None of it is a big deal or going to affect my participation. I think the right person will win in the end, but since they're giving out trophies and its going to costs $5k+ to run the thing, I think it's fair to give feedback and try to make the race as professionally run as is practical. Taking it seriously doesn't detract from the fun. I think it adds to it.
It feels like the next big leap is really going to be the gps tracker/electronic scoring. I'm not sure I'd want to pay an extra $500 (or whatever) in entry fees to have that, though.
Oregoncoast, you're right it is super wide open. I think I passed or was passed by people I could see a grand total of 7 or 8 times? That is bikes and cars included. Two of those were after I bailed and hurt myself on the last day. Granted I only raced a little over half of the race miles, but even if it's double, thats a pretty small number.
Passing people is one of the unique challenges of all racing, even delayed start events like this rally or the baja 1k.
Anders, it's probably worth asking the marketing folks not to promote an earlier starting position as part of paying your entry fee early since that will not be the case. See the most recent email:
"Official rally registration paid in full will guarantee early entrants the chance to pick their own vehicle number, earn a front starting spot within each class the first day as well reserving one hotel room in Bahia De Los Angeles (Bay of LA), the rally’s first of three overnight stops."
The number of classes they have is sort of irrelevant at the moment. The fast guys are looking to win the overall and I don't think many are paying attention to what class they are in. I think they should have cut it to 3 or 4 classes so there could be some races within the races. Last year I didn't see that. How many out of the total motorcycle field left with a trophy? Looking at the results, every bike except 5 that started the race was in the top 3. Thats worse than high school football in texas. =)