Triangle Chapter Report – July 2014

The Triangle Chapter met the Wednesday before July 4th as usual, but the turn-out was low. I guess people were already starting their holiday weekends, since there were no SARRC races scheduled for that weekend (How can that be?). But those of us who attended had a good time and there were a couple of interesting things to share. The first was that Mike Spencer brought his long-time family friend Marcie from upstate New York to meet us. She’s been down to visit before and even attended a race at VIR last year. We did round-robin introductions so she could get to know us all and feel more at home. Who knows? With a warm welcome from us and the weather, she might just relocate. Hey! Isn’t that what Cary stands for – “Containment Area for Relocated Yankees”? In any case, nice to meet you, Marcie! Welcome!

The other interesting thing we shared was a nearly 35-year-old poster of a rare Mustang, the McLaren M81 Mustang, from 1981. The M81 was the first project of the Ford SVO group, and had special bodywork, wheels, and a suspension designed in cooperation with McLaren Racing. It had the 4-cylinger Ford turbo power plant, tuned to put out 175 HP. The plan was to produce 250 of these special vehicles but at $25K a pop, that never materialized. Only ten were produced, making it one of the rarest Mustangs of all time. I got this poster, which shows the M81, in McLaren racing orange, together with the then-current McLaren Indy car (also turbocharged), as racing swag at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix. Ford Motor Company Headquarters bordered turn two of the downtown street circuit, and the Ford marketing department brought over a huge pile of old posters and brochures for the race workers to pick through. I unearthed this old poster while cleaning up at home and decided that it might be better appreciated by someone in a Mustang club. So, I brought it to the meeting to show and gave it to our Treasurer Steve Keadle, who is also a member of the Heart of Carolina Mustang Club. He plans to give it away at their Christmas party.

The business portion of the meeting was quite short. It was noted that the Club made money at both our Majors race and the Double SARRC/Double MARRS, so we are on our way to reversing the losses we suffered last year. We may even be able to replenish our savings account if we don’t have any unforeseen disasters at our last two events in October. Our membership numbers are up too, hovering around 800, which just puts North Carolina in the “jumbo” Region category, according to the National Office.

We are eagerly looking forward to the Region picnic, to be held at High Rock Park in Gibsonville, near Greensboro, on Saturday August 9th. There’ll be e-mails circulating about that, and it should be a very good time. Come on out, bring a side-dish, snacks, and dessert to share. The Region will provide the rest. Look for details on our website. Registration is open, so sign up now.

And we are also looking forward to the “motorsports smorgasbord” we are having in conjunction with Tarheel Sports Car Club at VIR the weekend after Labor Day, September 6-7. They will be sponsoring a PDX and our members will get the Tarheel member discount. We will be sponsoring an autocross on the skid pad, and their members will get our member discount. There are also plans for a rallycross and a karting event, so there will be something for everyone. Look for more details on our web site, and in future e-mails as the event draws closer. Y’all come!

One final item: Randel Sink has his Spec Miata for auction on eBay, item id: 251580582520 if anyone is interested. Now is the time to bid! Randel has moved on to SRF and needs to sell his former race car. It’s a good buy and in great shape!

And y’all should come to the next Triangle Chapter meeting too. It’ll be at El Rodeo on Wednesday, August 6th. I’ll see you there…or at the races!

James Shanks
Triangle Chapter Coordinator


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