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Last Post 30 Mar 2014 08:45 AM by  pknowles
SP Nats Attendance 2008-2012
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ratt_finkel
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28 Feb 2013 06:24 PM

    Not sure if anyone has looked at the writing on the wall recently. But last year SP reached a 5 year low in attendance. What is being done about bringing new blood into the class?

    SP Attendance – Nats
    2012 2011 2010
    Total Drivers= 151.5 Total Drivers=162 Total Drivers=177
    SSP 12 ASP – 17 – L—4 ASP – 21,L - 3
    ASP – 17* One with half runs ,L- 3 BSP –28 – L – 6 BSP 23, L - 4
    BSP 18 CSP 27, L - 4 CSP 23,L – 6
    CSP 22, L - 3 DSP 17, L - 2 DSP 25, L - 7
    DSP 21, L - 4 ESP 23, L - 1 ESP 27, L - 2
    ESP 33, L - 2 FSP 24, L - 9 FSP 27,L - 9
    FSP 16, L - 3
    2009 2008 2007
    Total Drivers=202 Total Drivers=154 Total Drivers=182
    ASP – 22,L - 3 ASP – 18, L - 2
    BSP 26,L - 2 BSP 14, L - 1
    CSP 33,L - 7 CSP 27, L - 6
    DSP 31, L - 7 DSP 26,L - 7
    ESP 32, L - 3 ESP 23, L - 3
    FSP 29, L - 7 FSP 21, L - 6









    rallyfan555
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    28 Feb 2013 07:41 PM
    It's the ST* effect.
    Andy Hollis
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    28 Feb 2013 08:32 PM
    rallyfan555 wrote:
    It's the ST* effect.

    I know I left CSP for STS(2) a few years ago with my Miata and never looked back. Sold off almost $10K worth of SP parts, and had way cheaper consumables. And eventually, deeper fields and better contingency. I could also drive my car quite nicely on the street again.

    To me, SP is like P, except you have to do everything the hard/expensive/fragile way to get the performance.

    ehyman
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    28 Feb 2013 09:25 PM
    ratt_finkel wrote:

    What is being done about bringing new blood into the class?

    Banning E85 in ST? <Ducks>

    mwood
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    28 Feb 2013 09:34 PM

    edit

    The math is simple, I just don't want to get into it...

    gary p
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    01 Mar 2013 06:45 AM
    Andy Hollis wrote:

    To me, SP is like P, except you have to do everything the hard/expensive/fragile way to get the performance.

    Exactly.

    snaponbob
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    01 Mar 2013 08:27 AM

    Sharing an STX E36 this year. In doing the build on that was a trip down memory lane in that it has been SO much like SP 20 years ago. Just no UDBD or "free" intake. I could have bought and built that same car for my tires ONLY over the past three seasons.

    talon95
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    01 Mar 2013 08:41 AM
    Unfortunately this is the way things work with classing. It's so difficult/painful to fix existing classes that we just create new classes (ST slowly replacing SP). Now we're working on going down that road again with stock.

    Dave G.
    mcfandango
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    01 Mar 2013 10:20 AM
    I agree with Andy. Looking at the rule book, and some of the requests for changes in Fastracks, Street Prepared looks like Prepared lite. Only you have to spend cubic dollars compared to Prepared to reach the weight/performance limit. To me it makes no sense to build something for SP.

    Off hand, I can't think of anything that would attract new people to the SP classes. I know at least one example of someone deciding to taking their SP car and going into Prepared. The car would be a more fun to work on, more fun to drive and be faster for cheaper. If you HAVE to trailer a car to an event, why not take a full blow race car conversion instead of something that sort of resembles a street car but really has too many modifications to be enjoyable (or in some cases safe). The only way SP makes sense is if you want to try and put it back to something "street-ish" in the future to sell.

    ST will continue to be attractive as it doesn't require R-comps and are still reasonably fun to drive around not at the event. I think things like increasing Prepared class/participation with the limited prep rules will also drain some SP.
    Fair
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    01 Mar 2013 10:39 AM

    Good data gathered, J-Fo. That is almost the startings of a trend but you better give it a few more decades, as the SEB/SPAC doesn't like change things too quickly. It looks like ESP was one of the only SP classes to improve in attendance in 2012, but the ESP-L winner and one open class driver have left for 2013.



    Frankly, the SP rules are a mess and would take EONS to update at the pace that is "the Solo zeitgeist". They still base their aero rules on the 1960s (spoilers!) since we couldn't have wings now, that would be crazy... but yet they took the "street" our of SP decades ago. As I said at one SCCA Nationals Town Hall: Street Touring, Street Prepared and Street Modified need to merge into TWO categories. They looked at me like I had grown a third eye. There is just too much overlap, too many classes, and the rules in the oldest category among these 3 (SP) need some serious updating or wholesale changes. But the SPAC isn't going to do anything quickly, that is proven.

    Instead of just publicly bemoaning the failures in SP, I've actually written in to the STAC/SEB about making a home in ST for the most popular SP cars - the Pony Cars. Basically, they all need more tire allowance (to compensate for their much heavier weights compared to other cars in STU), and the stock 420 hp 5.0L '11-14 Mustang GTs need to move out of STX, into STU. You can read that open letter here: http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8215

    DSC_4429-S.jpg DSC_2035DSC_2035-S.jpg DSC_1000-S.jpg


    I feel that if these Pony Cars had a place to race in ST where they were even remotely competitive (they do not now), the last bastion of SP classes - ESP - would dwindle and many drivers would switch. Talk to these guys - nobody likes paying for $1400 sets of R tires, and only a handful ever win enough tires to not have to drop $$$ for them. The open emissions and weird update/backdate allowances (and subsequent "hybrid cars that never existed in nature") make SP expensive to build for, unlike ST. And like Andy said, you have the same power and grip levels of Prepared, but the fragile limitations of weaker OEM components that are always failing: hubs, spindles, ball joints, etc. We have replaced the front hubs 3 times on my 2011 GT with 16K miles, and these are much stronger than what the 4th Gen F-Body guys have for OEM replacements. I would wager that running a top CP car (except for maybe Meier's creations) is less expensive than a top ESP car. I know what my tire bill was for last year and we only ran in ESP for 4 months.



    DSC_8917-S.jpg DSC_5029-S.jpg

    The differences between our STX (left) and ESP (right) entries were the rear spoiler (ha!) and tires.



    We had "an STX car with Hoosiers and a rear spoiler" when we ran ESP at Nationals, because we still daily drove the car (SP rules would have allowed A/C removal, emissions removal, and some other weird updates that would make the car illegal on the street). Making a dedicated race-only SP racer with a modern sports car gets expensive, because if you want to you take it even halfway seriously you end up with a wildly illegal (emissions) and un-fun car to drive on the road. We had budgeted $50K for our new, dedicated race car 2103 ESP build, but that might not have been enough for even the first year of development. Not many people are serious enough to take a brand new car and cut it up and yank all of the emissions equipment off to make into a dedicated SP car anymore, so the field of cars just gets older and smaller. The SEB saved me a lot of money this year, I guess.



    Anyway, just my always unpopular two cents.

    Frank05v
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    01 Mar 2013 10:54 AM
    As the driver of a car that is still very much street driven, I like running in a SP class. It is still possible for us to drive to an event, swap tires, and race. Not that we take that chance much except for maybe local events. (See motor blowing up due to boost spike on the practice course at 2012 nationals, and feverishly swapping some of the parts to my then street car to compete). Although, currently we are making a slight compromise by retaining the A/C in the car.

    That said, I think after 2013 nationals we may move towards a Prepared build.
    Andy Hollis
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    01 Mar 2013 11:04 AM
    Fair wrote:

    Good data gathered, J-Fo. That is almost the startings of a trend but you better give it a few more decades, as the SEB/SPAC doesn't like change things too

    The issue is not with the SEB/SPAC...it is with the membership. The sunsetting rules were recently weakened due to members in low-participation classes feeling a sense of long-term entitlement. And politically, those few are older members, with good connections both at the SEB and BOD levels.

    There still people bitter about the last time a class was sunsetted for low participation (BP).

    mwood
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    01 Mar 2013 12:41 PM
    Andy Hollis wrote:
    Fair wrote:

    Good data gathered, J-Fo. That is almost the startings of a trend but you better give it a few more decades, as the SEB/SPAC doesn't like change things too

    The issue is not with the SEB/SPAC...it is with the membership. The sunsetting rules were recently weakened due to members in low-participation classes feeling a sense of long-term entitlement. And politically, those few are older members, with good connections both at the SEB and BOD levels.

    There still people bitter about the last time a class was sunsetted for low participation (BP).

    This.

    We all know there are too many classes, too much overlap amongst classes...but, suggest the idea of replacement instead of supplement and people's panties quickly get twisted. Who's going to be first to raise their hand and admit that their chosen class is no longer supported by the broader membership? And this cuts across ALL the classing structures, without exception.

    jeez...and I REALLY didn't want to get into this topic...been spending waaaay too much time thinking about it, lately...there are a bunch of implications, some of which are becoming more clear presently.

    hklvette
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    01 Mar 2013 02:07 PM
    mwood wrote:

    This.

    We all know there are too many classes, too much overlap amongst classes...but, suggest the idea of replacement instead of supplement and people's panties quickly get twisted. Who's going to be first to raise their hand and admit that their chosen class is no longer supported by the broader membership? And this cuts across ALL the classing structures, without exception.

    jeez...and I REALLY didn't want to get into this topic...been spending waaaay too much time thinking about it, lately...there are a bunch of implications, some of which are becoming more clear presently.

    Yep. Eliminating classes is never popular with the "hangers-on," and they will be the most vocal about a class being sunsetted. People not in the class in question are unlikely to write in letters supporting its demise, since it doesn't directly affect them. I'm not sure of a good solution to this problem. I would be in favor of a points system similar to what NASA uses, but even that isn't without problems (Car X gets more benefit from mod Y than car Z), and would require more-or-less scrapping the current class structure. Somewhere along the line, someone's going to have to get the short end of the stick and everyone hopes it isn't them.

    mcfandango
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    01 Mar 2013 03:00 PM
    Throwing this out for discussion, although I know it probably would go over like a ton of bricks. Especially since I doubt Jeremy wanted this as a suggestion.

    What if the SP classes were just declared as "Limited prep" Prepared class legal as is? Prepared classes get a boost in numbers and we reduce the number of classes. I realize this could really mess up several Prepared classes for a little bit while some classing and such would need to get sorted out. It would probably also so some major flaws in the Prepared rules/classifications.

    I'm not for this nor advocating it right off the bat. Too bad the silly season is supposed to be over.
    SMSupercoupe
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    01 Mar 2013 06:20 PM
    I'm an ESP driver (or I will be as soon as I fix my Camaro). I have a fairly well-prepped car: well prepped enough that I know that the driver is holding the car back and not vice versa. It's emissions legal (in my county, anyway), I drive it to events with the tires and tools in the car, and I get 25 mpg doing it. For the most part, I'm pretty happy with the SP rule set.

    I'd rather not see it get merged with ST or SM in any kind of way that would destroy such a fun class to run in and instantly make all the pony cars uncompetitive. I'm not sure how pony cars could ever compete with the likes of M3s, Evos, and STIs currently in STU and SM. I also don't want to go to CP with a car that's grossly overweight to keep it street legal, or a non-street legal car that requires me to buy a truck and trailer.

    ESP in particular fulfills a very nice niche between stock and prepared classes. SSP, CSP, and FSP also seem to be very healthy from the tours I've been to. I don't want to kill anyone's class, but if the day comes when one particular SP class is just dead, killing it alone would be better than eliminating all of SP. Just as was done with eliminating BP rather than all prepared classes. With that said, I guess if I end up as the last guy in ESP, I'll turn off the lights.
    TeamRX8
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    02 Mar 2013 12:11 PM
    SP is in serious need of common sense rule revisions

    saying you can't have metal mounts or bushings but then allowing custom polymer replacements that are just as hard is one of many examples demonstrating tunnel vision anality run a muck

    the secondary issue is there is an entrenched culture that doesn't want to change anything

    .

    ratt_finkel
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    07 Mar 2013 12:57 PM

    I agree Sipe. Honestly I think the entire category needs a massive revision. I think SP is a neat concept. I personally do not like street tires, and while some ST category cars are entertaining, that isn't what I want to drive. Neither do I want to drive an all out race car ala P and M classes. And if the lack of SP participation is due to the speed/cost/component. Then how do you explain 6 figure cars in stock. And 20 year old civics with 5k dollar shocks on them. I mean, by that line of thinking, shouldn't we all just be running in AM?


    But I digress, it sounds like the SPAC and SEB are not willing to take the initiative to fix this broken category. So it will take a massive amount of membership response to get this iceberg moving. Sigh.
    ACM
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    07 Mar 2013 02:04 PM
    The SPAC are lazy buggers - there's at least six of 'em so a complete rewrite should be a piece'o'cake, but rumour has it they actually spend time on other things too (damn slackers). At least one of them has an actual job, so I heard.

    SP does need a major overhaul. We have tyres now with so much grip they rip suspension mounts out of the body and split bodyshell seams. That's not healthy. Wasn't so bad when we were camber-limited, the cars fell off the tyres - they don't do that any more.

    Seems to me we're in a no man's land now. I personally think we need to either roll back some of the allowances, or we need to open up even further, but where we are now is not a good place.

    So who's volunteering ??

    Maybe we can form an SPAC working committee and take much of the bickering off their hands - we are pretty good at that after all :-)

    Charles

    cbramey
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    07 Mar 2013 03:08 PM

    SP rules have only a few flaws: R compound tires instead of streets; unlimited mini clutches; stock long blocks; and the propensity to class tiny or featherweight cars with big or heavy ones that seems to cross all the SCCA classes.

    Look, heads/cam/strokers wont make that big a performance difference for a lot of cars for solo, but would sure open up the class to a more heavily populated demographic.

    That same demographic wants to be able to open track, drag, and street drive their cars so a miniclutch is ridiculous.

    No one wants to spend $1500 on a set of 12 - run tires, so race tires are ridiculous.

    No want wants to spend wind tunnel money, or drive around with a scraper so low in the front they can't get into a parking lot, or with a bunch of home depot crap bolted all over their car, so any aero mods should be essentially regulated to be non functional.

    Then you would have the best set of rules yet. I expect attendance would skyrocket, especially if marketed properly.

    the SM rules were a valiant effort to do SOMETHING to shake the inertia, but the rules are a complete and total disaster. ST was just another strange response to the tire issue; phase both into the new SP rules and you have a great class that will appeal to a lot of enthusiasts.

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