This was my 3rd year at the Champs and I always have a good time racing no matter what. Here are my comments that I hope will be addressed to bring drivers back next year. These are not complaints; rather, take them as suggestions for the future.
1. I was shocked there were no practice times on Wednesday. People pay a lot of money to race at Cleveland and they can't see their times from the start? I have never been to a Birds or Vegas and got on the track and not had times to look at. Good move allowing 2 rounds on Wednesday!
2. Run the B mains before the A mains (like Vegas). The top 20 deserve sponsor recognition and this gives time for A main drivers to prepare.
3. The tech crew was not properly trained. I saw guys that had their motors torn down and they were missing shims and ripping the end belt off without taking the brushes out first.
4. Mix up the classes so that stock and 19 turn TC are not so close. This is the first time I had to rush to make my second qualifier at a national event. Why not mix 12th scale with TC to give racers time? I must have ran up and down those stairs 20 times.
5. This race is missing the key element of "professionalism". At Vegas and the Birds, the crew has racing shirts on and everyone is so nice and friendly. I wasn't getting that vibe from anyone on the crew. Any question I asked was responded to with a very smart comment and it seemed like they didn't want to be there. This is my perception, others may feel different.
6. Next time, have the state fire marshal approve the area on Tuesday instead of during the race and ALWAYS have a back up power source. I don't think this was fair for you guys and I think the marshal could have handled this much smoother. Your crew did a great job rearranging everything.
7. It was very difficult to know when we were going to start the next round, which made it hard to charge at the right time. A 30-minute break turned into an hour.
8. Consider doing a raffle at the end of a day instead of in between a round of qualifying. It was a big distraction. Maybe during the pizza party?
9. There should be open track on Wednesday with time slots for classes just like the snowbirds. This way the groove comes in quicker and you get more track time. At least have an hour of open practice everyday before rounds like Vegas.
10. Hire a professional announcer who can call traffic effectively for front-runners.
11. Set up qualifiers after practice rounds according to lap times. They did something like this at Vegas so you start out racing in a qualifier with racers with similar times.
12. Resort after round 3.
13. Got to eliminate Paragon. The Birds did it, Vegas never had it and traction was just as good in Vegas with Jack the Gripper. I don't mind Paragon but it is becoming more hated by the day and my roommate is not coming back because of it.
14. I wasn't a fan of the curbing and I think there are many that would agree.
15. Seek counsel from Vegas and Birds programs. You may want to consider hiring someone to manage this race for you. You have to keep this race going after 28 years.
I appreciate all the effort that went into this race. We know that people worked hard, stayed up all night, went the extra mile to make things happen; that is all very much appreciated so we can all race and have fun. Don't take any offense to these comments. This race has grown beyond 12th scale club racing and change is inevitable.
I will be back; it would be nice if others will be supportive and do the same.