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Thread: 2014 Improved Touring Participation

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    So just remove Improved Touring from the GCR and leave it to the various regions to publish their own regs. Problem "solved".

    GA
    I would really hope you simply forgot to turn on the sarcasm font. If each region can make changes to the IT rule set, having any hope that people will travel outside of their region would be foolish. I doubt I am alone when I say I don't want to have to keep track of several different regions' current rules in order to confirm that when I go to another location my car will still be legal. ITE is that way now. NER has one opinion of what is legal, WDC has a completely different idea and most NER legal cars would not cut it in WDC. I'm sure there are other similar situations, but that is the one I familiar with.

    By having the IT rules in the GCR and therefore consistent across the country is one of the appeals to it. You know that you can pick an event and go to it and there will be cars that are similar to yours to race against.

  2. #22
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    The B Spec cars go about the same as the current ITC cars. Why not leave the car as they are in BS and allow them to enter ITC as is?
    Keep the stock ECU, exhaust, and plates /weights that they now have.
    Also , it is time to allow autos in new cars.
    back to lurking,;MM
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinglizard View Post
    The B Spec cars go about the same as the current ITC cars. Why not leave the car as they are in BS and allow them to enter ITC as is?
    Keep the stock ECU, exhaust, and plates /weights that they now have.
    Also , it is time to allow autos in new cars.
    back to lurking,;MM
    That's kind of the "limited prep IT" idea that Andy used to talk about. I think his point is that new cars are simply more powerful than previous generations, all other things being equal, so everything shifts up (conceptually) a level or two. There might be some lessons in WC TCA from last year, too.

    K

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMiskoe View Post
    If each region can make changes to the IT rule set, having any hope that people will travel outside of their region would be foolish.
    Which is maybe why the SCCA chose to publish the IT regs within the GCR - with a note that has always been there - that these regs were published for competitor convenience and the class would never be considered for National/Majors participation...? Right...? So why is everyone complaining that Improved Touring is not eligible for Nationals/Majors?

    If the question is actually "we want IT to go into the Majors program" then the Nationals/Majors/Runoffs question for Improved Touring has been asked and answered numerous times over its 30-year history, with the same answer, and yet we continue to get our panties in a wad all over it. The Club has made that answer perfectly clear, numerous times. And given the recent trends toward reducing the number of classes by around a third, there is zero chance that the answer will be different next time you ask.

    Let. It. Go.

    But if the shell argument continues to be that "every class in the GCR should be considered for Nationals/Majors/Runoffs" program then my solution is simple: pull Improved Touring out of the GCR. It's the only logical answer and will clearly declare to the membership the category as the Regional-Only class it is - and always has been - and release the regions to decide their own ruleset for their regional class. Topeka can publish a common set of regs in the publications area of its web site, something that the regions can refer to if they wish to run a common ruleset. And given that the ITAC consists of volunteers and costs SCCA nothing that I can tell, I see no reason why the CRB can't allow that committee to continue to exist and use the committee forums and concall systems, and submit regs changes directly to the technical director for publication to the web site as changes are approved by the committee (it would reduce that load off the CRB and the STAC could do whatever it wanted to).

    But if the community continues to try to leverage the "but we're in the GCR!" argument, it's simply setting itself up for the Club to get sick and tired of the whining and move toward that last scenario.

    GA
    Last edited by Greg Amy; 12-11-2014 at 08:27 AM.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    So just remove Improved Touring from the GCR and leave it to the various regions to publish their own regs. Problem "solved".

    GA
    One way to solve it, but that the problem exists at all is indicative of a larger issue. Sweeping IT out the door is a band aid. It would seem logical that the club would be interested in capturing, and spreading, what the NE and SE is doing correctly with IT.

    But on the other hand expelling IT from the GCR would provide a finality to the IT conundrum. Those that felt like continuing with the club could keep pockets of IT alive, or they could move into one of the national classes. The others could head off in search for green pastures elsewhere.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    Which is maybe why the SCCA chose to publish the IT regs within the GCR - with a note that has always been there

    So why is everyone complaining that Improved Touring is not eligible for Nationals/Majors?

    The Club has made that answer perfectly clear, numerous times.
    The SCCA is a club, an association dedicated to a particular activity. Isn't a club also responsive to what said members desire? If the membership as a whole wishes for a certain thing, then it doesn't matter what note the club wrote in a manual 30 years ago because members can change the manual. Of course, that is assuming that all members have input on activities of the club. I don't think that is the case with the SCCA since "IT National" would never be decided by a popular vote - the powers that be would be too afraid of the outcome to allow the vote to occur.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    Isn't a club also responsive to what said members desire?
    No. What makes you think that? What makes you think it should be so? The Club's leadership is responsive only to what it believes is within the best interest of the Club. And numerous varying leaderships over the decades have consistently rejected the idea(l) of Improved Touring being part of the Nationals/Majors program.

    This question has come up at least every five years within the last thirty. And the answer has been the same, each time. The last time it came up - and was rejected - it spawned the birth of Super Touring/Light. And now we're facing a long-term plan to reduce the number of existing Nationals/Majors classes by a third.

    Ron, the sooner you let this idea(l) go, the better IT will be. If we are misleading people into coming into IT with a future (misguided) expectation of this category going Majors/Runoffs, then we're doing them a significant disservice.

    I can't stop you from wanting it. But I can do my best, from my perspective, to convince you it's never going to happen. And if you ever accept that then you can adjust your expectations and actions according to your needs/desires.

    GA
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  8. #28
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    Greg, I know it is never going to happen. I understand that.

    But it doesn't stop me from asking questions about how the club operates. Yes, I am living under the misguided notion that the SCCA is a club, by members and for members. In my SCCA club if the majority of members decide that all cars shall be painted white with black tops, then it shall be done. If the majority of members were to vote that IT becomes a National class then it would occur.

    But we know that isn't how it works. A handful of people, probably sitting around in smoke filled rooms, decide what the club will and will not do. What really gets the IT racers though, is that while IT is regional only it a) still gets controlled to a large extent via the CRB and b) provides a large amount of income to the club but its racers are still essentially second rate members of the club.

  9. #29
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    How about just making it a whole lot simpler and dispose of regional/national status, combine the series, make all the cars eligible to run the events. I don't think now a days the Majors is all that epic, people just want to race and have a lot of cars to race against.

    Perhaps have an enduro/pro series as an alternate event. I think people are double dipping just to get some track time for the weekend. Since nationals are longer, this would solve the track time issue, and perhaps we would see more cars in the same number of classes, and then there would be a jump in participation.
    Tom Blaney
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  10. #30
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    I actually enjoy the sprint / relatively shorter races. Weekends where there are two sprint races versus one long race are more appealing to me personally.

    Then again, that flying club is looking more appealing lately...
    Dave Gran
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    What really gets the IT racers though, is that while IT is regional only it a) still gets controlled to a large extent via the CRB and b) provides a large amount of income to the club but its racers are still essentially second rate members of the club.
    a) We can resolve that by removing it from the GCR, and thus the CRB's control. Then IT is no longer centrally-controlled and all the locals can do with it whatever they feel best.

    But IT racers don't want that: they want a centralized set of rules that somehow spontaneously happen without any centralized control, all while being infinitely responsive to the needs/desire/votes of the racers competing within it.

    So do you want a centrally-managed set of regs or do you want the regs to be responsive to local needs/desires/votes? Sorry, you just can't have it both ways.

    b) Improved Touring does not provide a large amount of income to the Club, other than in licensing (and I suspect the overhead may exceed those revenues). Improved Touring does, however, provide a large amount of income to the regions in the form of entries.

    Ergo, IT is better off being a regional-only category, responsive to the regional racers it serves and the regional leadership that benefits from it.

    I've moved back and forth over the years between National/no-National. when I was competing at the top of my game in ITA I wanted to bring it to "The Show", but I have always realized (well, at least since the early 90s) that once one does that the game changes significantly. Today's winners in ITA have zero chance of consistent success at their current level against Spec Miata-level Nationally-prepped ITA efforts. That's just the way this game works.

    The farther we get into these debates, the more I'm leaning toward the idea that Improved Touring and the SCCA in general are better served by removing the ITCS from the GCR. Solves all ills for everyone.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Blaney View Post
    How about just making it a whole lot simpler and dispose of regional/national status, combine the series, make all the cars eligible to run the events.
    Because a vote for that is a request to remove Improved Touring (and other regional-only classes) from the GCR.

    Read above: you are working on the misguided assumption that because Improved Touring exists in the GCR, it has a chance to become a Majors class. That is an incorrect assumption that has been consistently affirmed over the last three decades.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    b) Improved Touring does not provide a large amount of income to the Club, other than in licensing (and I suspect the overhead may exceed those revenues). Improved Touring does, however, provide a large amount of income to the regions in the form of entries.
    I'm asking, doesn't the region contribute money back to HQ based on the entries? Fewer regional racers, less money back to Topeka.

    I think regional racing does have an impact on national classes. The two best attended national classes, SM and SRF, are also well subscribed at the regional level. I suspect if there were fewer, or no, regional races that the participants in these classes would find other outlets for their racing. National races are fewer in number and will require participants to tow for longer distances to obtain their racing fix, and that could cause a decline in their numbers.

    NASA does a lot of stuff wrong, but one thing they got right was not having a regional/national racing program. There are races and a championship. Come one, come all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    But IT racers don't want that: they want a centralized set of rules that somehow spontaneously happen without any centralized control, all while being infinitely responsive to the needs/desire/votes of the racers competing within it.
    Have you polled the body of IT racers to come up with that assertion? Or is this based on the topic being discussed here six years ago?

    I imagine that if you were to take a poll of current and active IT racers in the NE and SE that the majority of them would choose for IT to be a national class. Just a guess. I'd be interested in knowing the answer.
    Last edited by Ron Earp; 12-11-2014 at 10:56 AM.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post


    b) Improved Touring does not provide a large amount of income to the Club, other than in licensing (and I suspect the overhead may exceed those revenues). Improved Touring does, however, provide a large amount of income to the regions in the form of entries.

    Ergo, IT is better off being a regional-only category, responsive to the regional racers it serves and the regional leadership that benefits from it.
    But COULD it, if you allowed a couple of much-larger-than-average-participation classes access to Majors? What defines income for the 'Club'? If it's entries at Majors, then not allowing one of your biggest classes access to it is limiting your own income potential.



    I've moved back and forth over the years between National/no-National. when I was competing at the top of my game in ITA I wanted to bring it to "The Show", but I have always realized (well, at least since the early 90s) that once one does that the game changes significantly. Today's winners in ITA have zero chance of consistent success at their current level against Spec Miata-level Nationally-prepped ITA efforts. That's just the way this game works.
    So what? Is it conceivable that a guy with a top Regional effort would want to continuously up his game and have goals and targets to shoot for? The flip side to this is that guy gets bored with smacking his locals around and stops racing. Now there is lost revenue.

    The farther we get into these debates, the more I'm leaning toward the idea that Improved Touring and the SCCA in general are better served by removing the ITCS from the GCR. Solves all ills for everyone.

    GA
    Only because you are in the 'futile' camp and you just don't want to deal with the chatter anymore. Removing IT from the GCR would ruin cross-regional series and the desire for those to travel to different tracks out of region would slump if cars were illegal race to race. Not good IMHO.

    My stupid view is simple. Run all the classes at 'Majors'. Top 25 average participation classes get their own run groups at the RunOffs. The rest that meet minimum participation are in multi-class groups. Set and abide by average National minimums to be eligible for Runoffs.

    I see very few reasons it can't work and why it's not the best thing for the membership as a whole. (Unless the silent majority is for regional only racing, obviously as we live in the squeaky-wheel world here)
    Last edited by Andy Bettencourt; 12-11-2014 at 11:01 AM. Reason: spelling
    Andy Bettencourt
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  15. #35
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    Regional racing is proven to be the backbone of the club in numbers and in revenue. Most regions would not exist without IT and other regional classes. We continue to build a club racing program around the 500-600 drivers that might go to the big show. This is proven out with the introduction of the Concord agreement. Compare that number to the number of regional entries in the Southeast alone and you see why there is such a disconnect with the membership.

    One day the CRB will figure out that stable rule sets and classes not marked for death, are what draws entrants. SRF, FV, SM, Improved Touring are always at the top in Nationwide participation. This is because people like to buy the car they like and develop it over time as funds allow. The moving target is killing our club. IT provides what almost no other category in SCCA can offer with so many options to race. We can go to the track with one car and race 4 sprints on a double weekend, as well as a multitude of enduros. Similar to Chump/Lemons a few guys can share one car and cut the cost of racing way down. Majors has no such draw. We have forgotten who we were as a CLUB. Sad.

    Removing IT from the GCR would be wrong. When that happens you will see my entry dollars move to some other organization that gets it. You think any other organization would not be happy to have over 4000 ITS entries alone? Our BOD has the same problem as past BOD, can't figure out if we are Pro or not.

    Last I checked my post race audit, we send just as much money in per entry as Nationals did, minus the tow fund that goes to racers. This was before the Majors wine and Cheese tax to fly the national office to events to hand out tow money. Each of those entries paid the same membership and license fee so I would say regional racing is very much paying for their fair share of the National office.
    Last edited by seckerich; 12-11-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Earp View Post
    I'm asking, doesn't the region contribute money back to HQ based on the entries? Fewer regional racers, less money back to Topeka.
    Don't know the exact details, but I believe there are only per-event sanctioning fees. That fee does not change based on number of entries and/or the mix of entries. So, as far as Topeka is concerned, a Formula Mazda entry is as good as an ITC entry.

    I think regional racing does have an impact on national classes. The two best attended national classes, SM and SRF, are also well subscribed at the regional level. I suspect if there were fewer, or no, regional races that the participants in these classes would find other outlets for their racing.
    I'm inferring you're saying that increased Regional entries increases the Majors entries. Or vice versa? I personally don't sense that. If anything, and especially with the changes in the Majors programs the last coupe years, these series tend to attract a differing group of people, based on classes offered (some prefer IT, for example) and level of prep (generally speaking, the money and time spent on prep is lower in regional racing).

    NASA does a lot of stuff wrong, but one thing they got right was not having a regional/national racing program. There are races and a championship. Come one, come all.
    Yes, "come one, come all" but only if you maintain the numbers. NASA is a lot more responsive to weeding out the chaff and making it go away (witness Spec SE-R, for example). SCCA doesn't do that (often) with its classes; once you're in, you typically stay in (hell, we still have A Sports Racing!) If, for example, ITC were a NASA class it would have been cut a long time ago... - GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    But COULD it, if you allowed a couple of much-larger-than-average-participation classes access to Majors?
    Dude, it could FLY if it had wings.

    Once again, I'm arguing Reality, you're arguing you want a unicorn for Christmas. I believe you that you want a unicorn for Christmas, I'm just trying to tell you it won't happen.

    But...submit a request, prove me wrong: http://crbscca.com

    GA
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  18. #38
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    I am not arguing that it will or won't happen. I am arguing that it COULD happen, and be successful.
    Andy Bettencourt
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by seckerich View Post

    One day the CRB will figure out that stable rule sets and classes not marked for death, are what draws entrants. SRF, FV, SM, Improved Touring are always at the top in Nationwide participation. This is because people like to buy the car they like and develop it over time as funds allow. The moving target is killing our club. IT provides what almost no other category in SCCA can offer with so many options to race. We can go to the track with one car and race 4 sprints on a double weekend, as well as a multitude of enduros. Similar to Chump/Lemons a few guys can share one car and cut the cost of racing way down. Majors has no such draw. We have forgotten who we were as a CLUB. Sad.
    This.
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by seckerich View Post
    Removing IT from the GCR would be wrong. When that happens you will see my entry dollars move to some other organization that gets it.
    That'd be shoving the red-head stepchild out in the cold and locking the door. I think when that happens I'll move on somewhere else as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    But COULD it, if you allowed a couple of much-larger-than-average-participation classes access to Majors? What defines income for the 'Club'? If it's entries at Majors, then not allowing one of your biggest classes access to it is limiting your own income potential.
    Looking at the SARRC points I count ~300 individual Southeast racers in all the classes. If only 10% of them "went national" and participated in the ruboffs then it'd be thirty extra racers at the grand ball. What percentage increase at the rubofffs would +30 be? Then consider the NE and other regions. There is a good opportunity for the SCCA to grow its national classes.

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