Auckland Car Club – April
Magazine Race Report
Back to Basics
daylight saving having finished, another summer season is drawing to a
close. As I have mentioned in earlier
reports, it has been a tough year on the race front with one event cancelled
due to lack of competitor numbers, another rained out and some date clashes
severely affecting us.
of organising race meetings for Auckland Car Club is actually quite
simple. What we really need is 6 grids
with 15 cards on each grid. If I get the
basic maths right then the event can run well, there is plenty of time for
everyone to enjoy themselves, and the club can make a few dollars out of it
(but I assure you the club won’t get rich at that level).
will apply to the winter series for 2011.
We need basically 5 good sized grids and that way there will be enough
action on the track to keep competitors happy, and for spectators to
enjoy. These are the basics that I
continue to work on to make the race meetings that we organise for you, our
members, even better.
note that at our race meetings we have started running some club sport
sprints. This because we haven’t had
that 6th grid taken up by another class for the summer series. With so much racing out there these days,
classes that used to come to us for events to complete their calendar now have
plenty of choices of events to go to.
The club sport offers us a chance to get newer competitors into racing,
at a manageable level before progressing up to the full race situation. We look
forward to continuing to offer club sport in the future.
We are also
talking to a couple of other smaller car clubs who aren’t big enough to run
their own events. We are more than happy
to provide them with a grid or two at our race meetings so that they too can
come along and enjoy racing at Pukekohe and Hampton Downs.
special general meeting was obviously a flop as we didn’t get enough members
along for a quorum. Given that the
quorum is only 20 people, and the issue at hand is whether the club should sell
the vacant section next door and/or the club rooms, this was a pretty
significant discussion point. What it
tells me is that generally members aren’t that interested in club rooms and
just want to belong to the club to get the benefits of being able to go racing.
If you don’t
agree with my view, it is likely that the matter will be raised again at the
AGM rather than holding another SGM so come along.
the fundamentals of the club's finances are pretty simple. Each year we need to get in more money than
we spend. In the last few years we have
been hit by a number of factors that individually might not have hurt us, but
collectively really have hurt us in aggregate.
The global financial crisis with
people having less money generally.
A declining membership, with the
club being down around 25% of members over the last three years.
Lesser interest from other
classes in running at our race meetings, and a number of the classes that are
running at our meetings having reduced grids.
Lack of use of the club rooms by
tenants and club members. We have lost
over $25,000 p.a. in club room rental over the last few years which is very
hard to replace.
All of this
adds up to a pretty dire situation with the club being cashflow negative in the
current year around $30,000, although this does include principal repayment to
the bank on the mortgage. The answer is
to simply either increase revenue greatly or reduce costs. Neither of these in the short term is likely
to solve the problem with another significant cashflow shortage looming and the
club unlikely to get through to 28 February 2012 unless the committee does do
something drastic. Have a read of the
2011 financial statements when they come out soon to see what we mean.
to put the land and/or club rooms up for sale is the logical one. The cash outflow on the section alone is
around $25,000 per year so it will make a significant saving. However, in my personal opinion, the club
rooms have become a millstone. We get no
rent off them, they cost us cash each year to maintain and to operate, and no
one comes to them anymore. Even for the
prize giving and AGM combined we are lucky to get 30-40 people there. This is once a year.
We may be
better served to either buy club rooms which can provide us with a greater
rental stream when we are not using them, or to indeed not have club rooms and
use those of other organisations. These
are the matters that as a club we need to address.
our membership will come back up and the numbers attending race meetings will
also increase. These things are just a
timing issue. The problem is that we
don’t have time to fix the issue.
my spirit of getting back to basics, I would just like to share a little event
that I went to with you. On Sunday 3
April the team and I headed up to Ruakaka to do the street sprints up
there. This is what motorsport is all
about, a local small car club organising an event in their own backyard for
locals and those of us further afield to come and join. Not only did they turn on a great day, but
they turned on an even better event. The
people were friendly and helpful, there was a camaraderie between people in the
paddock helping each other and sharing things.
Just about everyone reading this newsletter isn’t competing at tier
1. We compete because we enjoy motor
racing and we find it as a pleasant and enjoyable activity to do that fulfils
what we want to achieve. It is great to
be able to do it at a variety of events and my congratulations to the Northland
Car Club on putting on such a fantastic little event.
car happens to have a legal spare seat and belt, we were also able to take a
large number of the helpers out throughout the event. My co-driver and I didn’t get a single drive
in all day without someone sitting in the passenger seat and it is this sort of
giving back to the sport that we all need to look at.
So lets get
back to basics, get the motor racing sorted and the club can go forward. We all just need to keep focused on the
little things that make a difference. It
is the basics that count at the end of the day like just remembering that when
you do put your helmet on, to leave your brain in gear.
forward to seeing you on the 1st of May and then hopefully over the