Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now keep in mind I do have a strong pro SCCA bias due to my 5 and my fathers nearly 40 years of membership. That and I'm not strictly a rally boy. But anyway...

I keep reading how the new NASA group is run entirely by rallyists...and that they won't have the meddleing of a road racing authority.

Will someone care to tell me who in charge of the Performance Rally program besides Herr Spitzner is not a rallyist? The only others who can affect the Rally program are the isurance people, and NASA has them as well, albiet a differant set of insureance people.

So we have a group of people organizing events, with an umbrella organization to provide sanction and insureance. How is that differant from what we already have in the SCCA? I would think it would be easyier to pitch Kurt out, as it seems to me that just about everyone is in agreement that he has been far from the best thing for our program, than to create an entirely new setup that is fairly similar to what already exists...

There have been many organizations created over the years because the SCCA got in the way of someone's ego. Some were even very successful for a period of time. Few if any of them are still around today. However the SCCA is, and stronger than it has been in the past. I for one am going to be working to make sure it stays that way, by getting alot more heavily involved than I have been in the past.

Nick Polimeni
www.odysseyhouseonline.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
Nick,

There's plenty of room for more than one Sanctioning Body. It doesn't have to be SCCA -vs- NASA. In fact, it would be very healthy for Stage Rally in general if SCCA cooperated with NASA.

But if SCCA makes a territorial contest out of it, whoever gives the Event Oganizer's the best deal will win. In that circumstance I'd bet on NASA since it appears to take a more hands-off approach at a much lower cost. Most competitors don't care whose name is on the door.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

·
Marketing through Motorsports
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
SCCA and NASA

NASA.) While there are certainly those in Topeka who feel threatened by NASA, an organization only 1/6th the size of SCCA, my previous SCCA/NASA experience from the road racing side shows that SCCA gets better when there's competition.

In some parts of the country, the local SCCA regions provide valuable support to the local rally community, while in others, there's either total apathy or active interference.

Each organization has its strengths. The SCCA has plenty of smart people in Topeka. Surely they'll figure out the value of learning from NASA instead of just trying to squash NASA through litigation and heavy-handed (and ultimately unsuccessful) posturing.

For example: Instead of trying to justify it's higher insurance costs, SCCA should figure out why/how/where NASA is getting reasonable insurance rates and pass along these lower rates to organizers/competitors.

For example: Instead of telling competitors to remove all SCCA badges when racing at a NASA event, SCCA should enjoy the free advertising those stickers provide.

For example: instead of trying to drive away people who don't toe the party line, the SCCA should welcome the diverse input such people offer.

Rodney King's "can't we all just get along?" has become cliche, but the truth is that SCCA and NASA can get along. After initially taking the confrontational route in my own region, we eventually chose to welcome NASA competitors and thus improved our own road racing fields by 20%.

People go where there's the best value for their rally dollars. It's my recommendation to the SCCA national office that they work on improving that value if they wish to retain their members.

Don't waste our SCCA membership and license fees and sponsors' dollars trying to fight somebody else's rally program.... instead, invest it in improvements to our own operations.

[hr]

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

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Nick:

What you have said is fair and accurate.

The call for the removal of Kurt Spitzner's dictatorship is years old and has been voiced consistently and loudly.

There were those among us who could in the past identify some sane reasons for the misgivings of Kurt's empire.

I no longer know anyone who will publicly come to the defense of the current SCCA ProRally Department Regime, and the leadership of the SCCA (paid and unpaid) has not listened.

There are many examples of how the SCCA makes inequitable decision including those surrounding recent tragedies. Poor communications is the SCCA's cheif liability, followed by poor planning and implementation. Thinking they know what is the best thing for the populace vs. ensuring the path trodden is well understood and agreed to is part of the 'deficiencies' list. Poor decisions run rampent through the club: the magazine format change from small to big to "save money" -- it cost more and we are back to small. The lack of combined license and membership databases. The SCCA Pro Racing debacle.

The frustrations are endless: the number of 'rules' that have been put into effect or disallowed at the whim of Kurt or the Manufacturers. The efforts by individuals to correct all the editing error in the rule book that went ignored. The blatant and admitted favoritism for manufacturers teams. The list goes on...

I am actively involved in making SCCA Rally a better and safer place to play. It is not the SCCA that I am working for, it is my fellow rallyists under any sanctioning body; for that matter anywhere.

I look forward to more and detailed information about NASA RallySport. Resumes, Rule Books, Sanctioning Process, and Insurance details all take time to nail down and these are only the tip of the iceberg of the detials that need to be sorted out.

It is important to question what will be different: NASA has the opportunity to establish a system of rules making and communication that works for the club members. The SCCA is so mired in age old hierarchy they are not thinking about it and won't get to it for many more years.

In the end the decision of where to play could come down to any number of issues.

I have often been told by the supporters of the SCCA that it is the people that make the difference. So there is nothing magic about the 4 letters we collectively unite under. It is the people, it is the leadership, it is the purpose, the objectives. A big piece is the implementation and this is the part that the SCCA so often gets wrong. It is what we have in common: a love for racing, a love for cars, a love for rally, and good frienships.

It may come down to simple economics and both NASA and SCCA have advantages. The SCCA has a membership of 65,000 individuals and families. NASA has a lower cost structure. In the end the 20/80 rule always wins out: get the right 20% who do the work, to unite under a banner, and a lot will get done.

Any 4 letters will do. Establish a common goal, ensure the majority of the group believes in the short term and long term objectives. And listen to the membership.

Nick: aside from the history of involvement with the SCCA what do they offer you with regard to Rally or your specific interests? What are the benefits to the SCCA? What does the SCCA offer that NASA RallySport might not?

I often fail to see the benefits of the SCCA and often need to be reminded of them. I do admitedly find it easy to find fault with the SCCA, not with the people embedded in the structure of it, but with the leadership, especially those paid who fail to see the machine as inept and rusting in need of a major overhaul. It is the paid leadership who should be the ones to recognize this, it is not the volunteers who are trusting their employees with the upkeep of the club.

It will be very interesting to see where we end up, in the end it will be the vote of the people.

Will NASA be able to clearly convey goals and objectives better suited to the rallyists in the US? Will they be able to define the endless minutiae to the satisfaction of enough rallyist. Is there just enough disgust with the paid leadership of the SCCA that rallyist will eagerly move to another body? Can NASA convince enough organizers and competitors that they will be a better run organization? Does NASA have a better understanding of what the club level, national level, and manufactur level participants want from the sport? Can NASA do a better job of managing these different needs and wants more effectively than the SCCA?

There is no doubt that the SCCA has disappointed, can NASA do better?

There is no need to make decisions today.

When it comes time to make a decision, I doubt it will be difficult. The people in the end, the leaders among us, the organizers, the top competitors, those with history, and those who we collectively respect will be available for council. Some will make their opinions known, some will share their opinions privately if you ask. The important part is the 4 letters do not matter, the people do and though change can be difficult we have enough smart people among us to help us with the right direction.

NASA: you have a huge undertaking in front of you
SCCA: you have a huge undertaking in front of you

In either case I'll be playing with my friends in the woods.

Rallyist,
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Nick the problem here can be seperated by Club and Pro Rally. Kurt Spitzner attempted to make a Pro Series. Rally in America is not well supported enough to be run like a Pro series such as Nascar where the sanctioning body can dictate how things will be done. Because Club Rallist make up 80% of Pro Rally fields there needs to be a transitional attitude in which efforts are made to keep the privateer and Manufacturer teams happy , this had not occured.
Club Rally under SCCA has been just fine for organizers , we send in the paper work and we get our sanction. SCCA pretty much leaves us alone to do our jobs , the Club Rally suspension was a bummer but I've had to cancel events because of Fire and ecologists so having to regroup is no big deal regarless of the reason.
Where SCCA failed was recoqnizing that 80% percent of the field where Club guys and by cramming the "Pro" vision down the rank and file Rallist's throats it caused a ton of resentment. Throw in a couple of screw ups on the communication side and you have the current mess.
So what does NASA bring: well in a nutshell they have cheaper rates for license and sanctions - this is a big deal to an organizer as most of the time we are worried about making sure the event stays in the black.
I'm taking a wait and see attitude I'm not going to abandon SCCA Rally , I think they are going to make the effort to improve the current situation. Also NASA is fairly new to this and will have to prove themselves , we will see how they handle the first crisis. Like John said I think there is room for both groups to operate in harmony.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
Per Tom G:

> Nick the problem here can be seperated by Club and Pro
>Rally. Kurt Spitzner attempted to make a Pro Series. Rally
>in America is not well supported enough to be run like a Pro
>series such as Nascar where the sanctioning body can dictate
>how things will be done. Because Club Rallist make up 80% of
>Pro Rally fields there needs to be a transitional attitude
>in which efforts are made to keep the privateer and
>Manufacturer teams happy , this had not occured.

> Where SCCA failed was recoqnizing that 80% percent of the
>field where Club guys and by cramming the "Pro" vision down
>the rank and file Rallist's throats it caused a ton of
>resentment. Throw in a couple of screw ups on the
>communication side and you have the current mess.


Thanks, brother Tom. I can't speak as an organizer at all, but your 2 paragraphs above say it all for the rally rank-and-file. Kurt has utterly failed to be able to merge the needs and desires of the hobby and business rally types. This is NOT an impossible task, and the faliure to do it points right at him for lacking the scope of view and talent to be able to pull this off. Kurt has been the wrong guy for the situation; I have been in to plenty enough coroprate situations and seen the same thing, where the wrong person in a spot just really messes things up.

Nick, I've got 23 years in SCCA, and am a charter member of my region. But I am not going to stick around and wait for things to go further downhill for my rally interests. I have been vocal as you know, but have at least tried (between forum tirades) to contribute to the SCCA process. SCCA is still slowly going in the wrong direction for me and the LARGE majority of US ralliers, and I won't just sit around and take it.

I am going to continue with SCCA unless and until I get kicked out or they just turn out us hobby guys into the cold. But meanwhile, I ain't sitting by for my fate to be sealed by someone who doesn't give a whit for my rally participation on the terms that I like, if that continues to be the case with SCCA. I am going to actively support the NASA movement. If it grows into much bigger and better for the US hobby rally world, then the case is closed and SCCA is history for me. It would be a damned shame after all these years of memebership, but I have seen organizations fall apart before due to leadership/management that was inept and wouldn't/couldn't listen, and this would be nothing new if it happened for SCCA rallying.

Nick, let me give you some advice: This is not a case of being nice. That was tried for the first year or two and we just got run over. If you REALLY want to win this fight for SCCA, you had better decide to don your armor and be ready to go toe-to-toe for a long time, and figth to the death. I do not think this fix will be easy, unless Kurt goes by the wayside sometime soon. I've been around too long and my read of the guy is that he will bury you if he can. This is not just from SCCA rallying; this was seen in some pre-SCCA cases with this guy. Just a warnin'......

Call on me if you need support; I'll do my best. Of course, with my temper, you may be better off keeping your distance..... Mark B. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
>Will someone care to tell me who in charge of the
>Performance Rally program besides Herr Spitzner is not a
>rallyist?

Yes, one name is "Steve Johnson". And, you can probably add all 13 BoD memebers. Who else do you think interviews/hires/fires Director level SCCA employees, and sets/approves overall direction?

I'm not attacking these guys/gals, I'm just answering your question. Does this help?

<edit> If you are going to make progress, you need to know know where to head.......

Mark B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
My question

Without knowing what segment of the rally market NASA is going after, I'm not sure anyone can answer the "SCCA vs NASA" question.

It seems to me that the SCCA has been targeting the manufacturers and very well funded civilians.

If NASA goes after the average Joe rallyist, I see an excellent opportunity for both organizations to co-exist very harmoniously, as it is unclear whether or not the SCCA has a real interest in the "Club" component of the sport.

No matter, competition is a beautiful thing. Companies with no real competitors sometimes loose sight of their customers. When you are no longer the only game in town, however, you have to listen to your customers and satisfy their needs.

It's all good. And gosh darn American to boot!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,738 Posts
RE: My question

Daphne, I think that you'll find that NASA is going after the "club" rally section. No, let me re-phrase that. It is the "club" rally organisers, Ray and Donna, John Shirley, Wilson Von Kessler, Michael Taylor, John Lane, John Dillon, myself, who are approaching NASA to garnish support for the grass roots, which we all are part of, which I would imagine, keep the scene going here in the US. This is not to bring down the organisers of the Pro rallies, who, are also part of the big picture. But having seen the way some have been treated in the past, until a certain pair stood up to the bureaucracy,who,when answered back to, backed down in order not to lose a Pro rally off the calendar. The organising committee is working hard to make it a success along with NASA's backing and I will give them 100% to make it work. With the calibre of the committee we have out there, I think it will be a great success. Unfortunately, the only game in town has not been listening to the masses for years and seem to play by their own rules. Is this truly a way to run an organisation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>
><edit> If you are going to make progress, you need to know
>know where to head.......

Thats why I started this thread. :) Because currently, I don't know where to head. However, I'm irritated enough with the fact that the SCCA has been neglecting the club guys that I want to try to do something about it. The SCCA has always been about amature racing, and if we forget that, (as they seem to be doing with the club Rally program) then it WILL wither and die.

Any organization is going to have a cliqueish nature, (NASA as well) unfortuneately, that can be its undoing. However, I've donned my armor, and I'm going into the fray. Enough standing on the sidelines for this nebish. ;)


Nick Polimeni
[email protected]
www.odysseyhouseonline.com
 

·
Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
Joined
·
2,953 Posts
SCCA to fight?

I was involved in one fight w/SCCA but that series had made money in the past and was a plum that SCCA let die on the tree but didn't want anyone else to have.
I can't follow the money on this one to make it a worthwhile fight.
Administering contingencies, charging sanctioning fees and profits from inflated insurance charges to a couple hundred participants hasn't been enough to offset the costs and unless the Manager can show the BoD it can pay in the future, it'll be a tough sell to fund a fight.
Unless someone can show me where the profit is in this sport I can't see how a couple egos will offset the whole downside critical mass.
But I've been wrong before.
BTW, Ramada doesn't look like a club rally to me from here and CT has always been looking toward a WRC round and that ain't club racin'. I don't think we have to worry about Ray and John being satisfied with running events with just a chainlink fence and some wet dirt.
rz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
>Any 4 letters will do.

Some of us are fortunate to be able to stand under another 4 letters... CARS.

I have voiced these concerns so often that Kurt and the PRB actually know who I am. The PRB made a token effort to resolve the grassroots situation by forming a 3rd tier committee and then tied their hands so that there was no solution possible. I am secretly amused with the fact that STPR and Maine were undersubscribed this year.

I will be the first one to enter a coef 5 NASA event in the north east with my obsolete PGT Talon!

Bruce Perry
P4 Talon
(not #992 PGT Talon anymore)
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
>
>Yes, one name is "Steve Johnson". And, you can probably add
>all 13 BoD memebers. Who else do you think
>interviews/hires/fires Director level SCCA employees, and
>sets/approves overall direction?
>
>I'm not attacking these guys/gals, I'm just answering your
>question. Does this help?
>
><edit> If you are going to make progress, you need to know
>know where to head.......
>
>Mark B.
Why do you think I am running for the national board? And spending my money to do it? The question also arises about how active within your local region you are. You can be an influence by working. It isn't easy and it isn't always successful.

I don't wish any ill towards NASA, but they are not a member driven organization. They are a customer driven organization. In SCCA at both the local and national level, we are both the customer and the vendor. If you want to pay your money and show up for a ride, go to Disneyland. If you want to make rally work, don't look to NASA or SCCA to do it. You have to do it. SCCA has elections. NASA does not.
Richard Miller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
RE: SCCA to fight?

It's interesting...the assertion has been made (and accepted) here that ClubRally has been allowed to - or forced to - decline. How many ClubRallies were there nationwide in 1995? How many in 2003? What was the average entry in those events? How many licensed ClubRally (all right, Divisional Pro Rally) drivers were there in 1995? And how many today? How many drivers have attended the ClubRally National Championship event every year...is the number declining? Do the math...the results may surprise you.

My own - admittedly limited - experience has been that ClubRally has been growing...sometimes too fast for its own good.

The assertion has also been made that someone in Topeka is planning - or has commenced - some sort of attack on NASA rallying. Does anyone have a source for this belief?

Finally, the assertion has been made that all the decisions about SCCA rally are made in Topeka. In fact, the vast majority of the decisions are made out here in the hinterlands by us volunteers. Look at the PRB...ain't none of them live or work in Topeka. None of the ClubRally Stewards do either...or the ProRally National Steward, for that matter.

Bruce
 

·
just another old phart
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
RE: SCCA to fight?

Or (as I believe I've heard) the Director of Performance Rally either? }>

Kent Gardam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
RE: SCCA to fight?

The assertion has also been made that someone in Topeka is planning - or has commenced - some sort of attack on NASA rallying. Does anyone have a source for this belief?

I suspect that one comes from a published interview with Steve Johnson. Was it in GRM? I don't remember the magazine, but I clearly remember one very specific message...

Johnson made it clear that he believes the SCCA owns rally and will fight to keep it. He didn't name names, but it was pretty clear he was talking about some other organization....
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top