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After much consideration, I've decided to toss my name into the ring for 1 of the open BOD seats.

 

My name is Ian Seppanen, my member # is CC014312.

 

A little about me.

 

I am an Automotive technician by trade with over 15 years of experience.  I manage an extremely succesful small shop in Northern MN with a handful of employees.  I accel at not only repairing cars, but also working with customers and suppliers.  I am happily married with 2 school age children who I hope to share racing with as they come of age.

 

Why do I want to be on the BOD?

 

Honestly, I don't.  The BOD is underpaid and overworked.  They do an incredibly difficult and thankless job, but it is in my opinion an incredibly important one.  As far as I understand, there is a shortage of people willing to donate their time to be on the BOD, as I see it, the more candidates there are, the better chances that each voting member can find a candidate that best aligns with their own personal goals for this series.  I don't "want" the job, but I feel my experiences, viewpoints, and skills could be beneficial to the BOD, and if the membership sees fit to elect me, I will gladly serve with honor.

 

What do I have to offer the BOD?

 

As an auto technician, I have a vast knowledge of many makes and models of cars, and how different modifications and parts effect them.  I also have extensive experience dealing with vendors, suppliers, customers and employees.  I have experience in many forms of Motorsports, competition, support, and organizing across multiple disciplines and sanctioning bodies.  I have seen racing organizations both flourish and fail due to decisions made by managment, and all those experiences have helped me take a macro view of our series and what it needs to continue hosting incredibly competitive races at the greatest tracks in North America

 

I have been participating in amateur racing for nearly 2 decades.  Starting with drag racing, Auto X, and Rally X, I graduated to Stage Rally in 2011 in a S13 240SX I built myself.  In 2016 Myself and a team member transitioned the car to road race specification which we used to race ChumpCar as well as WRL under the Sons Of Irony Motorsports team name until 2019 when a brake failure sent me into the wall at Road America, completely destroying the car.  We decided to clean slate.  With the addition of another team member, we formed Finndurance Motorsports, and built our 2004 Infiniti G35 coupe.  We chose the platform to attempt to do what many others seem afraid to do, starting with a platform that carries penalty laps.  Having raced with ChampCar, WRL, and Bracket Racing, I can see Pros and cons to all, and I believe I can use those experiences to help ChampCar navigate the challenges it will face as we move through an uncertain future.

 

As a member of a team competing with a car outside of the common platforms that populate most chanpcar fields.  I feel I could bring a different perspective to the BOD.  I believe CCES is at a crossroads in its existence.  If we continues to protect the status quo, we may see teams leave the series for other sandboxes as they wish to move to newer platforms that the series has for the most part valued high enough to make them non competitive with the current crop of cars.  In the inverse, if we change the dynamics too much, we may push away our current front runners.  That being said, we must also focus on those mid pack, and backmacker teams, as they fill out the entry lists, and keep racing affordable for all of us.  Afordability should be forefront of every decision the BOD makes.  It's clear that LeMons is doing quite well as the cheapest way to get on track, while WRL has moved so far upmarket, that average team has been priced out, yet they're still selling out races.  CCES slots in between the 2, but is competing with LDRL in some regions.  This is a dynamic that must be watched closely.

 

All that being said, I should also mention, I view myself as running to fill Tyler's seat on the BOD only.  It is my opinion that @Rodger Coan-Burningham deserves a full term on the BOD.  I personally have no wish to unseat him, and I greatly value his opinions and experiences on the BOD, and I believe his short stint hasn't allowed the BOD to fully realize all the things he likely has to offer.  I had no intentions to run at all until I found out that Tyler was stepping down.

 

@E. Tyler Pedersen.  I'd like to thank you for everything you've done for this series.  From what I understand you've been instrumental in helping keep this series at the forefront of amateur endurance racing in North America.  You're leaving an awfully big set of shoes to fill.  My hat is off to you, hope all is well with yourself and your family, hope to meet you at the track some day.  Thank you for your service to CCES.

 

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Hi thank you, I find myself in a similar position.

 

What are your thoughts on fuel capacity? Our current situation is both allowing overdogs and creating underdogs. Should we enact a min max? (To help cars with silly little tanks) An equal max for all? For now we can skip specifics like should it be per class, or a direct formula using weight or engine size. Or just a high max to reign in outliers like the 26 gallon C3, 24 gallon El Camino, 22 or 23 gallon C cars like the 944, 18 gallon B class Prelude and so on?

 

Coolers? Less points? No points? Not every car needs em, some can't live without em, how do we tell the difference. Some come stock with many, some few or none. Other series allow them freely, this is a barrier of entry to Champcar, how do we handle or justify that?

 

Tires? Should things be reigned in here and if so how?

 

Driver tracking, barcode/rfid system?

 

Tyler spent a lot of time promoting Champcar and working to bring in sponsorship and it seems he was successful. Who can fill those shoes? Should ChampCar hire someone?

 

 

You mentioned your experience and opinions. What changes to the rules, race procedure and so on would yourself like to see? 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wheelman_99 said:

Hi thank you, I find myself in a similar position.

 

What are your thoughts on fuel capacity? Our current situation is both allowing overdogs and creating underdogs. Should we enact a min max? (To help cars with silly little tanks) An equal max for all? For now we can skip specifics like should it be per class, or a direct formula using weight or engine size. Or just a high max to reign in outliers like the 26 gallon C3, 24 gallon El Camino, 22 or 23 gallon C cars like the 944, 18 gallon B class Prelude and so on.

 

I think making sweeping changes to the current fuel capacity rules is a subject that should be approached with the utmost caution.  IMO the BOD made the right decision by limiting all cars to +2 gallons total, vs the +2, plus filler neck + surge system that allowed certain cars to benefit more than others.  Fuel capacity handicap should currently be baked in to every vehicles VPI.  Big changes to that system could fundamentally change CCES and that not an ideal situation.  IIRC the top 5 finishing cars at RA last weekend all ran extra stop strategies, so the system isn't totally broken.  Moving to fuel by weight or displacement system would likely result in many teams moving to fuel cells, at great personal cost, and it may force teams already running cells to change sizes, again at cost.  This is likely to cause great disagreement across the membership.

 

Fuel for points is something to be considered, but very very carefully.

 

2 hours ago, Wheelman_99 said:

Coolers? Less points? No points? Not every car needs em, some can't live without em, how do we tell the difference. Some come stock with many, some few or none. Other series allow them freely, this is a barrier of entry to Champcar, how do we handle or justify that?

 

 

 

Again, sweeping changes are a mistake here, but I think we've reached a point in CCES where very few cars are or would pedal the car to keep oil temps down.  With the addition of free aluminum radiators, I feel the point value for oil coolers is something that should be explored.

 

2 hours ago, Wheelman_99 said:

Tires? Should things be reigned in here and if so how?

 

Driver tracking, barcode/rfid system?

 

 

 

By moving to a single tool across the wall, we're headed in the right direction.  I think a tire black list may also be explored, but like fuel rules, big changes are to be avoided.

 

A driver tracking system is something CCES is overdue for.  Simply by adding a QR code to the helmet stickers, we could build a database of driver infractions that could help build accountability.

 

3 hours ago, Wheelman_99 said:

Tyler spent a lot of time promoting Champcar and working to bring in sponsorship and it seems he was successful. Who can fill those shoes? Should ChampCar hire someone?

 

You mentioned your experience and opinions. What changes to the rules, race procedure and so on would yourself like to see? 

 

 

 

I have experience working with Vendors, as well as suppliers, I'd hope, should it come to pass, to continue the work Tyler has done.  Champ Car is the best game in town, with so much more to offer than some of the other series, and at a very affordable price.  

 

I'd like to see rules stability, accountability and clarity continue to be the focus of the BOD.  Massive changes to the ruleset would be a mistake as present.  I feel, despite some of the drama as of late, the BOD has set a reasonable course with changes like F class, and attempting to limit mass tire changing.  The biggest thing I'd like to see, is an improvement in communication to membership, and increases in transparency.

 

Thanks for the great questions.

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