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2024 Friday Conference Summary

The 77th MotorSport New Zealand Conference, AGM & Awards Evening takes place this weekend in Christchurch. Over 50 Member Clubs have made the journey to the mainland for a range of seminars and workshops with a theme of “Growing Participation”.

Each Advisory Commission presented a 90-minute seminar during the day, along with additional seminars on proposed Constitutional changes and an update from the Technical Department. A summary of these seminars and discussions is below:

Race Advisory Commission:

The Race Advisory Commission held discussions on keeping the cost of participating in racing sustainable, increasing participation and creating opportunities and driving standards.

Attendees were split into groups to discuss those three main talking points. Coverage and promotion of racing were highlighted as an area for improvement. The progression from ClubSport to Race was also identified as a disparity between clubs across New Zealand.

There was also a general discussion on the use of race radio, competitor training and scrutineering.

Rally Advisory Commission:

The Rally Commission provided a productive seminar that covered topics that gathered a lot of discussion and engagement from the delegates.

R2G Ltd, the organisers of the 2023 Daybreaker Rally, presented a case study on the modern promotion and marketing of rally events. Their presentation focused on their use of digital media to promote an event not run in over 10 years. This session was very informative and valuable as this has been an area of focus for rallying and the sport in general.

The importance of community outreach and engagement was highlighted, especially as local council support becomes more prevalent in securing support for funding and road closures.

Making rally accessible was also discussed in depth. Attendees and the Commission brainstormed ideas on how to demystify the perceived barriers to competing in rally. Simple, accessible and prominent resources were discussed as a possible solution in this area.

The increasing challenge and complexity of temporary traffic management regulations was discussed. The Commission provided an update on the ongoing engagement and consultation the sport and wider industry are having with the regulators on this issue.

ClubSport Commission:

The ClubSport Commission held some robust discussions around the Hillclimb and ClubSport Championship events. Attendees discussed the possibility of more attractive formats, including investigating regional and local rounds.

Attendees also discussed creating sustainability in ClubSport from financial, participation, environmental and social aspects. A large area of this focused on figuring out how to attract younger competitors into the sport.

Groups also were tasked with detailing a challenge they faced and a potential solution for it. A common theme was how to improve the promotion and coverage of ClubSport.

People in Motorsport Commission:

This seminar delved into what the make-up of an inclusive and welcoming sport looks like for all stakeholders. These discussions then evolved into brainstorming ideas for a code of conduct that reflects the community that we want as a sport.

The second portion of the seminar investigated the ways the commission can support the big push to increase participation, especially looking at attracting a new demographic of people to motorsport.

Volunteer Officials Commission:

The Commission focused its seminar on volunteer welfare, recognition, succession planning and removing the barriers to volunteering.

The new MotorSport New Zealand Accredited Volunteer scheme was previewed, highlighting the new structure of the accreditation pathways and training.

Attendees were also given an insight into the National Volunteer Week campaign of 2023 and the plans for the 2024 campaign.

Technical Department:

The Technical Department team from the MotorSport New Zealand office shared some proposed ideas that the department has been considering for the future. A major idea is the simplification of Schedule A to help make the sports technical regulations easier to follow and clearer for all users.

A thorough demonstration of the MotorSport Online platform and app was given to attendees to give them a full understanding of the new platform and how it all links together with our regulations and procedures.

Insights into the FIA Incident Data Recorders were shown including the data they collect, how the data is used and a case study from a crash at the New Zealand Grand Prix.

The role of Scrutineers was also highlighted, clarifying their purpose and expectations of their role. The Technical Department also discussed the desire to recruit new officials in their area, particularly females and younger people.

Historic Commission:

The commission’s seminar focused on the concept of “Today’s cars are tomorrow’s historic’s”. This included discussions around identifying what group of current vehicles may soon be considered historic and classic and be suited to fall under the historic motorsport umbrella in order to perverse them.

Following the theme of the Conference, a plan to encourage historic car owners to return to participating was considered, noting this should be the main focus as this is an area where the initial barriers to participation are lowered as the car is already owned.

Constitutional Changes:

Clubs are considering a raft of constitutional changes based on resolutions passed in the 76th AGM. These will be voted on at Saturday’s 77th AGM.

77th AGM:

The 77th Annual General Meeting of MotorSport New Zealand Inc. takes place on Saturday 25 May in Christchurch. A summary of this meeting will be published following its conclusion.

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