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Rodger Coan - I offer to serve on the BOD


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I am Rodger Coan and I am running for BOD this term.

 

About me:

I am 57, I live in Mississippi where I grew up on a family farm, I am a registered Professional Engineer, and I manage a business unit of a manufacturing facility.  I have been involved in the track scene for over 10 years where I instruct with various HPDE groups (PCA, BMW, Chin, JTI, NASA).  I started racing with Chump/Champ in 2013.  Since then I have driven in more than 60 individual races in the series with my team’s car (Burningham) and with several other teams.  I have been a member of the TAC since its inception.  I have raced in every region of the country and met a lot of great people along the way.

 

How I would interact as a BOD member:

I will give a recent example of something at work to illustrate this.  I manage about 60 people on 4 separate operating teams.  From time to time we have to move people around to balance skills, knowledge, experience, etc.  People don’t like change, so it’s an unpopular undertaking.  I asked for input from the teams and from my day leadership.  We tossed around ideas, although I had an idea of what I wanted to do I listened, I changed my mind on several things based on their input, and made the final determinations and put it out there and said this is what we are going to do.  I could have just unilaterally decided all of the moves, it would have taken less time to do so, but the end result would not have been as effective as working through with collaboration.  That’s the same way I would interact as a board member.  I would listen to the members’ input and discuss issues with the other BOD members, Tech, and TAC in a calm, respectful manner.  At the end of the day, somebody has to make the decisions for the club and that falls on the BOD.  Listen, weigh options, make the best call based on the information available, put it out to the membership, explain our thinking when there is disagreement.  As a BOD member I would work to insist each person that represents the organization treat every paying customer (the members) with respect in every interaction even if there is disagreement or rules/procedure violations.  At races, in tech, on this forum, or on social media – no exceptions.

 

General point of view on the series:

Rules:

We have a set of rules.  They aren’t perfect.  But for the most part it works.  We as a club and the BOD should be as regimented as possible in seeing that the rules as fairly enforced as possible given the resources available to the club.  No favoritism, no special rules, apply the rules to all teams the same.  Stability is key so people can feel relatively safe the rug won’t be pulled if they spend time/money building a car to a ruleset.  Make changes when appropriate using our petition and tech desk processes in place.  Be open with the thought processes when changes are made.

 

Free stuff:

Tweaks from time to time are necessary as things evolve, but for the most part we should limit giving away speed.  There should be a balance to encourage reliability.  I realize the builders out there have choices of go fast vs reliability, but the competitive nature makes people make bad choices at the sacrifice of reliability which can cost the series entries.  I am not in favor of opening the book to reliability items, but as we make small moves we should work that direction.  Small moves over time.  Cost and speed containment has to be the overriding emphasis.

 

Driver development:

Although minor compared to our other challenges, I think driver development is an area we could improve on.  I see a lot of good driving in our races, but I also see some pretty bad driving that could be easily corrected.  I would like to see us encourage people to get some time on track in a controlled environment to hone their skills.  I do not think it should be required because everybody doesn’t need it, just encouraged for those who struggle initially.  I would like to see us offer a one-time incentive that could be applied to a race entry at an approved list of track day suppliers to give people a chance to go to a track day and learn car control.  I think more people would come out and race if they felt more comfortable on track.

 

Other:

I had several other things typed but this is already getting too long.  Send me any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

 

Summary:

I believe I can use my experience in managing organizations and resources in industry as well as my experience in our series to be an effective BOD member.  My team has been successful in this series and I have raced with several other winning teams.  I don’t say that to be boastful or arrogant, I say it to stress that I know how hard it is to compete and I see how hard folks work to get a car on the podium.  People should have a reasonable expectation that if they work hard to put a car together, drive it well, and strategize optimally that they can expect the playing field to be relatively balanced such that they can compete at the highest level.  As a board we should do our best to offer that and as a BOD member I would work toward that goal.

 

If after reading this, you decide not to vote for me, I am good with that.  I am close friends with two who are running and know all but two of the others and all seem well suited for the task.  I think we are in good hands no matter who you vote in.  I am excited to be a part of this series and will be glad to help in any way I can.

Edited by Burningham
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He's got mine too :)  !   I've known Rodger for many years, and he's a stellar individual.  At first, I wasn't going to run for re-election because I wanted to support Rodger, but there are 3 seats open, so hopefully we'll both get elected. He is very knowledgeable, level-headed, and very team minded. I think he could bring some great attributes to the Board that would be quite useful.

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19 minutes ago, frankrehnelt said:

I’m going to vote for you even if you drive a Toyota (they make mini vans). I will NOT endorse you because my endorsement could be a detriment to your election chances........good luck

 

BMW the ultimate driving machine

 

Thank you Mr. 90x man!  Your non endorsement is appreciated.

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Hi Rodger - looks like we'll be on the same track for the first time at Sebring this year!  Looking forward to being passed by you many times during the 14 hours!

 

Regarding your 'free stuff' and 'speed containment' - could you give some examples of where you think Champcar has given away 'free speed' and what you might have done differently, given the chance?  Along with that, assuming we 'opened the book' on reliability items, do you think a major rebalance of the VPI table would be required, as supposedly VPI takes into account both raw speed and reliability?

 

Also, how do you feel about the suggested classing changes?  Good, bad, or ugly, and why?

 

Thanks for your time,

Kris

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Best of luck, Rodger. Good platform.

 

Your point on education is valid. I know why we allow all-comers, but as the series matures we need to be realistic about the very real hazards a true novice can pose - AKA the rolling chicane. We have contact incidents that are just a consequence of good, hard racing (though the consistency in black flagging needs to be tightened up...but I digress). And as long as closing speeds are reasonable, the damages can be mitigated. But the worst contact incidents we've experienced were due to the true novice either exceeding their talent ratio (being too aggressive and parking the nose of their car into our B-pillars dive-bombing) or just being overwhelmed and should have decided that golf was a better sport way before they strapped into a race car. 

 

An incentive is a good idea, but I'm concerned that it may not go far enough. I'm glad you are tackling the topic, and would definitely like to see this improve.

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54 minutes ago, krispykritter said:

Hi Rodger - looks like we'll be on the same track for the first time at Sebring this year!  Looking forward to being passed by you many times during the 14 hours!

Same here, I look forward to this race. Good luck, it's going to be crowded.

 

54 minutes ago, krispykritter said:

Regarding your 'free stuff' and 'speed containment' - could you give some examples of where you think Champcar has given away 'free speed' and what you might have done differently, given the chance?  Along with that, assuming we 'opened the book' on reliability items, do you think a major rebalance of the VPI table would be required, as supposedly VPI takes into account both raw speed and reliability?

Flywheels, clutches, alternators, IRS, are just a few that have been in the discussion the last few weeks.  There is more.  No need to give those away.  If we are going to give items up they should be items that build toward reliability.  I wish we had started that direction years ago because if you give items away it needs to be done slowly over time.  As you allude to we can't give up items without affecting the balance of VPI's without an overhaul of all VPI's, or at least a look at each one.  And remember, anybody can shoot holes in whatever is proposed because what really constitutes a reliability item?  

 

54 minutes ago, krispykritter said:

 

Also, how do you feel about the suggested classing changes?  Good, bad, or ugly, and why?

 

Thanks for your time,

Kris

 

I personally don't have much of an opinion of classing or the changes proposed but I don't think the proposed changes really changes the racing much.  I consider myself on the sideline of this since I don't feel strongly either way so I am willing to get behind whatever the membership wants.  If I had to decide myself, which I won't obviously, I would leave it like it is.

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1 minute ago, krispykritter said:

Appreciate your response!  Definitely looking forward to Sebring - it's a great track!  Best of luck!

 

Same to you, come look us up if you get a chance.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee
1 hour ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Hey Rodger,

 

Here are my questions:

 

image.png

 

  1. BOD should approve petitions after discussion with TAC and Tech.  
  2. I see very little areas to cut costs for members.  We should focus on not escalating the costs further.  Stable rule book with small changes that does not require the membership to keep making changes to the car from Rules/interpretations/vpi changes.  If we can work reliability into the equation somehow that's a direction I would like to see.
  3. I have no direct answer here.  A small minority of the members come to the forum, another portion are on social media, and some don't even see the emails that are sent out.  How good is good enough?  Some people are ok with things as they are and don't want or need communication.  We just need to be open when the membership wants information or clarification.
  4. Somebody has to work this process, it just takes time.  I think Chris worked a lot of this but couldn't get it all done, he is like the rest of us he has a day job.  I guess break it up and divvy it out if needed.
  5. You are going to have to clarify what you are looking for in this question.
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On 11/2/2020 at 1:14 PM, Burningham said:

I am Rodger Coan and I am running for BOD this term.

 

About me:

I am 57, I live in Mississippi where I grew up on a family farm, I am a registered Professional Engineer, and I manage a business unit of a manufacturing facility.  I have been involved in the track scene for over 10 years where I instruct with various HPDE groups (PCA, BMW, Chin, JTI, NASA).  I started racing with Chump/Champ in 2013.  Since then I have driven in more than 60 individual races in the series with my team’s car (Burningham) and with several other teams.  I have been a member of the TAC since its inception.  I have raced in every region of the country and met a lot of great people along the way.

 

How I would interact as a BOD member:

I will give a recent example of something at work to illustrate this.  I manage about 60 people on 4 separate operating teams.  From time to time we have to move people around to balance skills, knowledge, experience, etc.  People don’t like change, so it’s an unpopular undertaking.  I asked for input from the teams and from my day leadership.  We tossed around ideas, although I had an idea of what I wanted to do I listened, I changed my mind on several things based on their input, and made the final determinations and put it out there and said this is what we are going to do.  I could have just unilaterally decided all of the moves, it would have taken less time to do so, but the end result would not have been as effective as working through with collaboration.  That’s the same way I would interact as a board member.  I would listen to the members’ input and discuss issues with the other BOD members, Tech, and TAC in a calm, respectful manner.  At the end of the day, somebody has to make the decisions for the club and that falls on the BOD.  Listen, weigh options, make the best call based on the information available, put it out to the membership, explain our thinking when there is disagreement.  As a BOD member I would work to insist each person that represents the organization treat every paying customer (the members) with respect in every interaction even if there is disagreement or rules/procedure violations.  At races, in tech, on this forum, or on social media – no exceptions.

 

General point of view on the series:

Rules:

We have a set of rules.  They aren’t perfect.  But for the most part it works.  We as a club and the BOD should be as regimented as possible in seeing that the rules as fairly enforced as possible given the resources available to the club.  No favoritism, no special rules, apply the rules to all teams the same.  Stability is key so people can feel relatively safe the rug won’t be pulled if they spend time/money building a car to a ruleset.  Make changes when appropriate using our petition and tech desk processes in place.  Be open with the thought processes when changes are made.

 

Free stuff:

Tweaks from time to time are necessary as things evolve, but for the most part we should limit giving away speed.  There should be a balance to encourage reliability.  I realize the builders out there have choices of go fast vs reliability, but the competitive nature makes people make bad choices at the sacrifice of reliability which can cost the series entries.  I am not in favor of opening the book to reliability items, but as we make small moves we should work that direction.  Small moves over time.  Cost and speed containment has to be the overriding emphasis.

 

Driver development:

Although minor compared to our other challenges, I think driver development is an area we could improve on.  I see a lot of good driving in our races, but I also see some pretty bad driving that could be easily corrected.  I would like to see us encourage people to get some time on track in a controlled environment to hone their skills.  I do not think it should be required because everybody doesn’t need it, just encouraged for those who struggle initially.  I would like to see us offer a one-time incentive that could be applied to a race entry at an approved list of track day suppliers to give people a chance to go to a track day and learn car control.  I think more people would come out and race if they felt more comfortable on track.

 

Other:

I had several other things typed but this is already getting too long.  Send me any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

 

Summary:

I believe I can use my experience in managing organizations and resources in industry as well as my experience in our series to be an effective BOD member.  My team has been successful in this series and I have raced with several other winning teams.  I don’t say that to be boastful or arrogant, I say it to stress that I know how hard it is to compete and I see how hard folks work to get a car on the podium.  People should have a reasonable expectation that if they work hard to put a car together, drive it well, and strategize optimally that they can expect the playing field to be relatively balanced such that they can compete at the highest level.  As a board we should do our best to offer that and as a BOD member I would work toward that goal.

 

If after reading this, you decide not to vote for me, I am good with that.  I am close friends with two who are running and know all but two of the others and all seem well suited for the task.  I think we are in good hands no matter who you vote in.  I am excited to be a part of this series and will be glad to help in any way I can.

Roger,

If you are elected will you continue to serve on the TAC?

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6 minutes ago, Ronh911 said:

Roger,

If you are elected will you continue to serve on the TAC?

 

No.  Hopefully the BOD would canvas for a replacement.  It would be a good opportunity for someone that is very car knowledgeable to get further involved in the series. 

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Rodger,

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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23 minutes ago, craig71188 said:

Rodger,

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”?

 

As a racer, I don't have a strong opinion on classing.  We as a series have always been a single class race series for the most part.  Without taking into account what the majority of the members want, I would personally say just tweak the current classes.  But as I said I don't feel strongly so if the membership wants something else, I am willing to listen to the options and input and support what most who want to do with regard to classing.

 

23 minutes ago, craig71188 said:

 

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?

 

Fuel for points would change the balance of VPI since fuel load was used as an input into a platforms VPI.  I don't think that is the direction we need to go without wholesale going through the VPI list and making adjustments accordingly.  That's too big of a change in my opinion.  I realize it's something some of the membership wants, but is it good for the masses?

 

23 minutes ago, craig71188 said:

 

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?

 

Ok, this is just from my racer perspective, so I probably will need some adjustment from you guys for an overall what's best for the series standpoint.  I like the flexibility of being able to choose among brands for availability of inventory and sizes.  I like the flexibility in being able to choose wet performance.  I like the flexibility of being able to change two tires during a fuel stop if I need to for several different reasons.  I gave the example in a thread the other day I usually run RS4's but they weren't available and I ended up getting three weekends out of two sets of RE71's so they weren't a huge cost increase for me at those tracks under those weather conditions.  My car is heavy and goes through tires? 

 

That said, we all know which tires are the stickers.  The 200tw rating is just a mess from the manufacturers.  We just say no RE71 or other hot tire and it would impact everybody the same.  If we do that, we need to give everybody a chance to work through the tire inventory.  I think I would rather see us limit tires for a weekend if we can come up with a way to monitor it.  Also, limit the change to two per stop.  

 

23 minutes ago, craig71188 said:

 

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)?

 

Stable ruleset would address a lot of this.  Don't make large changes and just give items away for no reason or no long term strategy. 

 

The problem is as we bring new cars in, which over time we will have to do, that alone brings speed creep because of the performance potential.  When I say bring new cars in, I mean lower the VPI to a point where somebody will build it.  Not many serious racers are going to build a 550 point car, even 520 is marginal.  One way to bring in new cars in is do it over a period of years, which we have been doing, and allow only reliability items to be freed up for the older cars which then frees up speed for them.  You still have an arms race to some degree, but it is manageable.  I realize there are a lot of holes in that path, I wish I had a better idea but that is one way it can be done.

 

23 minutes ago, craig71188 said:

Thank you and congratulations!

 

Thanks for taking time to reach out for more information.

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Whats you take on free stuff when it's needed for reliability, example the Ford Focus have horrible wheel bearing failures to the point that you can't race on the stock units. Luckily there have been members that have done group buys on "super hubs" which are CNC custom units. Do you think that should be a free item or is that the cost of choosing that car?

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1 hour ago, trigun7469 said:

Whats you take on free stuff when it's needed for reliability, example the Ford Focus have horrible wheel bearing failures to the point that you can't race on the stock units. Luckily there have been members that have done group buys on "super hubs" which are CNC custom units. Do you think that should be a free item or is that the cost of choosing that car?

 

Therein lies the problem when people like me start talking about reliability items, right?  In the case of the Focus I know the hubs have always been a known weakness and I would think the VPI currently reflects this in the final value.  The points got dropped to 2.5 per hub, so I assume you take the 5 points for fronts only and go racing.  Doesn't seem like there is much needed to be done there. 

Edited by Burningham
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I will take this election process to understand the series a little better.  As I understand it the TAC makes VPI recommendations to the board and the board votes on those recommendations.  A recent bewildering example is the Cobra being raised by 50 points despite it being mostly on par with other podium cars:

 

Did you recommend for or against this?  What was your reasoning?

When there is a significant VPI adjustment do you think the reasoning should be made public?

 

Note: I have not been a ChampCar member for a couple of years so your reply will not affect my vote as I have none.  I do not have a Cobra (currently) so again your answer would not affect the VPI of my car should I chose to race with the series again, I am just interested in the perception of fairness and using the recent Cobra adjustment as an example.

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12 hours ago, Burningham said:

Fuel for points would change the balance of VPI since fuel load was used as an input into a platforms VPI.  

I keep hearing this but I have yet to hear an actual number or case that proves this. What do you base your statement on?

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2 hours ago, mender said:

I keep hearing this but I have yet to hear an actual number or case that proves this. What do you base your statement on?


One of the inputs in deciding a VPI is fuel load. All of that process was/is subjective I don’t think you would ever get a number from anybody. 

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9 hours ago, Burningham said:


One of the inputs in deciding a VPI is fuel load. All of that process was/is subjective I don’t think you would ever get a number from anybody. 

That may currently be the case when adding new cars but the vast majority of VPI was set back when there was little or no consideration for fuel capacity.

 

Be that as it may, the argument that every VPI would need to be revisited seems to be  driven by the idea that all cars would have equal access to fuel for points rather than having a rule that addresses the number of points per gallon on an individual basis. Champcar currently does that with the swap calculator; would a similar method of assigning points per gallon for each car be something you would support or at least be willing to look into?

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1 hour ago, mender said:

Champcar currently does that with the swap calculator; would a similar method of assigning points per gallon for each car be something you would support or at least be willing to look into?


Of course I would, it would be selfish and silly and not being a good candidate for the board if I just took the path of what I personally think. I know you have had many interactions with members on here about this subject and you know I am not alone in my way of thinking. I think if somebody could come up with a workable plan that doesn’t adversely affect the balance of power and we still end up with a multitude of different cars on podiums like we currently see I could see that. As a racer I don’t care who or what I race against as long as it’s relatively balanced. 

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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.Seems like if X car has a VPI of 300 because of a small fuel tank, then paying points, say 50 for a gallon makes sense and doesnt break VPI.

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