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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com