May 14 track day feedback

Discussion in 'Ask the Exec!' started by HWY99, May 15, 2016.

  1. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

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    FYI, there were lots of dissatisfied participants at your May 14th track day. You ran 5 groups when 4 is generally considered the maximum. This resulted in only 4 sessions for the day and the last session was shortened to only 10 minutes. It was more tiring sitting around than actually riding which was a first for most track day riders. The hour and a half lunch break didn’t help matters. I realize about 10 minutes was spent working on the air fence but it was an extended break while the race school did launch and stopping drills.

    The track day riders who paid the full fare of $199.50 were particularly unhappy. Even with the early registration discount it was very poor value. Hybrid track days are advertised as $105 for 4 x 20 minute sessions during race days which is more track time than a $200 track day. However, there are also issues with Hybrid track days because the first one was cancelled and although online registration is open for the May 22nd Hybrid track day it could also be cancelled at short notice. Most people like to plan for events and know they are going to happen as advertised.

    The race school and track days have been a huge success for the club financially. I realize the club wants to maximize revenue on race school track days but participants should be capped or the fees reduced to reflect less track time. Too much success can be counter productive if you don’t deliver what is expected. I certainly don’t want to wish for wet track days which lose money for the club to get decent track time.

    I hope you take the above into consideration for future events rather than turn off those who are helping support the club.
     
  2. Brett

    Brett Twin Brothers Racing WMRC Exec

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    Thanks for the feedback Steve!
     
  3. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    There only two hybrid days held last year and the advertised 20 minute sessions didn't come close to actual track time. First one: Session 1: 10 minutes 25 seconds Session 2: 7 minutes Session 3: 11 minutes 6 seconds Session 4: 15 minutes. I think I got a little more time the second day, but even after requesting just one 20 minute session, checkered flagged at 15. Advertising it as 20 minute sessions is just false.

    Incidents on the track will suck up time that cuts into sessions, unfortunately, which I accept as part of doing track days, but why does track tear down need to start at 4:30? Why not extend the day a little longer so people get full sessions?
     
  4. Jacalyn

    Jacalyn Thread killer....

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    Edward, closure of the track is dictated by the contract secured between the wmrc and the sccbc. Track days organized by the WCSS usually always ended at 4pm.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    I see, so does track tear down need to start at a specific time because an event is not allowed to continue without lights if it should get too dark?

    edit: Nevermind, the paramedics are probably paid to be there for a specific amount of time. And I'm guessing track rental time is set as well in the contract.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  6. spero

    spero Team Modern Racing

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    Hey Steve, I am willing to provide FREE coaching to all dissatisfied participants from one group of the May 14 at the next May 21st trackday.

    We would go over my usual itinerary:

    – Risk minimization
    – Body positioning
    – Throttle control
    – Downshifting techniques
    – Clutch control
    – RPM management
    – Braking techniques (including trail braking)
    – Corner entries
    – Lines through corners
    – Corner exits
    – Lean angle management
    – Visual skills
    – Reference points
    – Passing techniques for track riding
    – Preparation of mind and body for track riding
    – Motorcycle set up and adjustment to fit rider
    – Basic motorcycle maintenance

    West Coast Superbike School ran 5 groups at Mission. They were School Group, Slow Street Group, Fast Street Group, Slow Race Group & Fast Race Group.

    I'm sure that all of us at the WMRC can come together and find solutions so we can provide the best experience for trackday participants.
     
  7. Brett

    Brett Twin Brothers Racing WMRC Exec

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    Wow, Spero that's an amazing thing to offer. I don't have the words.
    :bow::bow::bow:
     
  8. ducatigirl

    ducatigirl Moderator WMRC Exec

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    What Brett said. ❤️
     
  9. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

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    That’s a very generous offer thanks Spero, but I don’t think you should be trying to make good on a club mistake. I don’t agree with you attempting to justify 5 groups based on what the WCSS did in the past. There’s a lot more competition now from bigger and better tracks and people are savvy about getting value for their dollar in tighter financial times. I have heard 3 groups is more the norm now with most track day facilitators. There’s at least an hour between sessions with 5 groups and any track issues cut into that time. An hour is a long time to hangout in the pits waiting for your next session.

    It was a totally different experience being a customer of the WMRC which allowed me to see things from a different perspective. If you are an instructor, safety rider or someone getting a deal for helping out you are on track at least twice an hour so you don’t notice how bad 5 groups is for a regular track day rider.

    I checked the track day statistics last season and found there weren’t many repeat riders. This was disappointing given how much effort was put into attracting new riders and racers. I have asked many riders about this and got the usual answers about Mission being a crappy track etc. and how it's a gong show on nice days. There’s no system in place to know who is registering for what group to cap the number of riders for each group. The argument will be the club has to make money on fine track days to compensate for any wet days. The club probably made an extra $5k adding an extra group last Saturday but it really compromised the product and affects repeat business.

    I doubt such a good turnout was expected last Saturday which is part of the learning curve. I know the intent is to make the WMRC the best club possible and hopefully the exec will take corrective action. If the club wants to offer dissatisfied riders a goodwill gesture I would suggest a $50 coupon for a future track day or riding lesson. This would be reasonable compensation for only getting 65% of the expected track time and would probably be well received.

    I also suggest surveying track day riders and racers to get their feedback because most won’t speak up like me and will just vote with their feet. There’s a new crop of track day riders and racers who can provide valuable insight on how to improve the club. It’s much better to build a good base of repeat track day riders and racers than having a high turnover rate and constantly trying to attract new people. A good base will build on itself through word of mouth which will restore the club to its former glory days. Affordability is a huge issue that needs to be addressed because the novelty wears off pretty fast if breaking the bank or just too expensive for many to consider. A club budget with goals and objectives would allow for better planning and more transparency for the membership.
     
  10. Jaybo

    Jaybo if you want blood

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    Glad to see you and Matthew were able to make it Steve. If you had fun on Saturday then you will have more fun this Saturday as there will be no school there be the more usual 4 groups again. I'm also expecting to run hybrid these weekend so get it in then because I don't think you will ever see it again after the long weekend. Cheers
     
  11. ctardi

    ctardi New Member

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    Edward, it actually has to do with noise bylaws, from what I remember.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  12. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

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    We always have fun Jason but last Saturday was hardly worth the effort and cost. Delays are expected and we appreciate how good the track staff are at dealing with incidents and keeping us safe. Hopefully the club exec listens to constructive feedback and doesn't choose profit over quality because it's not good for paying customers. If racing doesn’t need to be subsidized you could run 2 school track days and have more race rounds. Once the club has sufficient contingency funds it might be possible to reduce the race fees.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    Ahh okay I didn't even think of that. Thanks for the reply.
     
  14. ctardi

    ctardi New Member

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    It's been a sore spot for the club for a long time. The volunteers and staff try hard to get the riders as much track time as possible, but there's only so much they can do.
     
  15. Brett

    Brett Twin Brothers Racing WMRC Exec

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    On the plus side we've also received a number of positive comments. "Thank you for a great day on Saturday" "Your team is fantastic" "I look forward to this weekend too"
     
  16. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

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    It was really good to see the pits overflowing for the first event of the season. Might have to share pits which is a good problem to have. All the new racers from the race school program is a good sign the club is quickly returning to full strength.
     
  17. Brett

    Brett Twin Brothers Racing WMRC Exec

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    Agreed, it was great to see. I'm optimistic we'll have to look forward to dealing with issues of scaling up as attendance at our events grows.
     
  18. joseph therrien

    joseph therrien Past President

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    I feel bad when people don't get the track time that they feel they deserve, but everyone got the same minutes of track time on Saturday. That includes the racers who have invested more of their own money to be there.

    1. The WMRC is a club and not a company, and is not putting profit ahead of value.

    2. The costs are what they are because the expenses are what they are. Last I heard it costs between $1300 and $1400 an hour to run an event.
    The costs would be higher if the WMRC didn't benefit from so many of its members putting in many volunteer hours.

    3. The club has not raised its fees in years but expenses have gone steadily up.

    4. Other tracks may be cheaper because their expenses are less. Track rental, Ambulance and insurance are big costs for the WMRC.

    5. If you calculate the expense of crossing the border to go to a track in the US, and all that entails; is it still cheaper?

    6. Any profits that have been made in the past have invested in things like our Airfences.

    I feel bad that some feel that they did not get as much value for their money as they expected but the fees the club charges are not excessive
    relative its expenses.
    If you want more you will have to pay more. If you want to pay less, what you will get is less.
     
  19. Jacalyn

    Jacalyn Thread killer....

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    Well said Joseph. It's rather disheartening to hear that folks weren't happy with the day. It take a massive amount of volunteer time to pull this off, with everyone invested in making it a positive experience for all the riders. The cost of running a day at mission are huge, no wonder WCSS decided to end their run.
     
  20. HWY99

    HWY99 Team Green

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    Joseph, with all due respect I believe you missed the point. I agree with most everything you said and fully understand the effort required from volunteers to run events. You could have fired a cannon through the pits the same time last season and not hit anyone. This year was much different due to everyone’s hard work to rebuild the club.

    Profit probably wasn’t the best choice of words but it was all about making money because racers weren’t showing up. It was the track day riders and the race schools that provided the revenue to keep the club solvent. I don't understand your comment re racers who have invested more of their own money to be there.

    I believe the turnout last Saturday was unexpected and with no cap on the number of track day riders there were 5 groups. This generated great revenue for the club but sucked for track day riders who were accustomed to 4 groups and 6 sessions (depending on incidents) same as last year. I reported what I heard from others along with my thoughts and recommendations. Brett graciously accepted my feedback and indicated the need to prepare for higher attendance at club events.

    If the club controls the number of track day riders by group everyone (including racers) gets a fair shake. To exaggerate the situation, if 200 track day riders show up everyone gets 2 sessions per day which is fair but wouldn’t go over too well.

    Fees are a catch 22 because you can’t charge a shrinking membership more and have to be somewhat competitive with other tracks and clubs. Based on last season’s attendance I believed race fees should have been lowered to attract more racers. Now with the season starting so well and attendance apparently not an issue the club can build a contingency fund. Any extra funds can be used for equipment or returned to the members as reduced fees.

    Thank you for helping make club events run as well as they do.
     

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