Triangle Chapter Report – April 2013

The April Triangle Chapter meeting was held at El Rodeo and was well–attended, but no one had any racing video to share despite it being well after the March Memories event.

Come on, guys!  Show us your stuff!  But judging by the noise level our members found much to talk about.  There was a lot of bench racing going on.  It took several minutes to get the room quiet enough to start our meeting!

The business portion of the meeting went by quickly.  The Region’s Board of Directors had been discussing an unfortunate situation which happened at the March Memories event in which Control ordered a “one and go” to release cars from the grid before the grid marshals and many of the drivers were ready, resulting in an unsafe situation.  Apparently the call for the 5-minute warning was not received and so the 1-minute came as a complete surprise.  After reviewing the facts, the Region’s Board of Directors exonerated the grid folks from any wrong doing, and in fact, praised them for doing the best they could under very difficult circumstances. By unanimous decree the Board backed Grid Chief Clayton Condrey and told him that he was in charge of activities on the grid when he was acting in that capacity, and that he should put safety above all other concerns.  Yay Clayton!  Other issues arising from that event were also discussed such as the gates being unlocked in timely fashion when corner workers and sound control were trying to get to station to get set up. And it was mentioned that Flag Chief David Turner had taken over the job of chief radio tech and had done a great job getting our radios re-banded at discount, which enabled him to purchase some new batteries, antennas, headsets, and a new base station, all while staying considerably under budget. Way to go, David!

Another business item that came up was the rebuilding of that half of the tech barn which houses the scale room.  Member at Large Sam Fouse is spearheading that project and he had done an inspection of the failing structure.  Because it was installed incorrectly, the siding on that building has pulled away from the framing and it will all have to be pulled down and replaced.  Sam reported that he had finally found a saw mill which would custom cut the vertical siding that would be needed to stay in character with the rest of the building.  He’s working on putting together a final estimate and report for the Board of Directors.  It won’t be cheap, but at least this time it will be done right.  Thanks for your hard work, Sam!

On a sad note, returning member Ric Colley recounted the awful time he had at the Summit Point driver’s school he attended.  Apparently the instructor for the open wheel group had little appreciation for new drivers and he hounded them all to go faster and faster every session, threatening them with failure to pass the school if they did not.  But new drivers on cold tires on a very cold track (the air temp was 29 degrees!) do not mix well and nearly half of this guy’s students wrecked their cars in off-course excursions.  Not a good story.  Not at all user-friendly.  And not at all what should happen at an SCCA event.  Sorry, Ric.  We feel your pain.  But at least you passed.  Congratulations!  BTW, Ric still needs crew help.  Anybody wanna go with him to his next school and help see that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again?

And that was about it for our meeting, though there was still much bench racing continuing after it ended.  One item that came up is that Blair “Pepe” Stitt is looking for a cheap, reliable street car from the late 90’s.  Got one you’d like to sell him?  Even if you aren’t interested in talking about the upcoming first-ever Majors event at VIR, which will be in the history books by the time we meet again, you might want to come by and find out what sort of lemon Pepe got stuck with! I’ll see you then, Wednesday, May 1 . . . or at the races!

James Shanks
Triangle Chapter Coordinator


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