Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
April 20, 2016
Present: Sam Fouse, Mike Spencer, James Shanks, Steve Keadle, Rex Deffenbaugh, Blair Deffenbaugh, Mark Senior, Buddy Matthews, John Lindquist, Bruce Dover, Heather Clark, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, and Morgan Mehler. John Byers was not present.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by Sam Fouse, RE, at 7:18 pm, on Wednesday, April 20th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- The only guest in attendance was Marketing Committee chair Eric Danielsen via phone.
- Motion to approve the minutes of the March meeting as written (Lindquist/B. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
Financial Report: Treasurer Steve Keadle was not able to give a financial report due to the Majors event having just concluded.
- Cape Fear Chapter: No report. Morgan Mehler said he was unable to attend and John Byers was not present to give one.
- Triangle Chapter: Mark Senior reported that 23 people attended and that they talked about recent Club business, including the just concluded solo and school at MCAS Cherry Point, where they had 175 drivers and about 35 students. Mark said that they also discussed the issue of refunds to drivers who could not continue after showing up at our racing events, and there was a unanimous vote by the Chapter members present that the Board investigate that entire matter. The Chapter also discussed the location of the pit speed radar sign after it was reported that a driver was unhappy at being penalized for speeding.
- Pit Road speeding: The members of the Board interrupted Mark at this point to discuss the issue of pit road speeding, and it was once again emphasized that the radar sign should be moved to the entrance of pit road just after the VIR garages, as the intention was to notify the drivers to prevent speeding rather than to penalize them after the fact. It was pointed out that this issue had been addressed at the previous Comp Board meeting, where the same conclusion was reached. The Board members unanimously agreed that the Chief of Pit needed to be informed where the sign should be placed at all future events.
- Apology letter to the complaining driver: Mark Senior concluded his report by talking about the driver who was penalized for speeding and who said that an unnamed Steward laughed at him when he heard about it. Mike Spencer reported that he had discussed this accusation with Chief Steward Ron Gentry and that it appeared that none of the NC Region Stewards had done this. Nevertheless, the Board directed Mike, as head of the Comp Board, to write an e-mail letter of apology to that driver and to explain that steps were being taken (i.e. moving the radar sign) to avoid such incidents on the future.
- West Chapter: Buddy Matthews reported that they had only 13 people attend, despite the fact that they had announced via e-mail that they would have a guest speaker who was a NASCAR engine builder. Fred Lankford, Jr., from Fred’s Race Engine Design in High Point was there to make a presentation and answer questions about engine building. The Chapter also discussed the minutes of the previous Board meeting and the upcoming Majors event.
Fred’s Race Engine Design
4370 N. NC Highway 109
High Point, NC 27265.
336-476-5752 and 336-471-5900
- Membership. James Shanks reported that our total was 774 members, about normal for this time of year.
- Competition Board. Mike Spencer reported that he had conducted an informal poll of the specialty chiefs and that they were uniformly positive about the Majors event from last weekend, but that no formal meeting had occurred yet.
- Solo. Morgan Mehler reported that the next event was set for the coming Saturday, April 23rd at their old site in downtown Wilmington, as their site at Cape Fear Community College was unavailable during construction. He also reported that he had visited Seymour Johnson Air Force base just today and also last Friday, looking at potential sites. These had been narrowed to four, including the so-called “Christmas Tree” where we had run in the 1980’s. His next meeting would be with the Colonel in charge of the base and Morgan said he thought that the Commander was in favor of having us put on a solo there. With regard to Rockingham, Morgan alluded to a series of e-mails which he had sent to Board members over the past week, in which he had relayed that the Rock was up for sale at auction again and that further negotiations would have to await the outcome of that process. It was noted that the published tax value of Rockingham speedway was $8.65M. Several Board members joked that they could kick in a few dollars for its purchase.
- PDX/Time Trials. Mark Senior indicated that he had no report at this time.
- Marketing. Eric Danielsen reported that he had been working on getting sponsorship and that he had been talking to Heidi Weir, Office Manager of WDC Region, since they had many sponsors listed on their web site. He further reported that more e-mails for our next event, the SARRC/MARRS, May 7-8, were being planned. The movie that he made at the Majors event, Opie Goes Racing, a humorous music video designed to be a recruiting tool, had created quite a stir. The unfinished first-cut was shown at the Majors Awards Banquet, Saturday April 16th, where it was seen by several SCCA dignitaries. Deanna Flanagan, Director of Club Racing, who appears in the video, had mentioned it favorably in her report to the SCCA Board of Directors, according to Blair Deffenbaugh. Heather Clark said she had discussed it with Lee Hill, Area 3 Director, and that it was something he would like to see all Regions do. Jerry Wannarka, current head of SCCA Enterprises, had requested an SRF-only version that he could use for marketing. Rex Deffenbaugh asked whether Eric had gotten permission from the Alliance Automotive crew, whose SRF racer was featured in the video. Eric reported that he had and they had even posed and danced for him, as had many others. Our EV crew, he said, had performed a can-can routine for comic effect. The Board was impressed with Eric’s efforts and thanked him.
- Charities. Bruce Dover reported that lunch-time drive-arounds at the Majors had netted about $400 for the Diabetes Association, $79 on Friday, $209 on Saturday and just over $100 on Sunday.
- Banquet. Buddy Matthews indicated that he had nothing new to report.
- Awards. Past RE Rex Deffenbaugh indicated that there was nothing new to report.
- NCR License Plate: Bruce Dover asked about the status of the drive to create a North Carolina state license plate with the NCR logo. Morgan Mehler reported that he had collected about half of the required 300 signatures of people who agreed to purchase one (at $10 over the cost of a standard plate) should it become a reality, but there it had stalled. He said that in talking to people, it was clear that many Region members had not paid any attention to our e-mails and were surprised to learn of this project. He said that he thought that only face-to-face campaigning would help put us over the top of our goal. Bruce suggested that we have a sign-up sheet at the Hospitality tent for the duration of the year and the Board agreed this was a good idea. James Shanks will pursue that.
- Majors Refund request: Bruce Dover reported that a driver in FB, who blew up his clutch on Friday during practice, had withdrawn after that and requested a refund. RE Sam Fouse pointed out that we had to pay SCCA a Majors fee of $125 for him and that he had participated in one of five possible on-track sessions we offered for the weekend or twenty per cent of his track time. There was considerable discussion, which included Sam making the point that we should have a standard policy for these issues so that we did not have to consider them at Board meetings. Motion (Senior/B. Deffenbaugh) to refund $250 of this driver’s entry fee of $615. Passed
- Majors Wrap-Up: Generally the event went well and was probably a financial success. RE Sam Fouse spoke first about the Awards Banquet. It was a success, he said, but not as well-attended as he had hoped. There were meals for 350 people and seats for 400, but only about 187 drivers and 70 workers showed up. He said we should dispense with admission tickets for next year and just admit people on a first-come, first-served basis, and that we should dispense with the DJ as well. He thought that we should expand the practice of showing slides of event photos on a big screen while people were eating and suggested that we get F&S involved so that they could better market their photos to drivers. He also observed that not many drivers attended the Friday night social, so Race Chairs should cut back on the food offered at that function in the future. Sam reported that he was pleased that Sara Snider, the Race Chair, had provided him with a copy of the VIR bill at the track on Sunday so that he could get an early start on its analysis. The entire food bill was under budget, a good thing. We had about an hour of overtime on Saturday, but this, Sam said, was okay, because we had budgeted for it, and in fact, the actual cost of $1450 was under the $2000 we had budgeted. Also under budget was track damage, which amounted to only $1700, against a budget of $3600, based on last year’s event costs. Sam made a big point of the fact that he had learned that we could submit a claim to the SCCA insurer for reimbursement of track damage costs we incurred, something the Region has never done before to his knowledge. He directed Bruce Dover, as Office Manager, to work with the National Office to get this claim submitted and Bruce agreed. Heather Clark asked if we could find out whether VIR had any spectators who attended the Majors event. Mark Senior agreed to ask them.
- Run Group Change for SARRC/MARRS. A driver had complained to Mike Spencer that the run groups for the SARRC/MARRS, which put all the Miatas together, were bad for him because last year he raced two different cars in two different groups, SM and SSM, effectively “double dipping”. Because this driver had also contributed sponsorship money to our events in the past, Mike considered his plight and asked Bruce Dover to alter the groupings out on Motorsportreg.com (MSR) to separate SSM and put them in with IT, which was the next group they might run with. This prompted a flood of complaints from other drivers. Mike had asked for a study of how many drivers had been double dipping from last year and Bruce provided a report to the Board members. When it was determined that the complaining driver had been the only one, it was suggested that the separation be reversed and that the grouping of all Miatas together be restored. There was considerable discussion. The separation had only been in effect for six days. Motion (Senior/B. Deffenbaugh) to combine the groups again. Passed. Bruce will change things back on MSR.
- SARRC/MARRS Budget. RE Sam Fouse reported that he had placed a proposed budget for the SARRC/MARRS event on the Google drive and that everyone involved should take a look at it.
- Standardized Refund Policy. Expanding on his earlier remarks, RE Sam Fouse made the case for a standardized refund policy in order to simplify, if not end, these “one-at-a-time” discussions at Board meetings. There was considerable discussion about how to deal with people who withdrew just because rain threatened. In the end, Sam asked for volunteers to form a committee to look into the issue and come up with a policy. Mike Spencer, Mark Senior, and Blair Deffenbaugh agreed to form the committee.
- Picnic. Buddy was asked whether any progress was made on the Region picnic. He asked whether anyone would be opposed to moving it to a park in High Point this year, rather than Gibsonville, where it was last year. There were no objections. The date is Saturday, August 6.
- Booth at VIR IMSA race. John Lindquist is heading up this event, which will be held on August 26. In the interest of time, he asked that this item be tabled until next meeting.
- Advertising Rates on NCR-SCCA Web Site. Sam reported that he had found an ad rate schedule in a copy of an old Bulletin from 2009. He had sent it to all the Board members prior to the meeting via e-mail. Bruce confirmed that it was the last one in effect, all the way up to when we ceased publication in 2010. The rate for a business-card sized ad was much cheaper than the rate John Lindquist had proposed at our last meeting, which was $25/month or $300/year. The Bulletin rate was $15/month for members and $10.50/month for non-members, or yearly (11 issues) at $120 and $84 respectively. Sam directed Bruce to get with Region web master Jeff Eng to put John’s ad on our web site at the former Bulletin rates.
- Enduro Budget and Class Structure. Sam announced that he had placed two reports on the Google drive after reviewing our Enduro results for the past seven years. One document is a budget and financial history; the other a participation history by class. What is clear is that the results are not promising. Based on last year’s entries, most of our entrants are the same ones running South Jersey Region’s Devil in the Dark 12-hour enduro (which will be held again this weekend, April 23rd) and they have only 38 cars pre-registered. We’ve never had more than 60 and as our current average is about 40, it is unlikely that we can find a way to make an additional 20 cars show up via advertising. We own the date and the Friday-Saturday format, thanks to our current contract with VIR, so there is no question that this event will have to go forward. The question is how to do it with the least financial loss. We will have to raise entry fees and pare down expenses, and even so, we will likely lose money. Sam indicated that the Budget and Finance Committee (Fouse, Keadle, and Lindquist) would be discussing ways to trim the budget for this event. He also noted that we will be keeping the 8-hour component, in order to increase entries any way we can.
- Potential 2017 Enduro Series. The good news about the Enduro is that other Regions may be willing to add an enduro of their own and join us, and South Jersey, in a series championship going forward. Sam has had conversations with Rick Mitchell, the RE of Atlanta Region, Steve Eckerich of Central Carolinas, and Bob Crawford, the Assistant Director of Club Racing Operations for WDC Region about this, and they are very favorable to the idea. He will continue those discussions as the season progresses.
Motion to adjourn at 9:15 PM (Senior/B. Deffenbaugh) Passed
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks