Michigan Turn Marshals  
Winter 2002 Newsletter

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Happy Holidays from MTM

Dennis Hand, MTM Newsletter Editor

Well, for most of us, the hum of engines merely rings in our heads, pushed out of mind by the winter holiday blitz.  I hope you all keep busy and safe during our little “Winter Vacation.”  Next season is right around the corner, but first we must tie up the loose ends from the 2002 season.  So sit back by the fire in your MTM t-shirt, with a can of whatever in your MTM can coozie, and enjoy the memories!

The Prez Sez…

Scott Whitehead, MTM Chairman

Since the end of the year is upon us let me start by just saying,  "We got in, we got out, nobody got hurt."  MTM has had a great year in all aspects.  We have had some killer advertising via flyers, banners, and Pro cars.  MTM has seen more new members this year alone then it has seen over the past 3 years.  More and more MTM members are traveling to races outside of Waterford.  We also have new Trash & Trinkets, along
with new designs to the old stuff.  Now all that is left is to look to the New Year, and other new ideas that we can bring to MTM to get others involved, and try to set a standard that everyone will look up to.  For everyone that still has races to attend... Play safe.

From The VP’s Desk

Melissa Wojciechowski, MTM Vice Chairman/Webmaster/Data-Coordinator

I would like to thank everyone for a great year.  We had a phenomenal year for recruiting, for getting our name and logo back out there and for training.  Thanks to our local regions that we support, we received real life training at the Fire School, the Captain’s School and the Blue Flag School.  I expect it will be even better next year.  I will be putting together a traveling adventure to Nelson Ledges to attend their Advanced School, which I understand is remarkable.  I will also try to put together a travel adventure to the Advanced School in Wisconsin.  Last year our plans were foiled due to weather, but this year we will have a backup plan.

As the leaders of the organizations that we work with the most are changing, there is a renewed interest in getting the youth to turn out to races and getting all of us more acquainted with each other.  I will be sending out information to everyone as it becomes available for all of these training exercises that we hope will bring the Central Division marshals closer and form a real team.  We put our lives in each other’s hands weekend after weekend all year long, so what better way to feel comfortable in that, then by training side by side.

Our members traveled a lot this year as a team and as individuals.  Let’s keep that going next year and support as many regions and as many organizations as we can.  Everywhere we flag is different and all the people that we flag with are different.  Share your ideas with others and we will all become better and safer marshals. 

We will be planning a trip to the SCCA Pro Rally Snow Drift in January up north in Michigan.  It is a blast to crash in a cabin, spend the days and sometimes nights bundled up (in whatever color you want) watching totally out of shape cars fly by, each hot lunches and party with the Rally folks.  It is a very different experience than road racing, but is just as fun.  We will be planning our standard trip to the June Sprints and a new trip to Road America for ALMS as well as the RunOffs at Mid-Ohio.   Many are talking about working the 24 hours of Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring as well as many other ALMS races.   We’re putting my husband’s car back together, so there may be a weekend or two that you will not see me in white, but in blue.  Go 37 red/white!

I will be re-working the website over the winter to make the login process easier to use.  I encourage everyone to use the section titled ‘Where Are We Going’ to post trips that they are taking so that others may also join you.  I also have plans to finish the store.  As many of you have seen, we have all new merchandise that can be purchased from Gordon Ensing or from the store upon its completion.   Wear our name proudly.

We had a successful campaign in getting our stickers on racecars this year from SCCA amateur road racers to ALMS cars to TransAm cars and everything in between.  This as you can imagine, is quite costly.  We would like to put together some type of annually renewable support membership package for drivers and teams.  We have to come up with what the package would contain, what it would cost and what we can offer the drivers as an incentive to join.  Please send any of the board members any ideas you have.

Lastly, have a relaxing winter, stay safe and see you at the Winter Party!

Safety First!

Regional Dialects

Detroit Region

Debbie Martens, Detroit Region F&C Chief

Farewell from the Waterford Chief of F&C

As most (if not all) of you know, the 2002 season was my last serving as Chief of F&C for Waterford Hills.  It’s been five seasons since I was dragged, kicking and screaming, up to the tower to work with Judi Bennett and Krystal Wingett, and there have been many changes since then.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who contributed in so many ways over the last several years to our success at Waterford.

First, thanks to Judi Bennett (Chief 1998, Co-Chief 1999) who made the years of “blondes in Control” so much fun for me.  We laughed so hard sometimes that we actually cried.  I learned a great deal from Judi, and owe her a debt of thanks for her encouragement and insistence that I really could do this job.  Without her, I don’t know if I ever would have taken the plunge.

To my Assistant Chiefs, Ed Arthur (2000-2002) and Jim Eyman (2000-2001), thank you both for all of your hard work over the years.  Without Ed and Jim I could never have accomplished all of the things that needed doing.  Ed is an absolute whiz with flyers and databases, and did a terrific job on our recruiting tools for Autorama.  Thanks to you both for everything.

My Co-Chief for 2002 was Ritch Pushies, who will be continuing on as Chief of F&C for Waterford in 2003.  I am most grateful to Ritch for all of his help this season, and for agreeing to take on the position next season.  I wish him all the best as Chief next year, and I know he’ll do a wonderful job!

To the Equipment Managers, John Jordan (1999-2000) and Jim Anchak (2001-2002), I owe a special debt of gratitude.  Both John and Jim have done an amazing job of keeping our equipment up to date, ensuring that all the equipment was delivered and picked up every race weekend, and keeping me apprized of needed replacements.  Thanks to you both for doing such a terrific, albeit thankless, job. 

I would also like to thank my husband Tim for his unwavering support and assistance throughout the last five seasons, whether it was a shoulder to cry on, words of encouragement from time to time, or chauffeuring me to wherever I needed to go.  Thank you, Tim, for always being there for me.

And finally, I would like to thank all of the marshals who are a part of the Waterford family.  It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as your Chief, and a part of my life that will always remain special to me.  I’ve never worked with, or for, a finer group of people, and I am most grateful for your commitment, your loyalty and support, and most of all, your friendship.  To each and every one of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done, and I look forward to joining you on the corners next season!

Western Michigan Region

Verne Wandel, Western Michigan F&C Chief

Well, it has been an interesting season.  Here is my take on the last half of it.  Most of the races I attended or operated in the last ½ of the season were under-subscribed by cars and workers.  I know that while the attendance was good at our national, I had no knowledge of that fact until I actually arrived at the track.  Because of a lack of communication (no response to emails, under-utilization of MTM’s on-line registration, etc) I was of the mind that only 13 corner workers were coming as late as one weekend before the event.  When I left Kalamazoo for GR I thought we might have 20.  In fact I was blessed with 36 on Saturday and 34 on Sunday.  Now, I’m not complaining, mind you, but it would be a lot better on my nervous system if there was just a little more feedback from the masses.  As it was, about 50% of the workers were non-MTM members from out of state. 

We did not have the same kind of luck for the VSCDA and Labor Day regionals.  For VSCDA we had 26 and 30, certainly enough but many were rookies in need of training without enough trainers to go around and for the regional we had 22 and 20, the first time we have had to close stations since I took over for Jason 3 years ago.  If anyone has an idea of how we can sustain interest and encourage more participation, please let me know.  I don’t know how the East side of the state is doing.  I went to Waterford to help out with the Historics but was only allowed on Friday as the rest of the weekend was over-subscribed by workers by the time I knew I could afford to come.

As many of you know I was invited to be one of the lead communicators at the Runoffs.  It was the highlight of my season and, perhaps, my SCCA career.  There were 3 positions to fill with 4 people for 4 days and 3 people for 3.  The talker had a backup which was a Godsend ‘cause I discovered I can’t make notes as fast as 30 people can talk.  The radio operator (mid-Ohio is on a landline to corner stations) had to balance 5 different radios, each of them receiving a different combination of messages.  I spent 4 days in the tower, two days as a captain on the corners and had one day in which I could just play.  I went home and was glad of having the time off to catch up on sleep and wind down.

The next weekend was another SCCA event.  The wedding, in Milwaukee, of MaryBeth and Jason.  Well, it wasn’t sanctioned by SCCA but it was certainly well attended by our friends from many MidDiv and Eastern regions.

Lorrie and I closed off the year with a VSCDA event last weekend near Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It was a long, but easy, drive across a countryside burgeoning with fall colors.  Really quite pleasant.  There were only about 80 cars at Mid America MotorPlex but that was plenty for this inaugural event at a new facility.  There was a shortage of SCCA workers but they were augmented by a nice group of track workers with a great attitude and were willing to learn our way of doing things.  The event went off without a hitch.  This 15-turn complex boasts 9 stations with great protection (from the cars and the sun) each with its own porta-potty.  The tower is quite grand and has a view of the entire track.  The fact that it is only a 15-minute drive to the attractions and restaurants of Omaha is a BIG benefit.

That’s it for me for the season.  I hope you all had as good a time as we did.  I thank you all for your support and hope to see you next season.  In the meantime if anyone on the other side of the state has any ideas on recruitment that we could participate in, don’t hesitate to drop me an email.

Meadowbrook Historics 2002 Nixed

Unfortunately, Waterford Hills Road Racing Inc. has decided not to hold the Meadowbrook Historic races in 2003.  The following is from Marc Gerstenberger, WHRRI Public Relations Director.

Due to lack of funds, and/or a sponsor, Waterford Hills Road Racing is
unable to host the Historic Races in 2003. Anyone interested in sponsoring a
Historic Racing event in '04 is urged to contact Marc Gerstenberger at:
pr@waterfordhills.com, or send correspondence to Waterford Hills Road Racing
Inc. Attn: Marc Gerstenberger 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston MI 48346

The Meadowbrook Historics organizers extend their gratitude toward all volunteers for making the races work for so long.  There is talk of a similar event returning in 2004.  We can only hope!

Winter Party Info

Plans are in the works for this year’s winter party.  We’re looking at having the party in February again, but as of this date, nothing official has been set up.  As soon as we know what is going to happen a communiqué will be dispatched. 

That’s all for this time folks!  Have a great, safe holiday, and we hope to see everyone at our winter party!

Please E-mail your comments or suggestions to webmaster@michiganturnmarshals.org

© 1999 Michigan Turn Marshals - This page was last updated on 01/01/10 17:41