January 2020

THUNDERHILL TEST DAY BIG SUCCESS

December 28, 2019, saw San Francisco region’s wholly owned subsidiary Thunderhill Properties open the track up for a free test day. In order to participate in the event you had to have a San Francisco Region SCCA membership and you had to have a car to drive. This year for the very first time the day was also made available with track time for the Autocross members of the region. The Track must have magical powers because the sun was out and short sleeve shirts were the uniform of the day.

With over 100 cars showing up for the day it obviously brought value to the members. The numbers were pretty evenly split up with about fifty cars taking a swipe at the three mile road course and about 50 cars running through the cones on the Thunderhill autocross site.

Read More in the January Edition of The Wheel —->

THUNDERHILL TEST DAY BIG SUCCESS December 28, 2019, saw San Francisco region’s wholly owned subsidiary Thunderhill Properties open the track up for a free test day. In order to participate in the event you had to have a San Francisco Region SCCA membership and you had to have a car to drive. This year for […]


December 2019

2019 Season In Review

The 2019 San Francisco Region Championship is over. After a brutal 15 race schedule we have crowned the champions. Lets look back at the winners, losers, and could have beens for the past season.

We have 57 different classes on the books in our region. Some of the classes evolved from the very beginning of SCCA and others have evolved due a particular niche we were trying to satisfy. Classes like EP, FP, and HP have evolved from the very early roots of the club when a bunch of wealthy aristocrats wanted to play with their sports cars together. Other classes have been around for a long time but have had their name changed. Back in the sixties SCCA had several sports racing classes – it went from ASR (Can Am Cars) to ESR which was a full bodied purpose built Sports car with a small engine. Now these cars are Called prototypes and we have two classes of Prototypes P1 and P2.

The problem with offering 57 different classes is not all of them have people that participate in them and some of the classes only have people that run one of two races during the season. The other conundrum is how do you eliminate a class? Because the class was created for a reason and there could be a very good reason for no participation in a particular year but you never know what will happen the following season.

In order to be classified as a regional champion a driver has to run at least 51% of the races. If a driver finished in second place in the points, but ran the minimum number of races — whereas the first place points getter did not run the minimum number of races, the guy with the lesser points but the minimum participation record won the championship.

Lets look at each group and see who won, who did not win, and who could have won if they participated in enough races.

Read More in the December Edition of The Wheel —->

2019 Season In Review The 2019 San Francisco Region Championship is over. After a brutal 15 race schedule we have crowned the champions. Lets look back at the winners, losers, and could have beens for the past season. We have 57 different classes on the books in our region. Some of the classes evolved from […]


November 2019

SCCA San Francisco Region Regionals 13, 14 & 15

The season’s finale had a little bit of everything – weather, drama, good racing, exciting racing, parade racing, a Formula Ford Fiftieth Anniversary double-header, a rousing Saturday night Social & Party, and a visit by Mike Cobb, President of SCCA.

There were 206 entries, of which 185 actually quali ed, while 21 wereDNS. Of those 200+ entries, 29 were from out-of-region, including 13 from Cal Club, which was hosting the PCRRC at Buttonwillow the same weekend. The Worker Crews were somewhat thin, especially Course Marshals, Emergency, Pit Marshals, and F&C – which had to be supplemented by TRP track workers. The early morning Worker meetings were greeted with lovely sunrises.

Weather was a big topic. There were two days of heat – eighties and nineties with little or no wind, with a few wasps thrown in for good measure, while the rest of Northern California suffered from highwinds and fires. The third day was an about face, with temperatures dropping to the sixties, and very strong, gusty winds, the likes of which we’ve never experienced. The winds had been previously forecast, but not with the ferocity that showed up Sunday morning. The trackwindmills were running at warp speed. The flags were straight out -those that survived. A porta-potty blew over in the paddock. One hotel in town lost roof shingles, and some trees were blown over. All week the threat of a PSPS existed – Public Safety Power Shutoff. It didn’thappen, but the winds were so strong that an of cial schedule change, was made – no ve-mile course for Sunday’s races.

Read More in the November Edition of The Wheel —->

SCCA San Francisco Region Regionals 13, 14 & 15 The season’s finale had a little bit of everything – weather, drama, good racing, exciting racing, parade racing, a Formula Ford Fiftieth Anniversary double-header, a rousing Saturday night Social & Party, and a visit by Mike Cobb, President of SCCA. There were 206 entries, of which […]


October 2019

SCCA San Francisco Region Regionals 11 & 12

This year’s Labor Day race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, was a two-day weekend, with a track-promoted test day on Friday. It had better driver and worker turnout than last year, and better weather – not much fog on Saturday and none on Sunday. The weather was warm, without last year’s debilitating heat. More of the new and refurbished corner stations were in use, most with welcome roofs and shades. 

There were seven SFR race groups with 200 entries, better than the Majors. Even better was a nice Worker turnout, especially for a holiday weekend. Having more two-day weekends seems to have been a well-received decision, as has been the special Worker hotel rate for Monterey races. Both were BoD decisions based on member input. 

Read More in the October Edition of The Wheel —->

SCCA San Francisco Region Regionals 11 & 12 This year’s Labor Day race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, was a two-day weekend, with a track-promoted test day on Friday. It had better driver and worker turnout than last year, and better weather – not much fog on Saturday and none on Sunday. The weather was […]


September 2019

Solo II SFR Round 10

Round 10 was the last chance for competitors to practice for SCCA Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was held at Marina Airport on August 25, 2019, with the event co-chaired by Carole Zepeda and Alex K. The course was designed by Ben Martinez.

Mark Lindle, in a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, took the top spot in S1. Peter McMillan took second place in a 2001 Porsche 996, while Jaylyn Hagen took third in a ’18 Camaro ZL1.

S2 was led by Justin Moore in a ’06 Porsche Cayman S. In second place was Glenn Austin in a ’05 Nissan 350Z, with Rishi Kirby taking the last podium spot in a ’18 Honda Civic Type R. The rest of S3 included Youmna Zalzal, Eric Martin, Howard Yang, Gary Fazekas, Jonathan Domagala, Chris Guzman, John Gamble, Wade Spurlock, Ryan Herbst, Tj Kloby, Fangzhou Jiao, Aaron McCollum, Amon Pereira, Thomas Flewell, Robert Hudspeth and Brian Berry.

Read more in the September issue –>

Hoosier Super Tour WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Solo II SFR Round 9 & 10, Wheelworks – Majors My Take, NFTA – The Ermini


August 2019

2019 SFR Road Racing Championship – Regional Races 9 & 10

The Double Regional 9-10 Races at Sonoma Raceway the first weekend in July had serious hot weather. It was a two-day event, with the largest Regional field this season – about 215 cars. The Friday test day was well-subscribed with more than 100 drivers. At Sonoma, the db limit was 103 all day, yet the morning session had more than a few drivers stretching or exceeding limits. Maybe it was the cloud cover, which did dissipate. It was nice to see drivers earning DRAFT Card credits toward a test day or regional entry, working on corners and in Timing & Scoring.

A group of SRF drivers, under the leadership of Joe Briggs and his Healdsburg Distillers group sponsored four Worker of the Day awards during the weekend. The number of race shops and drivers in thisventure include more than half the 32-car eld in Group Six for SRF3/SRF. Each of the four were selected by a driver, and received a $150 check. The lucky recipients were Curt Storek from St. Louis/F&C; Jennifer Bickett/T&S; Jess Ann Link/Course Marshals; and Michael Joseph/Pit Fire Marshal.

Read more in the August issue –>

Regional Races 9 & 10, Solo II SFR Round 7 & 8, Sacramento Round 7 & 9, Wheelworks – Racing Cars Can Be Dangerous, NFTA – Stovebolt Special


July 2019

SCCA Sacramento Round 5

Early was dry late was Wet

The weatherman predicted rain and for once he was right. The morning run groups got through 90% of their runs before the rain started to fall. I for one didn’t have windshield wipers on my car, so a careful placed rag had to suffice. There is an old saying that a bad day at the track is still better than a great day at the office. Everybody that showed up to race had a great time and left with a smile.

Read more in the July issue –>

Regional Races 7 & 8, Solo II SFR Round 5 & 6, Sacramento Round 5, Wheelworks – Too Many Classes!!! Not Enough Advocates!!! NFTA – Sonoma Raceway 50th Anniversary Book


June 2019

Wheelworks – Why do they do it?

By Blake Tatum

Ever since I was a kid I was jealous of the men and women who worked at the SCCA events. I think my jealousy came from the eyes of a ve year-old kid at the race track. When you are ve years old, your attention span is short as well as your stature. Back then, SCCA races were at places that were converted into race tracks, such as the port of Stockton. There were no grandstands; and the ability to see the action on the racetrack was determined either by height or status. Since I did not have status, I had to rely on height, which I did not have. Naturally, the fencing at these converted race tracks was wooden snow fencing (how did that ever y). When you are less than four feet tall, your view of the race track was the total sum of ashes of light that would pass between the slats of the snow fencing. I remember seeing Corvettes, Cobras, and Porsche’s ash by, only to disappear to an area unknown. I would wait and the ashes of the cars would come by again. The time between the cars ashing by was painful; and the idea that the people holding the ags knew where they were going was even more painful. When the races were over, I would just stare at the people wearing the SCCA of cial clothing. I would wonder how I could be one of those guys.

Read more in the June issue –>

Regional Races 5 & 6, Fresno Chapter Mid-Season Recap, Tire Rack SCCA Crows Landing ProSolo, Wheelworks – Why do they do it?


May 2019

Wheel Works – Good Bye Sherry

By Blake Tatum

Every organization has that one go to person that knows the ins and outs of the operation. We have all seen it, the person that knows the history behind every change. The person that knows who caused a certain policy implementation. The person that could tell you what the organization did last year as well as what they did five years ago. They can tell you who got things done and who caused more work than they were worth. This person is usually not the boss or the face of the organization but is usually one layer down from the top. When everyone is stumped on what to do they go to this person for the answer. It is the person the boss or owner sends everyone to answer the hard questions. The San Francisco Region of the SCCA has such a person. This person is the regional manager Sherry Grantz.

Read more in the May issue –>

Regional Races 3 & 4, SFR Solo II Round 2 & 3, Wheelworks – Sherry Grantz, Notes From the Archive – Bart Martin


April 2019

Worker of the Weekend

Alan Mertens – F&C. Selected by the Stewards Group.

“Alan Mertens was staffing Turn Two box covering Flag & Comm positions. Seven cars came through on the second lap of the Miata Race. Several cars spun and several had body contact. The situation was chaotic, at best. Alan provided accurate and valuable information as the incident unfolded. After the situation settled down, Alan provide a concise and detailed report, that allowed Race Control and responding workers the ability to make quick and safe decisions that allowed the incident to be cleaned up and racing to resume. Through it all, Alan maintained a calm and informative demeanor that was reflective of his many years of track service. Well done!”

Read more in the April issue –>

Regional Races 1 & 2, WoW, DoW, Sacramento Solo News, Teen Driving Clinic, People in the News, Notes From the Archive – Bob Cole


March 2019

The SFR Driver’s School had a new name for 2019 – Competition Licensing School , better reflective of its goals and purpose

It was held February 15-17, 2019 at Thunderhill Raceway Park. While the weather was mostly dry, save for the freaky hit-and-run hail storm Sunday afternoon, it was miserably cold and windy. Seeing all the snow on  the distant peaks added to the chill. The Thursday before school, the rain was so bad it closed portions of I-5, stranding and/or detouring arriving students, instructors and volunteer race officials and workers. Those traveling Friday were greeted by clear roads, bright sunshine, flowering orchards and electric green hills and vales.

This years class was nearly as large as last year, with 54 students divided into the traditional three groups – Closed Wheel I, for the less experienced students; Closed Wheel II for those with more experience and/or ‘refreshers’; and Open Wheel students. The students, as always, mostly came from SFR, but this year’s class also included students from Colorado, Nevada, San Diego, Texas, and Washington.

Read the full story in the March issue –>

Five Teen Driving Schools at Thunderhill, Trip across America 1993 version; Magic Light Box, Competition Licensing School, Solo Banquet


February 2019

SEASON OPENER MARCH 16-17, AT THUNDERHILL WILL START FIGHT FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2019

The quest for the top spot in each class Championship will begin in earnest in March on the 16th and 17th at Thunderhill Park. The two-day race weekend will follow a test day on Friday for all comers on the three-mile, fifteen-turn course.

The race weekend should be fun and fierce as the new season allows drivers to shake-off a winter of planning and thinking about what the first race of the season would be like. Top classes, including Spec Racer Fords and Spec Miatas expect full fields as do the Spec Mustang and IT classes. “This is real racing,” noted veteran driver David Vodden. “Not many people get to do this stuff and even fewer find victory lane and earn the #1 ranking at year end.”

The two-day format is expected to generate more entries as teams save time and money with the more efficient race schedules. The weekend offers Regional Races # 1 and 2. There are 15 total regional races that offer championship points ending with double points for the last three included in the three-day season championship final set for October 25th through the 27th.  Thirteen of the fifteen regional sanctioned races count towards the title point accumulation. Drivers can drop two races if they contend in all fifteen.

Sonoma Majors 2019, Runoffs Special SRF Edition, Wheelworks – Remembering Bob Corbitt, Thunderhill Report