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straight at T
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
>Rally is expensive and taxing and demanding, we all know that.
> Unfortunately it leaves a lot of people on the sidelines.

Regardless of the class, the people who can't afford the money/time/commitment to run will still be on the sidelines.

>What if Group F was the championship class? The cars can be
>pretty wild. There would be drivers like Cizmas, Pritchard,
>Burmeister, Whiteman, Shepard all out there in similar
>machinery to others competing for the championship. Foust,
>Johnson, Bang-Bang, and others would mix right in. We could
>have up to 15 different guys who could win the race at any
>given event. That would be exciting!!!!

The problem with sliding-scale classes is that someone will find the optimum balance for the class and the other competitors will then whine for a change in the scale to 'balance' the class. This is why most racing series get away from this and set hard limits. How about a class with a maximum displacement and very few other limits? Oh, wait, that's Group 2.

As an example, the FIA classes have a sliding weight/displacement scale yet they chose to score particular combimations fromm that scale (N1-4, A5-8).

Adrian, playing devil's advocate (to some extent)
 

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Jake,

You know I love Group F and the general idea of back to basics rallying, but I just don't think this would work:

It would piss off a whole lot of teams in Turbo AWD classes, and they already make up the great majority of entries at nationals. There is no problem of competition from where they're looking.

It would make US rallying even more confusing to layman spectators. "What? The WRX was the fastest one at the rally, but the Golf won it? Huh?"

Was tried in the British Rally Championship and IIRC didn't work out, partially because of the reasons above.

Now, what I think could and should be done here is to have equally treated and promoted AWD and 2WD championships. In other words, have the same or similar podium, champagne, etc for the top 3 2WD teams at each rally as well. Also promote the year-end champions in 2WD in the same manner that they promote the AWD champions. I think that would go a long way toward making 2WD better attended and have more chance of sponsorship, and maybe even more factory support in 2WD classes.
 

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400 flat to crest
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Jakkoppi,
way back in like 1998 or so I suggested on the old California Rally Series forum, the forerunner of this current SS online virtually the identical thing.
It was part of the long ongoing efforts to make the results we see reflect "Who _drove_ best today" and was a suggestion then called Formula 2000 with the idea of phasing it in in 2 years.
It was that the DRIVERS Championship class should be simple and compresnsible and have just a few simple rules (they were 2000cc, 2000lbs, 2wd, 2 man crew)

From those with any experience, it was nearly universally said that "That would be the single best thing to ever happen to rally in North America" (Ray Hocker) but they continued "but unfortunately it will never happen as long as SCCA has anything to do with rally....."

The problem is twofold, Jake.

First, the is powerful and very rich guys (and far too many guys ready to put themselves in deep serious debt) with a lot of ego behind linking whatever is done with whatever vehicle as "Proof" that they are "great drivers".
I call it "Obviously buying the latest Subu-bitchi or Evo-buru will prove what a great driver you are." syndrome.
There is a lot of inertia behind many of the guys at our really rather dull "sharp end of the" blunt stick simply WANTING to have the "latest" trick thing.
And there are A LOT of those guys.
I mean they have THREE CLASSES JUST FOR blue Subarus with ZERO visible differences in any way.
That stillexsists because the guys in those three classes pressure and whine to maintain those three classes (so that they can "win" something and go BS people that "I won!!!!")

Second there has been a serious generational shift which I see in the car world in general. Nowadays it seems most people don't really WANT to spend time working on cars modifying things.
Most guys who seem to want to at most bolt on pre-made components.

But the biggest problem is how to make it so that people who are now spending the money for new Subarus and then eventually spending huge amounts of money MORE to make them marginally reliable see Gp2 or GpF as an attractive alternative and convince them that they WANT to CHOOSE to build for the class.

Right now I have been working with Barrett Dash of the Subaru specialty shop Allwheels Driven in Bend, Oregon who is building a fairly modest spec Gp2 Golf for NW local boys Nat Stow and Ben Bradley. I have talked with what they are wanting to accomplish and what Nat is thinking aboutthis.
Now Nat was a very early adopter of the Subaru Impreza "drop it off and spend WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much school" believing that that some good results would lead to some help from somewhere.
It didn't and after a long time the car was sold to Dave Hintz at a huge loss.
So now Nat is getting help from all sorts of smaller places and a few mid sized places and he said jis plan is to do the Golf for a year, then maybe a 2.5 Subie then back into a really expensive hi-zoot car: back to turbo 4wd.

I asked Nat why and he said "I'm really a competitive guy, I want to shoot for high results". I pointed out our mutual friend Derek Bottles has consistantly run with, and beaten everybody on the West Coast except Carl Jardevall, and that in a fairly modest spec Golf. I suggested that all he needed to do is drive a car of at least that spec just a bit BETTER and he'd be beating everybody.

After a while we came to the heart of the matter "How can we convince you that you'd have more fun, and more satisfaction if you stayed in the Golf and built that instead of moving over to something else and then something else..."

That's the problem and I think the only way to do it is by taking advantage of the known fact that racer all are egomaniacs and by giving an elevated STATUS to Gp2, thereby encourage people to build Gp2 cars.

Whaddya think.
It'll appeal to those looking for fights, versus the current pointless
plethora of poncy classes.

In the words of one very serior and wise man "It is clear that nobody really wants to build cars to these rules" regarding P-PGT-GpN.
Well how to do that next step:
Combine the turbo 4wd classes, then elevate the staus of Gp2.

John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168
www.jvab.f4.ca

janvanvurpa(at)f4(dot) ca

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
Rally Anarchy Rallyist BBS
- http://www.rallyanarchy.com/
 

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400 flat to crest
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Shenan,

You're right so they mechanism I think might work is to call the 2wd Gp2 thing the DRIVERS Championship and the Subaru only class as the MANUFACTURER Championship class.


John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA.
www.jvab.f4.ca

janvanvurpa(at)f4(dot) ca

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
Rally Anarchy Rallyist BBS
- http://www.rallyanarchy.com/
 

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I have a cat.
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Both 4wd and 2wd have a place...but should be equal

>Now, what I think could and should be done here is to have
>equally treated and promoted AWD and 2WD championships. In
>other words, have the same or similar podium, champagne, etc
>for the top 3 2WD teams at each rally as well. Also promote
>the year-end champions in 2WD in the same manner that they
>promote the AWD champions. I think that would go a long way
>toward making 2WD better attended and have more chance of
>sponsorship, and maybe even more factory support in 2WD
>classes.


I put it in bold because it is spot on. You will hear folks tell you that there are few fast 2wd cars running nationally to provide a show. (true) I say its a chicken and egg thing. If 2wd isn't recognized for its own achievement, what incentive is there for good, well funded, fast teams to run there?

Moreover, it won't behoove ANY car company other than Subaru to choose rallying over hard surface racing to promote their products. (ie, no manufacturers other than the current one.) This is a fact.

The first series to offer 2wd coverage and press on equally important terms with the 4wd WILL be the most successful series in the US in terms of manufacturer involvement and good, fast, competitive rallying.
 

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>
>First, the is powerful and very rich guys (and far too many
>guys ready to put themselves in deep serious debt) with a lot
>of ego behind linking whatever is done with whatever vehicle
>as "Proof" that they are "great drivers".
>I call it "Obviously buying the latest Subu-bitchi or Evo-buru
>will prove what a great driver you are." syndrome.
>There is a lot of inertia behind many of the guys at our
>really rather dull "sharp end of the" blunt stick simply
>WANTING to have the "latest" trick thing.
>And there are A LOT of those guys.
>I mean they have THREE CLASSES JUST FOR blue Subarus with ZERO
>visible differences in any way.
>That stillexsists because the guys in those three classes
>pressure and whine to maintain those three classes (so that
>they can "win" something and go BS people that "I won!!!!")

>But the biggest problem is how to make it so that people who
>are now spending the money for new Subarus and then eventually
>spending huge amounts of money MORE to make them marginally
>reliable see Gp2 or GpF as an attractive alternative and
>convince them that they WANT to CHOOSE to build for the
>class.
>That's the problem and I think the only way to do it is by
>taking advantage of the known fact that racer all are
>egomaniacs and by giving an elevated STATUS to Gp2, thereby
>encourage people to build Gp2 cars.

I think there are a ton of G2 cars out there but no one runs them in nationals....I know for a fact that Eric Langbein would be driving one if there was a National Series with competition in the class. Look at USRC and RA nat's last year no one runs in G2...In the words of a dear friend "it's not a race if you are the only one in your class!!"

We compete in PGT car because there is great competition consistently at the events we go to. That is what we enjoy. The car is super reliable and the formula for building it is simple. Take car add cage and safety equipment, very few performance mods as allowed by rules and drive drive drive.

Subaru is offering a great contingency program and parts service at events for the class making it more affordable for those that choose to compete in their cars.

We would love to see good competition in G2 on a more than regional level, I co-drive for my twin brohter in ESRC events and have a blast...the G2 class is well entered in the ESRC events...If the comeptition was there at Nat'l events, Josh and Eric would both be battling it out in Gp2....

Nobody is going to step in and "make" Gp2/F happen on a national level...it is going to take competitors running events to prove that their is good stable field of competition and grassroots efforts of those like Himes, Burmiester, etc. etc...to make 2WD have large competitive fields...

I hope it happens....but untill then will continue to run in whatever class provides good competition....

Jeremy Wimpey
 

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Faster Mabricator
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I vaguely remember a RA annoucement that the top 5 2wd competitors would be profiled on the RA website 'top drivers' link to help promote the 2wd classes. Don't know how to determine who those top 2wd drivers are but the 'top drivers' link is nothing but Subaru drivers.
 

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John well put, it seems to be that poeple new to motorsports gravitate to flashy high profile cars nad no matter how much you tell them that they would be better off with something else they first have to try it their way.....don't no when this started. We've got a buddy here that did exactly as you say. Thankfully at CRS we have a well turned out P-stock class.

Tom
 

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Here is a scenario for all of you in 2wd, I go out and buy a C2 Super 1600 car, or Renault Clio, or Suzuki Ignis, or even a puma as they are getting in my price range what then. 2wd is not always cheap, neither is awd turbo. Hell I even saw a 30k euro + Group F starlet for sale in Finland as well as plenty old escorts in teh same range. 2wd does not mean cheap and if you think I am crazy there will be someone with enough cash to do it. hell Doug havir could have one tomorrow, I could get a Saxo 1600 for less than I can buy a Group N car from VT Car. Now don't get me wrong I think 2wd is great and Jake if you go down to 100 AW you can come and take a look at the starlet which will be running there with a power to weigh close to some of those awd things. Now that being said the only way to cap costs and police it effectively is to run a spec series (que the pissing and moaning) but as much as you all hate it I am totally right. Spec parts means there is no advantage to spend more money on better parts because that is it, tires well only one tire compound per rally and a limited number (this is also a way to get a tire sponsor). Equal equipment and driving talent and if you think I am off base go look at all the Fiesta Cup championships cropping up and the fact that they have a nice spec series in the WRC next year. All talk and no action is tiresome so can I expect that we can rehash this in about 6 months. By the way yes I have spent more hours on this than a ton of other people that consistently bring this up over and over again, I have tried to get something going with four manufacturers but when you have series instability and poor publicity it is a hard sell.
 

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To all of you that think this is a great idea then I challenge you to go out and run as many national 2wd races as you can afford, I am oing to put my money where my mouth (in this case fingers are) since we are going to run RA events in the starlet until we got nothing left so I will report back to all of you on what we spent during the year.
 

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It's good to hear some discussion again of my favorite topic. It seems that we can always agree on some things.

People want flashy cars.

There just isn't enough competition in the national 2wd classes.

While someone will show up with the sharp end of the stick type car in Group F they might not actually win the class. There are some pretty slick Group F cars on the way that will be making their appearances in the hands of talented drivers this year. Justin Pritchard in his MKII Escort, Nat Stow in anything with wheels, those two might be as good as any.

Jeff your philosophy is totally different than most club guys. Many of them might actually beat your car that you are spending lots of money on.

G2 is heading in the right direction and I think it will continue to do so.

I feel that Rally America needs to take a leadership role here. This is where new rally folk start rallying. This is where new customers must start. The more of them that don't feel like they need to shoot for the moon to be competitive, the more folks we will have spending their money on entry fees instead of hardware.

I live in RA country, but I am watching developments (TOW FUND JB!!)in the USRC. I also plan on taking my business to Quebec this year as much as possible.
 

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>People want flashy cars.


People want cars that they can buy readily buy replacement parts for.
If I had money, I'd take something off the shelf, ready to rally, over something I had to build. Hands down, everyday.

Do we want people to take up the sport of rally driving or the sport of rally car building, modifying, and maintaining?

>There just isn't enough competition in the national 2wd
>classes.

Right. No reason to enter nationals.



>G2 is heading in the right direction and I think it will
>continue to do so.
>
>I feel that Rally America needs to take a leadership role
>here. This is where new rally folk start rallying. This is
>where new customers must start. The more of them that don't
>feel like they need to shoot for the moon to be competitive,
>the more folks we will have spending their money on entry fees
>instead of hardware.


RA is already asking/requiring new drivers start in G2 or P cars.

So in that sense, they *have* taken a leadership role.

There are a number of folks taking a season or two or three to build up their first competition vehicle. I really have no idea how these people would expect to compete for any more than a single season.

Even those of us with cars already done, competing more than 2-3 times a year requires a serious investment.

A transport program might be nice. The reduced entry fee at 100AW is very much appreciated, too.


Or, put a 3rd way, the barriers to entry that we see, already being involved as competitors, aren't what everyone else sees.

The guys that think they'll finish their car "next season" and then start racing have different expectations than a guy who wants to do it "right now", and those are all different than someone who's been doing it a few years, needs to start putting money in the bank for the kid's college fund or new lawnmower, and starts wondering if he's going to have to take up golf instead....


>I live in RA country, but I am watching developments (TOW FUND
>JB!!)in the USRC. I also plan on taking my business to Quebec
>this year as much as possible.


Canada is attractive for a lot of us. It's nice to be able to take advantage of a totally different governmental and economic structure...
 

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Quebec 2WD Championship

I'm not sure if many know, but RSQ (Rally Sport Quebec? http://www.rsq.qc.ca ) has made their provincial championship 2wd only.

Many regional events used to be run at the same event as a national event, and many 'National' competitors would enter both the national and regional events.

Not surprisingly, it would usually be a national competitor tht won the 'regional' event. Not much motivation for regional competitors to compete.

To make the regional events meaningful, RSQ first made competitors choose either to run National, OR Regional at a dual status even. No 'double dipping' as it were. Competitors had to decide what championship that there were going to chase.

Next, they made the Regional championship 2WD only. It did piss off some 4wd 'regional' competitors, and I think casued some friction between the 2wd/AWD camps/RSQ. However, the setup stayed.

This "2wd only" may have been an attempt to make a less expensive playing field for regional competitors, or perhaps to make the regional championshil less appealing for national competitors.

Either way, it may be a model that's already in place, that could be looked at.

It's too bad that there is not much 'cross culture' between Special Stage, and the Quebec Rally scene. Quebec has a very active rally scene, but we don't hear of it much.

Some Quebec rally forums are very active. "Guide Auto" I think is one of them, but then, there is the 'different language' thing..


Frank de Kat
 

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How about brainstorming some ways to increase 2WD entries at nationals (and even at regionals as well)? Maybe we'll end up with some good ideas that we can forward to RA and NASA for consideration.

We could try to identify the reasons why there aren't more 2WD national entries, and then come up with some ideas to address them:

1. No promotion/recognition of 2WD achievements. I already mentioned above about promoting 2WD winners equally to AWD winners. This shouldn't take much money or time to do. Would mostly just involve a change in writing press releases and websites, and extending the podium celebrations a little bit (along with a few more bottles of champagne :)) to include the top 3 2WD teams.

2. Towing and entry costs. It seems that more 2WD teams tend to be lower budget than not, so the costs associated with a national championship are likely another major reason for the low 2WD turnout. I can think of several things that could be done about it: Lower entry fees for 2WD at nationals (shouldn't be too much of a hardship for organizers since they already get few 2WD national entries); towing fund or transportation plan (NASA has started something); or, how about this - make the 2WD championship a smaller subset of events than the full national schedule (maybe half, to go with half the driven wheels? :)), and rotate which events every year.

3. People's general mindset that rally is about AWD cars, and that those are cooler than 2WD cars. I don't know if there is much that can be done about this, other than addressing number 1 above. Also, once the competition started to really heat up, and people saw some awesome 2WD driving going on, maybe it would change some perceptions.

Like Eric said in his post, this is kind of a chicken and egg thing. Another thing that he touched on that I agree with, is that our sport is getting close to turning into a Subaru-only sport (with a few Mitsus sprinkled on top). While I'm grateful for Subaru's involvement and support, I think that it would be a shame to lose the tradition and excitement of 2WD rallying (especially NA/Gr2 type cars). The Subaru everywhere vibe also contributes to number 3 above - it gives the feeling that if you want to rally, you have to do it in a Subaru, as unfortunately they are the only manufacturers with a suitable AWD turbo car and not near-bankrupt (Mitsu). I don't think this is very helpful to the sport.
 

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2. Towing and entry costs. It seems that more 2WD teams tend to be lower budget than not, so the costs associated with a national championship are likely another major reason for the low 2WD turnout. I can think of several things that could be done about it: Lower entry fees for 2WD at nationals (shouldn't be too much of a hardship for organizers since they already get few 2WD national entries); towing fund or transportation plan (NASA has started something); or, how about this - make the 2WD championship a smaller subset of events than the full national schedule (maybe half, to go with half the driven wheels? ), and rotate which events every year.

Shenan, this all sounds well and good, HOWEVER, where is this tow money going to come from? I do not expect RA to come up with anything as they've already done more as far as I'm concerned than anyone else out there. If people want tow money, I can very easily up my entry fees to around double what I charged last year, but what's the point? I'd only be giving them back money that they could have put aside anyway.
It's going back to that old adage of "Gimme, gimme, gimme". People want tow money? Find your own sponsors to pay for it and don't expect others to do it for you.

Can't see me in your mirrors?
I must be in front of you!
 

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straight at T
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RE: Quebec 2WD Championship

>Next, they made the Regional championship 2WD only. It did
>piss off some 4wd 'regional' competitors, and I think casued
>some friction between the 2wd/AWD camps/RSQ. However, the
>setup stayed.
>

Unfortunately, it also led to friction between RSQ and the organizers of the 3 national events in Quebec, to the point that the regional championship is now only stand-alone regional events and the regionals at the Quebec nationals are now part of the Ontario regional championship.

Adrian
 

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Jake I am just a humble mechanic so I don't understand what you are talking about when you say "Club guys" because isn't this about the national series? OR that my attitude is somewhat biased because of what I work on subarus and mitsus, last time I checked you had run more rallies in a awd turbo car than I have. My point is if you have a 2wd class as the main class then the money will follow it always does. BRC wanted 2wd they got F2 cars, there are a ton of 2wd cars out there to run Focus, Fiesta, Clio, C2, Ignis, Swift, Yaris, I can go on and on but if you look at the realities of what people are willing to do people do not have the time or the energy to custom fab parts for cars. Listen depsite what many of you think just because people pay for people to wrench or they buy pre-fabbed parts that may or may not be expensive and some of you work on your cars all by yourself doesn't mean that these people are A. Ego Driven because their car had to be the best(Because we all are or else we wouldn't be racing and that is a fact) B. They are an inherently inferior driving talent C. They are inferior enthusiasts because all of that doesn't add up. You see people like to be able to get parts easily and while the junkyard or internet is cool for some people other people have obligations which make this impossible. People need to move on from this "old and cheap cars are the best and anyone that drives anything nicer than what I drive is a rich ego maniac spoiled daddy has given them everything in their life I would stomp them if we had equal equipment I am the best everyone with money sucks attitude because they have no talent and their money has bought them everything" because so far it has netted all of you NOTHING. You know what if you had a solution that was acceptable I know that a lot of people would switch, give them a payoff and incentive at the end of the year a wood plaque with a polaroid on it doesn't cut it. Bees with honey Himes not vinegar rather than alienate those running the open class cars why not bring them into the fold, frankly your attitude and many others on this board is a deterent rather than a facilitator. What is the point if they run a awd car they suck because they have no talent and are rich, if they build a really nice group 2 car then they suck because they bought it rather than had talent (paging scott fuller since his sequential trans made a million times faster) so what is the point? You see you guys present a no win so unless you guys can manage a healthy paradigm shift I think like I posted before we will go around like this every six months wasting space.
 
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