58 JULY 2020 scca.comINSIDE SCCA
Being new to something fun is exciting. But after the initial excitement wearsoff, one is often left at the crossroads ofdeciding whether to pursue the newfoundactivity further or to find the next shinyobject. Such is the conundrum for manyparticipants at RallyCross events acrossthe country. But while RallyCross mightbe exciting enough to retain many whoare new to the sport, there are also thingsthe SCCA Region can do to help sealthe deal and keep them coming back.
Acquiring new members is an essentialpart of growing and sustaining anyprogram, and keeping those faces comingback is just as crucial. Therein, there aremore than a few proven strategies tokeep people coming back. As we coveredlast month, a culture of fun will go a longway toward filling your registration page.
Even so, helping guide your new andinexperienced folks will also pay dividends.
Novice walks and new driver meetings
are a big help to green racers. Programs
like these provide an opportunity to drill
down into some of the finer points of
RallyCross without bogging down the
regular drivers’ meeting with the same
information experienced folks have
heard time and time again. During those
novice meetings and walks, it’s important
to stress not only the basic rules and
procedures of an event (like the “down
and out” cone rule, radio etiquette, and
corner worker responsibilities), but also
to give some basic pointers on navigating
the course both safely and quickly.
Providing novices with some kind ofdriving instruction is also a proven methodto bridge the gap between new racersand the seasoned vet. This is helpful fromseveral perspectives as the new drivers getthe benefit of instruction from experiencedcompetitors, the instructors help the newdrivers get up to speed quickly, and bothbenefit from increased levels of competition.
Simplifying the experience can also up
the fun for newbies. A little information
can go a long way toward removing some
of the mystery from navigating a typical
RallyCross. Posting a basic timeline and
schedule on the event registration webpage
as well as some event guidelines can clear
up a lot of questions before someone even
sets foot on site. At the event, signage
indicating where tech inspection, grid,
and registration will also work wonders.
Simplification of the experience for new
folks applies to driving at the event, too.
One of the common questions from new
competitors is when they should think about
shifting gears. Often, it’s better to instruct
them to get the car into second gear and
then worry about steering rather than trying
to be at redline every moment they’re on
course. In addition, if you’re an experienced
RallyCrosser and see someone struggling
with a particular element or setup for a
particular surface, don’t be afraid to offer
pointers. A few friendly words may be the
difference between that person coming
back or them leaving the sport for good.
When you break it down, attracting
and helping new drivers get up to speed
in RallyCross is the responsibility of
everyone in the Club – and ultimately,
we all benefit from a healthy program
offering deep competition. Though we’re
all competing against each other, lending
a helping hand builds camaraderie
and a better racing community.
Attracting new competitors to RallyCross events is only half of the goal | WORDS Matt Wolfe | IMAGE Dave Green
RallyCross is fun, but are yourRegion’s events entertaining enoughfor drivers to return time after time?