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A couple d00ders I know came up with my team to LSPR. They came up to visit their friend at MTU, and to spectate their first rally ever.

There was 4 of them, and they were between the ages of 17-20. Here are some of their comments from the weekend.

Note, I am just the messenger for 4 dudes who had a good time, but thought it could have been much better.

Target Demographic Spectator #1: "Where do we buy tickets..?... Wait, it's free...? Really? no way.."

Target Demographic Spectator #2: "Oh man, I figured we'd have to pay $10 or something.. Do we get anything cool?"

Target Demographic Spectator #3: "Dude, these maps suck."

Target Demographic Spectator #1: "We're totallly lost"

Target Demographic Spectator #3 "These spectator areas are a snooze, where are the jumps?"

Target Demographic Spectator #1: "Wait, there was a watersplash? Why'd we miss that!?"

Target Demographic Spectator #2: "Where was service, we couldnt find it"

Target Demographic Spectator #1: "I really wish we coulda paid $10 for better spectator areas, and some cool stuff."

Target Demographic Spectator #2: "Man, me too"


Target Demographic Spectator #1: "Matt, you should tell them to charge $10 and have sweet as crap areas and posters"
 

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As we ask anytime someone says there was something wrong with a tulip.. *What* was wrong with the maps? "They suck" just doesn't help us fix anything.

Without a specific answer to that, there's just no way to fix what is wrong.. I was only tangentially involved with the spectator maps, but I know, for my part, that I didn't intentionly produce a flawed map. So if I did do something that produced a substandard map, I want to know so that I can fix it in the future.

JBLewis
 

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straight at T
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>As we ask anytime someone says there was something wrong with
>a tulip.. *What* was wrong with the maps? "They suck" just
>doesn't help us fix anything.
>
>Without a specific answer to that, there's just no way to fix
>what is wrong.. I was only tangentially involved with the
>spectator maps, but I know, for my part, that I didn't
>intentionly produce a flawed map. So if I did do something
>that produced a substandard map, I want to know so that I can
>fix it in the future.
>
>JBLewis

Judging by the maps/directions we were given, the directions to the Friday spectator areas gave two different road names for the turn off the highway, neither of which matched the sign on the signpost at the turn. (Map/directions said Prison Camp Road/Baraga Cutoff Road, sign said Baraga Plains Road)

I know that the friday spectator areas were last-minute creations, so were not ideal from the point of spectating - the most interesting thing at Menge Creek was the rooster tails behind the Mustang.

Adrian
 

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don't cut
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To be completely fair, the rally did have half it's roads yanked just weeks before the event.

That being said, we drove around L'anse for half an hour before stumbling across the high school. The maps to the speccie areas seemed okay, but then again I've been bumming around the Keweenaw for 10 years. Also, years of spectating has taught me never to go anwhere without a State Forest Atlas. Perhaps we need to face up to the fact that not every spectator is:

A. A local.
B. A seasoned rally enthusiest.
C. A Navigational genius.
D. Willing to sign up as a marshal to "get a good spot". Lotsa people are afraid of the responsibility.

As far as their willingness to pay, Lurch has been saying this for years it seems. People expect to pay, why dissapoint them?

I've brought this up before, but it never seems to get any traction: How about an adventure TSD rally that runs along the ProRally? They do this at Ramada, and it seems to work well. For $20 they get a packet with a route book, free Subaru goodies, local coupons, and passes to "rallyist only" areas in the service park and at spectating locations. Give prizes, and maybe cater in food at certain areas. They get the fun of being "IN" a rally, and the organizers get the peace of mind of knowing where these people are at all times. You could even waiver and wristband them, for added liability protection (and better speccie areas).

Old school spectating is gone, let it die. And we will never get the 50k to 250k person crowds they get in Europe, nor do we want them. But we do need to realistically think about how to safely handle 2000-5000 people, and still give them something other than a cheezy superspecial to see.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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In your singular opinion rally is not a spectator sport.

In millions of other peoples opinons around the world rally is most definately a spectator sport.

I find it hard to believe that we cant solve this with some creativity. If you build it, they will come (they can only watch cars go in circles for so long)

JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 

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wake up and smell the pine trees

Rally is only NOT a spectator sport when one sits home in front of one's keyboard and declares it so.

I have spectated a LOT of rallies. It is certainly NOT the same spectating as a racetrack, but it most certainly IS spectating!!!

Jens, come to Tall Pines. I will buy your VIP pass so you can spectate in style.

http://www.tallpinesrally.com/TallPines/

>Rally is not a spectator sport.

press on (in the woods),
 

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>I've brought this up before, but it never seems to get any
>traction: How about an adventure TSD rally that runs along
>the ProRally? They do this at Ramada, and it seems to work
>well. For $20 they get a packet with a route book, free
>Subaru goodies, local coupons, and passes to "rallyist only"
>areas in the service park and at spectating locations. Give
>prizes, and maybe cater in food at certain areas. They get
>the fun of being "IN" a rally, and the organizers get the
>peace of mind of knowing where these people are at all times.
>You could even waiver and wristband them, for added liability
>protection (and better speccie areas).
>Dennis Martin
>[email protected]
>920-432-4845

If you would put on a TSD event that ran alongside of or a day before LSPR I would like to think I would make a way to be there.

How about a TSD on Thursday (maybe only 100 miles or less using some of the stages).
This would also get me a to special spectators points that I went through on the TSD for LSPR.

from the right seat
dave mulder
<//><
 

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RE: wake up and smell the pine trees

>Jens, come to Tall Pines. I will buy your VIP pass so you can
>spectate in style.

That's in Fiji, right? On the beach? With a Pina Colada?

I'll be there.
 

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>To be completely fair, the rally did have half it's roads
>yanked just weeks before the event.

Agreed. Kudos to LSPR for pulling it out of the fire.

>That being said, we drove around L'anse for half an hour
>before stumbling across the high school.

Took me 45 minutes and I missed all the cars. And I've been going here for 21 years. Got to talk to friends who were there crewing for friends tho. If I didn't have personal ties, it would have been boring.

>The maps to the
>speccie areas seemed okay, but then again I've been bumming
>around the Keweenaw for 10 years.

Adrian was right...there were 2 names for the road off the highway on the map, and neither one of them matched the sign. Luckily Dad and I remembered the area from years past and from dirt biking the Baraga Plains loop 15 years ago which crosses that road.

The spectator area was very boring. Again, I realize it was put together last minute due to unfortunate circumstances, so I'm not really barking. We went to the service, but missed it. So we bought some pasties and went back to the hotel. Yum.

>Lotsa people are afraid of the responsibility.

With good reason. That's why we need to partner with promoters who know this job.

>I've brought this up before, but it never seems to get any
>traction: How about an adventure TSD rally that runs along
>the ProRally?

It takes a lot of workers and the organizer's workers are already taxed. Again this is why we need to partner with promoters. A reasoably paced TSD would put the speccies where you want them when you want them there. It would also curb the jackassiness of the drivers of STIs on slicks with 6" exhaust tips.

>Old school spectating is gone, let it die. And we will never
>get the 50k to 250k person crowds they get in Europe, nor do
>we want them. But we do need to realistically think about how
>to safely handle 2000-5000 people, and still give them
>something other than a cheezy superspecial to see.

'at's the challenge. I had a great time spectating 2 stages, eating pasties and perch, color/waterfall touring, brockway driving, encouraging rookie drivers, and drinking heavily in one of the most special places on earth for me, but I don't think we have a saleable commodity there yet.

Thanks also go to the guys who paid for the radio spots on WOLF 98 on LSPR's behalf (Matt, was that you?), Matt's Auto Glass, Auto Value, and Kevin Ericson for the hourly radio updates. Good work.
 

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Some thoughts from an erstwhile organizer:

All of the ideas have merit, but if you look carefully, the best ones require more resources - mostly people. They also require advance preparation...meaning money and person-hours.

Charging for spectator areas is a fine idea, but if you can't ABSOLUTELY restrict access to an area, people WILL sneak in. Once that starts to happen, more people will try to sneak in, and we'll have more people out in the woods where we don't want them. Again, a resource issue.

I've found that most organizers (myself included) arrange for a thorough checkout of the rally route and an independent - but less stringent - checkout of the service route. Then someone writes the spectator routes and slaps them in the program without checking them. They succumb not only to mistakes, but to "everybody knows that" - all of the roads used at LSPR were named correctly, but not necessarily at the intersection where you needed it.

In the defense of the LSPR committee, reconstructing half your rally route SHOULD have a high priority, and it's understandable if other things got pushed back. In general, organizers need to raise the priority of providing good spectator information, but (have I mentioned this?) you can only spread your resources so far.

Bruce
 

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>Rally is not a spectator sport.
>
>CircusRally (aka CircuitRally) is a spectator sport.
>
>


Here in lies the failure of the sport.
 

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James, I fully hope that one of the sanctioning bodies or some of the rallies will have me in such a position in the future. For now, I have contractual obligations with running a rally team that would make it impossible.

My future with rallying is definitely in this arena. My love for the sport is undying and will continue long after I can no longer afford to sit behind the wheel. At that time, I plan to help in ways that I know how to grow the sport so others (both organizers and teams) can find the support they need to continue and perhaps <gasp> flourish.

Edit: Of course, I fully realize that I will be seen as the devil by many and if I fail, I will be banished from the sport I love forever as that lunatic who f'ed everything up. <<sigh>>
 

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Is there any reason signs directing people to the spectator points and service areas couldn't be posted? Having these at major intersections and turnoffs all along the route would help with following the maps. Even if the street signs were wrong or missing, you'd know you were on the right route. Might also attract others who were just curious and knew nothing about what was going on. Would need to make sure you didn't plant them in someone's yard who gets offended or where they'll get obscured by people parking. Also need to retrieve after the race is over so we don't leave a mess.
 

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>Thanks also go to the guys who paid for the radio spots on
>WOLF 98 on LSPR's behalf (Matt, was that you?), Matt's Auto
>Glass, Auto Value, and Kevin Ericson for the hourly radio
>updates. Good work.

Matt Huuki sponsored the updates, and a consortium of competitors, led by Mike Merbach, also bought airtime to thank Rally America. Special thanks should also go to Dallas, the GM at the WOLF, who offered to match what the competitors raised for airtime, and for helping us write and record the commercial.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 
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