Raleigh, NC – (NCRSCCA) – The last Triangle Chapter meeting of the year was held at El Rodeo in Raleigh, and it was a good one. Mark Senior supplied in-car video from the cockpit of his Spec Miata at VIR and we had not one, but two, 2012 SARRC Champions in attendance. Chuck Hines took first in ITS after a fierce season-long battle with Jeff Young, who finished second. Chuck was with us but not Jeff, and to hear Chuck tell it, the championship came down to the last lap of the last race of the season – it was that close. Congratulations, Chuck! Well fought, Jeff! The Chapter salutes you both. We also saluted F500 champ Boz Marchi who was present as well. Way to go, Boz!
The business portion was short. Tarheel Cup Administrator Steve Rose thanked all the participants in that new series and he spoke about how he hoped it would be bigger next year, since there was interest by Buccaneer Region in hosting a Tarheel Cup event at one of their races at Roebling Road in 2013. The 2012 season finished in the black by about three hundred dollars, with over twelve hundred being paid out to drivers and eight hundred or so spent on trophies. That wasn’t bad for just two events, Steve noted, and the Chapter agreed by acclimation.
The rest of the Region’s racing program also finished in the black, though final numbers are still being settled, per Treasurer Steve Keadle. It was noted that VIR Operations Manager, Kerrigan Smith, had attended an NCR Board meeting, along with the head of VIR security, Tommy Webb, and “Cowboy”, head of emergency services. That discussion had centered on wrapping up outstanding issues for the year and on smoothing things out for next year. The 2013 VIR contract with the Region was presented at the Chapter meeting as well, and a copy was available for interested members to peruse. The Region’s bill for our five events there in 2013 will be just over $133K for basic rental and track services, excluding food and the extra EV vehicles our events require. That’s up about three per cent from last year. NCR’s track liaison officer, Mark Senior, noted that the only notable regulatory change in the new contract was that VIR’s insurance carrier was going to require long pants and closed-toed shoes in the hot pits. Over time, he said, the contracts had become more and more detailed to prevent misunderstandings about how our events will be conducted, since we are the only organization which supplies all its own workers.
Two upcoming activities were mentioned at the meeting. The first was the annual meeting and awards dinner which will be held in Raleigh at Café Luna, the same site as last year, on Saturday, January 5th. Attendees will be able to sign up shortly on MotorsportsReg.com. The second activity, the annual election of officers, will come before that. This year we will elect the Treasurer, Assistant RE, and two Members at Large, for terms of two years. The current treasurer, Steve Keadle, is running unopposed. Incumbent Assistant RE Sara Snider is being challenged by John Lindquist, who will resign his position as West Chapter Coordinator if elected as ARE. And there are five candidates for the two Member at Large positions; incumbent Rob Gentry is running again, along with Keith Church, Blair Deffenbaugh, Sam Fouse, and Buddy Matthews. Blair Deffenbaugh took the opportunity to say that while he was the youngest person running, he had grown up in the club and had been an active participant all his life, with a national license in timing and scoring and now a regional competition license. He stressed the importance of electing active participants to governing positions, and the rest of the Chapter agreed.
Election ballots will be arriving in the mail later this month. Blair “Pepe” Stitt took pains to explain the procedure, which requires members to mark the ballot anonymously but seal them into an envelope with their signature and member number visible on the outside. Multiple ballots may be enclosed in one envelope, but then the signatures of all those voting and their member numbers must appear on the envelope. This allows the Elections Committee to certify that all those voting are indeed members before the ballots are counted, and since the ballots and envelopes are separated by a different group than those who tally them, no one knows who voted for whom. This process is described in the Region bylaws.
We closed the meeting first by “electing” (railroading?) me, James Shanks, as Triangle Chapter Coordinator. This was no surprise since there were no other candidates for the office. Still, the vote by acclimation was led by the former Chapter Coordinator, Pepe Stitt, who perhaps wanted to make sure there was no chance the office would fall back to him if we forgot to elect Shanks again. Relax, Pepe. I’ll be happy to do it!
And finally we closed with round-robin introductions because Jim Wheldon brought an old friend of his, Lad Carrington, to visit us. A former radio personality, accomplished author and poet, and devotee of motorcycle riding, performance driving and flying, Lad fit right in and we hope to see more of him at VIR next season. Welcome, Lad! We also learned some interesting things about each other. Sam Fouse said he and Dan Robson joined within a month of each other back in 1976. And Dan said he had been to the RunOffs 28 times. Wow!
There won’t be a Triangle Chapter meeting in January, since the annual meeting is the same week. But why not make plans to join us in February of 2013, on the 6th, and see what else you can learn? We’ll be back at El Rodeo again and ready to start the new season. I’ll see you there…or at the races!