RIGP is my all-time favorite race to run. Unfortunately, I haven’t ran the RIGP or any other competitive race the past two years due to funding. For me personally, too many changes going on in personal life right now that need attended to. I did attend the RIGP the past two years as a spectator. I didn’t even enter the pit area this year, just watched from the outside. It was still a blast and the volunteers and spectators seemed to be in high spirits and were having a great time no matter what the entry numbers were.
I think Dave/Tim kind of hit it on the head. L206 and Yamaha had strong numbers. Clone did not but clone seems to be dying just as fast everywhere in the area. Maybe keeping clone on the schedule was the wrong decision, but last year the two classes were pretty equal on entries around the mid-west.
TAG and Shifter classes seem to be the main problem. I figured probably 50-70 entries were missing between the TAG/Shifter categories at least. Why that has changed in recent years is the question. Payout, the big team factor and emergence of other series might contribute. I fail to believe it’s street racing in general causing this. The lone star grand prix is still very new and drawing better entry numbers than the established RIGP. The lone star grand prix also draws some of the bigger teams. However, it seems that shifter racing has gained popularity in the south where it has not in the Midwest. I can speak from experience that there were a few years that made it difficult to make the race due to school obligations. The race lands rights around the time college students are heading back. Of course this is easier said than done, but I wonder how entries would look if BIG money is paid out to KoS and Tag Sr. for one year. If you can draw big teams in for that they will most likely run the support shifter/tag classes as well. The hype might draw additional entries to all other classes as well. I do remember this working a few years ago when TAG paid out 10k I believe it was. If you can double entries in these two categories while maintaining entries in Yamaha and L206, entries would be back on target and hopefully give the even a push forward. Too bad Honda and some of the big TaG engine manufacturers are not pitching in to make this happen.
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