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Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*

Posted by Anders Green 
Anders Green
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Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 12, 2012 09:26AM
I posted this on SS the other day, but since it's the result of actual research, it's worth putting up here too. In a world where you can read unsubstantiated press releases about growth for years on end, I think it's important to actually see what's really happening.



This is number of rally entries by cars in the US, covering all rallies/rallysprints, by anyone, anywhere in the US. As you can see, 2011 is half of what 2002 was. The scale is linear and starts at zero. The absolute Y scale is trivia, the trend line is what's important.

If you want to compare everything to 2002, here's what it looks like:

2011 51%
2010 55%
2009 57%
2008 60%
2007 73%
2006 67%
2005 73%
2004 84%
2003 81%
2002 100%
2001 93%
2000 73%

Now you know... so go do something about it!



Grassroots rally. It's what I think about.
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 12, 2012 01:33PM
In my opinion there are two factors that have resulted in the decrease of participation, and only one we can do anything about. The economy, we can do nothing about it and I would imagine if you overlayed your graph with one from the stock market in the same time period they would match perfectly. Not only are people making less money, but everything related to rally has become more expensive.

The other item is something that we can do something about, create a more inviting atmosphere.
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NoCoast
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 12, 2012 02:28PM
Quote
Gravel Spray
In my opinion there are two factors that have resulted in the decrease of participation, and only one we can do anything about. The economy, we can do nothing about it and I would imagine if you overlayed your graph with one from the stock market in the same time period they would match perfectly. Not only are people making less money, but everything related to rally has become more expensive.

The other item is something that we can do something about, create a more inviting atmosphere.

One thing I've noticed is that a larger proportion of incoming rallyists balk at the costs. Might be a blip or a strange occurence, but 8 years ago when you talked to aspiring or rallyists in the process of prepping a car, people were fine with and understood that they would have to spend thousands on cages or suspension or seats, etc.
The majority, perhaps all, of the aspiring rallyists I've encountered in the last year or two say things like, "I can't afford to pay someone to build a cage in my car" or "I can't afford suspension so I'm just going to try to get by on some HD Bilstein inserts" or "I got this cage in my STI but I can't afford to buy racing seats and didn't realize my stock seats wouldn't fit."



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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 12, 2012 03:22PM
Items new rallists face;

Cage, cira 2000 or so. $1500-2k and you could get a nice cage. Now with all the tubes gussets etc I cant touch it for a dime less than $5k.

Seats, used to be able to get a pair for $600, now double that.

You now need a hans, so + $900

These items seemed to have gone way up and may just be enough to turn people off to the idea.

At the other end, long time compeditive rallists, in 2000 if you wanted to go out and see how you compared with the champs you could have equal equipment for around $100k. Around 2006 this went up to $200k, now you're looking at $350k. The operational costs go up exponentially as well. In 2005 we ran a Group N evo, spark plugs, oil changes, brake pads and discs, thats it. In 2007, it was stroker time, 500ft pounds at 3200 RPM, nothing lasts very long, ring gears, transfer cases axles, regular engine teardowns, more personal etc etc. I've had plenty of clients willing to spend some serious money, but everyone has their breaking point. Add to this shit like the matter of "tampering with championship equipment" and it's just enough to make a guy throw in the towel.

One thing I do want to point out is this, whether your driving a top spec open class car, or a stockish 2wd whatever, it's exactly the same amount of fun.
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alosix
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 02:46PM
Hmm, steady decline since we've been able to purchase blue subarus in the states.. Coincidence?



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Anders Green
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 03:33PM
That's why mine is green. smiling smiley



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A1337STI
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 05:33PM
Mine is also green.



That's actual employment , not "unemployment"



lots of unemployed is the new norm. sad smiley There's not much we can do about it (Vote better?) so its something we just have to deal with. we don't even have a recovery yet (job wise)

We can realize that now is the worst time possible to up the costs, (safety) so we can try as hard as possible to resist any new safety rule changes (not sure how much say we have in that)

...

http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=13#M_1

Canada on the other hand has a slightly better employment rate now, than it did in 2000 !! 61.8% (compared to our 58.2%)
the big problem is that we used to have 64% or we are missing 20 million jobs !!! angry smiley



We are going to need to find ways to do more , with less.

how to get entries up, when people have less money

how to keep our rallies running with less entries .

instead of prizes for the fastest teams , we should have start funds for the lowest budgeted teams (lottery / raffle picks for prizes)

The fastest teams usually have the best budgets and a $400 prize means a lot less to a team already doing a handful of rallies , than it means to the team who drove there and raced on used tires. or the team who borrowed gear to get there.

or have series wide prizes spent on who enters the most, not how well they place.

When you're on the podium you need a lot less incentive to do the next rally, than when you are an other of the "finished in the bottom half" I've been in both positions, there's a lot more motivation to do the next rally when have many places to drop in the standings. When you're in the bottom of the standings , with out much hope of climbing up you can look at the next rally more objectively .. Cost vs fun Vs other life expenses. when you're chasing some position its easier to say "i'll pay off some stuff later, I'll put off a new TV , GOTTA DO the next rally ... "


Rally organizers , Try to avoid the prizes for top placing finishers, Try to find a way to give prizes to people doing multiple rallies... parter with other events how about things like

all competitors who enter both NNR and Mendocino are entered into a drawing for a $100 rebate.. Ideas like that , that will help the little guy / newbie do more than 1 event in a year... smiling smiley though money doesn't come from no where... but meh narr... throwing all the prize money on the top few competitors isn't a recipe for big turn outs



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2012 05:47PM by A1337STI.
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 05:51PM
Quote
NoCoast

One thing I've noticed is that a larger proportion of incoming rallyists balk at the costs.

What age of rallyists are you noticing incoming Grant? Most new people I see here are 30+ (some younger people earning good coin in the oil field have showed up). In fact, at 23, I can probably count on one hand the number of rallyists in Western Canada that are younger than me.

Also*:

'Tis hard to afford rallying when you drive a $50k truck as your daily driver and your wife has to have that Audi crossover and you have the couple thousand sqft bungalow and a 40 year mortgage...

*Mindset of the typical North American
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 05:55PM
Hmmm. Mine are green, red and silver.



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NoCoast
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 06:18PM
Quote
HiTempguy
'Tis hard to afford rallying when you drive a $50k truck as your daily driver and your wife has to have that Audi crossover and you have the couple thousand sqft bungalow and a 40 year mortgage...

There are two predominant categories that fit that group I described.
Young and can't afford rallying.
The group you just described. They LOVE the idea of rallying, but due to the above factors and the perceived and real cost of entry to motorsports, won't even consider it. There's often kids involved, often used as an excuse/reason to need that new Audi/Chevy/Honda.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 09:48PM
Quote
HiTempguy


Also*:

'Tis hard to afford rallying when you drive a $50k truck as your daily driver and your wife has to have that Audi crossover and you have the couple thousand sqft bungalow and a 40 year mortgage...

*Mindset of the typical North American

You write an awful lot of arrogant shit but that right there is golden.
When I first got started I don't think anybody I knew OWNED a house, and nearly all were sharing with a couple other guys---LOWER COSTS, and ALL were driving street versions of the cars they rallied---and had either spares or "waiting in the back of somebody else' house".

I remember in the early 00ies riding somewhere with a real nice guy, owned a car that had been around since before 84 but it and he was quick in it. Simple RWD, spares--so he can bang it up---but he can't pay for anything, can't finish the engine freshen up.
His daily driver: late 90s big BMW with max pimp-o wheels and tires
Wifeys car: 00 or whatever Forester Sub-a-rat (now WE all know that its the same motor/trans/diffs in any fawkin Subie so the Forester is just a 10k trim package. So sure wifey needs a reliable car, but that could be met with something a little less POINTLESSLY a fashion statement)

He dropped out.



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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 10:15PM
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john vanlandingham

You write an awful lot of arrogant shit but that right there is golden.

If I didn't know any better John, I'd take that as a compliment coming from you grinning smiley
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alosix
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 16, 2012 10:15PM
I'll have to agree with those 2. I once got caught up in that version of the American dream. Expensive (2500sqft) house, Old Jeep, new Jeep, Subaru.. EXPENSIVE wife.

Down to just the old (97)Jeep , older (67) Jeep (tow rig, $1500+ $2500 engine/trans), and WRX + a much less expensive GF. Past life nearly paid off.. Makes rally a lot easier to fathom. At some point in the next 4-5 years if the wheels don't fall off the 2 of us will find some place cheapish (1000sqft + 600-1000sqft garage) in an area that I might be able to pay cash for such a place.

People were a lot more optimistic in 2000, though I wouldn't doubt that a lot of rallying around that era was paid for by 2nd mortgages fueled by the housing bubble. At that point in time I was hacking on 'rock buggies' that some guys has 60-80k in, that were making about 40k a year max. Those numbers just don't add up.


But hey.. its the recovery summer.. or was that 2011, wait I though that was 2010.. er 2009? Hmm



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2012 10:19PM by alosix.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 17, 2012 10:17AM
Quote
HiTempguy
Quote
john vanlandingham

You write an awful lot of arrogant shit but that right there is golden.

If I didn't know any better John, I'd take that as a compliment coming from you grinning smiley

It was a compliment .
I'm as shocked as you that you could see clearly the persistent major problem in North American rally, and state it clearly since you're usually busy writing "I have to laugh at those guys....(anybody who has not bought a built Eclispe)" and telling us how awesome you are.



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Brian Johnson
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and *Statistics*
April 17, 2012 11:22AM
Quote
HiTempguy

What age of rallyists are you noticing incoming Grant? Most new people I see here are 30+ (some younger people earning good coin in the oil field have showed up). In fact, at 23, I can probably count on one hand the number of rallyists in Western Canada that are younger than me.

Also*:

'Tis hard to afford rallying when you drive a $50k truck as your daily driver and your wife has to have that Audi crossover and you have the couple thousand sqft bungalow and a 40 year mortgage...

*Mindset of the typical North American

Peter Egan, who used to write for Road & Track, did a column on exactly this, back in the mid 80s. He was in the paddock between runs at one of the SCCA regional road races that he was competing in and someone came up to him and started going on about how great it must be to race. Peter told him that it was indeed fun and suggested that he get a car and join the fun. Te guy responded that he would love to, but it was just too expensive. As it turned out, the guy was driving a brand new 300zx and spending his money on other toys, etc, etc.

Long story short, Peter wrote that it was frustrating to see/hear that sort of thing time and time again. There's certainly nothing wrong with spending your money on whatever the heck you like, but never lose sight of the fact that spending it on one thing, takes money away from something else. Too often folks get roped in to thinking that certain luxuries are necessities and thus their discretionary income disappears rather quickly and ultimately appears to be (in their own minds) far less than it really is.

Combine all of this with a shitty economy, that will continue to get worse long before it gets better, and the fact that, in spite of living in a time where more information about anything one cares to learn about is available with greater ease than at any time in our history, too many folks seem to be too damned lazy to actually research what they need to do to become involved in whatever (in this case, rallying). Quite honestly, if a person is not bright enough or motivated enough to figure out that they don't need to run a WRC car and compete in 20 events per season in order to have fun in the woods, I don't know that their not being a part of the sport is such a bad thing.



-Brian
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