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Last Post 22 Jan 2010 05:28 AM by  FWR Solo D
new rule brainstorm
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chriskrumnow
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17 Dec 2009 08:39 PM

    I have an idea that I wanted to share. I categorize drivers into 4 different competition levels. The 90% rule applies. There will always be 10% that we have to have to be taken on a case by case basis.

    Novice: These drivers have less than 1 calendar year of experience. They are usually street tire competitors. They have a trophy of their own.

    Amateur: These drivers only compete regionally. They are mostly street tire competitors. They are punished by the PAX.

    Pro: These drivers compete heavily at the divisional level and above. They are mostly R compound competitors. They aspire to be National Champions. They benefit from the PAX

    National = these drivers are committed to winning nationals. They are mostly R compound competitors. They already are or close to being National Champions. They establish the PAX.

    Why is this important? If we know who are core customers are, we can better serve them. Amateur and Novice drivers consist of about 70% of our entries. This means that 30% of the entries are at or above the Pro level. We cannot adjust the PAX for everyone. We can create a Pro class that keeps the Pro and National competitors from destroying the Amateur competitors.

    Proposed Class Rules ideas

    Novice: no more than 3 events the prior year. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure they are scored as a novice. This should be handled at registration.

    Pro: This class is for the Drivers that have are using R Compound tires or have trophied in a divisional, GASS, Pro Solo, National Tour, and/or Solo National Championship. Competitors are strongly urged to enter this class if they qualify. The event master has the power to put you in this class if you obviously qualify.

    Proposed Trophy Rule ideas

    Novice: The Novice with the most points at the end of the year .

    Pro: The Pro class driver with the most regional points. (This trophy would replace the current Regional Driver of the year.)

    Class: Each Class would have its own champion

    The real question is now that everyone is functionally a member when they compete at an event. Who gets trophies at the end of an event or at the end of the year?

    I only ask that you respond with logic. irrational thoughts get us no where.

    Chris

    Robert Puertas
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    17 Dec 2009 10:14 PM

    Chris, I believe alot of regions have handled this by adopting local classes.

    Here in CalClub, we have both a novice class and a PAX class.

    The novice bit is obvious, although we do struggle with the definition of novice now and then... I think currently it's something like "has not run more than 4 events in the past 2 years" but I'll probably be corrected shortly.

    The PAX class is the place where the hot shoes go to beat each other up for a trophy.

    Plus we have all the standard Solo classes plus a few additional regional only classes.

    CalClub's supp. regs. can be found at www.solo2.com

    chriskrumnow
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    17 Dec 2009 10:52 PM
    I should have been more clear and said that we will be keeping the national classes. We don't currently have a suplimental pax or pro class. We would benefit by creating it. Some of the more competitive drivers don't quite understand that there wouldn't be solo events without the regional drivers. They take them for granted. By pulling the more dedicated drivers out of the open classes we can build a stronger customer/driver base. I see a huge opurtunity for the club to grow if we allow the base of the competitors to grow. Not everyone wants to build a nationally competitive car. The regional or amateur drivers ought to be allowed to excel within their limits. Let's face it the pax drivers are comparing themselves to the pax results anyway. But what we don't want is someone not to come back because winning is out of reach. Do we really expect someone to come back and do another event if we tell them they have to spend thousands of dollars every year to have a chance at competing? The pro class has no bearing on the novices. Its the 3 to 7 year groups that we lose too fast. We are a small market too. A problem the bigger markets can afford to ignore. Typing this out on a blackberry just sucks. Hopefully my rambling made sense. Chris
    wrheadle
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    18 Dec 2009 12:48 PM

    Chris-

    I think the Pro Class is fine. I can't say if I would run it one way or the other, but I'm not exactly spealing a class trophy from anyone either. I won't resist it. I will resist it being mandatory and the eventmaster being allowed to move someone. If a class trophy is improtnat to someone, they should be allowed to compete for it.

    Transitioning to year end awards. Those are defined in the club policies and procedures and would have to be changed. It would be a realitviely significant tear-up, but not impossible by any stretch. To do this, you would need to champion the rules re-write (or find someone to do it for you) and it should be done prior to the first event of the year.

    Beware of R-comps vs non-R-comps statements. A lot of the Pro drivers in the region are ST guys and don't fit the R-comp bucket. I do understand what you mean though. I would be willing to work withthe champion of this to help with points concepts, etc. but don't want to take on the champion role. That needs to be someone who is passionate about the change and I am luke-warm.

    Bill

    bmonnin1
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    18 Dec 2009 04:07 PM
    I would also beg to differ that just because I run on R-comps I am a Pro. The last time that I ran at Toledo I got my but stomped thoroughly by Dax Bushmeyer running his Dad's old Porsche in BSP. My car was better set up and had better tires then his. I think at the National at Peru last year I was beaten by almost 3 seconds on Sunday alone. Do I aspire to run at a National level, yes. Am I there yet, not a chance in hell.
    chriskrumnow
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    18 Dec 2009 09:14 PM

    Do you remember how much you beat the other BSP competitor by at the coliseum? You beat them by almost 8 seconds.

    The actual use of R Compounds is just a part of it. Why are you using R Compounds? You are making specific Solo upgrades to become a Nationally competitive driver. That is the exact reason for you to compete in the PRO class if offered. Besides Street Prepared is an animal all it's own. The upgrades fo SP are too restrictive and awkward. Street Prepared, Prepared, and Modified are all classes that you have to build to. Stock, Street Touring, and Street Mod are more realistic examples regional classes.

    Some are rationalizing that new people ought to be beaten by 8 seconds. Being beaten by a perceived peer by 8 seconds can't be changed, but it's not fun for anyone. We can change the perception of how they were beaten. We can help intermediate drivers out by changing classing structure a little. We have to create realistic steps in order to be a better club. Right now, we discourage more than encourage growth. We have novice people and a hand full of dedicated drivers. There isn't enough dedicated intermediate or amateur drivers. We need to find a way to make an attainable second step. We have to give them a realistic goal. I know it's idealistic. Some of the dedicated drivers think it's lowering our standards or rewarding mediocre driving. 70% of our customers/competitors don't have national aspirations. I wish anyone who has national plans all the best. It is not in the vast majority of our competitor's future. We ought to be worried about keeping the majority interested instead of catering to the minority. When we cater to the majority we will have more members and more help at the events. That is our goal right? Sorry, I am very passionate about figuring this out.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    chriskrumnow
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    19 Dec 2009 02:19 PM

    This is what I have come up with so far... I think I have some of the kinks worked out. this is the first draft

    Solo Awards

    The Solo Awards shall be distributedas follows.

    Regional Solo Trophies

    Fort Wayne Region members whoparticipate in the Fort Wayne Region Solo Series shall be awarded a yearend trophyif they have finished in a trophy awarding position in at least one Fort WayneRegion Solo event during the current year. Regional Solo Trophies shall bepresented at the annual Fort Wayne Region Awards Banquet. Recipients must either RSVP for the banquetor contact the solo director

    Class Champion Awards

    Awards will be given to the Winner ofeach national and regional class winner.

    Award Determination

    The winner will be determined by thelargest amount of points earned. There will be one additional trophy for everythree drivers. In order to qualifydriver must participate in one more than half of the total regionalevents.

    3 drivers = 1 trophy

    6 drivers = 2 trophies

    9 drivers = 3 trophies

    And so on…

    Fort Wayne RegionSolo Series Scoring System

    First Place 10 pts

    Second Place 8 pts

    Third Place 7 pts

    Forth Place 6 pts

    Fifth Place 5 pts

    Sixth Place 4 pts

    Seventh Place 3 pts

    Eighth Place 2 pts

    Ninth Place and beyond 1 pt

    Novice Class

    All Novice driverswill be compared to each other using their pax results.

    Ace Trophy

    All Ace drivers will be compared to each other using theirpax results.

    Regional Classdefinitions

    Novice Class

    Any member who has not competed in more than 5 soloevents in the past 2 years. It is thedriver’s responsibility to register for themselves as a novice. These entrants will drive in their perspectiveclasses. They will be put a “N” aftertheir class designation on their car. You can’t reenter the novice class afterspoiling your status.

    Example 86bsn

    Ace Class

    This class is for any member that has earned more thanone trophy in a Division or National level event. These include but are not limited toDivisional, Pro Solo, National Tour, and National Championships. It is the driver’s responsibility to registeras an Ace. These entrants will drive intheir perspective classes. They will beput a “A” after their class designation on their car.

    Example 86bsa

    wrheadle
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    21 Dec 2009 07:24 AM
    chriskrumnow wrote:
    Ace Class

    This class is for any member that has earned more thanone trophy in a Division or National level event. These include but are not limited toDivisional, Pro Solo, National Tour, and National Championships. It is the driver’s responsibility to registeras an Ace. These entrants will drive intheir perspective classes. They will beput a “A” after their class designation on their car.

    Chris-

    I don't think this rule catches as many cars as you think it does. I believe that Jerry Strope misses this definition and I know that I do. I'm betting there are others whom you would expect to run the Pro class that do not fit this rule.

    Bill

    chriskrumnow
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    21 Dec 2009 09:42 AM

    That is a exactly what Scott said. The meeting on Satuday was great for ideas.

    The forum is not yielding the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I am going to start an email conversation. If anyone wants on the mailing list, just let me know.

    Chris

    wrheadle
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    21 Dec 2009 10:55 AM
    chriskrumnow wrote:
    That is a exactly what Scott said. The meeting on Satuday was great for ideas.

    The forum is not yielding the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I am going to start an email conversation. If anyone wants on the mailing list, just let me know.

    Chris

    count me in.

    rosejm
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    22 Dec 2009 06:12 PM

    This is an excellent idea, though I'd also recommend publicizing this kind of info for out-of-region competitors that might show up for a couple of events.

    I know that I've been to a couple of other region's events where I would have competed in a PRO/PAX class had I been aware of them...

    flogger
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    22 Dec 2009 09:07 PM

    Chris,

    First, let me say good job on trying to steer the Region to better recruit and retain SOLO participants. It's something that we definitely need to address better. I'm just not sold on how much your proposal would help in that regard, though. Maybe it's a generational thing. Maybe younger drivers get their feedback from trophies more than I do. Personally, I've always looked at overall PAX results for most of my feedback. I also compare my times to those of fast and consistent drivers. I remember when I first started, I used to gauge how well I did and my progress by what percent slower I was than Ron Conrad. (IIRC my first event was >12%) While I'm glad I got better, I didn't find the time/skill difference disheartening. I'm just having a hard time picturing that our points/scoring system is what's keeping away new members or driving away some existing members. In eight years of doing this, I've never heard anybody comment to that effect.

    That being said, I have to admit, that if it's something that could be implemented with minimal effort, and if there's a chance it might help with recruitment/retention, then maybe it's worth doing. I do respectfully request, however, that an overall PAX results list be kept for individual events and year end totals. Even if it's an unofficial list, I, and I suspect some others, would find it helpful to be consistent with how we measure performance.

    Scott

    chriskrumnow
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    23 Dec 2009 10:06 PM

    Scott,

    Thanks for the interest! The goal of changing the policies is to work of the success we had with the SMS class. Close to 25% of the entries were SMS for the first couple of years. Then BAM! The class just disappeared. There was a lot of competition within the class. There is an debate about what went wrong. I think there wasn't anything to compete for except pride. We would reward only the people that built their cars to the class they were in. There really was no connection or reward from the SCCA. Now this is not just a Fort Wayne thing. This happens in a lot of other places too.

    Chris

    CSP137
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    28 Dec 2009 01:24 PM

    Chris,

    Thanks for putting this in a form that everyone can digest. You were over-working my one active brain cell at the solo meeting.

    Larry pointed out to be careful of uninteded consiquences, and I think that's good to keep in mind. And keep it as simple as possible - we're already stressed for volunteers. If you can't explain the rules in a few paragraphs - it's probably too complicated.

    I like the idea of having the top drivers compete in a Pax or Pro or X class because I think it can discourage less experienced people. I think it also needs to be a voluntary thing. The ones who compete at this level are already only interested in PAX results anyway. So slap a P or X on the car and you're done. Scoring to remain the same as it currently is.

    What was the system we used in the past for class championships? If you had more 1st places than the other guy you won a class championsip. I'm sure someone even remembers what the tie-breaker was. I love your enthusiasm, Chris, but all the point calculations are getting lost on me here. I liked running for class championships when I was starting out, and I think people naturally like to guage themselves agains their peers.

    Does it really need to be more complicated that this? Or am I missing something?


    Steve

    RonConrad
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    01 Jan 2010 05:40 PM

    Maybe you could have 3 classes that use the PAX index:

    Novice: For those with limited exposure to autocrossing scored on PAX using overall results (signify by adding "(N)" to thier last name in the timing software)

    Street Tire: Stock Class cars running on 140 or greater wear rated tires, scored on PAX using overall results (maybe signify by adding "(S)" to thier last name in the timing software).

    Pro: Pax indexed class for anyone who cares to compete in it. (signify by adding ("P") to thier last name in the timing software).

    This would be simple to score by periodically posting the overall results between runs.

    SpeedTeacher
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    04 Jan 2010 11:44 PM

    Chris,

    I know where you are coming from. When I first started, I was in F-Stock and getting smoked. But, like Scott said, I compared myself to peers like Keith Beaver. Heck, once I moved to different classes, I kept comparing myself to Keith and it was a blast. I only mention that because the root cause for lack of retention in our sport regionally is the lack of connection competitors have to the group early on in their 'racing career'. Steve M. talks all the time about the social aspect of the SCCA and I have to say he is right. We race for less than six minutes a day, and yet there are are thousands and thousands of people who do it every weekend somewhere in the US. It can't be only that six minutes that keeps people coming back. Its much more.

    One of the focus areas I had when I was Solo Director was to improve retention. Every event we had about 10% who raised their hands and said it was their first visit. But, as the season wore on, we didn't see increases in attendance because those 'first-timers' didn't connect with our sport. The image I have in my head is of that competitor who just finished a run, is excited, but just stands next to his car in grid looking around because he doesn't know anybody. That is the guy who won't be back. The social aspect... the competitor/friend who comes over and slaps him on the back and says 'great job, what was your time' is the true glue that keeps him (or her) coming back.

    It is all about the atmosphere we set as a club. Be positive and help people understand that our sport is much more than having the most expensive car. Its true, there is a divergence eventually of those who go beyond the regional level and those who stay local only. Small, simple adjustments can make worlds of difference.

    You mentioned SMS... When SMS started we made a concerted effort to go out and find people and introduce them to our sport. Ron Conrad went crazy contacting car clubs and cruising Coliseum like crazy. That is why we go those people. We had a hard time keeping them because we weren't able to build the relationships with them. SMS got pretty big, but most of the competition came from those people who found someone comparable to themselves and then set their sites on them.

    Build relationships and don't stop. That is the secret (in my opinion). :)

    Todd J.

    Bigblockbandit
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    07 Jan 2010 05:45 PM
    SpeedTeacher wrote:

    Chris,

    I know where you are coming from. When I first started, I was in F-Stock and getting smoked. But, like Scott said, I compared myself to peers like Keith Beaver. Heck, once I moved to different classes, I kept comparing myself to Keith and it was a blast. I only mention that because the root cause for lack of retention in our sport regionally is the lack of connection competitors have to the group early on in their 'racing career'. Steve M. talks all the time about the social aspect of the SCCA and I have to say he is right. We race for less than six minutes a day, and yet there are are thousands and thousands of people who do it every weekend somewhere in the US. It can't be only that six minutes that keeps people coming back. Its much more.


    Build relationships and don't stop. That is the secret (in my opinion). :)

    Todd J.

    I agree with that Todd, I miss seeing you and Jake and Tom, I am always surprised how people move in and out but it also reflects the age of your kids a lot I think. Most racers I talk to are pre or post kids.

    From Chris's previous post

    "The actual use of R Compounds is just a part of it. Why are you using R Compounds? You are making specific Solo upgrades to become a Nationally competitive driver. That is the exact reason for you to compete in the PRO class if offered. Besides Street Prepared is an animal all it's own. The upgrades fo SP are too restrictive and awkward. Street Prepared, Prepared, and Modified are all classes that you have to build to. Stock, Street Touring, and Street Mod are more realistic examples regional classes."

    U use r compound tires because they are cheaper in the limited selection of 15" tires available for my antique bird than buying a set of $1500 custom offset 18" wheels and "street" compound tires . I like to be competitive as anyone you will ever meet, but I have limits on myself, my car and my wallet that keep me in the beat up by the pax looser bracket. If winning was the only goal i should buy something else and give up onthe overpowered 30 year old dino. I cant compete in the street tire SMS class even with the r compound hoosiers, who's fault is that?

    I understand your concept and frustration Chris but somethings are just never going to be equal unless you run a spec class. I do pretty well in sms now that everyone left that class, unless more show up then im down the list again. Its to bad not everyone can win like in communist t-ball where every kid gets to run the bases even when they strike out, but its the nature of racing. Nascar does not award a 2nd winner just because Johnson wins to much.

    Im all about the novice thing, you need that when you first start, i Got a rookie award my first year. It really does feel good, but you have to eventually adopt the attitude that you are racing against your own limits and pick out a buddy to race against. Bob and I have been doing it for years now and Im still lucky to beat him once a year and usually at Kruse on the slick track. I started out running on street tires with todd, scott lewis and others in c-prepared due to the few mods i had on the car and the class structure, i got used to coming in last and re worked the car so it fit into f-stock and then into sm.

    I dont mean to be negative Chris but i think the direction you are headed has limits. I get slaugtered by the pax but i spend time looking thru the results taking joy in the fact that i beat the A-stock class last week with my inferior technology. Like Bill, ill support anything you want to try but I'm not in love with it.

    Sean

    FWR Solo D
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    13 Jan 2010 11:00 AM

    So Chris - where are you on this?

    Do you have a less complicated thing figured out?

    Food for thought:

    I am for a PAX or X class - but run them same time as regular car class.

    I see no problems with a pax trophy...but pax trophy could be driver of the year to - RIGHT? Weird...

    I heard they used to have Class Champions - can we bring this back from the past? Maybe there is data there that can help your ideas?

    Well, just wondered what you were doing on this?

    Cheers,

    Jason

    chriskrumnow
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    13 Jan 2010 11:55 AM
    slowly but surely. want to talk to people at the truck cleaning then maybe at the feb meeting to get feedback. After that it is in the BOD's court.
    Bigblockbandit
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    13 Jan 2010 12:23 PM

    Back before I had kids I used to bracket race. the whole point of it was to run consistantly, no cars in classes only times. It seems if the goal is to level the playing field, an adoption of a non class regional thing might be to take an average of 3 runs and determine the spread most consistent time wins everyone has an equal shot at it and the differance between competitors are measured in total seconds. if I ran a 35 36 and 37, best time for scca is 35 best time for new class is 2 seconds. Does not matter what you drive, only that you do it the same every time, might even favor those who dont make changes between runs to get faster. An interesting line of thought anyway.

    I honestly cant see a way to level the playing field for all any other way within the current SCCA method of classing cars and tires. If nothing else it would be an interesting thing to throw in the spreadsheet of scores to track and maybe try as a bodus award at the Kruse event Jason was talking about.

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