This is a long document so I have copied here just the Introduction and Exec summary, and just the first of ten key points addressed (team ownership structure), then the conclusions. The full document is available via dropbox here..... https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/2vdz...FSR.docx?dl=0&rlkey=elhs36liqcqp77t23rrfzny19 Management Challenges facing Formula SimRacing Introduction The writer competed in Formula SimRacing from 2015-2017 as a driver. Spent two years under two presidents as the marketing manager, one and a half seasons on the Court of Appeal, was a press writer and a commentator in the World Championship series. I returned in 2021 after 3 years out during which time I raced in real life earning the right to an International C license. Upon my return to FSR I have been shocked at how it is being run. I have decided to shine a light on some of the issues. This document presents my observations following 4 months of racing and interaction with various administrators in FSR. There are many people I know and respect in FSR but the following needs to be said and should be of concern to drivers, teams, sponsors and commercial partners of the organisation. Executive Summary There have been harmful structural changes to the team ownership rights structure and to the Court of Appeal. These changes alone pose the risk of long term harm to the league, its function and its reputation. There has been a centralisation of the power to make critical decisions to a shrinking group of teams/people with voting rights. Teams are losing the ability to manage their own drivers’ careers through an opaque but centralised license grading system that is being run very poorly. There is an appearance of arrogance and lack of accountability from the administrators to the competitors. The administrators are totally unapproachable and will often not even reply to direct questions. Media is next to non existent with no news updates on the leagues forums or on team websites. There is a harmful toxic culture pervading the discussion forums. Grid sizes are dropping as is the YouTube Audience. The league is being run into the ground. Team Ownership The FSR statutes of 2007 provide that an aspiring team entrant can buy a license at an auction of such licenses. This structure provides for new and organised teams to get involved and make a long term commitment. It makes perfect sense, the project or challenge of creating a team, organising its resources, and infrastructure securing driver talent, training programs, testing and then maybe getting to the top is not the work of one season. So the commitment of ownership means it's for the long haul. Along with your team license you also get a vote in The Team Owners Association (TOA). This body is the final judicial body in any high level disputes and also makes and approves all major decisions about the direction of the league. A 75% majority can even change the statutes if a proper meeting is convened. Your purchased license is also a trade-able commodity. If you built up a team you could in theory sell it and recoup your investment or maybe more. As recently as 2015 there were 11 teams owning a license and only 2 available to rent. But a funny thing happened. In about 2017 FSR decide that renting licenses was a good source of revenue. Not everyone could afford to buy one after all. Then it decided that rented license holders should not get a vote in the TOA. These two decisions whether inadvertent or deliberate, created a two tier team situation. Then more recently a decision was made (confirmed by my enquiries) that you can't actually buy a license at all anymore. I tested this by enquiring about buying a WC team license. After being ignored in the discord "support "channel I posted in the FSR website forums. It was confirmed by the current president that the following teams own lifetime licenses and that other intending teams would have to use a “loaned” (rented) license. Burst (two licenses),Evolution, Netrex, Edge, Ghostspeed, Flag To Flag Flag to Flag is owned by the current president Cameron Rodgers but has been inactive since 2019 in WC in which season it was the 10th placed team out of 11. The FSR Team contract states that after 6 inactive races the team must surrender its license. This team has missed one and half seasons but is still listed as a lifetime license and its owner is the president! Rodgers also drivers for Burst in Div 2. Rodgers should not, based on Flag to Flags attendance even be in the TOA. Further he is in breach of the very strict inter related teams rules (rule 8.1 2015) by driving for another team. Furthermore Ghostspeed has pulled out of the 2021 season and 2022 plans are unknown. That leaves 5 of 7 active and the 5 licenses belong to 4 teams. That’s a big contrast to the 11 of 2015. FSR is now in the situation that just seven teams own what they now call a "lifetime license" and anybody else has to rent one. Furthermore one team organisation (Burst, only founded in 2018!!) actually owns two of the licenses. Evolution founded only in 2020 also owns one. So we now have a pretty unhealthy structure where with only 7 (or 5 currently?) votes available one team effectively starts out with 3 before any discussion or persuasion occurs at all. No new investors can arrive and make a long term commitment or have any say when it comes to voting and authority. Just the same seven teams own all the marbles. Any and all other teams just have to like it or lump it. This is a poor structural recipe for a sporting organisations long term health and it smells a bit like a “Coup” occurred. To summarise the management impact of the owned vs. leased licenses we suggest three impacts. 1) Centralised control, 2) rented license teams are not as invested (long haul) 3) Stagnant talent pool for administrators (i.e. a mates club). Bottom line: A lack of dynamism in the league. A stagnant and very comfortable management group. This may in part go towards explaining what appears to be a very authoritarian and unaccountable attitude. The following 3 diagrams show the fundamental structural and procedural changes that have occurred in the last 5 years. Voting rights now shared by only 7 (or 4!) instead of 11 and no COA. Diagram #1 is the 2009 structure. Diagram #2 is how it was in 2015 Diagram #3 is how it is in 2021 Conclusions There has been an ongoing centralisation of power. It has been achieved by the "Lifetime License" situation of the seven teams and non-voting rights of the rest. It has been furthered by the abandonment of the Court of Appeal consequently denying drivers a route to appeal any form of grievance, and instead a tightly knit group of Race Directors charged with judging the decisions of their peers, effectively marking their own homework. It has been further centralised by rule changes that make the administrators the sole, unaccountable and un appealable judges of who gets to compete at what level in the league. All of this means that autonomy and control of their destiny is shifting away from the teams and into the hands of the small group of administrators. At the time of writing (22/6/2021) of the seven lifetime licenses there are (with the dormant team FTF and absent team Ghostspeed) only FOUR teams are present active and with a vote: Burst (two licenses),Evolution, Netrex, and Edge. When you combine the shrinking group of actual voting team owners and their apparent inter related dealings it is an unhealthy governance environment. An environment where a small core group can potentially do whatever they might like without the checks and balances of a serious voting requirement. It creates the danger that the league can become the plaything of one or two teams. The current structure and implementation of the current rules have moved both in spirit and functionally far away from the original statutes laid down by the founders of FSR. They are not in the writers opinion suited to the long term health of the league. Media on the FSR Forums is non existent with the newest post over 12 months old. It demonstrates an unhealthy myopia and complacency. FSR is not delivering on its side of the current team contracts and it is not requiring teams to deliver in their side. The COA is a contractual obligation and it's been scrapped. The teams are required to have a website and the few teams that do fall woefully short on any FSR presence on them. Teams with owned licenses are not (with the exception of Netrex) running or developing drivers in all tiers. The current micro management of the drivers’ license level has taken away a large part of the teams’ autonomy over its management of its drivers. It’s also being done very poorly. When combined with the lack of voting rights for teams with loaned WC licenses it amounts to a team not being able to develop and compete as it wants on a level playing field. There is a cultural problem whereby aggression and insults and behaviour that demeans others in the communications platforms within FSR is the accepted norm. It is just plain unhealthy. This behaviour is exhibited by senior administrators, team owners, race directors and drivers. Questioning them or demanding answers to reasonable questions can subject you to a torrent of hate and abuse. Bottom Line As stated in the voting documents: Formula SimRacing is 21 years old this year. It is arguably the premier open wheel racing competition in the world. Its governance, systems and processes should reflect that legacy and status. It is not the plaything or domain of any one person or small group of people. The management need to show that FSR has the best interests of the drivers and the league at its centre, not their convenience or ego. These are a serious range of structural, procedural, cultural, management, sporting and marketing issues. Formula SimRacing needs to have a fresh look at itself and significantly up its game in the above areas if it wants to attract and keep serious teams over the long term and find new drivers and in doing so maintain credibility and the interest of the sim racing public. Past fame is no guarantee of future success.