CORR needs Pro-4 trucks, So what would it take?

Billy_the_Kid

Well-Known Member
As some of you may have noticed in the recent television coverage on Speed Channel, CORR only has about 7 or 8 trucks in the Pro-4 class (two Bladwins, Douglas, LeDuc, Renezeder, Greaves, McCrossan, and Drews). Those are pretty low numbers to start a race, much less finishing a race sometimes with only two trucks running, is pretty sad. Rumor has it that the class is in jeopardy of being shut down if they don't get a higher truck count.

So what would it take to get more trucks to come out and race in CORR's Pro-4 class??

Now I know, the obvious thing right up front is the cost. Them things ain't cheap to build or to run, but then again neither is a Trophy Truck. Is it because the races are so far away from the west coast? If there were one or two or more races out there, do you think it would draw more teams into competeing? Or is 4 wheel drive not that popular of a race vehicle? Seems like most Trophy Trucks are 2-wheel drive.

I obviously don't race a Pro-4, but I do go to all the CORR races, and I'm concerned that we are going to lose one of our biggest draws for spectators if we lose the Pro-4 class. I'd like to get a good thread going and hear what everybody thinks, and maybe someone from CORR will read this post and maybe re-evaluate the class and the series.

Thanks,
 

BRBoudreaux

Well-Known Member
Re: CORR needs Pro-4 trucks, So what would it take

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
So what would it take to get more trucks to come out and race in CORR's Pro-4 class??

[/ QUOTE ]

Somebody with a bunch of $$$$$ to recognize my gushing well of driving talent
 

billymanfroy

Well-Known Member
Re: CORR needs Pro-4 trucks, So what would it take

This was covered a while ago I think. Without a doubt, the travelling is the deal killer. Most people can't get enough time off work or afford the 7 mpg several times a year. I know some do it, though, and my hat's off to them. Add in the cost of a Pro-4 truck ($150k-$250k?) and you'd need bill gates.

Marty had a meeting in SoCal a couple years back and it was supposed to be the announcement of the CORR west coast schedule. There was talk of running a whole separate series, and then talk of just running some west coast races with the east coast ones. I did not go to the meeting, but some of my friends and crew members did. They basically said, "We're not doing any west coast races because our regulars don't want ot travel out here." That was a big shock to all the people who showed up. They went on to say that they had literature available to tutor people on how to get sponsors so that we could travel back east for the races. WIth the exception of a handful of competitors, nobody's been able to pull it off on a regular basis.

Billy
 

GFC

Well-Known Member
Re: CORR needs Pro-4 trucks, So what would it take

i am just realizing how much the $$$ has to do with it all. by no mean is our sport cheep. its hard to jump into a class such as the pro-4 trucks without the finacial backing/banking. you cant go into the class without it and expect to be compettitive.
maybe there is some rich people who would like to sponcer a truck or two..... c'mon bill gates, i know your out there
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
Re: CORR needs Pro-4 trucks, So what would it take

Its the Economy stupid(Joking)! But in reality it is. Whats the matter? Has the class finally gotten to the point that it is too expensive for those midwestern Dairymen and Wheat Farmers to compete in? It is the same story we have seen all along in our sport. We get to the point that it costs too much money to run and be competitive unless you are independently wealthy. CORR gace up its grassroots classes and went with the glamourous big trucks and TV package. I used to love watching the 30+ 1600 cars race at once but no more. As with any sport, the more unlimited the vehicle, the more it costs and less competitiors continue to compete.
Larry Minor ruined the river wash races this way way back when everyone just showed up in their jeeps and broncos to have fun. He got beat and went out and paid to be unbeatable. The rest is history. Why do you suppose the biggest classes in offroad racing today are limited classes? 1600? 9? Sure, they may not be in every series, but that is because the racers in these classes know that to win money, there has to be lots of cars, and if you can convince everyone to show up at "this series" or these "chosen races", then there will be money to be won. There used to be tons of trucks in class 4, 3, 8, etc... As the rules opened up, and the costs to be competitive climbed, the entries dropped off. Witness the Jeep Speed class. About as everymans class as can be. You can be anywhere in the U.S. and build one, show up at a race, run it, and if you shopped right, be competitive without spending the Kids college tuition.
 

MNotary

Well-Known Member
If it wasn't for one family, there wouldn't be much PRO 4. When Walker showed up with those big Aluminum block engines, that pretty much put an end to the truck classes (along with the poor evolution of the rules). Class 13 (Sport 2) used to have 30 plus trucks at Crandon...

And Crandon....that track is RUINED. The BEST turn in off-road racing, and they cut it out.

PRO 4 needs to go away. You can't tell the difference between them and Sport/PRO 2 when they go around the track. (7 vehicles isn't a race anyway). Need to combine Sport 2, Pro 2 and Pro 4 (with all the same rules...2wd and 9.5 to 1 360 engines). Claimer engines...yea...

There WAS nothing cooler than watching time trials at Antigo and seeing Walker pull the left front (nothing wrong with 15's) off the ground coming out of turn 2 (they cut off the outside part of the track).

Mid/early 90's was the peak for SODA/CORR. I would be suprised if it ever recovers.

Yea, this has been gone over before.......
 

curt

Well-Known Member
Well the obvious answer has to be money, the economy has been in the tiolet for long enough that even the most irresponsible money blowing racer has to be about out of funding from any source. We seriously wanted to get into pro-lite (which is now bigger than it was 3 years ago) but the "standardized chassis" rules that we're supposed to make racing affordable just tacked on an extra 10-20K to the expense of building a truck and took the base fabrication out of our hands.

Extra expenses that kill the west coasters
Tow bill, loss of time at work due to frequent travel, lack of pit support without hiring locals at the track due to frequent travel, race turnaround too fast to bring truck home to repair-need to leave at a local company for prep or else you really won't have even a glimmer of a life between towing, racing, and repairs for 12-16 weeks every year. Even if you managed to find a life, your checkbook wouldn't have anywhere near enough time to recover between races.

The big hope for us was to get a pro-lite series out west so we could realize the goal of racing at the highest competetive levels. I'll admit watching trophy trucks, Pro 2/Pro 4 has always been a favorite for us but as for racing, we've always preferred the little trucks which aren't really much cheaper to build/operate.

Potential solutions to the above problems:
Get a shop back east that gets split between a half a dozen teams, have 1-2 paid full time fabricators to do major repairs. Hire 4-5 part time drivers to haul the vehicles to the track. Split up the remaining time between the teams and build a work sharing program that keeps the basic maintainence going. The biggest problem with this plan is personalities, it's hard to maintain that many people without hard feelings becoming an issue over time.

Or win the lottery and make all these problems someone elses since you'll be on the beach somewhere waiting for your margarita while the work gets done....

An alternative if you really like short course, come watch a VORRA race in Sacramento....The purse is not very rewarding but the racing is excellent for an entry fee of between $150 - $250.00. The course is 1 mile long, has S-turns, a fast straighaway, a big jump, 3-4 little jumps, a couple of fast sweepers, and is almost fully visible to the spectator areas. We've not been able to field a 7s class this year due to lack of vehicles (there are 1-2 at each race, need 2 more) but the 7 open class has 8-10 trucks that pretty much fall into 2 competetive groups. The top 4 trucks and the next 6 trucks are pretty much a roll of the dice as to who will be the fastest for each group..... www.vorra.com for the schedule, its good wholesome fast family racing and we all have no problems sharing beer with any of our competitors. Curt
 

billymanfroy

Well-Known Member
That's a pretty smooth plug, Curt! I will make sure to hit you up for a beer after Rog drinks all of ours! Oh, and we are talking to some of the girls at www.umbrellagirlsusa.com to get some of them out to both races. I met 2 of them at the ALMS race this weekend. I will keep you informed on this very important issue.

Billy
 

curt

Well-Known Member
Only if he doesn't get all ours first....Now if the umbrella girls are coming, can we revive that idea for the mud bog/chrome lifted truck tug of war so they have a place to wrestle between heats? Curt
 

billymanfroy

Well-Known Member
Hey, Sheryl!

Well at least there's no elevator at Prairie City! lol

We are running Hawthorne with VORRA Labor Day weekend. You should come join us!!!

We're borrowing a cyl head so we can hopefully finish at least one of these stupid things this year... We just bought one of those old 525hp NASCAR V6 motors from back east, but we are going to wait until the Sept. or Oct. short course race to run it. I can't wait to see what it drives like with 300 hp more than it had before! If I blow that one up I'm just going to have the guys bury me out in the desert somewhere... With a girl, of course.

Billy
 

RacnCPA

Well-Known Member
Sounds great Billy. Send the details to my regular email account, including area hotels so I can make plans. Include your cell phone number in case I have any problems. Oh by the way does your truck have a second seat??
 

hoeker

Well-Known Member
thanks for keeping this thread alive guys, but lets get back to the point. what would it take? everyone starting out in CORR dreams of one day making it to Pro-4, but no one does. there's a couple good trucks out there that don't get run, but they don't get sold either. the point about limited classes is a good one, but would it work for pro-4? despite your discouragment with the pro-lite spec chassis, it worked in pro lite, it also has helped pro-2, now this year CORR made some good rule changes and sporty2 went from 7 trucks to 11 in 1 off-season! looks to me like CORR is accomplishing their goals, sure not every one is happy, but that's not possible anyway.
several years ago CORR wanted pro-4 to go to a spec chassis 600 HP motor to try to save the class, the guys that currently run successfully shot that idea down (and i don't blame them) now where are we?? would limits in pro-4 help?? douglas came out to crandon to test when i was there on monday, he came to run 1 15 minute session to test something in his transfercase. i had all i could do to justify the cost for an entire day, yet it was worth it to him for 15 minutes! that's dedication!
the economy is not helping matters, but is not the main problem, last year greaves put his toyota pro-4 for sale, it wasn't cheap, and didn't sell, but not because of lack of interest. he told me many "west coasters" would have paid the money just to have a toy for the dunes, or desert, but he wouldn't sell unless they were going to race it in CORR, he wanted to help his class before it dies. the TT class isn't doing as bad as pro-4 why?? it looks like TT is way more money than even pro-4, and with pro-4 you get sellable TV???

www.rosshoek.com
 

curt

Well-Known Member
I think the problem may be one of scale, in the west there are huge amounts of people racing in off road over 5 or 6 states with maybe a dozen different organizations, not necessarily enough in any one series. Overall due to the available environments, its a sustainable quantity of vehicles with enough classes to feed the bigger classes as people grow. I'm not aware of much off road racing in the midwest or east coast except CORR so I would believe you would have a more limited amount of existing vehicles and people interested enough to pay the money to race. Add to it the bar of expenses and logistics to get past, there's no way a significant amount of people from the west coast are going to try it to even see if they like it. Now when they had a winter series out here, I know they had west coast racers that got to try and see if it was for them although I don't know how many they managed to attract to their regular series so maybe it wasn't a cost effective solution.

From a TV standpoint, I'm really surprised CORR hasn't rethough the "winter series" idea since it's a bare spot in the motor racing calendar for television coverage and should be able to attract a decent following simply due to the lack of competition in the media marketplace, most motorheads will watch powered baby carraige racing if it was the only racing available that day. Since we're an off road racing community that easily has the capabilities of running in inclement weather, why aren't we racing from November through March since it wouldn't compete with any national high profile racing venues? Curt
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
Ross- some of what you mention makes semse as to why teh class is suffering. I think part of it is location. While the midwest currently owns the market for shortcourse racing, it suffers from the same problem we beginning to face here in the west. Open land to race and play on. How much does it cost to rent a track in the midwest? How many teams have their own practice tracks? West coast racers don't face this dilema because we have open areas and desert to test in without the expense of rent, medical coverage, etc... And cost is a huge factor for something that can only be run for a relatively short period of time, Memorial Day to Labor Day. If there was a West Coast series that ran through the winter, it has already been mentioned that the midwest teams would commute, why should we? It seams that offroad racing has always been and is destined to be a regional market, so the regional market will have to be the sole supporter with some larger national marketing to hopefully help out. What makes it tough is when a class allows basically unlimted funding and a small number of teams can take advantage of that. This drives away marginally funded teams to race where they can be competitive on a regular basis without the requirement to be "lucky" to win once in a while. That is why regulated spec classes do better. Teams can get real cost estimates for a years competition and decide whether their budget can compete or not. Then they can make decissions as to how many races, how far they will travel, whih class, etc... They didn't have a problem with numbers until the "stock" basis left the class. It is no different than class 8 or 7 in the desert.
 

Josh_K

Well-Known Member
Well as a West coaster that races in class 8, I think TT (and all the class out here) is growing because off-road racing is becoming more mainstream. I think a lot of these guys that you see off road racing have grown up riding bikes and now are getting older and have money and wont to still be involved in the off-road racing thing. I guess the point that I am trying to make is that off roading is far deeper in our culture out here. I think lots more people grow up riding and dreaming of on day racing like Walker and Hall were doing when they were kids. And I think that economics has to do with why the TT class is growing out west too. I feel the people out west on an average have got more money to blow on racing and there are more of them. And last, roundly round racing of any type in my opinion is less fun than racing in the desert. In the desert you have a fight for survival even when there is no one around you to race, navigate, wrench one your truck if you break it in BFE, and get to enjoy your beautiful rural surroundings. Short course just lacks the drama of desert racing when you are involved.
 

curt

Well-Known Member
Short course may lack the "drama" of the desert but it's not really a good comparison, there's a lot more adrenaline involved with short course than desert. We race both every year and its a totally different feel and objective. With short course its almost an amped up high, you do everything right every time or you lose. It's really cool to bring all your friends and family to actually see you race since most of them aren't interested enough to stand around for 4 hours just to see you in the pit for 30 seconds. In the desert we race the track and worry about making it first and beating the rest of the class second, but the amount of money and effort we're willing to spend to beat the track is "everything we have in us at the time" since it seems such a waste to spend all the time traveling and preparing to cut the budget short by a few bucks or hours. In short course we might be willing to run a marginal part since your not going to rely on it as long or get stuck in BFE for 8 hours but in the desert we'd replace everything on the whole truck if the budget allowed....One nice thing for us is, we'll run a co-driver in the shortcourse to give the team, friends, or family the opportunity to experience our fun for 10 minutes at a time.

Every one of the desert or "tuff truck" guys we've brought to the short course have wanted to bring their trucks out just to see how good they are in a more controlled environment, its racing where as the desert is survival first racing second....Curt
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
Curt- You are right about the difference in the racing, you really can't compare the 2 when it comes down to the actual race. The adrenalline rush from shortcourse racing seems to me to be of a much higher shot than desert racing. Don't get me wrong, Desert racing is great and the fulfillment of finishing and doing well is satisfying, but the high racing wheel to wheel at 110% the whole time, no care about "saving" the car is a blast.
Another aspect that has to be addressed is the difference in vehicles today. 20 years ago, people were using the same car to race both venues, and were still competitive doing this. Today, with the exception of a spec class like Protruck, you can't do it. 2 different animals. It is a shame that shortcourse racing has had such a hard time re-establishing itself on the west coast because it is great. If the Damn developers didn't build houses on all the great tracks we had out here, it would be much different!
 

Greg

Well-Known Member
First, to answer the question of why more TT teams dont race short course, because they are hobbiest, not professionals. For the most part the guys running pro-4 (and pro2) race for a living, there are only a couple TT guys getting paid to race, and im sure if thier sponsors told them to race corr they would. To the High dollar TT racer, desert racing could be golf, by the best equipment but still go out on the weekends and try to beat your buddies, and they'll drive a few hours to play but not 2000 miles, although to most of us mortals that kind of expense would be our whole income so its kind of hard to relate. Im sure some of the TT guys would race shortcourse if it were close and convienient, but we've all seen how many people really show up at the short course races we do have out here (if I hear "oh man, if they still had a SC track out here, id be there every race. It really needs to come back to socal" they are full of [daddy didnt love me], because they dont go to the races that are here). If you want a SC track in socal, ask one of wealthiest people you know if you can have about $250k a year to support a nice track that you dont need to ever pay back. That will get more west coast intrest, then maybe a few will race back east once or twice a year. Second, as for opening up the rules ruining short course, i say nah. I really dont travel half-way across our great country every year to watch a bunch of vw powerd buggies run around the crandon track, we go to see big HP (coincidentally, the only reason I go to score races, for the TT's), Im pretty sure the other 40,000 people at crandon would agree. I think the biggest reason that pro 4 is dwindling is that pro2 is a lot less costly to run and damn near as fast.Talk is cheap, I've put my money where my mouth is and put my life savings (and then some) into a facility where any potential or pro racer can test. Just call me and i will get you track time, im doing my personnal best to bring SC back here.
 

hoeker

Well-Known Member
greg, just curious on the HP issues and drawing crowds. my new sporty 2 360 cid, iron head engine produces approximately 630 HP for less than half the cost of scott taylors 410 cid 800 HP unlimited engine, yet only costs a couple seconds a lap at crandon(we'll soon find out exactly how much).

my question is this, can the fans tell the difference if all the trucks are the same??

15 4x4 trucks running 650 hp on the track would be quite a race, but would this save the class? this horspower drop would minimize the improovement gained by spending tens of thousands on the t case alone, it would save trannies,axles, etc. an instant change in the rules would probably destroy the class by forcing the current competitors out, but this may be something to watch for at your track. as your participation grows make sure your rules grow and you look to the future of the sport when you impose limits on vehicle development.

sporty 2 was almost destroyed by poor rule evolution, maybe CORR will ax pro-4 if they loose 1 more truck and replace it with a limited engine pro-2 class and keep the current class for the guys with the "big" motors, if not where will they get another Pro class?

just some thoughts, or questions??

www.rosshoek.com
 
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