The March meeting of the Triangle Chapter was surprisingly well-attended despite it being just three days ahead of the first NCR racing event at VIR. Perhaps because no one has been out of town racing recently, ‘cause they were getting ready for our event, there was no in-car video to share, but the conversation was lively and spirited. We even had a couple of new faces join us, as well as a couple of guys from last time who came back. Returning new member Ric Cooley was there. He’s taking his newly-purchased Citation Formula Ford to Summit Point in two weeks for the driver’s school there, and he is looking for crew help. Any volunteers? And Brandon Miller was there as well, eagerly looking to attend his first racing event over the weekend. Member at Large Wayne Quick, who will be driving an IT-7 over the weekend, signed them up for his crew. Have a good time, guys! See you there!
We had a couple of new attendees as well. Tim Wohlford, a journalist with motorsports experience, was there, as was Marvin Fordham, who seemed eager to attend our next event, since he could not make the March one. Welcome, guys! They were involved in an animated conversation with veteran members Dennis Shaw and Dan Robson when I arrived, and they were soon joined by Member at Large Sam Fouse, so I’m betting they got an earful of how the Club works and how much fun we can have doing this stuff. I’d further bet they’ll be back!
The business meeting portion took only a short time. It was announced that there would be some changes at VIR this season starting with this weekend. Registration was going to be in the Synergy building of the Raceplex for the first time. We are trying to accommodate VIR’s request that all our folks be registered by the time they set foot on VIR property proper. Since we have to rent the Synergy building, this presents an added expense for us, but the Building’s owners have cut us a deal. It remains to be seen how well this new set up will work. Another change is that all pit vehicles must be registered, which requires their owners to purchase a year-long license for $25. And electrical power is no longer automatically provided with every camping permit. Power will require a separate $25 fee for the weekend. And in response to rising costs, the reimbursement paid to volunteers will be raised $5 per day to $35. Sorry, but the cost of racing just keeps going up.
In other news, the Treasurer, Steve Keadle, confirmed that he had met with the Solo folks and straightened out a financial glitch in their reporting. It turns out that they made substantially more money in 2012 than we thought and the Region therefore finished the year with only a tiny loss. And the signature event, the North Carolina Autocross Championship, which NCR hosted for the first time last year, actually turned a tidy profit as well as setting new records for attendance and amenities. Way to go, y’all!
RE Rex Deffenbaugh reported that he had just returned from the National Convention and that there had been lively discussion about the Majors as the path to the RunOffs in 2014. He further indicated that other Regions in the Southeast, who had hosted National races in the past but had not received a Majors event, were hard at work trying to hammer out an alternative path, which would involved a series of specially designated Regional races in 2014. This proposal is evolving, he said, and was not likely to be finalized until the SEDIV mid-year meeting in July when track dates are settled. So fasten your seat belt – it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
By the time you read this, March Memories event will be over. If you weren’t there, or even if you were, why not join us for the April meeting of Triangle Chapter and learn how everyone else did. I’ll see you there on Wednesday, April 3rd … or at the races!