Midiv Solo Series -- What's It's Future?

Solo Performance Specialities/R&S Racing Solo Series related stuff.

Midiv Solo Series -- What's It's Future?

Postby Racin Time » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:32 am

It appears that the MIdiv Solo Series is dying. This series offered competiters a chance to run against other competiters outside their region. In years past there would be 150 or more competiters show up at these events. What's happening? The KS Region hosted event #2 with only 80 drivers participating. The weekend before KC Region hosted an Regional event and had just over a 100 drivers. It's sad that a regional event draws more drivers than a divisional event. I'm also disappointed to find Regions hosting events on a Divisional weekend.

Do we want to let the Midiv Solo Series die or what do we need to do to save the series?

This is being discussed on the Mo/Kan forum here is that link.

http://mokanmotorsports.com/forums/view ... 7&start=50

Frank Wietharn
KS Region RE
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Postby Racin Time » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:36 pm

One thing that would help the Midiv Solo Series, don't allow other Regions to host a regional event on a Midiv Solo event weekend.
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Postby JoeTas » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:46 am

Racin Time wrote:One thing that would help the Midiv Solo Series, don't allow other Regions to host a regional event on a Midiv Solo event weekend.


I agree with Frank, and when scheduling our 2013 Kansas City events, we plan to be mindful of the MiDiv weekends.
Joe Tasler - RE
Kansas City Region
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Postby JoeTas » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:46 pm

Scott Peterson has read all of the e-mails and has provided his thoughts about the MiDiv Solo Series.


Joe,

I read all of the posts. Thanks for sharing.

My thoughts:

In order for the Midiv Solo Series to survive and succeed it must draw in a consistent set of participants that are interested in travelling to all (or most) of the events in pursuit of a points Championship. In order for this to happen there has to be the perception/reality that a Midiv Solo Series event offers the competitor event attributes that they can't get locally. This could be a better venue, better competition and or better social interactions (parties). So the question is do these events offer something worth the the travel time and expense?

That said this question cannot be addressed without considering the current economy or the price of a gallon of gas. These are real issues and are not a crutch. The fact is that travel costs have a huge effect on what a weekend costs the competitor. To the extent that if a driver can have an good Solo experience at home they will not be likely to spend more (sometimes allot more) to go out of town for a great Solo experience.

From personal experience I can tell you that is a sobering experience when you have to use two credit cards at a gas station because you need to buy more than $100 dollars worth of gas. With $3.00+ a gallon gas this is a reality for anyone that tows a racecar. It really takes the fun out of a road trip.

My recomendation would be to suspend the series and move to a single Divisional Championship event at Lincoln Air Park. Running last years National's course on the Nationals pavement would be a huge draw. It hits on all of the attributes I mentioned earlier.

Barring this, the Lincoln Air Park must be the end of season anchor event for a three event series. Not including Lincoln makes no sense.


Scott Peterson
Super Touring Under (STU) #17
Joe Tasler - RE
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Postby Racin Time » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:17 pm

The following is email discussion that took place between 7/12/12 through 7/17/12

Now I can delete all these emails and discussion isn't lost.

--- On Thu, 7/12/12, Frank Wietharn wrote

Midwest Division RE's:
It appears that the MIdiv Solo Series is dying. This series offered competiters a chance to run against other competiters outside their region. In years past there would be 150 or more competiters show up at these events. What's happening? This past weekend the KS Region hosted event #2 with only 80 drivers. The weekend before KC Region hosted an Regional event and had just over a 100 drivers. It's sad that a regional event draws more drivers that a divisional event. As Chair for event #2 and RE of the KS Region I was disappointed to find that DesMoines, St. Louis, and Wichita Regions all hosted regional events on Sunday July 8th.
My question to the RE's, do we want to let the Midiv Solo Series die or what do we need to do to save the series?
Frank Wietharn
KS Region RE
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Frank, you bringing up what I imagine is an interesting thought. Looking from the outside inward (as I have not been personally involved in scheduling Solo events or MIDIV Solo events) I can only offer my own observations:
1. I was with SCCA for over 5 years before I knew what MIDIV even was. I never hear of it untiI was elected RE. I had no idea there was a SCCA division that held their own races, separate form my region. I never saw or heard about any Divisional Solo events, they are not on our calendar, so they do not exist. Hmmm... there would be a great way to promote it- tell people when and where it will be held a few weeks before it happens and get it on everyone's REGIONAL calendar, but I don't remember ever getting anything to promote or tell our members about it coming up. I wonder if it was on each Region's calendar each month, some might not schedule an event on top of it, unless we do not have any divisional Solo racers, (I assume we might have a couple at best). 2. Unless someone takes point and promotes each and every event with each and every region in a timely period, I would suggest that attendance by regions who are clueless and not involved and interested in Divisional racing will be poor.
3. I would really like to see Divisional racing work, but if each region does not hold one or two each, then I would expect low participation. Participation must be promoted, encouraged, and we must encourage it if it is to work.
4. I know DMVR has hit new all time records on our Solo event participation, but the guys in charge really work hard to promote it, too! Not sure how this helps you, though.
NOTE: I will point out I have not done one Solo Racing in the last three years (worked waivers for last two years instead and got burned out some for now); and have never ever raced a divisional or national Solo or rally event. My comments may therefor be a poor example if you are looking for feedback from those that go instead of those that do not go. Of course, if you want to find out why people do not go, you might ask those who don't go like me, to find out ...
In my own case, I am working 65-70 hours a week at my real job right now, so I don't have much time for fun to start with, but that will change, hopefully in the future! Then I might start racing Solo again, and might even get involved in Divisional Racing!
Good luck on your info gathering, I hope you get some good comments and feedback to help you! You are going to the effort to ask, and hopefully we can get some great thoughts from the wise ones here who care!!!
Best wishes for a better success!
Racer Dan
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I'll try to give my 2cents.
I had heard from a couple people from the regions that conflicted with the KS divisional, that they had their schedules laid out before the Midiv had theirs. Of course, that's just hear say. So lets assume that they did. Obviously they didn't respect the Midiv series enough to change, or they didn't think that the conflict would negatively effect their event enough to make a difference. Both could be true. So how do we better that for next year? Get our schedules out earlier? Ask the regions for a little more cooperation? Don't know.
As for how we as a division could improve. I feel that we very poorly marketed the Lincoln National Tour as a Divisional. I think there was a lot of confusion among the membership. I also feel that the Topeka Divisional wasn't marketed much better. I guess I could take some of the blame for that. I used to be the Divisional PR and Marketing guy. I publicly resigned from that position some 5ys ago or so. I tried to recruit to fill that position, but failed. Not only did I no longer have the time to do the marketing....but I didn't even have the time to find someone else to do it. So I made peace with it, by saying to myself...if someone (the DSS or Midiv Committee) found enough value in what I was doing...they'd find someone to replace me. Or maybe they thought this job should lie with the Event Chairs to this for their own event. And to honest, as the past marketing person, that seems like that would be the easier and more efficient way to get the job done. The most frustrating thing about the job for me, was trying to get the information that I needed, from the event chairs, to do my job.
Is the lack of marketing really killing our series?...I doubt it, at least not by itself. There are many other factors that can also come into play. The economy, gas prices, time away from work and family, cost vs reward, and probably many other things. We as a club fight for everyone's disposable income. To do so, we have to make sure we are offering a top quality product for their entertainment dollar. Event sites are getting so expensive and entries are declining due to the things mentioned above, that we are starting to offer less of a quality product than we used to in the past. We started having the Saturday night banquets outside to save on the banquet hall expense. Then at this Topeka event, we went away from a banquet all together. I understand why, but I also feel like its a very slippery slope down the road of providing less to our customer.
So all that said...I don't have the fix. But I too have a lot of respect for what the series use to be, and I'd hate to see it go away.
Greg Reno.
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As I see it, the MiDiv series needs to become a destination again in order to be successful. I know that is where the sponsors want it to go. How to get there is the question.
As mentioned in your e-mail to the RE’s, three Regions held events in opposition to the Topeka event. In the past, that likely would not have happened. In my discussions with Donna as I was assuming the DSS position, she indicated that several regions did not even want to discuss hosting a MiDiv and basically said don’t bother. I can see where a region with a small solo program would be hesitant to commit to hosting a MiDiv but ruling it out right off the bat would seem to be somewhat irresponsible. Since attendance at a Divisional is no longer a requirement to attend Nationals, we can’t piggyback off of Nats to build attendance. I wonder if offering another activity would bring people in, maybe something like a Gymkhanna or gimmick rally with a decent prize for the top finishers in addition to the Solo event. I’m trying to get feedback from the MiDiv committee but response has been tepid. I’m trying my best to generate some interest here locally, especially with the newer drivers. It is sad when the combined regional events in May drew more people than the MiDiv
Al Hermans
2012 Midwest Division DSS
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First off, attached is a simple flyer for the MIDIV Event #3 at Salina. I'm not very good at PR, so feel free to help me promote it! Registration is now open. We chose to have a first class banquet. The fact that our site is free makes that decision easier, but we did briefly consider charging a lower price instead of the banquet.

1. The decision by the national office that eliminates attending a Divisional event to "qualify" for nationals may have some effect on Divisional attendance.
2. I think attendance has been declining for several years, due to the economy, gas prices, and all the issues already mentioned. Salina/Wichita events haven't had very good turnouts in a number of years. Granted, Salina is farther for most MIDIV folks. I personally used to attend most of the Divisional events, but can't do that for several reasons this year.
3. Salina and Wichita cooperated in setting a schedule so we don't walk on each other. That process was complete quite a while before the MIDIV schedule was set. When Salina was approached for a MIDIV date, we offered dates that were already planned as Regional events, so we wouldn't walk on other Regions in our area. It would certainly help if the MIDIV schedule were determined earlier.
4. I believe there is a real need for marketing the MIDIV Series in each of our Regions. I don't feel qualified to go into this further, but the only way I know the MIDIV Series dates is because they are listed in our newsletter. When I started autocrossing, I immediately started attending Divisionals, because friends invited me. Maybe that is an area we could all do better - personally inviting our Regional participants!
5. I have to admit that the Salina Region hasn't been well represented at Lincoln or Topeka. I hope our Region is well represented at the Salina Event. We have a number of new folks, so we'll see if we can get them to step up!

I also remember better days in the MIDIV Series, when attendance was much higher. There was even contingency money - how long ago was that? We may never get back where we were, but I would certainly hate to lose the Series!
Bill Dayton
Salina RE
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My 2c is this -- if we never get a MiDiv schedule out until after the first of the year, we are always going to run into conflicts with Regional events. I've been saying for years that we need to have our MiDiv series schedule in place by September, which is when MiDiv puts its race schedule together. And please don't give me that "solo ain't racing" crap. Fact is, there is a division-wide calendar created for divisional events and even though the calendar is primarily road racing our series is a series of divisional events. The Solo series WILL be included on the MiDiv schedule if we have the dates in place and the MiDiv scheduling rep is informed. It always has been when we were heads-up enough to let him know.
Armed with that knowledge, not only will Regions schedule around the MiDiv events, but even RACES will schedule around the events. How do I know this? Because in the past when we have been able to put the Divisional Solo Series on the schedule, races HAVE been scheduled to avoid conflicts. We should be soliciting 2013 hosts NOW and try to have at least a tentative schedule set before Nationals.
If that happens, also, people become aware of the series and some may actually plan on going to the events. SCCA folks tend to plan a season based on scheduled events. I knew in February or March every trip I'd make through 2012 (not many this year because things are very tight for me financially at the moment). Once that's set, then I make all my hotel reservations for the year (I made my reservation for Nationals in March, and that's actually late for me). Okay, not everyone is as OCD as I am about such things, but the point is people won't plan to come to your event if we don't tell them, and if we don't tell them until the season has just about started they can't plan. So they don't come.
I am really surprised when someone like "Racer Dan" (Harrington) says he'd never heard of MiDiv or Divisional Solos when he's in a region that includes the likes of Greg Scharnberg, Brian Goodner, Colan Arnold, Ron Ver Mulm and Ray Yergler, and which in its day has conducted several MiDiv Solo Series events at sites including Ankeny and Oskaloosa, but it seems to illustrate that we do a crappy job of letting people know the series even exists.
BTW, I'll add another pet peeve -- newsletters, or rather, the lack of them. Salina Region still sends out newsletters for one primary reason: it informs people about things of which they otherwise do not know. They won't go to a website for information if they have no clue there is something to look for. Stick the information in their hand (mailbox) and they are informed about those things they have no clue about. Websites are passive, newsletters are active. In this day and age you need both to do a good job of communicating. Sadly, most of MiDiv's regions have abandoned the printed word. As a result, their members are less informed.
--Rocky Entriken
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Hi all,
I have a couple of random comments/thoughts........
1. Our OMR Regional SOLO event attendance is also down significantly this year. Times are hard, real hard. Unemployment and underemployment high, cost of food and energy inflating, and consumer confidence low. Divisional participants incur travel cost. I know of past series participants who are tightening their belts by just buying one set of tires this year, and then using those up at local events.
2. While 80 is low, was the 150 number mentioned ever a common expectation? I thought 120 used to be a big Divisional event. Is the Divisional event downturn bigger than that seen with Regional SOLO and Divisional Road Racing?

3. While it is good to ask the REs, and yes I can confirm that we all care about Divisional SOLO, the Executive Committee has little to no input or responsibility for Divisional SOLO. Divisional SOLO is run by a whole separate hierarchy that interacts very little with the Exec Com or REs in Regions not hosting Divisional events. I am not complaining as my impression is that the MiDiv SOLO group does a first rate job of including non RE leaders, from my Region, with specific Divisional SOLO interest, in their processes. Just questioning if the original question is ask of the right group or if all the relevant parties are included in this discussion.
Thanks for asking!
Curtis Wood
OMR SCCA RE
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will add something about scheduling that has an effect on MiDivs and that is the National Tour and Pro Solo schedules. Just as with Regional scheduling not trying to step on Divisional scheduling, Divisional scheduling should try not to step on national scheduling for events that are within 600 miles or so of the center of the Division. Without knowing what the National schedule is, we run the risk of doubling up on one or more weekends. Unless the National event is in Lincoln, there would be little effect on Divisional attendance but it is still impolite to step on that toe. This is how things were explained to me, anyway.
Regarding the MiDiv SOLO group, there are several who have informed me that they will be stepping away from solo participation for a while and thus would not be participating in planning or discussion about next season or issues developing this season. I will need help from the RE’s of those regions to find replacements, if someone has not already been found. I will try to get with the individual RE’s when I have a few minutes.
If any region is interested in hosting a Divisional event next year please let me know and we can start a list of possibilities and try to plan ahead to the greatest extent possible. One thing that some regions are doing to boost attendance is to count their Divisional as a Regional and score points separately towards their Regional year end championship. This may be worth considering if you are trying to justify the extra effort in hosting a Divisional.
Please continue to share your thoughts as I would like to keep the series going and growing.
Thanks,
Al Hermans
2012 Midwest Division DSS
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I personally don't think Midiv Solo is dying. I think that the hard economic times the last few years we have impacted not only Solo but every facet of our SCCA racing. Here in St Louis our program seems to be making good headway. We have had a good season so far with weather being the only thing that seems to have had an effect on it. Our SAC Comittee has dedicated itself to improving its events and making the program more user friendly. Thier goal to increase the amount of seat time as well as to provide better service to our members seems to be paying off. They have a great team of people and they all work toward making our events as good as it gets. I have sent a copy of your email to Jan Rick as she is the chairperson for SAC. Jan and the comittee might be able to give you some ideas or advice on what they are doing to keep our participation and interest levels up for 2012.
Cesare
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Cesare sent me this email thread – I find it interesting and disheartening at the same time.
Interesting because the Divisional solo program has gone down the tubes almost exactly like the club racing program is heading and the discussions for solutions seems the same – blame the economy, blame newsletters, etc.
I don’t have a clue how to fix club racing, but I know exactly how to fix the divisional solo program:
Drop all series events. Re-instate Divisional Championship event in Lincoln on previous years courses, in August. Set schedule for this in September of previous year. Use divisional resources to help build this back to its former glory. Over time, dabble with a SELECT FEW series events.
No matter how good of a job a region does on an event, people won’t spend money to travel to an event with no competition and 60 cars total.
The economy sucks, but whining about it doesn’t fix anything. Look at National Tours, when they are at the premier site(s), they are huge
The email thread is disheartening because unless MAJOR league changes are made to the series/program for 2013, I doubt that Solotime will be able to justify continuing our sponsorship in the future. Emails like this that waste a lot of bandwidth J on fixing the wrong problem make me think no change is coming.
Of all the programs and things in SCCA begging for sponsorship, you have a series with two sponsors practically begging to give you support but are hung up on the old ways and what was did last year, which has the potential to cost the program a sponsor it has had since 1993 (?)
Time to reboot and focus on our strength (Lincoln site in our division) and put on a quality event(s).
DaveW
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I agree with most of Dave's comments. He makes it sound pretty simple. I'd be for trying to do 2-3 divisionals with someone (other than me) doing a stellar job marketing, then schedule a Nebraska region "championship" event using the 2012 courses, that we haven't yet run. Then if Dave's right...we'll have a huge success on our hands. If not, well....it will be Dave's fault, and we'll be out nothing. ;^)
Greg Reno
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Not sure if you are joking, but marketing the events is not the problem and the solution is simple. Marketing might help draw a few more people, but the core problem is that there is no reason for the average newer competitor to spend the money to attend. When the events only have 60-80 people, the “fast guys” won’t bother to attend either. The series events have become semi glorified local events with no real incentive to people to attend or for regions to put one on.
Or maybe a better way to say it: If you are going to keep doing the same thing and expect different results, don’t expect me to write the checks to continue sponsorship.
Besides the goodwill of not quitting, SPS will receive absolutely ZERO return on our investment for the 2012 series…I’d like to see hope for the future,
--Dave Whitworth
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I wasn't joking...I was agreeing with you. Except I do feel that the marketing of these events is very important.
Greg Reno
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Well there you have it all we have to do is force the nebraska region to put on another event, along with the mile of fencing so 100 divisional people can attend. The reason we don't have a divisional championship in lincoln is because they don't want to do it, or can't find someone to head the thing. I'd be all for having the championships go to lincoln, but what I think some of the underlying problem is, is that there is no reason to attend a divisional anymore, or a national tour for that matter. When the national office chopped the requirements for attending nationals then those who don't have the money (economy downturn) will definately not spend it on something they don't have to attend.
As for how the series is run, and how kansas region ran theirs, the decision to not have a banquet stems from not being able to raise entree fees for one, and that virtually no one attended last year when we did put up the food. I would love to have the ability to afford a room and food for everyone but if you get over 10 bucks a person you have no profit left over at $65 entry fees. The 65 did get them all the beer soda pizza and water for the event though and what I believe to be a national level course and two days of competion. Remember most local events are in the 30 to 35 per person range for one day . Sounds like a heck of a deal to me, but there must be a reason for attending to some.
Ron Williams
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From my multiple discussions with mark over the last several seasons, Nebraska is more than willing to host the championship event.

The dss would have to actually ask them and all parties would have to openly discuss the financials.

The series has been on a decline for many years long before the requirements to attend were dropped. That invalidates that excuse for status quo.

I wasn't able to attend Kansas event this year since we were moving the office but besides attendance I expect that it was a good event.

The solution here is very simple.
--Dave Whitworth
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The SCCA exists to serve its own membership firstly, and the place of divisional Solo as a volunteer-run enterprise is to provide an experience above and beyond regional events. So far, we've been offering divisionals as National Tour Lite, a model that turns a knob halfway between regional and National level with a year-end points sheet. We have to operate on the notion that all divisionals are created equal, but some are just more "equal" than others, which is a source of dissatisfaction. This model works great sometimes, and disappoints other times.

What we need is flexibility and growth, not folding the program inward around one site. MiDiv is geographically huge, but not comparably populous, and Lincoln doesn't necessarily serve the entire division by itself. Solo is as much a social activity as a competition, and it's vital for the health of a participatory club to be doing *something*. Traveling out of town is often about making new friends and seeing old friends. Our division will continue to grow insular and indifferent if no one rubs elbows outside of a few big events clustered within the same few weeks.

That said, the financial focus and perhaps the entire named MiDiv Solo championship should still ride on a blowout concrete event like Lincoln in late Summer. That's where financial supporters get their return on investment and the most serious competitors get their primary value.

The correct course is to do something that combines both. The influence and combined skills of a divisional Solo structure can facilitate inter-regional experiences that stray from the standard long drive/two-day/Saturday dinner affair. Divisional-level events can be incubators for the best of the sport. We absolutely have this freedom to innovate. The SCCA renaming "divisionals" to "interregionals" sounded like a cop-out of tradition at first blush, but it's also official license to find new and different things that work for everyone. We've seen a lot of the traditional incentives - Nationals discount, "triple crown," year-end points chase, etc., loved by many dedicated Soloists - not entice additional participation from a majority of autocrossers.

Interregional activity can be very healthy for MiDiv, take different forms than we're accustomed, and still leave a trail of crumbs to a blowout in Lincoln. Every entrant and host region has a different time/money/distance threshold of participation, yet has something valuable to contribute to the short-term and long-term vitality of Solo. Ideally, cross-regional participation should be happening all over MiDiv and with a degree of organization not solely dependent on two regions actually talking to each other anytime earlier than the last minute. I have some observations and ideas, and I bet many of you do, too.

The question is: would MiDiv stakeholders at every level be willing to buck some traditions and guidelines to try different things in order to keep the notion of a MiDiv Solo program vibrant and relevant?

Jim Rowland
JimR20@hotmail.com
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The question is: would MiDiv stakeholders at every level be willing to buck some traditions and guidelines to try different things in order to keep the notion of a MiDiv Solo program vibrant and relevant?
This one is willing, as long as it is centered around that divisional championship in Lincoln. That provides the value for my sponsorship to support the other events as well. E.G. if I am going to sell at the Championship and know that will be a good weekend, I am more willing to risk going to a smaller event elsewhere.
--Dave Whitworth
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Not sure if Ron W.’s last note went to everyone:
So what you are saying is that since the divisional series is a complete series that crowns it's champion via an accumulation of events instead of a single event like you are proposing, you won't continue the sponsorship? I don't have a problem with the divisional champion being crowned at Lincoln, but the Mid div committee asked this question a couple of years ago and it was voted to keep it a series for the sake of higher participation #s accross the board. Again I don't have a problem with changing it.
Ron
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
That is not what I said/meant. As long as there is a championship event in Lincoln, we will consider staying on. Something that builds back to a series eventually would be a bonus, but we are not ready to pay ahead for it.
--Dave Whitworth
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My idea doesn't have a lot of historical precedent, but the premise is simple: organize inter-regional events that stand on their own unique merits, rather that strictly following a two-day points/series format.

Some regions might find more capability and success in hosting a one-day Sunday competition combined with a Saturday social component and registration/tech. This "1.5-day" event would focus on more localized inter-regional participation, and would target cross-participation between neighboring regions. The banner event(s) like Lincoln Air Park would still be a long-haul division-wide affair, whereas the "1.5" events would primarily entice entrants with a four-hour drive or less. By lowering the financial stakes and making competitor participation easier/cheaper, there could be perhaps *more* MiDiv Solo events on the calendar that before, and in more places to serve a wider MiDiv audience (and actually engage the Southern half of the division that's so hard to crack).

The expectation might be less support from series sponsors for the smaller events on the calendar and less fancy trophies. Host region size and circumstances would influence the other benefits of hosting a larger-than-normal event under the MiDiv banner. The host region would also determine the "fun" portion on Saturday, like a SCCA-only lane at the drag night in Tulsa or a mass outing to Saddler's karting center in Kansas City. A small region might coordinate with a local car club to organize a cruise-in/BBQ hangout on Saturday, then snare some much-welcome new faces to get hooked on autocross the next day. No matter the makeup, the ultimate goal of an inter-regional program would be providing a new and fun experience than a regular regional event.

Some regions are very proud to host traditional two-day MiDiv Solos, and have worked hard to make them fun and successful for all participants, even if the headcounts throughout the season are a little lopsided. Neosho actually grew all three years, and I know Ozark Region would still be working to make 2012 even better if FEMA hadn't taken over the site. Still, as the Neosho chair I'll admit some difficult truths for MiDiv Solo:

1. Saturdays are toxic to a lot of our prospective entry base due to circumstances. I've experienced it in spades with divisionals ("Can I just run Sunday?") and planning regionals (we stopped doing Saturday events due to lighter turnout). A MiDiv Solo is often not the mega-turnout formula combining your normal regional turnout plus a bunch of out-of-towners. The local turnout is usually slashed by those too busy/intimidated/indifferent to run two days, and the out-of-towners only fill enough of the void to prevent a nervous breakdown over all the banquet food you ordered.

2. Two-day events can be so fast-paced that all you want is sleep after a long Friday tow, and a shower after baking in the sun on Saturday. Social time, car tinkering, and course walking have to get crammed into the remaining free time. We've all ditched a few Saturday banquets to just rest. If you weren't hurried or perpetually sunburned, traveling out of region might be more appealing.

3. You rarely remember the competition itself, but you always remember the fun. I haven't seen a single picture of racecars from the Colorado Tour last weekend, but my Facebook has blown up with grown men pedaling "big wheels" head-to-head against a ProSolo tree. Sometimes it's the coolers and lawn chairs that make Solo great, not the racing. We have room to push the social aspect more.

4. Incentives such as qualifying for a Nationals discount or racking up points for a divisional trophy do not motivate the majority of potential divisional-level entrants. As percentage of your total regional Solo population, those fired up about repeatedly traveling out of town are not a majority. Pushing travel to locals over and over has left me disappointed every time. The real incentive for going to out-of-region Solos is having fun on your terms. Bring the MiDiv brand of fun closer to more people, rather than prod more people to go find MiDiv.

5. Scheduling regional Solo events is a puzzle of last-pick dates after all the big National/MiDiv races are determined. The MiDiv "1.5-ers" would allow greater scheduling flexibility for non-contiguous regions, while promoting increased calendar coordination between neighboring regions. For example, Nebraska and Des Moines would not be compelled to block out a hole in their regional calendar for an inter-regional in Blytheville, but STLSCCA, ARSCCA, and Mid South would give a MiDiv handshake on not running competing events on that same Sunday.

6. The digital era has gripped us with overstimulated, overscheduled gearheads who have far more interests vying for their time and money. A recent Tim Suddard editorial in Grassroots Motorsports had him pining for only a half day's presence at autocrosses instead of spending an entire day. Even the gung-ho weekend racers have trouble making big time commitments, whether real or imagined. Perhaps a trial of some MiDiv Solo Lite events might give them the experience they like.

If we want to try new things, that's my two cents!

Jim Rowland
JimR20@hotmail.com
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Frank Wietharn
KS Region RE

63 SS 07 ZO6
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Don't write the obit yet!

Postby spitfire4gp » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:08 pm

The R&S/SPS MiDiv Solo Series is still alive -- how well it is depends on you. :D

We have a 2013 schedule:
Apr 27-28 - Crowder College, Neosho, Mo. (Ozark Mountain Rgn)
Jun 22-23 - Marshall Field, Ft. Riley, Ks. (Salina Rgn)
Jul 20-21 - Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Ks. (Kansas Rgn)
Aug 17-18 - lincoln Airpark, Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska Rgn)

You must run at least two events to qualify for the series, you can count your best three.

--Rocky Entriken
Rocky Entriken
MiDiv Pointskeeper
spitfire4gp
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