Triangle Chapter Report – March 2017

The Triangle Chapter of the NC Region SCCA met on Wednesday March 1 at our new location, Casa Carbone in Raleigh. We had 13 members and no guests attend. Attendance was probably off some as some folks were preparing for the upcoming March race. We were glad to see that Rex Deffenbaugh and his wife Trish were in attendance as Rex was recovering from some recent surgery. While eating we watched some recent race videos along with my “best of the worst” medley of past wrecks and almost wrecks including the infamous “brake caliper to the windshield” incident and Blair Stitt’s demonstration of “how to turn a car into an accordion”.

Since there were no guests to introduce, we jumped right into the business portion of the meeting and a report on the last Board of Directors meeting. Highlights of that meeting included a report on the Region’s get together with Kerrigan Smith, VIR’s Chief Operating Officer, and other VIR staff. For the past several years we have hosted a joint pre-season meeting and found them very productive on both sides. Topics included: Kerrigan commenting on the many improvements they are making at the track for the coming year; we discussed plans for hosting the April Spring Sprints Majors race; and future events and dates. Yours truly, Sam Fouse, and others reported on the SEDiv Awards Banquet that took place down in St. Simon’s Island, GA earlier in the year. Some of those topics included SCCA entertaining the idea of one day driver schools, and struggles with SCCA’s Pro Racing subsidiary program. The four Regions that comprise the Carolina Cup Pro Series also got together at that meeting to discuss possible ways to improve both that series and NCR’s series, the Tarheel Cup Pro Series (TCPS). It was decide that the programs would stay separate through 2017 but would reassess the idea of combining next year. The results from our TCPS series were discussed and ways to improve the race series were covered. It was noted that the Region is paying substantial fees when folks use credit cards to pay race entry fees so the Region is hoping to spread the word that we would prefer that folks use checks to pay in order to save the Region money and allow us to keep entry fees as low as possible. It was noted that James Shanks and others are taking extraordinary steps to preserve the Region’s long history and the Board was in full support. Check the Region’s web site to learn more about this program and what you might be able to do to help out if you have historic Region documents hiding in your basement or attic. The Board discussed what charities we would name for each race next year and noted that a swap and sell section on our web page might be useful for Region members. We then discussed past events and upcoming events as well as what transpired at the last Comp Board meeting.

We ended the business portion of the meeting with presentation of some awards for folks that could not make it to the SEDiv awards banquet. Award winners included Steve Rose for first place in SEDiv in IT7R and Chuck Hines for second place SEDiv in ITA. It was a great opportunity to recognize these two for their efforts.

It was noted that we are looking for speakers for this year’s Triangle Chapter meetings so if you can think of someone that might have something interesting to speak about please let me know.

Having no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Mark Senior – Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – February 2017

The Triangle Chapter of the NC Region SCCA met on Wednesday February 1 at Casa Carbone in Raleigh. In case you noticed a gap in the Chapter Reports, we had agreed at the December meeting to skip the January meeting since we had the Annual Banquet in January. Since our long time venue, El Rodeo, decided to close the upstairs room that we normally used for meetings, we searched for a new suitable location and decided to give Casa Carbone a try. This location is near our previous location and has a nice quiet private room. As the name would imply, food is Italian and prices are slightly higher than our traditional Mexican fare. Everyone I talked to indicated they liked the venue and the food was good. Only downside I saw was that they were slow to take orders and bring the food out. In their defense, we did have a larger crowd than anticipated, that and we’re spoiled by the lightning fast service associated with most chain Mexican restaurants. If you were at the meeting, I would love to get your feedback on what you thought of the venue so we can decide if we want to keep meeting there or look for other venues.

Doug Piner and daughter Olivia discussing the suspension geometry of his racecar.

We had a record attendance of 27 folks. Probably due to the fact that James Shanks had come up with the great idea of using this meeting to present awards to some of the members that were unable to attend the Annual Awards Banquet. Dignitaries and guests included our award recipients Don Knowles, Alastair McEwen, and Al Wheatley as well as Al’s wife Diane Wheatley, Jason McPhail, Allen Delisle (of the DC region), and Olivia Piner (daughter of member Doug Piner).

Since service was slow, we decided to start the business part of the meeting while we were waiting for our food to be served. We noted the unusual absence of Rex Deffenbaugh and the rest of the Deffenbaugh clan and it was explained that Rex had surgery that week which went well and he was in the hospital recovering. Everyone wished him a speedy recovery. Highlights of the BOD meeting included; a very positive end of year financial report, a special recognition and thanks to Steve Keadle as our outgoing Treasurer (Steve has done a tremendous job of organizing and updating our finances); the approval of Anna Crissman as our new Assistant RE following the resignation of Mike Spencer due to changing work obligations; an announcement that the MARRS crowd has decided to run a second SARRC/MARRS with us as part of our October race; and a summary by Sam Fouse of what transpired at the National Convention in Las Vegas. Sam noted that our own Blair Deffenbaugh was a presenter for several sessions and that he did an outstanding job. Upcoming events included 8 NCR members driving down to St. Simons Island GA for the SEDiv end of year meeting and Annual Awards Banquet, the first autocross of the year on February 18 at Cape Fear Community College, and our first race on the weekend of March 11-12. Swap and sell items included Don Knowles looking to unload numerous sets of race tires to fit Mustangs, Brock Nicholson selling an enclosed race trailer, and Jim Etchells is selling a Subaru.

Sam Fouse, Master of Ceremonies

Following dinner we moved on to the presentation of awards. Sam Fouse served as master of ceremonies while James Shanks showed slides of each recipient that he had prepared for the awards banquet and John Davidson (aka the Bobcat) took all the photos you see on this page.

Don Knowles, race car driver extraordinaire.

Don Knowles was awarded a lifetime achievement award for over 40 years of racing at the highest levels in a wide variety of cars and series. I could fill up the newsletter with his accomplishments so I’ll just provide a few highlights. He’s won six National Championships in just 18 trips to the Runoffs. He also competed regularly in endurance racing, where he ran in everything from the 24 hours of Nelson Ledges to Daytona, and in every series that IMSA had to offer for small sedans, Renault Cup, Firehawk, Camel GT, and the Bilstein Rabbit Cup. Don has won a world record of fourteen 24-hour races, and in both 1987 and ’88, he won three of them. He also raced the SCCA Escort Series. He is the all-time Escort series winner with 19 wins.

Al Wheatley was awarded the Regional Driver of the Year – Majors and SECS. Al raced a Camaro in American Sedan and achieved a first place in both the Southeast Conference Majors and the SECS. His point totals are quite large, 130 in SARRC, 96 in the SECS. He didn’t go to the Runoffs, he said, because it was either do that, and blow his budget for this next year, or continue racing in 2017. Active since 2013, but a member long before that, he dropped out and came back with a vengeance.

Alastair McEwen was presented with the National Driver of the Year – Majors and SARRC. Alastair campaigned an Elan DP-02 in Prototype 1, where he achieved second overall in the Southeast Conference and second in the SECS. His point totals were very impressive, 155 and 86 respectively. P1 is a hotly contested class in SEDiv. Had Alastair come in first at one more race, rather than second, he’d been the overall champion. He fought hard all season amid fierce competition. And he carried the day in SARRC competition. He was SARRC champion in P1 with an impressive score of 186 points.

An active member and driver since 2009, this is the third year in a row that Alastair was in consideration for this award. He is always a consistent podium finisher. We are glad to finally give it to him.

Al Wheatley, Don Knowles and Alastair McEwan received awards at the Triangle Chapter meeting.

Following the presentations all the recipients shared racing stories from their past and insights as to what goes into being so successful at their craft. We thanked our award winners for their wonderful stories and for taking the time to join us at our meeting. Having no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Mark Senior – Triangle Chapter Coordinator.

Triangle Chapter Report – December 2016

The Triangle Chapter met at El Rodeo in NW Raleigh Wednesday December 7.  14 folks attended, including 2 guests (well one was sort of a guest).  We welcomed Logan Buchanan who owns a Nissan 350Z and is interested in getting into motorsports, especially Rallycross.  We also welcomed Al Heatwole who I believe is a former SCCA member and is looking to get back into the fun, get a license and run an FP Sprite (or is it a Midget or a Spridgit…..sorry, an old running joke).  Everyone introduced themselves and then we move onto the business end of the meeting.

We discussed business items from the November Board of Directors meeting including the budget (we are well in the black this year, thanks primarily to the efforts of our RE Sam Fouse and Treasurer Steve Keadle which will help make up for loses during the past few years); discussed the upcoming awards banquet and identifying deserving members; approved next year’s contract with VIR (dates are similar to last year and should be posted on the website soon – we noted that the May SARRC/MARRS won’t conflict with Mother’s Day Weekend this year but our March date does conflict with a race in Atlanta); we discussed assigning Specialty Chiefs and Race Chairs for the coming year as well as the pressing need to develop and approve rules to meet the National office submittal deadline for the March race – we are actively looking for folks interested in getting more involved and helping out as Assistant Race Chairs.  If you might be interested, please let me know; we approved some budget items for equipment purchases; and continued to refine the Region’s travel expense policy for required out of state meetings.  This was also the meeting where nominations for next year’s slate of officers is finalized and when the nominations were closed the only contested race was for Treasurer between Steve Keadle and Heather Powers.  You should have received a ballot in the mail by the time you read this.

We discussed finding a new location for our monthly meeting.  It’s clear that the current venue is no longer using their private room and the current meeting area is too open and noisy to properly host a meeting.  I have researched about 10 locations and unfortunately none of them is ideal.  However, a couple look promising and we will likely try out one or two in order to see if they suit our needs.  Both are relatively close to our current meeting location so it should not disrupt things too much.  Be on the lookout for an update on where we will meet next.  We are also seeking topics and speakers for our meeting to make them more interesting, so if you have any ideas, please share them.  The next to last item we discussed was skipping our January Chapter meeting since it would fall so close to the awards banquet.  There seemed to be consensus on this so our next meeting will be the first Wednesday in February with a location to be announced at a later date.  The final item was selecting a Chapter Coordinator for next year.  For better or for worse nominations were quickly opened and closed and before I could blink I was reelected.  Thanks for your support…I think!

Mark Senior, Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – November 2016

The Triangle Chapter of the NC Region SCCA met on Wednesday November 2nd at El Rodeo in Raleigh.  16 members attended with no guests.  Even though we were promised the upstairs meeting room earlier in the week, we were told they were short staffed and did not have the resources to open the upstairs room so we settled for the downstairs meeting area once again.  I’m convinced the restaurant is unable or unwilling to reopen the upstairs room so we are definitely seeking a new venue for our monthly meetings. If anyone has any suggestions for a place with a meeting room in the north or west Raleigh area, preferably with a TV, food, and adult beverages, please let me know so I can contact them.

The formal portion of the meeting started a little past 7:30.  The following topics were discussed:

  • Continued discussions of possible modifications to the Region’s policies for reimbursing officers for attending official meetings such as the SEDiv Mid-year and annual meetings and the National convention.
  • We covered additional information from Buddy Matthews on the annual awards banquet to be hosted in Graham NC by the West Chapter on January 14th of 2017.  Social starting around 5pm with the business meeting at 6:30 and dinner and awards around 7pm.  Bill King, author of 2 books on the history of VIR will be the guest speaker and will be available to sign copies of his latest book.  Cost should be around $30 per person or $50 per couple with kids free. Additional details should be forthcoming in email blasts.
  • We discussed the very long race days we had for the Goblins Go weekend and possible ways to save some time.  Replacing Sunday qualifying with the results from the previous days qualifying and race lap times was discussed and the issue was referred to the Comp Board for further consideration
  • We noted that  Walt Michael, who has filled in for Ginny Condrey at several events this year,  would not be available for next year and that Bruce Dover has stepped up to take over that role with the Region providing some funding for additional training at the ARRC race at Road Atlanta.
  • It was reported that the Region made money on the Goblins Go event and lost money on the Halloween Enduro races.  Overall the loss on the enduro race was much less than last year but combining the revenue and losses from the two events still resulted in a small net loss.
  • We noted that our Majors race for 2017 would follow the same 3 day format as in the past since that format has been very well received.
  • Notice was provided that it was time for election of Region officers and that those interested needed to provide written notice along with the signatures of 3 members by the end of the November 16 Board meeting.  Positions available include: Assistant RE, Treasurer and 2 members at large.  I think Chapter coordinator positions are also elected each year
  • Along with elections, it was noted it’s time for end of year award selections.  The Awards Committee will be hard at work and will likely be soliciting nominations for the various Region end of year awards.
  • The board also approved funding for graphics for the Region’s hospitality tent trailer as well as a new printer to speed availability of race results.

We then discussed all the upcoming events and opened the floor for Swap and Sell announcements.

A motion was made to adjourn and folks returned to socializing prior to heading home for the evening.  Keep your eyes open for an announcement on the next Chapter meeting as it will likely be at a new location.

Mark Senior, Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – October 2016

The Triangle Chapter of the NC Region SCCA met on Wednesday, October 5th at El Rodeo in Raleigh. 12 members attended including one spouse. The normal upstairs meeting room was once again unavailable, so we met downstairs in a less than ideal open meeting room area. I’ll be checking with the restaurant if the upstairs room will be available to us for future meetings and if not we will definitely be looking for a new meeting place. If anyone has any suggestions for a place with a meeting room and food and adult beverages in the Raleigh/RTP area please let me know just in case.

The formal portion of the meeting started around its scheduled 7:30 time. Mark covered the following topics of the last Board meeting:

  • Possible modifications to the Region’s policies for reimbursing officers for attending official meetings, such as the SEDiv Mid-year and annual meetings and the National convention were discussed. Currently officers often end up paying out of pocket to attend meetings. This is on top of officers often taking off time from work to attend these meetings. This discussion will continue.
  • Art and Nancy Sinnott of F&S Enterprises, the folks that have done an outstanding job as the Region’s official photographer and maker/presenter of our Road Racing trophies, were in attendance to voice some concerns to the Board. Most of the issues could be traced to misunderstandings and miscommunication. Solutions were developed to improve communications and establish a better working relationship with their operation.
  • The Board approved race entry discounts to those that went out of their way to transport their cars for the Region’s display at the IMSA event.
  • Anticipated budgets for the upcoming Goblins Go and Halloween Enduro races were briefly discussed with a note that we had good preliminary entries for the first event but were currently short of workers.
  • Sam Fouse shared that he had been approached by the Formula Vee leadership about holding their anniversary event at VIR. However, the Region is unsure it can provide all of the needs of the group, so the issue remains under discussion.
  • Sam also noted that the Majors races would be 2-tierd next year and that our Region had been selected to host on of the 12 top tier “Super Tour” Majors events.
  • James Shanks reported that our membership continued to grow from 764 to 772. These recent additions were attributed to the hard work of those at the Region’s booth at the IMSA event.
  • Morgan Mehler provided an update on possible opportunities at Rockingham, the Region’s former race track. Morgan noted that the track had contacted him to let us know that the ownership/management of the track had stabilized and they were in a position to work with us on arranging possible dates/costs for renting the track next year. The board will be discussing the possible events we can host there and working with the owners to establish prices for rental and services such as security, ambulance and fire/rescue. We are working on scheduling a site visit to check out the track and facilities.
  • Buddy Matthews provided an update on the annual awards banquet to be hosted by the West Chapter this year. Details should be available in the Newsletter.

We then discussed all the upcoming events and opened the floor for Swap and Sell announcements.

A motion was made to adjourn and folks returned to socializing prior to heading home for the evening. If you haven’t come out to one of our Chapter meetings in a while, please consider joining us. We’d love to see you! The November meeting should be entertaining as there should be lots of in-car video to watch from the last 2 races. I personally have a couple of exciting “incidents” for folks to watch.

Mark Senior – Triangle Chapter Coordinator.

Triangle Chapter Report – September 2016

The Triangle Chapter of the NC Region SCCA met on Wednesday September 7th at El Rodeo in Raleigh. 14 members attended and there were no guests. Things got started on a different foot as our normal upstairs meeting room was out of action due to a broken air conditioner. Not a big problem as our hosts at El Rodeo shifted us to their downstairs semi-private room that worked out fine. Unfortunately, there are no TV’s down there, so we weren’t able to be entertained by the videos that Chuck Hines and others had brought.

Following eating, drinking and socializing the formal portion of the meeting started around its scheduled 7:30 time. Mark covered the topics of the last Board meeting.

Treasurer Steve Keadle reported that the Region is comfortably in the Black budget-wise having made at least a little money on all of our races so far this year.

Buddy Matthews provided an update on the substantial progress he and his West Chapter committee had made on the Region’s Annual Awards Banquet. A venue has been secured and the owners, who are car nuts like us, have volunteered to help out at Tech at our events and plan to show off some of their classic cars at the banquet. Sounds like our kind of people! Buddy anticipated that the price should be close to last year’s banquet. He also secured a special hotel rate at the nearby Day’s Inn along with possible concessions at the Tanger Outlet Center. If that wasn’t enough, the organizers have lined up a celebrity for the evening. Not wanting to steal their thunder, I’ll let others tell you about that.

Morgan Mehler reported that things are becoming clearer at Rockingham and that they are interested in working with us and will welcome proposals following an inaugural event planned for October. Rent should be reasonable, so there’s a good chance we may be able to utilize the site for some fresh innovative type events. The final ownership of the facility is still subject to change, so cross your fingers that this works out for us.

For those of you who don’t know, one of our Flag Chiefs, David Turner, has been taking on the substantial challenge of managing the Region’s race equipment and doing a fantastic job. The Board wholeheartedly supported him replacing some of the communications equipment.

Rex Deffenbaugh reported that a famous Datsun racer from SCCA’s heyday would be competing at the Goblins Go Production Fest and the Board approved a free entry for him as thanks for the national recognition he will bring to the event. There are plans to take advantage of his presence for marketing and folks will want to bring a shirt or the latest issue of SportsCar for him to sign.

On the business side of things, the Board approved the supplemental rules and schedules for the last 2 races of the year. While this sounds rather mundane, juggling car classes, race groups and schedules in a sincere effort to make sure everyone is happy is extremely challenging and time consuming. Hats off to Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, and the Competition Board for all their effort on this.

The Board also discussed updating the Region’s policies regarding reimbursing officers for expenses associated with required Regional and National meetings. While the Region has emphasized minimizing costs for these events, in many cases folks are paying out of pocket on top of committing their time to attend these meetings.

James Shanks, our Membership Chair, reported that membership is up slightly and hopefully this trend will continue.

After Board business had been discussed subsequent Triangle Chapter discussions included the current paths for members to obtain competition licenses. This stemmed from several calls that myself and other Board members had received from folks interested in participating in the upcoming 13/8 hour enduro event. For some reason there is strong interest from the Lemons/Chump Car community and fortunately, our Divisional Licensing Steward, has been very helpful in working with folks to help them find a way to come out and play with us. It was noted that SCCA National has recognized the extreme importance of finding avenues for folks to be able to participate in our events, but there remains work to be done. James Shanks noted that the Solo Nationals were in progress and that a number of NCR members were doing well. Hopefully there will be a more in-depth discussion of this event elsewhere in the newsletter.

We then discussed all the upcoming events and opened the floor for Swap and Sell announcements.

A motion was made to adjourn and folks returned to socializing prior to heading home for the evening. If you haven’t come out to one of our Chapter meetings in a while, please consider joining us. We’d love to see you!

Mark Senior – Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – August 2016

The Triangle Chapter Coordinator is on the road this month and tapping this out on an iPhone, so the report will be briefer than usual.

The Triangle Chapter met at the El Rodeo restaurant off Pleasant Valley Road on Wednesday August 3rd. The evening started with videos of recent races at Roebling Road provided by Chuck Hines. Thanks Chuck! The meeting was called to order by Mark Senior around 7:30. It was a light turnout with only 12 members in attendance and no guests. Mark updated everyone on what transpired at the last Board of Directors meeting. 

Our Treasurer reported that we are in good shape financially with a more detailed accounting of this year’s expenditures coming soon. The upcoming NCR promotional tent at the IMSA event at VIR August 26-28 was noted and a call was put out for volunteers to man the booth. We received more information on a business plan for advertising on our website and Blair Deffenbaugh was going to digest it and provide guidance back to the Board at their August meeting. It was noted that the plans for the annual picnic fell through and we will try to regroup for an event next year. Plans for the Annual Awards Banquet are moving forward with an infusion of new committee members. New Enduro class structures and fees were agreed upon with a goal of making the racing more inviting and ensuring that the event breaks even. Sam Fouse and Rex Deffenbaugh provided a report on the SEDiv mid-year meeting. Hopefully that will be covered in depth elsewhere in the newsletter. It was noted that our Chief Starter, James Buckberry, had passed and plans to honor him and his years of service were discussed. James Shanks noted he was well into his monumental effort of archiving the Region’s history and needed some minor funding to cover materials and containers, which was quickly approved. Pete Romanowski was nominated and approved to replace James as the new Chief Starter. Congratulations Pete! The possibility of reviving the Danville Chapter of NCR was discussed but it was agreed there were not enough members in that area at this time. A motion was made to adjourn the formal meeting and everyone agreed and returned to socializing.

Mark Senior
Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – July 2016

The Triangle Chapter of the NCR SCCA met at the El Rodeo Restaurant on July 6, 2016. There were 15 members in attendance and 2 non-member/guests for a total of 17. The 2 guests were Leigh Ann Hobgood and Olivia Piner, daughter of (“I finally made it to a Chapter Meeting Doug Piner”).

The evening started with food, drink, and video taken from Mark Senior’s Miata during the MARRS-SARRC weekend up at Summit Point including Steve Rose and Ricky Thompson flying through the field after sand bagging at the start.

In his usual lackadaisical manner, Mark called the meeting to order around 7:30 and introduced guests. Mark reported on the past month’s BOD and Competition Board meetings including:

  • The Region manning a booth with cars at the upcoming IMSA event at VIR on August 26-28th including the Board approving the purchase of a new canopy and funding for volunteers to get into the event
  • Efforts to improve advertisements on the Region’s web site
  • Plans for the upcoming Mid-Year SARRC meeting in Atlanta with NCR to be represented by Sam Fouse and Rex Deffenbaugh
  • Efforts to put on a Region Picnic at VIR or elsewhere
  • Ongoing marketing efforts
  • Items from the previous Comp Board meeting which included efforts to address aggressive pre-qualifying gridding which should be addressed by additional language in future supplementary race rules
  • Concerns about awarding trophies up to 3rd place when there are only 3 cars and a 3rd place driver not being allowed to stand on the podium for picture taking because he did not receive a trophy. There was general agreement among the Chapter members that the top 3 drivers should be allowed to stand on the podium whether they receive a trophy or not.
  • The urgent need for someone to step up and organize this year’s Annual Awards Banquet as there is currently no venue reserved. A number of Triangle Chapter members supported returning to Wilmington since their events have been enjoyed the past few years
  •  A very spirited discussion of alternatives to the 8/13 hour Enduro. It was noted options discussed ranged from killing this year’s event and losing our deposit, to trying different race lengths, to finding a different weekend to reduce the number of races during the fall. The consensus was to see if this year’s race can come close to breaking even and having a firm alternative ready if it’s another big financial loss.

Mark and Steve Rose then reported on their fun weekend of racing up at Summit Point and how well all the SEDiv drivers were welcomed by our Northern brethren. NCR drivers included Mark, Steve, Ricky Thompson, Dwight Cooke, and Mike Cooke. Unfortunately the Cooke’s weekend did not go smoothly as Dwight had to replace a rear end at the event and Mike blew up a motor in his RX7. Mark noted that unfortunately we did not bring home the SARRC/MARRS challenge cup as there were far too few of us southerners to put up much of a fight.

Roland Hill then gave a brief summary of the Autocross event at the Cherry Point Marine Base. As a spectator he felt that this event fell below the high standards typical of NCR autocross events but looked forward to better events in the future.

Mark listed all the upcoming track and autocross events for the next couple of months then opened the floor for Swap and Sell. Mark needs a hub for a mobile home axle and his son is selling a 90’s BMW 325i.

A motion to adjourn was made and seconded and approved unanimously. Then, as usual, folks stuck around for some time to talk some more about cars and people.

Mark Senior
Triangle Chapter Coordinator

Triangle Chapter Report – June 2016

The Triangle Chapter of the NCR SCCA met at the El Rodeo Restaurant on June 1st. There were 16 members in attendance and 2 non-member/guests for a total of 18.

The evening started with the usual libations, food, tall tales, and video taken from Mark Senior’s Miata during the SARRC/MARRS weekend, including Blair Deffenbaugh’s infamous jumped start as well as video from a Spec Racer Ford at Carolina Motorsports Park.

Not feeling a particular need to follow parliamentary procedures, Chapter Coordinator Mark Senior called the meeting to order around 7:30 and asked guests to introduce themselves. Mark reported on the past month’s BOD and Competition Board meetings including:

  • Refund requests and policies
  • The Region picnic
  • NCR booth at the IMSA race
  • Track insurance claims
  • Steward and Trophy issues from the last race
  • Qualifying Grid incidents
  • No need to bring helmets to Tech after the initial annual inspection
  • Pit speed signs
  • Flags/signs to signal the end of the 45min race within the 90min endure races
  • Shortening races needlessly

Mark and others then reported on the success of the SARRC/MARRS race. No one at the meeting attended the last NCR autocross, so no report was available.

Mark reported on upcoming Road Races and Autocross events as well as the “Chasing the Dragon” Hill climb in Robbinsville on June 11-12, the “Daylight into Darkness” race at Charlotte Speedway August 12-14, and the MARRS/SARRC at Summit Point June 18-19. It was noted that very few SEDiv drivers had signed up as of the meeting.

Mark called for a motion to adjourn and it was seconded by just about everyone.

Following the end of the official meeting a number of members spend some time talking with the non-members about the types of events that SCCA puts on and how to get involved. Mark even had some autocross video from the Cherry Point event to watch, including an entertaining 360 spin.

Triangle Chapter Report – February 2016

It was a cold and wet Wednesday, February 3rd, when a few stalwarts of the Triangle Chapter met at El Rodeo in Raleigh.  And that was a good thing because we got to meet Tyler Townsend, a prospective member, who found us on the web and came out to see what the SCCA and North Carolina Region were all about. Hey Tyler, glad to meet you!  Tyler’s quite interested in autocrossing and is making plans to attend the 2-day school and inaugural 2016 season event at Cherry Point, March 5-6; though he was disappointed to learn that the SCCA thinks that his bone-stock Scion xB is too tippy to be a Street category Solo car.  But Tyler said his daughter’s Jetta just might be a better ride anyway.  Hope to see you there, man!

After round-robin introductions to Tyler, we talked about the annual dinner and awards ceremony held last month in Wilmington.  We gave a special shout-out to Member of the Year John Lindquist and Worker of the Year Jeanne Cochran Samuels, and to our Lifetime Achievement winner, Stephen Shepherd. We also had to mention our two national champions in Solo, Nikki Edwards and Christina Peterson, as well as other outstanding drivers. Chapter members Steve Rose, who took Driver of the Year honors in SECS and Paul Spencer, Rookie Driver of the Year in Regional competition, were among them. Way to go, y’all!

The business portion of the meeting started out rather glum.  By now everyone knows that we suffered a big loss on our Enduro and smaller losses on our March and May events last year, so we have no choice but to raise entry fees this year. Despite that, everyone is eagerly anticipating a return to racing, and the schedule is already getting full.  Check it out:

  1. Feb. 5 – 7:           SEDiv annual meeting at St. Simons
  2. Feb. 27 – 28:        Tarheel Sports Car Club PDX/HPDE at VIR
  3. March 5-6:          NCR AutoX school and competition at Cherry Point
  4. March 12 – 13:    NCR March Into Spring Regional Race at VIR 
  5. April 15 – 17:      NCR SCCA Majors Race at VIR

In addition, our travelling contingent of officers, RE Sam Fouse, ARE Mike Spencer, past RE Rex Deffenbaugh, and Triangle Chapter Coordinator Mark Senior (who could not be present) had just returned from the SCCA National Convention and were brimming with ideas about how to improve things for the 2016 season. Now they were preparing for the SEDIV annual meeting down at St. Simons.  Hopefully they will return with an agreement concerning a completely revamped Carolina Cup Pro Series that will run in our races at VIR once again. Stay tuned for developments.

In other news, and perhaps no big surprise, but the Deffenbaughs have 2 race cars for sale. One is a great package deal, and the other is historically significant but still competitive racecar.  The package deal is a fully prepped and sorted ITC car, with trailer, some spares and 4 sets of wheels.  Yes, it’s that venerable Pulsar, but cleaned up and running better than ever.  Blair Deffenbaugh pointed out that it holds the ITC track record at VIR. And the first $1500 takes the whole kit and caboodle.  The other race car is a former IMSA Volkswagen Cup car, a VW Golf from the 1980s that has also seen a recent makeover and a new clutch.  It would make an excellent ITB car for someone, Justin Deffenbaugh says. Either one is a great way to get started in SCCA racing.

So what are you waiting for? Come on out to an event! At least you can make the March meeting when Mark Senior will finally take over his position as Triangle Chapter Coordinator.  Ask him about his ski trip and his experiences at the SCCA National convention. He promised us a report by then.  I’ll see you there…or at the races!

James Shanks
(former Triangle Chapter Coordinator)