FROM THE ARCHIVES
78 FEBRUARY 2020 scca.com
FROM THE EDITOR
• The Pro Rally season wrap-up
saw Paul Choiniere recording his
fourth career championship.
• Jane Shaw shared an
interview with Marge Binks,
the first and only woman to
serve as Chairman of the
SCCA Board of Directors.
• The American Road Race
of Champions brought nearly
300 racers to Road Atlanta, all
vying for Regional racing glory.
• We installed a fire suppression
system in our Showroom Stock C
project car, and then set it off
just for the experience.
• The Russ Smith Ford Racing
Team shared its tale of woe in
How not to win the ARRC.
• Rolling starts were now
mandatory for all races. It was
noted that standing starts are
fun, but were more dangerous
and harder on equipment.
The results never say how.” Hang around the SCCA National Championship Runoffs paddock long enough and you will undoubtedly meet longtime
SCCA member, racer, and motorsports photographer Mark Weber. Once you’ve
met Mark, you will undoubtedly experience a few of his “Weber-isms,” the
likes of which open this editorial. But while many of his sayings are whimsical
(and some, I dare say, are mildly inappropriate), they also have more than
a hint of truth to them. This one is no exception – and it’s a shame.
Race results are boring. Generally, it’s a piece of paper containing a list of
names. The names may be in a different order from the grid sheet, but it’s still
just names. Dig deeper and the results will reveal how much time someone
won by. Sometimes you might see the top 10 finish within a few seconds
of each other. Did that race finish under caution or was it a barnburner the
likes of which has never been seen before? Who knows? After all, the results
don’t say how. Yet it’s the “how” that makes racing so interesting.
Watch TV coverage of professional racing and you’ll witness more of the “how.”
You’ll see how the drivers reacted once the green
flag dropped. And supposing the cameras were in
ideal locations, you may even see the entirety of
that final-lap drama – the quintessential last turn,
last lap hero dive-bomb we talk about for years to
come. Those are certainly interesting “hows,” but
to me, the most interesting “how” started long before that race weekend. It’s what
ultimately led to that win, be it goings on from a month earlier, or maybe even years.
I get a kick out of interviewing interesting people, and few are as interesting
as those with the desire to make a professional career out of driving racecars.
These are people who put in their all, not for the single race win, but playing
the long game. To them, it’s about the season championship. Be it a series
of 11, 13, 16, or even 17 races, as was the case with the 2019 SCCA
Pro Racing Trans Am, F3 Americas, and F4 U.S. Championship, these top-finishing drivers were strategic in all that they did. In some cases, like with
2019 F3 Americas Drivers’ Champion Dakota Dickerson, the strategy began
the year prior. And then mid-2019, while battling for the F3 title, Dickerson
was already deep into prepping his conquest of the 2020 season.
In case you missed it, this issue contains the 2019 season wrap-up of SCCA
Pro Racing’s three keystone series: Trans Am, F3 Americas, and the F4 U.S.
Championship. Therein are 10 champions who appeared on many a race results
sheet throughout the year, probably consistently at the top. Yes, those results
sheets will tell you that the drivers scored a number of podiums or top-five finishes,
but it’s the issue of SportsCar that you hold in your hands that tells you “how.”
EDITOR, SPORTSCAR MAGAZINE
50 YEARS AGO...
25 YEARS AGO...
10 YEARS AGO...
“ The quintessential last turn, last
lap hero dive-bomb we talk
about for years to come”