Minutes for NCR SCCA February 2022 Board Meeting
February 16th, 2022
Attendees: Bruce Dover, Kit Williams, James Shanks, John Bodnar, Blair Deffenbaugh, Stephen Miller, Al Heatwole, Anna Crissman, Sam Fouse. Cameron Conover joined late
Guests: Ben Tyler, Frank Killian, Lilly Killian, Eric Danielson, Megan Tyler, Mark Senior, Rob Wilmoth. Chris Schimmel joined late
- The meeting was called to order at 7:32pm by Anna Crissman on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022
- Motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting (Shanks / Williams). Passed.
Order and content of the items listed below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Sam Fouse read a report on the region’s finances.
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.
At the time of this meeting, there were no Chapter reports posted to the region Google drive. Cameron Conover of the West Chapter had not yet joined the meeting at this time. The Triangle Chapter meeting had been rescheduled due to multiple conflicts and was run by Sam Fouse and Mark Senior due to James Shanks absence at the time. They reported they had a small group and had a few new faces there as well. The Cape Fear Chapter meeting was run by Kit Williams as no Cape Fear Chapter coordinator has been found to replace him yet. The meeting was small and uneventful.
- Update on Rockingham Speedway: Al Heatwole, Stephen Miller, Ben Tyler, and Justin Deffenbaugh visited Rockingham Speedway roughly 3 weeks before this meeting. Al, who had previously been selected as the Region’s representative to Rockingham, reported on their visit. They met the current track manager Justin and toured the facility. They found the track surface is still incredibly rough and in need of a full repave. They discussed with the track manager the recent approval of a grant by the state of NC for repairs and upgrades to the facility. They also discussed our desire to use the facility for a Time Trial event. All who visited agreed that the facility is a long ways away from being ready for a road racing event. Stephen then spoke and said the track had not been in contact since their visit but he felt like the track was very interested in us having an event at their facility. Rob Wilmoth then spoke about how the group who visited felt that the facility has a lot of things to do in regards to safety and the track surface before we can think about having an event there. Rob then had a fairly lengthy speech about a proposal he had personally been working on to present to the Board about having a Time Trial event at Rockingham that could be co-hosted with the charity group Racing for ALS, with any profit from such an event going to the charity. Rob feels like doing so could help leverage the influence and reach of that group to support an event and bring in large numbers and strong marketing due to Racing for ALS’ popularity. Rob cited several large events that that group has held recently at VIR. Rob did not formally make a proposal for an event this year but seemed to be trying to gauge the interest of the Board in doing so. He also cited the difficulty in scheduling an event after many schedules have already been set. Stephen and Ben both estimated roughly 5 flaggers would be needed to hold a TT event at the Rock. Anna then chimed in and wanted Rob to get with her about the schedule but noted that holding an event at the track this year would likely be very difficult but next year seemed a realistic goal. Stephen noted that the track would need to be certified by the SCCA before we could have any events at the track. At this point, Rob and Stephen began to talk about why an event with Racing for ALS would be good for the region because, in their opinion, the SCCA is known for being terrible at marketing their events. They felt that no one knows who we are or what we do, whereas Racing for ALS regularly sells out their events and allying with them would, in their words, “guarantee a good event”. This sparked a discussion about having charity events and how that would work with SCCA sanctioning and with the legal and monetary side of things. This led to a long discussion which has been highlighted as follows: Stephen noted that 25 cars per run group would be the maximum at Rockingham and that we currently do not know what the exact cost of renting the facility would be, but Stephen later estimated it to be roughly $13,500 to rent the facility for a weekend. There was then more discussion about how the region could leverage the power of marketing with Racing for ALS to promote our event, as had been previously discussed. More discussion was had about what was included by renting the facility, at which point Ben said that renting the track would give us full access to everything they have, including garages, facilities, and the small track they have behind the main race track. More discussion was had about the current state of those facilities and how much work would need to be done to them before having an event. Ben Tyler then proposed that a Targa style event could be had with the short track being used for an autocross or similar event. This discussion continued with suggestions of renting facilities to have a paintball competition and renting the drag strip across the street and making a huge party-like event such as Hyperfest. None of this discussion was formalized into any proposals or motions to the Board. No concrete action was proposed, and Anna recognized that this update on the track visit was taking up a large portion of this Board meeting and moved the meeting on to the next agenda item.
- March Event: Anna began an update on our upcoming race at VIR on March 12th-13th. Registration is currently open and an email is being sent to drivers in the coming days to raise interest. The Time Trial portion of the event has 23 drivers at the time of the meeting. Comments were made that the registration seems lower than usual, likely due to the Road Atlanta Super Tour the same weekend. Eric Danielson gave an update on the race chair planning for the event. Eric was concerned that we will not have enough volunteers to staff the corners for this event. Eric was also concerned about all volunteer positions, such as grid and timing and pit, due to the number of people we need to hold an event at VIR. Eric said the stewards wanted to have an indoor area to hold drivers meetings, but due to the classroom area in the main timing building being repurposed into a care center, there will likely not be such an area and drivers meetings will likely need to be held outside. Eric noted that Clyde, a steward, had sent an email saying that for the Majors race, they will be requiring three workers at all flag stations, but that is not this race. He also noted that the stewards have concerns about having split starts, which is a normal concern. The worker social on Saturday evening had not been planned out at the time of this meeting and would need work from Eric and Sam Fouse. Sam noted that as it is the beginning of the year, we have almost no supplies in the Speed Suite and would need to restock. Stephen Miller gave an update on the TT side of this event, noting that he planned to run the TT out of the South Paddock entirely. Despite only taking place on Sunday, he expected a good event but needed more volunteers to make it happen. James Shanks then brought up a concern about trophies for the event. He noted that in the Supplemental Regulations, it says that trophies will be provided at the event. As F&S Photography will no longer be at our races this year, James noted that there is no one to hand out said trophies and he felt that it has been assumed that Hospitality will simply take care of this problem. Eric noted that this had yet to be planned out. Stephen chimed in that TT trophies were being taken care of and did not need to be worried about. Eric proposed that the race chairs could make the trophy presentation happen but the logistics would be difficult to manage. There was a suggestion to present blank trophies and make plaques for them later. Anna then stepped in and suggested moving this discussion into an email to be planned out. There will not be a kart enduro race in March.
- Flagging and Communications Radios: Ben Tyler gave an update on the F&C equipment, noting that we currently have 6 radios that are bad and not working. The cost to repair each radio is $275, where as a new radio is $325 from our usual supplier. Ben recommended new radios and said he would need 10 new radios before the April Super Tour event. Motion to approve Ben purchasing 10 new radios (Crissman / Fouse). Approved. Sam asked Ben to send him the bill, and Ben noted that they can bill the Region directly. Al said he could pick the new radios up and deliver them to VIR. Ben then noted that he will need new arrow boards and will work with Sam to get them. Ben also mentioned that he is still planning to purchase more substantial bags for our headsets, something that was approved by the Board last year. Ben also noted that the Region may need to purchase new flags for the new station at 17A that has been added by VIR.
- Grid Update: Sam Fouse spoke up about needing a number of cones for Grid, as VIR has removed the cover from the Grid area which means there are no numbers for the grid spots. Kit Williams has donated cones from the Solo program for this, which Sam will get from Stepen Miller. The Solo program does not need the cones back at any time. The cones will need to be numbered in some way before our March race.
- April Super Tour: Anna said the planning for the April Super Tour is well under way and the Supps are being written, however they will need to be approved by the Stewards before they can be official. The National stewards have insisted that we will not be displaying a white flag for station identification and have demanded that we display double yellow flags until station 12, and then display a green flag. This is an issue that dates back several years and is a constant source of tension between the stewards and the Region. Ben Tyler as flag chief was less than pleased, but Anna said they could not fight this at this time. Sam Fouse said he has met with VIR to discuss the load in procedure. This is still being planned and organized, but we have experience with this problem thanks to the lessons we learned in 2019. Being a Runoffs year, a large crowd is expected for the Super Tour. There is another track renter before us so we cannot get into VIR until 6pm on Wednesday before the event. National has expressed concerns about the paddocking for this event but that is to be expected. Mark Senior is working on race chair logistics, and also mentioned that VIR is building a large parking lot outside the main gate that may be ready for use by April. Mark also mentioned having some rooms available at The Lodge but that they would be given back to VIR or to National staff tomorrow.
- Additional: Rob Wilmoth spoke up about the Cars and Coffee events the Region has been supporting through purchasing parking spots. He asked any and all Region members to attend, particularly if they have race cars they could bring. There was additional discussion about Cars and Coffee.
Motion to adjourn at 9:02 pm (Miller / Bodnar). Passed.
After the meeting, the conversation about Cars and Coffee continued. There was also additional talk about the supps for April.
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,