Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
September 15, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Al Heatwole, John Lindquist, Stephen Miller, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Chuck Stanley, Paul Spencer, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams, all attended via Zoom video conference.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at 7:32 PM, on Wednesday, September 15th
- John Bodnar, John Lindquist, Chris Schimmel, Chuck Stanley, and Ben Tyler, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the August minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Williams). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Sam Fouse was absent, but sent out an e-mail in advance of the meeting to Secretary James Shanks, which James read aloud. The SEDIV sanction fees for the Goblins Go (about $1300) have yet to be paid, but all other expenses for that race, as well as the bulk of the VIP payments due to our volunteers have been made, including those due at year-end, and no other large expenses remain outstanding. Some entry fees for the October Time Trial (about $3600 so far) are also reflected in the current balance.
As the details of our finances are confidential, NCR members who wish more information should contact either the Office Manager or any member of the Board of Directors. They are also invited to attend a Chapter Meeting, where such matters are discussed in detail.
Chapter and Committee Reports:
There were no written reports. Mark said that the Triangle Chapter met in person and about 15 people attended. They watched in-car video from Chuck Hines and welcomed a new member. Cameron reported that the West Chapter did not meet in September but he was planning on a meeting in October. Kit said that the Cape Fear Chapter met and largely discussed planning for the upcoming autocrosses to be held at Cherry Point this coming weekend, September 18th and 19th.
- August Goblins Go Debrief. Mark said he had been back and forth with Kerrigan about some of the issues we had, such as VIR staff parking in the tech area, tables and chairs missing in T&S, lack of a gate guard at the Registration exit, and so on. He said that Kerrigan said the parking issue has been resolved and won’t happen again, and that everything else should be put in the Exhibit B document we file with them before every event, which details our special needs. Mark suggested that the race chairs work on coming up with a standard, boilerplate-like Exhibit B for all our events, so that it is all in writing beforehand. Bruce added that he would be sure to include times and dates when things were needed so that VIR could not act surprised by our requests on the weekend. Since Sam could not attend the meeting, James read aloud a statement Sam had sent via e-mail concerning the financial aspects of the event. Sam said that his best estimate was that we lost in the vicinity of $12K in August. We had 118 drivers (133 pre-race). They provided 216 SARRC entries, which was actually slightly more than in May. However, in May we also had 140 MARRS entries from WDCR drivers. That, he said, was the difference. They had a MARRS race that same weekend as ours, at NJMP, so no WDCR drivers came to VIR in August. We needed about 150 drivers to break even. We had 166 in May including WDCR. We also needed 35 ECR entries from those 150 drivers, but only got 21. Sam emphasized that it was not the weather (we race at Roebling in July), nor the entry fees (we are already charging what the market will bear), nor the lack of advertising (the event was advertised everywhere east of the Mississippi). It was simply the lack of WDCR drivers. We cannot afford to run a regional race weekend at VIR during regular season rates without the full participation of WDCR drivers. On a more positive note, James added that Hospitality sold $415 dollars’ worth of merchandise and collected $50 for the Scholarship Fund. They gave away mugs, notepads, travel tumblers, and umbrellas to 70 volunteers and 97 drivers. Having an assortment to choose from was well-received, although there were people who were disappointed there was no event shirt, as always. The Board agreed by consensus that the Hospitality give-aways were an important part of making our events more enjoyable, and helping us stand out from other Regions. Kit added that the go-kart enduro was another such feature and that we should be planning one every time. Others agreed as well.
- Bylaws Committee Update. James said that 135 people voted and the ayes have it, at 134 to 1, so the Bylaws update has officially passed. He and Bruce are working on adding a revision date to every page and uploading a correct copy to the website.
- Happenings at “The Rock”. NASA has scheduled a club race at the Rockingham Speedway for the same weekend as our Time Trial at NCCAR, October 16-17, so Cameron and Ben went down to meet with the new owners to see what kind of shape the facility was in and whether we might utilize it again for some of our events in the future. Their visit was not wasted, but the results were decidedly mixed. The facility is badly dilapidated. No improvement has been made to facilities nor the track surface since we were there last, over a decade ago, and the new owners are hoping for a $10M grant from the state to improve the place, of which $3.5M would be for repaving. Ben said that currently there are a lot of safety issues, such as missing concrete barriers, tire walls, fencing, and guardrails, that would have to be addressed before we could hold any kind of event there. There is even a hole in the concrete retaining wall of the banking at Turn One, and although it is not in the track surface itself, it might affect the surface in the future. On the plus side, the new owners are primarily concert promoters, and would be willing to rent the complete facility, including garages and a commercial kitchen, as an all-inclusive package at a very reasonable rate, perhaps $10K for the entire weekend. It was noted that we would have to hire a local fire department to provide fire and rescue services as well (just as we had done many years ago). Ben said that there were an impressive number of people working on the site, but he does not see how NASA will be able to hold their road-racing event there, as advertised, in such a short time; and he expressed interest in going just to observe, if someone could arrange for him to get in. Cameron thought he could do that; and it was suggested that Region-member Bob Lewis might be able to help with that as well. Ben added that the owners had called him last week to say that their 2022 schedule was filling up and that they even expected Tony Stewart’s SRX series to be there next year, using the small oval on the backside of the facility. The discussion about how we might utilize the facility, and the improvements needed was quite long, but Anna observed that there were no actionable items at this time. Blair suggested we form a committee, with a track liaison appointed by the RE (Mark is not interested), to oversee our dealing with Rockingham Speedway and to make sure things are moving along in a way which will eventually allow us to rent to facility for our events. Chuck Stanley and Al Heatwole both volunteered to help.
- Upcoming Events. It was noted that CMP will host its first SCR-sponsored TT event this weekend and that several people on our Board will be there helping out. We are also hosting a pair of autocrosses at Cherry Point. Kit said we have 54 drivers registered for it, which is below our normal numbers, but in line with the COVID-related decrease other groups have been seeing. Al Heatwole spoke up and said that the Fayetteville / Ft. Bragg area has seen an increase in interest in motorsports, with their Cars and Coffee events drawing as many as 300 to 400 entries. He suggested that Kit might investigate J. P. Riddle stadium, a baseball venue, as a possible autocross site. Kit said that autocrosses at Ft. Bragg and elsewhere in that area have been proposed before, and gone nowhere, even as recently as this June, so he was a little skeptical about something happening any time soon. But he reiterated that he was open to investigating any possibility, literally anywhere that a local contact could be found.
- NCR Scholarship Program Update. John Lindquist took the opportunity in our discussion of potential new autocross sites, to give an update on the Scholarship Program, which he said, might just open some doors to new sites for us. John said that he has 30 counties on board with sending information about the program to their students, and eleven (11) counties have asked for a live presentation during the next school year. They want him to bring a race car of some sort, and tell the students about what we do. He will be doing that in January and February. If some of these schools have a parking lot big enough for an autocross, John said, then he could propose that, giving us a way in that we have never had before. Kit said there are some logistical concerns about minors and participants on learners permits, as well as “turf recognition” among the various autocross clubs about who holds events where, which would have to be worked out, but he seemed positive about what John was proposing. John said he would really like to get autocrossers involved in these presentations, because road racing events are too infrequent, as well as too far out of reach, for most high school students. In any case, Anna said, we need to have some materials for John by early January. She also floated the idea of a virtual demo or video that we could post on the website, in case we are unable to go somewhere live. The Scholarship Program, John said, has over $6K in funds, so it’s fully funded for six years at this point. But John and Jerry Pell will be headed to the Runoffs, and then to IMSA at VIR, with the booth to solicit even more donations.
- Wayne Quick Garage Auction. Wayne Quick, who lives in Dunn, will be auctioning off the contents of his garage, including his GT3 Ford Probe race car, and all the spares and tools, as well as a boat or two, on Saturday, September 25th. The online site is https://bradleysauctions.com. The timing is a little awkward, since it many of our most likely bidders will be headed to the Runoffs. Al Heatwole add that Wayne will be auctioning the house contents in October, and possibly the house itself.
Motion to adjourn at 8:46 PM (Senior / Justin Deffenbaugh). Passed.
Please note that all NCR members are welcome to attend NCR Board of Directors meetings.
If any member should have a question about the Region or its activities, please contact the Office Manager or any member of the Board.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks