St. LAC Membership Survey

Tell us what you want, what you really, really want.

It’s a new Chapter (of sorts) for the St. Lawrence Automobile Club and we’d like to hear from you.  Please take a few minutes to let us know what you like about the club, what you don’t like and, finally, what you’d like to see in the future.

There are only 10 questions and should only take a few minutes.  Thanks!

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January General Membership Meeting Minutes

Your new executive was pleased to host the monthly meeting held on the 19th at the RCAF Club.  Things started with a flashback moment as featured in the December issue of VARAC’s newsletter — a story of desperation that led to the theft of a TV tower.  But, what’s a person to do when you run out of pipe for your tubular chasis?!  Thanks to John and Eric for the sorted details.

The club still has a number of executive positions to be filled.  Sadly there were no takers for president, equipment manager or competition director.  As a result, the club has accepted a proposal from The Car Crew to run a Regional Championship Autoslalom on behalf of St LAC.  This will undoubtedly add to the club’s coffers.  The organizers have agreed to include a 10 percent discount for St. Lawrence members.  Details of the date and local will follow.

An update was provided by the Membership Meister — Danby — who reported that some 20 memberships have been renewed or started since our last meeting.  The connection to CASC – OR’s website has facilitated this process (see the posting regarding membership renewal) beautifully.   Danby has done much to sort out a couple of years of unanswered emails as well as obtaining and processing new club cards.  He has also been working hard to reconnect with past sponsors and new ones alike.  This left us all wondering when he finds time to sleep!

Peter has taken the necessary steps to keep our group in good-stead with the RCAF Club as well as working on new ideas behind the scenes.  Naturally, none of what takes place here could be possible were it not fo Robert’s fiduciary skills.  Thanks group!

Our next meeting will take place on or around February 23rd at 12h30.

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Get Yer Discounts Here…

Your Executive is working hard to update and add new destinations to our list of stores that will extend a discount to members of St. LAC.  We’ll update this list as we go but don’t be shy:  just ask for it!

And did you know that Subaru Kingston not only allows members who have been with the club for at least two years to save $750 off the price of a new car but they will also extend a discount to the purchase of parts and accessories.

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Road Racing in Ontario

Road Racing in Ontario

This posting–courtesy of the Toronto Autosport Club–is intended to provide an introduction and overview of road racing in Ontario; the official rules and regulations covering the events, categories, classes, and car preparation requirements are available from the CASC-OR office.

Road racing can be simply defined as an automobile race event that is held on a closed circuit that contains both left and right hand corners, plus elevation changes. Ontario road racers are fortunate to have ready access to tracks at Mosport (near Bowmanville), Shannonville Motorsport Park (near Belleville), and circuits in Quebec, New York State, Ohio, and Michigan.

Road racing is broadly divided into two main categories; open wheel, and closed wheel but there are many different competition classes beyond that. This introductory pamphlet explains the six steps you’ll need to take before your first race.

Joining a CASC-OR Club:

In order to participate in road racing in Ontario, you must be a member of a Canadian Automobile Sports Club – Ontario Region (CASC-OR) affiliated club such as the St. Lawrence Automobile Club. Joining a club will prove to be your biggest source of information and on-going help as you get started in racing. St. LAC membership information is available elsewhere in this site.

Obtaining a Racing Licence:

Joining a club is the easy part of obtaining your racing licence. Next you must attend an authorized driving school. Proof of your graduation, a completed CASC-OR licence application form (which also requires a physical examination and a completed medical form signed by your doctor), and a photocopy of your club membership card must be sent to the CASC-OR office, along with the licence fee.

Driver’s schools fall into two broad categories; amateur and professional. Amateur schools are run by the CASC-OR clubs and costs approximately $750. Your ‘street car’ is usually sufficient for these schools.

Professional schools (for example, Bridgestone Racing School at Mosport) cost approximately $2,500 but include the use of fully prepared race cars, and all other safety equipment and supplies you may require over a multi-day programme.

It is also possible to obtain your license by proving that you’ve accumulated sufficient skill, without necessarily attending a school. For example, experienced Soloprint Time Trials drivers may ask to have their driving observed at a race track, and a license issued upon satisfactory performance and understanding.

Your enjoyment of your early racing weekends will depend heavily on your school experience. It is hard to appreciate the difference between driving fast and racing until you learn the techniques, skills, and strategies which make racing possible.

Safety Clothing and Equipment:

Racing involves risk. Acquiring, wearing, and looking after your personal safety equipment protects you and helps to safeguard the master insurance policy which the whole sport relies upon. Consult the official regulations, talk to experienced competitors within your club, and compare prices and quality at the stores that service the sport. Do not skimp on these items; they are crucial for your safety, and, properly looked after, will last for many years.

Driver’s Suit: Requirements are listed in the CASC-OR rules and regulations, but generally speaking, the more layers the better. Made to measure suits are available, but allow time for delivery. Fire retardant underwear can be combined with a multi-layer suit to give the required number of layers. Cost: $400 and up.

Gloves & Shoes: Fire retardant socks, gloves, balaclava and shoes are also covered in the rules and regulations. Their selection, use and care is as equally important as your driver’s suit. Cost: $350 and up.

Helmet: Motorcycle helmets (‘M’ rated) are not appropriate for road racing. Road racing helmets are rated ‘SA’ (Special Application). They also have dates (for example, SA2015) to indicate the standard to which they were built; again, consult the rules and regulations. Cost: $250 and up.

Great care must be taken with all the above items to avoid purchasing an item that does not meet CASC-OR required standards.

Acquiring a race car:

Once again, the information and support network of your CASC-OR club will become your best resource for locating a racing car which fits into the category of racing that you wish to do. You should also consider ‘renting’ rides from other competitors or from race car preparation shops until you locate a car which suits all of your needs.

Canadian racing magazines and newspapers are available on newstands (for example, Inside Track, Performance Racing News) to inform you of local racing action in all categories, and what is for sale in the way of race cars, trailers, and trucks. Cost: $5,000 and up

Preparing a race car:

CASC-OR has written standards to which race cars must adhere. These are clearly spelled out in the rules and regulations, and cover safety items (roll cage construction, belt anchor points, etc.) as well as vehicle weights, wheelbase and track dimensions, and permitted modifications. Cars are closely scrutinised before each event, and only those vehicles that meet these standards are allowed to compete. If you are mechanically inclined, you might choose to do this work yourself; if not, there are a wide variety of professional shops that can help you.

Let’s go racing !

As you can see from the above, road racing is not an inexpensive proposition. But you really don’t need a huge bank account to participate; many competitors start with an initial investment of $10,000 to $15,000 and then find that they can compete on a regional basis for an annual outlay of about $4,000 to $6,000.

Special thanks to GT at Toronto Autosport Club for permission to use the above.

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December 2016, Executive Meeting Discussion

The executive took its first steps to get going on the upcoming year by meeting with the folks at TD Canadtrust. What we thought would be a quick trip to make some changes to the signing authority turned into a ‘you’ll have to come back later’ affair. It seems we have been incorrectly registered as an Association rather than an Incorporated (Not For Profit) Business. Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Afterwards we gathered to consider where the club can go from here and what it will take to make that happen. Our thoughts turned to long-term visions about what could someday be in the future. We all agreed how great it would be to introduce newcomers (think High School students) to motorsport and how the introduction of drivers education could add value to local dealerships and the like. Ah, the chance to dream…

There were many more ideas about club activities and making the club more inviting. We concluded that membership should indeed have its privileges all the while keeping in mind that many hands makes for quick work. So then, what should we strive for? What short-term goals will help us make the long-term goals achievable? This, it was decided, was the easy part, that is, we’ll start with a survey and let the wishes of the membership help us move forward. So, go ahead and ask Santa for new tires and we’ll ask you for your input at the next general meeting.

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