Happy 2023! This is going to be an excellent year for SWMS. We are working through many changes and looking forward to a grand year.
Most of you have probably heard that Sandia Speedway has new ownership. The deal may still be in the final stages, but I can say that Jim Guthrie is leading a group of investors to purchase the track. Jim has been a huge supporter of SWMS for many years, and I look forward to working closely with him, as we start 2023. During this change SWMS will take on more responsibilities, and expand our number of events, as we grow along with the new track ownership. More to follow here as the ink dries on the purchase, and Jim determines his next steps and SWMS determines how we partner in this new endeavor.
The first place that SWMS is expanding is into the Winter Series. SARA is no longer able to run these races, and SWMS has decided that it’s in our club's best interest to expand into these early season races. SWMS will run these races in the same manner that we run all of our other events (same safety, procedures, workers, etc.). First race is February 19th, and the second race is March 11/12. See the website for all the details.
SWMS full race schedule for 2023 is released and attached to this announcement. John Colbert, SWMS Treasurer, worked closely with the new track management to establish the race dates. He also de-conflicted our events with other popular race series such as NASA, RMVR, and Legends (Hallett). No schedule is perfect, however this year’s schedule should allow racers to attend SWMS races, and take part in other series and fun events in the region. Andrew Sanford, SWMS Secretary, has worked his magic once again and produced the calendar of events with our cool race cars included in the graphic. Pretty cool looking schedule. Please share this with your friends and fellow racers.
As we look to how to provide the best environment for racing, the club is looking to altering formats to keep interest high and increase car count at our events. Our initial change is to provide single day events during the summer to address low turnout. Historically, summer race dates suffer a lower turnout as families are going on vacation, racers are traveling to other race venues, and the weather is just plain hot. SWMS is attempting to see if single day races can generate increased interest, and not overly stress our cars or drivers. Single day events are going to be held in July and August. Again, see the website for full details.
As we have all felt the pinch of inflation, it’s also hitting SWMS and our per race costs. Our sister race series have been increasing costs each year, an example is RMVR was charging $390 per race weekend last year. SWMS have held our costs steady for over 7 years, despite having experienced higher costs for operating and insurance. Unfortunately our balance sheet has shown us that we can no longer hold the line on per race costs. As a “Not for Profit” organization, SWMS needs to increase our race weekend costs to equate revenue and costs to maintain our slim bank balance sheet. Prices for 2023 will increase to $325 per weekend for cars and $225 for karts. Single day races will be $165 for cars and $115 for karts. This cost increase will go into effect for the April 2023 race date. Winter Series races will be held to 2022 pricing.
We are expecting an influx of new racers this year. During the off season we have seen several new drivers purchase race cars, and show interest in obtaining their competition license. Steve Marino, SWMS Chief Driving Instructor, will be very busy this year with holding our competition licensing school. Please offer to help Steve by being an instructor sometime during the year.
One of our long-time members, racer, and Chief Steward, Bob Lee is recovering from double by-pass surgery this off season. The SWMS community is wishing Bob a quick and full recovery. Hope to see Bob at a race this year!!!