TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 19, 2017) -- The 2017 SCCA® National Convention got underway Thursday night at South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with the Club's annual meeting. Lee Hill, SCCA's Chairman of the Board, got things started with an overall update on the Club's year. According to Hill, the SCCA saw challenges in 2016, as well as triumphs. And the organization is already off to a great start in the New Year.
"We shattered the previous participation record at the Tire Rack Solo® Nationals in Lincoln and had an outstanding National Championship Runoffs® at Mid-Ohio with great racing throughout, and RallyCross® also had a successful National Championship event once again in Indianola, Iowa," Hill said. "Already in 2017, the Club started off the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour® season at Homestead-Miami with over 260 entries, followed by the first Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event at Sebring a week later with over 360 entries, as well as a Majors Tour race at Auto Club Speedway with just under 200 entries – all of which are substantial increases from last year."
Robey Clark, President and CEO of SCCA Enterprises, brought meeting attendees up to speed on SCCA Enterprises by noting that Spec Racer Ford is still being supported by Enterprises and is the fourth most popular racecar used at U.S. Majors Tour events. Spec Racer Ford Gen3 is the second most popular vehicle, just behind the Spec Miata class.
"Going forward in 2017, Enterprises will continue with a few updates to the cars and improved support at the track," Clark said. "For the first time in many years, Ford Performance is providing a cash contingency for the top 10 finishers at Hoosier Super Tour races for the SRF3 cars and Mazda will be providing a similar cash contingency for the Formula Enterprises cars entered in the Hoosier Super Tour this year."
During the annual meeting, SCCA Pro Racing® President and CEO Mike Collins announced some fantastic news about the Trans Am® Series. After marking its 50th Anniversary in 2016, the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli Tire, and SCCA Pro Racing have signed an unprecedented 25-year agreement with the Trans Am Race Company (TARC). The landmark deal is the continuation of TARC's licensing and services agreement with SCCA Pro, securing the management, marketing and operational platform that has seen Trans Am grow substantially since the creation of the original 2011 partnership.
"SCCA Pro Racing is dedicated to running, managing and supporting programs that align with SCCA Club Racing," Collins said. "SCCA Pro is proud that we will continue our relationship with the Trans Am Race Company for the next 25 years. By committing to a long-term relationship with mutual goals, our organizations can focus on making the series great by leveraging both of our resources together to offer a clear path from amateur motorsport to professional racing."
The SCCA Foundation also had great news to share Thursday night. John Zuccarelli, Chairman of SCCA Foundation, said an agreement was signed in July with the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York, to house and display the SCCA archives.
Finally, a preliminary financial report was delivered Thursday night showing a 2016 Consolidated Net Loss of $510,289, with a large part of that due to an estimated Net Loss of $756,418 from Pro Racing. However, Hill pointed out that SCCA, Inc. had a decent year and SCCA Enterprises was solidly profitable, but SCCA Pro Racing struggled with unexpected snags in the inaugural Formula 4 season.
"We already have new leadership in place and performing well at both of our for-profit subsidiaries," Hill noted. "Robey Clark has SCCA Enterprises operating on a solid financial footing while Mike Collins focuses SCCA Pro on mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships and building F4 into a marquee series."
Along with updates on the Club's general wellbeing, a handful of awards were handed out Thursday. Tom Burke Awards are presented to Regions for exemplary efforts to activate and grow the SCCA. This year's recipients include:
- Small Regions (under 200 members) – Great River Region, Paul Gilbert, Regional Executive
- Medium Regions (201-400 members) – Mohawk Hudson Region, James Bucci, Regional Executive
- Large Regions (401-800 members) – Finger Lakes Region, Charles Tanck, Regional Executive
- Jumbo Regions (over 800 members) – Chicago Region, Rick Bentson, Regional Executive
The Region of the Year Award gauges Region's management team performance relating to the SCCA's Goals and Business Strategies. Winners are as follows:
- Small Regions (under 200 members) – Montana Region, Bob Nommensen, RE
- Medium Regions (201-400 members) – Utah Region, Kevin Schultz, RE
- Large Regions (401-800 members) – South Jersey Region, James Tornetta, RE
- Jumbo Regions (over 800 members) – Washington D.C. Region, Paul Anderson, RE
And finally, the RoadRally Regional Achievement Award went to the Northern New Jersey Region, the RoadRally Divisional Achievement Award was received by the Northeast Division (NEDIV), the RallyCross Regional Achievement Award was garnered by the Iowa Region, and RallyCross Divisional Achievement Award went to the Northern Pacific Division (NORPAC).
The SCCA National Convention continues Friday and Saturday with the Leadership Summit where much will be shared and learned during nearly 50 seminars. The three-day convention then concludes Saturday night with the SCCA Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet where Pete Brock, Dennis Dean, Larry and Linda Dent, Joe Huffaker Sr., Lyn St. James, Phil Hill and Jim Kaser will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame.
Photo: Lee Hill (left), the new SCCA Chairman of the Board, presents honors to outgoing Chairman John Walsh (right)