every race is a shyt show if thats how you perceive it, or your not racing it, otherwise its an over priced, overregulated, un fun bounce test, sooner or later the teams will be ' over it', and go have More fun bounce testing this November out at Plaster city, and the spectators( me) will have Full access for our viewing pleasure
When any racing organization goes to put on their first event they hope for minimal challenges in and a solid foundation to build on. That doesn’t happen when your first event is essentially a Super Bowl of Off Road that has something people will undoubtably compare you to, and analyze everything you do.
Mad Media brought in some good people with diverse experience that had never worked together and formed a team. The team met regularly and felt like they had most of the pieces of the puzzle in place to make a successful event. All the unknowns and a few nuts and bolts were the challenge.
Significant lessons learned and many implemented for this last weeks UTV World Championship event. Many of the same people on the same team and an overall successful event. Still more lessons learned.
One of the coolest things I think we will see for 2021, is that bikes and vehicles have their own courses. The safety aspect of them sharing the course won’t be an issues. That also means the bike guys won’t get robbed their time. Logistically a little more challenging for volunteers and resources like my team but so worth it to elevate the event. On the flip side logistically there will be some significant improvements that benefit the teams and spectators as well.
Depending on political winds direction, racing in the Jean area could come to an end in a few years. Is the course beat up? Heck yeah it is. It is the Mint 400! Look at the course that was just raced for the first time ever in Lake Havasu, there is not a racer that raced a lap there that won’t say it was one of the toughest courses ever. People that won or even finished celebrated victory.
All the work that many in this industry tried to do through committees and meetings meant very little to a political system that already had the land deal done in their back pockets. A beat up course could disappear forever very soon.
Keep racing that land. Keep being good stewards of that land. Keep supporting every organization that puts events on this land. Let’s continue to be a solid force instead of sitting around the key board ten years from now saying remember when we used to race this land and now we aren’t allowed on it.
It’s a business, there are clearly more customers in the general public than in actual racers. For the consumer it is an off-road paradise, for the racer it is a PITA. I think the experience for the non racer is pretty good, they have no clue that spectating and the party is usually free. I think it is also good financially for vendors. Personally, as a racer, I don’t race it anymore. maybe I will return when it’s easier, and I’m not talking about the race itself, that’s the easy part!
I was reluctant to jump in here because the set up feels very lose-lose to me but I naively often feel compelled to try to share some perspective when I think things could use some additional clarity. Thank you @ndvalium for doing such a great job of showing how it can be done without getting in to a pointless internet argument. I thought it was kind of strange for this convo to pop up 7 months after the event but ironically it's probably not a bad time given the fact that we're already working on hitting the GO button for 2021.
There is some valid criticism rehashed here that was already brought up way back in March. But again, fair point that things like race schedules got a little sideways, staging was not as organized as it needed to be, etc. Everyone involved in the planning recognized those things immediately and included them in the planning process for 2021 to correct. If you look at the 2020 Mint 400 as a direct comparison versus other orgs who have staff and processes that have been refined over literally decades of experience, then yes I too would say that the Mint had some things that did not measure up. But given the fact that the team basically took the high dive to the deep end for the first time of trying to organize an event of this magnitude on their own, I think things actually went pretty well overall. There were some very hard lessons learned and those lessons are already helping shape what the next iteration of the event will look like.
There are some specific things in the blog I would question but at this point there is probably no value in doing so. Again it's absolutely fair to say that when evaluated critically there were things about the 2020 Mint that did not go as planned and need to get better. But it's also fair to say that there were a lot of things that DID go well that don't get much mention. Among them I particularly proud of the outstanding volunteer help that came and supported the event. I think the military challenge was excellent and I hope that continues for years to come. I think the kids races were also awesome. And at the end of the day, having a 400+ mile race that came down to the top 3 TT's within a minute of each other racing to the finish was worth all of it. Finally, I was personally really happy generally speaking regarding the collaboration and feedback we got from the BLM regarding this event. There are a lot of things that never see the light of day and no one really cares about on message boards, but are critical to the survival of this sport and the working relationships that were established and strengthened during the event were very positive.
Just like the UTV World Championship, my view is that it's ok if these events aren't for everyone. There are more options than ever for racers and while I hope that a lot of people are able to find value in the Mint, I understand why it's not for everyone. To Matt and Josh's credit, they are not afraid to keep pushing forward on new ideas even when that comes with increased risk. You can take the safe route and keep making the same cookie cutter events that are sure to go flawlessly, but they consistently seek to grow and innovate. There is always going to be some inherent chaos in constantly tweaking the formula and not every swing is going to be a home run, but I personally appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a group that is willing to keep exploring new options in an effort to further the sport.