Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
February 20, 2019
Present: Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Adam Miller, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, and James Shanks, attended in person, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Morgan Mehler and Rex Deffenbaugh did not attend. The West Chapter has named Nikki Edwards as their Chapter Coordinator for 2019.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:29 PM, on Wednesday, February 20th 2019, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone. Adam Miller, Stephen Miller, and Chris Schimmel attended as guests in person.
- Motion to approve the January minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Clark). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers reported that the Region had a total of about $114K in the bank at this time, $76K in the money market account and about $38K in checking, since approximately $20K in entry fees for the March race had already been deposited. Bruce interjected that MSR showed that, so far, we would be due about $85K for March, and that approximately $50K was still outstanding, leaving $35K already paid by check or credit card. The point was that our cash flow was healthy and we could make what purchases we needed. Solo, Ms. Powers reported, has $8846 in their account.
- SEDIV and National Convention Updates. Sam asked the participants at the recent conventions to give their thoughts and make announcements that were noteworthy. No one had anything new from the National Convention, but there was a lot of news from the SEDIV one. Heather Clark received the Jacque Holland award for doing the most to promote service with a smile around SEDIV. Anna Crissman and Heather had both volunteered to be on the committee to plan the SEDIV awards banquet next year, and they vowed to shorten it and make it flow better. Sam noted that there was a lot of talk about Time Trials, and that our events at NCCAR were now on the SEDIV calendar, even the tentative one in November. In road racing, he noted that there were now three paths to the Runoffs. As before, one could participate in three (3) Majors, or two (2) Majors plus any two (2) Regional races anywhere in the country, or now, four (4) SARRC races as long as you finish in the top three in your class. Al Heatwole added that with regard to the SARRC series, the SARRC Invitational Challenge (SIC) finale, would be held at Daytona for 2019, over the objection of Buccaneer Region, which owns Roebling Road, its traditional home. This change represents an attempt to encourage more participation, as the numbers have been dropping since 2000, Sam said. Only 90 cars participated this year, due in large part to the deteriorating track conditions at Roebling, which contrasts starkly with the 200 cars they had just a few years ago. And only 9 cars participated in the season-ending ECR race. The exact date for the SIC has not been set though it will be some weekend in September. In regard to the ECR, Sam reported that the new restriction on having just one per weekend has been rescinded, and that the rules are evolving. They are looking at possibly shortening the races to 65 minutes, down from 90, so that two drivers could each have a 30-minute stint separated by a five-minute pit stop. This would align them better with what other series are doing, and make it easier to fit an ECR into a weekend schedule full of SARRC races. A final item that was discussed is a new device to be mounted in all competition cars, as transponders are now, that will show the flag condition, such as a local yellow or a full-course yellow, in response to a signal from a nearby flag station. The system is called the Flagger Safety System (FSS) and is marketed by East Coast Racing Technologies in Winston-Salem. The Regions would have to buy the hardware that makes the system work, and they would do so in one of three ways, either by cash purchase, a three-year lease-to-buy program, or by commission sales of the in-car devices. Sam circulated a copy of their letter of intent to purchase for future consideration.
- Volunteer Incentive Program. Heather Powers said she plans to pre-print as many checks for VIP payments as possible, and pass most of those out at lunch on Sunday, but thinks the Speed Suite would be better for the many volunteers working F&C. Sam and James offered the Hospitality Tent as an alternative venue, since not all F&C workers return to the Speed Suite at the end of the day. There was also a discussion about whether all the visiting stewards should be paid.
- Region History and Website Backup. James reported that he had been unable to obtain an external solid-state drive of a capacity of 1 terabyte or larger for $150, the maximum he was allowed by the motion passed at the last Board meeting. It seems that true solid-state devices of that size were more expensive. Motion to amend the earlier motion to obtain a solid-state hard drive of at least one terabyte, at a cost of no more than $200 (Crissman / Senior). Passed.
- Asset Acquisitions. On the table are purchases of additional radios and fire bottles to replace our failing old ones. Bruce circulated copies of an e-mail from Ben Tyler (a copy is now available on the Google drive under February of 2019) which outlines the results of his inquiry into acquiring 33 new radios before the Spring Sprints Majors. Basically, the company will take 15 old radios in for a small credit, but only if we purchase at least 15 more. We need at least 33, so if we buy them all at once, we will get the best deal, which would cost $7528.25, after a credit of $1050. Motion to purchase all 33 radios immediately after the March into Spring event (Crissman / Clark). With regard to fire bottles, Heather Clark indicated that we needed 11 new ones as soon as possible to replace the ones which had failed their recertification inspection. She had a quote from a company in Danville for 11 new extinguishers (10 lb. ABC) at about $68 apiece, for a total expenditure of about $750. Al Heatwole spoke up and said he had a fire suppression company he worked with for his business in Fayetteville, and he would get a similar quote from them as well. Motion to purchase 11 new fire bottles as soon as possible, at the best deal we can get, spending no more than $1000 (Clark / Crissman). Passed.
- March Into Spring Planning and Budget. Race Chair Eric Danielsen commented that VIR had raised some of its food prices dramatically and that these would impact the cost of our social by about $500, even after removing the most expensive items (such as meatballs) from the menu. In order the save money, he and Mark Senior were planning on making our own coffee and hot chocolate rather than purchasing them from VIR. Eric also said that he thought he could keep the cost of lunches for the volunteers about the same. Last March we had 115 volunteers total and Sam said he would budget for 120. Eric thought the total should be higher since we already had 82 signed up. Last year we had 109 drivers on Saturday but only 51 on Sunday after the weather turned bad. Currently we have 128 drivers signed up, with 65 doing the ECR and Saturday and 28 on Sunday, so our entries look good. Everything should be fine as long as the weather holds.
- Spring Sprints Planning. Sam reported that VIR had contacted him via e-mail just today and he is confused by it. In the e-mail, VIR seems to have thrown out the agreements that they had made just a week ago in a meeting Sam had with them and Mark, Charlie Leonard, who is in charge of load-in for the Runoffs, and Lee Hill, former SCCA Chairman of the Board. Unfortunately, Mark is in class for the rest of the week, so he and Sam will not be able to meet with VIR until next week to try to iron this out. Mark will see what he can do by conference call. Sam is hoping that the plan he received today is not a proposal for this year’s Spring Sprints. Sam also reported that the National Office had thrown out Anna’s race groupings for the Spring Sprints, and proposed new ones which will result in some very large groups of perhaps 80 or more cars. This has resulted in delaying the opening of registration on MSR as the Supps, which list the groupings, are not ready. Sam and Anna in particular are upset about this, but apparently, we have no choice but to accept it and move forward. This prompted a discussion of whether entries should be capped for the May SARRC-MARRS event. Anna explained that with a cap of 400 cars (50 per each of 8 race groups), we could put people on a waiting list if there were too many entries in any one group. There was considerable discussion about this before a decision was reached. Motion to cap the SARRC-MARRS entries at 50 per race group or 400 total (Crissman / Fouse). Passed.
- Time Trials Report. Stephen Miller reported that he had a contract with NCCAR for our June event there, which he had passed on to Sam to sign. We do not have to commit to the November date until after we see how the June one goes. Stephen wants to get registration open in MSR as soon as possible, even though people pays as soon as they register, unlike road racing. One thing we needed, he said, was an MC to continually move things along on the PA system. Kit Williams immediately volunteered for that position. Stephen also said that the track certification process was underway, but it was hampered by the fact that the folks who were supposed to do it did not have a form or checklist already in place, so he was designing one to help move that process along. He said that the track had been certified before in the counter-clockwise direction, which is the way Tarheel Sports Car Club runs it, but not in the clockwise direction yet. One other problem was that the legacy Time Trial rules for SEDIV require run groups for all possible competitors. This is outmoded, Stephen said, because very few, if any, formula cars and sports racers ever show up, and it would cost us approximately $3K for them to have their own run group. His proposed compromise is not to have one unless enough of them, at least ten or twelve, actually sign up on MSR. In a related topic, Blue Ridge Region will be hosting their TT event on the Patriot Course at VIR, March 31, the same weekend as Tarheel BMW Club will hold an event on the main course. Since we rejected the Patriot venue as unsuitable for our TT events, Stephen asked Heather Clark, who will be flagging that Tarheel BMW Club event, to observe the TT at lunch, or whenever she could, and report back how it seemed to be going. Ms. Clark agreed.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for January 2019 posted on the Google drive. As previously mentioned, there is a copy of Ben Tyler’s e-mail outlining what he found out about purchasing new radios.
Motion to adjourn at 9:12 PM (Senior / Clark). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks