177 members and guests helped celebrate the closing stages of our 20th anniversary season. Awards were presented, dinner enjoyed and guest speaker Jake Hill entertained, on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we held our AGM. Both Treasurer and Chairman's statements are printed below.
Congratulations to all our award winners. Whilst we run series in 2023, not championships (therefore we have no official overall winners), we do present awards to winners that were not collected at each round, for car presentation, excellent driving standards and a plethora of other categories and reasons.
Motorsport Photographer, Jeff Bloxham was there, he has kindly made his photos available to download free of charge, spread across three galleries. These links will work for this week only:
There were three special awards this year.
A lifetime achievement award was presented to Mike Harris. Our Chief Scrutineer for ten seasons, he continues to give back to the motorsport community, now in his 5th decade as a volunteer. After many years of technical delegation with F1 and the WRC, we are proud that he supported us for so long before stepping back to spend more time with family and to enjoy his sporting trials.
The Barry Carpenter award, for the non-driver that best embodies the spirit of the CSCC was won by Natasha Baker (nee Hetzler). Described as the Swiss army knife of volunteers, Natasha has always responded to our plea for help with an enthusiastic yes, whatever the task and however long the days, not only that, she is good at all these roles too. A regular face behind the counter in race administration pre-Covid, a valued Scrutineering assistant when the team was short and this year helping as safety car observer at Snetterton and during the Anglesey 24hr. Like so many of our wives and partners, Natasha supports her Tin Tops racing husband in the paddock (and is therefore chef, mechanic and emotional crutch)!
This years CSCC Members Trophy (aka Spirit Of The Club) was deservedly clinched by John Muirhead. One of our founding members, in fact he took part in the very first Adams & Page Swinging 60s race at Croft, in the 1968 Lotus Seven he bought from new. Over the past two decades he has been an active member of the club committee, before stepping down earlier this year. A man without portfolio, John's decades of experience whilst working for Aston Martin, meant that when he spoke, we listened. In those early days of the club, having his car on a show stand and borrowing display lighting were especially useful. He brought his son into racing with the CSCC, sharing the family Lotus. For 20 years of service and racing with the CSCC, thank you John, we look forward to seeing you back on the grid again next season.
Thank you to our Social Secretary, Lisa Selby, for working so hard with the office team to make the night happen and to her husband, Toby Harris for 'driving' the audio visuals. Marc Peters edited the brilliant videos (our end of season video will be on our YouTube channel next month), with Mark Werrell our professional host. This was Jake Hill's first public speaking engagement, we certainly couldn't tell. We were grateful he stuck around to mingle and gamble into the early hours.
Annual General Meeting
There were two motions on the table, to increase the maximum size of the CSCC committee and to add a formal mechanism for the removal of a committee member, if it were ever required. Both were approved, with no 'against' votes. Thank you for your support. The club regulations have been changed with immediate effect and can be found on the CSCC website. https://www.classicsportscarclub.co.uk/regulations
The Treasurers statement (Richard Wos) followed:
Club Accounts for the year ending 30th. November 2022
These accounts have been sent to all club members.
Last year at the AGM I reported that costs had risen across the board and that some race entries were down on the previous year. I had expected a small profit, but instead we have made a small loss of some £16000. A small increase in entry fees would have given us a surplus on the year, but with a profit in excess of £100,000 in the previous year, we could not justify any increase and left our entry fees unchanged for the third consecutive year.
Club Accounts for the year ending 30th. November 2023 Forecast.
This has been a difficult year for the club, race entry fees were unchanged for the fourth consecutive year but we have been hit by costs rising in some instances by quite a large margin. Some series have suffered from reduced entries, possibly due to cost increases we are all experiencing in our personal lives.
In this financial year ending 30th. November 2023 we will make a financial loss potentially in excess of £80,000. I am working closely with our auditors and will not have a final figure until next year.
Fears about Biometric Scanning at the border, together with Carnet issues meant that we did not go to Spa.
Club Accounts for the year ending 30th. November 2024 forecast.
In 2024 we are putting our race entry, and membership fees up for the first time in 5 years.
Club membership will be going up to £49.00 and race entries fees will increase by 5% with some entry fees such as Silverstone increasing by more to reflect the higher circuit fees.
I would like to remind all members that that the club is very strong financially with cash reserves of £500,000. Additionally, our freehold offices valued at £250,000. are mortgage free and the club has no debts or loans.
Following this action our budget forecasts show that we will break even in 2024. We are returning to Spa, changes in the Spa Calendar mean that we will have to go twice in order to be able to offer all members an opportunity to race there. The modern cars will go in April and our Classics will go in September to support the 6 hour meeting.
The Chairmans statement (John Hammersley) was read aloud:
Thank you Richard. Good Morning, Welcome all.
Again, in writing this report my first port of call was to look back at last years report, where I noted a slight decrease in entry levels, on the unusually high numbers we saw during Covid.
As you have heard from Richard in his treasurers’ report, 2023 has seen some grid numbers fall further. Despite our best efforts, we have witnessed a few disappointing race meetings this year, but we have also had some successes too. The CSCC is always looking for opportunities for its members, this time putting on the first ever race meeting in February. Our season opener on the Silverstone GP circuit was blessed with good weather, well for that time of year anyway, and had good entries with great racing. Conversely, our experiment at Anglesey with the 24-hour format, again with reasonable weather, was a financial disappointment. Whilst we enjoyed some excellent grids in the Swinging 60s and Tin Tops, we had low entries in the other races. Anglesey produced some great racing, in a ‘new to the UK’ format. Despite some grids being small, the weekend was enjoyed by everyone there, including Marshals and Officials, as well as the competitors. Unfortunately, due to the prohibitively large costs of putting on such an innovative event, the club will not be repeating it in the near future. Our UK Season finale at Croft was blessed with good weather, strong grids, and great racing, which was a great way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. With over 20 entries for Daytona, and over 10 of them staying on for Sebring next week, this has been a great way to round off our 20th Anniversary year.
It is obvious to us that the cost-of-living crisis, coupled with increases in circuit hire and running costs are all contributing to lower entry numbers, a problem faced not just by us, but by other organisers. Our membership numbers remain as strong as ever, with members simply racing at less rounds on average.
Because of this, your directors and committee understand that we cannot continue without taking some positive steps forward. Make no mistake, we are not the only club looking at differing ways forward, but we believe by welcoming our new series and championships into the CSCC fold we can stem the flow of declining entries.
So, for 2024 we welcome and re-welcome the following –
CSCC MG Trophy championship, and CSCC Jaguar Racing championship, both of whom will be sharing grids at our race meetings.
CSCC BMW Championship (formerly Kumho), who will be sharing grids with our Open series.
The Lackford Engineering MG Midget & Sprite Challenge, which now gives us by far the largest numbers of racing Spridgets in the UK.
All of the competitors in these ‘new to us’ categories, will be full CSCC members, thus swelling our numbers.
I would like to quell any concerns regarding our existing series. These decisions to integrate the above championships into our existing series and race meetings have not been taken lightly. Many hundreds of man hours have been taken up with meetings and research, but the directors and committee firmly believe this is the way forward for the club, extending the life of all of our existing series whilst welcoming new members.
Moving on to our 21st Year and our 2024 calendar. I’m sure that all existing members know, that throughout the last few years we have tried different innovative things, such as (a variety of overseas rounds, Silverstone GP, Knockhill, Anglesey 24 hours etc.) However, we do not feel that 2024 is the appropriate time to try new innovations, but that doesn’t mean we will not be looking into new ideas for the future.
You will note that we are sticking with “mainstream” venues for 2024, but the exciting news is our return to Spa, not once but twice, once in April for our more modern cars and then in September for our 60’s cars. We have visits to both Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP circuits, invitations to Thruxton Historics, and again to the Oulton Park Gold Cup.
Now, it's not all doom and gloom. Because of prudent management and investments, we are financially secure, and the directors and committee feel that we are taking the correct steps to secure the future of the club.
As ever, I can’t finish without offering my sincerest thanks to our directors, office staff, my fellow committee members, our officials, helpers, Marshalls, and sponsors, but most of all to you, our members, for your continued and valued support. Thank You.
John Hammersley (Chairman CSCC)
In any other business, discussion followed on a number of matters, with one in particular that is a change to revive Adams & Page Swinging 60s Group 2, to be revealed in the coming weeks.
The detailed calendar, that reveals where each series and championship will race is due to follow later this week.
CSCC Car Accident
Sadly on the way home from the AGM the familiar club VW Touran, that the club bought new back in 2011, was hit hard from behind, whilst stationary in traffic. Hugo was unhurt, but with light damage to the front and heavier damage to the rear, we fear the VW's days may be numbered. Still, the Citroen that did the ramming came off visually worse!
20th Anniversary Mugs
As a small token to mark the occasion, those members racing at Croft and attending the Dinner received a 20th Anniversary Mug. We do have a small number left over that can be collected at our Donington race meeting in March 2024, whilst numbers remain. Sorry, we can't post them and hope you understand we can't give them out to everyone, the costs to club members would be too great.