MIKE SMITH – Presented by RJ Gordy


Regional Championships in 2009 SRF, 2010 SRF, 2011 SRF,  2014 SRF3.  2013 Second place
SRF, 2015 third place SFR3

SFR/Thunderhill Board of Directors

  • 2000-2005 SFR Director
  • 2006-2013 SFR Regional Executive
  • 2014-2015 SFR Director
  • 2000-2016 Thunderhill Properties Board of Directors
  • 2019 – Current Chairman of the Board Thunderhill Properties
  • 2006-2012 Timing & Scoring Chief
  • 2006- 2018 Instructor Drivers School Group 3 Open Wheel
  • 2019- Current Chief Drivers School Group 3 Open Wheel

Mike developed Registration Express, which enabled drivers to register via a one-stop process.

At Thunderhill he created a culture including benefits, competitive compensation, and an employee bonus program which rewarded customer sales and service.

Online Race Entry – He worked with club member, Brian Ghidinelli, to design and develop MotorsportsReg, a move to full online processing.

Sealed Spec Miata – When this spec class quickly escalated in cost, Mike and Ed Railton, SFR BoD member at that time, produced a sealing process which kept costs down.

SCCA event race insurance – Mike researched the cost we were paying to National for race insurance and shared the data with National, resulting in a significant cost reduction.

Laguna Flag Station Stairs – When one of our club flaggers was badly injured from a fall from the Turn 10 stairs, Mike set out to replace the stairs, making them safe for our club volunteers.

Laguna Seca – When the contract to operate Laguna Seca was up for renewal, Mike volunteered and became temporary CEO. Mike was able to ensure SFR maintained our first choice for dates, and we got paid by SCRAMP for prior Pro events.

Thumbs Up Program – Lynell and Mike (M&L Racing) created and funded a program to reward Workers for their participation in club events.

New SRF3 Engine/Tires – Together with employees John Cerini and Michell Hemus, they tracked data for the newly-released Spec Racer 3 engine for SCCA Enterprises.

Festival Races for Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata accounted for 80% of the club racing entries. As a reward, those two classes were offered an additional race and party at specified events.

Regional Executive / Driver’s Meetings – The goal was to increase communication among drivers, and it was gladly received.

I would like to read a letter from Brian Ghidinelli, who was unable to be here with us tonight.

Mike – congratulations on your induction to the SFR Hall of Fame! We are recognizing Mike because he has made, and continues to make, an indelible mark on this great club through some twenty years of servant leadership. I have one story of that leadership I'd like to share.

In 2013, Terry Ozment came to the region on behalf of National SCCA and asked for our cooperation in bringing the Runoffs to the West Coast for the first time in decades. There were, of course, people for and against hosting the Runoff. There was more work and expense for our crews, but also the prestige of hosting as “The Region That Knows How.” There was a potential negative financial impact to our Regional race program, but also the opportunity for our members to experience the pinnacle of amateur racing without towing east of the Mississippi. And he asked, what had National done for the region lately??

Now, Mike had never been a National racer. He would have declined their request were it up to him. But it wasn’t, and as a leader, he supported the event while negotiating guard rails so the region’s people and equipment would not be abused. He also succeeded in getting National to fund a local project Manager who could provide hundreds of hours of boots-on-the-ground support to ensure the Runoff would not just happen, but be a big success – and it was!

This was one of many instances where I witnessed Mike displaying strong leadership, fiscal governance, and compromise. I’m not sure anyone could be Regional Executive of a club as diverse as SFR for as long as he was without those skills.

I consider Mike a friend as well as a mentor. I know there are countless other SCCA members who have directly or indirectly benefitted from Mike’s contributions over the past two decades and for that, this Hall of Fame induction is well-served.

My wish is for us is that we can all “be like Mike!”