October 2017 REmarks

September was a quiet month, Region-wise, with only 2 Chicago Region events were on the calendar – an evening Track Day event at Autobahn Country club on September 8th and our 6th Solo event of the season at RT66 Raceway on September 24th. I attended both; as a volunteer and participant for the Track Day and as a competitor in the Solo event. It felt good to get behind the wheel again! Track Day events are non-competitive so your enjoyment comes from driving well rather than achieving a finish position. It’s much more low-key than a competitive race or Solo event but very satisfying and fun, especially if at the end of the day you’re pleased with how your car handled and with your driving. The Mustang is a surprisingly good-handling and nimble track day car, considering its size and weight. Conversely, at the Solo event I came away pleased with my driving, not so much with the results (6th out of 10). I’m concluding that the Mustang is an underdog in its class, because the mid-pack result certainly CAN’T be the driver, right?

Oh, there are (were) a pair of other events in September that merit mentioning, though they’re not a Chicago Region ones – The SCCA Solo Nationals were held a couple weeks ago, and over 1,300 participants took part, including a strong group
of Chicago Region competitors. 15 region members brought home hardware and 3 were crowned National Champions. Congratulations to champions Anne Robinson (CSL), Kate Regganie (KML) and Michael Ron (ES)! Michael led a podium sweep for Chicago Region in ES, with Matt Waldbaum finishing second and Wes Jenrich filling out the podium in third. Other trophy winners include Bill Keese (3rd in GS), Chris Dvorak (4th in DS), Alex Tziortzis (4th in SSP), Chris Perry (5th in FM), Bob Gosda (6th in STP), Dan Cochran (7th in GS), Tom Regganie (7th in KM), Chuck Matthews (10th in ES), Clark Walker (12th in FS) and Mark Groseth (14th in ES). Great job everyone!

As I write this the SCCA National Runoffs are taking place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (yes, that speedway). Quite a few Chicago Region drivers and volunteers are participating. Good luck to all our Chicago Region and Cendiv members, as well as to the handful of drivers who are eligible to win a Chicago Region Triple Crown® Award for winning the June Sprints, one of either their Division, Majors Conference or Super Tour championship and the Runoffs, all in the same season. The Triple Crown is the most difficult achievement in amateur racing and Chicago Region is proud to present the award annually to those conquer the challenge. We have 2 Chicago Region members eligible for the award who are competing at the Runoffs this week, Danny Bender in Spec Miata, who’s currently qualified 4th as of this writing (out of 84!) and Elliot Finlayson in FE, currently on the pole. There are two more qualifying sessions for each run group before racing begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend.

October revs up again (apologies for the shameless use of an automotive term as adjective) with several events, starting with the Fall Tee-Time Tour on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Tour is an at-you-own-pace scenic drive over the backroads of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, ending at a great spot for lunch and socializing. The very next day, Sunday, October 15 is our second Tire Rack Street Survival teen driving school of the year, held a RT66 Raceway. I encourage you to enter one or both of these events (we can really use the help of volunteers at the Street Survival school). Both are listed on motorsportsreg.com.

The following weekend is our final Club Racing weekend of the year (and our first race of the 2018 racing season), the Fall Sprints at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. The weekend includes a Double Divisional race and a 3-hour Enduro on Sunday afternoon. The final weekend of the month wraps up our Solo season with the 8th and 9th events on the Solo Twin weekend, October 28 & 29 at RT66. So there are a few chances left to come out and enjoy some racing and socializing with our SCCA friends before the cold and dark of winter. I hope to see you at one of these great events!

Until next month;
See you at the races!

Rick Bentson
Regional Executive