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.

2019 Board of Directors Election Results

As Chairman of the Elections Committee, it is my honor and privilege to announce the results of this year’s NC Region’s Board of Directors election.  I first want to thank all those who stepped forward to run for the Regional Executive, Secretary, and 2 Members-at-Large positions that were open this year.

Those serving on the Board of Directors (Board) play a vital role in overseeing the day to day operation our organization throughout the course of the year, developing longer term plans for the continued success of the Region, and representing our Region as part of Southeast Division SCCA as well as at the national level.  As a volunteer organization, those who serve on the Board receive no pay or compensation for the considerable time and effort they put into overseeing our club and we should all thank them for their commitment.

I would also like to thank those in our Region who took the time to participate in this year’s elections through reviewing the slate of candidates and voting for their top candidates.  While we are excited that the voting turnout was higher this year than in past years, possibly due in part to the ease of the recent update to an electronic voting system, there are still many members who did not participate.

The members of the Board, new and old, would encourage you all to get more involved in the Region at some level, be it as a volunteer on one of the Region’s boards or committees, as a worker, a driver, or just to vote and let your voice be heard. We have a fantastic organization and with your help we can make it even better!

And now I am pleased to announce that for 2020, our newly elected Board members are as follows:

  • Regional Executive – Anna Crissman
  • Secretary – James Shanks
  • And Members-at-Large, in no particular order –  Justin Deffenbaugh and Stephen Miller

Congratulations and we look forward to a great 2020!

Mark Senior, Elections Chair.

RE Report

As 2020 is upon us, I thought I might revisit my most recent (and too infrequent) RE Report, and write an updated one with where we are as of now.

First of all, we may be in the best financial position we have ever been in. When I joined the Board almost 7 years ago, I was told the Region’s goal was to have one year of VIR track rent in the bank. I’m happy to report that we are pretty much there, despite losing our October event each of the past two years, along with ‘investing’ (losses) in a new Time Trials program, as well as a Runoffs Test Day weekend that came up short. Going into 2020, even though our Spring Sprints won’t be as big as in 2019, we get Goblins Go back, so we’ll have a fourth racing event at VIR again for the first time since 2017. With that, I expect we will be just as successful as in 2019.

Our race dates at VIR for 2020 are set, and we know the base rental rate. However, we don’t yet have the actual contract in hand, so we don’t know if there will be any other changes to the add-on fees for various items. What we do know is that the base rate is going up about 3% over 2019, which is a smaller increase than last year.

However, SCCA is adjusting fees upward also.  A new $20 Appearance fund assessment is being added to all Super Tour/Majors events. The insurance fee will also increase slightly for the Spring Sprints, but the other fees, including the Super Tour fee ($70), will stay the same. With all of that added up, in 2020 the first $149.25 of every driver’s entry fees for the Spring Sprints will go straight to Topeka, not to NCR. For 2019, that number was $125.75 – a significant increase.

For regional events, the sanction fees and insurance will increase by $7 total per car per weekend. In addition to the increase in the insurance fees, beginning in 2020, SCCA will impose a new $1,000 deductible for all damage claim filings. Until now, we’ve been able to file track damage claims back to SCCA and get close to 100% reimbursement, and those have been significant. We will now have to absorb the first $1,000.

With these increases, it’s no surprise that race entry fees will not be going down for 2020 events at VIR (nor anywhere else for that matter), but we will strive to keep the impact on our entry fees to the minimum.

I’d like to give a quick reminder about what racing at VIR means to us as a region. With the exception of Solo, which is self-sufficient, our few days of racing at VIR are the only means by which the Region can raise any surplus to pay for everything else we do that doesn’t pay for itself – for the entire year. Just breaking even at races won’t keep the region alive. I have been a region (and previous Board member) long enough to remember when NCR essentially went broke and had to cancel all racing. We are first and always a racing region. Without it we cannot survive and grow.

So what is on the horizon for 2020? Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:

  • March 14-15: We are joining forces with South Carolina Region at our March Into Spring event at VIR. SCR lost its March race date at CMP, so we’ve reached out to them. SCR has allowed us to joint venture at their Time Trial at CMP each of the last two years, and we may be working with them more in the future. There were many regions that helped NCR survive when we didn’t have a track. Sometimes you pay back by paying forward.
  • April 10-12: The Spring Sprints (first so-named in 1958) will again be our feature three-day Super Tour event. Although we expect the field to be more ‘normal’ this year, we think it will still be a biggie on the national schedule. A lot of new drivers at the Runoffs may want another shot at VIR. Since the track (with help from SCCA) has installed paved paths in the infield, and with a smaller field, we shouldn’t need a dedicated load-in this year nor endure a repeat of 2019’s mud sling.
  • May 9-10: SARRC/MARRS Challenge. As always, we’ll be working with Washington DC Region. We continue to explore new ways to grow our relationship, and have agreed to allow them to run their Sprint Bracket Road Racing (SBRR) entrants within one of our traditional run groups. SBRR is an effort to bring new drivers into SCCA, without the hassle of having to fit into one of the existing GCR classes. In addition, we have been chosen by Mazda as one of only 6 venues on the East Coast to feature their new Spec MX-5 Challenge Series for the NC generation of cars.
  • August 15-16: NCR Time Trial. We are returning to the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR) in Garysburg, NC for our own Time Trials event. We ran there twice in 2019 and we hope the snowball keeps growing in 2020. We learn and make improvements each time, introducing new twists. Although it can’t yet pay for itself, we are committed to making Time Trial a successful program in NCR. If you haven’t yet, you should come play. Just about any car will qualify and the best analogy I can make is that it’s a good cross between Solo and Racing, and a good stepping stone between the two. It’s also a logical complement to Cape Fear’s already hugely successful Solo program which will be running a full series of events again at Cherry Point in 2020.
  • October 10-11: Goblins Go returns – a tradition in NCR since 1962. This means the return of Prod Fest and the V8RRS Championship along with the usual full range of SARRC and endurance races. This fall classic has been one of our most successful events over the years and we look forward to getting it back after a two-year absence.

Speaking of endurance racing, ECR, APC, and Tarheel Cup all get a makeover for 2020. First, both ECR and APC will adopt a 65-minute race format in order to allow two drivers to each get a 30-minute stint behind the wheel plus the 5-minute pit stop. Tarheel Cup will drop the ‘Pro’ name as it doesn’t pay prize money anymore and will simply become known as TCS. It will continue with a 45-minute format and be targeted at drivers for whom a single SARRC race per day just isn’t enough and would like more seat time. All three series will also add more eligible classes, so be sure to check on MSR when these events come on line to see if your class is included.

Elsewhere in 2020, we hope to outfit the Speed Suite with a bath, a small kitchen, and a storage loft. With our very own pace car, possibly a bigger Hospitality trailer, and all of our worker support assets, we’ve already grown to fill it. I don’t know how we used to stuff everything into little rental garages, but the Speed Suite may be the best investment we’ve ever made. We have a permanent home at VIR that will have lasting value for many years.

NCR is also establishing a new scholarship fund, suggested by, and under the leadership of member John Lindquist. The program will promote awareness among young people about motorsports in general and SCCA in particular, through a modest (at first) scholarship fund for entering college freshmen. More on that will be coming in the near future, but as a 501(c)4 non-profit, giving back to the community is part of what a region’s charter is supposed to be about, and this will be another way we can fulfill that obligation.

So there it is and I’m now at the end of my last RE Report as my term ends this weekend and I decided some time ago (with my wife’s encouragement) to not seek a third term. Anna Crissman will slide over from Asst. RE into the RE chair, and I will move over to ‘Past RE’, which is an official position in NCR. Anna has been Asst. RE and Comp Board Director since I asked her to fill that vacancy three years ago. She has been an integral part of our success ever since and has reinforced my confidence in her many times over. I believe we have the best person for the job and I intend to help her.

As for me, I will still be an active voting member of the Board, a driver, and a volunteer, so you’ll still see me at NCR events, but it’s time to let others pick it up from here. I’m proud to say, as I enter my 44th year as a member, that with younger people assuming some of the leadership, nobody can accuse NC Region of being run by a bunch of old guys.

Small steps, always forward…

Sam Fouse, RE