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Welsh Championship Meeting Ramada Swansea Wednesday 27th July 2011

 Present Robert Allender,  Marion Allender, Rhodri Jenkins, Alan Jenkins, Anthony Allitt, Mike Nicolson, Mike Woods, Neil Trainer, Graham Hollis, Mike Jones, Nick Jones, Martin Davies, Jason Davies, Geraint Rees, Neil Watts

Apologies,  Alvin Powell, Craig Freeman, Andrew Crighton, Paul Trowbridge, Dave Mears, Lofty Everill, Ben Scrivens, Dom Evans, Glynne Jones

 Robert opened the meeting and recalled that over the 21 years since the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship started, there had been ups & downs. Before the formation of the WRDA there was no racing in Wales, and when the championship started there were 2 saloons & 3 sports-cars, so it has always been a compromise. However after the change of regulations in 2008 we had one of our best years, but that was followed by the credit crunch and the current recession. We have never had to cancel a race due to lack of entries, so we need to pull together to make the last 2 events of the year as good as possible but to try and look to next season so we can get the championship back on track. Otherwise if the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship was to fall, there would be virtually no chance to revive it.

 Alan gave details of the consequences of continuing low entries. i.e Clubs would stop inviting us to race on their dates. There was a discussion about how the recession is affecting other championship and other businesses.

 There was discussion about the number of away rounds and the difference between a series and a championship. Alan stated that because we did not have big enough grids to maintain the championships ‘National’ status we were now classed as a ‘venue based’ championship and that only allowed us to have 1 date away from Pembrey. The general feeling was to retain Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship as an MSA recognized championship.

 There was a discussion on the cost of racing. The general feeling was that we should reduce the events to One practice & two races (instead of the current One practice + Three races). Apart from the potential saving in entry fee, this would reduce the wear & tear on the cars, and further reduce costs. Though we have no direct control over entry costs, it was suggested that if we could influence organizing clubs to get an entry down to under 300 for a weekend it would boost numbers. Alan Jenkins to action.

 There needed to be a new social element to race weekends, and we needed to emphasize that racing was more family friendly that many other types of motor sport.

  There was a discussion on the Class structure for 2012. Some Amendments to the Class structure were needed and New Classes were needed, including one for treaded tyres and motor bike engine cars.

 The website needed to be up-dated and Robert stated that this was in hand. Jason Davies suggested Driver profiles would be a good idea. A Facebook page was discussed, Rhodri cautioned on its’ use, as the last time we had a forum it rebounded on us, when comments that were critical of the MSA or other figures in motor sport were posted. A regulator needed to appointed. Also, a presence on other sites like Pistonheads was felt to be a good idea.

 There was a further discussion on other ways to get publicity.  Mike Jones kindly agreed to produce leaflets, and distribute them. We need to support new drivers. Neil Trainer suggested that experienced drivers offer to mentor new drivers. Robert will email out asking for Driver profiles and for people to be mentors. He also suggested contacting people of influence in the racing/rally world with a view to publicizing/encouraging support through them. Each driver should do this, and Neil Trainer will make contact with some individuals he knows to progress. We also discussed approaching other clubs, in particular those in Swansea ,Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire. We should send a person/small group to introduce these clubs to racing. Neil Trainer and Rhodri will follow up with Swansea Motor Club, and anyone connected with other such clubs is encouraged to make approaches either themselves, or through the WRDA (please contact Robert to get support from other members).

 A Track day would be good before the end of the season so that we could try to attract drivers from local motors-port clubs who had cars that already had most of the safety equipment needed for racing, and could have a try as racing could be only a little more expensive that other events, but was better value for money. Rhodri & Neil Trainer to action. It was suggested that registration & membership was reduced to a nominal 50p for the rest of the year.

 Neil Trainer suggested that if every driver tried to bring one more driver each, then that would boost our grids. Let’s all try to do this for our final 2 meetings this year to keep things on the boil, with a view to expanding the Championship numbers significantly next year. All present agreed the WSSCC is one of the best around, and there was strong support to make sure it continued and thrived in coming years.

Next Races are on 10/11 September

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