26 AUGUST 2020 scca.comFEATURE
a logical progression. The formerSmith College car would serveas the platform, transitioninginto a full-fledged Spec Miata.
But this time, Grace would workwith a roof over her head, asthe resources of the Donovanshop were available off hours.
While Grace’s extended familyenthusiastically supported heraspirations, on the financialside she would be on her own.
Dave Hathaway’s early racingpartnership had been calledParsimonious Racing, andthat discipline would come tothe forefront once again.
Pittsfield, Mass., is somethingof a crossroads for SCCAgeography. Out on the westernend of New England Region, manyenthusiasts gravitate toward theevents run in nearby upstateNew York by the Mohawk-Hudson Region, so Dave’s richexperience was also expansive.
It put venues such as Lime RockPark, Thompson SpeedwayMotorsports Park, and WhiskeyHill Raceway within easy reach.
To get the project rolling,former SCCA Area 10 Directorand Miata racing expert TomCampbell (who crews for hisbrother Charlie Campbell, whoput on a spectacular run at the
2019 National ChampionshipRunoffs in F Production,crossing the stripe just 0.096secbehind the leader) completeda thorough evaluation on whatit would take to get the car upto SM specifications. And, thuswas born The Gracie Project.
Working around a calendarcrowded with events for theDonovan Jaguar team, thefirst goal for Grace’s Miata wasOctober 2018 for a CRE (ClubRacing Experience) at ThompsonSpeedway. It was time for bothGrace and Dave to get creative.
Around the same time The
Gracie Project was taking shape,
Pastor Tim Weisman came to
Zion Lutheran Church with a
vision to move his congregation
into greater involvement with
the community. Racecars need
wheels. Dave thought, “Why
not apply for a grant through
Zion’s youth fund?” Unorthodox
as it may seem, Pastor Tim and
the church council agreed. In
return, Zion Lutheran Church
received prominent placement
on the Miata’s front wheel wells.
Grace is full of praise for
WHATEVER IT TAKES
(ABOVE) Gracedoesn’t shy away fromautomotive projects.
A LONG ROAD
Grace Hackenberg’s road toracing has been a winding one,but she’s fully committed. Despitethe setbacks (RIGHT), the goal hasalways been to race (FAR RIGHT).