BoD Minutes – May 18, 2016
Present: Sam Fouse, Mike Spencer, James Shanks, Steve Keadle, Mark Senior, Buddy Matthews, Bruce Dover, and via conference call, Heather Clark and Eric Danielsen. John Byers, Blair Deffenbaugh, Rex Deffenbaugh, John Lindquist and Morgan Mehler were not present.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by Sam Fouse, RE, at 7:24 pm, on Wednesday, May 18th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- The only guest in attendance was Marketing Committee Chair Eric Danielsen via phone.
- The April minutes were corrected by Sam Fouse to note that the Majors fee paid on behalf of the driver who requested a refund was $125, not $150. Motion to approve the minutes as corrected (Fouse/Spencer). Passed.
Financial Report: Treasurer Steve Keadle was not able to give a full financial report at this time. He was able to state that our cash in the bank to date was healthy again.
- SARRC/MARRS Wrap-up: Sam Fouse reported that he had posted a spreadsheet on the Google drive comparing our race results through the end of May, in terms of the number of drivers, entries, volunteers, and revenue. It compared this year with the prior years, 2013 through 2015. Sam stressed that overall we were getting more revenue per entry than in the past, thanks to our adjusted fee schedule, and that this combined with good weather had made us very successful. Bringing our fees in line with other venues had not cost us entries; in fact, our actual number of entries was up across the board. For the SARRC/MARRS, for example, there were 490 actual race entries for the weekend, which exceeded our projections, though not by much. Sam also stressed that getting a copy of the bill at the track from Bruce Dover, our Office Manager, before it was paid allowed both him and Treasurer Steve Keadle to make sure it was accurate before any money changed hands. Mr. Keadle agreed. That practice also allowed Sam to be able to determine whether or not we made money on the event prior to Steve receiving all the minor bills.
- Refund Requests and Policy: Bruce Dover reported that there were just two refund requests other than the no-shows, and both were mechanical, for drivers who raced on Saturday and could not continue on Sunday due to breakage. They were to be given full refunds for their races on Sunday, since we had recovered our fixed costs from their entries on Saturday. Sam asked the Refund Committee members present (Spencer and Senior) whether they had reached a consensus on a policy yet. Mark Senior reported that he had done some research but wanted to do more. WDC Region gives no refund if the car is ever on track for the weekend. CCR and Buccaneer only put in their Supps that they give full refunds if one withdraws in advance. Other Regions do not seem to announce their policy in writing, so Mark wanted to see whether he could get them to tell him in response to a direct question. Sam agreed to table the issue until Mark’s research was complete, but stressed again that what he wanted most was consistency so that we could publish our policy in our Supps and stop considering refunds on a case-by-case basis at Board meetings.
- Picnic: Buddy Matthews reported the picnic location was undetermined at this time, since his committee was informed by the Greensboro Parks Department that they were required to have reserved a shelter last year, even though they did not have to pay until this year. They are pursuing the Gibsonville site again. Mike Spencer offered to contact VIR and see whether we could get a good deal on using their shelter in July while track repaving was going on. This would likely move the picnic date forward to sometime in July, from its currently scheduled date of Saturday, August 6th. Buddy and the other Board members agreed informally that this was worth pursuing.
- NCR Booth at VIR on IMSA race weekend: This item was postponed since John Lindquist was not present.
- Food Service at VIR: Steve Keadle asserted that the $11 lunch cost per worker meal at VIR was too high and that we should try to find a cheaper alternative. It was his opinion that pizza or sandwiches could be brought in for a less amount even after paying the $500 fee to VIR for the privilege of providing our own food. Mike Spencer offered to contact the Shriners, who have a crew expressly for providing meals at outdoor events, with the proceeds going to charity. The Board members informally urged him to do so. Mark Senior pointed out that requiring the Race Chair to figure out how to save money on food using outside vendors would make their job just that much harder, as they would have to research the options well in advance. He also commented that there is a risk that an outside vendor might not make it to the track on time and that there is a need to ensure that any vendor can get all the volunteers fed and back in position on time. What we have is working, he said, and saving a buck or two per worker lunch may not be worth the aggravation.
- Insurance Claims on VIR charges: Bruce Dover reported that he had submitted our track damage bill from the Majors event to K&K, the SCCA insurer, and that they have covered all but $30 for oil dry, sending us a check for $1675. The Board members applauded this cost recovery. It was determined that the damages in March had been confined to one broken tire bundle and were too small to require reimbursement. Bruce said he would be submitting a similar request to K&K for the $1345 damage bill we had from VIR in May for the SARRC/MARRS event and that he expected most would be covered,
- SEDIV Fees: Bruce reported that we paid SEDIV $4020 in fees for the Majors. This is alleged to go for year-end trophies, but this seemed like a lot considering that the Majors are a national and not a divisional undertaking. Sam said he would bring this issue up at the mid-year meeting in Atlanta and try to get some kind of accounting as to where this money was going.
- Steward Issues at the SARRC/MARRS: It was reported that a Steward made the unilateral decision to shorten both the Tarheel Cup and the Carolina Cup races on Saturday, even though there was no need to do so. Sam reported that he had OK’d shortening the ECR, but nothing else. Mike Spencer was adamant that since the TCPS and CCPS races were much shorter and ran concurrently, there was no need to shorten them as well, and the sooner-than-expected end of the race for them caused considerable problems for the drivers and for Timing and Scoring as well. The result was massive confusion, with some drivers staying out well past their allotted time, and the results being delayed until Sunday because it took so long to sort out who finished where. The consensus of the discussion was that the Stewards should be told not to automatically shorten the already-shorter concurrent races just because the ECR was being shortened. Mike said that they should be told that there was probably never a good reason to shorten one of the concurrent races. There was also the suggestion that we should adopt a new or better flag to signal the end of the concurrent Cup races. This was referred to the Comp Board. The discussion also brought up the fact that holds on results due to protests and steward actions were not being communicated to the Hospitality tent, so that drivers looking for results were in the dark about why they were not ready. James Shanks vowed to do a better job of finding out when and why results were delayed and then communicating that to the drivers. Steve Keadle agreed that he would personally try to notify the folks in the tent when he was operating. Sam suggested that they place a “results on hold due to ongoing actions” placard in the result box so everyone would know when they were late.
- Trophy Issues at the SARRC/MARRS: Trophies, per our Supps, are awarded on provisional results, not final ones, because otherwise, they would likely not be ready before the event was over. This causes a problem when result are delayed because the wrong driver may have already received a trophy and the right driver may have left the track before results are final, leaving us with many trophies to mail or otherwise deliver. The board agreed that we should not try to recover trophies given in error and should just direct F&S to make a correct one and present it to the rightful recipient. In addition, Sam will be taking unclaimed trophies for MARRS drivers from the SARRC/MARRS event to the Summit Point event in June and hand those off to Robert Crawford of DC Region to deal with. That leaves us with distributing about twenty trophies to SARRC drivers. The consensus of the Board was that we could absorb the cost of mailing these at US postal flat rates of six to thirteen dollars each, depending on size. Bruce will mail those. The Board also agreed that in the future the Hospitality tent will continue collect unclaimed trophies at the conclusion of an event and that Bruce Dover, as office manager, will mail them.
- Qualifying Grid Incident for Spec Miata (referred to Comp Board): There was a pedestrian struck in the paddock, but not seriously injured, by a Spec Miata “racing” through the paddock to get a spot near the front of the grid for qualifying. This seems to be a result of the field for Miatas being so large. Many competitors are eager to be out ahead of all the others. Mike Spencer said he would like to see a rule in our Supps stating that when a race group contains more than half the number of cars which can safely be contained on track together, per SCCA standards, that we will assign grid positions. At VIR, which can accommodate about 82 cars per SCCA, before requiring a waiver, this would be more than 41 cars. It was also suggested that we add that assigning of grid positions for qualifying may be imposed at any time by decision of the stewards. Mike will carry this forward to the next Comp Board meeting, which he hopes to hold in the coming week.
- Enduro Class Structure and Preliminary Budget for 2016: Sam Fouse announced that he had prepared and posted on the Google drive in the Enduro folder a “zero-based” budget for the 13-8 hour enduro. It has us making about $127 total. But it’s based on us raising entry fees to $795 (from $695) for 8-hour cars and to $1095 (from $895) for 13-hour cars, as well as attracting ten more entries, 5 in each category. We also have to tighten our belt, reducing worker credits from 3 days’ worth to just two and reducing our total food expenditure to just $5000 for the weekend. There is still room for a worker gift, however. The consensus of the Board and Eric Danielsen, who is a flag chief as well as Marketing Chair, was that we should be able to make this work. He promised to get the Marketing Committee started on some creative ads for that event and to get the volunteers talking about how to live within this budget. Sam also pointed out that to control trophy costs and to help bring us in line with Southern New Jersey Region’s “Devil in the Dark” enduro, we would have to adopt their class structure, which combines all our classes into just 5 for purposes of this event. The Board agreed by acclamation that this should be done. Sam then directed Mike Spencer to see to it that the SEDIV-only classes be added to that structure and take it before the Comp Board.
- Requisition and Approval to Purchase 10×20 tent: Sam asked the Board to approve the expenditure of about $1000 to purchase a 10×20 EZ-Up-like tent to replace his personal tent that we have bene using as the Hospitality tent. This is a very reasonable price, Sam said. He had investigated getting it customized with our logo but this would raise the cost by fifty percent and make us more vulnerable should it become damaged and need to be replaced. Banners were cheaper. Motion (Spencer/Senior) to purchase this tent. Passed.
Chapter Reports: No reports were given. We have agreed that these will be written and posted to the Google drive in advance for all the Board members to read. Only the West Chapter report had been posted as of this meeting, and it was rather late.
Committee Reports: Due to the lateness of the hour, committee reports without significant information were skipped.
- Membership: Sam Fouse reported that he had attended the funeral of Jack Moody, who had been a very active member of the Region in the 1970s and 80s. He pointed out that the Bulletin archive on our website had allowed him to find articles on Jack and his accomplishments back in the day. For example, Jack finished 6th in the Runoffs in a showroom stock Saab in 1979 and also became NC Region Treasurer that year, which was the first year we raced at Rockingham. Sam promised he would be doing an article for the web site about Jack, comparing how things were then and now cost-wise, perhaps as part of an upcoming RE report.
- Marketing. Eric Danielsen reported that Bruce Dover had volunteered to be Bulletin editor once again, only this time for our planned revival of that publication as an e-mail entity. The plan is to tease the reader with just enough information to click on a link that will take him to the rest of the article, which will be on our website.
Motion to adjourn at 9:00 PM (Spencer/Shanks) Passed.