CNYR SCCA Meeting Minutes For Wed., May 11, 2011
CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order by R.E. Mike Donofrio at 7:13 p.m.
Mike Donofrio welcomed all to the meeting, including new member Lun Chen of Liverpool, NY.
Mike then immediately turned the meeting over to new Area 10 Director John Walsh who had driven in from Rochester to speak at our monthly meeting.
JOHN WALSH AREA 10 DIRECTOR:
John said he had no formal agenda and was using our meeting as a meet-and-greet session to discuss and listen to issues we might have as members.
One of the areas of concern that John mentioned was location, acquisition and retention of SOLO sites.
Many regions, including CNY, SNY, FLR and WNY were concerned with the possible exclusion of the Seneca Army Depot as a SOLO site for 2011.
This has been resolved, at least for now so SOLO will be allowed there.
Convincing the management at Seneca that having the SCCA hold SOLO events there was an economic benefit to the local community helped keep the site open to SOLO.
Member retention was another issue discussed.
John said that if a member is active for at least 3 years, then the chances are very good that that person will remain a member.
If they are not active, the average length of membership is one year.
Incentives from the regions for member retention might help, but suggestions as to what incentives may or may not work need to be made.
John said that if any member has a suggestion to help Topeka with member retention to contact National or himself.
Bob Holcomb mentioned the monetary incentive that workers get (usually $5/day worked, up to $45 total)toward their annual dues for working race events and wondered if this might be extended to workers at SOLO or RALLY events?
John said the race worker incentive is paid for by a fee assessed to each driver at a regional or national race weekend and that thought might need to be given to broaden this to include other events.
Leo Sawyer asked about the popularity of NASA vs. retaining entries in SCCA.
John said that NASA is a FOR PROFIT company, limited to production class cars, i.e. no open wheel or sports racing classes, which helps keep costs down. It also has far less bureaucracy, with one person as race director at an event vs. SCCA and multiple Stewards.
John said that if anyone has suggestions to improve SOLO events especially in reference to any rule changes, that spring is the time to make them, do not wait until summer which is considered too late by National.
Rex Franklin suggested a mentoring program for SOLO including assisting new entrants during and after each event.
Bruce Parker asked about regional drivers being allowed in national events, such as during a "Rational" which combines regional races and national races on the same track on the same weekend.
John explained that this will probably not happen in the North East where regional and national events draw good fields and was originally implemented to help the small tracks in the South West where they have extremely low car turn outs for small tracks, the combination helps make it a financially viable weekend and helps keep the race on a National status.
Mick Levy mentioned that earlier this year at Fontana he attended a RATIONAL and that while the first few cars were national class cars, the majority of the pack was made up of regional cars. He felt that since the regional drivers ran at a specific track more frequently than national drivers, perhaps track knowledge helped in this.
Jim Quattro said that for his Rally Cross program, he starts with the MotorsportReg.com registration web site and also contacts all entrants after each event. This includes informing them of results and future dates.
Leo Sawyer asked if brochures were available from national to explain rules, points keeping, etc. to new entrants.
John said not currently, but proposals have been made to Topeka for such a plan.
Mike Donofrio said that he had received a packet from Topeka concerning SOLO events that may help and he will check when he gets home to see what information they contain.
The potential exists to eventually develop a simple bar code scanning for entrants to identify them, keep track of points, etc.
Rob Sgarlata asked if site retention was a problem outside of New York State and John said it is a problem everywhere.
Rex Franklin said that a SOLO event he attended out west, about 50% of the entries were actually from out of state due to the lack of available sites.
Bruce Parker asked about the status of a proposed track in Palmer, Mass.
John said that it is not in the foreseeable future due to financial issues.
At this point John had to leave as the time for a previously schedule conference call had arrived.
Appreciation for his appearance was expressed by all.
Ed Leubner said he attended the SOLO test-and-tune session on May 7th at Seneca Army Depot.
The event had been limited to 25 entrants but only 17 or 18 actually attended.
He said there was some rain and temperatures were cool but it was a helpful outing.
He commented that the NYS Troopers were also conducting a safety event which included crash testing former squad cars.
Bob Holcomb made a motion to ask that the minutes for our April meeting be approved as they appeared in the MAY Snarling Exhaust.
Lee Hidy so moved, motion carried.
Bob had nothing more to report at this time.
Jay Cartini said we are still waiting for money from some SOLO and Snarling Exhaust advertisers.
Second billings will be sent.
We had two large expenditures, which included paying for both scheduled SOLO events at the NYS Fairgrounds and for the insurance payment for the SOLO van.
Scott Newton asked if it would be financially advantageous to rent a vehicle (either a van or trailer) to haul our SOLO equipment to each site.
The answer was no, due to rental contracts vs. use of the vehicle.
Jay Cartini said replacing the SOLO van with a different vehicle may be a possibility when the time comes that the current van is no longer usable.
Mark Bizzozero said our SOLO at Cherry Valley Kart Track had approx. 50 entries with 5 runs per entry.
Our next event is scheduled for May 22nd at the NYS Fairgrounds.
Jim Quattro reported that our next event is scheduled for Sunday, May 15th at the Walczyk Farm near Weedsport, NY.
Following that, we will be participating in the Susquehanna Trail Performance Rally weekend in Pennsylvania on June 3rd & 4th.
This event was discussed in the May Snarling Exhaust for further reference.
Extensive discussion of past and upcoming events extended Jim's report but was not included in this report as it was not necessarily relevant to the report itself.
Rob Sgarlata said our Wed., June 8th meeting will be at the Cherry Valley Kart Track west of Lafayette on Rte. 20.
To ensure enough track time a suggestion was made to meet at 6 p.m., run laps, then hold our business meeting.
A rain date of one week later, June 15th, was established.
Lee Hidy reported that we cannot hold our picnic at the Onondaga Yacht Club on our usual date of the second Wed. in August, as it was already booked for an event by the Montezuma Wildlife group.
Lee will check to see if the 3rd Wed. in August is available and report back to us.
Andrew Beyer reported that in March, 2011 we had 152 members and for April, 2011 we were at 162 members.
For March we welcomed new members:
Alexander Harrington of Jamesville, NY
Ted Barbuto of Syracuse, NY
Justin Hinman of Rome, NY
Sergio Pasian of Quebec.
For April we welcomed new members:
Michael Hajzus of Baldwinsville, NY
David Sky of Syracuse, NY
Lun Chen of Liverpool, NY
Anton Moore of Weedsport, NY
Richard and Barbara Cimildoro of Camillus, NY
Ben Gower of Brewerton, NY
Alex Vasilev of Camillus, NY
Clifford LaMontagne of Cicero, NY
Richard Farino of Howard Beach, NY (possible geographic confusion as it's near NYC)
Marc Bonbrest of Boonville, NY
Mick Levy, 15 years
Karl Hughes, 20 years
Robert Chevako, 45 years
James Leonard Jr., 10 years
Bob & Nancy Holcomb, 5 years
George Poniros, 1 year
Jeremy Johnson, 1 year
David Mushynsky, 1 year
Tarek Rahim, 1 year
Chris Carroll, 1 Year
Cory Leblanc, 5 years
Matt Tucker, 10 years.
Congratulations to all and welcome to the new members, we're glad to have you aboard.
Mick Levy said that anyone interested in flagging at Watkins Glen please contact him as they are very short on weekend flaggers for 2011.
Tuesday, June 14th is the Tony Stewart-Lewis Hamilton ride swap at WGI.
It is a free event, sponsored by Mobil-1.
Tony will drive a McLaren F-1 car and Lewis will drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup car.
Racers being racers, Jay Cartini and Bob Holcomb reported on the new "Clean Dirt" that was testing at the Brewerton 4/10 mile dirt track in Brewerton, NY on Tues. evening May 10th.
Per Jay via Rick Martel, the racers reported low dust levels but their tires seemed to heat up more quickly during hot laps than they normally would.
Bob said that he spoke with Rick Martel at Fulton Speedway on Sat., May 7th and Rick said if the testing and future racing proved successful on the new surface, then Fulton Speedway may be next.
Glen Donnelly, the founder of the D.I.R.T. racing circuit, thinks that hopes this will be the first big evolution in dirt track racing surfaces (think what artificial turf did for football).
Why is this of interest to CNYR SCCA?
Because you need to think RALLY CROSS events at these tracks.
The 50-50 raffle was won by Ed Heffron for $9.
Lee Hidy made a motion to adjourn.
Seconded by Rex Franklin.
Motion carried, meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m.
Submitted by Bob Holcomb, Sec.