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Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
4/15/24 7:41 p.m.

I vote for piedmont north dakota. 

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/15/24 8:04 p.m.
Patrick said:
Tom Suddard said:

We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a location for the 2025 $2000 Challenge. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomar_response

Is there a point sooner than later that we'll be made aware of the venue so plans can be made accordingly? 

I'm gonna +1 this

 

Middle of America would be nice, it's a 40 hour drive for me now and is very much in the equation for why I haven't participated. While I am ridiculously awesome and very unique, I doubt I'm the only one with that problem.

 

Having said that I still always attempt to make the challenge, but it's looking a lot like I'll see if someone wouldn't mind me joining their team and flying down instead of driving/towing my own there.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/15/24 8:31 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Question...

Is the challenge growing or shrinking?  If shrinking, do we know why?  Is there some way to do a survey of past attendees that are no longer showing up?

Shrinking unfortunately. There used to be 50+ under budget cars that showed up. Post-covid we're finally almost back up to that number, but a solid half aren't even real Challenge cars.

I don't think the issue is location. GRM and the $2000 Challenge just aren't very well known in the car world.

Racebrick
Racebrick HalfDork
4/15/24 9:22 p.m.

I have not been yet. Partly due to the event being in spring, partly due to it being far from me. I'm anxiously awaiting the '25 info, and hoping to be there.

darkbuddha
darkbuddha HalfDork
4/15/24 9:35 p.m.

I'll say this: if it moves from Gainesville, it has to:

1. Be a better venue 

2. Be more convenient for the GRM folks running it 

3. Be cheaper for GRM to host

4. Be better supported by the venue's staff/management

5. Have higher visibility nationally

6. Offer something more as a destination than what Gainesville offers

7. Be a better experience for me as a competitor. 

That's asking A LOT for any change of venue, but it's not enough for it to just be less travel time for some competitors IMHO. After all, moving it will also mean more travel time for other competitors.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/15/24 9:45 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a location for the 2025 $2000 Challenge. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomar_response

Cool fact (to me at least), my Dad worked on the Glomar Explorer project.

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/15/24 9:46 p.m.

Despite having a theme of cheap racing, and being fun, at the end of any discussion, the Challenge is at its roots, a marketing venture for the magazine. 
Being based in central FL, and a HUGE portion of the members active online seeming to be on the east half of the country (including the bad decision triangle) , I think we will find the potential move, to remain convenient to the magazine. 

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/15/24 9:51 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

The US Navy had two ships dedicated to rescue, at one time.  The Grasp, and the Grapple. 
As a civilian contractor, I was working on one of the main engines on the Grapple, in Norfolk, when we had to put our repairs on hold, so the Grapple could go help in a rescue operation that sounds to me to be reverenced in the Glomar's description. 
Cool info. 

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/15/24 9:59 p.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
bbbbRASS said:

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Median center of population is Gibson County Indiana. 

And there is more population on the East side of the country. 

I'm not a statistics kinda guy, but doesn't the statement "median population center" and "more people in east half" contradict each other?

Disclamer: I have no clue which is correct. 

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/24 10:20 p.m.

No because the latter statement justifies the first because indiana is closer to the east coast than the west

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/15/24 10:38 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

Ah. Got it! Makes my brain hurt a bit, but that explanation helps!

(moot point, but facts are good!)

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/15/24 10:50 p.m.

Looked at location, and distance to Kansas. Farther N. than I would have thought, considering all from NE living in SE! Also would have thought all the concentrations in CA would have skewed it farther "left" (joke!) 

Take half of CA off, and it'd be in PA!

Interesting stuff. 
 

I might should apologize for the rabbit hole, but I learned a bit!

AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/15/24 11:14 p.m.

The geographic center of contiguous states is not near anywhere. I don't think there's even a suitable airport to land the GRM Corporate Jet.

Lebanon Kansas.

rdcyclist
rdcyclist GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/15/24 11:37 p.m.

Hey, I get it why all of the Florida residents would be resistant to any venue change. You don't have a multi-day tow to get to the event and in some cases can even stay at home that weekend. If you need some part or tool that's at home it's minutes or just hours away. That's why it's so well attended by the central Florida GRM crowd. I'd feel the same way if this was originally based in Sonoma (Sears Point, which can support Auto-X and Drags, BTW) and someone started talkin' 'bout moving it to Bumberkeley midwest. I would have to seriously think about going if that happened to me, too.

Speaking entirely for myself, traveling to Gainesville is a 2700 x2 mile tow. At 4 bucks/gallon for gas, that's over 2 grand for gas along with at least six motel nights on the road and all the associated costs of major coast to coast to coast travel. At least a week and half of vacation. All that makes for a hard sell with the spousal unit on my end.

I've had a potential Challenge car on my driveway and most of the parts to build it for several years. I am a very competitive individual and would not build something just to show up and not have a chance of showing well but I just can't see investing the money (we all know it's usually more than 2 grand with tools, tires and ancillaries) and time to build a car if I have to pile another 3-4 grand in travel time and trip cost for a two-day event with 25 cars in my class. I really, really want to come and do this with you all. Standing around in the paddock, drinking beer after events, swapping stories is something I have many, many years of experience in and increasing the field by meeting people from other parts of the country makes it even more appealing.

Yeah, the ONE west coast event wasn't well attended but in my defense, this was before I discovered GRM and The Challenge, so there would've been at least two of us. I'm not really suggesting having it out here; IMHO, that would be stupid. But a more central location would get more participation from the rest of the country (and Canada) if not right away but eventually. I believe the car count is not going to increase if the Challenge stays in Florida because there are only so many people interested in doing this in such a remote locale. To bring in more bodies, GRM needs to make it more appealing for the rest of the country.

IMHO, of course.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/24 12:18 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

I would like to point out that GRM tried to do a west coast challenge and I believe 1 person showed up.  Maybe it was a handful, but not many.

IIRC it was Nashco who showed up with the Hybrid Fiero.

Pretty much anywhere east/centralish would be closer for me, there are places in Texas and ND with similar drive times to reaching Gainesville.

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
4/16/24 8:42 p.m.

In reply to rdcyclist :

Although you did not mention it, I assume you are aware that the magazine is based in FL? With the event primarily being a "vehicle" (I funny!) to promote the magazine, I don't see the relevance of any of that. 
CA has always had a TON of automotive events, and always will. The NE has as well. 
There are many things the magazine could do to build more attendance. But only they can determine if the cost / benefit ratio is worth it. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/17/24 10:03 a.m.

I mean somewhere in the middle of the country puts it in my back yard. A place like I29 Speedway is as close to the middle as you can get that has a drag strip and a handling course. 

With that being said, I can think of only a handful of GRM folks in the area and it would be mega expensive for GRM to support with little in the way of folks potentially willing to travel for it. 

I see something in the SE as the logical home for it. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/17/24 11:55 a.m.
rdcyclist said:

Yeah, the ONE west coast event wasn't well attended but in my defense, this was before I discovered GRM and The Challenge, so there would've been at least two of us. I'm not really suggesting having it out here; IMHO, that would be stupid. But a more central location would get more participation from the rest of the country (and Canada) if not right away but eventually. I believe the car count is not going to increase if the Challenge stays in Florida because there are only so many people interested in doing this in such a remote locale. To bring in more bodies, GRM needs to make it more appealing for the rest of the country.

IMHO, of course.

Keep it in Florida and you will keep getting the same people every year and that may be what you want. Move it somewhere in the center of the country and you will end up bringing in more people from more different parts of the country.

Hallet Motor Speedway in Tulsa, Oklahoma would be a good place in the middle of the country. Toly Arutunoff owns it and he is kind of infamous in the racing world. He would put on a good show, as he does for the Miatas every year.

Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth is a World Class Facility and they have a drag strip now, along with the oval with a road racing course, a dirt track, hookups for a ton of motorhomes and SUVs, lots of parking lots for autocrosses, a major hotel right across the street. and on and on and on.

Then there is COTA. It's in Austin with all the music, food and cultural options you could think of. Another world class facility.

The people of the Southeast will grumble, but a lot of people from there are moving here now. I see lots of Florida plates on 635. People are also moving here from California, New York, New Jersey and so on. Of the 10 largest cities in the country, 4 of them are in Texas. Texas is also closer to California than Florida is. That's a lot of car enthusiasts.

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/17/24 1:54 p.m.

TLDR ... it's up to the staff but

I've resisted posting on this thread until I gathered my thoughts better.  The biggest risk is how many people will show up of course.  I'd bet that at least half the field (under and over budget) came from Florida.  Would they be willing to travel say 8 hours to another track?  I'd bet that most of the over budget would not.  Then you have to figure out if you can get locals around the new track to fill that void.  Are the local autocross groups big enough? 

The talk about going to Kansas or whatever in the middle of the country makes no sense to me at all.  That would put the event in a low population density area and make most of the competitors drive 12 plus hours to get there.  I don't see everyone just jumping to do that.

The event is foremost an editorial event for the magazine.  It would be interesting to see how the subscriber's locations correspond to the nation's population.  I don't know those numbers.  If you asked me to bet I'd bet a heavy SE subscriber base.  I wouldn't put much money on that as I've been known to be wrong.

Above is my attempt to give my unbiased opinion.  Below is my my biased opinion.

Gainesville is the Challenge home away from home for many of us.  We're all familiar with it.  People above pointed out how finding another hotel as accommodating as the Grand Western will be difficult.  When we showed up at 10am with the RX7 a lady came out and said "Yes the Challenge is back!"  She was a hotel staffer who moved her truck to make space for us.  We finally got decent tech inspections (I only found two questionable cars that passed).  How long will it take a track not used to our particular kind of junk to do that?

Those are my thoughts and worth exactly what you paid to get them.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman UltraDork
4/17/24 2:54 p.m.

"If you build it, they will come"  

We will schedule a terrible parking lot build first year of a new host hotel to see how welcoming they are.   

My wife had me looking up things to do with the kids in Gainesville for the next trip to the event in 2027. That way I can finish the build I started in 2017. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/17/24 3:08 p.m.

In reply to Andy Neuman :

By 2027 the wife and kids can come stay with us and play with the dogs, go boating and things. Probably. 

I don't know what Tom and crew are going to do. It's not an easy decision to make at all. The challenge has been at Gainesville for a quarter century. That's a lot of history. Getting guaranteed interest in a new location, starting over with all "new locals", the staff now traveling more out of town than just an hour or so away... it's gotta be a hard decision. I'm sure there are good reasons for them to move it if they so choose. Otherwise, why take that large of a risk?

tb
tb GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/17/24 3:09 p.m.

Lo, though I keep claiming to be done with this event i am somehow already working on next year's back marker. 

 

The challenge really is more about the people than the cars, location, date, etc..

 

I (kinda) remember the Orlando years and the old office before the last office... moving stuff around didn't end the world.

 

I like the current situation a whole bunch, but am not so in love with it that I will not admit to some shortcomings. Making some changes could work?

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/17/24 3:21 p.m.

Like everything with the challenge I am in for whatever GRM chooses as best for the magazine.  It is highly unlikely they will choose a venue farther away from me and if they feel a venue change will provide a benefit to them I'm not here to complain.  

I just want to know most importantly Dates ASAP but venue would be nice to know as well.  I suspect the two would be tied together clearly.  

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/17/24 3:28 p.m.

Weird I've been reading GRM for at least 20 plus years and I never saw anything about a west coast event. I've had plans to come but not participate. Where I'm located it's just way to expensive to do like previously explained.

Moving it closer to a central location might make it easier but not a guarantee of west coast people showing up. I feel a good majority would just because they've wanted to for a long time.

The biggest drawback for me is some big pre historic looking animal that can EFF me up crawling around unabated. That and any wind that can lift me off the ground and make me fly. Those are two big NOPES right there.

I could see a back and forth coast to coast every other year  not being a bad idea. So that way it makes it sort of fair travel wise.

Just my .02 of thought.

ojannen
ojannen HalfDork
4/17/24 3:39 p.m.

What drag strips include an active autocross site and are a days drive from central Florida?  Zmax and South Georgia are the only ones I can think of.

I would love to change the challenge format to an autocross and dirt oval spectator drag style races.  I might be the only one.  Then, we could run at Lonestar Park in TX.

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