December 2004 REmarks
What a difference a change of altitude makes. Maybe it’s the fact that as I sit here at 33,000 feet returning from Las Vegas I am working on a total sleep load of about 10 minutes in the past 36 (Never, ever drink a red bull at 3:30 AM and decide to go to sleep at 4) or maybe it is the $800 first class tickets we got from America west that allowed us to bypass a check in line that was literally out the door and into the street, but I’m looking at things a little differently right now.
Last Month was Roundtable, where the schedule for the next years season is quite literally hammered out, with the hammering generally involving Area 4 and a fight over the current 6 National dates available to them. The end result is a workable schedule that makes nobody really happy. I also had great conversations with quite a number of people throughout the Division, and participated in a discussion over the Cendiv Regional Series. It has been officially dropped, with Area 4 creating a Series that closely resembles the Area 5 series. Similar rules, Similar car classes, and, like our series, open to everyone in either area. The hope was that next year there could be a process to create a “super series” between the two, with select races from each Area counting toward overall points. More on this later.
There was also a lot of talk about a Divisional Split. At the time, there were a handful of Regions that supported a split, all from Area 4. As I write this, the number has changed. As of my last contact, 17 of the 19 regions in Area 4 support a split, and it is strongly rumored that some of the smaller Regions are looking to combine.,
Here is where the change in Altitude comes into play. I now personally think that the split will be a good thing in the long run. I have never been worried about tracks or number of races, because we can get waivers if there is ever an issue. Right now, 2 Nationals at Blackhawk, 2 at Road America, and 1 each at Autobahn and Milwaukee mile is the tentative plan for 2006 provided we split. With any luck, BIR will also be back in the mix. My argument against a split has always been based on 3 things: Tradition, number of drivers, and number of workers.
Tradition: Traditions change, and with literally 90% of Area 4 supporting a split, we have almost no choice, short of a war. Drivers: Classes will get hurt, without a doubt. For example, there are no AS drivers and only 1 GT3 driver in area 5 right now. OTOH, there will be greater ability to qualify for the runoffs, especially in classes like FV and SRF. Workers: Can we staff 6 Nationals where we currently hold 4? I think so, but it will be a stretch.
I think that a few years after a split, everything will settle down.
Is Cendiv going to split? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t bet against it at this point. Look for any split to be effective in 2006.
Once again, please feel free to email me or call me with comments, as this is certainly not yet a done deal.
As to a combined regional series, if we split, it won’t happen. I am willing to propose that we put in an Out of Division clause in our series, allowing up to 2 OOD races to count, provided that they are in what is now area 4, and I’m fairly certain Area 4 would do the same thing.
No matter what the future holds, 2005 is set in stone, 8 Regional race weekends and 4 national race weekends in Area 5. Included in this count is the 50th running of the June Sprints.
RE, Chicago Region SCCA