Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
June 19, 2019
Present: Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Tricia Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Joedy Pennington, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, and James Shanks, attended in person; and via conference call, Heather Powers, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Heather Clark and Morgan Mehler were not present.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, June 19th 2019, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Tricia Deffenbaugh, Joedy Pennington, and Chris Schimmel attended as guests in person. Ben Tyler attended as a guest via telephone.
- Motion to approve the April minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Crissman). Passed.
- Motion to approve the May 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 reported (via text to Sam) that the Region had a total of $141K in our money market (savings) account. The checking account has about $35K at this time, while waiting for our last check to NCCAR, for $9K, to clear. The worker credits and the $2K track deposit have already been paid. Our total cash in the bank, less checks outstanding then, is approximately $176K. Solo has nearly $12K in their account.
- Time Trial at NCCAR in November. Many of the Board members participated at the recent TT at NCCAR (June 15 – 16) and the feeling among them was very positive about going forward with another event in November, despite the low turnout of cars (only 22). It was felt that the late scheduling and lack of advance notice, due to tardy approval of the venue by the National Office, was the biggest factor in the low turnout. Discussions at the facility with track manager Sam True indicated that he was willing to do whatever he could to assure our continued use of the facility. Sam Fouse said he believed that a November date would be hugely successful if we could get approval to run in both directions, and to this end he had contacted both Heyward Wagner and John Krolewicz of the Time Trials program, about that. Their concerns seemed to center on the open space in the pit area (which we had decided not to use) and on formula cars (which we had decided to exclude) having issues with the safety of single-rail guard rail when run in the opposite direction. Sam said he planned to continue discussions with them to try to get approval to run in both directions, but that we should go ahead and schedule the event no matter what happened with those negotiations, as the event was likely to be successful without the “dual direction” feature, and we could always add it later, should it come to pass. Sam added that he would like to see the event scheduled even earlier than the proposed date of November 9th and 10th, if that could be arranged. Kit reported that there was an autocross scheduled for October 19th and 20th at Cherry Point, and Anna added that the ARRC was the weekend before, November 1st through the 3rd, so that would be tight. Motion to schedule a Time Trial event at NCCAR for the weekend of November 9 – 10, or even earlier if possible (Fouse / Senior). This would include a single day option at a cost of over fifty percent of the full weekend, with those drivers choosing it becoming ineligible for a trophy at the end. Passed unanimously.
- Test Day Weekend Preparations. Registration is open in MSR and the Supps are to be circulated tomorrow. Anna told Bruce to send them to Robert Mayes, as usual, and let the stewards decide for themselves who all should see them. Bruce had already prepared an e-mail advertisement for this event in Constant Contact and sent it out to early this morning. It went to over 9200 SCCA-licensed drivers all across the country. As a result, we already had 65 entries as of this meeting, and the total was to be capped at 300 cars per day. Mark Senior had volunteered to be race chair and inquired as to what kind of social we should have, since this was a test day and not a race. After much discussion, it was decided that we should have a worker-centric social, with a full meal for the workers in the air conditioning, upstairs of the Pagoda. It would not be advertised as a social, but no one would be turned away if they should wander in. James asked about Hospitality and worker gifts. After discussion, it was decided that we would pursue obtaining white short-sleeved tee shirts, with a chest pocket and the NCR logo on the front, and with “SCCA” in large letters on the back, along with smaller lettering that read “North Carolina Region”, and possibly the SCCA’s 75th anniversary logo on the sleeve. Sam volunteered to order those. James indicated that he had about 85 color photos of drivers on track that were not picked up at the Spring Sprints, and that he had made the effort to identify each of them. He planned to be checking the list of entrants for the test days and would notify those with unclaimed photos that these could be picked up at the Hospitality tent. Any remaining ones, Anna said, might be sent just to the driver’s Region of Record for distribution by them to keep costs down. Joedy asked about the need for pace car drivers and it was noted that we would be having lunch-time drive-arounds. Bruce added that the charity would be “Lemons of Love” in honor of Alana Long.
- Speed Suite Plans. Sam circulated a plan he had drawn up for his proposed remodeling of the Speed Suite for the Board to approve. This document is now on the Google drive under July 2019 as an addendum to these minutes. He still needs to get permits and obtain contractors for the plumbing and electrical work, who must be licensed in the state of Virginia. He plans to complete those tasks before the next Board meeting in July. He will be on vacation for the two weeks immediately following that Board meeting, but construction could start in earnest after that. Motion to approve the plan and schedule (Shanks / Crissman). Passed.
- 2020 Schedule. The upcoming SEDIV Mid-Year meeting, scheduled for July 13th, is the proximate reason for this discussion. Sam has no plans to go, just as he did not attend the last two years, since he considers this meeting to be waste of resources, but we do owe SEDIV a tentative schedule. Basically, there are two issues to resolve. One is that we continue to lose money in March more often than we break even. And second, we would like to keep the August date we now have at VIR, or perhaps obtain a July one. The general consensus is that we would have better luck with a late-season SARRC rather than an early one. But we don’t really want to give up the March date at VIR, since it is the only one which can be had at the off-season rate, nearly $8K per day cheaper. However, if we have a late-season SARRC, then we cannot also have an early-season one; so if we get a mid-summer SARRC, we will have to find something else to put on the March date. One suggestion was a pair of daylight-only enduros, such as Champ Car does. Another was a Targa-style event, with a time trial, an enduro, and an autocross, perhaps on the VIR skidpad. A time trial at VIR would be a big draw, and would almost certainly be included in the National TT Calendar. Weather would be less of a factor in the projected turnout as well. There was much discussion of the pros and cons of such an event, especially about using the Patriot course for a track attack and the skid pad for an autocross, since it is tight. Motion to submit a proposed schedule to SEDIV with the March date listed as “TDB” (“to be determined”) and to put a SARRC / ECR weekend on the August date (Fouse/ Senior). Passed unanimously. The Spring Sprints Majors and the SARRC / MARRS will remain on their traditional weekends in April and May. Depending on what happens in November, we may still want to go back to NCCAR for another time trial in June of next year, but that we can always add that to the SEDIV calendar after November. It was noted that our April race will fall on Easter this year, so that may affect our turnout, but most Board members did not feel that this would be significant. Any race weekend in April will coincide with Easter eventually. This discussion caused Tricia Deffenbaugh to observe that we had events on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, and that if we cannot avoid this, then we ought to be doing more for the honorees, especially on Mother’s Day. One suggestion was that we offer as door prizes some small number of free spa days at the VIR Spa or free dinners at the Oak Tree tavern. We could arrange to buy those from VIR in advance. Another suggestion for Mother’s Day, which usually falls on the Sunday of the SARRC /MARRS, is to replace the simple “S” and “M” stickers on the rear of each participating car, with larger ones which say something like, “SARRC (or MARRS) Drivers say ‘Thanks, Mom!’”. As Chief of Hospitality, James said that these suggestions fell under his purview and he would see what he could do for next year.
- TT at NCCAR Debrief. This item was deferred in the hope that Stephen Miller might call in, but he was unable to do so. As noted previously, the Board was very favorably impressed by how well the event transpired, despite it being our first time trying to utilize the NCCAR facility. We had issues in the morning of the first day, but these were eventually ironed out. Going forward, one suggestion was that we provide out own EV truck and personnel to supplement Sam True, the track manager, and perhaps that we bring our own supply of oil dry, in order to speed things up if we have a coolant or oil spill such as we had this past weekend. It was also noted that we should have portajohns located near the corner stations. Another need was for a clearly demarcated impound area, for cars to go to immediately after exiting the track. We do not want them to wind up near the food preparation area, since the food (which by all accounts was excellent) was a big contribution to the success of the event. It was also noted that the on-track worker sessions contributed greatly to the fun quotient and kept many of the workers from being bored to tears. The consensus was that these should be expanded. Also, it was noted that we should try to find a way to offer novices a way to go around the track with an instructor beside them if they choose, even though this is not part of the National Time Trial program. Those who had this help reported that they learned a lot and that it greatly reduced their nervousness at being on track for the first time.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for May 2019 posted on the Google drive.
Motion to adjourn at 8:50 PM (Senior / Heatwole) in order to discuss a personnel issue. Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks