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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
>Bottom line...There is no incentive for good 2wd competition
>in this country. Either on the manufacturer level or
>privateer. 2wd cars are just something you put your time in
>until you can afford/are allowed to drive a Subaru.
>

Actually Eric, there is no incentive for ANY competition in this country. Pat Richard won two overall national championships, and what does have to show for it other than a trophy and a hefty credit card bill? I'm all for supporting a meaningful 2wd national championship, but at this point we need to get the overall national championship off the ground.

Why not make the overall national championship a 2wd event? Because one thing even the most clueless fan understands is that the fastest guy wins. There will always be 4wd turbo competitors that will capable of outrunning the top 2wd drivers (guys like Burke, Lawless, etc..), hence you have to confusion of people saying, "That guy never finished higher than tenth all season, but he is the champion?" Sorry, but it just ain't gonna fly.

Get the overall sport healthy and self supporting, and then we can promote the 2wd end, and it will be wicked cool! (Think super 1600 cars and old F2000 cars, YUM!)


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Thanks for splitting this into it's own thread Eric.

>I disagree with you here, Shenan. And I disagree that 2wd is
>necesarily the ElCheapo place to be. My hope is that with
>equal recognition, many of the fast 4wd guys (like Nat,
>Matthew J., Eric Langbien, etc.) would be running 2wd for
>keeps. Not just for the economy of the class, but for the
>competition. But folks want recognition for their
>achievements. Hence they go into debt with 4wd cars.

I wasn't saying that 2WD should be the elcheapo class. Just that it might benefit from an initial push or incentive until it gets taken out of that perception. Once it grows and is healthy it could stand on it's own legs.

Anyway, I also wanted to address something that Alex Kuhner (sp?) mentioned in the Rally America marketing announcement thread: that 2WD cars are not exciting to watch. This could change very quickly. I think that if the top 2WD teams in the country had the incentive to show up at the same national events, you would have an incredible show on your hands. And it could snowball from there.

There is also another factor where spectators are concerned. Maybe not all people that are in the target market for rallying are into Subarus. Maybe they are fans of Hondas, Fords, VWs, or whatever. Right now, there is not much for them to follow in rallying. I think that showing a variety of cars (sure, driven well) would increase rally viewership. Looking at it from another angle, what do you think would happen to Nascar viewership if all you saw ten deep into the results at every race was Fords, with a couple of Chevys sprinkled in once in a while?

I think that if we look at the percentage of passenger cars that are sold in the US that would fit in each class, it might point us to what class should be promoted in addition to AWD turbo class. My guess would be that Group 2 type cars is what the majority of the general public buy, but I don't know where to verify this.

Another thing that I think could be discussed would be the possibility that such a championship (Woodner cup?) could have a media fee associated with it (that the teams in the class would pay), that would serve to offset the costs of guaranteeing coverage of the class in the broadcasts. I've seen this done before, I believe it was in the Finnish Group F, and perhaps the Rallysport Quebec 2WD cup (not sure though, but I have read of this being done). Although this could have the reverse effect and make even less teams compete in the championship, who knows?
 

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>> I already
>>mentioned above about promoting 2WD winners equally to AWD
>>winners.

I think this is perhaps the biggest problem. The only cars that get any recognition are AWD cars.

This is a problem for companies like Honda/Acura and VW, who may be willing to at least offer a contingency program or something that would make it easier to run a national 2WD. They don't in big part because their cars (while popular and successful) rarely get much mention in the press releases, writeups, etc.

2WD teams should get more recognition vs. as it currently sits.

Hey they are able to get it to work overseas, we should be able to do it here.
 

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I don't think we're really talking about making 2WD the only national championship anymore, but just that it should be promoted as another equal division. I think it could actually be beneficial to the sport. See what Eric said about GM at LeMans, and what I said about Nascar.
 

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I have a cat.
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>Why not make the overall national championship a 2wd event?
>Because one thing even the most clueless fan understands is
>that the fastest guy wins. There will always be 4wd turbo
>competitors that will capable of outrunning the top 2wd
>drivers (guys like Burke, Lawless, etc..), hence you have to
>confusion of people saying, "That guy never finished higher
>than tenth all season, but he is the champion?" Sorry, but it
>just ain't gonna fly.

Dennis, you obviously didn't read either of my posts on either thread. Go here to start:

http://www.specialstage.com/dc/dcbo...&forum=222&topic_id=43402&mesg_id=43402&page=

and read the post entitled:

"Both 4wd and 2wd have a place...but should be equal"
 

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don't cut
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
>>Why not make the overall national championship a 2wd event?
>
>>Because one thing even the most clueless fan understands is

>Dennis, you obviously didn't read either of my posts on either
>thread. Go here to start:
>
>http://www.specialstage.com/dc/dcbo...&forum=222&topic_id=43402&mesg_id=43402&page=
>
>and read the post entitled:
>
>"Both 4wd and 2wd have a place...but should be equal"
>

I did read them, but at this point I still think we need to walk before we can run. We don't have the luxury of widespread understanding of the sport yet. We need to play to our strengths. There's an old saying in the hardware biz that says, "If people think you're high priced, don't disappoint them." Same can be said for rally. If people tune in or show at an event expecting to see turbo AWD clones of WRC cars, or Gran Turismo cars, that's what we need to show them, otherwise they'll be bummed out. It doesn't matter if the 2wd cars are just as cool, or just as exciting. They've been let down and they'll associate the negative feeling with the sport. This isn't a diss on 2wd cars, it's a reality. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't tell people what they want. Given EQUAL driving skill and ferocity, do you honestly think poeople want to see an '89 golf sliding arounda corner instead of a '05 Subaru? Cuz I've seen it, and I'm sorry, but the Subaru is more exciting. Again, not fair, but reality.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Sell the sport, and then worry about selling the classes.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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Currently, the only way to get coverage for 2WD teams in terms of TV is to have a good beach ball in front of a camera. Change that, you'll increase entries. I don't recall finding any 2WD coverage boring on the 100 Acre Wood DVD. Maybe it has to do with presentation on the show, and driving ability in the show.
 

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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

If you had read it then you would have known that I was not for "GF being the championship class" or whatever, but for 2wd having its own status.

World Challenge Touring Cars are not as exciting to watch as WC GT cars. But if they were treated as also rans instead of their own entity, they wouldn't exist. As it is they are thriving. Why? Because people can relate to Civics, Focuses, TSXs, and Mazda6s more than they can relate to Viper Competition Coupes and Porsches. Also, the TC battles are BETTER.

Let's see...how much competition will we have between Subaru and...oops...one hand clapping.

And if we gave a little recognition to 2wd? Hmmm...Mazda3s, Ford Focuses, Honda Civics, Chevy Cobalts, Toyota Corollas, Hyundai Tiburons/Elantras, Suzuki Swifts...

Edit:
THESE are the cars that fit the 2wd rally car "formula." There are 8 above, and that isn't all that are on the market...just the ones in my head right now. Versus TWO in the 4wd rally car "formula."

I'll let you in on an industry secret...

ready?...


shhhhhh...


{whisper}Mainstream car companies prefer to put AWD into their premium (read "big 'n heavy") as a selling point, but the small cars (potential rally cars) will never see a 4wd drivetrain.{/whisper}

Subaru is a niche car company. It makes sense for them. They have ridden the rally rocket from a car that was little more than a farm implement to a serious performance machine.

Oh...wait...here's another industry secret...

ready?...

shhh....

{whisper}Most (all?) car companies will NOT build one off 4wd rally cars to contest a rally series with if they don't have such a product on the showroom to sell.{/whisper}

Again, Hyundai was an anomoly. A car needs to have SOMETHING in common with the car it is badged as.

Eric
still working at Ford Design...as of today...check back tomorrow.
 

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I have a cat.
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There's an old saying in the hardware biz that
>says, "If people think you're high priced, don't disappoint
>them."

There's another old saying. "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."
 

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400 flat to crest
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5,777 Posts
>>Bottom line...There is no incentive for good 2wd
>competition
>>in this country. Either on the manufacturer level or
>>privateer. 2wd cars are just something you put your time in
>>until you can afford/are allowed to drive a Subaru.
>>
>
>Actually Eric, there is no incentive for ANY competition in
>this country. Pat Richard won two overall national
>championships, and what does have to show for it other than a
>trophy and a hefty credit card bill? I'm all for supporting a
>meaningful 2wd national championship, but at this point we
>need to get the overall national championship off the ground.

Same thing some of us have been saying for over TWENTY YEARS, Dennis.
Yuo do seem to like to repeat the obvious.
>
>
>Why not make the overall national championship a 2wd event?
>Because one thing even the most clueless fan understands is
>that the fastest guy wins. There will always be 4wd turbo
>competitors that will capable of outrunning the top 2wd
>drivers (guys like Burke, Lawless, etc..), hence you have to
>confusion of people saying, "That guy never finished higher
>than tenth all season, but he is the champion?" Sorry, but it
>just ain't gonna fly.

And even the bluest eyed, all ga-ga "I been watch all that
Dubya Are Ceeee rally racin' in the TV and its just totally insane" type guy I have drug ouit in the woods, even the most clueless of them understands after watching the driving on display, then looking at the results, that the high overall placing of those cars he just watched coast towards turns, wiggle three or four times, overshoot the swept line before attempting to turn, then driving off flogging the motor to maybe 3200 rpm before taking 2-3 seconds to change gears are gained as a result of the turbo 4wd cars CAR configuration, not the driving "skill" they just watched.

Common comments heard at the last event here in the NW were "geeze those guy suck", "this is BAD", "I could kick their ass!"
and except for Carl Jadevall, Dave Hintz, Derek Bottles and Nat Stow, I agree.

Dennis, nobody thinks that the guys in the fanciest cars are the best drivers. They think the CAR is what makes the results.*

That's why giving all the PGT, GpN and Open 4wd cars a place to play in a designated "Manufacturer Championship" class is a neat solution.

Basic, fundemental racecraft is needed, cause aside from just a couple of cars, presumably Pat R, and Stig, and of course you Dennis, there is seldom really exciting action.

>
>Get the overall sport healthy and self supporting, and then we
>can promote the 2wd end, and it will be wicked cool! (Think
>super 1600 cars and old F2000 cars, YUM!)

You can't afford them Dennis, and they require very committed driving.
>
>
>Dennis Martin
>[email protected]
>920-432-4845

*some years ago the an active rally guy who was a teacher in the motor club that was just up the road from where I lived, and Mustafa S. was a member of, was worried about the drastic drops in entries and new blood in the sport and no nothing from the Federation about this so he did a study asking thousands of 16-20 year old Gymnasium students who they percieved as the proportion of Money-Brains-Ability was in various sports.
The results I have show 3 sports: Marathon running, Windsurfing and rally, the PERCIEVED distribution was, in order
Marathon....1% money, 1% brains, 98% ability
Windsurfing....33% money, 34% brains, 33% ability
Rally...80% money, 10% brains, 10% ability

Interesting figures from kids in a country where rally HAD a LONG and very successful history.

But bad news for getting new blood in and or encouraging folks to spend their money when the perception is that regardless MORE MONEY WINS.

We have tried the TOP DOWN PROMOTE THE HELL OUT OF "what anaazing spectacle" it is repeatedly.

And we sit worse off than ever.

Maybe we should try something DIFFERENT.
 

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Dennis, I think you make some good points, except that giving more recognition to 2WD teams wouldn't make any difference on what people experience currently when they attend a rally. The cars would still be run in the same order, etc, so I don't think the rally spectating experience is a good argument against doing this. On the contrary, if more top 2WD teams competed, we might put on an even better show.

I look back at the first rally I ever attended in person, Prescott '99, and the high points of my experience: First, Noel Lawler in the Hyundai - I had never seen a rally car at speed on stage, and it blew my mind. Other than that, most of the other memorable experiences were with 2WD cars: Mike Whittman driving the wheels off of his G2 Datsun 510 (2nd overall in a National!) and Bryan Hourt doing the same to his G2 Honda Civic, the sound of Ralph Kosmides' Supra (like a low-flying jet) and the sound of Mark Brown's high-revving Toyota Corolla FX16. It's interesting to think that I came there as a Subaru fan and have come to love 2WD NA rallying. But now 2WD (especially NA) is the red headed stepchild of US rally, so most people that attend a rally now possibly won't have the same great experience I had 6 years ago.
 

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Tightens!
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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

>> Given EQUAL driving skill and ferocity, do you honestly think poeople want to see an '89 golf sliding arounda corner instead of a '05 Subaru? Cuz I've seen it, and I'm sorry, but the Subaru is more exciting. Again, not fair, but reality.

You obviously missed some guy named Tim O'Neil, honking down into the 90 left at the top of the Porter Creek crossing complex.

This is the single most important conversation to be had in US rallying. It's been going on for at least 20 years that I've been involved, going back to Henry Joy's "town meetings," where we repeatedly got told that the future growth of rallying could only be assured through the presence of AWD turbo cars.

And since then, it's come back over and over to the fact that established, well-funded guys up front dominate policy decisions to maximize their own competitive positions by steering the rules toward their vision of the sport.

If the regulations had outlawed the supercars when the first Audis showed up, a handful of people would have been PO'd but there's a pretty good chance that we'd now have a viable, national series that was attractive to more than just a couple of contemporary manufacturers.

K
 

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400 flat to crest
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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

>>> Given EQUAL driving skill and ferocity, do you honestly
>think poeople want to see an '89 golf sliding arounda corner
>instead of a '05 Subaru? Cuz I've seen it, and I'm sorry,
>but the Subaru is more exciting. Again, not fair, but
>reality.
>
>You obviously missed some guy named Tim O'Neil, honking down
>into the 90 left at the top of the Porter Creek crossing
>complex.
>
>This is the single most important conversation to be had in US
>rallying. It's been going on for at least 20 years that I've
>been involved, going back to Henry Joy's "town meetings,"
>where we repeatedly got told that the future growth of
>rallying could only be assured through the presence of AWD
>turbo cars.
>
>And since then, it's come back over and over to the fact that
>established, well-funded guys up front dominate policy
>decisions to maximize their own competitive positions by
>steering the rules toward their vision of the sport.
>
>If the regulations had outlawed the supercars when the first
>Audis showed up, a handful of people would have been PO'd but
>there's a pretty good chance that we'd now have a viable,
>national series that was attractive to more than just a couple
>of contemporary manufacturers.
>
>K
>
Smooochies Kurt,
ever get back here, I'll buy you a beer or if you see any of my Xratty minions like Matt or Matt, just walk up and say "john said you'll gimme a beer" and have one.


John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA.
www.jvab.f4.ca

janvanvurpa(at)f4(dot) ca

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
Vive Le Groupe F!
Rally Anarchy Rallyist BBS
- http://www.rallyanarchy.com/
 

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>I think this is perhaps the biggest problem. The only cars
>that get any recognition are AWD cars.
>
>2WD teams should get more recognition vs. as it currently
>sits.

The 2wd podium gets champagne and trophies just like the AWD podiums at the RA events I have attended...what more "recognition" are you all (2wd guys/gals) looking for?

Woodner cup?

The only differences I see are in the number of competitors (not RA/NASA's fault).

Subaru is offering contingency/support for drivers that choose to drive their cars in select classes...if this is the recognition you all are looking for then it is not an RA issue you have podiums champagne and trophies as well as a Woodner cup....from them but no manufacturer involvement support.


It is truly a chicken egg thing...but stop whining about "recognition"...we are all racing for the same trophies and bottle of bubbly..

I "recognize" that there are a lot of talented 2wd guys...and think they are great competitors/drivers...but I think this thread makes it seem like you (2wd guys/gals) think us AWD competitors have some great "recognition" or elevated status as drivers/competitors and I think that is not true...

The only problem I see is an undersubscribed class...I wish there was more 2wd competition at natl's too....how to make it happen I dunno???...everybody get to events and compete if you got the means.

Jeremy Wimpey
 

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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

>I "recognize" that there are a lot of talented 2wd guys...and
>think they are great competitors/drivers...but I think this
>thread makes it seem like you (2wd guys/gals) think us AWD
>competitors have some great "recognition" or elevated status
>as drivers/competitors and I think that is not true...

Jeremy,

No mention of 2wd classes on RA press releases:
http://www.specialstage.com/view.asp?StoryID=649

http://www.specialstage.com/view.asp?StoryID=609
NASA press releases include all classes entered.

No TV coverage. At SnoDrift they said they were covering top 5 cars and we'd see the cameramen walking out of the stage as we were ready to start.

And check out RA top teams link that looks like a Subaru commercial:
http://www.rally-america.com/topteams.php
 

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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

> No mention of 2wd classes on RA press releases:
>http://www.specialstage.com/view.asp?StoryID=649
>
5- 2wd cars finished the nat'l representing 3 classes....closest in class battle was approximately 10 minutes...not to mention that they were the bottom of the finishers (I know it was S*D and 2wd was disadvantage. but Sprongl etc fared well at PN in 2wd) Not much of a story or battle from my quick look over results.

>http://www.specialstage.com/view.asp?StoryID=609
>NASA press releases include all classes entered.
>
> No TV coverage. At SnoDrift they said they were covering top
>5 cars and we'd see the cameramen walking out of the stage as
>we were ready to start.

I'm sure there were cameras out on stage capturing the action of all competitors..I guess we have to wait till fall to see how TV turns out.

>And check out RA top teams link that looks like a Subaru
>commercial:
>http://www.rally-america.com/topteams.php

I hope that page is updated to be more indicative of 2006...hopefully will include the top 2wd teams that will be running this year...maybe these teams should/could send info/pics to RA if they have not already and encourage them to update....I remember reading something about website space for Nat'l Liscense holders when I renewed this year...I am confident this is in the works...

Jeremy
 

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I have a cat.
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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

Here's a nice schedule: "Come See a Rally Subaru America Event"
http://www.rally-america.com/schedule_2006.php

-SnoDrift has blue Subarus with yellow markings

-100 Acre Wood has all white Subarus

-Oregon Trail offers exciting red Subarus with yellow graphics...oooh.

-Susquehannock Trail offers boring ol' white Subarus again. ho-hum.

-Maine Forest has blue ones. Subarus, that is.

-Ojibwe Forest is a trendsetter. Orange on their Subarus. Neato.

-Colorado Cog can give you silver Subarus. Thats pretty neat.

-Lake Superior offers some great blue Subarus in the fall. Pretty.

-Reno has white Subarus with purple fenders. That's creative.


I am embarrased to send sponsors to this schedule. So I don't. I copy the information and send it in emails. I linked it to one sponsor who promptly asked "Does Subaru own the Rally America Series?"

No, I assured them. It's a fair game, but you wouldn't know it to look at the site.
 

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I have a cat.
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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

>5- 2wd cars finished the nat'l representing 3
>classes....closest in class battle was approximately 10
>minutes...not to mention that they were the bottom of the
>finishers (I know it was S*D and 2wd was disadvantage. but
>Sprongl etc fared well at PN in 2wd) Not much of a story or
>battle from my quick look over results.

Yup. And there was a decent story with a 2wd car in the top ten, but going into a second gear corner in 4th gear and losing 14 minutes, and still winning the class, but you must not be looking at stage times...or stories. Want the video? Ask. Its pretty interesting.


>>And check out RA top teams link that looks like a Subaru
>>commercial:
>>http://www.rally-america.com/topteams.php
>
>I hope that page is updated to be more indicative of
>2006...

Yes, lets hope so.

I gave up on G2 (after being a stalwart for eight years in slow, heavy pigs). Sponsors wouldn't back a 4wd car so I built as high of spec G5 car as I could put together cuz 2wd doesn't matter. I realize now that I have to use whatever resources I can muster to go for overalls, no matter what drive train is under me.

It would be so much easier to just change disciplines, but I love rallying too much.

JB has told me he has no intentions of cutting the nuts off of G5 cars until they are, and I quote, "consitently beating Open cars."

I believe him.
 

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RE: Tackling the 2wd "Problem."

Interesting discussion this. We've had much the same problem down here in Australia, and at regional level we now have an outright championship (read 4wd) and a 2wd championship (all championships run the same rallies).

One interesting point - how many makes of cars are being used in the outright WRC - not many currently, but there are a lot more that are being used to contest the S1600 class.

How many manufacturers sell a 4wd turbo car in the U.S. - probably a lot less than sell 2wd cars I think. If you don't have a 2wd championship then you are limiting participation (particularly by manufacturers), and you are lmiting your fan base as well.
 
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