Tom Long to speak at next West Chapter meeting

Tom Long will be the guest speaker at the next West Chapter meeting, to be held Tuesday, November 1st at Coopers Ale House (part of Wyndham Garden Hotel) in “The Jamestown Room” in Greensboro. Tom is a native son and those of us who have watched his success in racing are mighty proud of him! We hope many of you will attend what will be a very interesting evening. Y’all come!

Tom is a full-time driver with SpeedSource Mazda Motorsports, the factory Mazda effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series Prototype class. In the 2015 Daytona Rolex 24hr, Long led overall for Mazda in the SKYACTIV-D program, the first Mazda and diesel to lead the race overall in its history.

Tom started his racing career in grassroots sports car racing with the SCCA Showroom Stock and Spec Miata classes as a member of the NC Region. He quickly took a liking to lightweight sports cars, setting multiple track records and winning championships while competing in the SCCA Runoffs with podium results. Tom then went on to win the 2005 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup National Championship before moving into the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series in 2006. By 2007, Long was on the steps of the Grand-Am podium, winning his first race in the series at home track VIRginia International Raceway in 2009 with the Mazda MX-5 Freedom Autosport team. For 2010, Long was a regular in both the Grand-Am Rolex and Continental Tire Series, winning multiple races and a top-5 result in the championship. 2011 and 2012 have been Long’s most celebrated results to date, leading several hours of the 2011 Daytona Rolex 24hr going on to a podium finish with Dempsey Racing’s Mazda RX8; while also finishing runner-up in the 2012 Continental Tire Series ST Championship with Freedom Autosport.

On the off weekends, Tom works as a professional driving coach and instructor. He is also a house coach for the VIR Drivers Club.  Tom graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in 2004 with a degree in business marketing.

You can email him at tom@longroadracing.com.

Upcoming October Events

It’s October, no I’m not kidding, it really is October, and yes, the first nine months of the year have flown by in a blur for us, too. There has been so much great racing in NCR, elsewhere in the Southeast Division, and across the entire SCCA nation. NCR-SCCA, like many professional road racing series, wraps up our road racing season in October, but road-racing is not all that our Region has going on.

Here are a few ideas get you out racing with NCR-SCCA family this month:

1. Join other NCR SCCA members at a Chapter meeting this week.

NCR chapter social meetings are how NCR members keep connected between events. Racing brought us to the track, but the people we meet keep us coming back. Come see why.

2. Register at MotorsportReg.com so you can come play at the track.

MotorsportReg is how we take care of the details of planning an event. It is where folks like yourself tell the NCR event planners (members just like you) that you want to play an important role in NCR-SCCA.

3. Register to participate in any or all of the following:

October 8-9 – SARRC Invitational Challenge/ECR Finale at Roebling Road, GA

October 15-16 – James A. Buckberry Memorial “Goblins Go”

October 21-22 Halloween Day/Night Enduro at VIR – 13/8 Hours

October 22 – NCR SCCA Novice Autocross School – Cherry Point

October 23 – NCR SCCA Autocross – Christine at Cherry Point

The leaves may be starting to change colors and the temperatures are falling, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to retire to the couch until the spring. Cooler weather means cooler air, and cooler air means more power! More power means there is awesome racing coming up at Roebling Road where Southeast Division will crown champions; at Virginia International Raceway where a newly paved racing surface surely means track records will be broken; at Cherry Point, one of the premier Autocross sites in the United States where Solo 2 National champions will be teaching new drivers, and competing to win NCR championships.

Whether you drive, volunteer, or spectate, we are ALL racers at heart, so get out and have fun with all the other members of NCR SCCA. Your membership is your pass to come out and have a good time with like-minded folks. And while you’re at it, why not bring a friend and introduce them to the NCR-SCCA family? We’re confident that they will thank you.

Welcome New Members!

North Carolina Region recruited 15 new members at the IMSA and SCCA Pro Global MX-5 Cup races at VIR during the weekend of August 26 – 28. Member-at-Large John Lindquist organized our presence there, with three race cars under two 10X20 canopies, and staffed by over fifteen Region members who volunteered their time to talk to prospective members over those three days. We were the largest display space there, save for IMSA’s title sponsors Continental Tire and Weather Tech. Eric Cruz provided his Formula Enterprises racer, David Knoche his Spec Racer Ford, and Dan Robson was on hand all weekend to answer questions about his scratch-built Mazda Proteg5 GT car. That collection of hot hardware drew many visitors to our display area, where they were met by eager members of our Region, who explained their particular passion for amateur motorsports. Who were they? Many thanks to these volunteers:  Justin Barbee, Patrick Pardee, Dwight Pardee, Blair Deffenbaugh, Steve Martin, Dean Baumgardner, Ben Tyler, Bruce Dover, Eric Danielsen, Megan Smith, James Shanks, Sam Fouse andMatt Decker

Many visitors were impressed that they were able to meet with real competitors in solo and road racing, as well as car builders, flaggers, timers, scrutineers, and even Region officers. That, together with a special one-time-only at-event discount of $35 did the trick, making this the most successful membership drive in Region history. Where did the discount come from? The National Office kicked in $15 and the NCR Board of Directors agreed to forego our $20 annual due for the first year for those who would sign on the dotted line right there. And it worked! You should be seeing these folks at our events soon.

Welcome aboard new NCR members!

  • Marty Baucom
  • Dario Lavonde
  • Adam Lavonde
  • David Klebanow
  • Chris Swink
  • Jennifer Swink
  • Nathan Buhr
  • Ronnie Weatherly
  • Joe Lyons
  • Henry Gerrits
  • George Tsantes
  • Robert White Jr.
  • Jeffrey Martin
  • J P Roach
  • Billy Gilliam

May you all do well at your first event! Go fast!

submitted by James Shanks, NCR Secretary