More than 450 SCCA members gathered in Las Vegas January 16-20 for the 2020 National Convention. The annual business meeting for the club also included more than 100 individual break-out sessions, as well as the Hall of Fame Dinner where the inductees into the 2020 HoF class were announced and honored.

Over the course of the three days, attendees were able to take advantage of numerous seminars and small group sessions to learn everything from Solo Course Design, to debating the merits of Digital vs Analog vs UHF radios, to region officer training, to marketing and strategic web design tools. These were paired with Town Halls hosted by the national office staff where issues concerning club racing, autocross and rally programs could be presented and discussed with leadership teams.

With almost 40 NER members on site at the South Point Hotel & Casino, we were able to attend many of these seminars and bring back new ideas, relevant rule changes, and insights to help promote and grow the programs we offer here in the northeast. Here are what we learned.

What We Learned

Building Teams

  • Know the personality types of your team members and place them where they will succeed.
  • Promote respect. The behavior you walk past is the behavior you accept.
  • Create pre-season events to train people in areas they have interest. Real-time training during an event can be difficult (especially in timing.) Leverage an existing yearly truck clean out event to do this.

Growing Members

  • Feedback is key – especially from novices. This could be in the form of a Survey Monkey survey sent out after the event.
  • Use social media better, particularly posts driven by participants. Promote event discussion more, video sharing, etc after events are over.
  • National is working on a unified Marketing & Communications Strategy which will help reduce superfluous effort and be efficient at guiding people to our membership and our events.
  • We should try and continue to grow our charitable contributions, especially with RAL. Consider food drives or other ways to contribute to Loaves and Fishes in Ayer or something similar.
  • We have the potential to become a premier region within the SCCA where people want to travel to attend our events. Let’s continue to grow excitement for our brand.

Program Development

  • Site acquisition continues to be the biggest hinderance to the growth of RallyX and Autocross. NER is doing better than most but still faces many of the same challenges as other regions and needs to be proactive in finding new sites and building relationships with property owners.
  • National wants to support Time Trials events for all regions. If interested, they will find a way to help organize and run an event.
  • For Time Trials events, the club model is going away from having in-car coaches.  The passenger seat during TT events is the most dangerous place to be.
  • For Road Rally, with a 2-person team, one person in the car must be either a full member or weekend member.  The other can be on a trial membership.
  • The Richta Checkpoint app may erase the need for check point workers in Rally.  Plans are in the works to test the app this year at NER events.
  • RallyX is adding a UTV/Side-by-side class this year.
  • The advent of the electronic waiver is here, with new and responsive documentation being produced from Topeka.
  • Back-end processes continue to improve, making for better experiences for our participants.
  • We need a Tire Rack Street Survival School in New England. This can be a community outreach, and a way to promote the good-will with the public.

Club Business

  • SCCA National looks to its programs to provide ongoing fiscal support. The large losses in Pro Racing continue to plague the national organization but there appears to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
  • The Hall of Fame class featured a strong ensemble of competitors who were inspiring and heartwarming to see accept their recognition.
  • Hall of Fame dinner attire ranged from dressed to the nines, to the Blues brothers, to roaring 20’s, to shirt and jeans. Bottom line,  just attend and enjoy the night.

NER Special Awards

Hall of Fame Inductees: Bill and Jane Goodale

Within the Sports Car Club of America, Bill and Jane Goodale have been far more than accomplished drivers. They have been leaders, facilitators, officials and even mentors. It could be argued that most SCCA members have been affected by their efforts, certainly on the Solo side. But beyond that, the grace, kindness and sense of inclusion they’ve displayed has become a hallmark of SCCA’s Solo Program.

Jane was Solo Chair during the 1970s when New England Region’s Solo program was just beginning to be a presence. She traveled the ProSolo circuit and went on to lend support to the Region and fellow competitors, and was well known as host of the Region party at Solo Nationals. Meanwhile, Bill was New England Region’s first, and for decades only, Solo Novice chair.

In the early years of Solo Nationals, Chief Stewards were usually from outside the Solo community. When that changed to instead utilize those involved in autocross, Bill was one of the first to be asked to fill the role. He did for decades, working with and mentoring many others who have taken on the role as Solo Nationals grew. Bill’s record in competition was impressive, too, as he was named the 1989 Driver of Eminence, received the 2010 Solo Cup, and claimed several national championships along the way.

Regional RoadRally Achievement: New England Region

Presented in recognition of a Region’s activities in RoadRally for a new or on-going program. This may include events, promotions, attendance, innovation in public relations, event participation, etc. Nominations clearly indicating the qualifying details may be made by any Rally participant, with the recipient being selected by the Road Rally Board.