Skip to main content

2023 Presidents Report

2023 has been a challenging year, despite our excellent customer service focussed events all forms of motorsport is under pressure with record low participation.

The economic situation has put pressure on people’s choice to enter motorsport events. As a result, all events this year are dramatically down on entries, putting pressure on breakeven budgets.

Encouragingly membership is still strong at 500 individuals, with a peak at March of 625, at end of rallysprint series this compared to same time last year this is about 50 down. This is possibly due to low entries for the Whiteline series whom renew the summer membership for the season about 60)

Our membership has hovered around these numbers now for past 5 years despite efforts to grow it.

In November, the club exec voted to increase member costs by $10, this is the first increase for over 10 years.

The Whiteline series is an example of low entries the first two events are almost 50% down despite similar entry prices to last year. Add to this an independent survey for the 22/23 season, all teams showed customer feedback on average scoring 4 and 5/5.

Thankfully our strong past fiscal policy has the club in a good financial position to ride out this downturn that I am sure will change in mid to late 2024 as interest rates improve.

The polarising decision by the committee in Oct 2022 to make honorarium payments to all volunteers has notably increased volunteer participation for 2024, with many volunteers returning to the sport after years of absence.

I am a strong advocate of this policy, whilst it adds costs and puts pressure on entry fees, the value of volunteer people in donating time, needs to be recognised when often their personal attendance costs still outweigh the donation they receive.

Motorsport is a costly sport, our volunteers on average receive less than one fifth the cost of a rally tyre.

We need to invest in them for the future success of our club and events.

After years of lack of a location, I am pleased to announce a new location for junior khana and motor khanacross events at Sydney Dragway and on grass.

The long awaited club zone, west of Eastern Creek Raceway , continues to be a challenge that we actively chase. Our juniors are the future of our club, the committee is committed to these events in 2024.

The clubs major events of Batemans Bay, Bathurst and the Tarmac series all now have new leaders for 2024.

I want to say thanks for the past leadership of these major events, Nigel Bland, Jon Thomson.

I myself, personally, after over 40 events as Director, will now assist the new Director for the Whiteline series, Rhiana Froome, whilst Ian Bigg will return to lead the Batemans team and Bathurst member Ron Moore will lead the Bathurst event.

Notably, for Bathurst, 2023 John McCredie and Adriana Pallister overachieved with their contribution to what was an excellent new event.

The monthly AutoBrunch events have continued to grow, with attending car numbers now on average 300, sometimes 400 cars.

Ray and Jan Ven Brown, assisted by Nigel and Ashley have been leading these events. They are now a significant monthly event and the club executive is looking at ways to better manage them for our members and member growth as the % of club members who attend is less than 5%.

All of our major events have strong commercial partners, for 2024 most have already renewed, with some exciting new ones joining the club yet to be announced.

Our outgoing club executive have also done well this year, I wish to thank them for without them, our future would not be so bright.

  • Nigel Bland – VP
  • Richard Houghton – Secretary
  • David Gillies – Treasurer
  • Ashley Yelds
  • Rhiana Froome
  • Andrew Benefield.
  • Adriana Pallister

Notably, thanks to David Gillies whom has been treasurer for many years and won’t be re standing

To our new incoming team, assuming they get voted in, thanks for your future commitment.

Your donation of time is appreciated.

As I wrap up, assuming I get re-elected 2024 will be my last year as president, I feel it’s time for a new leader.

As the outgoing President, for 2023, I would like to say thanks to all my friends, family members and volunteers.

Plus our hard working club committee, without you we would not be the club we are.

Brett Middleton