The actualization of the loss of the big teams started with either Hyundai's retirement or Mitsubishi's withdrawl.
The loss of the big teams started with the SCCA's managing of their participation.
Let's hope the SCCA has learned that it takes lengthy commitments from multiple partners to run the series at the level to which it has been elevated.
That is not to say that a new big team, or sponsor should not be welcome on a short term or trial basis, but the series should be managed for the people who are dedicated to being their for several years, which it is now proven are the privateers.
The big money can come and go, no need to change anything on their behalf, they'll find a way to work with what works for the majority of the stakeholders, the independent competitors and organizers.
That being said, Subaru and the AirForce Reserves are intending to honor the ProRally Partnership Programed which is aimed at assisting each event grow itself.
There may not be factory teams, but we finally have a focus on what is needed, the growth of the series, the growth of each stand alone event. Once we have established the marketing value of the series, through each event, we will have something to sell.
AND - the competition should be outstanding this year!
>>All they've done is draw up the price to compete at the
>I care because I want to see the sport of rally to be as big
>as it is in Europe over on this side of the pond.
>I haven't competed in any SCCA Club or ProRally events YET
>so I can't comment on the entry fees.
>IMO it's still a terrible loss for the sport.
Terrible for spectating: yes.
Terrible for competitors: no, but it was nice to have faster competition to make one push that much harder. That only helps a driver progress.
IMO, US rallying will never be as big as it is in Europe, anytime soon. Unfortunately, the cultures and interests are distinctly different to draw enough interest.
Go and spectate an ERC event or national event in a country such as Italy and look at the entire package between spectators, teams, manufactuer support, local advertising, etc.; it's a real eye-opener. There is a not a rally in the US that comes close to that caliber. As an example, if you think SOA spends a lot in the US - Subaru Italy's rally budget rivals, and probably beats it...and FIAT spends even more...
>Ah, but in leaving, they forgot to take the increased cost
Other than simply raising the bar of competition, please explain to me how the manufacturers directly increased the costs of the average ProRally competitor. Seriously, gimme some examples or details, cuz I sure don't see it. What I did see was an hour long TV show funded comletely by them, that showed my car and my sponsors to a national audience. What I did see was some serious kickass driving that attracted thousands of specatators into the woods who happened to stick around and see my car and my sponsors. I saw them loaning parts, help, and technical knowledge (well sometimes I stole the knowledge part) to privateers. I saw Subaru give a nice check to the CRNC, and lotsa contingency money paid out by both Mitsu and Subie. I saw insurance fees go up by one third due to accidents in Clubrally competition that had nothing to do with the manufacturers.
Ok, so we had to burn up a few more tires and build some more expensive cars, but a couple of well funded privateers could easily have the same effect, and have in the past. So really, where are the manufacturers responsible for increased costs??? Seems quite the opposite.
>Ok, so we had to burn up a few more tires and build some
>more expensive cars, but a couple of well funded privateers
>could easily have the same effect, and have in the past. So
>really, where are the manufacturers responsible for
>increased costs??? Seems quite the opposite.
You just proved the particular point.
Look at the SCCA points to the left of this forum pane. 1st privateer scored 1/3 the points of a factory team; granted it was in a GpN car.
I'd say the a top privateer would, more than likely, need to spend twice as much money to win the championship as compared to a factory team.
Where are the top private teams that were around before Sub/Mit/AFR?
>I'd say the a top privateer would, more than likely, need to
>spend twice as much money to win the championship as
>compared to a factory team.
Well, Suby and Mitsu ponied up around $1.5 million a car this year when it was all said and done. So you really think that it would take $3 mil to beat them?? I don't. Two years ago Diggins creamed everybody in a privateer effort, with privateer funding. It will always take a chunk of money, and a decent car, but a good driver still trumps all in rally racing.
>Well, Suby and Mitsu ponied up around $1.5 million a car
>this year when it was all said and done. So you really
>think that it would take $3 mil to beat them?? I don't.
>Two years ago Diggins creamed everybody in a privateer
>effort, with privateer funding. It will always take a chunk
>of money, and a decent car, but a good driver still trumps
>all in rally racing.
Much to the shagrin of the rumor mill, the factory budgets were not even close to those numbers!
Mitsu's total budget was less than half that for BOTH cars. Subaru's budget was based on how well they were doing in the rallies and the number was about the same as Mitsu's. There is more behind all of this, but a bulletin board is hardly the place to discuss.
The marketing budgets are another story...although, given how little advertising either manufacturer did from their US rally program, I doubt those budgets were too sizeable. Of course they did give the SCCA a lot of money (talk about poor ROI) for the TV program, registration for the championship, contingencies, etc.
However, I do agree that a phenomenal driver, with a fundamentally good car, should be able to win the championship. I must admit thaough, that I really expected and think the Subaru WRCars should have laid waste to the rest of the field this year.
>Much to the shagrin of the rumor mill, the factory budgets
>were not even close to those numbers!
>Mitsu's total budget was less than half that for BOTH cars.
>Subaru's budget was based on how well they were doing in the
>rallies and the number was about the same as Mitsu's
Sorry if I'm wrong. I got my number from someone at the SCCA (there's a credible source, eh), and it supposedly included the entire program; cars, advertising, Pirelli Girls, etc..... I still believe it's possible to beat them and spend less money, IF you have the drive to do it. Remember Sprongls at MudDrift '02 in the Hyundaibishi?
>The marketing budgets are another story...although, given
>how little advertising either manufacturer did from their US
>rally program, I doubt those budgets were too sizeable. Of
>course they did give the SCCA a lot of money (talk about
>poor ROI) for the TV program, registration for the
>championship, contingencies, etc.
Yeah, I agree. Big time bad ROI, which is why I'm not surprised they pulled out. But it's kinda their own fault. Afterall, when has the SCCA ever successfully promoted anything? These guys should have realized they were gonna need to do it on their own. IMO, Mitsu has squandered this incredible season. Diggins won everything, dominated the series, and in a new rollout car. But where is the promotion? Has anybody seen a TV commercial, or a magazine ad touting his success. Heck, I was at the local Mitsu dealership the other day, and they don't even have poster up or anything. Subaru at least leverages the WRC effort with some airtime during TV spots and what not. In fact, one of my hardware magazines had a picture of a Subaru WRC car next to a generator that Subaru makes small engines for. Tagline was something about technology transfer. We need more of this.
I received a packet in the mail inviting me to Mitsubishi's hot summer nights (end of November in Michigan - huh?) and to test drive any of the Lancers. After I did this I would receive a copy of Diggins/Barritt poster with the SCCA championship Evo, as well as a DVD of "2 Fast, 2 Furious" (now tell me how those 2 items relate). The salesman did know quite a bit about the car, how it compared to the Sti, and about rally. So, Mitsu has done SOME promotion (but very little compared to Subaru). And yes, they did let me drive the Evo, but not on gravel, keeping it below 4500, and with the salesman with me (he did comment that was the fastest he had ever been in that car - and I wasn't even near pushing it).
> IMO, Mitsu has squandered this
>incredible season. Diggins won everything, dominated the
>series, and in a new rollout car. But where is the
>promotion? Has anybody seen a TV commercial, or a magazine
>ad touting his success. Heck, I was at the local Mitsu
>dealership the other day, and they don't even have poster up