This year can be summarised in a few words: In the face of significant challenges, we made significant progress. I thank you all for your continued commitment and all that you do to deliver on our purpose.
While there is much work to do and there may be further challenges ahead, we end 2018 stronger and better able to serve members and motorsport. Today, our Club is exposed to less risk and our future is more certain.
2018 has been a great competition year, with strong fields (always 100+ entries) to all race meetings. Membership numbers are as high as they have ever been and much more stable in terms of churn rate.
There is ample evidence that we have moved forward on the course we set two years ago in the face of serious legacy issues inherited. Despite the critics and cynics, our focus and strategy remained clear: We deliver motorsport activities to our members and make available a facility to other motorsport bodies. The cynics may be the loudest voices we hear sometimes – but they always accomplish the least.
I want to mention some particular highlights:
- securing of a further 21-year lease,
- return of motorcycle activity and a planned return of motorcycle competition in 2019
- track resurfacing commencing next week
- an operational surplus
- finalisation of the 2011 Financial Assistance Agreement and the reversal of a substantial liability associated with this
The New Year will bring its own mix of successes and challenges, but our direction is clear, and we know what we must do. Our job is to continue to focus intently on what we can control: providing our members and motorsport participants with the best events and facilities, managing our costs, building our brand, and doing our part to keep motorsport and associated industries in Western Australia moving forward. Our long-term value will come through and be reflected in our activity levels and future sustainability over time if we do that.
With a new 21-year lease we can all consider that the future of the WASCC is bright and no doubt our best days are in front of us. As one member recently posted somewhere on line with regards to the new lease “once this is settled, we as members need to get behind our fantastic Club and facility and enjoy what we have”, better words could not have been spoken. Get behind your Club and get involved so that our best days truly are in front of us.
2019 is our 50th anniversary at Wanneroo Raceway and is the Club’s 90th Birthday. Not many raceways get to 50 years of usage and have another 21 years beyond that. And at 90 years of age the WA Sporting Car Club is likely to be the oldest continuously operational car club in Australia.
As highlighted above, the Club has commenced action for the entire circuit to be resurfaced before the start of the 2019 season. Utilising the latest Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) technology the new surface will be laid by Asphaltech Contracting and feature a smaller, smoother aggregate designed to enhance grip and tyre longevity.
This project has been 12 months in planning. The previous surface has served WA motorsport very well, lasting longer than many others. But I’m confident the new surface will also last very well whilst reducing tyre wear and thus making our venue more economical for all users.
As well as renewing the actual racing surface most of the service roads in the outfield pit area will be resurfaced as well.
Consistent with a return of motorcycle racing is the construction of a track addition at Turn 3 which will significantly reduce motorcycle speeds between turns 2 and 4. This work will be completed concurrent with the track resurface.
Clearly, this is a major expenditure by the Club. However, ours is a not – for – profit organisation dedicated to running motor racing in WA. I can think of no better way to mark 50 years at the Raceway the Club built as well as the WASCC’s 90th birthday than to invest in our sport’s bright future.
The WASCC’s 2019 season opens with a special gala Race Meeting on March 2nd/3rd marking 50 years to the day of the Raceway’s Official Opening.
In closing, I ask you all to take a moment to reflect on the year that has been and think not just of motorsport but also of the broader things that have taken place in life and throughout our communities, to be grateful for what we have and think of those less fortunate. This time of year is one of giving and care. Many this year will spend the break with little to enjoy, I ask that we all consider providing a gift or donation to a worthy cause in order to make this season a little more enjoyable for those less fortunate.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.