Dear SVRA members, staff, racers, sponsors, track management staff and fans,
Over the last month I have received several emails and phone calls inquiring about our plans for SVRA. I thought it might be helpful to outline the state of SVRA and what to expect from us in 2013 and beyond. This update will address several items that we are currently working on: our 2013 Race Schedule, the purchase of HSR-West, an SVRA Eastern Regional championship, an SVRA National Championship, SVRA driver conduct, SVRA car set up rules and rule enforcement, the SVRA management team including their
duties, and SVRA Sponsorship.
SVRA East 2013 Race schedule: We currently are planning to add at least three (3) more events to our East Coast schedule in 2013. We expect to be able to announce our complete 2013 schedule by the end of October. With the addition of the three events we are currently finalizing, we will have a minimum of eight (8) point’s races on the East Coast during the upcoming season. We have confirmed with Sebring International Raceway that we will again run the Sebring Enduro featuring a 60th birthday party & car show for the Corvette and a revised event at the Mobil 1 – 12 Hours of Sebring on the first and third weekends of March, 2013. We have completed agreements with Watkins Glen International for our June 6-10 event and the traditional Glenora Wine Cellars US Grand Prix in September. The June Watkins Glen event will be held on the 2.3 mile “short course” utilized by NASCAR and Grand Am each August. Most SVRA racers have never had the opportunity to race this course and we are developing plan for a Canadian-American invitational for stock cars that will make this event truly unique. Later in June we will return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Couse for their annual Vintage Grand Prix. We are currently negotiating with the track in an attempt to move our date to the last weekend in June. This would give competitors an additional week between our two June events. I wish I could announce the complete schedule now but the contracts are not completed yet, however, I promise everyone it will be worth the wait. More on this soon.
Purchase of HSR–West: We purchased HSR-West for several reasons. We needed to be a national company if we were to have a meaningful Vintage National Championship. Ed Swart is a legend in West Coast sports car and Vintage racing circles and is a great addition to our team as we expand to the West Coast. We also gain an important core group of West Coast Vintage racers as SVRA members. Being a national organization also gives us the scale to attract meaningful sponsorship that will result in better
events for all. We are also working to expand the SVRA-West schedule to seven (7) events in 2013.
Lastly SVRA’s status as a national organization allows our competitors to easily compete at tracks on either coast and sets the stage for SVRA to develop innovative programs that reward participation on both sides of the US. We will be announcing much more on the advantages and benefits of being a national racing organization in the coming weeks.
SVRA Eastern Regional Championship: We will be holding a regular season championship for both Sprint series and Enduro series for the East Coast tracks. The season will kick off at the Sebring Enduro in early March and will conclude in October at a venue to be announced soon. All aspects of this championship, the trophies, prizes, contingency awards, and banquet will be appropriate for winning a championship of this caliber.
SVRA National Championship: This event will be open to all Vintage racers and will follow the format of a normal SVRA weekend race. The race will be held in late October or early November and will conclude SVRA’s 2013 season. The format will be structured so that the SVRA regional point’s leaders from both coasts (and possibly other Vintage clubs or racing organizations) will be invited to compete for a national title during that race weekend. Points Championship rules and driver eligibly will be clearly announced and communicated before the start of our season. Again, the trophies, prizes, award, and
banquet will be meaningful for winning a national championship.
SVRA Driver Conduct: SVRA is adopting the following philosophy in regards to driver conduct. We will insist on a zero contact racing. We understand that car-to-car contact sometimes is caused by mechanical failure or an unavoidable racing incident, but we will take a very hard stance on contact that could have been avoided. ”If you are not sure, don’t do it” will be our credo for driver conduct as we move forward. We will not tolerate a “win at all cost” attitude at our events. We will embrace a spirit of safe, fair, fun competition where we will have as much respect for the driver racing in 20th spot as for the front runners. SVRA will welcome other clubs and their drivers to our events as long as they are safe and in compliance with our rules. We are firmly committed to providing competitors with the best races at the best tracks while maintaining the highest standards of competitive racing.
Car eligibility rules and rule enforcement: We are in the final stages of selecting a new Technical Director for SVRA who will be on board by November 15th. This person will be tasked with developing and communicating the rules for all cars and classes that race within SVRA. This person will also be responsible for enforcement of our rules and will report to Ray Snowdon our Competition Director. I’ve been involved in deep discussions with several SVRA racers, past Drivers of the Year winners, track
support teams, and SVRA staff members regarding our rules and their enforcement. Our current rules are in pretty good shape and will require a small amount of updating, clarification, and review. Our philosophy on car preparation will be to adhere period correct standards that result in safe cars and foster fair competition. We are not “a run what you brung” organization and will not allow “anything with wheels” to compete simply to increase our car count.
To me, the real issue for SVRA is the enforcement of our rules and this is the area where competitors will see the biggest difference in as we go forward. We will require all cars that enter a race to have a current car data sheet signed by the driver or car owner declaring the specs of their car and confirming that the car meets our published rules. This document will list the major specifications for our cars. We will also require two digital photos for each car, a “head shot” photo of the driver, and a brief bio of the driver and car. This information will be posted, by race group, on our new website and will be available to the media for promotional purposes. This data base will provide the wealth of information that will make it easier
for new people coming to our sport. It will also help us create more professional race programs for our spectator events.
The top five (5) cars will be weighed under the supervision of the Technical Director after every race. We will also perform a visual inspection of tires, brakes, and ride height to quickly verify technical compliance. If any of these items are found to be not in compliance, that competitor will be disqualified. The race results will indicate that the driver has been disqualified (DQ) and that the car will start the remainder of the weekend in 11th, or worse, position on the grid. Additionally, we are investing in the equipment necessary to measure engine displacement and front runners in each class will be randomly checked throughout our season. In addition, when a car fails any item in post-race inspection, it will have to be brought into compliance with all applicable rules in order to complete the remainder of that event, and/or participate in any future SVRA event. Should this not be possible, the car may be moved to a different class at the discretion of the Technical Director.
With the number of makes and models of vehicles that compete in an SVRA event on a given weekend it is impossible to completely check the legality of every entrant with the size of our staff. We therefore think that the best enforcement, in addition to our technical team, is peer pressure. Our new inspection policy will quickly indentify items that we feel create an unfair advantage. To further enhance our rule’s enforcement, SVRA will have a formal protest process. If a driver is convinced that a competitor is illegal he/she will have the option to file a formal protest with the Technical Director. The items that can
be protested will be outlined on our forms and will require a fee of $250.00. If the protested car is found to be illegal on the item(s) protested the $250.00 fee will be returned to the driver who filed the protest and the driver of the illegal car will be charged the $250 protest fee. If the car is determined to be legal the $250.00 fee will not refunded. By implementing these procedures, we believe SVRA will have the most sensible enforcement policies and practices in Vintage racing that will ensure safe, fair, fun competition at our events while providing our competitors with a clear and concise set of expectations of
what is required at our events.
SVRA Website: We are currently in the process of rebuilding our website and it should be considered as a work-in-process for the next several months. We are focused on adding numerous enhancements and an increased level of interactivity to our site. Some of the features you will see are; better online race registration, timely race results, championship point updates, a comprehensive car and driver data base, an improved rules and forms section, prominent display opportunities for sponsors, an SVRA blog, links to social media, videos of our races, an SVRA store, a Driver of the Year gallery, SVRA Hall of Fame,
upcoming event details and schedule information, and much more. Our goal is to make our website the best in our sport.
SVRA Sponsorship : We are working on many ideas that will, we feel, significantly change the face of Vintage Racing and in doing so create a sponsorship platform whereby Corporate and/or private Sponsors can benefit by being involved with SVRA. On the corporate level we plan to open up our events for sponsors to hold technical seminars for our racers and learn how specific products can help their on track performance. On an individual level, many SVRA members are directly involved with, or have friends and associates who are involved in, businesses that could significantly benefit by exposure to the desirable demographic that is involved in SVRA racing. To this end I encourage anyone who has an interest or knows someone who might be interested in becoming a sponsor, to contact either Jon McKnight or myself for further details. As our sponsorship program grows we can improve the quality of our events, our awards, giveaways and, yes, possibly even reduce entry fees.
We welcome your input on; how to make all aspects of our operation work better, providing introduction to and/or suggestions of potential sponsors, and how we can actively recruit new competitors.
SVRA Management Team:
Jon McKnight, Director of Events. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 908.268.8368 Awards, Hospitality,
Sponsorship, Marketing, SVRA History, and Administration.
Ray Snowdon, Competition Director. Email: email@example.com, 203.556.8833 Race
Operations, Tech and Rule Enforcement, Paddock management, Grid, Timing and Scoring, Race Control
and Track Schedule.
Kim Hoxie, Registrar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 850.329.7485 Registration, membership renewal, race
check in, website updates.
Tony Parella, President & CEO Email: email@example.com
I’m sorry for such a long note, but sincerely hope this information is helpful. Our entire team is hard at work on the 2013 season (and beyond) and committed to making SVRA the premier Vintage organization in the country. To this end we have developed a slogan that we feel states the direction we are headed; setting a new standard for Vintage Racing Thank you for your support and best regards,