NCR SCCA Board Meeting
May 18th, 2022
Attendees: Kit Williams, Bruce Dover, James Shanks, John Bodnar, Al Heatwole, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman; Stephen Miller and Sam Fouse joined late; Blair Deffenbaugh joined very late
Guests: Chris Schimmel, Libby and Frank Killian, Ben Tyler, Mark Senior, Megan Tyler; Henry Lehmann from Blue Ridge Region joined very late for his agenda item
- The meeting was called to order at 7:34 pm by Anna Crissman, NCR R.E.
- Motion to approve the minutes from the April meeting (Heatwole / Shanks). 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 sent the financial report to secretary Kit Williams.
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.
Cameron Conover said the West chapter had met in person and had roughly 9 people attend. He said they went over the minutes from the previous Board meeting and discussed the May race at VIR, as their meeting happened the week after the race. James Shanks said the Triangle chapter had met just before the May race and had somewhat light attendance. James did say they had one new member attend, and during the meeting they were able to convince them to attend the race at VIR and volunteer. Kit Williams said he had hosted the Cape Fear Chapter meeting again and had two attendees. Kit has continued to host the Cape Fear meetings despite no longer being the coordinator, as there has not been a person in that role in an official capacity since December 2021.
- TT Event Planning – Stephen Miller discussed the upcoming Time Trial at NCCAR on June 4th and 5th. At the time of this meeting, we had 17 drivers signed up to attend, most for both days but some for only a single day. Stephen noted that we had most of the worker positions filled, except for flaggers. These numbers are very short of our normal TT registration numbers, and while we are still 16 days away from the event, Stephen noted that this number is well short of our break even number for this event. It was noted that as a weather forecast becomes available, we are likely to get a number of late registrations in the last week or so before the event, which is what normally happens. We discussed that the equipment needed to run the event has been staged at the VIR Speed Suite and it has been arranged to be brought to NCCAR, although Bruce and Anna still need to work out what is needed in order to run registration for the event. Stephen expressed concern at how much money the region would be losing for this event and wanted to consider revisiting this issue next week and decide if we should hold the event or not. Anna and Sam brought up that we had already paid for the track rent and that money was already lost, so it would be better to hold the event at a loss than to not have an event and lose money anyway. Kit noted that we would need more flaggers in order to have the event happen at all, and it was agreed we should keep an eye on the registrations over the next week, and that everyone should do what they can to promote this event and try to find as many more drivers as we can.
- May Race Debrief – Mark Senior started a discussion about the race we hosted at VIR earlier this month. Mark brought up several issues we experienced with the staff at VIR during the event. The most serious issue we had was a hard cutoff time for the track, which we were not told about until we started the last race of the day. We went over our normal track rental time and began paying for “overtime” use of the track, which is a normal part of our contract. However, as cars were heading to the green flag for the last race of the day, VIR informed us that the track had to be cold at 6:30 and we could not go beyond that time. This is very different to how overtime has been handled in the past and no hard limit for overtime track use was discussed with us at any time until close to 6:15 pm the day of the event. VIR also then informed us that they would have a hard cutoff on Sunday at 5:30 pm and that we could not go past this time. This forced us to reconfigure our schedule and shorten the time limit for the Sunday races in order to ensure we would not go past the hard cutoff time. Mark and others noted that poor communication from VIR staff almost caused a crisis during our event and felt that the way this event was handled by VIR was suboptimal. The night before the race there were three different tornado warnings in the area, which led to a power outage at the track until late Saturday morning. While we felt this was generally handled adequately by VIR, we did have an issue where we could not use our radios as the signal repeater had not been provided with power, forcing us to start roughly 8 minutes late. There was consensus that these and other issues needed to be brought up with Kerrigan Smith of VIR, however Mark wanted to reach out to Eric Prill of the SCCA National office before doing so. The Board then discussed other issues that came up at the May race, such as having a new track manager who had never performed that job before, needing to include every possible detail in our Exhibit B document going forward, and several issues with the track billing us for damages. Sam said he had gotten a bill for 72 feet of Armco barrier and three tire bundles for a single incident with a single vehicle, but was not provided with a log of the incident or photos of the damage before having to pay that bill. The Board agreed that this and other issues needed more discussion, and moved to continue these talks later or over email.
- March Trophies – James Shanks said while he was finishing up the trophies for the May race, he found about 75 of the SARRC Race Winner foil stickers from the March race that were not handed out. James said this is due to the region having to adapt to a new trophy situation this year, as F & S Photography is no longer doing the trophies and the Hospitality team is having to make everything happen on their own. James wanted to ask the Board if he should mail these stickers out to the race winners, which he estimated would take roughly $35 in postage as well as the effort to find all of the addresses for those people. After a brief discussion it was decided to send an email out to the race winners to see if they wanted those stickers. James said he would work on getting this done.
- Scholarship Update – Sam Fouse said he had been to several of the Scholarship Program school visits which John Lindquist has been organizing and hosting. Sam noted that at one of the visits, an NCR member had towed their racecar almost two hours one way in order to have it there at the high school for the presentation. Sam noted that the scholarship fund is exclusively for the payment of each scholarship, and none of the people volunteering their time and effort were being reimbursed for what they are doing. Sam made a motion to reimburse the scholarship program team as if they were volunteering for us at a VIR race, for the normal VIP amount of $35 per person, per day, per event. At this point, Kit interrupted and asked Sam to clarify if the scholarship program had already awarded a scholarship to a student. Sam said they had already given out the first two scholarships and were planning to give out a third very soon. This was news to everyone on the Board, who were surprised that they had not been informed about the progress of the Scholarship Program. Bruce spoke up and said he had posted this information to our website last week. The Board then looked and found that the information was on our website, but was not easy to find and was not part of the News section. This started a discussion about why the Board was not in the loop on the Scholarship Program, and how we could remedy this in the future. It was also noted that the awarding of the first ever NCR Scholarship should receive more attention than a single webpage buried away on our website. After this discussion, we returned to Sam’s motion, which was proposed to be amended by Stephen Miller. Motion to reimburse the scholarship program team at $35 per event, and that the Scholarship Program keep the Board aware of what events they have and when they give out a scholarship (Fouse / Shanks). Motion passed.
- Blue Ridge Region Track Sprint – Henry Lehmann from Blue Ridge Region SCCA had been working with Stephen Miller and Anna Crissman about a proposal to have a Track Sprint event on the Patriot course at VIR during the August National Enduro. The proposal was for NCR to rent the Patriot course from VIR as part of our event contract, and then BRR would reimburse us for the cost. This would present a significant cost savings to BRR as it would be cheaper for us to rent the course on top of our event than for them to rent it themselves. Henry said BRR would also pay for the extra ambulance that would be needed for this event to happen. This led to a discussion about the specifics of how many ambulances would be needed, as our event requires two, and the Patriot would require one, but would potentially need a backup ambulance as well. It was agreed that we would need to have this clarified by VIR. Ben Tyler said he supported this idea but wanted Henry to reach out to Eric Danielson, who will be the flag chief for the Enduro, to discuss how this would affect the flag chief getting to different stations during the Enduro, especially Turns 8 and 9. Anna said that she supported this idea, but also noted that we needed to have more information before moving forward with it. She is not sure exactly how the process for the Enduro is going to go, as it is an SCCA National event, but we are the hosting region. Anna said she has been waiting for the Enduro team to complete their first event, which was taking place that coming weekend, before asking them for logistics and planning specifics about our event in August. It was noted that the National office may want to have a say about whether the Patriot course could be used during the Enduro. This then started a conversation about the August event which ended up continuing after the meeting had adjourned. At this time, the Board generally felt that we would support Blue Ridge Region running a Track Sprint during the Enduro, but we needed more information before we could go any further.
- Rockingham Update – As the meeting was wrapping up, Al Heatwole gave a quick update on our proposed Time Trial at Rockingham Speedway. Al said that we had secured the date from the track, but they had not sent us a contract yet. He was expecting one early this week and it had yet to be sent by the track. Al said he has been in touch with the track but had no firm date on when we would have a contract in hand. Al mentioned he is planning the next track visit for June 26th, and Stephen mentioned that if all goes according to plan, both he and Heyward Wagner would be there on that date as well.
Motion to adjourn (Fouse / Miller). Approved at 8:56 pm
There was continued conversation after the meeting about various topics. The logistics of the Enduro were discussed at length.
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