless they are backed by blue or red or red, white, and blue. Some of us struggle through it, but we ain't gonna last.

You may see me being kissed by World Challenge chicks before too long... As fun as rally? Nope. But it has the potential to put me in a competitive car and I have enough money to pay things like taxes, rent, and the occasional Boston Carver.
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
>Rallying is stronger without the
>>fair weather fans. I rally for me, not for the attention
>>of 10,000 20-somethings with short attention spans.
>>
>
>
>That works for you, but there are people that want to rally
>(or organize an event) with the help of some sponsorship
>money and that needs the 20-somethings short attention
>spans.

Thanks Morgan, My point exactly. I don't care who is watching me, as long as they buy enuf crap for someone to find it worthwhile to buy some space on my car.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Here we had what amounts to the largest rally event of the year in Washington and car nuts I know weren't even aware it was happening. A little pre-event PR can go a loooooong way. And what was up with that starting gate? Give the spectators a brief glimpse of a stage for coming out for the start (a la RIM) and attract them out to the stages, don't just have some cars rolling over a ramp. Let's have an EVENT, not just a race. If location is the issue, I think a start out in Shelton would have had just as many turn out as in the "booming metropolis" of Olympia. ;)

We're thinking about hosting a "Driving Sports VIP spectator lounge" (with some of the fun stuff Morgan suggested) at one of the WW stages next year...see what kind of an event we can make out of this race.

(BTW: excellent shot there Morgan)

Ryan Douthit
Driving Sports Magazine
http://www.drivingsports.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
You may have noticed in the article a wierd line about fuel efficiency. For your amusement here's what I wrote to the editor:


I was amused to read your front page article on auto
drifting (Sept.18) that claimed "Rear wheel drive cars
are easy to drift, but....front drive (is) more fuel
efficient and afford(s) more space for passengers."

There is nothing about a front-drive car per se that
makes it more fuel efficient. Cars of this layout have
gained in popularity because of increased passenger
room, ease and cost of manufacture, and inherent
idiot-proof handling.

Push a spoon forward on a table with your finger on
the end of the handle - that's rear wheel drive. Now
put your finger in the dish of the spoon and drag it
around - that's front drive. Put a finger on each end
of the spoon - that's all-wheel-drive.

Rear wheel drive is rewarding for the enthusiast but
without judicious use of the throttle can result in a
slide (which, for drifters, is the very point). But an
engine is an engine, no matter where the driven wheels
are in relation to it, and fuel economy is a function
of engine efficiency against mechanical and
aerodynamic drag. Where your finger is on the spoon is
irrelevant.

Andrew Comrie-Picard, Esq.
New York, NY
www.musketeerracing.com


ACP
Talking about rally is like drifting about architecture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
So lets all stop our sniveling and start promoting or help to promote.

Something as simple as this:

How many of you have some sort of "rally" or "rallying" sticker or license plate frame on your daily driven vehicle? 95% or more people have no clue what rallying is. (i.e. those rainbow stripe stickers on the back of some cars??? Even if you're not, you know what it stands for.)

How many of you help your local organizer get the word out to the general public when an event comes around? Pass out flyers. Call your local sports page editor. Call your local radio station. (So-Cal is fortunate enough to have a semi-local radio show called "Speed-Freaks". And it isn't about drugs....)

2002 Gorman Ridge rally; Competitors, photog's and organizers got together to get as much rally footage put together as possible to make a half hour program that was aired on local access cable. (If I remember right it was sold in Washington??)

Where's Mickey Thompson when you need him?!?! (No comments please. I know what and why.)

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
after the incident at sawmill this season the majority of posting I read regarding spectators basically said "we don't need them or want them." if you want to attract people, you need to make the spectating more friendly. speaking for only my experience at STPR this year, it pretty much sucked. too many people crowded into too small a space. not to mention the fact that they had people parking WAY too far away. the weather this year, granted an uncontrollable factor, also helped to keep the casual spectators away.
this seems to be sour grapes in a way to me. don't get me wrong, I think rallying is by far the greatest racing out there. this drifting thing seems to me to be pretty dumb. I don't think I would ever go to an event. I would just a soon stay home and mow the lawn. if I ever get a lawn tractor I could have some drifting of my own...
 

·
Retired Rally Photographer
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
>after the incident at sawmill this season the majority of
>posting I read regarding spectators basically said "we don't
>need them or want them." if you want to attract people, you
>need to make the spectating more friendly. speaking for only
>my experience at STPR this year, it pretty much sucked. too
>many people crowded into too small a space. not to mention
>the fact that they had people parking WAY too far away. the
>weather this year, granted an uncontrollable factor, also
>helped to keep the casual spectators away.

Something HAD to be done at STPR to keep rally alive in the US. Best way was to be sure nothing bad happened. Lousy spectating is better than no spectating. Things aren't what they use to be, and they'll never be like that again.

As far as parking goes, I don't expect a paved 200 car parking lot to be at each stage. Get there early. Get a close spot. Bring a chair, snacks & drink, and relax in the woods. Nobody said spectating rally is easy.

Pete
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top