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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Paula's post: "Doug Havir has formed an investor group (Rally America, Inc) that will be contracting with SCCA to manage the operations of the ProRally series. Doug?s group consists of current PRB members Beryl Ann Burton and J.B. Niday as well as Bruce Weinman (organizer), and rallyists Johnny Parker and Kristie Anderson. This group has a number of excellent projects planned to improve the quality of the series, primarily by assisting the event organizers. As such, including the event organizers in the decision process is high on their list. The first example of this was a face-to-face meeting of this group and all of the ProRally organizers that took place (at Doug?s expense) on September 28. After a full day of discussing Rally America?s desires, intentions and proposals for strengthening the series, all of the organizers expressed support for their plans."

Did I miss the long, clear, detailed press release on this one?

Exactly what responsibilities, authorities, etc. will this group be given by the SCCA? Will there still be club control over rules and procedures? Is Rally America a marketing organization, or a for-profit replacement for the PRB?

I don't mean to get all paranoid here, but I'm a strong believer that the devil you know is preferable to the devil you don't. Kurt, we miss you already! }>
 

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RE: rally people

Jon,
What are you saying?
Did you read the quote you posted, there were a few names you should know there.
Paula thinks it was worth getting back on board for and she has more invested than us.
Better have the wife look over your stuff before you hit Send.
Your pal, rz
 

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RE: rally people

Devil? Hey, now that's a first for me. Actually my last halloween costume was the Pope- do I get partial credit for that at least? :+

-Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

If Randy thinks I'm flying off the handle, maybe I am. But unless I'm the only one who's out of the loop here, something big just happened that could affect the rally community in profound ways and there are a lot of unanswered questions out there. I brought up a few of them above.

The big issue is (as always) to what extent will Rally America continue the focus on manufacturer interests at the expense of the rank and file rallyist? Is was the pursuit of this direction by Kurt that caused most of the acrimony that's dominated the rally community over the last few years.

Luckily, the SCCA does not own or control the actual events. If they did, who knows where we would be today. The organizers' independence was an effective counterbalance to the manufacturers circus.

So if Rally America is going to find a national sponsor, that's great. If Rally America is going to push to continue to modify rules and event structures to make rally more "corporate friendly" and, further, has found a way to effectively co-opt the independent organizers into this strategy, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would see that as a big problem. :eek:

What I'd like to see are some reassurances that Rally America will not do anything that will negatively impact (even in the short term) the number or quality of top level event stage miles available for the 98% of rallyists that don't run the full national schedule. How about coming out against age limits, or technology rules that favor only high budget teams?

There are a lot of hot button issues that Rally America will almost certainly have a hand in shaping. Can we trust you to do the right thing here? Please put pen to paper and give us a clue where you intend to take us!
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

> Doug Havir has formed an investor group (Rally America, Inc) that will be contracting with SCCA to manage the operations of the ProRally series.

I thought that was Kurt Spitzner's job?

How much is the contract for?

Will he give back his salary to pay for it?
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

Aside from the "Kurt, we miss you" line, I would like to add my "me too" to this Jon's comments.

As a rally competitor who is not "in the know", I am concerned about the cryptic press releases, terms like "investor group", and the general lack of solid information about what this whole Rally America thing is.

Then again, even though this is my first full year as a competitor, I have seen enough weird stuff with regards to the running of the sports that almost nothing surprises me anymore.

alan
 

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RE: rally people

Doug, you seem like a smart guy. And I know you've been around rally for a while.

Right now ProRally has a serious problem - a number of competitors do not trust the SCCA. A huge part of this problem is because of a serious lack of communication. When information is not communicated, we are left to interpret the message. Worse still, we spend time trying to determine the motivations of those involved.

The first communication about Rally America was a cryptic press release from Spitzner. It called you an investor. Nobody knew what they were talking about, least of all me. We were confused. Do you blame us?

And now we get more information. But still, it's unclear exactly what is going on.

If there is one lesson we should all take away from rally is that clear and timely communications is critical to the success of any group.

Instead of discounting the concerns of other posters, why not address the issues straight up. Tell us what, exactly, Rally America is all about. Tell us what you are going to do. Tell us what you are not going to do.

People might just respond.
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

Here is what I know.

Doug Havir formed an group (Rally America, Inc) that will be contracting with SCCA to manage the operations of the series.
The group includes Beryl Ann Burton, J.B. Niday, Bruce Weinman, Johnny Parker and Kristie Anderson. They are focusing on the
organizers and how to work with them, and they have garnered
the organizers support after a meeting in late September.
They played a key role in negotiating the agreement that has
put Rim back on the calendar, with Beryl Ann playing a key role.

I heard that scoring and webcasting are two of their duties amoung
many others.

paul timmerman
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

I understand your concerns and yes it is not finely tuned yet on all the specifics of how the Pro Rally Series program is totally going to be runned for the future years...but I can bet you that it will be better for the competitors as well as the organizers. Rally America Inc.was the middle-man between SCCA and the organizers in meeting both sides needs and primarily the organizers needs. Rally America will be managing the operations of the series. Both will co-exist to help the series be better for the organizers standpoint and the ease some of the problems that have been going on between SCCA and the organizers. There is a sound contract agreement now that makes both parties happy. Believe me....as a Rim co-organizer we were getting beat up out there as volunteers and becoming disgruntled with the way SCCA was taking away from our efforts/credit of putting in what the sport needs. I do not want to go into alot of detail or this will turn into a very long message.

Doug Havir has put some great people together on the committee to make sure to have the competitors and organizers and the sanction body best interest applied in the right way and go forward in making the series better than ever. Believe me as I heard the organizers are very happy and have great confidence as to what has happened...and believe me Kurt had nothing to do with this at all.

The organizers are very encouraged with the changes and looking forward to very solid improvements in event support across the series. One of the implementations is training the workers better on all Pro Rallys, common scoring, common set of timing equipment. These are just some of things that will be looked at and followed through for the coming season.

So just give time to SCCA to make their announcement and finalize all the details. This is something you do not make haste on.... then after it is done and said... then make a assessment as to what has happen. In the long run..it is meeting the needs for everyone.



Denise McMahon
Rim Of The World Pro Rally
Treeline Club Rally
 

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Pasted from the "SCCA Press Release" thread:

----

Well look at it this way. At the time of that press release, we were just making plans on how to go about making plans. We weren't sure what we were going to do, much less any of the organizers. It's pretty difficult to make an announcement about what you're planning on doing when you're not sure what it's going to be yet. Hence the cryptic SCCA release and the silence on our part until we get things nailed down to a point where we at least have something concrete to say. We figure better to keep everybody in suspense and then tell them the facts rather than spin yarns about what might or might not happen. I will not promise you that we're going to broadcast the minutes of every conversation we have on the Internet, but we will make a concerted effort to present timely and accurate information to the rally community as plans begin to take shape.

Cheers,
-Doug
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

Jon:

You need to be specific in what you want and you need to tell the Organizers of the events what you want.

None of the organizers will shy away from hearing what the competitors think are good ideas.

>The big issue is (as always) to what extent will Rally
>America continue the focus on manufacturer interests at the
>expense of the rank and file rallyist?

Rephrased: What will each event do to accomadate the Manufactureres while putting on an event that will attract a large field? I phrase the question this way because: with the manufacturer series comes publicity and eventually sponsor dollars to the organizers. Not all events need or want this, but those that do will need to appease the manufacturers. (They DO NOT need to change the world for the manufactures, but god ideas and bad ideas come from all sides.)

From and organizer perspective it is easy to put on a fabulous, but low key, 65-100 stage mile event. Going the extra mile to add the glitz, and increase the mileage is only worth it if the "show" will attract the cream of the crop. The cream of the crop attracts the workers, the fans, the competitors and the publicity.

>
>Luckily, the SCCA does not own or control the actual events.
>If they did, who knows where we would be today. The
>organizers' independence was an effective counterbalance to
>the manufacturers circus.

Well said.


>What I'd like to see are some reassurances that Rally
>America will not do anything that will negatively impact
>(even in the short term) the number or quality of top level
>event stage miles available for the 98% of rallyists that
>don't run the full national schedule.
----------------------------------------------
>How about coming out
>against age limits, or technology rules that favor only high
>budget teams?

None of the issues you site in the second part of the Paragraph relate to the first part.

What I hear is you want to run lots of stage miles, and you don't want to have your car eliminated from the field.

1) STPR & MAINE are the only events in the series that suffer from your concern, Pro only fields (-- sorry these are in your backyard (can you move ?)

2) If you can't afford the whole series will you be happy to run Club?
(I have not figured out why at Pro events the Pro fields are so large, and the club fields so small, yet the independant club rallies can easily attract 60 cars including top level EVO's and Subies. -- I hypothesis that most people run rallies and few are really putting together regional championships.)

3) While no one has proven a need for the age limits, these alone don't restrict you from running any event. Remeber the organizer chooses: what type of event it will be and who can compete -- you might not be able to score points in an out dated car, or your car might not fit in a specific class, but you might be able to get and organizer to allow you to run a well prepared and safe car. Yes the organizers are limited by some of the Rules, but Sanction Exemptions can be made (Who would stop an Exihbition Class of Electric Vehicles, or classic cars, or something else unique and interesting: further at a club level you could designate entries by region priority...) Be creative, work within the rules and work to change the rules.

>There are a lot of hot button issues that Rally America will
>almost certainly have a hand in shaping. Can we trust you to
>do the right thing here? Please put pen to paper and give us
>a clue where you intend to take us!


As with any group starting out (and with Kurt's plans) good intentions on paper get you nowhere. It is ALL about the execution and implementation. While I personally trust Rally America's intentions because I know the people involved, we all need to stay actively involved in the decision that are being made.

For the Good of the Sport,
Mike
 

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communication

Jon and all concerned,
I just saw this on my Rally-L digest and it was jumped on by Jens,
---
"I will not promise you that we're going to broadcast the minutes of every conversation we have on the Internet, but we will make a concerted effort to present timely and accurate information to the rally community as plans begin to take shape."
---
From what I know, Doug is a software geek (who must be able to type really fast) and a rally fan. I don't think he's a professional PR guy so looking into the meaning behind every single word is not fair. He is taking money away from his racing budget to try to help everyone and get this sport a foundation it needs to survive against; organizer and worker burnout, enviornment and insurance concerns, road-use and whatever else needs to be addressed if we want to continue to play in the woods. He also is hoping to attract a sponsor to pay for needed infrastructure. All that sounds pretty good to me and if it doesn't to you, nothing will.
---
Kurt was more than premature posting that first release and I'm sure it was to deflect a bunch of critisizm he was facing that week. Doug put the meeting together with organizers to ask them what they needed. If SCCA wasn't going to play along, it would have been a battle that no one person needs, so that agreement needed to be done first.
---
I don't have all the facts but it just makes sense to do it right once and it looks like that foundation is getting built.
If that isn't what everyone here has been asking for, I can't read.
---
Getting back to picking the quote apart...
No matter how fast he can type, putting out transcripts and explaining every decision would take more time than is reasonable, there'd be no time to do positive work. In my experience, things happen as a movement, you know where you want to go when you start but you never see the end as it finally exists in time. Be positve, let your local organizers and Doug know what is important to you and if it can be done with what is available, it just may happen. I asked for $10,000 starting money every event and a helicopter ride to and from a Chicago luxury hotel to the parc expose' but I'm not gonna grouse if it doesn't happen in the next year or two.
rz
 

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RE: rally people

As has already been stated a few times, information will be forthcoming at a future date when it's ready to be presented.

As for the discounting concerns of other posters, I'm not so sure there was really anything I could say to something like that other than make light of it. After seeing how Kurt has been burned in effigy and the target of so much criticism and hatred, being told by an individual that working with Kurt is preferrable to working with me can't in any way be construed as posting a concern and does not rate any sort of real reponse. In fact it's downright discouraging.

-Doug
 

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RE: rally people

Doug,
Please do not get discouraged about the Kurt/Doug thing. As I said before... people please do not make an assessment yet...it takes time to put things in order before it is laid out to the public. Doug...and the other committee members (at this moment I do not have their names)... I just want to say thank-you for helping out all the organizers and SCCA to come to a compromise that will benefit everyone. It is a start in the right direction. At least they took the time and money to help to work things out and smoothe things over and forward the rally series in a postive way. That does not mean that all the problems will be solved at one time or some things will not be agreed upon by all of the rally community...but it is a postive direction for improvements to the sport to help competitors/organizers/workers/sanctioning body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RE: rally people

Doug, please understand that the "Kurt/Doug thing" was pure hyperbole, as (hopefully) evidenced by the mischievous devil smiley. Also, I replied to your e-mail... :)
 

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RE: Just tryin to figger out wth is going on...

Hey Organizer boy! What I want:

-O controls with REAL power. not vanishing penalties.
if these means calibrated guns, then do it!
need I mention STPR, your event, etc? whats the point
of wasting a workers time if it isn't useful?

-penalties that are FAIR to all involved. no slaps on the wrist
for seed fia and zero and DQs for the rest. Quite a contrast
this year.

-information,information, information. Lack of communication
was the #1 thing I heard bantered about for 2 years now.
Whats changed? Not much. (listening JB?)

-club event route books that don't suck. :)

-the most up to date timing I can have AT the event.
I highly respect Jean-Georges for his work and efforts when
he's at the same event as I. If we can find a way to
standardize timing across the SCCA, that would be great!

-a way to bring more workers to events to help out.
I see this as the MAJOR problem that affects most events in the US.

-More respect for the organizers who bust so much a$$ to bring
us places to play. Definately not enough love from anyone. period.

If the new group can manage even one, more power to them.

Things I don't need:

-up to the minute web results. If I'm not at the event, its wasting
someones EVENT time to get them there. If it can be rolled into
new uptodate at event timing, great. If not, don't waste the time.

-non rallyists Whining on web boards about things they don't participate in and don't seem willing to get involved with to fix.

Ed
 

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These are the types of suggestions.......

These are the types of suggestions that are useful and these are also type things that we are hoping to address.

Parker
 
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