BoD Minutes – October 18, 2017

Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
October 18, 2017

Present:  Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Matt Decker, and Ben Tyler. Morgan Mehler and Blair Deffenbaugh did not attend.

  1. The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, October 18th 2017, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC.
  1. On the phone, Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler, and Joedy Pennington in person, attended as guests.
  1. Motion to approve the September minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Clark / Senior).

Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not as they appeared on the published agenda.

Financial Report.

 Treasurer Heather Powers reported that we have about $112K in the money market account, and about $85K in checking at his time, fat with the Goblins Go income but before the bills are paid. Solo, she said, has about $15K in their account after the NCAC event. Sam projected that the Goblins Go, held just a few days ago, would return between $10K and $20K to the Club once all the bills were paid. Sam added that he had not been able to contact the parent company of Appalachian Tire about our plans to discontinue paying their $225 vendor fee at our events, so we had paid it one last time, he hoped, at the Goblins Go.

Old Business:

  1. Staffing at Harvest Moon Hot Laps PDX. Mark Senior brought up staffing for the upcoming Harvest Moon Hot Laps PDX, and indicated that more workers had signed up than had been anticipated last month, and that he would like to compensate all of them equally, at $100 each. Motion to add $500 to the PDX worker allocation, raising the total from $2500 to $3000, which would cover 30 workers (Powers / Shanks). Passed.
  1. Awards Banquet Update. Buddy reported that plans for the annual meeting and dinner were coming along well for the date of Saturday, January 13th.  While Vailtree venue we had last year was the same, a new caterer would be handling the food, which should solve some of the complaints from last year. In fact, there were two caterers vying for our business, and that in either case, we would be eating off real plates with real silverware, not paper and plastic.  One of the caterers was the Village Grill in Burlington, where we used to have Board meeting some years back. Buddy proposed that we could hold the November meeting there if we wanted to sample some of their fare before making a decision. This idea was generally accepted and Sam asked Buddy to look into the possibility of holding our meeting there on November 15th.  If we can do that, then we will meet there rather than at Pipers. Buddy also indicated that he had asked Lee Hill, Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, to speak, but that Lee would be at Sebring for the opening Majors of 2018 that weekend.  Lee offered to ask Mike Cobb, the new President of SCCA to come in his stead, so that was in the works. Buddy also indicated that we would have live music in lieu of the DJ we had had last time. He had approached local musician Chris Turner, and they were still deciding whether it would be a trio or a quartet. There was some discussion about how to avoid the rather long line we had with people registering and paying at the front table, and Bruce agreed to work on that.
  1. Speed Suite Configuration and Transfer of Contents. Sam announced that he had spent Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the Goblins Go up at the new Speed Suite, preparing it for occupancy. He had cut up a bunch of engine crates that Mr. Siegel had left behind and taken then a load of miscellaneous trash to the dumpster in the South Paddock. There remain two huge racks, made of square-section steel tubing bolted to the wall, that will have to modified for our use (they formerly held the engine crates). One will have to be removed and relocated entirely, as it blocks the plumbing stub where our new bathroom would go. After finishing cleaning out the Speed Suite on Wednesday, Sam, with Bruce’s help, transferred almost all of the contents of Garage 34 to the Speed Suite to fulfill F&C’s needs for Goblin’s Go. There are a few non-essential items remaining in Garage 34, along with the full contents of Garage 36. So while things had gone well using it for the morning meeting that Saturday, there still remains a lot of stuff to move. Sam said that we should schedule a work day in November so that we can be out of Garage 36 by the end of that month. As for future remodeling, Sam discussed adding a shower to the proposed bathroom, but this was informally rejected by he Board as too costly for the benefit it provided. The kitchenette he proposed was well received, however. Heather Powers had already donated some cabinets for that and had delivered them to the suite, where they were awaiting installation. Motion: that Sam prepare an estimate for adding the bathroom and kitchenette to the Speed Suite for the Board to consider, and for us to vacate Garage 34 by October 31st and Garage 36 by November 30th (Shanks / Senior). Passed.

New Business:

  1. Goblins Go Debrief.
    1. VIR corner staffing requirements. Out of the blue on Friday, October 12th, we heard that VIR was insisting that we staff corners 2, 7, and 16, though in the past we had never done that on any regular basis. They were so insistent that Tommy Webb, who was in charge for the weekend, was told he was to shut us down if we did not comply. The rather flimsy rationale for this was an ambiguous section in the contract which said that if someone were to hire VIR workers to staff the track, they would provide 19 of them, 17 to staff all the corner stations (at one per station), plus one for control and one for pit out. Regardless of the ambiguity, since we provide our own workers and share the same insurance company as VIR, we were forced to comply. The Board thanked Ben Tyler for scrambling on Saturday morning and providing observers at those stations to keep VIR happy.  This caused us a delay of just under 20 minutes on Saturday morning but did not significantly impact our track rental. Mark Senior said that he had contacted Kerrigan Smith, VIR General Manager, about this issue after the weekend, and that Kerrigan took the blame for both not contacting Mark beforehand and for not telling us sooner that he had decided to enforce this policy. It seems he made this decision because of his recent involvement in lawsuits against the track and had decided that he could not defend having all the stations staffed on some occasions but not others. He apologized for the trouble he caused us, but he made it clear that this would be the policy going forward and that the new 2018 contract would be more specific. However, he then switched topics and told Mark that he was very unhappy about how we had left the track on Sunday following a big oil spill, so big that it required power washing of parts of the track on Tuesday after complaints from the motorcycle group who was the next renter.
    2. Oil spill and Clean Up. This prompted Sam to ask Ben and others for a synopsis of this big oil incident. Apparently, a car in the Big Bore Group (Group 5) laid down a lot of oil or gear lube between Start and Turn 4 early in the race and was allowed to continue when Start was unable to successfully meatball him the first time.  David “Cowboy” Crumpton, Track Safety Director and head of EV for the event, wanted to halt the race, and both Eric and Ben asked operating steward Toni Creighton to do that, but she declined. She also declined to continue the meatball procedure, so the errant car continued to leak for the rest of the race. Many cars went off at Turn 1, Ben said, perhaps as many as 20, but not all of these were called in by the personnel at Station 1, as they caused little disruption and the persons on station did not perceive that they were related. Another car also oiled turns 6 through 9, but not as severely, or so it was thought. After the race, the EV crew laid down oil dry. They charged us for 6 bags, Ben said, so it is unclear why, if VIR’s crew handled the cleanup, that Kerrigan should be blaming us for residual oil issues. Sam has asked for a copy of the logs from that race be sent to him, as he wants to review them with an eye towards asking the stewards to be more vigilant about pulling in cars which make the track hazardous and mindful of the fact that North Carolina Region takes the blame if they are not.
    3. Trophy Issues. James Shanks indicated that as a consequence of delayed results, seemingly due to wi-fi issues at the track, F&S got behind in producing trophies, and over 26 of them were not picked up. These would have to be mailed at the cost of $7.20 apiece, or about $188. James said he had already talked to Bridgette Sinnott about avoiding this problem in the future by letting the staff at the Hospitality tent know when F&S is seeing trophies pile up unclaimed, so that the Hospitality folks can see about tracking some of these winners down while they are still at the track. The Board informally asked James to e-mail the owners of the unclaimed trophies before he mailed them, in order to make sure that they still wanted them, in an effort to control this cost. James agreed to do so.
  1. 2018 Election of Officers. The RE’s and the Secretary’s terms of office at up in January, as are those of two Members at Large. Sam, James, Morgan, and Heather Clark, are all affected. James read aloud the nomination procedure from the Bylaws. Nominations must be in writing, signed by the nominee and three other members in good standing. No candidate may declare for more than one office at a time. And all nominations must be in the Secretary’s hands by the close of the November Board meeting.  It was suggested that Bruce send out an e-mail to the Region in general announcing that nominations were open subject to these requirements. Sam also appointed an elections committee to count the ballots, which must be mailed no later than the first Wednesday in December and received by the last day of that month. Anna, Bruce, and Heather Powers, agreed to serve on that committee.
  1. Possible Formula 1000 running with a Regional Race. Sam reported that he had been contact by the organizer/driver of a Formula 1000 group of drivers who want to come to VIR next March, or perhaps next October, and be part of our event that month by having their own race group. He claimed to be able to bring as many as 18 to 20 cars, though this seems optimistic. Ben suggested we set a minimum number for them to have their own group and put them in with the rest of “Wings and Things” if they do not have that many show. Sam promised more details at the next meeting after he talks with this fellow in detail.
  1. 2018 Schedule Reduced to 4 Events at VIR. This item was not discussed at the meeting but via e-mail in the week prior to the meeting and a vote was taken that way. VIR indicated that the dates they had given us before (shown below) were firm and that if we wanted the Saturday after the Goblins Go, October 20th, we would have to take the Friday before it, October 19th as well, at the full rental rate of about $35K for the two days. Since we could not have a traditional race on that weekend, having just had one the weekend before, and that we would have to have half of whatever we did on Friday rather than Sunday, a majority of the Board felt that we could not make this work and voted to drop the date, knowing full well that we would not get it back. Thus, our schedule for next year at VIR is as follows:

March 10 – 11             March into Spring

April 13 – 15               VIR Spring Sprints Majors

May 12-13                   SARRC/MARRS Challenge

October 13-14             Goblins Go

Should a date open up in November for a PDX or date in June for a race, we might pursue those. 

Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing there were no Chapter reports for October 2017 posted on the Google drive.

Motion to adjourn at 8:59 PM (Clark / Senior). Passed.

Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks