Official SCCA News

Notes on the SCCA National Convention

The 2014 SCCA National Convention was held in Charlotte, NC on March 7-9. Attending, on behalf of the NC Region was Mark Senior. Following are his notes on the sessions he attended:

Risk Management session – SCCA National wants all forms electronically. NCR needs to check on what damage at our events is covered, as we may be able to claim things like track damage. Things which may be damaged, such as Armco, are covered. Their comment was, “When in doubt, send it in”. There are deductibles to take into account. In order to make a claim, NCR needs to complete incident reports and needs someone to fill them out. There is also an event request form for coverage of meetings and other non-competitive events. It was also noted that if we hire anyone to work for us, we need to get a certificate of insurance.

Time Trial Town Hall – Roy Mallory, Chair TTAC Committee, hosted the Town Hall. He noted that we can run any SCCA legal vehicle now, as well as street legal cars. TT license only requires a self-filled out medical form and some kind of approved competition license. The really long and detailed rule book and driver manual are now only two pages. The Event Rules book is 14 pages. Out west, they have an ITJunk class for Lemons and Chump cars. Craig Farr is the SE Division TT Rep. We now only need one corner worker per station and can run a limited number of stations. This will make it easier for us to partner with other organizations such as Tar Heel Sports Car Club. We also don’t need as many officials as previously. If we use track workers, we need to make them temp SCCA members for the weekend, unless they are covered by track insurance, which they likely are. We can effectively have one official perform all official functions. The Tech rules for PDX are very flexible. We can do annual tech if we want. Lots of other Regions are performing solo type event tech as opposed to race level tech. They only check for things like good tires, battery secure, wheels won’t fall off, and helmet meets rules. Some folks use self tech. It was noted that, due to insurance issues, the push is for a minimum inspection by club and the use of language that puts the responsibility and liability back on the entrant.

Solo Town Hall – It was noted that national participation was up 4 percent in 2013. They noted they received lots of email when they changed the rules to require street tires for Stock Classes. It was noted that claims for Solo events was down last year which is making Risk Management staff happy.

Hall of Fame induction – I note that during Kathy Barnes induction, the image of her car revealed a sticker on her speedometer that says “Have fun”. I think we should all do this to remind us why we are here.

Majors Town Hall – This session was led by Butch Kummer and Terry Ozment. In 2013, we had 19 events, a total of 3526 participants, an average of 185 entries per event and 3 festivals. They took a survey with the following results: “Some like, some don’t”. In 2014, anticipate 25 events. Five events have been run to date with 991 entries, which averages out to 198 per event. Terry noted that Regional participation is up as well, so the 2 series do not appear to be hurting each other. It was noted that they will be having Formula 1000 at 2 events and a “Speedfest “at Barber. Butch discussed changes for 2014. All events will be double weekends with a Sprint/Feature format. Podium festivity will be for the feature race only. All qualifying sessions count for both races, as well as the best lap in the sprint race. 115% of track record rule will be applied. Butch characterized that as “the no wanker rule”. The idea of using the track record to decide is so that folks have an idea if they will be allowed to run before they put their car on the trailer. The question was voiced that, since all laps are qualifying, when do we say you’re too slow to race? Butch said that we can black flag a driver during a race if they are not “getting into it” and holding things up. Another question was, “Will additional drivers show up if no wankers will be there?” It was noted by Terry that there is a similar rule in the GCR already. There will be additional compliance checking based on requests from drivers. Butch noted they are trying to reduce the number of classes in run groups to make the races more fun for drivers and easier to follow for spectators. It was noted that there will be contingency for both Majors races, but for other race series, sponsors will only pay out per sanction, so one per weekend for most events. The Majors series will have Series Tech Chiefs who will have to work with the Region Chief of Tech. East Series Tech Chief is Bill Etherington. The Series Chief will deliver all paperwork to drivers for continuity.

Butch described the Barber Speed Fest. Five run groups; Formula Fords, SRF, F-500 and 600; $495 entry fee; 30 minute sprint race Saturday and 50 mile feature race Sunday. Some other Majors highlights included – Future live video cast; increased conference champion recognition; different awards; season-long trophy; and name on Champaign bottle. When asked if there were any other ideas, he responded that he is hoping they can have additional festivals and Invitationals. They are considering split groups for feature races. Someone asked about financials from last year and Butch said that they lost money, but that was expected, given how new the series is. They hope to break even this year and are ahead so far. Someone asked about National sponsorship to offset cost. Butch said that is their goal. One Region said “Give us money to put on the races”. Butch noted they would love to do that and they are looking for more sponsorship. He noted they are also looking for new and different tracks to run. Someone suggested that the series count out-of-conference events. It was noted that it’s easier geographically for some folks to attend out-of-conference races than all in-conference races. Another asked if an event could count in two conferences? Butch noted they are considering realigning conferences as a possible solution. When asked for any other ideas:

  • Some suggested a Majors endurance series. (Diana Flanagan has registration info).
  • Terry discussed concerns with permanent numbers and problems with Region number crossover.
  • Terry said that National appreciates folks working with them through growing pains and that, with trying to be flexible and give folks what they want, comes complexity.
  • Someone voiced a concern about trying to cram too much into a day and running over an hour and workers not liking that. Butch noted that they have been finishing at 4:30 most races this year.
  • Someone asked if we want to offer discount for multiple class entries. This is up to the Regions.

Registration Open For 2014 SCCA National Convention In Charlotte

TOPEKA, Kan. (October 11, 2013) – The 2014 Sports Car Club of America National Convention, to be held for the first time in Charlotte, N.C., March 7-9, is now accepting registrations online. The latest edition of the annual event features sessions geared to Regional, Divisional and National leadership and those involved in National specialties.

The fee for the SCCA National Convention is $295, which includes access to all Convention sessions, the SCCA Hall of Fame Banquet, and the show floor of the new MSX – North American MotorSports Expo to be held in conjunction with the Convention.

Though the location has changed from the previous five years in Las Vegas, the Convention continues with informative and entertaining sessions for SCCA members.

Full group sessions include the SCCA Annual Meeting, town halls, convention kickoff, and awards session. Among the Club Racing programs are panel discussions for training, recognition and proficiency for specialties, stewards training, and training for registrars and timing and scoring for the U.S. Majors Tour events. Separate panel discussions will also take place for the Solo and Rally programs, as well as best practices panel discussions on how a Region can start or grow a local program.

A full track will also be devoted to Region leadership, including panel discussions, Region Officer training and sessions with the Board of Directors to discuss ideas and initiatives. The SCCA National staff will also walk Regions through the newly-developed Region Website Template to develop a functional website in less than an hour.

The Convention will be at the Westin Charlotte for every session on Friday. It will move across the street to the Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday to ease the transition for those attending both the National Convention and the MSX show. The Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Westin Charlotte Saturday evening.

A ticket to the 2014 SCCA National Convention includes complimentary entry to the MSX Expo show floor, as well as the exclusive opening reception, and the SCCA Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet. For $390, an attendee will also gain access to the speakers and seminars as part of the MSX Show. MSX will feature world-class exhibitors, racing legends, technical seminars, show floor demonstrations, banquets and special events.

For more information on the 2014 SCCA National Convention, including a current list of sessions and a link to the registration page, visit www.scca.com/Convention. For more information about MSX, please visit www.msxexpo.com or contact msxinfo@ntpshow.com or call (703) 706-8227.

SCCA MSX

SCCA National Convention coming to Charlotte, NC in 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 2, 2013) – Sports Car Club of America, Inc. (SCCA®) and National Trade Productions, Inc. (NTP) have announced a new, unique event: MSX, the North American MotorSports Expo™, launching March 7-9, 2014 at the Charlotte Convention Center, in Charlotte, N.C.SCCA has partnered with NTP to create a conference and expo expanding the annual SCCA National Convention and Hall of Fame Induction. Targeted toward SCCA’s 60,000 membership base, national car clubs and associations, as well as enthusiasts from around the country, MSX will provide educational programs and seminars for current and potential participants in SCCA competition and an exhibit hall devoted to racing parts, equipment, safety and technology.

“We frequently hear that our members would like more content geared toward building, maintaining and driving competition cars at our National Convention,” SCCA President & CEO Jeff Dahnert said. “Likewise, there has never been a show to specifically cater to the programs that SCCA offers—road racing, autocross and rally. Our partnership with NTP gives us the opportunity to provide that for our current and potential members.”

Located in Charlotte to provide easy access to the largest concentration of SCCA members and motorsport enthusiasts in the country, MSX will provide product and performance solutions for those that buy and drive in all forms of SCCA competition.

“Charlotte’s longstanding history and culture within the motorsports industry makes it the perfect location to stage an event for the best amateur racing organization in America,” NTP Chairman and CEO Robert E. Harar said. “In addition to the MSX and SCCA Convention activities, the SCCA Hall of Fame Induction is a special event that makes the entire weekend a can’t miss event for motorsports enthusiasts.”

MSX will feature world-class exhibitors, racing legends, technical seminars, show floor demonstrations, banquets, special events and more. Complete details and website will be released in the coming weeks. For more information about MSX, the North American MotorSports Expo, please contactmsxinfo@ntpshow.com or call (703) 706-8227.

SCCA National Convention schedule and registration will be available by September 3, 2013.

SCCA MSX

Report on the SCCA National Convention

by John Lindquist, Assistant Regional Executive

I will surely leave something out, but not on purpose. My first SCCA National Convention and it was worth the trip! You see I am not a gambler so the trip was for the Convention. I did, however, lose $4 showing my wife, Annie, how the slot machines worked. There you have it, bet $4 and lost $4, just what I expected!

Now to the reason for the trip… It seems like it was well attended by folks from all over the country, lots of RE’s and specialty chiefs. One of the first things Jerry Pell and myself did notice, was that the majority of the folks attending were…well, we will just say past mid-life. This was somewhat understandable since travel, work and the like would keep several non-retired folks away.

The opening statement was “It’s a new day in SCCA”. Jeff Dahnert, President and CEO of SCCA, Inc., and the SCCA Board of Directors want everyone to know that we as a Club must change to accommodate our members. A study was done by an outside firm and they came back and told SCCA that we are not retaining new members. For every 10 new members, 9 leave. The reasons vary, but not being friendly and not having the product they want is a big part of the issues. The national staff and the Board of Directors seem to be very willing and on-board with looking into what needs to be done and making an effort to enabling change. Here is the catch: you knew there would be one, we the members, must be willing to embrace the needed changes and be part of the evaluation of growing the club. Membership is at 40,000.

So again the number one issue for SCCA is we are not as FRIENDLY as we need to be to retain new members, so we are losing out. This issue kept coming up all weekend.

All club specialties meeting, by Terry Ozment, VP of Club Racing: Terry is sharp! Lots of items discussed, but it seems the web site and how it is cluttered was a major topic. There is an Apple App being tested right now, coming your way. Lots of discussion about how and who gets what kind of worker license. Yes, there were some heated up folks at this meeting. It was noted that there was a need for more Race Chairs in every Region. There was talk about on-line training for workers to help with their upgrading. Terry did state that, if you need money for training let her know and National may be able to help…for example with fire training, cool! More talk of a specialty newsletter being sent out.

There was a lot of discussion about time trials, PDXs and that we are not the leading club in this area. SCCA is still the premier amateur auto racing club in the world and no effort is being made whatsoever to change that! But, we are not building numbers in Club Racing and everyone thinks that should be coming from Time Trials and PDX. However, it is our Time Trials and PDX programs that are not working. Well, not hard to figure this one out! So there was lots of talk about how to get this back on track and the items that are needed to do so. In some locations, the track is the problem. Good instructors with good programs and personnel to man the corners are needed.

Pro Racing and SCCA Enterprises: I did not know this, but they pay their own way, go figure. There was a lot of talk about the GEN3 SRF, new engine, etc. rolling out in 2014.

Global Rally Cross will be a Pro series conducted by SCCA, not associated with Regional events.

Some ideas for better service: put Tech at Registration. You know, the driver just needs to have his book signed, verify helmet, provide coffee and donuts if lines are long. For workers: ride in the pace car and see what the drivers are seeing, same with the Start stand. Lots of emphasis on “the driver pays the bills”. We all know that without workers, we are not a whole Club, but the money has to come from somewhere, lose the drivers and …point taken.

Lots of conversations about the Majors, at some point there will be just Majors, coming soon. Some Regions will lose their National races. The number of Majors per year will become limited. I think VIR will be safe, but then again I thought my $4.oo bet would make millions!

OK, the Chump Car/Lemons deal. Yes, SCCA is looking at what it would take to bring that group into the fold. SCCA and everyone involved agree that a Chump Car or Lemon is not the same as WORLD CLASS SCCA CLUB RACING. But, what everyone agrees on is that, if we don’t find a way to bring these racing drivers – yes, in their own right they ARE racing drivers – into the SCCA we will keep getting smaller and smaller. What if a Chump driver attended an SCCA event and then decided that moving up to Club racing was next in line for him? Hey what an idea!! And I like the idea that if the Chump driver needed to run into some one that they did it in the Chump series and not in the club series.

So, don’t get excited, they will NOT mix Chump or Lemons on the track at the same time as SCCA Club racing. May not ever happen, but then again someone probably won some money at Vegas! 

THANKS for the opportunity to represent NCR-SCCA! We are a good Region, have good members and conduct good events.