It isn't all together at this point (the program).
Basically, you have to register in advance. So that is why you are seeing my name there.
Why did I register ?
I wanted to do some events as abroad (as I did last year) because unless I do, (i.e. unless ANY north americans do) we will always, always be behind everyone else because we DO NOT have enough events with notes (3 a year between canada and the US aint gonna make any difference at all). Organizer supplied notes is a start, but a North American champion (not saying anything here) it does not make. 3 events a year is not the way to be competitive with the same guys who are beating us all. Not that I ever think I could be (i.e. David is one of 5 'B' drivers from the UK including Burns, McCrae, etc.). But I would like to at least get the best from myself, whatever that may be.
In the UK I do not expect to do well (lets be serious) but I dont care, I am doing this to learn the notes. I also have to learn FWD and RHD (I can't use LHD because I am doing a one-make series, the 206 Peugeot Cup www.peugeotsportuk.com). So it wont be easy. And I am basically screwed for most of the time, in terms of results. But the learning experience in one year will equal 3 seasons of doing CNAR (Canada/US). And like I said, the mission is to learn notes because I know how much of a difference it can make after Australia (Cherokee, at least for me, wasn't about notes I had other issues). Plus the guys in the one-make series seem to run it for like 3 years straight before they win. So it insn't about the series itself, but the experience.
The reason to switch to the one-make series is because of cost, and money. I can't afford to run a Grp N car, (well I almost could justify it for maybe one event, but what would be the point). For the same cost of one event I can do the whole season in the 206 one-make (it is subsidised). but even then, I still do not currenly have plans to do the whole thing. As well, running in a 'fast car' would be a waste of time since I would be so far behind anyhow. I also have ZERO tarmac experience except Brockway which means that is another negative
I know people might not understand what I am doing here, but I think it is the only way to develop. I hate to say it, but here at home, unless you have unlimited pockets (and I truly mean unlimited), and then are still willing to get beat with no hope of improving yourself, (and are happy about it) what are you suposed to do ? I guess I could sign up for a zillion days at rally schools, (outside of North Aemerica) but I want to move as fast as I can. Time flies you know !
No one can honestly expect to even be relatively competitive (it isn't just that you get beat, but it is more like 3s per mile) on noted events. Even 'our top guys' i.e. Ramana/Seamus/Rhys were all an order of magnitude behind (in my opinion, please dont flame me on this I can provide evidence from a zillion other rallies). When I was in Australia I drove as good as I could with the notes and still was sitting in 8th. And still getting beaten by 1.5-2s/km by the top guys. At a level which would easily net a top 3 in the US (people dont beleive me but rarely are you going flat out - it was proven I crashed and how many times have you seen me crash at home). Go figure. I want to improve. It isn't to say that I won't at home, but the fact of the matter is, I will not be in a position to learn how to make my own notes at home, even if I spend 10 times more than what I am spending here. SPending the 10x would only get me one or 2 off-quotes on a rarely shown TV show and maybe discourage me enough to quite alltogether. Never mind the problem about finding the $$. And never mind the problem about not learning how to anything except a 'club-level' thing everywhere else (Organizer supplied notes).
Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing anything, I still enter the events and I am happy to do that. I am just being blatant about the fact that there is no 'ladder', well, maybe a 'ladder' for one, but no real ladder even for the one who has a chance.
I tried to keep it quiet because I know I am gonna get my ass spanked ! Oh well... the sponsor/media announcements aren't going out for another 2 weeks. I also wanted to low key it because I thought maybe some people wouldn't understand my motivations (until I explained it all in the PR etc.)
At this point I am only commited for one event, to see how it goes. You can unload the Cup seats very easily (sometimes more than you paid for them) - the limited 30 cars were oversubsribed ! Oh and did I mention the engines are sealed, cages built all by the same guy, VERY TIGHTLY controlled spec, limited number of tires at each rally (all supplied at random to everyone) etc. etc. You can't really outspend the other guy except in testing, and since the cars aren't ready.. that makes it kinda hard ! So it is a 'level playing field', something you saw me screaming for on this forum last year (restrictors), something that doesn't exist in the US (it kinda does in Canada, with the 34). That's my $0.02 and sorry for the long letter, I am offline most of the time now but someone's email (thanks Brian) alerted me to this.
Pete Morris (building "Son of CoROLLa.). Patrick, go for it, I told you the first time I met you that you were destined for greater things. Age is on your side, therefore, expand and have a blast. Any experience will only benefit you in the longrun.Come back safe and kick ass again, Pete.
I just hope this will be heard by the organizers and sanctioning bodies here in north america. I think to be competitive with the rest of the world, we need to move towards notes on many more national rallies (canada and U.S.). I would not be a big fan of notes for a regional race for accessibility reasons, but thats beside the point. I hope many people will recognize this as a heads up for the sake of north american rallying in the future. This is obviously affecting our chances of getting a WRC event.
North Americans have always had it share of pioneers that traveled to Europe to learn, experience, and even someday win at the European dominated sports.
Lance Armstrong is a great example of a North American that has dominated a European sport. But it was Greg LeMond that took the same approach as Patrick and proved that we (North American?s) could content at the global level. Kicking down doors and destroying stereo types for future people.
Best of Luck to you and your adventures. What you do will reflect on us, and I can't think of a better person to represent us.
Go get em Pat! And while your over there, convince them that they should sponsor a similar series here in the States. If we had a good one make, cost controlled series with payouts I would sell the Lancer and run it in a second.
While I'm positive that Pat's bravery will bring him to success in UK as well, I have to admit that's sad seeing somebody with his talent bring his sponsorship money somewhere else. I'm aware of couple other American drivers that are seriously thinking of moving their Rally efforts to Europe as well, by 2003.
From the other side it's hard to see talanted drivers from my own country not interested in investing their money in racing in the USA, because of the Recce not being allowed at events. They are just not interested in rallying in such a prehistorical way.
The truth is all in Pat's words in his reply. North America Rally has reached a point where it doesn't make sense anymore to race in "blind" events, we need to move to a system that allow full Recce.
Follow closely what the BRC does, do a championship with just 6 (good) events (no need for 9 or 10 events) but allow something like what Cherokee Trails has done in the past 2 editions. A basic 2-runs-very-well-supervised-and-controlled recce that allows you to write and correct your own notes. Reduce the number of "different" roads but base it instead on 3 or 4 stages to repeat several times.
There are only couple individuals that make their living Rallying in the US and all of us have full time jobs and commitments, but I think the number of days off and budget required between 6 rallys with recce or 9 without, is the same.
This is the only way we will be able to attract foreign talent and their $$$ to US and like a Top SCCA representative said last year at an interview, make the American Rally Championship, the best in the world.
Best regards and please note that this is simply my modest opinion.
Alex Gelsomino http://18.104.22.168/gallery/Rally/Tutta_Terra_Toscana_2002/montagnifoto/navarra_fedeli_1.jpg
>Rally has reached a point where it doesn't make sense
>anymore to race in "blind" events, we need to move to a
>system that allow full Recce.
>Follow closely what the BRC does, do a championship with
>just 6 (good) events...
>There are only couple individuals that make their living
>Rallying in the US and all of us have full time jobs and
>commitments, but I think the number of days off and budget
>required between 6 rallys with recce or 9 without, is the
I think this ignores the travel time involved in American Championship. In Britain, and some other European countries, travel is not as long, so having additional time for recce may not have as much of an impact. Europeans also get more vacation time off, so adding another day for recce may still be feasible for full employed English, French, etc.
Lets see using air transport, it takes two days (round trip) to travel across the country. Add another day for Recce. I need to arrive by Wed night, for Thursday recce, and race on Fri-Sun. That is three days off work; four days if Sunday is a full race day, and I must return on Monday.
3 days * 6 events = 18 days
I get 15 days vacation each year, so I can't work full time and do series with Recce.
Is the US, travel times and work practices (ie vacation)are a limiting factor for self-funded participants.
The changes going on in US rallying to conform to the FIA rules widens the gap between club and pro. Thus making it more difficult for a club racer to reach the pro level. Does this encourage US participation in the sport? Or does moving to FIA rules attract International Pro drivers with the detriment to American drivers?
I agree with this comment. England is small. The tow distance in the BRC is MUCH smaller than the tow distance required in the US. In order to pull off what some here suggest....we'd have to run a west coast championship (WCRC), a Midwest championship (MRC), and an east coast championship (ECRC). Then travel times might be comparable to the BRC.