SONOMA, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2018) -- From the Runoffs to the Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour, U.S. Majors Tour to regional weekends, SCCA road racing events are made possible thanks to the tremendous effort of SCCA workers. And each year a handful of workers are recognized for their enormous contribution. Those individuals are bestowed with Worker of the Year honors, presented by Mazda.
“More than 200 road racing events, both national and regional, are conducted by the SCCA each year across the United States,” said Michael Cobb, SCCA President & CEO. “Such a Herculean task simply couldn’t be achieved without the thousands of incredibly helpful and highly-skilled volunteers who are part of this Club. Worker of the Year awards recognize a handful of these dedicated volunteers. To the winners and everyone who helped pull off SCCA events in 2018, I wholeheartedly say ‘thank you’ for your passion and participation.”
Award recipients have shown dedication throughout the season to their Specialty, events, Region, competitors, fellow workers and the SCCA; exhibited strong skills, good leadership, and a willingness to go above and beyond what is expected; and provide excellent customer service to everyone encountered. SCCA members submitted Worker of the Year nominations, and winners were then selected by the SCCA National staff with input from Division leadership.
The Flagging & Communications Worker of the Year is Bonnie Aarseth of the Oregon Region. Professional, calm, heart of a teacher, sweet, funny and friendly are just some of the words used to describe her. A longtime Club member, she has trained many new workers across the country and continues to provide mentorship and counsel.
Two members of SCCA’s Chicago Region, Bev Heilicher and John Sutton, were honored with Worker of the Year awards. Heilicher was named Steward Worker of the Year because she travels extensively to work events hosted by different regions in different divisions. This allows her to not only share her knowledge and experience but also learn new ways of doing things. She has been the Chief Steward of many events, including the June Sprints. She has been the face of the Competitor Services Center at the Runoffs for years and is always the first to arrive to make sure the Stewards’ offices are prepared for the event. She is one of the most committed SCCA members, works tirelessly behind the scenes and strives for excellence in event execution.
Meanwhile, Sutton was honored as Starter Worker of the Year as he has recruited a large group of starters over the years and provided on-the-job training. He is a leader and mentor, committed to providing encouragement to all and exemplifies the SCCA standard of excellence.
Lee Stanley, of the Buccaneer Region, is the Grid/Pit Worker of the Year. He serves as the Divisional Administrator for Pit & Grid in the Southeast Division and has been the Chief of Pit Lane for the Runoffs since 2015. For Stanley, a weekend at the race track is an escape from regular life and allows him to just focus on what’s in front of him. He enjoys the face-to-face interaction with drivers and teams and his fellow workers, and has certainly been a valued member of the Club.
Sharon West, of Land O’ Lakes Region, earned the Registration Worker of the Year award. An SCCA member for over 35 years, she worked her way to a National license in 2012 and has since served as Chief for many events in the Central Division. Her willingness to learn and seek out new information has made her an invaluable asset to the specialty.
Timing & Scoring Worker of the Year went to Carol Reber of the Washington D.C. Region. Not only does she work tirelessly for T&S, but she also provides help and support to many other specialties and competitors. For years, Reber has been a regular member of the Runoffs T&S Team and thoroughly plans and prepares months leading up to the event. Last year, on her own, she stepped up to assist the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour, traveling to events across the country. She is generous, kind, funny and an important part of SCCA.
Scrutineer Worker of the Year was received by Ann Bowling of the Arkansas Region. She has traveled all over the country working in tech at regional races, Conference Majors and Hoosier Super Tour events. Bowling always greets everyone with a Member Services attitude, is eager to learn, help and do whatever the specialty needs to deliver great tech service. Described as energetic and smart, she quickly adapts to new assignments and her technical versatility makes her an essential part of race weekends.
The Emergency Services Worker of the Year is Steven Hobbs of the Cal Club Region. A mechanic by trade, he cares for the Region’s emergency services fleet. He works every Region event, serves on the Region Board and spends his spare time recruiting new members. He is quick to jump in and help, always has a positive attitude and supportive of everyone’s ideas. He has a can-do attitude and embodies SCCA’s new Welcoming Environment statement which supports the Club’s mission of fueling a safe, fun and exciting motorsports experience for automotive enthusiasts.
Race Administration Worker of the Year is Mark Senior of the North Carolina Region. Cool, calm and collected, he is a quiet, hard-working guy capable of adapting to handle any situation. He is efficient, easy to work with, has a great can-do attitude and is a great example of how to execute Race Administration duties.
SONOMA, California (October 20, 2018) – Lance Spiering, of Beaverton, Oregon, inherited the Formula 500 National Championship on Saturday evening after finishing second place on track when the first competitor to cross the finish line was found to have a non-compliant car in post-race technical inspection.
On the track, David Lapham kept his No. 2 Hoosier Novakar J10/Suzuki on the rear of Tire Rack polesitter Jeff Jorgenson’s No. 64 CTD Motorsports Novakar J10/Rotax in the opening laps, running nose to tail and catching the rear of the Formula F field in the combined-class race on lap six. Lapham took the lead at the start of lap seven and surrendered it back to Jorgenson in Turn 12 on lap nine.
That lead swapped two more times in the following lap, and the pair weaved through traffic together for the next four laps.
Lapham used the Formula F traffic to his advantage on lap 15, making the pass for the lead coming down the hill through Turn 11 and heading for the Turn 12 hairpin. The first-time champion timed the traffic perfectly, and it became the pass for the win when Jorgenson contacted a Formula F machine in the hairpin, prematurely ending his day.
Lapham crossed the finish line first, but his Suzuki motor was found to be out of compliance and was moved to the end of the time sheets.
Chasing the pair but never quite in range on the track was Spiering, who was well back of the lead duel but comfortably in front of anyone else to land his first career SCCA podium in the No. 29 Quadrini Racing Invader QC1/Rotax. That podium later became his first gold medal on the official results.
“It’s only my third podium, so it was enjoyable,” Spiering said. “I knew I wouldn’t have the pace to keep up with Jeff and Dave, and as soon as the tires came in those guys took off. There was no way I could keep up with them, so it was a matter of keeping it on track and putting my head down.”
Russell Strate earned his highest career Runoffs finish with a third-place on the track, which was elevated to second in the No. 9 Hoosier/Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion S1/Rotax, using an appropriate saying he learned 43 years ago from SCCA Hall of Famer Bob Bondurant.
“I have to admit, I kind of blew my start,” Strate said. “David, Jeff and Lance got away and my race was trying to keep up with them. It was ‘SCCA’ – smooth, consistent, concentrate and alert. That’s what got me to here.”
Jack Walbran was elevated to third place in the No. 67 Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion S1/Rotax, his first Runoffs podium in 25 starts.
The 55th SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at Sonoma Raceway in California Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct 21.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live. An audio race call, supplied by the Super Tour Radio broadcast team, is also available at www.SCCA.com/live , as well as live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
1, (3), Lance Spiering, Beaverton, OR, Quadrini Racing Invader QC1 Rotax, 19.
2, (4), F Russell Strate Jr., Alden, NY, Scorpion S1 Rotax, 19.
3, (5), John W Walbran, Saint Louis, MO, Scorpion S1 Rotax, 18.
4, (1), Jeff Jorgenson, San Francisco, CA, Novakar J10 Rotax, 15.
5, (2), David Lapham, Irvington, NY, Novakar J10 Suzuki, 20.
Length of Race: 50 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 34:40.682 (avg. 82.842 mph)
Margin of Victory: 1 lap
Fastest Race Lap: 1:42.491 (88.515 mph)
Lap Leaders: #64 laps 1-5, 9, 11-14; #2 laps 6-8, 10, 15-20
Sunoco Hard Charger: #29 Lance Spiering