I can remember very well voting against the 2.5t introduction into the Euro Cup about a year ago.
My concern was, that "big" teams would join into the class if it was held on the Euro Cup level and then ruin the great show the class had laid down with it's variety in the past and also in the 2007 Euro Cup Competition.
But ok... majority rules and so be it!
The invasion is now coming.
In the last season, if people had their eyes open, they could see some teams fold up, that run at the lower and mid range of the bigger national circuits.
When my team got to see the schedule for our 2008 season (21 events which equals something like 70 runs on each tractor), we really started to wonder what to do.
There is date conflicts with our national series and the fact we run 2.5t and 4.5t, will give us one weekend where we have to run one tractor in France on sat night and the other one in England on sunday afternoon. If the french run their show until late at night, there could be a problem even making the distance! That is a minor problem though...
But the fact we'll have to miss a german pull puts a question mark behind the participation in that series.
If we have our stuff running right, the talking behind our backs starts about how we, with "all that sponsor money" (wish it would be that way), beat on the little guys.
We see it a little different, but with the same consequence:
We with our experience and years of collecting parts, beating on the little guys.
Then there is other issues like tracks and infrastructure on the smaller events, plus a pretty time consuming circuit (due to the long distances that have to be traveled).
But since the number of Euro Cup competitions is limited to 6 events per class a year, you don't get a full schedule with that series, in case you decide to for running Euro Cup only... and still have to do both and run against the little guys, that don't see much of a perspective.
Now I've seen on the dutch board, that the A-Division guys are not too keen on running their competition in a mix with the Euro Cup Tractors, while the other way round, the Euro Cup guys are not happy to have "national" competitors mixed in. Both blame the others for ruining the tracks and screwing up the results.
Now.. is it time for a split?
Open up the Euro Cup to between 8 to 10 events per class a year.
So as team you can decide whether to run the Euro Cup or the national championship. With 8 to 10 events there still is the chance of supporting your local events and do some invitationals, but the pressure in the national series is gone.
Of course this will take a few top machines out of the national championships (depending on how many events there are), but I think it will give room for smaller teams to stay alive, develop or get started.