Newsflash 6/4/2021

AFJA     5/4/21 

YOU AINT SEEN NOTHIN’ YET! 

This is absolutely true. Since being forcibly (and unopposedly) elected to President for the Australian Formula Junior Association (AFJA) at the Phillip Island race meeting in early March, you really aint seen nothin’ from me. 

So I guess it’s time to overcome my inherent shyness and make a few comments to try to be effective in my role to progress our favourite category as we emerge from COVID inertia. As I said to outgoing Pres, Kim Shearn: I really don’t have any sure fire answers to the problem of how to get more cars out on the track. But I’ll try. 

Having experienced true FJ enjoyment, courtesy of FJHRA management, around the world (Australia, New Zealand, UK, Europe, Sth Africa, Canada and the USA), I am absolutely certain that the winning ingredient is the element of “FUN”. Only FJ can give the level of FUN we experienced to the number of participants involved, with the number of different cars available, at the number of circuits and meetings which welcome the FJ fraternity. 

Of course, the success of the FJHRA comes down to numbers. With a large pool of active FJ owners, the FJHRA can afford professional management with necessary skills in communication and organization. With our limited numbers, we can but learn from their efforts and try to replicate the good bits. 

The first “good bit” I believe we should aim for, is CAMERADERIE. Without fail, we recall the feeling of a particular 4 day meeting more fondly than just a particular race….because a meeting involves a familiar group of like-minded people doing lots and lots of good stuff together. Like camping (or block booking motels), BBQs, car preparation and repairs, dinners, presentations and even racing. 

The numbers and fun have been achieved in the recent past right here in Australia, despite the tyranny of distance in our vast land. In retrospect, this was achieved largely through the organizing efforts of supporting spouses. Roger’s Margaret, Don’s Janette and Kelvin‘s Bunny all gave huge support. Whereas Kim and myself have been blessed with not a lot. Therefore, we have come to depend on the coupling of others. Fortunately we have access to Noel’s superb Robyn who has done an outstanding job for Kim over the past few years. And we have Max’s very capable Emma chomping at the bit to get more involved. 

All we need is better entry levels. At the AGM, Peter Strauss (and Jane) generously offered to contribute some funds towards promoting more entries. So we can start looking at travel and transport assistance to turn race meetings into holiday events at Perth (2 meetings in 2 weeks at 2 tracks), Morgan Park, Wakefield Park and Winton (3 meetings within 6 weeks), plus Mallala between Perth and Melbourne. Then there are new events at new circuits (Pheasants Nest near Wakefield, and The Bend in Sth Australia) plus the old favourites at Phillip Island and Eastern Creek. Let’s not forget New Zealand in January next year (6 meetings at 6 circuits in 6 weeks). Time to start planning for cost and time effective Trans Tasman travel. Allan Conway has been a great contributor to our facebook page and this will continue be an important communication channel. Also, see Noel Bryen’s Phillip Island report.  

So we can look forward to trialing “EVENTS PLUS” in 2021 and get the AFJA back as a desirable destination for our friends overseas.  

You aint seen nothin’ yet. 

Cheers  

Bill 

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