Steve Archer – Bill Breeze – Dr. Peter S. Talbot
Steve joined SCCA in 1984 and raced for 10 years. During that time, he raced in Showroom Stock, ITS, GTA and the Playboy Series, taking home 3 Regional Championships in GTA, 3 in ITS, SSB in 1995, and the ITS National in Topeka in 1993.
After he stopped racing, he got very involved in the Region activities. He was the GTA Advisor for 6 years, starting in 1995. In 1997, he became a member of the SFR Board of Directors, where he served for 4 years. In 1998 he was named Competition Director and he joined the Thunderhill Properties Board of Directors.
As Competition Director, Steve has the responsibility of scheduling at the three race tracks we use. He has reduced the number of groups we race from 10 to the current 7. Every year he evaluates the car counts and activity at the different tracks. Today, we take the AMB transponder system for granted, but Steve was involved in moving from the R&D timing and scoring system to AMB in 1999. He was instrumental in holding drivers meetings on every race weekend.
When asked what he was most proud of Steve said that one was the two year roll-out of the AMB system in T&S and the other was development of the Spec Miata Racing Program in cooperation with Toyo Tires. We started with just two Miatas that first year. And in 2002 SFR held a 72 car Pro Spec Miata race at Laguna Seca the same weekend of a CART race.
[1910 – 1980] – Bill Norwood Breeze was born in San Francisco four years after the great earthquake of 1906. In 1934, at 24 years old he bought a Ford Roadster and drove it to Los Angeles to have Edelbrock heads fitted to the car. Around this time he astounded his friends by driving to Salt Lake City in one day, a distance of about eight hundred miles which was quite a feat in those days considering the condition of the roads.
In the spring of 1949, Bill Breeze won a car race in his MG-TC on the oval track at San Jose Speedway and while not a road race, it was the first organized race won by a sports car in the area. Breeze was actively involved in club planning and helped organize and participated in what is recognized as the first road race in the Western U.S. at Buchanan Field in November, 1949.
Breeze was elected to the position of Regional Executive in 1951 and 1952 and it was under his leadership, the region staged the most successful sports car event on the West Coast for years to come, the races in Golden Gate Park. While Pebble Beach was a great success, it was the races in Golden Gate Park that brought sports car racing to the average person and created more local and national publicity than any other sports car race during this period.
Breeze had opened The Sports Car Center (SCC) near the Richardson Bay Bridge in Sausalito. The SCC worked closely with master fabricator/car builder Nadeau Bourgeault who had a shop nearby. There is no question that Breeze’s SCC played a vital role in the growth of sports car racing in Northern California. It offered a professional, knowledgeable business where racers and would be racers could get advice, parts, service, race-preparation or even a race car.
In the mid-1960’s, sports car racing had grown to a major spectator sport and Breeze decided to close the SCC and move on to other pursuits.
Dr. Peter S. Talbot
[1918-1999] – Dr. Talbot was active in racing in many capacities for over 40 years. His first SCCA race was in Reno in 1953 driving an MG TD MKII. Over the years he raced at courses throughout the United States and also at the Nurburgring in 1959 driving a Porsche Carrera and in New Zealand in 1992 in a 1967 Saab Sonnet.
Dr. Talbot was an SCCA member from 1955 -1994 and he is the inventor of the “Spherical Elastic Attenuators” — tire wall safety system. They were first used at Laguna Seca in the late 60’s and early 70’s where there was not enough “runoff” areas to accommodate catch fencing.
Chris Pook, the founder of the Long Beach GP, says that “as a result of Dr. Talbot’s innovation, the lives of literally hundreds of racing drivers around the world have been saved, not to mention the injuries that would have resulted had it not been for the tire barriers”.
Dr. Talbot became the Chief Steward of the Monterey Historic races from the first event in 1974 through 1997, 24 years in total. It was a suggestion of Fred Knoop’s to Steve Earle that Peter would be a good person for the job.
Peter’s contributions were always safety driven. His primary concern was to provide a safe environment for “civilian” drivers to run their cars in a race format. As Chief Steward he controlled the conduct on the track and made it clear to everyone that the events were for fun and lack of respect for fellow competitors, over aggressive driving, or bad judgment was not tolerated. He truly loved the concept and was there for Steve Earle with help, suggestions or criticism when needed, from beginning to end.
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