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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:05 pm 
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Just to clarify we currently have no intention of changing the format. This conversation was prompted by racers asking about different options like shortening the 25min or qualifying Saturday for Sunday... I've had several conversations this season with racers and wanted to open it to anyone who has an opinion.

I am for keeping things as they are for a few reasons.
1. The 25min format allows us to shorten the race when we have a disastrous morning and loose a lot of time.
2. MCRA has been using this format for years, even back in the 80's and 90's with the 100k races. At the old Gateway 2.2mi course was about 20 laps.

Some things to keep in mind...
We simply dont have the time to have a race for every type of machine produced.
Our "track day" participants deserve all the time we can give them on the track.
Gateway and Hallet are the only tracks we visit that allow us to go past the scheduled time.
There is no data that supports the argument that the racing program pays for itself. Its really expensive and time consuming.
We can not run by CCS rules alone. Our program includes track sessions, racing and race clinic. It really is a unique format which requires some unique rules for operating everything together.

Some food for thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:17 pm 
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As much as I joke about shortening the races because I am old, fat, and out of shape (that last part isn't a joke) I do think that the 25 minute races are good and reward the people who really train for them. Although I must say the 6 lap sprint was pretty fun on Saturday! I absolutely loved having the GT race after lunch instead of before lunch this year. I selfishly would like to keep the format the same. Hey what a GT grid we had on Sunday huh??

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:09 pm 
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I like things the way they are, personally. As Todd said, the 25 min races award people who train for them, which is something I like. I also like that we have the opportunity to race on both days. Look at my results from this weekend, for example. I got caught up in traffic on Saturday and finished WAY behind Ernie and Andre, but I was able to redeem myself on Sunday.

If I have a vote, the only thing I would like to see changed would be to separate the GTL EX/AM race from the ULGT/250 race as I feel like safety is compromised by combining the two. Sure, the lap times are close enough, but the areas in which the times are made up are complete opposites. By that, I mean the GTL bikes do not carry as much corner speed as the 250s and the 250s cannot achieve the straight line speed of the GTL bikes. There is this kind of "rubber band" effect because of this and its really affecting the outcome of the races, this year. I mean, there isnt THAT much of a difference between the fast GTL times and the average GT AM times, but you wouldnt want those classes racing against each other, either. Maybe Im alone in this thinking, but I never once had this safety concern when GTL and 250 each had their own race.

To me, it seems like the club has already made up its mind that track day riders are where the money is, so that is who they are going to cater to. I understand the reasoning behind this... I just wish we could add 1 more hour to the schedule and make everyone happy, I guess. Of course, the corner workers and other event staff might not be very happy about adding another hour....

Jim, I did have one question about what you said about, "There is no data that supports the argument that the racing program pays for itself. Its really expensive and time consuming". What is the cost of running the races if I may ask? Or maybe a better question would be, "How many racers would we need to have participating to allow the racing program to pay for itself?". If that is an ignorant question, I apologize. I really dont have much knowledge of how things like that are run.

I dont mean any disrespect by the things I said above. These are just my observations/opinions, so take them as you will. :) I am definitely open to and excited about hearing other peoples opinions, as well.

EDIT:
Idea that just popped in to my head after clicking the Submit button. What if we ran 10 lap sprint races? That would effectively cut most of our races in half and would open up some extra time to where we could do a 3rd race or allow for more track day time, as the club sees fit? Just a topic for thought/discussion.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:18 pm 
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I favor the single long race as it rewards those who train properly, as Todd said. And, it allows a rider time, possibly, to make up for a poor or unlucky start or a mistake somewhere during the early part of the race. I also agree with Adam about not mixing classes any more than absolutely necessary. Too often the outcome of races, particularly the 250 class as Adam pointed out well, is determined by bikes racing in another class. We 250 guys tend to close on some of the GT Lights bikes mid corner, can't make it by safely, lose huge time on corner exit and down the straight, only to catch up again about mid-next corner. And the cycle continues. If memory, serves, which it rarely does these days, we separated the classes before. Why did we go back to combining them? I have CRS disease. Was it to provide more track day time? If we vote to run a single class for small bikes next year, I'd think a separate race period would be even more crucial to a fair race outcome. FWIW.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:21 pm 
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I think those are all valid points and questions.
I think it would be fun to switch up the schedule a little bit, and run the LW races at noon say on Saturday, and then later on Sunday for varieties sake.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:39 pm 
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I'm all for making everyone happy. That being said I think there would be ample time in the day to possibly switch up the format of the races, not change track day sessions, and possibly attract more racers to the club. My thoughts:

Normal morning schedule
Ex/Am GT Sprint and LW GT Sprint (5-8 laps depending on track) at 1pm
Normal afternoon schedule
ULW Sprint and Ex/AM GT Sprint (5-8 laps depending on track) at 4:30pm

A majority of the racers I talk to outside of MCRA say that they want more races in a day. Going to sprints would allow that to happen without sacrificing track day sessions.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:23 am 
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Separating the 250 and GTL classes has already been attempted, but there was not enough racers on the GTL grid to justify their own track/race time. Corner speed between the two classes is not based on bike/class, but rather the rider.


Has there been any discussion of doing a double header sprint race for the GT class, maybe on Sunday only to keep the crowd and riders around through the end of the day? Assuming that two sprint races could be run in the same approximate time as the current time available.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:47 am 
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Yes Todd those were big grids and hopefully a trend.

Our races are endurance races. All motorsports endurance races have multiple classes. In my hay day I had the most success in middleweight and nothing would frustrate me more than horsepower verses mid corner speed. It taught me how to use momentum and as I moved in to the horsepower classes I was a better rider because of the lessons I learned from riding a lower horsepower unit. Same thing happens in auto racing in that the F1 or World endurance guys came from carting or production class racing. If we put the GTL guys in with heavyweights the same safety argument would apply.

Of course we cater to the track day participant. At some point here we'll put together some numbers for yall but some basic math on your own and you'll see who actually pays the expenses thus facilitating the racing program. There is no racing organization in our immediate region because there aren't enough racers to support it pure and simple. One might argue that it was the advent of track days that killed racing. The only way to get on the track in the past was to race.
If you dont think that we cater to racing then allow me to run a few things by you here...
If all we did was track days it would take five "front of house" people to operate it. With racing it takes 10-12 (in our organization).
Only a small portion of each race entry goes to the overhead of the weekend. Payouts, trophies, timing and scoring operation and extra staff easily makes it a break even or a loss (more often) pending on the size of grids.
If we didnt have racing all classes would get another 30 minutes ish of track time.
Just some of things I can think of here.

I'm not apposed to sprint races. It would allow for more races but I'm not convinced we have enough participants to separate the current classes.

Mark I dont see why couldnt run LW/250/ULGT as the early race on Saturday. Makes know real difference to me.

Kyle-No scenario in my opinion will make everyone happy Lol but I get what you are saying.
The state of amateur racing in our region is what it is right now. Perhaps overtime it will grow. MCRA has made serious efforts to bring new racers in and to some degree have made progress.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:23 am 
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I would love to get to race twice a day in the same class.

My opinion: To get 2 races in at lunch at 2 in at the end of the day we set the sprint race constant to 10 minutes of actual race time not from the 5 board. Take a reasonable lap time, gateway for example 1:10:000. Divide the two together to get a number of laps. Converting to seconds 600 seconds (10 minutes) divided by 70 seconds (lap time) gives us 8.6 laps, rounding up to 9 laps.

Similarly at NCM where a lap time of 2 minutes could be used, 5 laps

Right now the 25 minute race time starts at the 5 board (or at least it should) given the warm up and cool down times, the above format would give us about 14-17 minutes total per race track dependant. Does not include crash truck clean up etc.

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Think it could be done without taking time away from track day riders, adds 20 minutes of worker time per day (Conner works, starter, etc).

Mock schedule:
Image

Agree not enough GTL participants to separate them into their own race, been tried before with GTL & Sportsmen.

I would like to see some kind of change up.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:59 am 
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Drew - That is exactly what I had in mind. I really think that would give the potential to add more racers to the mix and bring in more money to help breakeven or profit from the races. Based on the laps we have done this year I think it is 25 mins from the green flag. That extra five mins of race time makes a big difference.

Time in the day sounds like the biggest concern. That being said I think 8 laps at shorter tracks (Gateway, Hallett, Putnam) and 6 laps at longer tracks (HPT, NCM) would make for a consistent race time. With 2 races per day per class, the next question may be, should the first race be $70 and any remaining race registered for the weekend be $50? That would fall more in line with other organizations.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:10 am 
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Would you have trophies for every race? That's going to increase the cost.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:23 am 
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This is a great discussion. Would love to hear from more people.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:26 am 
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crash wrote:
Would you have trophies for every race? That's going to increase the cost.


Typically Trophy's cost about $500ish a weekend. Plaques cost about $300ish

We currently have several to recycle witch may help with NCM.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:34 am 
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I cant remember the guys name (feel bad) but he suggested that next year we have no distinction between amateur and expert in any of the classes. The Expert separation in a couple of our classes does seem odd considering the size of expert grids.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:35 am 
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I'm okay with that. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:39 am 
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rainman wrote:
I cant remember the guys name (feel bad) but he suggested that next year we have no distinction between amateur and expert in any of the classes. The Expert separation in a couple of our classes does seem odd considering the size of expert grids.


Interesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:30 pm 
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rainman wrote:
I cant remember the guys name (feel bad) but he suggested that next year we have no distinction between amateur and expert in any of the classes. The Expert separation in a couple of our classes does seem odd considering the size of expert grids.


Would make for some interesting racing. Would also keep the cost of trophies the same as this year while running 2 sprints/day rather than the 1 endurance race/day. Only problem I could see would be safety going into turn 1 with a larger single wave grid.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:35 pm 
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If we were to do shorter races but still do multi-class races, could we do something like an extended 2 wave start to help with the bunching up issues? Say, let the GTL guys get out at least 1/3 (or a little more) of the track, then let the ULGT/250 guys go? By the time the faster riders from each group catch the slower riders from each group, the herd should be thinned out enough to not make as much of a difference. I just feel that something like this would be increasingly important the shorter the races are since you wont have nearly as much time to try and recover after losing ground. I definitely do not mind the idea of shorter races as long as there is the opportunity for two races in a day, per class.

As far as the trophies go, they are very nice to have and appreciated, but I dont feel like I personally HAVE to have them. If it would be cheaper for the club to just give me a few bucks toward my next track day/entry fee, that'd be enough for me. We already get the payout for being on the podium. It would be nice if there was Pirelli tire contingency this year, but that is not up to the club. :-)

I dont really have an opinion on combining expert/amateur since I dont race in a class where there is a distinction.

rainman wrote:
The state of amateur racing in our region is what it is right now. Perhaps overtime it will grow. MCRA has made serious efforts to bring new racers in and to some degree have made progress.


I think that MCRA has a fantastic opportunity to majorly help to bring back the state of amateur racing in this region, honestly. I feel like MCRA is run very well and does try to cater to its members, which is probably one of the biggest reasons it has made some progress, to whatever degree that is. Its discussions like this that will help the organization continue to improve and provide more enjoyment for everyone. Thank you for bringing up the topic, Jim!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:21 pm 
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I must say that while I like the nature of a long race, I'd be a supporter of two shorter races in each class each day. 9 laps, as Drew so aptly proposed, is really a pretty descent length.

I'd also favor no amatuer or expert divisions. Never been a big fan of expert and amatuer divisions though I do understand the reasons for it.

Mike W.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:27 pm 
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mwirrick wrote:
I must say that while I like the nature of a long race, I'd be a supporter of two shorter races in each class each day. 9 laps, as Drew so aptly proposed, is really a pretty descent length.

I'd also favor no amatuer or expert divisions. Never been a big fan of expert and amatuer divisions though I do understand the reasons for it.

Mike W.


I think I'm with him ^^^. How would that effect people that want to race with other orgs? I assume we would allow both yellow and white plates? Would that effect your amateur status with another club?

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