Seems as though one of my previous blogs found it's way into print and ruffled some feathers in the vintage group that I am a member of. I have just received some copies of e-mails sent to other members who have then sent them to others who then sent them to others and so on and so on till they found their way to me. Some of the things noted in the e-mails were interesting. Basically I have been called a liar or worse.
I did not mention any names in my blog. I did not accuse any one person of any misdeeds. I mainly pointed how weak leadership allowed a lais-sez-faire attitude towards rules being enforced and poor driving caused a dangerous concern to grow.
Sure some rules where enforced. It was decided that it was important to have "proper door panels" on the cars. Car owners where hammered hard on this one. A number of drivers complained that the door panel rule was goofy. I spent a lot of money( for me) and stuck new original panels on my car and did not complain, thinking that maybe this was a sign of stricter rules to come. I thought that the rules that forced proper vintage prepped suspension and engine packages would follow. I was wrong.
More than anything my concern is safety. For this public display of concern I have been more or less made a target by some folks in the club of which I am a paid member. I am still worried that someone will get hurt or worse if the club does not control the non-vintage high speed cars being driven by guys who are growing older and skill levels are also failing too.
I am all for seeing just how fast a guy can design and get a sprite to go. It might be better if younger guys in the SCCA did that sort of testing. At one time I thought oh what the heck let em race. I don't now. A vintage race is no place for this type of racing.
The continued level of offs and crashes that are being allowed is scary. I had a crash in 1998. I was driving the slowest car on the track and made a mistake that destroyed two neat little cars. No one was hurt. I was put on probation ..or so I was told and for the next 5 years or more I did not spin, go off or crash. It is possible to drive and not do those things even for a crappy driver like me. Right now I see guys who drive wildly crash and go off many times a year and nothing is done. I believe that had I gone off in the year or so after my crash I would have been in serious trouble and rightly so.
The speeds have gone up and the skills have not. If the rules that were followed in 1998 in the club were still followed and the cars were built like real 1972 cars, the speeds would be down and the danger would be lower too. I have seen too many crashes that easily could have killed someone. Even in the group that I did run in and felt secure in has gotten out of hand a bit. It got to the point where I did not feel safe putting my un-crashed true vintage 948 engine powered 1959 sprite on the track anymore. I just don't trust a number of guys I had to race and share the track with.
If the wild drivers will not police themselves then maybe to club should do it for them. To those that are angry with me, be angry with me if you wish, shoot the messenger, but someone will get hurt badly and it will not be good. I hope that I am not there when it happens.