The Wrenching to Racing Ratio
By Jim Weidenbaum,
SCCA Area 13 Director
Anyone in the racing community understands there’s a ratio of the amount of time spent wrenching to
amount of time racing which varies greatly by race class, but also by individual within class. Some folks
love working on the car: they have attention to detail and apply mechanical understanding on every facet of their car. Some classes simply demand a ton of wrenching, but even classes where higher levels of engineer ingenuity really doesn’t give you a clear advantage, there are folks who apply Penske-like attention to detail, who are amazing at problem-solving, and know how to dial in a spec/formula class car to be prepared to the highest level of legal competitiveness. These dedicated people not only have specific knowledge, they understand the importance of a disciplined, focus approach to car prep; they literally reprioritize their lives to find the time and money to execute their plan.
OK, you know by now to expect an analogy from me, this disciplined, focused, applied knowledge
approach is how the national Board of Directors works with SCCA staff to deliver on our Mission: fuel a
safe, fun, and exciting motorsports experience for automotive enthusiasts. Most of our 60,000 SCCA
members don’t actively race cars, but they are all auto enthusiasts. When you see programs such as the wildly successful Track Night in America, Solo Spec Coupe, Sprint Rally, and the next big thing: SCCA National Time Trials you can see our outreach to not just racers, but auto enthusiasts – future SCCA members!
If you don’t think growing the membership base isn’t important, take note of the diminishing numbers who show up at each high school reunion. Reunions can be a lot of fun, catching up with old friends, but reunions are not a growth model. SCCA sort of took that model for way too long, but no longer. With Mike Cobb as SCCA, Inc President/CEO, working with a BOD dedicated to good governance, we will continue to make old friends feel at home, while welcoming an influx of new and younger members.
Going back to the wrenching to racing ratio. Wrenching can be enjoyable, catching things before they go wrong, repairing problems, and making things better.
At other times, I have maximized my use and volume of “colorful” language while working on a car. In all cases, I find myself highly focused when working on a car, so when my wife wanders in to the garage to know why I haven’t surfaced all weekend – it’s hard to say anything other than, “well, there’s just a lot to do.”
That’s the same way I feel the SCCA BOD has been operating the past 3 years: wrenching on every critical component, retorquing every nut (homonym intended), which when combined with other actions, deliver on SCCA’s Vision: to be the preferred motorsports community in the US, built on fun, shared passion, and access to an exhilarating motorsports experience.
I truly believe SCCA will get there, but it will require us, as Club members, to get the right folks in leadership roles and to actively participate in Club activities.
So, congratulations to Jeff Zurschmeide on his election to Area 13 SCCA Board of Directors. I have already been in deep discussion with Jeff regarding his transition. I believe Jeff will be an outstanding member of the national BOD and will do the Pacific Northwest proud.
Thank you, Monty Holt for running for the Board: competition for leadership seats makes the Club better.
When I look at our SCCA values (listed below), they absolutely are consistent with the best part of SCCA.
Thank you for letting me represent you as your Area 13 Director these past 3 years.
Good Luck & Good Racing!
Excellence: The Spirit of a Competitor
Service: The Heart of a Volunteer
Passion: The Attitude of an Enthusiast
Team: The Art of Working Together
Experience: The Act of Wowing our Community
Stewardship: The Mindset of an Owner
By Jeff Zurschmeide
Area 13 Director,