Welcome to the 2019 Racing Season!

Notes from the desk of RE, Sam Fouse

The 2019 racing season is upon us and it will be busy!

Registration is already open for our March into Spring SARRC and multi-Enduro event at VIR next weekend, March 9th and 10th.

The first item of business to address is the changes we have to made to the Volunteer Incentive Program, popularly known as worker credits. After serious discussions with our accountant on the tax implications, and polling other regions in SEDIV, we have decided to adopt the same kind of system that other Regions in SEDIV use. No more keeping track of your days worked and sending in receipts at the end of the season. In 2019 and beyond, you will be reimbursed directly at the track that same weekend if you so choose, to the extent possible. Depending on when you register, in some cases your check may have to get mailed on the Monday following, so register early.

The next few items to address are the changes we have to make to our entry fees and schedules due to changes in the VIR contract and the ECR series. VIR has raised our track rental by a few percent points, as to be expected. Also, the 2019 ECR rules passed last fall were expected to discourage more than one ECR per weekend, so when we drew up the March and May schedules, that was the assumption we operated under. That has since been rescinded. For March and May, we are continuing to offer one 45-minute ECR on Saturday together with twin 45-minute Tarheel Cup Series races (one each day), under the umbrella label “Enduro”, for one price. We will also still offer the Atlantic Pro Cup option both days for an add-on prize fund contribution. The Enduro will still require one two-minute pit stop to meet all of the series’ requirements.

However, we’re also adding a new twist, specifically targeted at potential Runoffs drivers. If a driver would like to run in the 45-minute Enduro, and is willing to forego any series points and trophies, they may waive all series participation. This would exempt them from any required pit stop and they can go non-stop.

Yes, SARRC entry fees have gone up $5, but that doesn’t even cover the increase in track rental which is up 6% over last year. And though the initial entry fee has gone up, we have expanded the multi-race discount available for drivers who enter four races.  It’s now possible for drivers in most classes to get as much or more seat time at one of our regional events as they could get at a Majors. And we will have the same pricing in May as we do in March, even though the summer track rental rates go up substantially over the March off-season rate.

By now everyone knows that the SCCA Runoffs will be at VIR in October, and we will lose our traditional Goblins Go event date. But our friends in Washington DC Region still want to partner with us, so they have agreed to host two joint SARRC events at Summit Point, the first being the MARRS/SARRC duel in mid-June, and the second (for 2019 only), will be officially known as Goblin’s Go North and occur on Labor Day weekend.

Our Spring Sprints Super Tour will roll around again in April and under the heading of “careful what you wish for”, we have been told to expect 500 cars or more. That was the result of a drivers’ survey taken by Topeka and presented to us at the National Convention. What that means is that paddock space will be impossibly TIGHT.  There will be parking restrictions even for the participants of VIR’s test day on Thursday before the Super Tour. Spaces will have to be assigned during a Load-In period, ala the Runoffs, and we may have more than a hundred in the infield grass. Drivers who have them, may have to park their RV in a different spot than their race car. Load-In will be a huge challenge, so bring an extra load of patience. It will be a Runoffs atmosphere, complete with traffic headaches, etc. And because getting all these cars in overnight will be such a special challenge, we will be looking for many more volunteers to help us. We’ll have a special workday to help with Load-In beginning on Wednesday, April 10th, and yes, you will be reimbursed just as you would be for a volunteer effort on a race day. Details will be available over the coming weeks.

Then in May, we’re right back with our SARRC/MARRS duel with WDC Region drivers, which should result in another full house, and then some, as drivers visit to get seat time in preparation for the Runoffs. Expect overflow again.

And finally, we will be having a 2-day test day event at VIR August 3rd and 4th. This will be aimed primarily at Runoffs-bound drivers who want a simple shakedown event to test their cars, and improve their lap times, without worrying about points and series finishes.

I hope to see you all at the track. Now, let’s go racing!

Sam Fouse