2006 SCCA RUN-OFFS MOVE TO TOPEKA
I am reprinting a letter from Erik Skirmants from Area 4 as it explains how the decision was made.
Erik T. Skirmants
Area 4 Director
Dear Area 4 Members,
In a word…”Yes”; the contract for the 2006 to 2008 Runoffs is going to Heartland Park in Topeka Kansas. Congratulations to Ray Irwin and staff, and the Topeka community as a whole. Also, best wishes to the local SCCA Regions who now have a monumental task in front of them.
Let me first describe the
process that was used and then I will offer my comments in anticipation
of the questions I expect to hear.
The RFP was sent to tracks throughout the US in June. It was very detailed and asked for specific costs, facilities and even profit sharing proposals.
The responses were due back on October 15th.
The process to evaluate the proposals was more critical than ever. We knew that at least two major tracks and frankly two entire communities would be aggressively pursuing the Runoffs. Because of the need to remove even the appearance of conflict, due to Heartland Park being next to the SCCA headquarters, a subgroup amongst the BoD was set up to evaluate the proposals; no staff was involved.
After the RFP’s were received the SCCA staff did prepare an unedited spreadsheet to assist the Runoffs Committee to start evaluating the bids. This was a simply secretarial type input.
The Runoffs Committee had several conference calls and set up an evaluation process with decision criteria and appropriate weighting values. They used the time from late October until the December BoD meeting to prepare a recommendation.
During the December BoD meeting the recommendation was reviewed and the rest of the 13 Directors had ample time to ask questions, review the original bids, spreadsheets and discuss this critical decision.
That is the dry version of what took place. Let me elaborate on some notable points and make some personal comments that I think are significant.
I did review the two proposals
and verified that the HPT proposal used was submitted prior to the Mid-Ohio
proposal and that, true to the process, absolutely NO second bids, or late
additions were allowed into the mix.
The only two Directors that had a relatively easy time deciding were myself and Charlie Clark, local Director to HPT. We both explained (exhaustingly) the reasons, other than our own Area’s selfish interest in the event, for the “correct choice”. However, after much discussion of track features, paddocks, member travel needs, costs, and anything and everything either of us could think of, I do recall commenting that we could drop the BS and admit that we would likely vote in the best interests of our Area anyway. Of course we were both convinced we were doing what was right for the competitors as a whole as well (our primary concern).
The debate amongst the two local Directors was by no means the entire discussion and we had several comments from each and every 2004 Director and even asked for input from the two incoming 2005 Directors (who were not voting members for this decision).
Votes were private and as soon as the decision was made (and it is final) all 13 Directors adopted the outcome and discussed the positives for the club.
Personally, I am not as disappointed as I would have expected to be. I have reservations about HPT as a drivers track and I have reservations about the actual attendance impact. I do not believe you can make up for losses from the East with hypothetical new attendees from the West and certainly the number of racers local to HPT is much lower. I do have great confidence that Ray Irwin and his staff “get it” and will make the facility as ideal as possible for our needs. I will miss the park like atmosphere at Mid-Ohio very much, but I understand that HPT has an effort underway to upgrade the less picturesque landscape of that facility. Also, as much as I very much appreciate the Richland County support around Mid-Ohio, I am 100% certain that the resources that the Topeka community can put into this event will be even greater. Having been to the Topeka area many times, most importantly for the Solo II Nationals, I can assure you that there are MORE (and lower cost) Hotels, and no issues with the infrastructure to support the Runoffs.
This is a three year contract.
This was a very well thought out and impartial process and it will likely
turn out to be a positive move for the SCCA; including the
2006 SCCA RUN-OFFS MOVE TO TOPEKA (cont.)
average competitor. I am not shy to admit that competitor interest is my primary focus; everyone else’s needs come second and frankly cascade down from satisfied competitors. The fact is we always take care of our workers when the competitor base grows, that is the order of events. Like most competitors I know, I give very generously to any and all worker support opportunities; but first my needs as a heavily invested racer must be met (or I do not participate). I do not think it will be as easy for HPT to accomplish competitor satisfaction as some of the other board members believe it will be; but it will be done. Moving the Runoffs has always been, and always will be, extremely risky. Given the best ever event in 2004, the time between now and the 2006 event will be a challenge for all. In addition to the HPT team the SCCA Regions that support the area and the SCCA staff will meet new and greater challenges in the efforts to not let our beloved Runoffs step backwards, even for a year. It is a premier event and now HPT and the supporting infrastructure must become premier hosts. That is their commitment and we will hold them to it.
So now you know…..the rest
of the story. Contact me if you desire more information.
As of the report received on Jan. 14, we have 202 members .
MVR awarded the following members for their contributions and racing in 2004.
Jack O’Driscoll - New Member
of the Year
Filippo Caruso - Worker of the Year
Sandi Kryder - Member of the Year
Matt Miller - National Driver of the Year
Jim Morgan - Regional Driver of the Year
Bryan Golay - Rookie Driver of the Year
Paul Morrison - Grover Griggs Award
Congratulations to the following members who earned their longevity awards in 2004.
Joe Goncz Jr.
John Mc Gill
A reminder to the following members whose renewals were due in January:
Charles Baumgartner Sr
The Bujdoso Family
Ralph Denney Jr.
The Doinoff Family
The McCree Family
The Schauer Family
The following in February:
Reed & Sandi Kryder
The Scott Nutter Family
Greg Alley 2/18
Sherrie Baker 2/28
Pat Besselman 2/15
Mike Besselman 2/28
Constantin Gheorge 2/14
Dave Klein 2/18
Candice Miller 2/24
Matt Miller 2/16
Bill Pintaric 2/4
Bob Ruman 2/27
Dick Starts 2/24
Katie Walton 2/27
Brent Walton 2/28
My apologies if I missed listing anyone’s birthday or longevity awards.
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