"Enter TWO events on SVRA's 2019 calendar by midnight October 31st and receive a Free Test Day!"

RSRShamrock

New member
Saw this posted on the VSCDA group on FB, thought it might make for an interesting discussion:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/128530150496033/

In a nutshell, there seems to be arguments on both sides (for and against) this strategy. There's a ton of comments, but here's a couple that stand out:

Well who doesn’t love VSCDA but that being said I couldn’t race after my surgery and went to Indy for the SVRA race as a spectator and WOW what a show they put on. I’d love to race Indy SVRA at some point but it is pricey but it’s also IMS which is a bucket list.

VSCDA is a club. A place for vintage racing enthusiasts to enjoy the classic race cars. SVRA is a for profit business. It's about selling tickets to spectators, to whom they can then pitch SVRA's sponsors. Vintage there has been relegated to a small portion of the "show". It gets the scraps from all their other programs. The V no longer stands for Vintage, but rather for Variety.

Would be interesting to hear the opinions of some of the veteran racers here...
 

TopGearTech

VRO Principal
Staff member
RSRShamrock, Thanks for posting and welcome to VRO! I checked out the post you mentioned and would like to add this interesting comment: (I'm not taking sides)

We've just found VSCDA, VRG & CSRG to be more vintage racer focused. We did SVRA at Watkins Glen this fall. Vintage small & medium bore definitely took a back seat to current IGT, current TransAm, recently obsoleted race cars, big bore & even touring laps. They messed up the starting order & shortened the feature race for Minis. But at least we still got 6 laps. Group 8 shows as 2 laps, but only half a lap was under green! They were behind schedule due to several groups of touring laps, some of which had cars break down & require tows. And the current day pro series had to run on time & full length. So vintage got shorted. A Group 8 Alfa racer told us he'd been shorted like that the last 3 years in a row & was done with SVRA. Likely the reason they are now having to look for ways to lure people back.
 

terryreid

New member
RSRShamrock, Thanks for posting and welcome to VRO! I checked out the post you mentioned and would like to add this interesting comment: (I'm not taking sides)

We've just found VSCDA, VRG & CSRG to be more vintage racer focused. We did SVRA at Watkins Glen this fall. Vintage small & medium bore definitely took a back seat to current IGT, current TransAm, recently obsoleted race cars, big bore & even touring laps. They messed up the starting order & shortened the feature race for Minis. But at least we still got 6 laps. Group 8 shows as 2 laps, but only half a lap was under green! They were behind schedule due to several groups of touring laps, some of which had cars break down & require tows. And the current day pro series had to run on time & full length. So vintage got shorted. A Group 8 Alfa racer told us he'd been shorted like that the last 3 years in a row & was done with SVRA. Likely the reason they are now having to look for ways to lure people back.
There is no question that the organizations you mention are more vintage racer focused. I did a spreadsheet last night on 2018 race times for SVRA. Race 1 and Race 2 averaged 15.2 minutes each (1% of a 24 hour day) and averaged 4 BS cars in race 1 and 3 B-Sedan cars in race 2. I am unwilling to spend five or six days of my time sitting around for a 15 min race on Sat and Sun not to mention the expenses and logistics.

Hopefully SVRA can do something to make it better or those numbers will most likely go down or away entirely. It is sad because they run some of the best tracks but with low car counts and barely enough track time to call it a race it does not make any sense anymore. I wish them well but it appears their priorities lie elsewhere which is fine for them but sad for traditional Vintage racers.
 
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tabsracer

Crazy about Datsuns
Hey Terry, interesting information you posted.
SVRA did the B sedan championship at COTA a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure how many car groups SVRA had in the old days? Maybe you can do some research on that?
But simple math tells us, that more car groups mean less track time. It’s not even about the amount of cars per group, its about how many groups can be fit into 1 day. As soon as there is 1 incident in a group, track time disappears at a rapid rate. There is no way to stretch a 8 or 10 hour day beyond 8 or 10 hours! Lol
 

terryreid

New member
I do not see how SVRA can expect people to continue racing with them or attract new racers without more track time. Regardless of how desirable the tracks are, they need to combine more groups and provide more track time than others to compensate for the long trips and far higher costs to participate.

SVRA believes that four to five day events plus two days of travel time it the right formula but there are only a limited number of racers who are able to or willing to do that on a long term basis. I think they could have three premier events say CoTA out west, Indy and the Glen and make them but shorten the others but not sure how others feel about this. For a newbie or first time visit the longer events are neat but then not so nice after the initial visit.

I would rather see their events be three day events Friday, Sat and Sunday with lower entry fees hotel rooms and forego BBQ's, fireworks or aging bands from the seventies. I want to be so tired from driving that all I want to do it get a beer with some buddies grab a bite to eat and hit the rack. For those of us who know the track, we could show up on Friday afternoon and do our race weekend like all the rest of the series do.
 

kabover

New member
I do not see how SVRA can expect people to continue racing with them or attract new racers without more track time. Regardless of how desirable the tracks are, they need to combine more groups and provide more track time than others to compensate for the long trips and far higher costs to participate.

SVRA believes that four to five day events plus two days of travel time it the right formula but there are only a limited number of racers who are able to or willing to do that on a long term basis. I think they could have three premier events say CoTA out west, Indy and the Glen and make them but shorten the others but not sure how others feel about this. For a newbie or first time visit the longer events are neat but then not so nice after the initial visit.

I would rather see their events be three day events Friday, Sat and Sunday with lower entry fees hotel rooms and forego BBQ's, fireworks or aging bands from the seventies. I want to be so tired from driving that all I want to do it get a beer with some buddies grab a bite to eat and hit the rack. For those of us who know the track, we could show up on Friday afternoon and do our race weekend like all the rest of the series do.
SVRA events are 3 days. One practice and one qualify on Friday, one qualify and one race on Saturday, one race on Sunday. Same format for years. If you want to pay extra, Thursday is a practice day that has 4 sessions for everyone. This format has been in effect for many years now. If you don't like it, don't go. If you do, go. You know what you're getting when you register. Just my $0.02.

john f
 

terryreid

New member
SVRA events are 3 days. One practice and one qualify on Friday, one qualify and one race on Saturday, one race on Sunday. Same format for years. If you want to pay extra, Thursday is a practice day that has 4 sessions for everyone. This format has been in effect for many years now. If you don't like it, don't go. If you do, go. You know what you're getting when you register. Just my $0.02.

john f
If you want to find a parking spot that is not where the spectators park and you have to place orange cones out so you still have a spot when you come off the track you better show up on Wed. Most people that drive half way across the country do the test day on Thursday so they have a better chance of running well especially if they have not been to the track before. Add two days for travel and you have six days out of your life not counting the better part of two days for prep. It is a huge time commitment, far more than the Sat Sun Events the are in your local areas was what I was referring to. For someone like myself to justify that kind of commitment 15 min races are not the answer. We need 30 min races and if more groups need to be combined so be it. I am not bashing SVRA I like SVRA but I cannot devote that kind of time and money for so little track time. Hopefully they will find a solution I would like to run a couple events with them but they also need sufficient car counts so there is some racing going on also and in my glass group 8 B-Sedan that hasn't been the case. Other classes might be better I do not follow the other classes.
 
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terryreid

New member
I have had more than a couple of conversations with Tony and he keeps repeating Terry we are devoting 30 min for each session which they do. I like Tony and respect him but he does not want to hear about only having 15 min average race times. I said don't shoot the messenger the race times are right on your web site and the combined average for Sat Race 1 and Sun Race 2 over the last three years is 15.2 minutes.

They can devote two hours per session but if it only translates into 15 min of green flag racing they are 15 min races end of story. I will not load up my car and drive across town in my home town and unload it again for a 15 minute race. It is simple math they need to dedicate 45 minutes per session and end up with 30 min of green flag race times. I say 30 min and told Tony that they need to provide more track time not less than the events back home because of all the extra expenses, time and distances associated with attending their races.

When I told him and Kathy that it cost *$7,500 to go to the Glen or CoTA they could not believe it, they are simply out of touch with the racers experience. I said for that kind of money I'm going to New York for five days or a week long cruise and my bang for the buck in terms of fun is off the charts in comparison. I guarantee my girlfriend is going to have a much better time like about a hundred fold.

After our conversations he sent an email out out blaming group 8 for reckless driving at two events (I think he missed a few others) which affected track time but it demonstrates that he does not want to accept the fact that their track time is very poor. He was right, they do have more wrecks than any other series I run with. At Indy a few years back in the Enduro it was laughable there were so many cars banged up against the wall at almost every corner in one of my races I was shaking my head and talking to myself it was so bad. It is a more monied crowd and you can fill in the blanks.

Hopefully their new President will decide what they want SVRA to be and no matter what that is they have to cut the number of run groups to improve track time. Unfortunately I fear that the 2.0L and under cars might be the ones that go as their business model is about sponsorship money, ad revenue, ticket sales and lastly entry fees. Slow cars do not generate the revenue that faster more exciting cars do so it is pretty simple to predict where this might be heading.

*I fly to places over five or six hundred miles away so two plane tickets, pay my mech and his wife to haul the rig out for a week, two hotels, meals, gas, flights, race prep, entry fees it adds up real quick. I do not eat at McDonalds or stay at Motel 6 either and its every bit of $7,500 probably more.

Even with (2) practice, (2) Q, (2) races and the Enduro (2.5 hours total ) its $3,000 an hour. Sadly with the speed discrepancies in Vintage Racing only about one out of three races are are you "racing" anyone to begin with which is a total waste of time when that occurs and you wish you stayed home. Sooner or later it registers and you do stay home and race elsewhere.
 
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tabsracer

Crazy about Datsuns
Terry very interesting!
Very good point. You can allot a certain amount of time but if the reality is very little track time people will decide with their checkbooks.
I think I have said this before, but you can only fit so many race groups into a race day. Add in a oil down issue or wreck and the time evaporates quickly. I noticed that Indy Group 8 had maybe 25 cars? Group 8 at Road America has 50 plus. That shows that car counts are down in that group at that event.
Cheers,
Steve
 

terryreid

New member
Terry very interesting!
Very good point. You can allot a certain amount of time but if the reality is very little track time people will decide with their checkbooks.
I think I have said this before, but you can only fit so many race groups into a race day. Add in a oil down issue or wreck and the time evaporates quickly. I noticed that Indy Group 8 had maybe 25 cars? Group 8 at Road America has 50 plus. That shows that car counts are down in that group at that event.
Cheers,
Steve
Not sure where you came up with 50 plus at Road America their time sheets for group 8 only show 18 cars at practice 1 and 2 and Indy had 20 and less for races obviously.

Group 8 has already appeared to have voted, with the exception of Laguna Seca and the Brickyard where Troy bought a bevy of Datsun's, SVRA has averaged 1.6 B-Sedan cars in Race 1 and 1.25 B-Sedan cars in Race 2 for 2019.

Average Race 1 and Race 2 time combined is 15.06 min per race.

It is a lot of money, time and effort for 30 minutes of race time and unless you were at Laguna or Indy you are not racing any other B-Sedan cars. I like racing against other cars like 911's Alfa Spider's or BMW's etc. but when you only have three to four total (besides Laguna Seca and the Brickyard) your lucky if you have one other car to race with and they are not in your class.

Bottom line is it ain't happening and and is not going to happen until there is track time and other cars in your class showing up for their races. Question is why would other cars start showing up all of a sudden they have already decided it is not worth it.

Frankly as much as I hate to say this they probably should concentrate on fewer groups and more track time for the more monied crowd with faster more exciting cars. Those are the cars that bring in the sponsors and advertising dollars so at least keep those guys coming or they will lose on all fronts. I do not want to see this happen but they probably need to drop 2.5L and under cars and give the rest of the run groups 30 minute races. Maybe they can build those numbers and more importantly keep the ones they already have because sooner or later even those guys will tire of driving across the country and devoting the time and money for fifteen minute races.
 
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miatatude

Vintage Curious
You can't add more hours to the day so fewer groups is the obvious solution. Car classification could be based on qualifying times and/or groups with fewer cars could be merged together but that might mess with their esthetics. The other option could be to have multiple race groups race together based on car type or date of manufacture but vast speed differentials could be problematic. Perhaps a greater emphases on safety with harsh penalties or fines for those involved in incidents that disrupt track time. What is the total cost of the event per hour, per minute? track rental, paid safety workers, all the racers entry fees, all ticket sales? stopping the race for 20 minutes might get pretty expensive. not large enough you say? add transportation and lodging. If crashes are the disruption, sooner or later the organization and its members must choose to figure how to fix the problem or risk the clubs future. There are ways to make it work but first management must acknowledge the problem and seek a viable solution. That or just get rid of the poors by raising the entrance fee to the point only those with interesting and exclusive cars can afford to race.
 

tabsracer

Crazy about Datsuns
Not sure where you came up with 50 plus at Road America their time sheets for group 8 only show 18 cars at practice 1 and 2 and Indy had 20 and less for races obviously.

Group 8 has already appeared to have voted, with the exception of Laguna Seca and the Brickyard where Troy bought a bevy of Datsun's, SVRA has averaged 1.6 B-Sedan cars in Race 1 and 1.25 B-Sedan cars in Race 2 for 2019.

Average Race 1 and Race 2 time combined is 15.06 min per race.

It is a lot of money, time and effort for 30 minutes of race time and unless you were at Laguna or Indy you are not racing any other B-Sedan cars. I like racing against other cars like 911's Alfa Spider's or BMW's etc. but when you only have three to four total (besides Laguna Seca and the Brickyard) your lucky if you have one other car to race with and they are not in your class.

Bottom line is it ain't happening and and is not going to happen until there is track time and other cars in your class showing up for their races. Question is why would other cars start showing up all of a sudden they have already decided it is not worth it.

Frankly as much as I hate to say this they probably should concentrate on fewer groups and more track time for the more monied crowd with faster more exciting cars. Those are the cars that bring in the sponsors and advertising dollars so at least keep those guys coming or they will lose on all fronts. I do not want to see this happen but they probably need to drop 2.5L and under cars and give the rest of the run groups 30 minute races. Maybe they can build those numbers and more importantly keep the ones they already have because sooner or later even those guys will tire of driving across the country and devoting the time and money for fifteen minute races.
Terry,
50 at Road America ELVF in September. Not all B sedans but 50 cars. They only had 23 car or so all in their group.
Steve
 

terryreid

New member
Steve, you say "They only had 23 car or so all in their group".
Who is they? You have already confused everyone talking about car counts at VSCDA and last year at that when the thread is about SVRA in 2019. How is anybody supposed to have any idea what you are talking about?
 
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