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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read many posts that complain about the entry fee costs. But most of the people that post these remarks have never come to Laughlin to run the Ramada Express International Rally. It is the only rally in North America that hands out something like $15,000 to the top three in every class and overall winner,plus a collectors $5 casino chip. It would seem to be a logical decision for rallyists to enter an event where they could make money or at least break even on what they love to do. I know this is a biased post but I would like to get some responses from people on the east coast and north west on why they don't come out and what would entice them to venture out. Thank you in advance
Ryan Allison
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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I can't think of a rally in the world I haven't dreamed of doing and seriously considered the Laughlin event each of the last several years, but with it at the end of the season like it is I've usually burned all my vacation (and then some), spent every bit of disposable income (and then some) and/or been without wheels long before December. Worse, spending money and time away from home right before the holidays like that would not be smart thing for a family man like me to do.

Along with just about every other rally in the country this year, I'll likely miss your event too. Should a sponsor appear who wants the Bug (and the rest of the family) in Nevada, it (we) will be there.

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Mike,

If you have resource problems by December, then you need to plan
better. We've only done Laughlin once, last year. But it is
a great event with wonderful roads. If you miss this one, you
are missing a lot. Blow off some other event (no suggestions
given herein) and go to Laughlin.

My $0.02,
Patrick
 

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Don't tell anybody how to plan their season...

If I were Mike I'd genuinely pissed off at your comments... I'm sure he's just too polite to shoot back at you. I think you are WAY out of line A) telling Mike or anyone else that they should plan better and B) telling Mike or anyone else to spend their limited money and vacation time.

I've heard nothing but good things about Laughlin, but your comments were WAY out of line and you owe Mike an apology.

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

>Mike,
>
>If you have resource problems by December, then you need to
>plan better.

Thanks. I think.

Life's a compromise and my unrequited dream to return to the autosport industry fulltime, without turning wrenches like I did in the 80s, was launched with the purchase of Scheible's New Beetle Rally Car - a machine that may be the best known single rally car in the world. We created RealAutoSport, LLC and handled things as business-like as possible while we focused on our main goal: win a ProRally National Championship and fill the one gap I had in my motorsport CV (resume). The end goal, of course, was to secure some form of sponsorship that would allow me to own/manage a team and secure a future in the burgeoning stateside performance rally industry.

As you may or may not know, while holding down a full-time job as Helmerich & Payne, Inc.'s IT Help Desk Lead I did seven of the ten 2001 SCCA ProRally championship events, towed over 30,000 miles in 9 months (almost half solo), had one-off, non-repeating mechanical anomalies that cost us finishing three events, did 99% of the between-event repair and maintenance, created at least 12 million media impressions but ultimately failed in our goals. My meager vacation was gone by September and the days I took off for Prescott and LSPR were covered by working overtime in the weeks surrounding the end of the season (including volunteering the weekend after 9-11 to move the computer and satellite equipment at an oil rig near Baton Rouge, LA that was battling to prevent a blow out). The only reason I could justify doing LSPR was because I had an outside shot at a series podium finish and thanks to Tony Chavez paying my entry fee under the auspices of my running interference on Peeper for him.

I broke the promises I made to my wife/CPA about not running a rally until the previous event was paid off (a situation that would have been MUCH worse without assistance from Bressem, Thompson, Holter, Donsion, Barfoot, Dillon and Chavez) but I did not shirk the obligation I held for organizing the Hallett RallySprints even though the last thing I wanted to do after LSPR was spend off-duty hours on a tractor/setting up and tearing down that event.

You'll further notice that except for that RallySprint 30 miles from home I entered NO ClubRallys even though I typically enjoy running them more than the Pro events. In other words, no time, energies nor monies were spent last season "for fun." Given their sanctioning you'll understand that the only reason I'd have been tempted to do Laughlin in 2001 would have been for fun and I simply didn't have enough money, time nor energy to do Laughlin for no better reason than that.

BTW - our lack of 2002 appearances is because I'm still paying off bills from last season.

>We've only done Laughlin once, last year. But it is
>a great event with wonderful roads. If you miss this one,
>you are missing a lot. Blow off some other event (no
>suggestions given herein) and go to Laughlin.

I know it's a great event and one very much like those I learned to rally on. When I have the disposable funds, time and energies to do so, or a sponsor who wants to pay for me and/or the car to be there appears, then you better believe I'll enter and run no matter who is sanctioning the event. Like I said, there isn't a rally in the world I wouldn't love to run.

>My $0.02,

No comment ...

But maybe you can tell me how a car that Saddam Hussein surely could have scored a program with is languishing in my garage? That one has me truly bumfuzzled.

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

Mike,
A great post, as usual, but I was wondering if you had considered all your financing options. Does your wife have a job, and if so , could she get a second one? Also remember, it's who you know and how you show, not how fast you go.
Roger
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

Heck... while we're at it, Mike, how many kids do you have? Why don't you put them to work? ;) You could also try and make money by charging people to be your co-driver.

Sheesh, leave the poor guy alone. He's living the dream that many of us can only think about. Laughlin will be there next year, and even if it's not, there will be other rallies.

Mike, what you should have done is somehow incorporated Real AutoSport LLC to appear as if it was an airline. You probably could have gotten some of that federal bailout money after 9/11.
:p

Hang tough there Mike, we're all wishing we could be you! (without the credit card debt of course)

FWIW... maybe you could get some more money from your Gator Straps company, I bought a full set for my tow setup and I have encouraged others to do the same!
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

>Mike,
>A great post, as usual, but I was wondering if you had
>considered all your financing options. Does your wife have
>a job, and if so , could she get a second one? Also
>remember, it's who you know and how you show, not how fast
>you go.
>Roger

Leave it Roger to find the oblique view of things!! :7

Mary Jane certainly believes she tackled another job doing the RealAutoSport, LLC books and keeping me reigned in with remedial business finance lessons! ;)

I'm on board with your last point. I'm starting to realize that one of the fatal mistakes I made last year was dashing home right after a rally ended trying to save vacation days (we did Rumford to Tulsa in 29 hours straight). I definitely sacrificed "show" time and severely limited my chances to meet new prospects.

Oh well ... I got to see a lot of new stage roads at least ...

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Ok, I'll put my throat out there. Also, there was a similar post last year. I remember because I made the same remark I am making below and someone (yes I remember who) jumped down my throat about it as if I had never been there or dont know what I am talking about.

The biggest two reasons I did not return the second year were mud and transits.

Mud, wow, I didnt race in mud that deep when I raced off-road. I think 3 different 2wd cars broke trying to get through the mud (DelaQuesta, Byford, and I forget the 3rd). This is not an organizer problem and cannot be planned for so take this comment for what it is.

But, transits. 4 hours both days to get to the rally. Granted, once you are there the transits are very minimal which is nice. What was worse is that after a hard day of rallying to have to do the transit back. I ran the first year that trailers were allowed. This did help a lot, but I know that time was critical for many teams. Some of the people who dont mind the transit were the ones who put their car on a trailer and sat in the back seat, unfortunately my team was not able to do that.

On a positive note, the Saturday stages are some of the nicest stages I have ever run. I truely had fun! And it is also one of the most organized and well presented rallies on the west coast equalling the quality of Rim of the World. Oh, did I mention the acutally pay the winners???? All the peoply in the US who whine about the cost relationship, should be running Laughlin!

Chris
 

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RE: Don't tell anybody how to plan their season...

JB N,

My comments were for Mike. If you think they are out of line,
then keep it to yourself. I was trying to encourage Mike
that he is the captain of his time/budget and that it is
my opinion that Laughlin should be high on a competitor's
priority list. That fact that it is staged at the end of
his fiscal year is irrelavent.

Patrick
 

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RE: Don't tell anybody how to plan their season...

Patrick,

I can understand why you'd like to see Mike and others attend Laughlin. But so far, no matter how interesting an event it may be, it isn't part of anything but the CRS. At some point in the future it may become part of a broader series, but until then many of us simply don't go because of its timing and the fact that it just doesn't count for anything. Given the limited funding of people like Mike and I (and I'm not speaking for Mike), I can understand why most of us don't attend Laughlin; we'll focus our budget on events that count toward the series we're inwhich we're competing. If Laughlin chose to join a broader series (i.e. become a ProRally), then you couldn't keep us away with a stick. Until then, it would be just dumb to skip an event that counted to go to one that doesn't. If, for example, in 2001 had Mike elected to skip Maine or LSPR in order to go to Laughlin; that would have been a bad decision. That's why I said your advice was insulting.

I hear many good things about Laughlin. The money's a nice incentive and the accomidations are first rate, but we have to choose events that matter... and so far Laughlin just doesn't matter.

I'm sorry if you think I'm sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong, but I feel it is important to say WHY some events don't get the attendence some people expect. Al and I have discussed going to Laughlin each of the past two seasons and decided not to go simply because of the time (both vacation limitations and proximity to the holiday season), expense and the fact that there's no championship points. I applaud Mike for making the same sensible choice.

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

> That one has me truly bumfuzzled.

Is that something like "hairy-assed" ? Or, would that be "bumfuzzied"?
 

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Over the last four years, I've considered coming out as well. The fact that I would need to try and get about 10 days vacation time to do it is the problem.

As Mike alluded to, there are finite resources and that time of year is traditionally short in terms of liquid cash.

With fewer ClubRallies here in the Northeast, I've definitely been looking to rally elsewhere, but Quebec holds the most bang for the buck for me, including FIA structured events.

I've thought of hiring someone to drive my car out there and then flying in, but when you do the math, the time is maybe shorter, but the cost goes up. I can't find a way to make it work....

Please don't make any comments about budgeting....been there and done that... :)

Cheers! John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would like to thank Mike for giving a straight answer. When I posted this I wanted it to be taken seriously, we at American Rally Sport Group are trying to find ways to get you the competitors out to our event. What Im really after is ideas on what would make it easier for competitors from back east to make it out here. We have had a good entry list the last couple of years and expect it to get larger each year. This year being our fifth we have some changes, I cant say what exactly right now but be sure they are changes that you the competitor will enjoy. Im glad to hear that you all think that our event is one that you wish you could run. We have thought about changing the date but prefer to be the last rally of the year, much like Rally Great Britain (thats why we have the mud, although that was just the one year.)Now that Rim is out of the Pro Rally series maybe some of you will have some excess cash in your budgets after next season and come join us for an amazing event.

Ryan Allison
Rallyon
 

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>I would like to thank Mike for giving a straight answer.

Hey, no sweat. I'm committed to running Laughlin one of these years ... Who knows, if I could get the Peugeot finished and find some support for it I might be there this year.

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Angry Mike said:
>Hey, no sweat. I'm committed to running Laughlin one of
>these years ... Who knows, if I could get the Peugeot
>finished and find some support for it I might be there this
>year.

Mike---I am going to try like heck to do Laughlin this year, and hope that you will be there with the Frog, and those wonderful noisy carburators. You put together that even firing three liter that I sent you yet? I could fix you up with some racin' rods, and forged pistons if ya want. All it takes is money. You can go real fast. Mud or no mud, it should be a great party. As for your dreams of stardom getting shot down, that is what happens to most all of us who don't have the dough to do the series for 'real.'
Greg Lund burned a lot of money in his efforts, and failed to achieve stardom. Trevor burned a lot of dough, and is reportedly just now getting together another go at it. Carl Yardevall is burning a lot of dough, and getting very little TV time for his good driving. As always, we all know how to make a small fortune in racin.' :) JohnLane.
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

>Mary Jane certainly believes she tackled another job doing
>the RealAutoSport, LLC books and keeping me reigned in with
>remedial business finance lessons! ;)
>
>Halley ...
>http://www.realautosport.com

In addition, I am sure that your wife, like mine, took care of all the other things around the house as well...which IS their other job. I know while I work a full-time job (or did at least), and then work on the RallyBlazer, Val was busy taking care of the house, our daughter, the dogs, cleaning, cooking, payingh the bills(and telling me how much I can spend this week opn my "toys"), taking out the trash, grocery shopping, etc....did I cover it all? For a time there, Val even OFFERED to get a second job to help ME realize MY dream. That is when I backed off a bit and spent some more time with the family and helping her around the house. Our wives already have a second job, US! lol
 

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RE: Long explanation - Was: Money and Ramada ...

Greg said:
>That is when I backed off a bit and spent
>some more time with the family and helping her around the
>house. Our wives already have a second job, US! lol

I guarantee you I've been rebuilding and padding the 'honey-do' account this year! Somehow I got through last season without losing my job or getting divorced again (sorry, one ex-wife thanks to rallying a life-time is enough) so I'm seizing the opportunity to prove my heart's in the right place while I can!

Fortuantely for me, the Halley girls are pretty good at distracting me from these fits of depression I've been having on rally weekends this year ...

;)

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Well, for me, it is allot of things...but the most important right now is that I am not ready for that event! Laughlin is a HUGE event to run for all the reasons...time off, distance (I am in Maryland), crew requirments, etc. My Blazer and the driver simply aren't ready to tackle all those hurdles, at one time, yet. I DO want to run the event. The thought of running the longest SS in North America is reason enough for me to want to run! Like Mad Mike, if I had a funded Co-Driver (other than my wife), or some sponsorship help or something else big, I would be the FIRST in line to register :) Isn't dreaming grand? lol
 

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I'll tell you what. Some friends of ours made flagstaff (Oops. I forgot to capitalize Flagstaff.) in 39 1/2 hours last year. Anyone from the east coast who want (I should have written wants.) to tow out with us, we would love to have you. We plan to be at Laughlin every year because it is the BEST event in North America. I understand thar she blows at the end of the year everyone runs out of money, we all do. I are not very bright. If the sky is green this must be my lucky day. If you can put some aside do so. If we can get enough people we should try to get a car carrier or something to make life a little easier. Bottom line is that if you can go you should. If you can't you should try.


Tommybuns
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Rabid Rallyesport
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