President’s Report for 2006

Another year of motorsport has been and gone, one which I hope met the expectations of all the Club members. Whether you are out there to win or just to participate the main thing the committee tries to ensure is that you have fun. This is not always easy with the ever changing world in which we live. Whenever you think everything is under control there is always something or someone trying to disrupt proceedings. In this regard I have to once again thank the committee for the great job they did in making 2006 another successful year.

The committee put on a good mix of events and the weather did likewise. From muddy autocrosses to dust bowls, from wet and slippery Hanmer to dry and dusty Ashley Forest, we had it all during 2006. Throughout all this events went ahead largely unaffected thanks to the dedication of the organizers and helpers. Special thanks go to the Red Cross, Rangiora Rotary Club, and individuals like Derek Simpson, Tony Witheridge, Andrew Wells and many more, who although not on the committee contributed significantly over the year.

This year sees some major changes within the committee with a number of members standing down after years of superb service. I would personally like to thank Dermot Martin, David Fletcher, Andrew Sim, Kieron Telford and John Beasley, all of whom have contributed to the success of the Autosport Club. No one can deny any of them for stepping aside when you consider the contribution they have made over the years. From the Club’s point of view though it will be hard to replace 20 odd years of knowledge and experience. That will be the challenge for the incoming committee. Fortunately, due to the effort over recent years, documentation and systems have been put in place which does make the job a lot easier. Thanks to David for that.

Of particular concern in 2006 was access to Ashley Forest, however I’m pleased to say we have now established a good working relationship with Rayonier. Many thanks to Les Summerfield and Paul Stanley for achieving this. Having said that there is always something new to worry about. For those who may not be aware Rayonier own the trees and cutting rights while the land is leased from Ngai Tahu. The latter have announced their intention to sell the land claiming better returns could be achieved in other business ventures. The land is currently up for international tender with a decision due next month. There will be no obligation on the part of the new owner to continue to allow us access, so it’s a matter of wait and see. On the positive side we do have a long history of use of the forest and a good ally now in Rayonier. Fingers crossed!

During the year the Club made no significant expenditure on gear and equipment although the Club van had a new head gasket, tune up and wheel alignment so should be good for another 100,000 kms. Not bad for something with a book value of about $270. The committee decided to dispose of the Club’s photocopier which took up half of Stacey and Drew’s lounge and must have been the first one ever made. The servicing company said it was worthless and to dump it but through Stacey’s good effort it sold on Trade Me for $250.

Thanks to Stu Bufton, the timing gear is now much more reliable and with more pre-event entries this allows the event to get underway closer to designated time. One of my concerns though is at the end of an event when there is inevitably a delay getting prize giving underway. This is normally caused by a lack of manpower to pack up at the end of the event, so if you want a shorter delay you know what to do. Also, please do attend prize giving especially if it’s at a bar or hotel since invariably they are sponsoring the event.

We are already well into 2007 and the first autocross has been and gone and the next sprint is only a couple of weeks away. Just a reminder to get your membership updated before the event to avoid putting even more pressure on the organizers. All last years Club members should have received a reminder through the mail but if not download a form from the web site. And another reminder, the web site is the Club’s main form of communication and is regularly kept up to date by John Beasley. If you don’t have access to a computer contact a committee member if you need to know anything about the Club and it’s events.

Finally, thanks once again to last years committee, your hours of dedication are not taken for granted. And to all competitors, good luck for the coming season and I look forward to seeing you out doing what we are all here for.

Leigh Marston