July 2018

SFR Double Regional 7 & 8 Featuring the Spec Racer Ford Festival

There were six Regional Groups, with a standard SFR regional schedule – 8:30/9am starts, sound windows in effect, and earlier than 5pm finishes each day. Thursday was the Test Day.

The Announce Team selected the Driver of the Weekend, Mark Means, who raced his No.45 1991 Miata SSM in Group 7.  This was his first-ever race victory and he drove a great race. Means fought off his nearest competitor within 500 feet of the finish line on the last lap. So new to winning, he didn’t even know how to pick up his Checkered Flag or run a Victory Lap.

SRF FESTIVAL RACE

SFR driver, Bill Booth/No.57 was on pole. He led the first three laps before being passed by Houston Region driver, Scott Monroe/No.47 who had gridded third and moved up. Monroe held on for the remaining laps to take the Checkered Flag. His Margin of Victory was 0.644 seconds, the second closest of the day. Booth dropped back and finished third, but turned the fastest lap of the race at 79.929 mph. Finishing second was Lee Douglas/No.2 of Oregon Region, who started fourth and moved up to second by Lap 6. Rounding out the top five were Michael Boyle/No.53, who has started second and Scott Peterson/No.54, who gridded eighth.

For the complete race report, read the July issue –>

SFR Regional 7 & 8, Why Race a Spec Racer, Autocross from Fresno, Sacramento and Bay Area, Five Year Planning Effort


June 2018

Secrets of a Concours Judge

​by Clint deWitt

photos by Morris H. Lum

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for concours.  What car enthusiast isn’t beguiled by the brass era cars or the Duesnbergs and other speedsters of the 20s and 30s?

My own love of sports cars came on a camping trip at age 10 or 11, when our bus parked next to the most beautiful car I had ever seen.  It looked like it was going 100 mph standing still.  It was an Austin Healey 100, and it made the staid American sedans of the early 50s look like transportation for frumpy old ladies!   It was followed shortly in my mind’s eye collection by the timeless XK120 Jag, the truly gorgeous gullwing Mercedes, the beautiful little Alfa Guilietta roadster, and my all time favorite, the super-slippery bathtub Porsche.

At a concours you can see each of these marques and countless more, all dressed in their Sunday best, but SF Region is one of only 2 regions, out of the 117 regions in SCCA, that has its own concours program.

Read the whole article in the June issue –>

Casino Fandango Major at Thunderhill, Secrets of a Concours Judge, Compression Test, Notes from the Archives: Pro Racing and more.


May 2018

Wheelworks by Blake Tatum

“Who needs Viagra when you have a race car!”

I am telling you forget the pills and get a racecar!! There is nothing more masculine than having grease under your fingernails and a racecar in your garage.  As the neighbors walk by they will know that you are a person that knows what to do with his tools.  The thrill of revving that race engine does more for your blood flow then any blue pill.  The after glow of a race weekend will last longer then any encounter you my have had and surely does not produce any surprises nine months later.

When I grew up and recess was no longer an option racing cars filled that need.  Nothing said Billy Bad Ass better then being the first guy across the finish line and driving around on that victory lap. The thrill of victory meant there was no agony of defeat. Driving a racecar was my Viagra, it got my blood flowing, it put that hop in my step, it was the reason for making eye contact and walking with your chest pumped out.

Read more in the May issue of The Wheel along with all the following:

Solo Round 2, SFR Regional 3 & 4 at Laguna Seca, Full Body Contact and Spec Racer News, Frank Emmett, Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets


April 2018

HOW TO WIN AN SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP!

In the world in which we live driving a race car in competition is very rare. Winning is even more special and being a Champion in any racing series is truly an exceptional achievement!

You can be an SCCA CHAMPION. Here is how. This year there will be about twelve races for your class occurring over six race weekends or so. You can count only your ten best race finishes or one less than the total of all races run in your class this year. The point system starts with 25 for a win and drops down to eleven points for tenth place and one point for finishing twentieth.

The final race weekend, August 31-September 2nd, at Thunderhill, counts double, meaning you can win the championship if you are close and have a great final weekend at Thunderhill on what is planned to be the 5-mile course.  You must compete in 51% of the races run to be eligible but that is easy enough. Champions and those drivers finishing on the season ending Championship Podium are honored at a special banquet and then recorded into the archives of the Club joining the many great drivers who have achieved similar success over the many years that the SFR SCCA has been in operation.

Want to be a Champion? Run the races, count the points and make it happen. You will be so glad that you did. Your race stories and memories will be your legacy as you race into the status of an SCCA racing legend. Do it now!

HOW TO WIN AN SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP! In the world in which we live driving a race car in competition is very rare. Winning is even more special and being a Champion in any racing series is truly an exceptional achievement! You can be an SCCA CHAMPION. Here is how. This year there will be about […]


March 2018

Thunderhill Report

by David Vodden

This past weekend we lost long-time friend, SCCA supporter and passionate creator of Thunderhill, Tom McCarthy. Because of the lapse of time in the production of the Wheel, I assume that you are well-aware of our shared loss. Much will be written about Tom with statistics about his race wins, his activity as an SCCA Board member and, of course, his role in the creation of Thunderhill Park. Little of what is written will capture the real man that some loved and some did not. From his Iowa farm-life-upbringing to his life-long partnership with Lucy and their building of Du-All Machine in Fremont that produced parts for the best of the best in the new Silicon Valley, Tom was driven to compete and win. He won a lot. Even with his overwhelming passion for racing, Tom’s family was most important starting with Lucy and Terry and Tommy plus his five brothers, Lucy’s family and their precious daughter Tammy whom they lost at a young age due to an auto accident.

Tom raced Triumph Spitfires most of his career adding whatever he needed to continue his quest to be a winner. He was famous for pushing the envelope. Some of his efforts were priceless. He was, naturally, the first President of San Francisco Region Properties, Inc., the corporate name for our DBA – Thunderhill Park.

Read more in the March issue –>

Thunderhill Report by David Vodden This past weekend we lost long-time friend, SCCA supporter and passionate creator of Thunderhill, Tom McCarthy. Because of the lapse of time in the production of the Wheel, I assume that you are well-aware of our shared loss. Much will be written about Tom with statistics about his race wins, […]


February 2018

Regional Executive News

by Barbara McClellan  

I just returned from the SCCA National Convention held in Las Vegas where I got to meet many members of this great organization to which we belong.  There were over 480 members there representing all aspects of our club—Road Racing, Solo, Rally Cross.  The National Staff members were there as well as all our governing leaders.  I had the opportunity to meet our President and CEO, Mike Cobb, and was very impressed with his vision for the future of our organization which is to be the preferred motorsports community in the US, built on fun, shared passion and access to an exhilarating motorsports experience.

Our racing season starts in mid February with our Drivers School.  A lot of planning has gone into that school.  By the time you have the opportunity to read this column we will have already had a Chiefs Meeting, a Stewards Meeting and training for specialty crews.

Everyone needs to remember that it takes a lot of effort to make everything go smoothly—many volunteers put in many hours to make it happen.  Your Board of Directors is made up of volunteers as well.

That being said—your Board is here for you.  We want to hear how we can make your motorsports experience better and we’re always open to suggestions.  Call us, email us, stop us at the track and let us know what we can do to keep our sport fun, fair and safe.

2017 Regional Champions from A to Z; Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets; How to Qualify for the Runoffs; Decoding SCCA Road Racing Classes


January 2018

Introducing the NEWEST Race Class: SSC5

by Tim Sullivan

How many classes of cars are in SCCA…  more than one would think!  Now there is one more!  The new SSC5 (Spec Sealed Corvette 5th Gen)

So what does it take to get into this class.  Simple..  a stock (somewhat) 5th Generation Corvette (1997-2004, ZO6’s excluded)  Pretty simple..  The C5 Corvettes, when they came out, were great handling cars.  Chevrolet had a C5 racing team.  The new LS Gen 3 engine was phenomenal, and pretty bulletproof.  They are plentiful, and the price is right.  The first two cars in this class were purchased for $7500 and $6700.  The cars are out there!

But, you say, you can’t just race it stock.  No..  we have a uniform set up for them, much like the Spec Miata’s.  But the cost is reasonable.  We have made some deals to get the main components (supplied by LG racing) at a discount.  The first build came in at just about $20,000.  Not much more than the good old Spec Miata..  but a bit more horsepower and fun.

The “snapshot”  and some photos of the new car are in the January 2018 issue –>

Geno and Bruce’s Indy Adventure; Tiz Time – Frank Emmett Retires; Over Analyzing Your Autocross Results; Competition Licensing School Requirements and more


December 2017

Regional 13 & 14 and Enduro Ends the Season

It was beautiful fall weather for the season’s finale race at Thunderhill Raceway Park, warm and sunny all weekend.The midday’s were hot and everyone was in hydration mode. A whole season with no rain racing. By now the number of actual novices were hard to be found. The overall entries were good for the last race of the year and after the Runoffs. And there were 23 entries for the last RDC Martin Illgen Endurance Race.

Full story along with these are in this issue:

Who was Naughty and Who was Nice; SFR Solo Round 12; Year-end Fun Photos; Sacramento Enduro; How to Qualify for the 2018 Runoffs

Regional 13 & 14 and Enduro Ends the Season It was beautiful fall weather for the season’s finale race at Thunderhill Raceway Park, warm and sunny all weekend.The midday’s were hot and everyone was in hydration mode. A whole season with no rain racing. By now the number of actual novices were hard to be […]


November 2017

Photo above is Myron Ybarra in his 2007 Ariel Atom 2 at the Buttonwillow Autocross.

All the SFR Autocross Chapters were in action in October and The Wheel has accounts of:

Fresno Chapter at Buttonwillow Raceway

Sacramento Chapter at Thunderhill West

Bay Area Chapter at Crows Landing, Rounds 10 and 11

Also included are the Fresno events 8 and 9 at Fresno Fairgrounds.

 

Also covered is the road racing Regional 11 & 12 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September with loads of photos.

Board election results, Regional 11 & 12 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Autocross at Fresno, Crows Landing and Sacramento; Road Racing Classes Explained, and more


October 2017

SFR Solo Nationals Trophy Winners

Join us in congratulating our fellow competitors bringing home awards, jackets and other hardware from the 2017 Tire Rack Solo Nationals. Lots of talent present in the region, so the list is quite long!

2017 Driver of Eminence – Mike Maier  PHOTO
Dick Berger Perseverance Award – Charlie Davis    PHOTO

D Street – 58 Drivers
Mark Scroggs – Champion

Street Touring Ultra – 29 Drivers
Bryan Heitkotter – Champion

B Modified – 12 Drivers
Tom Ellam – Champion (pictured)

A complete list of all trophy winners is in the October issue –>

 

Sacramento Solo Round 9, Enhancing the Racing Experience, Danvillle Concours D’elegance, Double Regional 9 & 10 a Laguna Seca


September 2017

A Dream Come True, the Larry Albedi Story
from Wheelworks by Blake Tatum

San Francisco in the thirties and forties, had to be an exciting place to grow up. . .

Enter a 16-year-old boy.  Tall, thin, thick combed back hair, big toothy smile.  You have not a concern in the world other then your parents insisting that you get a job. Their insistence is based on their desire to instill a strong work ethic at an early age.

This is San Franciscan born Larry Albedi.  A kid looking for a job when he stumbles into a shop owned by the Bignotti brothers.  Larry was looking for a job and just like most things in life the most insignificant event can change the course of your life forever. I do not know what convinced the Bignotti Brothers to hire Larry, but his good looks and his deep baritone voice surely had an influence.  Larry did not have a clue how this chance encounter would forever change his life.

In the very short term Larry was able to go home and tell his father that he had a job; in the long term this wandering 16 year old found a purpose in life that would forever change him.

Larry knew that driving and owning his own car was his ultimate goal.  Larry also knew that his father’s ultimate goal was for his son to be an attorney.  What Larry’s father did not know was his son was a pretty smart kid and was more then capable of finding his way through life by letting his passion be the driving force.

Read Larry Albedi’s complete story in the September issue of The Wheel –>

In this issue: Spec Miata Festival Regionals 7 & 8; Wheelworks: The Larry Albedi Story; Board Candidate Statements; Solo Rounds 8, Sac Rounds 7 & 8


August 2017

The Spec Racer Ford Festival – Double Regional 5 & 6

This was the first SFR race weekend of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The weather was beautiful all four days – three days of racing and one test day, with no morning fog delays. The Spec Racer folks turned out with 46 entries, the largest group.

In Group Four, 23 formula cars took the Green Flag for its first race of the weekend, with ten being from out of region including two from Canada, one from Tennessee, and the top three finishers.

Pole sitter Timothy de Silva/No.61 VanDiemen of Cal Club won the race, won FC, and turned the fastest race lap of 91.851 mph/90.137. His Margin of Victory ahead of Canadian Mitch Egner/No.14 Van Diemen out of Northwest Region from was 5.772 seconds. Third in class was Tom Hope/No.18 VanDiemen from Cal Club.

The top 16 cars overall were in the FC class, with two more following Chuck Horn. Horn finished first in FF, and set a new track record of 1:34.666. Second and third in class were Brad Hayes/No.74 Piper, and Michael Bernstein/No.12 Swift, who skipped qualifying. Michael Edick/No.36 Le Grand and Jack Baringer/No19 Crossle finished second and third in CF.

Read the complete weekend race recap –>

In this issue: Spec Racer Ford Festival Regional, National Board Candidate Statements, Alameda Point Concours, Solo Reports – Bay Area, Sacramento and Fresno