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Last Post 21 Jan 2008 09:57 AM by  Bobzilla
Aussie Pursuit
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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

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