Well as we are about to start on the 2019 year of racing, and there has been quite a bit of work put in by the BOM (Board of Management) in the past 12 months.
We have completed the migration of the website as the previous decided to no longer support us, this task was started by the previous BOM and was a carry over item to be completed. We asked members from all states if any would be interested in assisting in uploading content and are grateful to have Aaron Lee (Djatraxx@hotmail.com) and Scott Andrew (Scotthydro@gmail.com) put their hand up to assist, so should you have any State correspondence please feel free to send it to these guys to put it up there. This can be from cars for sale (although you can do this yourself) to race reports or any promotional items.
We also put out a survey Nationally to find out some direction in which the members Nationally would like to see the category get driven. The results were a great guide for the BOM. One of the interesting facts that came from it was the identification that each State has different requirements. But some of the stand out result that where unanimous throughout all states were, over 70% of members want to get back to Bathurst on either weekend available. (we have been in discussion with the promoters but have not been able to get offered a spot).
71.76% would like to get onto a Supercars support event and thanks to FAVT this has been secured. Tasmania has been working on this for the past 3 years and I personally felt we were getting lead on by Supercars so for the Tasmanian committee to pull this off is an outstanding achievement. Please be aware that it is impossible for a non-major National category to get a run on the Supercars calendar at the more accessible tracks under normal circumstances as these slots are filled by their regular main National support categories. Thus, the only way to get onto a V8 round is to be on one of the rounds not on the east coast (I.E) Darwin, Perth and Tasmania.) unfortunately with this comes an additional travel cost. We do ask that all try and support this event as the better showing we make the more likely we are to get invited back to other Supercars run events. Please note that Supercars run the Bathurst 12hr. in addition to this we have paid to have all races televised live from the event, this was done on the basis that 84.85% of members indicated on the survey that they would like to see Formula Vee on T.V. should any member wish to promote their business and sponsor the National series this year we have a great potential to get you better exposure this year with the T.V deal.
The BOM and the NSW Committee also shared the cost of live steaming the NSW National series round last year. We do ask that all members share any video footage of the category racing as the only way to promote and get the best value out of these events is for members to share the content to as many places as possible.
The National series calendar was a real challenge this year as there were no options that did not clash with other states round. Thus, the BOM has had to decide to effect at least one State. unfraternally QLD was the state that got hindered here the QLD BOM rep was well apart of this decision and we thank QLD for their understanding.
Once again, the National series is four rounds with drop your worst round coming into play again so as those that cannot commit the time of budget to go across to Tasmania can still come and have a shot at winning the National series.
On that Note, last year we included W.A in the series and for the first time in modern history the national series was won by a Western Australian. Or two. Congratulations to both David Caisley (1600) and Danny Cerro (1200).
On the Technical front the NTC has also been very busy with a range of tasks. There has been some wording in the rule book that has been corrected to ensure that our current actions are not in breach. The new heads have come in and have appeared to have brought parity against some of the older heads that flowed better than what was available thus giving all competitors the ability to compete on a level plying field. There is further works going on around supply items to ensure there is enough supply of all part to continue. As part of the survey done last year it was evident that competitors don’t want too much change and that keeping costs down is one of the priorities of the Category. It is our role in the BOM to try and achieve this as best as we can. So, we will continue to keep the racing cost effective as possible as well as keeping the parity.
The other hot topic is Tyres…… Sigh… ok let’s start with the known items, the current Yokahama deal has had some really strong support and it has had negative feedback depends what state you are from. When I got elected as president, I have had a chat to each BOM rep during hook-ups and countless competitors from all states. I have come into my position 100% to try and do the best for Formula Vee as a whole. The fact findings of my discussion’s and the information provided in the comments section of the survey from last year it has become evident that every state has a different requirements from tyres. For example, W.A. has Barbagallo which until this year’s resurfacing was an extremally abrasive surface and there were some competitors chopping through a set of tyres in a weekend or 2 when on the Hoosier thus when W.A went to the X ply tyre the wear rate was dramatically improved. NSW has SMSP which is also a highly abrasive surface, and the competitors there have struggled to get heat into tyres of the current tyre thus you see lots of tyre smoke under breaking and reduced driver confidence, and those competitors have found an advantage to put a new set on each meeting at that venue even though the is still plenty of tread depth left. This has had a major effect on the number of competitors in NSW. In fact, in 2 years NSW has gone from the largest fields in formula Vee Nationally to amongst the lowest numbers. Victoria on the back of a lot of promotional work, with one of their promotion items is the cost of the tyres and the invitation of historic cars have done a great job in building numbers during this period. I won’t go through each state’s pros and cons, but it is very evident that one size does not fit all.
The current tyre tender with Yokahama concludes at the end of 2019. There was the option at the end of 2018 to create an extension of the current contract. the BOM which it made up from a representative from each state agreed that it would appropriate to explore what options are available to Formula Vee and what deal we could receive. The National Technical Committee was asked to put together guidelines for tender and this was done so from the documents from numerous previous tenders. This was presented to all tyre companies. We have received tenders back from Yokahama who are providing the same current X Ply tyre, Hoosier, who will supply the same tyre that Formula Vee previously ran on. And Dunlop who will supply 2 makes of tyre. A similar race tyre to what was previously run in Formula Vee and a X ply tyre, like what is run in the Toyota racing series. The BOM has asked the NTC (National Technical committee) to put together a test plan and present to the BOM. The NTC has a representative from each state as does the BOM. The test plan was submitted to the BOM and approved. There are 4 test venues for this tyre test in 4 different states. More than in any previous tender. Which is a fantastic achievement from the NTC. The NTC is using local drivers at each of their venues. Again, well done to the NTC. The drivers are being asked to not share feedback till all the testing is done to not influence the drivers yet to test, as we want honest uninfluenced feedback. I have been nominated as one of the drivers for SMSP and therefore have no current feedback for results of the Tasmania test nor will I get results from the QLD test…
I have received some Interesting messages from a State that is not on the test schedule, I will happily give up my seat in the NSW test to any of those vocally sceptical of the process to come and provide your feedback. Each is entitled to their opinion. I encourage those that seem to be so knowledgeable to put their hand up and volunteer their time and contribute in a positive way to either your state or national committee, thus you will see that we are all working here for the betterment of our category with no hidden agendas.
The tyre test feedback is scored on a spreadsheet and the results will be made public at the conclusion. Lap time is not a determining factor of the tyre tests. It will come down to cost, grip and wear. Should anyone wish to have a chat to me about the process of the tyre test or any matter my number is easily accessed, and I would be happy to chat to anyone.
I assure you that your category is in good hand and that your BOM representatives from each State have the best interests of Formula Vee at heart.
So, with the hopes and dreams of a prosperous season ahead of us all, I wish you all well in achieving your goals.