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In some areas it's become very difficult to rally and get up to Open Class. Finnish and Swedish systems work like this:
- Your points are based on how many starters per class and how well you do within your class.
- This is a fair system and you must EARN your next level licence
- In Finland Junior Rally Championship is based on this system as well. If you're good you can be OVERALL Champ driving a 1300cc car. This system has produced more WRC drivers and champions than all other countries COMBINED...

PS. They have 200 starters per rally, up to 50 per class. Tabel, as is, may not work here but the principal is fine.

 

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This is excellent. In the good old days (or bad, depending on viewpoint) we seldom had inexperienced drivers in high powered cars. We also seldom used notes. Today, things have changed a lot. Anyone with $25k can have him/herself a very fast awd rally car which may be beyond his/her capabilities at his/her current state of development. I believe some type of graded licensing is necessary and likely in the future.
 

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The Finnish system as Topi presented here makes good sense, and I particulary like the way that winning a class of two is still only worrth one point, but the situation we have here might make it somewhat challenging to implement.

Personally, I think The Finnish rally program puts out so many WRC drivers because the Finns have rallying in their genes, and the climate up there tends to reinforce the skills it takes for being a good rally driver- not so much because of their points system.

Our SCCA class structure is such that if I want to turn my old Audi 4000CS quattro into a rally car it will be in open class- not because it has so much power (supposedly 105HP at the flywheel, probably about 20 per wheel at the ground), but rather because in having no headliner and a lot of the factory dash removed by miscreant vandals- it fails to meet all the criteria for PGT -hence the only class left for it to run is open.

While there were several seed 8 open class cars at Rim, and a lot of other events lately, I haven't seen seed 8 open class entrants being a "problem" as such- if they aren't experienced drivers they generally aren't pushing those cars anywhere near their capabilities and from what I've seen they aren't running very fast, yet there are still plenty of production class, G2 and G5 cars- with higher seeded drivers, getting themselves into difficult situations.

The seed 8 driver I rode with at Rim has acknowledged that if he had it all to do over again, he would have followed everyone's advise and bought someone elses built "entry level" car rather than building up his WRX, so maybe trying to force such a progession through the rules might be a better way to bring aspiring racers into the sport, and especially with the national events having more entries than they can handle, a strong case could be made.

However, at the same time, there is supposed to be a "club" aspect of this sport too, and I think it would be unfortunate to exclude anyone who has invested as much as $25-30K (yes, for some that's chump change, but for a lot of us that is a significant percentage of our salery) in a car they want to rally, but can't simply because they haven't won enough events.

And if I ever do get around to caging my frankenquattro, I would hope to have a chance to take it out and race, even knowing full well that I'd have no chance whatsoever of being competative against "real" open class cars with experienced drivers.
 

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Hi Topi,

Thanks for pointing this out and providing a good working example. After the various discussions on this Forum on the subject, I think you have hit on the best solution to the vexing problem of the "AWD rules all" syndrome. This has gotten worse a lot faster than I would have imagined, so a change like this is due in my opinion. This is the way to go, and should be easy to track with computers and so on.

As far at the safety aspect of low experience drivers in high performance cars, this can help that to some degree, by not making folks think they HAVE to go turbo AWD to get anywhere. Although the question has been asked if seed8 + turboAWD should be a no-no combination, this is still a club and I am coming around full-circle to feeling that if folks want to do that, then it's OK since it is a club. For any safety issue with newer drivers, then we should address it another way, like the school requirements.

Do you plan to write this up for the PRB for a rules change proposal for 2004??

Thanks,
Mark B.
 
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