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Old 01-14-2008
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Entry Speed Demon / Advanced Member (100+ Posts)
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 241
Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I'm for going back to the old group format.

I'm a mid-field champ group runner who has raced with Skip since the early '90s. Under the old system, where the fastest 10-15 drivers at the weekend were spread out over 4 or 5 groups, I generally had a least a prayer of making it to the podium on any given weekend, and if the stars really lined up, I might, just maybe, find my way to the top step.

With the new format, where ALL of the fastest drivers attending the weekend are in one group, I typically finish 7th to 10th, and if I have a really great race, I might make it up to 5th. The possibility of actually winning has pretty much gone out the window since the new format was instituted. This wouldn't be so bad, except that at the same weekends, there are sportman drivers turning in laps 2-4 seconds slower than mine who are getting trophies in their races. As JP said in a thread on the same topic last year, it seems like the trophies should go to the 15 fastest guys and gals showing up for a weekend, not to the three fastest drivers, and then to the 15th-21st fastest drivers.

Some sportman argue that they like the fact that they can win a race relatively early in their career, and that immediately getting thrown in with the sharks would be overwhelming. While this is understandable, such folks should also recognize that under the current system, they will eventually get promoted out of sportsman --probably within a year or two-- and that once this occurs THEY WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER PODIUM AGAIN . . . . unless they ultimately become very talented drivers indeed.

As it is, under the current format, I have adopted Dom Bastin's criteria for determining whether I had a good race or not: If I finish within 10 seconds of the championship winner (independent of my finishing position), I had a fabulous race. If I finish within 20 seconds of the championship winner, I've hit par for my talent level. If I'm more than 20 seconds behind, I drove poorly.

But somehow, when the folks back at the office ask me how my weekend went, they just don't understand when I tell them "really great, I finished 10th out of 15 drivers in my group, but was only 13 seconds off the lead at the end!!"

The bottom line is that the old format is much friendlier to loyal, long term customers who have made a sustained effort to maximize thier driving skills, but who don't quite have the outright talent of a Craig Durison, a Chirs Wilcox, or the whole contingent of karters that use the regional series to prepare for the following year's national championship.
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