Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
September 18, 2019
Present: Rex Deffenbaugh, Trish Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Jennifer Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Patrick Gilligan, Al Heatwole, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, and James Shanks, attended in person; and via conference call, Heather Clark, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, Stephen Miller, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Anna Crissman did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, September 18th 2019, at the Steel Spatula Burger Company, formerly Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Trisha Deffenbaugh, Jennifer Dover, Patrick Gilligan, Joedy Pennington, and Chris Schimmel, attended as guests in person. Eric Danielsen, Stephen Miller, and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone.
- Motion to approve the August 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 had produced a detailed profit and loss statement for the Region from January first to the present, which she shared with the Board. A copy resides on the Google drive under September. It was very detailed and complete, and since our only remaining event for this year is the time trial at NCCAR in November, it represents almost our full financial picture for the year 2019. Overall, we are up about $68K for the year, having made money in March ($11K), May ($22K), and April ($88K). We of course lost money on the time trial at NCCAR (about $12K) and on the August Test Day ($8.4K). Sam thanked Heather for her excellent work on this 28-page report. Our financial picture at the moment looks rosy, as we have about $173K in the bank, with $123K in our money market (savings) account and $50K in the checking account.
- Runoffs Update. The party we had planned for Friday October 11th is off table. Apparently, Goodyear is planning on sponsoring the social so it is no longer in our best interest to contribute $1,000 to the event. The National Office now wants to rent our pace car, as the one they were hoping to get did not materialize. Sam asked Joedy to explain what he and Ed Wentz had come up with for safety lights for it, as the ones we currently have are not really suitable. They are too wide and do not allow the retractable hardtop to be opened when in place. Joedy explained that he had found some thin light bars of amber LEDs, a 12-inch strip for the front to be mounted behind the rear-view mirror, and a 30-inch set for the rear deck, complete with brackets, which might have to be modified to clear the shark-fin radio antenna. Motion to purchase these safety lights for the pace car, not to exceed $450 (Senior / Deffenbaugh). Passed. Sam noted that he would be charging the National Office for a set of tires as rental for the pace car, and most of the cost of these new safety lights. Chris Schimmel said he would be meeting with the scale certification company at VIR next week, so that was on track. We still need a plan to pick up the 40 fire bottles that WDC Region has agreed to loan us for the duration of the Runoffs. They are stored at Summit Point, and they will not be available until Wednesday immediately preceding the Runoffs, so the timing will be very tight. Sam is looking into asking someone from that area, preferably a prep shop, to transport them for us, because the round trip from here is a two-day affair. Sam is also still working on his schedule for shuttle drivers, because their role has expanded. Additional drivers will be needed to ferry corner workers, and deliver lunches, to the stations. It is not clear at this time whether we will be using VIR’s tram trailers, which are ideal, or just vans, because the National Office is suddenly waffling on providing trucks to tow them. Using just vans will make the loading and unloading very slow.
- 2020 Schedule. Sam initiated a lengthy discussion about our proposed 2020 schedule. VIR has informed us that an August date in 2020 is off the table. In addition, there is bad news from South Carolina Region. Carolina Motorsports Park has been bought by a new owner who promptly gave SCR’s traditional March race date away, offering them only our same weekend as an alternative. That cannot happen because that would put two SARRC races on the same weekend less than 350 miles apart. That would contravene SARRC rules and neither would be successful. Had we gotten a date in August; we would have tried to put a national time trial on our date in March. Then SCR could have raced on their new date and partnered with us on their race weekend at CMP. But a TT at VIR does not look feasible now, since we would lose a SARRC weekend and even a national TT is not mature enough to draw sufficient entries to pay for a weekend at VIR all by itself, even at off-season rates. Our profit-and-loss statement, which Heather Powers just completed, indicates that our expenses at VIR were just over $40K in March. So, we are back to business as usual, unless we can find something creative to do, such as drop the ECR in favor of some TT sessions or hold one on the Patriot course simultaneously. It all hinges on what is financially feasible. Another facet of that issue is that we might have to hire corner workers from VIR to staff a TT. Kit Williams said that the national time trial at CMP, which was the biggest in the country, was short of workers, and Ben Tyler agreed that it was doubtful we would have enough volunteers for an event at VIR. Sam asked that everyone think about how we might proceed in the future and the issue was tabled for further discussion in the future.
- SCCA Foundation “75 for the 75th” Initiative. James pointed out that there was an article in the September issue of SportsCar (Volume 77, Issue No. 9, page 58) about the SCCA Foundation supporting the SCCA Archives at the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) at Watkins Glen. They have an initiative called “75 for the 75th” in which they are soliciting 75 members or Regions each to donate $1000 to the Foundation for the purpose of supporting the Archives. Those who do receive a commemorative “gold” coin and special mention at the Foundation, as well as a seat at a special dinner at the 2020 SCCA National Convention in Las Vegas. James said he thought we should support this initative since we were one of the oldest racing Regions in the country and we had sent many items to the Archives in the past. Motion to support the initiative with a gift of $1000 (Shanks / Senior). Passed. Heather Powers asked where she should send the check and James promised to determine that.
- Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. Sam took this opportunity to mention that he had sent a deposit to the venue to reserve the banquet hall for our Annual Meeting and Awards dinner. Subsequent e-mails confirm that the event will be held at Shell Island Resort, 2700 N. Lumina Avenue, Wrightsville Beach, NC on Jan. 11, 2020; from 5:00 until 10:00 PM in the Oceanview Ballroom. A block of 20 guest rooms will be available for January 10th & 11th at $99 per night.
- SCCA National Financial Report. James also brought to everyone’s attention that the same issue of SportsCar (Volume 77, Issue No. 9, page 8) contained an article on the SCCA’s Financial Report. The reason he brought it up is that while the Club was up just under a million dollars ($922K) in 2017, they lost $1.2M last year, which might explain why they are being so tight on expenses for the Runoffs. In the discussion that followed, several members wondered what was the reason for this rather staggering loss, and James said that it wasn’t exactly clear in the article. Mark Senior and Nikki Edwards both did a quick read and concluded that the reasons given were investment losses and the restructuring of SCCA Pro Racing and SCCA Enterprises into SCCA Ventures, which the National Office believes will result in better control of the finances on the pro side of the house going forward. In any case, it was noted that, while significantly smaller, NC Region seems to have a better handle on its finances than the National Office does.
- TT Report: November TT at NCCAR. Stephen Miller said that we should send out another e-mail ad before the Runoffs, urging more drivers to sign up. Bruce noted that we have only 6 so far, and two corner workers. He said he would be happy to send out the ad if someone would help with content, and Sam asked Stephen to do that. Sam also noted that Heyward Wagner had said that with the addition of water-filled barriers in strategic locations, we could run the course in both directions, a feature called “dual rotation”, which Sam thinks should make our event more attractive and should be highlighted in the ad. Stephen agreed to help Bruce with the e-mail and he added that he had been in contact with Sam True, track manager at NCCAR, who was working on obtaining the requisite number of water-filled barriers. The ad should go out next week.
- Solo II Nationals Result in Another NCR National Champion. Kit Williams spoke up and said that he had attended the Solo II Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska, and that it was an awesome event. He noted that once again, North Carolina Region has a Solo II National Champion. Winning her fourth (!) National Championship, in Solo Spec Coupe Ladies this time, is Jennifer Bedell. James asked Kit to prepare something for Bruce to put on the web site, announcing this remarkable achievement, and Kit agreed to do so.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for August 2019 posted on the Google drive.
Motion to adjourn at 9:02 PM (Senior / Powers). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks