Wheelworks — Season Ends in a Fizzle

August 25th, 2016 by Sherry Grantz

For several years the board has talked about what to do with the annual awards banquet.  Different dates and location were explored in order to make the event more feasible. The reason is because of the dwindling attendance and the continued high costs. This was not much of a problem back in the nineties when racing attendance was high across the class structure and when winning a regional championship meant a lot more.

A couple of years ago we switched to a new venue in Walnut Creek, which was a nice venue but the banquet continued to cost a lot of money compared to the benefit it produced. Last year the board decided to move the banquet to the same weekend as the last race of the year.

The idea was to have the last race, figure out the regional champions, and reward them that same night.  The Banquet was the Saturday night of the weekend.  The regional racers could finish their season and be recognized for their accomplishments immediately upon the completion of the season. The following Sunday was the Illegn Enduro.

We also thought the volunteers would like the idea because it would be one less weekend in which they had to be away from home or the family doing SCCA activities.

We picked a very nice venue in Willows and had the food catered by Thunderhill.  The first event worked out well and we seemed to be on to something.  There were a few things to improve upon such as the lack of attendance by the volunteer work force and the pre-event entertianment.

Why they did not go needs to be investigated but what was a good idea last year has turned out to be a bust for this year.   The reason is because last year the Sunday after the banquet was the Illgen enduro. With the enduro held on Sunday it made sense but this year the enduro has finally died.  The reason for the death of the enduro has been the continued decline in attendance. Twenty cars on the track all day long does not justify an entire day of expenses.

So here comes the fizzle, with no enduro on Sunday and the regional race calendar done the day before what do you do with the Sunday?  This was supposed to be a discussion item with the board but not much time was spent on the discussion and it was basically decided not to do anything on the Sunday.

We could have run a triple race weekend with the Sunday race being non-points on the 1.9 mile track. We could have had the Sunday race be the first race of the 2017 season with points awarded.  Heck we could have run the enduro without the race drivers club and hoped we were able to increase the attendance.  We decided not to do anything that Sunday so for the first time that I know of the San Francisco Region calendar will end on a Saturday.

What brought this about? Namely the poor attendance record of the enduro, the Saturday night banquet.  What is the solution?

My solution would be to move the banquet back to the second weekend of November.  That way we could end the season with a two day event that ends on Sunday. That way we could spend more time preparing for the banquet. That way we could end the season with a sizzle instead of a fizzle.

Luckly the Reno region of the SCCA has come to the rescue.  They will take the Sunday over and have a track day.  This is good news for those that did not get their racing fix during Friday and Saturday. For  $225 you will get four 20 minute sessions, so if you are not ready to go home or if you need to get a head start on the tune for next year,  stay the night and enjoy the Reno Region’s hospitality. Just like in life what is a bust for one could be a boom for another.

  • Posted in Wheel Article
  • Comments Off on Wheelworks — Season Ends in a Fizzle