Q&A’S FROM THE SUGGESTION BOX
Monday, March 07, 2005 I would like to answer a couple of questions from the question box at Sebring. In the future I will post more questions and answers, as we get them. Please remember that you can also direct any Race Series questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question 1: “Why not run the Championship groups first in the day? It seems that newer people would be able to see how the cars are really supposed to be driven and it would make the car equality better for the Championship groups”.
Answer: While on the surface this does sound good, there are several reasons why we don’t run both the Championship groups first and then the Sportsman groups. The first reason we don’t run class groups back to back is to make it easier for those that do double race weekends. If a Championship or Sportsman’s driver decided to double that weekend, it would mean that they would have to practice, qualify, and race back to back. Some people would be able to accomplish this, and on occasion have to. But, for the average driver that is asking a lot mentally and physically. Typically we try to rotate each weekend which class starts first so that no one feels like we are ignoring or forgetting them. Everybody is important to us. There is certainly a benefit to watching other people drive to see what they are doing better than you, but one of the things that Skip Barber prides itself on is the quality of the instructors and the instruction. Everybody learns at different speeds and our instructors have the keen ability to sense what a driver needs to focus on next, whether it is line, braking, ocular techniques, exit speed, entry speed, race craft, or overall awareness. If anybody needs to see how the cars are really driven, go watch one of our test drivers while they are out testing during the weekend. Car equality is one of the things we work hard to accomplish. As you are aware, no two cars are alike. There are many factors involved in making all cars equal. Having accomplished that doesn’t mean they stay equal. Ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure, etc. can change a car from day to day. Not to mention that our cars are frequently thrown off the road or in to stationary objects. That is why we have dedicated testers throughout a race weekend. With your help and feedback we can re-drive cars during the weekend to make sure that they are as equal as possible. If in doubt as to whether it is you or the car, ask us and we will drive it for you.
Question 2: “Why is Laguna Seca not one of the tracks for the National Series? National is not National, if all the racing is in the East and Mid-West.
Answer: I agree. This is the one biggest complaint about the National Series in 2004, and I wanted to change it for 2005. Unfortunately, there are logistics that I could not overcome to make this happen. The first problem is timing. In the winter we have one fleet of cars in California and the other fleet in Florida. As the summer comes these fleets move to Connecticut and Wisconsin, respectively. The National Series runs primarily in the summer which is where our fleets are located. From September to December, I worked non-stop with the track-scheduling department to find a way to have at least one, if not more, National events on the west coast. With all of the other programs that we do, I could not find a date that worked either from a track availability point view, or from a logistics/cost point of view. Surprisingly, we are very limited on the amount of race tracks that are popular in the west or that we can schedule at a time that works logistically for all of us. We are still trying to find a west coast event for the end of this season, and I will continue to work on changing this for the 2006 season.
I appreciate the questions and feedback and hope that I can answer more questions in the future.