Well, hello. It’s been awhile since I’ve written, so let me attempt to catch up:
The SARRC/MARRS, in May, was a great race, and we always enjoy our friends from The DC Region when they come and help us with this race. They contribute both drivers and workers and this has made for a great tradition over the last few years. It makes for a great racing and social event. We hope to continue that event for many years to come.
On July 20th, the SEDIV midyear meeting was held in Atlanta, again, and that’s the time when all the Regions of the Southeast Division get together and sort racing dates for the next season. A number of our dates were up for discussion because of different circumstances. Our traditional March weekend was chosen by SCCA for their National Convention which moves to Charlotte this year. This was cause for us to explore other dates and the only one available was the weekend before – the first weekend in March. Another date in question is the Major’s weekend and that traditional date falls on Easter. That date is still in negotiation with VIR, at this point. Most other weekends will remain on their traditional weekends.
On September 28th, the NCR picnic was held in Gibsonville, NC. This is a revised version of an event held by the Region many years ago and Buddy Matthews spearheaded its return. It proved to be a beautiful day in a great location, and all enjoyed the event. There was discussion by some members back from the Runoffs and many other items. The Region contributed hamburgers and hot dogs and members cooked them on site and all enjoyed them. The new schedule of circulating locations for the Runoffs was discussed. Many were happy that Mid-Ohio was back on the schedule for 2016, but couldn’t see driving to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next year. We hope to grow the picnic next year, so watch the calendar for it to be scheduled.
Our October rush, with back-to-back weekends, is behind us now. The Goblins Go was a great race with wet conditions all day Saturday, but ideal racing conditions on Sunday. Many tight races were enjoyed by both drivers and workers alike. This was our first time to see turn 11 without the Oak Tree and to see the new worker stations and new turn conditions as executed by VIR. It sure is different, and it called for changes to how our flagers work those turns. As expected, our Flag Chiefs made adjustments that allowed for great coverage and safe racing throughout the weekend.
The 13 hour race was fun and successful, as well. Changes were made in the interest of simplifying the rules package and allowing for new technology available in the area of night time car number recognition. We are still working on these rules to improve them. We softened our stance on late registration and that resulted in 4 or 5 more cars competing than may have otherwise. We also used pit spaces past the opening in the pit wall, allowing for more spacious pit spaces, and those changes helped the race as well. We are working to make this race an even larger event and hope to make it easier to enter and compete in in the future.
Between our May and October events improvements were made to our scales room at VIR. In an effort, spearheaded by Board member Sam Fouse, the siding and doors were replaced to improve durability and resistance to the elements. That project was completed on a shoe string budget and the Region has many members to thank for their hard work. The members are too many to name, but include Buddy Matthews, Dwight Cooke, Jerry Pell, and Steve Martin. Thanks to you guys for helping the Region in such a long and grueling effort.
Sam Fouse also spearheaded an effort to develop an email system that the Region can use to notify and promote our events. He worked through SCCA National and a mass email program to arrange a system that can be used to let everyone east of the Mississippi know about our races, in the interest of attracting racers and workers to our Region to participate. A test was executed prior to the 13 hour race and you may have gotten an email as a result. We owe Sam a lot.
Our Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony has been organized by Bibi Tucker again for the third year. It will be held on January 11th at Caffé Luna in Raleigh. The food and facilities have been great there in the past and we look forward to the same this year. It is traditional for hosts and locations to change on a 3 year rotation, so the Region will be looking for someone to perform this duty for next year’s event. Please consider helping the Region by volunteering, if you can. There are many members with experience with the Banquet that will help in any capacity they can. The Region expresses its gratitude to Bibi for going above and beyond reasonable efforts this year, after moving to Winston Salem and into a new and demanding job. Thank you, Bibi.
Lastly, elections are on us again. The positions up for elections this year are Regional Executive, Secretary and two of the four Member-at-Large positions. The Region is indebted to Jerry Pell for his commitment to the Secretary position. He has served many terms and was the anchor for the Board, with clear thinking in times of high tension and always could be relied upon for the solution that made sense, even when it was evident, but not recognized in the heat of the moment. The Board will miss Jerry. Thanks to our departing Members-at-Large for their contributions, also. The only incumbent running is me – for RE. Please consider voting for me, as I hope to continue the improvement of the Region, as in the past.
Rex T. Deffenbaugh
Regional Executive, North Carolina Region, SCCA
W – 919-467-2884 H – 919-542-1457