The St Lawrence Automobile Club

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Welcome to the website of the St. Lawrence Automobile Club or as it is better known:  St LAC, (pronounced “Saint Lack”).  The Club calls Kingston, Ontario, Canada home and is the motor sport group to join for any enthusiasts in South Eastern Ontario.

Why Join St LAC?

  • It’s a social thing!  Whether it’s at a meeting or some other automotive event, you’ll meet fellow car nuts who are more than happy to share stories and more.
  • Want to try your hand at racing? We’re more than happy to help and who knows — we might even be able let you try a fully-kitted car.
  •  Need to install a new Flux Capacitor?  We might just be able to help with that too.
  • For more information about joining or renewing your membership please click here.

How to join St LAC or renew your membership in 2022

Joining St LAC has never been easier and once again, we ask all members — new and returning — to join through the CASC portal.  This will require that you ‘join’ the site and then login.  If this is a problem you can drop us a line at st.lac.club@gmail.com
(And don’t worry if it’s a problem for you.  Your secret will be safe with us.  Maybe.)

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Brack Driving Concepts commits to another year of support

Consistently the first to renew a corporate sponsorship in support of St LAC and 2022 is proving to be no exception for Brack Driving Concepts.

Speaking as a graduate of their Learn-to-Race program, I would not hesitate to encourage your (or someone you know) participation in just such an event or any other of their other skills courses.

You can find out more at http://www.brackdriving.com/

 

 

 

St LAC member Ian Crerar racing in 2022 Rallye Monte-Carlo

When St LAC member Ian Crerar isn’t on the water chances are you’ll find him behind the wheel of one form of racing car or another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s not just when the weather turns better.  Ian will be participating along with a full field of 75 entrants in the kickoff to the Rally season in the French Alps that is the 2022 edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo.  (Of additional interest is the inclusion of 11 Hybrid cars.)  This is the second time Ian and team has participated in this event.

His competition interests stem from boats to motorcycling to all kinds of auto events.  Many of you will be familiar with Ian’s VARAC entrants and, of course, his rally 911 which he’s fielded since 2019.  For this event, however, he’ll be behind the wheel of a Renault Alpine.

About the Alpine Rallye car
Renault describes the Alpine as a “pure racing car, powered by a 4-cylinder turbo-charged engine that delivers over 300 bhp. It contains lots of modifications designed for rallying: revised engine torque curve, 3-way shock absorbers with hydraulic tappets, Brembo brakes, integral roll-bar and SABELT bucket seats with six-point harnesses.Its centre-mounted rear engine (ideal for weight distribution and drive), aluminium chassis and low weight form a perfect basis for versions specific to the different types of competition.”

– source:  https://tinyurl.com/ycz2ehxn

Results page available at: Rally Monte Carlo 2022 — Ian Crerar

News you can use

Greetings to all of you, it’s hard to believe St Lac is entering its 69th year.  I still feel like a relative newcomer when I think of my history with the club that began in the late 80s when I first attended the club’s slalom events at the Woolco parking lot (the Frontenac Mall) and on the parade square at CFB Kingston.  Looking back it was certainly a more innocent time without cell phones, social media and the perils of global warming ;but what hasn’t changed is the inclusiveness the other club members offered me when I joined the club  and the friendships that followed.  Based on the recent membership survey those same core values are still the reason St Lac is prospering.

Survey Results

For those of you who took the time to complete the recent survey I want to say a personal thank you as we had just under a 50% response rate and your collective feedback is incredibly helpful. The first surprising result was that the majority of  respondents are willing to pay more for 2022’s membership fee. This increase is slightly risky; but it reflects the inflation all of our fixed expenses have undergone over the past 12 months.  So the new membership fee has risen an additional 20.00 bucks to 55.00 for the individual membership with any additional family members remaining at $5.00 more. Our corporate membership fee,however, will remain at 100.00. Continuing with the survey results  I know there were several anxious Subaru owners who are members that are  interested in the 750.00 rebate Subaru Canada offers its customers via our support of their rally efforts; but you can rest easy as the Club will continue its support for RSO ( rally sport Ontario)  and CARS ( Canadian Association of Rally Sport).  It was a very close call though with 52% in favor and 48% against the ongoing support.

St LAP III

When it comes to St Lap III an overwhelming 92% of you have committed to next season’s lapping sessions, with 70% of you in favor of keeping the events to 5 evenings so it’s status quo.  There was also renewed interest for a repeat of our full day lapping event with 75% in favor of a full day of fun at SMP. There were several comments on trying other venues like Calabogie or CTMP (Mosport) but the reality is that the distance to these venues is far and their high rental costs puts them out of our budget. However, it may be possible to do a collaborative event with one of the other regional clubs to offer up some variety and a shorter drive to our out of town supporters.  So as we plan for the season we’ll explore this possibility in more detail.  As I mentioned in my last correspondence, the Club is looking into extending the lapping events into the afternoon’s of the event dates to provide more track time to our racers; but several changes have occured since that news.  Firstly, the available rental dates are more challenging to schedule , and, secondly, and more importantly, SMP is looking at creating its own racer based nightly series- much like Calabogie’s formula libre and sports car ones.  So the immediate concern is that we’ll be in conflict with our supporting hosts at SMP and competing for the same pool of racers who want to test.   I think the idea to expand our track time is still very sound and my goal is to create a hybrid where we may extend the hours for 2 of our events versus all five. This would limit the clubs’ financial exposure and act as a good experiment towards expanding our track time for 2023 if it’s successful.  Nothing is cast in stone yet as it will take another month or so before the calendar is firmed up.  We will also await VARAC’s feedback on this matter from their January executive meeting. The good news though is that this upcoming season will offer more track time than last year whichever way we end up slicing the pie.

Swag

Moving on,it looks like our resident Club doctor will be busy with this year’s swag order as 75% of you are in favour of expanding your wardrobes.  I for one wear my hoodies almost daily and the quality of the fabrics has exceeded my expectations so I hope we can cajole Dr Evans into ordering for us again this spring.

Social Media
In terms of social media and increasing the Club’s presence on platforms like Facebook or Instagram I wasn’t surprised by the ambivalence towards expanding our messaging — in reality  this reflects our older age demographic.  I think the clubs’ website is also fantastic and more than sufficient for news as our webmaster at large continues to provide up-to-date event news and general news of all things car related in Eastern Ontario.

Social Events

In terms of social events we are still under the shadow of Covid and goodness knows where Omicron and the next variant will leave us.  I for one will be happy though to host a renewed effort to finish up the club race car and if possible would be more than happy to host a social gathering or two- I was also very pleased to see a small number of you 12% are interested in learning more about volunteering at the June CASC race weekend at Shannonville.   Several members have already reached out to me for more details but if i can ask any of  the other handful of enthusiasts to email me directly ( via the club email or my own gmail) that would be great as I can provide more details to you all in person —  If we have end up with half a dozen interested folks BEMC will be thrilled for the additional manpower and more than willing to help train you all.

Wishing you the best in 2022
Lastly, and most importantly, I wish all of you a happy and fulfilling new year. It will take me a couple of weeks before I start sending out new membership cards but please make a note to renew your membership over the next several weeks, and please spread the news among your car geek friends about last years’ successes and I will be following up as soon as I can with the event schedule for St Lap III.  All the best for 2022.
– DC 

Dan the Man X2

St LAC is proud to announce that Dan Gray has volunteered to replace Dan Wilson as our outgoing President. Traditionally, the membership would be asked to vote the new executive into position but again Covid has scuppered any kind of normalcy with in person meetings to do so. We are likley skirting our constitutional rule book by appointing Dan but in practice the past voting was limited to the small number of members who were present so bending these rules is kind of like speeding in my humble opinion — nobody really gives a $hit.

Guilty party singled out by longtime member

Many of you will recognize from our Picton events he is a natural organizer, energetic, reliable and youthful (sorry folks, but he’s spoken for). Who knows maybe he’ll blow the social media door open as he said to me today he’s looking forward to adding President to his LinkedIn profile.

-DC

From your executive


Hello St Lac Members, I hope you are doing well as it’s been a while since reaching out to you all. Just a warning if you are reading this on your phone I apologize in advance for the length of the email to come as I find at work these days if I write anything longer than a paragraph colleagues don’t realize there is more content to come when reading on a tiny screen. So you might want to check back from a laptop or tablet as the club needs your advice and opinions on where to focus our efforts next year. You’ll find at the end of this email a link to an online survey and we are counting on your help to fill it in to provide us with important feedback for the 2022 calendar and proposed events. So unlike your internet provider, utility, or workplace we actually give a $hit what you think about the Clubs’ activities so please take a couple of minutes to fill it in. Roger who graciously accepted the challenge of finding a free survey tool ( as survey monkey now charges a steep annual fee) says that if we receive 10% feedback we are doing well with an above average response- I for one hope we can do much better and i will be disappointed if we don’t hear back from you. The survey tool is active for one week so please make an effort because there are some great things brewing for next year and we need a collective point of view to move forward with our planning.

2021 was a very busy year for the Club despite Covid and the roadblocks it created and as it turned out getting together at the race track (SMP) or at Picton for our annual Regional Slalom were almost normal with the exception of social distancing. For me it was a great privilege in fact and an opportunity to meet many new members and extend the tradition that St Lac has provided since 1953 — bringing like minded car enthusiasts together to have fun and improve their driving skills. As previously mentioned the membership grew to 112 members this year. So well done everyone for sharing your enthusiasm among friends as we are a grassroots organization so keep recruiting like minded gear heads as its a collective effort and the results showed this year. Again it was gratifying to see teenage drivers among our ranks this year and their friends showing up to see what all the old farts were doing. It put a smile on my face.

So let’s get down to the plans for 2022 (the year of the Tiger). Firstly, St Lap III is already in the planning stages and our goal is to expand the experience. In case you missed it, St Lap is our monthly evening lapping session at Shannonville which takes place traditionally on the third Thursday of the month for the ridiculously low fee of $265.00 for the 5 evening lapping pass. One of the complaints this year was the discrepancy of watching two open wheel cars tootle around for 15 minutes while 20 street car drivers awaited their turn to queue up for a more crowded next session. With this in mind we are now looking at a dual pass system – a racing pass and a street car one. To make this work the Club is looking at renting SMP at noon on our lapping dates. The afternoon sessions would be dedicated to open and closed wheel race cars and would run until 5:00 at which point we’d switch to the street cars that currently populate the majority of St Lap pass holders. This plan is in the working stages and is not a done deal by any means. The goal is to draw racers from other CASC affiliated clubs and we now have the support of the CASC race director, Ray Arlakas, to reach out to them on St Lac’s behalf. In addition the steering committee member Brian Graham, for the Toyo F1600 Series, is supportive of this scheme. Ed Luce, who many of you will know as a long term St Lac member also sits on the Varac board of directors and will be speaking to the other decision makers within Varac to garnish their support. Varac has the largest group of racers so hopefully this will be a win win for all the local clubs with race car owners. We are also awaiting some details from SMP before we can plan a calendar as it might be necessary to mix up the dates somewhat to accommodate all the regional race series dates- what’s clear though is there is a definite interest to provide a value packed race car pass.

The second interesting development this fall is that the Race Director for BEMC (Canada’s oldest organized car club) has asked St Lac to poll its membership to see if there are any individuals among us that would be willing to volunteer for BEMC’s Casc sanctioned race weekend at Shannonville next June 4-5th. So if you have ever dreamed of marshalling at the F1 race in Montreal here is your first step. There are a wide range of voluntary positions that are open to mentorship and training over the weekend with the goal of having you continue to volunteer at other regional events – for example there are grid marshals, mock grid marshals, paddock marshals, pit lane positions, registration roles as well as coveted ones like driving the pace car or being the starter. From my own racing experiences the volunteers are a wonderful crew and are welcoming to newcomers like myself so I hope we can stir up some interest among you all. In a similar vein we have been asked by the organizers of the 2022 Kingston Corvette Invasion to ask our membership for voluntary help over their weekend event in June but those details will be released in the New Year; but my understanding is that this event rivals the Poker run for the revenue it creates for the local area. I am looking forward to this weekend and hoping the Kingston police might sanction driving the C4 on a street cruise- that would be fun…

Please note I will be updating the membership once we tally the poll results and move forward with the dates and details for 2022- sadly it look like the Picton event may be in jeopardy but i am not writing that venue off yet. All the best everyone and stay safe.