Candidate Statement Gary Pitts
Leadership, Experience, Responsibility, Service
Most of you know that Gary Pitts is a member of the SFR Hall of Fame and has been a member of San Francisco Region since he moved to California in 1986. He served as RE for SFR for 3 years in the late 90’s when ThunderHill was being developed into the landmark race track it is today and has worked closely with ThunderHill President David Vodden in various capacities since then. He also served as National Director for Area 9 for 6 years in the early 2000’s, served as an officer for 4 years including 2 years as Chairman, and even served as interim President of SCCA after President Steve Johnson left for another auto sports assignment. Gary is just completing his 4th consecutive year as RE of SFR and, since the Board voted to ask Gary to run for the National Directorship again, he has agreed to serve again if elected by the members.
If you want Leadership, Experience, Responsibility, and Service in your National Director, Gary is your guy!
Gary Pitts grew up in Auburn, Alabama (as everyone can tell from his distinctive accent) and has been involved in motor sports as a builder and/or driver since August, 1961 when he stuck an exhaust valve in his dad’s ’49 Chevy and, consequently, had to rebuild the top end of the motor. Gary says that when he got that engine apart and saw the beautiful machining of the camshaft, he fell in love and is still in love with building and driving fast, fun cars.
Gary affiliated with SCCA in 1963 when he was 17 and out of High School but, since he couldn’t race road courses until he was 21, he went racing in a ’55 Chevy (with a 283) at Montgomery Motor Speedway, a slightly banked ½ mile asphalt oval where he was on track with some guys who were to become stars of NASCAR, like the Allison boys, Red Farmer, and others. He finally got on track with SCCA in an Abarth Zagato Coupe in 1966 at an airport circuit in Selma, Alabama (where he raced against former SCCA President and current ACCUS President, Nick Craw) and later raced a homebuilt G-modified he had stuck together from some steel tubes and the remains of a bugeye Sprite. He raced and soloed around the South in a Gen-2 Cortina while he was in school at Auburn University and Louisiana State University and continued racing occasionally when he moved to New Jersey in the early ‘70’s to join the pharmaceutical industry.
By the late ‘70’s, work and family and all that stuff had pretty much curtailed his racing but he stayed involved by working with the local Northern New Jersey Region of SCCA serving as a course worker, scrutineer, Region Business Manager and later as a Steward but he kept his racing interest alive by running a few rally’s and solo events and doing chassis/suspension set-up for other drivers at the races at Lime Rock, Bridgehampton, Briar New Hampshire, Pocono, The Glen, and a few other tracks. When Gary’s employer moved him to California in 1986 he settled initially in Half Moon Bay with his wife, Leslie and kids Geoff and Graeme and affiliated with the local SCCA Region, San Francisco Region, one of the 3 largest regions in SCCA with territory extending from San Luis Obispo in the South to the Oregon border and from the Pacific to Nevada.
Currently, in addition to Gary’s duties as RE of SFR, he also serves SCCA as board member and corporate secretary of SCCA Enterprises, which manufactures the SRF and FE race cars. He also serves as Chief Steward for CSRG, a San Francisco-based vintage racing organization and for the SVRA Sonoma Historics having served also as Chief Steward for Steve Earle’s Monterey Historics from the early 90’s until the race was taken over by SCRAMP.
Gary considers his greatest achievements during his last term as National Director were (1) establishment of the Annual Waiver system which had been initiated by SFR, revoked by National, and reconstituted in its current form when Gary was in his second year of National Board service and (2) re-organization of SCCA Enterprises by appointment of the late, great Andy Porterfield as Enterprises Board Chairman and Erik Skirmantz as President while Gary was National Board Chairman. Gary says that one of the hardest and saddest things he ever had to do was cancel the National Pro Rally program in 2005 because of the many lawsuits being filed against that program due to the inherent difficulty in controlling the entrance of spectators onto a hot pro-rally course.
In this race, Gary will opposed by a member of the SFR AutoX community who will no doubt draw many votes. So, if you want Gary Pitts, a Proven Leader and stalwart advocate for San Francisco Region to represent the Region and the Division at the National level please vote and ask your friends to do so as well.
If you want your National Director to lead the re-vitalization of SCCA and to make the hard decisions when it must be done, Gary Pitts is your guy.