I got a letter from one of our Vintage Racers recently, and oddly this letter mentioned that the vintage racing scene at SMRI has shrunk to the point he feels vintage classes should be abolished altogether at SMRI. He also suggested replacing them with other classes that might be run as second classes on existing grids to get more racers involved in more races.
I wanted to get a feel for the members' thoughts on this, so this is your chance to weigh in.
My thoughts are broad on this subject. I like the vintage classes, but don't currently have a bike legal for competition there. That said, participation has been shrinking in these classes for years and I don't believe the club can continue to support them as they are currently configured.
Anyway.......thoughts on keeping vintage classes run like this in my head:
I don't really think this will catch too many flies, though I've been wrong before.
The other thought this Racer had was to add new classes like F40, F50, or Battle of the Twins.
I have no problem with F40. We ran it years ago and participation dropped as many of our older racers stopped racing. Now we have several that fall into that category.......Dave Dikitolia, Tracy Riffe, Kevin Gibson, Tracy Riffe, Me, Tracy Riffe, Randy Bailey, Tracy Riffe, Marc Beyer, Tracy Riffe, Dennis Parrish, Tracy Riffe, Steve Brown, Tracy Riffe, Alan Hill, ..oh.....and Tracy Riffe, of course. :) I won't mention that Kim, Edda, and Jaime qualify, as it's not polite to discuss ladies' ages in public.
I don't think F50 will get much traction. That's a pretty limited field. Dave, Tracy, Me, Randy, Dennis, Alan, and Steve come to mind.
BotT is what Thunderbike was set up to cover, but we allowed Daytona 3s and other triples. The thought was that this didn't unfairly tilt the class as the Daytonas are still WAYYYYYYY down on power to modern twins like Panigale or even earlier twins like 1098, 999, 996, RC51, SV1000, TL1000, etc. Just for whatever reason we don't get many modern twins at SMRI. Metcalfe brings an 848, and Luis used to, but that's pretty much it.
Sound of Singles is a thought. Motards, RC390s, CBR250s, and other singles might make up a fun class.
Anyway, post up your thoughts and let's talk a bit before we take any action.
I would think that you would need to quiz existing racers on why they only run the number of races that they do. I would bet that the limiting factor is tire money and race fees, not the number of eligible race classes. Could be wrong though.
I obviously would like to see vintage racing stay, but just as much I'd like to see more participants.
There are low buck ways to race more classes, but I've preached that until I'm no longer interested in even listening to myself. People want high HP bikes to run on our little dinky track that chews up tires at an alarming rate when you have a high HP bike. And then they like to complain about the cost of tires...
We can't even get people to race bikes like SV650's (which is really a girl's bike I know)
I personally just bought 2 bikes to restore and start racing in the LW and HW Vintage classes. I was really looking forward to next season. A F40 would be great. Matter of fact a F50 would be great - I hate to point this out but a lot of us are over 50 (or very soon will be) in this club.
What are some of the other ways to beef up interests in Vintage riding and racing? I used to ride in different vintage clubs in the Bay Area. Is there a vintage club in New Mexico?
Maybe We need just a Vintage class - you either have to be over 40 or your bike has to be over 40!
Tracy is right, lower entry fees to start. I talk to people who race other places and that is the big one. Even for vintage guys. Track needs to be improved, more promotion. I go to a lot of shops all over and NEVER see a Poster for the races. We need to cater to others and I never see that. I have thought about this and thought about this. Seems nobody in management wants to step out of their comfort zone and work to drum up more riders. If I was president I would go talk to all the dealers in the area and see what they would like to see. There are some dealers that have never had someone talk to them at all ? Are their any airports that have more than one paved runway ? I have been talking to the spaceport and they would love to work with us but just no funding to do so. We even used to race on some paved ovals, which I don't know if New Mexico has any. We have a chance, most of the tracks closed down for races in Arizona. So put your heads together and figure out what we can do. or we are going to lose it all. Think out of the box.
I recommend having a compromise:
1) Open the Oval at Sandia just for Vintage
2) Start a Jr. Tikes division sponsored by MADD-1 Racing that also uses the Sandia oval
3) Make race your @$$ off $150 flat more people would do more races and the grids should increase
4) Once a year open the full Sandia track for a new endurance race sponsored in part by MADD-1 Racing. If we need to work out the details let us know. I'd love to ride the whole track for a new experience.
5) Talk to MADD-1 Racing, those guys are awesome
Just for the record, I was not suggesting a lowering of the race fee structure. I was requesting that we poll existing racers to see why they do not currently race more classes. I know that there needs to be a certain amount of revenue generated to cover the costs of track rental and ambulance and insurance etc. In order for lowered race fees to work, we would have to generate a great deal more riders. That of course is not a bad thing, but I did not see that as the main topic of this thread.
Also, we would all love to have the track resurfaced, but that's pretty much a non-starter economically and again, not the main focus of this thread.
I agree with the elimination of the Vintage Classes as they are. There is no one but me in the light-weight vintage. I love my Honda CB400F so much I will still race that with the modern bikes in another class or in Formula Femme. I also think we should shorten the day or give some open track time at the end. If there is an all encompassing vintage class it would be very unfairly tilted to certain riders who have the heavy weight vintage bikes.
After a great discussion on Saturday night SMRI will leave the vintage racing structure as currently constituted in place for the remainder of 2017 and through the 2018 season. We will make a concerted effort to better market vintage racing at SMRI and will consider opening the rules up to other machinery where practical.
Fee structure will not change.
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