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OK, here we go again. This only my opinion and not that of the AFR, SCCA, RA, Subaru, or Mitsubishi.

First, I don?t know all the answers about what is going on with Wild West. Clearly the management at the SCCA and the management at Wild West do not get along (don?t dispute this; I have personally heard comments going both ways). The primary reasons, I believe, are personalities and a disagreement over the operational procedures at the rally.

What I do know for a fact was that as recently as 30 days prior to this year?s event the SCCA was not sure if Wild West was going to be a SCCA sanctioned rally. I?m glad it was because if it wasn?t the Air Force Reserve Rally team would not have been there. So these problems have been going on for a while.

I hope Wild West and the SCCA can work things out. We have a big reserve unit at McChord AFB with a very active public affairs department. I want to stay there but that doesn?t mean that it is the right thing to do.

Regardless of the letter from the PRB, Wild West should have been at the Oct 1st meeting. They have been a stop on the championship for a long time and they should know what we have to offer to events that stay in the championship. Heart of Dixie rally was at the meeting and they are not a points event on the 2004 schedule. They do, however, want to be one in 2005 and they are willing to work with us to make that happen. I am sure that Wild West could do the same thing if they wanted. So the bottom line is that the letter from the PRB and the meeting on the 1st were not connected. They are two very separate things.

Now let?s get into some philosophy. Again all my opinion.

One thing this championship sorely needs is a consistent set of operational rules. I can?t speak for Subaru and Mitsubishi but I know that I don?t care if those rules are SCCA, FIA, or some sort of hybrid. Whatever they are, they need to be consistent across the championship.

I don?t believe that those rules should be dictated from above. I hope that the organizers can get together and decide what they want to see out of a set of standard operational procedures (including timecards, etc.) and then work with the SCCA to get them implemented throughout the championship. Andy Brown has 15 years of WRC experience and I respect his opinion a great deal. I can?t tell you how many times he has said to me, in frustration, that he wished that we had just one set of rules and they were enforced consistently. He?s right. We need that if we ever want to have a cohesive championship.

Currently, operational procedures, I think, give a clear indication of what direction the organizer is going with an event. Wild West has been very clear about their desire to host a WRC event. I wish them the best of luck with it. If they get it done, I will definitely come up and spectate. I have my own opinion of how likely it is but I will keep that to myself. I am a big believer in working on dreams until they become reality so I would never discourage others from doing so.

However, as a sponsor, I am not interested in doing business with a rally whose primary goal is to host the WRC. The WRC does nothing for the Air Force Reserve. We wouldn?t have a car in it. This is the same reason I don?t support the CNAR championship. 2/3rds of the events take place outside of the United States and I don?t recruit outside the US so why would I want to get involved?

I love Canada and Canadian rallies. I?m an ACP and Pat Richard fan, and Martin Headland is one of my favorite people in all of rally. But will one cent from my budget ever make it there or to Mexico? No way, never. I think most potential American sponsors would agree with me.

Again, I don?t mind using FIA operational rules at our rallies, if that?s what the organizers, competitors, and the SCCA want, but I would not being doing it to impress the FIA. I definitely do not want to deal with their organizational requirements.

When I ask an organizer their goal this is what I want to hear: ?I want to make a profit, and I want to have the best event in the SCCA ProRally Championship.? That means they want to work with the SCCA, sponsors, and the other organizers to build a successful, profitable, cohesive, consistent series. Now if somewhere down the list they want to someday hold a WRC event that?s fine. AS LONG AS THEIR BUSINESS DECISIONS PUT THE SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST AND FOREMOST. What they do after that is up to them.

Right now the ProRally series in a state of transition and we are short of resources. I want to keep every rally that wants to be there on the calendar, but I also need to know that they are working on the same goals as the other events and the SCCA as a whole. If not, for strictly business reasons, it may be better to go our separate ways.

The requirements the FIA puts on rallies are very resource intensive. Complying with them takes money, people and time. All three of these things are in short supply with all rallies in the United States. I think we have to build a strong ProRally series first and worry about the WRC later. In my opinion, we can?t spend time and money on FIA organizational requirements right now and I sure as heck do not want to give my money to a rally so they can spend it on appeasing the FIA.

When I give sponsorship money to a rally I become a customer of that rally. As I customer of a rally I would hate to see the rally designed to benefit another organization that is not even paying for it. How much money has the FIA directed to fund the sport of rally in the US? I know I have spent a bunch and Subaru and Mitsubishi have spent a lot more than me.

This isn?t a bad thing. It isn?t a personal or negative attack. It?s business. All organizers are free to pursue whatever goals they want and I am free to financially support the rallies that best meet my needs. No problem.

In case it isn?t clear yet, I?m a SCCA guy. I don?t have the money to be in two places at once. In 2004 we will not run any rallies that are not SCCA sanctioned and/or part of the SCCA ProRally championship. That is where I think the sport of rally should go and that?s where I am putting our money. I am sure many will disagree with me and they are free to support the rally of their choice.

Again, I hope Wild West and the SCCA can come to some sort of agreement to keep them on the calendar. I think John and Steve will have to have a long phone conversation and bury the hatchet. Will it happen? I don?t know. Will the goals of the two organizations be so divergent that they can?t work together? Quite possibly.

Greg
 

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Loose nut behind the wheel
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Once again, clear, to the point communications. I think I'm falling in love.:+

Thanks Greg.

Mark Utecht
 

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>One thing this championship sorely needs is a consistent set
>of operational rules. I can?t speak for Subaru and
>Mitsubishi but I know that I don?t care if those rules are
>SCCA, FIA, or some sort of hybrid. Whatever they are, they
>need to be consistent across the championship.

Agreed. Here are my specific concerns although it may not fall under the banner of "operational rules" from the POV of the organizers, but rather the competitors.

The rulebook needs to be re-written by SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. There are so many technical mistakes, inconsistencies, loopholes, contradictions and disconnects from scrutineering and (proven) safety reality that it is a complete joke, really. Look through the car construction forum for all the "Call Doug" for some "local homologation" posts. It's a sad state of affairs and a completely unnecessary one that puts people off building cars and adds extra expense, confusion, bad feelings, etc etc

Second, the rule creating/changing process needs to be completely overhauled. Right now new rules are first presented as a rumour, then it shows up in Fastrack, then a token period of redirecting responses to the wastebin plus ignored discussion on the forums is observed, then whoever mystery person decided it was a good idea for whatever unknown and unshared reasons/personal agenda/etc pushes it through unchanged. This has happened over and over and over...

Also, those rules need to be ENFORCED consistently regardless of what team or what personal vendettas the officials have against the competitior.

Skye

[table cellspacing=20][tr][td]
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Skye Poier (Seattle WA)
Vive le Prole-le-Ralliat!
www.rallyrace.net
Black Rocket Rally Tires
www.blackrockettires.com
[/table]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Skye

I don't want to get into a discussion about rules as that will go on forever. I think it is up to the ProRally organizers as a group to decide on the rules of the series with input from the competitors, SCCA, and sponsors.

It is not an easy job. I have heard very experienced people say that we should just adopt the FIA rulebook, just the competition part, because they are already very through and complete. Yet many competitors don't like a lot of the FIA service rules.

Right now, with what I know, my vote would be to start with the FIA rulebook and go line by line to edit out or change the parts we don't like and leave in the parts that work for rallying in the US. I think that would be the easiest and fastest way and would leave us with the best product. It would, however, be time consuming but probably shorter and more efficient starting from scratch. Then again, it's not my choice.



Greg
 

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Greg:

I couldn't agree more. The SCCA should work with a set of rules for the US rally system. FIA does absolutely nothing for us, yet some organizers are bending backwards to keep them happy.

Build a great ProRally series, that in turn will help the ClubRally program.

Thank you again for taking the time to post.

Tony Chavez
 

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>
>Build a great ProRally series, that in turn will help the
>ClubRally program.


Hmm, whenever I suggest this, I get ganged up on and my head handed to mex(
 

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I still think that is like starting off building a house by first laying out all the roof tile in nice little rows (so when rich people fly over your house, they will be impressed), then trying to figure out how to get the subroof under them. When you figure that out and have a bunch of nice little rows of tile on top of a bunch of plywood, then everyone sits down again to figure out how to get the trusses under the very nice but-still-flat roof. let's not get into the whole conventional vs. steel frame vs. straw bale walls issue...

you can build a house this way, but at some point you are going to have a very nice house sitting in the dirt, rotting from the bottom while you try to figure out how to pour a slab under it. I wouldn't recommend it.
 

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ClubRally (the overlooked red-headed stepchild) Rant

>Build a great ProRally series, that in turn will help the
>ClubRally program.

That has been the problem, everyone's focus has been ProRally and ClubRally is being neglected. In NEDiv, the ClubRally program needs help right now, more like yesterday. And although there is now a ClubRally dedicated position in the PerformanceRally department, the work still seems to be left to volunteer stewards and organizers with little communication between them. In the division with more competitors than any other, we've only had a single in-division ClubRally scored in the NEDiv championship this year. All others had been cancelled for one reason or another and while some upcoming scheduled rallysprints look promising, they are not ClubRallies.
It was the New York based Irish teams who have bailed out 100 Acre Woods ClubRally Championship by consisting of like 2/3rds of the entry list it's first year. Without them it would have been a flop. So the health of the NEDiv program influences beyond the NEDiv boundries. Without local events in NEDiv, interest is dropping and may be hard to build to the level where it was just last year. True, we are lucky to host 2 ProRallies in NEDiv, but STPR has become too snobby for ClubRalliest to enter and there is nowhere for us to play.
Its a fact the current NEDiv ClubRally steward is not returning next year, a replacement has yet to be named and the list of qualified people rejecting the offer of the position is growing.
With so many SCCA license holders at stake, it is time to directly help ClubRally in some divisions right now. Where is an all-inclusive SCCA road-use acquisition proposal to assist organizers in getting roads? Its the organizers first step yet biggest obstacle. I suggest SCCA start there.
 

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What I'm talking about is not specifically the content of rules themselves (although I have opinions on those too), but the system around the proposal, modification, adoption, fact-checking and enforcement of those rules.

Like everything else the SCCA does it, it gives a strong "behind closed doors" vibe which is NOT productive or inclusive and hence hinders the viability of the sport and the series. This attitude is pervasive and underlies the systemic problems with the SCCA system.

Thanks,
Skye
 

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>Hmm, whenever I suggest this, I get ganged up on and my head
>handed to me

He just posted it a couple minutes ago, give us some time to gang up on Tony...

The idea is ridiculed because its ridiculous... show me ONE example where a a successful sport was built from the top down and I'll eat my words.

I don't see many kids dreaming of getting into "street luge" because the X-Games invented it for TV, for example.

Anyway this is somewhat divergent from the topic and has been rehashed many times

Skye

[table cellspacing=20][tr][td]
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[td][font size=-1]
Skye Poier (Seattle WA)
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>Regardless of the letter from the PRB, Wild West should have
>been at the Oct 1st meeting. They have been a stop on the
>championship for a long time and they should know what we
>have to offer to events that stay in the championship.
>Heart of Dixie rally was at the meeting and they are not a
>points event on the 2004 schedule. They do, however, want
>to be one in 2005 and they are willing to work with us to
>make that happen. I am sure that Wild West could do the
>same thing if they wanted. So the bottom line is that the
>letter from the PRB and the meeting on the 1st were not
>connected. They are two very separate things.
>

According to my sources, representatives from NWR were present at the Oct 1 meeting; they didn't know that WW was not invited back for 2004, as the RE who got the letter from the SCCA didn't tell them (or anyone, for that matter) about the letter until afterwards.

The problem between some NWR folks and the SCCA goes back a long way. All of us in this neck of the woods know how they feel about each other; neither side has made it a secret. The only way something is going to be resolved is if both sides come together under professional mediation and figure it out. Which, in case you hadn't figured it out, will never happen on this great green earth of ours. Neither side wants to bend, or doesn't feel that they could or should bend, so nothing will be resolved, and WW will go the way of Doo ****: off the national schedule, so we'll have to hoard our awesome roads to ourselves.

Note: I wasn't at the Oct 1 meeting, I'm only getting info from my people :) secondhand; I can only say that from what I've observed and know of the parties involved, this was a long time coming, and no surprise either way.

:) KT
kd7yct
 

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Director of Communications

I would like to nominate Major Pachman for the newly created possion of Director of Communications for ProRally. If you agree with his oppinions or not, he is by far the best I have seen at relaying relivant information .
Can I get a second?
 

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Thanks Greg for the honest perspective from a sponsor. I'll argue the FIA issues another day, just remember my nephew is flying F-15s, so even when we disagree I'm still rooting for your team. (And if we could just use a little bit of that McChord pavement for Solo...)

Seriously, what troubles me right now is this comment.

>What I do know for a fact was that as recently as 30 days
>prior to this year?s event the SCCA was not sure if Wild
>West was going to be a SCCA sanctioned rally. I?m glad it
>was because if it wasn?t the Air Force Reserve Rally team
>would not have been there. So these problems have been
>going on for a while.

So while the Wild West volunteers were spending our energy, effort and money to build the best damn rally we could put together, the SCCA was telling sponsors we might not be sanctioned? That's a very sad statement about the way our Club operates. It almost sounds like someone decided to end our 25-year ProRally tradition even before our September event.

Hope you can come up for some of our northwest events in 2004, the road to Brooklyn is spectacular.

Jim Culp
 

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Baseball, pro from the start. The most revenue. Always in decline according to the detractors and despite an ever fractionalized base still the biggest $-wise. Sounds familiar?:)

bko
 

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>According to my sources, representatives from NWR were
>present at the Oct 1 meeting; they didn't know that WW was
>not invited back for 2004, as the RE who got the letter from
>the SCCA didn't tell them (or anyone, for that matter) about
>the letter until afterwards.

Sorry but I don't believe this. That ugly 9/28 letter was not even opened until after the 10/1 meeting. It still seems strange to me that the Wild West organizers were encouraged to go to the expense of sending representatives to a ProRally planning meeting when people knew that the Wild West was no longer part of the ProRally schedule.

I just wish I had a copy of the letter to post, you wouldn't believe it.

Jim Culp
a sneaky, nasty, inflexible NW organizer who hates restrictor plates and firmly believes that God will judge the SCCA
 

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Greg: Again thank you, some comments clarifications:

>
>What I do know for a fact was that as recently as 30 days
>prior to this year?s event the SCCA was not sure if Wild
>West was going to be a SCCA sanctioned rally. I?m glad it
>was because if it wasn?t the Air Force Reserve Rally team
>would not have been there. So these problems have been
>going on for a while.

The thirty days issue -- I have been witness to a signed and delivered sanction that has been under question of revoke if the PRD did not get what they wanted.

Sanction Agreements are not delivered much sooner than 30 days and pretty much mean nothing.

--I state this as the Sno*Drift RallyMaster.

As far as Sactioning - someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the first year the SCCA ProRally Class officially ran at Pikes Peak it was at most co-sanctioned. Proof Positive that sanctioning can be flexible.

You are looking to sanctioning to do what it should -- provide consistancy for your level of competition. You have a good reason to do this ---

>I hope Wild West and the SCCA can work things out. We have
>a big reserve unit at McChord AFB with a very active public
>affairs department. I want to stay there but that doesn?t
>mean that it is the right thing to do.

It may be helpful for you to express your interests directly to the organizers and the PRB. Your teams presence is good for both parties.


>Regardless of the letter from the PRB, Wild West should have
>been at the Oct 1st meeting. They have been a stop on the
>championship for a long time and they should know what we
>have to offer to events that stay in the championship.
>Heart of Dixie rally was at the meeting and they are not a
>points event on the 2004 schedule. They do, however, want
>to be one in 2005 and they are willing to work with us to
>make that happen. I am sure that Wild West could do the
>same thing if they wanted. So the bottom line is that the
>letter from the PRB and the meeting on the 1st were not
>connected. They are two very separate things.


Unfortunately there are costs involved in attending these meeting and either the region, the event, or the person spent money to go to a meeting that may not be relevant. Timing constrained these issues, however with your examples other events were left out. The invitations were not public and there are other events that may be interested in becoming part of the national championship.


>Now let?s get into some philosophy. Again all my opinion.
>
And I like to hear your opinions! They are valued whether I agree or disagree!


>Will the goals
>of the two organizations be so divergent that they can?t
>work together? Quite possibly.


We don't know the facts but everything sounds like the PRB made a decision and that was that. It certainly happended that way for Prescott. The important thing here is that the PRB is percieved to operate in secret and history is what we remember. All of the issues surrounding WW look unequitable. The SCCA has a right as a sanctioning body to require a minimum set of standards, and if WW was clearly given the option to accept or reject the standards then the recent actions would not be in question but the standards might.

As you so clearly realize the collective body of participants in the sport are frustrated with the opacity of the PRB, PRD and some of the SCCA staff. In this environment even the good things get scrutinized. There is very little trust for very good reasons and the same mistakes are repeated perpetuating the distrust.

Thanks again for giving us some of the why behind the what.

Regards,
Mike
 

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The whole conflict is disgusting. NWR events are some of the best rallies in North America. There is no realistic reason for SCCA National to enforce their FIA-incompatible chain of command on any event unless the current chain of command is non-existent or insufficient. Unless the SCCA can point to compelling, non-political reasons for imposing a chain of command on a fully-functioning pre-existing organization, they should just get with the program, let WW do their thing, and take the opportunity to relax a little bit and let others do the work.

Our supply of healthy event organizations is not unlimited. Arbitrarily reducing the available events and organizations is DUMB. If I were in Steve Johnson's shoes, I would weigh the relative value of a healthy rally organization capable of putting on a half-dozen rally weekends every year against the personal problems that Pete Lyons has with that organization's goals and I would kick Pete in the butt and tell him to settle down and freaking behave himself. Priorities must be adjusted.

As far as WW becoming a WRC event. I realize that a fair number of people think that the FIA circus is a bad thing, especially at the regional-club level. However, we are talking about ONE event, and then only the national-pro level. Joint sanction is workable until the magic day that WW qualifies for a WRC date. Figure it out, put up with it, and stop whining. If the NWR puts together five or six rally weekends every year, who cares if one of them is extremely ambitious? The SCCA needs to court sponsors AND events.

The Air Force Reserve doesn't see value in Canadian events, fine. If a joint CNAR/SCCA series was a possibility (it seems kinda out-of-left-field at this point) perhaps they can work with the RCAF on a joint team sponsorship. Until then, the other major sponsors would probably benefit a great deal from a series running in both countries. My point isn't to lump the AFR team in with the Pete Lyons crowd, it's to point out that if we run a continental series with a big-tent mentality, it is possible for all of us to refactor our positions a little bit and realize workable solutions. That's some valuable business philosophy as well.

Iz you ameriCANs or ameriCAN'Ts? :)

andy
 

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>The Air Force Reserve doesn't see value in Canadian events,
>fine. If a joint CNAR/SCCA series was a possibility (it
>seems kinda out-of-left-field at this point) perhaps they
>can work with the RCAF on a joint team sponsorship. Until
>then, the other major sponsors would probably benefit a
>great deal from a series running in both countries.

I don't think this is realistic because I believe the car companies (ie. Mitsubishi and Subaru) operate as independent entities in each country, with their own sales goals and marketing strategies. In other words, Mitsubishi America and Subaru America could probably care less how Mitsubishi Canada and Subaru Canada are doing and how they do their promotions. It would probably take their corporate parents in Japan to try to coordinate something like this, and I imagine they would rather concentrate on the WRC. I really don't know how Automobile companies' corporate structures are set up, but I imagine I am not too far off. Same thing with RCAF and USAF... no connection and no point in partnering for something like this.
 
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