Club Racing News

New Developments in Regional Racing with NC Region for 2020

North Carolina Region is implementing a number of changes and enhancements to its Regional racing program at VIR for 2020. Here’s a rundown:

  • SARRC: All of NC Region’s SARRC races will comfortably exceed the minimum required length as prescribed by SARRC rules. Saturday qualifying sessions are being increased to 20 minutes and Sunday races are being increased to 35 minutes. In exchange, Sunday qualifying has been replaced by 10-minute open practice. May’s races will be a little shorter due to an additional run group.
  • APC; ECR: SEDIV’s popular Enduro series are being reworked for 2020. After suffering from tight schedules and shorter races in recent years, both series have settled on a new standard race length. APC and ECR will run 65-minute races each day in 2020. The new length is designed to allow two drivers to each have a 30-minute shift around a mandatory 5-minute pit stop. However, there is no requirement to have two drivers. A driver may ‘solo’ the Enduro if desired.
  • TCS: Tarheel Cup Series is unique to VIR. For 2020, it’s being re-tooled to become a 45-minute race to be run concurrently with ECR & APC. It will be specifically targeted at drivers for whom two 30-minute SARRC races aren’t enough, but either don’t want to, or whose cars are not well-suited to compete in a longer two-driver Enduro. In order to trophy and accumulate series points, a 5-minute pit stop is still required, but a driver may ‘waiver’ and forfeit the points and trophy to get 45 minutes of continuous seat time.
  • New Enduro-eligible classes added: For all Enduro series, additional classes will now be permitted to enter. Basically, all IT, Miatas (all forms), SRF (both varieties), Prod and GT3, and Small Bore will now be eligible to compete: B-Spec EP, FP, GT3, GTL, HP, ITA, ITB, ITC, ITR, ITS, IT7, IT7R, SM, SMT, SMSE, SMSET, SM5, SPU, SRF, SRF3, SRX7, SSM, STL, STU, T3, T4
  • Entry fees and discounts: We have been notified of a modest rent increase by VIR, along with a sanction fee increase and a new insurance deductible from SCCA. While we’ve had to increase initial entry fees slightly, in response we’ve increased the multi-race discounts for 2020 to help offset it. A third race is still $100 off while a fourth race is now $200 off bringing total discounts available to $325 for four races.

NCR Member & Runoffs Winner Bauguess Receives Mark Donohue Award

Broderick Bauguess, of Laurinburg, N.C., was named the 49th recipient of the RRDC Mark Donohue Award. This unique award is presented annually by the Road Racing Drivers Club for outstanding performance, competitiveness and sportsmanship during the Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs®. It is voted on by RRDC members attending the Runoffs and/or viewing them live online.

In his first attempt to win the Runoffs, 22-year-old Bauguess qualified second behind defending champion Marshall Mast at the 56th SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® then drove his No. 133 Morehead Speedworks BMW SpecE46 to the Touring 3 class title on Oct. 12, 2019, at the 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. He and Mast exchanged the lead six different times, each vying for fastest lap, with Bauguess ending up the victor, setting a track record of 2:05.354 seconds in the 15-lap, caution-free race and nosing out Mast by .396 of a second.

Bauguess immediately picked up his dad Allen to take him on the victory lap. “Our racing relationship is special,” said the younger Bauguess. “We are a team. Sharing these moments with my dad are things I will never forget. Some of the greatest memories at the track are just sitting in a fold-out chair in a quiet paddock while grilling some chicken wings and sharing a beer with my dad.

“After the victory lap, we looked at each other and just said, ‘we did it.’ He has sacrificed more for me than any person should. He is my biggest inspiration.”

The elder Bauguess helped Broderick achieve his dream after seeing his first IMSA race at VIR. He earned his competition license at age 15. “My parents didn’t like go-karts because there wasn’t a cage or safety belts,” said Broderick, “but my dad had been racing with my grandmother (Dorothy Bauguess), who raced with the SCCA in the late ’60s and ’70s, so he knew there were clubs that we could join.”

As for his race for the championship, “I was just focused forward trying to make the fastest and cleanest lap I possibly could,” he said. “I just had to make sure to not get excited and miss a shift or do anything that would take it from me. After the flag fell the only word I could say was, ‘YES!’”

Mark Donohue and the RRDC have always been on Bauguess’s radar. “I am a huge fan of the SAFEisFAST videos,” he said. “Being able to listen to some of the best drivers in the world and get their insight on driving technique, managing racing careers and, my personal favorite, the mental game, is invaluable.

“I don’t have the budget to work with professional coaches so being able to listen and learn from pros through these videos is extremely valuable,” he said, adding, “Receiving this award means so much to me because Mark was famous for understanding what it really meant to be part of a race team. Racing isn’t all about the driver, it’s about the people you work and race with to achieve your goals. I’m honored to receive this award because ours was a true team effort.”

RRDC president Bobby Rahal, a Runoffs champion (1975 Formula B) long before he won the 1986 Indianapolis 500, emphasized the RRDC Mark Donohue Award is “about personal spirit and performance behind the wheel. Those qualities are more important for this award than winning the race,” he said. “The RRDC honors Broderick not only for his outstanding drive to win, but for his passion for the sport he’s embraced and for being so cool under pressure.”

Every year, the RRDC Mark Donohue trophy is an engraved glass top mounted on a special, racing-experienced wheel, provided by an RRDC member. This year’s wheel was donated by Zak Brown, Chief Executive of McLaren Racing. The trophy consists of the front wheel rim built for the McLaren MP4-24 used during the 2009 Formula One season. The McLaren drivers for that season were the reigning world champion at the time, Lewis Hamilton, and Heikki Kovalainen. During that year the team earned 71 world championship points leading to a third-place finish in the constructors’ world championship.

New SCCA Member Account Portal is Live

Now that the National Convention is over, the new Member Account Portal is now open for use.  Go to SCCA.COM and click on the big Red rectangle “SCCA MEMBERS Member Account Portal Log In”. A new screen will show asking for your member number and password. When this is all entered, the next screen will be the new revised membership screen showing your licenses and expiration dates and other stuff. You can also update the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) data including any new info not already listed or update any errors on entries that are already in place. Look through it all and the other possibilities available. It may not all work, but it’s worth looking at now and even updating your events if your membership is due soon.

NCR’s Anthony Seaber is the new Formula Mazda National Champion

In a rain-soaked race at VIR for the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, NCR’s own Anthony Seaber of Hillsboro, North Carolina, narrowly defeated NCR’s other well-known Formula Mazda driver, Robert Noell of Kure Beach for the win, and became the Formula Mazda National Champion for 2019.

Read more here:

https://www.scca.com/articles/2012974-seaber-wins-wet-and-wild-formu

NCR’s Broderick Bauguess is the new Touring 3 National Champion

At his first-ever appearance at the Runoffs, Broderick Bauguess swapped the lead 6 times with the defending National Champion  Marshall Mast, and set a new track record before claiming his title!

Read more here

Heather Clark Awarded National F&C Worker of the Year at VIR Runoffs

Heather Clark, NCR Co-Flag Chief, and BoD Member-at-Large has been awarded the National Flagging & Communication Worker of the Year at the VIR Runoffs.

The SCCA press release stated, “The Flagging and Communications Worker of the Year is North Carolina Region’s Heather Clark. During her service to the SCCA Clark has served on the Region board, been Flag Chief and Assistant Chief for the last three years, and her experience and attitude has earned her the respect of fellow workers and drivers as she took on the role of a teacher and leader.”

Congratulations Heather! A well-deserved award!

Buddy Matthews 1942-2018

Alfred “Buddy” Matthews, long time NCR member, racer, Chief of Tech, former RE  and current Chapter Coordinator for the West Chapter tragically lost his life in a traffic accident on Monday, December 3rd.
Buddy was RE from 1987 through 1994, Assistant RE in 1986, and seemingly Chief of Tech or co-chief forever (officially since 1989). He was DA for Tech for a number of years as well. The Region presented him with several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award in 2005.

We will miss him greatly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the American Heart Association.

NCR Awards Banquet Returns to Wilmington this Year

NCR’s Annual Awards Banquet returns to Wilmington this year, on January 12th at the Brooklyn Arts Center in downtown Wilmington.
For more information, prices, dinner menu, etc., please click here.

Goblins Go cancelled…again!

Fellow Competitors and Volunteers:

As I write this, it’s mid-50’s at VIR with cars on track, but unfortunately, depending on which forecast you choose to believe, for next weekend it looks like a high of 38 to 41 with a strong possibility of wintry mix, to straight out snow with accumulation. Therefore, both NC Region and VIR believe we have no choice but to cancel next weekend’s scheduled race and time trial event.

As part of our agreement with VIR for this event, it was mutually agreed that either party could cancel a week prior due to weather or lack of participation, or both, without consequence, and although we have 102 cars pre-registered, the forecast looks ominous. There are only two things we know of that VIR shut downs for – flooding, and snow. We’ve already experienced one and are now about to experience the other, both within 60 days.

All registrations will be canceled on MotorsportReg and entry fees refunded in their entirety.

Sincerely,
Sam Fouse, RE
Mark Senior, Race Chair
Eric Danielsen, Marketing Chair
Bruce Dover, Office Mgr & Registrar

A Long Day at VIR and A Necessary Decision

It’s now 24 hours since I first arrived at VIR around 7:00PM Thursday evening. I’m now back home, the trailer is just now unloaded and parked. I want to run down the past day’s events while they are still fresh in my mind (and awake), because it went by in a blur.

Last evening about 6:30 as we rolled through Roxboro, the entire town was without power and this continued all the way to and including VIR. Fortunately I was staying with Chad Bacon in his motorhome with his son Caleb and Dan Robson, who had convoyed up with me. Robson was going to do the test day with his red car; I was going to do the twin SARRC’s with his white car.

Once we got checked in and unhooked we all took off to Danville in my truck to get some dinner. Milton was completely blacked out and the lower access road was flooded. As we passed, several race trailers were trying to back up out onto Hwy. 62 from that road. We continued on to Danville and the only place we could find with power was the area around the airport. The gas stations and restaurants were packed so full with lines, it looked like Armageddon. We didn’t understand, but continued on. We were stopped just west of the 29 bypass interchange. We were told 58 was flooded all through the Danville river district. We turned around, headed up the bypass to the next exit and turned west over to 29 business. Everything was blacked out but we held out hope we’d find something open with power. We went south on 29 business and made it all the way down to 58 at the river. Everything was blacked out and closed. We gave up, backtracked, went to the Food Lion across from the airport, loaded up with groceries, and headed back to VIR. There were maybe 30-40 trailers in the paddock and the pond was overflowing, crossing the paddock entrance.

I received a text late that night from VIR that the test day would not start until 1PM and that the situation would be re-evaluated at 10:00AM. We all hit the sack about midnight, but I was up at 4:30 unable to sleep and awoken by a text from a member. I should have known it was going to be a long day. The motorhome had a generator so we had power and I had brought my laptop and jet pack with me so I had internet. I found the river gauge site Mark had been watching and it was showing the river at record level above 30′ but starting to fall slowly to 27′ by Saturday 8AM. I went outside and tried to see what I could see with a flashlight but it was hopeless until sunrise.  I texted Tommy Webb at 6:13AM and asked if he would please let me know something directly as soon as he did his drive around. I went back to bed for a nap.

At a little after 7:00 I was awoken by a text alert from Tommy that the test day would NOT start at 1:00 as had been planned, and to expect an update sometime around 8:00. I saw Kerrigan driving back thru the tower gate at about 8:00, so I walked over and he told me that the test day was cancelled. He also said that they could operate our event without power if need be. At this point, we were still on go. At that point, just the test day was to be cancelled.

Turn 1 from the Start Stand

At 8:17AM I was sent a text by Tommy to meet he and Kerrigan at the tech shed. I didn’t see the text immediately so I didn’t head over there until about 8:30 or so. Kerrigan indicated his sources were saying the river had not crested yet, was still rising, and that our event now looked to be in jeopardy also. I asked if he was certain because Mark and I had both seen the river gauge showing it dropping over the next 24 hours. He called his Emergency Management source in my presence to confirm his information. We parted about 8:40 and I went back to our paddock area to start the process of communication. I texted Rick Starkweather at 8:43AM because I knew he had access to the Prod Fest group and he may have not yet bought all their food, etc. I called Butch Kummer and gave him the news so he could broadcast to his people, as I had just talked to him maybe 15 minutes before and told him the event was still on. Those two groups accounted for almost one-third of our drivers. I also texted the 3 Race Chairs and James Shanks.

I suggested to Eric that we wait 30 minutes before sending anything in order to give Mark time to talk to Kerrigan to compare notes on the river data. Shortly after that though (about 9:00) I talked face to face with Kerrigan again and there was no appeal. It was official and final final. I turned and headed straight to the motorhome to write a statement to send to Bruce for broadcast via direct e-mail. It went to him 15 minutes later. We were still operating on the motorhome generator as VIR was still without power.

Turn 17 from Pit in

All during this period and while I was trying to write the statement, I was getting pummeled with e-mails, texts, and phone calls wanting to know what was up. Between 9:03 and 9:32 I received 14 e-mails, plus texts and phone calls too numerous to mention. In all I received calls and and texts from at least 15 of you plus several stewards, often more than once, wondering what was up and were we going to send an announcement. HELL YES, I’M WORKING ON IT! It went to Bruce at 9:15 and I received the e-mail myself back from MSR at 9:32. I had intended the message go to Eric for social media also, but in the madness, I forgot to include him. From official confirmation from Kerrigan to e-mail received was about 30 minutes. I’m not sure how we could have done it more quickly nor why we would need to. I know some of you were going through social media hysteria.

Before I left I took multiple photos, two videos, and headed home. The photos have now been sent to Bruce, Eric, and Blair D. and should begin to appear on the website and thru social media. The paddock was pretty much vacant when I rolled out at about 11:30.

Lastly, Kevin Massey-Shaw approached me and offered the weekend of Dec. 8-9 to us as a make up weekend. This is something for us to discuss. It would be at the regular March rate.

As painful as it was for all of us, I believe VIR made the right decision. I’m also thankful that one of us was there to see first hand what was going on, talk directly with VIR as decisions were being made, and communicate out as quickly as we did. I also want to thank Chad Bacon for bringing his motorhome which served as my electrified base so I could keep my phone charged, run my laptop and jet pack, and thereby communicate with all of you in real time.

That’s it for now. I’m done. It’s been a long day.

Good night,
Sam