September was a very busy month for me. I went to Lincoln, NE for the Solo Nationals, came home for a week and a half and then headed to Virginia for the Runoffs. I know I signed up for it, but I was out 18 days from 9/4 to 10/3. Sheesh….I’m tired just typing that sentence. That said, I had a great time at both events.
Due to my various travels, I missed sending an October update. As a results, this month’s update is quite a bit longer than usual. I apologize for the length, but I also want to make sure the members get a full accounting of my time. Due to Solo Nationals, Runoffs, holidays and other factors, my monthly BoD meetings that are normally on the fourth Monday of each month have been rescheduled to an “as needed” basis. We will have a few meetings scheduled but realize that topics may pop up for which we may need to meet. Throw in that I was asked to sit in on some other Zoom calls for my EV knowledge and I was on Zoom calls quite frequently over the past couple of months.
Video Conference Meetings:
- Club Racing Board (CRB) (9/7): I wasn’t able to sit in on this one since I was at the Solo nationals. The results of CRB rules changes can be seen here.
- Region Development (9/13, 9/15, 9/20): These were a series of Zoom calls to talk with jumbo (9/13), small (9/15) and medium/large (9/20) regions about the EVAC. As EVs are coming to events across all regions, I thought it would be worthwhile to speak to these groups and give them a heads up as well as pass along my contact info for any questions that might arise.
- Electrified Vehicle Advisory Committee (EVAC) (9/14): The revised SCREV is being reviewed by the folks who run the experiential programs (Time Trials, Track Night in America, Solo, Rally Cross). While this review is happening, we are working on a variety of things in the background. The Broch Evans Motorsports EV race car (previously a Formula Mazda) was entered in AMod at the Solo Nationals. It was exciting to get this car in front of SCCA folks so they can see it for themselves. We are also working on training materials for members and regions so they know how to interact with an EV that has entered an SCCA event. More on that to come later.
- Budget & Finance Committee (9/19): We reviewed the budget for 2023. A variety of factors (fuel prices, inflationary pressures, travel cost, etc.) are forcing the Club to juggle things financially when it comes to the budget for next year.
- GLDiv BoD meeting (10/10): Treasurer’s report reviewed (we’re good) and prep for the 2023 Spring Training meeting.
- BoD (10/5): This was an adjunct meeting to continue to discuss budget issue for 2023.
- EVAC (10/12): Although our meeting was shortened due to the SCCA Presidential address given by Mike Cobb, we still managed to get attendance at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, get a TEAC update and disucc the difficulty in finding a SEB member for the EVAC committee. We also discussed battery protection for custom or home built cars and the SCREV update from Heyward Wagner.
- BoD (10/17): We met for our regularly scheduled meeting. We got a financial update. We’re a bit under budget as entries for events are down across the country. The Governance Committee has reviewed the Operations Manual and suggested a wide variety of revisions to keep the document fresh. We have also been trying to keep other costs down as inflation has taken a bite at the SCCA as well. Another committee has advanced some BoD restructuring based on our meeting this past July with a consultant. Its proprietary for now so we’ll see what, if anything, comes from the proposal.
- GLDiv Executive Steward (10/19): I hosted a Zoom call with the current and new Executive Steward so we could go over the transition from one to the other. This was just a matter of dotting “I’s”.
- Solo Nationals (9/5-9/9): I had never been to the Solo Nationals in any capacity but knew I needed to go when I took office. The rationale is easy as Solo is the largest of our programs. Since I retired from Club Racing my Sprite back in 2017, I have entered a couple of Solos each year. I admit I’m not any good at it but it’s a way to keep the competitive juices flowing and mingle with members who have a lot of passion for their program.
I headed out to Lincoln, NE on Sunday so I could get the feel of the place on Monday before the competition started on Tuesday. My agenda was pretty simple…..talk to the brass who run Solo (Heyward Wagner, Rick Myers, Brian Mason, SEB members), catch up with folks from Area 4 and, as EVs are my “thing”, see how the various EVs did during the week. I was there strictly as a Director…..not an entrant, not a worker. I wanted to see how the event unfolded from a variety of directions. I knew folks who were working the event and who were competitors in the event.
There were EVs in three classes (EVX, AMod and HS) and I made sure to watch their sessions and talk to the competitors. What was amazing was how well they did. One of the EVX cars (Tesla 3) ran in the same heat as the CAM T class. When the dust settled, he was faster than all but the top three in CAM T. An ex Formula Mazda from Club Racing was converted into an EV by installing a Nissan Leaf motor in it. It competed in AMod and did well for its first ever Solo competition (both car and driver) as it finished 12th of 15. It was interesting to watch folks see it run. Much discussion was going on while it was on course. The HS car was a bone stock BMW i3 and he did well too (15th of 28).
In the end I could not have been more impressed by the event. To squeeze 1100+ cars through the two courses in four days was amazing. There may have been some chaos behind the scenes, but it sure didn’t look like it…..its appeared to be run like a well-oiled machine. The credit goes to all involved (drivers and officials). As for my future in Solo, I am already working on plans to attend next year.
- Runoffs (9/25-10/2): Unlike the Solo Nationals which I had never attended, I have been to 20+ Runoffs. Some as worker, many as a driver, some as crew and even a couple as media. The wrinkle in this year’s event was the remnants of hurricane Ian. After devastating Florida and South Carolina, the remains drifted north to our area and caused all sorts of problems. Rain and high winds caused local flooding and power outages. After a couple weeks of flawless weather, we had three days of wet, windy, nasty weather for the race days. As the rain was intermittent, tire choice was paramount. As a F&C guy I also know that rain is the wildcard that makes road racing interesting…..sometimes for the wrong reasons, but always interesting.
Once again I must commend the Club Racing brass and Steward Corps for ensuring that the event went smoothly. Yes the weather played havoc with the race days but the officials kept things moving.
- WMR Solo at Grattan Raceway (10/23): Once I found out my hip replacement surgery had been postponed, I signed up for the last WMR Solo of the season. I took along a WMR member who had not been to a Solo before so he could see how the event was run. He had a great time and wants to compete next season. I had a nice time too even though I finished last in my class. Oh well…..on to 2023.
For 2023, GLDiv will have a new Executive Steward in charge of the Club Racing program. Her name is Lauri Burkons. One of the tasks on her plate it so revitalize the steward program and the first step is to add folks to the program. I asked her to write a small blurb about Stewarding and I have included it here. Please contact her if you have any questions (email@example.com, (330) 338-7064).
Join the Steward Program
“Why?” you might ask. Because you have the SCCA experience needed to be the kind of steward we need – whether you are a driver, crew, or specialty volunteer.
Stewards are not just officials. We are also timekeepers and helpers. Yes, we officiate by keeping the rules. We keep time by starting and ending each session. We are helpers because we guide drivers through different procedures, and we help participants through the aftermath of any incident.
Stewards are not all about handing out penalties. We really do try to help drivers stay on track and have safe, fun sessions. Every sport has rules and officials to ensure those rules are followed. Motorsports is no different, and we want the best to be part of our group. Maybe that person is you.
While we are serious when running sessions, we are a group of racing enthusiasts who love to have fun. We love what we do at the track and we laugh a lot at the end of the day!
Be sure and visit the GLDiv website for information about all of the SCCA programs within the division. We have schedules, official’s contact info, standings, etc. for all the SCCA programs.
The various national schedules for 2022 are starting to coalesce and they can be found here:
Please take a few minutes and make sure your contact information is accurate in the SCCA database. It’s important to have the correct information there so the club knows how to contact you. Log in to your my.scca.com page and check.
As I mentioned previously, there is a new path to getting your annual waiver. You can now get it through the Member Account Portal (MAP). Follow this link to get the instructions. There is also a story about the program here. I’ve done it and it only takes a couple of minutes. Be prepared to upload a headshot picture of yourself.
Just a quick reminder, if any region out there wants to have an “Ask the Director” session during your monthly meetings, please do not hesitate to contact me so we can schedule a visit. I retired last summer so have plenty of free time and would thoroughly enjoy the chance to visit with your members.
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.