Club Racing Follow-Up Report

July 26, 2012

St. Louis Region SCCA

on the
Club Racing Brainstorm Session
Held Monday July 16, 2012
1) Club Racing news from RE
2) Notes from Brainstorming Session
3) Report from new Club Racing Chairman

Club Racing News from the RE:
After canceling our July race, the Board of Directors and the Club Racing Committee recognized the need for some “out of the box thinking.” What could the region do to assure itself that it could continue to have a successful club racing future? We all agreed that if Club Racing was to survive in St Louis we needed to find a “new and improved” approach in how we planned and put on our events. Who better to ask for help than our drivers?
On July 16th the Board of Directors held a brainstorming session at Russo’s Cafe to ask questions, get ideas, and hopefully to accomplish two specific things: No 1, to get input from our drivers and volunteers, and No 2, to get a new Club Racing Committee formed to get those ideas implemented. I’m happy to tell you that we accomplished both goals.
In a well attended session, St Louis Club Racers came together to discuss everything from how to get more Club Racers involved to what kind of races the region should have. The ideas and suggestions came fast and furious: Alternative drivers licensing, enduros, inter region events, inter divisional events, marketing and sponsorship, GCR cleanup and clarification, Double Nationals, Double Rationals, yearly drivers’ schools, and much, much more were discussed. We heard ideas from the newly formed Gateway Road Racing Group, GMP, Chump Car racers, and Club Racing volunteers. We listed all the ideas and have turned them over to the new Club Racing Committee. The organizing, planning, and discussions have begun. I think that in the near future we will be seeing a revived and successful St. Louis Region Club Racing Program.
The ideas gathered at our brainstorming session are provided with this message. You will learn about the region’s new Club Racing Committee members and the plans they are making. The planning has just started but I’m sure that you will all be impressed with the progress that has been made so far. The board is 100% behind these efforts and is looking forward to working with Chuck Udell and all concerned to make our Club Racing Program the best it can be.
If you would like to help or pass on an idea, please feel free to contact Club Racing Chairman Chuck Udell via email at
Cesare Venegoni, RE

Notes from 7/16/12:
Taken by Susan Anderson
7/16/12 St. Louis Region Club Racing Brainstorming Session Notes
Gateway Road Racing Group (presentation by Steven Burkett)
• 10 members + 10 advisors
• 5-year plan (to 2018)
• Drivers’ school and training
• Point series with St. Louis/Southern IL/Ozark Mountain/other Regions
• Enduros
• August National
• Positives for stakeholders
• Much more info was provided per written position paper
How did those present who attended/participated in the 5/20/12 road race hear about it?
• Midiv Calendar
• Sports Car
• Email
What would entice racers to enter a St. Louis Region race?
• Double National
• Double Rational
• Drivers’ School* (see separate item with drivers’ school discussions)
• 1 School + 3 races
o Double Rationals
• Enduro
*Drivers’ School discussions – pros and cons:
• Necessary to develop new racers
• Generally lose money
• Do we have enough instructors?
• Hold 2 schools, perhaps as a joint venture (SCCA + non-SCCA)
• Double/double Regional?
• Develop a drivers’ school DVD to use as a marketing tool (similar to Solo?)
• Hold a school every race? (Per Lynn Wilson, it’s done in the Pacific Northwest, but not SCCA)
Alternative school and competition licensing sources?
• Through PDX?
• Can we include other car clubs?
• Chumpcar (or similar) racing experience?
• Map Chumpcar to SCCA (per sample booklet from Colorado)?
GCR cleanup/clarification needed so new drivers are not discouraged
• Discussion of Majors and the impact of that schedule on other races
• Sarah Duffy discussed issues directly with Terry Ozment
• Some discussion of championship qualification
o # starts / # tracks
o Within Division per National – change possible?
Alternative race/event types to bring in additional revenue
• Could we hold a “for-profit” race similar to Chumpcar?
• Could we hold a Pro race?
• Time trials
• Test day
• Could we share a weekend with other clubs so our insurance covers us and their insurance covers them?
o Not on track at the same time so no issue of whose event it is
The big issue is increasing number of drivers and not losing money on races
• Use a streamlined, team approach
• HAVE FUN!!! And make sure everyone knows it!
• How do we market?
o To drivers?
o To workers?
o To other car clubs?
o Use GMP’s kickoff event this spring as an example for contacting everyone since that was a huge success
We need sponsorship, but need help to get it!
Tentative test day at GMP on Friday, 8/10 (if date is available), limit 35 drivers. Curtis will check availability, and announcements will be made when finalized.
New Club Racing Committee:
• Chuck Udell, Chair
o (until further notice)
• Tim McGinley
• Bob Eichelberger
• Tony Pandjiris (note**** Tony joined after the meeting)
• Will coordinate for St. Louis Region with the newly formed Gateway Road Racing Group

From the St. Louis Region Club Racing Committee Chairman:
Introduction of the New St Louis Region Club Racing Committee
July 24, 2012
During the recent ad hoc St Louis Region meeting, three of my Club Racing friends and I stepped up to become the new Club Racing Committee. We are:
Chairman: Chuck Udell, National Club Racer, F Prod Miata ( )
Co Chair: Bob Eichelberger, National Club Racer, H Prod Sprite (
Co Chair: Tim McGinley, National Club Racer, H Prod MG Midget (
Co Chair: Tony Pandjiris, National Club Racer, Spec Racer Ford (
We each have a long history of Club Racing at Gateway and hope to bring some new perspective and energy to the situation. Here a little insight into where we are right now.
We have already had discussions and exchanged emails with numerous people about the current situation and we continue to be open to any and all suggestions on what to do going forward. We will be meeting with Steve Burkett and his group as they have the most “Concrete” plans and already they have a good dialog begun with our neighboring Regions. Even though they are independent of our Region they can be of tremendous help and we look forward to working with them. We doubt with only 37 licensed drivers in St Louis that we can hope to hold profitable races without the support of our neighboring Regions. Regarding the other Regions, some of them are struggling, too. This is not just a St Louis problem; it’s a reflection of the economic times, the opening of new race tracks and the loss of racers to other competing Clubs (e.g., Chump Car and NASA). Remember, we can’t fill Gateway with just racers from St Louis; we need to draw from the surrounding areas and Clubs. So, even though NASA isn’t big here yet it is affecting us. Cesare has helped us start talks with some of the other Regional Executives so hopefully we can garner their support before the 2013 schedule is finalized.
We wondered how some of the others Regions were covering their event expenses. We found that in some cases they have “Benefactors” that come into play should they incur a loss as we did in May. If anyone knows of someone who might be interested in supporting us that way, please let us know. In lieu of that, we are contemplating a variety of Series or Event Sponsorships that we hope to take to the local market, Again, if you have any contacts with any companies that we might approach, it would be much appreciated.
There is also a changing dynamic in the type of events that are being held. What appears to be the new winning offering is the DOUBLE RATIONAL (combined Regional/National), followed by the Double National and Double Regional. The cost of travel in these tuff times has put a squeeze on racing budgets. All Racers, National and Regional, are trying to get as much out of their travel dollars as they can. We hear a lot from the National racers, but how about you Regional Racers? What do you prefer? Let us know! Although there are restrictions on what’s available, it helps to know what sells!
We are also looking at the 2013 race schedule. As we have not been active, we are not in the strongest negotiating position with Mid Div. Historically we had a March race that was moved up to become the May race. Which did you prefer, March or May? Would it make a difference if the August (or summer) Race was at night? What if it cost $20 more for lights? Again, your comments and suggestions are needed.
In closing, we are going to be as good as our Membership. No one person, or even committee, can do it alone or in a vacuum. The past committee was made up of some great people and we hope to keep them all engaged. But, we need more people than that, we need SOLO, Rally and Course Workers all working together for a common cause, the success of the St Louis Region. We look forward to your comments and participation.
Chuck Udell
2608 Wynncrest Ridge Dr
Chesterfield MO 63005
636 236 5709

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