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Name: Chris Huggins

CC Member No: 008876

I am interested in serving on the CCES BOD, should the membership so desire to have me.  I did not submit myself for nomination at the first BOD election, as I was heavily occupied with completing #246.  As that project is wrapped up (as much as a race car is ever “finished”), I feel I have the time to dedicate to the BOD.

 

About my Champcar History:

I have been a member of Champcar since 2014, when I attended the March VIR race as crew.  My first race as a driver was the 2014 VIR 24, renting from Team Constitutionalists racing.

 

I built my car (#146) in the winter of 2014/2015.  My team is a partnership between myself and my father, and we raced first at the 2015 VIR 24, finishing 39th.  Since then we have raced between 3 and 5 races each year, and built a second car (#246) with the shell of the car we first raced in 2008 with the citrus series.  I have also (and plan to continue) rented seats from other teams.

 

 

About Me:

I am 28 years old, live in Raleigh NC, and work as a Utility Engineer in the biopharma industry. 

I previously worked in the auto industry, both in engineering and as a mechanic.

 

My original Build thread for #146 is here, with most of the photos working again. 

I believe that thread demonstrates my mindset, attention to detail, and analytical tendencies when it comes to racing. 

 

I am competitive, but I want to win because we out drove you, out race-crafted you, or out-fabricated you, not because your car broke.

 

 

What I Support:

  1. I want to continue the steps the current BOD has taken to improving transparency and communication with club members.  My activity on the forum places me in an ideal place to champion that directive moving forward.
  2. I want to maintain rules stability.  I believe Champcar has the best, most affordable, and most competitive endurance racing in the nation.  That doesn’t mean it can’t get better, but we already have something special.
  3. I want to ensure the series remains relevant as the current popular models age, without alienating existing teams.  As club, CCES should be prepared to welcome newer models as they come down in price, however we should carefully evaluate to ensure they are competitive with the existing group.
  4. As a team owner, I want to ensure the racing remains affordable.   My team is not a mega-bucks sponsored team, and any money spent on the car comes from a budget, which reduces money we can spend to attend races.  We are lucky that 3 races a year are in our back yard, that helps.
  5. As a driver, I want to ensure the racing remains competitive.  This series has absolutely ruined HPDE’s for me – without other cars out there, they just aren’t the same.  Also – Night Racing is such a thrill!  It’s much more fun to be in a tight battle with a team right to the end than to win by 10 laps.  I am always astonished how many CCES races come down to less than a lap after 8, 10, 12 hours of racing.
  6. As a fabricator and car builder, I support keeping the rules concise, but clear.  Everyone should be playing from the same starting point.  With that said, I support the CCES history of allowing fabrication. Rules should be viewed and constructed carefully, to allow for innovative and beneficial experimentation by teams.  I believe there is a delicate balance that can be struck in this regard.

 

Regarding any CCES decision, my primary evaluation will begin with:

1.       What will be the real-world cost to teams?

2.       Is the rule enforceable?

I can then use my analytical and mechanical knowledge to assess any potential decision with data, and use that to draw conclusions.  I have experience creating and presenting engineering analyses to groups of people, and I hope that can be used to the benefit of CCES.

 

Regards

Chris

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You already know you have my nomination and vote when the time comes.  Good luck, hope the rest of the voting club agrees.  

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Chris, 

 

I will keep you in mind as I decide on who to vote for. I think you could do a good job. My only concern, and it should probably be minor is that E30 teams might end up over represented and even if the BOD is trying to be fair, things like subconscious bias may occur. All things considered you will definitely be someone I keep in mind when voting.  Good luck. 

 

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Thanks for the Nominations and comments gents!

 

Andrew, I too considered that, however I still decided to "volunteer" to be nominated for a few reasons:

1. I have significant non-bmw experience that I hope helps to diversify my opinions (I have tracked GM's, Hondas, Mazdas, and Nissans in addition to BMWs)

2. I traditionally analyze problems/questions with data before making a decision, and if elected I plan on making sure I communicate that "my opinion is X, because Y and Z"

3. A significant portion of Champcar is made up of BMW teams 

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As a Board member we all bring different qualities. Besides the tech and car knowledge, what else can you bring to being a Board member? What would you see your role in being on the Board?

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37 minutes ago, Huggy said:

Thanks for the Nominations and comments gents!

 

Andrew, I too considered that, however I still decided to "volunteer" to be nominated for a few reasons:

 1. I have significant non-bmw experience that I hope helps to diversify my opinions (I have tracked GM's, Hondas, Mazdas, and Nissans in addition to BMWs)

 2. I traditionally analyze problems/questions with data before making a decision, and if elected I plan on making sure I communicate that "my opinion is X, because Y and Z"

 3. A significant portion of Champcar is made up of BMW teams 

 

I'm glad you are running, and may end up voting for you. I just wanted to make sure people realize that it might not be a good thing with over representation from a certain group, although I don't think that is the case right now. 

 

I would expect the number of BMW teams to be on the rise moving forward too. As the percentage of BMW teams increases, they have more people lobbying for things in their favor. When that lobbying turns into a free diff or a weight change allowing a better swap, it makes the brand more appealing drawing more people running it / lobbying for it. Since the speed creep and free items become more common every year, those things that get made free will tend to benefit the largest and loudest crowd. If something should be taken away from this large vocal group or a value increase should happen to promote parity, this could potentially upset a large portion of the membership and therefore most likely not happen. This scenario will only magnify as the BMW representation grows in the BOD. 

 

In a perfect scenario, people would not let the car they run sway the way they vote on rules, but instead do what is best for the overall membership. That doesn't always happen unfortunately.

 

Since a current talking point directly impacts you probably as much or more than any other member, what are your thoughts on the recent weight adjustment of the E30 325 to allow the M50 to be swapped into the E30 chassis at 500 points?

 

 

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50% of the Board are already involved with BMW teams, not that it necessarily matters. 

 

What sort of issues do you believe should be worked on by the BOD to promote long term health and growth of the series, and what sort of issues are better left to the management and tech advisory committee?

 

Thanks for your time 

 

Edited by JDChristianson

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On 9/14/2018 at 12:50 PM, Crank Yankers Racing said:

As a Board member we all bring different qualities. Besides the tech and car knowledge, what else can you bring to being a Board member? What would you see your role in being on the Board?

 

Tyler, 


I am not privy to the current interactions of the BOD outside of what is published in the minutes or shared on broadcasts, so I’m not 100% sure what specific needs the BOD has as far as roles.  I am an engineer by trade, so I do a significant amount of analysis for various management teams, and also have some experience managing projects of different types.  I think I can use that expertise to benefit the club.  


One thing I do hope to champion is continued improvement of communications with the general membership.


-Chris
 

 

 

On 9/14/2018 at 1:35 PM, red0 said:

 

I'm glad you are running, and may end up voting for you. I just wanted to make sure people realize that it might not be a good thing with over representation from a certain group, although I don't think that is the case right now. 

 

I would expect the number of BMW teams to be on the rise moving forward too. As the percentage of BMW teams increases, they have more people lobbying for things in their favor. When that lobbying turns into a free diff or a weight change allowing a better swap, it makes the brand more appealing drawing more people running it / lobbying for it. Since the speed creep and free items become more common every year, those things that get made free will tend to benefit the largest and loudest crowd. If something should be taken away from this large vocal group or a value increase should happen to promote parity, this could potentially upset a large portion of the membership and therefore most likely not happen. This scenario will only magnify as the BMW representation grows in the BOD. 

 

In a perfect scenario, people would not let the car they run sway the way they vote on rules, but instead do what is best for the overall membership. That doesn't always happen unfortunately.

 

Since a current talking point directly impacts you probably as much or more than any other member, what are your thoughts on the recent weight adjustment of the E30 325 to allow the M50 to be swapped into the E30 chassis at 500 points?

 

 

 

 Andrew,


I was vocally against the adjustment when the change was “discovered”.   That dissent was purely selfish consideration, since I had determined I was going to go for the swap if it was changed to “0” laps, and therefore if it was approved I was in to spend some money.


I do not know why the change was made.   I might have missed it or forgot, but I do not recall there being official communication as to the impetus which resulted in the adjustment.  I don’t feel comfortable assessing the reasoning since I do not have all the information.


That said, I was not a fan of how the change was executed, and I think that is a big issue.  The club certainly needs improvement on that front.  Changes that are made and then “discovered” are not how we should be operating.  The lesson has not been learned obviously, as there was recently a “change” to the fueling rules, which was not announced or communicated.  That change has still not been communicated officially, even though it is being included in official documentation.  


Regarding the performance implications of the weight change, there was a lot of back-and-forth in the thread you started, but I think things got a bit overblown.  I am sure you and the TAC have discussed it, so hopefully the TAC was able to use some of the data I generated to draw some conclusions. (If so, I would be interested in seeing it)


Since the change was implemented, I would like to see it stick around for at least a full year, and then have some dialogue on what the impact was, before reversing it if necessary.


Hopefully that answers your question,
-Chris


 

On 9/14/2018 at 1:43 PM, JDChristianson said:

50% of the Board are already involved with BMW teams, not that it necessarily matters. 

 

What sort of issues do you believe should be worked on by the BOD to promote long term health and growth of the series, and what sort of issues are better left to the management and tech advisory committee?

 

Thanks for your time 

 

 

Jeff,

 

To my understanding, the BOD’s job is to focus on the more strategic aspects of running a business.  To that end I would like to see the series continue to grow while maintaining our niche.  We are in a unique position with a very low barrier to entry in both paperwork and paper-money (for racing, anyways).  What can we do to attract more teams that already exist (or regain teams that have moved to other series), and entice new teams to form?  I think that Marketing, Track Selection, Dates/Scheduling, and the BCCR all impact this to a degree.  

 

The TAC (to my understanding as a volunteer who was not selected) was designed to review questions presented by members, review controversial TECH rulings, review potential rule changes, review and redline BCCR drafts, review VPI updates, and present their results/opinions to the BOD.  The BOD will then decide if the opinions suggested by the TAC are in fitting with the strategic direction of the club.  The decisions are then passed down to Tech, who enforces the rules at events.

 

-Chris
 

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FYI all we've already addressed how this happened as a Board so it never happens again.  The new TAC will review weights and adjustments, and if justified, will be made once/year.  Apparently what DID transpire is one or more teams showed the weight used was too low.  They showed three reputable sources, so the weight was changed behind the scenes.  Just an FYI and like I said, it won't happen again.  Perhaps the TAC can look at it and decide it it was an appropriate change, dunno.  I will ask at our next meeting.  Contrary to popular opinion, the weight was NOT changed to get the swap to zero laps, although that was the net effect.  

Edited by Jer
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4 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Screenshot or it didn’t happen...

Please ask Mike.  I've never seen them, this is what I was told.  If I had an e30 I'd do the research.  It can't be that hard to go to Edmunds, etc, get the weight, and see how it matches up. {shrugs}  I still think this is an item that should be looked at by the TAC.   

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8 minutes ago, enginerd said:

I fully support the board/TAC continuing this practice of intentionally adjusting swap values by changing weights (not sticking to 90% of curb).

To be fair, they did not change the 90%.  They changed the starting number.  Again, please ask Mike or your friendly TAC members.  We have a group that can now address this and recommend to change it back if warranted.  I do not have a dog in this fight, just want the most appropriate outcome.  

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Jer again thanks for being transparent about this stuff!

 

You got my vote once again.

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49 minutes ago, Jer said:

Please ask Mike.  I've never seen them, this is what I was told.  If I had an e30 I'd do the research.  It can't be that hard to go to Edmunds, etc, get the weight, and see how it matches up. {shrugs}  I still think this is an item that should be looked at by the TAC.   

I’m just rabble rousing...

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I think nominations have ended at this time, and I have not heard back if I made the cut or not yet.

 

Regardless, I am watching the release of the latest BCCR closely. 

 

Based on my observations, I have a few communication suggestions:

- Give the TAC more time to perform review.  Through Bill's FB posts and some other channels I understand that the time between the TAC receiving the draft and the due date for suggestions was <1 week, including the Sebring race weekend.  I have confidence that the TAC did the best job possible, but I don't think they got a fair crack if that was all the time they were allotted.

- Give Bill more time to compile.  Through his FB posts I understand his retirement has consisted of working long hours.  I think the release may have been a bit rushed between the time he got the information and the deadline for him to have the PDF completed.

- Release all of the 2019 rules at the same time (BCCR, Swap Form, Tech Form, VPI List, VPI Calculator).  Its been 5 days since the BCCR release, and the VPI List/Calculator has not been issued yet.  I'm speaking for myself here, but I would have preferred to receive the full 2019 package in one release, even if it needed to wait a week or two.  

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Huggy said:

I think nominations have ended at this time, and I have not heard back if I made the cut or not yet.

 

Regardless, I am watching the release of the latest BCCR closely. 

 

Based on my observations, I have a few communication suggestions:

- Give the TAC more time to perform review.  Through Bill's FB posts and some other channels I understand that the time between the TAC receiving the draft and the due date for suggestions was <1 week, including the Sebring race weekend.  I have confidence that the TAC did the best job possible, but I don't think they got a fair crack if that was all the time they were allotted.

- Give Bill more time to compile.  Through his FB posts I understand his retirement has consisted of working long hours.  I think the release may have been a bit rushed between the time he got the information and the deadline for him to have the PDF completed.

- Release all of the 2019 rules at the same time (BCCR, Swap Form, Tech Form, VPI List, VPI Calculator).  Its been 5 days since the BCCR release, and the VPI List/Calculator has not been issued yet.  I'm speaking for myself here, but I would have preferred to receive the full 2019 package in one release, even if it needed to wait a week or two.  

 

 

The biggest issues we had were all a lack of time.  The TAC wasn't finalized until like a month ago.  Next year we won't be in this situation, we will have all year so it will by default be a lot better.  And yes, I agree the TAC was rushed because of the narrow window.  

 

The VPI table should be published by now, not sure what the hold up is.  It was presented by the TAC to Mike, there were a few small tweaks, nothing major, and it's ready to roll I believe.

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And Chris, I'm sure you got enough nominations to be on the ballot.  I have not seen anything from Doc on it, but I believe there are only three of us running for two spots.  Weird, last time there like 16 people.  

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Thanks for confirming that Jer.

 

In case anyone missed this in the other thread, here is my analysis from the 2019 BCCR.  Contains the changes as revisions tracked in MS Word 2016. 

It also contains some smartass comments, questions, or thoughts as I got a bit carried away closer to the end.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-1XOeP_ChqzmeZPENstSVLrzW_s80sD0DGcFRYnKPFo/edit?usp=sharing

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I opened the document in google docs and also downloaded it as a docx and your redline is surprisingly devoid of any lines colored in red.

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Just now, zack_280 said:

I had the same issue.  Can't see any redlines or comments.

 

same

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