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Ways to Increase Az 944-spec fields??????


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The subject line says it all.



I have seen smaller fields coming for some time now. I hoped it would not happen, but now it is upon us. Small fields and I don't see anything coming that will change that. So as summer break is coming it is time to figure how we can increase car counts in the fall.


Please add any suggestions...




Note.... Please don't turn this into an "us vs them" thing or a "who is cheating" thing. Lets not take these things personally or try to refute a claim. If some one percieves something (be it right or wrong) lets understand what it is and how to correct the perception. Lets be constructive rather than destructive.



Here are some comments in made in another thread that got me thinking.



What happened to all the 944's? When I started running the 944 field was huuggeee..


Well in all seriousness..... I don't really know. Well maybe I do.


Lack of growth


When we started this 944 spec in Arizona was growing like gang busters. Now 944-spec in Az is not attracting new drivers. Not 100% sure why.


Competition in places to run


The spec 944 group is another place to run with SCCA any more than a few folks have been running there. This does impact the NASA car counts since alot folks don't have the time/money to run with both SCCA & NASA.



I started racing 944-spec because it was "cheap". Racing in 944-spec is not terribly expensive, but still costs money. I have not been running much in the past year simply due to money. It is not that racing a 944 is expensive, but racing anything is expensive. Just look at costs for entry fees and pump gas and you are looking at over $350 per month. Then add in the costs for tires (even you get alot of life from them) and other incidentals and racing gets expensive. You are racing in high dollar class and need to cut your racing spend you can go to less expensive class. If you are in the lest expensive class and need to cut racing $$ then you stay home



Field size.

When you start getting tight on $$ and pick and choose your events you want to pick the ones with larger fields. Well even with this forum it is hard to get the 944 masses to agree to race all at one event or another. The result is 2-3 944's at 2-3 events vs 10-15 at just one event.



I think what is needed is a growth campaign and effort to pull all folks racing a 944 in to 944 spec with NASA.


The class is not dead by any means, but 944 spec leadership needs to push harder in the promo department. Steve S has spent alot of time working to mend the rift between 944-spec and spec 944. I think he has done a fine job in doing that.


The next step is promote NASA as place to run. This requries some effort from 944-spec leadership and also some from NASA Az leadership.


NASA in general needs to be seen as not just alternative to SCCA, but as a strong place to run. It is not a matter of being cheaper, but must provide better value. The HPDE link is critical to getting folks started and building there skills for racing. Also needed is stable and predicatable yearly calendar of events. Also needed is top notch corner working and event managment.


So if NASA Az is promoted as Strong place to run and 944-spec leadership promotes the hell out of 944 spec then we can get more 944's on the track.

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I believe that one of the biggest problems, maybe the biggest, was the rules. They left alot of room for disagreement which caused arguing and resentment, and finally splitting up. Some drivers left NASA because of the lack of leadership with respect to the rules and the chaos that resulted. 5 944's were sold out of the PHX Group. Beck, Campbell, Bloomberg, Stone, Thompson.

The 2 current series directors, Steve Sapareto and myself, Tim Comeau involved several very experienced drivers and we totally revamped the rules. There's no arguing about the NASA rules now.

I think drivers are aware of that.

Here in SoCal, when we finish a race it's bear hugs and hand shakes all around! NOT arguing! It's "Let's go have a beer together!", NOT "Cheater!"



1. Convince the current drivers that NASA is great to run with. 2 green flag races per weekend, door prizes, TOYO TIRES bucks, etc. Make the current drivers into spokespersons for the class!

2. Any local cars being sold need to be pushed to someone else who is local. Keep Kevin's car local!

3. Encourage the building of new cars. Talk to the drivers in other classes and get them to switch to 944-spec. Encourage the shops to each have a car represent their shop and get those shops to encourage their customers to join this great class.

4. Get more attention for the class however you can. Newspapers, radio.

Always park the cars together in the paddock.

If you can gather some street legal cars, go to dinner somewhere and park them together for maximum exposure. Get there early and park several right in front. Have flyers on the cars if possible.

5. Someone should start a rental program like I have going here in San Diego. That let's people try out the cars at an AX or DE/TT or HPDE. Everybody who has rented a car from me has had an absolute blast! That'll hook 'em. These are great little cars and we now have a great set of rules with great drivers.

How's that for a start, Joe?

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To be honest I don't think it is just 944's that need growth. Every class has a lack of cars right now. I think all the classes need to get together and just get people interested in racing.


I for one have always been a believer of getting a group of race cars together and going to shows, meets, or anything that would help growth. 5-10 race cars at the Pavilions WITH hpde flyers in hand, will definetly attract another group of drivers into the HPDE program, which will hopefully make it into race group eventually.


My car is street legal, well kinda and I am more than willing to bring it out to attract attention. However, we need more than just one! I bring it here and there every now and again and it sparks interest, but not like a whole slew of race cars lined up. Let me know if you all want to work something out, like I said I'm willing, if you can be seen with a Honda that is!

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...will definetly attract another group of drivers into the HPDE program


I hate to say this, but I think there is too many HPDE groups already. They take up a lot of sessions and the racers, whilst we might get the same actual track time, it's still not very much. One warm-up, one qualifying then one race session does not allow enough time to mess with setup. Practice, you see how the car handles, perhaps you make a change and go out in qualifying, if your change was wrong, you just screwed your start position. Do you then go further with your setup change or back to where you were? I understand making money, NASA is a business, but more track time would be nice.


Just a thought.



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I'm with Dylan on this one and I strongly believe it would make NASA even more attractive to racers. I've spoken with John and Ryan about it last year because of input from within my 944-spec group. They're aware and sensitive to the track time issue. Although they did add some track time at the end of the day, that doesn't solve the problem Dylan spoke of; getting the car tuned for the track before qualifying.

Maybe we can suggest splitting our morning practice session into 2 parts? That would make a pretty hectic morning....

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Are you thinking of 2 10 min run group? That won't solve anything. 3 laps in traffic and then come in? How about 2 20 min practice, 1 20 min qual and a 30 min race?

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Hey So cal guys.


Just remember that NASA Az runs the events a little differently. We get more track time. Sometimes it is 2 practice sessions others it is 1 practice, but at 1 full hour.


So I don't see lack of track time as an issue in Az. Plus we have typically 2 race car groups (some times just 1). Combine this with maybe 3 DE groups and the occasional guest group and we have track time.



I hate to say this, but lets not cloud the issue with So-NASA concerns. They are different from NASA Az issues.


944-spec in So Cal is not suffering like it is in Az. In So Cal you guys have growth. You do have POC there which draws folks away from NASA events. So getting big fields in so-cal means comparing to POC and their events.


Here in Az. NASA in general has small race car counts. 944-spec and HC are still even with small fields the largest race groups. Our NASA group is also still new and is working to build the group. Our racers have at least two other groups to race with (SCCA, ProAutosports) and DE folks have ProAutosports. SCCA is well SCCA. ProAutosports has been around Az for many years and has a great installed based of DE folks and racers.


NASA Az is still trying carve out their nitch and establish a solid core. But 944-spec and HC have growth opprotunties, but stronger efforts are needed to make them grow allong with our NASA region.

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I think there are many Issues that revolve around NASA AZ, I do have a good insight about them. Fist off I will start with saying that all racing ORGs in AZ are stuggling, That goes from SCCA to PASA, People are just not building race cars right now, SCCA is having a problem getting new people, PASA numbers are off aswell. I am not sure if I would put this all on Joe. NASA And ASRA Join together to bring racers and the DE program together, also to bring some of the top people in Arizona under one org.


The Fact is we are stuck on 2 tracks right now and Dates are really hard to come by, and that people just dont like running at Firebird Main, the other 2 tracks at Firebird are fun DE tracks but are too small to race on. With AMP closing it no longer allows NASA or Any org to build a Schedule that is consistant, so there is no longer NASA runs every 3rd weekend.


As for 944 Spec, I think there is allot of blame that can be blamed on the former Dir, there was a ton of confussion in the rules bad enforcement and as joe said end fighting. I still believe that certian people feel that they do not have to follow the rules and because of that people got turned off to the series! As for people that left the series Tyler bought a open wheel car, Paul is Racing H1 in a crazy fast Integra, Tom Stone just doesnt race anylonger, Dennis Cambell, also got tired of fixing his car, Bob Beck has/had health issues that were not got for racing, but DEs with PCA in a 996, Steve Saperato's car is broke. We have add people like Darren and Vince Vaccaro, Also Billy Brooks out of Utah his car is in final stages of construction. The only car that has stayed but does nto race in 944 Spec is Chas Werkin, but he does not have a Spec car, John Araino also has had severe mechanical issues almost every race, and Mike Jedloski owns Ashley furniture and has been crazy busy opening new stores all over the US. I actually think that we are doing ok out here we have a llot of cars down with mechanicals or cars that are being built. This year is a rebuilding year for NASA-az, that is right out of Joe Vaccaros mouth. Be mindful of that and know that we will be back up to speed very soon!


I do think we as AZ drivers need to help build the series back, these cars are a blast to drive, a little slow but fun. They are reasonable in cost to build, as far as a race car can be reasonable. One more thing Spec 944 is doing well for many reasons, the most prevalent is that Joe and Candi Stubblefield are personaly involved like Tim is in So Cal, without a local Cheerleader and Director that is invested to see that series grow and pushes the series then its going to grow slow, We also at 944-spec are working against a Series in which the series director runs one of the only east valley porsche shops, and the only shop that is reasonable if not cheap to go to. So even if the person is indiffernt on who to run with once they goto the that shop he has the oppurtunity to sell them the SCCA series over the NASA series. The other issue we have is that none of us in AZ are overly active in PCA, and that PCA and NASA have a little bit of tainted blood between each due to a prior NASA AZ director, that is something else that Joe is trying to work on.


I know so this was so long .. just there is allot to the mix here, its very political and can have adverse affects on our series.



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Another tool to work with is the fact that I got 944-spec, as a class, accepted throughout Zone 8 in PCA. This was done in an effort to grow the class at the grassroots level and to ultimately bring more 944's into the NASA racing group. As you know, Zone 8 includes Tuscon, Phoenix and up to Vegas. If you start attending PCA events and you're entered in the 944-spec class, it will be published in the Region newsletters and get some attention for the class that way.

Every 944 driver HAS to be an ambassador for the class. That will help it grow quickly. Sharing your personal, positive experiences in an enthusiastic manner is the number one tool you have for attracting new drivers!

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I do plan to start bringing my spec car back to the PCA autocrosses.


I have not done it for a while, but start again in the fall.


I also brought my spec car out to the PCA DE a few weeks back. Now with a passenger's seat I gave few rides.


Nice, but that event conflicted with a NASA race.


Jason thanks for the constructive comments.




I think you are right in that all drivers need to be ambassadors for the class.




There is one thing I believe 944-spec can offer and should promote. I believe it is Steve Saparaeto orginal idea, but it would take some work and promo to make happen.


I think and advance driver's school with a focus on getting that last 2 seconds in lap time might be great. It would do a couple things.


1) make existing drivers faster so that more driver's feel like that they can win any race and run at front. As we know it is the driver that makes a different not the car so lets help drivers find that speed. I know both Paul and Glenn had some critical help from folks like Mike Browning and other experienced racers. This help allowed them find extra speed.


2) I think it could also be a chance to help seperate NASA from the other orgs. Here is chance to learn not just safe driving, but also to learn finer points to get faster. How many other places can you learn how trailbrake deep in a coner pitch the car into a slide and correct can fly out of a corner? At a standard DE you get the "safe DE Line" never the fast one. Heck if you do just DE that is great, but learning the "fast line"? That is special.



I am sure we could get a nice group for something like that and set minumum entry requirements to ensure the right target audience. I bet we could also find the "right" instructors for this type of event. Too bad Chris Cervelli is not longer in town as he would have been perfect to be the head instructor for this type of event.

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