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Thread: What's the answer?

  1. #1

    What's the answer?

    Or should that be "is there an answer?"
    Firstly let me apologize to Nigel Watts for hi-jacking his thread.
    I have read with interest the comments on Nigel's threat bought about by my question as to what happened to the second day at the weekends Hampton Downs meeting. We in the northern part of the North Island are blessed with the three major race venues the are easily accessible for those who live in an area bounded by Taupo in the south and Auckland in the north with these tracks that we can drive to and from in the same day thus negating the need for accommodation etc. But that's not the main issue here. It's what we get to see when we get to the venue of our choice where the problem lies. I am old enough to remember the great club meetings held at Pukekohe on the club circuit with up to 30 quick fire races held in a day, and ok some of the fields weren't huge but the circuit was small enough that boring races ( if there was one) were over quickly and as soon as one race finished the next group was out before the previous competitors had made their way down the back straight to the pit area.
    When the V8 supercars were racing at Pukekohe before they went to Hamilton I went to a meeting that was held before the V8 event and found what to me was a major issue. I have been to Pukekohe many times and watched racing from all different parts of the circuit but I now found that if I sat on the hill I couldn't see down the straight and if I sat in the stands I couldn't see the top of the hill because someone had put a bridge across the track obscuring my view. My answer to the problem was to stay at home and watch it on TV.
    The issue today as I see it, is small fields on long tracks. I like Hampton Downs as a spectator track where one can get close to the action and see much of the track from a variety of vantage points, particually if the racing is on the "national" circuit. But to have two meetings on the same weekend is really a nonsense. It may well have been that each meeting had different groups or classes racing but there are some of us that would have gone to at least one day of each meeting.
    I watched most of the NZ verses Pakistan cricket T20 game yesterday and wondered where the crowd was. Not to many years ago the venue would have been full but not any more and this seems to be the same for many major sporting fixtures in NZ. The tennis is different, once a year, good competitors and it's the place to be seen. Is this an answer?
    Has the lack of TV coverage of NZ motorsport meant that a large number of potential spectators do not get a preview of what can be seen live if they get the opportunity to go and physically watch. I will be interested to see how many go to the Hamilton sevens although it seems to be as much a drinking contest as a football tournament.
    To those of you who compete (and those of us who don't, or no longer do, thank you for your dedication) has the cost of competing making you think carefully about which events and how many you choose to do? As has been said many times before there are hundreds of good race cars parked away in garages all over the country not doing what they should be doing.
    Allan Cameron

  2. #2
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    Allan. Your analysis is probably quite correct. Too many circuits, too many events, too many classes and too expensive. I have been a spectator since 1965 and a competitor since 1970. But I just can't get enthused anymore. Recent meetings with entries of typically 10 or less cars per race won't excite many people.

  3. #3
    Allan, I know for some of us your last paragraph says it all. Unfortunately I have a disease which makes it very hard to stay off the racetrack but I'll give you an example.
    When I originally started building the Merc it was to replace the Imp that we retired after winning the 2014 NZGT Championship. Halfway through the build I went to the AGM and found that due to the desire to join the "tier 1" meetings the entry fees for each round went from $295-$320 to $550 for 3 races with nothing extra to offer sponsors. They explained that you would now get Friday testing free but I have never done a Friday test in my life and have no need to.Especially when some of us have work/kids at school. So why should I have to pay for something I won't use?? Tough. Now, I love that class and the people involved in it but for us racing is a hobby and we have to look at bang for buck.
    So I pulled the mods back so we would be eligible for ERC, a great class in it's own right which not only has a much better entry fee, but also the meetings mostly have better support classes to watch (F5000,HMC,HSS,etc vs 4 NZV8's and a bunch of SSangyongs...).
    However it still means that we have to be selective on how many meetings we can afford a season and last week was a good example...I had the foresight to realise that surely with such a big attractive meeting on at Taupo who would turn up at Hampton??
    I'm sure there are many others in the same boat.....
    Also on the subject of fees - why does it cost me $70 to hire a transponder at Hampton and only $30 or sometimes free at Taupo??
    Maybe the promoters need to work together a bit more and everyone would be happier, is there to many ego's involved?....dunno...I'm just a racer.
    On a sad note, it seems a shame that Mr Quinn and his crew have undone all the hard work that the previous January Festival (McLaren, Hulme,Amon,etc) organisers had put in to make those extraordinary meetings to attend.....just my thought.
    Last edited by Reeceracer; 01-23-2018 at 04:58 AM.

  4. #4
    You raise some great points Allan on a subject that keeps me awake at night I really am joking but I do ponder this from time to time. Over the summer we have 4 entities running events on the 4 North Island circuits...Speedworks, HRC, Auckland Car Club and the Independent Race Series. We then also have a number of entities promoting various standalone events so we end up with a very busy calendar.
    We certainly have too many race classes and I will comment on these as I go. The big problem I have is the mix and match nature of some of these meetings and in my mind we should have 4 defined calendars as follows:

    Speedworks
    HRC Modern
    HRC Historic / Classic
    Auckland Car Club

    I have not included Taupo or Manawatu Car Clubs as they seem to run their respective winter series.

    The standalone events...Supercars, MG Classic, Hampton Festival, Taupo Historic GP, Hampton GT event and the South Island Classics fortnight...could form the backbone around which the other calendars are based and it is important to remember that clashes will be inevitable.

    Speedworks are generally promoting classes that don`t impact on the other groups too much and the bulk of their schedule revolves around the TRS. HRC Modern could join this schedule over the busy January February timetable which leaves HRC Historic to run their events over the same time frame.

    The Auckland Car Club schedule would take care of itself and these are largely one day affairs anyway. And I have liked the occasions where TACCOC have run their one day events on the other day of the same weekend.

    And so we come to all those classes run under HRC Events and IRC...as there seems to be some cooperation between these 2 entities. The biggest tidy up in a busy calendar could come from this lot. So here goes...draw a line in the sand and have 2 schedules or groups of classes and then work out which are relevant and can any be merged.

    Classic / Historic - classes on this schedule would be the following:

    Classic Touring Cars - still should have gone with Heritage and worked with the South Island group with an emphasis on genuine cars.
    I can see a grid of replicas that would be more suited to Improved Production - time will tell.
    TraNZam Challenge
    Formula 5000
    Historic Muscle Cars / Historic Saloon Cars - when grid sizes allow then run as 2 separate groups.
    Hooters Series
    BMW Series
    Historic Formula Ford
    Formula Junior
    ERC Series - the 2 groups
    Formula Libre - if Atlantics can muster 15 or more then run a separate grid
    Classic Trials
    Trofeo Series
    Historic Sports Sedans and Allcomers
    Pre 65

    If wanted or needed then those groups that want to run with TACCOC or the standalone meets as have previously can do so. NO MODERN CLASSES AT THESE MEETINGS. Spectators then know that they are turning up to a CLASSIC meet and not some pick and mix.

    The modern classes are:

    Improved Production - given time you can run 2 groups - Under 2L and Over 2L - just like in Australia. If everyone could agree on
    closing down some other groups and merging them into IP then I almost guarantee capacity grids!
    2K Cup
    Formula Ford
    Honda Cup
    NZ Sportscars
    Super Karts
    Super Lap
    Rotary Race Enthusiasts

    and including

    Super Six / HQ
    Super Mini Challenge
    SS2000
    K Sports Sedans

    Pro 7 Mazdas and Formula First could run here if they needed extra rounds outside of the Speedworks schedule.

    Across both Modern and Historic remember that not every class listed has to race at those meetings but draw a line in the sand in terms of what classes run at what type of meeting so far as HRC Events is concerned.

    Remember at the standalone events you might get a mix due to the various promotions preferences.

    Are you all confused? Can this be any worse than the confusion out there now?

    Anthony
    Last edited by touringcarfan; 01-23-2018 at 07:43 AM.

  5. #5
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Good to start a thread on this Allan and we tried on the 'Ten Tenths' message board where there was a lot of very lively debate but it got out of hand and legal action was threatened! So much for free speech.

    1) Too many circuits: No way!

    2) Too many classes: I may be in the minority, but totally disagree here too - but see last comments.

    3) Too expensive - for spectators: Debatable as there are several free events but with Premium events (Bathhurst Festival) it has to be value for money. It wasn't, so yes, that makes it too expensive. Leadfoot at $57, sounds expensive, but is worth it.

    4) Too expensive - for competitors. Yes. Motorsport has never been cheap but entry fees have doubled over the last two years and that is the key issue for many people, particularly amateurs and even more of a problem for the retirees.

    Three or more years ago, putting on a 1 day meeting at HD, where you could run six race groups - 1 practice, 3 x 8 lap races = 24 track sessions on the National Track. Each grid theoretically had to have $2,000 in entry fees to cover costs and advertising was a waste of money. I can assure you that there were several grids subsidised by the larger grids at many meetings.

    Happy to be corrected here, but I heard a whisper that HD wanted something like $10,000 from a potential grid to appear at the Bathhurst Festival. I'm sure that figure can be validated (or denied) by group convenors. Do the math as they say.

    5) Small grids - especially on televised races, has in my very humble opinion, done more to drive spectators away, than any other single factor. When I got back Sunday and switched on TV3, what do we get? BNT V8s, two classes, a total of just 10 cars.

    6) Too many televised one/two make races and especially utes, has also done the sport no favours at all. Advertisers might get TV exposure for their 'brand' or whatever, but it has done nothing to make the sport more attractive for paying spectators. TV watchers aren't dumb. If they see a grid of 10 cars, they may as well watch on TV or not watch at all.

    We had to fight to get the ERC Group at the Festivals and up until then, many of us had done the first two Festivals, then got totally fed up of paying for 3 scratch races where our road cars were lapped within 4 or 5 laps by out and out sports racers so we didn't even get the laps we'd paid for! Boring to watch. Boring to compete. May as well have done a track day.

    For the next couple of years, many of us just went as spectators and I submitted an analysis of the number of starters and finishers for each race group, just to show that as spectators, it wasn't really good value as only the BMW E30's managed over 20 cars on a grid and that was only just.

    HD has a 46 car maximum for saloons, so grids of under 15 are not exactly going to get value for money and will vote with their feet/wallets next time.

    The next problem is that in classics/historics/vintage, the performance variations are huge. This has a double whammy effect.

    a) Drivers can feel intimidated if sharing the track with much faster cars - there can be safety issues.
    b) Drivers are not happy paying for 8 laps or 6 laps and getting fewer.

    Theoretically, modern motorsport should be huge and classics/historics a minority. We have to then ask why the reverse is the case?

    Yes, years ago, club events were popular and crowds were large. I know from the paperwork I have from some UK races, that not only were crowds large, but they could pay start money to 'star' drivers and at the end of the season, many club drivers had their entry fees returned, as long as they competed regularly with that specific club.

    We could pontificate for hours as to why most sports no longer have the paying spectators they did decades ago, so therefore the model for running most meeting is now 'user pays' - in other words, run for drivers, paid for by drivers. Sorry to say it, but generally, relying on spectator income for maybe 90% of events is not on.

    The other problem we have as a perception of 'too many series' or race groups is partially an issue, but look at the history of why some classes started, whether or not they have grown and why many competitors have walked away from them. You'll hear all sorts of tales as to why cars are parked up in garages.

    rf84 may know the answer to this one. Given that Formula Fords have been around for half a century, how come the Historic Formula Ford field isn't huge?

    How come Clubmans' isn't huge? Part of the answer to that one was explained to me by the driver of a 1300 or 1600cc Clubman. He wasn't happy being blasted into oblivion by newer 2,000 Turbo cars.

    So, we should have 1,000's of competitors and cars out there - old and new.

    HD entry fee, $60 goes to MSNZ. A $25 Health and safety levy - from each competitor? Really? What are drivers actually getting for that? Circuit hire fees? Well, they have to make a profit. Hire of radios, medical and breakdown crews etc., so we NEED large grids.

    Some classes/groups might have to amalgamate but ask why we get splinter groups, and it is usually because there is a philosophical difference, some of that is unfortunately due to self interest.

    Just as an example, the two ERC Series could return to a single grid, or maybe even amalgamate with Alfa Trofeo. Whilst that could mean two fewer groups, it could also mean fewer competitors overall, as either newer, slower ones wouldn't like sharing the track with fast cars such as Clark Proctor and Bruce Manon, OR, would we have to dump the faster cars to encourage newcomers?

    I'm a well known champion of more than one class in a race or grid and also of handicap racing. But who knows what will happen, but we can't ever allow a two day meeting with just 5 classes, premium or club.

    Between moderns, bikes, karts, classics, and drifters etc., three tracks should be OK.
    Last edited by ERC; 01-23-2018 at 05:35 AM.

  6. #6
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Hi Anthony,

    To add to your list, Central Muscle Cars, Northern Muscle Cars and Production Muscle Cars.

    Some good points.

    Cheers
    Bruce

  7. #7
    Hi Bruce

    I left out Central as they are a law unto themselves and appear to enjoy appearing at the large standalone events and some Speedworks events. Northern and Production are Auckland Car Club so are not included in my list for HRC.

    I agree with Ray that 4 tracks is more than enough but I really would like to see a tidy up of schedules and race classes and the way these are managed.

    Anthony

  8. #8
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Shouldn't pre 65's belong in the earlier group Anthony?

    BMW have 3 series - E30, under 2 litre and over 2 litre. often the E30s are two grids. This in itself can create a bit of a problem, as there is a real mix of what we'd call classic and modern;

    Alfa Trofeo and also ERC have mutually slackened off the age criteria, so there is a distinct overlap between classic and modern. This doesn't exactly meet with universal approval but is a pragmatic approach to maintain entry numbers.

    We all remember the days when sports car grids were filled with Morgans, Lotus, MG, Daimlers, Austin Healeys, Bucklers etc., so the mix has changed considerably - and probably always will.

    The recent emergence of the Historic Sport Sedans and the inclusion of the Historic Saloons into HMC has been a welcome move and now both grids are viable. So, maybe the question is - do we have the occasional 'speed group meeting' again, where BMW E30's would be sharing the track with MGs and Alfas, or would drivers stick to only doing points meetings because of budgetary constraints?

    That is a gamble I wouldn't want to take. Promoters and officials alike have welcomed the various series as it has made their jobs so much simpler. Better to deal with a convenor who can sort out hiccups within his or her group, before and during the meeting - even without series being sanctioned and I know only too well from past experience, that open meetings rarely attracted the same sort of support - and often meant totally mismatched cars on track together.

    If you had been driving my rather slow, road registered GT in a wet race, sharing the Pukekohe track with the Lighting Direct Porsches for example, you'd probably do what I did and retire after two laps!
    Last edited by ERC; 01-23-2018 at 07:33 AM.

  9. #9
    Hi Ray

    I have edited Pre 65 from Modern to Classic. The BMW Series is a strange one but I will leave it with Classic in this instance.

    Personally I have no problem with more modern cars creeping into ERC and Trofeo...but as classes I would still include them into Classic as this where the origins of the class arose.

    Anthony

  10. #10
    Further to your last post Ray...I have no desire to see speed groups at these meets (fine if promoters want to do this at their standalone meets) but at HRC meets lets stick to actual race classes and combine where suitable if low entries dictate.

    I also believe that each class will only ever be as strong as the class coordinators are enthusiastic.

    Anthony

  11. #11
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    I still maintain we have too many circuits given our population. NZ has a population approximately the same as Sydney and/or Melbourne. How many permanent circuits does either of those cities have? In fact, NZ probably has as many permanent circuits as all of Australia! How about the UK? Population around 80 million people? How many permanent circuits are there in the UK?
    We found some interesting stats in the Hawkes Bay Car Club back in the '70's. Until the mid '70's the Club ran 5 speed events a year-2 standing 1/4 mile Sprints, 2 sealed hillclimbs and 1 Clubmans (circuit) meeting. The Club would accept the first 45 entries for each event and any extras would be placed on a "reserve" list. After the mid '70's the number and variety of events increased-shingle hillclimbs, rallies, rallysprints and autocrosses were added to the calendar. Using a simple formula of multiplying the number of events by the number of competitors at each event we came up with a total number of entries for the year. What we discovered was that even though the club offered more events, the number of entries for the year was almost exactly the same as when there were only 5 events. In other words, people became more selective about which events they entered.
    The same applies on a National level now. Creating a new class does not necessarily increase the number of competitors-in many cases it simply takes competitors from another class. Similarly, running a meeting at Taupo and another at HD on the same weekend is not going to increase the number of competitors overall. It will likely be detrimental to the number of entries at each circuit, especially given their close geographic proximity. If one of those 2 circuits were say in the South Island it would be a different situation.
    ERC you raise the question of Historic FF numbers. I began racing FF before there was an Historic FF class. A few years ago we regularly got 20-30 entries in Historic FF but numbers have decreased since then. Last year I was a spectator at the Tasman Revival meeting at Taupo. There were 2 Historic FFs competing! When I enquired of one of the competitors why this might be he invited me into his fully enclosed trailer and pointed to a year planner on the wall with 18 possible events for the season!
    Personally I sold my FF in January 2016. It was costing around $1000 per weekend to do events taking into account travel costs, accommodation, entry fees, transponder hire and licence fees. That did not include any car related costs. For about $200 more I enjoyed 8 days in Samoa last winter. 3 days at Manfeild or 8 days in Samoa? No contest really. My FF has (like so many cars) disappeared into a shed and has not been seen in 2 years. It's new owner has a genuine F2 Chevron with genuine Brian Hart 2 litre engine which he imported 9 years ago. It too has never turned a wheel in anger in NZ.
    Look around at the competitors these days. How many 20 to 50 year olds do you see? (2K Cup and drifting excepted). The younger ones are out at the local river with their jet skis or trailbike or (if they are hard core adrenalin junkies) jumping off cliffs with paragliders.

  12. #12
    Hi rf84

    You raise an interesting point regarding the number of circuits. Where would we be if they had not of built Hampton Downs? Using Pukekohe more than we now appear to? Would we therefore have the choice of meetings that we now do? Have we created our own problems we now face?

    I entirely agree with your point regarding the introduction of new classes. Again all this does is offer competitors too much choice and then other classes run the risk of depleted grids.

    And the age of competitors versus the various classes is something that I discussed with dad as we drove home from Taupo on Sunday. How many `young ones` will want to race a 1970 Capri in 10-20 years time? The only reason my brothers raced the Escorts and Capris is because dad was racing a Capri...he made the car cool in their eyes and they wanted to be a part of that. It was also cheaper than a V8 Touring Car...so that helps.

    Anthony
    Last edited by touringcarfan; 01-23-2018 at 08:33 AM.

  13. #13
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Some good points.

    Historic FF may well have 18 race possibilities, but that is the exception rather than the rule. If I'd built a competition car, I'd want more than 4 or 5 events a season. When I first inherited the BMC Series, we had about 9 committed drivers- not enough.

    Fortunately, we managed a niche in the system that eventually grew from BMC to Leyland to British to European - and there it has stayed - more or less... Other gaps have subsequently been filled so that currently, it appears there is somewhere for everyone to race.

    In terms of classic/historic saloons and traditional sports cars, some may well have two choices - some even more. Some are limited to just one race group, only by virtue of age, CoD/no CoD, origin, Marque, road tyres/race tyres, road registered/non-road registered, 100% period correct.

    That is healthy so what we often get is a car dual entered - great on a two day meeting where there may be a lot of hanging around, but the majority of classic clubs don't charge extra fees - but it does mean that what appears to be a financially viable grid, isn't!

    Maybe one answer is to just sell a grid at a fair price? For example, if break even is say $2,500 a grid, then charging $2,750 or $3,000 would give the promoters a profit.

    It would then force the smaller groups to combine or pay the additional entry fees. That would possibly focus the convenors on selecting appropriate meetings BUT, it relies on drivers making a commitment. A decent grid could then reduce entry fees or make small profit for the series. Just a thought.
    Last edited by ERC; 01-23-2018 at 09:22 AM.

  14. #14
    Once upon a time... MANZ, as it was would decline a permit application if there was a similar event too close geographically that would conflict, but then things were "promoted" by hard working volunteers rather than business entities. I'm not for a minute saying that could work in the current environment as there are just too many issues that have been brought into the "big picture". However, some entity has to look for the greater good of the viability of events for both those who run the cars, and the circuits which need to operate as often as they can to be viable.
    Too many circuits? I don't think so. Pukekohe hardly count now anyway as a spectator can't see much. The horse racing club has always restricted the number of days it can run anyway. HD was initiated just because folks moaned there were not enough circuits. Those who started the whole idea of HD and the Tony Roberts and Chris Watson for having the kahunas and foresight to see the need and keep carrying the ball forward have my utmost admiration, otherwise the discussion would be that there is nowhere to run the cars! (Perhaps that is part of why so many went into sheds?)
    Too many classes? Perhaps, but they can always combine to keep grids better filled if needs be.
    Classes that don't appeal to spectators? Maybe, personally Central Muscle and Pre 65 are hot rods and if I want to see them I will go to Kumeu or the drags to see them. I did say personally, and I loved the allcomers, so I have no idea why those 2 classes have no appeal to me.
    What is the thing which gets crowds? I do see that meetings here where I now live in the UK still get big crowds, who travel for hours (and queue at the gate for an age), so are NZ possible spectators just too ready with the excuses, cost, accommodation, food costs too much etc and not really enthusiastic about going anyway? Even an almost Vintage (pre war) only meeting I went to had thousands and had almost no promotion. It's difficult to find what events are on here, you have to go looking to find them, so promotion isn't the simple answer.
    Good discussion though Noel.

  15. #15
    Some very good points being raised here and I thank you all for your contributions so far.
    A little quick research brings up some interesting numbers from the main Targa events.
    In 2003 nearly 200 entries, 2007 120 and 2017 around 60.
    Is there a theme forming here that carries on to circuit racing. In some classes yes but in others as some of you have mentioned no, but the difference seems to be in the organisation of the class. Am I being too harsh on some organizers or am I somewhere near the mark?
    Allan

  16. #16
    This is a discussion that needs to be had. I acknowledge that my ideas are but a mere dream and I honestly don`t see a lot changing in my life time. I will go and watch dad race but these days I live at the countries speedway tracks...a good number of classes and you generally know what you are in for. Yes there are problems within speedway but as a paying spectator there is not much to complain about.

    Anthony

  17. #17
    Not too many circuits...but too many clashes.

    My guess is that promoters won't let these double ups occur in the future.

  18. #18
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Rhys brings up an interesting point regarding the UK.

    Crowds vary though. The first post war Donington meeting in 1977 was a financial disaster for the sponsors as the expected crowds never materialised, even though the meeting very nearly didn't go ahead, due to a last minute protest by the local ramblers. However, there are three cities close by - Leicester, Derby and Nottingham, yet the Nottingham papers virtually ignored it and to this day, rarely cover motorsport.

    The NZ Herald virtually never covers club level local motorsport either and I don't believe the Bathurst Festival had any stories prior to the meeting at all. Certainly no mention of returning Kiwi Jim Richards. In that respect, circuit motorsport doesn't exist and most Australian V8 reports are a few lines and F1 is usually totally ignored.

    Update: * Report and pictures in today's (Wednesday) Herald by Colin Smith of the Taupo meet...

    So the general non-motorsport fraternity wouldn't even know it existed that being the case, the youngsters aren't exactly going to be pleading with dad to take them.

    We have to remember that the catchment area for Pukekohe and Hampton Downs is over 1 million people so we aren't even getting a measurable percentage spectating. We get a higher percentage competing! There is something very weird about that.

    The other issue that really needs addressing is the tardy attitude of drivers, who do themselves no favours by not entering early. If you don't get an entry in early for many UK events, you don't get an entry at all! Just before Christmas, a week before the meeting, across two classes, 21 entries. Come the day, over 40. Unfortunately, and maybe I shouldn't say it, but that seems to be a Kiwi thing, as I had the same ongoing issues in another sport and also a trade association.

    Late entry fee should be $100, not $20!

    How can organisers promote the meeting when there is nothing to promote until the day before the meeting? John publishes his group on here and promotes his class. I used to send out reminders and entries to date to ERC members. Alfa Trofeo do the same, but no one can promote a meeting if no one has entered!

    Leadfoot has the entry list/programme on line and casual spectators need to access that information, but if there are only five small grids, it isn't exactly going to attract the casuals and even the diehards aren't going to be enthusiastic.

    Maybe there needs to be a website where the programme and entry lists can be accessed for any circuit, any meeting? Friday of the Bathurst Festival, (Practice day) there weren't even any programmes or entry lists available. It was only by looking at CRO Wendy's sheets that I had any idea of what was going on and couldn't believe I'd seen every group run before 11am!

    Sorry, not supposed to be a bitching post, but in some respects, the communications age hasn't really been of any great advantage to the sport.
    Last edited by ERC; 01-23-2018 at 09:57 PM.

  19. #19
    I wonder, Ray, if the late entry "penalty" is used by people other than myself who were doing all they could to have the car ready for an event but not sure if they could make it? Better for them to pay the penalty fee than lose everything when with a few days to go they can't achieve it? Yes, I do understand it's a pain for the organisers, but I know I have "lost" a lot of money through entering on time and then failed to be ready.

    Everything for the competitor has escalated. Entry costs, preparation being needed to a much higher level, so backyard almost goes away, compulsory transponder (even if you know you will just be an also ran), everyone thinks they have to stay in flash hotels, or expensive motorhomes, pit garages fresh tyres, racing where even the competitors think that "rubbing is racing", the list goes on.

    Of course "we" have been told that grass roots motorsports should be done in paddocks so the real base level has gone, sadly I think maybe forever. Just look at what even the lowest classes think is vital, 4wd for club events, multiple sets of wheels and tyres.

    Thank goodness for having been around for "the good old days" when you ran what you had, tried very hard not to bend it, stayed in a tent (or under the trailer) and drove home to be at work on Monday. Probably drove the car to work all week too But those days are gone.

  20. #20
    Back then the grids were small but the crowds large.............almost the opposite today in most cases...........?
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