View Poll Results: In favor of 2 run group format?

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  • Yes

    15 93.75%
  • No

    1 6.25%
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Thread: Proposed Two Run Group Format (Open for Discussion)

  1. #11
    2159ClassicRed's Avatar
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    Kurt Wong

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    Quote Originally Posted by yosemitemtb View Post
    I'll play the devil's advocate here, this format is not so nice for us out-of-towners. Every autocross would be a 5AM wakeup call for me, instead of just half of them. I've missed all of the Buttonwillow events because of the early start (as the schedule sits now, STX runs 4th there, I'm almost willing to bet money we will add an event and bump my class to the morning before then.) I really do look forward to the races I get to sleep in for.

    We've also seen that run group that seems like it will never end, be it timing issues, reruns, late starts, or endless reruns. I guess that would only mean a late lunch, though.

    My last concern, which I think is the most important for all of us has to do with the fairgrounds lot, course design and the grid. One thing I really don't like is a crowded grid area. A lot of times there are so many cars in each line, when we exit the course we have to stay in our cars to keep inching forward because we were near the front of our lane on the grid and the guys at the back are still waiting, or we sit in our cars before our runs waiting for the guys in the front to go out. We would need twice as many lanes (not to be confused with twice as long lanes) and the fairgrounds are challenged for space.

    I don't know if these items have been discussed yet, the one that I think really needs thought put into is the last one though. I'm waiting to vote in the poll until I hear others thoughts on this.
    I'm going to play a nice jerk here . I understand your stand point Jerry and I thank you and all those who come from out of town to run with us. Nothing is without flaws and this one is largest flaw. Running morning and being there early isn't always my favorite thing too. Especially if I'm running in Marina and have to be out the door by 5:30am. Why do I do it then? Because its fun and I'm probably just as crazy as the rest of the people out there that early Its just part of the sport. People sacrifice to enjoy it and sometimes we don't need to sacrifice as much. We all wish we could sleep in, wake up happy, have the car clean as a whistle (for me at least) and have perfect weather so we are neither hot nor cold. But lets face it we don't live in a perfect world. I don't take joy in making this difficult for those who run in the afternoon and now have to sacrifice to wake up early to run in the morning just like the rest of us, it is what it is.

    The last concern is addressed with the answer that everyone needs to be on time and ready to go. That includes everyone from those who are participating in the event to have their cars ready to go and those who are operating the event to have all systems ready to go on time. Ric, Jimmy, Kat and I had a meeting yesterday (over some nice beers!) and Ric brought up a great point about this. The event should probably start even earlier just so that we can finish by noon. An 8 am or even 8:30 am start up time on the dot is vital! Yes this is a reminder for me, as I tend to be late and behind. Grid area needs to be specifically laid out and trailer parking needs to be specified so that we have room for those who trailer in their cars. Drivers need to be ready to swap on the fly to their worker stations between run groups. We haven't gotten down to a map and drawn out where these need to be but we are in the stages of doing so if this format gets approved. Also be aware that we've had afternoon run groups where we can't even fill all the stations with a single worker, not have a grid person, and have only one person in the trailer doing timing and scoring. That's always leads to frustration and people not wanting to volunteer for key positions. Which in the end leads to the downfall of the club as a whole. Look at this as a investment on the future of the club. If attendance starts to increase to and average of say 75-80 then we should be looking at either reverting back to a 4 run group format or maybe even a 3 run group format.
    Kurt
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  2. #12
    yosemitemtb's Avatar
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    Jerry Kell

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    8AM? At some point, the scales tip to the side where it becomes something I will only do occasionally. My reasons, to some, for not embracing an early morning start might seem selfish, but they are very important to me. I'm up early and on a long commute about 225 days a year, out the door at 5:30AM and lucky to be home by 7PM so I really do look forward to those afternoon run groups. I was making almost every event until financially it was a burden while my wife and I were transitioning from renters to homeowners. It made it easy to pass up the midsummer heat fests, that's for sure. I've just rekindled my enthusiasm for making more of the events in the last year or so. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't spend 3 hours driving round trip to stand in the sun for two hours for 4 minutes of seat time. I really enjoy the racing but even more I enjoy seeing everyone there, meeting new car enthusiasts and seeing the occasional exotic Chevy Colorado being put through it's paces.

    Talk of an 8AM start time, to me, feels like a punch in the gut in that it really takes the wind out of me. I'm almost always rushed before the morning groups anyway since I'm not equipped to trailer my car and have to do some of my prep once I get there, more so than someone who only drives a few miles, I'm thinking of barely legal tread and ridiculous camber settings, and how much leeway with the speed limit is the CHP going to give a rice rocket sporting numbers on the door? Fluorescent wheels are bad enough! I was once called a "professional speeder" after being stopped for 8 over the 55 limit as the officer pointed out my radar detector, wide tires (which at 225 are actually an optional stock size) and horsepower adding SCCA decal.

    I've always lamented not being able to make it to meetings to be more involved with the club, it's just not feasible with my schedule. I realize this club can't cater to the needs of one guy, that wouldn't be reasonable at all. I totally get it, and you can be the nice jerk all you want. I don't take it one bit personally. I'm just less than enthused with the idea of one of my favorite pastimes becoming even more difficult to participate in.

    My last point in my earlier post really had little to do with time though, and more to do with logistics. One lane for two driver cars and two or three lanes for the rest barely work with the current format. Think of the average grid area we use now and double it in width. I just didn't want that detail to be overlooked by enthusiastic event chairmen, that's all. Long grid lines affect all participants, not just us boondockers.

    edit: after rereading your post, Kurt, you have kind of combined my second and third concerns regarding things running late and how the grid would need to be laid out. I'd also like to mention that every once in a while it is nice to wake up happy with a clean car and perfect weather, something that is much easier to achieve when the race venue is 10, 20, 30 minutes drive from home, but is possible even from here.
    Last edited by yosemitemtb; 02-19-2017 at 12:28 PM.
    Jerry Kell
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  3. #13
    yosemitemtb's Avatar
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    I only voted no in regards to the proposed 8AM start time. I only have issues with that start time with the proposed format. I could live with it if it were adopted for the current 4 run group schedule, as I could live with the 2 run group format with the current 9AM start time. I would gripe about it, but I would adapt.
    Jerry Kell
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  4. #14

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    James Carothers

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    I'm going to be the odd out-of-towner that actually likes the idea of these changes, yes it means early starts. If an event runs later than expected, I still have good shot of getting home and getting my regular amount of sleep before work the next day. My attendance last season was less than stellar due to my work schedule not really meshing well with autox. This way means I can go to an event, hang out with everyone, and still be somewhat in control of my time. The consistency of the schedule will mean less people wondering if we are running a day where we are running 2 or 4 run groups and as an added benefit, potentially more workers for the course. I am not a morning person by any means, but if my reward for waking up early and making the long drive results in either not getting home late or more than 4 minutes of seat time, I'm all for it. I started autox with the Fresno chapter, and it's currently the 2nd longest distance I cover for events(Marina being the longest), but easily the smallest courses I will see all season long. I go to hang out with everyone as well as drive and is the chapter I'm the most active with. This method promotes consistency in start times, a greater ability to balance run groups in a timely manner, along with a huge potential for more seat time.

    I can see the issue it would play for those living in town who work on the same day of the event in the morning who would have been able to make the afternoon only, and now can no longer make it at all. I hope this effect will not cut down a noticeable amount of drivers, or hopefully any. As I said on Facebook, my only worry is that the event chair has the potential to get hosed on course cleanup and packing the trailer if anyone can sort of leave when they want after the competition portion of the day is over.
    James Carothers
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcarothers View Post
    If an event runs later than expected, I still have good shot of getting home and getting my regular amount of sleep before work the next day.. This way means I can go to an event, hang out with everyone, and still be somewhat in control of my time. The consistency of the schedule will mean.... potentially more workers for the course. I am not a morning person by any means, but if my reward for waking up early...results in either not getting home late or more than 4 minutes of seat time, I'm all for it. ... This method promotes consistency in start times, a greater ability to balance run groups in a timely manner, along with a huge potential for more seat time.

    I can see the issue it would play for those living in town who work on the same day of the event in the morning who would have been able to make the afternoon only, and now can no longer make it at all.

    +1 on all of that. I'm not sure there will be much of an affect on people that work the day-of, though. Most people work the whole day or don't. I don't know of anyone that get off late mornings and could only make the afternoon sessions (where there any?). If anything, this may work better for some because they can always run morning and make it work after. Some may be able to make it to more events if they knew it would wrap up early, at a specific time.
    Making the start time earlier is fine, but I think it's more important to start on time. When events run extra long and are unpredictable, it can be discouraging to do other events (for some).
    Also, I feel for the out-of-towners, but most (all?) events are scheduled around local preferences and it's up to us if we can/will make the them. If Fresno is closest to someone but now they can't make it, that really is unfortunate, however I understand that the Fresno chapter needs to make things better for the Fresno area.
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  6. #16
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    Ric Quinonez

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    So here's a different idea for running only two groups. What if we ran practice runs in the morning. This would make sure everything is
    working correctly by the time we start official runs in the afternoon. This would also help us to balance the run groups for event workers.
    Naturally we would run the course in the reverse direction from the morning runs. What do you think?
    "It you don't come walking back to the pits once in a while holding a steering wheel in your hands, you're not trying hard enough." - Mario Andretti

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  7. #17
    kaj's Avatar
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    Practice in the morning... verify timing system, etc is working well. Anyone not able to make it early in the morning misses the practice runs but still gets to run the normal event? Guarantees people will still be around to help clean up. hm...
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaj View Post
    Practice in the morning... verify timing system, etc is working well. Anyone not able to make it early in the morning misses the practice runs but still gets to run the normal event? Guarantees people will still be around to help clean up. hm...
    I like to read how people organise themself and I have to say that your proposition is perfect. People need to adpat themself of course but the idea of beeing able to run the morning and still join in the afternoon is great

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domsanracing View Post
    I like to read how people organise themself and I have to say that your proposition is perfect. People need to adpat themself of course but the idea of beeing able to run the morning and still join in the afternoon is great
    I think Ric may be onto something here. Sounds like a pretty cool idea. There's been enduro events on one day, then regular the next on the same course, but reversed. So it's been done with success.
    Some warm up time to shake out the cobwebs/butterflies would be nice.
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  10. #20
    2015 Secretary Jim3142's Avatar
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    Bump! We will be voting on this format on Wednesday!
    Jimmy Au-Yeung
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