2016 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

MG_4997North Carolina Region’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner for 2016 was held on January 14th 2017 at the Vailtree Event and Conference Center in Graham, North Carolina. The food was superb! Steak, seasoned chicken, and salmon were featured at the buffet, along with some yummy side items and glorious dessert items, including a cake made for the occasion.

Some of the eye candy available in the adjoining room!

Some of the eye candy available in the adjoining room!

Before dinner, attendees were invited to stroll through the adjoining room and view the owner’s collection of exotic and luxury vehicles.  A Ferrari, a Bentley GTC and a BMW B7 Alpina, were among the high-dollar European marques, along with an Alfa Romeo 4C and a Fiat 500 Abarth.  American muscle was represented too, with a late model Corvette Z06, a Dodge Challenger SRT (800 hp!), and a Viper ACR.  There was even a 1974 Lincoln Mark IV personal luxury coupe, the ride of choice for 70’s era TV private eye Frank Cannon. What a hoot!  And what an awesome collection!  Art Sinnott of F&S Enterprises, NCR’s official photographers at VIR, and Vailtree’s Stacey Polythress Rainey were on hand to take photos of it all.

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Sam Fouse, NC Region RE

James Buckberry

Ginny Condrey

Bruce Dover

Pete Romanowski

After dinner, we held our annual meeting.  RE Sam Fouse opened with a recap of the year and emphasize the dramatic turn-around in our financial position which was achieved by “right pricing” our entry fees, high enough to cover our costs but still small enough to make our events a bargain, considering the “bucket list” track we use to hold our events.  Sam also mentioned the challenges we faced, with the loss of James Buckberry, our Chief Starter, and departure of our Chief Registrar and Office Manager, Ginny Condrey, due to family illness.  Ginny’s departure left a huge hole, one that we are still trying to fill, though Bruce Dover has done an admirable job stepping in for her. And Pete Romanowski is to be commended for stepping in as Chief Starter, a job he never wanted, when James passed  away.

James Shanks, Membership Chair

James Shanks, Membership Chair

James Shanks then gave a short presentation on our membership, which stands at just over 760. The good news is that one in four members is a licensed competition driver, and one in three a licensed volunteer, so we have the means to put on great events.  The bad news is that our membership has declined since 2008. And unfortunately, dues are going up; though you can offset that by volunteering or signing up a new member.  The important thing to remember, James said, is to be friendly; since at any given moment, twenty percent of our members are new, and they will only stay if they make new friends.

Tim Lyons and Morgan Mehler

Tim Lyons and Morgan Mehler

Morgan Mehler, Member-at-Large and Solo Chair, gave a humorous but informative report on the Solo program, which is in fine shape. He also introduced Matt Decker, the new Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator, and told us that they had an active new season planned, with 4 events in Wilmington at Cape Fear Community College North Campus and 6 at Cherry Point Marine base. In addition, they will be hosting the North Carolina Autocross Championship in October.

There were no questions from the floor, so Sam closed the meeting and turned the mike over to emcee Tim Lyons for the awards presentation. Eric Danielsen put together a wonderful slide show presentation, featuring shots of the winners from our events, that played on a side screen as the awards were presented.

We recognized drivers:

Driver of the Year – Majors and SECS – Al Wheatley

Al Wheatley

See bottom of page for update.

Driver of the Year – Majors and SARRC – Alastair McEwan

Alastair McEwan

See bottom of page for update.

Driver of the Year – SARRC – Michael Sperber

Driver of the Year – SARRC – Ron Earp

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Ron Earp and Michael Sperber

“2016 James “Jim” Feinberg National Solo Driver of the Year”
and 2016 SCCA Solo National Champion
Maria Mayorga

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Maria Mayorga, National Champion

Regional Driver of the Year – Solo – Vernon Geddings

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Vernon Geddings

Rookie Driver of the Year – Solo – Christian Williams

Christian Williams

 Spirit of Mazda award – Alex Phelps

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Tim Lyons and Alex Phelps

And we recognized volunteers:

F&C Worker of the Year – Jan Michel

NCR Annual Awards Banquet 2016 44

T&S Worker of the Year – Megan Smith

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Anna Crissman, T&S Chief and Megan Smith

T&S Rookie of the Year – Richard Mosley

Richard Mosley

Start Rookies of the Year – Rick Edwards and Chuck Stanley

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Chuck Stanley, Chief Starter Pete Romanowski and Rick Edwards

Pit Road Rookie of the Year – Scott Keadle

Scott Keadle

Scott Keadle

Pace Car Outstanding Service – Joedy Pennington

Ed Wentz, Pace Car Chief and Joedy Pennington

Ed Wentz, Pace Car Chief and Joedy Pennington

Outstanding Service to the Solo Program – Justin Arnette

 

Outstanding Service in Tech –
Dwight Cooke, Rusty Matthews, Barbara Mayes,
Jerry Pell, and Chris Schimmel

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Chris Schimmel, Rusty Matthews, Barbara Mayes, Jerry Pell and Dwight Cooke

Plus a few more volunteers who require special mention:

Solo Worker of the Year – Stephen Miller

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Stephen Miller and son Adam.

For single-handedly starting the Solo Junior Karting program and now brining a second kart to allow other kids to try it out.

NCR Extra Mile Award – Brian Huff

Brian Huff

Brian Huff

For making replacement electronic light controllers for the corner station traffic lights without being asked.

Outstanding Service to the NCR Racing Program
Mark Biamonte, Eric Danielsen and David Turner

"The Three Amigos" Eric Danielsen, David Turnr and Mark Biamonte

“The Three Amigos” Eric Danielsen, David Turnr and Mark Biamonte

For ten years of service as flag chiefs and countless innovations.

(l to r) Eric Danielsen, David Turner, Mark Biamonte, Heather Clark, Brian Eldredge, Ben Tyler

On a humorous note, the incoming flag chiefs, Heather Clark, Brian Eldredge, and Ben Tyler, made their own presentation to their predecessors. Since the boys aren’t going away, just returning to duty on some flag station in the future, their successors gave them each a kit of corner worker necessities, new orange gloves, a break-away lanyard, and a bottle opener to name a few, and a cinch bag to carry it all in. Glad to have you back on the front lines, fellas, and thanks for your service!

 

 

Finally, it was Sam Fouse’s turn to present the major NCR Region awards. First up was a surprise presentation to Eric Danielsen.

NCR Member of the Year – Eric Danielsen223A6259

Eric had already been awarded for his service as Flag Chief.  He’s also a race chair and chair of the newly-formed Marketing Committee. He was instrumental in setting up our e-mail tool so that we could reach all the SCCA drivers east of the Mississippi, and he updates it regularly. This puts us far ahead of most other Regions.  But this year, Eric really put us on the map with the famous “Opie Goes Racing” video that he conceived and produced at this year’s Spring Sprints Majors.

Sam next presented

Workers of the Year to The EV Crew
Tim Gardner, Dave Dominguez, and James Matthews

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Tim Gardner and Dave Dominguez

Our EV guys Tim, Dave, and James, have been awarded before.  This last season they have been doing even more, such as giving up part of their lunch hour to help with the lunch-time drive arounds we do for charity at VIR. And when VIR maintenance couldn’t do it, they jumped in at the last minute to deliver all the deep-cycle batteries to the corner stations for the 13-hour race.

Finally, Sam was pleased to award Lifetime Achievement awards to two of his old friends:

Lifetime Achievement – Don Knowles

Don Knowles

Don, Sam said, is a racer’s racer. He’s won six National Championship in just 18 trips to the Runoffs, one out of every three, and he has done it over a forty-year period. He also competed regularly in endurance racing, running in everything from the 24 hours of Nelson Ledges to Daytona, and in every series that IMSA had to offer for small sedans, Renault Cup, Firehawk, Camel GT, and the Bilstein Rabbit Cup. Don has won a world record of fourteen 24-hour races, and he won three 24-hour race in both 1987 and ’88. He is also the all-time SCCA Escort series winner with 19 wins.  And true to form, he could not be with us for the presentation because he was racing at Sebring. Sam had the pleasure of announcing that Don had won today’s Majors T4 race in an RX-8 along with the pleasure of announcing his Lifetime Achievement award.

Lifetime Achievement – Bill King

Bill King

Sam opened his remarks on Bill by relating that it was Bill who had convinced him to join at an autocross back in 1976.  Bill had already been a member since 1964, and has the distinction of being the only active member who attended both the first race at VIR in 1957 and the last before it closed in 1974. In between he was a winning rallyist, a corner worker, a driver, and a writer. He was Bulletin Editor in 1976 and its most frequent contributor, exhibiting a talent for writing that later served him well as PR Manager for the Goodyear racing program in the Nineties. He was SSB champion in 1976, showing he knows how to drive as well as write. He was RE in 1981, and launched the first National at Roebling Road that Year. He was also the guy who convinced Rockingham to build the infield course, and helped design it with Steve Coleman.  That course opened in 1978 and was our mainstay for years. Eventually Bill moved on to the SCCA National Office, where he launched the Sports Renault Program (now SRF) and the Playboy Endurance Series (now the Pirelli World Challenge).  His accomplishments and his influence are too numerous to mention all at once, so it was with pride Sam awarded him his Lifetime Achievement award.

As our Guest of Honor, Bill then gave a short talk in which he entertained us with humorous stories and anecdotes from his time among the big names of sports car racing. It was a hoot! See the 7 min video with Bill telling his “how I got hooked on cars” story. Watch the 5 min video with Bill telling how he met Boris Said and two other anecdotes. Bill explains his book in 5.5 min about the History of VIR.

Thanks, Bill!

UPDATE!

(left to right) Al Wheatley, Don Knowles and Alastair McEwan, who were unable to attend the Banquet, received their awards at the Triangle Chapter Meeting in Raleigh on February 1st.

Bill King to Speak at NCR Banquet

billkingBill King, author of two books about VIRginia International Raceway, will be the guest speaker at this year’s NC Region Annual Awards Banquet. Bill and his wife Gloria are both long time NC Region members and have been involved in the Club on all levels since the 1950s. For more information and registration for the Banquet, please click the link above.

Bill King is/has been a publicist, marketer, journalist, race series organizer, author and raconteur, who has worked for Nick Craw, Leo Mehl, Paul Pfanner and Roger Werner. Original program manager, SCCA Spec Racer/Sports Renault, ’84. Created Playboy Endurance Series (now World Challenge) from clean sheet of paper, ‘85. PR manager for Goodyear Racing, ’86-’92; contributing editor and special projects manager for RACER, ’94-‘01, general manager, Speedvision.com, ’99-’01; and business development manager for Swift Engineering and Morse Measurements. Prior to ’83, N.C. Region F&C Chief, Bulletin editor and RE, ‘80 Area III John C. Reuter Award recipient and “daddy” of the SEDIV Double National. Racing career highlighted by the ’76 SEDIV SSB title and helping launch the Renault Cup in ’82. Honorary member of the Road Racing Driver’s Club.

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.

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

NC Region recruits new members at the IMSA Tudor event at VIR

Last weekend, August 21 – 23, the Marketing Committee for the Region tried a new tactic. Instead of trying to recruit new members at Car Shows and Cars-and-Coffee events, were the attendees have a wide variety of automotive interests, they decided to try reaching out to fans at the IMSA Tudor event at VIR. The thinking was, “Hey, these folks are ‘pre-qualified’. They paid money to see a sports car race. Maybe they’d like a chance to get even more involved.” So arrangements were made.

Mike Rose, Marketing Director at VIR, and Crista Walker, who coordinated the vendor displays, gave us a great display space. Thank you both for allowing us to set up on the midway where people couldn’t help but see us. Region member, and former Assistant RE, John Lindquist, did some digging and got us a 10×20 display canopy and found us people who would agree to display their cars. Region member, and former Secretary, Jerry Pell not only agreed to display his lovely red-and-silver Spec Miata, he stayed all weekend manning the booth! Hats off, Jerry! But John felt that more of a “hook” was needed to get the fans’ attention. He contacted member Bob Wheless, who got in touch with member Victor Seaber of the VIPER program at VIR, and Victor asked John Salmon for a loan of his L2 Sports Racer. This Mazda-powered sports racer, a handsome and exotic piece of automotive wizardry, runs in both the IMSA “prototype lite” L2 class and in P1 with the SCCA. It was John’s canopy, too. Wow! What can you say, but “Thanks, guys!”

The sports racer and the Spec Miata did the trick. The cars lured folks in for a closer look. Then the members under the tent passed out flyers about NCR and our remaining events for the season, as well as a tentative schedule for next season. We gave away old copies of SportsCar and brightly-colored brochures from the National Office about what we do. Those fans that were interested in being offered a spot on someone’s crew for the October events gave us their e-mail addresses. There were over 50 of them, and many were surprised that we would offer such a deal. In short, this venture was a big success. Let’s hope these new prospects come out and join us in the future.

There are so many more people to thank for this success. Thanks to Member-at-Large Sam Fouse for creating the local flyers and for getting those brochures from the National Office. Sam also manned the booth all day Friday and Sunday. Thanks also to NCR Office Manager Bruce Dover for printing Sam’s flyers on short notice. Thanks to all the volunteers who took time to talk to prospective members. Besides John Lindquist and Jerry Pell, who were there all weekend, volunteers included RE Rex Deffenbaugh, Tim Lyons, Doug Hooper, Dan Robson, and myself, James Shanks. We should probably even thank the members of the Tarheel Sports Car Club, who had a booth next to us, and fed some of us lunch on Saturday, and shared their beer too! Thanks a lot, guys! Those of us who were there had a great time. And, of yeah, there were these big time sports car races going on which we could watch from time to time, IMSA Continental GT and Lamborghini Trofeo. Cool!

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Below: Jerry Pell’s Spec Miata being admired by a couple of interested spectators. Maybe future SM drivers?

 

Below: John Salmon’s L2 Sports Racer. What serious SportsCar fan could walk by that and not stop?!

Good weather! Good food! Good friends! And vintage cars!

The North Carolina Region held its third annual picnic at North East Park in Gibsonville on Saturday the 8th of August and it was a blast. The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny, in the low 80’s, and no humidity to speak of, thanks to thunderstorms earlier in the week. The food was fabulous! Master Griller (and Chief Starter) James Buckberry (left) served up both hamburgers and hot dogs, with all the fixin’s. (I had two myself!) Barbecue chef (and Worker of the Year) Pete Romanowski prepared his most excellent pork and beans with green peppers and other secret ingredients, which literally got rave reviews. And everybody else brought an assortment of chips, potato salad, cole slaw, snacks, cookies, and even cake! We had over 35 people so there was lots of food. We ate well!

It was a very laid-back affair. West Chapter coordinator and Chief of Tech, Buddy Matthews (on left, in picture at right) brought softball equipment, along with most of the other supplies, but I think we only used it to weigh down the paper products so they didn’t blow away with an occasional breeze. We all preferred just to chat and catch up instead, without the pressure of having to get a race underway. People came from all over. Flag Chief Eric Danielsen made it in from Roanoke, Virginia! Heather Clark and Todd Cohen took a weekend off from flagging and came in from the West Chapter. So did Dwight Cooke, who brought me a huge stack of old Bulletins for the Region History project, including some from the years 1997 thru 2000 that we did not have in the archives. Thanks, Dwight! And even RE Rex Deffenbaugh managed to make it up from Moncure. That’s a bit of a drive! There was even a new guy, not a member yet, named David Wooten, who came by to see what we are about. He has a Honda he wants to campaign and he’s looking for help. David came all the way up from Wilmington to visit his wife’s family, but had to stop by to make some new friends. So, next year I don’t want to hear any excuses for not showing up at this picnic just because Gibsonville is a bit off the beaten path. Like VIR, it’s a fabulous facility. You just have to make an effort to get there. It’s worth it! Just ask Annie and Steve Martin who were among the first to arrive.

I got to meet and interview Tim Lyons about his long “career” with the Club in GT1. I also met his good buddy and crew chief Darryl Hunter, his wife Rhonda, and Tim’s wife Brenda Lyons. Darryl added his perspective to the interview and the gals joined in from time to time. I also chatted with Jerry Pell and Paddock Marshall Hayden Beatty about their racing careers. Lots of good stories there! But I couldn’t get to all of them. I saw Dean Bumgardner talking about his NASCAR racing with a group that included John Lindquist and his wife Annie and Steward Clyde Kiser, but I never managed to do more than just say “hi” to them all. There were lots of interesting conversations to join.

Oh, and the cars? Well, the king of the hill was Treasurer and Steward Steve Keadle’s 1970 Ford Torino (left) in competition trim (blacked-out grill and hood with “429 cu. ci.” emblazoned in big white letters). Steve said it cost him about $140 to fill it up with the proper fuel at eight dollars a gallon. And he used almost half of it driving the beast up from Cary with his son Scott, who was in from Atlanta. Steve smiled when he said he gets lots of waves but nobody ever even tries to beat him off the line at stop lights!

The other car that brought a smile to every one’s face was Hayden Beatty’s early 70’s MGB with the chrome bumpers and the roll bar. It’s a pretty little tomato-red time machine and Hayden looks perfect driving it. Of course there was more modern iron too, like Romanowski’s sinister grey Mustang coupe and Tim Lyon’s brilliant blue M3. And of course, we had a couple of Miatas, too. Can the members of the SCCA get together anywhere without a few Miatas showing up? It seems unlikely.

So all in all, we had a great time. Why not make a vow to join us next year? I can promise you it will be a very pleasant Saturday afternoon.

Below, (left side bottom to top): Carol Bumgardner, Darryl Hunter, Rex Deffenbaugh (right side, top to bottom): James Shanks, Tim and Brenda Lyons, Dean Bumgardner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, (left to right): Scott and Steve Keadle, Todd Cohen

Below, (left to right): Scott Keadle, Todd Cohen, Steve Keadle, Eric Danielsen, Buddy Matthews, Heather Clark

Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual NCR Picnic

When: Saturday, August 8, 2015, 9am – 8pm

Where: NE Guilford County 
North East Park, 4010 High Rock Road, Gibsonville 

Registration is now open on MotorsportReg. Be sure to list any and all guests you plan to bring with you when you register. 

North East Park is a large family-friendly park with something of interest for all ages…

  • a Carousel
  • a Train
  • Miniature Golf
  • Ball fields of many types
  • An Aquatic Center for your swimming enjoyment
  • and lots of hiking trails!

The NC Region will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks. To fill out the food, please bring a dish of your favorite picnic fare, or a dessert.

Please note:  This venue allows BEER as our ONLY alcoholic beverage and ONLY IN CANS. Additionally, it may ONLY  be consumed in the picnic shelter and NO OTHER PART OF THE PARK. And, don’t forget that we have to be out of the park by 8:00pm.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience some fun and fellowship with your fellow Club members. More details to be sent as we get closer.

Anyone who would like to help out, please contact:

Buddy Matthews at 336-312-8858 or redstarracing@triad.rr.com

or

Pete Romanowski at 336-707-1884 or sccaflager@triad.rr.com

Map – North East Park, 4010 High Rock Road, Gibsonville NC 27249

Join us at VIR for the Spring Open House and Iconic Oak Tree Replanting this Friday, April 3rd

Danville, Virginia – March 25, 2015 – VIRginia International Raceway is hosting its annual Spring Open House and Charity Laps event April 3 to benefit Victory Junction, a moving nonprofit that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camp experiences at no cost to their families. In addition, VIR will hold a special ceremony memorializing the track’s iconic oak tree with the replanting of a descendant of the original tree.

The iconic oak tree, which stood for more than 200 years and fell in the summer of 2013, served as a prominent feature, symbol and welcome shade to the track’s south end. Last year, VIR discovered “the son of oak tree,” which had been planted from an acorn taken from the original tree about ten years ago by a former VIR employee. Through consultation with the Virginia Department of Forestry, the tree will be transported and replanted near the spot of the old oak tree. The new location will be outside the track, approximately 150 feet from the original location, providing more stable ground and accommodating modern racing safety regulations.

The tree replanting ceremony will take place from about noon to 1 p.m. during the April 3 Open House event. The ceremony will also unveil a memorial marker made from the tree’s wood and which will be placed on the ground where the old oak tree once stood. Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of VIR, will speak and photo opportunities will be available.

“We’re honored to welcome the community to the Spring Open House, a day of reflection, transformation and new beginnings,” said Nyholm. “For fans like me who felt a great loss with the falling of the original oak tree, the replanting is really a meaningful, welcome addition to our track. The whole day will be a great chance to celebrate VIR, check out all of the wonderful amenities and live out racing dreams to support a deserving cause.”

During the Spring Open House and Charity Laps event, guests can drive their own cars on VIR’s historic 3.27-mile full course for 15 minutes with a donation of just $25, all benefiting Victory Junction. Special guest Austin Petty, grandson of racing legend Richard Petty and brother of Adam Petty, will be keeping his brother’s dream alive offering ride-alongs in Adam’s No. 45 racecar for a minimum donation of $45. Additionally, Richard Petty’s signature Mustang will be on display at the event. Guests also have the chance to take ride-alongs around the track in one of the world’s quickest and most unique supercars, the Ariel Atom, for a $15 donation.

Throughout the family-friendly event, guests can also enjoy VIR amenities free of charge, including the kart track and shooting courses. The property will be open to the public April 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on VIR, visit www.virnow.com.

NCR Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner

The North Carolina Region’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner was held on Saturday evening, January 10th, at the Coastline Conference and Event Center in downtown Wilmington. 93 Members attended. Kudos to Elizabeth Severt and John Byers, who did a fabulous job of organizing the event!

The first item on the agenda was a brief business meeting, conducted by RE Rex Deffenbaugh, who gave his annual “State of the Region” report and introduced the Board members who were in attendance, including the only new member on the Board, Assistant RE Mike Spencer.

Membership Chair James Shanks reported that our membership count is 765, back up to where it was in 2009. So, the Region is strong and growing again. This is manifest in our events, which are growing too, often because of how well we treat people. He also showed a copy of our current ad in the February 2015 issue of Grassroots Motorsports (page 174) and also of Pete Hylton’s book The Gentleman’s’ Club, which details the history of the SCCA. He pointed out that, while Hylton’s book is out of print, every member has a free summary of it, along with other historical info on the SCCA, which was published in the February 2014 issue of SportsCar.

Treasurer Steve Keadle then gave a brief financial report. Then, it was on to dinner! Besides a delicious dinner and door prizes, many awards were handed out and I hope I’ve covered them all here. If not, please let me know.

Lifetime Achievement – Ginny Condrey

For years of dedicated service on the eve of her planned retirement. Ginny has been a member of the SCCA and our Region for over 30 years, having joined in 1982, and she has been our office manager and chief registrar for over 25 years. She always has the forms, knows the procedures, and sets up everything in advance for our biggest events. She was instrumental in getting our financial operations off paper and into Quicken, and provides the Treasurer with the figures he needs for our financial reports. She writes the checks that he signs, providing a much needed check-and-balance mechanism. She’s been the glue that held our operations together. Her replacement will have giant shoes to fill.

Lifetime Achievement – Dan Robson

Here in NCR, Dan Robson has been awarded Driver of the Year twice and Hard Luck once. But that just scratches the surface of what Dan has done over the course of his career in the NC Region.

Racer, car builder, fabricator, crew chief, and friend to many, Dan has lent his skills to many, many successful race teams, including 2 Eastern Conference Champs just this year (Chad Bacon in GT3, and Doug Piner in P2). Doug will tell you he wouldn’t have turned a lap out at Laguna if it were not for Dan. Dan was also responsible for Chad’s entire season’s efforts this year and last, including a Runoffs run at Road America in 2013.

Dan has also been a very successful driver himself, having been SEDIV champion 7 times in small bore GT, all in cars he built and maintained himself. He was also twice runner-up at the Runoffs, an event which he competed in as an NCR member an unprecedented 28 times.

His resume also includes many years as a fabricator, mechanic, or crew chief for many pro teams, such as our very own Team Highball, which won the 24 hours of Daytona 5 times in a row in IMSA GTU; Mandeville AutoTech in IMSA GTO; Tommy Riggins in TransAm; Leitzinger Motorsports, a Nissan factory team with legendary Carson Baird as team manager and with Butch Leitzinger, David Loring, and even Don Knowles as drivers; Support Net Racing for Henry Camferdam, with Roger Mandeville, Charles Espenlaub, and Johnny O’Connell as drivers; and more recently Tony Ave and our own Long Road Racing.

He is well known and well respected all across the country. You can’t go to an SCCA event anywhere in the US and not have several competitors come up to Dan to chat or to ask for his advice and counsel on a technical matter. He is a walking encyclopedia of racing knowledge.

We have been very fortunate to have been able to count Dan as an NCR member for nearly 40 years.

Member of the Year – Bruce Dover

For volunteering to take the job of Region Communications Director and figuring out how to make use of Constant Contact as a tool to contact prospective drivers. He took on-line courses to learn how to use the graphical templates and then simplified the process for others. He created and sent out the “meet the candidates” election bios e-mails on his own. Bruce makes certain that the information on our web page is as timely as he can make it. Many times he has the thankless job of having to nag others for information; other times he has to write it himself.

 

Worker of the Year – Pete Romanowski

For volunteering at our events and at SCCA events all across the Southeast for over 40 days this year. The “iron man” is always there even when his back hurts. He makes it easy for others to volunteer at home or at distant places. For years, everyone in the Southeast knew that Turn 5 at the Daytona 24 was “owned” by Pete and that he could always be counted on to staff it with a mix of veterans and rookies who would work together in superb fashion. When his back began to bother him, the “iron man” tried his hand at Race Control and at Start, and did well at both positions. If you’ve heard him on the radio, then you know what I am talking about. He’s that calm and authoritative voice of experience every Operating Steward wants to hear from when there’s a crisis. He’s been asked about joining the Stewards program but that’s too far removed from the action for Pete. He cannot just watch. He needs a set of flags and fire bottle or he’s just not happy.

Special Service to the Racing Program – Barrie and Mark Coffin

For conceiving of the Production Festival and making it happen for ten years. They conceived of it, organized it, created the special cook out, and got sponsors to help pay for it, as well as to donate gifts to the competitors.  This event would never have had the participation it did without them. Anybody wanna step up and volunteer to take over next year?

Driving and Competition Awards

National Driver of Year – Doug Piner

P2 Eastern Conference Champion in the Prototype 2 class and sole representative of NCR at the 2014 SCCA Runoffs. It was an enormous effort to get to the Runoffs. Despite adversity, broken wheels, and abbreviated qualifying sessions, he did not quit and he finished top ten. Could not have done it without help from Crew Chief Dan Robson.

Jim Feinberg National Solo Driver of the Year – Eric Peterson

The National Solo Driver of the Year Award has been renamed for 2014 in honor of long-time member and well-respected national competitor James Feinberg.

The award was presented to Eric Peterson by John Byers, Solo Chair and Chapter Coordinator of the Cape Fear Chapter.

Eric had a phenomenal year in his ES Toyota Spyder. He finished off his stellar year with a huge win at the Solo Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska by winning ES by a margin of .884 seconds over the east and west courses. This was just the icing on the cake as he took the win at the ProSolo Finale as well.

Regional Driver of the Year – Michael Sperber

SARRC Champion in ITA, one of the most hotly-contested classes in SEDIV, with 86 other competitors. He entered and ran in 10 races and won the SIC race itself, an outstanding season.

Open-wheel Regional Driver of the Year – Tim Pierce

Tim was SARRC Champion in Formula B, one of the most hotly-contested open-wheel classes in the Southeast. Tim beat his two closest competitors by less than 10 points, and it was hard-won because two other Region members, Richard Franklin and Alastair McEwan, fought for fourth and fifth, respectively.

Solo Driver of the Year – Chris Severt

Chris had a phenomenal year this year where he was consistently in the top standings of PRO class all season long. He showed his grit and determination many times throughout the year by having to find time on the course on his last run to pick up a position. Chris has been improving year after year rising to the top of his game and it is my great pleasure to present him with this award.

Solo Hard Charger Award – Patrick D’Auria

The Hard Charger award goes to an individual in the Solo community who has made great strides and is turning heads as they master the sport they love! Patrick has been a traditionally quick driver in NCR and this year made the switch to an STR prepared Miata that he adapted to extremely quickly. Patrick ended the year very strong and was in the top 5 in Pax at the end of the year.

Rookie Regional Driver of the Year – William Wallace

William started with an unlikely race car for SCCA, a 1996 Camaro. Long conversations with Chief of Tech Buddy Matthews and long hours in the shop resulted in an SCCA-legal race car in ITE. After getting his school done in another car, William managed to get his own done in time for the Goblins Go double header. He did well overall despite losing his differential in the first race. He got on the phone, found another one, and with the help of his crew chief Kyle Jackson, got it back together in time to win his class in his second race. Sure he was the only entrant but he left with a win and a Regional racing license. We love his enthusiasm!

Solo Rookie of the year – Bob Walker

Bob literally came onto the scene like a rocket. He was full steam ahead in everything the entire season. He was a tremendous help with setting up course and would willingly do any job that was asked of him. Then there was his driving. He came out and consistently got better and better as the year went on. He performed well in ES all season long up to an including NCAC this year.

Crew Chief of the Year – Cameron Conover

It’s a tough job to get a car to finish well in our 13-hour enduro and this award goes to a guy who helped Tyler Raatz use Grant MacDonald’s Miata to take 3rd in ITA and 12th overall. The year before it was VW diesels; having to retire early but still finishing 6th overall. In 2012 it was an outright win in ITA for the Honda Civic team he chiefed. And he’s no stranger to heroic efforts as a Crew Chief in the Pro ranks either. He was the crew chief on Tristan Herbert’s 2011 Rookie of the Year win in the Pirelli World Challenge pro series. They captured Touring Car Crew of the year then too.

Rookie Crew Chief of the Year – Kyle Jackson

Kyle was crew chief for his buddy William Wallace, our Rookie of the year in Regional Racing. He helped prepare Kyle’s car and stayed up till 2am changing a diff in his first event. William would not have finished without him. It’s not so remarkable to help a friend at the track…it’s remarkable to give so much in your first season.

Volunteer Awards

Pace Car/Safety Car Communicator – Ericka Spencer

The Pace Car/Safety Car requires a driver with a competition license as well as a Communicator. While some may think that the Communicator merely talks on the radio, there is much more to it. During a race, the Safety Car may be sent out in a double-yellow flag condition; if the Safety Car was not able to get ahead of the race leader, the Communicator needs to find out from Race Control where the leader is. Usually Race Control will then instruct us to let X number of cars by the Safety Car to pick up the leader.

This can be intense during daylight. At night, such as during our 13 Hour Endurance Race, it is insane: the headlights of the race cars are extremely bright and we cannot see the car numbers, so we rely on Race Control and the Flaggers to let us know where the leader is. Plus the fact that VIR is extremely dark at night.

During this past year’s 13 Hour Race, in the blackness of night, we were sent out well ahead of the leader, and instructed to pick him up, which means to keep him behind us. The leader was in a pack of cars and did not respond to the Communicator’s hand signals to stay behind the Safety Car. Several other race cars quickly decided to pass as well despite the Communicator wildly waving their hands. This happened in the uphill esses which is not a good place for this to happen at night.

The Communicator was livid at the drivers that ignored us, and the situation was radioed in to Race Control, who eventually had us let the entire pack of cars pass us; note that the Safety Car does not stop on the race track to do this, but must maintain a fast speed and must pick safe places on the track to have the drivers pass.

After a few laps, during great stress, we finally picked up the leader, and everything was now under control.

For her part in maintaining her cool under fire and getting the job done, the Pace Car/Safety Car Award goes to Ericka Spencer. 

Flagging & Communications (F&C) Awards
Presented by Eric Danielsen, Flag Chief

F&C Worker of the Year –
Brian Eldredge

Brian has deserved this award for many years! With a cheery attitude, he is very helpful before, during and after the events. He also represented the Region well with his work at the 12-Hours of Sebring, getting a close up on TV as a model Corner Marshal. Brian was very humble as he accepted this much deserved award as F&C Worker of the Year.

F&C Rookie of the Year – Patricia Swanson

Patricia started the year with the Flagging & Fire School and worked all 10 days with us at VIR. She arrived as an experienced flagger and fit right in during her first SCCA season. She joins a long list of successful flaggers as Rookie of the Year.

Outstanding Service in F&C – Cj Danielsen

Cj was one of nine people who worked all 10 days at VIR. He was very helpful preparing for the F&F School even though he hadn’t attended one. He has represented the North Carolina Region well at Pro Races, become a conscientious and trusted Corner Captain and recruited newbies. Cj made his dad extremely proud to present him the award for Outstanding Service.

Outstanding Service in Race Chair: Justin Deffenbaugh

New in 2014, the Region has a Race Chair Team, giving perennial Race Chair, Sara Snider, a break. The team consists of Sara Snider, Mark Senior, Justin Deffenbaugh and Eric Danielsen.

Perhaps because Justin Deffenbaugh grew up at the track, he seems to know what needs to be done without being told. He anticipates situations that might arise and solves them before they have a chance to become problems. He has done an outstanding job this year and is presented with this Outstanding Service award.

Outstanding Service in Registration – Barbara Mayes (SCR)
Presented by Ginny Condrey, Chief of Registration

As many of you know, it takes a team of people to pull together an event. The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Service award for Registration is not a NCR member, but she is a familiar face throughout SEDIV and has helped in many areas besides registration during her years of service in the SCCA. Barbara Mayes was a rock for me this past year and a huge part in helping me to make Registration successful. My gratitude and appreciation for her outstanding service go to Barbara for all her help this past year. 

Outstanding Service in Timing – Sarah Brookfield
Presented by Anna Crissman, Chief of Timing & Scoring

Sarah is always willing to help in any capacity possible. She is usually there before me and sometimes after I leave. She also has been very helpful in registration on Fridays. Sarah was originally a member of another region. She and her husband have been coming to our events for a few years now because they feel that we have treated them better here.

Solo Worker of the year: Mat Milford

This is a long overdue award for this young man who has routinely gone above and beyond the call of duty for the Solo Program. He has even gone to the extreme of arriving early on the day of events for us to find him asleep in his car awaiting the T & S trailer arrival to start setting up. Thank you for all your hard work Mat!

Outstanding Service in Solo: Mark Miller

The most difficult thing in Solo is finding sites. These days they are becoming more and more difficult to find and retain. If it wasn’t for the tireless effort and community knowledge the NCR Solo program wouldn’t have 2 sites of which we are very proud and fortunate to be able to run at now. Mark, thank you for your help in securing our Blackwater site at CFCC so all of the cone heads can still have a place to play!

Save The Date! August 9th – 2nd Annual NCR Picnic

Registration is open!

The North Carolina Region Picnic will be held on August 9, 2014 in NE Guilford County, at North East Park, 4010 High Rock Road, Gibsonville. We’ll get started about 9am and have the park until 8pm. We have secured the use of one of the shelters, which will accommodate about 50. This is a large park with several features that should be of interest to all ages of your family…a Carousel, miniature Golf, and ball fields of many types. There is also an aquatic center for your swimming enjoyment.

Speaking of ball fields, the West Chapter thought that a game (baseball, horseshoes, corn hole) between the Chapters would be a great idea. We invite you to bring the kids and whatever sporting goods they might want to use, as there are varied playfields for our use. Anyone who has horseshoes, corn hole or any lawn games, please bring.

The NC Region will provide hot dogs and hamburgers and soft drinks. To fill out the food and make the event a true NCR event, please bring a dish of your favorite picnic fare, or a dessert.

NCR member Tommy Jackson will also be bringing some of his vintage engines to display and demonstrate. This will be a fantastic learning experience for the whole family. Don’t miss it!

Please note: This venue allows us to bring and consume BEER as our ONLY alcoholic beverage and ONLY IN CANS. Additionally, it may ONLY be consumed in the picnic shelter and NO OTHER PART OF THE PARK. And, don’t forget that we have to be out of the park by 8:00pm.

And…don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience some fun with your fellow club members.

Anyone who would like to help out, please contact :

Buddy Matthews at 336-312-8858 or 336-617-8138 or redstarracing@triad.rr.com.

Pete Romanowski at 336-707-1884 or sccaflager@triad.rr.com.

Map – North East Park, 4010 High Rock Road, Gibsonville NC 27249