Author Topic: Letter from Howard re: 09/10 Nationals  (Read 1875 times)


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Letter from Howard re: 09/10 Nationals
« on: September 23, 2009, 03:06:13 pm »
2009 Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals participants,

I hope everyone made it home safely and you are fondly remembering the time you spent in Lincoln being a part of Solo history. The early responses from folks have been very positive, but we understand that there is always room for improvement, particularly after the first year at a new location. I will touch on that again below.
I have now been involved in four changes in venue for “Nationals” and I feel completely comfortable saying that this one was the easiest and most successful. That success was due to a number of people that I would like to acknowledge:

·         Working mostly behind the scenes and taking care of the myriad of details that make up an event like this is Nancy Downing, your Solo Events Manager, who is effectively the project manager for this event. Her experience and skill was a key element in the launching of a new location.
·         The other members of the Rally/Solo Department also played an integral part in making this event go smoothly. From Doug Gill and Brian Harmer handling various tech and equipment duties (weren’t the drive up scales cool??), to Deena Rowland assisting Nancy in so many ways, to Pego Mack (Rally Manager) holding the fort down in Topeka, they all did a very commendable job of making this a better event for you.
·         The Nebraska Region under the leadership of their RE, Mark Walker did an outstanding job, particularly when you realize that they are a small region mostly based in Omaha 60 miles away. From their efforts in securing the site, to running the first ever six day Test and Tune (a real marathon or enduro), to the host of other things they assisted with behind the scenes, they are to be commended for yeoman’s duty.
·         Kathy Barnes, event chair, and her outstanding group of Chiefs did wonders in making this a smooth transition. They all deserve a pat on the back when you see them next season at an event. Included in this group are next year’s chairs, Mari and Eric Clements. We are certainly glad they committed to next year before serving as the main assistants to Kathy, but I think they both like being in perpetual movement.
·         What can I say about the local Lincoln community?? From the help we got from the airport, to the efforts to put on that excellent Welcome Party at the Smith Collection, to the welcoming nature of the local folks all around town, I think you would agree that we have found another place to call our home away from home. More on this below.
·         Last and definitely not least are all of you, who not only did your assigned work task, but kept a good attitude during the whole week, even during our one relatively brief rainy period. I am not sure I have ever seen a cheerier Solo Community. You are all to be commended on helping to make this transition as smooth as possible.
I will not go into all the things that are already under consideration as changes/improvements for 2010 as I want to keep this brief, we need a little R&R to adequately reflect, and we have not confirmed the use of the site for next year at this time (more later on this). However, the following short list will give you a feel for what is coming:
·         Revised roadways to allow for better flow, safety, and elbow room in some areas.
·         Several ideas are being kicked around regarding the banquets, some of which are a bit off the wall, but with the motivation to make the gatherings more accessible and fun.
·         Adjustments to the Test and Tune, including the registration process, hours of operation, and concrete repair.
·         Upgrades to the electronic scoreboards and PA systems
·         More food vendors. NOTE: with the State Fair moving out of Lincoln in 2010, the options should increase.
·         Additional trash cans and porta-johns.
·         Possible tire cleaning area, including water
 COMMERCIAL BREAK: Normally we all think of the “Nationals” as being the end of the Tire Rack National Solo season. Well, not this year, at least for those on the eastern half of the country. On October 23-25 the “Tire Rack Tri-State Championship National Tour at Blytheville” will once again make use of one the best Solo sites in the country. Doug Gill, who designed the VERY well received ProSolo courses at Blytheville earlier this year, will be putting his skills to use by designing courses for an area even larger area than what we used for the Eastern States Championship.
So don’t put away your toys for the winter quite yet, come join us in Arkansas for some now famous Blytheville hospitality and some of the smoothest concrete this side of Lincoln. Besides, this event will serve as a qualifying event for the 2010 Nationals and all SCCA coordinated 2009 contingency programs are in effect for this event !!
 Now back to our regular program.
 We will be meeting with Lincoln officials in the very near future to discuss extending our stay in Lincoln. All indications are that the event was mutually beneficial to both the Solo and Lincoln communities, with one exception; noise levels. Some of the neighbors were less than thrilled with our being in their backyard due to the high level of sound emanating from the Airpark.
 On my first visit to the site for a local event last fall, I became concerned that this could become a problem. Therefore we discussed this with the SEB and the decision was made to take sound readings at the 2009 event to determine exactly how loud we are and to see what difficulties we might have in collecting that data. We used the Club Racing procedures and the sound meter that is used at the Runoffs, which resulted in gathering some good data. As a side note, many of our Solo cars are in fact outrageously loud, to the point of being WAY beyond the limits for Club Racing and frankly painful to your fellow members. So what is next?? The data is being entered into a spreadsheet for easy sorting and then will be evaluated by the SEB and the tech staff. This evaluation will conclude with the publishing of the sound limits for the 2010 season, including the related procedures that will evolve from those in Appendix I of the 2009 National Solo Rules. The goal is to have this completely done well before the beginning of the 2010 Tire Rack National Solo season, as the maximum sound level determined for “Nationals” will also be in effect for the entire 2010 National Solo season (ProSolo and National Tours). The only exception to this will be locations that have even tougher required sound standards, such as San Diego. How much further into the Solo program this requirement might go (Regional or Divisional) is yet to be discussed and determined, but at a minimum we would strongly encourage Regions and Divisions to adopt these standards, not only for the convenience of SCCA Solo competitors, but more importantly the retention of your Solo sites.
 From comments we have seen so far, most folks understand that Lincoln is about as close to Solo Nirvana as we have seen and are in agreement that we need to do what is necessary for this to be our home for many years to come. Therefore, I would suggest that rather than continue to whip yourselves into a lather over this, please enjoy the next few months of “down time” (except for everyone coming to Blytheville in October of course J) and get yourselves re-energized for an even better 2010 Tire Rack National Solo season. This subject is being handled and I feel confident that the fact we are tackling this will allow us to conclude our discussions about the use of Lincoln in the next few weeks.
 By the way, we are very close to completing the 2010 Tire Rack National Solo schedule, so keep an eye on the SCCA web for an announcement in the next couple of weeks.
Again, thanks for coming to Nationals and all your help in making it a success. See you in Blytheville; sorry I could not resist one more pitch. J

Howard Duncan

VP, Rally/Solo and Special Programs
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
Fax: 785-232-7228
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