View Full Version : Barber cancelled?

12-23-2004, 11:48 PM
Saw a rumor on teh Spec Miata board that the Barber race in July has been cancelled due to poor relations with track management. Chuck/anyone, is this true?

A shame, it's a great place to race. Have heard the owner is difficult, but didn't realize things were that difficult.

Anyone with the scoop let me know. I was planning on making the tow again. While I won't miss the tow, I will miss racing that track.

12-24-2004, 12:44 AM
Someone from the Bama region can go into more detail, but basically Barber gave the region a ridiculous charge for track damage last year ($17K if I remember right). The region naturally couldn't afford that, so it went all the way to Topeka to be settled.
Needless to say, Barber and SCCA aren't currently on good terms.

Its not just us, they sent an even bigger bill to PCA.

I'm HATE losing that track as it is my favorite, but I certainly understand the circumstances.
Maybe, hopefully, track management will come to their senses in the near future and we can try again. Only time will tell.

#22 ITC Honda Civic
3rd Place 2004 ARRC
1st Place 2004 ARRC Enduro

chuck baader
12-24-2004, 09:15 AM
Jeff, Scott...the short answer is yes, the Alabama Region will not hold its double SARRC at Barber in 2005. This was a board decision based on money and interaction with track managment. We are discussing alternatives to Barber for the weekend of July 9/10, 2005 and will post notice as soon as details are finalized. Chuck Baader, Alabama Retion Board Member.

12-24-2004, 11:24 AM
Chuck, thanks for the confirm. I just read a long explanatin posted by an ALRSCCA guy on the SM board. Wow, we/you guys (the SCCA/the region) got screwed. I was there that weekend. I didn't see $5 worth of damage to guardrails. And they didn't even let you see teh damage before they fixed it and billed you for it? Incredible.

Does this guy want anyone to race on his track or does he just want to look at it?

Chuck, you guys ran a great event, it is a shame. Run groups ran on time, grid and tech folks were great and results were up very promptly. Much appreciated. The registration issues and security aren't your fault. The tow is too long though. If we do run at Barber again, can you shorten it?


Thanks again for at least one great weekend at that great track.


12-27-2004, 06:24 PM
I guess now would be an appropriate time to post what I put on the spec miata forum in the improved touring forum. Here it is:

I thought it might be advisable to clear up a few things about the Alabama Region SCCA and the Barber track.

1. The Alabama Region is not going to be club racing at Barber in 2005. That is true. After repeated problems in dealing with "management" at either BMP or BET and ultimately after being handed a track "damage" bill for $17,000 after a NORMAL race weekend of only incidental contact with tire walls and guardrail, the region's board decdided it can no longer justify continuing racing at the facility under the current management philosophy present at the facility.

2. The Alabama Region was given a $40,000 track damage bill by BMP. False. We were billed $17,000 for track damage post race. When you add that to the $10,000 a day rental then yes, it about totaled $40,000 for the region to use that facility for one weekend. And that my friends is too much money. The bill was pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back for us.

At our 2003 inaugural event, the Alabama region got no track damage bill and yes there was contact with guardrail, tire walls, and spills occurred in the paddock. At the end of the July 2004 event on Sunday when the track went cold, I as assist. race chair, was in race control with BMP's track manager. I asked track management if I needed to go look at anything on the track, inspect it, take photos, meet over any track damage issues and was told in response that "no everything looks good, there is nothing but minor damage, and there is nothing to worry about". I was advised that the track had already been inspected by track management.

About a week or a little longer after the event lo and behold we get a bill from BMP through BET saying we tore up the track and the paddock to the tune of $17,000!! It was claimed that we had damaged over 520 linear feet of guardrail and damaged the paddock with fuel spills to the tune of $5,800. So we asked to look at the damage and well they had already done the guardrail without giving us an opportunity to look at the claimed guardrail damage. So we went out and counted guardrail replaced and they could not account for all the guardrail they said was damaged. The pavement bill was too high too even assuming what they said was damaged during our race weekend was in fact on our weekend. It turns out that they claimed there was zero damage to the track or the paddock on Friday when BET had the test n tune and they were around 130 competitors running their event.

In any event we disputed the damage bill and submitted it to SCCA insurance. The bill got adjusted somewhat and club racing's insurance paid it. Our region was not going to eat such a large damage bill so reluctantly we turned it over to insurance.

In researching this we talked to several race directors of SCCA that have putting on club races for many decades. We also discussed this with SCCA Risk Managment as to what the "industry norm" was as to incidental contact with tire walls, and guardrails as well as fuel spills in the paddock. We contacted several major tracks in the country to learn their policies on "incidental contact" with tire walls and guardrail as well as paddock spills. What it boils down to is that Sebring, Daytona, Road Atlanta, VIR, Roebling, Thunderhill, Laguna Seca, Infineon Raceway, and Moroso do not charge extra damage for incidental contact with tire walls and guardrail. That is all part of the rental price. If you totally wad up a guardrail then that is different. Nor do those facilities charge for paddock damage due to fuel spills from our research. BMP has chosen to do both of those things which as we were advised is outside of the industry norm.

If BMP wants to assess incidental damage to drivers or organizations well it is their track and they can do so if they want. The question is who wants to race there under such circumstances. At the present the Alabama Region SCCA does not. Neither does PCA club racing ( at least from what I have been told and their 20K damage bill). From looking at the 2005 schedule of some organizations that ran there in 2004 it would appear that others are not coming back there in 2005 either. I am sure others will want to go there but others will say "no". There will probably be more DEs there in that there are usually less issues with "offs" and track damage than in wheel to wheel racing.

The Alabama Region has not really discussed this "publicly" in various forums until now but due to the comments and cited info in this thread I thought it best to at least state the Alabama Region's perspective on this. I agree that BMP is a beautiful facility and a great track but to those who are responsible for putting together this region's club races it is just not worth the hassle. Sorry guys.

Barry H.
Ala. Region Regional Exec.

[This message has been edited by apexingsupra (edited December 28, 2004).]

12-28-2004, 10:29 AM
that really stinks!!!! i was there for the test day last season, but could not race due to prior engagements. i was planning on making the trip from pennsylvania this year for the race. i was really looking forward to hanging out with carl sloan again since i have an sas racing powered car. it is kind of disheartening how tracks view their relationship with scca!!!
john costello
nepa region
its rx7 #87

12-30-2004, 01:45 PM
Chuck, I agree with Jeff Young's remarks that Alabama Region ran a great event. BMP is a tremendous facility that is second to none. It's a shame that you all are not able to host the 2005 there. Barry's post clears up a lot of speculation and rummors about the Alabama Regions decision. Are there any comments by Barber "management"?

01-12-2005, 09:38 PM
sorry to hear that barber is canceled, i like the track have had good results their i have ran both the inag.and last year during the 1st yr a miata taged the wall on the back strech and a bmw ,rx7 and open wheel car al hit the wall or gaurd rail. maybe you can use the ams track as a replace ment for this evemt it is 2.5 hrs awayfrom bms and closer to most of the competitors.

02-22-2005, 11:00 PM
Rats! I had this event on my summer travel schedule. I hope the track mgmt comes around

chuck baader
02-23-2005, 08:36 AM
Pavis, all. The Alabama region will still hold its double SARRC race, only at Roebling Road the same weekend, July 8, 9, and 10. (Test day on Friday) Hope to see everyone there.

Chuck Baader
#36 ITA E30 BMW
Alabama Region Divisional Registrar

02-23-2005, 09:20 AM
Which means we party in SAVANNAH as opposed to natty ole B-ham.

Thanks Chuck. Should be a great weekend.

03-02-2005, 08:10 PM
I've not raced IT for a few years, but in the iterim I've taken up track days on Motorcycles (yeah, I've lost my mind!). My first bike school was scheduled for Barber but was cancelled 3 weeks before the event due to an ANTICIPATED small turn out (i.e. they weren't sure they'd make lots of money), never mind the school was in conjunction with a race weekend already scheduled.
I'm not sure what Brunos Management(they handle the track) are trying to accomplish, but the motorcycle guys generally feel like they get screwed by them often. Apparently cars get treated just the same. It's an outstanding facility, but the idiots that ru it need to get a little closer to the norm for rental or we should all boycott them.

Just my opinion, but one that I think is shared.

chuck baader
03-03-2005, 12:12 PM
Backformore...a couple of other things to consider. Track rental is 10,000.00 per day. That does not include corner workers, 18 corners at 85.00/corner/day, grid, race control, ambulance, etc. To set up a race/track day, you must budget about 12,500.00 per day. If the promoters were skeptical about turnout they were probably right to cancel without taking a bath: something a lot of promoters cannot afford to do.

Chuck Baader
#36 ITA E30 BMW
Alabama Region Divisional Registrar

03-04-2005, 02:14 PM
Other factors are:
1. w/ Barber you cannot even count on the $12,500 - you had better add in at least another $5000/day for "damage" and you will still have no cap on it. If they would give you a cap, at least you could do the math.

2. insurance w/ property damage coverage may be difficult to obtain or prohibitively expensive because the loss potential at Barber is now known to be outside normal risk. Chuck, I'm betting that SCCA Risk Management said they would not cover Barber anymore - right?

Bill Denton
87/89 ITS RX-7
02 Audi TT225QC
95 Tahoe

chuck baader
03-04-2005, 05:09 PM
Bill, I honestly don't know: I let the REs handle that as I have enough on my plate with racing and registration.

Chuck Baader
#36 ITA E30 BMW
Alabama Region Divisional Registrar

03-05-2005, 02:47 PM

I understand about not being able to lose a lot of money, but the track cancelled the event, not the promoter. My real point was that the track management has proven to be difficult to deal with on other instances, and has a history of acting in a way that I consider unprofessional (i.e. damage charges and cancellations).

06-18-2005, 12:27 AM
I read something today that reminded me of this thread…and figured I'd just throw a little more gas on the fire.

In the July 2005 issue of Roadracing World magazine (the premier US motorcycle road race journal which, editorially and graphically, makes SportsCar look like a bad comic book) Editor & Publisher John Ulrich makes the following parenthetical comment, in a article on recent serious injuries to motorcycle roadracers -

"A special mention here for the operators of Barber Motorsports Park, who discouraged Formula-USA from deploying its truckload of Airfence last August, and, when I asked why, told me that the track didn't need Airfence in front of the tire walls located in front of steel barriers because it was built to FIM specs and that no motorcycles had ever hit said tire walls. When I pointed out that AMA Pro Racing uses Airfence at Barber, I was told that it was only an excuse to hang sponsor banners in view of TV cameras, and that it was not needed. That same weekend, five riders got into the walls at Barber Motorsport Park. Apparently, the installation of giant, decorative steel insects on the property is an indication that reality does not apply in Leeds, Alabama."

Sounds like Mr. Barber built himself a theme park, not a race track. He should have stayed focused on cows, as 'racing' seems beyond him or his organization.

[This message has been edited by JohnRW (edited June 18, 2005).]

06-18-2005, 10:19 AM
"That same weekend, five riders got into the walls at Barber Motorsport Park."

The damage bill is in the mail.

Bill Denton
87/89 ITS RX-7
02 Audi TT225QC
95 Tahoe

06-19-2005, 05:02 PM
I hear the admission to the park is awesomely expensive and the amusements are nil. What would happen is someone built a race track and nobody came to race?

Chris Harris
ITC Honda Civic

06-19-2005, 07:06 PM
Pretty amazing thread. Has anyone heard BMP side of the story...is there another side to this story except the loss of a wonderful venue. Looks like Nashville is starting up next year...at least we'll have another place to race.