Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
December 18, 2019
Present: Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, John Lindquist, and James Shanks, attended in person; and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, Mark Senior, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Rex Deffenbaugh and Heather Powers did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, December 18th 2019, at Atomic Empire, 3400 Westgate Drive #14B, Durham, NC 27707.
- John Lindquist attended as a guest in person. Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone.
- Motion to approve the November minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Heatwole). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers was unable to attend, so Sam gave a short summary of our cash on hand. We have approximately $150K in the bank, with $122K in our money market (savings) account and $28K in the checking account. Sam said we also have about $6K in receivables from SCCA, $1,000 promised us from Heyward Wagner for our Region block party at the Runoffs, and $3,000 for additional expenses incurred providing services. We are also owed $2,000 from Mazda for subletting a room from us for the Runoffs, accounting for the total receivables of $6,000. Sam said that Deanna Flannagan had asked for receipts for those expenses, and that he had given them to her in person at the Professional Racing Industry (PRI) show over the last weekend. Sam further reported that VIR has raised their track rental about three percent, which was less than he had expected, but that we were still not in a position to sign a contract yet to be received, since they had not yet published a schedule of what other additional services were to cost in 2020. The big deposit due to VIR, twenty-five percent of our expected annual track rental, is our largest anticipated expense in the near future. Sam also reported that he and Heather were still working on some discrepancies in the income statement he had shared with the Board previously, so this had not yet been posted to the Google drive.
- Scholarship Fund Update. John Lindquist came back to the Board with a new proposal. The time and effort needed to set up a separate 501 c3 charitable foundation, he said, was too long and involved for what we want to do initially. He proposed instead that we simply set up a pilot program so that we could get the process underway and start awarding scholarships by this May. Jerry Pell and Steve Keadle were on board with this idea too. The program would have its own checking account so that the monies donated and the scholarships awarded could be easily tracked. The checks would require two signatures to be valid. The program, to be called “The Educational Program of the North Carolina Region, SCCA”, would consist of three committees, an Advisory Committee to oversee its operation, a Scholarship Committee to award the scholarships, and a Fundraising Committee to solicit donations. It was observed that we could allocate some or all of the funds raised at the lunchtime drive-arounds at our races, as well as add a donation box to our event registration, to supports this effort. John’s plan is to set up a separate website, with a link from ours, so that he can approach the selected schools in January. The $500 loan we approved last month can be used for the initial scholarship, but more money is needed to cover startup expenses. Motion to award an additional $100 to cover the startup and operating expenses of this program (Crissman / Edwards). Passed. A check will be issued for $600 made payable to John Lindquist with the Educational Program listed on the memo line. Until the checking account has been established, donations should be made to NCR with a notation that this money is for the Educational Program.
- Region Awards Update. James reported that the Awards Committee had completed their work and that he would be forwarding the list of awardees to Eric later that evening.
- Election Progress. Bruce reported that only 54 people had voted. Before he left the meeting for business elsewhere, John Lindquist had reported that he had not received any e-mails about the election. James observed that many people may have unsubscribed, perhaps foolishly or unwittingly, from Constant Contact, and were not getting e-mails from us anymore. After discussion about how to get around this problem, Anna requested that Bruce use the SCCA member spread sheet as a source document and cut-and-paste all the e-mail addresses into the blind copy section of another e-mail notifying them of the election. That way it would go to each member as a personal, rather than a promotional, message. Sam directed Bruce to do so, and Bruce agreed to do that.
- News and Updates from PRI. Sam had recently returned from the PRI show in Indianapolis, where he met with several of the SCCA National Staff. As reported previously, he gave receipts for our additional Runoffs expenses to Deanna Flannagan, Manager of Club Racing, as well as our signed Super Tour contract for April. He also spoke with Heyward Wagner, to remind him that we are still owed money for our block party at the Runoffs, and to tell Heyward about our plans for March. Heyward was very interested to hear that we were planning on possibly having an alternative event rather than a standard SARRC weekend in March of 2021. Finally, Sam said he spoke with David Cook, the new head of Mazda Motorsports, about the new Spec MX-5 program for “NC” MX-5s (no longer called “Miatas”). Mr. Cook said that over 50 Spec MX-5 kits had been ordered and that we might expect as many as 15 to show up for our May event, which will be the second race for them in this, their inaugural season. They will probably be combined with the Big Bore group, and if that many show up, they will likely also get a split start.
- Changes to the Enduro Series. We are dropping “Pro” from the Tarheel Cup Series, so now it is known as just “TCS”. Sam met with Jim Creighton to discuss the future of the ECR, and they both agreed that the 90-minute format was too long and crowded other races out of the weekend. The new format will be 65 minutes with a 5-minute pit stop. This allows for 2 drivers, each with a 30-minute session, if desired. The APC administrator has agreed to change the APC series to the same format so that they can run concurrently. As Tarheel administrator, Sam has changed the TCS to 45 minutes with a 5 minutes pit stop, though entrants who do not care about points can waive them and simply come in whenever they wish to, even if it’s prior to 45 minutes. He added that Jim Creighton had also agreed to add more classes to the ECR, for prod cars and others that may fit, like the new Spec MX-5 series. APC and Tarheel will follow suit.
- VIR Contract and Rental Rates. Sam reiterated what he said during the Financial Report, that VIR has raised their base rate about three percent, but that we still did not know what the extras would cost. Furthermore, they were now closed for the holidays, until January 6th, so we would not get a contract to sign until then. However, he does not anticipate any significant increase, so we should be fine with the modest $15 increase in entry fees that he and Anna had worked out for the Supps, which she had just produced and circulated this past week. Anna suggested that we should try to get our annual meeting with VIR before the NCR Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on January 12th, as our schedule gets really crowded after that with the National and SEDIV conventions. Sam asked Mark to try to set that up and he agreed to try.
- Regional Supps and Timelines for 2020. Anna had been circulating timelines and Supplemental Regulations for our Regional races (March, May, and October). These were basically finished, but there was still the issue of what to call our March event, now that we were partnering with South Carolina Region. “Carolina Clash”, taken from Solo, had been suggested, but it appeared that most people wanted to stay with our now traditional “March into Spring”. Anna will make the final decision, but she indicated that her biggest concern was that SCR members not feel like they were unwelcome “red-headed step-children”. Sam noted that SCR may be less concerned about what we call it than they are with it making money; since they will split the profit, if any, with us. They need that split to help offset the loss of their own March event this year.
- New TT Date for NCCAR. The date we had reserved for our summer time trial at NCCAR, June 13 – 14, conflicted with the new autocross schedule we have been given by the commander at Cherry Point. Sam said that he had been trying to secure an alternative date at NCCAR. Using the SEDIV calendar, he had compiled a list of summer dates that did not conflict with something important, and that he had sent that list to Sam True, track manager at NCCAR. Mr. True, however, came back with August 15 – 16, which conflicts with the Tail of the Dragon Hillclimb. After some discussion, it was decided that this event, which CCR holds in the mountains in the western part of the state, would not appeal to the same audience. Motion to drop our June date and accept August 15 – 16, at NCCAR (Crissman / Clark). Passed.
- Rallycross at VIR. Clayton Myers, who is now in charge of scheduling for VIR, has gotten wind of the fact that the SCCA National Office, via the Rallycross Board, is looking for Regions to submit proposals to host 2-day National Rallycross events to be part of the 2020 National Tour. He sent Bruce an e-mail containing Jim Llewellyn’s media announcement letter about the Tour and asked how he could get us interested in submitting such a proposal, since VIR has an under-utilized 3.6-mile rallycross course. The cost for that facility rental is $1200 per day, including EMS and Control. It was observed that Tarheel Sports Car Club has been holding rallycross events, but their attendance is declining and they are looking for someone to partner with as well. NCCAR has also hosted some rallycross events. Kit observed that rallycross cars take quite a beating on the unimproved surfaces on which these events are held, so there is not as much interest in building and maintaining those kinds of cars around here. Most folks would not want to rallycross the car they autocross. Sam observed that the real problem for us is bandwidth. We are all volunteers, and our plate as an organization is full with our three types of competition events, road racing, time trial, and autocross; and we do not have anyone who can step up and get a program like that going at this time. The general consensus was that we would have to pass on that opportunity for now.
- Track Announcer. We have been approached by Gregg Ginsberg, who along with Mike Wolfe and Bob Steele, was an announcer for the Runoffs and for the SCCA Super Tour, to act as an announcer for our March event. Our April Majors is a Super Tour event, and the announcers are provided as part of the Super Tour package, for which we pay $125 per car. Traditionally we have not had an announcer in March because of cost, since we seldom make money, though we traditionally use Scott Conway from Atlanta for our May and October events. Scott charges $700 plus a room for the weekend. Gregg has offered to do March just for the cost of a room, in order to broaden his experience, though he usually charges $600 and a room. By consensus, the Board agreed to accept his proposal. Anna thought we should consider asking him whether he was available for May or October since his rate is cheaper than Conway’s. That issue was postponed for now.
- Giveaways for the NCR and SEDIV Banquets. Last year Bruce bought Amazon gift cards, four (4) at $50 and eight (8) at $25, to be given away as door prizes. Sam and Anna said they saw no reason why he should not do that again, and the Board agreed by consensus. James spoke up and said there were odd lots of merchandise from the Hospitality tent which could be given away, and he promised to get a supply from the Speed Suite to be used for door prizes also. The issue of free or discounted entries to our events came up, and after discussion, it was agreed that Bruce would print certificates for three (3) $250 discounts off an entry at VIR, and two (2) free Time Trial entries at NCCAR. In addition, the Region would reimburse the Solo program the sum of $250 for one free Solo Season Pass, which gets the bearer into a full season of our autocross events. That is a total of eight (8) free autocross events. These would all be given away at the NCR banquet, while for SEDIV, Bruce was to produce four (4) certificates for discounted entries at VIR in the sum of $250 each.
- Reciprocal Free Discount Coupons with WDC. When Sam took the fire bottles back to Summit Point, he met with Bob Crawford of Washington, DC Region and they discussed the possibility of offering free discount coupons to race events at Summit Point if we agreed to reciprocate at VIR. Once again, the Board agreed by consensus that this was worth pursuing. Sam agreed to confirm the arrangement with Bob Crawford of WDCR and communicate the details to Bruce to enact.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for November 2019 posted on the Google drive.
Motion to adjourn at 9:05PM (Clark / Fouse). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks