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View Poll Results: What Skip Barber Race Series format would you like to see in '08
The current two group system. (Championship & Sportsman) 11 26.83%
The old one group system. (One Championship for all) 30 73.17%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-13-2008
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Changing SBRS Groups

I was talking with some of the staff and management at SBRS and they were talking about the pros and cons of the current race group format (Championship group and Sportsman group) and whether or not it would be more beneficial to go back to the “old format” of run groups.fficeffice" />

To give a little history to those that don’t know, the current run grouping was created about 4 seasons ago. The consensus from us drivers was that we wanted to race “our buddy(s)” at every weekend. So with a little help Todd, Kelly and staff created three run groups, Championship, Expert and Sportsman. The goal was that the fast guys would race in the Championship group, Mid-speed drivers would race in the Expert group and the new or “speed challenged” drivers would race in the Sportsman group. This way everyone would be racing other drivers of equal speed, would have more fun and more people would get on the podium and get a trophy.

The problem that occurred that first season was that there wasn’t enough drivers to “fill the field” in each of the three classes, so they abandoned the Expert group and we ended up with just Championship and Sportsman, each competing for their own title and trophies. The next season(s) the problem was that as the season progressed, none of the Sportsman drivers wanted to move up to the faster Championship group (even though they were clearly fast enough) because they wanted to win the Sportsman Title and crown. This created a small Championship group and multiple large Sportsman groups. So this last season they eliminated the Sportsman Title and trophy and if (or when) a Sportsman driver proved to be fast enough they were moved to the Championship group. This was a plus in that it did help fill the Championship groups and also allowed for a driver to continue their learning curve of getting faster and improving their race craft, at least on the surface. It also allowed the driver to score more points and finish higher in the overall standings. Unfortunately (and the case no matter what format is used) the system doesn’t work for everybody and there is a relatively large group of people that really don’t fit in the Sportsman or Championship group. Also it is a pretty big logistical nightmare for those back in the office to arrange the groups so that it is fair, etc.

So my thought, or suggestion, is why not just go back to the old format? It seems like it worked for the majority?

To explain to those that weren’t around or don’t remember the old format here it is;
Everyone signed up for the weekend is equally split in to groups so that each group consists of 4-5 fast drivers, 4-5 mid-speed drivers and 4-5 new/speed challenged drivers. This way everyone had several other drivers of similar speed to race against and everyone competed in just one Championship (there was still a race within a race for the master drivers). As the season progressed, the series staff would make sure to mix the groups up so that over the course of the season, everybody raced everybody at least once if not twice. At the finale weekend typically the top 15-20 in points were in one group and battled it out for the final points standing and the trophies, glory, bragging rights, etc.

So what does everybody think?
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

The old system already occurs anytime we run a memorial race, and those are always a lot of fun. It always seems that there is somebody else of comparable speed somewhere in the mix, and the drivers who are relatively equal tend to find each other eventually. As long as there is some assurance that a really fast or slow driver will not end up in a group with no one else of similar speed, then maybe the old system is a good idea. (A race that feels like a lapping day is not much fun.)

There is one practical issue, especially given the recent discussion of shorter races. A slower driver will be more likely to lose a lap or two from the prescribed race distance in a race with faster drivers than in a purely slower group (i.e., most Sportsman races). To the extent that race distance matters, and if there is a concern about doing everything possible to attract and retain new drivers, there could be some beginners who feel discouraged by being in a field with really fast drivers and by losing laps from being lapped.

That last point is of more importance to slower drivers, so here is one for the faster drivers. More than a few fast drivers have commented on how they feel safer and less likely to suffer crash damage when they are in a group of experienced faster drivers. Mixing the groups completely will increase the likelihood of a fast driver running up on a new driver who is still coming to grips with speed and the art of being passed.

Having said all of this, I would not be opposed to going back to what you outlined as the old system.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Go back to the old system.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I never raced under the old system so I am not sure which system is better. I spend most of my time in the middle of the sportsman pack and I usually find some one to race if I don't screw up. I did notice a reluctance on the part of the guys winning sportsman races to move up but most eventually did. I do not blame them. If I ever start getting regular wins or podiums in sportsman I suspect I will need a firm nudge (like with a very large hammer) to move me up. One way to even out the groups is to move the fast sportsman guys up to even out the grids on a weekend by weekend basis. Run qualifiers with sportsman and champ groups but if the champs are too few then pull the needed number of sportsman up to fill out the champ grid. But use some judgement looking at time sheets etc. Eg. Don't pull the fastest sportsman driver up by himself just to fill out one grid spot in champ. Make sure that guy has some company in his race with roughly close lap times.
Eg. 5 guys in champ at RA running 2:34s 16 cars in sports fastest is 2:36 but there are 4 guys in the 2:36s. Then pull all four of those guys up. But if there are 10 champs with slowest at 2:34 and 14 in sports but the pole sitter is all by himself at 2:33 with number two at 2:36 then move the sports pole sitter up alone. He'll have more company in champ. But if there are four guys in sports at 2:37 at the front move them together or not at all. If the numbers in champ are 5 vs 15 sports move all four but if its 9 champ and 12 sports leave the four guys at the front of sports alone. Problems with this are predictable especially if conditions are different between the practice groups. It is also a problem if you cannot plan your weekend knowing what group you are in or worse if you are running a double and all these groupings are changed at the end of the day. There is enough sitting around at the track waiting. I don't think this would do any thing but make that worse.

So Skippy is left having to predict who will be how fast before each weekend. That is hard. If it weren't we would not need to run the races. I guess they should continue to reserve the right to move folks around on an ad hoc basis if there is a marked imbalance in group sizes. But if that happens let's get the moves made early in or before the weekend so people can plan their weekends. I guess the sportsman guys running doubles (are there many of those?) would either have to be moved up in all their races or none. And of course if people get moved around cars have to be reassigned.

I never really bought the idea of "you will learn more running with the fast guys" argument that was held out in the old system. The best way I will ever learn from Revere is from watching videos of him or getting tips from him in the hospitality area. I think the overriding principle should be to try to keep drivers in closely matched groups. Where the lines get drawn between groups should be determined by what the instructors know about the times/abilities of the drivers and the numbers of entrants. This should ultimately overide what the drivers believe about their place in the running order. Unfortunately, not every one is going to be happy with where they get put and this could make for some unhappy customers.

I have seen large sportsman numbers get divided into regular and seat time sportsman with the later usually running a bit slower than the former. But because all were self declared sportsman no one noticed or complained about how the groups were divided. Why should the line between sportsman and champ carry any more weight? I guess what I am suggesting is that the drivers get no say as to the group they run in. Let them state a preference but let it be clear that there are no guarantees as to where you will be put on a given weekend. The quicker sportsman racers may be pole in sportsman in July and near the back of champ in August but back to sportsman in Sept depending on the numbers and quality of the entrants on the different weekends. Of course, this will not be a problem for me where I sit but the faster sportsman guys might feel differently.






















My question for those of you who have raced in both eras is whether I might expect to learn more if I was running with a few champ drivers. My guess is that I would not. They would just go off and disappear befor I learned all that much. I do like knowing the guys in the cars around me. I had lots of fun in some intense dices with guys trusted not to be stupid. Then again there were other guys I watched very carefully.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I for one am all for having race groups with closely matched competitors. I would rather see us have 3 classes with the Expert group returning.

It could easily be set up like a ladder system where qualifying and/or previous race results determining where the cuts are made in order to make up three groups. With mandatory grouping based on real results there would be no need for drivers to elect where they want to race. A simple formula of breaking the groups up into thirds could apply at any weekend.

Having made the jump this past season to Champ I spent much of my time doing seat time after the leaders left me. I would agree with the previous posts on 2 counts ; One,that driving with the fastest drivers does not always equate to getting faster or better. I would say I have made more progress when I was dicing with near equal competitiors with pressure being exerted for much of the race as oppossed to trying to keep step with a much faster group of leaders, who once out of range, offered no schooling to me. Second, racing in mixed groups with unskilled drivers can create more room for crashing opportunities that we could all use less of.

Since our series is school based we should get back to schooling the drivers regardless of abilities. Having three classes would give us all an opportunity to grow with other drivers of equal abilities and have a blast while doing it. The price of the series is getting to the point of no return if we dont make it a good experience for drivers of all levels.

My 2 cents...
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Dick said it well - go back to the old system for its many advantages proven over the years.

With the old system, it could take years to move up to the podium - it sure took years for Revere and me - but every step up had learning opportunities at the right level just ahead, and a sense of real accomplishment rather than an artificial victory in a group with less challenge.

At the last weekend when the points leaders are clustered in one group, sportsman-like groups occur with new winners.

Oldie but goodie method.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2008
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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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  #8  
Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

This is a really tough call, but I'm glad you brought it up, Matt.

I like the simplicity of the old system and the idea that it rewards those who "stick it out" and hone their skills over the long term. On the other hand, I've really enjoyed seeing close racing in Sportsman, and the joy sportsmen/women experience at winning a race or finishing on the podium. That's cool.

For some, "winning" is what keeps them motivated and in the race series. For me, it was always to turn my quickest lap ever, even when I was getting lapped (!) at RA back in the Formula Ford days. But that's not a value judgment; it's merely a reflection of the observation that there is a raw distribution of preferences in the Skip Barber driver pool.

Probably the best way to resolve this question is with a vote, even if it might only have minimal bearing on management's decision about groups. Doug, is it possible to set up a poll on grouping preferences?
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I've added a poll with two options and left out the 3rd option of going back to a 3-group system because, (correct me if I'm wrong Todd or Randy) current enrollment wouldn't support it. (Sorry Chris).

When enrollment's down competition suffers no matter what group format you're using. It's like arranging 25 chairs around a table for 75. You can move the chairs around creatively but you'll never get the more satisfying dynamic of having a full table. In almost all cases large race groups produce better racing.

Never drove the old system but sportsman let me experience my increase in speed and race craft more dramatically. My budget never allowed an entire series season but having the possibility of winning a couple of races and making the podium a few times in my 3rd year of competition was a big motivator. Only got to the podium once last year in Champ group but learned a lot from the higher level of competition so the argument can be made both ways.

I suspect the old system may have been a faster breeder of pure racers while the current system coddles beginners a bit more. Long time instructors and racers would be a better judge than I. What do you guys think?
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Please view my earlier post in the thread titled "To Sportsman or not to sportsman?" in this forum. It's thread number 41.
I'm a lousy typist, please don't make me do it again!
It offers the point of view of eliminating the different classes and proposes a simple system of achieving parity across all the groups on any given week-end. It's really not as complicated as it may first appear.
It will also make life easier for the staff responsible for assigning drivers to each group.
The only thing I would add to it is keeping the newbies in their own group until they develope a reasonable degree of car control, speed, and most important, situational awareness.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Andrew,

You can copy and paste the address of your old post like this... Andrew's post #41 on this link using the "Insert Link" button. (The icon is a small blue globe with a link in front of it)
Or you can hit the "quote" button from your post and copy & paste the entire quote into your post like this...

Neither method requires retyping your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
Having a sportsman and champion groups just confuses the issue.
The problem is grouping the drivers such that some parity is achieved throughout several groups.
I agree with Sid (Suprise!) that you race against whoever shows up.
It's difficult to have parity among the different groups, each driving under changing conditions.

I think something like the following can be developed to serve that purpose. It will require some iteration to mature.
At the beginning of each session, while the drivers are getting in their cars, the test drivers set a lap time as a bench mark for that group. Each drivers fastest lap run in the race is then compared to the bench mark and the ratio computed.
That ratio becomes that driver's 'ranking' for placement in the subsequent race week-end in which he/she registers.

The rankings are used to assign the drivers to the groups according
to the number of groups to be run, i.e. for five groups, the first five drivers in the ranking are assigned, one each to one of the five groups, followed by the next five in the ranking and so on.

This will allow some parity in each group with a mix of fast drivers who can compete with each other, although in different groups, while at the same time allow slower drivers to have someone in their group to race with. It also affords the 'next' slowest driver to key off a slightly faster driver in order to learn from him.

The process will be repeated each race week-end and the ranking re-computed. The only time the rankings wouldn't change would be if the track conditions change dramatically between the pace setter's hot lap and the actual race, such as a sudden downpour.

If you seriously want to compete up front, you'll need to do what ever is necessary,(lose weight, buy more seat time, lead follow, computer car etc.) If you're just in it for the fun ( as most of us are)
you can still enjoy yoursef, perhaps even more, as the grouping should be better balanced with some drivers around you with speeds close to your own.

The trophys won will have more meaning and the points standing at the end of the season with better reflect how you're doing overall.
If you only run a partial season, well, you're just in it for the fun anyway, right?

The different regional series, when combined, can be grouped separately, or scored separately (a race within a race) to permit larger groups.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

there is a slicker way to link to an old post........
  • find old post
  • click on post # - opens new window with post but not thread
  • in upper right corner of new window find the "Thread....." link and click on it (or right-click and 'copy shortcut')
  • copy that URL and use it as the post link. This method takes reader to the post with the full thread available
Example using Andrew's post
.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

oh yeah - old system please. This has been talked to death - it was better, your lap times improve more quickly, anyone can podium, anything can happen, rain always helps
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

We humbly bow to the thread master...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdh View Post
there is a slicker way to link to an old post........
  • find old post
  • click on post # - opens new window with post but not thread
  • in upper right corner of new window find the "Thread....." link and click on it (or right-click and 'copy shortcut')
  • copy that URL and use it as the post link. This method takes reader to the post with the full thread available
Example using Andrew's post
.
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Last edited by cdh; 01-14-2008 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo View Post
....Only got to the podium once last year in Champ group but learned a lot from the higher level of competition so the argument can be made both ways....
Pat, you saw podium 2x last year, Masters win at VIR and P2 at LRP.

Last time I say this, my first season (old system, one group) I had a P3 at LRP, rain made it possible. It was not my driving skills, it was patience, last lap P3 went off in Uphill, I tiptoed by for the podium, IT CAN HAPPEN even to noobs.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Not suggesting it wasn't an honor to get that Masters win but finished P5 over 8 seconds behind Jordan Taylor and Jim Craige (Jim is now a Master too, thank you very much. :-) and 13 seconds behind the leaders Kyle and Gabby. I wasn't anywhere near the podium in that group. Big fun trying though. (Even more fun was the P3 phantom podium for the memorial behind Gabby and Duke in Tremblant... Now THAT was FUN!)

It's a very different feeling when you rise up through a group of peers and go from being near dfl to knowing you can probably podium and possibly win against anyone in that group. Great confidence builder. For someone my age that's rarified air. Having lived the dream I can now take my proper place among the ranks of the half-fast and be humbled by younger or more experienced and talented drivers without wondering what it feels like to compete up front and win a race. There's always the next level of craft to challenge you as a driver but I wouldn't trade those experiences in sportsman for anything.

My final word is that I think most probably prefer whatever system they were brought up with because that was their standard of measure at the time.

So many experienced racers and instructors speak highly of the old grouping system, but whatever system is used, we'll have the most fun if it's fully subscribed. (And that goes to issues out of our control like marketing, price and customer service) I know the instructors do everything they can to give the customer a good experience. We can only wonder what the thinking is regarding those other issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdh View Post
Pat, you saw podium 2x last year, Masters win at VIR and P2 at LRP.

Last time I say this, my first season (old system, one group) I had a P3 at LRP, rain made it possible. It was not my driving skills, it was patience, last lap P3 went off in Uphill, I tiptoed by for the podium, IT CAN HAPPEN even to noobs.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo View Post
Not suggesting it wasn't an honor to get that Masters win but finished P5 over 8 seconds behind Jordan Taylor and Jim Craige (Jim is now a Master too, thank you very much. :-) and 13 seconds behind the leaders Kyle and Gabby. I wasn't anywhere near the podium in that group.
Please return trophy to:

SBRS
Lakeville, CT



A podium is a podium - as you sternly reminded me a while back....
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

OK you win Doug. I'll take my own stern reminder and keep the trophy... Though those new plate trophies would ship cleanly in a jiffy bag.
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Having done 10 race weekends between 1999 & 2004 I have experienced both systems. With a limited budget my seat time has been spread too thin to get a podium.
I've finally scrapped together enough cash to hopefully do the whole 08 Eastern series.
So this is a tough choice because on one hand I would dearly love to podium but on the other hand I know I would value a podium (or a win) in the old system much more.
All that being said I would vote for the old system.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I vote for the old system for the simple reason that the Champ groups are just too small. I think you also lose some of the camraderie that makes the Skip experience so great. There are a lot of Sportsmen that I don't know at all even though I've been racing for enough seasons to have experienced both systems. I preferred it when we were all in it together. And the old system certainly does reward the mid-pack champ racer who has been loyal to the series.
It certainly can be tough for the first few races. I remember my goal in the beginning was not to be lapped. Then it was to have a lap time less than two seconds off the leader (at LRP), etc. No one forgets the first time they are in fourth place and they watch the third place guy crash out (for me I watched the second and third place guys come together at the bus stop at Watkins Glen and got a second place as my first podium).
Here's a suggestion to make it a little easier for the first time racers: Have a separate group for those who are in their first two or three races, whichever management thinks makes the most sense logistically. Guys with prior experience from other series or karting would be exempt. Then on to trying to keep up with the guys who have been racing for a while.
The old format made the finale weekend especially fun. The top 15 guys got to go at it for the finale, which was great fun. And when I wasn't one of those guys, the rest of us got to race in a group without those fast guys.
And I do think you learn more by being in with faster guys. It's not so much from watching them in a corner and learning their line. Everyone knows the line. It's realizing that you can go a whole lot faster. We are all going as fast as we think we can--otherwise we would be going faster. It's realizing that there is a ton of time to be made if you could just get the car more balanced in the turn. Being passed or lapped brings that home more directly than seeing the champ groups' time sheets.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Wow, I am still stuck on Captain Craige as a Master!!!??? What is this world coming to? Or should I say going to?
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

For you and I it's usually going to mean one place farther down the masters charts.

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Originally Posted by LimeRockRacer View Post
Wow, I am still stuck on Captain Craige as a Master!!!??? What is this world coming to? Or should I say going to?
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I am doing what the pro wrestlers/ boxers do once they get the title....retire so no one else can have a piece of your success! No matter how limited!
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Old 01-14-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Old system. Sportsman drivers who dominate in their first race usually want to keep dominating, thus they no longer have to push themselves and stop learning. With the old system, there are groups within the group, plus you are always compared to the front runners.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Raced in old system years ago and current system, wasn't around when the change was made and never understood why...yes i heard the reasons but in real life those that benefited were the minority.

Honestly my own experience in Midwest this past season was not positive the final two weekends when I went to champ. Call me whatever you want but I found minimal enjoyment fighting for the last 3-4 positions in a race or qualy and little confidence I would ever reach the podium again, for me it was much less fun and eroded my confidence. Secondly I am/was unwilling to spend the $$$ I felt was required for enough seat time to even get to mid pack. Maybe at 61 my objectives are different than others but I did skippy for fun and for me that includes being competitive and potentially winning. At the same time I personally would not want to go back to sportsman groups just to win, because i do believe under the current system that is also unfair..old system just worked.

Anyway I hope the powers to be can look back objectively on the trade offs of the changes. What effect has that had on decisions to race or not, it becomes another reason on the list to maybe push the vote to no! Who are the best long term customers of SBRS consistently and who is effected most moving from sports-champ...what part of the customer base???

Anyway I'm not racing SBRS anymore and for the record the above is not the major reason but it certainly had a direct influence on my decision. In the future if i do SBRS again the group structure, especially if doing a full season will certainly be of significance.

donv
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Old System with less run groups.

I would shrink the number of run groups down to a level that gets 20 or more cars per race. That would be a blast. If it takes 2 or 3 run groups, so be it. I think we only get the numbers to work if we are able to populate the groups with a mix of skill levels.

In addition, less run groups would allow us to have more Memorial races which are still the best races of the weekend in my humble opinion.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Similar to comments made by Revere, I have learned to measure my satisfaction against personal improvement, not just absolute finishing position. As a 40+ yr old with 2 years of experience, it is not likely that I can beat a 95 lb. fearless kart phenom or Revere with his 15 years of practice, so I don't torture myself over it. That being said, the kids make great "rabbits" and chasing them has forced me to refine my skills and I am much faster for it. I'll go with whatever arrangement offers the biggest opportunity to improve.

The move to Champ group for me this past year was very valuable. My highest finish was P5, but that was much more satisfying than any podium from my rookie year in Sportsman.

It is also more fun running against people you have befriended in the paddock than strangers. SFE Racing was born in a bar, not pitlane.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Awesome responses so far. Keep them coming!
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

AGAIN AND HOPEFULLY FOR THE LAST TIME....THE OLD WAY IS THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN.

FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT WANT A SPECIAL GROUP TO WIN A PODIUM FINISH

THROPHY'S ARE CHEAP BUY THEM AND GO PLAY GOLF
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Old 01-15-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Last season I raced in two race weekends. The first at The Glen and the second at Lime Rock in the fall. At the Glen I had 2 second place finishes. I was thrilled.
Reality hit at Lime Rock in the fall. Even though my lap times were better each session, I still spent time watching my mirrors for the young guns as they came around to lap me. My immediate reaction was disappointment at my performance and the realization that I was just plain SLOW.
On the ride home I really came to realize that I was having a real blast learning this skill. I also realized that Chip Ganassi was not watching me from the top of the hill, hoping I would be the next hot shoe for his Grand Am ride. I was out there learning a new skill and having a blast at it.
I must say it is hard to drive as hard as I can and still finish mid pack, wondering where I'm losing speed to those young guys. But I will keep coming to learn more.
I do know the real reason I am slow. Those extra 50 pounds I carry as a weight penalty are taking their toll. I shaved my beard in an attempt to lighten up and this year I will only race at tracks with no elevation changes so the little guys can't pull by me on the uphill sections. I may be old and slow but I will use cunning and tretchery to gain an advantage.
I am all for larger fields, longer races and less crash damage. Having never raced under the old system, I guess I'll say the present system gets my vote. Even though I have to leave my fate in the hands of the instructors as they make up the fields.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Question Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Interesting stuff

If the change was made to one group, is there anyone who would cancel their SBRS plans and not run without the Sportsman option?
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  #32  
Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

There arew a great many persons who are in this middle that are not represented here. SBRS should do a poll of the regulars directly that are current participants and those who dropped off recently to see what their opinions are.
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Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

How about podium positions and trophy's for the top 5 postions? This way more people can get the Hardware to take home.
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Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

How about a trophy for everyone.and no racing.

we could cut the cost of racing in half.have dinner with our friend's
feed our ego with trophy's we really didn't earn .
and impress
our friend's and family back home.

THE POINT BEING THAT IT IS BETTER TO RACE WITH THE BIG DOG'S AND BE 5TH THAN RACE WITH THE NEW GUY'S (FOR WANT OF A BETTER DESCRIPTION).

OR WE COULD ALL GO TO THE LOCAL SCHOOL AND BEAT UP THE YOUNG KID'S THAT YOU CANT OR WONT TRY TO BEAT ON THE TRACK

Now i know you all get my sarcasim and some are probably offended by it

to bad

one question before i close

if any F1 driver showed up at the track to run with us who wouldnt want to be in his group who wouldnt want to say i race with a F1 guy

as usual i say stop whineeeeing

love you all
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Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Thanks Sid.
Please put me in the Fast Championship group.......And while you are at it ......Take out one of the injectors on my car........ I really don't care.....JUST SO LONG AS I'M RACING WITH MY FRIENDS...
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  #36  
Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

GEORGE your trophy is being sent buy common carrier today.

you will need a forklift to unload.

thanks for your check we will send you a picture of the car you would have raced

trophy girls will call to schedule pics
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Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

None of this is addresses MY problem. Like the nice guy that I am, I agreed to follow my "friends" into Champ group this year so I could race with "people I know" and what happened? After sandbagging for a while, those ungrateful characters decided to get faster. I haven't gotten to "race with my friends" for MONTHS. What about MY feelings???

I think we get enough trophies. I scratched out the "teenth" on my thirteenth place one for midwest series and added a "d", I hope that's okay.

Seriously, Sportsman class helps a lot of people stick with it. The present modifications seem to be moving drivers up. I never ran the previous format but can see advantages in that as well. I wouldn't mind trying it. Whatever you do, some of us are going to be unhappy. You instructors are dedicated and experienced and you care about this. I'll run in whatever group you decide-- sliding an open wheel car flat out over the bumps of Sebring is the coolest thing I've ever done.......but then, no one's offered me a race drive in a C6.R yet.

IMHO, how you make the groups is not a big deal. The larger issue is that Skippy management needs to do some SERIOUS marketing, create real incentives for current customers to stay with the series, and get driver numbers back up. If I stop racing Skip, it won't be because of what group I got put in.

Don-- what's this about not racing any more?? You had really gotten consistent for a while there. I enjoyed hanging out with you at the track. Hopefully the bug will come back.

Sid-- please don't send any girls up here. It's too frickin cold. Takes forever to undress them. And under all those layers you never know what you're getting until it's too late. However I am available for any deep-sea trolling on your appropriately stocked yacht like you see in all those F1 pics.
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  #38  
Old 01-16-2008
TurningLT4Sponsor TurningLT4Sponsor is offline
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I am new to the group and Skippy, but very interested as the check writer. As a development series one object is to get quality seat time which is both cost effective and competing with drivers of higher skill level. The old format as described seems a better way to help with the skill level and keeps those who just want to run this series as a hobby with good competition.

Harsha is right. Cost has to be addressed. Skippy needs to reward repeat customers. i.e. after three race weekends, the fourth is 20% off across the board. If the price approaches the cost of owning your own car, why rent?
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  #39  
Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

to echo others and add a bit more:

Go one group, run fewer race groups with larger fields, that means more seat time/laps in all sessions and races are possible. Might be able to have qualis for both races, should do it.

More seat time is one good way to market SB, also gives some value to the price increase with a minimal increase in cost/session. Hell, ya got the show there all ready to go, with more time available per session (fewer groups) give us a few more laps. Customers like that kind of thing you know, throw us a damn bone will ya?

Keep prices the same as last year. The price increase could cost you drivers/revenue. You are losing not only the rich guys (which is to be expected), you are losing your core, and they all seem to be racing Miatas, and non-Skip Miatas at that!!

Nice to hear from you Sid, we'll take the babes, now stfu..........XXOO
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Last edited by cdh; 01-17-2008 at 10:02 AM.
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  #40  
Old 01-16-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I think if your racing strictly for Hardware, you are missing the point of Skip Barber. It is a developmental series! I have been around over 10 yrs, and I prefer the old system, got to race with great drivers and meet great people (Except for Sid!). It is about the racing experience.

Hey, If I happen to win a champ group race or any race, it would me more to me to have my competitors by me a shot of Jag at Sebkiens,(Harsha my need 6) than any goofy plate or trophy.


Get with it. We're big boys now !!

Ron
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  #41  
Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

To continue with my message above, One of the the best races I had was under the old system and it was loaded with a star studed field including Ryan Hunter Reay(?) and Rafel Matos, Duerson, Hazmat and the rest of the crew.
I was in 6th place and catching Rafel. Needless to say I was excited at the chance to actually beat this great driver. I was catching him out of the kink at RA and passed him inrto Canada. Needless to say I was A "Happy Boy". It was the white Flag lap, and he repassed me going into the the kink sideways. After the race I went up to congratulate him on a good battle and in his broken English at the time Kept saying "Key out, Key out". I had no idea what he was talking about untill Stevie De came over and we figured out that his key kept falling out of the inignition and his car kept shutting off. He had to drive with one hand holding the key the whole race and when shifting he had to put his knee on the steering wheel to shift. That race gave me real insight into my driving abilities!! Can't even beat a guy one handed. I would have never had this experience if we had divided groups at the time. I probably would have been on the podium in a Sportsmen group, thinking I was good. That race showed me how good I really was. Losing is part of winning. Show me a guy how has never lost and I'll show you a guy who has never worked.

oh well
back to work
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Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

thanks ron you get it.
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  #43  
Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

The best thing Revere and I did with Raphael was to drive a car he'd been assigned and was told he had to drive after he complained it was loose. Revere and I concluded he was a wizard to keep it between the fences, and in our more-or-less intelligible English, lobbied for tightening the car up. Raphael was very appreciative and won the race, going away, as he should have done.

I finished a distant second to Raphael in a Mt. Tremblant memorial in one of my best races. To follow him from Namerow through turns 1 - 3 was nearly metaphysical. I was flat, he was somehow flatter.

Running with people better than we are steepens the learning curve which is something we all can appreciate.
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  #44  
Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

The way things are going we will have just one big group per weekend. Sid will only get to yell and belittle one group per weekend.

Harsha, be careful when Sid offers to send women....they tend to look like him in drag...

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  #45  
Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeRockRacer View Post
Harsha, be careful when Sid offers to send women....they tend to look like him in drag...

Do you have personal experience in this department?
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  #46  
Old 01-17-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I would say go back to the old system. I have never raced with it, but having heard so much about it, there are many more 'up's' than 'down's'.
I think for the Sportsman drivers, they are still learning and the only way to learn, is to drive with the more experienced drivers. This way, they can learn more about the race craft, as well as the basic driving skills. The Sportsman drivers will find themselves pushing themselves to improve, so they can compete with the more experienced guys, thus, competing for podium positions (this is the only reason to have a Sportsman, to have more people go home with trophies). There is no reason for them to stay in the Sportsman category if they are just driving away from the field; rather have a few people of all speeds in the race, so a battle can be found anywhere in the field. Each weekend you can be racing with new people, and by the end of the season, you know how quick everybody is, so you can compare yourself to the best. Each race, you can learn new things from new drivers. Maybe there is a guy you haven't raced with yet, but want to, so you can see how they work the draft to find himself in the front by the end. Or a guy who can brake unbelievably late, but once you get behind him, you find that he brakes so late that he carry's way too much speed in, then loses it all in the exit. So instead of watching the more experienced guys, and trying to learn from it, do it on track. Like a free lead-follow...
With the old system, there can be big groups; instead of having 5 groups of 12 cars; there could be 3 groups of 20. This would make for much better/exciting racing for both the drivers and the spectators.
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  #47  
Old 01-18-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

After reading all this I don't think it much matters. All I want is a few folks to run with. Sounds like the old system will do that as well if not better than the current one. As Sid says if it's trophies you want there are cheaper ways to get them.
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  #48  
Old 01-18-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Ted, What happens at the track, stays at the track....
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  #49  
Old 01-19-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

I wonder if the Championship guys would want to race with a bunch of rank beginners again with all of our unusual driving mistakes and weird cornering lines
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Old 01-19-2008
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Re: Changing SBRS Groups

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEORGE View Post
I wonder if the Championship guys would want to race with a bunch of rank beginners again with all of our unusual driving mistakes and weird cornering lines
George,
Trust me, there's plenty of unusual driving and weird cornering in Championship!
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