Why is this important?
Like so many other clubs, we need to maintain and grow our membership. While we have successful Road racing, Autocross, RallyCross, and PDX programs in place we need to not only retain the membership we have but also encourage new members so that we have both additional participants – be they, competitors or volunteers.
Spectators are the low hanging fruit for recruiting new members. Although they may not be ready to jump into a road racing car, they may well try out one of our other activities. Or, if they aren’t ready to get behind the wheel, they might like to get involved in the volunteering aspect of the club. The majority of motorsport marshals became marshals by spectating first. And we can always use more volunteers. CFR has an extremely active road racing program and benefits from track rental discounts because of the volunteers that work the tracks’ Pro and Mini Pro events.
In a word, Everyone: Spectators will come and see that motor racing is FAST, FUN, & FANTASTIC! Drivers will get to race in front of a crowd, instead of empty stands, and volunteers will have a chance to see what else the club has to offer, and that is just on the Showcase weekend.
Long term benefits for drivers will include the ability of the club to put on racing events into the future and volunteers will have sufficient staffing levels to allow them to feel less pressured into working every event, and at the events that they do work, they should have a little more time to enjoy the racing.
Will continue as normal with the same amount of track time as in previous years, spectators will get to see some of the best motor racing in the country, they will get up close and personal with some of the cars and drivers in the pitlane walkabout scheduled for Saturday lunch time. Drivers are encouraged to sign autographs and interact with the fans.
Will be having a 2-day event on the Go Kart track that has been used many times before at this weekend, however on the Saturday they will be allowing spectators to jump into the passenger seats and have a taste of the action.
Will for the very first time be running at Daytona, a track will be created on dirt outside the turn 3 horseshoe, on Saturday they will also be having spectators climb aboard for the thrill of a lifetime.
Sunday will be full blown competition for all three of the above.
Some of our PDX’ers have agreed to come back after their Friday track day and give hot laps to passengers around the full Daytona course.
Another first for CFR will be the Road Rally who should be arriving at the track at the end of their inaugural Road Rally event for an awards presentation and ceremony.
We have Radio coverage to bring in the crowds and a social event on Saturday featuring live music.
This promises to be one of the best race weekends ever, and you are invited to be a part of it.
Our Club is a collection of many different passions related to motorsports. Whether your passion is Solo (Autocross), RallyCross, RoadRally, Track Events (Performance Driving Experience, Time Trials, Club Trials, Hill Climbs), or Road Racing, we all joined CFR and SCCA to become a member of the best car club in the country.
Central Florida Region is also one of the best regions within SCCA at putting on competition events for our members. Our Solo program hosts 25+ days of Autocross events each year. Road Racing has 20+ days of wheel-to-wheel events, and 8+ days of testing available. RallyCross hosts 11+ days for folks to play in the dirt with their cars. For members that want to enjoy driving their cars on a track without being competitive, the PDX program has 10+ days of Track Events available.
A great deal of effort is required to make these events possible. The Solo and RallyCross programs utilize their competitors to staff their events. Basically, you have to help, or there won’t be an event. These events are normally conducted on airstrips, parking lots or relatively confined areas. The competitors take turns doing registration, timing, scoring, grid, radio control, event setup/breakdown, monitoring the course and resetting cones.
It is much more difficult for Road Racing and Track Events to be self-staffing. These programs are conducted on race tracks that cover a large area and require a significant number of volunteers. These volunteers also require specialized training to protect the safety of the competitors on the track.
Your Membership Chair, Darren Gunn, came up with the concept of the May Showcase many months ago to help promote CFR to the motorsports world outside of SCCA. The normal method of promoting our events were through word of mouth within the CFR membership, or through Facebook posting by the CFR Solo and RallyCross communities, and our Membership Chair.
After hearing about this concept, your Regional Executive proposed using additional marketing methods to introduce CFR and SCCA to the general public. Since your Club covers a large geographical area that includes the large population areas of Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Tampa Bay, we have decided to take advantage of advertising the Showcase on radio station 106.7 FM – WXXL to reach a new audience.
Information about your Club and the Showcase will be heard 5 times a day for two weeks (30 spots) beginning on April 24, 2017 ending on May 7, 2017. Additionally, this information will be heard by folks listening to iHeart Radio on the Internet or their mobile devices for another 30 spots during the same time period. The promotion will culminate with a radio broadcast from the event on Saturday, May 6 live from the Fan Zone at the Daytona Speedway.
Since combining motorsports events and live music are very popular with spectators, we decided to promote this event as fun as well as a competition. To achieve this mix, we will have a live band playing in the Fan Zone where our members (drivers and volunteers) can meet the spectators and let them know what CFR is all about and how they can become of a part of the fun.
The team decided that offering track tours could be an effective means of attracting spectators to the Showcase. Not only could they come to watch the events, they could be a part of the experience, riding along in a Solo, RallyCross, or PDX session. The PDX ride-a-longs (most race cars don’t have an extra seat) would be on the full Road Course so they could experience the thrill of the high banks as well as the skill of the infield and the bus stop.
While this promotion is intended to grow our membership in the many programs we offer, the major goal is to bring younger people into the Club to become volunteers. Especially as Corner Marshals for Club Racing and Track Events.
Why do we need more volunteer members?
Over the years the role of the volunteer Corner Marshal has changed. Originally Marshals were trained to be ‘first responders’ to assist drivers if there was an incident on track, as well as display flags to communicate with the drivers. Today, the role of the Marshal still communicates with the drivers, but if an incident occurs, they report the information to Race Control who then dispatches the tracks emergency teams to assist the driver.
In the past, CFR was fortunate to have a significant number of Marshals that enjoyed being a part of the action on the corners since they enjoyed the racing, but also felt useful in the event of an incident. Unfortunately, our Marshal staff has been declining over the years. Some of this is due to the role change, but also due to age, and the number for event days that CFR requires corner staff. In addition to the nearly 30 days required for our events, CFR also provides nearly 60 days of Marshal staffing to supporting Pro events (Rolex 24, Sebring 12 Hour, St. Pete Gran Prix), as well as Track Events for other organizations.
Planning this event has included many people including all of the program chairs, membership, officers, and some BoG members. Scheduling for the events (including Club Racing) was based on all the venues that would be included.
We are very much a grassroots organization and it takes all of us to promote, support, participate in and run any of our events. This May Showcase is our opportunity to let others know that this can be theirs too and with all of our support, we can make this weekend a very fun and successful one.