September 2004 REmarks

In 2 weeks, I attend my first Runnoffs, after 11 years of racing with SCCA, I’m finally making the trip.

That means the season is winding down. National Racing is over, Some Regionals remain, and Solo is finally in sight of their last event of the season.

Given the nearing of seasons end, I felt this issue would be appropriate for some specific thank you’s.

First, Dave Tobin, for his work on Piston patter, despite a huge real job workload. As you may be aware, there was no July issue, and August is iffy. This is because Dave is moving out of state, and has been, quite understandably, swamped to an even greater degree than in the past.

So, in conjunction with thanking Dave, I need to make a plea: Please, if you want to help the Region, and have any desire to work on or edit a monthly magazine, contact Dave or myself. The ideal situation would be a team of several individuals each responsible for an area, with an overall editor. This way it isn’t a massive drain on any one persons time.

Second thank you goes to Rick Mancuso, who is muttering under his breath as he reads this, because he is a truly humble man, who offers his time and facilities not for recognition, but to help the Region. This year, Rick offered us his new facility for the dinner dance. A lot of people jumped in to see what it would take, including Deb Daneki and Peg Ball. Unfortunately, dining in the same room as an Enzo came out to over $100 a person, which is not feasible.

We will have our dinner dance at Hilldale country club. Cost will be $50 a person, and it will be a formal event. We have decreased the price from last year due to comments from several members about the cost, in an effort to increase participation. Please come out and enjoy, I would like to see 40 or 50 smiling new faces.

We are already planning for next year, and hope to find a way to dine with an Enzo.

Please come to the dinner. It is a nice wrap up to what is shaping up to be a very busy year.

The final thank you goes out to all or the Drivers, Crew, Staff, Workers and Sponsors that made this years June Sprints a huge success. Thank you all, and we hope to see you next year for the 50th running!

I also have to send off a congratulations to Milwaukee Region, for this years CAT national. The addition of the Milwaukee Cup spec Miata race was a huge success, and the 60+ Miata drivers who showed up put on a great show, and was a good addition to some great racing.

If you skimmed thru all the preceding information, now is the time to slow down and pay attention.

There is a strong movement, generated out of Area 4, to split Cendiv into 2 divisions. This is stemming from a long running disagreement over National Race schedules, with Area 4 always wanting more, and Area 5 trying to restrict them to 6, for a total of 10. There are also other issues, but they are peripheral to this one main issue.

There is no member vote required for the split. The National BOD can do it with a vote, and is willing to support it if both Area directors, Mike and Erik, agree to it. Conversely, it will not happen if either director says no.

There are a lot of Pro’s and Con’s to consider, as a split would require us (LOL, BVR, MIL and CHI) to create a complete divisional staff for both racing and Solo, and to put on 6 National races each year. It would also allow more Area 5 drivers to qualify for the runnoffs.

On the down side, it would increase worker requirements, and would impact car counts at events, and participation numbers overall, at least initially.

The 4 racing RE’s, Sue, Doug, Angelo and I have discussed this several times, and are in general agreement as follows:

  • 1. We can function as a separate division.
  • 2. We would only agree to split if it were effective for the 06 season, with 05 being a year to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.
  • 3. We would only agree to a split of the 05 National Schedule was frozen at 04 levels, i.e. 10 total National races.
  • 4. There will still be a need to coordinate schedules between the new divisions. A National at both BHF and Gingerman on the same weekend, or at RA and Mido on the same weekend, would kill both events.
  • 5. We would incorporate the new division immediately for financial control reasons.

Other things to consider: We will hopefully have 3 additional tracks to race at in 05. The Milwaukee Mile road course, BIR, and Autobahn.

What I need from the regions membership is input. There are a lot of things I did not talk about here that we have to consider. We need to consider what’s best for the Region, Division, and National Program, in that order.

Let me know what you think. There is a little time before a decision needs to be reached. My personal opinion is that I don’t want to split, but it almost seems inevitable given the total focus WMR, OVR, NEO and Det have put on it. Quite frankly, I don’t look forward to another scheduling meeting where Area 5 has worked out an agreement beforehand, and Area 4 all fight among themselves, joining only in demonizing us for “imposing unbearable conditions and unreasonable demands” on them.

It is my belief that if the division splits, in 3 years or so we will be stronger, and a lot of Area 4 divisions will no longer be racing because they cannot support low car count Nationals.

Please send me, or any BOD member, your input.

Best Regards,

Scott Sanda
RE, Chicago Region SCCA