F&C Newsletter – November 28, 2012

North Carolina Region SCCA F&C

Guess what? You don’t hafta go to Motorsportreg for this.

Happy belated Thanksgiving from the rest of us.

NCR Worker Incentive Program information and redemption form.


MISS IT & MISS $$$$!!!

In other news…

Award Nominations need to be sent in to Mr James Shanks before December 1st. Do this. Watch people get awards at the banquet in January. I’m sure there’s a list of award names somewhere…but no matter. Provide a name and what award they should get and it’ll get figured out. The people who decide these things are just that good.

Banquet: January 5th, 2013 @ Cafe Luna in Raleigh. (Mark this now!) Last year was a hoot and a half. This year will probably be better. Only way to find out is to be there (not all pictures make it to public postings…).

Look forward to more information on all of this, including posted pictures from the F1 race in Austin attended by many of your cohorts.

In the meantime, what would you call this?  Send in names, win stuff at the banquet.

Flag Chief Eric Danielsen presents F&C Story to Kiwanis Club

On November 14th, Eric Danielsen gave a half an hour presentation to his Kiwanis Club.

See article, reprinted from the Kiwanis newsletter here.

A Thanksgiving Message

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this wonderful Thanksgiving Day I just want to say:
Thanks to my lovely wife, Joni, for letting me play with the SCCA.

Thanks to the SCCA for giving everyday Americans access to the world of motorsports.
Thanks to motorsports for hosting sports car racing events at such awesome places like VIRginia International Raceway, Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans, Road America, Summit Point, Baltimore, Road Atlanta, Indy, and Circuit of the Americas.

Thanks to the events that attract some of the most amazing people in the world.
Thanks for the people who devote their talents, energy, and resources to their passion for excellence.

Thanks for the people who inspire creativity, innovation, and brilliance.
Thanks for the people who welcome each other as family; who live, love and laugh with each other all because of a common passion for motorsports.
Thanks for the people who care and support each other away from the track; who will ride life to the very end looking for the final checkered flag.
Thanks for all the people we encounter in our lives; each one is unique, just like the rest of us.

And thanks to YOU for being a part of it all.

Eric Danielsen


Happy Thanksgiving…and get your award nominations in now!

Give Thanks …

After I joined SCCA I went to the Region’s annual banquet in Danville VA. I remember looking through the crowd and only recognizing a few F&C faces. As the banquet progressed, everyone was clapping and laughing as the winners of this award and that award were presented. I had a blast but didn’t know any of the folks who won the awards.

Several years later I managed to attend the Run-Offs at Mid-Ohio as a Steward-in-Training. I can still recall the SCCA Worker-of-the-Year ceremony held outdoors in the biggest tent. I remember all the worker-whites and patches from here to California. At the ceremony, they presented the Worker-of-the-Year with a trip to the 24 Hour of LeMans. Wow! Having been to LeMans back in the ‘SilkCutJag’ mid-80s I couldn’t think of a nicer experience for any worker.

The next year when North Carolina Region (NCR) asked for nominations for our banquet, I wrote a few lines about some volunteers who displayed initiative and demonstrated leadership. While I was writing those nominations, I remembered my time in the U.S. Air Force, 2066th Communications Squadron and working with Captain Gene Benson. For about 2 years, Captain Benson and I wrote a boat-load of awards and performance reports. Space was always a concern, normally ten lines for an award but only three type-written lines for a performance report. Captain Benson insisted we pack those lines with every adjective know to mankind and avoid everything else. Incomplete sentences okay. His style always paid off. Our Airmen got Achievement, Commendation and Service awards. When reading Captain Benson’s performance reports, you knew how those Airman performed. Turns-out Captain Benson’s style is kind-of-like texting with spellcheck. Oh, all of my nominations received awards that year. WooHoo!

Since then I’ve been to a few South East Division (SEDiv) banquets down at Jekyll Island. To my dismay however, most of those awards continue to go to other Regions. I recall reading the lists of previous winners and noticed many of NCR’s senior members as recipients. I wondered why NCR members aren’t recognized for awards like in the past? I know our folks perform just as well and in most cases better than other regions in the SEDiv. I’ve worked other Regions and NCR is head & shoulders above most. Folks, we have the best volunteers in the nation and they need recognition.

It seemed to me, every year we presented members with Worker-of-the-Year, Member-of-the-Year and Lifetime Achievement awards but that’s as far as they went. No SEDiv or SCCA nominations. Then I figured it out. Like our Regional awards, we have to nominate our members for the SEDiv and SCCA awards. So, last month I made a motion at the NCR Board of Directors meeting. My motion was to take our annual award winners and nominate them for both SEDiv and SCCA awards. The board passed my motion without dissent. Now our members will be nominated for top SEDiv and SCCA awards and both will learn just how good NCR members are.

Guess what? It’s time again for annual award nominations. Do you know someone who has racing in their blood? They don’t have to be the BEST worker just a GREAT representative. Look around, the next Worker-of-the-Year is working right beside you. E-mail your nominations to James Shanks (Award Chairman) . Do it now! Nominations close December 1st .

Need help? Call or email me 919-601-5544 stevekeadle@gmail.com. It’s really easy… And maybe you’ll get more out of your membership like I have.

Steve Keadle, National Steward

13 Hour Videos & Pics

Check out these videos from the 13 Hour “Charge of the Headlight Brigade…

First is this video of Pam Thompson splitting the grid that Eric Danielsen posted on You Tube,

Justin Deffenbaugh posted this time lapsed video of the pits at the 13 Hour

Also, here’s a link to some pics that Pete Romanowski sent. That’s one awesome sunset over Turn 17 from the Start stand! Click here.

Great work guys! Thanks!

Sunset at VIR, October 27, 2012. 13 Hour Charge of the Headlight Brigade. (by Pete Romanowski)



13 Hour Tailgate Party was a Huge Success…and the Race Wasn’t Bad Either!

ALTON, VA – (NCRSCCA) –Wow! The Region’s Thirteen-hour Tailgate Party and Cooking Contest was an unqualified success!  There were participants from all over – New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, and even the Netherlands!  Yes, our party at VIR was a must-attend stopover on the international scene. And the food was fabulous!  I was on Station 17 all day with RE Rex Deffenbaugh and various volunteers from the racing teams. Racing Teams?  Oh yeah, I need to mention the “Charge of the Headlight Brigade” enduro we had as entertainment.  That made this the best tailgate party ever!

But back to the food!  John Uftring joined Rex and me in the afternoon.  He’d have been there sooner but he wound up in the ER for about 6 hours waiting for his thumb to be stitched up (OK, they actually super-glued it) after he sliced it open preparing food for our dinner the night before.  But that didn’t stop John.  He unloaded a complete camp kitchen from out of the back of his 3-series BMW (no kidding!) and brewed us gourmet coffee for starters.  Then it was on to the incredible Chicken Cacciatore he prepared, right out of the pages of Joy of Cooking. But I’ll bet Irma Rombauer never prepared it by the glow of a camp lantern and passing headlights.  John, or “Chef Gaston” as we have come to think of him, served his chicken in wine sauce over rope pasta, with fresh green beans and new potatoes.  For dessert, he provided bread pudding in a whiskey-flavored sauce. All the alcohol was long gone by the time dinner was served, of course, but the flavors alone were intoxicating!  For this feast, the food judges awarded John the “Most Excellent Chef” trophy.

Other accomplished chefs also won awards. Brian Huff was awarded “Extraordinary Chef” for his extraordinary grilled pork, mac & cheese, and homemade salsa for chips. I heard that his pineapple upside down cake, an apple fritter type, was to die for.  But he wasn’t alone.  Justin Deffenbaugh’s smorgasbord of ribs, chicken, potatoes and onions, and pizza earned him the title of “Awesome Chef.”  It was well-deserved!

In addition there was a costume contest Saturday morning.  This event was a costume party after all. Most people came dressed as SCCA flag marshals in a variety of white outwear, but there were a few notable exceptions, and not just international course marshal Arjen Bleeker in his signal orange jumpsuit, who came from the Netherlands to work both the Petit Le Mans before, and the ARRC after, our event.  I rather liked Brian Huff’s roast Thanksgiving turkey hat; but the most amusing costume was probably Flag Chief Eric Danielson’s “flasher in a trench coat”, though the only thing he flashed was his orange jumpsuit from the 24 Heures du Mans. Assistant Flag Chief Heather Clark was also in costume, dressed from head-to-toes as a large (but cute) bumble bee, which seemed quite appropriate given her propensity to flit about all day solving problems.

Kudos to them both for a well-run party! But they didn’t win the awards. “Most Excellent Costume” went to Bria Gardner for her skeleton outfit; Jamie Gardner won “Coolest Costume” for her interpretation of Cleopatra; and Anna Crissman, Chief of Timing and Scoring, stole the show as a giant yellow banana.  She earned “Funniest Costume”, and probably a new nickname, for that one!

Did I mention the race?  I said we had a race for entertainment. When you report on a Superbowl party, you have to mention the game at some point, so I guess I should report on the race a bit as well.  Some 51 cars signed up to see who could cover the most laps of VIR after thirteen hours.  If you needed practice being a blue flagger, this was the race to attend.  The early lead was taken by the Superlite Coupe sports racer of Ryan Ellis’ team, which drove around the rest of the field like they were tied to a post.  The Porsche Cayman driven by Jack Baldwin and Buz McCall was almost as fast, and between the two of them and a plethora of BMWs, the blue flag was waving at nearly every corner for the first three hours.

But, eventually the Sports Racer developed mechanical problems and the Cayman slowed, and by the 5th hour it was the Johnstone Supply Racing M3 of Harold Petit in the lead, which was no surprise to followers of this race from previous years.  He was followed closely by another BMW, the 328 of James Clay’s team, and the yellow Lotus Exige of local favorite Jim Taggart of Cary, North Carolina. But after nine hours the leader had hit the tires at station 14.  Then the 328 had mechanical issues, and finally the Lotus got into an altercation with another car.  By the 11th hour, the remaining BMW 1 series of Mitchum Motorsports was in the lead, followed closely by the MX-5 fielded by the Grand-Am team Freedom Motorsports.

These were 2 powerhouse teams! The Freedom Autosports MX-5 was closely allied with Long Road Racing, which had 2 other Mazda Miatas entered and supplied crew assistance for Taggart’s Lotus. The number 25 MX-5 in second place was piloted by brothers Tom and Chris Long. Tom is a regular Grand-Am driver for the Freedom team, but Chris is an engineer for another outfit and his first time in the seat was when he took over for Tom after the first 40 minutes of the race!  What a drive!  It should be noted too, that Mitchum Motorsports also had 4 cars in the race, 2 BMWs and two Mazda Miatas.  One of the Bimmers and one of the Miata’s DNF’d, but the number 60 BMW was in the lead with 2 hours to go.

That’s when things got really interesting.  In the darkness, by the 12th hour, the MX-5 got by the BMW by dint of superior driving and pit work, and with some more very exacting driving and perseverance, they manage to stay there, finishing a bare half a lap ahead.  How else could an underpowered MX-5 beat a BMW 1-series after 324 laps from daylight into dark? Congratulations to local boys Tom and Chris Long, and to all the class winners as well. What a race!  And what a tailgate party!  You shoulda been there! (13 Hour results here)

Photo courtesy of Sput Dodge