This is the second of a three-part series. In this post, Mike Collins, an active SCCA member and volunteer, suggests how the SCCA can streamline road racing options.
- Understand who its members/potential members are and what they need from the organization.
- Streamline road racing options and eliminate internal competition.
- Create synergy with its other events so drivers can find a path to grow within the sport.
In this post, I will focus on the second recommendation: the SCCA must streamline road racing options and eliminate internal competition. I’ll talk about the third suggestion in my next article.
Create a Clear Path to Advance
The SCCA hosts three tiers of racing (Regional, Majors and Super Tour events), a rotating national championship, and over 45 classes of cars, with at least 25 of those eligible for the runoffs. There are also divisional series that seem to be a series of already existing regional races. This makes it very complicated and confusing for drivers to choose when and where to race.
At the very least, the SCCA should provide very clear participation guidelines for each tier, the national championship and the runoffs. Members should be able to easily select what racing tier they prefer based on their goals for the season.
New members have a very difficult time identifying and evaluating their racing options. Currently, they must seek guidance from long-time members. As I mentioned previously, however, the SCCA is rapidly losing its most tenured members. This is unacceptable.
I also mentioned that the SCCA needs to attract young members to grow and remain viable. When young members join the SCCA, they need to be able to clearly and quickly identify the most appealing path for their racing career. Currently, however, young racers are unable to do that.
Eliminate Internal Competition
The existing tiers of racing just compete for an already stressed customer who already has too many options on how and where to race. Majors races at second tier tracks are not drawing in new customers; they are straining already taxed regions.
On the other hand, Super Tour races at premier tracks seem to be drawing strong crowds that are willing to travel. In addition, you can get an invitation to the national championship runoffs by participating in any combination of events, so long as you meet a minimum participation requirement.
The SCCA needs to change. It lacks an identity and continues to flounder, competing with itself for what’s left of its shrinking market share. This is due to its basic, fundamental desire to provide as many racing opportunities as possible to its existing, but waning, membership. Because, if anything, the SCCA is the Special Car Club of America.