The Times They Are A'Changing (Again)
A year ago I used Bob Dylan's title 'Times are A-changing' to introduce the January editorial, it worked last year so there seems no good reason to not use it again. In truth, times are always changing, where I am sitting writing this editorial was under 50 foot of ice 11000 years ago, and its only about 0.5cm now, so I am quite thankful that times have changed. Pausing only to observe that all of this ice melted long before man had burnt any fossil fuel, and pondering as to why the last Ice age is not mentioned in debates on global warming, we can press on. One cannot deny climate change, but one can doubt whether recycling old cornflake packages will have any effect on its rate. Current politicians seem to lack the wisdom of good old King Canute because they seem to think that initiatives can reverse events that are taking place in geological time. However, I accept that in the present political climate these views represents heresy. But then there is a long linage of heretics who were ultimately proved to be correct.
Changing times probably represent the norm, and not an exceptional set of conditions, a realist can try to take advantage of changing circumstances while a traditionalist will try to maintain the status quo (congratulations on the honours chaps).
The motor racing landscape changed, possibly permanently, with the advent of the credit crunch. This put the MRC into a new situation financially, a situation in which we could make, or lose money in far greater amounts than had previously been the case. This regime started in 2008, and it is pleasing to be able to state that under the stewardship of David and Mary Cox, in 2008, and Nick Harrison and Simon Davey, in 2009, and with the assistance of the directors in both cases, that the club has had two very successful seasons under what most would consider to be difficult trading conditions.
The approach to both seasons has been similar, to maximise the number of entries by providing the best possible product at the most competitive price. For both seasons directors took the view that club funds could be used to offset any loss made at a championship meeting. While not all meetings have been profitable, the majority have been, and the club has made a significant profit for both seasons. This policy will continue into this season.
As larger amounts of money now move through the club's accounts, the demands on the Club Administrator have increased. Simon is seeking to increase the efficiency of the administrative process by moving from paper based to computer based systems. Past editorials have commented on the Dickensian nature of club racing administration, there have been no significant changes in the MSA's administration over the last ten years (but they are very proud of their plastic licences). One can expect Simon to evolve a successful system, and hopefully the MRC will become a beacon of modernity in motor racing administration.
I admit that changes were underway when I first became Club Secretary, and a few years ago the MRC seemed to be a vulnerable minnow in the motor racing pond, our continued existence dependant on successfully filling grids at meetings organised by bigger clubs, some of which adopted a take it or leave it attitude. Working with CSCC improved our situation, and, having been a spectator for a season, I think that providing the blue ribbon events at these meetings raised the MRC's status. Our continued success during the last few seasons has increased our bargaining power.
But, as pointed out in the introductory paragraphs, change is constant and moving the majority of our meetings to MSVR should be regarded as a further step in the club's evolutionary progress. In general, and to the advantage of the insurance companies, Homo sapiens is a risk adverse species that perceives change as risk. Moving to MSVR can be seen in this light, but, as racing drivers we cannot be that risk adverse, and will look towards change as representing opportunity for the future.
Happy New Year, and good racing in 2010.
Some tenuously relevant images:
The club had good grids
We Googled risk aversion and got this. Photoshop might be involved but Editor does have aviation and marine connections, so maybe it's him?
Pics: Internet, Joss Guest