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SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?

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DexterVW
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 17, 2015 02:29PM
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NoCoast
Rallycross used to feed most rally participants in our region. That nearly disappeared. We've been trying to help make the transition but also get people to go both ways and encourage those wanting to rally to also go try rallycross. I bought a cheap Impreza for a shop rallycross car. Pay for others to race it. Putting my 20 year old cousin and his buddies that are into cars in it for nect year. Groom new talent.

I just wish a caged rally car was competitive in the NER rallyx series...
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 17, 2015 05:43PM
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DexterVW
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KTurner
What the actual rate is, who knows, and is 2 in 100 a success?

Why is someone jumping from rallycross to rally sprints important. I know just as many people who have built a rally car but can't afford to rally, as I do people who enjoy rallycross without any intention of jumping up to anything else. The thought that we are going to build rally, by bringing them up from rallycross through rallysprint, I feel is a mislead belief. Look at all the autocrossers who've build cars way in excess of the most common track car, only to spend its life running around the cones...

there's a gap between rallycross and stage rally and the entry into a full stage event can be a bit daunting. Sprints are one of the few options for those people looking to bridge that gap or move up the ladder as they look to do more miles and faster events. But like you said the ladder can work for people heading in the other direction or with other constraints to get their fix and run within their means as time allows. For the others waiting for the perfect event to show up; they shouldn't be catered to because there are lots of different places to run cars with the tiniest bit of effort from tsd to track days to hill climbs you name it but they choose to let the cars sit, maybe they just are not into it.

I autox regularly (with the rally car), I don't understand the serious autoxer.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 17, 2015 05:45PM
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DexterVW
I just wish a caged rally car was competitive in the NER rallyx series...

#themfeels
Five years ago we used to kill it with the ol'Neon and rally tires. Now we're happy to take a 5th place trophy home for the season going up against serious racers in gutted cars. The GOOD NEWS is that Rallycross and the Mod class is really strong in the South West. I think our Rallycross > Stage Rally numbers are A LOT higher here. I can think of at least 15 people in the last 5 years that have made the jump.

YMMV
- Kris
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 17, 2015 11:57PM
Yeah, rallycross tends to be a big feeder here on the west coast (or at least in the southwest, although I think it's somewhat true for the PNW as well). And it's really easy for rally peeps to fall into the mindset of "it's just a feeder" and look at it somewhat disparagingly. However, there are quite a lot of people who look at it as a sport in its own right and have no intentions of doing full stage rally. We've seen a lot of examples of cars that've been built specifically for rallycross which wouldn't be legal at all for rally - super light weight, minimal cages or just rollbars, no restrictors (for turbo AWD cars) and so on. All this ends up making rallycars be at a disadvantage. On top of that, the skillset of the drivers is somewhat different. I mean, there's a lot of overlap in the basics of car control in the dirt, but walking a course, memorizing it, and then driving it *precisely* four or more times over in 1st/2nd gear is a lot different from attacking a corner at high speed based what your codriver is telling you and what you remember from recce. Also, the consequences for blowing it are quite a bit different.

I believe the SCCA's impetus for expanding their program comes from several things. One is a general rollover in their staff over the last ten years, with some of the newer people more amenable to rally in general and left unconvinced that the SCCA's decision to ditch it in 2005 was a wise one. The other is a perceived gap in the provisions of the current rally sanctioning bodies when it comes to small closed-course events. RA is sort of a black hole when it comes to statements of their intent, and NRS doesn't advertise that they have a "RallySprint Rate" which affords slightly cheaper insurance if certain conditions are met. NRS just advertises the "Rallysprint In A Box" program, and that may be presented as imposing rules that're unwanted.



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webkris
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 18, 2015 09:30AM
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hoche
The other is a perceived gap in the provisions of the current rally sanctioning bodies when it comes to small closed-course events. RA is sort of a black hole when it comes to statements of their intent, and NRS doesn't advertise that they have a "RallySprint Rate" which affords slightly cheaper insurance if certain conditions are met. NRS just advertises the "Rallysprint In A Box" program, and that may be presented as imposing rules that're unwanted.

On face I agree. - but I will give two pieces of data that lessens this in 2015 and beyond (IMO).
1. We announced a $925 Test Day Program - that was very successful out of the gate. While this isn't "competition" this opens up opportunities for racers to get out and drive, and in turn I believe drives more competition.
2. I should just put at the top of the "Rallysprint in a box" page: "Considering something else? Want to do a compact or full rally? Contact a NASA Rally Sport Director!" Okay - done. I'l be interested to see if this adds to any of the half dozen "new rally requests" I get a year. smiling smiley

Oh, and just to be clear - from earlier - I LOVE that rallycross is "its own sport". The more folks that are always just coming out for the rallycross competition and not the novelty of it the better!
- Kris
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 18, 2015 03:24PM
We were having a discussion about changing the rally class rule for hill climbs to "codrivers are recommended" instead of "required." I've met a few people in rallycross that either have stage then quit or do not want to and state having the codriver's life in their hands is not a risk they are willing to commit. We will see what effect it has next year if the change is approved.

Having stage rallyists actively involved in the rallycross community leads to a higher percentage of transitions. There became this weird and unnecessary us vs. them between rallycross and stage peeps here after an unfortunate event mostly involving a notoriously incident inducing Colorado rally couple that led to only like ONE crossover in a 4-5 year period. We are trying to reinvolve ourselves this year in a variety of ways and the increased interest in transitioning is noticable.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 18, 2015 04:19PM
When I was in Colorado in 2002-2004 the rallycross scene was filled with stage rally guys and recruits that ended up doing stage rally.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 18, 2015 06:06PM
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NoCoast
Having stage rallyists actively involved in the rallycross community leads to a higher percentage of transitions.

In 2001 or 02 NER had a rallycross during the same weekend as Maine Forest. I think it was at a lot outside Sunday River of all places! The question I had at the time was: "Why the hell would you not take advantage of your fan base and think that a % of those folks would be at the rally spectating or volunteering?!"

Three years ago we started the HDT rallycross (it's the Sunday after the Stage Rally) to gave BACK to volunteers by giving a deep discount. About 20-25% volunteer for the rally and get $40 off the rallycross entry fee. It's good for the rally, it's another rallycross at a popular venue, and I push any type of cross promotion here! grinning smiley

- Kris
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 19, 2015 08:44AM
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KTurner

I autox regularly (with the rally car), I don't understand the serious autoxer.

I grew up watching my parents autocross. I don't understand it either. Sure, they liked to win, and yes they put a lot of time and effort into it. But then, my dad was a mechanic and it was part fun/competition and part marketing. He also built and/or serviced a lot of the other cars (as well as rally and track cars). But I do not recall ever hearing either of my parents get upset about losing. I also had an aunt, uncle and cousin that occasionally autocrossed. I started doing it when I was 18 and had a blast. Gotta say, one of the most fun events I ran was when my dad and I just randomly showed up at an event (after he'd stopped running regularly) and ran his Maxima station wagon daily driver (automatic) and beat the guy that had been winning his class at every event the entire season. The guy was furious. I was pretty sure I beat him too, but back then I was still running in "ladies" class . I can't remember when they finally made ladies class optional and I haven't been to an SCCA event in a milennia so dunno if they've finally gotten rid of it entirely or if it's still an option, the small club I still run with it still has it for those that want to use it.
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 19, 2015 10:56AM
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NoCoast
Having stage rallyists actively involved in the rallycross community leads to a higher percentage of transitions.

I agree with this. I think in the Washington DC region rallycross a bunch of guys have crossed over in some capacity (crew, volunteer, competitor) just because there were stage rally guys around who needed help at stage events and were active in rallycross. I would think rallycross events would be a great place for a stage rally guy to fish for crew guys and codrivers.

I think generally speaking, this is a transition time for US rally. When I was in college, No one had heard of it. Now, car guys seem to at least have played one of the DIRT games or have seen some youtube footage and thought it was cool. So, right now the US rally scene is seeking a suitable middle ground event that can serve as a stepping stone to actual Rally. It's gonna take a while to see what sticks.

As the kids grow up knowing Rally is out there, more folks will show up at events and this thing will build momentum over time if it's managed correctly. because of this DIRT games are probably doing more for US rally than most realize.

If you love Rally and have a stage or rallycross car, get it out in the public eye as much as you can. run a rallycross, do a couple car shows over the summer, whatever.

This is turning into a 'this will save rally' thread.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 19, 2015 03:36PM
The problem is, most are buying way too nice of cars, usually with a car payment. They might come out to a rallycross once and then they decide it's too rough on their car or too much commitment so they bail.
Next year I am going to put some new younger college students that are interested in rally into my Impreza rallycross car. My 20 year old cousin and his friends, local engineering school's car club members, etc. I made the comment the other day, every engineering or computer science student is a potential future customer. Figuring out how to get the black tie industries more interested in rallying instead of track/vintage would be good too. Doctors, lawyers, and such. We have a fairly concentrated group of blue collar entrepreneurs, engineer types, and really smart vets as primary rally base around here the past few years.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 19, 2015 06:58PM
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NoCoast
The problem is, most are buying way too nice of cars, usually with a car payment. They might come out to a rallycross once and then they decide it's too rough on their car or too much commitment so they bail.
Next year I am going to put some new younger college students that are interested in rally into my Impreza rallycross car. My 20 year old cousin and his friends, local engineering school's car club members, etc. I made the comment the other day, every engineering or computer science student is a potential future customer. Figuring out how to get the black tie industries more interested in rallying instead of track/vintage would be good too. Doctors, lawyers, and such. We have a fairly concentrated group of blue collar entrepreneurs, engineer types, and really smart vets as primary rally base around here the past few years.

Once again, people think of things which is directly trhas been for decades..
And the opposite of what I saw when we here had typically 35-40 cars at every event out here, and even more in the NE.

Virtually everybody involved more than the dreaded 3.2 rallies were with only a sprinkling of 2-4 guys were all working class ie electricians, mechanics, bodymen, machinists, welders, carpenters, contractors etc etc...Oddly enough very similar in moto-cross and even moreso in enduro.

Where rally is small time, meaningless, and just a handful of participants is those places where it is primarily rich guys.

A little reflection would lead one to the inescapable conclusion that there are many many many times more working class people than doctors, lawyers, injur-nears, etc.

Further reflection about the class system and especially the whole role of status would make a thinking person pause at the implications of trying to convince people who want and expect status reinforcement that they should abandon the received ideas current in their class and enter a world where results are so dearly purchased.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 20, 2015 08:56AM
John, You may be right but the economy for blue collar dudes has been in steady -- if not dramatic -- decline for over 20 years. Couple that with increases in costs to run (for a variety of reasons) and you get dramatically fewer people moving into the sport through this route. Even lowering the costs back to late 1990s specs and safety requirements won't bring many of them back to the sport.



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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 20, 2015 11:51AM
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Josh Wimpey
Even lowering the costs back to late 1990s specs and safety requirements won't bring many of them back to the sport.

A few points that often get piled together:

1. We ALL know that car racing & motorsport is inherently expensive - compared to MOST other hobbies there are a lot cheaper things to do than "Spec Miata", "Formula Ford", "Nitro Dragster" or "Stage Rally". The every-man argument that "Racing is expensive".

2. We agree that competing at the top of the field in the open or unlimited class "PRO" is usually 10X - 100X more expensive than any amateur or club effort in the same sport. This also gets lumped into "Racing is expensive".

3. Realize that marketing the sport with only the top of the field and keeping those costs in the "$250K - 1M" by encouraging the advancement of the pointy end and thus discouraging participation by the amateur or club efforts lands in "Racing is expensive".

So -
1. Consider that restoring WWII aircraft is also expensive.
2. The size of your checkbook is and always will be a factor in racing.
3. Some promoters and racing organizations are more interested in the team that can write an $80K check and do many national events, then getting 30 guys with $15K cars on the track at 1 or 2 local races paying with PayPal.

My argument would be that "rally is NOT more expensive" in the last 20 years.
It would be that the promotion and marketing of rally, shifted 20+ years ago to attract the top dollars - and even after 20 years of this, times when manufacturers and big team efforts would come and go, there just aren't "that many people" that are interested in rally AND that can write big checks every season.

Quote
john vanlandingham
A little reflection would lead one to the inescapable conclusion that there are many many many times more working class people than doctors, lawyers, injur-nears, etc.

I'm willing to bet that there are a hell of a lot more "every-man teams" that would be interested in this sport if it was actually marketed to them (with classes and championships geared specifically towards them). smiling smiley *cough... *grassroots

- Kris
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Re: SCCA's "Stepped" plan for Rally in the USA-Good idea or bound to fizzle?
November 20, 2015 12:48PM
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webkris
Quote
Josh Wimpey
Even lowering the costs back to late 1990s specs and safety requirements won't bring many of them back to the sport.

A few points that often get piled together:

1. We ALL know that car racing & motorsport is inherently expensive - compared to MOST other hobbies there are a lot cheaper things to do than "Spec Miata", "Formula Ford", "Nitro Dragster" or "Stage Rally". The every-man argument that "Racing is expensive".

2. We agree that competing at the top of the field in the open or unlimited class "PRO" is usually 10X - 100X more expensive than any amateur or club effort in the same sport. This also gets lumped into "Racing is expensive".

3. Realize that marketing the sport with only the top of the field and keeping those costs in the "$250K - 1M" by encouraging the advancement of the pointy end and thus discouraging participation by the amateur or club efforts lands in "Racing is expensive".

So -
1. Consider that restoring WWII aircraft is also expensive.
2. The size of your checkbook is and always will be a factor in racing.
3. Some promoters and racing organizations are more interested in the team that can write an $80K check and do many national events, then getting 30 guys with $15K cars on the track at 1 or 2 local races paying with PayPal.

My argument would be that "rally is NOT more expensive" in the last 20 years.
It would be that the promotion and marketing of rally, shifted 20+ years ago to attract the top dollars - and even after 20 years of this, times when manufacturers and big team efforts would come and go, there just aren't "that many people" that are interested in rally AND that can write big checks every season.

Quote
john vanlandingham
A little reflection would lead one to the inescapable conclusion that there are many many many times more working class people than doctors, lawyers, injur-nears, etc.

I'm willing to bet that there are a hell of a lot more "every-man teams" that would be interested in this sport if it was actually marketed to them (with classes and championships geared specifically towards them). smiling smiley *cough... *grassroots

- Kris

And as you well know, my sympathy is with those doing this sport themselves--on pump gas...
The utter ridiculous fawning over 1% and the moronic endlessly repeated "If we just get ________________ (fill in blank, choose any: Dubya Arsey, TV stars, washed up Extreme Sports He-rows, moar millionaire, 75% of the field all in blue Subies, 23 classes whadd evar) is pared to its essence the same thing as the mow-rons telling us "Trickle down---if we cut all taxes to bazzilionaire they'll buy more stuff and that'll creat MOAR jobz and we'll all get rich"

And its worked about as well...growing amassing of riches flowing one way, larger gap between top and the average, less democratic participation..

We've done the "let's all suck the cocks of the Big Boys and give them what they want and that will save rally....30 years and particpation in constant numbers goes down, and in percentage of population, it keeps plummeting even more...

Enough of the same old let's get some spoiled kids in and grow the sport.. They'll just take whats easy and then wander off..3,2 rallies and bye bye.

Back to basics..
Like what it seems NASA is pushing..
I salute you.



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