President’s Column, December 2005
by Bob Morin
The only event we held since my last column was the October 28th Driver’s School at Lime Rock Park. This event was our final Driver’s School of the year and a highly successful one it was. Although it could always have been warmer, you may remember that October was the monsoon season here in CT, but that day was rain-free. The event went quite smoothly and we received nearly unanimous positive comments about the whole day. Frank Giacalone and Steve Wasley deserve a great deal of credit for the success of the event. Frank is the overall coordinator and Steve is not only the registrar, but working with Nancie Giacalone, he saw to it that we had a great group of instructors on hand. Willy Wiley was unable to attend this school so Sheila Morin handled the volunteer assignments the day of the event and of course, special thanks go out to all of those folks as well. A Driver’s School takes a lot of effort from Frank and Steve beforehand, from Tom Ryan and his group of volunteers at Track-Side Tech, and from all the gang in the tower and up and down pit lane. For this school and for the entire successful season we had, thank you to you all.
Speaking of volunteers, this issue contains our annual election ballot and as of this writing, I don’t even know if we have a full slate, but let’s hope. Being down two members-at-large for 2005 was a strain on us all as we tried to maintain an interesting schedule of events. Please take the time to vote and especially fill out the questionnaire on the ballot. The West Point Tour, for example, was the result of interest shown in that event on the survey, so your comments are considered carefully.
I’m pleased to see that we have lined up Mike Miller from ROUNDEL and BIMMER magazines as our guest speaker for the annual dinner. Look for the article in this issue for further details.
On a sad note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of long-time board member Roger Chartier who lost his Mom on October 22nd.
This Formula One season has finally come to a close and can be summed up simply as TGIF, thank goodness it’s finished, at least if you were a BMW Williams fan. The final two races headed to Asia, with Japan up first. Mark Webber actually finished 4th after a start from 7th on the grid while Antonio Pizzonia started 12th and spun to 18th place. In China, Webber started 10th and worked his way all the way up to 7th while Pizzonia started 13th and worked his way up to, well, 13th! Thus ends a dismal season for the BMW boys who finished 5th in the Constructors Championship, their worse showing since their return to F1. Webber finished 10th in the Driver’s Standings, with the injured Nick Heidfeld 11th, while fill-in driver Pizzonia only managed to score 2 points putting him in 22nd spot. Congratulations to the Renault team and Fernando Alonso for surviving the late-season assault by Mercedes McLaren and Kimi (Mr. Personality) Räikkönen to win the Constructor’s and Driver’s Championship respectively. So what do we have to look forward to? BMW Sauber F1 is the official name for our new team and Williams will go in their separate direction. I’m not sure we can expect much of an improvement as BMW tries to take on more than just the engine responsibility for the first time, but we shall see.
In other F1 news, AUTOWEEK reports former BMW Williams and current BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button tries to show that Bernie Ecclestone is not the only sexist pig in F1 by telling men’s magazine FHM: “I can’t see women competing in F1 due to the g force in fast corners. And one week of the month you wouldn’t want to be on the circuit with them, would you? A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car. And the mechanics wouldn’t concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in?” With a little more effort, F1 could just go ahead and try to alienate the few remaining male fans too.
In News From National this month, membership is at 74,943, down 2.15% from last year. There were no Chapter winners in this year’s M5 raffle. Darn! If you are interested, Sprint is extending the same corporate program to BMW CCA members that it has in place for employees of BMW. You can save 10% on existing Sprint PCS service by calling 866-853-4931. Reference root code number 000074440832 and let them know you are a member of BMW CCA.
Let me close out my column and the year by saying that on behalf of the entire CVC board, Sheila and I would like to wish you all and happy and safe holiday season and a Happy New Year!