President’s Column, December 2004
by Bob Morin
Our only event since my last column was the Driver’s School on October 22nd, but it was a dandy. Starved for track time after losing our June date this year, members turned out in big numbers and every run group was filled to capacity. Steve Wasley did a terrific job of getting every student into the school that we could handle and Steve and Bill Johnson lined up a sufficiently large group of instructors to keep things flowing nicely. Thanks to Frank Giacalone, our coordinator for overseeing everything and Bill and Steve and all the other volunteers who are necessary to pull of an event of this magnitude for a very successful day.
In this issue of the DZ, you will find our annual ballot for Chapter officers and members of the board. Unfortunately, you will notice that the ballot is not full. As president, I receive newsletters from all the other Chapters that make up the BMW CCA. It is little consolation to me that many other Chapters have a similar situation. I will say though, that you would think that with a Chapter our size (almost 2200 members), that we could find 14 people who would be interested in volunteering to help shape the future of the Chapter and who would be interested in helping to run the club. It is very disappointing that that does not appear to be the case. Maybe we just don’t do a good enough job at trying to recruit people or maybe there isn’t anyone who isn’t too busy with their personal lives. But I can tell you this, if you have ever enjoyed any event, a Driver’s School, dinner, whatever, or have ever enjoyed any other benefit of membership, I urge you to give some serious thought to helping the Chapter in some way, because the direction we are heading is not encouraging.
I don’t mean to sound so dire, but we are finding fewer and fewer people willing to run events, which cuts down on the Chapter calendar, and now, without even a full board, it could continue to scale back. I can remember when we used to have four or five events in some months. Now, we are lucky to have one some months. I feel responsible for this trend since it has taken place under my watch as President and that is even more painful to swallow. If anyone out there would like to learn more about being on the board, please contact me as my goal for 2005 is to have an overflowing ballot next December.
Also on the ballot, we are asking you to vote for a Chapter By-law change. This is really just a formality as both proposed changes are just to allow the wording of the By-laws to comply with National policies. Of course, a ballot means election time and election time means the Annual Dinner is coming. As usual, we plan to have tons of doorprizes and a great opportunity to meet with fellow enthusiasts. Our speaker is still undetermined, but I think you will find them interesting and we should be able to announce them in next month’s DZ or watch the website for more current news.
The F1 season ended on a high note for BMW Williams fans as Juan Pablo Montoya won the last round in Brazil . Teammate Ralf Schumacher managed to come home fifth. The win left Montoya a disappointing fifth in the Driver’s Championship, one point behind Fernando Alonso. It also solidified a fourth place finish for the team in the Constructor’s Championship. After the finale, BMW Williams received news that they will not be using the services of Jenson Button in the cockpit of next year’s car. They had attempted to sign JB away from BAR Honda who said the pilot was under contract with them. The battle went to arbitration, and BAR won. They (BAR) now have a driver who doesn’t want to be there and Frank Williams has a team that will feature a driver whose main skill is blocking (Mark Webber) and a test driver (Antonio Pizzonia). That should strike fear in the opposition!
In other racing news, how can you not feel for Will Turner, whose team lead the ST Class in Grand Am Cup for most of the year and was in a position to win the Championship for both driver and team when a back-marker crashed them out of the last race? After a lengthily repair, they soldiered on, but could not make up enough ground and had to settle for second at year’s end.
Happy holidays to everyone out there in Bimmerland and I hope you will all have a safe and Happy New Year.