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2022 - Sonoma Entrants


Mehoff
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Sonoma has been cancelled.  Not sure why its still on the website schedule.

 

If you have any ideas as to how we can get west coast teams interested in signing up, please let us know.

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4 hours ago, Mehoff said:

Was thinking about signing up for the Sonoma race in May; are there really only 3 entrants?

 

Would sign up after 25+ cars are entered, otherwise it’s just an exhaustive DE.  

Dana the CEO/ President would be the best person to contact.

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8 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

Sonoma has been cancelled.  Not sure why its still on the website schedule.

 

If you have any ideas as to how we can get west coast teams interested in signing up, please let us know.

 

For us it is just timing. Either too close together or too close to another event. Like a 2-3 month gap between events would be easier. Hopefully Willow Springs doesn't suffer the same fate as Sonoma!

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On 3/15/2022 at 12:54 PM, Chris Huggins said:

Sonoma has been cancelled.  Not sure why its still on the website schedule.

 

If you have any ideas as to how we can get west coast teams interested in signing up, please let us know.


Appreciate the info.  
 

Wish I had the magic formula to get California racers to participate.  It’s frustrating that only east coast gets traction (for any enduro series).  SoCal is the car capital of the world and checkbook races are the only ones people want to participate in.  

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15 hours ago, Mehoff said:


Appreciate the info.  
 

Wish I had the magic formula to get California racers to participate.  It’s frustrating that only east coast gets traction (for any enduro series).  SoCal is the car capital of the world and checkbook races are the only ones people want to participate in.  

 

 

It's killing me. 
Being from NorCal and growing up in SoCal, I just don't get it.
 

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1 hour ago, Bill Strong said:

 

 

It's killing me. 
Being from NorCal and growing up in SoCal, I just don't get it.
 

Killin me too. My opinion is this:

There is tons of racing going on on the West coast (which isn't just California BTW, PIR, ORP, Ridge, Pacific, etc.) with Lucky Dog.  It kills me to see the numbers of these champ races in cali (if they aren't canceled).  The one that was most telling was the recent Laguna with 31 cars. That same weekend was a lucky dog race at Thunderhill had 100 cars. LDRL's fees for Laguna are $1000 higher than champ if I'm not mistaken, and it sells out every year in seconds (including the race that just happened). Big car counts aren't just limited to Cali either. There's lots of racers up here in the PNW, and they all appear to be happily racing LD (myself included). 

 

The reasons these races aren't getting numbers is obvious to me. It would be cool to have champ back on this side of the country, as many of us haven't been able to race this series since it was Chump. But I don't see that happening unless Champ & Lucky can coexist in the same area. I hope & intend this post to be helpful, and not just to stir up crap. 

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The big issue was allowing the big fuel tanks, carbon body parts/wings/splitter. Something we don't allow. 
If we changed the rules, how does that affect cars coming from the east to race on the west? 
Do we do two classes? This was shot down pretty quick by management. 

Surveys have said that they want cheaper racing. we do it and they don't show up.

Then people said they want more parties. That's something we just don't do. 

 

still lost

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This is super unfortunate.  We were 100% planning to attend, but just hadn't signed up yet.  It probably wouldn't have made a difference; but a last-call would have likely pulled quite a few teams that were procrastinating registering out of the woodwork.

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15 minutes ago, Bill Strong said:

The big issue was allowing the big fuel tanks, carbon body parts/wings/splitter. Something we don't allow. 
If we changed the rules, how does that affect cars coming from the east to race on the west? 
Do we do two classes? This was shot down pretty quick by management. 

Surveys have said that they want cheaper racing. we do it and they don't show up.

Then people said they want more parties. That's something we just don't do. 

 

still lost

 

I hear yah, and that is quite a predicament. 

 

LD & Lemons allow big fuel cells for any car and Champ doesn't. LD doesn't classify every mod/swap and Champ does.  Unfortunately, Chump pulled out of the west, and left a vibrant and popular series in it's place with a very different rulebook.  The unintended consequences of this is that people had to go somewhere else, LD gladly accepted them, and their cars became less and less Champcars and more and more LD cars.  The two series require completely different recipes when building cars. Sure you could build one for both series, but if I spend $2000 on a fuel cell that's LD legal and I have a choice between LD or Champ races, of course I'll be swayed to LD. Further, there could be 8-10 LD races in range of me and only 1-2 Champ races. Eventually, even if you wanted to race both, you'll start to build to the series you're racing in and not worry about details like your car carrying 3 gallons more than stock (for example). 

 

Do people tow from East to West, and are they the ones worried about their fuel cell investment like I would be? Like I said, we have 100 cars willing to show up at Thunderhill, presumably the majority is from the West and not the East. 

 

I don't party at races, so I don't race lemons.  Sad thing is, LD and Champ are both trying to be a place for amateurs who want to race competitively (not just be silly, and not overspend), and I think they're far more alike than different. 

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36 minutes ago, pjt said:

This is super unfortunate.  We were 100% planning to attend, but just hadn't signed up yet.  It probably wouldn't have made a difference; but a last-call would have likely pulled quite a few teams that were procrastinating registering out of the woodwork.

 

Great feedback on the last call idea, I will take that back to the Ops team for future reference.  

One question if you don't mind - Why not sign up in advance and get the early-entry discount? 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Max said:

Killin me too. My opinion is this:

There is tons of racing going on on the West coast (which isn't just California BTW, PIR, ORP, Ridge, Pacific, etc.) with Lucky Dog.  It kills me to see the numbers of these champ races in cali (if they aren't canceled).  The one that was most telling was the recent Laguna with 31 cars. That same weekend was a lucky dog race at Thunderhill had 100 cars. LDRL's fees for Laguna are $1000 higher than champ if I'm not mistaken, and it sells out every year in seconds (including the race that just happened). Big car counts aren't just limited to Cali either. There's lots of racers up here in the PNW, and they all appear to be happily racing LD (myself included). 

 

The reasons these races aren't getting numbers is obvious to me. It would be cool to have champ back on this side of the country, as many of us haven't been able to race this series since it was Chump. But I don't see that happening unless Champ & Lucky can coexist in the same area. I hope & intend this post to be helpful, and not just to stir up crap. 

 

8 minutes ago, Max said:

 

I hear yah, and that is quite a predicament. 

 

LD & Lemons allow big fuel cells for any car and Champ doesn't. LD doesn't classify every mod/swap and Champ does.  Unfortunately, Chump pulled out of the west, and left a vibrant and popular series in it's place with a very different rulebook.  The unintended consequences of this is that people had to go somewhere else, LD gladly accepted them, and their cars became less and less Champcars and more and more LD cars.  The two series require completely different recipes when building cars. Sure you could build one for both series, but if I spend $2000 on a fuel cell that's LD legal and I have a choice between LD or Champ races, of course I'll be swayed to LD. Further, there could be 8-10 LD races in range of me and only 1-2 Champ races. Eventually, even if you wanted to race both, you'll start to build to the series you're racing in and not worry about details like your car carrying 3 gallons more than stock (for example). 

 

Do people tow from East to West, and are they the ones worried about their fuel cell investment like I would be? Like I said, we have 100 cars willing to show up at Thunderhill, presumably the majority is from the West and not the East. 

 

I don't party at races, so I don't race lemons.  Sad thing is, LD and Champ are both trying to be a place for amateurs who want to race competitively (not just be silly, and not overspend), and I think they're far more alike than different. 

 

 

What are the reasons that are obvious to you?  Definitely not taking your posts as stirring up crap - Looking for ideas, solutions, etc where we can coexist with LD and put on profitable races out west.  It's my understanding that LD is in a bit of a higher price bracket than CC, is that correctly understood?

 

Even at "lost leader" prices out west we somehow can't get enough entries to fill a field.    It's to the point that I am starting to think everyone in California is rich like on tv, because money (cheaper entries) is definitely not enough to drive interest.

 

I understand that the whole JC thing definitely left sour grapes in some people, but I've been in CC for 8 years now and that was before my time. I know we still have to pay the price for whatever happened (I don't really even know), but I would hope that at some point, since CC is made up of different people at this point, we could influence customers to give us another shot to earn their business/trust.

 

We are trying new things (Thunderhill 12 hour for example) out west to drive a second look by racers out there - Not sure what the right solution is but we would love to make a deal with the west coast to make them happy.

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1 hour ago, Max said:

The two series require completely different recipes when building cars.

 

I'm curious if you could expand on this.  My experience with LD is limited to one race in the SE (with another planned in May), but in that event a decent Champcar effort was barely slower than the Super-Dog lap time, and was easily competitive for the overall win.  Is a good Champcar build not fast enough for the west?

Edited by Grufton
replace "under" with barely slower than
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2 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

The big issue was allowing the big fuel tanks, carbon body parts/wings/splitter. Something we don't allow. 
If we changed the rules, how does that affect cars coming from the east to race on the west? 

Do we do two classes? This was shot down pretty quick by management. 

Surveys have said that they want cheaper racing. we do it and they don't show up.

Then people said they want more parties. That's something we just don't do. 

 

still lost

 

Well Bill, according to what we have been told for years - there is absolutely zero issue with:

1. Some cars having smaller tanks than others, even the same platform and chassis

2. Having to take an extra fuel stop because of your smaller tank will not affect your race

3. It is ABSOLUTELY NOT going to affect how competitive you are

4. You will be perfectly fine racing your 15 gallon four cylinder against a 24 gallon V6

5. You just have to drive a tiny bit faster so you should just improve your racing skills (this is intrinsic if you have a BMW)

6. The extra fuel that a 24 gallon car carries just slows it down anyway

 

Therefore the fuel limited Champs are just as competitive as the fuel rich LD cars and it will be perfectly fine if the east teams tow out to a Champ race that allowed 24 gallons as the max capacity for any car.  Champ cars may or may not have to make up *ONLY* one extra stop, it is really easy to do, just drive a bit faster.

 

I really wonder if the irony here will dawn on any Champs, did I make it obvious enough?

 

 

5 minutes ago, Grufton said:

 

I'm curious if you could expand on this.  My experience with LD is limited to one race in the SE (with another planned in May), but in that event a decent Champcar effort was just under the Super-Dog lap time, and was easily competitive for the overall win.  Is a good Champcar build not fast enough for the west?

 

Super Dog is the same as EC, present in the race but similarly not in it to win.

Edited by Ron_e
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As currently constructed, I do not believe it is a Champ Car specific issue; it’s regional.   I race with a number of different groups (POC, PCA, NASA, LD), all of which suffer participation drops with the cheaper cars.  I don’t know if it’s a lack of space to build cars or ego (HIGHLY likely), but POC/PCA has basically become arrive and drive with open checkbooks…..I’m one of the last “privateers” left.  That doesn’t seem to be the case in the South or East (with porsches).  

 

I have been racing with LD and those teams seem to travel well.  It’s mostly northwest based teams; SoCal has 3-5 groups max that attend for no apparent reason.  This area just won’t participate. 

 

Champ Car Specific 

I originally built a car for Champ (Chump) about 7 years ago and was forced out when the swap rules were changed.  The new (to me) swap rules fixed that glaring oversight and made it possible for me to participate again.  Only reason I knew  of the change was someone at an LD race mentioned it; may be worth getting that message out a bit louder.  

 

note:  The new swap rules ended up placing me within 5 points of the old swap rules, so bravo.  

 

IMHO, LD is drawing bigger crowds because its run what you brung, meaning any car can participate and compete.  I actually prefer CC classing rules, as the LD and AER “time” based classing is ridiculous and does not reward innovation while simultaneously penalizing good drivers.   But CC penalizes common sense race car upgrades that won’t sit well/kills participation for many “cheap” builds.  Using Hondas as an example, very high quality racing suspension components (camber boxes, upper control arms, dog bones, sway bars, dampers, etc) cost less than $1000 more than used stock components for the ENTIRE CAR!  That is still cheap racing, but would disqualify most builds as drafted.  I was able to add all but the dampers to my car because my starting value was so low, which was on purpose as I would not participate in an enduro race without them.  I suspect many are of the same mind.  I understand that comment is probably not helpful as it would submarine a primary tenent of CC builds, but it is just my observation.  If you want the actual racers to show up, allowing them to field an actual race car may be necessary.  

 

But again, this doesn’t seem to be a problem anywhere else so maybe (probably) SoCal is just filled with a bunch of rich dbags that believe this type of racing is beneath them.  These are the same guys that are getting lapped by boxsters in their brand new cup cars.

 

LD is slowly abandoning SoCal as well, so poor me is left to this keyboard.  

Edited by Mehoff
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2 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

What are the reasons that are obvious to you?  Definitely not taking your posts as stirring up crap - Looking for ideas, solutions, etc where we can coexist with LD and put on profitable races out west.  It's my understanding that LD is in a bit of a higher price bracket than CC, is that correctly understood?

I don't think they are much more expensive, avg $1400 for regular events, $2200 for premium tracks.  The part that I thought was obvious is the huge entry's LD is getting in the same region at the same time, while CC could not sell out a premier track that LD sells out in seconds. This says that the west coast racers are choosing LD by a huge margin when both are available. 

Even at "lost leader" prices out west we somehow can't get enough entries to fill a field.    It's to the point that I am starting to think everyone in California is rich like on tv, because money (cheaper entries) is definitely not enough to drive interest.

Personally, I'm a low budget operation, and low prices WOULD attract me to sign up for an event.  Willow springs being 14+ hour tow would kill it for me.  If I'm not mistaken, all of the ones you're referencing in the past 5ish years were Cali/socal tracks. Thunderhill is closest at 7.5 hours. But I have 2xPIR races, 2xRidge races, Pacific & ORP through LD all within a 3 hour tow (often with 50-80 entries). 

I understand that the whole JC thing definitely left sour grapes in some people, but I've been in CC for 8 years now and that was before my time. I know we still have to pay the price for whatever happened (I don't really even know), but I would hope that at some point, since CC is made up of different people at this point, we could influence customers to give us another shot to earn their business/trust.

This has gotta be key in the Great Schism of budget endurance racing, and I too have no freaking idea why it happened.  My understanding is that a lot of people over here were disgruntled with rules or leadership or God knows what, and then Cathy started her own series.  We all freaking love Cathy, and she won the trust and the business of all the existing racers, and all the new racers in the area after that. Do series ever cooperate, and does Champ have a good relationship with Cathy? Just a thought. The rules differences are still going to be quite a hurdle. 

We are trying new things (Thunderhill 12 hour for example) out west to drive a second look by racers out there - Not sure what the right solution is but we would love to make a deal with the west coast to make them happy.

I don't know the answers either, but I hope you find some success. 

 

Chris, here are my responses. Hope it helps. 

Edited by Max
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1 hour ago, Grufton said:

 

I'm curious if you could expand on this.  My experience with LD is limited to one race in the SE (with another planned in May), but in that event a decent Champcar effort was barely slower than the Super-Dog lap time, and was easily competitive for the overall win.  Is a good Champcar build not fast enough for the west?

Sure. 

 

First of all, I'm not sure how the LD races in SE are going, because there hasn't been a ton of them.  I'd suspect that most cars weren't specifically built for LD out there, and maybe the field is full of Champ, Lemons, WRL, etc cars. So I'd expect the group of cars in SE to be quite different from cars who have been racing only LD for the last 7 years, and tailored their cars for competition in LD.  

 

My guess is that the top cars in both series are comparable.  We don't have the same limits that champ does, so there's some cars that come out that are quite fast and they try not to break into SD times. There's a C5 that races regularly for example, and many cars that have swaps that would be a million points in champ.  Even my car is a C-class (slowest) and I bet the random things I did with my minivan swap would bump me into EC.  

 

I'd say any of the top CC teams in the east could definitely come over here and compete for overall wins.

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3 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

One question if you don't mind - Why not sign up in advance and get the early-entry discount? 

 

I believe we were still within that period?  At least we thought we were.  Literally quoting chat from the person who owns sign-up for the team when we realized the sad news this morning:

  "i wasn't planning to sign up until ~30 days prior b/c they made the early entry discount apply forever"

 

2 suggestions:

1) Last call as already discussed.

2) An "early-early" discount (it can be a trivial amount, even just $50) to discourage procrastination while still having the majority of the benefit apply to the intended early registration window.

 

1 hour ago, Grufton said:

I'm curious if you could expand on this.  My experience with LD is limited to one race in the SE (with another planned in May), but in that event a decent Champcar effort was barely slower than the Super-Dog lap time, and was easily competitive for the overall win.  Is a good Champcar build not fast enough for the west?

 

They are absolutely not competitive in Lucky Dog.  Their ruleset has resulted in what's essentially bracket racing, with all of the top teams sandbagging down to the super dog time.  A competitive car is one that can run a few seconds beyond the superdog time, backing off when there is clear track, but still hitting the target time when in traffic.  A Champcar build is a few seconds off this at west coast tracks (Thunderhill, Sonoma, Laguna Seca).

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12 minutes ago, pjt said:

They are absolutely not competitive in Lucky Dog.  Their ruleset has resulted in what's essentially bracket racing, with all of the top teams sandbagging down to the super dog time.  A competitive car is one that can run a few seconds beyond the superdog time, backing off when there is clear track, but still hitting the target time when in traffic.  A Champcar build is a few seconds off this at west coast tracks (Thunderhill, Sonoma, Laguna Seca).

You don't think any CC teams can make the SD time?  It seems to me they could, and that's what you'd need to hit to be competitive. I agree, some LD teams are far beyond this time and sandbag. But they wouldn't be racing heads up with a top CC team without breaking into SD.

 

But it's hard to tell when we don't race on the same tracks. The only fast car I can think of that went between series' is Son of Andre, and I believe he won in both. 

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20 minutes ago, pjt said:

They are absolutely not competitive in Lucky Dog. 

 

@Grufton said good team... 

 

Look at what we can compare.   Ifitniion - Sonoma  - pick a name already.   the latest race there LD set a SD time of 53 flat.   Tuttle (a very good team) set a fastest lap of 52 flat in 2020 there.

 

@pjt

If a team wanted to build a 10/10ths build to run on the west for Chump they could also win in LD.  The problem is it wouldn't be the easy button you described.

Edited by Ben 595
stupidity
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Having run in teams in the top3 (technically P1 without exhausts falling off in both cases..) at the recent Laguna events for both series and running head to head/beating the Tuttle car at Sonoma I can categorically say it would take luck for the CC car to win in both cases.

 

There were multiple top-contenders at the LD-Laguna event that could have put down a 1:3x against the Super Dog time of 1:45.  You really cannot look at best lap from an event; the average is much more meaningful.  Champ cars can not come close enough to the current SD times on average (even at the recent Laguna event which was reasonably sparse).

 

I think a sorted E46 is the baseline for what can be consistently competitive in LD which is an EC car in Champ.  Yes there are exceptions around specific builds and tracks that might be competitive; but on average, on west coast tracks, it's just not practical.  An E46 with a wing is out of the box faster and cheaper than everything short of an extremely developed ChampCar (and even then, faster in many cases); there's just too much ground you lose because you can start with what would be a too high VPI in Champ, rather than trying to build up to that point.

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50 minutes ago, Ben 595 said:

 

@Grufton said good team... 

 

Look at what we can compare.   Ifitniion - Sonoma  - pick a name already.   the latest race there LD set a SD time of 53 flat.   Tuttle (a very good team) set a fastest lap of 52 flat in 2020 there.

 

@pjt

If a team wanted to build a 10/10ths build to run on the west for Chump they could also win in LD.  The problem is it wouldn't be the easy button you described.

 

CC and LD won’t cross-pollinate at the SD level anyway, so those cars can largely be dismissed out of hand.  The larger entries seem to be in the pre-95 era cars for both series, which could see a car straddle series fairly well outside of the $$$$ builds.   Wings, etc shouldn’t be an issue; I’ve never seen an LD car with a wing that has it paired with front splitters/rockers/diffusers, so the car should be fine to run with the wing removed from the uprights.  

 

Suspension components is the killer.

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I guess on the cost side I was speaking more to car build costs, not entry fee.   You can still build a competitive champcar from scratch for ~10k.  Not sure what a LD car would cost, but from building a Spec46 I can tell you it’s not 10k.

 

 

the only LD race I followed closely was the race at CMP earlier this year, where SD time was set in the high 1:40’s.  Competitive ChampCar’s run sub 1:44 there wich was surprising to me as I always heard LD on the west coast had some pretty fast builds.

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9 hours ago, Bill Strong said:

The big issue was allowing the big fuel tanks, carbon body parts/wings/splitter. Something we don't allow. 
If we changed the rules, how does that affect cars coming from the east to race on the west? 
Do we do two classes? This was shot down pretty quick by management. 

Surveys have said that they want cheaper racing. we do it and they don't show up.

Then people said they want more parties. That's something we just don't do. 

 

still lost

Three months into 2022 and race registrations are down approximately 28% compared to 2021. As mentioned by another member, other series are selling out races within minutes. Sonoma was canceled, PBIR is gone (as was warned months ago) and twenty-four cars are registered for Road America in three weeks. How many cars are going to race at Sebring July 4th weekend when it's blistering hot in south Florida? 

 

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