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Brad Waite

GTS and NASA in 2009

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Brad Waite

I just spoke over the telephone with Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director of NASA about the future of GTS within NASA. I know NASA has tried to reassure everyone that GTS would have a place to race in 2009, however, the noise on this issue has continued and even escalated recently.

 

I've read several posts from individuals saying they were considering building a GTS car but are not sure if they should and others who have flat out decided not to take the risk. I think this controversy is bad for GTS and would like to see it end as soon as possible. For that reason, I called Jerry and asked him many direct questions.

 

While I do not feel it appropriate to discuss anything related to the current controversy, I did find Jerry to be very open and reassuring as far as the future of GTS within NASA. There are a few main conclusions I took away from the conversation.

 

1) Jerry confirmed that NASA will continue to have a GTS class in the regional and national races like we have had in the past.

 

2) NASA does not plan any changes to GTS rules, although like any race series, minor rules that affect all classes could change. Additionally, any significant rule changes in the future would only be made with racer input.

 

3) Jerry was very accessable and willing to talk about my concerns with the current GTS situation. He stated he is willing to talk with anyone directly who has questions or concerns.

 

In summary, any reservation I had about my current project of building a new GTS car to race in NASA events next year, has been resolved. I would encourage anyone who has concerns to call Jerry and would encourage anyone on the fence about building a GTS car to get busy on the project. We have the best series in NASA and you'll have a blast.

 

Brad

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Eric W.

What Id like to know is, will GTS be forced to run a spec tire, like HC was required to do so when NASA took over control a couple years ago.

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JWL

Eric-

 

No plans for spec tires unless you really want them.

 

Guys, as I've stated before it will be business as usual at the NASA events where GTS has run. If you have rule suggestions for the mix, please post them in this forum and the team will review and add them to the list of things to discuss among the GTS Regional Directors. We're actively working now with a goal to have rules out in the next few weeks so that we're ready to go for 2009. Again, no radical changes are on the table and I bet we'll be darn close to the 2008 rules.

 

So, if you have questions, let them rip and we'll answer the best we can but you should feel confident that every NASA event in the coming year will have GTS available for you to run and you will be welcomed with open arms as you always have been.

 

Thanks.

 

-JWL

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mikew968

I don't want a spec tire but by default I think we already have one!!!

 

 

Mike

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scottbm3

When the series has the option to run slicks it would be hard to have a spec tire, which by the way I would NOT want to see. The NASA/Hoosier contingency this year was awesome ! My suggestion for the rules would be to leave them alone as they stood in 2008 for GTS 2009. Safety stuff is always a good thing and that would be in the CCR not the GTS series/class rules.

 

 

-Scott B.

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JSG1901
When the series has the option to run slicks it would be hard to have a spec tire, which by the way I would NOT want to see. The NASA/Hoosier contingency this year was awesome ! My suggestion for the rules would be to leave them alone as they stood in 2008 for GTS 2009. Safety stuff is always a good thing and that would be in the CCR not the GTS series/class rules.

 

 

-Scott B.

 

+1

 

Also, I notice that Brad's statement, which started this thread, says that any rules changes would be done with input from the racers but all of NASA's statements only mention the Regional Directors. I imagine this is simply a linguistic oversight but (just in case) would really like to encourage the idea that a small group of racers be nominated (by the rest of the racers) to sit on any GTS Advisory Board. I think that alone would give everybody a lot more confidence in rules stability.

 

Brad, thanks for taking this initiative.

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Mike Simard

The rules should be something we can count on as consistant and stable. GTS racers put an unusual amount of effort into building cars to the rules.

 

I agree that the thought of changes should only be made among racers and even then with the idea of stability in mind. I worry that those who don't race in GTS will be inclined to model it to their vision. There have been comments by regional NASA Poo Bahs that imply they feel that GTS is open for loose interpretation and changes and that's frustrating.

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bpanther

As far as GTS goes in Rocky Mountain, it is quite alive and looking well. There are about 7 to 8 new GTS cars under construction for 2009.

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RSCoupe

That's good news, as I'm in the middle of building the new car.

And I vote NO to a spec tire, as contingencies will get better as the tire companies compete more. At least I hope so...

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ianacole

We do have a few minor rule changes proposed - I will be creating a series of threads here in just a bit to discuss them. I agree that the overarching approach to the decision making process around rules should be maintaining the simplicity of the existing rules as that is one of the hallmarks of this series.

 

 

And I too would not want to see a spec tire - our cars are varied enough that a "one tire works for all" approach would not work.

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cstreit911
When the series has the option to run slicks it would be hard to have a spec tire, which by the way I would NOT want to see. The NASA/Hoosier contingency this year was awesome ! My suggestion for the rules would be to leave them alone as they stood in 2008 for GTS 2009. Safety stuff is always a good thing and that would be in the CCR not the GTS series/class rules.

-Scott B.

 

This is twice I'm going to agree with you in '08.

 

I think a spec tire would be counter to the whole GTS formula. Cars are often built to a certain tire, wether that's setup compromises and/or power to weight. Going to a spec tire would negate the hard work put in by many people, myself included. This is a GT class, we're not a spec series. If you want to put military secret technology on your wing, so be it.

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RSCoupe
...If you want to put military secret technology on your wing, so be it.

 

Sounds like Chris has something up his sleeve. Stealth technology? Or maybe something to hold your transmission together?

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scottbm3
When the series has the option to run slicks it would be hard to have a spec tire, which by the way I would NOT want to see. The NASA/Hoosier contingency this year was awesome ! My suggestion for the rules would be to leave them alone as they stood in 2008 for GTS 2009. Safety stuff is always a good thing and that would be in the CCR not the GTS series/class rules.

-Scott B.

 

This is twice I'm going to agree with you in '08.

 

I think a spec tire would be counter to the whole GTS formula. Cars are often built to a certain tire, wether that's setup compromises and/or power to weight. Going to a spec tire would negate the hard work put in by many people, myself included. This is a GT class, we're not a spec series. If you want to put military secret technology on your wing, so be it.

 

Shhhhh, Hamm took that stuff off when he sold his car......

 

 

I must of really hit it on the nose when I get you to agree with me.....

 

 

-Scott B.

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cstreit911
...If you want to put military secret technology on your wing, so be it.
Sounds like Chris has something up his sleeve. Stealth technology? Or maybe something to hold your transmission together?

 

Talk to "Secret Squirrel" Hamm... I'm putting in a new trans. I actually have the bugs worked out of this one finally, it holds up (broke a gear at Nat's, but that was not treated because of time contraints.)

 

This trans would probably be good, but as I tell people, it's like that girlfriend that you used to fight with all the time. When you make up, the relationship is good, but somewhere deep down you hate the b**** for all that stuff before.

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VIRlapper

Bringing this topic back to where it started. I have been silent on this whole mess. I never even bothered to register here until now. I wouldn't even know about it had it not been for a few emails from various individuals. I have been following this here and at the other GTS discussion page and I have come to a couple conclusions. I have been racing GTSchallenge for a few years in the southeast and Virginia. I originally ran GTS in June of 2004 at Road Atlanta. I was stunned by the amount of NASA drivers that made the trip from other not so close regions. However, my duties within another club had kept me from returning back to GTS and NASA until mid 2007. Since then I have raced 8 different events including one of the Nationals at MidOhio.

 

Am I the only one with concerns about the future of GTSchallenge?

From all of the research I did concerning the past and future, it is clear to me that Mark Barr's claim that NASA stole GTS is an acurate claim. I base that conclusion on what I've read here, at www.gtschallenge.com, and othe race related forums on other sites. I also remember that when I did my first race in 2004, the NASA website was void of any information about GTSchallenge.

Next, I've concluded that there is a lack of honesty coming from the NASA side of the conversation. From their intial announcement that Mark Barr resigned, which simply wasn't the truth, to the fact that they are going forward with the series which clearly was started and built by Mark and a few other racers pitching in.

All this leaves me with two concerns. The biggest concern is the honesty and integrity of the new GTSchallenge leadership? The second concern was brought to my attention by my friend that talked me into NASA racing in the first place. He recently sent me an email in which he said, "It looks like NASA is doing to GTS what it did to East Coast Honda Challenge".

 

I barely know Mark Barr, we talked briefly at Atlanta in 2004 and at the National , and I only know the NASA leaders by their turns at the podium at the National driver's meeting. Too bad this had to happen, the splitting of GTS can not be good for anyone. If it's not too late, I urge NASA to work with Mark and keep GTS in one piece. I have emailed Mark with the same plea to work things out with NASA.

 

Thanks, for listening, CSC.

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RSCoupe
Bringing this topic back to where it started. I have been silent on this whole mess. I never even bothered to register here until now. I wouldn't even know about it had it not been for a few emails from various individuals. I have been following this here and at the other GTS discussion page and I have come to a couple conclusions. I have been racing GTSchallenge for a few years in the southeast and Virginia. I originally ran GTS in June of 2004 at Road Atlanta. I was stunned by the amount of NASA drivers that made the trip from other not so close regions. However, my duties within another club had kept me from returning back to GTS and NASA until mid 2007. Since then I have raced 8 different events including one of the Nationals at MidOhio.

 

Am I the only one with concerns about the future of GTSchallenge?

From all of the research I did concerning the past and future, it is clear to me that Mark Barr's claim that NASA stole GTS is an acurate claim. I base that conclusion on what I've read here, at http://www.gtschallenge.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, and othe race related forums on other sites. I also remember that when I did my first race in 2004, the NASA website was void of any information about GTSchallenge.

Next, I've concluded that there is a lack of honesty coming from the NASA side of the conversation. From their intial announcement that Mark Barr resigned, which simply wasn't the truth, to the fact that they are going forward with the series which clearly was started and built by Mark and a few other racers pitching in.

All this leaves me with two concerns. The biggest concern is the honesty and integrity of the new GTSchallenge leadership? The second concern was brought to my attention by my friend that talked me into NASA racing in the first place. He recently sent me an email in which he said, "It looks like NASA is doing to GTS what it did to East Coast Honda Challenge".

 

I barely know Mark Barr, we talked briefly at Atlanta in 2004 and at the National , and I only know the NASA leaders by their turns at the podium at the National driver's meeting. Too bad this had to happen, the splitting of GTS can not be good for anyone. If it's not too late, I urge NASA to work with Mark and keep GTS in one piece. I have emailed Mark with the same plea to work things out with NASA.

 

Thanks, for listening, CSC.

 

I take everything I hear with a grain of salt. Since I'm not directly involved, like almost everybody, I have no idea what was really said by one side or the other. All I know is, all I want to do is race, and NASA has a great program already in place. More than likely the rules won't change, so I'm absolutely happy to race with them. Plus, I've made a lot of friends with NASA, both GTS racers, and others.

Besides, sad to say, but some of the things that have been posted by Mr. Barr have really turned me off of going with his program.

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JWL

Guys-

 

As with many disputes, there are two sides to this story that differ dramatically. We did try to settle the issue with Mark and put our plans on hold for nearly a month, but we were not successful in coming to any sort of resolution either side could live with. Unlike Mark, we have chosen not to launch a negative PR campaign against him even though we have many facts that weigh in our favor and an opinion from counsel that we are on the right side of the law based on compensation Mark has accepted from us since 2003 and representations he made to us when GTS became a National class. However, since Mark has threatened to sue us, we have been advised not to disclose much of what we have and we will not indulge in the wanton libel, slander, and defamation that he has chosen to heap on us which does truly make us look pretty bad. Rest assured that any suit he files will be met with a strong opposition as we feel we have an excellent defense against his claims based on solid evidence as well as significant counterclaims based on his recent behavior and threats made to interfere with our business whenever and wherever he can.

 

However, our hope is that neither side will have to pay any further dollars to the Lawyer’s Green Fee Fund and that we can simply part ways agreeing to disagree. We believe in the GTS concept so we plan to keep developing it and promote the series as best we can. We initially hoped that we could reach resolution with Mark for cooperation between us, but we now don’t believe that there is much hope in working in conjunction with him so the two series will be separate going forward. As you point out, we’ve been here before and we have found that the only path available when folks don’t agree with our thoughts on rules is to simply part ways and do things as we think they should be done. If they think they have a better idea, they can feel free to compete with us and force us to step up our game which is a challenge we always welcome.

 

Thanks and hope that helps.

 

-JWL

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Sterling Doc

I take everything I hear with a grain of salt. Since I'm not directly involved, like almost everybody, I have no idea what was really said by one side or the other. All I know is, all I want to do is race, and NASA has a great program already in place. More than likely the rules won't change, so I'm absolutely happy to race with them. Plus, I've made a lot of friends with NASA, both GTS racers, and others.

Besides, sad to say, but some of the things that have been posted by Mr. Barr have really turned me off of going with his program.

 

Well said Mark.

 

I don't really have a dog in this dispute, but perhaps I can shed some perspective on this. As one of the 5 944 Spec Regional Series Directors I had fairly extensive dealing with the NASA National Office over the last 3 years. There have been times when some or all of the series directors have disagreed with them on certain issues. Throughout this all, I have found them to be rational and reasonable, and driven by a sense of the greater good, even if we sometimes disagree about the particulars. They have gone to pretty great lengths to get all of the 944 Spec directors together to plan a mutually bright future for our series.

 

As most 944 Spec cars are in the West, Spec has faced similar challenges in recent years to what GTS faces in 2009. 944 Spec had a big event at Miller last year to bring together a large number of 944 Spec cars at a NASA Rocky Mountain Region event. We worked it out and also supported Nationals/NASA the best we could at Mid-Ohio, and next year Nationals will "come home" to the center of the 944 Spec universe at Miller. NASA is being very supportive in helping us make things big for next year.

 

Jerry, Ryan, & John are running a service business, and have been successful by listening to and catering to their customer base at large. It is in their best interest to have GTS succeed. IMO, this dispute centered around a national vision for GTS, vs. a regional/local one. Since the GTS crowd is generally happy with the current rules, I would not expect radical changes in the rules, just a focus on nationwide growth.

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