Area 4 Director Update for September, 2021

I headed out to Kansas City, MO for the first, face to face meeting of the Club Racing Board (CRB) and the Board of Directors (BoD).  After months of “meeting” my fellow BoD and CRB members via Zoom conference video connections, it was nice to actually meet them in Kansas City, MO at the end of July.  I also managed to frequent a couple of my favorite BBQ joints while I was there.

The CRB was first on 7/30.  This was an all day meeting was designed to be more strategic and focus on the long-term goals of the CRB.  We discussed data acquisition strategies, class structure, CRB and ad hoc committee membership and Majors run groups among other things.  It was universally agreed that this was a very successful meeting and something to build upon.  Again, so much more is accomplished in person than across a video feed.

The next day was the BoD meeting.  This was also an all day meeting and it was designed to allow us to get updates from the various Boards and SCCA staff.  We heard from Bob Davis (Solo Events Board Chair), Jeff Dahnert (Finance and Administration Director), Heyward Wagner (Director of Rally & Solo), Kristen Poole (Marketing Director), Eric Prill (Vice President of Road Racing) and Peter Keane (CRB Chair) among others.  I made a short presentation about the EVAC and its goals.  Once again, a very productive meeting.  We are scheduled to meet face to face again in early December.

I had a really nice time meeting new folks and seeing old friends.  I drove my EV out there (round trip of 1550 miles for $23.09) and caught up on my backlog of podcasts.  Man, there’s a lot of corn between here and there.

Video Conference Meetings:

  • CRB (8/3): After having met just a few days earlier, the CRB got back to the task of wading through letters sent to the CRB for review.  The results can be seen here.
  • Electrified Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC)(8/11): We reviewed some documents the committee is working on (super secret stuff).  We prepared for the release of these documents over the course of the next few months and making significant announcements about EVs in the SCCA.
  • CRB (8/17): A sub group of us met to discuss the rules process.
  • Rally Cross Board (RXB) (8/24): The group is working hard to prepare for their National Championships.  They’ll be held at the Ross County Fairgrounds near Chillicothe, OH on 10/15-10/17.  I am looking forward to being there and watching the action.  I encourage all of you to do so as well.
  • BoD (8/30): I will report about this next month.

SCCA Events:

  • WMR Major @ Grattan Raceway (8/21, 8/22): I attended this event as an F&C worker and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Yes, it was pretty hot and humid (hey, its August in Michigan) but a very large car count by our standards (160 ish) made for some exciting action on track.  WMR also had its usual GREAT Saturday evening, all attendee dinner catered by Q-It-Up…a fabulous meal.

 

September and October have me going to a Solo at Grattan Raceway on Labor Day (9/6), the Runoffs (9/24 to 10/3) and the RallyX National Championships (10/15 to 10/17).

Please forgive me but I’ll probably be too busy at the Runoffs to publish an October update.  In addition to crewing for several friends in our six driver, six car, seven entry compound at Indy, I’m also working for the data acquisition crew, I’m a reserve pace/safety car driver and I’ll be giving away trophies for three classes in the Winner’s Circle.  November’s update will be EPIC!

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have about any facet of the GLDiv.  I want you to make the most of your membership and I will help out in any way possible to make that happen.

 

Dayle Frame

Area 4 Director Update for August, 2021

Boy oh boy was July busy….and it’s not even done yet.  I write this just before heading off to Kansas City for my first face to face meetings with the Club Racing Board (CRB) and the Board of Directors (BoD).  This will be the third consecutive weekend that I’ve been away from home.  The good news is I have a very understanding wife…..I’m sure I’ll find out what the bad news is once I buy it for her.

Video Conference Meetings:

  • CRB (7/6): Once again, mid-season, pre-Runoffs CRB meetings can be very mundane.  This one was no exception.  In addition to the regular agenda, we had time to discuss agenda items for the meeting in Kansas City on 7/30.
  • Electrified Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC)(7/14): Our meeting had to be cancelled for a variety of minor reasons.
  • BoD (7/26): Our regular Zoom meeting was cancelled as we will be meeting in person on 7/31.  I’ll report about that meeting next month.
  • Rally Cross Board (RXB) (7/27): Due to some staff changes in Topeka, RXB is now under different management.  The group discussed these changes and went over preparations for the National Championships, rules changes for 2022, etc.

SCCA Events:

  • GingerMan Raceway (7/16 to 7/18): Friday was a Track Night in America (TNiA) event and the rest of the weekend was filled with a Time Trials National Tour event.  While I’d attended a couple of the TNiA events before, this one was the first where I was there just to watch and see how the event was put on.  On the other hand, I had never attended a Time Trials event and was really looking forward to seeing how that was operated.  The good news for a guy trying to learn how these events work is that Jon Krolewicz and John Hunter (Time Trials Managers) were both at the track for this one.  They were very helpful and took time to walk me through their system.  They clearly know what they’re doing as the event went off without a hitch and everyone who attended had a great weekend.  This program fills a slot on the racing continuum between Solo and Club Racing.  If you like to tinker with your car and go fast on a race track but not in a “wheel to wheel” format, this is the program for you.
  • Pro Solo @ Toledo Airport (7/23 to 7/25): Once again, I was faced with attending a type of event that I had never been to before.  While I had participated in several Solos over the years, this was a different type of critter.  They use two, mirror image courses and drag strip style start lights (Christmas tree). Drivers run twice on both courses during each of three heats. The best times from each side during the 12 runs determines the winners in each class.

Way back in March, I reached out to Charina Jones (Northwest Ohio Region RE) and asked about attending so I could observe the process.  She pointed me towards Scott Dobler.  He and his team operate out of Topeka.  They schlep the trailers from place to place to support the events.  I arrived Friday afternoon at about 2p, checked in and met with them as they explained the event details.  The event went off pretty well with only a couple of minor hitches.  Scott’s team and the locals from NWOR could not have been more gracious hosts.  They answered all of my questions and were very helpful.  Scott even asked me to hand out the trophies on Sunday.  I will investigate entering one of these next summer.  It looks like too much fun to pass up.

Just as July was very busy with lots of trips, August will be a bit more relaxing.  I only have one trip planned and that’s to Grattan Raceway to support my local club (Western Michigan Region) and work our Major Club Racing event.  After that, September and October have me going to a Solo at Grattan Raceway on Labor Day (9/6), the Runoffs (9/24 to 10/3) and the RallyX National Championships (10/15 to 10/17).

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have about any facet of the GLDiv.  I want you to make the most of your membership and I will help out in any way possible to make that happen.

Dayle Frame

Area 4 Director Update for July, 2021

Much like any other GLDiv member, as we march towards summer, we all get busier.  June was no exception for me.  There were quite a few virtual, video meetings (for the administrative side) and a pair of race events to go to (for the fun side).

Video Conference Meetings:

  • EVAC Charter (5/27):  With so much at stake, the EVAC is “moving” from a sub-committee under the Club Racing Board to a group that reports directly to the BoD.  The moving of the EVAC within the SCCA hierarchy means that the EVAC Committee would need a formalized charter for the committee.  
  • CRB (6/1):  There weren’t any earth-shattering rules changes discussed as this was a fairly routine meeting.  In fact, we were finished early enough to start preparing for the “in person” meeting in Kansas City on 7/30.
  • EVAC E-Spec rules (6/2):  A few of us met to walk through a rule set based on the BSpec class.  Jeff Luckritz and Paul Messier had prepared the document and we drew up some changes paragraph by paragraph.  We would present this to the full committee at the 6/9 meeting.
  • EVAC (6/9):  A few days earlier, I had been told that the committee would be moved within the SCCA organization chart.  We walked through our production-based, car rule set.  There’s still some work to do but we have the basics for a class (or two) for EVs.
  • BoD Board Effects (6/21):  The BoD is moving from one management platform to another, so this meeting was a training session for new software system which manages our votes, agenda, documents, etc.  Kinda boring but a necessary evil so we can do our jobs properly and efficiently.
  • RXB (6/22):  I did not sit in on this meeting as my sinuses went haywire that day and the last thing the RXB needed was a meeting interrupted by a “gesundheit” every 20 seconds.
  • BoD (6/28):  Wowzer…..the shortest BoD meeting during my tenure……47 minutes!  Once again, Jeff Dahnert has done a great job managing our funds.  We had another good month and are well above our projected budget.  We worked on increasing our effectiveness by having a third party review the BoD’s policies and procedures.  We’ll do this over the winter months.  On a down note, we’ve had so many “members behaving badly” incidents lately that we have had to start a program to codify rules to oversee management of the incidents.  We need to protect whistle blowers and victims of bad behavior.  I’m sure I’ll have more on this as the plan gets implemented.  We also worked on an agenda for our “face to face” BoD meeting at the end of July (7/31) in Kansas City.  All of us are really looking forward to seeing each other in person.  Like a lot of you, we’re all sick of video conference calls.

SCCA Events:

  • Road America (6/4 to 6/6):  This was the Chicago Region hosting the June Sprints.  I decided to go to this race at the last minute.  Technically, I was a crew member for a friend, but he had other crew and I would be able spend some time “working” as Director.  In addition to utilizing the weekend to see old friends, I needed to chat with the technical folks from Topeka (Rick Harris, Scott Schmidt) and I would use the trip to meet Peter Jankovskis (Area 5 Director and BoD Chair).  While we’d sat in on a dozen video meetings during my tenure, I had not actually met him in person.  As luck would have it, Mike Cobb (SCCA President) was at Peter’s paddock and the three of us had a nice, long chat (I hadn’t met him either…..two birds, one stone situation).  The good news was my driver won the Saturday race and had a very good weekend.
  • WMR @ Grattan (6/19, 6/20):  This weekend I took off my Director’s hat and put on my F&C worker hat to support the WMR “Original Unrestricted” Double Regional at Grattan Raceway.  There were 80-ish cars in attendance.  This was the first SCCA race since the Waterford Hills Drivers School, so the field was populated with quite a few rookies.  Some damp weather on Saturday made for some interesting track conditions for them to deal with.  Grattan dries quickly, so the surface was changing by the minute.  Sunday was a bit warmer with no rain.  It felt really good to get back to “normal” and work an event.

As I’ve mentioned before, July will be very busy for me.  Personal and SCCA trips will eat up every weekend this month culminating in my first face to face CRB and BoD meetings in Kansas City on 7/29-8/1.  I’m really looking forward to that.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have about any facet of the GLDiv.  I want you to make the most of your membership and I will help out in any way possible to make that happen.

Dayle Frame

Area 4 Director Update for June, 2021

Spring has finally sprung and the GLDiv/SCCA calendar has lots of events on it across all of our programs. I hope your calendar is full of events you can attend this summer.

As you may have heard, the CDC announced dramatic changes in mask policy a couple of weeks ago. With this in mind, the SCCA has amended its Covid-19 protocols and has posted them here. Please review them and make sure to follow all guidelines mandated by your local authorities.

A momentous occasion this past month was when the SCCA issued a press release about the Electrified Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC) on 5/4 via Kerrie Speed’s weekly email blast. This was a big deal as it announced to the general membership about the formation of the committee and signaled the beginning of a new era in SCCA. EVs are the future for personal use and the SCCA will be on the forefront of incorporating them into all levels of every program SCCA has to offer. For me personally, as the committee Chair, EV owner and competitor, I am very proud to be able to help usher the SCCA into this realm.

My schedule has gotten busier because I am now going to events instead of just sitting in on virtual meetings (although I’m still doing a lot of that)…..and the bulk of my calendar hasn’t even started yet. Oy vey! As I mentioned last month, I had a couple of meetings in late April that would carry over to this month’s update.

  • BoD (4/26): As usual, we discussed a wide variety of things. The usual financial update was given by Jeff Dahnert. We’re doing remarkably well considering the latent effects of the pandemic. A proposal was presented by Chris Robbins of how we might change the annual convention. Final decisions have not been made yet but I will notify you once a schedule has been squared away. We’re still in the midst of a swap from one BoD software/website platform to another. The BoD will have to have a few meetings to do some training as the new system is incorporated.
  • RXB (4/27): A National Tour event was held by STL Region that had a few major issues and the RXB was dealing with the aftermath of that event. A survey has been sent out so attendees could voice their opinion about the failings of the event. The RXB also discussed a variety of topics (National Championships, expanding the appeal of RX, Divisional Stewards responsibilities, etc.).
  • CRB (5/4): The CRB reviewed a considerable list of topics and letters. Much like last year, the CRB proposed a waiver for our Canadian members who wished to go to the Runoffs. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, Canadians have difficulty crossing into the US. The BoD approved this as a way to minimize the hurdles they have to clear in order to attend the event at Indy.
  • EVAC (5/12): As this committee gets its “sea legs”, we started to carve a path forward for EVs as well as the safety aspects of incorporating them into the various programs SCCA offers. We’re taking baby steps to make sure that safety is not compromised and that everyone involved (workers, drivers, tracks, etc.) understands the parameters to make events safe and fun.
  • BoD (5/24): We covered a variety of topics. Once again, the financials continue to look good. The Solo Events Board (SEB) reported that several regions applied to participate in the Junior Driver Program (JDP). Three regions have been selected and the pilot program will begin this summer. We also discussed the recently created EVAC and where it should fit in the SCCA hierarchy.
  • RXB (5/25): The RXB meeting continued its practice of working on enhancing the program while also focusing on this season’s events (national championships, etc.). The STL Region event survey results were reviewed. Steps will be taken to ensure a repeat of the event’s shortcomings will not occur again.

In addition to the virtual meetings I attended, I started actually going to races this past month.

  • Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PIRC) trip (4/29-5/2): This trip had it all…..interesting weather (cold, rain and wind while doing the load in on Thursday, cold and windy on Friday, warmer in Saturday and Sunday), great competition and a fantastic (challenging) track layout. I was there crewing for friends and I used the event to catch up with friends. I got to meet Kristen Poole (SCCA Marketing Manager) and Dan Dennehy (Partner Relationship Manager). I’d spoken with Kristen many times but it’s always good to put a face to a voice.
  • GingerMan trip (5/16): As my wife and Mother in Law decided to have some “girl time” together, I decided to bail on that and head to GingerMan Raceway for the Spring Festival of Speed hosted by South Bend and Detroit regions. As this was the first race event in my area that I attended as Director, I wanted to make sure I visited with the workers, walked the paddock and spoke to drivers and generally took the temperature of things. The weather was great, SBR/DET were fantastic hosts, and I had a wonderful time. I look forward to returning to GingerMan for the Time Trials National Tour in July.

One additional “GingerMan adjacent” note for racers going to South Haven. Last year we were told that Sherman’s Ice Cream stand would not be selling their ice cream anymore. The store would remain open but use another vendor’s products. While visiting there on 5/16, I discovered that another vendor stepped in and is producing ice cream using Sherman’s recipes. I can report that nothing has changed…..same great taste, same great service.

  • MidOhio trip (5/21-5/23): My first Major Club Race as Director……although, truth be told, I had no “real” function at the event. I schmoozed, talked to drivers and workers and generally tried to help where I could. I crewed for a couple of friends as well. The weather was OK and, for once, I did NOT have horrible sinus issues when visiting MidO.

The next month isn’t as hectic in terms of traveling. I only have two track events on my schedule for June (June Sprints; Road America; 6/4 to 6/6 and “Original Unrestricted” Double Regional; Grattan Raceway; 6/19, 6/20). July is when it gets ugly as I have a whole slew of track events on my flagging_rocks@sbcglobal.net.

Don’t forget that our revised gldsccaweb@gmasil.com) if you have any comments or corrections. If your region has and event you’d like to see on the divisional calendar, please reach out to him with the details (event title, date, location, registration link, etc.).

Dayle Frame

Area 4 Director Update for May, 2021

As we head into the competition season, I am reminded just how busy all of us are.  Not just the competitors who have to get ready for the upcoming season but all the behind-the-scenes folks who make the races happen.  They make the sausage, folks.  They deserve a lot of kudos for all their hard work so the rest of us can play with our cars.  No matter how you help “make the sausage”, your efforts are not forgotten.  The competitors, management of your division and regional officers salute your efforts on our behalf.  And drivers, be sure to thank those folks in person and offer a generous donation to the Worker Appreciation Fund of the events you attend.

I had even more meetings this month for a couple of reasons.  One, a new sub committee was formed under the Club Racing Board (CRB) called the Electric Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC) and we held our first meeting on 4/14.  Details about this will be announced later.  Two, an additional meeting was held by the CRB to focus on “strategic planning”.

  • CRB on 4/6:  This was a routine meeting and was finished in less than 90 minutes (a new record during my tenure).  Nothing really exciting happened but we’ll see how the driver corps accepts the results (which can be viewed here).
  • EVAC on 4/14:  Again, details to be announced later.
  • CRB Strategic Planning on 4/22:  Some long-term planning discussions were held.  The Club Racing program is strong but the changing economy, Club demographics and other factors lend uncertainty for its future.  The overarching theme of “how do we make the product better” was applied to a wide variety of topics.  This will be an ongoing conversation so we’re planning on meeting monthy to discuss these issues.
  • BoD on 4/26:  I’ll report on this meeting next month.
  • RXB on 4/27:  I’ll report on this meeting next month.

My personal travels for race events started this month as I visited my brother in NC for a couple of days before heading to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) for a Hoosier Super Tour (HST) event there.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the race was considered a “private event” by the State of Virginia.  This meant no spectators, no over crew and everyone had to be an SCCA member.  They also limited the entries to 300 plus ‘double dippers’.  It was a very well-run event with nice weather (other than the Saturday night thunderstorms with a tornado watch in nearby counties).  

I’ll be off to Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PIRC) for another HST race on 4/30-5/2 and MidOhio for an OVR Major Club Race on 5/22, 5/23.  OVR could always use more workers.  If you want to sign up, please follow this link.  To view all the SCCA events I’ll be attending this year, visit my schedule which is posted on the GLDiv website.

Speaking of the GLDiv website, I am pleased to announce that the new, revised GLDiv website is now operational.  Many congrats go to the webmaster (Rob Dietz) as he molded the new site into its present configuration.  The plan was to make this site a “one stop shopping” experience for all of our members.  It’s still a work in progress so please feel free to offer constructive criticism, high quality photos for the backgrounds, etc. so we can make sure this site helps all members with their GLDiv needs.  His email address is gldsccaweb@gmail.com.

A quick note to our F&C worker corps, we could use your help with a non-Club Racing event this summer.  Topeka is bringing a Time Trails National Tour event to GingerMan this summer (7/16-7/18).  They could use some experienced corner workers to support the green volunteers at the event.  Please reach out to the Ed Arthur (GLDiv F&C DA) if you can help out.  His email address is flagging_rocks@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll be there and am really looking forward to seeing a TT event in person.

One more quick request for our membership.  The easiest way to get in touch with you is by having up to date contact info in the SCCA database.  Please make sure the SCCA has accurate contact information for you.  Go to my.scca.com, sign in and click on the “Edit Contact Info” button in the “Profile Details” box.  If you have any trouble doing this, please do not hesitate to reach out to the membership staff in Topeka as they will be glad to help you with this.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dayle Frame

Area 4 Director Update for April, 2021

Another busy month as we all get ready for the upcoming season.

Probably the biggest highlight of the past month was our GLDiv Spring Training meeting held on 3/7. Due to continued pandemic restrictions, the event was held remotely. Many kudos go to Val McCammon as she made all the arrangements. She had a lot of help from her husband Pat and Velma and Raleigh Boreen. The four of them acted as moderator and guided a flawless day of sessions. There were over 100 people who attended a session during the day.

Work continues on the revised GLDiv website. If you are an RE, Race Chair, etc. and want your event posted on the divisional website’s calendar, please send the pertinent details (date, location, contact person, registration link) to Rob Dietz (gldsccaweb@gmail.com). He’s the webmaster and will be able to collate the divisional events into the calendar.

The usual monthly meetings occurred in March. It started off with the Club Racing Board (CRB) meeting on 3/2. There was the usual agenda of 100+ letters that the CRB dealt with…..most fairly mundane. The biggest item was the introduction of the tentative schedule for the Runoffs. Eric Prill said a survey of drivers indicated that over 1000 will attend the Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this year. This puts pressure on them to generate a schedule that meets a wide variety of criteria (multi-class drivers, track limits, daylight hours, etc.). It has since been released and can be found here. There’s nothing quite like IMS and I know I’ll be there. I had the pleasure of racing there back in 2017 when the Runoffs first visited the facility. Please consider attending in some form (worker, spectator, crew, etc.) as I am sure you will have an excellent time. It’ll be held from 9/28 to 10/3 and other details about the event can be found here.

We had a BoD meeting on 3/22. As usual, there wasn’t anything too flashy that came from this meeting. We discussed the financial report submitted by Jeff Dahnert. Things look pretty good so far this year. The steps taken last spring as the pandemic was taking hold have continued to bear fruit. The President (Mike Cobb) submitted his update to us a week beforehand and we discussed that a bit during the meeting. There were a couple of “hush, hush” items that I cannot comment on at this time. Nothing too terribly earth shattering and I’ll let you in on it when the time is appropriate.

One nice thing to come from the meeting is that we are planning on meeting face to face in late July (7/30 – 8/1). By then, it will have been well over a year since that occurred. We’ll be heading to Kansas City for this, and I can’t wait to see my fellow Board members. I’ve only met four of them over the years (Albin, Dowie, Isley and Jankovskis) so this will be quite exciting for me. Another BoD meeting will take place in December (12/3 – 12/5) and it will also be held in Kansas City.

The next night (3/23), there was a RallyCross Board (RXB) meeting. This group is diligently working on expanding and raising the profile of the program. Among other things, they are working on coordinating their National Championships which will be held in our backyard. They’ll be held in Chillicothe, OH on 10/15-10/17. Details about the event can be found here.

On the next evening (yes…..I had SCCA meetings three nights in a row), we held the first meeting of a committee dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs) and how they will be folded into every level of all competition programs within SCCA. We are charged (get it…charged about EVs….I know, don’t quit my day job) with not only incorporating EVs into competition but also the safety and liability aspects of bringing them into the fold. The SCCA wants to be the leader for the current (yet another pun) and next generation of automobile enthusiast and EVs will definitely be a part of that future. As an EV owner and competitor, I am VERY excited to be in on the ground floor as we move into this realm.

Events of the past month have had an impact on my summer schedule. Here’s my revised (and still tentative) schedule:

  • 4/29 – 5/2: STC @ PIRC (Super Tour)
  • 5/22, 5/23: OVR @ MidOhio (Major)
  • 6/4 – 6/6: Champ Tour Solo @ Grissom
  • 6/19, 6/20: WMR @ Grattan (Double Regional)
  • 7/16 – 7/18: Time Trails National Tour @ GingerMan
  • 7/23 – 7/25: Pro Solo @ Toledo
  • 730 – 8/1: BoD meeting in Kansas City, MO
  • 8/21, 8/22: WMR @ Grattan (Major)
  • 9/6: WMR Solo @ Grattan
  • 9/24 – 10/3: Runoffs @ Indy
  • 10/15 – 10/17: RallyCross Nationals in Chillicothe, OH
  • 10/24: WMR Solo @ Grattan
  • 10/31: MBR Covered Bridges Road Rally
  • 12/3 – 12/5: BoD meeting in Kansas City, MO

Woof! This will keep me busy. See you at the track.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dayle Frame