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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:34 am 
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Okay! Perhaps as a "primer" for the AGM, I think it would be a good idea to chat about what can be done to help improve Time Attack attendance. These can be things that you feel don't work in current system, changes that can be made, or entirely new avenues to spark interest. Maybe I'll be chatting with myself here, but at least you folks will have a slightly widened perspective regarding barriers for my "age group". (the 20 to 30 range)

I'm just going to paste something I wrote in another thread. Maybe this will get the train rolling. If you feel like I'm full of ****, please say so! Discussion will only help so long as we are grownups about it.

My personal opinion is that the problem is rooted in people not knowing the track is even there. We're drawing from an extremely small pool of potential participants. I have a hard time explaining to people that they can literally show up at autocross/lapping/etc, ask anyone they see about getting involved, and they will almost certainly be happy to help. I do car shows and whatnot explaining this to people, and I hear back through mutual friends that they think "it can't be that simple" or "if it were that simple everyone would be doing this". I try the foot in the door process... Get them out to watch an autocross, get them to try it, get them comfortable with that, get them out to the track to watch lapping, get them to get their lapping card, and so on. I think I've done this with 4 or 5 people this year alone. 5 more are very interested in getting their lapping/time attack license. I'm really hoping this method "roots out" and the word spreads. I'm not giving any of the older folks here a hard time by saying this, but my generation and younger have no idea this stuff is in Nova Scotia. The "car scene" is big with the 20-30 crowd, we need to get the word out that it takes place and it is accessible to the average Joe.

Would getting the number of people with their lapping card/TA license be possible? Maybe some data could help like how long they have had their license vs the number of events they attended. Something tells me those who got their license more recently participate in more events on average (currently).

Regardless, I think growing the pool of possible participants is of utmost importance.

Also, I think notice is important. I know scheduling (and literally keeping the schedule up to date) is always a challenge in all our motorsport disciplines, but having a URL that I can direct people to is important in my opinion. I can guess times/other info based on a previous event, but.... yeah I think you all know what I'm saying.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:40 am 
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I know from my perspective sitting on the AMP Board of Directors that I get a lot of inquires throughout the summer on the AMP calendar and where to find more information. Most times it is merely for people who want to come out and spectate at a bike or car race. However, after saying that I also feel that I can improve the AMP calendar but having more information that a person is able to link to but the link has to go somewhere meaningful. What I mean is if I added an armsinc.ca link for example to all the race dates/Time Attack dates and a newbie clicked the link, where is it really going to take them to find out the info they are looking for. Of course it would take them to the ARMS website and then what, have a newbie surf around for hours on our discussion forum trying to find related info to a particular event they want to attend. While all of the clubs do a awesome job at organizing an event for the participants, we fail at having a clear and concise area of information for someone on the outside looking in. If we can't get them to look inside, we can't get them to come out and maybe someday become more than a spectator.

If we have this information available, I would be more than happy to add a link to at least get people pointed in the right direction.

On the Time Attack note, I have seen over the past 15 years this sport have its highs and lows. I am hoping that this year is just a low. The entry cost would come down if we could get more people out but, that probably goes without saying.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:02 am 
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I think what Lowmotion did a couple weeks ago with the parade laps was a great idea and I'll bet you're going to see a few show up for lapping school next year because of it. But something like that needs to happen every year. Just in the last couple weeks since that event (which was advertised like crazy) I've seen people comment on pictures or videos at the track asking "where is this?". That means you need a constant effort to get the word out that it even exists, let alone get people to come out. I'm just talking about Facebook because that's by far your best tool for spreading the word.

Personally, I don't participate in Time Attack because 1) I don't have enough seat time at AMP, 2) I wouldn't be anywhere near competitive enough, 3) It's just too much.

This year will (hopefully) be the first time I attend every regional slalom. It may not seem like a lot but when only one of 8 events is in your home city, that means a lot of travel. Having such a short summer and a young family, I like to do things together and it's hard to get out to all of them. I'm doing it this year but I doubt I will do that again until a few years down the road. Add on top of that all the local events we run in the spring and fall and I've got my fill of motorsport for the year. I feel like your best pool of participants are going to graduate from slalom but for me, I'm just not interested. I may get out for a lapping day or two every couple years, but you're talking more money for brakes, tires, travel, and everything else. Not to mention the possibility of writing off your car. Some people can walk away from their wreck and grab another set of keys and go. I would be devastated. I know it happens at slalom events too (which we saw this year), but the risk is quite a bit lower and the damages are usually not so severe that you can't drive home.

I would be more comfortable with more seat time, but then I have to spend more time at the track, and so on...

Anyways that's all I have to add at this point.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:33 am 
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Every lapping / time attack incident I've witnesses at AMP has been self-induced. If an individual drives within his/her limits, the element of risk very low.

What I'm trying to say is if your risk tolerance is low you can control your level of risk by how hard you push your car.

Just my 2ยข.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:46 am 
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This has been a topic spoken about at length between Scott Mc and I, and realistically there is never an easy answer. Racing as a whole will always have to fight tooth and nail to keep participant numbers up, and AMP has some pretty unique challenges to deal with.

The biggest issue AMP faces in a general sense is location. Nova Scotia as a whole isn't a convenient location to drive to. I would argue that AMP is too remote compared to a hub like Halifax, however that isn't really a valid argument considering most notable racetracks (from Mosport and Calabogie to Spa and Silverstone) are located at least 45 minutes away from population hubs. In relation to the CTAC, I believe AMP's remote location in a national sense is probably what kept non-locals away.

Second is cost. As has been discussed elsewhere, it is hard to lower the cost of Time Attack events because there hasn't been a consistently high enough participation list for the organizer to break even (or even a modest gain). But beyond the cost of the event itself, most people don't realize the cost of running a car at AMP period, even if only for lapping and TA. I certainly didn't and I am still working through some of the wear and tear items from a lapping day two years ago (mostly because I am poor as dirt and don't have a garage to do my own work). Some people, once they finally do go lapping realize this and then never come back because it seems daunting, probably because they wanted something more exciting than autocross, but less of a commitment than racing. When it comes down to it though, street cars are not made for track days, and parts will wear quite fast.

I agree with what others say; exposure and cost are probably the biggest problems facing Time Attack. Like Brian said, I've seen the participation numbers rise and fall from year to year and unless we can capture the trends, that is likely to be a repeating theme. It's kind of the nature of motor racing, especially when we have such a small pool of people to draw from (N.S. and N.B. most realistically).

I believe having more HPDS' may help get more people out, but retention is as much of the problem as getting people out in the first place. I do wonder why the MHPDC doesn't have more participants in our events, but the only thing I can speculate is they don't want their rich toys near our sometimes ragtag group (kidding :lol:).

I think we have a bit of a spiral of "we can't get people because it costs to much because we can't get people," and again it might just be the cyclical issue that Brian pointed out, and the fact that some people are confused by the calendar. Personally I have been using the calendar on the AMP website to populate my Google Calendar (mostly for marshaling when I can) and that has proven to be accurate.

I believe we need to have an expectation that in the grand scheme of things we are a little isolated compared to some other tracks, and Nova Scotia doesn't quite have the same spread of wealth as other locations. That would explain the popularity of the larger Autocross events, and if you look at a similarly isolated location, Maine, I don't believe they have a road track at all but do well with their autocross events at Limestone.

That's my .02 cents on the situation. I know there are other points I wanted to look at and forgot, but I want to avoid being too ramblomatic and getting off topic.

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Last edited by Ryan Quinn on Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:04 am 
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I'm just going to throw in my personal opinion.

Time attack simply isn't interesting enough (for me) at AMP to make it worth coming out 4 times a year. With the attendance around here you're usually just competing against your own best time. Once you start getting consistent, it stops being as fun spending ~$500+ for a day to maybe knock off a tenth or two. I know not everyone thinks this way, but I'm not alone in this opinion. Right now it feels like the series is geared towards the hardcore competitors that want lots of events, but they alone can't even come close to supporting it.

I'm at the point where I'd definitely do one event (or weekend) each year, but you'll never see me at more than that. IMO TA needs to scale back the # of events quite a bit, and promote the crap out of what we have. But TA is a chicken and egg scenario...with the HPDS in May before pretty much every other motorsports event, it's hard to get people interested when they can't get a license until the next year.

Brian is right, we definitely need a better way to get information, and we need something other than just a link to supp regs. I've been trying to promote ASCC events on facebook and I think a lot of people just skip over the post because a link to supp regs won't draw them in. I'm going to start using the promo videos CASC-OR made in the hopes that will give people an idea of what the events are actually about. Facebook promotion is KEY these days, car culture as a whole is shifting that way. Groups pop up every month because johnny stancebro needs another sticker for his rear window.

Slalom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyEdS4rYZv0
TA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtemkJ-5aXs

Dan V wrote:
I think what Lowmotion did a couple weeks ago with the parade laps was a great idea and I'll bet you're going to see a few show up for lapping school next year because of it.


I think a few of them got their licenses yesterday. That event was definitely the way to do it. You basically need to have a cruise/car meet that just happens to be at AMP. You'll probably still only draw a tiny % of those people out to the track again, but that is better than zero.

Ryan Quinn wrote:
I believe having more HPDS' may help get more people out, but retention is as much of the problem as getting people out in the first place. I do wonder why the MHPDC doesn't have more participants in our events, but the only thing I can speculate is they don't want their rich toys near our sometimes ragtag group (kidding :lol:).


If they're already doing TA events on their own I don't see why they'd bother to come out to ARMS events unless they're really into it. I think maybe one member comes out to the ARMS events on a regular basis.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:15 pm 
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I agree with Scott on the Maritime club. Most of those guys are there for the social side of lapping and the lapping. Not Time Attack. There are a handful of guys there interested in time attack, but since they can do them within the club they already paid to enter, they most likely wont be going to other ones.

I do feel 1, 3 day weekend is all ARMS can commit to as the numbers are low. Or if it plays out well, one after the HPDS. Another 3 day weekend latter in the year. Use the Friday to allow people who have previous experience to receive there time attack licence as well.

Getting the car clubs out to the track is also super cool. I have had a few people comment to me outside of the track how they loved seeing the Del Sol running around. It would also be very cool if we could find a way to get them in a car for some faster laps. In a racecar or some of the experienced lapping, time attack cars. I know thats a big $$$ for people to bring there cars out and just run people around the track all day, but it sure would get people interested.

Also if there was no Time attack the sat before the raceday, you could have a lapping day, lappers may just want to check out the action the following day as we could snowball the entrance fee into there lapping charge. That way there would be no charge at the gate.

The worst part is, we have been down this road before. We thought having time attacks before race days would help. I knew not many racers would do it as there not going to risk the car the day before a points race, but we were hoping the fact there was racing the next day would generate some spectators for the race day. And maybe seeing racecars practice after the time attack, would get them interested in the next step.

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Last edited by Joel N on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:18 pm 
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As Brian said, T/A has a cyclical attendance due to a number of factors that control peoples time and income. I would say that autoslalom and lapping are the feeders into this sport and as such draw a number of young people into the events.
Most times it is volunteers that set up these events and they are seriously into the motorsports scene BUT even they have a finite amount of time they can be at the front lines and then they need a break. This would be a time for someone to step up and take the leadership roll and put their ideas to the test and be the one that moves it to the next level.
Promotion and communication would be the best way to increase the overall numbers to any event as shown by Jenn Earl and the Lowmotion crowd at AMP for a parade lap and munchies event.

...just an observation.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:38 pm 
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Hmmmm,
Let's just point out that MHPDC was very well represented in CTAC by : Luc Sipkema, Chris McCrea, Mike MacAdams, Shawn Gayton, Raj-Kumari Dey, Kevin Sibley, as well as Brent O'Connor, Bob Griffith, Andrew Sleigh, and Myself. And I am sure I will have forgotten to name somebody.
CTAC 's timing (dates) and format precluded several others from attending.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:05 pm 
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Mike, what was the issue with the format to keep people from attending? The dates we can't really help, but the format is something that can be talked about /worked on!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:15 pm 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
Hmmmm,
Let's just point out that MHPDC was very well represented in CTAC by : Luc Sipkema, Chris McCrea, Mike MacAdams, Shawn Gayton, Raj-Kumari Dey, Kevin Sibley, as well as Brent O'Connor, Bob Griffith, Andrew Sleigh, and Myself. And I am sure I will have forgotten to name somebody.
CTAC 's timing (dates) and format precluded several others from attending.


In no way was I saying the club wasn't well represented. (if it sounded that way sorry) But we were hoping for more. Same with ASCC. I expected more from us. My comment was based on the majority of the club. I do not think they feel unsafe around our cars on track, but more less do not want to do time attack.

I even had a few people ask if i thought my car was keeping people from entering because they thought they would lose. I say no or atleast I hope not. I would have had to go faster then ever to beat Luc. I think a 1:20.0 was the number I and to hit to catch Luc, and the fastest i have ever gone in the civic was a 1:20.5. So for all the guys that said PAX is unfair, suck it!!! lol. Worst or best part was Luc has gone faster. And its not like mine is worn out. I dynoed 92 WHP friday before the event, back in 2007 I dynoed 95 WHP. so 7 years and 190,000 KMS i lost 3 WHP.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:06 pm 
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Don't worry Joel, he's probably more hanging on to my (admittedly poorly informed) joke.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Its tough to get folks out to spend that kind of money, and put in the effort.
I think AMP does ok in general to be honest, relative to our population. I have been to lots of events at other tracks, we don't do that bad. We are VERY lucky to have a track at all in this region, many very well populated locations do not have anything.


Facebook is a huge resource for event promoting/organizing.
I compete quite heavily in cycling these days, and almost ALL events, regionally, and bigger national/international events are promoted through facebook. It just makes sense.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:06 pm 
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+1 (And more) for the Facebook suggestion, per my post in another thread which probably would have been better targeted here: http://www.armsinc.ca/forum/viewtopic.p ... 74#p119674

An organized and engaged Facebook presence makes a ton of difference. Our region is criminally underserved on Facebook and its the easiest and most effective way to directly reach people right now. Its direct vs passive and it makes a difference with just a little bit of effort. (I.e. more than just posting the supp regs and a link to the arms forum)

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