2016 Championship from A to Z
February 27th, 2017 by James Chartres
2016 Regional Championship from A to Z
Published in the February 2017 Edition of the Wheel.
Author: Blake Tatum
The 2016 racing season has ended and by now the smell of racing fuel has evaporated from your memory. The tingling in your toes as you play with the throttle on the pre-grid has been replaced with thick warm socks and aches in those toes as you trudge through another work week. Those endorphins dancing in the back of your helmet have not even gotten out of their chair since the last green flag fell. To ease the blues I thought I would share with you a light hearted recap of the 2016 season.
Regional Championships from A to Z
A is for A Sedan which was won by Terry McHenry driving a 1992 Pontiac Firebird. He beat out the Camaro of Michael Thompson. Terry and Matthew Insley should get together and form a Pontiac racing club. I am sure it will have at least two members.
A is also for Anderson. Speaking of small numbers Brian Anderson won the ITE championship in a 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution. If the car is anything like the television then it’s a keeper. Brian would would like to thank John Mueller and the team at Meullerized… also he would like thank everyone in the paddock and all the SCCA workers who shared a laugh or a good story.
B is for Bobcat Bicycles’ Bob Bradfield. Bob runs his Mazda RX7 in multiple classes. This year he took the STU honors. Bob what ever happened to all those bikes you donated to Thunderhill? Bob had this to say about his year:
I’d like to thank Rusty, Ryan and Joseph Carl of Rusty’s Repair in Santa Cruz for keeping my car safe and reliable for 15 seasons! Also, like to thank Mazda for making an affordable and fun car and the SCCA for giving it a place to play. Cheers Everyone!!
C is for Club Ford which was won by Richard McClosky. Richard drives a red Crossle 32F, that was originally built in 1978. I’m willing to bet the Englishmen assembling his car were singing “take a chance on me” by ABBA as they bolted his ride together.
D is for Andy Juner driving a 1991 AMAC AM-6 to the DSR championship. He beat out Robert Christensen who drove a Phantom. Last year saw the return of the DSR class on a regional only bases. When I grow up I want to drive a DSR, they look like so much fun!
E is for Matthew Insley driving the fastest Pontiac Fiero on the West Coast to take EP honors. A total of 26,402 Fieros were made in 1988 and probably 20,000 of them are in the wrecking yard, so Matthew should not have any problems finding spare parts.
F is for FF, which was won by Chuck Horn. FF used to stand for Formula Ford but since the SCCA allowed the Honda engine in the class it is called Formula F. I will let you decide what the F stands for. Chuck has won numerous championships in Club Ford and Formula F. Some of the best battles you will ever see is when he and Denny Renfrow lock horns (pun intended). Chuck wanted to thank all the volunteers and race officials that make everything possible.
F is also for Formula Enterprise which was designed by the SCCA to become the formula car equivalent of Spec Racer Ford. Everything about the cars is controlled by SCCA Enterprises. SCCA was trying to catch lightning in a bottle again by mimicking the concept of SRF in a formula car. After some initial success the enthusiasm has died down. This year FE was won by newcomer Allan Svela. Allan had this to say, thank Bulldog Motorsports for all their track side help, advise, setup and patience. They really know their stuff!”
G is for GTA taken by Rudy Peters in his Bay 101 Chevy Monte Carlo. Rudy had a whole list of people to thank:
- SCCA Volunteers
- SCCA SFR Team
- Cody & Marshall Peters
- Blake Thurlow
- Mark Barsnick
- Tri Valley Car Care
- Ricky Freeman
- Sam Peterson
- Steve Toth
- Special thanks to Cindy Peters
(note to Rudy you should probably list your wife first)
H is for Hollingsworth. Ritch Hollingsworth won the formula Mazda Championship. Ritch used to race stock cars in the roundy round circuit. A formula Mazda is a long way from a Stockcar, so at least he does not have to adjust valves anymore. I have been to a lot of roundy round races and I know one thing, if trouble ever starts in the SCCA paddock I am going to find Ritch because he has been there at one those fights where a race broke out. He wanted to give his sincere thanks to: IBIS Cycles (Ride More, Work Less); Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Mechanical Engineering Department; fellow FM drivers Woody Yerxa and Kevin Rogers for much appreciated support; my loving wife Joilynn and daughter Veroniqua for unwavering support; the SFR SCCA family for making driving race cars possible. And Thunderhill / SFR SCCA for putting on an awesome MAJORS event and with our support 2018 Runoffs!
I is for Improved Touring. Without this classification, you would not have a place to race that Toyota Corolla collecting dust in your garage (just kidding). Improved touring is the place where a basically stock vehicle can have some minor modifications and become a racecar. The ITA champion for 2016 was Tupper Hull driving a 1990 Mazda Miata. In fact, all but three of the 47 points earners in this class drove a Mazda Miata.
I is also for ITS. This year’s winner was Tao Takaoka. Tao competes on a high level in two different classes with the same car. Tao finished third in SMT in addition to winning ITS. In addition to SCCA racing Tao has taken on the Formula Car Challenge by World Speed, he is a fan of music, and used to ride around in a big red truck with ladders attached to it when he was not racing.
J is for Jokester. The only person to up stage me at the banquet has been Tommy McCarthy. Not only is he fast he has a sense of humor. Last year he let Mark Drennen have it and this year he played it up as the hobbled kid. Spec Miata is where Tommy McCarthy won his regional championship for the second year in a row. Tommy really appreciates his SCCA experience and had this to offer:
Winning the 2015 Championship was challenging because I was only 16 years old racing against lots of seasoned veterans. 2016 was even more challenging because I shattered two vertebrae in my back from hitting head-on into a tree at the Hollister motorcycle park on July 30th (my first, and hopefully last, helicopter ride) and had to sit out a few months –I’m lucky to be alive let alone walking or driving anything. Our season had several other challenges including; a blown motor (due to me forgetting to check the oil level), transmission malfunction, axle dislocation, broken front sway bar, and many bent wheels. Nonetheless, we won 11 out of the 14 SM races and took the SM Championship for the second year in a row.
I’ve raced almost every weekend since the age of five, won over 600 karting/quarter-midget/mini-cup races including seven National Championships but nothing has been as enjoyable as racing with the SCCA. Currently, I also race in the USAC & BCRA Midget series (both pavement and dirt). Unlike the stress associated with racing in these other series, the SCCA events are always very enjoyable and to me seem like fun mini-vacations with one big super-friendly family.
Special thanks to my extended family and to all that made it happen for me; my parents & grandparents, Mike, Donna & Chris Haag, Kent Stacy, John Joyce, Marc & Debbie (RIP) Hoover, David & Terri Vodden, Hoosier Tire, Mazda Comp., John Muller, Adam Chick, Duke Love, the entire Thunderhill staff, all the SCCA workers and staff, and my fellow competitors. Thanks everyone for being a part of Team Tommy!
Please check my web site and lemme know whatcha think: Http://tommykmccarthy.wix.com/tommymccarthy-racing
K is for Roland Kamber which is a great name for a racecar driver. I wonder what Roland Kamber sets his rolling camber at in his racecar. Roland won SMT – Spec Miata Tire class. He overcame some stiff competition from Tupper Hull and Tao Takaoka. Unfortunately the thrills of the racing season can be all consuming and we may forget those closest to us. Roland just wanted to write a little thank you, as follows.
Thank you to everyone who showed up for the 2016 season. There were a lot of good battles throughout the year and that was a lot of fun. I was on the stage at the banquet, blabbing about who knows what, when we were called up to receive our trophies. In all the excitement I forgot to thank the one person that supported me all year. If you ever want off piss off your girlfriend, just neglect to thank her on stage at an SCCA banquet! ; ) Talk about hero to zero! I’m going to use this opportunity to Thank Lisa Devlin for all of her support throughout the year. Thank you for being there at the track, thank you for all of the cupcakes with pictures of our cars on them, and thank you for going home with me, even when I didn’t win.
L is for light, as in Grand Touring Light. Patrick Casey won the STL championship in a purple and yellow Mazda Miata. Patrick lives in Hawaii and flies over to the states to race cars. Talk about a dream come true!!! Mahalo!!
M is for Mustang. One of the hottest classes in SCCA is the Spec Mustang class. This year it was won by Sean Wheeler. He burst on to the scene a couple of years ago and has never looked back. No really he has never looked back according to the people trying to overtake him. Sean they are called mirrors. Glad to see the Mustangs out there and I love the noise they make!!!
M is also for Mitch Marvosh. I don’t know if Mitch is a cowboy but he does ride a steel horse. His Mustang is a GT2 version and when he drives it he plays for keeps, however, I am not sure if he has a loaded six string on his back. (Bon Jovi- Wanted Dead of Alive)
Mitch added these thoughts about the 2016 season. We had a challenging year in GT2, jumping from SMG, starting with the car build-up and sorting a fairly difficult Trans-Am tube framed TA2 animal in the Howe Ford Mustang. But the fact that we made enough of a showing to claim a title is awesome! First I’d like to thank the SCCA SFR for putting on a great season and the event workers who do such a great job. Truly the SFR is the pearl of the SCCA, very professional, yet every event seems like a family affair. A huge thanks to the AV8 team led by Darrell Anderson, you guys went the extra mile and certainly overcame more than a few obstacles. My friend and ultra-pro who has been a source of both track and mental knowledge, Johannes van Overbook. Of course my sponsors, Wolf Films, keep watching TV folks; Sparco for the assist on gear, and of course Beacon Marine, just the best dang Boat & Marine retail store in California. Also a final nod to the Spec-Mustang (SMG) gang, great guys & gals, spirited competitors all and the best friends to hang out with in the paddock.
2016 was a great year, but as we move into 2017 I look forward to upping the ante (code for getting in over my head) by entering the professional Trans-Am series as a very young 57 year-old rookie. I’m pleased to be announce that I have joined the ARX Motorsports team in a 2-car TA2 effort and as an the ‘western’ associates with the TA2 championship winning team, Mike Cope Racing. For any one interested in following my ‘rookie’ Trans-Am exploits, please follow me at www.facebook.com/MitchMarvoshMotorsports and on twitter @MitchMarvosh
N is for Clark Nunes the T2 champion. Clark barely lost out to Sean Wheeler in the SMG class but he did beat out Don Van Nortwick for the T2 championship. Everyone competing in those two classes rode Mustangs.
Clark was very appreciative of his SCCA experience, he shared these thoughts. This being my first year ever, to drive and compete in a road racing series, I have several people to thank for helping me have a successful first season. I would first off like to thank, Darrell Anderson and his crew at AV8 Supercars, I truly could not have done it without them. I met Darrell in January of 2016 when I inquired on a Racecar for sale on craigslist. Once I had decided to purchase the car, Darrell encouraged me to get a SCCA license at the upcoming SCCA licensing School. I elected to attend the school and use the pit support service that AV8 supercars provided. This enabled me to focus on just learning how to drive my new racecar. Upon completing my licensing program, I then was encouraged to come out and race. I had a lot to learn, but once again Darrell and his crew made it easy for a Rookie driver to get comfortable in the car and just focus on driving. They handled all the pit support, car setup, and driver coaching and on occasion had to put my car back together when I would make those rookie mistakes. They were always able to get me back out there for my next race. I would also like to thank all the people at the SCCA that make this great series happen and last but certainly not least my sponsors. Fastrack Investments Inc., Premier Properties & Estates, and the Development Company, without their support I could not compete. I look forward to competing in the 2017 season
O is for OH my god you spent how much? Rob Davis won the GT1 championship in what has to be the highest cost-per-minute class in SCCA. To make matters worse his dad also races in the same class. Rob’s car bears a close resemblance to Lightening McQueen, lets hope he does not end up in Radiator Springs after a bad day at the track.
P is for P2. Aaron Bailey won P2. He used to drive an A Sedan but he became radicalized and started racing P2 (which stands for Prototype 2) in a 2007 Radical SR3. Aaron wanted to recognize the following people: First of all I would like to thank my dad for helping me throughout the season, and my wife for always supporting me. Without the support of them both I would not be able to do what I love. I would also like to thank G-LOC Brakes, Peter Calhoun and Michelin Tires for the continued support. We are looking forward to 2017! Thanks!
Q is for Quick. Jim Devenport is like the instructions on the shampoo bottle. Wet hair, lather, rinse, repeat. Jim did exactly that in P1. He qualified on the front row, set a new track record, won the race, repeated, over and over again.
This is what Jim had to say about the 2016 season: 2016 was a dream season for Team Cranbrook Racing. In addition to winning the P1 regional SFR championship, we won the Runoffs, the national points title, and the Super Sweep. Plus we were undefeated all season long other than a couple of mechanical dnfs and accumulated 21 wins, 21 poles, and 20 fast laps. Big thank you to Jason Hohmann and Chris Garcia at Bulldog Motorsport for a tremendous effort and immaculate car preparation. Also couldn’t do it without my sponsor Cranbrook Group, Inc.
R is for Rob Riner the 2016 Formula S Champion. Formula S is the class where if you build it you can race it. You see Audi Powered Reynards, full ground effects Super Vees, and what ever exotic super fast formula car ever built gets to race here. Rob has a Formula Mazda but not the one you see competing in the Formula Mazda class. Rob’s car has much larger tires, a different front wing, and a sleeker nose.
S is for Spec Racer Ford. This year Michael Boyle won the Championship. SFR used to be just SR. It stood for Spec Renault. When the supply of Renault engines dried up SCCA had to make a change and they switched to a Ford engine in 1994. This engine was about ten horsepower more and had a displacement of 1.9 liters. When the Ford engine was introduced the name of the class was changed to SRF (Spec Racer Ford). These engines had a very throaty, ear piercing sound.
T is for Tim Auger. Tim won the STL championship in his 1992 Acura Integra. He beat out Wilson Powell. Tim races in two different classes STL and SMT, which is not unusual but he does so in two different cars. He races an Acura and a Mazda Miata. It is unknown which one produces the biggest smile but I am sure Tim will fill me in and get it straightened out (dentist jokes). Tim had the following people to thank:
I would like to thank my wife Meghan for being OK with me disappearing on so many weekends. My mom, Gini Auger, who came to all my hometown races. Ron Carroll and Donna Gilio of Good Times Racing for fantastic car and track support. It takes a village to keep an old Acura at the front of the pack. Thank you AIM Tires, Invisalign and Augersmiles.com for their support. Thanks Jeremy Barnes of Mazda and Ann Bixler of SCRAMP for help with the birthday celebration in June. See you all next year.
(Rudy Peters take notice – he thanked his wife first)
U is for Umberto Milletti SRF3 Champion. Umberto means renowned warrior according to the website Think Baby Names. Well to win in the no holds barred world of SRF3 you have to be a warrior and Umberto has proven worthy of his name. He would like to thank the following:
Chris, Jason and Javier at Bulldog Motorsports gave me a fantastic car again in 2016, and allowed me to repeat as a region champion, and win the Western Conference. My gratitude goes out to all my SFR competitors for their encouragement as I compete at the national level, and hope to represent the region well again at Indy this coming year.
V is for Vreeland. Scott Vreeland won the Formula Continental Championship in his 2001 Van Diemen RF01 over Ken Rozeboom who was driving a 2002 Van Diemen. The name of the cars comes from one of the co-owners, Ross Ambrose’s, place of birth. He was born on the Island of Tasmania, Australia, which was formerly known as Van Diemen’s Land. I think he should have called the cars Tasmanian Devils. Van Diemen has the manufacturing facility at the Snetterton Racing Circuit.
W is for weak link. FA champion Steve Baumhoff calls himself the weak link in his racing circle. Anyone who drives a Formula Atlantic car cannot be considered a weak link. I think it is more a case of Steve being humble; this is what he had to say about his year:
I would like to thank John Cerini, Michelle Hemus, Mike Smith and all the others on the Cerini Motorsports/M&L Racing team. They have allowed me to pursue a life long dream and they never fail to provide a perfect car and fun atmosphere. Our race weekends are all about hanging out with friends and family…the driving is just icing on the cake. I would also like to thank all of the dedicated SCCA volunteers. I could not have the fun that I do without all the work that they do. Thanks again to all, and I will try to uphold the excellence you bring each weekend, but I know full well that I am the weak link.
X is for ITX. The million dollar man David Allen replaced a knee and went through shoulder surgery to beat out a group of young whipper snappers in taking the ITX championship. Winning a championship is not new to Dave, as he has won 22 Regional Championships in 11 different classes, plus six wins at the Illgen enduro, and one win at the 25 Enduro in a full bodied Formula Mazda.
Y is for the y in fantasy (I know it is a stretch). Bruce Trenery owner of Fantasy Junction took an Acura RSX and won the Super Production class. He beat out Joe Montana who drove a 2010 Ford Fusion. Bruce is the only guy I know who has won the Super Production championship in an Acura. Plus he is the only guy I know who has ever beat Joe Montana at anything. This class was once dominated by Frank Emmett in his bad ass black Corvette. Bruce had this to say about the 2016 season:
I would like to thank everyone in the SCCA family who donates their time so that those in the cars can experience the joy of racing. As a driver, I’m sure that I often don’t appreciate all the effort put forth, so I can have fun, from the registration people, who are always friendly and smiling even as we all rush them on Friday morning at one time, to the tech people who try and make sure our cars are safe and that we have an level playing field in which to compete.
Next, the safety crew, in heavy uncomfortable gear all day, to be ready in case something unexpected takes place. They have to be prepared for injury, fire, the effects of old age on humans, and broken and hard to move racecars. Next, hats off to the corner workers, who brave the sun on hot days, and the rain and cold at the other end of the weather patterns. They have to keep an eagle eye out for the car that just spun out of the sight of oncoming traffic, to fluid being dropped from a car, to quickly changing flags from blue to yellow, to white, red and black depending on what is happening one second to the next.Next, thanks to the stewards who try and keep peace between the competitors, often fired up about one transgression or another. Finally thanks to the social crew, always ready at the end of the day with snacks and beer, always willing to listen to “I’m sure I could have gone a second faster”, or “ I would have won If”, to “I’ve never seen one of those break before”.
The SCCA is truly a family, and for someone who went to Driver School at Cotati in 1969, a family I obviously enjoy the company of.
I want to also take a moment to thank Ward Rose of Import Auto Repair in Modesto, who works hard to keep the my Acura on the track, without him, racing would certainly not be as much fun. I’d also like to thank Dave Hutchins who steps in to help when necessary, and cracks some of the best jokes of any weekend.
And a good time was had by All!
Z is for Zoom Zoom. The tag line of the Mazda car company, without whom SCCA would probably be out of business. Look around — there are more Mazda Miatas in the paddock of an SCCA event than sitting in the parking lot of the factory. Then look under the engine cover of half of the formula cars, all Mazda Powered. The winner of our own home grown class and undoubtedly one of the most fiercely contested classes was Dave Allen (the million dollar man) who won the Sealed Spec Miata Class. The cars in this class are run on a dyno and all have the same horsepower. This was the second regional championship in 2016 won by David Allen.
Letter from Dave Allen
Dave is retiring from full time racing and wanted to say a few things about his experience.
2016 was my best year ever in 26 straight years of SFR racing and my biggest thanks go to car owner, crew chief and good friend Ed Railton. Before the 2011 season, Ed challenged me to take on the Sealed Spec Miata class in the car he used to win the SSM championship multiple times. The SSM class was a brilliant idea brought to life by Mike Smith & Ed: Miatas were wildly popular, competition intense and spending was ratcheting up, so keeping the costs down by sealing the engines at a horsepower that most used street Miata engines could meet was a very good plan. The plan worked so well that SSM class was the third largest in 2016, behind only SMT & ITA. Throughout my 7 years of racing Ed’s stable of Miatas, Ed has gone far above and beyond the call of duty, fixing everything that I could break in Superman speed, even Saturday night trips to San Ramon to get a back up car and be ready by Sundaymorning. Over the 7 years, Ed’s SSM racers have brought me 7 championships, 1 in STU, 2 in EP, 3 in ITX and my most treasured, SSM in 2016.
What an excellent finish to my 60 years of involvement with SFR as a spectator, crew gofer, driver coach, volunteer, chief and racer.
2016 was my last year of competing for championships. For the next couple of years, I’ll be racing interesting cars that I’ve never had the chance to compete in previously.
Thanks also to the many drivers against whom I’ve competed. Racing is so much more fun when your best friends at the track are the ones you are closest to on the track. Early in my racing career a competitor in my class loaned my a part that I’d broken on Saturday, so I could race against him in ITD on Sunday. That was my first execution of super polite racing, there was no way there would be any body contact or rude moves. In 2016, when faster than me, Kirk Uhrlaub went off course early in the race finally caught up to me to contest for the win, it took him a few laps to get by. He won and I told him: “Getting by me will never be easy, but it will never be dirty.” The racer I spent the most time with, in very close proximity over the last few years was Greg Hoff, I got the biggest smile at the season ending weekend when he said: “Please Dave, don’t stop racing!” That made me more proud than any trophy I’ve ever won. Close, clean racing is “The Joy of Racing.”
I also want to thank the dedicated, hard working volunteers of SFR. Racers couldn’t race if those volunteers didn’t show up like clockwork for each of our SFR race weekends AND all of our pro event support weekends at Laguna Seca. It’s not just that they don’t get paid, they spend significant cash and time away from home to support our racing. Thanks to our SFR volunteer workers for helping to make my passion for sports car racing turn into a dream come true. The 14 year old boy who was there in 1957 for the first ever race at Laguna Seca, gets to go out on top at age 74. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Thanks for the Memories,