Notes from the NWR Solo II Meeting of 4/13/99:
Visitors: Chris and Vince (Corvettes), Tina (F125), John, Jeff (Mustang) and Loren (Corvette), Scott (Miata), Brian (MR2),
Region Board: Dan Miklovic made special recognition of Bud (our budget guy), saying his year-end report was stupendous. Electronic banking is being looked at for all the venues, with the Region Treasurer able to look at all accounts. Visa and M/C provider may be changing, to set it up so the venues can take credit cards. With a $25 minimum, this might only be useful to us for merchandise, Tour stuff, etc. We should discuss this later. The Board would like feedback from each venue. Worker/Solo bucks, we’ll discuss it later. Quarterly membership meeting will be 4/17, at the Bremerton site, 5:30. A rally will be happening on April 25th, gimmick event on paved roads. NWSCN is looking for an editor from each venue; Tina Sarin has volunteered to be ours. This should help Tim Dutton out. The "spring quarter" issue is finally out (it’s in the mail); it looks a little different under Brian Horne as publisher, but much the same. People with events will be able to find out what their submittal deadline is. Tina says that as soon as someone knows about something happening they should tell her about it. Mike L: it’s really needed about the first of the month. Ron: we should probably set a standard deadline of the 25th or so each month. Having membership applications available at event Registration is a good thing for the Region. NWR now has an official "show kit" (for car shows etc.) which could still use some items to add to its inventory. Raman: a photo album would be good. We could also get an "infinite tape" of his videos to show at these things. We now have information to update our "Nice Car" brochures.
Treasury/Budget: Bud reports that we still have money. We paid for our Regional awards, almost $**.** worth. We also had over $**.** income from the open practice (but expenses for that don’t show yet). The money market account looks quite good, and we’ve had significant McKamey school income and Regional #1 income. Bud met with the other Region venue treasurers, and they discussed credit cards among other things. Fees for processing are about 2%, Dan Miklovic is looking at Costco as the provider. The Region will have one; Solo needs to decide if we want to support this. They also discussed the tax status of the Region; though we have 3 venue accounts, we are considered a single entity (Region) from the outside. Ron: Race could really use the Visa/MC capability, other venues not so sure. Jeff: this could be useful for on-line registration. Bud: who are the qualified signatures on our accounts? Dan Miklovic says some of these names must be elected Regional Officers, we currently have Bud, Mike L., and Gretchen. We should take Mike off and add Dan M. He’ll go ahead and pursue that. The Region tax situation is getting under control, but Solo may have a liability of some sort pertaining to that in the past. Miklovic wants the Region Board to approve a motion "legitimatizing" the Solo site fund; Bud will help Ron draft something. Ron is getting additional details from Bud on the overall treasury stuff. Mike L: did Solo pay Eskimo a fee pertaining to the Web site, when it had already been paid? Bud: Joe Goeke called and said the site was down due to fees, and Bud quickly gave him a check for $72. Bud will follow up with Joe and Dan M.
Equipment: Moved, seconded, passed to allocate $200 for new timing cables, spools, and connectors. Ron Babb is authorized to go do this. Joy reports that Mike Petersen from Walla Walla says the Blue Mountain Chapter is going to dissolve, and they have our old "backup" timing equipment. They also have about 200 cones and some radios. They would like to sell the cones and radios to Sand & Sage, a club in Tri-Cities, for about half of what was paid for it ($250-500). The interesting point is, who do the proceeds belong to? Joy: the chapter operated like a separate entity, their entry fees were used as they saw fit. Would we allow Blue Mountain to liquidate what they bought, at their discretion? What do they do with the money? Mike L: let them do what they want with the cones and radios. Discussion on how we’d use the timing equipment (schools, practices, etc.). Moved, seconded, passed to let Blue Mountain sell what they bought with their fee income (not the timing). Kimball: many of our cones are getting pretty ugly--it would be difficult to lay out a good course that looked nice. We’ll ask Ron to find out what they would cost. SCCA’s official cones are $95 per 20. We think that’s too much. Bunting: Mike L. noted that our bunting looks junky. The Kumho guy has said he’ll look into getting us some new stuff. Joy: we need to work on cutting out bad sections and splicing in the small new pieces we still have.
Merchandise: Craig reports that we sold some stuff. We have 18 Tshirts from 1998 left, and 27 hats, and 7 polos. We also have 1 NWR shirt, two 1997 shirts, 8 tan 1997 shirts. Inventory is worth about $350. Sharon Reuter asks if she can order 25 more rule books. Motion seconded and passed to approve this.
Novice school: Bret reports 31 people already signed up, 12 instructors lined up so far. Need about 4 more instructors to have a 4/1 ratio. Bret will get the Supplementals from the web site. The Novice supps are already on a disk he has, but need updating. Gretchen will help. Advertising: Bret has a disk to give to Joe with information for the Web site. They had flyers out at the event on Sunday, those were gone by the end of the day. He has messages on his phone that he hasn’t gotten to yet. Instructor list so far looks like: Chase, Dietz, Nevins, Hernandez, Lacombe, Dahl, Gruber, Lammer, Kreick, Babb, Bohrer, possibly Korry, Ormiston, Coleman. Can use shortened BEAC Red course (BEAC is using Yellow the previous week). Bret will talk to BEAC about classroom access. Mike L: Bret and Sean could "hang out" at the BEAC school and see what goes on there. Gretchen is doing Registration for the school. McCooey is not available to instruct but we’ll have his materials. SCCA talk is covered. Gretchen will get McCooey’s email address to Bret. Bud volunteers to help with the classroom session. Safety Stewards will be needed for the school.
Novice program: Bret and Sean need more Novice focals for events. He’d like to have 8 people so each one only has to be on duty for half a day. Any problem taking up that many work assignments? No, he should go ahead. Cindi: she used phone calls to specifically request particularly promising individuals to be Novice focals. Sean: they tried this too.
Old Business, Computer/Software: Joe’s not here. He bought us a Sony. Bill B. reports that Scott has the data entry functions done on the s/w, and started last week on the reports portions. The old stuff is being used in the interim by Colin Watson, the new results focal.
Old Business, Open Practice 3/14: Glen reports that we sold out, some people got seven runs, course eventually dried out. Some people were unhappy that the morning group sold out so quickly, then the afternoon did the same. Having an entry limit worked for the event, but it seemed to be a bad thing. Bill B: if your goal is to provide people with seat time, the entry limit works well. 3 runs wouldn’t have been enough. Discussion on why 3 runs isn’t really enough for a practice. Ron: in 6 runs you can try different things with the car and techniques. Glen: he saw some things he’d change if we do it again, including gridding/running procedures (people losing runs if they weren’t ready to go). Jeff: he thought it was good even though he only got 3 runs. Kimball: if you’re tuning you don’t need a 60 second course, we could use two smaller courses (Pro Solo maybe). Glen: we had 122 people who ran the practice. We did bunches of runs, as many as a much larger event. Loren: why couldn’t you sign everyone up in the morning, then let them run 3 times in the morning, 3 in the afternoon? What that forces everyone to do is be there in the morning. Glen: the more changeovers we have the less driving time there is. His original idea was that people would only have to be there for 2 hours (1 to work, 1 to run).
Old Business, National Tour: Gretchen is available to be an assistant chair. Glen Hernandez volunteers to be chair. His initial report is that we need chiefs (Timing, Registration, Grid, Impound, Workers, Tech), a course designer. Sean Green volunteers to do the course. Glen and Gretchen are going to meet tomorrow. Already have a party chief (Susan C.).
Old Business, Pro Solo: Joe has volunteered to be chair for this, Ron is helping. That needs specialty chiefs (Impound, etc.) Joe will be at the next meeting to go over that stuff.
Old Business, McKamey school: Phase I is about full, Phase II still has quite a few openings. Kinser, Leverone, Faulkner, Strelnieks, Kotzian, Goeke, Bauer are potential instructors. Registration form is on the web site, but it didn’t get into the newsletter. People should send in their forms, there will be a waiting list. Tina will talk to Brian about making sure the form is distributed.
Old Business, NorPac Divisional Series: SFR’s Divisional has been moved to the 2nd weekend in June, at Atwater (Castle AFB, a really wonderful site). This resulted from a lot of work, so anybody who can go ought to. Atwater is about 100 miles south of Sacramento on Hwy. 99.
Old Business, Regional Series, Event #1: Tim N: Many things went well. Start interval and attendance were the factors in making it a long day. We need to have less than 30 seconds between cars, and should plan on 200 people at an event. Grid was a problem, since those workers need to show up very quickly. Multiple grids would help with this. We could also use Novice instructor-riders in the morning, which is difficult due to the conflict of interest rule. We could start the driver’s meeting at 8:45. This would impact Registration workers, and people at the end of the line as Registration is closing. We could have more than one person taking money. Susan has lots of ideas about streamlining Registration. Tim thinks attendance limits are bad. Sharon: anybody who volunteers for the first event is nuts. Tim: he had a built-in excuse.
Old Business, Solo Bucks: We need to keep in mind that this is our own money. It’s to be used to reward people in Race and Rally who work but don’t compete, by giving them these "Regional dollars" which could be used to pay their membership, for merchandise, etc. Since Solo people work and run, they may not be directly applicable except for the extreme high-profile jobs. We need to have a specific written plan in place if we’re going to use them. Bill B: we could use it to reward people for doing things like software development. Joy: that would be a good use, and it’s for the program as a whole rather than for running one event. She has a problem with using it for a particular event, since our identity is largely wrapped up in the run/work requirement. Just because we have a certain amount of "bucks" doesn’t mean we have to use them. Jeff W: he was at the Solo I meeting, and even there they weren’t getting a great response. Racers tend to want to focus on their cars, race workers may need a different motivation. He doesn’t see that we need it. Discussion about getting race workers. Bud: you have to set the program up so that any Region member has equal access to the opportunity to get the rewards. If we want to reward something like the Tour chair position, we have to write it up that way ahead of time. Glen: he can’t think of any other reason we’d need it. What about using it for novice awards? See below...
Old Business, Regional Series Awards: Most of the experienced people don’t really want a Regional event trophy. Gretchen: why don’t we spend our Solo Bucks on something that benefits the whole program, like Regional event awards? Everybody could have the opportunity to get this, kind of like a discount coupon. If we did it all season ($10 for first, $5 for other places), we’d spend about $4500 for the year and we have $4000 available. Cindi: she would give people a choice of trophies or Region Bucks. It’s almost like conditional money, she’d rather see them given real money. Ron: by giving them these we’re arranging to get the money back to the Region in some way. Raman: the whole point is to give them something that is going to bring them back. A "discount" on an entry fee is better than boxes of little trophies. Gretchen: we spend less than that during the year. Jeff: he still likes trophies. Up in Canada, the top 6 novices of the year win a set of race tires. Additional discussion followed. Trophy options are boards (ordered by those who want them) plus plaques, kill stickers, regular small event trophies, big sticker with a series header (conceptually like the plaque header board) and spots for small stickers, maybe with place indicators. We need to decide something now. Gertrude: we could only give year-end trophies, and go deeper with them. Ron: the first trophy means something to the person who gets it, and we need to do something at each event, have something to give people that they can show off. Joy: go with the sticker idea for the year (Gretchen and Ron will finalize the design). Motion seconded and passed. We’ll still do standups for Novice classes.
New Business, event #2: This event is at Kent, Ron is chairing, Dave Bell is doing course. Should have good overlap, overall length is fairly short. It’s easy, since it’s the day after the novice school. Course map passed around for approval.
New Business, Ladies Practice 5/8: Entry fee will be $15, no pre-registration. Course design is being done by Sean. Bret is chief of Tech. We need a Safety Steward, a chief of Timing, someone to order insurance, volunteer workers as we had last year (a.k.a. the guys). Not going to go with instructors this year, only have people available to ride if someone wants a co-pilot. Flyers will be out at the Novice school, and info on the Web page and the Hotline. Just for practice, no serious competition at all. This type of atmosphere was popular last year. Bret: why raise the entry fee? Bud: costs are $2 per car insurance, $2 per car sanction fee, a negotiable BEAC site fee. It was just about break-even last year. Susan will ask Brianne to talk to Bud about the fees and the expenses. Ron: he doesn’t see why we shouldn’t charge, they are getting good use out of this (lots of value). Bret: these are people who wouldn’t normally do this. Susan will look at changing the fee to $10, since it looks (according to Bud) like the event actually made a little money).
New Business, Concessions at events: The person Mike thought might do concessions is not available. Wendy’s across the street is pretty hand, Ron will let them know about us.
New Business, Novice entry restrictions: How many times should we let someone run Novice class? There were people running at Event #1 in Novice on racing tires, which shouldn’t happen. Some of the times were faster than Open class times. Do we want a hard and fast rule, and if so how do we actually do it? Raman: if there is going to be a limit, it should be a season. He thinks that someone who’s borrowing a car shouldn’t have to run in a regular class if they’re new. If someone is running a Novice time within 10% of the top time in the class, they could get "bootetd" from class. The number could be something like 7%. Jeff: he’s seen variations like the Canadians have, they PAX their novices. Another way is to move someone out of Novice class as soon as he trophies. Ron: it’s not practical to PAX them at this point. How do we define a season? Mike: 1 trophy in the top 3, since trophies go so deep, should be the standard for booting people out of Novice. Tim: what is the problem we’re solving? Ron: if someone is running 65-second times, they’ve been doing this for a while. Someone who’s new to the sport isn’t going to be that fast, and a real Novice can get discouraged by such a person. Tim: what about the Ferraris and Porsches we see? We need to let people know the good reasons for going to a regular class. Loren: what’s the reason for Novice class? If people can collect trophies by staying in Novice, they will. Sharon: we should be encouraging them to go to a regular class to get points for a season award. Glen: if Novices don’t talk to people in the regular classes, they’ll only hang around with the friends they came with.
Novice entry restrictions: Ron: good discussion, need to continue thinking about it. Bret: if we have a 70-person novice class, trophy expenses could be huge. He and Sean now have good ideas to think about.
Finishing events on time: Ron has made a list of the ideas that have come forth on the NW email list, and had copies for distribution. People should look the list over and figure out which ones will work. Raman: two grids, having grid and other workers come early, doing things more like Tour since that’s where our proven ideas have been in place recently. Jeff: how about doing Tech in Grid? Bill: failures would be a problem, particularly with novices. Glen: we have to get used to fast changeovers. With 3 groups, you are idle before you work so you should have plenty of time to report promptly. We need a new approach to workers. Raman: from Nationals, you could also run classes together. That would help spacing of cars. Making a Novice line in grid might help have cars of similar speed on course at the same times. Sharon: another advantage to that would be visibility for novice instructors and focals. Wouldn’t it be the Novice line(s)? Loren: we could also make sure we announce on the radio, which run we’re on. Ron: we do have the ability to have and use remote speakers. We need to start assuming that we’ll have over 200 people at our events. If that many don’t show up, we’ll have fun runs. Jodi: changeovers on Sunday were getting fairly fast. Raman: we’re not short of people, we have enough workers to put them where we need them. Tim: we are experience-short in some major areas. What do we want to implement soon? Two grids would be good. Novice line would help too. The layout for #2 may not support two grids, but we can just work harder at getting that organized. Kimball: why don’t the event chiefs figure out the grid arrangement? Glen: our Drivers’ Meetings are getting kind of long, could we abbreviate them somehow? Bret: what about a Novices-only driver’s meeting? Only 15-20% of the people in the crowd really need the whole lecture. Ron: it would take away from somebody’s course walk. Could have a Novice meeting right after the Novice walk-through. Jodi: we could have "standard disclaimer" stuff announced on the P.A. Tim: maybe point the speakers out to the course during walk-throughs and give the no-alcohol etc. pitch at that time. Mike: we could have saved time this last weekend if we’d had the afternoon drivers’ meeting while the morning groups were finishing up. Trophies for the morning session could be given out after the afternoon session starts running. Raman: a lot of these comments revolve around getting the other P.A. system (the remote one) back up and running. Jeff: what about pre-registration? He knew for the Shelby event that by Friday night he already had 60 people, due to on-line pre-registration. Ron: it sounds like a good idea, but by Friday night it’s too late to put in significant changes in layout due to an unusually large turnout. Wayne: course will have been approved well ahead of time. Raman: Bill can probably go look up historical information about event turnout; we already have data. Joy: how do you pre-register; if you do that, you have to allow for people who aren’t connected. Ron: what does pre-registration mean, is it just signup or is it pre-assignment of work positions etc.? Gretchen: there are things that have to be controlled; it’s a nice option but we can’t require it. You have to stand in line at Registration to show a Driver’s License. Tim: we could have information already in the database that could be of use. Bill: we have a unique identifier today, it’s the combination of class and number.
Meeting adjourned to GOO at 9:47 p.m.