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As President and CEO of the SCCA, this decision has also been difficult for me. I did not get a vote but if I had, I would have had to vote to discontinue the SCCA Performance Rally program. Many of you know me and know that I support the sport of Rally and our members. I also support the other activities and members of the SCCA. We can debate the insurance costs and allocations all day but the bottom line is the premium increases we have been receiving and the upcoming increase can be attributed to the Rally program. The Rally program would not have been able to absorb the increases and we can not ask the other members who participate in our club to absorb them.
As far as risk, the Rally program is the riskiest activity that SCCA is involved in. It is not just spectators, speed, transits, trees, rocks, running at night on little sleep, land issues ie. fire dangers, environmental dangers etc.. It is a combination of all of these.
I am working around the clock to secure a place for you to race. I will not abandon you nor will I tire in my efforts to assist you. I am meeting on Thursday with Rally America to put a plan in place that not only saves rally but puts rally in the position to flourish and prosper. I am convinced that the program will be better in the hands of the enthusiasts (Rally America)who share the passion than in the hands of the SCCA. Although I shared the passion, I was not able to invest properly in the sport and give the organizers and competitors the resources that are needed to make this a world class sport that it deserves.
I am sorry for you, I am sorry for the SCCA and will do everything in my power to make you proud of our organization.
Steve Johnson
 

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Thank you Steve or posting your comments here.
I agreee that there is a huge untapped source of enthusiasm and resources in the existing rally community. I am sure Rally America will make good use of those resources to shape the future or rallying in this country. We all are a little weary about the future but many of us are also excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

-Brian
 

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Steve--You are a class act and have held that opinion since the time I met you at STPR several years ago.

I look forward to seeing what you may come up with in this difficult situation.

Regards.
 

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Steve,

My opinion of you personally is very high. You went out of your way to stop by our low end, old car running, Clubrally team in Maine 2003 during a service just to say thanks and ask a few questions. There was no reason for that other than you are genuinely a good man.(or lonely):)

I do not expect you to reply to anything directly, to my or any one elses post; but, I hope the difficulties you encountered are shared with NASA and our entire community as well. Perhaps even here. The devil is in the details and as a community we ALL need to know how and exactly why this went down. I also would like to state that it would have been far less stressful and better for the sport short term if as in any merger, reclamation, etc. if the "transition" was underway before the program was abrubtly discontinued.

Otherwise thanks and good luck,

Bernie

(BTW I need my SCCA renewal ASAP for Tall Pines! Really!!!):)
 

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With all due respect Steve, if you were really concerned about rally you could have started with the press release. Rally was dropped because it was too expensive to insure? C'mon, that really puts RA on solid footing when they go to shop for coverage. (Insurance Agent) "So Mr. Havir, I read somewhere that the SCCA could no longer get insurance for rally. Why?" What happens when one of my sponsors googles rally and comes up with your press release? He's gonna feel real good about giving me money for sure. We in the intimate rally community all know what's going on, but a press release like that just airs our dirty laundry for the world to see, and trust me they are watching.

The SCCA has a long and distinguished record with American rallying. You yourself have always been more than supportive of the sport. Let's try and keep that up during this transition. If you wanna let rally go, fine. But please stop shooting at it as it goes out the door.


Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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>With all due respect Steve, if you were really concerned
>about rally you could have started with the press release.
>Rally was dropped because it was too expensive to insure?
>C'mon, that really puts RA on solid footing when they go to
>shop for coverage. (Insurance Agent) "So Mr. Havir, I read
>somewhere that the SCCA could no longer get insurance for
>rally. Why?"

Dennis has this correct- Words are one thing but actions speak volumes!!! And at this point and the less from SJ in Topeka the better.
 

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don't cut
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>
>Dennis has this correct- Words are one thing but actions
>speak volumes!!! And at this point and the less from SJ in
>Topeka the better.

Not necessarily. SJ and Topeka could be HUGE assets, as long as they coordinate what they say with RA and don't shoot us in the foot. SJ has a great oppurtunity on Wind Tunnel tonight to really put a positive spin on the whole situation. If it were me I'd say something like "The SCCA is proud to have birthed this sport in America, and like any parent we are sad to see it go. But we feel the best oppurtunity for GROWTH is in the hands of RA, and we will fully support RA and rally's efforts in the future as partners and mentors. Rally is going to be the next big thing, and we are so proud to have been part of it." (Yeah, I've been watching too much politics lately). I'd downplay the insurance as "really just a minor issue. We were more than able to work through it, but felt the RA oppurtunity was a better option for the sport overall."

I just don't wanna hear from any of my roundy round pals that "Hey, I heard you guys lost your insurance. Now what, hah hah." A lot of guys watch that show, a lot.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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> The Rally program would not have been able to absorb the increases and we can not ask the other members who participate in our club to absorb them.

Well, how was this decision arrived at? Was it put to the PRB? The organizers? The drivers?

How much would the per event increase have been if it had been 100% allocated to rally?

As a dues paying member, I feel very let down - both in terms of the process and outcome. I don't think this is going to help SCCA membership numbers either.

Glenn
 

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Steve,
Thanks for always being friendly and taking a personal interest in us as competitors. Unfortunately, with no SCCA rallies I'm not likely to continue being a member. Well, maybe if we started having SCCA gravel hillclimbs in Washington & Oregon then I'd renew my membership.
Dave
'02 WRX
 

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>All I want to know, is if the SCCA couldn't negotiate
>reasonable insureance rates as large as it is... How is a
>much smaller stand alone group going to do that?

That is what Mr. Despain wanted to know as well. Mr. Johnson told him that the smaller organization would be able to insure it because "they don't have any claims yet," a poor assessment of the situation, in my opinion. Dave didn't buy it either.

The best (PC) answer to not shoot RA in the foot and to save face at SCCA would be "because we are concerned about POSSIBILITY of future increases and can't expect the rest of our members, road racers and autocrossers, to bear the brunt of such an increase, should it happen."

The true answer is probably more along the lines of "because our risk management assessor is the SAME PERSON as our insurance agent and he is looking out for his own personal interests," but we know that would never be said out loud...wait...did I just say...?
 

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I appreciate Steve's comments and can 100% understand how the SCCA arrived at its decision. I think a lot of people around this board are under the impression that the SCCA should jeopardize its other programs so <5% (not sure of the real numbers but I'm being generous) of its membership base could play it the woods at speeds of 100MPH+ 10 feet from spectators.

It?s the 80/20 rule folks, unfortunately we?re the 20 (or maybe 5).

SCCA isn't a business, per say, but they do have a responsibility to, at a minimum, break even each year. I have a feeling that the rising insurance costs and recent tragic events in our sport, put the SCCA in a position where it _could_ see the chance of catastrophic loose and impact to all it's programs.
 

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I would like to ask the rally community to stop and think for a moment that now we have the opportunity to have ralliest run the program and without interference from another type of motorsport members. We will be 100 percent rally members in a rally sanctioned program. So with that in mind...your SCCA membership will more than likely be transited over to Rally America so that the program has that money to continue the day to day operations of running a rally program.

Our two hour teleconference steward call the other night; I was very impressed as well as some other stewards (but I can't speak for them) of what JB had to say....it was very positive and we are on board to support and help them.

AS in the business world as you well know always when you have a business that is being taken over by another company there is going to be negatism, apprehension, upsetness, what is going to happen next, etc. WE all do not like dramatic changes in our lifes whether it is our jobs or our passion for a particular sport. But if we see that it might be a positive move either for that company or sport or whatever is happening in your lives, then we need to step back and wait and see how it all comes into place....Am I disappointed in the occurances that has happen this week..you betcha; but I am keeping it in checked....

Like I said, I can't speak for the other regaional stewards; but I can almost can say that we are all in unity to roll up our sleeves and take this next step in moving the sport in the right direction for the club and pro teams for Rally America.

So before you go and want a refund or not renew your membership to SCCA...lets see what happens. Be patience. Lets not react; lets be proactive. Your reaction to this change could cost the other program not to function as adequately. Because we have 2 1/2 months and onward to get next season on track and we still have the rest of this season to help and support club rallys this month and in November.

The opportunity is here now for us to move forward and take rallying in another direction.....

Thank You.

Denise McMahon
 

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Fastrack - November 2004

RISK MANAGEMENT (from Fastrack - November 2004)

"Peter Lyon gave an overview of the climate of the insurance industry as it relates to the activities of SCCA.

Peter also presented an overview of corporate legal services, including contract administration, trademark and licenses.

Steve Johnson indicated that Peter Lyon will assume the duties of General Counsel for SCCA Inc."
 

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RE: Fastrack - November 2004

>
>RISK MANAGEMENT (from Fastrack - November 2004)
>
>"Peter Lyon gave an overview of the climate of the insurance
>industry as it relates to the activities of SCCA.
>
>Peter also presented an overview of corporate legal
>services, including contract administration, trademark and
>licenses.
>
>Steve Johnson indicated that Peter Lyon will assume the
>duties of General Counsel for SCCA Inc."
>
-----This makes it pretty clear doesn't it.
Pete Lyon has clearly wanted rally to not be a part of SCCA for a long time and has now succeded.

Rally WILL flourish without SCCA.

John Lane
Viva Le Pro Le Ralliat
 

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RE: Fastrack - November 2004

I think it will too John. The enthusiasm is there by the people involved in RA and I think they will make it happen with our help. I wish them all the success to pull it off.


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

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Steve thank you for having the courage to post here; this is a tough group. I think we all need to take a deep breath and seeeeee how things unfold. I have an event in 4 months so as an organizer I'm obviuosly concerned but one way or another we will have events.

Tom Grossmann
 

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>That is what Mr. Despain wanted to know as well. Mr.
>Johnson told him that the smaller organization would be able
>to insure it because "they don't have any claims yet," a
>poor assessment of the situation, in my opinion. Dave
>didn't buy it either.

Suuure. Because insurance companies don't look at past situations that are similar to what they are being asked to insure to set thier premiums...




>The true answer is probably more along the lines of "because
>our risk management assessor is the SAME PERSON as our
>insurance agent and he is looking out for his own personal
>interests," but we know that would never be said out
>loud...wait...did I just say...?

I've thought that's a little odd, and I can't believe the rest of the SCCA doesn't see this as a conflict of interest. Since I'm not just a rallyist, (I just bought an ITB class Volvo) I'm keeping my SCCA membership. But still, things like this don't make me very happy.



Nick Polimeni
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www.hrm-usa.com
 
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