Worker Shortage

Race working topics.

Postby missneava » Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:23 pm

I am interested in finding out why many of our F/C community do not travel to tracks outside their region. What would persuade you to say go to Hallet to work a race if you live in St Louis or what would persuade you to go to Memphis if you live in Des Moines?

We are getting to the point where it is dangerous (in my opinion) to race at some of the these tracks because we do not have even GCR adequate numbers of F/C workers. I need suggestions on how to get people to travel outside their region so we can continue racing at all of these great tracks we have in Midiv.
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Postby PKnese » Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:29 am

Well, I can say as a former F&C worker that it's just too expensive in time and money to travel to the other tracks to work for free.

I know it sounds bad, but the only time I do F&C any more, is when I get paid to do it. The BMW, Porsche and Ferrari clubs all pay their F&C workers, buy them lunch and usually give some sort of bonus item like a shirt, bag or chair. The money isn't much ($50 bucks a day), but at least it covers the cost of a hotel and gas...

Maybe if entry fees were increased 10-20 bucks to cover the cost of paying the workers, you would get a lot more response.

Just an idea...
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Postby Speed Raycer » Tue Jul 22, 2003 6:21 pm

Not having worked F&C yet, I would say that the cost of travel, and the actual traveling are the keys.

I would think that this very website would be a great tool to use to promote a network for carpooling to out of town tracks, sharing hotel rooms or campsites etc... If 3 members of this board from the same area that didn't know each other were thinking about working at a track, but none of them wanted to go down by themselves, imagine what would happen if one of them posted looking for others that wanted to work!

So.. maybe promoting the MiDiv Forum to everyone you can! :D
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Postby KelleyHux » Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:32 pm

Neava ...

As you know, Will and I work consistently everywhere except St. Louis and Memphis.

We'd love to go to more of their races, but St. Louis is 500 miles from Wichita, and Memphis is even further. Part of the issue is the overall distance. With limited vacation time (and money), it's much more economical for us to go to the closer tracks.

Another problem area is the racing schedule. This year's schedule was so "front-loaded" that there were simply too many races too close together. I fear the same thing is going to happen next year.

One thing we found which helped out tremendously on our expenses is those folks who graciously opened their homes to us as travelling workers. Several folks in Topeka have hosted us, as have a few in St. Louis. I think that's one part of our overall MiDiv program that we need to promote.

In shuffling things for the move, I found the survey we did about 10 years ago (1994) to all MiDiv workers about how to get them interested in travelling. If I can find it again when I start unpacking, I'll try to put some sort of a summary together.

Kelley Huxtable
Des Moines Valley Region
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Postby FrugalRacer » Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:56 pm

Hi everyone -

It's been a few years since I've worked F&C, but that won't stop me from giving my 2 cents...

For me, it was always the time involved that discouraged me from travelling to distant tracks. When I worked at HPT, I could drive over Friday evening and register, then get back home Sunday night at a decent time. For Hallett, I had to take a vacation day on Friday for the drive, and didn't get home until about midnight Sunday.

I'd be interested to hear where the driver base for these tracks comes from. Ideally, the regions supplying most of the drivers would supply most of the workers. I realize that different regions have different main interests. When I was in the Tennessee Valley Region, I think there were maybe 2 active F&C workers, maybe a dozen road racers, and the balance ( about 50? ) were autocrossers.

Would the local regions be able to provide incentives to get more of their own people out? Could they offer free Solo II entries to new workers? Say, a free entry for each of your days at the track in your first year as a worker ( can't phrase that right )? Advertise it at the autocrosses, and club racing could re-imburse the Solo side if anyone takes them up on the offer. You would be, in essence, paying the workers, but it wouldn't seem that way, at least to me.

Chris Kennedy
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Postby missneava » Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:08 pm

Thank for your input Chris. We do miss seeing you at Heartland.

Hallet get a lot of drivers from Texas, but no workers. They get most of their workers from Wichita and NE Okla not many from Oklahoma Region. I go to almost all their events because it's only about 5 hours for us.

Des Moines is a long way from Hallet and I do understand. Unfortunately, Hallet and Memphis are hurting the most for workers. Memphis hurts for entries too.

Come back we miss you.

Neava
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Postby Speed Raycer » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:33 pm

This may be a little off tangent, and might be just a really dumb idea. Also, take into account that I have no idea about the behind the scenes workings of the SCCA ;)

Would it be possible to start some kind of system that drivers who worked could get a percentage off of race entry fees?
Say, (for the mathmatically challenged, ie... me) 10% off for working their "home" track, 20% off for working other regions tracks? That way, it gives drivers even more incentive to work (which we should all do), and a greater incentive to work races away from their region.

So... if the drivers home track is Gateway, and he worked one weekend there, then Topeka, then Hallett and then wanted to race the next event at Gateway, he'd get a bonus of half price racing. Would it be that huge of a headache for the registrars? Would it mess with the "books"?

I guess if everyone built up a bunch of % points and then used them all at the same event, that could hurt a regions totals for the weekend. Maybe a max. % discount? Say 50%. OR ... maybe it only count's at the track that it was earned at?
(the 10%/20% figures were only used to make it easy on the brain ;) )
Any thoughts?
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Postby RaveMotorsports » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:05 am

I am New to the whole SCCA thing so take this for what it's worth. I like the idea of recruiting workers from Solo II. I live in Salina which I am sure everybody is aware has a strong Solo history and contingency. I have made the journey to both Hallet and Heartland Park to watch and learn and also to crew for Bill and Lisa Noble. The great thing for us in Salina is the relatively short driving distance to three tracks. I had already been to 2 or 3 races before I even joined SCCA. When I went to my first Solo II event here in Salina I was amazed how few people had attended a road race.

All that said , I am not sure I have a real answer it just seems like the Solo II people would provide a pool of workers that have been around cars, and love racing.
Up to this point I haven't gotten involved in the working at the race because I am not sure what qualifications are nessecary and wanted to get a general feel for what goes on. I can say that I would be happy to try and recruit workers from our region to help and if ,some how, some way, it can be arranged to link working to Solo entry fees it would only make the task easier. Hopefully next year I will be in the postion to be driving a Bill Noble Vee and as I travel to races I"ll see if I can bring some workers along.

Bill Gray
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Postby Jack Kish » Tue Sep 30, 2003 2:40 pm

Just one question ..... for everyone:
Which do you think has the most impact on workers not attending events?
1. Too far to travel w/o using vacation time.
2. The money
3. Too many races to choose from.
<span style='color:purple'><span style='font-family:Courier'><b>Jack Kish</b></span></span>
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Postby RaveMotorsports » Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:59 pm

Jack -

I guess my first consideration is my time. Between my responsibilities to my business and keeping my wife smiling I have to plan my time carefully. Being New to the SCCA I also just want to make sure I know whats going on before I volunteer to do things. Is there some sort of certification or training I should take in the off season to prepare myself to help in the future?

Bill Gray
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Postby CGerber » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:46 pm

Neava,

First, I want to say that we (Jan & I) have a difficult time getting too far from home with Jan's work schedule. He only gets so many Saturday's off in a year. I have a feeling there are some others out there who may have to work certain weekends during the month, so that may limit their decision as to which tracks to go to and which weekends to have off.

I also have to agree with Kelley about all of the events weighted so heavily in the early part of the year. That did add to the difficulty of getting the time we needed off work. We are also very much involved in the rest of our Region's activities (especially solo II). This adds to the frustration of figuring out which races we are going to go to for either driving or working.

We would love to be able to make it to Hallett more often, if at all, but that would mean taking Friday/Monday off since it is a 9 hour drive from Omaha. I would also like to try to make it to Memphis sometime, but I haven't even calculated how long of a drive that would be.

I would like to share an idea that the Nebraska Region drivers have done in the past. (We should try to get back to this). The race officials from Nebraska would only have to call one of the drivers to get a ride, and usually a place to stay (floor of the motel room). That was the way we tried to get more workers to events. The idea really did work, when we were implementing it. But since we have a track in our own neck of the woods now, I think that the idea has all but disappeared. :(
<span style='color:purple'><b><span style='font-family:Arial'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Candy Gerber</span></span></b><br><span style='font-family:Arial'></span><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Nebraska Region<br>Chief of T&S - MAM</span></span>
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Postby chuck schultz » Sun Jan 18, 2004 8:54 am

:ph34r: Excuse me for butting in from Alabama, but here's my take as a relatively new volunteer staff member at SCCA events.

I started working races in 2002, in sound control, primarily, at Road Atlanta, Carolina Motorsports Park, and Roebling Road in anticipation of the scheduled opening of Barber Motorsports Park in 2003. Since the Park opened, I've continued working a few events out of town, but not as many, due to the need for folks to stand in corners in Birmingham for non-SCCA events.

In 2004, my schedule looks even more local in nature, with me being likely to work nearly a dozen weekends at Barber, including at least three 4-day weekends. This doesn't leave me a lot of weekends remaining where I can afford to opt out of working overtime on my real job to go play in Atlanta, Kershaw, or Savannah.

As for getting autocrossers to work corners, I worked my first event in 2001 (a Solo I) in exchange for a lunch and a free autocross entry. I worked my second event (another Solo I) in exchange for a half-dozen lunchtime parade laps around Talladega Superspeedway. After that, I was hooked, and even worked a couple track days for free, that year.

I enjoy just hanging around with fast cars almost as much as running in an event. Most autocrossers are really looking to be in the driver's seat, though. I think with the packed autox schedule in this part of the country, most of the folks here would rather participate while driving instead of watching, and can.

Another factor that may figure in is that some Solo II folks figure they're being asked to work races for free so that the rich guys who can afford real race cars don't have to pay an entry fee equal to the full value of their weekend experience.

OK, enough rants. What might actually be an incentive?

1. Free room and lunches. Almost has to happen, these days.

2. Free Solo II entry for each day worked, double on Fridays. :)

3. Worker parade laps. Watch 'em literally run to their cars when they are released from their stations for lunch! Then, good luck getting them to come in and actually eat. B)

4. Swag, but it'd better be good! :D Don't give me a free T-shirt with just your region's logo on it, no matter how nice it is. At least make it unique to the event, so people don't think I'm from your region the next time I show up at a track. :blink:

Related links: <a href='http://www.alscca.org' target='_blank'>http://www.alscca.org</a>
<a href='http://www.barbermotorsports.com' target='_blank'>http://www.barbermotorsports.com</a>
<a href='http://www.barbermuseum.org/' target='_blank'>http://www.barbermuseum.org/</a>
<a href='http://www.roadatlanta.com' target='_blank'>http://www.roadatlanta.com</a>
<a href='http://www.carolinamotorsportspark.com/' target='_blank'>http://www.carolinamotorsportspark.com/</a>
<a href='http://www.roeblingroad.com/' target='_blank'>http://www.roeblingroad.com/</a>
<a href='http://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/' target='_blank'>http://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/</a>
---------------------------<br>Chuck Schultz <a href='mailto:n2pua4@peoplepc.com'>n2pua4@peoplepc.com</a>
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Postby missneava » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:35 pm

Thanks Chuck. This is an open forum so you're not butting in.

We do most of the things you suggest except the room. We do try to find people places to stay in other workers home however. They don't seem to work here. But we will keep plugging away.
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Postby kgrammer » Sat Feb 14, 2004 5:24 pm

Chuck!!!

WSUP!?!

It's good to hear from someone from home! I'm also glad that the Solo I and Talladega events helped get you hooked. The Talledega Super Solo still ranks up there as one of the highlights of my term as RE.

Tell everyone I said hello and we hope to make it down to Birmingham soon. I think we will try to schedule a "vacation" arond a race weekend so we can visit the new track.

Talk to you soon.
Ken Grammer<br>USERA, Inc.<br>ken@usenduro.com<br>www.usenduro.com
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