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z31maniac
z31maniac HalfDork
10/7/08 8:38 a.m.
P71 wrote: So we're a bunch of whining ninnies now? Wow, that takes big brass ones! Screw it then. If anybody west of the Mississippi isn't welcome then we'll just not go. Don't want to upset the sandbox and be called an internet whiner after the magazine staff kept saying "out west".

Go back and read all of your posts, put it in the perspective as to what it takes a national magazine to host an event like this, and then yes, I think you should be able to agree you guys complaining sound like a bunch of spoiled kids.

An event gets talked about, that it might POSSIBLY happen, and you have gone so far as to say that PROMISES were broken. You sound like a heartbroken adolescent who didn't get their Laguna Beach barbie.

And where in the hell did you possibly read/infer that people west of the Mississippi weren't welcome? Seriously point out the post, I'd like to see it.

They are just saying the logistics/financial/whatever justifications aren't there yet at this point but they are working towards it.

I'm sure they would love to be able to put on another major event like this. Be reasonable for berkeleying sakes!

bluej
bluej HalfDork
10/7/08 8:47 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: David Chong, who is running the Grand Challenge has already been responsive to making his event more like ours. If you ask (nicely) he may even make a class for $2000 cars.

now there's something to build on. David has also come out and said right in this thread that the Grand Challenge DOESN'T make sense as a large multi-state series of events. So the way I (very humbly) see it, is that GRM has gotten on board with an event over on your side of the prairies. No, it's not a full blown challenge like they said it MIGHT be, but it's better than nothing. The staff of GRM has made it known that one of their biggest fears is the lack of turn-out if they were to take such a big step of moving the event further west for a year. So here's your chance. Talk to David Chong. Ask him if you guys can build a $2009 class into one of the events of that regional series. Do some of the legwork getting it going yourselves. If you can do that and have more than 30+ cars show up, that will show the feasibility to GRM of having it more west for future challenges.

kreb
kreb Dork
10/7/08 8:58 a.m.

Guys, while my West Coast bretheren make good points, let's not poison the process with further angry or whining words. The San Diego event organizer deserves kudos for giving this thing a go. It will likely be a Southern California specific event, because I just don't see guys bringing their cars long distances for the series. I just hope that if it isn't well attended, that isn't seen as representative of West Coast interest, rather, interest within a 100 or so mile radius.

It would seem that this event is in some ways akin to the 24 hours of lemons - just more oriented to builders than guys with a sacrificial lamb (car). I certainly wish it the best.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/7/08 9:07 a.m.

The reality of the Challenge for us is that it is a massive logistical undertaking for a company of our size. Maybe "plane tickets are cheap," but the last Challenge required more than a dozen staff members, and there were still people doing several jobs. There's six grand in plane fare alone, before you feed and house those folks.

Not to mention that those 12+ staff members traveled in six separate vehicles, including a motorhome, van and three SUVs full of stuff to make the event happen.

Now consider the fact that when the office is empty, there's not many folks to make magazines, which is how we pay for the Challenge (entry fees barely cover banquet costs). Of course, many of us were working on magazines in our hotel rooms in the couple hours between the last car on course and the beginning of the evening social activities, so I guess we are somewhat good at multitasking.

So, bottom line, we'd like to do a West Coast Challenge someday, and we're working toward that goal, just like we've always said. The SDGC is a positive first step toward that goal, and a very cool series in its own right.

jg

P71
P71 Reader
10/7/08 9:32 a.m.

Because I really, really dislike being called an internet whiner or have doubts thrown all over about what GRM said/promised. I'd have more, but you know that whole no Search function kinda hurts...

David_Chong wrote: I sympathize with those who are feeling the sting of disappointment. If you were hoping for a $2009 Challenge Southwest, the GRM SDGC is no satisfaction unless you happen to live down here.
David S. Wallens wrote: We'd lose the momentum we have here in Florida if we went to an alternating schedule. This weekend's event was awesome--awesome cars, awesome people.
Tim Suddard wrote: This is not exactly the right time to go ask sponsors for a bunch more money to hold a much more expensive event. I have run this magazine and these events for 25 years now and am absolutely not going to bring this whole thing crashing down by making major bad decisions.
GRM Homepage wrote: The Challenge Goes West: Hoping for a Challenge event on the West Coast?
$2009 Challenge Page wrote: After planning to take Horace Greeley’s advice and go west for the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge, we decided we love our East Coast competitors too much to leave.

Archive:

http://archive.grassrootsmotorsports.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=32128

Page 11 of GRM with Sooperturd cover wrote: ... odds are strong that the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge will take place somewhere in the southwest part of the country.
David S. Wallens wrote: Big requirements for us are a drag strip, good autocross site and decent banquet spot. I'm voting for Vegas.

That enough "evidence" for you doubters yet?

bluej
bluej HalfDork
10/7/08 9:49 a.m.

i don't think anyone is arguing with you that they were seriously CONSIDERING having it further west. i was assuming i'd either be roadtripping cross country next year or waiting till $2010 if i couldn't afford it or get the time off. still not the same as actually announcing it.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/7/08 9:53 a.m.

copcar, I understand your question and empathize with your view but one thing no one else is taking into account is scheduling.

Most tracks with multi use capability are busy all summer long, most southern tracks remain busy during the off summer months. The scheduling of a WEEKEND event that is not bringing in $20.00 per head and 25,000 people per day for refreshments, food and other well taxes commodities puts the event very low on priority.

Gainesville is doing us a favor every year they let us run there. They LIKE the Challenge, it makes them no more money than a pro test and tune weekend.

See if any of the NASCAR owned tracks like Vegas will let that happen. It is a profit driven world and we are not in it's demographic.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 Reader
10/7/08 10:02 a.m.
P71 wrote: Because I really, really dislike being called an internet whiner or have doubts thrown all over about what GRM said/promised. I'd have more, but you know that whole no Search function kinda hurts...
David_Chong wrote: I sympathize with those who are feeling the sting of disappointment. If you were hoping for a $2009 Challenge Southwest, the GRM SDGC is no satisfaction unless you happen to live down here.
David S. Wallens wrote: We'd lose the momentum we have here in Florida if we went to an alternating schedule. This weekend's event was awesome--awesome cars, awesome people.
Tim Suddard wrote: This is not exactly the right time to go ask sponsors for a bunch more money to hold a much more expensive event. I have run this magazine and these events for 25 years now and am absolutely not going to bring this whole thing crashing down by making major bad decisions.
GRM Homepage wrote: The Challenge Goes West: Hoping for a Challenge event on the West Coast?
$2009 Challenge Page wrote: After planning to take Horace Greeley’s advice and go west for the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge, we decided we love our East Coast competitors too much to leave.

Archive:

http://archive.grassrootsmotorsports.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=32128

Page 11 of GRM with Sooperturd cover wrote: ... odds are strong that the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge will take place somewhere in the southwest part of the country.
David S. Wallens wrote: Big requirements for us are a drag strip, good autocross site and decent banquet spot. I'm voting for Vegas.

That enough "evidence" for you doubters yet?

It's evidence that they were considering it just like everyone has said. You haven't pointed out anything that's new to anyone. They were CONSIDERING it, they were looking into it, it didn't happen. LIve with it, suck it up and go to Florida, or wait out another year and see what turns up then. Maybe try to help get some entries in on the West Coast even that HAS materialized to make it look like moving it to the West Coast would be a viable option for the staff.

But seriously.... no promises were made. I think a rational response would have been to complain in one post, of course in a rational matter. Rather than carrying on for 3 pages about how someone pissed in your cheerios.

I hope to god you don't buy lottery tickets....

P71
P71 Reader
10/7/08 10:15 a.m.

I guess you missed this part:

Page 11 of GRM with Sooperturd cover wrote:

... odds are strong that the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge will take place somewhere in the southwest part of the country.

How PRINTING it in GRM isn't enough for you is beyond me. And in case you fail at reading comprehension, I am far from the only one upset about this or posting in this thread.

I hope to god you don't revert to insults and personal attacks in all your real-life conversations...

fastclown
fastclown New Reader
10/7/08 10:26 a.m.

You've got it all wrong. My inside GRM sources overheard Tim at a GRM meeting stating "I think the clown is lucky to find his way to Gainesville, he'll get lost going west. Until he makes me an animal balloon we're not moving the Challenge!"

Thanks Tim, as soon as I figure which end of the balloon to put the air in, I'll make you one. We enjoyed this years' Challenge even though I learned Minissan isn't done, new smaller carb on order, then front springs, tires.....

I think it's funny that the west coasters can only do an 1/8 mile run. Are the tree huggers trying to conserve fuel? Will it break with the extra strain of the extra 1/8 mile? Or, is that as long as they can concentrate on one thing? I've read about them people....

P71
P71 Reader
10/7/08 10:27 a.m.

No it's because we're only half as important ($1000, 1/8 mile)

kreb
kreb Dork
10/7/08 10:34 a.m.
I think it's funny that the west coasters can only do an 1/8 mile run. Are the tree huggers trying to conserve fuel? Will it break with the extra strain of the extra 1/8 mile? Or, is that as long as they can concentrate on one thing? I've read about them people

Dude, half the distance equals more time for surfing!

maassauto
maassauto New Reader
10/7/08 10:43 a.m.

Despite being much closer to San Diego than Florida, I wouldn't even consider doing the California event. After attending five straight Challenges, I had to sit out this year because of fuel costs. I too was hoping for a new location but the multi-date format just doesn't cut it for anyone outside side of the immediate area. It's not that event won't work but it can't really be compared to the $200x Challenge. I've driven to Gainesville from Colorado four times and believe me, it's both a big financial and time commitment. I've tried to get other locals interested in the event, but most people can't be away from their job or family for 5-6 days of driving. It would nice to see some new faces and cars at next years event. Everyone who agrees should talk up the event outside the world of this forum. There's thousands of gearheads out there who have never heard of GRM or the Challenge. Spread the word or the field will remain pretty familiar and predictable. I'll be back in 2009 with a fresh car and hopefully some fellow western competitors.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Reader
10/7/08 11:16 a.m.
fastclown wrote: I think it's funny that the west coasters can only do an 1/8 mile run. Are the tree huggers trying to conserve fuel? Will it break with the extra strain of the extra 1/8 mile? Or, is that as long as they can concentrate on one thing? I've read about them people....

No, it's because that extra 1/8 mile constitutes about three million dollars in real estate, not to mention what the extra runoff area adds.

As a former New Englander transplanted to CA, I too am disappointed the Challenge won't be coming west. I was looking forward to attending next year. However, in light of the sharp economic downturn, I think it prudent for GRM to stand pat and run events with known fixed costs and participation. If competitive NASCAR teams will be underfunded next year (think DEI), our admittedly fringe event is in some peril. At this time, asking sponsors to take a leap into the Big Unknown for twice the price is business suicide.

Yesterday, "Mad Money's" Jim Cramer got on the "Today" show and advocated pulling all the money an investor might need in the next five years out of the stock market. His rationale was, many of the people he did business with in the past (Lehman, Bear Stearns, AIG, etc) are either gone or nationalized. So he believes there will be less money in the portfolio over the next five years than there is now.

Having followed the progress of GRM and the Suddard's burgeoning publishing business since the beginning 25 years ago, I can tell you they rarely put a foot wrong. The Suddards grow their company slowly but steadily. After all this time, their empire has grown from one publication to a staggering 2.5 (one on the way, right?). Tim and Margie could pursue every car niche in the world ("Classic BarbieCar") but they stick to what they know and make a nice life for their employees and themselves.

Motorsports Marketing Inc knows the Gainesville event inside and out. This country is convulsing economically, even more dramatically since MM first talked about coming west. Banks won't even lend to other banks because they might need their assets to cover their own asses. So we should put aside our disappointments for awhile and look at the big picture. Many people will face much larger disappointments in the next few years.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 Reader
10/7/08 11:41 a.m.
P71 wrote: I guess you missed this part: Page 11 of GRM with Sooperturd cover wrote: ... odds are strong that the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge will take place somewhere in the southwest part of the country. How PRINTING it in GRM isn't enough for you is beyond me. And in case you fail at reading comprehension, I am far from the only one upset about this or posting in this thread. I hope to god you don't revert to insults and personal attacks in all your real-life conversations...

I don't really....

This went far south of a conversation awhile ago, though.

I do apologize. But again... GRM didn't PROMISE anything.

You can complain that "OH man, my chances didn't come through for me."

Nobody screwed you. So stop acting like the whole staff is against you.

If i lived in CA, i'd still come out for $2009. I don't care where it is on this continent. You're building a car for peanuts to free up transport costs, look at it that way.

z31maniac
z31maniac HalfDork
10/7/08 11:43 a.m.
P71 wrote: I guess you missed this part: Page 11 of GRM with Sooperturd cover wrote: . ... odds are strong that the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge will take place somewhere in the southwest part of the country How PRINTING it in GRM isn't enough for you is beyond me. And in case you fail at reading comprehension, I am far from the only one upset about this or posting in this thread. I hope to god you don't revert to insults and personal attacks in all your real-life conversations...

It seems as though your reading comprehension is suspect at best. Ironic considering you call out others in that respect.

"Odds are strong" DOES NOT EQUAL this is definitely going to happen.

How hard is that?

patgizz
patgizz Dork
10/7/08 11:48 a.m.

man, i like you and enjoy most of your posts and help, but "odds are strong" does not equal "we promise" or "it will for certain be"

it seems someone really close to you may have the problem with reading comprehension

odds were also strong that the browns were not going to start the season 1-4.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/7/08 11:50 a.m.

Sounds to me like David Chong is very approachable.

Why not ask him?

Could there be a $2009 catagory?

Could there be a "best of" format that would allow, but not require, attending every event?

Could there be 1 event further north?

Etc. etc. etc.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
10/7/08 11:59 a.m.
SVreX wrote: Gentlemen: I suggest you stop bitching and start building. The only way to justify a bigger GRM West Coast event is to make this one a success. While it may not be what you had hoped, it IS a step in the right direction. San Diego is on the west coast. It's pretty far south, but I heard mention of both Phoenix and Portland earlier, which would have had the exact same distance issues for someone. There have been Challengers brought to FL from Canada. This year, someone drove 2200 (IIRC) miles one way in their Challenger. Why so many sorry excuses? The "momentum" GRM is building has very little to do with the Hongs. It has to do with familiarity with the host track, hotel, local officials, and all the related restaurants, etc. for both the staff and the participants. I think you are being pretty hard on the staff and giving them very little effort for trying. Don't forget- the purpose of the event is to generate editorial content. Let's consider what could have happened. GRM goes full out with a West Coast event only. They decide on Phoenix, and half of you start bitching that it's too far. Problems arise because of distance issues- contract negotiations, unfamiliarity with the area, whatever. Net results, 20 cars show up, many of whom give a half effort. This would have been devastating to the magazine and everything related to it. So it's not what you want. There's a lot of stuff about the Challenge that's not what I want. I've debated several issues for years and made no headway. But I still participate, I still encourage, I still build stuff, pay entry fees, and go. I've been there for 5 years, and I'll go as long as they hold it. I'd have gone to the West Coast if it was only there. So you decide. The West Coast GRM Challenge will be what you make of it. I won't be there. Most of the people who have been making the Challenge what it is will not be there. You decide. Will it be a flop or a success? Will you let the East Coast entrants whoop your butt, or will you show us what you can do? Make lemonade, or keep bitching. You decide.
SVreX wrote: If you've already spent money on a $200X car, that was probably foolish, until the plans were made. There is one sure fire way to insure there will never be a West Coast Challenge- don't support it when efforts are made.

Some of us already spent money on a $2009 car because we actually planned on bringing a car to the event rather than giving in and coming carless because we ran out of time. I thought plans were made, I made it clear that I shouldn't have had my expectations so high. Instead, I'm regathering and hopefully I can make the UTCC...if I don't do the UTCC at least I'll have the car I want instead of a car I was building to cater to one single event. I thought it would be awesome to compete in the $2009, but it will be way less awesome if it's literally on the opposite end of the country. I've made that drive many times, I've towed from here to there when fuel prices were a third of what they are now, I'm not going down that road. The only way I'd do Gainesville would be if I paid to have it transported down and back, but that isn't going to save me money (just time).

You mention Canadians coming to FL, some people as far as 2200 miles away. For reference, those of us on the west coast need to travel another 50% further on top of that...the fuel alone for a typical tow rig is going to be more than the challenge budget. It's a big country! Make lemonade? Funny you should say that, as I've been doing 24 Hours of LeMons races, another GRM sponsored event that I'm a big fan of. To date I've been in four races and had about ten hours of wheel to wheel seat time and even including travel costs, towing costs, etc. I've spent less than a single $200X challenge will cost me. That's a heck of a value. I plan on my fifth event at Thunderhill if they continue letting us in!

While some of the west coasters think the move was promised, I'm not one of those guys. They kept their cards held close and made some suggestions along the way, I was hoping that was because they were waiting until the details were hammered out, not because they were going to change their mind. I definitely didn't expect the event to come all the way to San Fran, Seattle, Portland, etc....just somewhere more centrally located. I guess we'll "let the east coast entrants whoop our butt" since it doesn't make much sense to spend several thousand bucks and a bunch of vacation time to compete in the Gainesville Challenge. I'm smarter than that, or at least I'd like to think so, and I'd much rather spend half as much money and time travelling and put that much more into my car for something like the UTCC (or other track events) instead of towing time/fuel. I'm also not about to start my own challenge...I don't make any money publicizing it in my magazine, I like racing way to much to spend time organizing events instead of competing in them. ;)

Bryce

David_Chong
David_Chong New Reader
10/7/08 12:08 p.m.

First a little format note: Grand Challenge teams can technically run just one autoX and one drag. It is a "best of" format, and the additional races just give you a better shot at turning in a top finish. Viable strategies include seeing who is fast in races 1 & 2, and giving them food poisoning before race 3.

Okay, you heard it here first. If you guys are willing to put some money where your keyboards are, we are willing to run a $2009 special event subcategory. In the middle of our season, we would shedule one of our drag races and autocross races back to back on the same weekend, Saturday and Sunday. We would host a special $2009 concourse the same weekend, and offer a little social on Saturday night for poking fun, and getting your competitors liquored up so that they miss the race the next morning.

We do this because we love it, but we won't be back if we can't pay the bills. It's too late for us to attract marketing partners to support a seperate class and a special event weekend. So in order to not lose a ton of money, we'd need an adequate level of paid preregistrations. It certainly would not be a Full Show like you get in Gainesville, but you would have all of the elements and your own $2009 class to run in, on even ground.

If you want it, vote with your checkbooks and it will happen.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/7/08 12:21 p.m.
Nashco wrote: Some of us already spent money on a $2009 car because we actually planned on bringing a car to the event rather than giving in and coming carless because we ran out of time.

Love it. Was that supposed to be a shot at me? Cheapshot. I had 3 cars I could have brought which are all completed- I chose to make my family a priority and wrench on other people's cars, a decision I absolutely do not regret.

For the record, had there been only a West Coast Challenge, I planned to bring a car. Same mileage you would have covered.

Like I said, looks like Mr. Chong is extremely approachable.

Now what? You decide.

Dan G
Dan G Dork
10/7/08 12:51 p.m.

David, if you set a date for the $2009 "mini challenge weekend" I can probably convince a number of my fellow LeMons racers to enter our heaps. They won't do very well in the concours portion, and definitely nothing stunning in the drag race, but it'd still be a fun single weekend multi-event to participate in. Something in the April-June timeframe and I could probably round up at least 3-4 teams from the LA area.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
10/7/08 12:54 p.m.
SVreX wrote:
Nashco wrote: Some of us already spent money on a $2009 car because we actually planned on bringing a car to the event rather than giving in and coming carless because we ran out of time.

Love it. Was that supposed to be a shot at me? Cheapshot. I had 3 cars I could have brought which are all completed- I chose to make my family a priority and wrench on other people's cars, a decision I absolutely do not regret.

For the record, had there been only a West Coast Challenge, I planned to bring a car. Same mileage you would have covered.

Like I said, looks like Mr. Chong is extremely approachable.

Now what? You decide.

You planned on bringing a car out west just like you planned on bringing a car to the $2008, right? You said buying a $2009 car before the $2009 event was announced was foolish, I've got my reasons for doing so just like you've got your reasons for not bringing a car even though you have a number that you could have brought along for the ride. I don't have a family to make a priority, I have a fleet of vehicles that pull me in all directions instead, a decision I absolutely do not regret. Foolish? Perhaps to you, but do I go around saying people that make babies and stop racing are foolish? Hardly. My point is, it's much easier for the east side folks to say they'd travel anywhere for the challenge because they aren't having to travel 3000 miles. If the challenge moved to Topeka, I assure you there'd be far more whining, GRM knows that and that's why the challenge is staying put...they'd rather stick with the tried and true Gainesville format than give a new location a chance. I don't think they're bad people because of it, just disappointed.

Bryce

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/7/08 12:58 p.m.

Those from Florida and environs seem much more understanding than those from further away. Seems odd :) I just finished towing a car from Newfoundland and back, and let me say that it sure would have been nice if it had been, say, 5000 miles less. One of the big barriers for me running the Targa Newfoundland again is the two weeks of towing and the 600 gallons of gasoline I burned to do it. And that's far from a $2000 car or event.

I can understand the disappointment of those on the left coast. My recommendation? If you want a $200x challenge (I guess that should really be $20xx), throw one. I would not be surprised to see some cooperation from GRM, even if it's just a matter of a long conversation with Tim or David on what not to do and permission to use their rules. It doesn't have to be a massive event - really, it's just an autocross with a drag run and car show stuck on the side when you boil it down to the fundamentals. Use the local "test and tune" day at the dragstrip. It doesn't have to be expensive to run, I can put on an autocross for under $500 without any sponsors and it's only about $10-15 per car to run at the strip on Friday nights with their insurance. Hold the "banquet" at Red Robin in the party room. Nobody comes to an event like this for the food.

Get it started at the grassroots level and maybe it will ascend into legitimacy.

This is why I run autocrosses and track days locally. Nobody else was. If I wanted to play, I had to do it myself. I still get as much seat time as anyone else, especially now that the bugs are worked out. No, I'm not saying I'm going to run a Challenge event :) But it's an example.

Vegas is a cool idea, but it's the wrong place. The current Challenge is held in Gainsville, not Daytona. Make it in some little podunk town near Vegas (Pahrump, maybe?) if you love the Nevada heat.

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo New Reader
10/7/08 1:05 p.m.

im actually in P71's corner here. while it is true that they didnt promise anything, the REASONS for why they decided against it are pretty bogus.

$2009 Challenge Page wrote:

After planning to take Horace Greeley’s advice and go west for the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge, we decided we love our East Coast competitors too much to leave.

what crap. if you can tell us left-coasters to man up and show up in G-ville, why cant you tell those buckle hat righties to 'man up' and come out west?

i think mikes got a point here, even if he cant rationalize any better then a 5 yr old.

my other question is this: for the cost involved staff/host wise for the San-D challenge, the $2009 challenge would have been cheaper, and ill bet draw twice the cars.

but thats my opinion.

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