All Weekends are Double Race Weekends??

broomspeed

Cheryl Gilbert
I saw the 2020 schedule and all race weekends look to be doubles, I am curious why this was not on the proposed rule changes and how it got voted through without bringing it before the affiliate clubs? I am also curious how this will affect our race entries? Additionally, will both races be 30 minutes?

Personally, I am not in favor of this and find it very disappointing that the club members were not given any input on this. I have never been in favor of the Saturday sprint races over the last few years and am in even less favor of this race weekend format.

Any background on this would be appreciated. If this was covered in the memos I did not catch it as I no longer read them with the new electronic format. Call me old fashioned but I liked getting my memo in the mail. Also, being an accountant I spend ALL day in front of a computer so the last thing I want to do when I am home is sit on the computer and read something. Hence, another reason I liked the paper copy of the memo.

Thanks in advance,
Cheryl Gilbert
 

chrisheinrich

Active member
The main reason for the change was because so many drivers were wanting more racing during the weekend. That was the reason for the Saturday sprint races in the first place and people said why not make those races count for something? You weren't the only one who wasn't in favor of the Saturday sprint races but Conference is a balancing act between helping all the clubs and doing what the drivers desire so that was kind of the middle ground. So after a lot of talking with drivers and discussion at club meetings it was determined that a vast majority of drivers were in favor of multiple race weekends. This is a trial and of course a driver can propose a rule change to go back to the old way but the thought is this will be more popular. It was put together a little late to make it a rule change last year but after talking with several drivers to get their input it was decided that if it was a rule change it would have passed easily. Is everyone in favor of it? No, but honestly in talking with drivers about it and others talking to drivers about it, the overwhelming response was positive. Time will tell if the change ends up being a positive one but the change wouldn't have happened if people didn't think it would be.

The race length is up to the club but on double race weekends the races can not be less than 25 minutes. Most clubs it sounds like will have races between 25 - 35 minutes and they may be different from one day to the next.

Out of curiosity, what don't you like about double race weekends?
 

broomspeed

Cheryl Gilbert
I like the idea in theory but not in reality, I don't mind an occasional double race weekend but I don't want every weekend to be a double weekend. Running a formula car there is a lot of maintenance that goes along with it, we are always tinkering with them. They are also more delicate than a production car so putting a ton of racing time on them is not ideal in my opinion. I certainly drive different in qualifying sessions than I do in a race and that is now compounded by every day being a race day. I have also had weekends were the car had some issue and it took multiple sessions on the track to sort it out before the race. Those opportunities are now gone, as every day is race day and none of the time is for practice.

However, this still doesn't answer my questions on what it will do to entry fees?

Again, I still feel that this something that the affiliate clubs should have been give the opportunity to vote on. To so drastically change the race weekend format without the voices of the club seems like a major disconnect on Conference's part. Being an affiliate club president and having heard nothing about this prior to seeing the schedule seems like a major faux pas. Maybe that is on me, I don't know, but I am still super disappointed that we were not given the chance to vote on this. In my opinion this change should have never happened like that. Conference is supposed to be a club run by the drivers and while yes, the E-Board is compiled of drivers it is only a select few and does not capture the voices of everyone.

But thank you for the input Chris, I appreciate the background on this.
 

chrisheinrich

Active member
The change from sprint races to championship races roughly adds an average of $15 per entry of additional cost so not very much. What ends up raising the cost the most are declining race entries. Most of the clubs costs are fixed and most clubs run races to break even or make enough to replace equipment, etc. We need more racers so clubs can keep entry fees reasonable. That said, Conference races are typically twenty percent less than other organizations offering similar type racing.

The board was sure to listen to drivers before making the change. At least fifty drivers were asked their thoughts on the change and the response was ninety percent positive. There was also a poll on the forum about double races and that was seventy seven percent positive.

There was a change regarding Contest Board votes that passed in January that makes each driver's vote who attend the meeting mean more than it has in the past. Basically, the way a driver votes at their club meeting or by absentee ballot, that's the vote that will be taken to the Contest Board Meeting. Before, if a club had ten drivers attend their meeting and six voted yes and four voted no, then the club would take all of their votes for example 100 if the club had 100 licensed drivers through their club to the Contest Board Meeting with 100 yes votes. Now, in the same example, the club would bring six yes votes and four no votes to the Contest Board meeting - a popular vote by drivers who attend the meeting. It was to the point where one club was big enough to pass any rule. Hopefully the change is well received and again we'll see how it turns out and maybe more drivers will attend the meetings to make their voices heard.
 

broomspeed

Cheryl Gilbert
I am curious of those 50 drivers how many of them were open wheel drivers? I am guessing not many cause most formula car drivers would not want this format. I did not see the pole on the forum, admittedly I do not follow the forum that well but maybe I will change that. I know you think you did your homework but I can assure you that you did not. To have a change like this, it should have run through the proper channels. Maybe you think that was the proper channels but to not put on the proposed rules seems sneaky. Everyone, and I do mean everyone should have had the opportunity to vote on it and saying maybe more drivers will attend meetings to make their voices heard sounds like an excuse. Maybe this still would have passed, maybe not, but the sad reality is we will never know as we were not given the opportunity to vote on it.
 

chrisheinrich

Active member
We probably talked with ten group 3/6 drivers about it and actually all were in favor of it. We realize this is only a sample but all liked it.

The change the eboard made was a pretty small change. It is up to the clubs whether or not they want to host double race weekends. It is not mandated by Conference. In 2019, the Conference race schedule could have been all double race weekends if that's the way the clubs wanted to organize their races so having all double race weekends has been possible for the last several years. The only change the eboard made was to allow clubs the opportunity to host up to three double race weekends rather than up to two double race weekends. The clubs are deciding to host double race weekends because that's what the majority of drivers are telling them they want.

I wouldn't consider this a sneaky rule change but I understand why you think it didn't go through the proper channels and yes it could have gone through different channels. When I was talking about the new Contest Board changes I wasn't referring to this change specifically. I meant that in general maybe more drivers will come out and participate in the process because of the new change. I mostly mentioned it just because it is something new for 2020 that many drivers may not be aware of so more of an fyi.
 

dick_boggs

Well-known member
At the IRDC Membership meeting just prior to the ICSCC meeting a vote was held and the double race weekend schedule was approved by the membership. As you will recall we have been having a Saturday non-points race/qualifying race on Saturday for at least 4 years due to driver member requests. It started because there was a core group of drivers (Pro3 and Miata) that wanted more racing track time for the weekend and the fact that there were a lot of rental/arrive and drives. It now makes it easy with scheduling for a points race on Saturday.

The most boring race of the year for open wheel /sports racers is the Charity race at Portland, that and the fact of no REAL TNT for open wheel/sport racers.

All you need to do is look at other sanctioning bodies and you will see that no one schedules single race weekends any more and most if not all are 3 day weekends. The bottom line is a local club cannot survive on a single race weekend anymore. From a racer standpoint the cost of getting to the track, motel and food and the associated race car expense has also increased with the result that we also see more people just racing at home tracks which is not good for SCCBC and NWMS. That was why the qualifying for a championship rules were change to get equity to the outlying clubs.

This is beyond the double race week end issue but it does tie into the process. The other significant rule change was the fact that IRDC has 138 drivers voting on rule changes even when 15 people show up to vote on the rule change. Now the people who will show up to the meeting will be the number counted for rule change purposes, not the number of licensed drivers by club affiliation. FYI Cascade had 77, IRDC 138, NWMS 26, SCCBC 20 TC 19. BMW 8 and the rest probably not enough to make a difference in the rules vote. As you can see one club (IRDC) could control any rule change process prior to the rule change.
 

cpeters

New member
While I won't speak on behalf of all us closed wheel weirdos in PRO3 a number of us always lamented for years the lack of Saturday counting for anything. Why not make it count? For those that want to show up and race for fun on the odd weekend it changes nothing and for those going for championships then that just makes each race count. It's more interesting this way.

It was always disappointing that Saturday was a throwaway. We race just as hard so why not make it count. Doesn't seem like much of a downside. We may need to adjust drop races in the future but seems like making each race count for something makes it more interesting for a season long championship. I for one, and I know a number of us in PRO3, are excited about making each race mean something.
 

dick_boggs

Well-known member
I think it is a shame that we have at most 14-15 people show up to every IRDC Club meeting. About one/third are volunteers and the balance drivers. This is where the events are planned, finalized and volunteers recruited to carry out the races. Pretty sad when you have 138 license drivers but they never bother to show up and voice their concerns or volunteer to help put on the race. IRDC is only able to put on races due to our many long term volunteers. The question becomes, how long can we sustain this race model with so little participation by the IRDC licensed drivers racing in our club events and races?

Little off topic but remember this old saying, " Those that vote vote for those that don"t".
 

Steve Adams

Just this guy, ya know?
I guess having meetings that occur at the height of the evening commute clear down near Southcenter impacts those of us who work near Lake Union or in the Eastside tech hubs, so maybe IRDC could consider holding them somewhere else, or at least occasionally somewhere else.
 

dick_boggs

Well-known member
Steve, I live in North Marysville, almost in Arlington. 5 of us car pool to South center for the IRDC membership meetings. We have been using Skype for our Board meetings exactly for the reason you mention. At one time we were having 2 meetings per month to South Center to achieve the desired results. We tried combining Board and membership meetings and it was a killer for the President to get the needed actions taken to run the events. At least with this format we have limited the commute to once per month.

I think I speak for the IRDC Board that we are concerned about lack of participation in the ongoing functions of the race events in terms of volunteers to make it all happen. With little participation by 138 active drivers at some point IRDC will have to limit your racing as you now know it. IRDC is not some monolith that can continue on with support coming from a small core group of members for the satisfaction of the none participants. I might as well add that some of the arrive and drive businesses should be concerned, there business directly benefit from our events and their quality.
 
Top