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Discussion Starter #1
I just checked the Rocky start order and there were 23 cars entered. Now only 21 with 2 withdrawl's.

Not sure how many cars from Bighorn will also be withdrawing if they can't get the damage/engines repaired.

This seems like a lower entry than the past 3 years when I've been there, but I'm not positive.

I'm wondering how many cars will be left to run the Pacific rally?

I'm running in the U.S. this year, but where did everyone else go?

Brian
 

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It's not very good news after Bighorn, where a lot of cars broke. I just looked at the entry for Rocky, too, and found, that of 23 cars:

Erickson - Had engine problems. I'm not sure if they're real bad, and if he can/cannot fix them in time.
Reilly - Had some engine problems, but I think he can fix them.
L'Estage - Also engine problems, but I have no idea how serious.
Barnes - Front suspension problems. He said he has to send them to California to be rebuilt and get them back before Rocky, so he's iffy.
Comens - Broke the rear suspension, but I think it's fixable.
Reynolds - I think they're not going to Rocky. He bashed a tree and messed up the front right corner. I don't think it's fixable in time.
Scrivens - He blew a hole through his block (as someone pointed out to me, his con rods were afraid of the dark). Given his limited budget, I don't think he's going to make it to Rocky.
Manley - He's out after rolling his car.
Panich - The engine blew up on him before even going to Bighorn, so he's got to rebuild it. He's out.

That's 9, with probably 4 or 5 not going to make it to Rocky. That would put the starting number at Rocky under 20. That's really surprising, given that usually Rocky outpulls Bighorn. This year, Bighorn attracted a lot of new entrants from the north/central regions of Alberta. Also, a lot of Calgary competitors seem to be taking a sabbatical year off, and/or selling/sold their car.

So, there you go. Get up here quick, Brian! We need you!
 

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makes me wish I could run, yet again, I dont have enough $$$ to get all the parts to rally my car.


I wonder if, for the future, it would be a better idea to split up the events a little more?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tough call on how to run these three Western events. I LOVE the Bighorn and Rocky setup. I could take 6 or 7 vacation days, tow out to run Bighorn, have a middle vacation for a week, run Rocky and then tow back to Detroit.

The third rally kind of throws a wrench into things. My car basically needs to be rebuilt after those two rallies do to regular wear.

The year I broke on Bighorn, we worked flat out for three days and drove to the junk yards in Edmonton so many times that I could probably drive straight to Black Gold today if I had to.

Besides the two factory cars, running and finishing three rallies that close together is a HUGE effort.....

I'm trying to be at all three in spirit as ACP has my service vehicle and will have parts from my car on his.

After 100 Acre Woods next year a 34mm restrictor has a very serious potential to go into my car and never come back out.....

Brian
 

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>Then you might get more local entrants, but less eastern
>events, making it less of a 'national' event.

Unless there was a minimum of 6 starts in the series to qualify for points ... it is politically bad to say this , but to have a national championship where teams can compete in only 2 provinces is kind of odd. Western teams are at a huge disadvantage at the moment because we have to copmpete in the east, and we don't get a free train ride to do it.
(Maybe the free train ride should have been charged out at a tken amount per car (~$200?) and that money distributed as a tow fund to western teams?)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
On the East/West issue I look at where the cars are also.

The Western rallies typically have around 30 cars, maybe significantly less this year.

The Quebec rallies get a lot more entries.

So should you base a National championship on Geography or population concentration or ??????

I don't have an answer.

Brian
 

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Brian ...
I ahve heard the argument before that more western teams need to compete to warrant mandating a trip out here ... BUT when you consider that the eastern teams can run ALL of the events with only one cross continent tow, and the western teams have to tow twice or three times AND find storage space in the east ... there is an inequity there that makes running a national championship schedule a significantly higher ciost for western based teams.

How many eastern teams would run the entire series if they HAD to tow to the west? (we can sort of tell from the number of teams that came out west with a free ride!)
 

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>So should you base a National championship on Geography or
>population concentration or ??????

How many WRC teams are based in Cyprus? Turkey? Canada? Mexico? Argentina?

If you want to call it a World Championship, it has to span the globe. If you're going to call it "The Canadian Rally Championship", then it has to span the country.

Yes, it's expensive and inconvenient, but if you don't have the budget to travel nationally, then you should enter a regional championship. I find it hard to legitimize calling yourself "national champion" if you never even competed outside your home province. With the current schedule, that is quite possible.
 

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The concept of number of rallies you must run to be in the National series has been a big bone of contention for years now. Currently, it is set at 5 events of the 9 for you to be included in the National standings. And you CAN count your best 6 of 9, I believe. Both rules which are detrimental to the west.

Changes were attempted to be made to these rules for the past several years, without success. Quebec and Ontario, quite expectedly, stick up for their own.

Unfortunately for our country, we have Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario in the way for both eastern and western competitors. It's just as expensive to tow east bound as it is west bound. So, the event numbers are reduced to try and reduce costs for all of us.

The FIA sets standards for what can be called a championship, including things such as number of events, number of events that have to be run, and number of events that have to be counted. CARS rules comply with them.

It's fortunate for the mass block of Ontario and Quebec competitors that they can do the series without having to come west. I'm jealous of their location geographically, (but not their geographic location, because Alberta is still God's country, but that's another story ;) )

Unfortunately for the west, 3 events does not constitute a series entry, so we have to go east. It's just a fact we have to face.

Several eastern teams have remarked to me that, even though they don't TECHNICALLY have to come west to win the championship, they realistically do have to come west to beat everybody else in their class. This is especially true if they have a bad Perce-Neige and/or Quebec rally experience. If they goose-egg both events, they are now down to the last 4 events of the year, if they don't come west. We (Bighorn and Rocky) have benefited by this situation MANY times over the past few years.

One last thing that is quite interesting to point out: With the demise of the Voyageurs rally, leaving only Tall Pines on the National schedule, Alberta (with Bighorn and Rocky) is now represented twice as much as Ontario in the National Championship, even though we have 1/3 the population!!!

All of the above is of little consolation for the numerous smaller western teams who simply cannot afford to go east, no matter what. That is one reason why I worked with Paul W in trying to develop the Western Canadian Rally Championship. Although it cannot possibly match the prestige of the Canadian Championship, I think it's important that we have a viable series here to compete in. I think it's important that we continue to try and develop this series, through sponsorship, media, and promotion.

Dave Sharp
 

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Nice to see this issue of a "national championship" being brought up and how the smaller western teams are disadvantaged. Last year I worked hard to secure a sponsor to allow us to compete in two events back east, however it all fell apart when we realised that in order to have a chance to win a championship we needed five events and not four. So although we ended the season with the most points we didn't win the championship ( it wasn't awarded)and two events lost an entry.

My suggesion to Paul was that in order to be eligable for a championship a team must enter, and start, at least one event in each Province that hosts national events and drop the requirement to do five. This would make it fair on all teams and stop the possibility of an eastern team winning a championship after barely leaving their home province. Now that the west has three events, this could be possible by only one tow each way by teams from either side of the country. It would be nice to have the train for us westerners as well!

Incidentally, it's possible the way the rules are written now for a team to win a championship with fewer points than a team that has scored well but didn't do enough events, which to my way of thinking is just a little crazy.

Martin

www.rallyequipment.com/alsrally
 

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>Incidentally, it's possible the way the rules are written
>now for a team to win a championship with fewer points than
>a team that has scored well but didn't do enough events,
>which to my way of thinking is just a little crazy.

Actually, if the person with the most points didn't enter 5 events, then the championship isn't awarded. It doesn't go to the highest placed person who did at least 5. Yeah, it would look pretty goofy to give the championship to the second place finisher!

I'll take your suggestion to the rules committee and see what everyone thinks.
 

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I like the idea of one national in each region being selected as their entry for the championship. This would give five events in the series. As the Atlantic region has no stage rallies at this time I would reccomend that Quebec has two events given the great roads and good job they do with multiple nationals now. Five events, pre-register with a down payment to prove your intentions and allow for media buildup.
This would save national competitors $$ immediately so that they could afford some more go fast bits. It would also force regions to develop a strong regional series that would allow drivers to develop.

More to say but I'll leave it at this for now and see how the responses develop.
 

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The problem with that is simple, how do you decide which rally in a region is the national qualifier. Rocky and Bighorn are good events, why penalize one of them? If teams are coming out west it makes sense to have both rallies as national events.

I like the idea of a requirement that calls for teams to enter into one event in each province that has a national event. Theoretically teams will still only have to enter 5 events but will probably enter 6 or maybe 7. After all, if teams comes out west to enter one of the Alberta events, they will most probably enter both and of course they will have to enter Pacific Forest. The same opportunity would apply to western teams that head east.

The other good suggestions were those offering teams the chance to register for the complete series at the first of the year and the organization of transport for teams both ways.

The opportunity to pre-register for the whole championship , to choose events early, would offer some interesting opportunities for publicity for the teams, the championship and the rallys.

I'm sure a program of train transport could be arranged across the country a couple or 3 times a year to help with the travel costs for everyone. If the costs were nominal, many teams would love to pass on the drive across Canada a couple of times a year.
 

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mals suggestion is one that I know a lot of competitors think is the 'right' way to do it

and the question of penalizing one event vs. another ? it is not penalizing anyone, something has to give. I would say you are letting them off easy, they are already penalized having to put on an event (sarcasm). sorry to say but that is a better problem than having no competitors. you think it is bad in ab ? how would quebec fare with 5 to choose from ? most competitors from out east think the bighorn/rocky thing is a bit silly anyhow and that the forces should be combined. of course, they dont live in that region and understand the situation etc. I am just the messenger. one could argue the international quebec vs. charlevoix is another example. It is rampant in all regions. that is why...

the most talked about and most sane suggestions I have heard sort of go like this:

one event per region for national, selected by the region, with approval from board (i.e. so no lame rallies get in) - region is free to rotate if region so chooses but board has to approve the recommendation

atlantic would be covered by Baie (it really is in the atlantic region, culturally and location-wise and otherwise)

and quebec would get one national to nominate out of perce, defi, quebec, charlevoix (or anything else)

and international events would not count for national series (so it becomes defi or perce), and this is an 'out' for a region that thinks it can support 2 big rallies. If you think you deserve it, then upgrade one to intl status. Hows that for aggressive ?

and ab would get one national

and on would get one

and bc would get one

with the caveat that regions with 'events to spare' could host backup events in the case of a region losing its national event due to loss of oevent or (worse, but a good incentive) lack of ability to host national calibre events.

guess what - 5 events, events in regions would then be incented to WORK together, you wouldn't have this problem of over expensive internationals in the national champ, you would have a reasonable number of events in the series, and regions which cant face up to the fact that one rally is better than another can rotate if they cant handle the politics, and the REGIONS will decide which event will be their national, but they still have to put on a good event

lets face some facts (this will piss people off but it is true and I am not afraid to say it):

some rallies in the national championship are just not operating on the same level as others

nine events is too many for everyone that I have talked to

the above system seems fair but still allows for the raw fact that quebec can support more rallies and thus there will be more there than elsewhere, but right now you have 2 internationals which wouldn't count, so the only loss would be PN if you took in defi

you could (and probably should) even do the above system with quebec getting to nominate 2 due to their 'special status' in rally in canada (this would make good politics as well with rsq). But probably not needed. if you did do it, one of them would be a 'drop' event (i.e. you couldn't count both unless you did an event in all regions). so then you would have 6. Some other regions with 2 rallies (actually, there is only one) might cry "not fair", but the reality is, the market is there to support it and the rally has a unique character.

We need this type of system to FORCE rallies to be accountable since no one else is seeming to do so.

And if you had good enough reason, you could also make this 2 per region thing also in ON due to pop base excuse. So at most you would have 7, worst case you would have 5 (best is probably 6). You can enter the internationals at your own leisure/dollar. They are part of CNAR/RSNA anyhow. This would also place more emphasis on the regional championships in the regions, with each region's 'national' being the time to go fight the big boys. And I would say, ditch the 'enforcement' rules about cross regions. Some people just plain cant afford it, dont rub it in. Or else make it 'must run in 4 regions', if you want to count 2 in one region must start in all 5.

I dont know, but honestly, this is not my idea but something i read somewhere in some sort of plan i read when I started rallying, have heard discussed by a lot of the people who now cannot afford to do it (sprongl, townsend, latreille, vincent, etc.). it seems to have disappered somehow. a lot of people that actually OWN and RUN cars in the NATIONAL series not just THINKING ABOUT MAYBE DOING IT SOMEDAY and not just fighting for their own REGIONAL INTEREST because they cant afford to go national, think this.

currently It is too much. They do it anyway because they love the sport and dont want the series to die. But will they be able to do it tomorrow ? they dont say it here because you will all jump on them. Well, I am in the unique position of sort of being on the sidelines. if we dont do something we will not have much left.

The time has come to address the issue without letting political correctness get in the way. Of course, I say this as I am totally happy that my home region finally has a rally. As you can see, it is not so easy.

-pat
 

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The 5 year plan does call for one National event per region (not for running or scoring a championship, just that there be minimum one event per region).

So, I can see calling Baie de Chaleurs an Atlantic event, until the Atlantic region gets an event into the National Championship. With 9 events in the Championship, it will be difficult to add yet another event into the Championship to give Atlantic room to get in, anyway.

Just as a point of interest, by the way, the FIA decrees that a "National Championship" must consist of a minimum of 6 events, so the 1 event per region idea mentioned here must be modified a bit.

So, perhaps we run Baie de Chaleurs as the Atlantic event, Quebec as the Quebec event, Tall Pines as the Ontario event, Rallywest figures out what to do with it's event and PFR as the Pacific event. Then, because it must be 6, Quebec gets the extra event because there is far more rallyists in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada.

As for Rallywest, it would take a lot of discussion. Perhaps we rotate BH/RM each year or something. I can't see trying to combine the events into one. Organizers take a very personal stance on their events (I know I did - Bighorn was "my baby"), so they won't take too kindly to being shoved aside. Also, combining the events into one does not make one event twice as good. Half of the people involved drop out, leaving only one event with one event's worth of people. Plus, with 300km between Edmonton and Calgary, logistics of 1 organizing committee just wouldn't work.

I would like to know from eastern competitors what percentage of the budget would be cut if you only ran one Rallywest event instead of two, on back-to-back weekends. It's my perception that getting the competitors and their cars out here in the first place is the biggest cost, so running the second event while you're already out here is not too much more, percentage speaking.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's going to get ugly and complicated regardless of the solution if changes are made to the championship schedule.

The current system appears to work to a point. I don't think it's the rally's themselves that's hurting entries. At least not for the Open class guys.

The bottom line is previously you had Sprongl in a sponsored Audi, McGeer in a sponsored Subaru and some others that participated in numerous events.

Then you had an influx of "faster spec." open cars that appeared. The 323GTR appeared, the Erickson and Besner EVO's appeared, Pat Richard's Gp N car, the LaChute car and then the ACP and my EVO appeared along with Sylvain Vincents Sube.

I am confident that everyone listed above had intentions of winning rallies Overall.

Everyone spent every dime they had to try and win. The level of competition went up, and the cost of competing at the front went thru the roof.

I know I basically went flat broke. Still am, but like rallying so much that I stay broke. Everyone else who took a "hiatus" would probably just love to continue rallying, they just don't have the $$$$$.

Running 5 events as opposed to 9 won't change this much. The price to run up front is HUGE and with everyone's ego and hopes and dreams I don't see many guys taking a step back and running a lower spec. car or a 2wd car.

Then it's a matter of time which the FIA events just take too much of, in my opinion.

I think most of the "missing" cars basically out horsepowered themselves. The EVO is exponentially more expensive to run than my PGT talon. However, having tasted Open class power, I have no desire to go back to a PGT car. It's racing so the strong survive.

I would absolutely love to see a battle of:

Sprongl
McGeer
Richard
Vincent
Erickson
Besner
Latreille
ACP
Myself
Townsend
Thompson
etc.......sorry to anyone I missed.

That would be great, but I just don't seeing it happen.

Brian
 

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>However, having tasted Open class power, I have no desire to go back >to a PGT car.

You hit that one right on the head, Brian. I had a Group 2 car, and I'm now building a Prod 2 car (with dreams of moving IT into Group 2 once I'm done building the rest of it). People ask me why I rally 2WD cars when the "winners" run 4WD. I don't want to get hooked on running at the front (like you have) and hooked on spending cubic dollars to do it.

I can compete at the back with the other guys at the back just fine. I don't want to even think about attempting to compete with the guys who's cars cost more than I'll spend in 10 years of competing.

Quebec evidently got this message pretty good. Their regional series is now for 2WD cars only with studs on the winter events. It will make it cheaper to run for the Quebecois. Sure, you can still spend cubic dollars on a 2WD car, but it still won't approach what you can spend on a 4WD turbo "rocket ship".

By the way, I think we can officially declare this topic "hijacked"...... :)
 

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Great comments Dave and Pat, (and Brian. etc)

We certainly have to make some changes to the system, to have the right value to the championship.

These changes will not be popular but with the right vision, will ensure the future of the sport.

Speaking on our decision not to run the local events, was purely for our own selfish needs, we have gone back road-racing this year, The organizers seem to appreciate the competitors much more (sorry Dave, not a dig at you). We got a feeling the last couple of years that was the organizers vs. the competitors at the events. We rally for the fun of it, and it has become.. not fun. We enjoy the cameraderie of the other teams and the united efforts to help all, but something seems to be missing.

Speaking from a dollar perspective,from road racing we get tow money, appearance money, entry fees paid by organizers who want us there, great PR, better sponsorship potential. Oh, and don't forget 'Prize money' even all the way to the bottom of the pack. I don't have the answers and realize there are fundamental differences between the sports, but with businessmen with the marketing in mind, (and some advice from Pat) the sport could evolve to be a motorsport player in the marketplace. WRC has managed to do this, the demographics show rally as the quickest gaining audience in motorsport.

My car will continue to support the events that help support it. That may sound selfish, but we all have our 2 cents. I know part-time cross country ski racers who earn 50k a year from their sport. What justifies those figures? Swimmers who earn a 100k a year?

We need to look within to change, I am happy to offer any help I can.
The last time I offered to help, no one called me once in a year to get involved.

Happy Trails to all, and good luck at Rocky!
Cheers
Miles
 
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