Worker Highlight – Gary Horstkorta
January 31st, 2018 by James Chartres
How did you get started with SCCA?
After years watching racing on television, I decided I wanted to experience racing first hand. Before buying a race car and to become better educated I joined the Sports Car Club of America in 1994. I attended a few races (San Francisco Region and vintage) to gather information and determine what type of car to acquire. Following the advice of several people, I bought an older Crusader Formula Vee. It took me about one year to restore the car to race ready condition.
I attended a NASA track day for my first on track experience (in the rain) then the SFR drivers school to obtain my license. Based on my inexperience as a driver and work schedule (lots of travel) I felt vintage racing was better suited for me which is where I raced for the next fifteen years.
What is your current position?
I am the SFR Archivist/Historian and historical columnist for The Wheel.
What do you I like about the SCCA?
The history and tradition of our club began in 1948 when we became an official Region of the SCCA. With just a handful of members, they began racing for fun and searching for ways to add new members. Coming from all walks of life, the membership grew over time and it is their individual stories I find most interesting. Their many contributions had an impact on the Region and National to help grow and improve the sport.
Why do you like volunteering?
I have always enjoyed history and racing so when the opportunity came along to become involved as the Region’s Archivist, I accepted hoping to help preserve the Region’s long history. That was thirteen years ago and since then I have enjoyed meeting and working with current and former members to build our archive and chronicle the Region’s history.
What does your role involve?
I have four functions – manage the archive material; solicit donations of additional material; write a monthly column for The Wheel; provide information about the Region’s past people, cars and events to anyone making a request.
What don’t people know about what you do?
Perhaps it is the number of requests I receive for information and from all over the world. Just last week I mailed off historical information on a Jaguar XK-120 that raced within the Region to the owner in Warsaw, Poland. I’ve had inquiries from the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and South America.
Since I began as the archivist, I have had several hundred such inquires for information which has allowed me to communicate with many former SFR racers, motorsports writers, book authors documentary film makers, car collectors, vintage racers and restoration shops. The interest in our Region’s past continues to grow as people discover our archive via word of mouth and from our Regional website.
Thank you Gary, you provide a very pivotal role for the region that preserves the history and provides much need information and documentation for vintage racers and race car restoration shops.
If you would like to read more from Gary and learn about the history of racing in the San Francisco Region you can read the Notes from the Archives on the website or the monthly article in The Wheel.
September 06, 2019 at 12:10 am, Tom Gibson said:
Hello Gary. Excellent article in Vintage Motorsport about The Sonoma Speed Festival! I was also very impressed by this first-time effort.
I have a question about the SFR archives. I am a long time SCCA member and an infrequent participant in CSRG and HMSA events in a Lotus 18 Formula Junior. (We have met on a couple of occasions). I would love to learn something about the history of my car. I bought it from Fantasy Junction about 8 years ago. The seller promised me a lot of info on the car’s history but he has delivered nothing. He owned the car for about 20 years but never raced it. He remembers very little of what he learned about its history but he thought it was raced locally, and possibly by a woman driver. Do you think there is any way I could utilize the SFR archives to possibly learn more? Thank you!