You're here. You're reading this. You have delusions of racing. You imagine the fame... the fortune... the groupies. Someone probably suggested you might be squirrel material. Someone might have hinted you could have what it takes.... or that you're crazy enough to be interested.
STOP for a moment and realize slap on your back might very well be used to smack you in the face... read on...
SOF Rules - or - "PRE-ALIGNMENT OF EXPECTATIONS"
0) SOF is a semi-professional racing organization. Professional amatuers. No one will be mistaking us for NASCAR any time soon, or offering to affix their logo and sponsoring our efforts, but nor are we new to the neighborhood. Generally speaking, we like our drivers to be competent, aware, and have at minimum High-Performance Driving School experience or previous racing experience under their belts.
1) We like drivers to have their own racing gear, which must meet current criteria for the racing event rules we participate in. This includes suits, helmets, socks, underwear, shoes, balaclava, HANS device, gloves, and earplugs/earphones.
2) The first rule of thumb is to protect the car. Bring the car back in one piece. Nobody WON an endurance race in one corner... but many have LOST IT in one corner. Be smart... bring the car home.
3) Payments are due for your racing time before you step foot in the car. SOF is not a bank. We budget as close as we can to net "ZERO" when everything is said and done.
4) SOF is not a democracy. What the Crew Chief says is the rule. What the Car Chief says is the rule. Your input is valued, but in the end the burden of final decision and responsibility rests squarely on the Chiefs. No amount of bitching or complaining will change this fact.
5) Outside the domain of the race track, Crew Chief and Car Chief... there are only FOUR core "Squirrles of Fury" team owners and decision makers. We have secret handshakes and passwords and everything. If you don't know if you're one of them... then you're not. Your entry fees don't buy you a vote on how our organization is run.
6) You are NOT guaranteed time in the car, and there are no refunds. (Wait... this is important... so you should read that again). You are NOT guaranteed time in the car, and there are no refunds. Racing is a risky business. It may very well be the first squirrel in the seat balls up the car on the very first turn of the very first lap. That's life... and EVERYONE will be out their money. Keep in mind that the $1000 you spent for the privilege of wheel-to-wheel seat time in a race-prepared car went into entrance/registration fees, tires, brakes, racing fuel, food, and general transportation to the event LONG before anyone got strapped in. No one... including SOF gets their money back.
7) That being said.... SOF offers no form of personal security. This means if you're the poor bastard that balls up the car on the very first turn on the very first lap, SOF will provide no forms of protection, and will willingly allow the rest of the team to beat the bloody piss out of you for as long as they have the energy to clasp a blunt object.
8) IF you ball up the car? You're on the hook for another $1000. No amount of whining, complaining, crying, snivelling, grovelling, or "but it's not my fault" arguments will be listened to. If the car is balled up beyond the point where our crew can hammer it back into a recognizable form for additional racing use, it's coming out of your pocket.... we will, however, be kind enough to travel to the hospital after your racing accident to collect it... saving you the hassle.
9) Engines can (and will) blow up. Things break. That’s life. SOF has some of the best and brightest folks working on the cars, but sometimes bad stuff happens. (And no, you're not on the hook to pay for obvious mechanical failure... and no, you still don't get a refund).
10) It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be prepared for your seat time. No one is going to chase you down to find you or keep REMINDING you that your stint is next. A racing penalty or "black flag" event can occur anytime on the track, forcing the current driver to relinquish their seat and immediately rotate out. This means that for EVERY DRIVER in the car, the NEXT DRIVER IN LINE should be SUITED UP, IN THE PITS, and READY TO GO. If you make the financial decision to plunk down a hefty chunk of change to be a squirrel... and then decide to disappear and harass other pit crews on their mechanical ineptitude... we won't be spending a lot of energy trying to locate you. We will instead be focusing our energy on getting a DRIVER IN THE CAR and thus WINNING THE RACE.
11) "No one told me" is not an excuse. We have team driver's meetings before every race where we discuss driver order, driver concerns, or any other open item relevant to the race at hand.
12) SOF provides food for the weekend for all drivers/crew on the team. Food and snacks are generally available during ALL HOURS of racing. You will find, however, that our food choices often opt for "easy" over "custom-prepared". If you can't stand crock-pot spaghetti or breakfast bagels, or you simply MUST have French Pierrer with organic mushrooms plucked by Brazilian virgins... please plan your own meals accordingly.
13) SOF provides drinks for the weekend for all drivers/crew on the team. Typical beverages provided are energy drinks, water, and Gatorade.
14) SOF normally doesn't provide hotel accommodations. To keep the fees as low as possible we tend to do things "on the cheap". Usually an RV or a travel trailer shows up at the race event, and there is enough bed and floor space for people to "sleep where they fall." Bring a sleeping bag and pillow (and cot, if you've got one), and you'll be generally able find a roof to sleep under. If you insist on hotel room service (and a shower), please plan accordingly.
15) You are expected to take care of yourself. Please keep in mind many of these races are 24 hours in length. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that you are RESTED, that you are FED, that you are HYDRATED and you are READY TO RACE when your position is up. Our Crew Chief makes the final call on whether or not you are "fit for duty". If you decide you want to hang around all night to party with other pit crews and show up for your stint looking like ass and smelling like shame, SOF may very well pull your spot to protect the car and other driver investments.
16) Do not underestimate the value in keeping hydrated.
17) Check your ego at the door. This is HIGH-STRESS ADRENALINE DRIVING. If you can't handle a driving condition or you feel unsafe SPEAK UP. Speak with other drivers about strategies. There is NO SHAME in learning, and NO SHORTAGE of people willing to teach. Speak to the crew chief if you are uncomfortable about the driving conditions (night-time, fog, etc).
18) The crew that generously donates their time are here to assist with the car and the workload. They are not your personal servants. They will not press your clothes, and they will not "go and get you something". Be kind to them. Thank them. Let them have the last chip in that bag of Doritos you've been hoarding. When the crew does their job RIGHT, you'll never know they've done anything at all... which is why you should be going out of your way to show your appreciation for their efforts.
19) If you're still reading, then here is our most important rule to absorb: SOF is here to have fun. No matter how hard you sharpen your pencil, there is ZERO financial return in making the investment to be a driver. THE ONLY return is the amount of fun you have. This means EVERYONE should be doing their best to ensure that EVERYONE ELSE is having fun as well. No one likes a D-bag bringing down the rest of the team... so don't be "that guy" when it comes to general attitude.
You can make out your checks to: "Squirrels of Fury" (Seriously, we're a legit amatuer sports club with a TaxID number and everything).
Mail them to:
PO Box 3132
Moscow, ID 83843
Questions you can send to: jborden (at) datawedge (dot) com