Checkered Flag Party

The Chicago Region‚Äôs Checkered Flag Party on February 16, 2019 celebrated the past year as it welcomed in the next. ¬†One-hundred and forty people joined the festivities at Rick Mancuso‚Äôs beautifully remodeled Ferrari dealership, Ferrari Lake Forest. ¬†The¬†dealership is now an exclusive Ferrari franchise with almost every type of Ferrari model on display. ¬†Also on display were many pre-owned sports cars¬†(Ferrari, Porsche, and Mercedes) — a true feast for your eyes. Prior to the official start of the social hour, guests were offered rides in select Ferrari models. A steady line of guests waited their turn in a red Ferrari California. Unfortunately¬†the cold temperatures did not allow for dropping the top.

The social hour began when 2018 SCCA Starter of the Year John Sutton threw the green flag on this event a little early as guests began¬†gathering in the bar area for drinks and appetizers. Wine and beer flowed and the appetizer table never went empty. As an added focal point¬†during the evening to help celebrate our ‚ÄúSeven Decades of Motorsports‚ÄĚ Gerald Risner, a sixty-five year member of the club and the region,¬†provided his 1955 MG TF. The car had literally just come out of the Columbia Restorations shop the day before. The MG was impeccable¬†and when placed on the turntable under the spotlights, its paint and chrome just sparkled.¬†

Also during the evening for everyone‚Äôs enjoyment, there was a silent auction of an original piece of artwork by Jim Swintal. This piece was the last draft sketch of the 2017 painting ‚ÄúThe Pagoda‚ÄĚ that Jim created for the Region as part of our ‚ÄúSeven Decades of Motorsports‚ÄĚ celebration. The proceeds from the auction went to support the St. Joseph Indian School charity in memory of long time member and past Chicago Region Board of Directors member, Ruth Sutton (see article about silent auction).

Awards and Recognition

After dinner, Chicago Region ‚ÄúRE‚ÄĚ Chris Gegor presented our host Rick Mancuso with a framed print of the Jim Swintal painting the ‚ÄúMitchell¬†Bridge.‚ÄĚ The print depicts the 1960 June Sprints¬ģ battle between Augie Pabst in his Scarab and Dr. Dick Thompson driving the Bill Mitchell Stingray.¬†Chris then presented a thank you gift to retiring Region Board member Tracy Ramsey for his service to the club followed by the 2018¬†Chicago Region recognition awards.

The 2018 Driver of the Year award went to Paul Musschoot. The 2018 Worker of the Year went to Rick Bentson, and the 2018 Track Day award was awarded to Erik Vandermey. The Soloist of the Year award was presented at the Annual Solo Party in January. Chris Gregor then presented the Berdie Martin Member of the Year award. The recipients are two very deserving Chicago Region Members for their long term commitment to the Chicago Region SCCA, the Central Division (CenDiv) Racing Series and our membership.  The 2018 Member of the Year recipients were Scott Sanda and Chris Pedersen. And finally, George Laws and previous Founders Award Recipients presented Scott Sanda as the 2018 Founders Award Recipient.

With the conclusion of the awards presentations, the checkered flag was thrown on another successful year and event. ¬†As the party guests¬†were leaving with their Seven Decades stemless wine glasses, they were presented with copies of the Jim Swintal print ‚ÄúMitchell Bridge,‚ÄĚ the¬†second in the series of prints for the Region‚Äôs ‚ÄúSeven Decades of Motorsports‚ÄĚ celebration. ¬†Print copies of past Road¬†America race program covers that were used as centerpieces at the tables were also offered. ¬†

Thank you to all of you that attended the 2018 Checkered Flag Party and we look forward to joining you again next year at Ferrari Lake Forest.