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helix

Promoting AutoSlalom

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In the past I heard we only targeting "car enthusiast" and do not want much to do with weekend warriors or car junkies (excuse my language there). I beg to differ here, especially seeing the road race/time attack group gained so much traction over the past couple of years and we are at a standstill if not keep shrinking, it is heart breaking to see even for a person as new as me. I used to go hot laps at Gimli on Friday years ago... and they were by no mean as organized as our autoslalom group, only see maybe 5 groups of people camping out there and this morning, seeing tents and campers spread all across the field is unbelievable!

And yes our first couple of events might have set the attendance record for the past 2-3 years but why stop there? Seeing only ~20 people attending Gimli events would have set the alarm off in my opinion, AX at Gimli was the cherry on the cake! What happened with the ~20 people event? What I don't want to be is overly optimistic here, and think "oh people are either busy, vacation travelling, bad weather, veterans prioritize family first...etc, while some of which are true, if I may take a wild guess here, I would say that people who care to drive/race and have part of themselves dedicated to things on wheels with gears and run on gas is that time is limited and now they see road race and time attack being an equally attractive and challenging Motorsport as AX, now with part of the track paved, some did walked away temporarily and we just ain't doing enough to attract new comers!

I am stunt to see event cap by default is set at 65 drivers and I would assume that's the number of people we can handle in an event. Let's do something different to attract and draw new people to the AX family! Participant retention is equally important and I think if all of us with years of AX experience can invite new comers to fun runs for ride along/Novice taxi, make them feel welcomed and share your knowledge with them, more of them might come back time over time to race AX!

Last but not least, I can sense there is tension between different race groups... making things work between teams/groups filled by volunteers is definitely not an easy task. The only easy way I can see us grow is to join forces, it would be exciting to see some of the time attack/road race participants coming out to St Andrews simply because it is closer and it make more sense not needing to camp out and use up the entire week far away from home.

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I used to be a regular.... My excuse now is two kids.

But don't worry. I expect to make a triumphant return in the next few years and reclaim FTD at every event like I used to.

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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:55 AM, helix said:

In the past I heard we only targeting "car enthusiast" and do not want much to do with weekend warriors or car junkies (excuse my language there). I beg to differ here, especially seeing the road race/time attack group gained so much traction over the past couple of years and we are at a standstill if not keep shrinking, it is heart breaking to see even for a person as new as me. I used to go hot laps at Gimli on Friday years ago... and they were by no mean as organized as our autoslalom group, only see maybe 5 groups of people camping out there and this morning, seeing tents and campers spread all across the field is unbelievable!

And yes our first couple of events might have set the attendance record for the past 2-3 years but why stop there? Seeing only ~20 people attending Gimli events would have set the alarm off in my opinion, AX at Gimli was the cherry on the cake! What happened with the ~20 people event? What I don't want to be is overly optimistic here, and think "oh people are either busy, vacation travelling, bad weather, veterans prioritize family first...etc, while some of which are true, if I may take a wild guess here, I would say that people who care to drive/race and have part of themselves dedicated to things on wheels with gears and run on gas is that time is limited and now they see road race and time attack being an equally attractive and challenging Motorsport as AX, now with part of the track paved, some did walked away temporarily and we just ain't doing enough to attract new comers!

I am stunt to see event cap by default is set at 65 drivers and I would assume that's the number of people we can handle in an event. Let's do something different to attract and draw new people to the AX family! Participant retention is equally important and I think if all of us with years of AX experience can invite new comers to fun runs for ride along/Novice taxi, make them feel welcomed and share your knowledge with them, more of them might come back time over time to race AX!

Last but not least, I can sense there is tension between different race groups... making things work between teams/groups filled by volunteers is definitely not an easy task. The only easy way I can see us grow is to join forces, it would be exciting to see some of the time attack/road race participants coming out to St Andrews simply because it is closer and it make more sense not needing to camp out and use up the entire week far away from home.

Good comments Helix.  I agree that we need to work on attracting new participants as well as retaining the long-standing members.  I know Rob is doing everything he can on Facebook and Instagram, so we're getting some benefits from social media.  Considering a "6-run" event is also another good idea.

We've tried to encourage cross-discipline participation with last year's October event but weren't overly successful.  It seems, if anything, to be working in reverse (more Autoslalom people becoming interested in Open Lapping or Time Attack).

Just to let you know, every time I attend a Time Attack event, I walk up and down the pit talking to driver's who haven't tried Autoslalom and I do my best sales pitch.  I've been targeting some of the new drivers who just graduated from HPDE this year as well as those who have been doing Time Attack for several years.  I would estimate a potential for 10 new Autoslalom members.

I'm also writing an article in the July Aficionado newsletter promoting Autoslalom.  Hope that stimulates some interest. 

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:54 AM, Brian_Earl_Spilner said:

I used to be a regular.... My excuse now is two kids.

But don't worry. I expect to make a triumphant return in the next few years and reclaim FTD at every event like I used to.

I will be expecting you :) Come back soon!

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7 minutes ago, Weebly said:

Good comments Helix.  I agree that we need to work on attracting new participants as well as retaining the long-standing members.  I know Rob is doing everything he can on Facebook and Instagram, so we're getting some benefits from social media.  Considering a "6-run" event is also another good idea.

We've tried to encourage cross-discipline participation with last year's October event but weren't overly successful.  It seems, if anything, to be working in reverse (more Autoslalom people becoming interested in Open Lapping or Time Attack).

Just to let you know, every time I attend a Time Attack event, I walk up and down the pit talking to driver's who haven't tried Autoslalom and I do my best sales pitch.  I've been targeting some of the new drivers who just graduated from HPDE this year as well as those who have been doing Time Attack for several years.  I would estimate a potential for 10 new Autoslalom members.

I'm also writing an article in the July Aficionado newsletter promoting Autoslalom.  Hope that stimulates some interest.

There is in fact a new comer on Sunday event, and he just finished HPDE this year! It is slow but it is definitely working, thanks Brian.

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I have decided to get back into motorsport after three decades of lying low, and I have committed myself to time attack this year. Despite all the reasons that eventually made me move away more and more from Autoslalom when I raced in Europe (Autocross is something completely different there), I still would want to try the odd event. I assume that my Time Attack license allows me to participate in Autoslalom, or is there a mandatory school to participate in?

While I have not seriously dug around the forum, I don't think I have stumbled across some sort of a time schedule for event days...can anyone enlighten me about the ins and outs of the typical Autoslalom event?

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9 hours ago, donrolandofurioso said:

I have decided to get back into motorsport after three decades of lying low, and I have committed myself to time attack this year. Despite all the reasons that eventually made me move away more and more from Autoslalom when I raced in Europe (Autocross is something completely different there), I still would want to try the odd event. I assume that my Time Attack license allows me to participate in Autoslalom, or is there a mandatory school to participate in?

While I have not seriously dug around the forum, I don't think I have stumbled across some sort of a time schedule for event days...can anyone enlighten me about the ins and outs of the typical Autoslalom event?

There is no special license or school required to participate in Autoslalom. 

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Posted (edited)

Great post and well put words.

As somebody who's fairly new to the racing community in Canada, but extremely in love with anything in Motorsports, I do my best to promote our AutoX and WSCC as much as I can.

The car community is huge in MB but. unfortunately, it looks to me like most people are more interested in building their track-monster cars to display on car meets than to actually drive them fast. 

Rob does a huge job in social media and I'm promoting our events through the Winnipeg Free Press Autos Instagram page which I manage (@freepressautos). 

We have great guys in this group that are passionate with this sport. Let's all put our heads together and think on ways to attract new people. My suggestion is thinking on how we can attract "car meet people" to start racing. Why do they not go? Do they think it's expensive? Do they think it's too harsh on their cars? Do they know we even exist? I'm sure some (if not most) are just building cars to show off and are actually too scared to push what they drive, but I'm sure we could scoop lots of people from that "world". 

Edited by R_Ercole
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I have been involved with the club for a few years now, and I do my best to welcome and invite people out to Gimli. It works, but I can only take credit for 2-3 new faces per year. 

But I see the same issue as R_Ercole with the car meet guys. Some of these guys have built some seriously wicked cars that would do really well at the track, but these are the same guys who use an entire roll of painter's tape just to drive across town to a show.  I think they're just in that car show phase, and all I can do is hope that someday they'll get bored and want to actually do some real driving. That's what happened to me, at least. 

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14 hours ago, donrolandofurioso said:

I have decided to get back into motorsport after three decades of lying low, and I have committed myself to time attack this year. Despite all the reasons that eventually made me move away more and more from Autoslalom when I raced in Europe (Autocross is something completely different there), I still would want to try the odd event. I assume that my Time Attack license allows me to participate in Autoslalom, or is there a mandatory school to participate in?

While I have not seriously dug around the forum, I don't think I have stumbled across some sort of a time schedule for event days...can anyone enlighten me about the ins and outs of the typical Autoslalom event?

Hey Roland, it was good talking to you at the Time Attack event on Sunday.  I'm glad that you have an interest in Autoslalom and I will help in any way I can to get you familiar with the sport and signed up for an event.

Easiest way to get familiar with Autoslalom is go to the WSCC home page and click on "Autoslalom" on the menu bar.  This will take you to a page with numerous links including registration, schedule, pricing, requirements, and location of the event.  Take the time to go through all the links - it's very helpful.

Registration is a snap - same as Time Attack, using MSR.  The tech sheet is online which makes it even easier than Time Attack.  You already have a WSCC membership, so if you register two days before the event, you get an additional discount and end up with a measly $25 registration fee.

You're familiar with GMP, so you might want to consider the next event being held there on Sunday, July 7th.  During last weekend, you probably noticed the Autoslalom cars on the far south end of the runway (also referred to as the "skidpad").

Don't be afraid to send me a PM if you have any other questions. 

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I love the ideas!  We have a wonderful form of motorsport in autocross that's very accessible at a lower budget.  It's my major passion, and I wish I could share it with more people.  

23 hours ago, donrolandofurioso said:

While I have not seriously dug around the forum, I don't think I have stumbled across some sort of a time schedule for event days...can anyone enlighten me about the ins and outs of the typical Autoslalom event?

As mentioned, no license needed.  Can be as cheap as $25 if you register early, pay online, and have a WSCC membership!  Schedules are on the event registration page.  If you're already up at the Gimli lapping day on July 6, you can stay around for two autocrosses on July 7!  

July 7 morning event: https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/2019-wscc-autoslalom-event-6-gimli-motorsports-park-winnipeg-sports-car-club-211259

July 7 afternoon event: https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/2019-wscc-autoslalom-event-7-gimli-motorsports-park-winnipeg-sports-car-club-646839 

You get 4 timed runs on a new course, and you pick up cones for other drivers when you're not driving.  Bring water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a waterproof tub to put all your stuff in.  Yes, we run rain or shine!  

Even if you don't want to enter, drop by and we'll get you in a passenger seat for a few rides.  It's a very different form of racing from the road course given the limited # of laps on a track you've never seen before and won't see again.  Frequent direction changes make for an exciting ride even at normal highway speeds!  Track and autocross are both awesome in different ways. 

10 hours ago, R_Ercole said:

... and I'm promoting our events through the Winnipeg Free Press Autos Instagram page which I manage (@freepressautos)

Ha! I was wondering who that was!  I knew it had to be someone I knew.  Nice work!  

 

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Here is a crazy idea. Have an event for free. Kind of like a test and tune. All the regulars would be working the course, performing safety inspections, getting drivers setup, riding along, capturing racing footage.

 

Like a good drug dealer, first hit is free.

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Posted (edited)

A similar thought I had before is to give away limited number of free passes to new comers on social media but I like yours better!

One other scenario I see is to run a regular event in the morning with a compressed schedule, start at 10am and end 1pm without lunch break, invite new people to come for ride along experience for the race event, retain regulars and volunteers to help out afternoon free for all new comers event, preferably on a Saturday. That way they can experiences the thrill and notice how much they can grow their driving skill if they come and AX with us.


Thank you for all that comments here, lets keep this brainstorm session going and I am sure something great will come out of this! To quote "If nothing changes, nothing changes..." and I am definitely seeing lots of us do care about growing the AX family, and you guys make my day. 

Edited by helix
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Some great ideas in here from all. 

I like the free event idea. Might be short notice for Rob, but the event on the 7th would be perfect to combine Helix's idea with the free event. Get new people to come in the morning for ride alongs and help setting up their cars and then they can run for free in the afternoon. Call the morning a 'free introductory school' not a test and tune. 

If the 7th is too short notice, or poorly attended we could do something similar at one of the upcoming St Andrews events and measure the differences in response between venues. 

 

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I'm going to make an effort to make it to the Gimli event on the 7th. So I can help with giving new people ride alongs.

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Nice idea, but way too short to change for the 7th!  

How about 'bring-a-friend'?  One entry fee covers two people.  One of them must be new to autoslalom.  

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The free welcome new comer event will have to wait, the longer time we can have it on social media the better in my opinion.

Quick reminder, 7th is a double events day on a Sunday, don't miss out :)

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I think the biggest thing holding back autocross is St Andrews as a venue. Limited course variations due to the shape, no running water, isolated. 

Gimli offers better courses but driving two hours round trip for 4, 45 second runs is hard to justify from a cost/benefit perspective.

A better lot inside the city would change everything. 

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18 hours ago, The Contrarian said:

I think the biggest thing holding back autocross is St Andrews as a venue. Limited course variations due to the shape, no running water, isolated. 

Gimli offers better courses but driving two hours round trip for 4, 45 second runs is hard to justify from a cost/benefit perspective.

A better lot inside the city would change everything. 

The first place that comes to mind in the city is Springs Church parking lot near 59/Fermor, not sure if this has been talked about or not (probably has). They have a couple pretty nice interlocking parking lots. Gonzo @ Option Plus has had some drift demo's there, usually in August. Second place would be the red river ex grounds but I think there was a reason why we don't go there anymore?

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1 hour ago, aaronstumpf said:

The first place that comes to mind in the city is Springs Church parking lot near 59/Fermor, not sure if this has been talked about or not (probably has). They have a couple pretty nice interlocking parking lots. Gonzo @ Option Plus has had some drift demo's there, usually in August. Second place would be the red river ex grounds but I think there was a reason why we don't go there anymore?

I've attended a few events with PCA and the Corvette club there years ago but I'm not sure the WSCC ever ran on the site. That being said it's not worth it in my opinion due to the size of the lot, 480 x 175 ft {We use 1250+ x 200 ft at Gimli for comparison). From what I recall the runs were under 30 seconds and speed was limited to 1rst gear on virtually all cars. The site also poses some dangers, with the tight space it hard to keep cars away from the right angle curbs which can cause some serious damage.

The River Ex grounds isn't what is used to be, Last time we ran their in 14 or 15? we had a nasty bump on the narrowest part of the track which cause a lot of cars to bottom out and even a few retired from the event to avoid damage. The site wasn't in usable condition for us to use. They also replaced the man hole covers with plywood boxes, which makes for nasty obstacles to avoid. The site was also very cost prohibitive if I remember correctly.

I agree a venue inside the city would be ideal, but it could be a lot worst. I hear of guys in the states driving 2 3 hours for LOCAL events, or we could end up like the poor guys in Saskatoon and have no venue to use. Here's hoping HBC closes down and leaves some mall parking space open. St Vital might be nice.

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43 minutes ago, Magner said:

I've attended a few events with PCA and the Corvette club there years ago but I'm not sure the WSCC ever ran on the site. That being said it's not worth it in my opinion due to the size of the lot, 480 x 175 ft {We use 1250+ x 200 ft at Gimli for comparison). From what I recall the runs were under 30 seconds and speed was limited to 1rst gear on virtually all cars. The site also poses some dangers, with the tight space it hard to keep cars away from the right angle curbs which can cause some serious damage.

The River Ex grounds isn't what is used to be, Last time we ran their in 14 or 15? we had a nasty bump on the narrowest part of the track which cause a lot of cars to bottom out and even a few retired from the event to avoid damage. The site wasn't in usable condition for us to use. They also replaced the man hole covers with plywood boxes, which makes for nasty obstacles to avoid. The site was also very cost prohibitive if I remember correctly.

I agree a venue inside the city would be ideal, but it could be a lot worst. I hear of guys in the states driving 2 3 hours for LOCAL events, or we could end up like the poor guys in Saskatoon and have no venue to use. Here's hoping HBC closes down and leaves some mall parking space open. St Vital might be nice.

Agreed, The parking lot area at RRX is just awful. I was wondering about the section on the otherside of the white fence where they run the "mini drag" races and gonzo's new drift demo spot.

And for Springs, do you think anyone would be interested in running through 2 parking lots? like having them connected on the same "course". It would however, be a very firm obstacle.

A mall parking lot sounds like a good idea, location wise. Found a video of a parking lot track.

 

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When we used to go to grand forks for events at the Alerus center Lot (pre canad inns) we enjoyed the events but the risk was high. The event coordinator ended up taking out a curb in his starion.

lots of events are held on stadium sites, but here we don’t have venues like the merican’s do. 

Mall lots could be an option but they are open 7 days a week. The struggle would be getting mall owners to sign on. Then you also introduce the issue of crowd/spectator control for which we’d need to hire security most likely. Most wpg mall lots have curbs/boulevards and light standards. The wrong spin could put you in the same scenario as I noted before.

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7 hours ago, MRS Joe said:

Then you also introduce the issue of crowd/spectator control for which we’d need to hire security most likely.

Oh the memories of St Vital Center with random people walking through the middle of the course while a car was running it...LOL

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3 hours ago, Iceracer said:

Oh the memories of St Vital Center with random people walking through the middle of the course while a car was running it...LOL

Curious where did you guys run events there back un the day?  West side near HBC, south by the old Sears?

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Yeah, the Alerus Center events were fun, but some of those transitions down narrow bits of curb were pretty sketchy. And I'll never forget that green Fiero when we raced in the Steinbach Mall parking lot that smashed so hard sideways into the curb that it got beached on top of it.

I'll be the first to admit that one the main reasons that I don't autox much anymore is because I really dislike St. Andrews. It seems like we have this very same discussion every year though about promoting autocross, or about finding a better venue, sadly with no luck.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Magner said:

Curious where did you guys run events there back un the day?  West side near HBC, south by the old Sears?

IIRC it was NW close to the Sears. It's been a lonnngggg time....Old Stadium lot, St vital centre - MAXA also put on a Corvette meet in a parking lot at the  Kapyong Barracks

I'll stop derailing the thread now :)

Edited by Iceracer
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On 7/2/2019 at 9:32 PM, aaronstumpf said:

Agreed, The parking lot area at RRX is just awful. I was wondering about the section on the otherside of the white fence where they run the "mini drag" races and gonzo's new drift demo spot.

And for Springs, do you think anyone would be interested in running through 2 parking lots? like having them connected on the same "course". It would however, be a very firm obstacle.

 

You and @Magner are talking about the same area behind the gates. The bump there is awful. The Vette hit so hard I thought the rear axle was about to come off. I started going wide and lifting to avoid the bump so that I did not have to leave. 

Springs will only rent the small lots portion near Lag. The other sections are out of bounds. 

Changing gears a little, are there changes to St Andrews that some would consider it more attractive? Keep it within the realm of reality, repaving the whole thing or tripling its size is not constructive. 

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What about small (10x10 or 20x20)additions to the width at St. Andrews in a few select spots? They could be spaced apart so that new courses could be designed to utilize the extra width which would change the course dynamics big time. This could be done over the course of 3 years with adding a section per year. 

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5 hours ago, justkickin said:

Changing gears a little, are there changes to St Andrews that some would consider it more attractive? Keep it within the realm of reality, repaving the whole thing or tripling its size is not constructive. 

loop-the-loop.jpg

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Care to try that in a Honda?

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