Re: Course

Charlie Davis

[quote=”Timstoy” post=1685]Sheesh!
I go away for a couple of days and this forum erupts into a verbal firefight.
First of all let me second Jeff’s compliment to Mark. Well said and timely as well.
We all have opinions about various autocross layouts. I told Dave S. at the June event that I just knew he knew exactly what my biggest weakness was ( I have a lot, I know) and was deliberlly designing courses to embarass me;)

Jack alluded to the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know regarding policies, legal and insurance opinions. After spending more than 30 years negotiating contracts with unions and dealing with insurance agents and lawyers
I do know that it is a convoluted and constantly counfounding experience. If there are two groups absolutely dedicated to making a hash out of things human do and attempting to suck all the joy out of various human activities
It is the legal and insurance industries.
At one of my first events with GGC, someone I was talking to (not one of the leadership people current or past) made what I thought was a very good summation of what these events truely mean. “If this was truely important and we were all professionals not just a bunch of guys out to have a good time we would be getting paid not paying for the priviledge”.
We have a uniquely open and friendly group led by people willing to sacrifice their own time so we can all have a bunch of fun with people with similar interests both in the activity and the particular marque.
We have a retired CHP officer up here who used to write a weekly column in which he ended each column with the phrase, “let’s all go out and enjoy the ride”.[/quote]

I get your point. I personally don’t find courses with slow turns and tight slaloms enjoyable. You may have noticed competitors who were not competing for points in a class deliberately taking the slalom “2 on the left, 2 on the right.” They were enjoying the ride, didn’t care about DNFs. I don’t think a course should force them to do that to have fun, and it shouldn’t force those of us running for points to drive a tedious course. I enjoy competition and close finishes within a class. I would like to have that and enjoyable courses at the same time. At the last event I had good competition in Gonzo, but a course that I didn’t enjoy a whole lot. The next day at LPR PCA, I ran in “Fun” because I don’t have a class to run in, but the enjoyable course made the day much more fun for me.

The point has been made by several GGC organizers, both in person and on the forum, that GGC’s courses are a good product that people enjoy. Let me put it this way. The 2002tii was a great car in the early ’70’s, as were tight courses with tight slaloms. BMWs and courses have evolved. If no one ever let you drive an E30, E36 or E46 M3, or a 1M, you might think the tii was a great car today. And if there were enough people out there who had not been exposed to better machines, you might be able to continue to sell all the tiis you could produce today. This is the case with GGC’s courses. They are similar to the courses I saw in Northern Ca. in the ’80’s. Those of us who would like to see change have been exposed to concepts that we consider more enjoyable, just as I enjoy my STX 325is more than I would enjoy a 2002 prepped to similar levels. If you set your sights low (100 cars is low) and can fill up the event every time with people who enjoy your events, you are happy with your financial bottom line, and you satisfy your insurers despite the fact that you expose workers more than other clubs, then continue to do things the same way.

On the other hand, you’ll lose some of your more experienced competitors to other series. Despite the contentious atmosphere on this post, we are BMW enthusiasts who would really like an enjoyable place to compete with our BMWs, and we think we have some ideas that will make things better. Northern California is, I believe, unique in the number of autocross options from which the competitor can choose. SCCA SFR, SCCA Fresno, SCCA Sacramento, AAS, UFO, GGLC, PCA LPR, PCA GGR, PCA Redwood, PCA Sac Valley, Empire Sports Car Association, and GGC. TWELVE clubs putting on events, unless I missed someone. I would personally rank GGC somewhere in the middle, and only that high based on the personalities of the organizers. Course only, about 9th. We can do better.

Scheduling has made it difficult for me this year. San Diego Tour vs. Round 1, a broken car for Round 2, Packwood, WA vs. Round 4. I have to decide whether to run with SCCA at Crows Landing or go to Round 5. I’ll probably choose Round 5, then Round 6 (no conflicts at this point) so I’m eligible for the TDS.

That’s just one guy’s opinion. One guy who has autocrossed since 1974, designed countless courses, run with over 30 clubs from Illinois to California and served several clubs in many capacities. I think we should all calm down, leave personalities out of it, and concentrate on working together to make GGC a better club for more BMW owners.

Charlie Davis