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Easter round whats going on?

Re: Easter round whats going on?

Nothing to do with the date, everything to do with changing the format of a national championship event with no consultation and against the rule book (there is no procedure on points allocation etc) along and with racers effectively losing yet another championship round, less exposure and prize money, that's what their issues are.

The racing format itself is inherently flawed, removes competition, you might as well just call is a exhibition, look at what the IHRA has become.

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www.dragnews.com.au

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Thats not Willowbank saying the two critical elements for event canned was Easter date and race format.Which the fomat a least worth a try,some think needs to bring crowds in outside winters.A least a try but we will nether know now(look at supercars they change race format and still going strong lol)What a load of crap about its not in consultation and against the rule book.Andra or any organization can change race format in season for the better of sport.What a waste of opportunist for this sport,changes do make the sport better but stick too the old flimar ways and the sport will nether grow.Just my opionon

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Grant Stephens you quote the racers effectively losing yet another championship round, less exposure and prize money, that's what their issues are.

Well not supporting event the racers loss 2 rounds,less exposure and prize money.I heard the prize money was going be same but spit over the 2 days and championship points could easy be work out by Andra,racers lol.Maybe some think like this 50 points to A final winner,runner up 40points    B finals 35 winner runner up 30 and  all the rest 20 points simple they receive about the same as a normal championship rd

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

If there aren't many people going to races you have to get them there first before you can even change any format of racing, or how will they even know?

I think there are more important hings that will brings crowds other than changing the format of racing. Besides we should keep the racers happy. If the racers are happy than we should be happy, they are the ones providing the entertainment.

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Majority of sports in this world hold events on public holidays because its the best opportunity  to get large crowds to a event,proving fact.On these public holidays you can entice the people who wouldn't even think to go to a race,which allowed to create a big crowd and maybe win them over for them to come back.Now willowbank got one event(winters) like that to create new spectators which if they do.they have to wait nearly 12 months for another major event for them to return.This was a huge miss opportunity  to create new spectators,new income to raceway,new sponsor and maybe a better race format what spectators might like. Do the tracks or  Andra try this again in future,how would we ever knows if this will work?The majority of racers have fail this sport this time around and any marketing person or company will say what a miss opportunity.Hopefully these mistakes will nether happening again

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

To All Group One Drag Racing Teams

It is with great disappointment that the Willowbank Raceway Management Committee announces today that the Easter event scheduled for April 6/7 2012 has been cancelled.

The single reason for this cancellation is the total lack of support for the event by the majority of Australia’s leading Group One drag racing teams.

The Willowbank Raceway Management Committee surveyed all Group One  teams early in September and again in late September, and also answered a lot of competitor questions, but the results of the two surveys are no different with more than  66% percent of the responses being negative,  making this event totally unviable. This event required 100% support from all teams so that they would all become ambassadors for the promotion of the event.

The Willowbank Raceway Management Committee would at this stage like to thank the 34% of racers who  supported the event strongly, in particular the Top Alcohol and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories who almost unanimously supported the event concept.

For 3 years,  the Willowbank Raceway Management Committee has been considering the concept for this event, and believes without question that it  was a winner and would have provided an innovative answer to the lack of crowds at major ANDRA Pro Series events. This event was to feature a lot of additional entertainment including specifically designed fireworks shows, laser light shows, stunt shows and live entertainers. The event was to feature two nights of racing on the 3-round format, with two sets of championship points allocated and great television coverage assured for all competitors.

The major advantage of the Easter format was that there was  not going to be any non-qualifiers, everyone was going to race both days, there would have been great TV coverage, points could be earned on both days and all racers had the chance to be in the finals on both days.

The event even had a very special name which had not been announced. It was to be called : -

the EASTER  SUPER 3 ANDRA PRO SERIES”

The name was specifically chosen to indicate a brand new 3-round concept for the ANDRA Pro Series.

While somewhat controversial, the Easter date and the race format, were the two critical elements that were required for this event to succeed, but were also the major sticking points identified by competitors in the survey answers. Willowbank Raceway Management Committee saw these two elements of this event as non-negotiable, and were not prepared to jeopardise the enormous investment that the track was prepared to put into this event by changing it to a traditional event with normal qualifying and eliminations.

As mentioned in the previous correspondence, the Willowbank Raceway Management Committee has no further plans to schedule any further ANDRA Pro Series rounds to replace the 12  rounds of Group One competition that will now be lost to the series.

Regards


Willowbank Raceway Management Committee

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Grant Stephens wrote:

Nothing to do with the date, everything to do with changing the format of a national championship event with no consultation and against the rule book (there is no procedure on points allocation etc) along and with racers effectively losing yet another championship round, less exposure and prize money, that's what their issues are.

The racing format itself is inherently flawed, removes competition, you might as well just call is a exhibition, look at what the IHRA has become.

They were never 'losing' a round (although that's what has happened now with the cancellation). WB were never going to run two separate events for all eliminators.
The sport is going to need to look at a format that is fan friendly at some stage if racers want the benefits that come with exposure ie sponsorship.

ANDRA #2702

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Ian,

No else but Willowbank is to blame for the lack of Professional rounds they have throughout the year.

Its another one of the flaws the Old ANDRA had where it allowed the tracks to pick and choose events to suit their demographic, Willowbanks season is getting shorter and shorter due largely to the unfortunate wet weather we had over the last 18 months.

Perth have the right idea with their very strong open events with the odd exhibition or match race thrown in to bring in the crowds, from the inside (Very inside) the racers may have made a wise decision as this may have set a precedent for these style of events, formats or other to create a "circus" style show.

Before you start to jump up and down though, i am not against these events, but points racing should be run to a standard format and like someone said, we need to get our house in order and fix the sport internally before we go messing about with these gimmick shows.

Also i was thinking about this, say for pro stock, all cars race, the 2 cars with the most wins and the quickest ET will make the final?

Sounds good on paper.

Whats stopping a guy like Zap matching himself with Glendening, or Gillespi, or one of the cars that have not quite hit that tune up yet for 3 rounds running easy 5.8s-5.9s and making the final the "easy way"  over racing a judd, a Kapiris and a Bray in all those 3 rounds to make life interesting at the risk of not making the "final".

I may have missed something but thats my thoughts rolling around my thick head anyway.

Plucka
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Re: Easter round whats going on?

I believe they are technically losing a round, apart from prize money being paid for only one round, (maybe the racer response would of been different had 2 rounds of prize money be offered?) compared to two separate events, their exposure level is less when compared to two rounds in this format.

I agree event formats need to be changed absolutely, but I think it can be done by still retaining the traditional elimination format.

Yes personally I dont like the round robin format except on a exhibition level and I think it would be detrimental to the Pro Series if it was used all the time, as it handicaps competition and there is two much bias towards the quicker cars and I think it would kill off competitors, let alone the inconsistencies in running the format in fairness which have already reared up with the Slamfest events. And it was run in the 90's with Top Doorslammer as a trial and wasn't well accepted with same two cars in every final.

Should be a interesting ANDRA Summit.

National Drag Racing Photographer
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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Just some points I like to raised.Racers and people was concern of prize money,format and championship points,would this be acceptable to racers?

Championship points how are they now winner 100,runner up 80,semi 60 ,1st rd 40,non qfl 20 , low et and top speed 5 each
Easter rd day 1= A finalist winner 50 ,runner up 40  B finalist 35,runner up 30   non finalist quickest 4 et of elimination rd 20 points and all others 10,low et and top speed 5 each
second day same as first day.
So over the two events you roughly earn same points as a normal meet.


Prize money I don't know what the exact money allocated too doorslammers but say the total prize money is $20000.
Normal event say winner gets $4400,runner up $3800,semi $3200,1st rd $1350
Easter rd day 1= finalist A winner $2200,runner up $1900.B finalist winner $1500,runner up $1200,4 non finalist with quickest et at elimination rd recieve $800
second day same as first day.
So exact prize pool money as normal event

Now to race format,it should be exact the same as Perth top comp is.The racers don't mind it and spectators love it(with some very high profile racers running it eg Zap and Judd).First rd is for compusler qfl,Second rd Elimination rd,quickest et race the slowest and so on down the order,3 rd 4 quickest winners from 2 rd race in A and  B finals.

How hard was that to work out which I think is reasonable to racers,which only took me about 10min to work out(fine tuning it easy  be done)
I cant see why not the racers and willowbank and Andra couldn't work out their difference.It just show how bad the sport is right now.

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Plucka - the rounds would be seeded, racers don't just decide for themselves who they will race.
"Its another one of the flaws the Old ANDRA had where it allowed the tracks to pick and choose events to suit their demographic" - err, considering the high cost of running a Pro Series round for a track it makes sense for them to be able to choose the demographic. Else the sport is going to have to make some tough decisions in the future as to who is Pro (ie capable of pulling crowds with a show of high professionalism) and who just leaves off a pro tree. There's no other professional motorsports series in the world trying to wield over 60 racers across six categories with equal coverage.
Grant - where you say they are technically losing a round, my point is that Willowbank never offered two totally separate events. So there isn't one to lose. They weren't going to split this event either, so they never stood a chance of gaining one. You are right two events would have offered more exposure etc etc, but Willowbank never offered that. It's an expensive proposition. I'm not a racer so it's not my decision, but from the outside looking in it seems like an opportunity lost.

ANDRA #2702

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Hi All, Here is the email we sent to all group one teams on Oct 4th clearing up any questions on the Easter Event and basically pleading with them to Vote Yes to the New and Innovative idea.
Regards
Steve

Dear Group One Competitors, The Willowbank Raceway Management Committee met last night and had extensive discussions on the proposed Easter ANDRA Pro Series Event.

The surprising, and disappointing lack of support by a large number of Group One racers for Willowbank Raceway’s efforts to turn around the fortunes of the ANDRA Pro Series events at the track has made the dual points series event planned for Easter unviable.

Following a request to  Group One racers by Willowbank Raceway  last week for a show of support, the response was that almost half of the expected 80-85 teams for the event indicated they would not attend. Of the effective 54 individual replies, 38 (primarily Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock teams) were against attending and 16 were in favor, while the remainder did not respond ( 187 emails were sent ). Willowbank Raceway  would like to thank those racers who supported the concept, and to those who did not show support, the Management Committee is making one, final appeal to reconsider in the interests of the sport.

As we all know, drag racing in Australia is at a crossroads. Willowbank has always played its part in supporting the sport, often at its financial cost, but the consistent financial failure of ANDRA Pro Series rounds (outside of the Winternationals) in recent years has forced the track to tailor an event that is attractive enough to entice the public to attend in numbers big enough to ensure financial success. 

But the raceway cannot do this alone. This has to be done in partnership with race teams. The Easter event, which is supported by ANDRA Ltd, was designed to be a more attractive version of ANDRA Pro Series drag racing to the public.

Easter was chosen as the location of this concept for a number of reasons. The hard, cold facts of the matter are that no event of this size is viable in the months either side of the Winternationals and ANDRA Pro Series events have been tried in almost every other month and have failed financially. The Easter location also allows travel time for teams but the key to its success is bums on seats, and that is why this event was designed at a time that gives the best opportunity for the public to attend, outside of the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

It is the general public, not the racers and the tracks, who determine the success or otherwise of ANDRA Pro Series events.

This was set to be an incredible opportunity to genuinely advance the sport, but unless the racer associations and individuals reconsider the serious implications of their failure to support this initiative, the Willowbank Raceway Management Committee  will have no other choice but to cancel the event.

The Willowbank Management Committee wants to make it clear that this is the only date on which the event has any chance of success, therefore we are unable to provide replacement dates for the ANDRA Pro Series rounds if the Easter event has to be cancelled.   

The planning for this meeting takes many months, so a decision on its future cannot be held off for much longer. Consequently, a response to this email is required by  Monday 10th October, specifically from the T/D and Pro Stock associations and those who have not replied already. Those who originally replied in support of the event need not do so again.

In summary, the results of the survey are as follows;

22 Individual Replies / 2 Group Replies TD and PRO = a Total of 54 Individual Total Votes
Total NO Votes 38 / Total YES Votes 16

To assist with your decisions we have chosen to answer some of the questions raised by various competitors on the Easter Event.

1.    Why have Championship Points allocated for the “two races” in the same weekend ?
Willowbank Raceway REPLY: This is a totally new format and we want to see points for both races at the one event. It is ONE Event with TWO Races.  This is a real incentive for competitors to compete at this event.

2.    Can the breakdown of points be varied from that which has been stated ?
Willowbank Raceway REPLY: YES - We don’t have any fixed opinion on how the points are allocated providing there are two full sets of championship points allocated to the event. ANDRA Ltd and the competitors can decide this, but there MUST be two FULL sets of event points.

3.    Can this event be run as a Non – Championship Event with NO points?
Willowbank Raceway REPLY: Categorically NO.

4.    How will the prize money be broken up ?
Willowbank Raceway  REPLY:  Once again, this is not a fixed deal from us. But there MUST be 50% of the total prize pool allocated to each Race to give the incentive to the racers each day.  The break-up of prize money, within the stated guideline, can be determined by ANDRA Ltd and the competitors.

5.    Can there be  a non qualifying run on Friday? 
Willowbank Raceway  REPLY:  YES - this can be done on Friday early.

6.    Will there be a tow money concept because the event is at Easter ?
Willowbank Raceway REPLY:  NO -  There is no provision for tow money in the event budget.

7.    If the Easter does NOT go ahead will Willowbank Raceway be rescheduling the event or put another Championship round on before the Winternationals ?               
Willowbank Raceway  REPLY:  NO - There is no possibility of replacement events.

8.    Can this event be shifted to another weekend ?
Willowbank Raceway  REPLY:  NO - There is no possibility of moving this event away from Easter.

9.    How many teams does Willowbank need to make this event work ?
Willowbank Raceway REPLY:  Willowbank Raceway must have very strong fields for this event to work from a Race Schedule point of view. We need the following entry list as a minimum – 10 TF / 14 TA / 20 TD / 10 TB / 20 PRO / 10 PSM.

Finally, not as a concession to the racers, but to the sport as a whole, the Willowbank Raceway Management Committee intends to delay making a public announcement on the Easter Event until Tuesday 11th October and unless there is a major development or change in the Group One racers viewpoint, and we receive 100% support of this event, it  will definitely be cancelled on Tuesday 11th October.

Please provide a  simple YES or NO answer on a  return email.

Regards

The Willowbank Raceway Management Committee

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

The Willowbank Raceway Management Committee surveyed all Group One  teams early in September and again in late September, and also answered a lot of competitor questions, but the results of the two surveys are no different with more than  66% percent of the responses being negative,  making this event totally unviable. This event required 100% support from all teams so that they would all become ambassadors for the promotion of the event.

Wouldn't you have got the support of the racers before it was locked into the calender as a round(s)? People hinge their sponsorship proposals on the number of rounds/exposure to their sponsors. But this round appears to never have been fully supported. In essence Pro Series teams have lost 2 promotional opportunites to their sponsors.

What credibility does this given them for their next sponsorship proposals? I can see why the majority of racers are very frustrated with the current management of the sport

Crew Chief
Upton Racing

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Here's a follow up featuring Phil Lamattina's views on the cancellation. http://dragnews.com.au/index.php?option … p;Itemid=9

ANDRA #2702

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Re: Easter round whats going on?

Excellent post from Phil and also good words from Jay. Pretty much said what I would have said.  There are a number of people killing this sport, and a few of them are in charge of two tracks. You can figure out who. ANDRA needs to take full control and not allow these two tracks to keep dictating what happens, if it continues this way we wont have a sport simple as that.  I'm done.

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