Like many of you, I am both surprised and concerned that the Silver State does not attract more participants. I've heard in the “old days” that there were as many as 200 cars (looking at the results posted online I don't see anything nearly this high). If the BBORR sells out 160 spots within 1-2 days of registration opening and has a waiting list, why shouldn't the SSCC?
Let me offer the following suggestions on improving participation in an effort to get the conversation going:
Keep it safe. Accidents negatively impact participation and are a high hurdle in attracting new drivers. Obviously there are inherent risks in open road racing, but doing everything reasonable (and then some) to minimize them will help ensure the viability of the sport. I believe the SSCC has an excellent safety culture, but I do have two suggestions: First, make it clear to drivers in Grand Sport and above that know that higher tire pressures are needed when reaching sustained speeds of ~150mph (I mention this because a driver in the BBORR was not aware of this and had a blowout, so my assumption that this was common knowledge was wrong). Second, and I know this will be controversial, I would discontinue the 155mph class as I just feel that this requires too high of speeds through the corners.
Improve the web site. How about a link to the Facebook SSCC page? Article about the new speed record? Post event results the same day? More streamlined registration?
More publicity. Reach out to car clubs across the west. Get one of the Velocity TV channel (DirecTV) shows to film the event.
Keep it fun. How about a competition to see who's car gets printed on the T-shirts? It could be the car with the best Checkpoint Challenge results from the previous year.
Free the car numbers. I see no reason why car numbers 500 - 999 are not available. While not a huge deal, it is a customer unfriendly policy. I'd also free up lifetime numbers if they haven't been used in 10 or 20 years. Maybe occasionally auction these off with the proceeds going to non profit groups in Ely.
Make it clear that rookie school can be waived. Rookie school is another hurdle the prevents people from participating since it is hard for many drivers to take an additional 1-2 days off to attend. If a driver has attended a recognized driving school or has 5+ track days, then they certainly have the skills to be in the Touring class.
- Reserve at least one Board of Directors spot for an active SSCC participant.