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Author Topic: An appeal to all National SM racers and SCCA officials
Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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This is an appeal to all National SM racers and SCCA officials to help guide our sport so that we can avoid expensive crashes, minimize frustrations and increase enjoyment levels, for drivers, officials, EMT workers, trackside workers et al.

Let me preface this appeal by saying that I do not believe that SM in itself warrants any special treatment. We are club racers just like every other club racer, out to be competitive and have fun.

However we are also generally the largest class at almost every event, and yet we never have our own run group.

2nd preface – this is not an appeal borne out of sour grapes. This is about creating safe racing environments and preventing AVOIDABLE CARNAGE.

This year alone I have had a very expensive and heart-stopping crash (WGI), and one very lucky escape (VIR), both in national races, both caused by mixed run groups.

SM class in national racing is grouped with T3, SSB and SSC cars. I can certainly see how the grouping came about. In many cases the top cars in T3, SM and SSB can have similar lap times, so to some officials this means that it makes sense to group us together. What is not taken into account is that we get to the same lap times in TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAYS. The T3 and SSB cars do it with high horsepower and fast straight line speed and the SM’s do it with deep braking and high mid corner speeds.

It is precisely this different way we get to the same time that creates this horrendous situation, which is further exacerbated by not having split starts. I for one find it much easier to drive in STU where the lap times are vastly different, where the high power cars just flat out destroy us, and we spend our lives looking in our rearview mirrors making sure we get out their way.

But his is NOT the case with the current T3, SSB, SSC, SM grouping.

Believe me I do see it from the SCCA and event organizers side – you have lots of classes and cannot give everyone their own run group. The day is not long enough, and there will be many boring events for 2 or 3 car classes.

So let me set the scenario. I go to WGI this past weekend to race there for the first time, with a specific agenda to get as many national points for tour SE divisional championship, and over the weekend I progress to the point that I am just under a second off Gorilla’s time. Due to a timing mix-up I get gridded in 2nd place in SM and 10th place overall. There are T3’s, SSB’s and SSC’s behind me. The race is 13 laps.

Our start was a mixed start – NOT split start – and a 250HP Mazda 3 blasted past me on the start straight, only to PARK in T1, and I got moved back from 2nd to 12th in the SM class in the first turn.

BooHoo you say. Sure I get it, I should have blocked the Mazda or put him in the pit wall, but I try not to drive like that. So here I am in 12th place and in my mind I am running for the podium. I am pissed and I am frustrated that, for no fault of my own, I have been demoted 10 spots by someone not in my class. I am going to have to drive the wheels off my car if I am going to get anywhere near the podium, as I am already at least 5 – 8 seconds behind Steve .

This means trying to stick your nose in places you shouldn’t, running blind where it can hurt, and essentially taking chances. In reality I have ZERO chance of making up the positions. Its hard enough to drive within a second of Steve’s times in clean traffic, its downright impossible trying to scratch your way passed 10 other SM’s and SSB cars ahead that have every right to their line and every right to keep you as far back as they can.

This is an incredibly frustrating situation, and one that cost me points, a race car, and personal injury. I believe that this precise situation will be the cause of a VERY serious accident in the future, one that kills or seriously injures a driver, and I believe that it is TOTALLY AVOIDABLE.

So here we have one of the most competitive classes in the SCCA family, certainly the class with the most entries and we as SM drivers are happily accepting this grouping. I am not suggesting we flex our muscles (numbers). What I am suggesting is that we directly and seriously approach the SCCA organization for a rethink of the grouping for our run group.

What I would like to see is

1. Ideal situation – SM gets their own run group at all Nationals
2. 2nd best situation – If the current grouping remains, then all starts must be SPLIT by at least ˝ the track distance/time, so that cars come up on the slower cars from each class already spread out. I would prefer to see that T3 /SSB go first, followed by SM/SSC in grid order.

Anyone have any other thoughts on this?

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
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2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
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-Bob-
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The stewards at WGI learned a lesson on Saturday and gave you exactly what your asking for on Sunday.

Sunday's start was T1/T2 split first then all the SM with their long chain of ten car lengths between each car after about the 10th SM, followed by all the SSB/C etc in yet another split start.

The T1 cars were going up to the bus stop when the last SSB car came under the bridge before the green

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Glad to hear that Bob - Afte the crash I did go and chat to the SM and made that request, very happy they listened. I feel that is should at least be the defacto approach in a mixed start, but would definitely prefer our own run group.

--------------------
Danny
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OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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A proper split start is the way to go, I don't think you'll see SM with its own run group in many national configurations.

Grouping is really a place where no one wins. Prods don't want SRF around, Formula/SR's bitch if they are in one group together (such as at VIR this year), SSB and SSC don't want SM around because of contact, etc etc etc.

My question is... did y'all get together and see the appropriate steward for a T3/SSB/SSC split start? That's where it starts, if you look and see 30 SM's and 15 T3/SSB and SSC's on the entry list... find the steward early in the weekend and bring up the request for a split start. This is for everyone, you never know what you can get from just asking.

--------------------
All this has happened before, and will happen again

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Danny,
This is an issue that has been around forever. In Midiv, it was EP and AS intermixed in the same group. Exactly the same problem and the same results. Fortunately, the Midiv competition committee split those two groups for the 2010 season. In past seasons, we had to go to the Chief Steward and request split starts, every race. Usually they made it happen.

Anyone driving in a group that has this problem should bring it to the attention of the Chief Steward in advance. Explain the problem and suggest the remedy. It always helps to have supporters from the SM group and the other classes, as well.

On a larger scale, it might also be time to write a letter to crbscca.com and make a request to have this brought up at CRB and BOD meetings.

The Chief Steward has a ton of stuff on his/her plate at every event. If you don't make the request, they are unlikely to initiate the split start on their own.
wheel

-Bob-
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I agree completely. My bitch has become the SM starts staying in position. I'd like to see a black flag drive through for anyone not within a car length of their position at the start. Maybe that would fix it.

Some might say that is lame but when Steve and Charbonator came through they were smack in the middle of these interstate racers at the back which gapped the field by more than a mile. I believe it cost Charb the ability to put it to Steve.

This same gap as you like cost the second place EP car the opportunity to get a jump on the first place EP which was 1000 lbs lighter because of some groid coasting onto the front with a tractor trailer gap between him and the next place car. The second place EP cars race was hosed before he passed under the green.

Watch Road Atlanta this weekend. The front running SMs will be through T1 before the last of 30 SM comes around 12.

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We were grouped last weekend with the AS and T2 cars. Luckly Harry Manning went to the Stewards and asked for a split start. It's awesome to have such an experienced guy in the field !

I saw the lead T2 car once as well as the front running AS cars in a pack. The split starts work well. I agree that we should start requesting them more often.

NER88 Verified Driver
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SPlit starts are fine if they are done correctly.
They were not at the Glen and several racers in the second group got screwed.

--------------------
Jerry

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The racers must be disciplined, to make split starts work. Request a split start and then talk to each other on the grid. Also, when you request a split start, ask the C.S. to black flag anyone who jumps in the second group. That means anyone, not just the guys in the front.
Our C.S. points out, to the racers, that the split start is a privilege not to be abused.
Request it, then make it work. If you don't, then it's all on you.
wheel

soupy
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Saturday several went to the stewards and mentioned having a split start. Saturday night I went to the Chief steward and others after racing was done and they had time to listen and they agreed to let us take a pole of the drivers. I asked Meathead ( because he wasn't driving the next morn) to have everyone sign a pertition at grid (best place to get everyone together). He took it to the chief steward and we got what we wanted.
My question is who's fault is it? We could have done that Friday night.

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Charlie Campbell
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soupy
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We did have a second pace car.

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Charlie Campbell
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Jim Creighton
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I have always been a firm believer of the split start. I use it at the SIC for three of the groups and it clearly states it in the supps so that the stewards know it is to be used.

A split start of 30 seconds on most tracks will be more than enough to allow the front pack to spread out before the fastest cars of the second group start catching them. The best way to insure a split start is to contact the race chairman well before the race and ask he place it is the supps. Also, discuss it with your Division Executive Steward. He is the Chief race official in the Division.

Now, for the biggy, common sense! A number of years ago when I was running production, we had large fields with 6 different classes running together. We were tearing up half the cars every race because the slower cars of faster classes kept getting in the middle of another class race.

Finally, on the first day race of a Double National after two FCY and me getting left sitting in the middle of the track for three laps after t boning a lapped GTL car, I and others had had it. We had a Saturday night group meeting. Fingers were pointed, feeling were hurt but in the end, we all went away with an understanding and agreement that we were going to hurt someone if the carnage kept up. The one thing that everyone one of us accepted was we were racing SCCA for fun and that not one single one of us was going to get a call from Penske.

From that day on, our races were a lot more fun and our body shop bills went way down ( except for those who kept running out of talent). The cars who were faster in the straights, but slower in the corners would give position if they saw they were getting into someone elses race.

I suggest that this might be an approach needed at some of the bigger races. Ask the Chief Steward in advance of the event if he can have a group meeting and everyone discuss the problems. The majority of Stewards will be all for this. They do not like getting behind schedule and most hate FCY and black flag alls.

And if it happens to be a race I'm attending, I would be happy to be the mediator. As a matter of fact, if you ever think you need me at a race, let me know and I'll see if I can work it into my schedule to be there.

There is another reason why it makes it difficult to give Spec Miata their own group at a National race, post race impound. As you know, at most National races, tech has less than 40 minutes to get the cars weighed and the post race compliance items checked. By running SSB, SSC & T3 with SM, you will have 12 cars in post race impound. Otherwise those other 9 cars go to another group and most are already at max # to handle.

For the SIC, Spec Miata always has their own run group so this will not be a problem. And this year, I'm expecting that we will come close to the maximum number of cars allowed on track.

--------------------
Jim Creighton
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Please don't beat me up for this idea.

Since the Nationals are hurting...look at all the regional races,they are combining to make ends meet.

You have great power to control your own destiny..Simply demand and I mean DEMAND your choice of split starts...If they fail to comply with your request BOYCOTT some races...it won't hurt your chances of going to the Runoffs under the present formula....money talks and it does so Loud and Clear these days. Just mention a Boycott and the regions shiver...pull it off and they will be begging your attention....

THE REAL QUESTION IS? Do you all have the courage to follow through on your demand and Boycott if they fail to listen...

Like I said Don't beat me up for this idea.

--------------------
BE SAFE GO FAST HAVE FUN
Love "the commander" Mike Cefalo

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Danny,

Since you posted this in the open forum versus just the SEDIV, I'll assume you are addressing everyone.

In our division, SOWDIV, two groups get their own run group. SRF and SM. I think it has been that way since 2005 I think, and for sure since SM became a National class.

I am not exactly sure how it evolved for SM, but I think it was the drivers working with the division stewards to work up something good. (Perhaps a threat to boycott to run NASA may have helped way back in 2005 too, I can't remember). I think everyone is satisfied with the grouping as I haven't heard any complaints and its been the same for years.

We typically run these six groups;
SRF,
SM,
AS, GT1, GT2, GT3, T1, T2, T3, STO
CSR, DSR, FA, FB, FC, FE, FM, S2
EP, FP, GTL, HP, SSB, SSC, STU
F500, FF, FV

Maybe our division car counts make this work for us. I suppose a division would need a good number of SRFs and SMs to justify groups for just them.

--------------------
James York


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NER88 Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by soupy:
We did have a second pace car.

I was at the front of the second group, there was no pace car.

--------------------
Jerry

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Thanks guys. ---- Thanks for all the work your doing to keep our class healthy.

Bill

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James, it had to do with the large SM field sizes and... WHO was running in SM. They had pull.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

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quote:
Originally posted by NER88:
I was at the front of the second group, there was no pace car.

Jerry - you were in the third group. First two groups had a pace car.

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splitting the start does not always work either. 1 FCY and we are all bunched together again. it happened in race 2 at the glen after the split start. had we gone green again we were right back in the same boat we were in during race 1. we were pacing right behind the same cars.

I agree with Mike Cefalo. WE have the power as the largest run group (not SRF). this can be solved with 1 to 2 race boycotts.

kind of tired of listening to the whining. either we mean business and come together as a group and do something about it or drop it.

i feel we should demand our own run group and not settle for split (jump) starts.

--------------------
Steve Gorriaran
2009 SCCA SM National Champion
2009 NASA E2 Champion 25-Hours of Thunderhill

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Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Gorilla, Mike and others. I really appreciate how you feel. I know this is serious and it will get someone really hurt. I beleive that we should try and get your own sperate run group, but that it should be done with the the positive participation of the SCCA.

Sure we can threaten boycotts and with our numbers moving to NASA, this would be a HUGE blow to SCCA, but I believe that if we get what we want, only becuase of a threat of a boycot, thre will be bad blood between SM and the officials that one day we will need on our side.

I am personally hoping that we can get our own run group through a formal appeal to SCCA, and with the support of our class behind the appeal.

That would be my personal preference. But you are both right, this is a business as well and numbers and entry fees talk.

What I would like to see is

  • Our own run group for SM
  • The ability to compete on an equal basis with all SM's and not be skunked by others not in our class, especially not by guys whose closest car in class is 1/2 lap away.
  • Avoiding having to fork out stacks of greenbacks due to contact indirectly or directly caused by having to deal with cars in other classes messing up one of the most competitive fields in SCCA
  • Avoiding the inevitable serious injury or death that is surely going to happen with the current SCCA approach for National class grouping.

Any dissenters out there?
If not how do we best go about moving forward?

Jim Creighton, or other SCCA officials reading this please feel free to IM me and offer your opinions and advice. They will be treated in strictest confidence.

--------------------
Danny
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2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

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Danny,

I was sorry to hear about your wreck on Saturday.

But ..... pushing the blame for this incident onto the race grouping is, IMHO not the root cause.

I raced SM for a number of years and race in GTL now. GTL is the 2nd lowest HP class in the small bore run group. Trust me I understand the frustration of getting out motored and held up in the corners.

You said it yourself. You were pushing beyond your comfort zone because you lost time at the start. You could have just as easily lost that time to a missed shift, a fouled spark plug, a badly timed start, ... anything. Lost time is not the cause of this wreck. Or of most wrecks.

I know this isn't going to make me any friends here, but this is how I see it.

Common sense in SM isn't very common.

The egos and the close racing (but mostly the egos) have resulted in the erosion of the buffer that we're all supposed to leave for this kind of occasion. You're supposed to have that tiny margin of control left over for this kind of thing. Spend all you talent on pace, and you will wreck.

This is a weekend pick-up game. Not the F1 championship. No one really cares who wins. And they shouldn't. This is supposed to be fun. Unless it was you, I doubt many of us even remember the top 3 in the last 3 races we were in.

Would that margin have helped you in this exact circumstance? I have no idea. Some wrecks are a feit acompli from the get go. Most (99.9%) are avoidable.

In my years in SM, I had relatively few wrecks. Why? Because I had that margin in my pocket when I needed it. I have gigabytes of video of me being the only one to avoid scores of accidents (at WGI, and every other NEDIV track).

It cost me finishing positions in many a race. But on average, I'd say it improved my finishing position, and ... it cost me a lot less time and money. But mostly, it kept me safe.

In the end, I realized that the egos in SM would never allow some people to hold on to that margin and so I left SM for greener pastures.

When I see $50k diesel dualies pulling $40k trailers to support a $15k Spec Miata, something comes quickly to mind.

SMs are (for many) a disposable car.

Combine this disposable car with the giant egos that absolutely have to win at all costs, and you're going to get what you have. A mess.

-Kyle

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Boycotts? Who said each NASA fiefdom is gonna give you your own run group? If you don't like the way they do things at a particular event are you going to boycott them too?

Other issue is even with an SM only run group y'all manage to create plenty of havoc. This wreck at WGI was SM on SM violence. Only difference is you might not have been caught up in it if it was for the other class cars but SOMEONE would have. The SIC last year, SM on SM violence.. no one else. Countless knuckleheaded ARRC wrecks, again SM on SM violence. I wonder how many nationals are run relatively incident free with mixed SM and others versus those that have significant incidents.

--------------------
All this has happened before, and will happen again

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Hi Kyle

I appreciate your post and I respect your view point. But no missed shift has dropepd me 10 places in the first turn.

I completely understand that the accident was NOT caused by the mixed class. I was caught up in it as an indirect result. Had I not been skunked I would have been way ahead of the incident when it occurred.

The incident at the VIR national with a SPLIT start earlier this year did directly cause a lot of carnage, almost cost me a car, there were several near misses and it completely skunked a great SM race for several drivers.

With regard to WGI, I am not sure what you would have done differently had you been running in my car at that time, and I am interested to know how you would have avoided that crash, but I would prefer to keep this thread on point and would prefer it if you repsonded via IM so that we do not derail this thread.

And Kyle, I have no fear in stating, that the ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF ALL DRIVERS pursuing championships is a large EGO. You will not get there without one. This might seem like a self indulgence, but I have competed in many sports and the self belief contained in a well defined EGO is a critical component for success.

But that is just my opinion - back to the thread

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

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Hi Danny,

Thanks for a good civil discussion. I had meant to stop by at WGI and say hello. I regret not making it over.

As I said, I'm not sure if my "margin" would have resulted in a different outcome at WGI.

And it doesn't just apply to you. Everyone ... Mike, David, and yourself all need to maintain that margin. I suspect that if everyone had maintained it, the outcome would have been different.

And that's why I left SM. Even when I maintained control of my car, others were not. I understand that accidents will happen from time to time, it was the frequency in SM that pushed me away. Every weekend there was another drama like this one.

But as you point out, racing and wining compels us to forgo the margin.

You just have to chose, I suppose. Is winning worth the risk? For me, it wasn't. I'm comfortable in my skin, win or 24th. This is not to say that I wont push hard. It just means that I wont sacrifice my safety for a beer mug.

-Kyle

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Spoke with NASA official earlier this year, 50 starters appears to be the magic number before SM is considered for its own group.

We need to organize - Spec Miata Owners Empowerment Society or SMOES.

quote:
Combine this disposable car with the giant egos that absolutely have to win at all costs, and you're going to get what you have. A mess.
+1 Yep, I see that a lot too. I got a job to go to Monday mornings - and my budget won't replace my car if totaled. Club racing used to be called 'Gentlemen's Racing' (and Ladies too) - kiss that shiz goodby. 99% of us are not going to climb any ladders. We been extremely fortunate that this class hasn't had a serious injury or worse yet - that ain't gonna last forever.

-Denny

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Danny,

I have to agree with Kyle a bit here. You got caught up in the circumstance of having a car in another class mess up your race. But there are other circumstances that could put you in the same situation even with a single class group. If it wasn't you at that spot of the track comming off the chicanne then it could have easily been someone else who gets into Mike's car as he is blocking the line at a place where a properly driven car is pretty much on the limit, which of course is part of the great enjoyment of racing. That being said, as a former IT driver with some moderate success and as a steward, I fully support full split starts if the situation (car count, class groupings, speed differential, handling characteristics, etc) warrants it. Last year as Chief Steward for the Pocono Double National I used split starts for both races. The pace car drivers and race control did a great job spacing the two groups accordingly and the results were two races where the SM's were able to pick off a handfull of SSC's; however, the splits were sufficient that in both races they never caught the SSB and T3 cars.

Brian

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Danny, you are correct in that combining the classes clearly ruined what would/should have been an excellent SM race with all front runners having a great opportunity. we all came to race and unfortunately some were handed a handicap due to combining the classes that ruined their weekend.

a split start would solve the start problems, but the first FCY would put us back in the same boat.

i agree with you that we must work with the SCCA officials in a cooperative way to get SM our own run group like SRF. so how do we proceed?

--------------------
Steve Gorriaran
2009 SCCA SM National Champion
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fastbrewer
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In the Rocky Mountain Division we always have our own run group. Unless the registration numbers don't justify having 5 groups then there could be some combining.

For those of you in other areas of the country Let me give you an understanding of how run groups are established.
First they are created by the person (or persons) that are writing the supplemental regulations for the event. Once they are happy with the supp regs they are passed on to the divisions executive steward for approval (or another steward in the division that evaluates supps.)

Keep in mind that this all starts at a minimum of 2 months before the event if not more like 6.

For those of you that want your own group you need to speak with your race chairman, R.E., your divisions exec. Steward. You should start this process now if you want this in effect for next season. Once the supps are approved it is very difficult to make any changes. Possible but most often not likely.

Or come out to more RMD races where we are always in our own group!!
http://forums.utahscca.com/showthread.php?t=7856

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Steve - this is where I am hoping that those with WAY more experience in SCCA than myself will give us a primer on how to mobilize effectively so we can put forward a rational and compelling argument that works for both the SCCA and for the class.

Have any of you guys done something like this in the past? What is the correct procedure? All advice welcomed.

--------------------
Danny
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http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
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In MIdiv the run groups are established well before the season begins. These run groups remain constant throughout the season, at all races within the division. This allows for permanent numbers within a run group.

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After much frustration during practice and qualifying, we got a split start in the Portland double national two weeks ago. It really solved the worst of the problems (multiply poorly-driven fast cars dive-bombing us at the end of the straights, then throwing out an anchor around the turns).

Nothing can solve all the problems of a very mixed run group, but the split start is an absolute must, IMO.

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Steve and Danny,

The other non-SM cars were no where near you guys when this wreck happened. I fail to see how the net outcome would be different if you had your own group.

In this circumstance having your own run group would only have meant that a different SM (not Danny) would have collected Mike. The net outcome would be the same.

I race GTL now. GTL is the 2nd lowest HP class in the small bore run group. Trust me. I get it. I get mugged at EVERY start and restart.

Traffic is part of racing.

You are not in a one make series (National Racing). You are not even in a one car class (NA, NB, 1.6. 1.8). Some guys will have more HP, some will corner better. Some days you will get shafted and some days you will be handed the win.

Also, I've been to nationals where there were more GTLs than SMs. You can't just demand a run group of your own regardless of the numbers.

-Kyle

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I think we will need car counts of 20+ to get own run group. Not a problem here in SOWDIV -- I think it is most other places (July 4th Hallett only 10 cars in SM). Check the car counts in SportCar and I bet you find most fields are 20 or less.

--------------------
William Keeling a.k.a. Willie the Tard

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quote:
Originally posted by Gorilla:
this can be solved with 1 to 2 race boycotts.



I agree, why don't you start in September, better yet, you should have started last September!
[Big Grin]

And Steve is correct! SM is again number one in particpation numbers, not SRF!
[thumbsup]

This is divisional issue, not National. In SE and NE and some others I am sure there enough SM's to make this happen, no way in Mid Div.

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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EAST STREET RACING

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quote:
Originally posted by disquek:
Steve and Danny,

The other non-SM cars were no where near you guys when this wreck happened. I fail to see how the net outcome would be different if you had your own group.

In this circumstance having your own run group would only have meant that a different SM (not Danny) would have collected Mike. The net outcome would be the same.

I race GTL now. GTL is the 2nd lowest HP class in the small bore run group. Trust me. I get it. I get mugged at EVERY start and restart.

Traffic is part of racing.

You are not in a one make series (National Racing). You are not even in a one car class (NA, NB, 1.6. 1.8). Some guys will have more HP, some will corner better. Some days you will get shafted and some days you will be handed the win.

Also, I've been to nationals where there were more GTLs than SMs. You can't just demand a run group of your own regardless of the numbers.

-Kyle

Man, I like the new and improved Kyle. [Smile]

I agree with much of what you posted. I had a good lead at the Sprints last year that would have been a much easier win. Then FCY... All hell broke loose. Mixed traffic etc.. Part of racing. It is more dangerous for sure, but it is part of it.

Would I prefer my own group, absolutely... Should we strive to get one? Sure, why not.

It is a royal PITA for sure... I get that as well.

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

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Hey if you asked the other classes they would LOVE for SM to have their own race group. Hell none of them want to be on the track as the same time as SM!
Danny states exactly why. To do any good in an SM race you almost have to overdrive the whole way. Fenders and body work is way too cheap. At least lots of SM racers look at it that way. (Hey, I am guilty, I have bent more than most.)

Not picking on you Danny (cause you are one of my heroes as a guy that does it right,) but even though it was a big race at a big track there is a time to factor in patience and control, (I know you already know this, but others might get something out of this) Pick'em off one at a time without overdriving and hope for a FCY. It's SM, once you get shuffled back it takes a while to get back up front. In the end there is enough crazy stuff going on during a race that we all need to race hard, but use self control.

Split starts help, your own run group helps, but as long as SM is racing, dive bomb moves, overdriving, and plain old mistakes will cause carnage. It is the nature of the class more so than any other race group.

I saw the video..."what was Meathead doing parallel parking right there? [Wink]

--------------------
Mac Spikes
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MER
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quote:
..."what was Meathead doing parallel parking right there?
Eating a tasty Sheetz sandwich? [Razz]

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This problem is ruining races all over, last year at Hallett I had to fight a T3 car that didn't have a single other car in the class to race so he wanted to race us - ended up getting between me in 6th and Beaver in 5th and I never was able to catch him again.

Had to dive bomb him into three to finally get by him because he kept blocking me... And I gave him a little bump for his trouble...

MZ

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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
quote:
Originally posted by Gorilla:
this can be solved with 1 to 2 race boycotts.



I agree, why don't you start in September, better yet, you should have started last September!
[Big Grin]

Jim-

does september 25th work? [Wink]

--------------------
Steve Gorriaran
2009 SCCA SM National Champion
2009 NASA E2 Champion 25-Hours of Thunderhill

www.gorillaracing.com

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Mark I can't believe you gave him a bump! [Wink]

--------------------
Mac Spikes
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MER
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"To hell with you Gen. Sheridan...I 'll take Texas!"

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quote:
Originally posted by IPRESS:
Mark I can't believe you gave him a bump! [Wink]

Oh it was just a little tap to say WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU RACING ME FOR??? [butthead]


MZ

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In SowDiv, there is a semi-annual divisional club racing meeting and it is here that the groupings are set. At each meeting I have attended (I've missed one since 2006) there is discussion about whether to give SM its own run group and, if not, what to pair them with. The presence of SM drivers at these meetings gives more weight to the wishes on the class.

Likewise, there is always one dedicated guy from SRF there to argue for them to run alone, too. He argues that SRF participation would improve if they weren't mixed with other classes. Last year, he was told they would be given a solitary run group in 2010, but the SRF numbers would have to improve. They have.

In 2010:
53 different SM drivers
36 different SRF drivers

Last National race:
28 SM
17 SRF

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

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Kent, I appreciate the suggestion

What really surprises me that there are not more national drivers coming out saying, "Yeah I would really like to have our own SM run group".

I certainly do not want to make the effort to lobby for this if SM drivers would rather run with T3, SSB and SSC.

I believe that if it is a combined class event, a SPLIT START should be mandatory.

But what I am really proposing here is a seperate run group.

So maybe the way to do it is, all national drivers that would like to have their preference counted, plesae add your name to the appropriate list below

In Favor of own run Group

Danny Steyn
Steve Goriaran


In favor of combined classes

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

cooleyjb
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Everyone is in favor of having their own run group. That's a stupid question to ask as it's such an obvious answer. It sorta goes with the question "would you like to earn twice as much money as you do right now?"

However one needs to look at the bigger picture and say that every situation is unique, race to race, division to division. Standing up on a soap box and screaming about multi class racing is annoying, getting old, and pretty much pointless. It's a fact of life that there will be situations where there will be multiple classes in the same run group. Dealing with cars outside of class requires a set of skills that falls under racecraft.

I think that some parts of the argument are quite valid. However dealing in absolutes, threatening (even if it's not really going to happen) a boycott are things that will not get people outside of SM to listen.

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Cooleyjb

if its that obivous and so desired by a class of our size, my question is simple, are there people at work behind the scenes trying to make this happen?

If you have some insight on this please IM me so that I can find out where to lend a hand.

many thanks

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
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Danny,
See Jon's post above
http://forum.specmiata.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/4849.html#000027

Run groups are decided within the division, and possibly even just within the region, this is not something that can be fixed at a national level, as it is not a problem that exists across the whole nation. There are races where only a few spec miata's show up, do they warrant being forced to have their own group or even a split start by the national office?

This really seems like something that you'll need to take up with other drivers within your region and division, and the stewards that serve you.

--------------------
Dave Kizerian
Utah Region SCCA
Road Race Director

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quote:
Originally posted by cooleyjb:
Everyone is in favor of having their own run group. That's a stupid question to ask as it's such an obvious answer. It sorta goes with the question "would you like to earn twice as much money as you do right now?"

However one needs to look at the bigger picture and say that every situation is unique, race to race, division to division. Standing up on a soap box and screaming about multi class racing is annoying, getting old, and pretty much pointless. It's a fact of life that there will be situations where there will be multiple classes in the same run group. Dealing with cars outside of class requires a set of skills that falls under racecraft.

I think that some parts of the argument are quite valid. However dealing in absolutes, threatening (even if it's not really going to happen) a boycott are things that will not get people outside of SM to listen.

JB is right. Daylight is a limited resource, as is the labor of volunteers. Where to put that one driver who races in SSx? He/She deserves to get the required races to qualify for the Runoffs, too, and to have a good time doing it. They paid the same fee I did.

No matter how it is done, an alphabet soup class results and the struggle is to find the best way to match relative speeds, especially closing speeds for safety. To suggest that SpecMiata should be immune from having to play well with others is just a bit too much.

Same story with split starts. Just split SM and the rest of the alphabet soup? I can see the 4 SSC guys wondering why they shouldn't have a clean race, too.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

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quote:
Originally posted by dkizerian:
Danny,
Run groups are decided within the division, and possibly even just within the region, this is not something that can be fixed at a national level, as it is not a problem that exists across the whole nation. There are races where only a few spec miata's show up, do they warrant being forced to have their own group or even a split start by the national office?

This really seems like something that you'll need to take up with other drivers within your region and division, and the stewards that serve you.

thanks Dave - will do.

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

fishguyaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Z-MAN:
This problem is ruining races all over, last year at Hallett I had to fight a T3 car that didn't have a single other car in the class to race so he wanted to race us - ended up getting between me in 6th and Beaver in 5th and I never was able to catch him again.

Had to dive bomb him into three to finally get by him because he kept blocking me... And I gave him a little bump for his trouble...

MZ

the only car in class thing is a problem i have encountered as well in my division. it actaully made me look into other classes.
i got tired of a guy ruining the race of cars in class by not having the awareness or coutesy, to allow the others racing for postion to do so w/o being blocked.
i think a drivers meeting could go a long way with this.
in my SCCA region,we dont have a drivers meeting before the start of a weekend, and many times we never even have one at all. i wish this was different, all other clubs i race with have amanditory meeting before we go out on track. in a meeting it could be told to the OCIC drivers to make way for cars racing for position, or be black flagged.

I think kyles posts are spot on as well.
here in SCCA AZ if you have 15 cars in a class, you get your own run group. sadly our # are low, and nobody gets their own run group.
I race FF with a different club than SCCA and we get our own run group. big difference in the racing experience. sounds like its worth driving to those regions that offer the dedicated run groups for SM.

--------------------
Josh Pitt
AZ Region

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quote:
Originally posted by Danny Steyn:
Kent, I appreciate the suggestion

What really surprises me that there are not more national drivers coming out saying, "Yeah I would really like to have our own SM run group".

I certainly do not want to make the effort to lobby for this if SM drivers would rather run with T3, SSB and SSC.

I believe that if it is a combined class event, a SPLIT START should be mandatory.

But what I am really proposing here is a seperate run group.

So maybe the way to do it is, all national drivers that would like to have their preference counted, plesae add your name to the appropriate list below

In Favor of own run Group

Danny Steyn
Steve Goriaran


In favor of combined classes

I think our own run group or at least a real split start is important for the safety of all of the drivers. It is bad enough losing time to other Miatas at the start but losing time and having a torn up car is very hard to take. I would think that almost all SM drivers would feel that way regardless if they post about it or not.

--------------------
2010 ARRC Champion
2010 CFR Champion
2010 instigator of the year
2010/2011 Andrew Von C Wingman

 
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