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Arrive and drive refund/discount did I get screwed or am I karen?


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So I've been having issues with this topic recently. In the past when I've worked on race teams that sold seats if there was an indecent that wasn't the drivers/renters fault they would always get comped either a full day or a discount on a future event. Recently I paid for a seat and IMO did more than a normal arrive and drive person would do. (I don't like sitting around doing nothing) The event was an enduro  event where the engine in the car blew up before the half way point on the first day. I got 1 stint and about 10mins of the second (less than half the expected time) before the engine blew. The car I was informed had blown multiple engines and this was their 3rd or 4th motor in as many events. There were no attempts to fix the car even after being offered my services to replace it. The team packed up and left before day ones race even finished. After about a week and the team selling seats to other drivers for future events and not being reached out to expecting some kind of response. When I reached out to the owner he said "sometimes that's racing" I don't agree with this statement at all. It's your car you're selling seats if the issue happens it's your responsibility not mine. When talking to him about how he kept all the consumables ect. the response I got was "well I spent $3k on a motor" which yet again I view as your risk not mine. Why is my money paying for it? I paid for time and consumables neither of which I really got I was also told that I got the most seat time out of anyone so I should be happy (by 10mins) I didn't expect money back on the contrary I was willing to spend more %50 of the next event. Am I expecting to much, how do other teams do it? Personally this left a really bad taste in my mouth and why I don't and haven't wanted to rent seats in the past. 

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I can see why your upset, but it does go both ways.   If you didn’t have an agreement formally in place before hand for this sort of thing, what can you expect? 
 

Is the team doing this to MAKE money?  If so, then this sort of thing will obviously hurt their reputation and they will lose customers.  
 

Personally I rent out seats to lower the cost of racing. My dad and I do all the work, but then rent two seats out.  If I rent seats out, spend all the money on travel, tires, fuel etc and then have to give the money back if a driver gets 1/2 the seat time expected because of a part failure or another drivers mistake I won’t be racing anymore. But we do everything we can to get back of track.  And our renters know up front that poop happens.  

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2 hours ago, petawawarace said:

I can see why your upset, but it does go both ways.   If you didn’t have an agreement formally in place before hand for this sort of thing, what can you expect? 
 

Is the team doing this to MAKE money?  If so, then this sort of thing will obviously hurt their reputation and they will lose customers.  
 

Personally I rent out seats to lower the cost of racing. My dad and I do all the work, but then rent two seats out.  If I rent seats out, spend all the money on travel, tires, fuel etc and then have to give the money back if a driver gets 1/2 the seat time expected because of a part failure or another drivers mistake I won’t be racing anymore. But we do everything we can to get back of track.  And our renters know up front that poop happens.  

I would completely agree with you if the car made it over 3 hours on day one the consumables weren’t even used.  tires were barely used and we had 2 sets as for fuel I didn’t burn the other $200 worth that my entry had paid for. The way other teams I’ve been on did it if you didn’t get at least %50 they comped %50 minimum. Round up round down situation I think the part that upset me the most is “poop happens” but then no effort to even fix the car or find a solution it was like f it we already have his money we aren’t losing anything let’s just go home because our hotel sucks. When my car is finally done I won’t be doing it to others like that. I think it’s really shitty. You built the car you’re taking the risk on it why should others be your safety net. I do understand selling seats to pay your way though it makes sense and it’s what I’d planned on doing. 

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Ask questions ahead of time, expectations, get a contract signed before you get in the car. 
 

If the cost was less than $1000 for two stints, that’s cheap, don’t expect much. Maybe don’t do business with that person again.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BeastZ06 said:

Ask questions ahead of time, expectations, get a contract signed before you get in the car. 
 

If the cost was less than $1000 for two stints, that’s cheap, don’t expect much. Maybe don’t do business with that person again.

I won't be and I spent more than $1k this was a last minute deal where I wasn't looking to drive but they needed someone in a hurry and I was trying to help at the same time as getting seat time after talking to the guy for about 2 hours on the phone and hearing the info on the car I figured they had their crap together. Car was nice but if you can't keep a motor in it not very useful in a race.

 

Edited by SVOFANATIC
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We don't do refunds.

 

I only charge what it costs me for a weekend. If a motor blows, that is another expense I need to cover.

 

Our car has been reliable enough that people have been able to get their drive time.  However, when something does get dun blowed up, I'm not taking money out of my own pocket to give money back to a rental driver that just showed up for the easy part (car prep takes weeks of work to do properly).

 

Turn it around for a minute...  the owner likely spent more for their Seat time that weekend than you did.  Now, they need to go work on the car and spend money on a motor.  

 

My advice to you is to have that conversation before you rent a seat Next time.

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Looks like another reason for both renter and rentee to have a clear understanding of what-if. Like others said, there's a big difference between the larger for-profit organizations and the mom & pop teams selling an extra seat - but both situations still need clear expectations.

 

The model I like is:

If the car never takes the green flag - full refund

If the car takes the green but you don't get to drive - 50% refund

If you drive day one but don't get to drive day two - 25% refund

 

In my opinion that's the best compromise of covering the team owner's costs just to get the car there and the renter's risk of the car breaking.

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I know it doesn't feel right, 1k+ is a lot of money, however, I can give you this bit of insight, its nothing compared to what it takes to field a car. When I was renting seat my cost to get to the race was 3-4X the cost of what the rental drivers were paying. I would have never believed it before running my own team but it's cheaper to rent seats, but the cheaper the seat the higher the risk, has been my experience. I rented from a team, and came down with a virus the day before a 24 hours race. When I told the team I wasn't sure I could do full 2 hour stints, ( I was running a fever ect) they replaced me. I didn't drive a single lap during the race. I did about 20 min during a  practice session,The car had issues during practice,broke first lap out, so 20 mins was all there was after they fixed the car all day. no refund, no credit further either.  I didn't love it, but I also didn't rent from that team again. I get both sides, which I why I didn't ask for anything further, it was a bad situation for both me and the team. Sometimes racing sucks; sometimes its awesome, we all do it for the awesome days, but there is always going to be suck involved...

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Sounds like you were driving when the engine let go.  Any chance you had something to do with that?  If that were the case, count yourself lucky you're not getting an extra bill on top of no refund.

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11 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

We don't do refunds.

 

I only charge what it costs me for a weekend. If a motor blows, that is another expense I need to cover.

 

Our car has been reliable enough that people have been able to get their drive time.  However, when something does get dun blowed up, I'm not taking money out of my own pocket to give money back to a rental driver that just showed up for the easy part (car prep takes weeks of work to do properly).

 

Turn it around for a minute...  the owner likely spent more for their Seat time that weekend than you did.  Now, they need to go work on the car and spend money on a motor.  

 

My advice to you is to have that conversation before you rent a seat Next time.

This is exactly how I operate as well. I have had the same core group of drivers and we all know how the deal works. Costs divided by number of drivers and drive time divided. If something breaks we try to fix it but sometimes there is no trackside fix. Money has been spent before race starts. Next race won’t have line item for a second set of tires but will have a line item for engine rebuild. 

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Once you factor in cost of reprep, consumables, and maintaining not only the car, but a truck and a trailer, the cost a renter pays is generally far less than 25% of what a weekend costs, and that's not even accounting for man hours invested.  If we wreck first lap, we're still out the entry fee, tow fuel, lodging, food costs, and all that.  Sure maybe the tires and brake pads get used next event, but if they run half an event, they're just spares now.  As for race fuel, it's just pump gas, and it's going in the truck to get home, because now we have a car to rebuild.  So, we'd love to offer a refund, but any refund is just increasing the cost of a future rental seat.  That's the trade off we make for putting unknown drivers in the car.  Sure you're out a bit of money, but we're out more.

 

That being said, we go to every race with a prodigious spares package including engine and gearbox.  We once blew an engine at BIR 20 minutes into a Sunday, changed it, and only missed like 2.5 hours of track time.  So we also take that into account.

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I understand time and effort into prepping a car I've done it many times, I also know I wasn't the cause of the engine failure T&P's were all good no over reving ect. My end understanding of this is that the renter is the one who's taking the most risk for what you're putting in. I know many won't agree with that statement but think of it this way. Transmission in your car fails and you don't have a spare. You can't find a spare transmission close enough to make it worth it so you pack up and go home. Yes you have event entry you lost and some other things I understand but you still have a car. For one renters investment you can replace that transmission while that renter didn't get what he actually paid for. Whether you turn 1 lap or 500 that entry is spent it won't be coming back if you sell that seat or not same goes for travel distance, hotel, food ect. That renter is investing money for time. You as the owner are taking the risk of renting the seat if the car breaks or some other unknown reason and the renter doesn't get what they paid for you should be willing to work with that person (within reason). Again I do not agree with or want a REFUND of any sort I was just hoping to get a discount on a future event.  The team even confirmed I wasn't the cause of the failure for those saying maybe I was the cause. I understand many of us are doing cheap racing just to go have fun and it's expensive even though it's supposed to be cheap. This will likely be my last time renting a seat (unless I become a millionaire which is unlikely lol) because I don't like putting money into an investment where too many issues can arise and I just lose it all. I'd rather invest in my own car (finishing it currently) and be only able to blame myself for the failure. I guess the teams I worked for in the past were weird situations or maybe it was the series they were in. But thanks everyone for letting me know my expectations were to high and what to avoid from here on.

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5 hours ago, SVOFANATIC said:

I understand time and effort into prepping a car I've done it many times, I also know I wasn't the cause of the engine failure T&P's were all good no over reving ect. My end understanding of this is that the renter is the one who's taking the most risk for what you're putting in. I know many won't agree with that statement but think of it this way. Transmission in your car fails and you don't have a spare. You can't find a spare transmission close enough to make it worth it so you pack up and go home. Yes you have event entry you lost and some other things I understand but you still have a car. For one renters investment you can replace that transmission while that renter didn't get what he actually paid for. Whether you turn 1 lap or 500 that entry is spent it won't be coming back if you sell that seat or not same goes for travel distance, hotel, food ect. That renter is investing money for time. You as the owner are taking the risk of renting the seat if the car breaks or some other unknown reason and the renter doesn't get what they paid for you should be willing to work with that person (within reason). Again I do not agree with or want a REFUND of any sort I was just hoping to get a discount on a future event.  The team even confirmed I wasn't the cause of the failure for those saying maybe I was the cause. I understand many of us are doing cheap racing just to go have fun and it's expensive even though it's supposed to be cheap. This will likely be my last time renting a seat (unless I become a millionaire which is unlikely lol) because I don't like putting money into an investment where too many issues can arise and I just lose it all. I'd rather invest in my own car (finishing it currently) and be only able to blame myself for the failure. I guess the teams I worked for in the past were weird situations or maybe it was the series they were in. But thanks everyone for letting me know my expectations were to high and what to avoid from here on.

When you start prepping your own car  and get it to the track ready to race you will understand the hundreds of hidden costs involved. Truck and trailer expenses, wear  and tear on all vehicles and equipment, volatile consumable costs( last race fuel nearly doubled in cost after all drivers paid), unexpected cost(last minute engine work after drivers paid), and the random failure. These things happen even with meticulous prep and planning. Having regular partners who understand that stuff happens and no one is try to take advantage of anyone. Partner with a team and over time the renter will be the one who “profits”. 

Edited by TimS
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I own a car and greatly prefer race weekends where I am a renter.

 

The costs are cheaper.  The prep is easier.  The stress is gone / less.  I don't need to fix the car once it gets back home.  

 

That being said, if it all goes sideways, I understand and don't expect anything in return.

 

Where I DO have an issue is if the car prep just sucks when it arrives.  If I don't get my seat time because the car is a pile of unreliable crap, then I will be pissed.

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7 hours ago, SVOFANATIC said:

This will likely be my last time renting a seat (unless I become a millionaire which is unlikely lol) because I don't like putting money into an investment where too many issues can arise and I just lose it all.

 

Sounds like owning a car.  

 

Risk?  The risk is greater for the owner.  Much greater.  Drivers say "yeah of course I'll pitch in if we bin it".... but how many actually will?  I'm not as dumb as I look ;) . Or let's say I've got a signed piece of paper, how many owners are made whole in the end as described in the fine print?  Probably not many.  It's shocking what a fast/reliable car actually costs, it's a huge loss for an owner.

 

Race weekend cost?  Trust me when when I say that at any price point of a rented seat, the owner is still eating costs just to get back out there and do it again.  No champcar regular has positive cash flow selling seats, I'll be real surprised if there is.  Prove me wrong.

 

Time?  Tons, and that's when all goes well.  You think you understand the resources put into fielding a reliable car, but you don't until you've done it all alone as an owner.  It's literally a lifestyle, not a cute phrase on a T shirt.

 

My current car (built it in '18) has seen the checker in 17 of 18 starts and I'm still hesitant to sell seats for fear of sour grapes.  

 

tl;dr  Renting is much lower cost and risk, just learn from this experience and choose a seat that will more likely meet your expectations next time.

 

 

 

 

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I have a contract that I have signed, or had signed depending on the side of the table that I'm sitting on.  Handed to me by another club level racer.  It spells out in good detail who's doing what, what the costs are and who is responsible for damage.

 

In short - car prep is done to the best of the team's ability.  If you don't feel it is right, you don't need to sign the contract.  Once signed you're on the hook for the values noted.  Car gets damaged while you're in it, you own the damage.  Owner's discretion on how to fix.  At the end of the weekend, as the owner I get to keep what ever is left over.  Personally I don't charge for tow vehicle costs, or car prep time, motor building, paint jobs etc.

 

Motors and clutches are a bit of a grey area, but when the car comes in with a motor issue, the first thing that is looked at is the data trace of the motor - if it has any over-rev's while you were driving then you own the whole cost of replacement.  Period.  On top of your share of the race costs.  If it looks like it just let go for no reason, or it was doing things like starving out on corners then its on the owner to fix. 

 

If you want to to see how expensive it could be, do a rental from a team that is making a business of renting seats.  They will be sure to factor in the cost of the prep, tow vehicle, racecar purchase etc.

 

And when you look at any items produced for use on or associated with a racecar, the do not come with warranties. 

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This is always an interesting subject when it comes up, just to see how different everyone does it and views it.  I don't like contracts for this kind of thing, but that's just me.  I also only want experienced team principles in our car, they know and appreciate the full picture of what it takes.  If I "rent" or trade stints and drive another car, I typically know them and know how they operate.  If I don't get done like I feel like I should have been done then I pay up anyway and don't look back figuring I'll use that info in the future to decide if I ever get in that car again. I can only think of once that I felt that way, but also understood all the team had gone through to get there so I let it go. 

 

But I do tend to agree with the op on the quality of car prep being in question as to whether the car had a relative good chance to finish the weekend and that somehow needing to be factored in.  It's a tough call either way, as a team owner I usually err in the direction of taking one for the team if something comes up, that way everybody at least has a chance to be happy.  My advice?  You paid already so just let it go and move on.

 

 

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I am a very promiscuous renter. Ive been around the block many times with all the interested parties. And long ago I owned a team but got out of if and then realized the effort was soo much higher then renting. I passionatly feel that the team owes you nothing. "That is racing" was the correct statement. Does it suck? Yup. But in realitiy it probably cost the owner of the team just as much to do a few laps as it would to do a whole weekend. This is a risk when renting, just like its a risk when owning. Almost always the risk is in the renters favor. Most of the time when this happen the team offers some deal/discount or whatever but that is typically out of guilt (which just double screws them). Now would I rent with that team again? Probably not. If you want guarantees then I would suggest getting out of racing becuase that not a thing in this sport. Maybe try sim racing instead?

 

Pro note: If you find yourself in this situation in the future. Start asking around the paddock to see if anyone else has a seat. You have already sunk a bunch of time and money getting there.

Edited by Jamie
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This is a great subject, I am an owner builder, the first race I did with 3 renter's was Nelson Ledges 24 this year, I figured $1000.00 per driver to limit some of my costs. I charged each $500.00 up front with a no refund understanding unless I couldn't make it to the track. The last $500 would be payable after the race if they were satisfied with the car and seat time. I also paid for the track day Friday and we all did lap's. The race went well till the pressure plate broke, I had another and every one of my renters worked with me to replace it, then it broke again after 6 lap's, at that point I wasn't sure if I even had the parts to fix it so we all being wiped out called it good. They were all happy and even offered to pay the rest which I refused! I want happy driver's and I myself wasn't happy with how it all went so though I lost money and would have lost less had Turtle keep running I am more than satisfied I did right by my guy's. Just the way I am.

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I'm with Timothy on rental payments. We divide up the costs as evenly as possible but some items get missed. Many times I collect the fees after the race to make sure everyone gets their allotted stint time. In some cases drivers have paid in full not getting all their time so they can help with repairs. One driver couldn't do all his stints at Indy yet payed his full price which was most appreciated by me. 

If the race car loses track time because of a mechanical then that's on me & I take the responsibility. 

We've only had crash damage one time & the driver volunteered the repair costs. 

I'm pretty confident that all the drivers I have had would come back again. treating them fairly helps with that. Charging full price for a product not delivered does just the opposite it makes drivers not return and worse the word gets out there. 

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I have myself and my co-owner and usually two well-vetted renters for the typical race weekend. My deal is that I do all the work and my co-owner pays the car cost, then the weekend costs are split between the three of them.

 

I would be much, much farther ahead monetarily to put in more hours at work and rent seat time with another team but I enjoy the build and I also do the mods that I want to do and tune. I accept that.

 

But what makes things tricky is when one of the renters (or co-owner!) is given the usual instructions (watch the gauges, call if there are concerns, follow my directions over the radio) and the car comes in with the temp gauge pinned during basically a warm-up session at a new track (each driver to put in 10-15 laps to learn the track in the morning then trade off to the next driver, then pick up the pace in the afternoon qualifying). Three renters for this race, the first two followed instructions and the car was fine. Third renter was the one that pinned the temp gauge. Tried several times to get a few more laps on the car so the co-owner (last one to go) could get seat time but couldn't make even one lap. Head gasket.

 

Took the car back to the hotel with the enclosed trailer (big one) and replaced the head gasket that evening. Finished at midnight, ran the car through one heat cycle to purge the air out of the system, reset the shift light down 1000 rpm and shut down by 1 am. Back out to the track with the car by 7 am, another heat cycle then put my co-owner out for the first stint (usually mine) so he could at least get some pace laps in before going green. The engine was running but now was visibly smoking as it left the pits.

 

The race started, coolant temps steady at 190 degrees. Second stint, same thing, fast driver and moving through the field. Third stint, still good with another fast driver and third overall. Adding 1.5-2 litres of oil at every stop, up from one litre every third or fourth stop. Fourth stint, the driver who was driving the day before when the head gasket blew. Again, fast driver, and by end of his stint we were three laps in the lead. Told him to back down and preserve the car as all we had to do was circulate for the last stint (mine) and we would win. The lap after being told to slow down, he put in his fastest lap so far. Told again to slow down, which it looked like he had but then once he cleared the traffic, put down an even faster lap. Told him to pit. 30 seconds later he called in saying the engine had blown up.

 

Wasn't impressed to find out that driver had told one of the other renters that he drove the whizz out of the car the day before when it overheated. He admitted that he never looks at gauges. Can't say it was his fault but it sure felt that way. 

 

That ended our race and weekend with one more day to go. No refunds but if there were refunds, should I pay or should that renter pay? 

 

P.S. That weekend, I got about ten laps in exchange for prepping the car, towing 10 hours one way, replacing the head gasket, then having the engine get abused and blown up. Loaded back up and towed 10 hours back. Shouldn't I get a refund??? ;)

 

P.S.S I checked the memory tach after loading it in the trailer: 10,000 rpm, the highest it reads. Thinking strongly of getting live telemetry... 

Edited by mender
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This is in my contracts:

 

Principal shall transport and provide said property to the location of the event by Principal’s own means and under coverage of Principal’s own insurance. Principal shall provide a limited number of spare parts and/or replacement parts for said property; however, in case of mechanical failure or on-track incident,

 

Principal may not have all parts required to complete the event. Renter understands and acknowledges that Principal cannot guarantee any length of operation of Principal’s property in the competition event. Furthermore, because the use of the property is being shared by others, no guarantee can be made, that renter shall enjoy any specific duration of use of the Principal’s property. Should the Renter be unable to use the Principal’s property at all a partial refund of 50% of the rental fee will be provided to the renter within 30 days of the event.

 

Had you been in my car you would not have gotten a refund. Had you missed all stints I would have refunded you a 50%. I am very well stocked for parts so I've never had anyone miss more then half a stint except myself.  In that instance I put hundred plus hours of effort and thousand of dollars so other folks could race. Similar to Mender's experience. 

 

I also have this in my document:

 

Parties agree that incidental contact is considered within the course of normal on-track racing. Parties further agree that collisions severe enough to cause structural damage, frame damage, or immediate mechanical failure are not considered within the course of normal on-track racing.

 

The Parties agree that the maximum liability the Renter will incur under this agreement is as follows:

 

$2500 Engine

$1000 Transmission

$5000 all other components combined

 

I've never used this section because I only get renters I trust, but it exists so everyone is aware. 

 

In short and to answer your question, you are being a Karen.  That said clear guidelines and expectations on both sides would alleviate this. 

Edited by veris
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Here is what my drivers agreement looks like. 

 

Driver Liability

Accidents and off-track excursions do happen, sometimes due to driver negligence, weather or mechanical breakdown. As the driver of the car you are responsible for all car contacts and what happens to the vehicle after the initial contact. If you are in an accident you will be responsible for the cost to repair the car up to a maximum of $5000. If you drive in an unsafe, careless or reckless manner I have the right to remove you from the vehicle and/or from the team. If you are removed from the vehicle because of cause (by me or Champcar) you do not have the right for any part of a refund for unused driving hours. If a mechanical failure occurs and I determine that it was made worse or caused by the driver you will be responsible for the repair cost up to a maximum of $5000. Drive the vehicle with care and respect and you will do fine.

 

Driver Penalties

If, while driving, you incur a driving penalty handed down by Champcar officials you will be fined by the team in the amount of $50 for each minute of penalty.  This includes passing under yellow, car contact, aggressive driving, failure to come to pit-in for a black flag and any other reason that the officials think the driver needs a “time out”.

 

Financial Commitment

Racing isn’t cheap; you will need to budget for your required safety equipment, race entry fees and the supplies used on the car during the race (gas, tires, brakes etc.). Usually the car has to be to an event the day before, so there may be a few days needed for each event. That means hotel or camping expenses (not provided or included, a lot of the tracks will allow camping for free), plus food and personal supplies for the weekend. Total cost per race will be determined based on the race entry fee, tow vehicle mileage, race hours driven and the number of drivers. The price range is from $1000-$2000 per driver. The operating cost for the cars are $175.00 per hour of race time.

 

Refunds

Race fees are divided into two sections

1.      Race entry:  any expense associated with the race car that is not included in the actual driving of the car on the track. I.E.-tow vehicle expense, highway tolls, ice, drinking water, snacks, trailer tires, etc.

2.      Operating cost:  the cost of the race car while being driven on the track is $175hr.

If you do not drive some portion of your allotted time due to no fault of your own I will refund the operating cost of the car only, IE-If you paid for 4 hours of track time and you only drove for two then you will be refunded 2hrs x $175=$350.

Race entry fees will never be refunded.

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