Post season race schedule assessment

Randy Blaylock

Highlander Motorsports
There was a lot of discussion last fall and spring about the total number of races, and total number of weekends. There seemed to be a general consensus that the proposed schedule at the time of 17 races was too many, and the Conference E-Board made adjustments.

It's that time of the year again for the clubs to begin the race scheduling exercise. The current rule is a maximum of three championship (points paying) races per member club, which means if all clubs go for their maximum allocation, we will be looking at a 15 race calendar. How those races are scheduled; singles, doubles or triples, remains to be seen. Last season we had 11 weekends.

What's your feeling about how this season's calendar worked for you, as a driver, as a worker, or as a support provider?

Is there an appetite for more races or less, more weekends or less, more combination weekends, etc...
 

Safety 3/Radio Dave

Well-known member
Randy You state above that if all clubs do the maximum, then there will be 15 races.

Question How does 4 clubs X 3 races = 15 races? Looks like 12 to me.
 

Randy Blaylock

Highlander Motorsports
Team Continental-Oregon Raceway Park
Sports Car Club Of British Columbia-Mission Raceway Park
Northwest Motorsports-Spokane County Raceway Park
International Race Drivers Club-Pacific Raceways/Ridge Motorsports Park
Cascade Sports Car Club-Portland International Raceway
 
Last edited:

lowegroupracing

New member
Icscc schedule/ racing excitment

The fact we have allot of races on the schedule is fantastic, I appreciate the effort that the clubs go though to put them all on. However I think that the down sides to a packed schedule are out weighing the fun factor. We need to reduce the amount of regular season championship races, and here are my reasons for why...

- Race weekends running back to back, sometimes across the state(its brutal on peoples work schedule to take Fridays and Mondays off 2-3 weeks in a row)
- The cost to run a full season if you trying to optimize points
- Not enough time for people to service cars(make upgrades) between races
-You end up diluting the championship by allowing so many dropped finishing positions

I think that in this day and age of road racing and the economy we need to keep people excited about our sport and the path we are on is one of burn out, not excitement. We need to re-look at how we approach the season and the style of events we put on, lets break up the monotony of just another race and create special events. Lets make it more exciting for our corner workers, so they continue to show up.

Here is some misc. thoughts for the future..

- Have a 6-8 race championship season( amongst the other 15 races), maybe not dropping any points. Thus adding some pressure and excitement.
Take the remaining races and make something special for each..
- Mini Enduro weekends( a series) where you have 1.5 -2.5 length races with mandatory timed stops and multiple drivers. This way guys can share in cost's and further the great comrade we have in conference.
- Focus special weekends that create excitement on different makes or classes. When groups like Pro 3 and spec miata get to be the stars of the show you'll get more entry's and more people spectating.

I don't think this community can sustain this level of time commitment unless you give them the drive to do so.

Thanks
Jerold Lowe
Lowe Group Racing
 
15 races may have been more than some clubs were prepared for initially, but it seems that they all survived to race another weekend.

But regardless of saving one round trip tow to a facility, three in one weekend is a less fun, more grueling schedule. At least for those providing services to operate the event. Especially if the club has a DT/HPDE/Track Day in front of it (four days). Pro weekends get away with that because that is the nature of a professional racing event, but amateur racing is supposed to be a bit more relaxed. More FUN for all participants.

I'm exhausted from the 'make-it, break-it' financial endeavor that overshadows the true meaning of our great sport. The Conference has survived 11, 12, and even 13 points event seasons. There's no dis-honor in holding less than the maximum number allowed. More local DTs can bring in more locals.

Of course, I could just be "singing, and dancing in the rain..." again.

Is IRDC going to schedule for the Ridge next year? Or will that track to up for 'bid'? Will ICSCC be entertaining a new sports car club?

These questions, and more will be on the lips, servicing those clubs their meat at the next ICSCC Banquet

. meat--processing-service.jpg
 
Last edited:

schwank

Code X Motorsports
I only ran 7 weekends this year but got 14 races in. I actually like doubles if the alternative is a single race with practice and 2 qualys... I come to race not qualify all weekend. Maybe not the first weekend of the year as it allows some shakedown time but other than that more actual race time is great.

The one downside I see to the limitations is that if IRDC gets both Pacific and the Ridge then events at those venues will be rarer. The Ridge looks great and I would love to run a couple of events there but if it means only one Pacific race...
 

robjacobsen

The Pros From Dover
I enjoyed the multiple race weekends. More bang for my buck as a worker. The triple at Spokane was a bit grueling, but it beat making that drive multiple times. I hope TC considers doing the same next year. It might reduce their expenses some. I just hope the various Race Chairmen resist the temptation to make the days longer when setting up their schedules. They need to remember the time requied for setting up, tearing down and the various meetings on top of a long day can suck the fun out of the day.
 

epsdan

Well-known member
I enjoyed the multiple race weekends.

I'm with Rob and Eric on this one. I like the multiple race weekends. With the drags, I know it's not really possible with PR and PIR, but if I had my druthers, I'd like to see multi-race weekends at all the other tracks. Even the triple at Spokane wasn't that bad, considering the effort it takes to get there (and the pizza was great, too!).

dan
#102
 

Bill Bonsell

Well-known member
Here's my two cents worth after completing my 2nd year.....

Personally, I do not like the back to back weekends. It makes one have to choose which one you enter. Why could Conference not do something like SCCA, where there is a shorter sprint race on Saturday, which effectively makes each weekend a double race. I agree with Eric, in that it is much more fun to race than to practice or qualify. And I would think it would be more fun for the workers knowing that a typical Saturday/Sunday weekend is a double race weekend even if you had to make the Sunday race 25 minutes to provide a 20 minute sprint race on Saturday. Qualify Saturday am which sets the grid for the Saturday pm sprint race which then sets the grid for the Sunday pm main. If you need practice time come for the T&T Friday. Sunday morning is practice or it could be another qual session. This would effectively make every weekend a double. As it is now, a typical Sat/Sun weekend is made up of a Sat am practice and a Sat pm qualify (yawn)....the then Sun am qual and Sun pm race.....give me the two races instead and no back to back weekends......but I am open and think the thread here is very valuable.
 

kbsmith1

Well-known member
OR SCCA had several weekends where they did 20 min qual in morn, 25 min race in afternoon. I liked those weekends, more racing for
the tow and travel time, same total amount of track time. 2 race weekends are OK (in current format) only on 3 day weekends.
 

Karen Stimson

Well-known member
I know it's long, but please read the whole thing. I spent a bit of time putting a lot of thoughts down. :)

--The multiple race setup has merit, but it does not give newer drivers a chance to learn the track. Keep in mind throughout this discussion that most of the people responding here have some years of experience under their belts and know the tracks we run. We want to make sure that new people feel welcome and are given the opportunity to become comfortable enough with the tracks to be "safe" when racing (good for them, good for the rest of us...).

--The triple at Spokane is probably a good idea, given the length of haul for most of the rest of Conference to get there. For us, it was a real scramble to get everything in place before practice since work schedule kept us from leaving early. After that, though, things settled down to a "normal" double-race scenario--we just stayed longer than normal.

--Drawbacks for triple weekends:
--Sounds like they are more work for the volunteers. Would be good to hear more from the organizers and those working the race.
--They require extra time off from work unless they happen over a holiday.
--Bad luck moments (like blowing a motor or some other irreplaceable part) become very significant when you take out 3 races in one fell swoop.
Because of these things, I don't think having triple at the other tracks is a good idea.

--I agree with Jerald that we need to keep adding creativity. My opinion, though, is that 6-8 championship races is too few, and that having a "no drop" policy screws up the points run. **Racing is a large portion LUCK (of course coupled with prep, talent, etc.) but that means that in any championship run, to be fair, we should concede that luck plays a part and allow drivers to drop those bad luck events. It allows that we are amateur drivers and subject to the whims of work schedules and budget, etc.

--Having run all 15 races this year, I will say that it was intense (especially on the heels of 2 years running almost all the races). Although, if I wasn't trying to raise and homeschool 2 kids, in 4-H, with the schooling aspect getting to a critical time, it wouldn't have been so hard. One just needs to learn to ignore the dust and mess in the house, do laundry when you can, and not get tired of eating the same stuff out of the cooler for 6 months...
After all, where else would a racecar driver want to be?

Complaint:
--The back-to-back race weekends are rough, but it makes it really rough when they have long hauls associated with them. If we have to have back-to-back weekends, don't make them doubles (too hard to get time to overhaul the car) and try to make them the centrally located tracks.

Comment:
--When the Ridge comes online, do NOT make it a double-points race. This is the surest way to screw up someone's championship run if they have a bad weekend. If someone has to drop the double-points race as their bad one then the competition essentially gets an extra race worth of points, and if both competitors run hard all season, it is impossible to regroup from that. (Spoken from rather bitter experience...)
It also has the potential to make people driver harder than they should to get the extra points.
It's a bad idea--do something else to draw people to the opener at the track.

Enduros:
--Having an enduro series might push away people who don't wish to drive other people's cars, and/or don't have cars set up for longer stints. Enduros are not necessarily cheaper.
--On the other hand, having an enduro in the nicer weather months might draw in a lot more entries than always having them in the rain and snow...

Creativity:
--The special races are a good draw. (The Mazda one doesn't seem to be working out as well as the others... maybe we need a different theme or different advertising.) Really the special races should draw people who might not normally race with us. The German race seemed to bring out cars we don't normally see.
--The Vintage group is a stellar idea. Totally new people for the most part. Let's keep that.

--Someone recently mentioned that they liked the idea of having a miniature race as the qualifying for the main race. We could have practice, qualifying (for the miniature) on Sat. and then use qualifying times to set a grid for the qualifying race Sun. morning, then take the finishing positions to grid for the main race.
Maybe each club does this once during the year? Give out small plaques for the qualifying race?
 
Last edited:

holly_remington

The Pros From Dover
This worker likes....

More races, less foreplay.
More event weekends at PR. It seems they have the participant base to support it.
 

Steve Adams

Just this guy, ya know?
Speaking as a driver: I ran the most races over the most week-ends of any year since I started in 2003.

For me, I loved the triple at Spokane, even though a motor problem in my first session meant my season was effectively over insofar as a championship run was concerned. Them's the breaks. Having said that, I like the 3-races-in-3-days or 2-races-in-2-days format, so long as we don't start the season with them: give folks 2-3 week-ends to get any off-season bugs out of the car (or driver) before we do those.

With 2 jobs (or 2.5, if you count this one) and 2 young kids, I vastly prefer fewer week-ends in the season vs. fewer races. IOW, having a "race week-end" with 2 or 3 races in 2 or 3 days is easier for me to manage (even with the potential pitfalls) than a ton of week-ends away from job/family. (It's just me at the track.)

The special races are a fun idea, but I've never participated in one. I doubt I would, coming as they do during a week-end where I'm worried about points. I like the mini-enduro idea, but my car is also enduro-capable (dry-break, larger cell, radios I don't otherwise use, etc.).
 

Karen Stimson

Well-known member
I'm with Steve on the special races bit. I've never done one either as I like to be in the points run, and so I didn't want to risk my primary class.

I would suggest looking at special races as a way to bring in people who don't race with us now, or to resurrect mothballed cars.
 

Bill Bonsell

Well-known member
Would agree the Japanese special race this past weekend saw smaller numbers from the initial race last year. I felt somewhat obligated to run it as a show of support. Perhaps a special reduced entry fee for the special races would increase the numbers. Or bag it and utilize the track time to allow a double race weekend over a Sat/Sun....I agree with Karen regarding practice time for new racers or those getting back into it, but if I am not mistaken, each venue puts on a Friday Test and Tune which is extremely affordable considering all the track time. Perhaps those Test and Tune Fridays, could be offered as a 1/2 day as well at a reduced price. As Steve states, perhaps those double weekends (less practice and more qualifying and racing) could be eased into the schedule. First races at each track (Spokane exempted) are singles...then doubles from then on. Was at PR four times this year - 3 Conference and 1 SCCA - all singles except the SCCA weekend. July and September at PR should be doubles...much more fun.

Bill-
 

unxetas

Well-known member
I'm spoiled from mostly running with SCCBC/CACC, but I'd love to see more 2 days/2 races weekends elsewhere. I know no one likes to open that can of worms, but to me, it would make a huge difference. I guess it's my bad for running an open wheel car that can't run on 2 or 3 different groups, but at the moment I'm torn between running more ICSCC events next season or doing SCCA Dbl Nationals instead. I just find it hard to justify the (what is it, 8 hours?) tow from BC to Portland for one race. I'd much rather have two 20 or 25 minute races than one 30 minute race..
 

Steve Adams

Just this guy, ya know?
One other item to consider is that this forum is only used by a relatively small percentage of Conference drivers and volunteers.
 
Top