Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
May 16, 2018
Present: Anna Crissman, Bruce Dover, Jennifer Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Heather Clark, Eric Danielsen, Blair Deffenbaugh, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Rex Deffenbaugh did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, May 16th 2018, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone. Jennifer Dover and Joedy Pennington attended as guests in person.
- Motion to approve the April minutes, after minor corrections to the attendee list, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Fouse). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers announced that we had about $44K in our money market savings account, and approximately $89K in the general Club account, because VIR had not yet cashed our check of $55K from last weekend. But when that occurs, and the $27K or so we received in entry fees is added in, the balance should end up at about $60K. We spent $12K on new radios and headsets and paid a $1400 deposit on the venue for the annual dinner, Ms. Powers noted. Solo, she said, had about $5600 in their account. Sam asked whether Heather might be able to prepare a balance sheet of income and expenses to date by the next Board meeting, and Ms. Powers indicated that she would try to do that. Sam added that he was still working on his “quick and dirty” analysis of how the first three races had done and would present that when it was completed.
- SARRC/MARRS Debrief. Several Board members had already circulated e-mails with their thoughts on this subject, which were overwhelming positive despite the extremely hot weather and the long day Saturday. Mark kicked off the discussion by noting that Justin Deffenbaugh had done an outstanding job as Race Chair, despite racing himself that weekend, and that Thomas Guest, as a first-time Assistant Race Chair, did an outstanding job as well. Ben Tyler reported that having Arlo, VIR’s EV chief for the weekend, present in the control room, was a huge asset in having things go smoothly when there were incidents on track. It was noted however that some of the delays on Saturday were due to rather slow response between sessions by the VIR folks doing cleanup. Sam asked the F&C folks to write down and submit to him any suggestions they had about how to speed things up so that we might better stay on schedule in the future. Sam also noted that Steve Keadle did an excellent job as Chief Steward and that he was always willing to listen to both sides before making a decision whenever an issue arose, as indicated by how well he handled the controversy over where the SMX MX-5 cars should run. And there was positive feedback from the drivers over his written handout, which allowed him to keep the mandatory drivers’ meetings short and to the point. Heather Clark said we still had not received an invoice for the service on our fire bottles and that a couple of our old radio batteries “bricked” during the race, meaning that we would incur more equipment expenditures before October, though she thought these would be relatively minor. Sam added that to avoid the problems that arose from the sharing of golf carts, in the future we should just rent an additional “Stewards-only” golf cart, since that would not cost much. Anna said that in the future, we would drop “fastest time of the weekend” qualifying on Sunday if we were going to have Sunday qualifying sessions, as the merging those times manually was too time-consuming and error-prone. It was also noted that we needed to do more to emphasize that the times printed on the schedule were only approximate, as some drivers took them as absolute and showed up late to the grid. Bruce noted that having Registration open early, at 10:00 AM, rather than the more usual 2:00 PM, created more problems than it solved, as it was too-lightly staffed, so he would not be doing that in the future. Also, as Ben noted, we needed to pay to have the gate to the paddock by the Synergy building open and staffed when Registration was open; otherwise people had to turn around and go back out in order to enter. This was inconvenient for everyone, and especially hard on big rigs, which had to find a way to turn around in order to go back out.
- SCCA Archives. James reported that recent issues of SportsCar had included articles on the SCCA Archives housed at the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) at Watkins Glen. These highlighted the various types of materials that the Archive was collecting, and James was surprised to learn that this included dash plaques. Apparently, they started with a collection begun by the first SCCA Archivist of pre-1979 dash plaques, and now wanted to expand. James brought a box of several dozen, which had once belonged to E. Gordon Warren, and asked that he be allowed to donate them to the Archive, since they were just sitting in a box and we had no plans to display them. There were a few rare ones from early events at VIR, and Sam suggested that he ask them specifically about those. If they already had examples of them, then we would hang on to the duplicates. Motion to donate the old dash plaques, save for the duplicate early ones from VIR, to the SCCA Archive (Senior / Fouse). Passed.
- Bylaws Committee Update. James indicated that now that the spring races were over, it was time for the Bylaws Committee to begin its work in earnest. He said he would be sending out a copy of the existing Bylaws to his committee members, Mark Senior and Heather Clark, along with a list of topics he thought they should try to address, and then suggest times for discussion via conference calls. They both agreed to this. James further noted that he had approached Jerry Pell, the Region’s defacto legal advisor, at the race in March, and Jerry had agreed to review their proposed changes when they were complete, before they were presented to the Board as a whole.
- Clarification of the Adverse Weather Worker Incentive. Anna sought to clarify the Adverse Weather Worker Incentive she had proposed, and the Board had passed, back in March. She wanted it to cover all volunteers who worked outside hat weekend, including Tech and Hospitality. James pointed out that his people did not get wet, as Hospitality closed up and took down their tent before the rain came on Sunday. Anna said they should be included because, like Tech, they spent time out in the cold no matter what. Motion to amend the policy, to give an additional $35 worker credit, to all those who worked outside, including Tech and Hospitality, for March (Crissman / Powers). Passed.
- Time Trials. Sam reminded everyone that the upcoming Time Trials event at Carolina Motorsports Park over Memorial Day weekend was an NC Region event, albeit a joint one with South Carolina and Atlanta, and he urged everyone to participate if they could. Kit Williams noted that 95 cars were registered already with a week to go, and more are expected. Blair Deffenbaugh explained that it was capped at 120 cars and that one needed to register on scca.com, not on MSR, as is customary. More volunteers are needed as well as drivers. Check-in is Friday from 5:00 until 8:00 PM and 7:00 to 8:00 AM Saturday morning.
- Speed Suite Plans and Workdays. Sam again circulated the preliminary plan he had drawn up for outfitting the Speed Suite. It features a bathroom on the left and a same-sized security closet on the right with a kitchenette in between, and overhead storage for seldom-used items, such as the traffic lights, although it turns out that he may have found a buyer for some of them. A lot depends on whether or not there are green lenses in the box of supplies currently stored at Rex Deffenbaugh’s house. Sam also confirmed with Buddy that Buddy has a line on a small chest freezer to be donated. Finally, Sam said he would propose some dates in June and let people vote on when they wanted to get started. Ben Tyler spoke up and reminded him that there was a race in Charlotte on June 8, 9, and 10, and that he and many other flaggers would not be available then.
- Cancellation/Withdrawal/Refund Policy. Bruce said that he had heard from an NCR driver who skipped the ECR he had registered for on Saturday, but raced on Sunday, and now on the Wednesday following the event, had notified him that he wanted a refund for that ECR. Bruce is seeking a comprehensive Refund and Cancellation policy. Motion to give a full refund, provided that the driver did not turn a wheel on track for that race, if we are notified by midnight Sunday of the event. The refund may be cash or credit towards another race with us in the future. After midnight on Sunday and up to one week following the event, a full refund will be given only if credit is desired; cash refunds will be less $50 to cover expenses (Crissman / Senior). After much discussion, this motion was passed.
- Wi-Fi Issues at the Speed Suite. There was no Wi-Fi available at the Speed Suite Saurday morning and Sam was not there to lend them his Verizon Jetpack that morning. This poses a problem for Registration because credentials cannot be verified should someone forget their membership card. After discussion of how best to provide this service, Anna agreed to investigate and purchase the appropriate equipment rental contract. Motion to purchase a pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi service plan with appropriate equipment for use at the Speed Suite (Senior / Crissman). Passed.
- Financial Impact of the Runoffs on NCR. Buddy said that this issue was raised at the West Chapter meeting. Several members came to realize that NCR will derive no financial benefit from the Runoffs being at VIR in 2019 and furthermore, that we will have no race income from the end of May 2019 until early March 2020, since we will lose our Goblins Go event for 2019. Sam said that he had asked Eric Prill, SCCA’s CEO of Club Racing, whether we could sponsor one of the test days, and Eric had said no. They had learned their lesson at Daytona that the test days, which are quite lucrative, are the secret to the National Office making money too. Sam added, however, that SCCA would have to pay us rent for use our scales, and that we should charge them accordingly, saying that perhaps $600 per day was not out of line. Sam concluded that other than that, we had more questions than answers, because it remained to be seen whether the expected increase in entrants for our other races would be substantial enough to help tide us over. We will need all the creative solutions we can get, he said. One idea that was floated was having our own test day, prior to the Runoffs, but close enough to them to attract some serious entrants. This might work if VIR will let us have a date, and there was some speculation that one or two might be available in late summer. Mark Senior is to investigate.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing there were no Chapter or Committee reports for May 2018 posted on the Google drive.
Motion to adjourn at 9:08 PM (Senior / Powers). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks