Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
November 17, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Eric Danielsen, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Stephen Miller, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Paul Spencer, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams, all attended via Zoom video conference.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at 7:31 PM, on Wednesday, November 17th
- John Bodnar, Eric Danielsen, Chris Schimmel, and Ben Tyler, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the October 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 Sam Fouse read aloud an e-mail with the bank balances as of this meeting, which he sent in advance to Secretary James Shanks. Sam said that he has been working on a year-end profit and loss statement which he plans to share later, though he believes that our cash flow for the year is positive. August really hurt us, he added, since at the end of May we were up about 38 percent more for the year than we are now.
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.
Chapter and Committee Reports:
There were no written reports. Kit said that the Cape Fear Chapter met but he had nothing to report. As for the recent pair of autocrosses at Cherry Point, the numbers were well below normal, but they made them happen anyway. Sunday’s turnout, Kit said, was only about 30 drivers, which is an historic low, he said, going back at least 10 years. Mark Senior spoke up and added that he had attended on Saturday and that the event was first-rate, despite the low turnout. Mark also said that the Triangle Chapter met in person and about 12 or 13 people attended, which is smaller than usual. They watched an interesting YouTube video about the 1963 racing season in Great Britain, which featured some famous drivers and some amazing racing, from back in the days when guardrails and seatbelts were optional. Bruce added that no one from the meeting logged into Zoom, and Mark replied that the people he has been talking to have indicated that a hybrid Zoom and in-person meeting doesn’t work very well. Mark further added that he is still looking for someone to take over as Triangle Chapter Coordinator for next year. Cameron reported that the West Chapter also met live, at Sarah’s Kabob Shop in Greensboro, and 11 people attended. They discussed the new Enduro rules a lot, he said, since Lee Hill, former Chairman of the SCCA Board was there, and he is currently on the Enduro Racing Board. They also talked about IT tires, and holding events at “the Rock” (the old North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham). He told folks at the meeting what we had learned from Ben Tyler’s recent visit – that it was not up to snuff yet – but that it was on our radar for the future should things improve.
- Awards Banquet Update. Anna reported that Elizabeth Severt, who was looking for a venue, had not found one yet; and she commented that it was good that we had a backup plan of doing a Zoom-only event, like we did last year, as well as the option of doing something outside under a tent at Al Heatwole’ s place, which he had offered last month. Anna concluded by saying that she thought we had about a month before we would have to decide on one or another option. She also added that since SEDIV was now postponed until the 19th and 20th of February 2022, we actually had more time to pull this off. After discussion, she appointed Justin Deffenbaugh as chairman of the Awards Committee, which consists of the Chapter Coordinators and Members-at-Large, and she directed James to produce a short document on how awards were selected in the past and send it out to the Awards Committee members this week.
- Board of Directors Nominations. James reported that he had received completed nominations for Anna for RE, for Kit for Secretary, and for Stephen Miller and John Bodnar as Members-at-Large. In response to a question from Sam, Kit said no one had yet stepped up to take over as Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator, but that he was not worried about that. It would work itself out, he said.
- August 2022 and VIR Event Schedule. Anna reported that Eric Prill has offered us an SCCA Enduro for our August weekend at VIR, August 6 – 7, but we have to let them know whether we accept it or not. We do not have to worry about Friday, August 5th, because VIR has already rented that day to some other group, Track Advantage, which wants to hold an SCCA test day on that date, no matter what we do with the rest of the weekend. Furthermore, the way it works is that the National Office will indemnify us against any losses, should the event not do well, and split the profits with us if it makes money; a win all the way around as Treasurer Sam Fouse noted. The proposed format is 2 eight-hours races on Saturday and Sunday. It is not clear at this time whether they will rent flaggers from VIR or have us try to recruit SCCA flaggers to participate. Motion to accept National’s offer to hold an SCCA Enduro as outlined by them on August 6th and 7th at VIR (Crissman / Fouse). The vote on this motion was interrupted after it was begun because there was more discussion, a lengthy and tumultuous discussion about what was to happen on our other dates at VIR. Justin was concerned about how to explain this Enduro decision to our drivers who had expressed disappointment at there not being 3 SARRC weekends at VIR this past year. Sam answered that it was because we lost $12K on the SARRC we held last August, and barely had enough flaggers to make it happen. Justin accepted that rationale but wants us to craft a letter to our drivers to explain our position. Others agreed. Then it was revealed that Road Atlanta had moved Atlanta Region’s Super Tour, which was traditionally the week before our March Regional, to right on top of it, March 12th and 13th. Atlanta Region was in negotiations with the track to move it back to its traditional weekend, but it was doubtful that this would occur. This means we would be competing for drivers and workers on the same weekend. If the two events remain on the same weekend. That left us with four possible outcomes for our March date. We could (1) keep is as a SARRC event and hope Atlanta could get the date moved back, or (2) we could ask VIR whether we could change our date with another renter, or (3) we could give the March date to the National Time Trial Program and partner with South Carolina Region for a March race at CMP as we did this past year, or (4) we could just forge ahead with our SARRC event on the same date as Atlanta’s Majors and just steel ourselves for the inevitable loss of revenue that would entail. Mark sent an e-mail to VIR raising the possibility of Option 2. In the end, we decided to wait on making a decision about March. Several members then wanted to postpone the decision to accept the National Office’s offer of an Enduro in August for two weeks in case we ultimately decided on Option 3, so that we could still have at least two SARRC weekends at VIR. But Sam and others felt that we could not wait that long. Kit then called for the question on Anna’s motion to accept the offer, but she decided to table it, siding with those who wanted to wait on the decision. More discussion ensued, and it was pointed out that the National Office needed to firm up and publish a schedule as soon as possible. Sam reiterated that part of National’s offer was to cover any losses. Kit then moved that we accept their offer, effectively reintroducing Anna’s prior motion. Motion to accept National’s offer of hosting an SCCA National Enduro, under the terms they had proposed, on August 6 –7 (Williams / Conover). Passed, with two members voting nay. All that remains is for Atlanta to get back to us about what date they finally end up in March, and then we will consider formally what we will do.
- Joint Ventures with THSCC. Tarheel Sports Car Club (THSCC) has been squeezed out of running autocrosses at NCCAR, since NCCAR is now in a position to demand only full-weekend, as opposed to one-day, rentals. THSCC’s track event group is in the same position with VIR, since they cannot afford to host a three-day weekend at VIR. Mark has been approached by both groups in THSCC to see whether they might be able to partner with us to share a facility over some weekend. He is seeking Board approval to enter into talks with them about it. In response to questions by several members, it was clarified that we would have to make all of the participants SCCA weekend-only members at least, in order to satisfy our insurance and sanctioning requirements. Kit asserted that this is something we do for Solo as a matter of course and that we just build the cost ($10 to SCCA National) into the entry fee and make people sign the paperwork at Registration if they need to. That makes it almost seamless. By consensus, the Board agreed that Mark should open a dialog with THSCC to see what they propose. He will then come back to us so that we can discuss and vote on anything they come up with.
- Hospitality Tent Walls. Sam reported that he had been in contact with the Canadian supplier of our Hospitality tent and had determined that we could get a two-piece back, sides, and roll-up panels for the front for the tent, plus a mounting kit including floor rails, for a mere $665 (US). He proposed that we do this because recent events had shown that when the tent is erected unprotected by adjacent motorhomes and other vehicles, it is much more prone to interference by wind and rain. The issue of whether or not we should budget for a trailer came up, but it was decided that buying a trailer at this time was not feasible. John wanted to know whether we needed additional anchors as well, but it was decided those where not necessary. Motion to purchase this kit for up to $750, including shipping and taxes (Shanks / Senior). Passed.
- Disposing of Traffic Lights. Sam relayed an offer from John Lindquist to take all of the traffic lights we had in the Speed Suite, which were formerly used in our 13-hour Enduro, to auction, provided that the proceeds would go to the NCR Scholarship Fund. Al asked whether we might get more money for them from a scrap yard, if their housings were metallic. In the end, it was determined that it would be up to John to figure out how to get the best price for them, since the Scholarship Fund was his responsibility. Motion to allow John Lindquist to take possession of the traffic lights in the Speed Suite, and dispose of them the best way he can in order to generate maximum revenue for the Scholarship Fund (Fouse / B. Deffenbaugh). Passed. In response to a question by Sam, Blair and Justin indicated that there were additional light bodies and containers of spare parts on their property in Moncure, but no decision was reached about what to do with those.
- Four-Wheeler ATV Maintenance. Justin Deffenbaugh volunteered to undertake yearly maintenance of the four-wheeler used by F&C, a task formerly done by his late father, Rex. Under questioning, Ben opined that it probably needed all the fluids changed, especially the oil, and that the transmission should be looked at, as well as the tires. Justin agreed to take care of all of it.
Motion to adjourn at 9:20 PM (Senior / J. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
There were no additional nominations received for the upcoming election.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks.
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.