It’s Not Just Another Race
The Chicago Region SCCA, June Sprints® is the longest consecutively run SCCA National Road Race in the United States. Contested every year since 1956 on the original 4.048 miles, 14 turn Road America race circuit. In November of 2019 the SCCA Central Division leadership along with the local race tracks all worked together and established the 2020 Race Schedule, and with that, the running of the 65 June Sprints was set. Little did we know what was headed our way, and the magnitude of the impact it would have on us as individuals and the sport we all enjoy. The races earlier this year in the warmer climates were run but by early March everything was shut down. The June Sprints along with every other form of motorsport sat dead in the sights of Covid-19. The Chicago Region Competition Committee, supported by the Region’s Board of Directors were poised and ready to put on the Sprints. The Region working with Road America had a contingency plan in place as a backup and the waiting game began.
The Comp Committee knew there had to be a plan in place to allow us to put on the June Sprints, and a sub-committee was created to address the concerns and hurdles brought by Covid-19. This committee chaired by Rick Bentson, included Kevin Coulter, Roger Vilmur, Jack Novak, and Dave Kettler, along with subject matter support from Victor Bell. Comp Committee Chairman George Laws stated, “This group worked tirelessly identifying issues, creating process standards and procedures, and acquiring all of the personal protective equipment and supplies necessary to allow the Region to put on this event. The June Sprints would not have happened without their hard work and dedication”.
The Chicago Region and Road America maintained a vigilant watch on the situation with many conference calls and discussions. In an article in the June issue of Piston Patter Rick Bentson stated “Things are about to change (fingers crossed), it looks as though our first event of the year will be a whopper”. Rick was right, registration opened on schedule and by mid-May there were over 300 cars entered, drivers wanted to race, on June 5 just one week before a race car turned a wheel on the track five hundred and eleven (511) cars were entered. This is not just another race!
Not for a decade has the June Sprints seen entry numbers like this, and on Thursday morning June 11 Sue Green and the registration staff were ready and open to welcome and process well over one thousand (plus) registered entrants, volunteers and supporting staff and guests. This is not just another race!
There were many volunteers, and Region members that worked quietly behind the scenes, pulling together information, sponsorships, giveaways, and rewards. There were also those at the event, like the specialty chiefs and their supporting teams that ensured the event flowed over the three days. One individual Comp Chair, George Laws also recognized for his efforts was Race Chairman Mark Bingheim. George stated “Mark was a great help and he and his team managed many issues that arose during the event”.
Last and certainly not least, the Region wants to thank, Competition Committee Chairman, George Laws for all of his hard work and dedication and leadership to make this event the success it was. He along with everyone else involved, know and understand, this is not just another race!