Triangle Chapter Report – September 2015

The summer doldrums are over. The Triangle Chapter met on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, and judging by the turn-out, the members are eager for the fall season of racing to begin. But while the racers have been off elsewhere (we’ll get to that in a minute), the Solo crowd has been going at it full-bore. They had back-to-back events at MCAS Cherry Point, which, among other things, brought us member-to-be Mike Miller, who had nothing but good things to say about the event. BTW, Mike is a veteran autocrosser, long a member of Tarheel Sports Car Club, and the 2009 C Street NCAC champion. Impressive! Mike autocrosses an “NC” or 3rd generation MX-5, and he runs a Corvette Z06 in HPDE events. Welcome, Mike!

Since Mile was a “newbie” we went around the room, round-robin style, and introduced ourselves. Assistant RE Mike Spencer wryly noted that his son Paul, also present, had gone from his first race in the family Spec Miata back in March to beating Dad handily at Charlotte a couple weeks back. For his part, Paul Spencer gleefully acknowledged that he finally had his full competition license and that he’d beaten Dad, but he also noted that these accomplishments did not get him any recognition per se. He said he had discovered that he had to introduce himself to people as “Ericka’s brother” in the same way that Mike always has to say “I’m Ericka’s Dad” in order for people to place him. Sad to say boys, but just imagine about a year from now when Justin Deffenbaugh has to introduce himself as “Ericka’s husband!”

The Spencers weren’t the only ones away at the races. Chuck Hines reported on his outings at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and at Road Atlanta the month before. He did all right at RA, he said, finishing 3rd and 4th in his ITS car, but it was Barber he wanted to talk about. That track was just beautiful, Chuck said, and he urged everyone who had not been there to go. This, despite the fact that he only finished third on Saturday in his ITA Miata, after being forced to give up second to another competitor, and failing to finish on Sunday due to engine failure. High praise, indeed, Chuck.

Dan Robson chimed in about Barber, and agreed with Chuck about it being a beautiful spot, but he wanted to talk about the newly renovated track in Pennsylvania called Pitt Race. Dan had just come back from there, where he crewed for Doug Piner, who was doing the Majors over there in his bid to make the Runoffs again this year in his P2 Sports Racer. Dan said Pitt Race was built on the site of the old Beaver Run facility and it was much, much nicer. The people were super-friendly too. I didn’t catch how Doug finished, but Dan indicated that since it was a new facility, Doug set the track record in his class, and that he is definitely Runoffs bound. Good luck at Daytona, Doug!

For a bit of nostalgia, I passed around a couple of loose sheets of crumbling paper, now properly encased in plastic sheet protectors so that they can be safely handled, that gave us an insight into NC Region history. One was the entry list for the 23rd Chimney Rock Hill Climb, held on April 19 and 20, 1969. The other was an announcement of a pre-Goblins Go Test-and-Tune session held at a go-kart track back in October of 1968. I came across both of these stuck in a box of old Bulletin newsletters that Stephen Shepherd had lent us for the on-going Region History project. Office Manager (and Starter) Bruce Dover and I have been scanning those in so that they can be digitally preserved and Region members can download them from the web site. It’s a work in progress, but more are added every week. Go take a look at and check it out. And if you have any old copies of the Bulletin, please let me, James Shanks, know. Fascinating stuff!

In other Region news, registration has finally opened for both the Goblins Go races, October 17-18, and the Halloween Day/Night Enduro, the following Friday and all-day Saturday, October 23–24. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are still trying to figure how to select trophies for the Enduro that won’t break the bank. You see, we now allow all closed wheel cars, and we have two events, an 8-hour daylight-only enduro inside a 13-hour day-and-night enduro. That could be a lot of trophies, which cost about $3000 for this event last year when there was only the one race. But the Board members are working on it and with luck we’ll find a way, I’m sure. The other piece of bad news is that the fall Solo school is on the same Saturday, October 24th as the enduro, but you could still make the solo points event on Sunday, if you had a mind to travel to Cherry Point after the long day at VIR. Some folks probably will! There’s also a points event autocross at the Blackwater campus of Cape Fear Community College on September 26 before then. Lots more opportunities to compete in both the racing and solo seasons of 2015. Don’t stay home! Come out and join us!

And that was about it. SRF driver Randel Sink announced that his buddy, Brad Miller, of CCR, has a sweet Swift DB1 Formula Ford for sale at the bargain price of $12K, with a ton of spares. You can reach Brad at (336) 912-0992 if the open-wheel bug is nibbling at your heartstrings.

One more Triangle Chapter meeting to go before the final racing events at VIR. Why not take a break and come join us on Wednesday, October 7th, and see how it’s looking for your friends? I’ll see you at El Rodeo … or at the races!

James Shanks
Triangle Chapter Coordinator


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