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TOPEKA, Kan. (May 17, 2003) ? Tom Campbell , Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, released an official statement today regarding the temporary suspension of all stand-alone ClubRally and Rally Sprint events. His complete statement is as follows:

On May 15th the SCCA suspended stand-alone ClubRally and Rally Sprint activities until a comprehensive review of the safety standards and policies of the Performance Rally Program is completed. This action was taken in consideration of several serious ClubRally accidents that have occurred over the last year and a half, especially the tragic Sawmill Rally fatalities last weekend.

We must take appropriate action to ensure that rally program activities are operated appropriately and do not present an unacceptable risk to event participants, spectators and the public. If the risk exposures in the rally program, particularly those involving spectators, are not managed appropriately, rally activities will almost certainly not be insurable in the future and, in fact, may jeopardize the entire SCCA insurance plan.

It was decided that the ProRally events, including any concurrent ClubRallys, could continue because of a higher degree of national-level control and oversight. However, prior to each ProRally event during the period of the suspension, a formal event-specific safety assessment will be conducted by the PRB [Performance Rally Board] and additional senior oversight of the event will be in place. If there is any breach of safety protocols these events will be suspended as well.

We recognize that all forms of motorsports involve risk. When those risks impact the people on the sidelines, however, we have a responsibility to step away for a moment and carefully assess the situation. The Board of Directors has directed the PRB, which is responsible for all aspects of this program, to conduct this assessment and report to the Board of Directors their recommendations for continuing our Rally Program without undue risks. As soon as this review is completed, and the recommendations implemented, we expect that the hold on the ClubRally program will be released. We must be able to assure our insurance carrier that we recognize the seriousness of this most recent incident and that we have taken every reasonable precaution to avoid similar tragedy in the future.

Our direction to Ralph Kosmides, Chairman of the PRB, was simply that we expect the safety policies of both the ProRally and the ClubRally programs to be world-class. Without this review and improvement in the risk exposures, the performance rally program will have a very limited future in SCCA and in the United States . We recognize the disruption this stand-down causes for some of the event organizers. This is necessary to ensure the survival of our program. Thank you for your support and cooperation as we undertake this vital task

Tom Campbell , Chairman
SCCA Board of Directors
 

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> could continue because of a higher degree of national-level control and oversight

Huh?!?!?

Is he saying the Sawmill accidents were due to lack of oversight?

Or is he saying that everyone from the national office will line the stages directing spectators to "safe" locations?

AFAIK Pro events and club events (at least in the PNW) have pretty much the same level of standards and safety.

Perhaps we should instead direct our writings to Subaru and Mitsubishi and ask them to assure the SCCA they'll stay in Pro during a temporary suspension to assess Pro rally safety alongside Club rally safety.

Glenn
 

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Oversight? Huh?????

It seems to me that the "national level of oversight" is a curse, not a blessing, however....

I would think that if the solution is "oversight," then what we need, especially for the potentially-cancelled events, would be to provide the necessary "oversight" people that would make a difference in safety. So who would that be? Eric, the media guy recently handed ProRally responsibilities? Probably not. Doug, National Tech Inspector? Probably not, but I'd accept an opposing view. Garrett, Marketing and Promotions, like the others, a nice guy, but doesn't have a safety function. Director of Perforce Rally? Nah, he doesn't have a safety function either. Dan, National Series Steward? Yeah, you might want him on board. How about our new National Safety Steward--if that's what SCCA means by oversight, then absolutely. SCCA President? Nah.

In my opinion the SCCA should be looking for ways to fix the problem and keep these endangered events operating--*safely*--instead of letting the anti-rally insurance guy try to shut down the sport.

On a separate topic, I've been told that Pete, who works for SCCA by securing insurance, is also the guy who sells SCCA the insurance. Can anyone confirm or deny?

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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>Without this review and improvement in the risk exposures,
>the performance rally program will have a very limited
>future in SCCA and in the United States.

I can fully understand this statement, if the sentence was to finish after "SCCA".

I do not understand how he can state "and in the United States".

Doug Woods
 

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RE: Oversight? Huh?????

I disagree John, I always feel much safer at ProRallies because I know we're paying for half a dozen of the SCCA brass to fly in and sit at the headquarters hotel while you guys are racing through the woods.

If the decision makers think oversight makes us safe, then give me oversight and let's get this thing back on course. Come on PRB, we need some oversight recommendations! Let's use the federal constitution as a model, three governing branches should give us the ultimate in oversight, Mr Johnson can lead the executive, and Mr Campbell can lead the judiciary, and Special Stage gives us the a legislature of the people. (I'm voting to end Van Landingham's filibuster, before he starts.)

Jim Culp
prorallypix.com
 

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My question to Steve Johnson is, "Why can't Club rallies carry on WHILE the safety issue is being conducted?" We are all mature adults who know what safety is. Just who at SCCA, has actually organized a rally and actually know exactly what goes on from the Organizers end of things. There is absolutely NO REASON to cancel any Club rally while they discuss new policies. We know what needs to be done and try to do everything possible to prevent any incidents, but none of us is perfect, are we? Wake up BOD and get things back to normal ASAP!
 

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> There is absolutely NO REASON to cancel any Club rally

Conversely, if there REALLY is a reason to suspend club rallies they should also suspend pro rallies until they've completed their safety review, investigation etc.

Glenn
 

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>> There is absolutely NO REASON to cancel any Club rally
>
>Conversely, if there REALLY is a reason to suspend club
>rallies they should also suspend pro rallies until they've
>completed their safety review, investigation etc.
>
>Glenn


100% ON THE MARK!! On both counts..

Steven
 

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RE: Wake Up

FWIW I wrote a letter earlier today to Tom Campbell, Ralph Kosmides and Steve Johnson, in response to the statement from Tom.

We should also consider that the PRB and PRD are probably coming under pressure from the SCCA itself.
 

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RE: Oversight? Huh?????

Jim,

Amen to that!
(Except, J.V. always makes a lot more sense than the SCCA National.)

SCCA National obviously doesn't know "world-class" when it's on their own calendar. This action has just killed the SAFEST clubrallies in the Country because of an unrelated incident 3000 miles away from the Pacific Northwest.

The Northwest and Oregon ClubRallies have always been the best organized, best run, and SAFEST amatuer performance rallies in Country. But, I sware, in living memory the SCCA National organization has always been rediculous, innane, and it's getting worse.

That letter is truly offensive and an insult to our Regions.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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>>> There is absolutely NO REASON to cancel any Club rally
>>
>>Conversely, if there REALLY is a reason to suspend club
>>rallies they should also suspend pro rallies until they've
>>completed their safety review, investigation etc.
>>
>>Glenn
>
>
>100% ON THE MARK!! On both counts..
>
>Steven

What if the case is that the Insurer wanted all rally shut down, and the people behind the scenes had to work to keep the PROs open?

What if Club and Pro events are on different insurance contracts and the Club insurer is demanding the stoppage?

I really get the feeling that the main driving force in this stoppage are the accountants at the insurance company, not anybody else. I think that much else of the "official word" is in there as a CYA to help minimize future insurance increases.

Not that my opinion matters. After all, it's been 6 whole days since this happened. If it's not a conspiracy agains us lowly Rally freaks, then we'd surely know the whole truth by now.
 

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If the club rally insurers pulled out, and the SCCA truly believes club and pro events are equally safe, then they should have the balls to protect club rally's reputation by suspending both levels of events while addressing safety issues, rather than publicly hanging club rally out to dry by saying (in not so many words) that they're unsafe because they don't have national office supervision.
 

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Same here, it's about the insurance companies. To me, the suspension of ClubRallies seems more like an attempt to show the insurance company "Hey! We're actually doing something here!" as hinted in this quote.

"We must be able to assure our insurance carrier that we recognize the seriousness of this most recent incident and that we have taken every reasonable precaution to avoid similar tragedy in the future."

In reality, not enough can be changed to justify a suspension of ClubRallies while still keeping spectators in the woods. All they can do is require spectators to stay in designated areas and attain more marshalls. However, I doubt at Pro events that people with press passes will be confined to designated areas, nor people who signed a waiver before the event like I suspect most non-competing competitors do when spectating. (Well, many of them get press passes anyway...)

Thanks,
Alex
 

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Matt,

In my opinion, you can't support one program without supporting the other.. Both the Club and Pro feed off of each other.

Do you think that a safety issue in a spec ford series would close the complete Club Racing series?? Doubtful!!

When there are safety issues related to the rally cars brought to light because of an accident that a club car was involved with, do they only fix the club cars??

My point is that if something is worth fighting for, you fight. Pro is worth fighting for, why not Club!!!!! Give me the same effort on the SCCA Rally Program as a whole! Don?t sacrifice your arm to save a finger!!

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> Don?t sacrifice your arm to save a finger!!


Actually, it seems like they sacrificed the finger to save the arm.

It seems to me they are fighting for it, temporary suspension of club may have been the pacification to no rally at all-EVER!
So how do you know they are not fighting for club? People are making assumptions based on no factual evidence.


Why should pro be sacrificed too? Why should everyone suffer? Why should the the organizers of Pro Rallies need to suffer as well? People make a bigger commitment to compete in the pro series, financially and time (more towing,bigger entry fees, hotel rooms all over the country, etc.) Why do they need to get screwed by this?Additionally, the manufacturers and the Airforce have invested millions in participating and putting it on TV, why should they get screwed too? (Besides thay have more lobbying power as these companies likely have more invested in rally than everyone combined(?))
Club got targeted because in theory, the competitors have less experience than Pro competitors. In theory, there is less organization money and manpower. In theory, Club organizers are not planning as much for spectators. In theory, it is more of a risk than pro. Insurance companies Don't care what we think! I think it is fortunate that we even have Pro rally at this time, rally could very well have been cancelled completely forever in this country! It seems to me that people are working hard behind the scenes to keep the sport alive and this temporary suspension is what needed to be done to to do that. Yes, it sucks, but maybe it is a neccessary evil. I don't agree with it, but I don't know all the facts to say it was right or wrong.
Isn't it better to have something than nothing at all right now?

There has been two incidents at club rallies with fatalities this year, it makes sense that Club is the target of investigation. there could be big lawsuits involved with these incedents- See 100AW http://www.specialstage.com/forum/cgi-bin/DCForumID11/34.html a "cool off" period may hsve been mandated, If something else was to happen now it surely would end our sport!
The hush hush environment is pretty standard practise when lawyers get involved, so don't expect much information from the SCCA.

Possibly new proceedures being developed and tested in Pro Rally because of this will be implemented in Club allowing it to resume, which hopefully will be ASAP!!!
 
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>Why should pro be sacrificed too?

Because in ProRally there is a higher risk to spectators.

>Why do they [ProRally] need to get screwed by this?

So you admit ClubRally is being "screwed".

>Additionally, the manufacturers and the Airforce
>have invested millions in participating and putting
>it on TV, why should they get screwed too?

I elect you to explain that (in person) to the
family of the next victim. There will be more.

When you don't make part of your income from
rallying perhaps people can view your comments as
coming from an objective source.
 

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RE: Wake Up

I love the assertion that if SCCA Pro or Club goes down so goes rally. Hah. I like how the SCCA is letting themselves be bent over a barrel by an insurance company. What is insurance for? Answer Things like this. But no the insurers what profit and never pay and when they do they take it out of you ten fold in increased premiums. Look at the profit margins for any major insurer it will disgust you. Ask your self would the FIA a truly professional organization let something like this interfere with much of anything? The SCCA is really showing just how unprofessional they are and it is going to hurt the sport not only because of this but potential and current sponsors are looking at the only significant (at this time) governing body in the US and saying do we really want to get involved with them?

Accidents Happen the best thing anybody can do after is move on and learn. Not freak out and dwell.
 

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>
>Because in ProRally there is a higher risk to spectators.
>


Is there? I thought we are claiming that it is the same people involved. Personally, I feel a bit safer standing on the side of the road with drivers like Higgins, O'Sullivan, Chioniere, et al than someone who is out for their first or second time in a 300+hp car. Although I do realize that anything can happen to even the best of drivers, (and I am more likely to get run over by an SUV while crossing the street) but I have a bit more faith in them to pull out of a situation. I am not trying to offend any new drivers, but I know I would not stand on the side of the road if it was me competing and I am a fairly experienced driver with some (performance driving)schooling and I am surely as skilled as some that are entering events for there first time. Technically, Pro rally drivers have had more seat time
The only higher risk is that there is more spectators to deal with and I as I mentioned in the eyes of insurance companies and the SCCA (?) there is more personel involved to deal with it and more attention paid to the issue (whether true or not).
The way I see it you should be happy that they did not cancel Pro Rally as then we will have nothing and it would be even harder to get the sport back



>
>So you admit ClubRally is being "screwed".



Why do I need to "admit" to anything, I don't work for the SCCA? I came to the conclusion that Club ralliest feel they are being screwed because of the reaction here on SS.com
>


>
>I elect you to explain that (in person) to the
>family of the next victim. There will be more.



Why, I am just stating what is likely fact. Do you really think that the SCCA would damage the relationship with the manufacturers after spending all that time wooing them in? Do you really think with all the investment the manufacturers/ Airforce have put in, they would let the SCCA cancel Pro Rally?



>
>When you don't make part of your income from
>rallying perhaps people can view your comments as
>coming from an objective source.




Actually, so far this year, I am not making any income from rally. As a matter of fact it is costing me time and money.
I would hardly call people that compete in or organize club rally an objective source at this moment,( with emotions running as high as they are and all that they stand to lose because of this).

Like I said it sucks and I don't agree with it, but I don't have all the information to be making accusations at the SCCA, PRB, BOD, etc. we really don't know what was behind the decision
 
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