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Thread: 2014 Improved Touring Participation

  1. #41
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    As I said, I've got a real history with IT and I value that. I have also been one of the most stalwart about not effing it up, and about the value of consistency.

    However, I think we crossed something of a threshold the last time the pitch for "National" status was turned down. ST came long, other classes shifted around, the economy got into a big understeer... The context in a world considering class consolidations might be different enough that it's the right time to consider new ideas - like big, first principle kinds of ideas - about what the category was, has become, and should be. Yeah, the pressure to reduce the number of classes is specifically about Majors for the moment but the same issues and questions apply to "regional" programs.

    The real goal should be building a cohesive Club Racing program that can thrive. I think that assumptions about what that program is going to look like are just as bad as assumptions that being in the GCR is any guarantee of any particular outcome for the category.

    K

  2. #42
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    You have a point Kirk, IT took a hit with the creation of ST. As the true cost of a ST car is now getting clearer many will see IT as a better route. IT remains strong in the divisions listed in the chart because many of us actively find parked cars and get new drivers into them. Find me anything but a spec class where a car built in 1996 can still run up front? That is the real value of IT that is lost on so many people. You, and the many members of the ITAC over the years made that reality. ST is a direct competitor to Production and will most likely hurt both. It was a toss up for me for next years Runoffs, but EP won out because of the level of prep involved to be fast. ST is World Challenge light and if a rule book says you can, then you must to win.

    Keep in mind Florida draws more cars to a non points regional at Daytona than most regions draw to a big points race. Why, because it is fun and low key. Something many have forgotten.
    Steve Eckerich
    ITS 18 Speedsource RX7
    ITR RX8 (under construction)

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by seckerich View Post
    Keep in mind Florida draws more cars to a non points regional at Daytona than most regions draw to a big points race. Why, because it is fun and low key. Something many have forgotten.
    I disagree - they draw because they have a larger racer (retired folks with money) population but more importantly, because they run at Daytona and Sebring. And I don't believe I'd EVER use "low key" and "Robin Langlotz" in the same sentence...
    Butch Kummer
    Former SCCA Director of Club Racing (July 2012 - Sept 2014)
    2006, 2007, 2010 SARRC GTA Champion

  4. #44
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    If we are a member driven club, the line " out for member input" would be a lot more common. Each member gets a vote. If we want to run IT @ Rubboffs we should vote it in. But kee p in mind that there are many reasons national level tech is not easy for IT . We dont have much of the required data to enforce the rules. and more.
    But if we are a club, for us, we should be able to vote for this, simple as that.

    IT has driven many away for a few minor reasons. We all like a chance to podium . You have a few cars that set lap records across the country. The ITB Hondas , the Mk 3 Vws have driven the old guard to other classes. Fix this and more cars will stay. Many Mk 1 and 2 VWs have moved to Prod.

    Adjust the class from the results, not some theory. Prod does this..

    The PITA for SCCA protest. allows many questionable cars to continue running . The honest guys just say eff it and finds someplace else to play.

    The lack of legal /stock parts for the old cars. It is illegal to update to stronger more available parts. Prod allows most of these parts.
    Not wanting to keep buying the little crap like turn signal lights, headlights etc.

    Solve these issues in a timely fashion to stay alive. The IT rules have taken so long to change.

    SCCA also faces a huge market swing to PDX and track days. No easy way to keep racing when the new money wants to run the crap out of their street cars.
    I expect we will soon have one day of PCX/TT and one day of racing over the weekend.
    The well funded drivers have also tried the crapcan racing. 1500$ per and lots of racing no sitting around.
    Mike Ogren , FWDracingguide.com, 352.4288.983 ,http://www.ogren-engineering.com/

  5. #45
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    Oh my God.
    it's only December 11th, and we're ALREADY arguing this again?
    Screw Farmer's Almanac: this is the real place to tell what kind of winter we're going to have.
    Stephanie Funk
    <Couple of NARRC and NERRC bragging things here>
    HP Honda CRX in progress, ITB Honda Civic, ITA Honda CRX, ITC Honda CRX
    "Green Booger Racing"

  6. #46
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    It may offend some but in my opinion Andy and Steve are correct, and "get it". I commend them for being open minded and not so close minded. I would quote everything they have said so far.

    SCCA Participation is falling, not just IT. We need some big changes and getting rid of the stupid national, regional, majors crap should be extremely high on the priority list. No one gets it other than the old timers, no one cares other than the old timers. It's time for the change... well back in the 90's was the time IMHO... yup about the same time NASA came around, and SCCA worlds challenge... Most people that ran nationals back in the 70's and 80's didn't have touring car and continental challenge to run. Let alone all the other "pro" stuff. Let's face the truth that national or not, club racing attracts the same people nowadays and the national racers of back then would have been doing the new "pro" thing. time to catch up to the changes that took place in 1990 just within our own organization.

    Stephen

  7. #47
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    The ITB Hondas , the Mk 3 Vws have driven the old guard to other classes.
    As someone experienced this first hand, many of the old guard were complacent running on an old engine that was built many years ago, had crappy suspensions from the 80s, ran old tires, and so on. Several of these cars got the attention of people who wanted to really develop them, were willing to invest in the pretty good bits, had pro motors built, and used fresh tires. It became laughable when the old guard would approach me, complain about my car, look over and see just heat cycled tires on it, I'd ask how many cycles were on theirs and the response was either I don't know or maybe around 20?

    To prove that point home, an old guard car was brought to Lime Rock several years ago where it was not a front runner. Of course because the car was aged, and didn't have the performance as others. A talented driver who hadn't driven that car in many years jumped in, and within a few laps was well under the lap record and not on fresh tires (if I recall correctly).

    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.
    Yes, I'll agree that guy wants to continuously up his game, BUT not be required to significantly up the build cost. I want to race against people who have similar budgets and make it about how we spend our limited budgets, and the driver. Do I want to be racing against a bunch of guys who have $50k builds? Nope. And the same guys who have the money to constantly be getting top coaching around the U.S. and all of the other advantages money brings? Between the two, I don't see that it would be that much fun to be to a AAA ball club constantly playing against the Yankees.

    Andy, there numerous times I thought that you built your car too well and as a result, it took the fun away.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  8. #48
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    I love chasing the best. ITR in the northeast has the money, driver coaching, and top builds that would and could compete at a national level. I am trying to catch them... I may never do it but it's fun to try!



    Stephen

  9. #49
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    By all means I am not knocking the drivers in ITR or any other IT class, but sorry, it's not on the overall level that SM has. Just the way it is. I KNOW that I'd need to really, REALLY need to up my game to be towards the pointy end of the SM pack even with the right car.
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys Real World Road Tests
    Go Ahead - Take the Wheel's Free Guide to Racing

  10. #50
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    Oh for sure, I was just sayin I don't mind being the guy chasing those fast guys :-) kinda fun to get within a few tenths of them or keep them in my sites during the race!

    I have always thought over the years that ITA has had that same level prep cars as well.

  11. #51
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    Dave

    Part of the real enjoyment of amateur racing is that everyone who follows the rules when it comes to preparing a car has the same chance to win as the "rich guy". This does not matter if it is a GT/Prod/IT car, the rules will state that you can do only so much to the car. There is not a whole lot of performance difference between my motors and the guys down south, we all know the technical details. So a 5k difference is a motor build will not get you anything that an effective driver can't overcome. You proved that with the "old timers car" and the talented driver resetting track record.

    Also part of the enjoyment of these kinds of classes is that the owner/driver/builder can sit in his garage with a can of beer and think how he can improve the car's performance with his own skills and effort. I know for a fact that when you beat a "race shop prepped" with your "home built" it is a much better victory lap then most.

    So my contention (and I agree with some of the comments) that the club dispose of the national/regional would allow more people to compete in bigger fields (and against some really good "national drivers") and enjoy one of the reasons this is amateur racing.
    Tom Blaney
    SBMS Racing Inc -- Home of the Bullet Proof Motor
    [email protected]
    http://raceshop.sbmsinc.com

  12. #52
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    Nice post Tom! I agree!

    I think we should do away with the national/regional thing and just race. I could care less if they said no IT at the runoffs, that doesn't matter to me. I just think the club is to confusing with the different "levels" if you want to call it that. To be honest I don't think IT should go to the runoffs as trying to enforce the rules on 40year old cars would be difficult and probably more of a mess than SM was. SCCA needs to be simpler so everyone gets it from the outside looking in. Consolidate classes and make them make sense so if you decide to modify your car more you can and just move up in cost and allowable modifications.

    Stephen

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by gran racing View Post

    Yes, I'll agree that guy wants to continuously up his game, BUT not be required to significantly up the build cost. I want to race against people who have similar budgets and make it about how we spend our limited budgets, and the driver. Do I want to be racing against a bunch of guys who have $50k builds? Nope. And the same guys who have the money to constantly be getting top coaching around the U.S. and all of the other advantages money brings? Between the two, I don't see that it would be that much fun to be to a AAA ball club constantly playing against the Yankees.

    Andy, there numerous times I thought that you built your car too well and as a result, it took the fun away.
    As a Red Sox fan, I never blamed the Yankees. I blame MLB. You can't have a system in place where one guy has an unlimted budget and one guy can spend 1/10th of that. There is no ceiling.

    Having said that, there is no form or racing where budget doesn't matter. Fresh tires every session, highest end data to learn more, private driving coaches, fresh motors way more often... All it takes is one guy to up his game and that becomes the new standard. In NER, it was Blaney and Serra that kicked off the onslaught. I can say this with fact because those were the cars I looked at when I asked myself if I wanted to jump in.

    I had plenty of fun doing what I was doing...but it was time for me to go. I loved the class rules and there was no National Championship to shoot for so I was done with any 'goal's' I had. Couple that with an intense love of coaching youth sports, it all fizzled.

    Track records will fall with new tires and more HP development. It's all good.

    The IT rules are good and the management of said rules is good. It's when there are lots of entries. Find a car you love and build it and have fun.
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bettencourt View Post
    find a car you love and build it and have fun.

    This...... And if you can convince 13 of your buddies to spend a little money and race together, more better.....


    OK 14, one more may be heading this way to run in the NERRC IT7 Dinosaur Super Series.
    Last edited by Dano77; 12-12-2014 at 02:05 PM.
    All posts are made by a fat old guy with a crappy old car that isnt supported by a factory anymore and therefore should not be taken seriously, EVER

    We buy our tires at WalMart 205/50-15 NT-01 $148.00 last all season and go faster as they wear out........

    Driver Skills Development, 7's Racing Skunk Works
    it7racing.com

  15. #55
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    It's a bit sad to see the fracturing of IT. The ruleset has some sort of "magic" in it. It's stable, and it produces great racing across many marques and years of production. You would think the SCCA would see more value in that, and by that I don't mean trying to duplicate it in new classes with similar prep.

    Five years ago I was happy with IT being an "outlaw" regional class and wanted nothing to do with national racing. I was wrong. Kirk and Andy were, at the time, right. Without "Full" status within the SCCA, IT is destined to die off I think. Which is a shame.

    And it needn't happen, and it needn't happen at the cost of entries to ST or Prod. The answer is, I strongly believe, to take the best of three classes that are very close in prep -- LP Prod, ST and IT -- and combine them into a super production car series.

    folks are nibbling at the edges of this idea, but we need to get down to it to see if it works.

    If not, then I ride the IT wave until it dies and move somewhere else. Which is really not what I want to do.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    Without "Full" status within the SCCA, IT is destined to die off I think.
    I simply cannot disagree with you more, my friend. It is because IT does not have "full" status that it has survived as long as it has, and has been the most stable philosophy of the last three decades of SCCA racing.

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

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    I simply cannot disagree with you more, my friend. It is because IT does not have "full" status that it has survived as long as it has, and has been the most stable philosophy of the last three decades of SCCA racing.

    GA
    I know. And we'll have to agree to disagree on that. I used to think you were pushing to "kill" IT with some of your ideas, but I get now you are not. Your vision for IT is what made it so popular in the 80s/90s -- regional only rules, regional only racing, "outlaw" stuff. I get that and appreciate it.

    I just think that "racing" in general is so different now and that niche is really filled by the Chumpemons stuff, and DEs. IT has to find a new place. To me, that is combined with ST and LP Prod in a new "super" production type class.

    But it is all a good discussino, and like I said, it took me a while, but I appreciate where you are coming from.
    NC Region
    1980 ITS Triumph TR8

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    I know. And we'll have to agree to disagree on that. I used to think you were pushing to "kill" IT with some of your ideas, but I get now you are not. Your vision for IT is what made it so popular in the 80s/90s -- regional only rules, regional only racing, "outlaw" stuff. I get that and appreciate it.

    I just think that "racing" in general is so different now and that niche is really filled by the Chumpemons stuff, and DEs. IT has to find a new place. To me, that is combined with ST and LP Prod in a new "super" production type class.

    But it is all a good discussino, and like I said, it took me a while, but I appreciate where you are coming from.
    IT already has the draw for Chump/lemons type drivers. Cars can run long races with multiple drivers. More regions need to get on board the enduro series and help promote the cost of shared participation.

    How would you like to be looking at the concord agreement with IT as one of the catagories destined to be screwed? Keep your head down and watch the sparks fly, this will be fun. I know I took note of the vote my director made and am not very happy. Hope she is ready to explain at St Simon.
    Steve Eckerich
    ITS 18 Speedsource RX7
    ITR RX8 (under construction)

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by seckerich View Post
    How would you like to be looking at the concord agreement with IT as one of the catagories destined to be screwed? Keep your head down and watch the sparks fly, this will be fun. I know I took note of the vote my director made and am not very happy. Hope she is ready to explain at St Simon.
    The motion on the Concorde Agreement was simply to instruct the CRB do a six-month study and come back with a proposal to reduce the number of Majors/Runoffs classes, nothing more. Once they've presented the plan the BoD will vote again on whether or not to adopt it. And even if they do, I fully expect it to be defeated by future BoD's when members figure out how THEIR class gets "assimilated".

    That said, even excluding Spec Miata, the GCR currently has fourteen classes that all "look like" they are based on production vehicles - 4 GT, ASedan, 3 Prod, 4 Touring, and 2 Super Touring. Add in the five IT classes, and are those classes different enough that they can't be combined to create five or six classes that will provide better competition for everyone? If you were starting with a clean sheet of paper, would you really be able to explain why all of them are necessary?

    Again, class consolidation (the Concorde Agreement) will never happen because SCCA is NOT starting with a clean sheet of paper. But then this is the off-season and people need something to bitch about until next spring...
    Butch Kummer
    Former SCCA Director of Club Racing (July 2012 - Sept 2014)
    2006, 2007, 2010 SARRC GTA Champion

  20. #60
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    We should start with a clean sheet, just no one is brave enough to do it.

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