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Thread: IT National? Anyone else have this experience at a driver's meeting this year?

  1. #1
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    Default IT National? Anyone else have this experience at a driver's meeting this year?

    So we finally brushed the frost off and got our race cars out here in Cen-Div (although snow flakes ARE falling outside right now) over the past weekend.

    The Quad-Region double driver school and road race took place at Blackhawk Farms. It was supposed to be 40s and raining, but instead it was sunny and crisp for most of Sunday, which made for great racing. I had quite possibly the most exciting race of my life with Aaron Stehly (congrats on a hard fought win).

    But something interesting happened before the racing started on Sunday afternoon. At the end of the driver's meeting all of the IT drivers were asked to stay behind, and the CenDiv director asked us one question. "If the SCCA were to make Improved Touring classes national classes, and include them in the Runoffs, would you participate at a national level?". About half of the drivers said they would. He went on to say that the CRB was taking a closer look at this as possible future move, but that they were wary of doing so without feedback from IT racers, as they caught some flak from SM racers when it went National. I think they are also worried about what such a move would do to regional race attendance.

    I discussed the issue with a few other drivers as we walked back to our paddock spaces, and we agreed on a few things.
    1. This would probably not make a huge change for those already running at the very front of any class (in a competitive division).
    2. It would probably increase the overall number of IT drivers, as folks that like the class, but want to run nationals would join the fray.
    3. It would probably reduce the number of regional IT drivers, as some that are here now would decide to run at the nationa level (at least for a while).
    4. The casual racers in IT now would probably stay regional, and would probably move up in finishing position as a result.

    I'm not sure yet what I think would be best, and I know this group isn't after the debates we have had in the past, but if it happens I would go national, because it would be a lot easier than my current plan of going Prod racing down the road.

    What do you guys think?
    Chris Schaafsma
    Golf 2 HProd

    AMT Racing Engines - DIYAutoTune.com

  2. #2
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    Very interesting. There's been mumblings but this seems like the first and most official (or at least most public) consideration of the question.

    It's going to be a ball of worms. One suggestion: Be prepared to describe your racing goals - your reasons for participating in IT racing in the first place - as a way to help clarify motives and interests in the category.

    K

  3. #3
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    Simple for me. No national. I like my outlaw regional class. I think we have some of the best drivers, coolest cars and best competition in SCCA racing. I think "going national" would dilute some of that as the original poster mentioned with the faster guys running national events and the more casual racers staying regional.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  4. #4
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    Thumbs down

    Ditto Jeff's comments.

    Get the CRB to folks concentrated on the many IT proposals in front of them, aka RX8s, Pony Cars in ITR, and get them away from trying to break something that doesn't need fixing.

    Topeka sees something that works and wants to use it to fix their ailing Prod classes, FV, and all those other under subscribed classes. Leave IT as it is - it is healthy, fun, and doesn't have the drama of the National Classes.

    No thanks.

    Ron

  5. #5
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    Well. With all due respect, if you want to keep racing in regionals, you are free to do so under either arrangement. Why then would you desire to keep those that would like to run nationals from doing so?

    The only reason I can think of is being afraid of a shrinking grid.

    Of course the real answer is to get rid of the Regional / National 'distinction' alltogether IMO.
    Chris Schaafsma
    Golf 2 HProd

    AMT Racing Engines - DIYAutoTune.com

  6. #6
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    No problem, not picking a fight.

    You hit on my big concern. You called it shrinking fields, I called it dilution. Same thing. Why spread the same number of IT racers across two "series" of racing?

    I would be in favor of ending the national/regional distinction with the top 24 classes going to the runoffs. In that format, the "traditional" regional races would still count towards "national" points and folks would have an incentive to show up.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    I would be in favor of ending the national/regional distinction with the top 24 classes going to the runoffs.


    I don't think that is gonna happen. That would eliminate many of National Classes that are darlings of the Old Guard. Put a metric on them and a bunch of the current Runoffs classes would be prevented from participating in lieu of IT classes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    Put a metric on them and a bunch of the current Runoffs classes would be prevented from participating in lieu of IT classes.
    You say that like it's a bad thing
    Earl R.
    240SX
    ITA/ST5

  9. #9
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    I don't think it's been clearly demonstrated that Nationals being an option for IT cars would decrease Regional grid sizes. It might well be that the attraction of the occasional Nat'l race (particularly in weaker regions like the NW) would be enough to sway someone to an SCCA IT car rather than some of the other options with other sanctioning bodies. Or the option of "moving up" might make IT more attractive for some drivers who currently commit to Production classes.

    K

  10. #10
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    Would respectfully disagree with the concept but agree with your narrow point -- it hasn't been conclusively demonstrated that going National would reduce Regional car counts.

    But, I don't see "going National" increasing the pool of IT racers/cars, at least not significantly. I see the same pool being split over a larger schedule of races.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by erlrich View Post
    You say that like it's a bad thing
    No no, quite the contrary....

    At the regional level I think these low level subscription groups would die off a lot sooner if run groups were decided via number of entrants. Have five cars in your group? You are last for the day and YOU have to wait around and watch the others race. Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and all that jazz......

    That Spec Miata class seemed like a pretty cool concept before going National. Now many don't want anything to do with it because it is National.....
    Last edited by Ron Earp; 04-28-2008 at 08:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    At the Jim Stark double regional, 46 spec Miata's. I think that Nat SM has hurt down south
    Ron
    Atlanta
    ITB Mustang

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    But, I don't see "going National" increasing the pool of IT racers/cars, at least not significantly. I see the same pool being split over a larger schedule of races.
    I disagree here. I know a few folks that have told me flat out they would never consider an IT car because it isn't national. These are people that are just getting started in road racing, and are looking elsewhere because they percieve regional only to be 2nd class. Just because we know better, doesn't mean it looks that way to the outside world. I think we would see more new IT drivers in a national class.
    Chris Schaafsma
    Golf 2 HProd

    AMT Racing Engines - DIYAutoTune.com

  14. #14
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    Default watching from the hill

    Watching from the hill I see IT fading into twilight of dreams dying.
    Go ahead, make it national and and kill it off, it's almost gone anyway.
    phil
    phil hunt

  15. #15
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    All conjecture at this point. Like I said, I believe there would be some increase, but not a significant one. IT car counts are already amongst the highest in SCCA. A and S are very strong as is. I don't think they need a "national" tag to attract new cars, and I don't think doing so would increase the numbers....significantly.

    On the other hand, it would, in my view, hurt the traditional regional events.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  16. #16
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    Watching from the hill I see IT fading into twilight of dreams dying.
    Go ahead, make it national and and kill it off, it's almost gone anyway.
    phil
    Out of curiosity, why do you see it this way?

    Matt

  17. #17
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    You may disagree, but there is no doubt that going national would raise the price of poker in IT. It would attract more racers but for the most part these racers will be willing to spend more for national points. Going National skyrocketed SM costs. Yeah there were a few high dollar cars before, but some of that was done with knowledge that "national" classing was coming. SM costs at the top of the grid went up and continue to go up. Even the guys running at the back are spending more. It is a fact that if IT becomes a national class, overall the cost will soar. GOOD or BAD?

    I myself like the class as it is. There are some spots to gather "national recognition" if that is your goal, but it is not a big enough "plumb" to attract the Runoffs type efforts in mass. Yeah some efforts are strong, but you don't feel you have to spend the kids college tuition to go to ARRC and have a great time. The Triple Crown sounds like a cool deal, but I don't see "HeinRicey" slipping over for a shot at that title. IT is just right like it is.

    It just becomes a different mindset and therefore a higher ante when The Runoffs is put in the equation.

    We have a great class now I would suggest not screwing it up.
    Mac Spikes
    Cresson, TX (Home of "The Original" MotorSport Ranch)
    "To hell with you Gen. Sheridan...I 'll take Texas!"

  18. #18
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    I'm with Mac, and have the same perspective he does. Which shouldn't be a surprise, as we both used to run SM, and still hang around a core of SM guys.

    My position on this is the same as it has been for years. I'm ok with IT going "National" only if the whole Regional/National distinction goes away completely and the top 24 or so make the big show.
    Travis Nordwald
    1996 ITA Miata
    KC Region

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnord View Post
    ...My position on this is the same as it has been for years. I'm ok with IT going "National" only if the whole Regional/National distinction goes away completely and the top 24 or so make the big show.
    I'm with you philosophically on making that artificial distinction disappear - I didn't understand it when I went to my first Club Race in 1979, and I don't understand it now.

    On the other hand, if one subscribes to the "National = cost increase" hypothesis, wouldn't that aggravate it more, rather than reduce it? What am I missing?

    K

  20. #20

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    I really don’t think there are enough cars to support a split, at least not where I am. But, if IT did go National I think there should be a separation between national and regional drivers. IT Nat. could grow from an influx of Runoffs / big $ types and IT Reg. could grow in the absence of big $ as a entry level/lower budget/not willing to put that much effort in to it class.
    It wouldn’t be fair for Nat. to take away car counts from Reg. and still have “national drivers” be able to act as spoilers in regional races. I don’t know if this has been suggested in SM or why it hasn’t.(?)
    A national driver could still run regionals, just not place.
    Could be something like ‘If you run more than two nationals a year then you are a national driver’
    Or better yet we could have a ‘paddock checklist’, if you have 3 or more of the following, you can’t place in regional race: data acquisition, fancy-schmancy stick-on graphics, someone other than yourself that works on your car (other drivers excluded), Hoosier rains, communication system, someone to communicate with on communication system, dedicated pit bike/transportation, enclosed trailer with black and white checkered floor, hmm.. What else???

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