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Old 13 Feb 2004, 08:34 (Ref:872823)   #1
goforit500
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goforit500 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Track Hire Price Rises...

Interesting that the Palmer buyout has immediately resulted in higher costs for the clubs using the circuits, doncha think....

Wonder who'll end up paying for that then....:-)
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Old 13 Feb 2004, 09:24 (Ref:872863)   #2
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The 'major' clubs have already said they will try not to pass the increase on to the competitor - see http://tentenths.com/forum/showthrea...5&pagenumber=2

But I guess we'll have to see on that...
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Old 13 Feb 2004, 09:43 (Ref:872880)   #3
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I am sure it is the last thing Palmer wanted to do. He wants people to race, however to achieve that he has to keep those circuits open.

Still we'll se how this pans out.
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Old 13 Feb 2004, 12:36 (Ref:873072)   #4
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Sheila M should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSheila M should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I'm sure its not just JP's tracks who have raised their prices. I'm part of the organising Committee of BARC Midlands sprints and our track hire has gone up too!
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Old 13 Feb 2004, 12:52 (Ref:873099)   #5
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In most cases he has only raised prices by the rate of inflation. The article in this weeks Motorsport News (11/02) was interesting, worth a read.

The long and short of it is that big championships ask big money for the privilege to run their races but can't deliver on high numbers of spectators and the meetings end up running at a huge loss. The result is track hire prices go up to recoup the losses and the club competitor ends up paying for it.

If the big championship organisers had faith in their own product and just had a take of the gate sales rather than demanding huge fee's I am sure that pricing and facilities and many UK circuit would be a lot better. With the money saved circuits could promote the race meetings to get more punters in spending money which would ultimately improve facilites and pricing for club competitors.
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Old 13 Feb 2004, 15:09 (Ref:873234)   #6
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Given that the circuits were already making a loss and desperately need to start justifying any future investment it's not hugely surprising that prices were going to rise in the short term. The same would have happened whoever brought them or even if Octagon didn't sell. You can hardly blame Palmer for it.
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Old 14 Feb 2004, 08:58 (Ref:873949)   #7
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The loss is rumoured to be around £3 million per year for the Brands hatch group
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Old 14 Feb 2004, 09:31 (Ref:873979)   #8
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The problem is that it is asort of Catch22 situation. As the prices rise, I will have to cut back on the number of races I do this year and may even give it up next year. I know quite a few people in the the same situation as me.

The circuits will have falling competitor numbers and prices will have to go up even more to balance the books.
I would expect JP and his accountants would not allow other activities to continue subsidising club racing so IMO prices will continue to rise.
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Old 14 Feb 2004, 10:29 (Ref:874016)   #9
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JP is adamant that he HAS to get people through the gates. Lets hope he is successful as I would hate to see club racers suffer any more than they are doing at the moment.
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Old 14 Feb 2004, 11:52 (Ref:874066)   #10
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If I read the earlier comments right the circuits pay big money to the major championship organisers to get them to appear? Is that correct?

If that is the case then surely all the club racers are already sponsoring the major championships, to some extent?
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Old 14 Feb 2004, 20:56 (Ref:874310)   #11
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It's a very difficult thing. I wouldn't envy his (JPs) position one bit. You get pressure from everywhere, I imagine. Most of those circuits are now on 'prime real estate', complaints about noise, shareholders (or whatever) expect a return on their investment, running costs increase year on year and so on. It must be difficult keeping everyone happy(ish).

Not that I'm over the moon with paying more for a 15 minute race, but at least the circuits are still circuits and not shopping centres or whatever.
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Old 15 Feb 2004, 11:58 (Ref:874731)   #12
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I agree with "Falcemob". Many co-ordinators are now pulling their hair out knowing that unless they get full grids in EVERY race they are going to lose money, but how many drivers can keep affording the price rises.
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Old 15 Feb 2004, 13:32 (Ref:874800)   #13
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If it means clubs looking at grid numbers then that isn’t such a bad thing. If there’s one good thing to come out of the whole Octagon/Palmer affair it is I hope that motorsports gets the kick up the backside it so desperately needs. For a long time we’ve blamed Octagon for the state of the industry but although they did the sport few favours they aren’t solely to blame. Those four circuits could so easily have become four housing estates. It’s time the clubs started looking at the bigger picture.

Take any typical club meeting, remove the friends and family who are there on free tickets and look at how many actually paid on the gate to get in. In some cases I doubt that figure will be any more than double-digits. Why should Octagon, or any circuit for that matter put any money into promotion? You’d need a huge increase in number to justify even the smallest of ads in a local paper.

There’s two ways of going from here. Take the VSCC approach and organise non-public meetings for members only. As I understand it this is done partly as a cost saving measure – no public means less security / health & safety requirements, and therefore less staff. Or you take view that you do need the public and put together and promote a better ‘package’.

There’s a theory that it’s not in the clubs’ interests to promote meeting since they get nothing of the gate money, but look at it another way. If you can approach a circuit and guarantee not a few dozen but a few hundred or even a few thousand spectators then I’m sure there would be room to negotiate on circuit hire fees. The circuit sells more tickets, more programmes and more hot dogs, the club gets cheaper hire fees, everyone’s a winner.

From the club’s point of view I’m not simply talking about running newspaper ads, I’m talking about looking at what you are providing as a ‘show’. Who is going to pay to see half a dozen mediocre cars trundling around for ten laps? If it means rationalising classes to create a single full grid in place of 2 or 3 partial grids then so be it. Even at club level there must be well over 100 different series running today, and you know full well that they don’t all have full grids. How many times on this forum have we debated poor grid numbers.

No doubt there are those that will say “I race because I enjoy it, not to entertain the public. I don’t care if the public are watching or not”. Fine, we’ll ignore the paying public, but then don’t complain when you are expected to pay more for the privilege. Sorry if that sounds a little harsh, but it’s the truth.

I know I’m probably being a little optimistic here. I know things won’t change overnight. As I’ve said earlier we’ve come very close to losing four circuits, lets do something before we lose the entire industry.
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Old 15 Feb 2004, 13:44 (Ref:874813)   #14
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kickstart should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
As a club competitor I much prefer to race with a full grid that with only 10 - 15 others. I am sure that most people think the same, certainly it is much more entertaining to watch a full grid.
It cannot be beyond the wit of man to combine poorly supported series in order to produce a full grid, surely this would be of some financial benefit with say 30 competitors paying £150 each rather than 15 competitors paying say £175 each.
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Old 15 Feb 2004, 20:26 (Ref:875038)   #15
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Les should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
surely that would be 30 @ £150 or 15 @ £300???


Am I right in thinking that Clubs pay the circuits but the circuits pay Toca for the priviledge? Presumably that's because they expect a crowd to appear and to make up the difference.

It's about time both the circuits and the clubs promoted themselves.
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Old 15 Feb 2004, 23:49 (Ref:875199)   #16
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ss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Its funny though the club I do most of my racing with doesn't seem too concerned by the price rises, but then they usually fill grids twice over.

So is there something about the way 750MC do things that other series/clubs should look at?
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 01:54 (Ref:875264)   #17
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Startline1 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Myself and a few friends have been saying for a long time that there are just too many series, so maybe now is the time for the MSA to say no more(especialy one make/chassis) new champs and combine some to make it simpler for clubs to put on a good package.

They could go for a proper national ladder such as FFord,FPA,F3 and F2(notice not F3000 as the gen public cant relate to that) and prod saloons/Grp N,Britcar etc up to BTCC.ditto for sportscars.

Then on each bill have a regional or local s.seater race and an open tintop/sports race.

As to promotion there are now free local town papers everywhere which offer low advert rates, so with only a little sponsorship the word could be put out
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 08:35 (Ref:875468)   #18
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greenamex2 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Nice idea Startline1 and one that everybody subscribes too.

Except the organsing clubs and the RACMSA.

The MSA seem either powerless or unconcerned to do anything about non-championship status events.

The clubs seem to be starting up series all the time, most of which the cars are already covered by the regs in other series and the rest generally being good old money spinning single make series.

I counted at least six new series at the Autosport show, either these series are going to deplete others or somebody who never thought of racing before is suddenly going to start because of them!

You could call it the effects of a free market or just plain stupidity, take your pick.
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 10:40 (Ref:875564)   #19
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It is true there are just too many similar championships and one make series. The public have turned their backs on a lot of racing and some meetings are just plain boring, even for enthusiasts. On a small scale I resurrected the rallycross/oval challenge, wouldn't it be great if the top European touring car racers had a challenge against the BTCC, or perhaps more realistically teams of Formula Fords representing different British regions (Oulton Park vs Brands Hatch).
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 10:47 (Ref:875575)   #20
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Some great ideas Rod. Maybe worth bring up at the next BARC meeting?
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 12:47 (Ref:875710)   #21
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Ian Sowman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridIan Sowman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridIan Sowman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
The Formula Fords idea is already there with the 'King of Kents' events and Walter Hayes Trophy as examples. Perhaps emphasising a region versus region contest would add extra spice. James Beckett did this - albeit on a small scale - within last year's WHT. The Smart Turnout Grand National was won by the Star of the Midlands team.
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 13:22 (Ref:875751)   #22
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ss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 13:25 (Ref:875755)   #23
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No King of Kents at Oulton though
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 13:28 (Ref:875760)   #24
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In response to a couple of points made above.

Firstly, in my experience, it is possible to get significant spectators in by advertising. Castle combe in particular are very good at that.

Secondly, don't blame the grass roots clubs and members for the proliferation of series; (not that you do directly). the MSA, far from seeming powerless or unconcerned, seems to deliberatey seek to support more and more unneeded series. F Zip, (a flop if ever there was one at the level it is SUPPOSED to be), and now BMW (Which offers nothing not already available in F Renault) being two that spring to mind.

In my opinion, the main clubs and the MSA, none of whom are that badly off, looking at the accounts that I have seen, are more concerned with short term financial gain and publicity than the long term well being of the sport and its competitors.

Last edited by DSM; 16 Feb 2004 at 13:35.
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Old 16 Feb 2004, 13:54 (Ref:875793)   #25
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Mind you, it's not just in the UK is it? Watching some of the stuff on Motors TV, the SCV8s, the German F3 etc, the 'crowds' are generally outnumbered by the pit crews!
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