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Thread: Reducing race weekends and other changes

  1. #1
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    Reducing race weekends and other changes

    Last night at my IRDC club meeting I proposed several rule changes. Many were simply "house cleaning" fixes that made zero effective change to the way things are done. Three of the proposals do have the potential to cause a shift in how Conference races are scheduled and run.

    At the IRDC club rules change meeting there was a lot of great debate about the merits and compromises of the proposed changes. I am pleased to say that the IRDC members present at the meeting looked beyond their own self interest, to the common interest of Conference as a whole, which naturally includes the drivers, but also the club volunteers that organize and staff the race events, and the volunteer race officials that make racing possible for the drivers. The proposals were passed by IRDC at the club level, in order to be put forward and included in the conglomeration of proposals from all the clubs, for consideration by all voting members from all clubs before the final vote.

    Here are the three proposed changes in sort of a logical progression, with some of my personal thoughts about them that you may or may not agree with. I only ask that you consider the merits and compromises for everybody involved in Conference, keeping in mind that all of us together make racing possible.

    This formatting tools of this forum do not support copying the proposed changes in the mandated format, so please see the original rule, followed by the proposed rule.

    Under Section 7 - Races, from the Competition Regulations.

    Current rule is:

    703. C. 1. For Senior Drivers : a minimum of one (1) practice session of at least 10 minutes in length. A minimum of two (2)
    qualifying session per weekend and no less than one (1) per championship race. All qualifying sessions must be of at least 15 minutes in length. (Spring 2011)

    The proposed change is:

    703. C. 1. For Senior Drivers : no less than one (1) qualifying session per championship race. All qualifying sessions must be of at least 15 minutes in length. Practice sessions are optional for Senior race events.

    This proposed change simply provides flexibility in scheduling. It does not require any change to be made. If a club wants to format their race schedule in the current fashion, with practice and qualifying on the first day, and qualifying and races on subsequent days, there is nothing in this proposed rule that prevents of prohibits that.

    However, if a club wants to run a race program format of qualifying in the morning and races in the afternoon for senior racers on both days of an ordinary two day weekend, or all three days of a holiday weekend, this change provides for a reasonable length of day, which is very important for the people that do the work to put on the races.

    We have already had a double race weekend over two days, and we have triple race weekends over three days, so we are not breaking any new ground with this, we are simply permitting a simpler way of doing things if people are willing to forego practice sessions. Or not. If the consensus is that we do not want to forego practice sessions, there is nothing in this proposed change prohibiting that.

    This proposed change also keeps intact the requirements and value of the Novice program, as it only applies to senior race groups.

    This proposed change does not prevent the addition of special races, which for many years running now have been the tipping point between running in the red or black for Conference.

    This proposed change, with it's optional language, doesn't require a complete re-write of the rule book and every reference to practice, nor does it require any particular fundamental schedule format change or way of doing business.

    Next current rule is:

    701. Definition of race. A race is a program of competitive motor events on a defined course in which speed is the determining factor. Practice and qualification for the events, together with the events themselves, shall constitute any given race.

    The proposed change is:

    701. Definition of race. A race is a program of competitive motor events on a defined course in which speed is the determining factor. Practice and/or qualification for the events, together with the events themselves, shall constitute any given race. Practice is optional for senior race events.

    This proposed change simply facilitates the proposed change above. It does not add any requirements nor does it prevent anything.

    Finally, likely the most contentious proposal, currently is:

    703. Scheduling of events. (no language about how many or frequency)

    The proposed change is:

    703. Scheduling of events. Member clubs are restricted to holding a maximum of two Championship race weekends per season. Championship race weekends may be formatted as single, double or triple Championship points race programs.

    The current codified rule which is articulated in the Policy and Procedures manual 8.1, and accepted policy is that each member club is restricted to three Championship Races per season.

    The principle point of this proposed rule change is to put a limit on the number of weekends, not races. In broad strokes, for many years now, racers have wanted more racing. At the same time, our volunteer ranks have aged and shrunk. We can have lots of good racing without having many weekends, which is good for everyone.

    We have problems with worker burnout. We have problems staying financially solvent. We have schedule conflict challenges.

    We also have some really great things going for us.

    We can choose to look for reasons why this is a bad idea, why it won't work, or focus on our own self interest.

    Or, we can consider the benefits, why it's a good idea, how it will make Conference racing (all of us) better and stronger and more financially prosperous.

    The first two proposed changes regarding practice for seniors more or less go together to work. These two together can be done in isolation and will be a positive change.

    I believe, as do many others, that moving to restricting the number of weekends is a necessary change, that we need to be proactive and control our future rather than being controlled by it. In order to make this change, from a practical standpoint, we need to facilitate it by including the proposed changes to senior practice requirements. It's a package deal.

    Flame on.
    Last edited by Randy Blaylock; 6 Sep 2012 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Rule change #1: 703. C. 1.
    Current wording For Senior Drivers : a minimum of one (1) practice session of at least 10 minutes in length. A minimum of two (2) qualifying session per weekend and no less than one (1) per championship race. All qualifying sessions must be of at least 15 minutes in length. (Spring 2011)
    Proposed wording For Senior Drivers : no less than one (1) qualifying session per championship race. All qualifying sessions must be of at least 15 minutes in length. Practice sessions are optional for Senior race events.

    Rule change #2: 701.
    Current wording Definition of race. A race is a program of competitive motor events on a defined course in which speed is the determining factor. Practice and qualification for the events, together with the events themselves, shall constitute any given race.
    Proposed wording Definition of race. A race is a program of competitive motor events on a defined course in which speed is the determining factor. Practice and/or qualification for the events, together with the events themselves, shall constitute any given race. Practice is optional for senior race events.

    Rule change #3: 703.
    Current wording Scheduling of events. [no language about how many or frequency]
    Proposed wording Scheduling of events. Member clubs are restricted to holding a maximum of two Championship race weekends per season. Championship race weekends may be formatted as single, double or triple Championship points race programs.
    My favorite racing quote: Jan Magnussen, when asked by a reporter how he could be "so brave" on the racetrack, replied, "I've had hospital food; it's not so bad."

  3. #3
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    Just to make sure I'm following you correctly Randy.

    Theoretically, a club could offer 6 races, but they are restricted to only 2 weekends? Also if that is correct, we could (at the extreme) have 30 championship races over 10 weekends..?

    It would also require a driver to make atleast 15 races to qualify for points right?

    I think it's a solid proposal and it certainly has the potential to shake things up. Thanks for taking the time to put together such a well thought out idea.

    The only possible concern I can think of is - Take for example a club doing a 2 day double (as opposed to a 2 day single like currently) - Would the entry fee go up because I get more "racing"? I think we have to be careful not to increase the barriers of entry for new folks. Racing is already an expensive hobby and the more we raise the costs, ultimately the less people I think we are going to attract.

  4. #4
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    That was a topic of discussion last noght Steve, and I can say that running a two day double is no more costly than running a two day single considering you use the same resources and track time. The only difference is paying the ICSCC mandated driver levy of $15 per race. The idea is to maintain our fantastically successful novice program and simply turn Saturdays "practice then qualifying" format into "qualifying then race" in the same time constraints, then repeating the format of quali/race on Sunday.

    Although it opens the door to two weekends consisting of three total races per weekend for each club, it would be practically and functionally unlikely to ever happen. In reality our members have suggested leaning toward a double and a single in two weekends for IRDC and Cascade, a triple for TC on Memorial day, a midsummer triple for NWMS on one weekend, and either a Triple on Labor Day weekend or a single earlier in the year and a double on Labor day for SCCBC. In reality, the only reason to run a single is to make room for a quality Special race which would be a little harder (but not impossible!) to accomplish with a two day double format.

    Fifteen races in seven or eight weekends spaced throughout the season. Pretty straightforward if we are brave enough to make a big change in the way we schedule races. Even if we turn IRDC and Cascadr races into two doubles it is 17 races in the same seven or eight weekends.

    If it were up to me, I would also change the championship points to reflect all results, throw out your lowest three if you do them all but thats just me. (Got my nomex underwear on, go ahead with the flamethrowers)
    Last edited by rick_bostrom; 6 Sep 2012 at 12:41 PM.
    Rick Bostrom
    ICSCC #155
    Groups 1/4/5

  5. #5
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    "We can choose to look for reasons why this is a bad idea, why it won't work, or focus on our own self interest.

    Or, we can consider the benefits, why it's a good idea, how it will make Conference racing (all of us) better and stronger and financially prosperous."


    Not sure how to take this: Be one with IRDC and be good or be against them and be selfish and bad. Not my words.

    Not sure this will make it this year. I don't like not having 3 race weekends for CSCC or IRDC. There is not much attraction to woo potential members who can only go local with only 2 weekends available.

    Good job though. Refinement and improvement take time and attempts. Going to be a fun discussion at the Rule Change meeting.

  6. #6
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    @Rick: it's $15.00 per driver and $100.00 per race for ICSCC fees per race.

  7. #7
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    For those of us who choose to race closer to home as opposed to hitting all the tracks for Championship points, limiting each club to 2 weekends per season will remove the racing weekends available. There are those who mostly come out to Portland area tracks and those who mostly come out to the Seattle tracks. Under a new proposal, those individuals will have less weekends available for racing. Not sure what percentage of ICSCC racers fall within this group as I do. If I choose to race only on the I5 corridor (Portland and Seattle), I will have 2 fewer race weekends. I'm sure I am in the minority, but does fewer events in the metro areas make it more difficult for growing the ranks?

    I probably will only do 4 or 5 events next year in any event, but there may be some who will miss that extra weekend at Portland and Seattle. For the masses though, this proposed change is probably a good thing. And also remember, if you DNF or can't make a double or triple weekend, it might put those running for points behind the 8 ball...and some of those special races, like the mini enduro at Portland or the German race at The Ridge, were pretty special. Where do those then go?

    Bill-

  8. #8
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    Reducing the number of race weekends in order to ease the burden on our volunteers (while preserving and potentially increasing the number of races) and having 6 race weekends along the I-5 corridor are conflicting goals. You can't have it both ways that I can see...
    Bob

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle_nickels View Post
    Not sure how to take this: Be one with IRDC and be good or be against them and be selfish and bad. Not my words.
    They are in fact your words Kyle. I did not say that, nor did I insinuate it. "We" by definition is all inclusive, and I stipulated Conference racing with an added emphasis of (all of us). Nowhere did I set up an IRDC vs. everyone else test.

    You did hit on the general theme though. We can all work together, or be selfish.

  10. #10
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    I quoted from your post. I read what you said. I did say the part about "be one with IRDC....", based on what I read. How did you come up with those are my words? Please re-read your post to find the two referenced sentances.

    No hate implied.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle_nickels View Post
    I quoted from your post. I read what you said. I did say the part about "be one with IRDC....", based on what I read. How did you come up with those are my words? Please re-read your post to find the two referenced sentances.

    No hate implied.
    good god man.... I think you are reading way too much into what Randy said. Put down the coffee or cocaine or whatever and take a breathe.

    BACK ON POINT!- I personally hate the triple weekends. Too much damage/wear and tear on the car, body, and pocket book. I guess what I would wind up doing is running 2 of the three races.

    on a completely different subject (I'll apologize in advance for hijacking the thread) - why in the world is the Spokane race in the heat of summer... A memorial day weekend at Spokane would be sooo much nicer. Bounce the ORP races to mid-late september when the weather is better in Grass Valley too!

  12. #12
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    Wow, now I do cocaine.

    I do not do drugs. I don't even take aspirin.

    I am not "on anything".

    I do drink a lot of coffee, 25 plus years in the military can do that to you.

    I'm through. I did not start the words. I read what was written. If there was no insinuation meant there sure was a strong line drawn.

  13. #13
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    Observations

    Proposed 701 change would reduce the number of mandated sessions, the guaranteed track time and NOW sessions and track time.

    Proposed 703 is unnecessary. Current regulations allow for clubs to run multiple race weekends as they see fit.

    Assuming that each club is still limited to 3 races (this is unclear), the initial result would be same number of races (15 is still 15 no matter how many weekends you do them in) and less track time.


    Prediction

    701 and 703 pass, 2 out of 3 clubs currently running multiple race weekends lose critical entrants to new 2 day doubles, and cancel their races resulting in a 6 weekend 9 race schedule by 2014. Less racing, less track time, reduced cash flow, fewer weekends to get through the novice program resulting in fewer new drivers, and no increase in worker ranks. Problem solved. Oh yeah good chance SCCA will see an increase from our west side racers who want more event weekends.

  14. #14
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    Or I can just tell you what I think and those that believe it to be heresy can simply talk to an empty chair.

    Agreed 701 needs to to be chopped up into pieces and re-written to make better linquistic sense. Probably, if it was left alone it would not interfere with the intent or application of 703.c.1. which is the real meat of this conversation. Particularly since it is only a definition of the term, not a particular mandate of structure, but of what the structure of a "Race" weekend/event may consist of. I get the point, but either fix it completely or leave it alone.

    Phooey on the two weekend mandate. I believe that the clubs still need their own controls over how they decide to distribute their allotment of three championship points (senior) races. If a club decides on three weekends and can support three weekends, then the ICSCC Regs should be flexible enough to allow for that. Not all clubs will schedule that way but there should be no restrictions beyond the number of Championship series points races that are already in place. Some clubs may have, or acquire the ability to provide 'special races' from one season to the next. To restrict that capability would not lend to the 'collective' logic that the Conference must have to continue to evolve.

    The volunteer base will find a way to adapt as they do every season, and the clubs must be cooperative enough with one another to make all attempts to avoid seasonal scheduling conflicts that would inhibit the attendance of ANY of it's potential participants.

    One thing to remind ourselves of. Flexibility in scheduling is the key issue here. The only issue here, I think.

    Good start, guys.
    OT Disclaimer: Of course, for matters of security, all off-topic views expressed here are free, and of my own "HIGHLY DANGEROUS, and totally untested!" perception.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_mearns View Post
    Reducing the number of race weekends in order to ease the burden on our volunteers (while preserving and potentially increasing the number of races) and having 6 race weekends along the I-5 corridor are conflicting goals. You can't have it both ways that I can see...
    Bob,
    What would you suggest to make it work???
    Maybe the I-5 corridor gets 2 championship races each per season, and the tracks over on the east side get 3 championship races...
    Would that work???

  16. #16
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    These proposals redefine the limitations from a maximum of three championship races, to a maximum of two weekends and a maximum of three championship races per weekend.

    The proposals do not mandate a reduction in anything but how many weekends each club may schedule.
    Last edited by Randy Blaylock; 9 Sep 2012 at 11:01 AM.

  17. #17
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    It would seem that too mmany variables are being read into this that are not actually there. This has been kicked around for almost 10 years now, and it hasn't changed much along the way. Combining more racing into each week-end with fewer week-ends is the ultimate goal here.
    If we can have say 14 or 15 points races over 10 week-ends everyone will benefit, workers and drivers alike. Less travel and more racing as opposed to the practice/qual/qual/race format we've labored under for decades is a win-win is it not?
    For those like Bill who just want to run just the I-5 events, fine, you're obviously not running for a championship anyway. But the spirit of Conference has always been to support all clubs and all tracks, and this proposal can make that happen.
    If I run 10 week-ends rather than 13 or 15 it saves me big bucks and will ultimately make me more competitve with those with deeper pockets, and the less wear and tear on our volunteers the more of thoise folks we will have staying with us.

  18. #18
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    Some spurious thoughts relating to 'changing things' ...

    The Last Lap to Fall was great in that there was a race (for my car, anyway) on Saturday and one on Sunday.
    I love this 'race on both days' format and will support any method where we can get that done.

    Although I have no idea on how to get this next part done, we have two greats tracks within IRDC's jurisdiction and limiting us to either one weekend at Pacific and two at The Ridge or two at Pacific and one at the Ridge is just not right. What do we need to change to get two at each?

    I'm not a fan of triple races. I left on Saturday night at Spokane as I'd had enough. The RV had a water issue and I had a heat issue -- a personal one. See next item relating to heat. The triples get me to feeling like I'm in an enduro.

    Which brings me to Spokane and ORP with respect to weather. I too wonder why these are scheduled in the middle of summer. Has no one looked at the available weather charts to find a time when corridor tracks have generally iffy weather and the east of the Cascades tracks look better? Yes, I understand scheduling is extremely difficult, but weather has to have a higher order of precedence over availability.
    Bill Visee
    Pro-7 #2

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bossbill View Post
    we have two greats tracks within IRDC's jurisdiction and limiting us to either one weekend at Pacific and two at The Ridge or two at Pacific and one at the Ridge is just not right. What do we need to change to get two at each?
    Get a club that's not IRDC to host a race at either one. We could hold ALL our races at a single track: it's just the number of week-ends per club that's restricted.
    My favorite racing quote: Jan Magnussen, when asked by a reporter how he could be "so brave" on the racetrack, replied, "I've had hospital food; it's not so bad."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Adams View Post
    Get a club that's not IRDC to host a race at either one. We could hold ALL our races at a single track: it's just the number of week-ends per club that's restricted.
    Actually we can't all host races at a single track.

    Each club is has a territory within ICSCC that they have exclusive rights within that area. It would take a two-thirds majority of the EBoard to split an existing territory, so basically four of the five clubs would have to agree to split a territory to create a new one. (Bylaws, Article II, Section 9)

    http://icscc.com/references/icscc_pnp_2012.pdf Page 84 of the P&P
    What would Johnny Canuck do?

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