Well I never expected to end up here, writing this article as the Oregon Region RE. I’ve always enjoyed cars and auto racing but never really thought that I would be racing myself. In fact, truth be told, I have never been the mechanical type, no wrench turning, not even oil changes, I just enjoyed fast cars. So, what do I do? I end up racing one of the lowest powered cars around. Go figure! But in hindsight, boy did I make the right decision.
My wife and I moved to Oregon 25 years ago from Buffalo, New York. I spent a few years doing motorcycle track days and graduated to Chump car racing, much to the liking of my wife and my physical wellbeing. I joined SCCA about 6 years ago, in part, because my daughter wanted to race Spec Miata, and largely because of the friendly, inviting people who encouraged / mentored us to become involved.
The last 6 years have been an amazing experience. I have made some great friends and have learned so much about what it takes to make a race car and driver, perform. For myself and surely like many others, I thought I was a good driver. Never any wrecks, only 1 or 2 speeding tickets in my life, so therefore I thought car racing would come easily to me. Hahahaha, sure, right, yup, I was fast right from the start, NOT! There is sooooo much more to this sport than I realized and the challenge to become better/ faster, is addicting.
This sport should be growing like crazy, car counts should be on the rise, spectators should be filling the stands and paddock area because this sport is fun, right? Sadly, this does not seem to be the case. Our car counts seem to be dwindling, and the only thing that is on the rise is the average age of our racers. How cool would it be if we could reverse this trend, car counts increasing and average age decreasing? I personally believe we can do this, and I mean all of us. We all are members of SCCA and have at least one commonality, we like cars and racing. The Sports Car Club of America, is a club, run by its’ members, for the members, and it is only as strong as the members. It is up to all of us, not just your BOD, to grow our club, invite the outsiders to come in, make them feel welcome and see what a great group of people we are. Whether its Road Racing, Solo, Time Trials, Rally, there is a niche for us to share with other auto enthusiasts.
So, what keeps us coming back, the friendships, the competition, the personal improvement, the excitement of racing in fields with 15 to 50 cars? For me, yes, it is to all of the above. Can you imagine increasing your class car count by 5 or 10 cars, and how much more fun that would be? One of my goals as RE is to increase our active member participation and new member participation. I need every ones’ help, talk with your neighbors, your friends, perhaps it’s someone wearing a Nascar t-shirt, maybe even a stranger in the parking lot that drives a sporty car. Who knows, but we need to share our love for the club and sport and inform potential new members that they don’t have to spend $100k to go racing. Let our new friends know they can drive their 92 Integra or their 98 CRX to the track, race it and then drive it home or purchase a Spec Miata for under $10k.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons yet, with Pirelli World Challenge coming in July for Rose Cup, the return of Indy Cars to Portland, our own Super Tour Race May 19th and 20th and Runoffs coming back to the West Coast at Sonoma Raceway. Tighten your lap belts, it’s going to be an eventful season. Oregon Region will also be attending the Portland Auto Show January 25th to the 28th for the third straight year. Here is your chance to step up and help the region, come spend 4 hours at the show volunteering in our booth and share your excitement for your club. Please contact Karen McCoy, email@example.com
That’s it from me, See you all soon at the auto show or track
Please feel free to contact me with questions and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year again. Autumn leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and in a few week’s we’ll be gathering with friends and family to give thanks while gobbling down turkey and dressing in dining rooms everywhere.
It’s also that time of year to look back on the race season that was, and look forward to the season that will be. Oregon Region has plenty to give thanks to regarding our past and the future.
2017 was a successful season for our region in many regards. Our Road Racing and Solo programs remain as some of the best in the nation. I can personally attest to the strength of our racing program because I participated in races held by six different SCCA regions. It’s always fun and enlightening to see how other regions administer their events and compare them to us. Oregon region events are as well run and operated as any. Our workers are a dedicated group of people who love what they do, and it shows. Our racers are a talented group who can compete with anybody. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year at the Runoffs. I also received so many well wishes via social media it makes one realize that Oregon Region really is like one big extended family. Seeing Dwain Panian named SCCA Starter of the Year at Indy was a moment our members can truly be proud of! Way to go Dwain!
Our Track Night in America events remain one of the most popular in the country. A great opportunity for anyone with a car to get on track at PIR with Oregon Region. These events, as well as, our Street Survival clinics are so popular that they are routinely sold out!
As Oregon Region Regional Executive for the past two years, I want to thank everyone I worked with towards making our club as strong as possible heading into the future. Like all successful things in life it takes hard work, and Oregon Region is not afraid to work hard and play hard. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2018 season, as a racer, and club member. Simply put, Oregon Region rocks!
I hope to see all of you at our end of year party on November 18th. And at the racetrack next spring!
By Todd Harris
It’s that time of year again. The Oregon Region race season is almost here. Plenty of excitement as drivers and workers anticipate our first SOLO event in March and our first Road Racing weekend in April.
As Oregon Region R.E. it’s equally exciting and terrifying. Putting on events is a production that takes a tremendous amount of effort and hard work before, during, and after each event. It also takes a huge amount of money. Track rental, insurance, etc., does not come cheap. Therefore, every race weekend is a calculated financial risk for our club. If the number of driver entries are high, we can make a profit. Moderate entries, and we may break even. But low entries for an event can be a backbreaker financially.
Keeping a club in the “black” is not a new problem for any SCCA region nationwide, but it is a concern for our club as we navigate our way into the future. To make the best use of our track time, and hopefully some money, we will continue to invite race organizations to come race with us. This concept has worked very well over the past few years as The Great American Stockcar Series (GASS), and the Formula Car Challenge (FCC) have attended our races. They will both continue to do that again this year by paying a flat fee for track time to Oregon Region. FCC will join us in May and GASS at our August race.
New for 2017 will be the addition of a Time Trial run group. This will be an opportunity for potential racers to run their street or track day cars on our weekends. Hopefully many of them will come from our very successful Track Night in America program. Please make them feel welcome if you see them in the paddock, and who knows, maybe someday soon they’ll be racing in wheel-to-wheel competition with Oregon Region.
Finally, I want to give a tip-of-the-helmet to Jeff Zurschmeide. The Oregon Region website and Loud Pedal have been completely revamped to be a better resource for our members, as well as, a better tool to market our club to potential new members. Thanks Jeff Z!
Onward and upward we go into the 2017 racing season. See you at the racetrack. And bring a friend so they can see firsthand how awesome Oregon Region truly is!