CNYR SCCA Meeting Minutes For Wed., February 8, 2012

The February meeting of the Central New York Region of the Sports Car Club of America was called to order by Regional Executive Mike Donofrio at 7:20pm, at the American Legion Hall in Liverpool. Some 18 active, interested members were on hand.

Mike said it was good to be back, since December, as he'd missed the Annual Awards banquet in January. And Mike told us, again, that this is his last year as R.E. And, he emphasized that this time he really means it! He said he wants to continue to be part of the Club, but that some new enthusiasm would benefit everyone. And he pointed out that
when he started as R.E., he had a racecar and was single, and that now he's married, has a son, and doesn't have a racecar, and that there may be a connection here.

Assistant R.E. Ed Leubner mentioned the annual banquet, and that it went well, with a special mention, and thanks to Activities Coordinator Rob Sgarlata. And Ed read an email from our esteemed, vacationing Secretary Bob Holcomb. Bob wrote: I worked the South Florida National/Regional at Homestead-Miami the weekend of January 13-15. Jim Ocuto was there, but blew the engine on his Miata during the practice day on Thursday, and didn't run at all over the weekend. His partner (I'm sorry I don't have his name) that runs the black #38 Spec Miata did run and finished Saturday and Sunday, a distant, but gentlemanly near-the-back finish, but at least not last, both days. The weather for the weekend was good!

I worked the Daytona Rolex 24 Hour at infield turn 4, which is also known as "the kink." The station captain said the Daytona Prototypes hit about 150 through there while the GT cars hit about 120. Fun, but at 3:30AM, IT WAS COLD ENOUGH TO FREEZE THE YOU-KNOW-WHATS OFF A BRASS MONKEY! I worked with Don & Rosalind Giroux (from the Glen Region) on that shift, and we had nine F&C people total to work the station. Three other folks from Watkins worked station 5. The Continental Tire Challenge ran on Friday, and 71 cars took the green. Jack Roush's son won in his Mustang, just like he did at the Glen last year. Saturday morning, they had as many of the previous 24-HR-winning cars as they could round up do some parade laps...mmmm hmmm...most of them, including the 1962 Lotus Ford Dan Gurney drove to victory; 50 years old or not, it hauled butt!

I enjoyed the weekend, made a bunch of contacts and due to worker shortages, have been getting alot of pressure to work the Sebring 12 Hour...we'll see.
Mick Levy kept calling from California daily, including as I was on the way home from the race. Great experience. Good contacts.
Also hear that the Glen will have two NASA weekends this year, early and late in the season. Also a North American Road Racing Association (NARRA) event October 19-21.
Guess that's it for now. Hello to all, even Jay! Bob.

Bob is missed. Secretary pro-tem Jon Cofin moved that the meeting minutes for September through December, as posted on the Club's local website, be accepted as shown. Seconded by Lynn Hidy, and passed.

Treasurer Jay Cartini reported that the Region finished the year okay financially, and that there will be some advertising adjustments in the on-line SNARLING and elsewhere reflecting payment, and non-payment, of advertising bills. And, it was noted that Jay came in as Treasurer in January, 2006, so he's been doing this a while.

Mark Bizzozero had some SOLO news, dates for autocrosses at the New York State Fairgrounds. We'll have events April 29 and September 16, while the site-starved Finger Lakes Region will have an event there June 10, which will be an Out-of-Region points counting event for our series.

A wide-ranging discussion ensued on SOLO sites, costs, and the continuing need for locations at affordable prices. Mike suggested that a Site Acquisition Group (of two or three people) might help, and Scott Newton and Lee Hidy volunteered.

James Quattro had something special to include in his Rallycross report. James was the Region's "Outstanding Member of the Year" for 2010, and presented the award for 2011 to...Mike Donofrio! Mike had missed the banquet and James swore all of us to secrecy, and in fact, it was a surprise, a great surprise, to Mike. And it was great. Here's James'

"The Outstanding-Member-of-the-Year award is a huge honor given to one person each year. I was given that honor last year by Karl Hughes. Looking at the names of winners past you see the legends of the Central New York Region of the SCCA, including still-active members Rex Franklin, Lee Hidy, Karl Hughes, Jon Cofin, even Jay Cartini. These are the veterans I have looked up to since I started racing in 2007. I hope some day to live up to their standards and to be remembered with such honor. There is a name not on the award who I think deserves it as much as anybody. This person serves as our leader year after year, even when he's wanted to step down! Our Region is at a turning point with the rise of our Rallycross program, and the future Central New York Raceway Park which could bring Club Racing back to the Central New York Region. Our SOLO program has faced some dificulties in recent years with the loss of Grifiss Air Base and Shoppingtown Mall, and this year's significant increase in the rental price at the Fair Grounds.

But Mike Donofrio has lead us through it all, and for this I think he deserves the 2011 Member of the Year Award."
(Mike got a deserved round of applause, and he was even blushing a little bit.)

James continued with his report, talking about having been to the "Sno-drift" Pro Rally, and plans for the Rallycross at this June's STPR event in Pennsylvania. The Rallycross will run on Sunday, immediately following STPR, and all STPR entrants will receive a free entry for the Rallycross, with the hope that some of the pro racers will hang over for our event.

James also mentioned that SCCA National is soliciting regions to run Divisional Rallycross Championships.

And James reported Romano Subaru is asking him to run a "rallycross-type driving experience" for new Suby owners, on their lot out in Fayetteville. More on that as it develops.
Rob Sgarlata said about 40 people turned out for the Annual Banquet, and he gave props to Ed Leubner for keeping the show rolling. And, Rob said the next annual banquet will (again) be in January.

Andy Beyer had information on Region members who'd reached milestone anniversaries as SCCA members, including Robert Chevako of New Woodstock (45 years), Gerry Doner of North Syracuse and Cheryl Stine of Cazenovia (35 years), William Moore of Bethpage, Jim Ocuto of Mohawk, and Karl Hughes of Cazenovia (20 years), John and Denise Croasdaile from Massena, and Mick Levy of Marcellus (15 Years), Mike Donofrio of Liverpool, Jay Cartini of Brewerton, Gary Nickerson from Memphis, Joe Ciarlei of Marcellus, Matt Tucker from Fayetteville, and James Leonard, Jr. from Westford (10 years), and Richard and Elaine Murray from Pennelville, Cory Leblanc from Nedrow, Robert and Nancy Holcomb of Liverpool, Scott Newton of Chittenango, and Chris Forte from Utica (5 years). Several folks, such as the Murrays, the Holcombs and Cory Leblanc have lots longer SCCA association but have had some membership lapses over the years.

We did have some items come up under new business, including mention that the Western New York Region has received permission for an event, or two, in the parking lots at Buffalo Bills stadium.

Someone suggested flyers for our events could be distributed at auto parts stores and other spots around town, and that may be in the works.

And on the Central New York Raceway Park front, offcial groundbreaking is tentatively set for the first part of May. And the possible drag strip at the complex has been put on the shelf for now.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50pm on a motion by Rex Franklin, seconded by Ed Leubner.
Respectfully submitted by temporary Secretary Jon Cofin.

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