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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my top picks, maybe the points can be improved upon by others:-

1. Mandatory driving schools for newbies for issuance of newbie licence.

2. Mandatory # of rallies to complete before issuance of club licence or equivalent.

3. Restrict newbie cars to 2wd/2litre max. size motors.

4. No notes for club events, route books only!

5. Bonus points for newbies finishing 5 club events in a row with no 'offs' or DNF's.

6. Adopt Trevor D's recommendation of mileage penalties for 'offs'/DNF's for newbies.

7. Adopt chicanes for ANY straight over 200 yds long. Huge time penalties for striking/touching/moving bales.

8. Ban spectating unless in a closed arena, super special style stage.

9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's get some of the driver's back into 2wd for more excitement/competition.

10. Adopt California style (e.g Treeline) stage arrowing for all club level events. Newbies and more experienced will benefit. Ask Tony Chavez for his input.

11. Strictly enforce tech. inspections. Serious safety violation, entry withdrawn and half of entry fee returned. No further events until annual inspection carried out by qualified technicians. This should encourage thorough inspections by owners/drivers prior to going to event instead of leaving everything to the last minute.







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> Here's my top picks, maybe the points can be improved upon
>by others:-
>
>1. Mandatory driving schools for newbies for issuance of
>newbie licence.
>
>2. Mandatory # of rallies to complete before issuance of
>club licence or equivalent.
>
>3. Restrict newbie cars to 2wd/2litre max. size motors.
>
>4. No notes for club events, route books only!
>
>5. Bonus points for newbies finishing 5 club events in a
>row with no 'offs' or DNF's.
>
>6. Adopt Trevor D's recommendation of mileage penalties for
>'offs'/DNF's for newbies.
>
>7. Adopt chicanes for ANY straight over 200 yds long. Huge
>time penalties for striking/touching/moving bales.
>
>8. Ban spectating unless in a closed arena, super special
>style stage.
>
>9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's
>get some of the driver's back into 2wd for more
>excitement/competition.
>
>10. Adopt California style (e.g Treeline) stage arrowing for
>all club level events. Newbies and more experienced will
>benefit. Ask Tony Chavez for his input.
>
>11. Strictly enforce tech. inspections. Serious safety
>violation, entry withdrawn and half of entry fee returned.
>No further events until annual inspection carried out by
>qualified technicians. This should encourage thorough
>inspections by owners/drivers prior to going to event
>instead of leaving everything to the last minute.

Were you listening in on the CLubRally Steward conference call last night? Excellent points all, so far as I'm concerned. Good job Pete!

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Pete, some good suggestions, but I really think if the sport is going to survive they may have to go to: No high HP (turbos)cars, No AWD cars, No stage notes.

Bill
 

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>4. No notes for club events, route books only!

No.

This might be OK for inexperienced co-drivers, but, as an experienced co-driver, I feel much safer with notes.

Could someone please explain to me why an insurance company is gonna think it is safer for the competitors not to know about every turn coming up?

alan
 

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i think that in general when a "newb" crashes, its realatively minor, but happens more often. it seems that it is the rare excursion by a "pro" that ends in major damage and injury. I dont know if limiting newbs on all these grounds is nessisary. i could be wrong though. are there actual facts out there that could settle this?
 

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> Here's my top picks, maybe the points can be improved upon
>by others:-
>

>

>
>8. Ban spectating unless in a closed arena, super special
>style stage.
>
>9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's
>get some of the driver's back into 2wd for more
>excitement/competition.
>
Hmm.....how about No and No.

Spectators help make the event. What do you expect them to do?? Go home and watch nascar? There is nothing wrong with spectating. If good effort was actually put in for giving them a good area to be in, there wouldnt be issues.

Ban turbo awd cars from club events!? Why dont we just ban rally then? Please explain why there's excitement missing with turbo awd cars.

Its rally guys. Go autocross if you want something less exciting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually this is a twofer. First, notes cost the competitors money,not good if the insurance is going to cost more because it will mean higher entry fees, not good from the club level point of view regardless of 'hot seat' experience and second, notes mean higher speeds, which we are trying to cut down on, aren't we? Higher speeds = bigger accidents.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
>> Here's my top picks, maybe the points can be improved upon
>>by others:-
>>
>
>>
>
>>
>>8. Ban spectating unless in a closed arena, super special
>>style stage.
>>
>>9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's
>>get some of the driver's back into 2wd for more
>>excitement/competition.
>>
>Hmm.....how about No and No.
>
>Spectators help make the event. What do you expect them to
>do?? Go home and watch nascar? There is nothing wrong
>with spectating. If good effort was actually put in for
>giving them a good area to be in, there wouldnt be issues.

Victor, these are just suggestions, not hard and fast rules. The actual layout of stages, more often than not, precludes spectators, due to access to the stages, actual safe locations and the number of people required to control them. Last but not least, we only have access to certain roads for our purpose, RALLYING. We cannot go out and look for roads so that we can accommodate spectators, sorry.
>
>Ban turbo awd cars from club events!? Why dont we just ban
>rally then? Please explain why there's excitement missing
>with turbo awd cars.

It's been said many times before, they're too quiet, boring to watch and aren't half as spectacular to watch as 2wd. Sorry.
>
>Its rally guys. Go autocross if you want something less
>exciting.

Of course it's rallying, but what do you really want in this day and age? Organisers like myself who put rallies on for you guys to go out and play, or would you rather be somewhere else, going round in circles in front of a crowd? You can't have it both ways.If no spectators mean less cost to you, wouldn't you rather have that? I won't even ask for the cost of insurance where spectators are involved!

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> Actually this is a twofer. First, notes cost the
>competitors money,not good if the insurance is going to cost
>more because it will mean higher entry fees, not good from
>the club level point of view regardless of 'hot seat'
>experience

However, no notes may mean lower entry levels leading to the spreading of the insurance costs over fewer cars, hence higher entry fees. That being said, I don't mind route book rallies.

>and second, notes mean higher speeds, which we
>are trying to cut down on, aren't we? Higher speeds = bigger
>accidents.

A slower road with notes is probably safer than a faster road without them. Banning notes doesn't increase the safety significantly on an inappropriate road.

Adrian
 

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> Here's my top picks, maybe the points can be improved upon
>by others:-
>
>1. Mandatory driving schools for newbies for issuance of
>newbie licence.
>
>2. Mandatory # of rallies to complete before issuance of
>club licence or equivalent.
>
>3. Restrict newbie cars to 2wd/2litre max. size motors.

All reasonable suggestions.

>
>4. No notes for club events, route books only!

See the other part of this thread.

>5. Bonus points for newbies finishing 5 club events in a
>row with no 'offs' or DNF's.

Reward people for being lucky? An off or a DNF can be pure bad luck (hit the rock pulled up by a preceding car, etc...). I'm not sure that there is a lot of value to this, but I don't see any problem with trying it.

>6. Adopt Trevor D's recommendation of mileage penalties for
>'offs'/DNF's for newbies.
>
>7. Adopt chicanes for ANY straight over 200 yds long. Huge
>time penalties for striking/touching/moving bales.

This is a bit draconian - it really depends on the entry speed to the straight, the type of road, etc.. You don't need huge time penalties - 15 seconds per element hit works just fine. Also, my personal preference is for lightweight, resettable chicanes (cones etc.). You do, however, need to marshal every chicane.

>8. Ban spectating unless in a closed arena, super special
>style stage.

While this is a noble concept, it just doesn't work with the realities of some of the locations where rallies are held.

>9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's
>get some of the driver's back into 2wd for more
>excitement/competition.

Don't ban the cars, just don't have championships/awards/publicity for those cars - make the "Club" championship for 2WD/2L cars (for instance). Quebec has gone that way - they alienated some of their competitors (like the ones who had just built/were building 4wd cars), but they seem to have a healthy collection of 2wd competitors.

>10. Adopt California style (e.g Treeline) stage arrowing for
>all club level events. Newbies and more experienced will
>benefit. Ask Tony Chavez for his input.

Arrowing is good if done properly and consistently. If it isn't consistent, or if the arrows and the routebook instructions aren't coordinated, it potentially becomes a safety issue.

>11. Strictly enforce tech. inspections. Serious safety
>violation, entry withdrawn and half of entry fee returned.
>No further events until annual inspection carried out by
>qualified technicians. This should encourage thorough
>inspections by owners/drivers prior to going to event
>instead of leaving everything to the last minute.

Yes.

However, you left out a whole other part - suitability of events/roads for competition.

Adrian
 

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There seems to have been a lot of energy put into proposals changing the way novice teams are treated. Has anyone compiled any statistics regarding new drivers, new codrivers, and the relationship of them with high powered cars, fast stages, and notes to accidents?

I am all for improving safety, and intuitively it feels right and if that means focusing on new teams is a key then I am supportive, but without some actuarial data I doubt most insurance carriers will be impressed.

As far as my opinion of the specific issues brought up regarding new teams I:

Agree with manditory training. Most other auto racing forms requires it - granted these are usually wheel-to-wheel so it could be argued that the schooling is as much to protect the experienced as the new, but from an insurance, safety and skills perspective training is always a better (faster, cheaper and safer) avenue to establish minimal skill than the sink or swim method. I think training shold be linked to licensing in order to move up vehicle classes too. Being a conservative type myself, I have been to the entire Team O'Niel advanced course (multiple sessions over 3 years), spent 2 seasons running rally-x in my G2/M2 car, working various jobs at prorally events and even slow driving one of those events after the fact with my codriver and the routebook. Truth be told, I would have been happy to have been able to run my first real stages a year ago based on how I see my progress, but my plans and those of club rally events in the northeast havent exactly lined up. I advocate extending the training requirement to codrivers as well.

Agree with limititations on the cars, at least until someone demonstrates ability at a lower and slower level. Again with other auto racing forms, no one jumps right into the fastest machines - F1 for open wheel, etc., and with sound reasons. Since our sport has a history of running multiple classes in the same event without that being an issue, I dont see limiting the sport itself to 2WD or NA, but the driver/codriver should be required to demonstrate ability to pilot a vehicle at the next level before being turned loose with it.

Disagree regarding notes and reconissance. I think they should be open to everyone qualified to run an event. I doubt the opportunity to have and do will make a new team significantly faster (it wont my team) but it can be safer. We dont expect to have the same level of notes from our first event's recon as the experienced teams but you can bet we will have noted a lot of things that are important to us from a "keeping it between the trees" perspective. As novices are required to and have rally school training before their first event, the practice of taking and using notes wont be as foreign as they would be in the present model of the first time novice. I like the model used by NASA in this regard and found the SCCA rules on newer teams having notes or anyone making notes on routebooks unproductive - find other ways to slow the cars. In my opinion putting blind folds on drivers may have that effect but at the expense of safety.

Note, I think the above 3 are inter-dependent.
 

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>>2. Mandatory # of rallies to complete before issuance of club >>licence or equivalent.

So how do you complete a rally if you can't get a license so you can enter a rally?. Seems like a nice Catch-22 that will keep anyone except current license holders from competing.

>>3. Restrict newbie cars to 2wd/2litre max. size motors.
>>9. 4wd turbo vehicles banned from club level events. Let's get some >>of the driver's back into 2wd for more excitement/competition.

An OK idea but not a panacea. Long downhill straights, think STPR, Ski Sawmill can easily get a 2wd car up over 100mph. Also, why change the formula, instead of 2wd/2litre max just use the current Group 2 cars.

The current seeding/entry rules must be changed for this to be useful. One of the big reasons for the proliferation of speed in the sport and the abandonment of the lower classes is that during the "High Times" it was nearly impossible to get into a Rally. Entry was by seed, seed was by speed. Ergo, get a faster car so that you have a better chance of finishing in the top 50% so you can get a decent seed so that you will have a chance of entering more events. During the "High Times" the leadership actively encouraged fancy new high powered 4wd cars. This is why during those times I abandoned my Group 2 car and built a turbo 4wd car. Fortunately, the sport imploded, NASA came to the rescue and events are no longer hard to enter.

When the times change again we should make sure that seeding and entry into events is by performance within the class and not overall position.

>>5. Bonus points for newbies finishing 5 club events in a row with no 'offs' or DNF's.

So we are saying it is bad for a new team to crash or have an unfortunate mechanical problem but OK for an experienced team. I think this is hypocritical. Either apply this to all teams or to none.

>>6. Adopt Trevor D's recommendation of mileage penalties for 'offs'/DNF's for newbies.

Again, if the goal is to encourgae people to not take chances and push the envelope then this must be applied to all teams not just some teams.
 

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I can appreciate how people are trying to think of ways to reduce "risk", but the "risks" you have apparantly keyed on (and over-emphasized)is the risk TO the competitor.

The insurance companies are really primarily concerned with risk FROM the event and the competitors to persons and property not on a liability release.

Simply put, where you have transits, you are "risking" injury to civilian traffic; where you allow spectating, you are putting spectators who have not signed a liability release at "risk".

Accordingly, car issues, novice issues, stage design issues and pace note issues are not really addressing the BIG risks the insurance companies see (except for the unexplained propensity of Turbo-equipped cars to catch on fire in the forrests).

Any ideas in this regard?
 

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>The insurance companies are really primarily concerned with
>risk FROM the event and the competitors to persons and
>property not on a liability release.

But the rising costs of our insurance has been pinned on the number of claims in a relatively short amount of time. Those claims are from competitors and heavy accidents--not from property or spectator damage (according to Steve Johnson last night on Wind Tunnel).

What is not being noted are whether or not there are lawsuits from previous incidents that are also affecting the coverage.

So, the rising costs of insurance directly relates to the number of claims. I don't know if anyone put together data, but for awhile this year, it seemed like we were having a serious accident at every rally--at least ones where Air-Life/Life-Flight were utilized.

I guess my point is we need to address the issues that lost us our sanctioning body in the first place. That's not to discount that their aren't further issues that indanger our insurability; as the "new" club/group, we need to address those as well, but you can't fix one and leave the other one to solve itself.

Mark Tabor
www.taborrallyteam.com
 

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these are resonable suggestions all around. however, i believe the "mandatory driving schools" tacking on further cost to people trying to enter the sport would be bad news for newbies. if a less costly school option could be offered, maybe by the organization itself, it may not be such a barrier.
i am not sure how i'd feel about limiting the cars beginners can drive, as well. i say if they prove themselves, say in said schools or a set number of rallys, they should drive what they build. 2WD should be more economical for the newbie, regardless.

the risk factor is something we all take into account in this sport, but lets not make it harder to get into rally and share in the fun. the more participants, the lower the cost.


cody konda 88 323 GTX portland, ore ckonda(at)gmail(dot)com
 

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I will preface my remarks by stating up front that my involvement in US Rally has been as a spectator. I am a big fan of rally both US and international and would love to run a car - but due to career requirements currently cannot. I cannot support comments made here regarding the benefit to banning spectators except for in super special formats - if I wanted to see that type of racing I would go to the dirt track on Sat. night. For the sport to grow than you need spectators. Adopting spectator unfriendly policies now at this watershed moment will have an impact for long in the future. How do you expect to attract new talent without some knowledge about the sport outside of the pool of participants. Don't tell me to volunteer so I can watch - we have already had that discussion - if I am going to volunteer I want to make sure I am doing my job, not just looking for a good viewing spot where I can stand in front of everybody else.

Yes accomodating spectators is work, takes time and could affect the costs - these are issues that can be dealt with creatively. Look at the PPIHC, spectators everywhere and they have been running 80+ years. I am not saying that spectators be allowed to run amok like they tend to do at PPIHC, but some balance is important. I am a big supporter, will do what I can to make sure you have roads to race on, will spend money on rally related stuff including travel to and from events. Please do not exclude me.
 

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How about we let the underwriters let us know what they would like to see before we make a lot of changes that they may or may not like?

The SCCA handeled insurance in an odd way. I say this after talking to Mr. Spitzner, Ms. Robbins and Mr. Lyons about an event I wished to run a few years back.

Speculation is pointless, some one will be talking to the underwriters (RA, NSAS and Organisers) and they will do what they need to do.

Derek
 

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I disagree entirely with the idea of No Notes. If you have an opportunity to recce there's little additional cost, other than a small amount of time. I agree with the idea of newbie schools, for co-drivers as well as drivers, and that will take care of a lot of the learning curve for notes. I prepared thoroughly for co-driving, ran notes on my first event and have never looked back. I have run blind rallies, organizer supplied notes, and full recce/pace notes. You can leave it optional as in Canada, where a pretty thorough route book is supplied as well as the opportunity to do recce, it is not mandatory. Just putting this opinion on the record, since they are being discussed here. It is interesting to me that my (admittedly anecdotal) observations are that if you ask teams who have run all types of rallies, ful recce and pace notes are preferred by the (large) majority. This is not intended as a flame, but once again my anecdotal observation is that most of the people against stage and pace notes are those who heve the least experience with them. I want to support a rally-only US sanctioning body. I'm a big fan of Kendall, John S. and Wilson at NASA. But no notes and I'll be a CARS-only rallyist.

Basic driving schools do not have to cost a lot of money. A great model is the schools run by CRS. One day seminar-type thing, drivers and navvies together until lunch, separate role-specific training in the afternoon, drivers in-car, co's still in classroom. Circa $80, within a days drive or tow of entire west coast. Taught by "leading lights" in the sport, Mike and Paula Gibeault, John Dillon, Lauchlin O'Sullivan, Craig Hollingsworth, etc. Best money I ever spent. Upon my first co-driving ride I felt like I had "been there, done that", not struggling to keep my head above water.
 

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>I'm a big fan of Kendall, John S. and
>Wilson at NASA. But no notes and I'll be a CARS-only
>rallyist.

Rally New York, a NASA event, has notes and optional recce.

Gary
Loose Nut Racing
 
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