“ With all of the Runoffs news and
content in this issue, I began
reminiscing about my early days”
78 JULY 2018 scca.com
FROM THE EDITOR
• National racing coverage
kicked off with the ShowCase
at Mid-Ohio, which included
248 competitors. A year
later the track would host
its first of many Runoffs.
• The Dogwood Grand Prix’s
Solo course incorporated a
freeway on-ramp and off-ramp.
• Peter Hylton took a look back
at SCCA’s place in Hollywood,
including movies about racing,
and the stars that actually did.
• We wrapped up our three-part series about prepping a
car for the RallyCross National
Challenge, which included
claiming a win along the way.
• A lack of traditional income
coupled with growing expenses
prompted an increase in annual
membership fees to $17.50.
• We covered the Redburne
200, a fictional race that took
place at Road America, which
was featured in the film Winning.
ere days before this issue was completed, the 2018 National
Championship Runoffs schedule was released. The SportsCar staff had a
feeling the Runoffs schedule would come out soon so we’d already written our
“Hot Lap” feature of Sonoma Raceway (pg. 40) as well as penned a brief story
offering insight as to how SportsCar’s staff prepares our racecars for
competition at the Runoffs (pg. 46). Then the Runoffs testing, qualifying, and
race schedules were released and I breathed a giant sigh of relief because
otherwise this issue would have had a ton of Runoffs content with no news to
back it up. I was lucky.
With all of the Runoffs news and content in this issue, I began reminiscing
about my early days in SCCA Road Racing. Back in 2005, I took an SCCA
Driver’s School at the Jim Russell Racing School at – you guessed it – Sonoma
Raceway. I’d done track days in prior years, but this was my first time in a real
racecar learning about flags, race starts, passing, and more. I left the school
very nervous about hitting the track for a
real race, and I recall asking my instructor
if there was more I needed to know before
jumping in. He said not to worry, I’d do fine.
Despite my concerns, he was right.
Yes, I’ve suffered mechanical setbacks,
dramatic moments, and made my share
of ill-advised moves on the track, but nothing the rest of you haven’t done,
too. Later this year, 13 years on, I get to put everything I learned at that
Jim Russell school into action at Sonoma Raceway during the Runoffs.
One of the things I knew in 2005 was that picking the right
racetrack for my school was important. I wanted my racing school to
be memorable on many levels. I wanted a track that had both pro and
Club history, and I wanted it in a fantastic location. Due to the time
of year, I was limited to one of SCCA’s approved professional schools,
but outside of that I could have gone anywhere – I chose Sonoma.
Admittedly, I know more now about Sonoma Raceway (Infineon
when I took my school) than I did in 2005, but I knew enough. I’d seen
NASCAR race there through the 1990s on TV, and I recall seeing Boris
Said, an SCCA road racer, show the NASCAR boys how it was done at that
track. I remember watching Trans Am, IndyCar, and a variety of other
pro series racing there, too. I knew I wanted to drive on that track.
Sadly, I’ve never been back to that track. San Francisco Region
hosts races there each year, but despite my living only seven hours
away, I’ve never made the tow. However, the desire has been there,
poking at the back of my mind, and this year I finally get to take the
green flag at Sonoma Raceway. It’s been a long time coming, but
I know it will have been worth the wait. Yes, I’m a lucky guy!
A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
EDITOR, SPORTSCAR MAGAZINE
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