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Hello, 

 

I am excited to participate in the board of directors election process once again.  My name is Chris Huggins and I am the leader of team “Pinkies Out” which campaigns two E30’s. 

 

Pinkies Out is a family affair, and I am thankful Champcar has given me the opportunity to race on many iconic tracks with my father, brother, and many close friends over the past few years. 

 

Outside of racing, I am an Engineer at a BioPharma company in NC.  I support our energy and HVAC plants, monitor equipment and reliability data, and maintain the engineering documentation database.

 

If elected as a BOD member, there are three things I wish to focus on:

1.       Improve communication between the BOD and membership:

I feel it is essential that constant lines of communication are open and available between leadership and members.  This promotes confidence in the Club and brings everyone together.

 I wish to be a voice of influence among the BOD and Staff to improve communication with the membership.  While this has been improving, there have been recent instances of unexpected events without appropriate communication and explanation.  This improvement can be multi-faceted, with direct communication from the BOD to members and official staff communication channels (emails, videos, etc).

 2.       Improve the clarity and accuracy of the rule documents:

Without changing the meaning of the documents, the clarity and accuracy need to be improved.  Removing vehicles from the VPI list which are not eligible for use (or don’t exist) is one example. 

Another is to improve the clarity of values on the fixed points list and the ratification of the TECH “interpretations” list into the official rules document.

 With the TAC’s assistance, I feel it is within reach to have and maintain accurate governing documents.  This includes making sure the Tech Desk agrees with the BCCR, which agrees with enforcement at the track.

As a secondary benefit of this, the number of requests for clarification to the Tech group will hopefully be reduced, which will reduce the chance for inconsistent rulings while also reducing the workload of our Tech employees.

 3.       Contain and reverse cost creep, where possible:

Champcar began as a low budget racing series, and as time passed the costs have steadily risen.  Some of those costs cannot be avoided (Track rental costs, insurance) while some are the direct result of rule changes, interpretations, and business decisions.  My goal is to mitigate any additional cost creep and focus on reducing costs for members where possible, while keeping the financial health and security of the club in mind.

As the leader of a team which closely monitors each dollar spent, I hope to provide a voice of reason whenever a change is proposed that might impact the “actual dollar cost” of racing. 

If elected to the BOD, I would be an advocate for the lower budget racing teams and work to keep racing with champcar affordable.

 

Over the past 3 months, I have been engaged with champcar in a volunteer capacity as the “Technical Writer”.  This has allowed me to directly contribute to item 2 above.  

 

Since August, I have been working on the Tech Desk to edit, format, and publish articles in the Knowledgebase.  As the Tech and TAC teams receive and respond to messages, they are stored in a database that is not published.  Responses are sent to the specific contributor, but are not automatically published to the knowledgebase.  I have been working to review the backlog of answered queries, organize them into categories, and publish the questions and answers (including photos, when possible).

 

Additionally, For the 2021 BCCR update, I was engaged by the BOD and CEO to provide technical guidance throughout the revision process.  I was able to contribute to each iteration of the updates with advice on formatting, clarity of wording, layout, etc.  I was able to directly contribute to some knowledgebase articles from the tech desk being migrated into the BCCR.  Finally, I was charged with  creating a “Redline” copy to allow the membership to easily see the updated items.  

 

I look forward to being able to continue to contribute to the club as the technical writer.  Regardless of the BOD election, I hope to continue to work on the Tech Desk, including working to ensure as many articles as possible are published within a reasonable time.  I will also work to ensure knowledgebase articles are migrated into the next BCCR revisions.

 

In conclusion, (TLDR):

 

I want to improve Champcar’s position as an affordable and accessible racing series with a focus on allowing teams to build and improve any number of vehicle platforms as they see fit. 

I hope to earn your votes, and therefore a seat on the board, to allow me to have a voice in the direction of the club and a greater ability to influence improvements to the process.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Thanks for your support,

Chris


 

Chris Indy.jpg

Edited by Huggy
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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Chris is one of the smartest and hardest working car guys I have ever been around.  I have enjoyed my time I have spent with him and his family, he and they are first class.  I guarantee he will give it his all if elected. 

 

I am already familiar with your stance on things around here so I have no need for more info from you.  Good luck Chris.

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Hi Huggy!

 

A couple questions for you:

  • Regarding communications between the BOD and members: when high-profile events or disputes occur, do you believe the board should ensure discussions and decisions made should be communicated directly and promptly with the membership as a whole, or should these things be kept private to a large extent?  If communicated, how should they be communicated?  Direct email?  Forum and/or facebook?
  • Regarding cost/speed creep: where do you see the biggest drivers of speed and/or cost creep, and how do you propose containing/fixing/nerfing that specific example?  Do you think 'fixing' that would drive teams away in the short or long term, or help with attendence of newer teams?

Thanks!

Kris

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Chris,

I have some rather pointed questions on some hot button issues from the forums.  While it may not be possible to be too specific (but appreciated if you can/will), I would like to hear your thoughts on the following:

 

Regarding classing, are you more likely to favor the status quo with some adjustments, a move to points based classing, or possibly a two tiered “Open” class and two tiered “limited prep class”?

 

What are your thoughts on addressing “fuel for points” or other fuel rules that would allow more fuel limited models another path to being competitive?

 

What are your thoughts on containing the (potential) tire “arms race”?  Limit or exclude brands, mark/limit tire use per weekend, limits on tire change tools/personnel, other or none?

 

Many have said “no more free stuff” and “we need to address speed creep”, would you be in favor of or consider a full review of points based items to the extent of rolling back some allowances (with enough notification/lead time)?

 

Thank you and congratulations!

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2 hours ago, LuckyKid said:

Anyone who can have two cars go 1-2 after a 24hr deserves a BoD seat.

I'm not sure the 2 are related.

 

I would prefer that Huggy gets a seat due to what he can bring to the BOD, not how awesome his cars and drivers are.

 

He's not just a good driver and pretty face.  Lolzers.

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1 minute ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I'm not sure the 2 are related.

 

I would prefer that Huggy gets a seat due to what he can bring to the BOD, not how awesome his cars and drivers are.

 

He's not just a good driver and pretty face.  Lolzers.

I'd argue that someone who knows exactly what it takes to build and run endurance racing teams at the highest level and within the Champ spirit is a qualified voice to have in everything from rules, to events, to how the organization is run.

What's more, the success just proves his dedication, organizational abilities, technical knowledge, and intrapersonal skills.  

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3 hours ago, LuckyKid said:

I'd argue that someone who knows exactly what it takes to build and run endurance racing teams at the highest level and within the Champ spirit is a qualified voice to have in everything from rules, to events, to how the organization is run.

What's more, the success just proves his dedication, organizational abilities, technical knowledge, and intrapersonal skills.  

I see your point.

 

I guess I just meant that Chris is much more than a great competitor.  I would vote for him even if he didn't win those races.

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Sorry for the delayed responses, im searching for my magnifying glass so I can read Tylers questions.

 

Also, Sebring Minivan prep is almost done, so I should be able to respond later today. 

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On 11/3/2020 at 8:25 AM, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Hey Chris,

 

Here are my questions:

 

image.png

1.  The board should be the final approval to the petitions.  I know they might seem a bit "mirco" and not "macro", but when our business as a club is having a rule book that attracts customers, the rules and their enforcement are "macro".   The current membership's expectation is for the BOD to make these decisions, and I think that is correct.

I do not know who would do the work required to "present" the changes to the BOD for approval?  That would seem to take some of the decision making out of the BOD's hands, which would not be desirable.

One thing I noticed about this years revision is that Tech was not as involved as I would have expected.  I would like to have Tech get the opportunity to comment on revisions as part of the process - hopefully as a way of making sure what is written is easily understood and enforceable.

I would expect the TAC to act as a "wikipedia" to the BOD.   If the BOD is attempting to decide on a VPI for tunaslapper A, they can ask the TAC to present them with the details of tunaslapper A, as well as tunaslappers B, C, D, E, F, and G in comparison so they can get the VPI close.  

 

2. Rules stability keeps people from making large scale changes.   The perception of "keeping up with the joneses" is real.

I would also like to see some investigation/effort made to reduce some of the reliability advantages for teams with deep pockets.  I think the radiator rule was a half step in the right direction, but we tripped over the execution.

 

3.  I liked the old red-flag videos which I saw as a periodic "state of the club" fireside chat type communication. 

I used to read the BOD meeting minutes (because im a nerd), but I haven't seen those in a few years.  

I think maybe an annual BOD meeting "rehearsal" might be worthwhile also, as for 2 years running some stuff has been presented that wasn't accurate necessarily, or maybe just caused some undue "alarm"

I like how you (tyler) and @Jer frequent this board and the FB group and post things.  I believe that is good for the BOD/Membership relationship and hopefully makes it easier for members to approach you two with questions or concerns.

 

4.  I would like the average answer on the tech desk to be closer to "NO" than currently.  I think we keep opening up the gates and wondering why the horses keep running away. 

We should go ahead and start now with preparations to make decisions on the current knowledgebase articles for the 2022 book (or sooner perhaps).   Lots of the tech desk inquiries I see coming in are pretty simple (i guess thats my opinion that they are simple, just stick with me) and it should be pretty easy to answer them citing an existing rule.  Examples i have seen are related to pit stop process guidance, roll cage layouts and additional point assessments, fuel system positioning and shielding, etc.  Then there are the more complicated ones which aren't really directly attributable to a rule at this time - SO in that case i'd like to see the BOD take a bit more of an active role in assessing these items upfront. 

Another suggestion I have is that TEC, TAC, and the BOD get together (I know thats difficult on everyones time, so maybe some smaller groups) and start a discussion with TECH on existing interpretations.  TECH has so much knowledge from seeing all 400+ champcars up close and personal - they see and remember things.  They know how they assess points for certain things that aren't necessarily written down.  Lets tap into that knowledge directly with those guys.  An example is the alternator bracket situation (which i'm also told applies to other engine accessory bracketry).  I'd like to try and flush this info out through discussion so we can get it written down.

 

5. I think I have a detail - oriented mindset, particularly with technical documentation, that can help with some of the more directly applicable discussions.  We have members already who have proven strong on making the macro company direction decisions, and I don't want to interrupt that.  I also think I can help with the relationship between the BOD and membership by being another approachable and active presence.  

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On 11/3/2020 at 9:18 AM, krispykritter said:

Hi Huggy!

 

A couple questions for you:

  • Regarding communications between the BOD and members: when high-profile events or disputes occur, do you believe the board should ensure discussions and decisions made should be communicated directly and promptly with the membership as a whole, or should these things be kept private to a large extent?  If communicated, how should they be communicated?  Direct email?  Forum and/or facebook?
  • Regarding cost/speed creep: where do you see the biggest drivers of speed and/or cost creep, and how do you propose containing/fixing/nerfing that specific example?  Do you think 'fixing' that would drive teams away in the short or long term, or help with attendence of newer teams?

Thanks!

Kris

 

Hi Kris,

 

1.  Thats a mixed question.  In business, not everything needs to be put out there for the world to see - airing dirty laundry is not always a good thing.  However, effective and timely communication with the members (customers!) is critical for this club (business) to succeed.  There have been some events that occurred in the recent past that I was disappointed to not see an official communique sent out (IE, I believe a team was "banned" from the club, but i'm not sure).   I was a big fan of the "red flag video" fireside chats mike used to publish.    Email would be my second choice.   Facebook and Forum are not appropriate for important/official communications.

 

2.  Right now its tires.  Next year it could be something different.  Its a moving target.  I don't necessarily think its driving teams away - but it may be reducing entries if they are spending money on tires instead of entry fees and fuel.  I don't have a good proposal to fix it right now.  Every proposal I have seen or explored has had some significant drawbacks.  In fact, I don't know if I have even been able to lay out a good "problem statement".   Therefore, I'm not sure I can give you a good proposal for fixing it.

 

I do see a few things we can fix to allow/ease the entry of new teams into the series (and/or) help teams cross over from different organizing bodies.  Some things are just kinda silly - IE the placement of the kill switch - and add unnecessary hurdles to coming to race with us. Thankfully we are still very easy to race with and don't require some of the other silly hurdles I have seen (like getting a shop from a very short list of approved shops to tech your car well in advance of a race... the closest shop to me was 3 hours away)

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14 hours ago, craig71188 said:

Chris,

I have some rather pointed questions on some hot button issues from the forums.  While it may not be possible to be too specific (but appreciated if you can/will), I would like to hear your thoughts on the following:

 

Regarding classing, are you more likely to favor the status quo with some adjustments, a move to points based classing, or possibly a two tiered “Open” class and two tiered “limited prep class”?

 

What are your thoughts on addressing “fuel for points” or other fuel rules that would allow more fuel limited models another path to being competitive?

 

What are your thoughts on containing the (potential) tire “arms race”?  Limit or exclude brands, mark/limit tire use per weekend, limits on tire change tools/personnel, other or none?

 

Many have said “no more free stuff” and “we need to address speed creep”, would you be in favor of or consider a full review of points based items to the extent of rolling back some allowances (with enough notification/lead time)?

 

Thank you and congratulations!

Hi Craig,

 

I am overall a "status quo" by default person.  For me to support any change I will have put it through a pretty stringent bit of research and deliberation.

I have no general opinion on the classing - Champcar has and is generally a "one class" racing series.  Points based classing would change up the split for who wins A, B, C, D trophies but I don't think it will make much of a difference.  I certainly do not want to see a tiered classing system, as that would promote speed differentials which are a safety concern.  The one-class race is something unique to champcar, and I don't want us to lose that.

 

I'm not a fan of fuel for points.  That would be a major change to something fundamental to champcar and making a major change right now would not be smart IMO.

 

I don't have a good solution for that perceived issue right now.  I am still working through solutions in my thoughts.  I will say that I don't think its very chumpy (champy), nor is it good for our image as a club, to see teams show up with 25 tires for a race, or see them show up with 4 sets of tires where each tire is $600.  Doesn't make this look "real cheap", heck doesn't even make it look affordable.

 

No more free stuff and addressing speed creep are not necessarily the same thing.  I am always open to hear suggestions or thoughts on things, but generally I would like to see LESS changes to the rules every year moving forward,  The constant changes and see-sawing are a burden to teams trying to keep up with the pace of changes.  

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13 hours ago, LuckyKid said:

Anyone who can have two cars go 1-2 after a 24hr deserves a BoD seat.

Thanks! Haha

 

I think Rob kinda beat me too it though.  I'd rather be on the BOD because the members think I can do the right thing for the club.  

 

Also, the 24 performance this year was far, far, far from just me.  There are close to 20 people who all made a major impact in that weekend.  

 

Chip's son Colin and his roommate Alston did all but 2 of the 24 fuelings, some back-to-back.

My brother Andy and my buddy Alex played crewchief for 2 cars and never missed a beat

Ron makes our splitters, tows one car to the track, sets up the pits, makes fuel runs

Vince couldn't make this race due to C19, but he's our master fabricator and machinist

Doug and Wyatt who came to help with the pits through the dead of the night

My wife and my Mom keep us fed and hydrated. 

My wife does fuel stops, sets up the pits, etc.    Plus, if yall want me to stop race-car-ing, she's the one to bribe since she lets it happen.  Car parts in the house, my E30 parts collection, etc. 

 

Plus the drivers who all performed flawlessly and ran fast consistent times.  @Burningham and Chris from B-ham,  @Hurljohn from Danger, David,  @mindspin311, My Dad, Mike, and Adrian, and some guy @chip

 

And there is always Lady Luck, who smiled on us quite kindly that weekend.

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10 hours ago, RocketHamRacing said:

Chris

 

Rodger brought up the topic of driver experience/education requirements or incentives in his platform - I'd like to get your thoughts on this as well.   

 

-Dan

I'm not a qualified racer in any way.  I learned through video games (gasp! he didn't say SIMULATORS), drifting, and just getting seat time.  I'm not even a "qualified instructor" for HPDE's.  I have pretty much zero formal driving experience at all.  I did one DE, got signed off as solo, and away I went. Therefore, my opinion on the importance of that is probably abnormal.

 

I would LOVE to try my hand at SpecE30 or SpecE46, but the "license" requirements have been a hurdle I have not overcome thus far in my life.

 

I don't want champcar to have that kinda hurdle.  I like the fact anyone can come race with us.  I love seeing new teams come and give it a try.  Generally, I haven't seen anything overly dangerous or undue happen as a result of this, but there have been some pretty slow cars on track at times.  

 

I did like Rodger's suggestion of an incentive to try a DE first.  I would hope (and expect) that this is pretty common already for teams to "test" their car and drivers at a practice day before coming to a race.  If its not, I bet they have a good reason for it.  I would be supportive of an incentive initiative to get teams to do a DE with instruction before coming to race.  I think it will make their experience better, and hopefully a bit safer for everyone.  If champcar can team up with a popular DE organization(s) that would be even better.

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It is interesting I keep seeing that Tech was not involved in the petition process.  The National Tech Director is a part of TAC.  TAC had discussions on the petitions where the National Tech Director did not participate.  But when we gave the VPIs to the TAC to discuss, then Tech wanted to be involved.  I think there needs to be an improved process on this and thus why I bring up the question so all Tech can be involved from the beginning process and not in August right before the rules are released.   I am not here to throw anyone under the bus, but understand the perception and see how we can improve the process. 

 

Thanks for your responses Chris.

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On 11/5/2020 at 10:08 AM, mindspin311 said:

Would you be in favor of re-assessing points values on the FPV list? Some feel that Part A with a value of 50pts may provide less of a performance gain than Part B with a value of 10pts.

I’m open to assessing a petition or petitions to reassess fpv, but I think the BOD has other things to spend limited time resources on that would make a bigger impact.

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