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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seams like the only way to get into the WRC these days is be <25 and have National Championship experience and WRC experience. And do it by having some serious support. Is anyone interested in doing something like this for drivers here? It would be a very rewarding experience to give a young driver a chance at the world championship. It would be a great opportunity to get some sponsors to come out for a cause. I am surprised one of the shops hasn?t come up with this yet. Applications, send them to Tim?s to perform in front of some judges some fitness evaluations/questioning and get them racing. Even if it is a less than WRC car maybe a P car or an N car and get them to Mexico and some other European rounds in an N car. Anything is better than waiting for someone to show up with a good trust fund and the skill and drive to be the best (in my opinion something that will never happen for lots of reasons) Anyone else?
 
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I think the best thing we can do is create a healthy club rally program.

Give the young guys somewhere to start and start clawing upwards from.

There's no reason to sponsor a single person or a contest to send someone to another series if our own day to day competition is languishing.

Focusing too directly on putting someone in a WRC event might end up being a little too much like the Jamaica Bobsled team.


I'd like to see it happen, once there is a clear path starting with local events, that can take a guy all the way to the top. The challenge will be that motorsports in the US aren't well integrated with the rest of the world. We don't export many drivers.
 

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1. Who is going to fund this and what do they get in return?

2. Which shop in the US would have the money to do this? None of them are getting rich off the US series, the last time I checked. They would be looking at a budget of at least $250K to run a solid season in a competitive Group N overseas drive.

As most people know, in Finland Timo Jouhki is the main backer for most young talented drivers. However, the driver has to pay him back for his investment plus extra when they become a works driver.

In Spain, the Spanish club RACC is funding Dani Sola, but I'm sure a similar arrangement has been made.

I completely agree it would be fantastic to have an equivalent backer in the US, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon. For the forseeable future, it will be up to the driver to find the funding to prove themself in competitive fast equipment.

If such a scenario were to happen, since nobody really has good experience judging a quick driver, most drivers would still have to prove themselves in higher-end equipment (i.e. GrN or Open), that they have the pace. There are many drivers who find the limit in a slower class and can easily win their class and even do well overall, but then when they move to faster equipment they're well off the pace. Toshi Arai is a good example of this - he's incredibly quick in a GrN car, but a back-marker in a top-spec WRCar.

Racing is an expensive and difficult ambition.

-mark
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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why help young drivers?

rewarding?
tell me how?
pay for Tim to do a talent search?
advertise to who? squirrels?
where's the return on investment?
Colin can't get a job.
If it were easy and safe, everybody'd want to do it.
rz
 

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The horrible truth.....

Not all rich kids suck.

As rally in the U.S. becomes more popular, we're more likely to have a young guy or girl with the interest, ability and funding (rich daddy?) to be a star.

It's a worn out diatribe, "if only dude X had some money, he would really kickass".

The best advice for young rallyists, is to study hard, work hard, make something of yourself, so you can enjoy this sport on your own nickel, and maybe your son or daughter will be the first american WRC champion.

"There ain't no Coupe'DeVille hiding at the bottom of a cracker jack box" -MeatLoaf
 

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Let's face it...being such a small blip on the motorsports landscape in this country is not the type of arena that will lend itself to monster benefactors jumping in without a pretty large dose of eccentricity...there is no reciprocal benefit.

Hindsight being pretty darn good, even if not 20/20, I can say what I would recommend for your best chances at becoming a stellar rally driver. Of course, if you are reading this, you are already too old for the first steps in this path...pity.

This example assumes you have GOBS of talent, right from the start, and daddy has to have a fair amount of support and $, too.

Start on MX bikes at 4 y.o. You are most flexible then and have no fear and the best riders usually start at this age.

Once you are a top of the class 80cc rider, start getting experience on karts. Stay on the dirt bikes and work up to shifter karts.

Keep yourself fit, base your education towards a mixture of business and engineering...heavy on the business/marketing.

Learn about sponsors through your kart/motorcycle career. If you can make it to the nationals in MX, you will start dealing with agents, marketing firms, etc. Work on global companies for sponsorship.

Move to Europe at 16 y.o. Hopefully you will have some good corporate backing from your motorcycle career and you can talk them into helping you with the transition. Find a new agent in your new country with experience in rally. Run the national or "World" MX series in a rally-friendly country and get into a 206cup type deal for a few rallies.

Schmooze the business side to get your global sponsor to help with the rally stuff and making the transition.

Get in on one of the factory "scout" programs where they are looking and show your stuff.

Since there is no dedicated "ladder" to the top, you have to figure it out on your own. There are lots of ways to *potentially* get there with the BIG assumption that you have enough seed money, enough family support, enough talent, a good plan (I'm sure there are better ones than this), and an immense amount of dedication/focus. This is just one and how I would have done it if I had my druthers, a fat bank, and a respectable amount of talent on 2 wheels.

Unfortunately, I fell short on all those counts. :)
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

I wish there was a simple way of getting a driver into WRC,Next year me and Dan are running a scholership and then we will pay for a one off drive in a WRC car.

The price they are asking to do pwrc is now £600,000 uk pounds in a good team.

To me it would make more sense to make the SCCA champioinship as high as profile as possible, this would help to get backing for the young drivers in the long run as sponsors will become more interested etc.



Drive it like you stole it
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

So what David is basically saying is take the original topic "What is the US doing for young drivers?" and turn it around to "What are drivers doing for US Rally?" Right?

How did Kennedy put it? Ask not what your country...
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

Ask not what your rally program can do for you, ask what you can do for your rally program.

Our best bet for making a mark on the international rally scene is to create and develop more club rallies.

andy
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Viva la ProleRalliat!
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

>I wish there was a simple way of getting a driver into
>WRC,Next year me and Dan are running a scholership and then
>we will pay for a one off drive in a WRC car.
>
>The price they are asking to do pwrc is now £600,000 uk
>pounds in a good team.
>
>To me it would make more sense to make the SCCA
>champioinship as high as profile as possible, this would
>help to get backing for the young drivers in the long run as
>sponsors will become more interested etc.
>
>
>
>Drive it like you stole it

David is right about the Prorally Championship... After you finally get a company interested in rally .......they reasearch the prorally championship and come back asking if this is a joke? Alot of you were praising that the factory teams are gone..........It actually makes it even harder to find sponsors! Factory teams attract spectators = exposer for my sponsors .....
 

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What money? From where? Most of can't even find enuf sponsorship to run a national series, much less an international series. There just isn't enuf interest in the states to make running an American driver worthwhile. And for the most part, the shops just can't afford something like this. The rally prep business is big money stuff, with lotsa cash moving around, but the margins aren't the best. These guys do alright, but they aren't getting rich by any means. AVSport tried it with Diggins, and despite winning a championship, went out of business less than a year later. That leaves the rich guy investor/benefactor. Again, not a good investment. He's better off grooming a driver for NASCAR. Although I guess we are seeing a beginning with Pat Richard being sponsored by Subie of Canada, and to some extent Ramana's GrN run in NZ. I wonder how well these are paying of for Subaru. My guess is probably not as well as they would in Europe.

The best bet is what Diggins said. Build up the US series into a credible championship that is competitive and turns out quality drivers. Get the exposure up there so that people will be willing to invest in it. This means we'll need high caliber pro events, with all the glitz and crap that many of you despise. Good spectator areas, lotsa promotion, single services, less night stages, etc... all that stuff the KS was trying to do. Clubrally is great for learning and having fun cheaply, but don't delude yourselves into thinking that you can go from winning the CRNC to a fully funded PWRC ride. If anything, ProRally is gonna have to go more Pro, and widen the gap even further. Maybe we don't wanna go that direction, but then we can't expect to attract the money neccessary to turn out top quality drivers.

Unfortunatly talent doesn't attract money, instead money attracts talent. We will have make a significant investment in our sport before we can turn out the next WRC champion.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>Unfortunatly talent doesn't attract money, instead money
>attracts talent.
>Dennis Martin

Dennis, that is very insightful and well put. I see you used your quota tonight judging by your next post :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RE: The horrible truth.....

>The best advice for young rallyists, is to study hard, work
>hard, make something of yourself, so you can enjoy this
>sport on your own nickel, and maybe your son or daughter
>will be the first american WRC champion.

That is some good advice take your driving talent and training and drive a desk. Thats worse than telling someone to shove it up their a$$.
 

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This is only my opinion...

There are a few talented drivers here in the US that under the correct guidance and training could make it in the WRC. As said,.. there is no easy way to the top.

Growing up in Germany and cutting my teeth in rallying there, I noticed a difference between organizations (sanctioning bodies).
Mr. Higgins can probably verify this too, that car makers in Europe are more enthusiastic about motorsports. Also the general population is easier excited in this point.

1.) Has the SCCA ever invited US manufacturers and potential sponsors to events?
2.) What ever happened to the idea of "Super Special Stages" where car makers, sponsors and spectators can see more than a car driving by?

I think Ray Hooker has a good game plan. He talks to potential people to attend the events and has spectator-friendly venues.

The SCCA could do this as well, but only with the competitors help. Club events have been neglected when it comes to PR and Air time. Hopefully "Rally World" magazine will change this in the future. I have noticed that other periodicals have started reporting more about "OUR" sport. And that is good.

Some food for thought.
Does your community know about this sport? Have you attended local car shows, parades and such to expose yourself and the sport? How do you present yourself in public?

I know for a fact that some car makers here in the US are looking at the "Rallye Events". Their main complaint is that there is not enough exposure. Events are poorly advertized in most cases.

So it does come down to the famous words...
What are we doing for the sport and young drivers?

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
RE: The horrible truth.....

>I wish there was a simple way of getting a driver into
>WRC, Next year me and Dan are running a scholarship and then
>we will pay for a one off drive in a WRC car.

How is this going to work and where?

>Drive it like you stole it

Good plan seems to work.

Do you know of any tests that are open to drivers from other countries?
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

uuuuuh....FMF...get a clue. Mike is trying to tell the reality of rallying in the US right now. Don't kill the messenger.

It would simply take a load of money to do this in the US. The feeder and development process that exists over in Europe doesn't exist here.

Maybe that answer you want is "Get SOME money, and go live in GB or the great white north of Europe". That would be the more realistic path for now.

Mark B.
 

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Well first of all we don't really have any good "farm system" to develope young talent in.

The SCCA has choose to develope the "Pro" series and left the club rally system to fend for itself. The first step in doing anything for young drivers is to first have a lot of young drivers who can compete(I mean>COMPETE<, not just participate) in good competition where seconds matter. Then and only then, can we expect to see some good talent surface, even then it's gonna take years, many years to develope that talent.


What's it going to take to get a bunch of talented 20yo's?

1. Affordable cars, like G2 golfs, dirt cheap and good parts off the self.

2. Lots of affordable rallys, Maybe shorter rallys, but more of them.

3. Maybe some guys/shops that have fast cars(but maybe don't quite use all that car), could once a year offer it to a young driver that has shown some speed and intelligance for an event to see what happens? I did it, and it worked out well, and we will do it again.


Pete:7
 

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>Move to Europe at 16 y.o. Hopefully you will have some good
>corporate backing from your motorcycle career and you can
>talk them into helping you with the transition. Find a new
>agent in your new country with experience in rally. Run the
>national or "World" MX series in a rally-friendly country
>and get into a 206cup type deal for a few rallies.

Bingo! Kudos to da man from MI!

I was going to ask "What happened to you, Lurch?", but you gave us the answer: none of us figured this out 'til waaay too late.

Mark B.
 

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RE: The horrible truth.....

>That is some good advice take your driving talent and
>training and drive a desk. Thats worse than telling someone
>to shove it up their a$$.

In the real world, it's damned good advice.

Would it be better advice to tell a young man to devote his life to an occupation that no-one in this country makes a living from, and dream that some benevolent entity will fund their rallying?
 

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RE: What are young drivers doing?

Waaaa Waaaa Waaaa.
I'm not going to waste the time looking for the quote but I read recently that US drivers will never make it 'cause of lack of committment. This thread, along with the "how do we make it so that fast guys can't win" thread prove it to me.
David Loring took a year off racing to work on the pipeline in Alaska to get money, Mansell sold his house and so did Lauda. Well it didn't work out for Loring but mostly because if you aren't at the track, you aren't alive. Anyway, if you are poor and you think you have talent...
Do you have a couple room-mates to split rent or better yet, live at home?
Do you go out?
Have a girl friend?
Own a TV?
A nice car?
A job that keeps you learning about cars/the sport/sponsorship/anything that'll help your career?
Is your rally car the only thing you spend time/money on?
----
I did all this stuff and after 9 years, I got to drive an Indy car for a year and paid rides for 6 more, didn't make any money and the work and sacrifice never stopped, but I had a decent chance to show off. Could'a worked out with a couple more breaks and some more brains on my part but I had a chance.
Don't stop looking for a miracle but don't depend on one either.
You'll need that miracle, talent, resolve, good luck and brains.
Make friends everywhere, you'll need a person, because:
corporations don't sponsor cars, people sponsor people.
There are a lot of people who want your money.
There's a good chance your "sponsor" will cost you more than you get.
Quit whining.
rz
 
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