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VRAA 2016 - Wrap-Up and Car Returns

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  • VRAA 2016 - Wrap-Up and Car Returns

    And so the VRAA 2016 has drawn to a close. It got off to a delayed start, suffered some hiccups along the way and wrapped up a month or two later than scheduled. Nevertheless, the cars were better than ever and the racing was exciting, with interesting season-long battles throughout the field in both classes.

    One of the major points of interest in a proxy race series – or points of contention, depending the fate of your car – is the variability of results at the different host tracks during the season. Sometimes it can seem like a bit of a lottery, but if you don’t like that kind of thing you should probably stick to racing your own car on your own track. This year, we had six different race winners across the two classes though the championship in GP1.5 was dominated by one car and in GP2.5 by a titanic struggle between two entrants. Those welcome surprise victories in both classes added some spice and uncertainty to the VRAA this year.

    As you will know, an event like this cannot happen without the contributions of many enthusiastic participants. I would like to thank the eight race hosts for volunteering their tracks and many hours of their precious time to race (and sometimes repair) our cars, compile and report the results, take photos or video of the action for our viewing pleasure, and carefully re-pack and ship the cars onwards to the next host. Thanks are also due to the club members, friends, and family members of each race host who served as drivers, marshals and tech support to ensure that each race was completed in an efficient, fair and competitive manner. Finally, and not least, I wish to thank you the entrants of VRAA 2016. Some of you have been part of this proxy for several years. Your support, enthusiasm and scratchbuilding skills have kept alive what was always going to be a “boutique”, specialist proxy series. Congratulations and my thanks to you.

    This was the tenth season of the VRAA Proxy for vintage Grand Prix Cars. I have participated in all of them, assisted as scorekeeper and race organizer for several years, and served as series director for the last three seasons. As most of you know, I have created another, one-off, proxy series for 1967 3-litre GP cars to be run this fall in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first Canadian F1 Grand Prix and in celebration Canada’s 150th birthday. Several VRAA entrants have entered a car, which greatly pleases me. For those who don’t know about it, more info can be found here:

    http://f-one-thirty-two.proboards.co...u-canada-proxy


    As that event will be scheduled in the same time frame as the VRAA traditionally runs, I have come to the conclusion that I do not have the required time and energy to do both. Therefore, I will not be organizing a VRAA Proxy in 2017. If my enthusiasm maintains and personal circumstances permit, perhaps I’ll return in 2018 with another proxy race for cars of the 50’s and/or the early 60’s, whether under the title of the VRAA or otherwise.

    Finally, I had hoped to have your cars on the way back to you by now, but delays in completing the plaques for the trophies and the printing of the souvenir photos of each of the cars has meant that I will not get them into the mail system until the end of this week. My apologies. I will let you know when the flock of carrier pigeons finally take flight.

    Old23

  • #2
    Stewart
    I just back home from medical procedures that were a little painful but nothing compared to hear i that you may step away from one of the great proxy events. I know that the 67 Chadian Grand Prix will be a great event. But not have the VRAA would be a blow to the world of proxy racing and something that would be missed by both readers and participants a like. Seriously Stewart journey do a fabulous job. Is it something some of USA can help you with or is time to change an event run once every two years?
    What ever you decide you will be both followed and admired.
    Aloha
    Dale

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    • #3
      Dale, thank you very much for your kind thoughts. I do appreciate the appreciation.

      My decision to step back from the VRAA has been some time building, but things came to a crossroads with the timing of my 1967 Grand Prix of Canada Proxy. I realized I couldn't do both and since the latter is a very personal and patriotic celebration it had to take precedence this fall.

      Additionally, I have been disappointed with a few aspects of the VRAA this year. We have been blessed with some fantastic race hosts in recent times. I think they know who they are and I am much indebted to them. On the other hand, where there were problems, I was frustrated in my inability to correct them at a distance. My conclusion is that the only solution to that is to maintain more control by keeping a proxy series local -- within driving range for me -- instead of transcontinental. Quality control is simpler, expenses are less, race reporting is more consistent, and hopefully the delays between races are greatly reduced which keeps the energy level elevated. I think that will provide a better "show" for the participants who build the cars, pay to enter and expect some entertainment value for their time and dollars, right? Also, I will get to meet a bunch more slot racing enthusiasts!

      That is the formula I will be testing for the 1967 GP of Canada Proxy. If it is a good experience, perhaps, in a year or so, I will create a new proxy race series for the 50's and/or early 60's F1 cars we have all enjoyed building and racing in the VRAA.

      The basic DNA of the VRAA is written in its name: Vintage Race Across America. That worked for me for a long time -- especially if "America" was understood to encompass North America as a whole -- but it's not where I'm heading anymore. The VRAA started as a proxy for vintage sports cars, but since 2008 it has been for vintage Grand Prix cars. It was founded on the SCI forum and has been headquartered there ever since. I do not own the VRAA franchise and I do not want to subvert that heritage to suit myself. If some one else on SCI wants to step forward to take the reins and drive the VRAA into the future while respecting its past, I will do what I can to assist them.

      Old23

      Dale, I recently learned from a mutual friend that you have suffered from some health issues lately. My best wishes for a full and rapid recovery.

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      • #4
        A Tremendous Disturbance in the Force

        ..but the main thing I want to say is THANK YOU for such a great job for these years. I am sure all the participants are reeling at least somewhat, but I can well imagine that it's just too much to do all the time year in and year out, so - well - relax and enjoy life more, brother, you have served us very very well!
        Maybe some alternate structure can invent itself so we can keep having events for these kind of cars. I certainly hope to keep going, and if for some reason you are inclined to do a scaled down localized series (maybe Vintage Race Over Ontario and Manitoba....?) I will be more than happy to send entries to it, as I know the organization and operation are first class in every way.
        In the meantime, I will keep following this thread as well as the Other One, and work on my GP du Canada entry.
        best regards
        -Max

        Comment


        • #5
          After reading Stewarts and Max's posts I am not sure what to say. Previous to this when I read Stewarts words on stepping back and shelving the VRAA I thought that someone might pick the race director job up.

          However, ahem, maybe the event could be retitled VRAW...vintage race around the world.
          Costs would be more, time delays are also possible, other draw backs could arise but it could also work.

          Think about the IPS. Alexis in Greece runs it very well, costs are covered and event is going strong.

          Yay or nay?

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          • #6
            As I have said, I hope someone will step forward and keep the VRRA going in something close to its current format.

            If someone wants to create and organize a vintage F1 world championship proxy, I encourage them to do so. They are free to borrow whatever they find useful from the VRAA rulebook. However, they should name it something different, more appropriate to their new creation, and open a new sub-forum for it.

            Old23

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Old23 View Post
              As I have said, I hope someone will step forward and keep the VRRA going in something close to its current format.

              If someone wants to create and organize a vintage F1 world championship proxy, I encourage them to do so. They are free to borrow whatever they find useful from the VRAA rulebook. However, they should name it something different, more appropriate to their new creation, and open a new sub-forum for it.

              Old23
              Taking a cue from Stewart's comment about a "local track" proxy to facilitate management and avoid shipping costs and transit time issues, I am in the process of polling our local group, IHSR, to see if there is an interest in hosting a proxy. We have 8 home tracks within a roughly 60 mile radius and a cadre of experienced drivers/builders.

              Timing, classes, rules, name etc. have not been addressed waiting on a determination of interest and the practicality of adding a 6-8 race proxy series to our regular 8-12 race program.

              Further information as available.

              EM

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              • #8
                That you very much Stewart for having organized this event for the last few years. It can become very difficult to manage such events when you have no control over the hosts and yet need there input and organizations to make the event a success.
                Having organized several races over the last 17 years I know how hard it can be and the work it requires.
                The rules and concept do work well and I hope the event will continue in some format.
                The Tasman Cup down here evolved from this event and with only a few great venues it does work well and is easy to control and maintain momentum.I hope to still see you cars travel down under.
                Thank you again for running this series since Ken stepped aside.

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                • #9
                  I've always enjoyed your input and comments throughout Stewart. From the score keeping in the past and friendly chat throughout the rounds before stepping up to take on the role of directing, and all the often thankless hard work that must come with it, has been a roll you have done very well. Its sad to see this "boutique" proxy be put on the shelf.
                  I hope we do continue to see your lovely Tasman builds Down Under in the future where you can get back to relaxing more and enjoying this hobby that brings us all together in a small way.
                  Again, thanks well done Stewart

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the kind words, gentlemen.

                    All the cars, photos and trophies went into the postal system today. Please advise in this thread when you receive your car(s).

                    Old23

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                    • #11
                      Hello Stewart, #22 arrived home safe and sound.......many thanks!!!.....and I must say the trophy (even if it was 2nd place ), looks wonderful. Thanks to all, again!!

                      Cheers
                      Chris Walker

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                      • #12
                        Thank you Stewart - and your change is understood...

                        I was hoping that one of the proudest moments of my 2017 would be to host another VRAA event at my Black Point 2.0 (coming soon..) but that is not to be... However, I love the idea of the 'Return to Power" Canadian GP proxy and, if nothing else, I could hold a similar event so that guys have more than one place to race their 3.0L cars!!!

                        Will be keeping in touch -

                        Steve Cleere

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Steve, it's good to hear from you. I look forward to seeing some pictures of your new track when you get it up and running. I know you're a fan of F1 history. Maybe it's time for you to build some F1 proxy cars and organize a proxy series in the Bay Area to run them in as well... Why not?

                          Old23

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                          • #14
                            #28 250F home safely - Thank you, Stewart

                            EM

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                            • #15
                              Fangio, Surtees, and their rides arrived Saturday in the mail. Thanks so much, Stewart!

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