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Old 29 Nov 2007, 21:26 (Ref:2078265)   #1
hometune
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Rise and decline of race series

Once again this winter we have new club racing series being proposed with predictable reactions from competitors and organisers. I have been thinking for a while about how many series have come and gone and there seems to be a recurring pattern.

A fledgling series is formed by club or individual and flourishes or flounders in itís first season depending on how happy the prospective competitors are once the racing starts.

If the series flourishes, over the next few seasons it gains championship status and attracts more entrants, some new, some from other series, all entering for their own reasons. These could be hope of success, wanting to be associated with a succesful series or even just the desire for close and clean competition.

The series will now be called succesful in.club racing. But by this point the problems will probably have already started. Those with eligible cars who want to compete will have joined. The cream will have risen to the top and those who only wanted success but havenít got it will begin to look elsewhere. If the standard of driving has been allowed to deteriorate others will leave. Unless new drivers can be persuaded to begin racing or existing racers be persuaded to get new cars a peak will have been reached. New series may have come along which are more attractive because they allow more or less modifications and therefore cheaper car running costs or lower lap times. As the number of competitors begins to drop bad driving may go un-punished as the organisers seek to keep those racing in their series. The series declines and amalgamates or dies.


Although very simplistic, this seems to apply to many series from the past. Everything from special saloons (70ís), Clubmans/ Sports 2000 etc (80ís) to Road saloons/ Mod prods (90,s).

Has it always got to be this way?
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Old 29 Nov 2007, 22:41 (Ref:2078315)   #2
Victor Meldrew
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Assuming what you say is true; do you have a view of a different scenario? After all, isn't there a natural lifecycle to these things? And times change, Series and Championships evolve.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 07:43 (Ref:2078495)   #3
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A natural lifecycle is one thing Meldrew (who are you by the way?) a deliberate hijack from within of a successful fledgling racing series is something entirely different especially as that series or organising club has done nothing wrong whatsoever just that someone could not get their own way on something so decided to take their ball away and try to stop the game however other balls can be bought as there are still players interested in the original game.

If Hometunes question is serious and not a windup Al (me) post then I will answer from my personal experiences with ModProds.

When we sat down with a blank sheet for the regs and Brian Sheridan's entrapereral zest for gaining sponsorship and getting publisity the championship (it was from day one a championship) kicked off very successfully. In mind at all times was a need to keep costs down but allow guys latitude to construct competitive cars that were fun to drive but within a set budget. That budget was indeed set with a buying plate.

Then unfortunately over the passage of time my original carefully prepared regulations slowly got hijacked and changed with naive people putting their oar in and not realising what difference an on the face of it, minor change could really effect the whole balance of the championship also the money boys crept in and campaigned (and got against my better judgement) the buying/selling plate rule dropped I mean who wants to risk an ex-BTTC Tourer or ex-Brock Tourer but the point is that’s not what this championship was about.

Another good example of this was freedom of wheel diameters which equated to massively oversized and unnecessary and expensive brakes (we were on list 1a tyres so these massive brakes were not worth the expense) also oversized tyres with Mk2 escorts turning up on massively wide 17/18" rims, it was starting to get silly. This and a series of other stupid railroaded decisions like letting in de-turboed Cossies (Cossies were not allowed in) and latterly after I left other things like Rose joints/Rod ends and allowing cars in like Evo M3's all stacked up to its eventual decline. Also organisations like Combe liked what we were doing after inviting us down there and virtually immediately started their own series Combe Saloons based on our regs to further water down the pool of drivers as did Lydden Hill. Local championships like this and DMN (not knocking them they are doing a great job for the racer who does not want to travel) now take their toll even more with petrol over £1 a litre and just getting to the circuit costing a fortune.

However saying all this the championship lasted what 15 years . I would personally call on the MSA to do its job and put a stop to this nonsense and give championships/series a chance to flourish before granting permissions for other start ups that are so similar to others already established.

Last edited by Al Weyman; 30 Nov 2007 at 07:51.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 09:13 (Ref:2078568)   #4
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Originally Posted by Victor Meldrew
Assuming what you say is true; do you have a view of a different scenario? After all, isn't there a natural lifecycle to these things? And times change, Series and Championships evolve.
I don't see anything changing. Other series have survived longer or peaked quicker but I suggest this is normally due to other external influences such as the ability to subsidise entry or running costs or promote the series heavily due to support from manufacturers or other interested parties.

There is a natural lifecycle because we are all human and all seek new experience. However, so much of this is counter productive and wasteful of organiser and competitor energies.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 09:19 (Ref:2078574)   #5
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Victor Meldrew said
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Originally Posted by Victor Meldrew
Assuming what you say is true; do you have a view of a different scenario? After all, isn't there a natural lifecycle to these things? And times change, Series and Championships evolve.
Hello Victor - Haven't seen you on 10/10ths until very recently. You clearly associated with promoting some new race series - welcome to the forum, care to intro yourself properly so we can congratulate you on what you are doing?

Chris
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 09:19 (Ref:2078575)   #6
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Originally Posted by Al Weyman
If Hometunes question is serious and not a windup Al (me) post then I will answer from my personal experiences with ModProds.
Not a wind up. Time and again on forums and before the internet in club meetings etc, those who are very close to a particular series argue it's case. I am no different.

Just thought we might discuss other series and if anyone thinks this cycle can be changed.

Last edited by hometune; 30 Nov 2007 at 09:22.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 09:54 (Ref:2078589)   #7
Al Weyman
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in that case I appologise for suggesting it Hometune and it is in fact an interesting question you have asked. A lot of it IMHO is in the psychy (spelling?) if race drivers as believe me they can be a very fickle bunch.

It is very easy to get disallousioned with some aspect of a championship and for that to spread like wildfire, what is in one year could be finished the next. Take any leading championship/series, its riding high but something could easy change maybe guys getting fed up with being blown into the weeds by a handful of front runners, anything. As racing is run generally by unpaid amatuers it can creep up on you then wham its too late to address as organisers are often last to hear paddock gossip and mumblings. Prehaps with the internet and boards like this what is going down can feed back and be addressed by organisers more readilly than in the old days.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 11:38 (Ref:2078648)   #8
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Examples of series that recovered from a slump -

Castle Combe GT's
Ford Mod Prods

It certainly can be done but takes a massive amount of effort to rejuvenate/relaunch. I think most people involved generally don't have the time or money to do it. In both those instances there was the desire and resources to ride through the 'rough patch', adapt the series to what people wanted and build it back up again.

Part of the problem is you have two often totally confilicting priorities. You want rule stability to keep people happy but you also need to adapt to changing trends and competition.

Mod Prods was a very good example. It got increasingly modified (and potentially more expensive) which meant fewer people could do it. However the people that were left were split between wanting to keep things as is and wanting to change things further. The end result was whatever you did, half the people were going to be dissappointed.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 14:22 (Ref:2078764)   #9
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I wonder if the people behind fast fords had changed. I've never had anything to do with them but you come across a lot of people in other series who raced with them at various times.

The idea of info finding it's way back to the organisers quicker than before may be the thing which changes this pattern of rise and decline.

Last edited by hometune; 30 Nov 2007 at 14:25.
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Old 30 Nov 2007, 20:01 (Ref:2078987)   #10
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too many series if you ask me,and more to the point too many series where the regs are so different so that racing in more than one series competitively is very difficult.
maybe if the series organisers had some way of having similar regs rather than one trying to keep cars away from another then maybe,just maybe drivers would be able to race in more than one series therefore having several healthy championships instead of 1 or 2 healthy and the rest struggling
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Old 1 Dec 2007, 18:36 (Ref:2079489)   #11
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R59 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridR59 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I said so many times in the past that championships should draw their rules from the Blue Book.
Production Saloons, Modified Saloons, Special Saloons
Production Sports, Modified Sports.

One make saloons or sports can draw their regs from the Production rules.

Makes it all simple. Simple to understand, simple to police, simple for people to jump from one series to another, etc...

But that's too easy isn't it.

Rob.
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Old 2 Dec 2007, 14:34 (Ref:2079940)   #12
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Well Rob, that's what the BARC south east are trying to do; Tin tops (for production saloon cars on "road" tyres) DMN (modified saloons) and sports/saloons (for space frames, special saloons, modsports).
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Old 2 Dec 2007, 14:42 (Ref:2079945)   #13
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Ever thought about splitting the later two into a separate race Rod?
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Old 2 Dec 2007, 15:53 (Ref:2079963)   #14
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graham bahr should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridgraham bahr should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
its often disgussed, ultimately entry sizes are the deciding factor
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Old 3 Dec 2007, 10:57 (Ref:2080555)   #15
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its often disgussed, ultimately entry sizes are the deciding factor
Separate class for modsports ! - ( giving my age away ) I remember propping up the fence at Druids watching full grids of modsports races - quite often with a Mr J Palmer driving a Marcos . Good racing, and midgets faster than they had any right to be - two exceptionally quick ones - one I believe was a mr Cutler - can't remember the other one. do any of the cars / drivers still exist ? What caused the decline - as I remeber, they had to be steel bodied, and therefore cheaper to develop that the special saloons of the day.
Did Barry Barnes ever run an Elan at Brands - I seem to remember an Elan running against the BMW works team at an international Brands race, and BMW getting all ****ty about it, as the elan was beating them - I believe they protested the thing and got it chucked out ( could be my memory playing tricks on me - ah pass me my carpet slippers ! )

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