BoD Minutes – June 2022
NCR Board Meeting, June 15th, 2022
Attendees: Kit Williams, James Shanks, Bruce Dover, Cameron Conover, Stephen Miller, Anna Crissman, Al Heatwole, John Bodnar, Paul Spencer, Blair Deffenbaugh
Guests: Chuck Stanley, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, Libby and Frank Killian, Heather Powers, Rob Wilmoth, Justin Deffenbaugh, Ben Tyler
- The meeting was called to order at 7:31 pm by Anna Crissman
- Motion to approve the minutes from the May Board meeting (Shanks / Williams). Approved.
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 had emailed a copy of the financial report to the secretary Kit Williams. Sam was out of town and was unable to attend the meeting.
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
James Shanks had posted a Triangle Chapter report to the Google Drive, and said the chapter had met with about 11 people. They mainly watched a Spec Miata race video from the VIR Super Tour, and then discussed recent news and updates about Rockingham Speedway. Cameron Conover reported that the West Chapter had met with about 6 people and said the lower attendance was likely due to the fact that this month’s calendar had made the date of the meeting slightly difficult as it was the third week of the month but only the second Tuesday. They spent most of their meeting looking at individual driver’s paths to qualify for the Runoffs this year. Kit Williams hosted the Cape Fear Chapter meeting as they are still without a coordinator. Kit said the group of four that met were basically the Solo Board and they spent the meeting going over details for the autocross that took place the weekend after the meeting.
As those autocross events had just happened, Kit gave a brief overview of the weekend and how those events ran. He said it was a good weekend with a good number of drivers, and no major incidents occurred, though there were a multitude of small problems that the Solo team had to solve throughout both days. Mark Senior had attended as a driver and said he thought we put on a good weekend, and other than a timing issue on Sunday, he felt both days ran well.
- Time Trial Debrief: Anna started a review of our Time Trial event at NCCAR, which took place June 3rd-5th. She said it had been a good event and the only issue we had was a lower than normal number of drivers in attendance. Stephen Miller agreed and said we had 43 total drivers over the weekend, which is lower than what we had seen last year, but given the current climate and costs to go racing, we were happy to have the drivers we had. Stephen said we had no major incidents throughout the weekend and the weather was kind to us, if a bit hot at times. The good weather allowed us to have a Track Sprint, something we were not able to do last year due to rain or high winds. Stephen remarked that NCCAR is a good facility for our time trial program, and the track manager Sam True is continuing work to improve it. For this event, they had added a new flag station and built covered, raised platforms at all of the stations except Start, and we have been told that Start will have been moved and improved before our next event in October. We also saw the track staff adding a new paddock space next to the track during our event. Stephen estimated that we likely came out just slightly under breaking even for this event as far as funds go, but felt it was still a good event. There were more remarks that the volunteers who worked this event did a fantastic job and made everything possible, and that we are working to get registration open for the next TT as soon as we can. Rob Wilmoth said he heard good feedback about the event from multiple drivers and he felt we did a good job executing our schedule. James brought up that at the end of the day Saturday, one of our TT staff did something above and beyond for one of our competitors. John Bodnar had towed one of the drivers’ broken vehicles back to the driver’s house almost 2 hours away with his personal truck. Everyone in the meeting agreed that this went well beyond what anyone would expect from the staff at any racing event and we all thanked John for what he did, both by helping that competitor and for his work in Timing for the TT. Kit said he had two items he wanted to mention briefly. He noted that we need to ensure we have a dedicated coach for each run group. We had two drivers in the event, Rob Wilmoth and Lee Hill, step up and work as coaches when they were not driving, however during the Advanced driver group there was no coach available. This meant Kit, who was working as flag chief and race control, had to be in the pit lane working as a coach for the Advanced group. The group agreed that having a coach during each session should be a priority for us. Kit then mentioned an issue where several drivers ran a black flag all near the end of the day on Sunday. Anna and Stephen both agreed that we will need to look at ways to prevent this from happening again.
- Rockingham Information: Anna said she and several others on the Rockingham team had a conference call with the track manager Justin earlier that day to discuss the contract for our planned event on September 10th and 11th. They went over several issues with the details on the contract and worked out all of the group’s concerns. They then officially signed the contract for the event. The event will be called Jim’s Race, in honor of a Hendrick Motorsports employee who has been diagnosed with ALS. We are the host of the event and it will be a charity event for Racing for ALS. This means that it will not be a typical Time Trial, in that we will not be using the normal SCCA classing. The competitors will all compete with each other to set the fastest lap time, and the only vehicle and driver rules will be safety related rules and requirements. Rob Wilmoth will be the event lead, and Stephen Miller will be the safety steward. Any proceeds from this event above our operating costs will be donated to Racing for ALS. We will need the same amount of workers we normally need to run a Time Trial, including flaggers, grid, timing, coaches, etc. We are hoping for a solid number of drivers and a good event, as this will be our first event at Rockingham in many years and we are looking forward to using the site again in the future, for more TTs and other events, such as autocross or competition driving schools. Stephen noted that the track still needs to be inspected and approved by the SCCA, and he and Heyward Wagner will be visiting the track later this month. Al Heatwole said the track had informed us they will be repaving the track in late September or October and are planning multiple improvements with the repave. Anna mentioned that she is not sure if the track has any wifi or internet, and John Bodnar said if that is the case at our event we can use a mobile hotspot without much difficulty.
- Enduro Planning: Anna started the conversation about the last item of old business, the upcoming SCCA National Enduro at VIR on August 6th-7th. Registration for drivers opened today, and volunteer registration has been open for a few weeks. This event will obviously be different from a normal road racing weekend, but as far as staffing the event goes it would be very similar in several specialties, particularly F & C. Anna said that per her last conversation with Jon Kroelwicz of SCCA National Office, they are considering asking to hire flaggers for this event from VIR rather than use volunteers. Anna noted that this would not be an ideal situation and we would prefer to use SCCA volunteers, but we may not be able to get enough people to sign up in order to guarantee the National Office that we can staff this event fully. While we are renting the track, National is footing the bill for this event, so any costs of paying the track for flaggers would not affect us as a region. It was noted by Ben Tyler that he would expect needing roughly 50 people to fully staff the track safely and allow people to take breaks as needed during the two 8 hour races. Chuck Stanley then added that he was not even aware that registration for workers for this event had opened. Anna said that due to the Enduro program being brand new for the SCCA, it has not been clear exactly what they wanted to happen for this event concerning volunteers and flagging, so the volunteer registration has not been advertised up to this point. Anna noted that there has been and continues to be a lot of uncertainty about how this event will work, and we have not been told what specifically the National Office wants from us as a region. Ben said he had been considering this issue for some time now and he believed that it may be necessary to hire track flaggers, or at the very least, hire a number of flaggers from the track and mix them in with our volunteers. He noted that this will be a busy weekend, as there is also an Indycar race in Tennessee that weekend that he knows several flaggers will be going to. Ben did also mention that hiring track flaggers may give us the opportunity to train volunteers in different areas, or to provide training that would help volunteers upgrade their specialty licenses. Generally, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty about what this event will be and what we will have to do to make it happen. It was noted that if we intend to hire flaggers from VIR, we would need to do so as soon as possible, in order to give them time to organize and find the number of people we would need them to provide. Usually, the track’s flaggers will use our weekends to take vacation time away from the track, as they know that we normally use our own volunteers. Chuck Stanley suggested we reach out to the steward pool and see if we could get any stewards to volunteer to flag this event. If we decide to use only our volunteers, we will need to work hard and recruit as many volunteers as possible for this event, even more than we have been getting for our regional races. Anna noted that this is a complex issue, and more information and less uncertainty would be needed to make a good decision about how we move forward. Kit noted that we had spent considerable time on this subject and that there was still another item on the agenda, so Anna wrapped up the conversation and said more discussion will be needed.
- VIP/Worker Incentive Committee: Anna noted that throughout this year, the Board has had multiple conversations about changing and improving our worker incentive/VIP program. We have discussed changing how much we reimburse our volunteers, what fees or charges we pay for, whether or not we pay for their camping, etc. Anna felt the best way to move forward would be to create a committee to look into the possibilities and options, decide what changes should be made, and then bring those recommendations back to the Board to be voted on. Anna had already nominated Kit Williams for the committee, and Sam Fouse as the Region’s treasurer would be needed to provide information and insight. Anna then asked for more volunteers for the committee, and Ben Tyler said he would join. Anna noted that Chris Severt has volunteered to be on the committee as well. The ultimate goal is to find a way to make our current volunteers feel more appreciated and to help recruit new workers to our events. While no specific time frame was set, the committee will make a detailed plan for the VIP program and get back to the Board with their recommendations.
Motion to Adjourn (Heatwole/Bodnar). Passed at 8:48 pm.
After the Board meeting, there was a closed meeting to discuss a personnel issue.
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, Kit Williams