January 2006 REmarks

Welcome to our second issue of the newly revived Piston Patter.

The other day a friend of mine gave me an article about running a successful car club, and in reading it two things jumped out at me. The first was that the most important person in the club was the newsletter editor as the primary means of communication with the membership, and the second was that people generally want to contribute but very rarely volunteer right up front. Human nature requires that they be asked to participate, and contributions to the organization grow from there. So this REmarks is going to be communicating and asking.

The Region needs your help. The same basic group of people have been doing the various specialty jobs within the Region for a long time, and as their participation lessens over time, we have not been doing a good job of recruiting in new people. The region really has 3 main areas: Racing, Solo, and the overall boards and committees such as Membership, Special events, etc. Right now we need volunteers to help out in membership. Judy Hurtt has been a “one woman” show for a long time but she no longer has the time to reach out as far as she wants to. We need people who want to put together programs and recruit from high schools, people who attend other car club events, people to help out at the Pro events such as ALMS, or at the Auto Show. People to do the nitty gritty follow up on contacts and new members, or to reach out to previous members and try to bring them back. A strong membership organization ensures the future. We also need help on the competition side: Tech, Timing and Scoring, F&C, and Registration. All four areas have great people who work hard, but there is a finite horizon and nobody new in the pipeline. These are great areas to meet people, make friends, and be involved in a meaningful way.

Tech is responsible for the legality and safety of the cars and equipment and works intimately with drivers, crew and every type of race car you can imagine. This is where you go to get your hands dirty.

T&S is the cushy job: The best seats in the house, air-conditioned at Road America, and working with drivers, crew and race officials, including Pro officials from organizations like AMA, ALMS, IMSA and even CART. It is also a high tech, computer intensive job where anyone with an affinity for computers and hardware will fit right in.

F&C, which stands for Flagging and Communications, also called corner workers, have the best seat in the house working corners and communicating track conditions and messages to both the drivers and Race Control.

Registration is the most thankless, but perversely the most important job: The Registrars work starts weeks before an event, and finishes at the track by allowing hundreds of workers, drivers and crew into the event.

If you want to help out and get more involved, please contact me, or any of the Region officials and staff listed on our website. We need your help.

Finally, I’ll end with some celebration: 14 drivers from Chicago region placed 3rd or higher in the Central Division national points in ‘05, with 4 Firsts, 5 Seconds, and 5 Thirds. These drivers will be recognized at our January 18th General Membership Meeting, along with the 19 Regional drivers who finished in the top 3 in the Area 5 Championship. See you at Chicago Indoor Racing!


Scott Sanda
RE, Chicago Region SCCA