Why race a Trophy Truck?

GunnSlinger

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For starters we need someone like Roger Norman to buy an NFL style video production trailer and outfit it for coverage of off road racing, and then staff it with competent people.... Instead of 17 camera positions, use 12 live remote internet feeds and 5 live cameras at start/finish, and podium, to cover the race.... Broadcast the race live on the internet, with big providers such as Yahoo, as well as package a slick TV production for later Television broadcast....

http://www.tpsweb.com/mobile-production-trucks.php

That is all good and well but Internet live streaming doesn't do well at all for off road racing, the sponsors who would be paying to make this happen would never get their return. It would be a static investment that wouldn't grow legs and further dissatisfy the sponsor. I'm not saying it can't be done but it would be very hard to retain those sponsors and ensure a return ..

And nothing personal but I don't think someone like Roger (or Casey for that matter) should buy the production. Too much for a promoter to fully grasp, inconsistencies based on personal agenda and no true way to leverage the promoters/sponsors to do what is needed to see the sport grow as a whole even if they don't benefit from it. There needs to be a separation between the two so x promoter is kept in check and the sport continues to grow.
 

GunnSlinger

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I also think a lot of people are missing that the factories are already here, just in a different form .... UTV's!!!

As goofy as it sounds, we must take notes from the factory UTV guys. Dismiss car size, speed etc .. But the activation centered around those with factory support
 
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Kent Kroeker

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This is possibly the most interesting discussion I’ve ever read on this forum.


We’ve all thought the same thing: There are about five guys out there who are competitive while everyone else is driving their yachts around in some gay desert regatta. Is that really racing? Is it even interesting? What are all the guys who know they suck actually thinking? If they can buy a racecar, that makes them a driver?


What about the old, fat, and/or incompetent car owner who hires a competitive driver to race the preponderance or all of the race for him and then, as Driver of Record, takes credit for the results? Isn’t that a joke?


Many of the rules in desert racing just don’t make any sense, so the basic premise of the discussion really applies to every class, not just Trophy Truck. I fail to see how a new guy who buys a Class 1 car or Spec TT and shows up to race the 1000 to get his feet wet would be significantly less dangerous or “un-professional” than the same guy in a TT – or from a marketing or sustainability standpoint, how his participation would be less or more damaging to desert racing’s image than if he went right to TT.


If a guy rolls into a crowd and kills a bunch of people, does it really matter what class he’s in? The optics are going to be the same.


I think what we might actually be discussing is Desert Racing in general. If not, then maybe we should be.


Here’s the quandary:


Desert racing is the best motorsport in the world because:


A. It’s an unregulated, punkrock free-for-all.

B. Anyone can buy his or her way into it.

C. It hasn’t commercialized.


It’s also a joke because:


A. It’s an unregulated, punkrock free-for-all.

B. Anyone can buy his or her way into it.

C. It hasn’t commercialized.


So what it comes down to is your personal Ethos.


For me, Desert Racing is a lot like climbing big mountains. You can pay Sherpas to carry oxygen for you and clip into ropes that the guide fixed, then fly back home and tell everyone you climbed Mt. Everest and how badass you are.


Or you can go alone, without oxygen and take a difficult, unclimbed route with no fixed ropes, then go back home and let other people talk about how badass you are.


I’ve been on some pretty big mountains and thought the same things I’ve thought about some desert racers:


1. “You don’t belong here, so why don’t you do us all a favor and please, just kill yourself.”


2. “You are a heroic athlete that I respect and admire because you’re doing something extraordinary.”


The bottom line is that each person should be free to choose whatever mountain they want to climb with whatever style they want to use. If you have no shame, buy a TT and go flail around like a jackass then tell everyone how gnarly you are later at the Tree Bar. Even those guys will generate a following – and those followers will share their hollow ethos.


Or you can solo the Baja 1000 on a dirt bike and quietly harbor that experience in your heart for the rest of your life.


Like climbing mountains of varying difficulty, there’s a lot of grey area between those two scenarios.


How you approach racing depends entirely on the kind of man or woman you are – what’s actually important to you, what kind of character you have and the standard to which you hold yourself.


That’s what’s so great about desert racing - it's a stage on which we demonstrate who we are and what we stand for in front of a community of peers and fans who have many different ways of interpreting what we do.


It's an entirely personal experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.
 

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@07FJRog: Ironically, although I disagree with Andy on whether the growth of desert racing would be a good thing, I have to agree with him wholeheartedly that there are a lot of people who just aren't thinking outside the box. Case in point, you're assuming that if there was factory support they'd only support stock full or stock mini. Why would you assume that? Especially since just before that you mentioned that NASCAR has factory backing -- have you ever looked under the body of a NASCAR vehicle? They have as much in common with a "stock" car as a Ford F250 looks does with a TT. Maybe if the factories got involved they'd even -- dare I say it -- create some new spec class. The possibilities are only limited by people's imagination.

Anyway, I'm farting into the wind at this point. This topic has been debated on RDC quite a bit, and in the end there are people who see potential and there are naysayers. Funny thing is, anytime in human history someone has tried to change the status quo there are always naysayers. It reminds me of newspaper piece I read back in the mid-90's in which the columnist said that as far as he was concerned the Internet was just the CB radio of the 1990's. In other words, it was just a novelty, a fad, and it would disappear before long. Kind of missed the mark, I think!
 

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Yep the major problem with desert racing is you can not see the whole track. You can only see a couple parts of it and that's boring to the average joe. Dakar is kinda the same way but for some reason it doesn't seem to matter for them.

The Dakar Rally travels with a full production studio from bivouac to bivouac that produces a half hour segment each night, essentially in real time, and then broadcasts it out to the world. The make it work because you don't already know who won the stage or what happened because you read it on the internet when you are watching the broadcast.

One question no one in this thread has asked yet is at what point desert racing gets too big for its own good and there is backlash about the environmental "impact" from our overly politicized society. Flying under the radar isn't always a bad thing...
 

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Maybe an aside, but since entry fees are a hot topic around here also, given what Dakar charges (even just for a non-driver crew member) maybe they can afford it.
 

07FJRog

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At Cronus, I do not believe it was me who wrote about nascar
 
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SunsetCliffsMocos

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I sent this to Travis via PM yesterday but I'm not all that savvy with Klaus' new forum uprgrades and my PM skills may be off. Considering how he's usually busier than a one armed paper hanger, and because I saw this thread take off and show substance, I decided to throw this into the mix.


Travis,

I’ve been lurking and sometime posting on RDC close to fifteen years now and I have personally been losing interest in RDC and Desert Racing for several reasons. At this point I am pretty much done posting on RDC and the allure of spending my disposable income to drag my family to the Stateside races isn’t enough anymore. I still have a special place in my heart for Baja racing though. :)

I have nothing to gain by this message but you posted what I felt was a great question and I have no interest in a fractured RDC debate on the subject between all the whiners. That being said I have a few thoughts and observations I think provide value to your question. There is no clear answer to me on this yet but I don’t think I’m too far off the mark with most of these…



Some of the positives of Off-Road Racing include but are not limited to…

Uniqueness.

While there are many forms of motorsports that race on or partly on dirt, the nature of the courses is far different from the conditions on a rally course or dirt track.


Lack of Unified Regulation and Structure *This is a double edged sword. See my comments regarding this below.

One of the coolest parts of desert racing is the lack of regulation and the abundance of choices available to the prospective racer. Teams can use a wide array of designs and components to construct what they hope to be the best “winning combo.” They can also choose from several race orgs to fit their location, budget and/or schedule.


The Courses and Scenery

I’m sorry to others but I totally agree with you and Dailey. Baja is where it’s at. I could care less who won follow the leader at VtoR. I wasn’t even that stoked on the Imperial 250 because of the closed course reducing spectating. The Baja races offer so much more of a total experience for everyone participating in any way in the race (drivers, team, family, etc.) Marketing wise I know it presents very unique challenges but I think the content is far more marketable. It’s prettier; it’s alluring and epitomizes adventure. It’s appealing.



The People

There are a lot of really great people involved in desert racing. What is especially cool to me is how un-homogenous that group is. Mexican Teams, West Coast Teams, Texas and OK teams, guys from the upper Midwest, people flying in from the UK or the East Coast. This to me is evidence of the potential of widespread appeal. People from all walks of life.



The Machines

The race coverage I have seen has been pretty cool but in my opinion the machines are under-marketed. Does Joe public know what an underdrive is? Do they realize how much the motors need torque and how truly impressive the powerplants are? I have seen enough slow-motion clips of TTs going 40mph through huge holes to think the same clips could be somewhat mundane to the average viewer.

I believe that this sport has made some really cool developments in suspension design and tuning, driveline strength and longevity, and tire technology. All of these standout from other forms of motorsports in some way yet rarely seem marketed sufficiently to generate appeal.

The general public can see an amazing machine mashing through the big stuff, but they don’t have the education or understanding of the finer points of the machine to truly appreciate it for what it is. Pardon the NASCAR comparison as I’m not really into it but they do a damn good job of explaining in Lehman’s terms the intricacies of the machines. I believe this solidifies the fan base in part by increasing their understanding and making for better conversation between fans. I follow desert racing pretty closely and I couldn’t tell you the differences between an ID or Geiser TT.



Why do people race TTs?

Because they can.

They can because no one tells them they can’t. Dan Mac made some points about licensing subjectivity and grandfathering but I disagree. EVERYONE INCLUDING CO-DRIVERS WHO GETS IN A RACE VEHICLE SHOULD BE LICENSED. THIS INCLUDES ANY AND ALL CURRENT DRIVERS, INCLUDING RG AND ROB MAC.

Why?

Legitimacy of course. I believe this process would better the racers, the racing, the spectating, the safety/permits/BLM/insurance providers and promoters. The more legitimacy the product has (certs; licenses, training programs, etc.) the easier the product is to sell.

As in most all other forms of business, the product must be legitimized before it can be marketed and/or sold to the general public. *Sadly this is especially true for this sport after the Lucerne debacle.*

Any TT or limited drivers (licensing should be mandatory for all classes, pit crew and team) who have a problem with this I think are looking at it the wrong way. It should be no big deal to pass if they have the talent, and if everyone’s whining about pre-race prep degradation, testing could possibly be combined with qualifying.

If you can’t qualify, you don’t have to sell your TT. You just have to practice and get better so you can pass the next qualifier.



Travis, I think I see where you are coming from. You participate in a sport that lacks legitimacy to many. You negotiate for clients in an attempt to monetize the potential of the sport and its athletes. It appears challenging to provide the kind of value one would expect to sponsors given the state of the sport.



In summary, desert racing and its racers are often their own worst enemy. The fractured orgs, the AYSO gimme my trophy mentality prevalent among many, the insane amount of classes confusing fans as well as first time viewers is maybe the worst part.


Desert racing needs a unified organizational body and an athlete’s “union” or representative party to effect change at the org level and to represent in D.C.


I believe desert racing to be one of the greatest types of motorsports on the planet and easily one of the most under monetized. I see major potential and major obstacles but one thing seems to true, the cool and wow factor are there they just haven’t been presented properly.



What say you bud? Am I way off?



Ben
 

Tom_Willis

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This is very true and is evidenced by the consumer products trends of today. 10-20-30-50 years ago;: People/kids had a much longer attention span and engagement with hobbies, brands and interests. As opposed to today with the plugged in generation which has a click-click-click-click rapidly changing mentality. It's funny how much people believe they know almost everything about everything because they saw it online, watched the video and surfed it on the web. And that same click-click fast burn attention span is affecting sports/hobbies like racing and other interests that take commitment as fewer people have the attention span and commitment like they did 10-20 years ago. In the consumer products toy/hobby industries it's very evident as now the it item for anyone 3 and up is a tablet or a phone and imagination has literally been killed in the latest generations and people seem to think they can live the same experiences online or in an app that they can in real life. Families cannot share a meal without everyone being plugged in and why can't a 4 year old take a 15 minute car ride without the phone app/game babysitter? It's honestly sad to me as a person who has made a career out of trying to conceive cool imaginative products that offer old school fun, value and play patterns. Sadly: I believe this is also the reason we cannot get people enthusiastic about a myriad of things and one of the reasons no one shows up to support the issues that affect the sport. Sorry to go off topic but it's a valid point which was made in this thread...

DISCLAIMER!!!!! For those only interested in more and it relates to this quote above but is more of from a societal perspective. You've been warned!: You don't believe things are really changing that much? Think about the movie Jaws or the OG Star Wars (most of you are too young), they were in theaters for 6 mos-1 year; now if a film is in theaters for 3-4 weeks it's a blockbuster. Why? Welcome to the instant gratification, everything is a click away electronic era... Look at a majority of the hobbies/interests from just a few years ago: Try and find a hobby or specialty toy store or think of the ones that were there as kids? Where can you look at, shop and buy a model kit, comic book, H.O. train or even hobby quality RC cars? Name 2 stores? It's now almost exclusively online. And building them is old school as everyone wants instant gratification as most sales are "RTR"- ready to run. Yes there are the occasional specialty stores but think about "Hot Rod Shops" (outside of the few in the off road industry )and you'll note most of the purchases are online. In 20 years we've seen a consolidation of retailers from specialty to the mass and then they have consolidated to the majors and surviving second tier retailers and now online: Just as our shopping trends have migrated. Books have migrated from paper to digital and now I see/meet and hear from more younger people who don't read books because they watched it online or I saw the movie/video. Ask a person under 20 to hand write a paragraph with a pen in both printed and cursive and you'll be amazed at how these are becoming lost arts and that context has become more texty and staccato. I've noticed myself doing it and I am hardly a tech head.... The fact is society has gone from analog to digital and as part of that more people actually believe that a digital experience is the same as the real life experience. Video game tournaments? Really????? And as part of this trend people also have developed a much more rapid burnout rate and trends and interests change almost as fast as pop stars and selfies do on peoples front pages as they need to be current and totally on trend to be cool. The mentality has become after mastering "Thug-Carjack-Cop Shooter B.A. 7" by noon: You are now an expert in MMA, firearms, Hip-Hop and the meth trade, then after lunch you can play an hour in your online Madden football league and then after dinner watch 12 video clips, post your selfies from the football league then Race Monoco and when people ask what you did everyone says "cool" like the time spent was used to cure cancer... Sorry but if it's done from a couch it's an activity not a sport or hobby. I spoke to a 7 year old not long ago during some consumer testing and asked him what his hobbies and interests were? He said "apps/games". I showed him a vehicular product and he said he raced: Stoked I asked what; thinking: BMX, carts, mini dwarfs and he replied: "drifting". I asked what he meant and he said he did a lot of racing and did drifting in games. I asked if he'd ever been to a real race and he said no it'd be boring. Even mom perked up and said "He's a good race car driver"... People have become more passive and more tech dependent as now we cannot even be bothered with needing to parallel park and if you're too stupid or preoccupied to drive the car will not do that for you as well. Times they are a changing and as a result so will this sport. Better or worse, it's going to change just as society is and it'll be interesting to see where it goes from here. You can bet there will be a lot more quick ins/outs in the sport and as long as money is seemingly the only prerequisite to class 1 & TT and as more of the digital kids comes of age as their attention span is proven much shorter, and we'll see how well the video training works out...




Jesse James and his producer Hildie Katiba have been trying to get a show off the ground for years but Discovery channel doesn't see it keeping an audience. The concept: every week Jesse would visit shops around the country that make a living at metalworking, or woodworking, or other timeless skills like making a leather saddle. What used to be called "Craftsmen". Not some kid with a laptop making 3-D printed junk. The closest comparison might be the old Huell Howser series called "California Gold", but with Jesse James doing the interviews. He has a huge following, made millions for Discovery, and is the only "celebrity" who actually IS a craftsman. But this great concept with a proven "tv star" can't get a deal. Maybe this thread needs input from the COPS team on what they think? They've had a hit show for decades.
 

Cronus

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At Cronus, I do not believe it was me who wrote about nascar

My bad -- when you mentioned "stadium" and "factory" I thought you were responding to the Hendrick Motorsports story I linked to, so my brain didn't even process all the motorcycle manufacturers you listed. Sorry for the confusion!
 

07FJRog

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Jesse James and his producer Hildie Katiba have been trying to get a show off the ground for years but Discovery channel doesn't see it keeping an audience. The concept: every week Jesse would visit shops around the country that make a living at metalworking, or woodworking, or other timeless skills like making a leather saddle. What used to be called "Craftsmen". Not some kid with a laptop making 3-D printed junk. The closest comparison might be the old Huell Howser series called "California Gold", but with Jesse James doing the interviews. He has a huge following, made millions for Discovery, and is the only "celebrity" who actually IS a craftsman. But this great concept with a proven "tv star" can't get a deal. Maybe this thread needs input from the COPS team on what they think? They've had a hit show for decades.
I believe that started when Jesse went back east and learned how to make the copper and rivoted gas tank on WCC. Good show, I would def watch those.
 

TrailReady

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This is possibly the most interesting discussion I’ve ever read on this forum.


We’ve all thought the same thing: There are about five guys out there who are competitive while everyone else is driving their yachts around in some gay desert regatta. Is that really racing? Is it even interesting? What are all the guys who know they suck actually thinking? If they can buy a racecar, that makes them a driver?


What about the old, fat, and/or incompetent car owner who hires a competitive driver to race the preponderance or all of the race for him and then, as Driver of Record, takes credit for the results? Isn’t that a joke?


Many of the rules in desert racing just don’t make any sense, so the basic premise of the discussion really applies to every class, not just Trophy Truck. I fail to see how a new guy who buys a Class 1 car or Spec TT and shows up to race the 1000 to get his feet wet would be significantly less dangerous or “un-professional” than the same guy in a TT – or from a marketing or sustainability standpoint, how his participation would be less or more damaging to desert racing’s image than if he went right to TT.


If a guy rolls into a crowd and kills a bunch of people, does it really matter what class he’s in? The optics are going to be the same.


I think what we might actually be discussing is Desert Racing in general. If not, then maybe we should be.


Here’s the quandary:


Desert racing is the best motorsport in the world because:


A. It’s an unregulated, punkrock free-for-all.

B. Anyone can buy his or her way into it.

C. It hasn’t commercialized.


It’s also a joke because:


A. It’s an unregulated, punkrock free-for-all.

B. Anyone can buy his or her way into it.

C. It hasn’t commercialized.


So what it comes down to is your personal Ethos.


For me, Desert Racing is a lot like climbing big mountains. You can pay Sherpas to carry oxygen for you and clip into ropes that the guide fixed, then fly back home and tell everyone you climbed Mt. Everest and how badass you are.


Or you can go alone, without oxygen and take a difficult, unclimbed route with no fixed ropes, then go back home and let other people talk about how badass you are.


I’ve been on some pretty big mountains and thought the same things I’ve thought about some desert racers:


1. “You don’t belong here, so why don’t you do us all a favor and please, just kill yourself.”


2. “You are a heroic athlete that I respect and admire because you’re doing something extraordinary.”


The bottom line is that each person should be free to choose whatever mountain they want to climb with whatever style they want to use. If you have no shame, buy a TT and go flail around like a jackass then tell everyone how gnarly you are later at the Tree Bar. Even those guys will generate a following – and those followers will share their hollow ethos.


Or you can solo the Baja 1000 on a dirt bike and quietly harbor that experience in your heart for the rest of your life.


Like climbing mountains of varying difficulty, there’s a lot of grey area between those two scenarios.


How you approach racing depends entirely on the kind of man or woman you are – what’s actually important to you, what kind of character you have and the standard to which you hold yourself.


That’s what’s so great about desert racing - it's a stage on which we demonstrate who we are and what we stand for in front of a community of peers and fans who have many different ways of interpreting what we do.


It's an entirely personal experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.

KK saves another aimless thread!...again.
 

bajafox

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Big Hock

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I also think a lot of people are missing that the factories are already here, just in a different form .... UTV's!!!

As goofy as it sounds, we must take notes from the factory UTV guys. Dismiss car size, speed etc .. But the activation centered around those with factory support
Did you miss the part where everyone on this forum absolutely hates UTVs? There's been a few threads about it.
 

Petepecas

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Until factories fully sponsor this sport, it will never be main stream. Why is it that WRC with only 16 cars is only second to F1 in world popularity and revenue?
Why would any manufacturer take the "premier" class seriously when it only takes money to drive a TT? No licensing, no experience, no adherance to FIA ... And the list goes on. It's a hobby in the auto racing world.


Sent from the RDC Mobile App. Get it for your IOS device today
 
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ProfessionalPitMan

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If an underdog TT driver wins a score race, will opinions change of said "top 10" drivers?
Didn't Householder win a couple of BITD races against guys like Voss, BJ, and Rob Mac? It does happen.

I grew up watching guys who couldn't make a 1/4 mile pass to save their lives race top fuel dragsters with no qualifications other than enough money to buy a car. It happens in every form of racing. They have to "earn" a license in the NHRA and that doesn't change anything.
 

green787

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I went to the MAV TV 500 Indy car championship race (Will Power) at Ontario Motor Speedway last night just to see the difference for myself...... Trust me when I say.... WE ARE HOBBYISTS....
 

TJ_Gambino

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"Why Race A Trophy Truck?"

1. You have enough money to buy, prep and support a team for the sake of feeding a huge ego.

2. You actually have driving skill, someone noticed, gave you the opportunity to prove yourself and then you did.

Now pick one and lets move forward.
 
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firegod33

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Until factories fully sponsor this sport, it will never be main stream. Why is it that WRC with only 16 cars is only second to F1 in world popularity and revenue?
Why would any manufacturer take the "premier" class seriously when it only takes money to drive a TT? No licensing, no experience, no adherance to FIA ... And the list goes on. It's a hobby in the auto racing world.


Sent from the RDC Mobile App. Get it for your IOS device today

Why would the manufacturers give support when the race vehicles don't even outwardly resemble what they sell, or even run the same make engine as the body style? People want factory money..... give the factories reason to be involved. TTs have become caricatures of trucks.
A recurring theme here, on RDC, is money. Everybody wants it and lots of it. Many are also quick to say f*** the fans. It's all about the racers. Fact of the matter is that auto racing fans are the most brand and sponsor loyal sports fans in the world. They buy and use the products that are advertised all over your race vehicles. Give them something they can relate to. Let them tell themselves that their truck could look just like yours with this or that aftermarket product. The fans are where the money comes from.
As long as you can't tell what the hell that truckish looking thing was that just roared by at 140 mph was, the factories aren't going to be interested. Add on top of that, drivers careening, recklessly around the course because they have a big wallet and no clue, and you're really keeping the money at arms length.
Without some legitimacy, the permits will stop coming and the sport will die. Just one look at all the land lost to motorized use already, because of "environmental damage", should tell you that. Money has a way of altering the perception of our powers that be.
 
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