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Last Post 21 Jan 2008 09:57 AM by  Bobzilla
Aussie Pursuit
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Eclipse2Lancer
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16 Jan 2008 03:33 PM

    The Solo Steering committee has met 3 times now in preparation for the 2008 season, and no one has really defended keeping the Aussie pursuit when brought up at all the meetings. There are a handful of people that I know of that would really like it to stay, but the consensus seems to be that this event needs to be dropped in favor of another kind of autocross.

    So before it is completely taken out of the 2008 equation, let's hear feedback from those who like the Aussie pursuit and would like to keep it. I think a bigger sample of the membership needs to weigh in on this.

    Some facts that have been pointed out in meetings:
    - Low attendance compared to other events (62 entries in 2007). 30 in 2006 (possibly because of weather). 55 in 2005.
    - Not a good first event for Novices.
    - More than one person has mentioned that they just come for the points.

    mtownneon
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    16 Jan 2008 03:49 PM

    I like the Aussie, would like to see it on the schedule, but only if it isn't a drag on the region.

    1 vote "for"

    Racerlinn
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    16 Jan 2008 03:54 PM

    Duplicate from the e-group.

    I like the Aussie (raises hand, to no one's surprise).
    But it's not my decision to make.
    Steve
    Eclipse2Lancer
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    16 Jan 2008 04:04 PM

    Well I already knew you 2 liked it.....but didn't really give any reasons why to keep it. I'm just looking for further input before we suffer the wrath of the pro-Aussie crowd. [:)]

    Personally I am indifferent (a 6-4 record over the past 2 years though if that really matters) and am open to other ideas. But if it is dropped (and even if it is not)....something special will happen to one or both of the events at Grissom.
    And who's to say that it can't be brought back in the future if we take a year off from holding and Aussie event?

    turbohappy
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    16 Jan 2008 04:57 PM

    I voted against. I wouldn't have gone last year if I hadn't been sweet-talked into going by Geoff for some reason ;o)

    The first time I went I took my wife and it has negatively affected her view of the entire sport.

    Bobzilla
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    16 Jan 2008 04:57 PM
    I gave plenty of reasons to keep it. I too wanted it, But Dale was dead set on killing it off. I'm seeing a Black Subaru wagon that isn't going to pass tech for the '08 season. . . . .
    Racerlinn
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    16 Jan 2008 05:05 PM

    Eclipse2Lancer wrote:

    - Low attendance compared to other events (62 entries in 2007). 30 in 2006 (possibly because of weather). 55 in 2005.
    - Not a good first event for Novices.
    - More than one person has mentioned that they just come for the points.


    Well, then, if I can defend:

    Around 60 entries is around the norm. We actually like to have around 64 as it makes for balanced brackets. If we get up above 70 something, we go to a 5th bracket and a modified championship round. 2006 had tornado watches and thunderstorm warnings and they were lucky to get it in, but that would have been the case no matter what that day. Compare the 2007 turnout to the Grissom events. About the same amount attending. Are we going to cancel the Grissom events and run at 16th Street exclusively?

    Absolutely, it is not a good event for Novices. I have always tried to advise first timers away from the event. More education/advertisement regarding the event could help to explain what they are in for.

    Points have been well discussed. It used to be that the Aussie was NOT a points event, until a bunch of folks decided they wanted to have it count. Is it any different than showing up and running in an undersubsribed class? It does not effect year-end Tovey points. Should it be reconsidered as a points paying event. Should it be doomed just because some people take advantage of the event to score points? The same could be said for the joint CSCC event in Walesboro. Lot's of Indy folks that normally do not run there do show up for that one event. Why? Points....

    I'm just sayin'....

    Racerlinn
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    16 Jan 2008 05:08 PM
    And the $1 fun runs till you drop at the end are generally popular - a couple of "normal" entries worth of revenue.
    Bobzilla
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    16 Jan 2008 05:23 PM

    I spent $8 this year on fun run and only stopped because everyone was going home!

    I thought it was a nice "Break from the norm", but we also had to consider teh financial side of the event. If we lose money, than there is no point in having it.

    Oh. . .I like points. They taste just like chocolate.

    MichaelBenz
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    16 Jan 2008 05:33 PM

    Personally....I say dump it. Confused here....[^o)] Sorry....re-hash tends to annoy me after a decision is made....or I thought was made. Cool....ok....guess we could always do two special events if we have to or just not even worry about a new event format if we end up keeping the Aussie. Willing to do whatever the concensus asks....

    Personally....I will probably NOT run in the Aussie this year unless there is some need for points. IMO it was a drag...but thats totally just my opinion obviously and mean to offense to anybody that may feel otherwise.

    dbrier
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    16 Jan 2008 07:02 PM

    I'm with Mike on this. Dump it. I'm one of the guys who only runs it for points. Half of the racers are out in two runs.

    I'm confused too, I thought we decided last night to dump it. We talked about what kinds of other special events to replace it with and some really good ideas came up. This seems like we are going backwards instead of forward. What is the point of making decisions at the steering committee meeting if we just open the topic back up the next day? I may sound like a jerk here, but I really thought this was done.

    mtownneon
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    16 Jan 2008 08:16 PM

    [quote]I'm confused too, I thought we decided last night to dump it.

    It was but obviously will wants to put it up for further discussion involving the rest of the region, not just us on the committee. What's funny so far is that the only voices are those of the committee.

    So what's it going to hurt to have a thread about it? Are you sure it just isn't will needling you?

    brgmcs
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    16 Jan 2008 09:02 PM

    I vote for keeping the Aussie. My reasons for that "vote" were given in the e-group.

    GChambers
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    16 Jan 2008 09:37 PM
    I voted against but I could go either way. The reason I voted against is to maybe replace it with another type of special event like a local version of a Pro Solo. Since I missed the meeting last night, I do not know what options were mentioned, if they were at all. One special event, IMO, is a good idea. But it needs to generate excitement as opposed to just the "I'm gonna run it because I get points and it is a local event" attitude, again IMHO.
    turbohappy
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    17 Jan 2008 01:18 AM
    The special event to replace it would be a double event (3 runs in the morning, break for lunch and change course to run it backwards, 3 runs in the afternoon, add best time for both courses together) or a prosolo type format (although this is very logistically difficult). Either would be at Peru.
    mtownneon
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    17 Jan 2008 06:59 AM

    turbohappy wrote:
    The special event to replace it would be a double event (3 runs in the morning, break for lunch and change course to run it backwards, 3 runs in the afternoon, add best time for both courses together) or a prosolo type format (although this is very logistically difficult). Either would be at Peru.

    Why do we have to have only one special format event? What's to say we can't do the double-back event at one of the Grissom events, we have it 3 times this year, and do an Aussie at 16th? Changing things up some is good and makes for a more interesting and fun season.

    On the Yahoo group, Phil made a good suggestion, what about running the Aussie as the Worker's Invitational?

    Again, over on the Yahoo group there seems to be growing support for the Aussie, I think it was a good idea that Will put this out there.

    The Solo Committee is mostly fresh faces and unfortunately we're operating in somewhat of a vaccum. This discourse is good. Let's not start focusing on our own personal agendas based on what we prefer but what would be good for the region, that's our function as the committee.

    Dave

    Eclipse2Lancer
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    17 Jan 2008 07:49 AM
    mtownneon wrote:

    [quote]I'm confused too, I thought we decided last night to dump it.

    It was but obviously will wants to put it up for further discussion involving the rest of the region, not just us on the committee. What's funny so far is that the only voices are those of the committee.

    So what's it going to hurt to have a thread about it? Are you sure it just isn't will needling you?

    That's exactly the reason I posted it here, for a wider audience (not to needle anyone at all). Sorry to confuse and not run it by you guys first, but I got to thinking that we only heard a small sample of our membership and wanted to gather more information from a larger sample. Sometimes I get a gut feeling about things and act independently, and apologize for that.

    After all, it is January and would hate to make a hasty decision now without hearing from a larger part of our membership.

    Racerlinn
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    17 Jan 2008 08:25 AM

    Again, my opinion, I think a big part of the attraction of the Workers Invitational is that you can swap cars (at least it is for me). I would NOT want to have the Aussie as the WI.

    With at least 6 events at 16th Street, a little variety would never hurt.

    Note: I was not very vocal at the Steering committee as that is not a meeting that I should be leading and I try to just listen and keep my mouth shut. My position as RE allows me to continue to let the program chairs run their respective programs independently, with oversight from the BoD, and trying to avoid micro-management.

    dbrier
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    17 Jan 2008 08:49 AM
    mtownneon wrote:

    So what's it going to hurt to have a thread about it? Are you sure it just isn't will needling you?

    No, it just that I thought we made a decision and then we opened it back up. If our decision at the board meeting was to ask for more input then I wouldn't care. It's probably just a minor issue with a lot of us new members running the show now. I'm a fan of going with the majority, and it looks like we will be keeping the pursuit in on form or another.

    Having two message boards with different inputs and trains of thought is going to be tough to keep up with, I really wish we only had one on-line communication system. (a topic for another time). When hot topics like this come up, you can see the problems.

    My dislike of the AP comes from the lack of fun. Maybe it's a class thing, but some of us are showing up to the event in daily drivers and we're being matched up with Mod cars that came in on trailers and running motorcycle engines. I know there are few others that feel the same. It really isn't any fun to KNOW you're going to get stomped in the first two or three runs. And is not because I don't do well at the AP, I don't do well at any of the events. [:)] I know I would be happier if we took some of the randomness out and least ran against our own class for the first run or too. I end up feeling like a 16th seed team in the NCAA tourney every time being matched up against the best team in the nation. Someone on the old message board mentioned making the Worker Invitational and removing it from the points series. Because of the weird way it's scored, I think that is good idea even though I get more points for running poorly at the AP than I do running average at a regular event.

    I'm noticing something else too. There is a clear (but not absolute) dividing line between those in favor and those that would get rid of the event. The newer members aren't as enamored with the Aussie Pursuit as those who have been racing for much longer. I can only guess that we don't have a sense of "tradition" about the event as more experienced racers do.

    mtownneon
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    17 Jan 2008 09:13 AM

    [quote]My dislike of the AP comes from the lack of fun.

    Then I would say pass on the Aussie. You have 2 events you can toss. But as you pointed out, points wise, even when you do bad at the Aussie, you collect more points then your average.

    [quote]No, it just that I thought we made a decision and then we opened it back up.

    That is a correct statement. Will exercised what I beleive to be his preogrative as a Co-Chair.

    Racerlinn
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    17 Jan 2008 09:23 AM

    Brier, I love ya ya fuzzy little Prince-loving stationwagon-drivin goofy-hat'd bundle o' fun...

    But, the Region is a member driven organization, even though some times the membership seems to forget they should be driving.

    Some due diligence was needed on the issue. It really needed to be put out for member comment. I would even go so far as to only tentatively schedule a Aussie mid summer (when the heat is at it's highest and the cool shade of the tree's is most appreciated) and then begin polling the membership at the first few events. Heck, ask them at registration for a "yea" or "nay" (yeah, I know, one more thing for registration to do....) [:D]

    Bobzilla
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    17 Jan 2008 09:55 AM

    [quote] The newer members aren't as enamored with the Aussie Pursuit as those who have been racing for much longer

    Actually, I think you might be wrong. Myself and some of the other "newer members" loved the AP. It's like going to ORP on teusday night drags but here I get to actually havea chance of beating someone. (16-sec cars never beat anybody!)

    I do think we should have it somewhere on the schedule, just not sure where nor when.

    dbrier
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    17 Jan 2008 12:25 PM

    Bob, you'll see that I left my statement open, it wasn't absolute. I do see a trend though, it really shows on the yahoo groups and in the people I talked over the last year or two.

    Once again, I fine with the majority vote. I'm not continuing the fight, but I expressed my opinions.

    Since we will probably keep the event, I'd ask the we look into pairing up the cars more appropriately. That would go a long way to making a more fun event for me and some of the folks I've talked to.

    Racerlinn
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    17 Jan 2008 12:37 PM
    dbrier wrote:

    Since we will probably keep the event,

    Don't make assumptions. Poll the membership at the first few events. If they don't want it, make it a regular event.

    dbrier
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    17 Jan 2008 01:32 PM

    Steve, don't you need a running car to vote?[;)]

    Racerlinn wrote:
    dbrier wrote:

    Since we will probably keep the event,

    Don't make assumptions. Poll the membership at the first few events. If they don't want it, make it a regular event.

    The overwhelming support for the event on the old Yahoo group makes me say that. I totally agree that the 20 people over there and the 10 on this board aren't the majority. I want to do what all the racers want, even if it not what I want personally.

    I hope that we can find something better than the AP that makes everyone happy. We should have a special event every year.

    MichaelBenz
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    17 Jan 2008 01:41 PM

    I think given the responses...I would agree. We should poll at the first event of the year (typically a widely attended event as people are wanting to shake the dust off from the winter) and see what the majority of the people want to see done. We should also discuss other options at the same time so we have something to fall back on if it comes out that the AP should be replaced. Excellent suggestion Steve!

    Now...I would also say that leadership needs to communicate a bit MORE WITH EACH OTHER? If this was still up for discussion....it should never have been announced that it was dumped then. What upset me was that Will reopened this can of worms after having met with me following the steering committee meeting (we meet prior to discuss meeting agenda, ect) and I thought we had agreed that the concensus was to dump the event and try something new. We made a decision and moved toward discussions of alternate formats. Following the announcement of that change at said meeting, Will then took it upon himself to reopen the can without prior discussion with me as to what direction we were attempting to go in, which honestly, I took great offense at given I was the one the announced our prior decision to move onto a different format. Greater communication would have avoided this issue honestly.

    I am the type of leader that once a decision is made...I move forward. I am fairly decisive and definate in my actions and planning, and sometimes I am right...and sometimes I am wrong. But I am also in the belief that a good leader makes a decision based on fact (which is what I thought we were working under) and moves forward from
    there. Is this good or bad....I dunno. But in my career (sales and marketing) this is the way things are done so I tend to take a solid
    stance and attempt to sell it from there. If it sells....I am sucessful....if it doesnt...I re-evaluate and re-modify until it does
    or revert back to prior plans. Thats just the way I do it.
    I certainly hope I am not offending anyone here as thats not my
    intent whatsoever...nor my intent to push a personal agenda
    whatsoever that I have in my head...because honestly...I dont have
    one whatsoever. I just lead in a fashion that tends to be decisive
    and definate once a decision is made, for which I thought was already
    done. Again....I hope I didnt offend anyone here. I think those
    that havent met me will learn I am a very easy going guy and easy to
    get along with for the most part. I look forward in leading Solo
    with Will this season and this being one of the first changes we had
    talked about making, I dont want to set a presidence that we are
    inept at what we are doing here. Both Myself (prior VP of Board of
    Directors) and Will (prior Committee Chairman) worked well together
    last year in making a charity event sucessful and raising the bar to
    new levels of sucess by raising the end result to a tune of 218.5%
    increase from prior year. I am an out of the box type of thinker and
    Will tends to be very detail oriented, and I see this combination as
    working well and being very complimentary to each other and hope to
    use this combination again to better a great program that already
    exists here to new levels to excitement. So again...not trying to
    and hope I did not offend anyone. If so....feel free to call me at
    any time at 317-753-2062 and express your opinions or objections. I
    really do care here - not leading you down the pike by any means and
    no offense meant therein! I just want what everyone wants....a great
    and fun season for 2008!

    Michael Benz aka "Mikey"
    Solo Co-Chair

    PS....I should also mention that Dale Brier was also involved in the success of said event and 218% growth....cause without Dale...I would have tore my hair out at times! lol

    Racerlinn
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    17 Jan 2008 01:45 PM
    dbrier wrote:

    Steve, don't you need a running car to vote?[;)]

    We should have a special event every year.

    Hey, just because it's on jackstands, has no suspension or transmission attached, doesn't mean it won't run....or maybe it does.... [+o(]

    I think the idea of a special format at Grissom is definately worth pursuing.

    .

    MichaelBenz
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    17 Jan 2008 01:49 PM
    BTW...did I mention that I often write book long posts? [:$]
    turbohappy
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    17 Jan 2008 01:53 PM

    I think a lot of the people who are responding to keep the Aussie Pursuit are answering:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a regular event?

    When the conversation really should be:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a different (and much cooler [;)]) special event?

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't still vote to keep it, though.

    Eclipse2Lancer
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    17 Jan 2008 01:56 PM

    Michael Benz wrote:
    BTW...did I mention that I often write book long posts? [:$]

    Ah I have missed those. [;)]

    As we discussed yesterday, I apologized for not communicating with you prior to opening the topic back up for discussion. In hindsight, I think we are doing the right thing here, as we are seeing many many different views that were not previously brought up. But next time I'll keep you in the loop. :)

    I agree, let's poll at the season opening fun event and go from there. Either way, I think this year will be fun.

    MichaelBenz
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    17 Jan 2008 02:14 PM
    Apology accepted....no harm done! And I would agree....it seems to be bringing out a host of new opinions that were still under the blankets before and not spoken prior to the past two days. Either way it comes out....we are getting some good exposure to the Solo Program that hopefully will result in good turnout rates!
    dbrier
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    17 Jan 2008 02:47 PM

    Did I not express my opinoin at the meeting? [:P]

    turbohappy wrote:

    I think a lot of the people who are responding to keep the Aussie Pursuit are answering:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a regular event?

    When the conversation really should be:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a different (and much cooler [;)]) special event?

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't still vote to keep it, though.

    I agree 100%

    The Nebulizer
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    17 Jan 2008 05:01 PM
    dale brier wrote:

    Having two message boards with different inputs and trains of thought is going to be tough to keep up with, I really wish we only had one on-line communication system. (a topic for another time). When hot topics like this come up, you can see the problems.

    Yeah, I thought about coming on to SCCAforums after seeing the yahoo discussion blooming and closing this one down since this forum can at least be controlled (2 separate discussions about the same issue gets ugly quickly) - but unfortunately the discussion has grown quickly at both sites and it is too late to get control of either now. Perhaps a post at yahoo - telling everyone to stop posting there and move it all here (eventhough there is admittedly less posting on this issue here - I think all the old dudes that seem to be the ones that like AP jumped on the old school yahoo site when they saw that it might get dumped.)

    In the future, we really ought to have discussion in one place and a link in the other (with an explanation that discussion is going on at the other site - not there. I leave where the discussion begins to the poster - but both is not a good idea). This way everything is grouped together. Naturally, I prefer discussion on this board as it is a lot easier to read. (Yahoo is OK for notices and news, but horrible for long discussions)

    I already posted at Yahoo, but I will repeat my posts as I think I had a few good things to say....

    The Nebulizer
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    17 Jan 2008 05:10 PM

    Theme of this post... "If we want this to be fun for everyone, then everyone needs a reasonable chance to win at least 1 run."

    Don't drop the event - change the seeding. (Have you noticed that no one in the largest group, SM, likes Aussie Pursuit?)

    I absolutely hated the AP (but read on - you might be surprised that I don't favor dropping it just yet.... ). I would definitely not show up again in an SM car as it was run last year - except maybe to watch. Slow SM cars were lambs for the slaughter last year - 2 and done - which sucked. We had no chance to win a race - unless we had been paired up (which we weren't). To be totally honest it made me a little angry at the organizers as I felt I got screwed by the format - and that it was set up so certain people could win while the scrubs watched all day (I am sure this is not the case - but it was how I felt at the time as I sulked on the sidelines... ). I believe I was done racing around 11am - then sat around all day watching everyone else race wishing my trailered competitors had hit a cone. And, the problem with scoring this event is that some of the other slower SM cars I was competing with did manage to luck out and have their trailered competitors hit a cone. So, I lost a lot of points though I think I drove pretty well relative to my other events. I'll have to try to figure out where I stand in an AS car before I decide about this year. Assuming I am 2nd or 3rd tier, I may have a slight chance of beating someone.

    I have said this before, but I think the worst part of this event is the seedings are just too wide. My little 325Ci with a micro-SC (220hp) was up against Clemens Burger's BM and other cars with 2 times the power to weight ratio. Even just splitting in to more than 4 tiers would help. But, if there were a nice way to group people beyond simply classes, it could be a fun event. Otherwise it seems to pretty much come down to where the class split is. The highest class car in each tier won from my memory (I would love to have access to the full data of the results if anyone has them).

    One problem I think is sticking firmly to class ranking for setting up Tiers in AP. With the format we have, class has little to do with the final result. I got last place in SM, but I bet I could have beaten a few SM cars had I been up against them rather than the cars I got in the draw - which killed me. It can be argued that it was just luck of the draw - but why base final points on what is 'luck of the draw'? Why not make some changes to have it be more skill based - even at the lower end. With just 4 Tiers, the classes near the bottom of the tier are at a real disadvantage and survive solely based on luck.

    But, with all of this said, I AM IN FAVOR OF KEEPING AP THIS YEAR - I just think we should try some new methods though. Here are some ideas I have... (this is actually how I assumed it would work when I first heard about it. It wasn't until I saw the tiers that I realized I was in for a horrible day and should have stayed home)

    1. Rank everyone based on previous race times. If we want this to be fun for everyone, then everyone needs a reasonable chance to win at least 1 run. To do this we need to group people by skill level - not class. (This would be simple for me to do if we went with this idea - 1. take raw times from previous events, 2 rank raw times to give score, 3. normalize score, 4 average normalized score) This would not be a perfect rank, of course, but it would certainly be closer than going strictly by class. It would also exclude new racers or anyone who has not raced that season, but we could probably figure a way to deal with them too. Like place them at the average spot of their class, for example.

    2. Split everyone into smaller tiers (more than 4x16, maybe more like 8x8). This makes the difference between top and bottom of tier less significant at least.

    3. If we don't change anything about the format, we should not count this for points. As it is, luck plays too great a role in points for many classes. Racers in my class that did not beat me should not get more points than me just because the racer they were up against hit a cone. I didn't hit any cones either - but I didn't get any reward.

    I think the idea of change is good, but dropping it all together is probably not the best option. We should change it up in some way and see how that goes. By dropping it we won't really learn anything - we just drop something that some people do actually like.

    Oh, and as far as discussing it here - I think that was a good idea. I think the problem was letting it go to an apparent conclusion at the meeting without opening up the discussion here first. At the meeting I was all for dumping it - but all the extra input on the forums has lead me to change my view a bit and try to fix the borken event rather than just dump it. With the new forum, discussion of these topics should be a lot easier and will give valuable input to the final decisions of the steering commitee.

    Bobzilla
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    17 Jan 2008 05:26 PM

    "Broken event"? No. Would it be even better if we tweaked it a little? Absolutely.

    I do agree with pairing up within class. I remember my first race (on new tires as well!) was against an F-Stock Mustang . . .one that I was spanking until I blew the last gate and obliterated one of the cones. ButI think it would have been more fun to get through Will and Dave instead.

    GChambers
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    17 Jan 2008 08:40 PM
    turbohappy wrote:

    I think a lot of the people who are responding to keep the Aussie Pursuit are answering:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a regular event?

    When the conversation really should be:

    Keep Aussie Pursuit or replace it with a different (and much cooler [;)]) special event?

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't still vote to keep it, though.

    Yea, what he said!

    My opinion is that we should just leave it on the schedule for now. Those of us who want to replace the event with something else need to come up with a COMPREHENSIVE PLAN of how we would like to either alter the event or come up with a completely new event to replace it. Not just have an idea and say "Hey, lets do this," but create an idea, put a proposal together, work out the details and present it at the next meeting. Then, it should be put out to the membership for input. Until this is done, I think things should be left as they were.

    duck_hunter_117
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    17 Jan 2008 11:22 PM
    I enjoy the event from a spectators point of view since the AP is a unique event to watch. However, from a competitors point of view, a think the event is way too random to be considered good competition. This year my group was ES(my class), FS, and STU. ES and FS were evenly matched but the 2 STU cars were much faster, especially in the early rounds. I was lucky enough to get paired up against a STU car in the first round and got destroyed. I like the way the loser's bracket was setup to allow all the cars that lost in the first round a chance to race each other before they raced guys who lost in the second round. My suggestion would be to group the cars by class in the first round so you race against your class as much as possible.
    Racerlinn
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    18 Jan 2008 08:41 AM

    Cross post from egroup:

    Jason,
    Sorry, you are wrong.
    Let me explain how the pairings are done. At registration, we track all entries and organize them via their PAX multipliers. We then try and evenly group the entries into the 4 brackets, keeping the classes grouped as closely as possible by PAX. This means typically the HS, GS, and STS end up together, a bunch of Stock class cars in a second group, SP and slow Prepared cars next, etc, etc. If there is a low count of Prepared and Mod cars (as is normal), yes, the faster "production based" classes end up running with them (like SM). Should we tell the Prepared and Mod cars not to show up becuae the SM guys don't like running with them? I wouldn't do that...
    Now as far as the seeding within each run group, this is done as a complete blind draw. We literally pull numbers out of a hat (I think we've used playing cards as well before). The only time we have modified the initial seed is when a two driver car comes up as facing each other in the first round. We will move the second driver that was pulled down to the bottom of the bracket to try and accomodate and keep them apart so that the drivers have a chance of not having to run against each other (which happened in a quite leteral sense this past year to everyone's ammusement). The point being, the brackets and groupings are set up as fairly as possible given the group of competitors that show that day.
    I saw a suggestion that we should come up with some type of new "factor" based on previous times and experience. You would prefer this over using a nationally recognized PAX factor? No thanks. All you do is open yourself up to grief from people saying that your new factor was wrong. You have no substantial data or analysis to rely upon.

    This is supposed to be fun.
    Steve
    Racerlinn
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    18 Jan 2008 08:43 AM

    And again on the subject of egroup vs. forum - I will not abandon the egroup in favor of this forum.

    There are 231 subscribers to the egroup.

    Maybe a dozen here?

    mtownneon
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    18 Jan 2008 09:04 AM

    Given statistics presented in this discussion, primarily over at the Yahoo Forum, riddle me this:

    If the reasoning for axing the Aussie is due to low car count, then shouldn't we also axe the Grissom events?

    Further, do we set a minumum car count for all events and kill any event that doesn't meet the minumum count?

    Or should the litmus be profitablilty? Abandon any event that doesn't make 'X' ?

    Dave

    MichaelBenz
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    18 Jan 2008 09:07 AM

    I am really starting to think that the best course of action is to do everything EXACTLY as it was in prior years. It was my impression that many people were calling for some changes and possible improvements in the Solo program...but this thing seems to be turning into a major hub bub unnecessarily. I do not wish to butt heads with the BOD in any way shape or form nor ruffle any feathers whatsoever within the base membership. Therefore....what I am proposing now is that we run the Solo program EXACTLY as it has been in years prior with no changes. This is supposed to be fun guys....lets just work on that factor. Agreed? It certainly would make it easier to manage and steering committee meetings less complicated. We will just work on getting a new venue or two if possible and leave it at that? Sound acceptable to everyone?

    I know....changes can be scary sometimes to many people. This will take that factor out of it completely. I got into this to have fun and do what I like to do and do well....manage and organize and have fun. This will bring it back to that situation and nobody will have to worry about the Solo program "running amuck" with all these apparent unneeded changes. Sound acceptable to everyone? If the AP needs to be tweaked....just let us know what you would like done and Will and I will see to it that it gets taken care of. If the BOD has any suggestions or requests that they would want to see imputed, please let us know. We will take your lead and act accordingly on those plans. Lets just plan on excitement and fun just as prior years.....sound acceptable?

    mtownneon
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    18 Jan 2008 09:12 AM
    Michael Benz wrote:

    I think given the responses...I would agree. We should poll at the first event of the year (typically a widely attended event as people are wanting to shake the dust off from the winter) and see what the majority of the people want to see done. We should also discuss other options at the same time so we have something to fall back on if it comes out that the AP should be replaced. Excellent suggestion Steve!

    Now...I would also say that leadership needs to communicate a bit MORE WITH EACH OTHER? If this was still up for discussion....it should never have been announced that it was dumped then. What upset me was that Will reopened this can of worms after having met with me following the steering committee meeting (we meet prior to discuss meeting agenda, ect) and I thought we had agreed that the concensus was to dump the event and try something new. We made a decision and moved toward discussions of alternate formats. Following the announcement of that change at said meeting, Will then took it upon himself to reopen the can without prior discussion with me as to what direction we were attempting to go in, which honestly, I took great offense at given I was the one the announced our prior decision to move onto a different format. Greater communication would have avoided this issue honestly.

    I am the type of leader that once a decision is made...I move forward. I am fairly decisive and definate in my actions and planning, and sometimes I am right...and sometimes I am wrong. But I am also in the belief that a good leader makes a decision based on fact (which is what I thought we were working under) and moves forward from
    there. Is this good or bad....I dunno. But in my career (sales and marketing) this is the way things are done so I tend to take a solid
    stance and attempt to sell it from there. If it sells....I am sucessful....if it doesnt...I re-evaluate and re-modify until it does
    or revert back to prior plans. Thats just the way I do it.
    I certainly hope I am not offending anyone here as thats not my
    intent whatsoever...nor my intent to push a personal agenda
    whatsoever that I have in my head...because honestly...I dont have
    one whatsoever. I just lead in a fashion that tends to be decisive
    and definate once a decision is made, for which I thought was already
    done. Again....I hope I didnt offend anyone here. I think those
    that havent met me will learn I am a very easy going guy and easy to
    get along with for the most part. I look forward in leading Solo
    with Will this season and this being one of the first changes we had
    talked about making, I dont want to set a presidence that we are
    inept at what we are doing here. Both Myself (prior VP of Board of
    Directors) and Will (prior Committee Chairman) worked well together
    last year in making a charity event sucessful and raising the bar to
    new levels of sucess by raising the end result to a tune of 218.5%
    increase from prior year. I am an out of the box type of thinker and
    Will tends to be very detail oriented, and I see this combination as
    working well and being very complimentary to each other and hope to
    use this combination again to better a great program that already
    exists here to new levels to excitement. So again...not trying to
    and hope I did not offend anyone. If so....feel free to call me at
    any time at 317-753-2062 and express your opinions or objections. I
    really do care here - not leading you down the pike by any means and
    no offense meant therein! I just want what everyone wants....a great
    and fun season for 2008!

    Michael Benz aka "Mikey"
    Solo Co-Chair

    PS....I should also mention that Dale Brier was also involved in the success of said event and 218% growth....cause without Dale...I would have tore my hair out at times! lol

    IMHO the Chairs are not leaders in the fashion you beleive it to be. The entire "management" of the Region is volunteers who have elected to serve the membership, administrate for the betterment of the Region. The membership of the Region are the bosses, not the BoD, not the Committees.

    MichaelBenz
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    18 Jan 2008 09:17 AM
    Dave...hearing you loud and clear. Nothing will change. My plans at this point are to run a carbon copy of prior years in all ways possible. I see your point...but my history in marketing and sales does NOT include running unprofitable events...but more to market and sell in order to bring in additional membership base and participants in order to makes things more attractive in that regard, which often require changes and tweaks here and there in order to accomplish those goals. It was my idea that we could change some things here and there in order to try to bring in additonal revenue to the IndySCCA region so we might have more options in all programs through new available fundage. That is why I thought Solo was a good program to get involved in....it appeared to offer the greatest potential for growth to me. Would this course of action make everyone more comfortable....if we just run it as prior years with the exception of a possible new venue or two? This is supposed to be fun guys....not an uphill battle. Last event that I got involved in grew to the tune of 218.5% over prior years....I just thought I could do the same thing here by implementing some changes here and there.
    dbrier
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    18 Jan 2008 09:17 AM

    Edit: I started typing this before the last 4-5 posts...

    I'm seeing lots opinion, emotion and facts. Let's see if I can break some of this down to smaller parts we can work with. My Vulcan side is showing as I take emotion away and go for an unbiased look at the topic.

    I see three options for Australian Pursuit (AP) as it is right now.

    1. Do nothing. With this option, we run the event as we have in the past. We don't change the rules, format or anything. This is the easiest option, it requires no extra work.
    2. Keep the AP but update the rules, format, etc.
    3. Replace the AP with a different (and hopefully improved) special event. Replacing it with something worse would not be very productive. Replacing the AP with a regular event was not even discussed.

    Now, let's look at some facts, or at least things everyone agrees on about the AP.

    1. The AP has become an Indy Region tradition. Someone on the Yahoo groups was nice enough to post some history of the event going back to the 80s
    2. The AP is a special event that is different from a normal timed autocross
    3. It is the best spectator event of the year.
    4. Scoring leaves something to be desired. Because of the unique style of the event, you can't place racers in a nice neat order like when they all have individual times. There are lots of ties.
    5. The formal portion of this event offers less seat time to most of the racers compared to a regular event. 50% are done after their first three runs. Better competitors get more seat time, worse racers get less. A normal event gives everyone the same number of runs.
    6. The fun run/grudge match racing after the event is a unique opportunity not found at other events. Not often do you get to run head-to-head against a racer of your choosing.
    7. The event runs quicker (over earlier) than other 16th street events.
    8. Some people are unhappy with the current set up of the event
    9. Some people are happy with the current set up of the event
    10. The initial pairing of cars for competition is not uniform like a regular event. Competitors are often racing against cars in very different classes.

    Here are a few observations. Now I get away from facts and universals. These things I think are true, but could be proven wrong.

    1. I see the more long-standing members defending the event more. Sure there are some new members who like it and there are probably some guys with 20+ years of autocrossing that don't. I think this stems from a sense of Tradition from those that have been with organization for some time. I also notice that these folks are less concerned with points, scores and standings.
    2. Those looking for change in the event are newer members. The most vocal for change have been with the region and autocrossing in general less than 5 years.
    3. Your solo steering committee has a LOT of new faces on it. Feathers got ruffled when talk of cancelling an Indy tradition came out.
    4. There is a compromise in here somewhere that will make the greatest number of people happy.
    5. There is a lot of discussion going on about this right now but I think it is less 15 people doing a majority of the talking. We have had lots of single comments from folks that don't post often.

    That is what I see without picking sides.

    dbrier
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    18 Jan 2008 09:33 AM
    mtownneon wrote:
    IMHO the Chairs are not leaders in the fashion you beleive it to be. The entire "management" of the Region is volunteers who have elected to serve the membership, administrate for the betterment of the Region. The membership of the Region are the bosses, not the BoD, not the Committees.

    While that is true, you can't take every decision to the entire membership. You'd never get anything done. I know the committee is there to serve the membership, but I guess I thought the role was to steer the Solo program, not just come in and run things they way they have always done. The solo-chairs were brought on being told that they could do things differently and didn't have live with the status quo. It appears that from a couple comments that you DON'T want the committee making decisions.

    I didn't get involved to run an assembly line type of organization. That is what Mike is suggesting and it it looking like that is the way people posting here and on Yahoo are saying they want.

    Eclipse2Lancer
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    18 Jan 2008 09:44 AM

    Thanks for the recap above, Dale.

    The main point of trying to solicit response was to gauge a larger opinion of the region club membership about the Aussie. Not to hurt feelings or crush dreams! [:D]

    I think taking a poll at the opening fun event of the season is still a good idea to do. From the feedback of the membership we have received in a mere 24 hours, I already think we can make the Aussie a little more fun for everyone. That's what it takes to make things work sometimes...more feedback. I didn't get involved to become a benevolent dictator. There are already too many of those in the world.
    Also I believe that there is still potential to have different style events at Grissom to draw more interest to increase the attendance there.

    Thanks to everyone weighing in on the subject. All the feedback is being soaked in.

    Mike and I are here to help the program along and continue to carry it in a positive direction, while doing what the members want to do.
    I think everyone needs to take the bee out of their bonnets and stop taking things so personally. This is a Club, and we should all:
    1. Have fun
    2. Have Fun.
    3. Have FUN!

    Racerlinn
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    18 Jan 2008 09:54 AM

    cross post from egroup:

    A final opinion from me:

    Consider changing the event to be non-points paying (as it used to be). This will have to be part of the submitted rules package for the season. Keep in mind you will be down to only 7 points paying events, and with the 70% rule only the drivers best 5 scores will count. A driver will be required to compete in at least 4 events to be eligible for a year end trophy.. With 8 points events, the best 6 count, and must compete in 4events still.
    Note - If there are plans to make any changes to the current Rules package, it had better start now and be well advertised and discussed. Previous Solo Chairs and Boards did not just come up with these rules in an off-hand manner. These have been developed and discussed (often argued) for a very long time.
    Tentatively list the Aussie on the schedule, but poll the membership at the first two events to see if there is support. The format can be changed back to a normal points event if the membership wants it.
    If it remains on Aussie, fully review and understand the current rules and standards and make any changes deemed neccesary, but be prepared to justify and defend those changes with facts and qualified data, not estimates and guesses.
    Continue with plan for at least one other "special" event at Grissom. We can have lot's of "specials" if that's what people want. You can only run so many different course variations so many times at 16th Street.
    Steve
    The Nebulizer
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    18 Jan 2008 10:22 AM
    Racerlinn wrote:

    Cross post from egroup:

    Jason,
    Sorry, you are wrong.
    Let me explain how the pairings are done. At registration, we track all entries and organize them via their PAX multipliers. We then try and evenly group the entries into the 4 brackets, keeping the classes grouped as closely as possible by PAX. This means typically the HS, GS, and STS end up together, a bunch of Stock class cars in a second group, SP and slow Prepared cars next, etc, etc. If there is a low count of Prepared and Mod cars (as is normal), yes, the faster "production based" classes end up running with them (like SM). Should we tell the Prepared and Mod cars not to show up becuae the SM guys don't like running with them? I wouldn't do that...
    Now as far as the seeding within each run group, this is done as a complete blind draw. We literally pull numbers out of a hat (I think we've used playing cards as well before). The only time we have modified the initial seed is when a two driver car comes up as facing each other in the first round. We will move the second driver that was pulled down to the bottom of the bracket to try and accomodate and keep them apart so that the drivers have a chance of not having to run against each other (which happened in a quite leteral sense this past year to everyone's ammusement). The point being, the brackets and groupings are set up as fairly as possible given the group of competitors that show that day.
    I saw a suggestion that we should come up with some type of new "factor" based on previous times and experience. You would prefer this over using a nationally recognized PAX factor? No thanks. All you do is open yourself up to grief from people saying that your new factor was wrong. You have no substantial data or analysis to rely upon.

    This is supposed to be fun.
    Steve

    With all due respect, Steve - I do not think I am wrong, because we are saying the same thing. Brian Gard said that classes would compete against each other initially - but we did not. Class only came into play in setting up the 4 run groups. But, as we both said, the run groups were randomized to set up the pairings - that is what I and most everyone who did not like the AP complain about. Why can't we just pair up similar racers - by some means, whether it be directly by class or some more clever manner? Again, I did not race against Dale Brier or Mike Benz or anyone else I had any chance in hell of beating. I think the issue a lot of people are missing is that some people did not like the event because they had no chance. We were lambs for the slaughter, 16th seeds being matched against Duke, etc. Let me race someone I have a chance to actually beat - at least for 1 race - otherwise it is not at all fun.

    Rather than everyone arguing for keeping AP because they like it, they ought to try to really understand why people hate it so much so we can figure something out.

    The problem is the seeding did not work at all for some racers. And, assuming it will be the same next time - why would we want to participate. As an example, SM comes in to this event as underdogs. (Has SM ever done well? Does anyone in SM like this event? Doesn't that say something when the largest class all don't like an event?) There is a structural problem with how this race is set up.

    The solution is to improve pairings.
    Do as Brian Gard described. Have the pairings (not just run groups) based on Class. Let me race a couple SMs before I take on the Mods and Preps. And, even better rank within the class (at least
    roughly). Let me race Brier or Benz before I go up against Kevin Miller. These simple changes would make it more fun. And would not be that hard to set up.

    Or, we can get more fancy and use the season's previous race times to rank everyone (I think it would be worht a try before dumping AP, certainly). This would give an even better set of pairings - and it
    would also not be that hard to do (yes it would be better than PAX in making things 'fun' as racers would be closer than the generalized car factor, PAX, as it would take skill into account). I could easily have it set up before the event if we wanted. This would not be a perfect rank, but certainly it would not see me racing against Clemens Burger in the first round.

    I'll say it again...
    The key is everyone needs a reasonbale shot of winning at least one race.

    The Nebulizer
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    18 Jan 2008 10:29 AM
    dbrier wrote:

    50% are done after their first two runs. Better competitors get more seat time, worse racers get less. A normal event gives everyone the same number of runs.

    To be fair, 25% are done after 2 runs, and 50% are done after 3 runs. This is unavoidable with the Aussie Pursuit setup. (unless we went beyond double elimination)

    (I thought Vulcans were good with math [:P] )

    The Nebulizer
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    18 Jan 2008 10:36 AM

    Mcguirecm at Yahoo groups wrote:

    There appears to be some differing opinions on the brackets and how everything is set up, so I'm going to try and shed a little light on that subject:

    When Steve and I would set up the brackets, we would rank everyone in that group from lowest to highest PAX so that the first round was as fair as possible. For instance, I would try to keep all the HS cars against each other and all the GS cars against each other in the lowest PAX group - when that was possible.

    My suggestions would be to:
    1. Run the event as a mid-season non-points fun event. Most sports have a mid-season all-star game or non-points event just for fun. Let's use the Aussie as ours.

    2. Rank the competitors in the run groups slowest to fastest as we did in the past.

    3. Set up the brackets based upon a maximum PAX spread instead of mandating four groups. This would make it more fair. Maybe we end up with six groups with ten cars instead of four groups
    of fifteen. This will make the event take a little longer but we're always done early with this one anyway so that's not that big of an impact.

    I'm willing to even volunteer to be the event chair again and not compete so that I'm always in the trailer and able to make sure that we follow the suggestions I've made above.

    Chris

    I only have experience from last season, but what you are describing is that last season it was done differently for some reason (random within the run group). I think that is the problem and why so many newer guys do not like Aussie Pursuit. The setup last year did not work well for many drivers. And, how you say it previously was done, is what I have been suggesting - rank within the run groups.

    As far as more 'tiers', I had said this before, but as I thought about it more, I realized this logically makes no difference if cars are running ranked with the group. It ends up being structurally the exact same thing.

    (Sweet, my first triple post... )

    dbrier
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    18 Jan 2008 12:53 PM
    The Nebulizer wrote:
    dbrier wrote:

    50% are done after their first two runs. Better competitors get more seat time, worse racers get less. A normal event gives everyone the same number of runs.

    To be fair, 25% are done after 2 runs, and 50% are done after 3 runs. This is unavoidable with the Aussie Pursuit setup. (unless we went beyond double elimination)

    (I thought Vulcans were good with math [:P] )

    You got me, I updated the post. I don't want the "facts" to be wrong.
    mtownneon
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    18 Jan 2008 01:20 PM

    Michael Benz wrote:
    Dave...hearing you loud and clear. Nothing will change. My plans at this point are to run a carbon copy of prior years in all ways possible. I see your point...but my history in marketing and sales does NOT include running unprofitable events...but more to market and sell in order to bring in additional membership base and participants in order to makes things more attractive in that regard, which often require changes and tweaks here and there in order to accomplish those goals. It was my idea that we could change some things here and there in order to try to bring in additonal revenue to the IndySCCA region so we might have more options in all programs through new available fundage. That is why I thought Solo was a good program to get involved in....it appeared to offer the greatest potential for growth to me. Would this course of action make everyone more comfortable....if we just run it as prior years with the exception of a possible new venue or two? This is supposed to be fun guys....not an uphill battle. Last event that I got involved in grew to the tune of 218.5% over prior years....I just thought I could do the same thing here by implementing some changes here and there.

    Mike...you're not hearing me loud and clear. Re-read your words, only read them from someone else's perspective. I'm glad that we have someone of your caliber to help the region but reading the above makes it look as though the only thing you're concerned with is getting your way. That you're the final arbitor. What about Will? The other Chair. What about the rest of the committee.

    One thing that has become clear, we on the Solo committee need to do more homework on what makes this region tick. We also need to gather facts when making these kinds of decisions. In our meetings, it was always presented that the Aussie was a loser financially but is it? Or is it a scape goat?

    It's obvious we are making decisions based on conjecture, not fact. If the participation numbers that have been presented are any indication, then we on the Committee have been wrong, or there are a large number of events that are un-profitable. The whole discussion is subjective.

    You're a marketing guy, so market! That's what the region really needs. C'mon, we're part of the SCCA, ya' know, the Secret Car Club of America. In thinking about this, the nuts and bolts of this region are pretty good, we run a good program. Our problem is in letting others know that. I would say that's where we should concentrate our efforts to make changes and improve.

    The Nebulizer
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    18 Jan 2008 02:00 PM

    All right, taking a cue from Dale here is how I see it:

    1. Too many people like AP to dump it. But, too many people object to the current structure to keep it as is without trying something new (i.e. fix the seeding).
    2. The seeding method (which was changed a few years ago?) is the main reason for the complaints. So, update (or return) the seeding method to ranking (by PAX or previous event results) within the run group (i.e. not random). Problem solved.
    3. Points? If we fix the seeding problem, then the final points will be based on competition within your class. This makes giving class points a little more viable. (But, it doesn't sound like anyone cares too much one way or the other on points for this event - assuming we fix the seeding.)

    That's it. Fix the seeding and we fix the problem.

    Does anyone have any problem with this solution? I haven't seen anyone post anything against this and it seems to resolve pretty much everything.

    MichaelBenz
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    18 Jan 2008 10:37 PM

    Dave...Not the case. I am very accustomed to working in committees under a BOD disgretion. I had a reason for what I was doing....trust me. Notice the added participation and people crawling out of the cracks that we havent seen in a long time? My point is...these are things that should be decided at meetings and NOT over the internet. More meeting participation and added focus on the program was in part...one of the reasons....among others. It wasnt to just push MY way. Remember....I am a marketing guy....and there will often be motives and reasons for what I am doing related to such. Also...I never stated we didnt have a good program if you recall. I know what I am doing...trust me....but nobody is truely giving me a chance here. Its only January....lots of things can happen still and nothing is written in stone as you should know. BUT.,....not given a chance.....its kinda hard for me to start marketing - hear what I am saying? I know you have to read between the lines a lot there to get what I am saying....but I do have my reasons.

    Now...I wasnt going just on MY opinion. If you recall....two meetings went by where we asked by show of hands who was in favor of dropping the AP (one I believe Darren was still in charge of) and the concensus was each time in favor or dropping the event. Will and I were actually going on that - didnt just pull that out of a hat or my own agenda. The last meeting wasnt widely attended though....and the annoucement was made there....but we continued to discuss alternate events to take its place. Fact is...in the end....this will look like you are expecting it to, trust me. But you should give me a chance and the benefit of the doubt that I am not here to run anybody over and just get my way. I rarely get my way....trust me. If I did....people would be paying list price for everything...lol....and I would be making more money! Its all about compromise! If left alone though...and spoken about and decided from the outcomes of the meetings like I am accustomed to...turnout would probably about fill the room based on the reaction, wouldnt it? Thats why I was upset about the can being opened here at this point. I understand what you are saying...but you are not giving me the benefit of the doubt that I am a fair person at the same time! BTW...has solo EVER filled the meeting room at Dooleys? I sure would like to see that happen and more people to get involved where it really helps and where the decisions are actually made...or should be anyway. You could be right though...I may be somewhat mistaken or misled on what the function of the steering committee is all about. I am going to get clarification on that and clarification on the Chairman position at the same time to make sure it matches what I am used to working in corporately. Cause I thought the Chairmen were supposed to lead at the same time they follow. Otherwise...we are just guys out there to do the grunt work and nothing more....which wasnt the impression I was given when I took the job assignment. I was asked to "shake things up a bit" and propose changes that I thought might improve the program. Remember though...its still WAY early in the game plan here! Give me a chance. For example....if it was voted on at the meeting that we should input topless female cone chasers in the mix...does that then mean the Chairmen shouldnt over-ride this decision in good taste and at the same time to coincide with standard SCCA rules? I would think so?

    At the same time...I am also used to the phrase....if you dont vote in an election and participate in the process, then dont then complain about what you get thereafter. (Presidential elections...policy...taxes....ect....you fill in the blank with whatever you like here). The more people we can attract into the mix...the better program we will end up with in the end. It was my opinion that these decisions should be greatly made by the committee chairmen after the meetings and inputs though. I could be wrong though....thats whats done corporately though in other committees and BOD's I have been involved with in the past. Remember....we still have to have BOD approval IMO in anything we finalize. We kind of operate under their oversight IMO. Again...I could be wrong. We should lead...at the same time we follow.

    You are not giving me a chance. Just relax....again...still early in the game!

    The Nebulizer
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    18 Jan 2008 11:12 PM

    Benz, I have to say I totally disagree with you. [:@]

    If the proposal for topless female cone shaggers passes, you have no right to take that away from us!

    But, seriously, I do have to ask - was the Aussie Pursuit issue ever published anywhere as being an issue that was going to be decided on at the meeting? (I may very well have missed this). If not, then I think that is something we should work on. I am all for change (obviously), but I think when significant change is in the works we need to clearly let everyone know about it. Make a big post online to let everyone know that a vote will be held on a topic at the next meeting, and if you can't make it - please post your thoughts,etc. I think the issue here is a lot of people were caught off guard by the stated dropping of Aussie Pursuit. I can certainly understand that it is a hassle for many people to come to the meetings. To be honest, I would probably not come if they were as far for me as they are for some of our members. Perhaps in the meeting announcement thread, we could include what issues are up for a vote (clearly labeled). Then I think you can safely say, if we didn't hear from you at the meeting or on the web, then its your fault you have no voice - but we need to give a reasonable chance for everyone to speak up and know what is going on.

    If it was posted somewhere that we were going to vote on dropping Aussie Pursuit, then I think we need to work on making it more clear - as I didn't know about it and I read pretty much everything.

    kar120c
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    19 Jan 2008 12:08 AM

    Jason,

    The minutes of the 12/13/07 solo committee minutes, which were posted on 12/14, in the 2nd bullet point noted: "The Aussie pursuit was discussed as possibly changing or
    dropping to replace with some other kind of special event". You were there at that meeting and we talked at length about it.

    Not a single response from the membership was made (pro or con) that I'm aware of. That discussion continued at the last meeting with the results now being discussed on 2 (sigh) forums.

    Look, putting together a solo season happens mostly at the Solo Committee meetings. The meeting announcments have clearly stated that, as have other threads related to the solo committee meetings. Every decision can't be flogged to conclusion on an internet forum. We'll never get anything done. I applaud the people who show up at the meetings and take on actual assignments and responsibilities for making the season happen. I also nderstand that everyone can't make it, but I don't know of another way to get 2-300 people's opinions counted in a timely fashion.

    The solo chairs work hard to provide the members a good season. Only a few people have ANY idea what it takes to make it happen. 99.9% of the work/decisions goes smoothly and people show up on sunday morning and an event magically happens. OK, this decision has caused concern with people and is being discussed and reconsidered at length. But I'm starting to get concerned at what seems to be tones in some messages that the solo committee and it's workings are FUBAR. Give people some credit and some slack. One controversial decision doesn't mean the process that has delivered successful seasons is now broken.

    Phil

    The Nebulizer
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    19 Jan 2008 12:27 AM
    kar120c wrote:

    The minutes of the 12/13/07 solo committee minutes, which were posted on 12/14, in the 2nd bullet point noted: "The Aussie pursuit was discussed as possibly changing or
    dropping to replace with some other kind of special event". You were there at that meeting and we talked at length about it.

    Oh, I remember talking about it, of course. (And, I remember chiming in to dump it a few times.) I just wondered if it was posted clearly for those who weren't there. Even this statement does not make it clear that at the next meeting there was to be a decision on whether to drop it or not. I'm just saying perhaps we need to highlight bigger issues like this more - and state if there is a planned vote coming up so people aren't so shocked when decisions like this are made.

    I hope you were not refering to my postings as having a tone that seemed against the solo committee - because that was definitely not my intent. (Maybe you saw my angry face and didn't catch that I was making a joke with the next line?) I am actually excited by the willingness to make changes within the committee and that is why I plan to keep attending. I was just trying to make some suggestions for how to deal with an issue like this in the future to make things go smoother.

    Eclipse2Lancer
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    19 Jan 2008 10:28 AM
    Well the people have spoken, and the Aussie will still be run as a points event in 2008.
    We will pay special attention to groupings and match ups.

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback. We knew that not everyone can make it to meetings to voice their opinions.

    -Will
    Solo co-chair
    dbrier
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    19 Jan 2008 11:09 AM
    kar120c wrote:
    The minutes of the 12/13/07 solo committee minutes, which were posted on 12/14, in the 2nd bullet point noted: "The Aussie pursuit was discussed as possibly changing or
    dropping to replace with some other kind of special event". You were there at that meeting and we talked at length about it.

    Not a single response from the membership was made (pro or con) that I'm aware of. That discussion continued at the last meeting with the results now being discussed on 2 (sigh) forums.

    Look, putting together a solo season happens mostly at the Solo Committee meetings. The meeting announcements have clearly stated that, as have other threads related to the solo committee meetings. Every decision can't be flogged to conclusion on an internet forum. We'll never get anything done. I applaud the people who show up at the meetings and take on actual assignments and responsibilities for making the season happen. I also understand that everyone can't make it, but I don't know of another way to get 2-300 people's opinions counted in a timely fashion.

    The solo chairs work hard to provide the members a good season. Only a few people have ANY idea what it takes to make it happen. 99.9% of the work/decisions goes smoothly and people show up on Sunday morning and an event magically happens. OK, this decision has caused concern with people and is being discussed and reconsidered at length. But I'm starting to get concerned at what seems to be tones in some messages that the solo committee and it's workings are FUBAR. Give people some credit and some slack. One controversial decision doesn't mean the process that has delivered successful seasons is now broken.

    Phil

    I could not have said it better. I don't think this was aimed you Jason.

    I was seeing people posting about the steering committee overstepping it boundaries and questioning if they could even make decisions such as this controversy about the AP. I think it fine to discuss decisions and topics, but to attempt to take away the boards power when they make a decision that isn't popular really rubbed me the wrong way. I attend the meetings to try and make the Solo run and to improve it. If I was told we can't make decisions and changes, I'd quit going right now.

    The committee made a decision that evoked a lot emotion. If enough people voice opinions, decisions can be changed, we don't write the minutes in stone. I still say the the majority of the voices for keeping the event as is are coming from the Yahoo group and I'd like to see what general popular vote is. Let's take some votes at the first couple of events this year.

    At the very least, we'll look into working on the initial pairings to make things more fair.

    The Nebulizer
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    19 Jan 2008 11:52 AM

    Dale,

    Am I right that had your initial pairing been against someone closer to your speed range, you would have liked it more? (like me, Benz, the VW wagon with giant turbo, or Priest, etc) ? Because that is my only major complaint. The problem we faced was not only were we outclassed by our cars, but the vast majority of racers in M and P are excellent drivers. Racers with my skill don't drive BMs in our region - just guys like Lee Miller, Clemens Burger, and Team Lavair. So, it was a double hit - out-skilled and out-car'd. Obviously we would eventually face this competition - but if we could get a few close ones in first it would be a lot more enjoyable.

    Well, I think the right decision has been made. (And, I would be happy to help with developing the seeding plan - so long as I don't have to wake up really early [:P] )

    dbrier
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    19 Jan 2008 12:07 PM

    That is true, not just this year, but lots of past events too.

    I can live with getting beat by guys in my own class, it happens all the time. But getting paired up with P and M cars leaves me thinking I have no chance and my only shot at beating them is if they hit a cone.

    turbohappy
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    20 Jan 2008 11:53 PM

    Honestly, if you start seeding people then you would be obliged to run #1 against #16 the first round, right? I mean, that's how brackets work. It's not fair to run #1 against #2 the first round either, if you look at it from their point of view.

    Personally, my dislike for the event isn't seedings or anything like that. The course is short without most of what makes autocrossing fun for me. You can go to Tuesday Night Street Legals and run head-to-head against other competitors, but I don't do that often because I don't enjoy that type of racing. The way to judge support is to look at the pocket book, not at who yells the loudest. If other people like it, bully for them, no problem with that here. There are plenty of other events to go to that time of year or a good time to take a weekend off.

    The Nebulizer
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    21 Jan 2008 09:34 AM
    turbohappy wrote:

    Honestly, if you start seeding people then you would be obliged to run #1 against #16 the first round, right? I mean, that's how brackets work. It's not fair to run #1 against #2 the first round either, if you look at it from their point of view.

    The problem is we seed to make the run groups, but then we go and make things random within the run groups. That doesn't work. It needs to be all ranked or not at all - otherwise you end up with messed up pairings.

    What would be wrong with #1 vs. #2 first round (and #63 vs. #64)? If we are going the bracket way as you suggest, than it really should be #1 vs. #64 (AM vs.HS) - which would be aweful. Isn't #1 vs. #2 a lot more fun than #1 vs. #64? Keep in mind this is meant to be fun - sure, if we were doing an NCAA type championship that was all about avoiding any upsets we would want #1 vs #64, but this is meant to be fun. For that, the design should make pairings closely matched. Or, do we just want this to be fun for #1 (or as we ran it last year #1, #17, #33, and #49)

    For some reason everyone seems to think it is important to split up into 4 run groups based on PAX, but then say PAX is not really important so mix it up within the run groups - this is not a consistant design. Inconsistant designs lead to bad pairings and arbitrary splits that favor the tops of each run group and disfavor the bottoms - which is why some people are complaining so vocally. Either make it totally random and screw the lower classes or use PAX (or another good measure) all the way through the pairings and keep the competition close and exciting. Those are the only valid designs - anything else is flawed from the start.

    Bobzilla
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    21 Jan 2008 09:57 AM
    turbohappy wrote:

    . . . The course is short without most of what makes autocrossing fun for me. You can go to Tuesday Night Street Legals and run head-to-head against other competitors, but I don't do that often because I don't enjoy that type of racing. . . ..

    Alot of us don;t go to Tuesday night drags becasue we drive slow (in a straight line) cars. The AP gives cars that would be annihilated in a straight line a chance against the same car. Smaller, "slower" and underpowered cars have a great chance of beating that 300gp mustang because we can turn quicker and the car handles so much better.



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