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.
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.
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.
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.
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.