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Welcome to 2020

IT’S A NEW YEAR OUT THERE and that means that registration for part of the 2020 season is open. If you didn’t catch the notice on the website, you may have wondered why you couldn’t sign up for the whole season on January 1st. At the planning meeting in November it was pointed out that a substantial number of IDS students have a hard time getting into events that filled up before they were qualified. Our clever idea of telling everyone to sign up for the whole year and then cancel if you can’t make it, backfired on us. There were some events that had as many as 30 last minute cancellations, which really made planning difficult. It’s always our goal to get everyone in, so we’re going to give something else a try.

On January 1st, registration opened for the first 3 DE’s and then on May 1st registration will open for the last 3 DE’s. That will open opportunities for those who have just completed one of the two April IDS and decided to join us on the track. It shouldn’t affect the avid trackies in the upper run groups other than to reduce the size of the early waitlists. We’ll try this idea out and if it doesn’t help, we can always just open it all up again. There is no harm in trying.

Another subject of our discussions was aggressive driving and passing. When someone passes incorrectly it’s difficult for the person passed to identify the other car. So as of 2020 we’ll require the two 6” numbers in contrasting colors on the sides of the car as well as a 4” number on the rear. If you don’t want to stick anything else on your car, you can always get a license plate cover and put your number on that. As a sign guy I can inform you that there is a product available through most sign shops that is a vinyl paint mask. This is a temporary vinyl with the consistency of electrical tape. You can get a set of numbers cut for each event and then just pull them off at the end of the event. No strong glue, no residue and they are waterproof for those rainy events when painters tape just won’t stay on. I use it to make the decals for the Club Race pace car and it doesn’t leave a mark on the brand new Porsches that they lend us. Before you ask though, I really don’t want to make them for you …lol.  I have enough to do in the weeks leading up to an event.

Cars evolve and so must our requirements. Some of the newer cars have floor mats that are factory anchored to the floor, so they don’t travel forward under the pedals. As a result, the rules will be amended to list “Loose Floor Mats” and obviously aftermarket ones are included in that description. However, our Tech Chief, Adam Holland’s tolerance of cars full of junk is at an end. We appreciate your promises that you’re going to empty it before you go to staging but we would appreciate it more if you follow the rules at the outset. Not enough time to empty your car, apply your numbers and get thru Tech before the meeting? Leave earlier! Adam is running at capacity and doesn’t have time for nonsense in the line. He says that the number one hold up is still people who bring their Tech form unsigned. Please put that on your list of things to do before you leave the house or sign it when the shop hands it to you.

If any of this sounded grumpy it wasn’t meant that way. We have our annual planning meeting for the purpose of making our events run smoother each season. We need your help with many of these things so we’re just pointing out the changes while it’s snowing. You can be happy in the knowledge that we never stop trying! Speaking of which, our entire 2019 track team has offered to stay on and help us for another season. It’s their skill and consistency that makes it all work so smoothly. I’m grateful to each and every one of them.

I made my annual trek to Toronto in December to attend the Board meeting. The purpose is to present the budget that Graham Jardine works so hard at and examine the financial health of the program. I was delighted to see that our Board Members are enthusiastically moving forward with all of the 2020 planning. The questions were intelligent, and the discussions were helpful, as we worked our way through any outstanding issues. I can tell you that the club is in good hands, financially sound and being guided by Board Members who truly care about our success. It is the people.

The condition of the track is always a concern when your hobby is performance driving. There were some repairs done to the track this past summer, which unfortunately were affected by the amount of moisture we received this season. There was a great deal of water in the substrate and that caused the new asphalt to heave in places, making it worse in some spots than it had been originally. Our event was only a week later so we ended up driving on it before any further repairs could be performed. The only options were to drive on it as-is or cancel our event. The track management has told me that they plan further work next season, but it’s most likely that it won’t affect our events. Hopefully we’ll have a dryer season this year.

I’ve made my list of parts to source and my car is in its storage container for the winter. I’m writing an update on the trials and tribulations of a flood race car for next month. It’s either that or just gaze at the snow! I hope everyone is having a great winter and I’m already looking forward to spring.

Cheers! </>

Photo by Kathleen Wong.

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